Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6586/Nimrod (24-11-07)

Posted by neildubya on November 30th, 2007


I know next to nothing about horse-racing so once I’d twigged the theme I had to use Google to check a couple of answers that I got from the wordplay (1a and 28a). There are still 4 clues that I don’t understand though.

1 P,(SNEAKERS)* – the PREAKNESS Stakes is the second leg of the American TRIPLE CROWN. I’d never heard of it so had to confirm the word with some Googling.
6 EPS,OM – I think this may have been the clue which led me to cracking the theme.
10 IN FOR IT – FORINT is the standard unit of currency in Hungary. The wordplay asks us to move “note” = N to the front to get IN FOR IT.
15 TAKE in S,S – can’t see how SAS can be justified here, unless it’s to make the surface reading better
16 CATC-[h]ALL – I guess “without aspiration” means losing the H.
17/12/9 (WHODUNIT ON USA STAGE)* – TWO THOUSAND GUINEAS. Very good, and very deceptive clue.
18 INSURER – can’t work out the wordplay here. “I’ll guarantee second return of repeat and I’ll cover it”
20/24 TRIPLE CROWN – or this one: “17 Across versions are sweet, quiet (not loud, one half of China concludes…)
23 KENT,[-l]UCKY – even I’ve heard of the KENTUCKY DERBY.
26 ST[-y]LE,GER
28 MON in BELT – the BELMONT Stakes is the third leg of the American TRIPLE CROWN.
29 DERBY – another one where the mists have yet to clear: “(…)local match in the other half of China”. “Local match” is obvious but not the rest.
30 VERY in EYE,AR – filled this in very quickly but it took ages of staring to work out the clue. A VERY is a type of light.
1 PUGILISTIC – don’t understand this either: “Prize-fighter’s cross but admitting the end is close to bout – framed?”
2 (RITE)* in ERA
3 KEEP (CREATES)* – I liked this clue and I’ve just seen “Board” = KEEP (as in, “pay your keep”).
4 ER’S, A T[-o]Z
6 hidden in “cross-channEL Ferry”
13 (A LA LYRICIST)* – SATIRICALLY. Another good one, with a great surface reading.
17 O,RN in TRICE.
22 BYE-BYE – a cricketing clue I think, as a BYE is a run scored without actually hitting or touching the ball.
27 GUY – triple definition.

12 Responses to “Independent 6586/Nimrod (24-11-07)”

  1. Quixote says:

    Anyone remember precisely that marvellous clue by Virgilius in The Times for THOUSAND GUINEAS? It involved two ponies for part of the answer but I can’t remember the rest.

  2. Testy says:

    INSURER looks like it’s “return of repeat and I” giving RERUN+I reversed, will cover S (second). “I’ll guarnatee” being he definition.

    The two halves of China refer to CROWN and DERBY (Crown Derby being a type of porcelain).

  3. Testy says:

    The TRIPLE of 20/24 comes from TRIFLE (i.e. sweet) but P (quiet) instead of F (loud).

  4. nmsindy says:

    Maybe it’s implicit in the explanation but I read STAKES as TAKE for ‘one = A in SAS ie a substitution.

  5. neildubya says:

    STAKES – I hadn’t spotted that at all but I think you’re right.

    Testy – thanks. I knew I could rely on you for explanations!

  6. Testy says:

    I’m still struggling with PUGILISTIC though. I can see lots of potential bits and pieces but nothing that makes much sense. What’s making it harder is that I can’t even spot the definition (given that it is an adjective rather than a noun).

    “prize” could be CUP
    “fighter” could be GI
    “cross” could be PUG (in the cross-breed of dog sense)
    “is close to bout” could be IS (bou)T
    “framed” could be a container indicator……???

  7. eimi says:

    PUGILISTIC is by far the trickiest clue, as it contains the manipulation of a word that is not very precisely clued. The key to the parsing is that ‘cross’ is used in the sense of a hybrid, in this case UGLI, but with the last letter inside UGL. So, UGIL, IS, (bou)T, inside PIC, indicated by framed, the definition being ‘Prizefighter’s.’ Very Nimrod!

  8. neildubya says:

    Good grief. I saw IST but I doubt I would ever have got the rest.

  9. nmsindy says:

    PUGILISTIC I got it from the definition “Prizefighter’s” but, like Neildubya, IST was as far as I got with the wordplay. Thanks, Eimi, for explaining it.

  10. Testy says:

    OMG! Never in a month of Saturdays would I have got that!

    Did anyone else (other than Eimi and Nimrod) manage to parse it?

  11. Al Streatfield says:


    For UGLI shurely some indication that it is a fruit that is required is necessary, like, er, “fruit”, for instance, in which case the solver might stand a microscopic chance (UGLI being a very obscure fruit) of working it out.

    Can “framed” be a container/contained indicator which gets the contained inside PIC? I’ve always thought a PIC (i.e. picture) is inside a frame (i.e.framed) not inside a PIC!

    Has Eimi got a more precise definition than “Very Nimrod”! of the clue that is being described?


  12. Fletch says:

    One shouldn’t attempt to define Nimrod’s unique brand of genius 😉

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