Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6895 by Nimrod

Posted by nmsindy on November 20th, 2008


This was tough as Nimrod usually is, but I got there in the end.    There is a Nina (hidden message) which helped me from reasonably early on – I refer to it after the clue explanations.   Solving time: 40 mins, one or two I do not fully understand but I verified the answers on the Indy site.

* = anagram    < = reversal



9 INNER TUBE  (from a  bicycle)

10 UP WARD    I thought this was very good, for a long time though there would be an S there.

11 ODD MEN TS (T-Shirts)


14 I (RA) Q

16 B (AR C) ODE    Very good definition “The black and white of sales”

17 B (I RD( FL) U    fl = flourished   BU (tough I’d say if you did not know French  – past participle of the French verb ‘to drink’)

20 LEND(l)   On a recent blog I queried ‘in debt’ = ‘bankrupt’ but most seemed happy.   Here ‘lend’ seems to be’ borrow’ which to me has the reverse meaning but I may have missed this entirely  “Borrow entails tennis player dropping first of lobs”

22 LICENTIATE   (title Caine)*

23 ESP(O US)AL   lapse<

25 CA (T E) NA   Scene of miracle in New Testament, turning water into wine, so drink can’t be wholly bad.

26 REAR RANGE    This was very good

27 LEEK   I think it’s “leak”



2 RIND   Hidden

3 IN N (OW) AY

4 GRADUATION  (to guardian)*

5 HUM  ERI   Ire<

6 TENT  “Keep open medics’ wine”   Tent is the wine but I don’t understand the rest.

8 EXPURGATE   Cryptic definiton


15 ALL AT ON (C) E


19 SC (AL Gore) ENE    A triangle of which all three sides are different lengths

21 DEODAR   (or dead)*

24 SERB  Hidden

25 CHE  Z  (from French – at the home of)  Izzard is an old dialect form of the letter Z

Theme/NIna   two phrases BRIGHT and BREEZY and BUBBLE and SQUEAK shown in the perimeter letters.

7 Responses to “Independent 6895 by Nimrod”

  1. Geoff Moss says:

    6d ‘to tent’ is a medical term for ‘to dilate or keep open with a tent’.

    A ‘tent’ is a ‘plug or roll of soft material for dilating a wound or keeping open an orifice’.

  2. Mick h says:

    I don’t know whether this is recognised as part of any dialect in dictionaries or is just plain wrong, but ‘borrow’ and ‘lend’ are often used interchangeably – when I was growing up in north London a lot of people would say ‘can you borrow me 50p’ or ‘can I lend ten pence off of you’.
    Thanks for explaining Izzard – the other one I had a query against was 15dn: ‘says sorry’ seems to lead to ‘atones’ rather than ‘atone’ – is it a typo or have I misread something?
    I saw the Nina right at the end, just in time to guess CATENA correctly! Good puzzle anyway, not quite as tough as some recent Nimrods, perhaps.

  3. Eileen says:

    Mick: Everyone says sorry = all atone

  4. Mick h says:

    Thanks Eileen – I guess I was guilty of overparsing!

  5. Testy says:

    I’m not in a good mood and thoroughly deserve my name today. It may be that this has meant that I’m misunderstanding things, but here goes…
    10A the wordplay seems woolly. “the Guardian” presumably does not indicate WARD so I guess it’s either “with the Guardian” that gives us ward (an adjectival phrase to define a noun) or perhaps it’s that “[one] travelling to London with the Guardian” might be an UP WARD????
    11A “that are left” another adjectival phrase to define a noun
    14A aren’t the RA just part of the army?
    17A “condition, after a flap?” is a rubbish definition even with the question mark (“condition of one getting in a flap” may have been better although the surface would have been marginally more nonsensical). “flourished” for FL is something I haven’t come across before (is it me or are the sorts of abbreviations and techniques normally reserved for the advanced cryptics creeping more and more into the dailies?). BU for “drunk French” requires a little too much foreign language knowledge for my taste.
    20A I had the same query re LEND = “Borrow” or perhaps it’s “Borrow entails” but that doesn’t seem much better!
    22A “in slapstick” as an anagrind?
    27A Does “go” = “leak”? Does he mean “go” in the urinate sense? I’ve only ever heard it used as to take/have/go for “a leak” rather than just “leak”
    6D “TENT” in the medical sense seems pretty obscure to me. Also the grammar seems wrong “Keep open medics’” should presumably be read as “Medics’ ‘keep open’”
    8D A weak cryptic definition that can only be pinned down once you’ve got checking letters.
    18D “the Independent for example” would have been better (or is that question mark doing the work here?)
    25D “Izzard” see comment above regarding advanced cryptics.

  6. nmsindy says:

    Re these points, I think the Nina forced harder words in, but, once it was spotted, solving gets easier e.g 3 checked letters in a four-letter answer. Also, I think the Indy does not lay down absolute standards with Nimrod seen as a setter who clues somewhat more loosely. Your examples illustrate that, I think. He’s also very hard, tho not the hardest, looking at solving times as a guide.

  7. Ali says:

    I only managed to finish this once I’d spotted the Nina, and doubt I’d have filled more than 50% of the left side of the grid if I hadn’t. I enjoyed it too, which means it probably was a bit easier than usual as I often end up falling short and cursing the man!

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