Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8,277 / Crosophile

Posted by RatkojaRiku on April 25th, 2013


I did a double-take when I spotted that Crosophile had set today’s puzzle, since I have previously seen his (?) work on Wednesdays only.

I worked steadily through this one, finding that I was held up above all in the SE quadrant. I also found the wordplay in some of the longer clues hard to fathom, especially at 19D and 24, although I got there in the end, I think. I would be interested to hear if others parsed 28 as I did.

My favourite clues today were 13, for the ingenious use of “45 mins” in the wordplay, and 15, for its deceptive and smooth surface reading. I was unfamiliar with the term at 14.

*(…) indicates an anagram

9   ROGAN JOSH *(GROAN) + JOSH (=joke); “terrible” is anagram indicator
10   IRONY Double definition; hard as in like the metal iron
11   NEGATED GATE (=opening part) in NED (DEN=study; “retrospective” indicates reversal)
12   MAILLOT MAIL (=the post) + LOT (=a great deal)
13   HOUSE HOU<r> (=45 mins, i.e ¾ of an hour, so 3 letters out of 4) + S<tevenag>E (“outskirts of” means first and last letters only)
15   RESHUFFLE *(FRESH FUEL); “chopped up” is anagram indicator; the “cabinet” refers to ministers not furniture!
17   BREAD Homophone (“by report”) of “bred” (=raised)
18   INS I (=one) + N S (=two partners, i.e. in bridge)
19   PUNCH Triple definition; the wife-beater is Punch in Punch and Judy
20   UNSETTLES <s>UNSET (=end of day; “heading off” means first letter dropped) + *(LEST); “barking”, i.e. mad is anagram indicator
23   IDLED I (=first person, i.e. in grammar) + ’D (=had, as in I’d left) + LED (=had rest (of competitors) behind)
25   BIRDMAN [R (=rook, i.e. in chess) in BID (=attempt)] + MAN (=second one, i.e. chess piece)
27   INSIGHT *(THIS GIN); “with a twist” is anagram indicator
29   LAPSE L (=Latin) + [S (=singular, i.e. in grammar) in APE (=primate)]
30   HUMILIATE *(MILIEU + HAT); “milieu” is entry at 6; “to bits” is anagram indicator
1   BRANCH B (=British) + RANCH (=farm)
2   AGOG AGO (=previously) + G<um> (“piece of” here means first letter only)
3   KNOTWEED KNOT (=maybe granny) + WEE (=little) + D<og> (“initially” means first letter only)
4   BORDER Homophone (“we hear”) of “boarder” (=Potter at Hogwarts); a border is “an “edgy” place”, i.e. on the edge
5   CHEMISTS CHE (=revolutionary, i.e. Che Guevara) + MISTS (=sprays of water drops)
6   MILIEU I LIE (=paradoxical statement) in MU (=Cretan character, i.e. Greek letter)
7   BOIL Double definition
8   EYETEETH [YET (=still) + E E (=double energy, i.e. 2 x E=energy)] in *(THE); “running” is anagram indicator
14   UVEAS U (=for all to see, i.e. of film classification) + (VASE); “shattered” is anagram indicator; the uvea is the posterior pigment-bearing layer of the   iris of the eye
16   FINAL A in [FI<re> (“half gone out” means half the letters are dropped) + N<eeds> L<ighting> (“in early stages” means first letters only)]
17   BLUEBELL (with a) BLUE (=sad) + BELL (=ring) (to it)
18   IOLANTHE *(IN A HOTEL); “playing” is anagram indicator
19   PLIMSOLL LIM<p>S (=shows weakness; “with no head for politics” means letter “p” is dropped) in POLL (=head); the reference is to English MP Samuel Plimsoll, the instigator of the Merchant Shipping Act of 1876
21   TIMBER TI (IT; “flies up” indicates vertical reversal) + <e>MBER (=burning wood; “obscuring top of” means first letter dropped)
22   STIGMA STIG (GITS=nasty people; “upset” indicates vertical reversal) + MA (=mum)
24   DOTTED D – OTT (=too much) for I (=Crosophile, i.e. setter of this puzzle) – ED (=faded)
26   RIPE <t>RIPE (=garbage); “when lid’s removed” means first letter dropped
28   GOAL O (=love) in GAL (=girl); “head over heels” must mean that the wordplay is “love in girl” rather than “girl in love”; a goal is an “end”, objective

17 Responses to “Independent 8,277 / Crosophile”

  1. Phi says:

    Yes, I got 28 that way. There’s an obliquely indicated Nina explaining why Mr P turned as a ‘shipping legislator’ instead of his usual method of reference.

