Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6304 / Nimrod – Only 7 As

Posted by petebiddlecombe on January 5th, 2007


Solving time 8:48

As soon as you see the 8-block black lumps in the NE and SW corners you know something’s up, and the huge gap at the bottom of the across clues confirms it. This puzzle probably sets some kind of record by having just 7 clues for across entries, with symmetrical positioning of the grid entries for the three clues using more than one grid entry. It worked out well for me, with long-answer practice from Times jumbos, Listener gimmicks and the like paying off – all three long phrases were pretty easy for me and the time was about 60% of my Nimrod/Enigmatist par. Now I just have to work out how the clues for them work so that I can tell you. Very good for my xwording soul.  Overall, a very nice puzzle, especially when paired with a good Enigmatist on the same day.

Kissed the girls and made them cry.
When the boys came out to play,
Georgie Porgie ran away
– so just a cryptic definition.  Turns out that GP is George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, a favourite of James I/VI. He’s the same one who’s commemorated by various street names near London’s Charing Cross station (sadly Of Alley now has a different name, and the time of “First Avenue” had not yet come when the streets were named).
12/18/26/4 GATHER YE ROSEBUDS WHILE YE MAY – (you me grab the day. Why else rise)* and an &lit – the clue means the same as the answer
14 S(TAY)ON – minor gripe about “with” as a link, but if I were a setter I’d be sorely tempted to use it
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum – another cryptic def.
27 T(SETS)E – I’m so sure that somewhere in the notoriously long list of meanings for “set”, “frame” can be justified, that I’m not bothering to check the details. For “set” you may as well assume that anything is valid when solving without a dictionary.
1 MAG 1 – “exalting” is a bit cheeky as its “raising” connotations might suggest a reversal
3 RIGIDNESS – I in dressing* with “cross” as a cheeky anagind.
6 (j)ARGON
10 TENNIS = (S,in net)<
12 GET OFF – hidden in “fudGE TOFFee”
15 THE FORCES = (of Chester)* – with “Those fighting to protect” as the def.
16 YOU NAME IT – ou = “where in France” in amenity*
19 O(NE ON)E – 6 = Argon – clue-number x-ref. Answer probably not in any dictionary or list of phrases but in this case I don’t think it matters.
20 ENAMEL = (LEMAN (lover))<, with E on top, indicated by “peaking with”
23 ELATH – hidden – same place as Eilat, it turns out.

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