Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6637/Nimrod – Double Trouble

Posted by neildubya on January 24th, 2008


Some clever grid construction here as one phrase appears twice in the grid and there’s a Nina too (see 5a below for an explanation). I found this quite hard going in places – I guessed a few answers and I couldn’t get 27a at all. I also don’t understand 28a.

5 SWORDS – in the unchecked squares in the left and right hand columns of the grid we have CLAYMORE and SCIMITAR, both types of SWORDS (I think this is what the reference to 8 4 – DOUBLE EDGING – is pointing to. And of course, crossing SWORDS is a confrontation.
9 LIE,BIG – a whopper would be a BIG LIE. I’ve never heard of him but apparently he invented a condenser .
10 ERA in OPTIC – not really sure what the surface reading is getting at. Some people might think that the clue should read “of Carmen, say/perhaps”. I couldn’t possibly commment.
11 AS IF – don’t understand this one, apart from the definition: “Hypothetically, a riddle left unfinished”.
16 ME,OP,C,I,PE< – not the most convincing of surface readings.
18 A KEG in MOOD
21 (CRIME)* – is MERCI a woman’s name, as well as the French word for “thank you”?
24 OLGA – GAOL with the pairs of letters reversed. I think the definition (“one”) comes from the previous clue (where the definition was “woman”) as they are linked by ellipses.
25 LAURA – AURAL with the L moved. Another “one” linked by ellipses.
27 ???ARIA,L(?) – couldn’t get this one. Full clue: “Severely criticise song accompanying what’s central to Tales of the Riverbank”.
28 IBERIA – is this right? IBERIA is a peninsula but that’s as far as I can get: “Contents of tin for Russian peninsula”.
30 EG,GONG (reversed)
2 RE,ISSUE – I puzzled over this one for what seemed like ages until I realised that the definition made up most of the clue: “Response to demand for out-of-print book…” and that the wordplay was actually very simple: “on children”.
4 DG,IN in EG – the “top bod at the Beeb” is the Director-General or DG.
8/1 (BOLD RESOURCES)* – DOUBLE CROSSER. A phrase which appears twice in the grid.
12 (DO LIFE)*, A,GAIN.
17 OWL in LYING – “like Fenland” is the lift-and-separate definition.
22 C in CHOICE – nice &lit.
23 RA,PIER – there seems to be a small misprint in the clue as 5 appears twice, when it’s only needed once (in reference to 5a).

16 Responses to “Independent 6637/Nimrod – Double Trouble”

  1. nmsindy says:

    23 down – that 5 is meant – have another look at the grid.

  2. nmsindy says:

    Correction – sorry, you do mention it, not 100% sure but I think
    it’s SCIMITAR, RAPIER, CLAYMORE, FOIL and (not so sure) CROSSER.

  3. nmsindy says:

    27 across RIP ARIA L (centre of word) Normally RIPARIAN but riparial is in Chambers.

  4. nmsindy says:

    My last note for now! A SIF(t) s(IBERIA)n Sn = tin

  5. eimi says:

    A bit tricky, but one of the swords is hidden in a down answer.

  6. nmsindy says:

    4th of the 5 listed in Comment 1?

  7. nmsindy says:

    Sorry, comment 2 – will shut up now.

  8. rightback says:

    I think the fifth sword is EPEE in 6dn.

    This was tough – 30 mins to finish, with EDGING, OLGA and RIPARIAL causing the most trouble (I didn’t see the outside columns until finishing). I didn’t really understand SOBERS (3dn); I think it was something to do with the plant ERS appearing inside ‘crosswords’ to form CROSSER SWORDS (the top line) but the whole clue didn’t quite seem to hang together.

  9. nmsindy says:

    That’s it, Rightback, I’d say. Many thanks.

    You’ve also shed light on SOBERS – was confident of the answer from definition and wordplay (with 4 of 6 letters checked) and as you had to have 3 words (1 of 6 letters, 2 of 3) but the rest escaped me. I saw the outside columns esp SCIMITAR emerging fairly early which helped me. An impressive construction from Nimrod like the Christmas Eve one with the setters’ names, though this was not quite as hard. Don’t normally quote solving times except in my own blog, but this was 52 mins for me.

  10. Testy says:

    This was a complete disaster for me. I had to resort to the “reveal” function in the online version more than once!

    I’ve never heard of MERCI as a woman’s name and still think it’s pretty obscure. This meant I did not realise that “Woman” was the definition for this clue, therefore I was missing the definitions for the next two clues too.

    The “written into puzzles like this” bit in 3/29 just served to confuse as did the whole of 5A!

    There were some really good clues too but on the whole I didn’t come away feeling happy at the end of the ordeal.

  11. Jon88 says:

    28 “Contents of tin for Russian peninsula” [s]IBERIA[n] doesn’t quite parse for me. But it’s on a par with the reading I contrived: I (contents of tIn) + BERIA (Russian). The “for” is problematic….

  12. nmsindy says:

    Remember this is Nimrod, Jon88!

  13. davey b says:

    Can someone please explain 3/29 down (written into puzzles like this)?

  14. nmsindy says:

    Davey B, Rightback addresses this in comment 8 above “puzzles like this” = “crosswords”, I think, giving CROSS ER S WORDS but the funciton of the SOB part of SOBERS is not so clear.

  15. davey b says:

    Nmsindy,I understand the wording of the clue: MODERATES = SOBERS
    VERY = SO BRITISH = B PLANT = ERS (written into puzzles like this)just seems superfluous.

  16. nmsindy says:

    The clue is clear enough. It’s just that is also may have thematic relevance which rightback has (half) explained.

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