Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6279/Nestor – what a challenge!

Posted by nmsindy on November 30th, 2006


This was hard by Indy daily standards – and there’s one I don’t understand and fear I missed – any guidance welcomed! Solving time (if I’ve got it!) 60 mins (way longer than normal)

* = anagram


1 INTELLIGENTSIA (elitist-leaning)* The first clue in the puzzle (and my favourite clue!). Excellent.

10 OUTFITTER Out + fitter Had never heard of studly before (even thought it might be a misprint) but it’s in the dict!

15 TOP-LEVEL Very hard. Remove the third letters from each of Topple veal.

16 BLOTTO Liked this l in botto(m)

20 LITERATI lite + rati(on) “cut by a third”

27 BACTERIAL This is all reversed lair etc (the rest) a b

28 ANTIMONARCHIST A n Tim arch (chief) is t(beginning to turn)


2 NOTEPAPER Indirect anagram just about within bounds (*one tear + pp = pages) 14 is MEMORANDUM.

5 GERBIL House = LIBRA (sign of the Zodiac) without a say = e.g. on rising (all up in a down clue)

8 ASYMPTOTICALLY A “stinker” Put MA in the middle of that word and you have “how infection may lurk”

9 BOPHUTHATSWANA Stinker number two. bop + hut + hat + wan in SA

17 TRAPEZIUS Rising means it’s all upwards Size around tip of ulna i.e. u + part = partially

21 GIBBON Also “set up” as in previous clue nob + big

25 The one I’m not sure of I’m guessing MESH from the definition but do not get the wordplay.

15 Responses to “Independent 6279/Nestor – what a challenge!”

  1. says:

    Thanks for stepping in with a late night review!

    Re 25D. I put MESH too. I took it as a reference to Sean Connery’s habit of pronouncing hish “s’s” like thish! I liked the def for 27A – “of simple life”. I filled in 15A and 5D without really knowing why so thanks for explaining those.

    I took about an hour too but you’re much quicker than me normally so I’m pretty pleased with that time. I thought it was a terrific crossword and I hope we see a lot more of Nestor.

  2. says:

    Well done for getting Mesh. This is the clue that caused me most trepidation, but very amusing and here’s to innovation and clues that can’t be solved by computers. There will be more crosswords from Nestor in the future – if you want t know who he is, seek and ye shall find: the answer is in the completed grid.

  3. says:

    Thanks Nmsindy for standing in at short notice.

    I was hoping to complete the blog with the joys of wifi en route to the Magpie gathering(thanks Mark and Simon for an amazing evening!). However, neither Liverpool St Station, nor the vicinity of London Bridge seemed to possess a wifi connection and the opportunity was lost.

    This took me about 20 minutes of blank staring at a grid (MESH being the only clue I got, along with the sublime 1ac). This was then followed by 35 minutes of joy as each clue fell into place. I am also grateful for the explanation to GERBIL as that threw me!

    A silly mistake with 18 down – a wrong anagram – hasn’t everyone heard of a Licenser (?!) also held me up with 27 ac.

    A stunning debut and one which again boosts the Indy portfolio. Any aspiring setter would be well advised to look at the clue constructions within that puzzle and see a master craftsman at work.

  4. says:

    Who is Nestor? In the belief that “somewhere in the grid” won’t help everyone, here’s more, for taking off to a rot-13 decoder like the one at:

    If anyone strongly dislikes this way of passing things on in a way that’s not immediately readable (or knows a better one!), speak up …

    Arfgbe vf Ebtre Cuvyvcf – Xrn va gur Yvfgrare frevrf, naq n zrzore bs gur Gvzrf frggvat grnz. Ng gur zbzrag ur’f nyfb gur whqtr bs gur Gvzrf bayvar kjq pyho’f zbaguyl pyhr-jevgvat pbagrfg. Ubj qb V xabj? Cnegyl sebz gur pehpvireony ohfu gryrtencu, ohg pbasvezngvba vf va gur juvgr fdhnerf ba gur FJ-AR qvntbany – N.X.N. XRN. Qvntbany frdhraprf yvxr guvf ner bar bs gur cynprf jurer frggref fbzrgvzrf uvqr ‘obahf zrffntrf’ va tevqf. V oryvrir Ebtre vairagrq gur anzr “Avan” sbe guvf fbeg bs ‘tevq obahf’ – onfrq ba gur fvzvyne nccrnenaprf bs gur anzr va Ny Uvefpusryq’f qenjvatf. Vg’f hfrq va gur yngrfg rqvgvba bs Qba Znayrl’f obbx, fb vg’f abj bssvpvny pebffjbeq wnetba!

  5. says:

    I can’t cut and paste Pete’s comment – any thought’s how to do it?

  6. says:

    Aaargh! Aberrant apostrophe!

  7. says:

    I can’t either – am trying to find out why.

  8. says:

    These are easier to decipher that their ugliness suggests. Each letter is replaced by that 13 letters away in the alphabet (in either direction). Suggest you make 2 side by side lists and work from there.

  9. says:

    One way around it is to select source (under the View menu in Internet explorer) and then search for an unlikely text string such as ebtre – then you can cut and paste at will.

  10. says:

    You will be left with a few additional strings such “ which replace the inverted commas but you can search and replace to remove them.

  11. says:

    Of course, when I tried to quote the additional strings they reverted to inverted commas, but you’ll see what I mean.

  12. says:

    This puzzle by Nestor had the best clueing of a 15×15 daily puzzle that I can ever recall seeing. The professionalism of the setter was established beyond doubt for me by the very clever clue to SUBMARINER. The crossword occupied me for 30 minutes and 45 seconds before I had all the answers resolved beyond doubt, and the achievement of solving it was very satisfying. I shall look forward with keen anticipation to further Nestor puzzles.

  13. says:

    Thanks for the comments. I wasn’t trying to make it hard (honestly), but the “stinkers” ASYMPTOTICALLY and BOPHUTHATSWANA were forced on me by the things Pete referred to above.
    An easier way to copy text from a comment is to view the RSS feed by clicking on the RSS 2.0 link in the box below the initial entry, where it says “You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.” On that page, all the text seems to be selectable.

  14. Testy says:

    Sorry I’m just testing the blockquote cite tags somewhere where I hope no-one will mind.

    Oracle of Bacon

  15. Testy says:

    And the href tag

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