Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6831/Nimrod (06-09-08 Prize Puzzle)

Posted by neildubya on September 12th, 2008


Some of the slightly odd words and phrases in the grid are explained the Nina: look at the letters around the perimeter of the grid, starting from the top-left hand corner and going clock-wise, then look down at the letters on your keyboard. I guess most people will have spotted what was happening as soon as they saw QWERTY emerging in the top row. Filling in the rest of the letters certainly helped me with more than a few answers. There’s still a few I don’t get though (natch): 10,11 and 13.

9 hidden in “christiES AUction-house” – saw this almost immediately but I held off from filling it in as I didn’t understand the “hairy chap” reference. Turns out that ESAU means “hairy” in Hebrew. I’ll have to remember that.
10 NIGHTDRESS – don’t get this one: “Retirement cover’s a funny thing when on order”. The definition is obvious enough but I can’t see how the rest of the clue might work.
11 RANI – don’t understand this one either, apart from the definition: “The Queen’s Singers have ignored bribe”.
12 BOW(Y)ER – I don’t really see how “makes headway” can indicate the initial letter of a word and I also don’t know why “street of debauchery” is BOWER. I like the definition though – “his business partner quivered?” – a reference to bows, arrows and quivers. [Edit: nmsindy has a more convincing explanation for this clue in the comments below.]
14 IN,(ON NUDE)* – INNUENDO. Spent a while wondering where IN came from until but then saw “with it”.
15 V(O[ICE]R)S – this was cleverly done as “they say” (the definition) is often used as a homophone indicator.
20 CURETTES – “small female dogs” is a sort of cryptic def as -ette indicates a female of a specified type (e.g. usherette) and “scrapes” is the actual definition. That said, it’s just occurred to me that I’m not sure where “small” comes into it.
23 hidden in “afTER ESAu” – ESAU being the answer at 9a. “She gets embraced” would seem to be the definition combined with wordplay.
27 hidden in “pint-siZE TAnkard”.
1 Q(OP)H – the ninteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet and a good word to remember next time you’re playing Scrabble. Not sure why “(not King’s)” is in the clue though.
2 (NEW ORDER)* – WONDERER. Good surface reading, especially if you’re a music fan.
3 CITE,DIE (going up) – EIDETIC was new to me but I got it from the wordplay once I had a few letters filled in.
6 A in (WENDY)* – YAWNED.
8 ORINO,CO – ORION is the constellation also known as the Hunter. “Turns on” indicates switching the last two letters around.
13 YACKETY-YAK – can’t work this one out: “Stupid talk about half-hearted artist’s year corrupting kayak clubs”. There’s an anagram of “kayak” in there somewhere but that’s all I can add.
22 T(H,ER)AJ – not sure if I’ve parsed this correctly: TAJ is a crown worn by an Indian prince and I guess that “undermining hard” must mean something coming under H?
26 AS IF – Asif is an Asian name.

12 Responses to “Independent 6831/Nimrod (06-09-08 Prize Puzzle)”

  1. Allan_C says:

    10 (THING)* + Dress (=order)
    11 (SOP)RANI
    Saw the nina was letters of the alphabet but didn’t twig the qwerty order

  2. Geoff Moss says:

    13d ET[t]Y (half-hearted artist) Y (year) in *(KAYAK C)

    William ETTY 1787-1849

  3. nmsindy says:

    12 I think refers to BOWERY street (New York) with the Y moving.

  4. neildubya says:

    12 – yes, you’re quite right. I’ve edited my post accordingly.

    Thanks to Allan_C and Geoff for the other explanations.

  5. beermagnet says:

    12A Not BOWER but BOWERY is a street in New York famous for its brothels in the US Civil War period. This came up in another crossword a while back, I can’t think where. So I interpreted the “Yankee makes headway in” part of the clue as some indication that the final Y is promoted some way up the word somehow. Thankfully the second half of the clue is very clear.

    I had great trouble with this crossword and didn’t see the Nina (again) which would’ve certainly helped stop me putting in a wrong answer.

  6. bridgesong says:

    9 ac: Genesis 27:11 And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man:

    I should know this, but could someone please explain what a Nina is?

  7. nmsindy says:

    A hidden message in a crossword, not necessary for solving – here the typing keyboard letters around the perimeter.

  8. bigsixes says:

    What’s the answer to 21 down?

  9. nmsindy says:

    UNREAL cf “UNREEL” if I’ve got it right. Sat will tell.

  10. nmsindy says:

    Sorry, reverse it, UNREEL cf “Unreal”, again, if I’ve got it right and Sat will tell.

  11. Joins says:

    Can anyone explain the Rani clue then?

  12. neildubya says:

    Yes, and they have: see the first comment.

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