Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6877/Nimrod

Posted by neildubya on October 30th, 2008

neildubya.

Explanations and clarifications needed for 1a, 8, 12, 13, 19 and 26.

Across
1 GOLF WIDOWS – can’t make head or tail of this, beyond some sort of pun on “putting”: “In small numbers, their men want to be putting themselves out?”
6 I,BID – short for ibidem, Latin for “in the same place”.
9 A BIT,IT(MUS)S – ABI TITMUSS is famous for reasons which escape me now. Google her if you’re interested.
10 COD,A – would “doorstep collection” be COD or “cash on delivery”?
12 LETTER OPENER – I guess this must be a cryptic def but a couple of things seem odd: why the businessman reference? Anyone can have a LETTER OPENER can’t they? And why “hold dear”?
15 E(VA)NS – ENS means “entity” and Mary-Ann EVANS was the real name of George Eliot. I wasted a not inconsiderable about of time thinking Eliot was T.S.
16 SOL(RIDE)*O,N – SOLDIER ON.
18 S(MALL,BEE)R
19 GRACE – “graceful” can mean “becoming” but does that justify “become” for GRACE?
20 PRINT(BE CLEAR)*T – PRINCE ALBERT.
24 OVAL – a reference to the Tube station (which is on the Northern Line I think) and the fact that an OVAL is not a circle.
25 (FORTUNE THE)* – FOURTEENTH.
26 ESKY – don’t understand this one and had to use Reveal to get the answer. An ESKY is a portable insulated container for keeping drinks cool. Full clue is “What’s reached for in raid takes out first two in cooler”.
27 B(LIND’S)IGHT – had to guess this from the definition and crossing letters as I didn’t understand the Nightingale reference. Looks like it’s a reference to the opera singer Jenny LIND, aka “the Swedish Nightingale”.
 
Down
1 GO,AT
2 LAIN – sounds like “lane”.
3 WRITER’S BLOCK – which, for Spooner, would sound like “blighter’s rock”. “Blighter” is a term of playful abuse (“you little blighter”) meaning the same as beggar or scamp, and “rock” is a type of opera (like soap, or space). And John Gay wrote The Beggar’s Opera.
4 DEMI(TAS)SE – a small cup for, or of, (usually) black coffee.
5 W,(RISE)* – WISER
7 BROW,NB,READ – NB is “nota bene”, Latin for “note well” or “take notice”, so “that’s important” might be another way of saying that. BROWN BREAD is Cockney rhyming slang for “dead”.
8 DEAD RINGER – which is how you might describe Quasimodo and means “double” but why does the clue say “having done his last”?
11 SPRING GREENS
13 PERSE,PH ONE – on the Ph scale, ONE is very acidic but I can’t explain where PERSE comes from.
14 S(AFAR,I)PARK
17 LOR(ROD BY)*N – LORD BYRON.
21 A,TOLL
22 SN,GO (going up) – SNOG. Excellent clue – Sn is the chemical symbol for “tin” and definition is well-disguised.
23 WHIT – double definition.

13 Responses to “Independent 6877/Nimrod”

  1. Andrew says:

    26ac – “Reach for (th)E SKY”
    1ac – maybe the “small numbers” refers to wanting to “putt out” in a low number of shots, so the whole clue is just a cd?

  2. beermagnet says:

    26A “Reach for the sky” is the biography and film about Douglas Bader, and I suggest the phrase is now very well known. So ESKY it is from [th]E SKY.

    13D PERSE is PER SE i.e. “essentially”

  3. conradcork says:

    19 is a DD. Grace as in become and the great WG.

    8 if he is dead he has done his last. Question mark means a little latitude is permitted.

  4. Richard says:

    12ac I don’t have the full clue to hand, but I can help with “sear”. “Dear” is usually the first word in a letter (as in Dear Sir), so is “letter opener”.

  5. Richard says:

    I meant “dear”, of course [lousy typing]

  6. Al Streatfield says:

    Haven’t got any dictionaries to hand. Is ESKY which I hadn’t heard of in any of them?

  7. Geoff Moss says:

    Al
    ‘Esky’ is in Chambers and Collins but not COED.

  8. Testy says:

    I’ve heard of ESKY but I think that it is a bit of a down-under-ism.

  9. petero says:

    26A: Douglas Bader seems irrelevant – think stagecoaches. ESKY must be short for eskimo.

  10. Andrew says:

    I thought the Bader link was air raids, but now you mention it I can see the cowboy connection too.

  11. SteveM says:

    12ac: A businessman’s secretary opens letters, as does a blade and (as already noted in comment 4) the word ‘dear’

  12. Richard Palmer says:

    7D I can’t see how “leading” can be justified. Surely it should be “following”. The wordplay as it stands leads to NBREADBROW.

    I couldn’t finish this and a lot of the answers I did get were pencilled in with question marks. Thanks to the above I can understand most of it now.

  13. eimi says:

    I can see an argument for both – the letters could be the first part entered in the light, or leading could be taken as ‘ahead of’ in that they are further into the light. It’s like when I suggest that someone parks ‘just in front of that car’ and they park what I consider to be behind it.

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