Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6550/Nimrod

Posted by neildubya on October 20th, 2007


Very Nimrod. I’m fairly sure all the answers are right but I have my doubts about 8A and 4D is still a mystery to me.

1 CHIMER – which is a type of robe worn by a bishop, apparently.
4 hidden in “grasshoppERS AT Zurich” – excellent clue, not least because Grasshoppers are actually a Zurich-based team.
8 DITONE – don’t know if this is right but can’t see what else it could be. Full clue is: “Compound of two elements from one above”. One of the “above” answers in CHIMER and a DITONE is a musical term meaning “of two tones”
9 NO NEARER – or “none are r” so “presumably everyone’s left”.
12 AUTOGRAPH HUNTER – I think this is meant to be a misleading cryptic def: “The cove after the sign”. Doesn’t do much for me I’m afraid.
15 WHISTLER’S MOTHER – another one that went completely over my head. The Stubbs/artist reference, plus a few checking letters suggested WHISTLER for the first part of the answer and “dam” suggested MOTHER but the phrase meant nothing to me. Over to Google then, which revealed that “Arrangement in Grey and Black: The Artist’s Mother” is a painting by Whistler.
19 SWAN SONG – for this one, you have to look at “penchant” cryptically – a “pen” is a female SWAN and a “chant” is a SONG. The somewhat loose definition is “work – at last”.
21 [pan]SYSTEM – “love-in-idleness” is another name for the pansy, so a supporter might be a “pansy stem”.
1 IN,C in CHOUGH – I think I’ve got the wordplay right here as I can’t see how else it would work. CHINCOUGH is an archaic term for “whooping cough”. My only quibble with this is, if this word appeared in an Azed or similar puzzle, we would expect to see some sort of indication that the word was archaic, but the clue doesn’t contain any. Or am I being unduly harsh?
3 (MORALE REFLECTOR)* – ELECTORAL REFORM. I think this is supposed to be an &lit but it seems to be stretching things a bit. Am I missing something subtle?
4 (WHY IN AGREEMENTS)* – ERNEST HEMINGWAY. Completely baffled by this one. I got the answer from the checking letters at which point it was obvious that it was an anagram but I have two questions: where’s the anagram indicator and where’s the definition? I know that Hemingway committed suicide but that’s the only connection I can find. The full clue is “Why in agreements suicide is a possibility”.
5 AM in SWI – I hope those of you living outside the capital knew that the postcode for Victoria is SW1.
7 (SIR DEPLORING A)* – SNAIL PORRIDGE. One of Heston Blumenthal’ wackier creations. The recipe is here  if you fancy having a go yourself. An unusual clue which contains anagram fodder, then anagrind (“cooked”), then a definition (“dish”) and finally, another bit of wordplay (“slow time”).
11 CUT[-e]
13 VE in NOT PRO,N – “Am presumably” is NOT PRO (a ref to Pro-Am sport).
14 (NAPLES THE)* – ELEPHANTS. The words “with assistance from” seem to be there to make the clue read better but some might consider it padding.
16 IDA(-HO)
18 G AND T – only just spotted the wordplay for this: “Essence of lonG Term…”.

10 Responses to “Independent 6550/Nimrod”

  1. nmsindy says:

    I missed two in this – CHIMER and 8 across which is shown as RIBOSE in today’s solution. Hemingway’s death was suicide (or a self-inflicted accident).

  2. beermagnet says:

    Well here’s a thing.
    I am surprised 8A published answer is RIBOSE on 2 counts.
    1. I cannot see how it works
    2. I put in DIPOLE and, blow me down, I am listed as one of five winners this week!
    So either they didn’t check my answer very carefully, or the published answer is wrong. DIPOLE refers to a dipole aerial that has two elements. Mind you, it was the last answer I put in. That top-right corner was a bit hard – certainly in comparison to the seven longest answers.

  3. Alan O'Brien says:

    Perhaps no one got it right and you were the closest.

  4. nmsindy says:

    Maybe Eimi might clarify the position re 8 across.

  5. tilsit says:

    I had RIBOSE being an anagram of the letters in the clue above.

  6. neildubya says:

    8A – The clue to 1A was “One is jingling robe”, so RIBOSE would be (ROBE IS)*

    Of course, that doesn’t explain why beermagnet won a prize with DIPOLE filled in!

  7. nmsindy says:

    Thanks, Tilsit, for explaining that – that’s very subtle.

  8. Scotty says:

    Speaking of Prize winners….can anyone advise what to do if one doesn’t receive ones prize after, say, 4 weeks?

  9. eimi says:

    Ribose is correct, as explained by Tilsit. I have long suspected that prize crossword entries are not always scrutinised as closely as they might be, but perhaps I’m being unfair. We all make mistakes. Clearly some of us are even rewarded for them.

  10. beermagnet says:

    Thanks for the confirmation Eimi.

    I knew it, you just took pity on me, didn’t you.

    I still think that was a particularly hard clue and even after Dave’s RIBOSE explanation there was doubt in my mind whether that was what was intended, DIPOLE and DITONE being believable alternatives. I wonder how many people got the right answer.

    The dictionary will no doubt find its way to our village library, which was saved from closure last year after a bit of vigorous local campaigning. The “Friends of” group is always on the lookout for raffle prizes if the librarian already has enough dictionaries in the reference section.

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