Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6709 by Nimrod

Posted by nmsindy on April 17th, 2008


I’ll have to admit defeat on this one. The two main features were a line of an Elton John song covering 5 clues and many clues linked to one word from it. When I finally tracked down the word “FUNNY” I Googled for the lyrics and found it. After an hour in all, with about six answers to go and, very pressed for time, went to ‘reveal’ for the others.

< = reverse  * anagram



7 F BI Very good.

9 H (U MAN) ER

10 SA (DNES) S Send<

11 M (ONE) Y


13 GI R L Funny girl


17 ESCAR GOT (races)*

19 EARTHMEN Not understood


26 SQUAB Not understood

28 O (RIGA) M I

29 1 NEX (AC) T

30 E GG Very good

31 MARSEILLES (real aimless)* less a = area


2 ROMANCE Hidden

4 THROBS (b short)*

5 BU (SINE) SS The first of the ‘funny’ ones I solved

6 Funny SIDE


9 HOME SWEET HOME (thee me somehow)*

14 Funny F ACE

16 HA-HA Not understood

18 P (EC) U LIAR All <



26 SMELL Hidden

27 F (ire) ARM

7 Responses to “Independent 6709 by Nimrod”

  1. neildubya says:

    19a – I think this an anagram of “three man”.

    26a – SQUIB (satirical criticism) with the I (“pie’s filling”) replaced by A (“champed by one”). I think. Not sure though.

    16d – A-HA were a Norwegian rock group from the 80s (If I had access to Youtube I’d post a link to their classic video for “Take on Me” – perhaps someone else can do the honours?)

    I enjoyed this but it was a bit of a struggle at first. I knew there was an Elton John single that mentioned something being “a little bit funny” but basically had to guess the rest from checking letters. Getting all the FUNNY clues got easier as I saw how they worked.

  2. Testy says:

    was utterly defeated by this too and had to resort to the Reveal button more than ever before and because of that the enjoyment was sadly lost.

    17A how does “unfancied runner” define ESCARGOT? Is this a speciic term in racing or just a jokey reference to the fact that a snail would be very slow?
    30A How does “mine” indicate EGG? Is this in the “bomb” sense of the word mine? One online dictionary indicates that an EGG is a slang term for a aerial bomb, but then a mine is not an aerial bomb??
    8/3/24/7D/23 I thought that this was made all the more difficult by the fact that it’s just a lyric (albeit probably a well known one) rather than a song title. This was such a Catch 22 clue. So much depended on 3D that you really had to get this to stand much of a chance and, because it was such a huge anagram, it was hard to get far without any checking letters. In the end I gave up altogether.

    I also didn’t understand 26A so thanks for the explanation Neil.

  3. Paul B says:

    17a L’Escargot was a much-fancied runner, so not that one. Must simply be a snail joke, though escargot are a particular variety much fancied by chefs.

    19a suppose the other 50% are earthwomen!

    26a the difficult bit about this one is getting what ‘champed’ means in the crosswording context. A champ is a bite, so think pac-man?

    30a eggs and pineapples are bombs, especially in Bradford.

    16d h+a-ha as described. ‘Funny ha-ha’, not ‘funny peculiar’.

  4. DUNCE says:

    More than a little funny, you guys seemed to have problems where I had none, but yes the puzzle was tough. How about “H(ard)+ a-ha! (Take on Meee lala) makes funny-haha. What the devil is the parsing in 18d though. Like so many of these, I got the answer without really understanding the fine details. As for that pidgeon one, what was the deal with “satire”? It was a 50-50 choice “squab” or “squ?b”. I just got lucky. Oh, the tail of the horse…Gee-Gee, right?

  5. Graham T says:

    16d In whose musical universe are (were) A-Ha a “rock” group? No more than pop, surely.

  6. nmsindy says:

    18 down EC = City (of London) UP = train (to London). Getting the funny ha-ha and funny peculiar idea into the puzzle was good. Tail of the = last letter of thE GG = horse. I did like that one, as mentioned in the blog.

  7. DUNCE says:

    Thanks for explaining 18d, Nmsindy. Have to admit, I still dont really get 26a though. By the way, regarding 30a, I suppose Nimrod knows that “horse” in Chambers can be a stretch of barren country between mineral lodes, so the end of a horse could be marked by, say, silver/gold mines. I toyed with “end” for almost the entire crossword, until I read the clue properly.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

× 3 = six