Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6340 / Nimrod – a bit of a puzzle …

Posted by petebiddlecombe on February 16th, 2007


Solving time: about 38 minutes.

Timing is a bit rough – I was traversing London by train and tube, and there were various interruptions for changes. There is some kind of theme here, but I don’t fully understand it. Part of my slowness was down to a slip on 8D and the odd other red herring (laughter).

All across clues except those in the first row are shades/types of red.

1 FOUR-POSTER – I get the “framework for the rest of the gentry”, but the stuff about 1AD I can’t fathom.
7 CRIB – 2 meanings in the clue, but some extra stuff about “under which suspiciously to seek”
10 B,LOO,DRE(a)D
19/30 CRIMSON LAKE – (Simon Clarke)*
20 STAMMEL – (EMMA,T.S.)<=,L
31 ROSANILINE – (on airlines)*
3 RAITA – pun on “writer”. I was tempted by TIKKA / “ticker” for a while, and RAITA /”rater”, which doesn’t work.
4/29 ONE MAN – ref. “One man went to mow” – one of those nursery songs with ever-increasing numbers in it
6/28 ROO,BAR – bounders being kangaroos, and walkabout a pointer to Oz.
8 IRENA – two slip-ups here – first seeing SIREN as “lady”, which I think is excusable, then seeing IRENE which is just plain incompetent.
13 TOASTER – (rotates)* – the father being a toaster as he proposes a toast. I was a bit confused by the kind of toaster the bride and groom might receive as a gift.
23 UTICA – hidden
24 SENSE = “cents”
26 INDOL – (in old)* – it’s a chemical compound of some kind.

5 Responses to “Independent 6340 / Nimrod – a bit of a puzzle …”

  1. says:

    Unfortunately there was a prob with the print setting and some clues had their capital letters changed. That should have enabled you to read a message which said THERE ARE REDS UNDER THE BEDS.

    The theme would have then become apparent.

    There was also a preamble missing.

  2. says:

    Yes, subject to checking on Sat, I solved it and that all solves the mystery. Looking at the first letters of clues, it’s hinting at it. I was totally flummoxed, but what a good idea which for some reason does not seem to have been carried through successfully. I (eventually) saw all the reds but the beds above I did not link with them until now, thanks for that (I did wonder why).

  3. says:

    Thereby hangs a tale. There was a misunderstanding and Nimrod’s original preamble was left out. The preamble referred to the idea of reds under the beds, which was backed up by an acrostic formed by the first letters of the down clues, but unfortunately, unaware of the acrostic, I changed the clue for One Man, because it originally referred to a racehorse and I considered it not quite well-known enough.

    Having said that, I thought it was a clever theme and worked better for being more subtle. Furthermore, I’m not convinced that titles and preambles have a place in ‘back page’ type crosswords. Discuss.

    I’ve told Nimrod that in the event of later publication in book form, we could reinstate the preamble and acrostic, but I also think acrostics only really work when the clues can be printed one under the other, which would not have been the case here.

    I considered the trickiest wordplay to be 1 Across, so I’m not surprised Peter was baffled by it, where 1AD referred to the word ONE being at FOUR (down) and AD being poster.

  4. says:

    Thanks for the explanations. From my solving experience, I think I’d have had more fun with the preamble in place. I think occasional titles and preambles are fine as long as the puzzle justifies the exra trouble – maybe about 4 times a year, and Saturdays/Bank Hols only. If back page solvers get the occasiona;l preamble and cope, it might just help to lead them on to the weekend barred grid puzzles.

    Now that it’s explained, I appreciate the deviousness of 1A.

    Message: can’t see where “THERE ARE” comes in – with one clue changed, the first letters of Down clues other than the x-refs at the end give REDS UNDER THE BEDS.

  5. says:

    Looked back at it all today and to be fair it did say in across clue 7 “under which suspiciously to seek”. i.e. REDS UNDER THE BEDS. That would have been a super moment if you had twigged it – I didn’t. I had noticed ; under all the subsequent across clues.

    I did get the puzzle right, though, without understanding all that was going on.

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