  2. flashling says:

    I saw the Nina, but only after completion, thanks Crosophile for the commute fun, GOAL a little convoluted but I worked it the same way. Thanks for the blog RR even if I didn’t need you today.

  3. michelle says:

    My favourites in this puzzle were 13a, 25a, 22d, 10a, 19a, 15a.

    New words for me were UVEA, KNOTWEED & ‘poll’ = ‘head’.

    I solved but could not parse 6d, 19d, 3d, 24d. And I still don’t understand the parsing of 24d apart from OTT = ‘too much / over the top.’

    Thanks for the blog, RatkojaRiku.

  4. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, RR. I did need you today, for several that I couldn’t parse. A tough one, I found, but all sound – just a bit of a double-take, like you, to see this setter in the Thursday slot.

    PUNCH is a very clever triple definition.

    Nina? You’re asking the wrong person to spell it out, but somebody no doubt will later on today.

  5. flashling says:

    K’sD look SW corner to NE…

  6. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Hi Michelle. In 24dn, the definition is ‘sparsely laid out’; then Crosophile is asking you to put OTT instead of I (the setter) in DIED for ‘faded’. You have to read ‘that’s’ as ‘that has’.

  7. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks flashling. Never in a million – indeed squillion – years would I have seen that.

  8. sidey says:

    There are a bunch of answers that fit with the diagonal.

  9. Andy B says:

    Yes, I parsed 28d that way too. Nina-wise I’m with Kathryn’s Dad.

  10. michelle says:

    re 24d, thanks a lot – Never in a million – indeed squillion – years would I have seen that.

    Needless to add, I did not see the oblique nina, but I finally see it now thanks to flashling@5.

  11. Bertandjoyce says:

    We needed help with parsing 21d. We thought of TIME flying and B for front of burning hidden inside or ‘being obscured’ but just couldn’t work out where R came from or why ‘up’ was included! Thanks RR for sorting that one out for us.

    We missed the nina so thanks also to Phi.

    All in all a good workout from Crosophile so thanks to you too!

  12. HKColin says:

    Can someone explain why the definition for 9ac is “dish of tomatoes”? Unless they changed the recipe there are no tomatoes in a Rogan Josh.

  13. Conrad Cork says:

    Hi HKColin

    In flock wallpaper Indian restaurants, rogan josh is very heavy on tomatoes (and peppers).

  14. Conrad Cork says:

    Further to my last I just remembered that Kingsley Amis always ordered rogan josh (the unauthentic tomtoey kind). Martin Amis said his motto was “You can’t go wrong with a rogan”.

  15. flashling says:

    And there was me thinking a (Richard) Rogan Josh was a funny clue by Bannsider. I’ll get my coat.

  16. Bertandjoyce says:

    We’ve just found the nina-related answers in the grid.

    Well done Crosophile – an even better crossword than we thought!

  17. Crosophile says:

    Thanks for the blog, RatkojaRiku. And thanks for all the comments.
    Re Rogan Josh, I relied on the definition in Chambers dictionary; “an Indian dish of curried meat in a tomato-based sauce.” Whether this is mistaken I’m afraid I couldn’t say.
    Well done all those who spotted the nina of LAID IT ON THE LINE on the rising diagonal. Unless I’ve missed some myself [quite possible!] the list of -lines was house- bread- punch- branch- border- bluebell- plimsoll- timber- dotted- and goal-. [Glad you liked them, Bertandjoyce!]

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