Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6,907/Nimrod

Posted by Ali on December 4th, 2008


Pretty much everything you could want from Nimrod here – his unique style, pretty tough overall, some lovely clues and some which I’ll need fellow solvers to explain. I do admire the way he seems to fit so many long answers in to his grids.


1/12 CONTEMPLATE ONES NAVEL – CON,TEMPLATE,(LOVE,ANNE,S)* – Bit of a mouthful and the NAVEL bit took me a while, but nice to open up the top part of the grid
9 BY RIGHTS – Not too sure on this one. I presume that ‘twice on the air’ might give BY, but can’t put the rest together
10 OUTLAW – U in WALTO[-n] rev.
11 EPISTEMOLOGICAL – (GLOOMIEST PLACE I)* – Obviously an anagram clue, but not the easiest word in the world to get
14 SEVENTEEN – EVENT in SEEN – Nice clue, with ‘just in the minority’ a great definition
16 DARTBOARD – DART,BOARD – Have to confess that this one beat me and I had to look it up online as my final entry. Which is all the more galling as it’s a very nice clue!
19/26 GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT – Classic Nimrod. Took me a while as I stupidly kept thinking of SCORE for 144 rather than GROSS. ‘Couple in Row’ for DOMESTIC is very nice
22 POLICE CONSTABLE – OP rev.,LICE,CONS,TABLE – ‘work over unwanted invaders’ for POLICE is lovely, but ‘Bobby’ as the definition gave this one away really  
3 TRIES – Seems to be some reference to rugby, but not sure on the wordplay
6 TWOSOMES – MO,SO in SET all rev.
15 LOVE NEST – Not sure if I’m missing some &lit part here or if it’s just a cryptic definition?
18 RHOMBIC – Must be MB in (CHOIR)*, but what does MB mean here?
21 ASHLAR – ASH,LAR[-ch]
23 ACRID – CR in AID


I have no idea why the word ‘definition’ is randomly appearing at the top of this post by the way, but it won’t go away!

18 Responses to “Independent 6,907/Nimrod”

  1. Geoff Moss says:

    18d MB is an abbreviation for ‘Mark of the Beast’ and ‘666’ is similar.

    3d The answer given online is TWINS which is given by T (times) WINS (three points gained for a win in football). Definition ‘sign’ (Gemini).

    15d The online answer is LOVE SEAT and a ‘settle’ is a ‘seat’.

  2. neildubya says:

    Deleted the rogue “definition” for you.

  3. nmsindy says:

    I liked LISSOME a lot.

  4. Geoff Moss says:

    3d with hindsight I’m changing this to WIN (three points in league) in TS (times).

    9a I agree with your homophone of ‘bi’. This could be followed by RIGHT (= genuine = original) but then there is the ‘S’. No problem if the clue read ‘is’ rather than ‘was’ but as it stands I don’t see the source.

  5. Testy says:

    I’ve never come across T for “times” before, I’ve only ever seen “time”.
    The grid has less than 50% checking (especially with the two long ones) without a(n) (arguably) justifying Nina as far as I can tell.
    What was the surface of 1/12 all about?? Why would a setter deliberately put such a difficult phrase in unless they had a fantastic clue for it?
    Just how many people know MB stands for “Mark of the Beast”? It certainly makes me think twice about playing Mouse Trap again!
    And is anyone any the wiser about 9A?

  6. C.G. Rishikesh says:

    When you want to reprint an original (say, book) you obtain the rights for it. When you reprint it and thus ‘sustain’ the old publication, you do so “BY RIGHTS”.


  7. mhl says:

    13d: Is “Wanting to mess about?” the longest anagrind ever? Great surface reading, though…

  8. Geoff Moss says:

    If your interpretation is correct, and I’m not saying it isn’t, wouldn’t this lead to two homophones, BUY RIGHTS and BY RIGHTS?

    The ‘twice on the air’ could indicate this, rather than a homophone of ‘bi’, and the definition would be ‘legally’.

  9. Al Streatfield says:

    Don’t like TWINS for sign.

    If somebody asks you what sign you are, you don’t say “twins”, you say “Gemini” etc…

  10. C.G. Rishikesh says:

    Let’s take ‘How an original was sustained legally’ to be the def. for phrase reqd. Thus BY RIGHTS.

    As for the two homophones (‘twice on the air’):

    Could they be ‘buy rights’ and ‘by wrights’ (carpenters or joiners, in which case the original could be an antique furniture)

    But I realise that if all this has to make sense, the clue must probably have ‘is’ rather than ‘was’.

    Let me hit the sack before tying myself up in knots…


  11. Testy says:

    Given that some of the finest cruciverbal minds have failed to come up with a reasonable explanation for 9A by now, I guess it must either be, at best, an overly abstruse clue or, at worst, a dud one.

  12. eimi says:

    Nimrod abstruse? Surely not 😉

    I read this as ‘on the air’ doing double duty as both the homophone indicator and the sustaining medium, with the cryptic part of the clue relating to old Orville and Wilbur Wright, and the definition simply ‘legally’

  13. Testy says:

    Thanks Eimi for the explanation. Unfortunately I still can’t justify the logic behind it or how anyone could be expected to make that leap of judgement.

  14. nmsindy says:

    Thanks for the explanation, Eimi. I studied that clue for a long time after getting the answer and that aspect never occurred, but it can be just about justified when you look at it.

  15. NealH says:

    I still don’t really understand the “gross domestic product”, apart from the gross bit being 144. Why exactly is “couple in row” = domestic ? Also, the explanation for twosomes doesn’t look complete, since it doesn’t explain where the “w” comes from.

  16. rayfolwell says:

    “Domestic” is (police) slang for a domestic argument I think. At least I’ve heard it in various TV series.
    Chambers gives that usage.

  17. Geoff Moss says:

    Domestic is a (police) term for a domestic argument or ‘row (between couples)’.

    Twosomes – MO (flash, a short period of time) SOW (spread) in SET (ready) all reversed.

  18. Ali says:

    Thanks all for the corrections and help. Good to see I wasn’t alone in not fully understanding some answers too!

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