Fifteensquared

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Independent 6446 / Nestor Breathtakingly brilliant!

Posted by tilsit on June 14th, 2007

tilsit.

There are few perks associated with this role, but it’s a real pleasure to comment on a brilliant puzzle every now and then and today is one of those days.

Nestor is one of my favourite setters both in the Indy and when he appears elsewhere in barred puzzles in the EV, Inquisitor and Listener series.  Elegant clue writing, together with superb grid structure make his puzzles a must solve and today is no exception.

Having already finished today’s Guardian and Times in the middle of the night during the first of four power cuts, I was somehow still in a good mood
after particularly enjoying the first across clue in the Pasquale puzzle.   I was delighted to see another group of fine clues here, especially 16 across (laugh out loud!), 27 across, 5 down  and 7 down.  1 down held me up for a while, as I didn’t think I’d see that in a puzzle!

All in all, a terrific challenge and a joy to solve.  Bravo Nestor!

Solving time: 31 minutes (enjoyed every second!)

ACROSS      * = ANAGRAM  CD = Cryptic definition   (R)= Reversal

8  ALI  AL(E) +  I  – definition is his old quote about “Float like a butterfly,
  sting like a bee”
9  ARCHIPELAGO  I was in the dark about this clue – but it’s just hit me.
  CHIP in ARE + LAG + O / Definition =  A bunch of (Florida) Keys!
11 TWANG W in TANG
12 OPERATION  RATION in OPEN
13 IMRAN KHAN “I’M RANK” +  NAH (R)  Another nice “&Lit” clue
15 ALOOF ALOO in an Indian restaurant is Potato + F
16 PEERAGE PEE – RAGE!!!  Comment is superfluous!
18 ASTERIX IS EXTRA*
20 GAMUT GA(G) + MUT(E)
22 OYSTER BED I presume “where shellfish stew” is the definition, although I am a little  unsure of “Stew”.  Couldn’t find a link in Bradford’s.  OY + DEBRET(TS)
  [of Peerage Book - hence 16 reference].
24 ANDROCLES C in AND ROLES = with responsibilities
26 CELEB B + ELEC(T) (R)
27 HOMO SAPIENS Students of crosswords looking for a nice example of an “& Lit” clue  should look here, and at 5 & 7 down.   MAN’S I HOPE SO *

DOWN
1 CAPTAIN PUGWASH Another laugh out loud clue!  WATCHING A PUP AS *
2 DISAGREE GAS (R) in DIRE + E
3 JARGON J + ARGON(AUTS)
4 ECHO  H in ECO
5 LIFE ON MARS  A fabulous anagram  ALIEN FORMS
6 MEGAWATT Indonesian PM = Megawati Sukarnoputri   MEGAWAT(I) + T
7 PACINO Another belter -  Al Pacino played a cop in the film Cruising.
10 OF NO FIXED ABODE  Cryptic def.  Inept DIY-er wouldn’t have a fixed abode!
14 HIEROGLYPH   I + GORE (R) + LY(M)PH after H
18 ART HOUSE THOUS in ARE
21 MADAME AD in MAME
23 EXCUSE Another clever clue  X (24TH) + Q’S (17TH)
25 SUEZ  SUE + Z

Thank you Nestor, here’s to the next one!

   

5 Responses to “Independent 6446 / Nestor Breathtakingly brilliant!”

  1. says:

    Agreed – great puzzle.
    Looked up stew in Chambers it’s an artificial oyster bed!

    I was having breakfast in an hotel this morning, and the couple on the next table started the crossword with ‘Oh goody, it’s Nestor!’ – I hope they enjoyed it too…

  2. says:

    About 22 minutes of entertainment, though I’d forgotten about Megawati, if I ever knew it, so fell one clue short.

  3. says:

    More applause from me. Fantastic puzzle.

  4. says:

    Yes, I enjoyed this, so inventive and original. My knowledge of Indonesian presidents unfortunately did not go beyond Sukarno and Suharto but, when I went for help, that name did ring a vague bell. There was so much good clueing in here, it was hard to know where to start. If I was forced to pick four in order they’d be OF NO FIXED ABODE, ECHO, CELEB and IMRAN KHAN.

  5. says:

    Two thumbs up from me too. Cunning definitions, original wordplay, excellent surfaces. Who could ask for more?

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