Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6,919 by Nimrod

Posted by Simon Harris on December 18th, 2008

Simon Harris.

*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed, hom=homophone

Fairly typical Nimrod, I think. Unconventional in places, with a few tenuous ones and a couple that I’ll need you to explain to me. There’s a theme in the across answers, as pointed out by 4/19, which leads to the whole thing feeling a little forced.

Across
8 COPENHAGEN – COPE + NN “about” H + AGE.
9 DATE – straightforward dd.
11 BARRAGE – BAR + RAGE. As opposed to road rage.
13 N. DAKOTA – (OK + AND)* + TA. Using “pants” to signify an anagram is new to me, to say the least.
14 GRAPPA – G + hom. of “wrapper”. A remarkably unpalatable, unaged brandy made from byproducts of the wine-making process.
16 GENDARME – GEN on ARMED*.
22 SCRAG-END – CRAG in SEND. “Entrance” in the “bewitch” sense.
24 ADAGIO – A GI in ADO.
25 MUTAGEN – AUGMENT*.
27 DANSEUR – ASUNDER*. Some inventive anagrams today.
29 SHAG – [-gei]SHA G[-irls].
30 ENDANGERED – END + ANGERED.
Down
1 ICE BAGS – (BIG + CASE)*.
2 APPROACH – PRO in (A + CHAP)*.
3 ANNA – [-afric]AN NA[-tion]. The “Asian species” reference is lost on me. There’s an Asian elephant named Anna at Whipsnade Zoo, but I suspect Nimrod isn’t referring to her.
4/19 HAVE A HIDDEN AGENDA – i.e the word “agenda” is hidden six times in the across answers.
5 VEIN – [-ca]VE IN.
6 LABOUR – ABOU separating L and R. Presumably this is ABOU[-t], but unless that’s a more common abbreviation than I’m aware of, this doesn’t really work for me.
7 BEWARE – WAR in BEE. “Cave” as in cave canem.
10 BALDHEAD – A Spoonerism for “hauled bed”. “Dis-tressed” for “bald” is quite clever.
12 GOA – is this GOA[-d]?.
15 PEDAGOGY – PE + GOG in DAY. That’s Gog of Gog and Magog fame.
17 ELAN – ELAN[-d], but also LEAN*, “dash” being the definition.
18 LEAN – “tend towards” is the definition, David Lean must be the director in question.
20 DOGBERRY – Dogberry being the police officer in Much Ado About Nothing who was indeed rather muddled.
21 JOYRIDE – JO (Junior Officer) + Y + RID + E. “E” for “road” seems optimistic, but may be a reference to the E-road network.
22 SAMOSA – Amos is a book of the Old Testament, but I’m not sure where the S and A come in.
23 RATBAG – A bag for rats.
24 AGA – AG[-end]A.
26 NINA – [-hidde]N IN A[-crosses].
27 DEAL – anyone?
28 NO-GO – NOG + O.

21 Responses to “Independent 6,919 by Nimrod”

  1. C.G. Rishikesh says:

    12dn The annotation is all right.

  2. C.G. Rishikesh says:

    In 3dn the reference must be to the old Indian/Asian coin ‘anna’. “Specie” is coined money. “In specie” means ‘in coin’ or ‘in kind’.

  3. C.G. Rishikesh says:

    In 6dn ‘details’ (meant to be read as de-tails) indicates docking t from ‘about’.

  4. C.G. Rishikesh says:

    In 22a, the container SA is from ‘it’ (also Sex Appeal).

  5. C. G. Rishikesh says:

    I think 21d is JO(Y,RID)E where Joe is prob. from GI Joe. “on the road to” may be connector.

    I am unable to explain DEAL.

    I may be pardoned for flurry of messages.

  6. Fletch says:

    27d: Is it something to do with the telly programme Deal or No Deal?

  7. SimonHarris says:

    Thanks everyone. Fletch – I think you’re right.

    Oddly, I feel no sense of shame in having revealed my lack of knowledge of daytime TV!

  8. Eileen says:

    Re 27dn: I think there’s also a reference to Deal, the resort in Kent.

  9. nmsindy says:

    In GOA, I think charge may be ‘go at’. RATBAG also means a despicable person and I thought that was a great clue. Took me a while to see the theme and then solving was easier. I thought it was a very good and imaginative idea which made for an excellent puzzle.

  10. nmsindy says:

    PS In 30 across, I think ‘seeing red’ may be ANGERED.

  11. Michael Hornsby says:

    I agree with SimonHarris in finding the use of “pants” as an anagrind in 13 ac inexplicable. I hit on N DAKOTA fairly quickly as the probable answer but hesitated to enter it because I could see no anagram indicator. Can anyone else throw light on this?

  12. nmsindy says:

    I guessed straight away Nimrod was using ‘pants’ as an anagram indicator. It’s defined as meaning nonsense etc which, if it were in adjectival form, would maybe be seen as OK by most setters so it’s just a short further step perhaps.

    But not expecting to see it in the next AZED puzzle…

  13. NealH says:

    In modern lingo, pants is used to mean bad e.g. “The show was pants !” I think that is the sense in which it is being used here.

  14. SimonHarris says:

    Indeed – I wouldn’t say I found it “inexplicable”, just unconventional.

  15. Paul B says:

    Nounal anagrinds okay in Indy, but this would be adjectival as in Collins sense 2, ‘inferior’. And of course, that is where the problem (for ‘grind connoisseurs) might lie …

  16. Ali says:

    Wish I wasn’t so busy at work as to be able to do only the puzzles I’m blogging, as this one looks like a good ‘un and I think the theme is fantastic. There’s very rarely a Nimrod puzzle in which every clue makes sense to me, but I envy his style, and I think ‘pants’ is a very oblique – and therefore excellent – anagrind.

  17. Testy says:

    Virgilius did the “hidden agendas” theme a while back (Indy 6390).

  18. Al Streatfield says:

    Testy’s right. Not only did Virgilius have the same theme, but also, as confirmed by the blog, two of the same words, COPENHAGEN and ENDANGERED. The blog is incomplete but, from memory, SCRAG END and GENDARME also appeared. Er…

  19. Nimrod says:

    Well, well! I honestly wasn’t aware of the Virgilius puzzle. Any similarity is thus entirely coincidental. Great minds, eh?

  20. Al Streatfield says:

    I won’t remind Nimrod of the second part of this saying…

    It seems pretty strange that the editor wasn’t aware of the first puzzle.

  21. William F P says:

    Come on guys. The ‘hidden agenda’ idea is a an obvious conceit for a puzzle, so not surprisingly used by more than one cryptocruciverbofabricator! Having opted for the theme, the words common to both compilers’ crosswords also come as no surprise, as they contain subsets of A-G-E-N-D-A.
    I am completely satisfied that there is no plagiarism here.
    Keep on loving, folks!

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