Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6358/Nimrod

Posted by neildubya on March 10th, 2007


I bow to no-one in my admiration of Nimrod, despite the fact that some his stuff goes completely over my head, but I don’t think this was one of his better efforts. I know the Independent doesn’t have a limit on the number of certain types of clues that can appear in a puzzle (unlike The Times) but I think 4 hidden clues in a puzzle is 2 too many. A couple of other clues (10A, 11D) seemed unconvincing and I had to resort to “cheating” to get 9D – maybe I’m a bit bitter because of that.

1 hidden (twice, sort of) in “camera-sHY PHENomena” – a bit cheeky, seeing as how there isn’t actually a definition in the clue.
4 DIKS<,OO – I’ve seen “spectacles” for OO before, probably in the Guardian but I’m not sure if it established crossword-ese.
10 CAN OF WORMS – not convinced by this one. The early bird catches the worm, not a whole can of them. Am I being too curmudgeonly here?
12 (p)SHAW
13 (APE)* in TARTY
18 ET in HO in TOTP – a reference to Top of the Pops.
21 AGE-BRACKET – again, no definition as such but you have a number of “ages” in brackets “(Stone, Ice, etc)”. A similar trick to 1A then, without the hidden element.
23 (S CAN GET ALL PAIRS)* – I blithely and stupidly filled in PASCAL’S INTEGRAL (which didn’t really sound right I have to say) before realising that INTEGRAL in an anagram of TRIANGLE.
25 hidden in “otHER MESsenger” – the herald of the Olympian Gods, not to be confused with the purveyor of luxury goods and the fund manager (Google “hermes” if you’re confused).
26 GALLOP – if this is right then I don’t know where OP comes from.
1 (PATHE NE)* – the two halves of this clue don’t really seem to sit well together. “Broadcast of Pathe News released…” promises much but “…with sulphur compound” seems to fall flat.
2 hidden in “cliP HOT Off”
3 and another hidden one for luck: “hEARt”
5 KICKSTARTER – Spooner would say “sticks Carter”.
9 CAREY STREET – the clue for this is a cryptic definition so if you’d never heard of the phrase (like me) you were stuffed, as there’s no wordplay to help you out. I figured it was probably “something street” but in the end I was reduced to putting C?R?Y?T?R?E?T into the crossword solver here. Difficult to say if this is a fair clue or not because I don’t know if the phrase is particularly well-known.
11 WORDS FAIL ME – a bit weak I thought.
14 (A DECK)* in PARR – a pleasant surprise to see “queen” as something other than ER or VR.
17 E,YEWS,ASH – definitely seen this before somewhere.

3 Responses to “Independent 6358/Nimrod”

  1. says:

    {“In Carey Street” = bankrupt} is well-known enough for Carey St to be listed in Collins and Chambers, though not COD. As you can guess, it’s where London’s bankruptcy court used to be. It’s between Lincoln’s Inn and the Royal Courts of Justice (“Law Courts”) complex in the Strand. I’ve wondered whether “queer street” was just a corruption of “Carey Street”.

  2. says:

    The poll was GALLUP. “As older viewers will remember” they were among the first opinion pollers – who correctly predicted, against all conventional expectation, the Labour landslide of 1945. UP = towards London – I knew this from old crosswords, not sure if it is used today.

  3. says:

    EYEWASH: I sometimes feel I’d be prepared to pay someone for a good clue not involving E YEW ASH. I’ve clued it that way and I suspect every other setter has. But what do you do the next time? ( Don’t tell me or that will give me evrn fewer possibilities!) With so few 7-letter words beginning with E, it is a problem awaiting every setter after the honeymoon period is over!

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