Fifteensquared

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Independent 6268/Nimrod – Frankly, my dear, I stalled on 5 down

Posted by rightback on November 17th, 2006

rightback.

Solving time: 11:05

Not the easiest, but I think I made a bit of a meal of some of this, although there were a few difficult words. Nimrod continues a recent theme of including several crossing long entries, including 5 fairly straightforward anagrams today in answers of 10 letters or more. I normally find Nimrod ‘hard but fair’, though I do have a couple of minor quibbles in this puzzle.

Beginners’ tips of the day: ‘song’ = AIR, ‘learning’ = LORE, ‘very strong’ = FF (fortissimo).

Across
7 MOR[e] around OCHE (= ‘firing line’ in darts) – Refers to the jazz song Minnie the Moocher, a new one to me.
8 O + REGAN reversed – Another outing for Lear’s daughter, she appeared in the Times earlier this week. An ONAGER is an Asian donkey.
12 CIRC[us] + LED
14 O (= zero) inside US reversed – A SOU is an old French coin.
18 SANDMAN – Cryptic definition, ‘gets you off’ meaning ‘puts you to sleep’. I needed all 4 checking letters before getting this.
20 LAR[d] – the god of a house (a Latin word – no initial capital)
23 PH (= pub) + O after PAS reversed – PAS means ‘step’ in French, used in English for a step in dance and in the phrase faux pas (literally false step)
24 LORE (= learning) + ATT[orney] reversed
Down
2 THIRD-CLASS (= below-par), anag. of CARDS L[eft] inside THIS – but the question mark here seems unfair in the cryptic reading. This was the only ‘quibble’ that actually held me up, I considered taking ‘this’ at face value but dismissed that idea because of the question mark.
4 DO(WE)LLED
5 TARA – I knew Scarlett O’Hara was from Gone With The Wind but this was no help as I didn’t know the book was mostly set in the village of Tara in Georgia. I agonised between TARA and TATA for a couple of minutes before guessing correctly – though funnily enough ‘ta-ra’ meaning ‘goodbye’ doesn’t appear in Chambers while ‘ta-ta’ does.
6 EVER SINGL[e] inside RIGHTS (= ‘they admit me’ – but why ‘me’?) – another slow solve for me.
10 (AUDI + ARAB) inside anag. of IS A – This isn’t my favourite clue: not sure about the anagram indication of ‘is a roundabout alternative’, and ‘location’ as a definition gives thousands of possibilities – just like ‘here’ in 13dn. I suppose in longer place names such deliberate vagueness is ok.
16 DO (= abbrev. of ‘ditto’ = the same) + NATION
19 MU(FF = fortissimo)LE – Definition is ‘For warmth, envelop’. Other musical abbreviations that you might come across are P = piano (soft), F = forte (loud/strong), MP = mezzo piano (quite soft), S/A/T/B (soprano/alto/tenor/bass). There are plenty more, e.g. rit = ritardando (slowing down) but I don’t think many others would be allowed as abbreviations in a daily crossword.

One Response to “Independent 6268/Nimrod – Frankly, my dear, I stalled on 5 down”

  1. says:

    Nimrod is always a challenge to edit, because he’s always pushing the boundaries, which I think is a good thing, but he has to be reined in occasionally. I try to ensure that his clues are fair and sometimes a few have to be made a little bit more straightforward. I was surprised not to find ta-ra in Chambers, because I’m sure most people will have heard it . It is here, however:

    http://www.collins.co.uk/wordexchange/Sections/DicSrchRsult.aspx?word=ta-ra

    Because it wasn’t in Chambers I made the Gone With The Wind reference less cryptic than it was in the original clue.

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