Leading Lights

Here is my first Independent Magazine puzzle, from 8 October 1988.   Looking back on it, it strikes me as quite hard – a largeish number of unclued answers (some of which will not be immediately familiar, although they are all in Chambers), and hence a fair number of unchecked letters in the answers with clues.  Solvers looking for a further hint to the theme might find it on another page of the site.  Part of me is mildly amused by the fact that the longest clue is to one of the shortest words.

The puzzle has also appeared in a collection of Independent Magazine crosswords published by Headline in 1993 (so exhorting you to rush out and buy a copy is probably futile, but you did get a good selection from the series in the three such volumes).  I’ve slightly edited the clues to reflect Chambers’ policy re hyphens, and the solution page will have full notes.  I can also show you what it looked like in situ:







Leading Lights by Phi

One of the unclued lights indicates the nature and mode of entry of the other 11.  Unchecked letters of these 12 and those checked only by other unclued lights give the possibly helpful phrase: OUT UNDERGOING EXTRA ASTRAL UV.



5             Union-bashing’s beginning yet BR arranged greater productivity (6)

10           Imagine one girlfriend capturing Steve’s heart (6)

11           After a space a group of servicemen provide guns (5)

12           Recalling duty, sailor means to catch nautical deserters (7)

16           Returning to look at favourite canvasses? (6)

23           It’s awkward clueing an unusual form of oil-lamp (7)

26           Short-range weapon CO has set in motion (8)

27           Become married, with old apparel to the fore (6)

34           Baby’s front, see, wearing bib (5)

35           Mac’s to eat from a spoon, one holding weak porridge (6)

36           Wash up last pieces of expensive tea-set?  This may be used (6)




2             Delays services – why not? (4)

3             Delayed two successive notes (4)

4             Fruit harvest trading limits (4)

5             Ever so many proper soldiers (including non-officer) (7)

7             Girl – Scot’s one to rise (3)

8             King, old and irritated, perhaps (5)

9             Exotic vegetable, one protected by sprayed rotenone (9, 2 words)

13           Satellite in the near heavens (4)

15           Like a fool – left part of target when getting in to thieve (9)

19           Dot on screen has black edge (4)

20           Leaves from Edinburgh turning up in Turnhouse again (4)

22           Grease to regulate flattening machine (7)

24           Constant river connecting two lakes (4)

25           One is up on one from India, possibly (5)

26           Star’s low point in ‘topless’ picture gives the old little anxiety (5)

28           The reverse of t-total disruption? (4)

29           Monkey, one that’s Amazonian? (4)

30           Seaweed in which you’ll see a fish (4)

32           Last bits of conundrum Phi posed with a little light turning up in the centre? (3)



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