Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6849/Nestor (Prize puzzle 27-09-08)

Posted by neildubya on October 3rd, 2008


I enjoyed this one a great deal. I had the grid filled in reasonably quickly but then had to go over half a dozen or so clues where I’d filled in the answer without fully understanding what was happening. A mistake at 16 held me up but not for too long and 11 was the last to go in and also the last clue I deciphered.

9 ARCUATE – A CURATE with the R moved forward. A new word to me so I guessed this with A?C?A?? filled in.
11 ENLIVENMENT – very tricky this: 1055 in roman numerals is MVL so the wordplay is (MVL NINETEEN)*, with “work out” being the anagram indicator.
12 MOW – if you turn MOW upside down it looks almost the same but not exactly because M and W aren’t just inverses of each other. If you see what I mean.
13 E,SCOFF(I)ER – amusing &lit and a reference to Auguste ESCOFFIER, the French chef.
15 E(AGE)R – “Gagging for it” is a reasonably well-known colloquialism, usually used in reference to sex, but it’s not in either the COED or the Chambers Online dictionary so I’m guessing it’s in Chambers proper or Collins.
16 NOSE RAG- I originally filled in SNOT RAG although I couldn’t work out why. Eventually it became clear that wasn’t right so I changed it to NOSE RAG but even then it took a while to see how the clue worked. I think it’s NO(SERA)G – “not any good” being NO G and SERA the plural of serum (“watery liquids”).
17 PROVOS,T – I was surprised at this as I thought Provo meant a member of the IRA but the COED says it can also be a member of Sinn Fein.
19 H(AG)EN – a reference to Jean HAGEN, the American actress. “Hatcher” is capitalized in the clue to suggest that it might be something to do with Teri Hatcher, also an American actress.
21 IL,LATE,AS,’E – cleverly constructed clue with a great surface reading.
22 hidden twice in “mONOtONOus” – a reference to Yoko ONO.
23 WARM,EMO,LAIR< – WAR MEMORIAL. “Emo” is a music genre about which I know next to nothing. Wikipedia has an awful lot to say about it
26 TRA(N)CHE[-a]
1 (THE LINE THEN ONE)* – NINETEENTH HOLE. Great clue – misleading surface and a nice definition (“bar of course”).
2 AF(F,LIC)T,S – I think this is right: AFT is “facing stern” and LIC could be Lieutenant-in-Chief, perhaps?
3 HDTV – (THE VIDEO)* with the vowels removed.
4 W,A TERRE,PELLE(n)T – Another toughie. The official language in Gabon is French “on the ground” there is A TERRE.
5 ACT THE GOAT – I see the connection with kid/goat but apart from that it’s not all that cryptic, unless I’m missing something.
8 L,END IN,GLIB,RA(R)Y – “scene of book borrowing” (7,7) gave the game away very quickly for me. I did wonder why note was RAY but then I realised it’s another spelling of “re” (as doh, re, mi etc)
10 E(D,WREATHED)*LDER – EDWARD THE ELDER. The wordplay also works as (D WREATHED)*,ELDER but that would make the “in” (“sinuously in tree”) superfluous.
24 [-t]OKAY

5 Responses to “Independent 6849/Nestor (Prize puzzle 27-09-08)”

  1. Ali says:

    Managed a fair amount of this on a train up North last weekend, though struggled to understand some answers at the time (and gave up in the end as I was distracted by Araucaria’s rather tough jigsaw puzzle). I don’t often complain, but the abbreviation HDTV given as a 4-letter word? Not happy with that!

    Enjoyed the LAD MAG clue though.

  2. nmsindy says:

    FLIC is French for police – a little surprised to see it used.

  3. beermagnet says:

    2D A Flic is a slang French word for a French cop

  4. eimi says:

    ‘Flic’ is in Chambers, so fair game for a Saturday prize puzzle, I thought.

  5. Jon88 says:

    19a is almost certainly a reference to the award-winning stage actress, teacher and author Uta Hagen rather than the much more obscure Jean … though the end result is the same.

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