Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6611/Nimrod

Posted by neildubya on December 24th, 2007


I found this pretty difficult, although the preamble was a big help in that it suggested that other Indy compilers would be mentioned in whole or in part in the answers and, more obviously, in some clues. Some were easy to spot (Mordred and Nestor were the first two I got), others not so easy (it took me ages to see Virgilius).

1 hidden in “oVERGEnerous” – “side” is the definition but I don’t understand the rest of the clue: “Solver’s not altogether overgenerous side”. Where’s the hidden indicator? Or have I read this incorrectly…?
4 LEU in IS – “leu” is a Romanian unit of currency (“ready”) and ILEUS is an intestinal obstruction. [With 1a = "Virgilius"]
7 SAME,B< – a BEMA is a platform for public speaking [BEMAS = "Mass"]
10 N,ESTER – [NESTER = "Nestor"]
11 (A UNION)*,MO[-nk] – UNO ANIMO. I think this loosely translates as “of one mind”.
13 IDEA in S[-e]CTION – SIDE ACTION. This is probably just the way I’m reading this but the clue seems to be missing a containment indicator: “Type of rifle thought to expel energy in part”. ["Dac"]
14 FINE – ["Phi"]
18 I in (PERHAPS IT)* – excellent clue and difficult anagram to spot.
23 ZZ in NO[-e]L,[+E] – NOZZLE. [with 18a = "Hypnos"]
27 MOORE – sounds like “more”.
28 hidden in “minD READer” – [with 27a = "Mordred"]
1 (MOVED AS)* – VAMOSED. This seems to be another spelling of “vamoosed”.
4 (A TA’S MONEY I)* – I MEAN TO SAY. Very tough; “that is” is a hard definition to spot and the anagram indicator (“supply”) is not much easier. [I MEAN = "Eimi"]
7 N in BANS
9 SCORE – double defintion.
15 (ONE READY)* – AERODYNE. [With 11a = "Nimrod"]
16 CIDER – “sider”. [With 7d - "Bannsider"]
17 LUGWORM – not sure about this one: “Left turn? Old Mr Grace goes upstairs to swallow bait”. “Left turn” could be LU but I can’t see the rest.
20 (APNEA)* – PAEAN. [With 9d = "Scorpion"]
21 (GO LADY)* – DAY-GLO. [With 17d = "Glow-worm"]

16 Responses to “Independent 6611/Nimrod”

  1. nmsindy says:

    LUGWORM L U (Turn) Then goes upstairs means, I think, reverse MR O (old) WG (Grace) cricketer

  2. nmsindy says:

    Comment on puzzle as a whole. Keeping records of the setters for the year, I can confirm every setter of the daily cryptic appears either in grid or clues – there were two other pseudonymns used by they were either combining with one of the others or using a different one for a special puzzle. The ‘announces’ gives the homophone idea. Fitting all that in the grid was a great achievement and forced some very unfamiliar words to be used. This made it my longest solve of 2007 so it was good it did not appear on normal working day! I think this is why the preamble was included to give regular solvers another way to get to the solution. In no sense a criticism of this tour de force, but maybe the clues might have been a little easier. My last ones were NOZZLE, HUZZAED, and RASSELAS.

    SIDE-ACTION Expel is a substitution indicator, I think ie IDEA for E

  3. Stan says:

    As to 1a, I would say “not altogether” is read in the sense of “not totally” – so it isn’t all of “over generous”

  4. nmsindy says:

    I’d agree with Stan on VERGE though the “solver’s” seems surplus and I was looking for YOU or YO for quite a while.

  5. Wil Ransome says:

    I thought this was terribly difficult. Thank goodness I wasn’t blogging it. Let’s hope Wednesday is a bit easier.

    Presumably 16A is SILK. Or perhaps it’s SALK. In neither case can I begin to see why, beyond the fact that Punk’s last is K.

