Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6825/Nestor (Prize Puzzle 30-08-08)

Posted by neildubya on September 5th, 2008


Another very tough but very satisfying Saturday puzzle, this time from Nestor. Lots of great stuff here but I can’t work out the wordplay in 3, 15 and 17. I filled in 11 without really knowing why but finally got it when I sat down to write this; 16 was the last to go in and 24 and 7 gave me problems too.

6 CHOW – Double def: a breed of dog and a word for food. Very simple but I only got this towards the end.
10 IN PUP – PIN UP with the P moved to the middle (“head buried”).
11 CHRONIC,LE – This took me a while to work out as I couldn’t understand what “article in Paris-Match” meant. It was a real kickself moment when the penny finally dropped.
12 ECCLES,I,(ASTI)CAL[-l] – I can think of few things less funny than The Goon Show but somehow or other I knew that Bluebottle was a character in it; even so, I had to Google it to find out about Eccles.
14 FIT (reversed) in RAY
16 RE,LEVANT – with all the crossing letters filled in this had me completely stumped. RELEVANT was the word that jumped out at me but I didn’t see how that was, well, relevant to the clue. After a loooong think, it occurred to me that “germane” meant RELEVANT so maybe “German” was another spelling of it? Chambers confirmed so that just left the wordplay: “to abscond leaving more debts”. The italicised “more” was intriguing and I wondered if it was connected to RE- somehow: after all, if you RE-do anything you do it again or do it more. So that left LEVANT – off to Chambers again to discover that it means to leave secretly to avoid paying debts. So if you RE LEVANT you leave with more debts. Phew, got there in the end.
18 BOUTIQUE – sounds like “boo teak”.
19 STOKER – “Count inventor” is Bram STOKER, who wrote the Dracula novel.
21 (I LIE SO CAPTAIN’S) – SPECIALISATION. I loved the definition: “avoiding the General”. OK it shouldn’t really have been capitalised but I think it’s the right side of fairly misleading.
24 RED in DIE (reversed),OWN – EIDERDOWN. Another tough one to unravel: “be withering” is DIE, and “burgundy” is a RED wine; personal is OWN
25 IBIZA – take “alibi” (“defence”), turn it around and replace the L (“line”) with Z (“unknown”).
26 ROPY – guy lines on a tent are made of rope.
27 SPICE,GI,RLS – “Kidnapped author” is literally the author of the novel Kidnapped, which was Robert Louis Stevenson or RLS.
1 SP(BLUER IN)*Y – SPINEL RUBY. New to me, but gettable thanks to crossing letters and easy wordplay.
2 A,SPIC – “are” is a unit of measurement and can be abbreviated to A. “27′s original foursome” is the first four letters of SPICE GIRLS. “A set part of meal” is the clever definition as ASPIC is a savoury jelly made from meat or fish stock.
3 APPLE OF DISCORD – I’m sure this is right but I can’t work out all of the wordplay: “software house” is APPLE and “data device” is DISC but that leaves O FORD and “cross” in the clue unaccounted for.
4 EC in (ITCH)* – HECTIC. “eccentric extremely” is EC.
5 M(ARK’S)ME,N – Mme is short for “Madame” I think.
7 HUCK,ABACK – this one had me baffled for a while too. “Raft” and Mississippi” make me think of Huckleberry Finn and I knew the word started with H as I had it filled in from 6. So I looked up words starting HUCK and found HUCKABACK, which is a coarse linen fabric used for towels. As for the first part of the clue – his raft sinking would have taken HUCK ABACK.
13 (SIR INSTANT)* – ST TRINIANS. The definition and enumeration together made this, mercifully, an easy clue in a tough puzzle.
15 TRUMPED-UP – don’t understand this either. “Baseless” is the def but how does “as horn and mug are here” work?
17 HULA-HOOP – and another one I can’t work out: “How nice to be in centre of wheel, bouncing bottom with ring like this!”
22 ICI,[-h]ER[-e] – French is spoken in Quebec and the French word for “here” is ICI.

6 Responses to “Independent 6825/Nestor (Prize Puzzle 30-08-08)”

  1. beermagnet says:

    Neil, I have made several attempts to comment but all must’;ve gone to the Spam bin for god know what reason I’ll attempt individual comments:

    3D A ford is a river crossing so CROSS is FORD, but the O is still unaccounted for

  2. beermagnet says:

    15D TRUMPE[t] DUP[e] “baseless” Horn and Mug I thought this was very nice.

    17D AH (how nice!) inside HU[b] (centre of wheel bouncing bottom) LOOP (ring) Another lovely &lit clue.

  3. Geoff Moss says:

    3d APP (application/software) LEO (house, astrology) DISC (data device) in FORD (cross)

    The abbreviation APP is in COED (2008) but not in Chambers (2008) or Collins.

  4. neildubya says:

    Oh my – that’s very good indeed. Bravo sirs (Nestor for the clue, Geoff for parsing it).

  5. nmsindy says:

    Re SPECIALISATION, I think clueing convention allows a false capital, though not the reverse (China cannot become china). I did not get RELEVANT (thanks for that), and thanks to you and all for explaining some of the others, which I got right but did not fully understand.

  6. Patrick Burke says:

    15 down. Baseless as horn and mug are here? (7-2),
    I took to be horn (trump) and mug (dupe),
    thus giving trumped-up.

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=""> <strike> <strong>

five × 4 =