Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6655/Nimrod

Posted by neildubya on February 14th, 2008


I found this very tough but fun. There are still a few clues that I don’t fully understand though – 10a, 25a,27a and 18d. There’s also a Valentine’s Day Nina in the unchecked letters in the first and last columns of the grid: IVE GOT MY EYE ON YOU. I didn’t spot this until the last couple of answers were filled in, which was annoying as an extra letter here and there would have been a big help for some of the clues.

1 (VICE YOU’LL)* – I LOVE LUCY. Are there two anagram indicators in this clue: “Characters involved in” and “cast”?
10 VANTAGES – don’t really understand this; is it something to do with tennis?
11 OUTLAY – which is LAYOUT, “halved then inverted”.
13 OB,(CASTLE)* – a bit of a guess as I didn’t know that Ob was a river (in Western Siberia apparently). And there was me thinking that Po was the only two letter river.
14 EYE in GRR – I think this is an excellent clue: “Not so bright spectator expressed frustration on tour”.
15 NEIN in O,TWO – “German denial” is easy enough but it took me a while to think of something other than BT for “phone company”.
16 O,(AFRI[-c]ANS)* – another good clue but I found this one quite tough to parse. Breaking up “old city” was the key to solving it.
22 OX in AI MEAT – another excellent clue with a great surface reading.
25 IS THAT SO – don’t understand this one: “Round headwear will…really?” I can see HAT but that’s about all.
26 Y,EAST – I guess Y is the “second unknown” because X is the first? Good clue, with a very misleading surface reading.
27 IMPROMPTU – another one I don’t understand: “Makeshift concert party’s tuned up intros after composer’s entered”. “Concert party” could be PROM and “tuned up intros” TU but I can’t see where the rest comes from.
2 R in LEANER – I’m so used to seeing LEARNER as an indicator for L that it was a bit of a surprise to see it as the answer here.
3 VI,IF in TRY
4 (TERM AT LENGTH IT)* – LIGHT TREATMENT, which can be used on people who have SAD (Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder) rather than those who are sad.
5 (PANTOMIMIC SOLOS)* – COSMOPOLITANISM. A tough anagram-ic nut to crack. I needed almost all of the checking letters in place to get this.
7 UP-TRAIN – “transport to London” is the definition but what’s “to instruct in obsolete language” all about.
8 ALL in SHOW – “Uncle Tom Cobbleigh [and all]” comes from the traditional ballad “Widdecombe Fair”.
9 ROI (STEROID)*,RETS (going up) – very tough. “Ralph ROISTER DOISTER” is a play by Nicholas Udall, generally reckoned to be the first written in the English language. I didn’t know that but I knew the phrase ROISTER DOISTER so I filled in the answer wondering what “Ralph” was meant to be there for.
18 AT A LOSS – another one I don’t fully understand. “Perplexed when claw’s sunk in – it’s not new”. I think the last 6 words indicate TALO[-n] but that leaves A,SS left and I can’t see where that comes from.
20 RADA in MED – very strange surface reading here.
21 (SAT)* in WHIT

12 Responses to “Independent 6655/Nimrod”

  1. conradcork says:

    25ac. Will = ‘Is to’, and the hat is plural.

    7down. Uptrain is an obsolete word for educate.

    10ac. Vantage, or advantage is where you get the edge after deuce in tennis.

    Helluva puzzle. Thanks Nimrod.

  2. conradcork says:

    27ac. Composer’s = ‘Im’ Concert is prom and ‘Party’s tuned up intros’ is ptu.

  3. Jon says:

    Easier than the usual Nimrod for me, while not completely understanding all of them…

    re: 18d. Do the two S’s come from the ‘s’ after the apostrophe and ‘sunk’??? No idea then where the ‘a’ comes from, unless claw = ‘A TALON’???

  4. nmsindy says:

    AT A LOSS TALO(n)’S in AS, I think. I saw the message when I’d all the RHS filled and the puzzle, which had been a real toughie up to then, yielded quickly.

  5. neildubya says:

    Thanks for the explanations everyone.

  6. petebiddlecombe says:

    I wondered whether “I LOVE LUCY” was a Valentine’s Day message …

  7. Bannsider says:

    I’m sure Nimrod won’t mind me revealing that 1 ac is indeed a Valentine message :-)

  8. neildubya says:

    Aaah, sweet.

  9. Tarquin says:

    Still didn’t get 17d despite getting all the rest- can someone enlighten me?

  10. neildubya says:

    Remind me what the clue was?

  11. Tarquin says:

    17d Gas got to very young child (7)

  12. neildubya says:

    NEONATE – NEON, ATE (as in if something “gets to you” it’s eating you up, I think)

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