    And I also can’t understand the presence of “solver’s” in 1A, since the clue would surely be fine without it.

    One or two very good clues (I thought 18A and 21D were brilliant), but several things that seemed like infelicities, although who am I to … I wish someone could really explain 13A: it looks to me that it’s telling you to expel e from idea and then put what you get in section, but that doesn’t give you side-action, which you get from putting idea in (section with e expelled from it).

  6. Berny says:

    Nmsindy – can you explain Huzzaed?

    Still can’t get the e?s? in 3 down.

    Also 16 across – is calk right? and why?

  7. nmsindy says:

    16 A is CAL (California – West Coast State) K (Punk’s last). I too had SIDER first for 16 down but it’s CIDER! 19 down is ZZ = snooze A = one in HUED (with colour) “externally”. 3 down is EAST, I think, bridge player – last letter in Quixote. Hardest puzzle of the year – Happy Christmas to all!

  8. nmsindy says:

    Wil, re 13 across, I read it as IDEA replacing E (= energy) in SECTION (ie part) making S(IDE A)CTION.

  9. Jon88 says:

    HUZZAED snooze ZZ one A with colour externally HU/ED

    A list of “the remainder, rather more evident in the clues” would be appreciated.

  10. nmsindy says:

    Monk, Punk, Merlin, Quixote, Morph, Math. Will also be covered in my end-year review of Indy 2007 with average solving times for each. Will be posted once New Year’s Eve puzzle is solved.

  11. Jon88 says:

    So perhaps “rather more evident in *some of* the clues.” Unless we suddenly acquire setters Cassandra, Clubs, Tart (or Kinky), Fashion, Prince, Chap and Joy (or Snooze)….


  12. Testy says:

    This was an impressive feat and I was happy with almost all of the clues. The only ones that trouble me are:

    3 down (EAST): I got the “Recipient of cards” bit but “the end for Quixote” gives E not EAST. I realise that E is short for EAST but this seems like the answer is twice removed from the clue, you have to go through two steps to get to it (i.e. the end of Quixote is E and E is short for East). I’ve occasionally come across these sorts of two-step clues before and I’m afraid I don’t appreciate them. I guess the constraint of having to inclued (sic) all setters led to using a clue which, to my mind, is a little strained.

    1 across: I’m also unsure why “Solver’s” is in there.

    I thought 18 was brilliant though.

  13. nmsindy says:

    For those who did not see it, 18 across was “Is one taken by it, perhaps, at sea?” (6,4). PIRATE SHIP – I in an anagram of “it perhaps”. Brilliant, as Testy says.

  14. mohair_xw says:

    I thought this was amazingly clever and totally enjoyable. Well done Nimrod. A good reminder of the high standards at the Independent.

    I’ve been wondering when I would see setters’ names as a theme, as it seems a natural choice; it could hardly be done better. Has it ever been done elsewhere? I may have missed it.

    I am still puzzled by having to derive EIMI form I MEAN TO SAY, it’s almost there but … perhaps more regular solvers (or the man himself!) could explain the derivation or pronunciation of this pseudonym?


  15. eimi says:

    The derivation of the pseudonym isn’t too difficult. It simply appealed to me on a number of levels, being the title of a book by my favourite poet (e e cummings), containing in its second syllable the beginning of my first name, and being used for the first time on the day I took over as Indy crossword editor it could answer the question “Who’s the new crossword editor?”

    However, I’m not sure how it’s pronounced, which is a bit of a problem when introducing myself. Wikipedia originally suggested that it was pronounced a-me, a friend who lived in Greece thought it was ee-mee, Nimrod seems to think I-me, and my girlfriend mischievously delights in pronouncing it Amy. I’d welcome a definitive ruling.

  16. Nestor says:

    Greek is all Greek to me, but, extrapolating from pronunciations and etymologies of words like “chirography”, “cleistogamy” and “spirochaete”, I’d expect the Greek pronunciation to be “eye me”.

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