Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6802 by Nimrod

Posted by NealH on August 4th, 2008


*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed

A clever but tricky puzzle which played on one of the crossword setters’ staples, the doh, re, me notes (the proper name of which is tonic sol-fa). Most of the four letter entries were created by running two of the notes together as in do-me and la-te.

1 Dote: do te.
3 Rete: re te.
6 Fame: Fa me.
10 Minuend: Nim< + nude*.
11 Dead sea: cryptic def.
12 Scrip: I didn’t follow this one. Clue is “Return to another line in drink list”. Possibly “drink list” = scrip in the sense of prescription.
13 Tracheae: (a teacher)*.
16 Ephedrine: (ripened he)*.
18 Thief: The f around i.
20 Ester: Est[h]er.
21 Merriment: Mermen around RI + t.
22 Stonking: hidden.
24 Obese: hidden and reversed.
28 Moanful: Another one I didn’t fully get – “Lamentable second, terrible second, moving 90 degrees clockwise”. I’m assuming it is mo + awful and the second letter (w) has been rotated, but I don’t quite see how this gets an n (even with italics).
29 Hidalgo: (Glad I)< in ho[use].
30 Sofa: so fa.
31 Sola: So la. This type of plant is used to make sola topis.
32 Late: la te.
1 Dome: do me.
2, 25 Tonic sol-fa: (fans cool it)*.
4 Eddy: Ref to Eddy Grant, a singer who had the hit “I don’t wanna dance”.
5 Elderberry: err in el derby (both teams are in Madrid, so it would be a derby match).
6 Franc: Ran in FC.
7 Mesmerise: (messier me)*.
8 Reminder: rem[a]inder.
9 Lame: la me.
14 Mete: Me te. I had to check this one, because I thought it might be reme (a possible alternative spelling of ream).
15 Dismantles: This was another one I didn’t entirely understand. “Your average bloke is led around dodgy strips”. I’m guessing that the definition is strips and there appears to be an anagrem of “is led”, which leaves smant = your average bloke.
17 Hot potato: Hot pot to around a.
18 Twin beds: cryptic def (beds = bedfordshire).
19 Fate: fa te.
22 Some: so me
23 Kafka: Kaa (Jungle Book snake) around f k.
26 Dhal: Yet another one I didn’t quite follow – “Losing arm, author reduces pulse”. Obviously, pulse = dhal and the rest seems to be something about removing the word arm and taking some letters from the name of a writer. The only one I could think that it might be referring to was Roald Dahl, but I can’t see how that works.
27 Dore: do re – a French artist.

14 Responses to “Independent 6802 by Nimrod”

  1. sandforb says:

    I think scrip is cr for “carriage return” in sip.

    MOANFUL – W=West rotated to North

    smant is “man in the street (st)”!

    I had DEEP SEA rather than DEAD SEA which held me up. Seems to work ok to me as an answer…

    Can’t help with 26D!

  2. Peter Chambers says:

    I think 26 ac is Stendhal – Sten

  3. Peter Chambers says:

    26 d i mean

  4. nmsindy says:

    This was a very imaginative idea. All the words around the grid were in the same format and 2 was nicely misleading in the relevant clues. I guess those constraints made it hard to find words for the rest of the grid and that made it, for me, a very difficult puzzle esp before the theme became apparent, but I got there in the end. I was slowed by writing in MITE at first for 22 down. Thanks for all the explanations, some very subtle manoeuvres in this.

  5. Al Streatfield says:

    Re. SMANT:

    To me, “Your average bloke” must go in italics or inverted commas to indicate something odd’s going on.

    To take another example, it seems to me perfectly acceptable to use “off” as meaning ON’s removed from a word [citric fruit’s “off” leading to LEM(on)] as long as the “off” is either in inverted commas or italics. Otherwise the solver is left floundering.

  6. Mick h says:

    Has anyone tried to play the thematic words in sequence? Perhaops there’s a hidden tune?
    Anyway, good puzzle – I liked el derby. Actually, they borrow enough English football words in Spanish (futbol, el gol etc) that I wouldn’t be that surprised if it turned out to be real!

  7. Pat says:

    Sandforb, I took “Dead Sea” to be indicated by “low”, as the Dead Sea is 420m below sea level. (So, to a lesser extent, is the Sea of Galilee and, to a much lesser extent, the Caspian Sea, but there you go).

  8. Al Streatfield says:

    “El Derby” seems to me to be only of interest to football fanatics, which doesn’t constitute all of the people who do the Independent crossword, despite what Nimrod seems to think.

    I’ve got other comments about this puzzle, but there doesn’t seem any point in making them since Nimrod never replies…

  9. Colin Blackburn says:

    Surely the point of making comments here is that solvers can discuss them rather than expecting the setters to respond to them. That some setters do read and respond is a bonus but it’s not the raison d’etre of the blog.

  10. John H says:

    Come on Al, let me have it…

  11. neildubya says:

    What Colin said.

  12. Al Streatfield says:

    “Let me have it” ??

    Don’t get me wrong. I don’t consider it an obligation on compilers to reply, but it would be interesting to have comments on specific criticisms from them.

    On this particular puzzle: I thought it was a nice idea, with the weakness that once you had worked out the theme, the thematic clues weren’t really cryptic. Some of them also led to words (RETE etc.) that are more at home in weekend puzzles.

  13. Simon says:

    “more at home in weekend puzzles”?

    Forgive my naivety, but you’re actually suggesting that certain words are only acceptable crossword answers on certain days of the week?

  14. neildubya says:

    It’s a reasonably well-established convention that weekend puzzles can have a wider and tougher vocabulary because it’s assumed that solvers will have access to more reference material than they would during the week.

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