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Posts Tagged ‘Phi’

Listener No 4714: Run to Seed by Phi

Posted by Dave Hennings on 25 Jun 2022

Last year’s puzzle from Phi gave us Lennon and McCartney’s When I’m Sixty-Four. If you remember, there we had clues to 8-letter words coiled together to form eight 8s. Another interesting trick this week with double clues (in thematic order of course) which led to two answers that needed to be unjumbled to reveal two successive unclued across entries.

Not much time this week for the ups and downs of my solve, except to say that I really wondered what gobbledygook the unclued acrosses were trying to reveal. Of course, most of the letters that the down entries gave for those would soon be overwritten by the unjumbled answers to those double clues.

I was somewhat lucky when it came to the endgame. [Not unusual for you. Ed.] Mind you, having seen that the unclued entry in column 2 started OUA, I assumed that it was another word that had been somehow encoded and consequently dismissed it for the time being. Consequently, I didn’t get the nudge that Phi obligingly put in front of me with OUANANICHE.

Having eked out the answers to most of the double clues, I had a go at unjumbling them into two separate thematic words. Starting with GRIPPE KITBAG, I had KIPPER pretty much staring me in the face and that left GITBAG which swiftly resolved into BAGGIT. Twenty minutes later, and the SAMON LADDER was in place with GRILSE, LIGGER, SAMLET, BAGGIT and KIPPER rising through the grid and making new words in the process.

Thanks for a good workout, Phi.


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Run to Seed by Phi

Posted by shirleycurran on 24 Jun 2022

The word ‘jumble’ leaps out at me as I print this crossword and I groan. I study the preamble with a little more care and sigh with relief when I read that this only concerns the double clues and that those will give five thematic examples and a two-word description of what they thematically represent (of a kind with the unclued down answer) – that is clearly going to be a helpful hint.

As usual, I use my highlighter and that proves to be puzzling since we have been given the example of 16ac and 19ac functioning as a pair but are somehow going to get seven words out of the cells I have highlighted. I guess that Phi is being somewhat sly and that those double clues that we are jumbling are going to be used more than once – at least, some of them are.

Those clues are pretty generous and we decide that they give LISSOM/ANGLER, GIRLS/LEGGIER, LARGE/GIMLETS, BIGGEST/MALTA, GRIPPE/KIT BAG and RIPPLED/DRAKE but those letters scarcely resemble the BISZM? or the CACLEE that are appearing in some of my highlighted lights.

However, we get our clue when OUANANICHE turns up in the unclued down entry and Chambers obligingly tells me that it is ‘a variety of salmon found in SE Canada’. SALMON has almost appeared in my lowest light and we suspect that we have the theme. (Don’t they do salmon runs in order to ‘seed’? The title!)

With a full grid, we decide we have to create jumbles of those twelve words of the double clues to fill those empty cells with salmon and that our new words will be ‘thereby changing six down answers’.

Perhaps we are lucky that LISSOM/ANGLER clearly gives us SALMON and GRILSE, and we realise that our LEGGIER GIRLS are going to produce LIGGER and GRILSE so the method is evident. LARGE GIMLETS give us LIGGER and SAMLET; BIGGEST MALTA produces SAMLET and BAGGIT (yes, it does sound ike Tolkien, doesn’t it!), then we get GRIPPE/KIT BAG giving us the KIPPER and finally we get to the LADDER and see what the stepped shape was all about. We have created a fish ladder and the salmon are climbing up it!

I am reminded of being taken by a gamekeeper to the new salmon ladder at Pitlochry. They were proudly explaining how it worked in a set of written instructions but no fish were leaping. “Och, weel, ye ken, the fish canna read” he said sadly.

I didn’t need to worry about Phi’s retaining his place amongst the Listener oenophiles did I? ‘Liberal and Republican in time to get substantial cocktails, tricky shots containing one small amount of liquid (5;7)’ gave us those large gimlets (cocktails with gin or vodka and lime juice) – then there was …island area following a drink of whisky (5)’ We added A to the malt to give MALTA. Next we got RIPPLED DRAKE from ‘Lightly disturbed loch circled by drunken libertine that’s taken after dead naval hero (7;5)’ There was gin there too! ‘European put up expired gin for test (4)’. We found that MAX was an old word for a gin so that gave us EXAM. Rather a tipsy “Cheers! Phi.”

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L4652: ‘8 x 8’ by Phi

Posted by Encota on 16 Apr 2021

A delightful Beatles tribute, with the lines “Will you still need me, will you still feed me” featuring in this puzzle consisting of eight eights, laid out to fill the entire grid.

Some gentle fun in a very well constructed puzzle from Phi – thank you!


Tim / Encota

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L4592: ‘Graven Image’ by Phi

Posted by Encota on 21 Feb 2020

I found this a fun solve – thanks Phi!

I was caught out by what seemed to me as an alternative answer to 19a’s: Disgusting tart curtailed fun at the fair (6)
I had read this as potentially a clue with a word reversed in it, namely:
Disgusting trat curtailed fun at the fair (6)
Which I then parsed as TRA(t)+SHY, what you do at a coconut shy at the fair. Did TRASHY mean disgusting? Well, I convinced myself it was close enough – and this held up the rhs of the puzzle for much longer than i should have allowed.

Eventually I saw tart could be changed to start, so leading to PUT+RID(e). Phew!

This was a neat construction with an interesting theme – thanks Phi!

Tim / Encota

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Graven Image by Phi

Posted by shirleycurran on 21 Feb 2020

The title didn’t really tell us anything though, when we had completed our solve and spotted ALBRECHT DÜRER in the Knight’s moves, I did think that maybe the wonderful Dürer HARE was a graven image. After all, there was a hare of the Poat kind sneaking into the clues. ‘FrencH ARE leading vice trial as before (5)’ We opted for ES + SAY (vOice for vice as an added letter) and I looked up the iconic hare, to find, sadly, that he was water colour and not a graven image..

Naturally I looked for Alcohol in Phi’s clues too and found “Glasgow’s dray and vat not fully visible in the smoke there (6)’. By this time, we had realised that some words were being entered in reverse in the first four columns and that almost all of the remaining clues in those columns had a word reversed (except KNIGHT – leading us to our ultimate knight’s moves – I know Phi and Sabre have set together as Phibre – is the Sabre knight’s move virus catching?) That KNIGHT was of course the word that was in the wrong set and prompted us that we had to follow ‘a principle befitting the first element of the title’.

Here we reversed DRAY, giving YARD and decided that the VAT was a KIE[R}, giving us REEKIE – Glasgow’s smoke. Well – a whole vat! Cheers Phi!

AGAR, SEDNA, IN ON, MART and RECCOS all reversed so we had one of our alterations. I found working out the other two more difficult as I could never remember whether I was adding or subtracting a letter and just when I thought we had sorted it out, a word seemed to be in the wrong set. DEARTH had a letter missing and was entered as DEATH when we thought it ought to be gaining a letter. Then 9d led us to LIVED (‘Was volume reduced in song (5)’. V in LIED). However our grid required DEVIL, so that gave us our third word that had moved into the wrong set.

And there was our hint. Knight, Death and the Devil – a Graven Image by Albrecht Dürer. And we were able to fill in the missing letters, completing his name in Knight’s moves. A nicely thematic conclusion. Thank you Phi.



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