Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6472 (14-07-07)/Nimrod

Posted by neildubya on July 20th, 2007


The first thing you noticed about this puzzle was that some of the clues were prefixed and suffixed with “(see [another clue number])…” – one clue referred to another and that one to another and so on until we got to 3/2D – so cracking that clue was the key to the theme. Luckily enough it was the first one I got and the others followed quite quickly. I couldn’t really see the point of doing this though – the theme is easy enough to spot so why bother to signpost it like this?

As usual with me and Nimrod, there’s quite a lot I don’t understand and one answer I didn’t get; comments and suggestions welcome.

1 hidden reversed in “ForemoST FUR-Clad” – brilliant hidden and &lit clue, which I only got once all the checking letters were in place. “Entrants” just about does the job of indicating the hidden elements though so it was a tough word to spot.
5 MESODERM – the wordplay is ODE inside something indicating “writer’s wife” reversed. If MESODERM is right then that something is MRSEM which could be MRS EM but I am at a loss as to who this might be. E.M.Forster perhaps, the famously gay and unmarried novelist? I’m a bit puzzled about the definition too – “cells maturing”. In both of the dictionaries I have to hand right now (Concise OED and Chambers online), MESODERM is basically defined as a middle layer of cells so I don’t see where “maturing” fits in.
9 (OF TZAR SO)* – SFORZATO. “Stressful command” is a nicely misleading definition.
10 COMING – the (6?) at the beginning of the clue must be a reference to 6D, to which the answer is SECOND. The rest of the clue is “on the way here, what’s projected time for entry?” I can see how the first part of that might define COMING but not the rest.
13 BLANK PAGE – the “….” in the clue indicates BLANK.
15/22 FIFTH COLUMN – the first thematic clue, but not the FIRST, if you see what I mean. The Concise OED defines it as “a group within a country at war who are working for its enemies” so I’m not really convinced that “sympathetic group” is an adequate definition. The rest of the clue – “seen more than half-way across this page” – is (I think) a reference to the column in the grid where 5D appears.
20 A,T,(I DARENT)* – I thought “cross” would indicate X rather than T.
23 A (OLD)*, MORO(n) – ALDO MORO was the Italian PM who was kidnapped and then killed by the Red Brigade.
24/29 FOURTH ESTATE – I only got this because of the “press” definition and the fact that I knew it had to be FOURTH something. Don’t understand the rest of the clue.
26 hidden in “sarcasM I LIE Uneasily” – not the easiest word to hide but I liked how it was done here.
27 IN IT in A BIO – excellent misleading clue.
3/2 FIRST REFUSAL – I liked the device used in this clue with three “no’s” and the first one emphasised.
6/19 SECOND HELPING – double definition and a reference to Oliver Twist.
8 (NEUTRAL)* – I’m not really convinced by “difficult to get out of” as an anagram indicator.
14 (ROMANTICS)* – Great clue. “New Romantics” was probably too hard to resist as an anagrind/fodder combo. If you don’t know what I’m on about, seek enlightenment here. I liked the definition of New Romantic I found somewhere on the internet: “a bloke who walks around wearing his sister’s make-up, pouting”.
17 HALF-LIFE – not sure about the wordplay here. Lithium (Li) and Iron (Fe) accounts for LIFE but Uranium is U. Maybe I’m reading this wrong and it’s a cryptic def clue?
21 (ATTIRED)* – another good ‘un. Misleading surface and an a great anagrind in “in a kinky way”.
25 U?I?T – don’t know about this one.

11 Responses to “Independent 6472 (14-07-07)/Nimrod”

  1. nmsindy says:

    Can’t explain everything but in MESODERM, Me just means “the writer”, I think, i.e. Nimrod. Re UNIAT, my thought is AT UNI with “parts exchanged”. Do agree with all your answers, tho

  2. neildubya says:

    MESODERM – but the clue has “writer’s wife’s back“. If you take out ODE you have MRS EM not MRS ME.

  3. petebiddlecombe says:

    I enjoyed the theme but also had some hazy moments with the detail. Uniat(e) is just one of those words you pick up from xwds, so no shame in missing it. Feeding U?I?T into an xwd cheating device will show you why.

  4. nmsindy says:

    MESODERM I think it cryptically reads writer (ME) has (=’s) MRS (back) i.e.ME S (ODE) RM. “has” is, I think, an internal link word

  5. neildubya says:

    Yes, you’re right – I see it now.

  6. Paul B says:

    Are you sure both Ss are apostrophised?

    It’s definitely meant to be ODE in ME plus SRM

  7. Paul B says:

    …SRM reversed. My little reversal ‘sideways vee’ didn’t come out.

  8. neildubya says:

    Yup – definitely two apostrophes.

    The “<” didn’t come out probably because WordPress thought it was the start of an html tag.

  9. nmsindy says:

    The second apostrophe on wife’s did worry me a bit – the clue would, I think, have been quite OK without it (just simply “wife”) but is can be read as wife’s = wife is back so I think it’s OK.

  10. Paul B says:

    ‘Writer has wife is back’?

  11. beermagnet says:

    17D I suggest “lithium or iron” is a definition. As you say, their chemical symbols are Li and Fe, either of which are half LIFE.

    10A COMING. I remember thinking “what’s projected time for entry” gave CO(MIN)G where “time” is MIN and “what’s projected” is COG, but now I realise I was imagining the tooth of a cog as “what’s projected” rather than the cog itself, so maybe that isn’t the intended construction.

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