Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6602/Nimrod

Posted by neildubya on December 13th, 2007


This is the first puzzle I’ve solved in what has so far been a pretty miserable week, with myself and MrsD both laid low with a virus and our 8 month old son cutting two new teeth. Not the happiest combination of events. I’m usually mystified by at least 3 or 4 clues in any given Nimrod puzzle and this was no exception, although I did manage to solve it fairly quickly.

11 KEY,STROKE – I liked the definition here: “downward movement by one in the pool”, with “pool” being a reference to a typing pool I guess.
12 DITTO – exactly the same clue as 11a.
13 (VAN WE WE)* – NEW WAVE. Not sure about the cats reference though; may be something to do with “Cool for Cats”, a soing by Squeeze, who were a NEW WAVE band? Or is that a bit obscure?
15 L in TICKER
18 CAB in MARE – don’t get the wordplay here: “Gruesome ‘horsey’ female taxi charges”. MARE is the female horse and taxi = CAB but what is “charges” doing and where’s the container indicator?
21 ALPHA PLUS – written as A+ this could be seen cryptically as “one a cross”.
23 [-d]AWN
24/25 MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS – “gathering” is the collective noun for crows; “Compilers’ Estate” is ORIENT = E, EXPRESS = State.
1 (NOT WHAT FAKES DO)* – THE AKOND OF SWAT. Given that it’s a nonsense phrase and contains one word that isn’t a word, I wonder how you would get on with this clue if you didn’t know the Lear poem?
2 EMERY? – not sure if this is right but can’t think of anything else that works. Full clue: “What’s its effect? Polish engineers getting over year”. I took the first 4 words as the definition and “year” must be Y. “Engineers” is often RE but that leaves EM.
4 E in (NICE LOGO)* – OLIGOCENE. A long time ago.
6 OREAD? – more befuddlement here: “Descriptive of beginner classes in Literacy or Divinity”.
14 WHEREUNTO – and here: “To which healthy body is change of tenure acceptable”. “To which” is the definition but the rest is a mystery.
16 COCK-A-HOOP – “the old chap”…very Cyclops.
23 LETHE – one of the rivers of Hades, and one that induced complete forgetfulness in those that drank from it.

13 Responses to “Independent 6602/Nimrod”

  1. Paul B says:

    Cans and tanks can be charged with fuel, so CAB in MARE with ‘arfacese’ indication.

  2. Paul B says:

    An OREAD is a mountain nymph. The wordplay ‘descriptive of beginner in literacy classes’ nudges you towards ‘nothing read’.

  3. Paul B says:

    WH(EREUNT*)O sends you to the World Health Organisation.

  4. nmsindy says:

    EMERY is used for polishing. I did not get 1 down. Agree with the points made by Paul B.

  5. nmsindy says:


  6. nmsindy says:

    Did not like symbols REME (reversed) Y Learnt that one early in my xword days.

  7. Chris says:

    By a strange coincidence, Murder on the Orient Express features in today’s Guardian crossword too.

  8. Paul B says:

    Just thought of a Xmas joke:

    Good King Wenceslas looked out, but just to make sure the decision was referred the Third Umpire.

    Way ah tellum.

  9. Colin Blackburn says:

    13A I think it is a reference to hep cats, ie those at the new wave of other musical genres rather than UK punk rock.

    I didn’t have time to finish this puzzle despite getting the two long answers and half or the others. I did see that 1D was an anagram and I knew it had to the THE something OF something but I won’t have been able to put in a certain answer even with all the checking letters in place. I think that the solver here deserved more than a simple anagram, something to help order the letters would have been kinder.

  10. nmsindy says:

    Yes, even with 9 letters of 14 known, I could not work it out and Wikipedia and OneLook did not help. Out of interest, I keyed the known ones into TEA later and it gave the answer.

  11. Patrick says:

    Googled the works of Edward Lear (after discounting King L)and there it was, The Akond of Swat.
    Did not get ‘oread’ despite having o-e-d, the clue was a bit deep for me!
    Is there an online forum where you can talk about these puzzles in general?

  12. neildubya says:

    Patrick – there aren’t any other forums that I know of where Indy puzzles are discussed regularly. There are occasional mentions of specific puzzles on the Crossword Centre message board and the GU Talk Crossword board but that’s about it (there are links to both of those sites in the list of links under “Other Crossword Sites” on this blog). I guess the problem for you is that you only seem to get to the puzzles around 3 weeks after everyone else (do you see a syndicated version?), by which time the discussion has pretty much petered out.

  13. Patrick says:

    Thanks Neil, yes we are about 3 to 4 weeks behind here in Auz and you don’t know how tempting it is look at the answers!

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