Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6440/Nimrod

Posted by neildubya on June 7th, 2007


Spot the Nina time – take a peek down the left- and right-hand sides of the grid.

1 VEND – I hope I’ve understand this correctly: SALSA appears in the completed grid at 7D or “seVEN Down”.
9 AVANT-GARDE – a fairly complex clue to parse this one and I’m not confident I’ve got it right. Here goes: “No 1 for Arsenal” = A, (GRANTED A)*, “playing up front” = V(ersus), before the anagram fodder.
10 LEGO – which is a toy but “I left in van” is lost on me.
11 ME in ROO
12 PEN,DRAGON – is “playing TV role” a reference to Dragon’s Den?. Uther PENDRAGON is this person.
14 IS,IS – Isis is the reserve boat racing crew of Oxford University (Goldie is Cambridge’s)
15 DENT in WOO,OPS – A bit before my time but I had heard of the TV series – didn’t know about the dog though so this was a bit of a guess.
21 BILLY LIAR – Spooner’s way of saying “lilly buyer”.
23 hidden in “booZE BRAndy” – very nice hidden clue as the definition is well disguised.
27 GG in (PERMEATE)* – the surface reading for this is very creaky: “What child’s up on getting admitted to permeate unusual medium?”. Also, why does GG (Gee-Gee = horse) have to be something only a child would ride? I’ve heard plenty of grown-ups using the term.
2 VI in (NO USE)*
3 N,ERSE in DINT – can DINT mean “force”?
5 AGREE TO DISAGREE – 13D and 6D are TWEEDLEDUM and TWEEDLEDEE, who agreed to have a battle but never had one. Not sure about “imitate “Starboard” and “Port” here?” thought – it might be reference to the far left- and right-hand side of the grid which spells out the words VARIABLE and CONSTANT in the unchecked letters.
6 TWEED,LED,EE – “cummings” is a reference to e.e.cummings – the typographically-challenged poet.
16 BLEW in (EAT IN)*
20 THREE R’S – this must be right as nothing else fits but I don’t understand the clue – any offers?
22 LEAST – 28A is EAST
24 hidden in “onLY RAda”

9 Responses to “Independent 6440/Nimrod”

  1. says:

    LEGO ego = I left in van put L first. Thanks for VEND.

  2. says:

    PENDRAGON DRAG ON TV cross-dressing

    You’re right about AVANT-GARDE , I think, that’s how I read it.

    Don’t get THREE RS either thought there might be three rs in the text but there ain’t

  3. says:

    Liked that LEGO clue, but phew! Some really complicated stuff here.

    Clever to get the ‘nina’ in.

  4. says:


  5. says:

    PORT AND STARBOARD – Apologies for above mistype. See it now. T and T are placed in those positions in the grid compared to AGREE TO DISAGREE.

  6. says:

    15A was nostalgic – my Dad made us at least one ‘woodentop’ doll. Just scraped under 20 minuts for this one, so pretty tough.

  7. says:

    All references to the great e e cummings gratefully received by an editor who took his pseudonym from a(n unreadable) book by the crossword setter’s poet (he does extraordinary and often beautiful things with words) – though probably an Araucarian rather than a Ximenean. Have returned from pub where this puzzle was described by a would-be solver in expletives. As a general rule the Thursday Indy crossword is almost as hard as the Saturday prize puzzle, but this was super tough, I will concede.

  8. says:

    When I was an overly-earnest Eng. Lit student I thought e.e.cummings was the business; reading lines like:

    anyone lived in a pretty how town
    (with up so floating many bells down)

    I discover that my opinion hasn’t changed at all.

    Back to the puzzle: thanks for all the explanations and corrections. Definitely a super-tough puzzle but not as tough as Merlin’s “Saints (not)Alive” I think.

  9. says:

    I solved this at 4am after a night out as a pre-emptive hangover cure (it works, when coupled with Raisin Wheats and tea – honestly). Somehow I completed it correctly in 12:35. I am sure that this is much faster than I could have solved it clean and sober. Can anyone explain this?

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