Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6924/Nimrod

Posted by John on December 24th, 2008

John.

Nimrod is undoubtedly very imaginative and some of the clues here are lovely, but there are, as I always find with this setter, one or two places where he seems to teeter on the edge of acceptability. The grid has only 22 clues, half of them with more unchecked letters than checked, and two of them simply 2 out of 5; some people (quite justifiably in my opinion) don’t like it when they have _E_E_ and there are hundreds of possibilities (178 actually, according to Word Matcher). 22 clues is about as small a number of clues as I’ve ever met in a 15×15 cryptic: Nimrod will probably take this as a challenge to provide even fewer.

Across
7 NINE V EH — nine versus eh? — good clue
8 L(EVER)ET
10 GLANDULAR FEVER — I think it’s (flu enlarged ar)*, but ‘parts essentially’ is either art or r but not ar; I suppose that it’s art with t{emperature} missing, but does ‘running’ really indicate this?
11 AS{s} SEVER(at 1 ON{e})S
13 EVENT HORIZONS — (Viz others None)*
16 SEVENTH HEAVEN — being on cloud nine is equivalent to being in seventh heaven, which explains the yes and no, but I’m not convinced by this and perhaps am missing something: ‘I’m very happy up here’ seems to be rather a loose definition of ‘seventh heaven’
20 NEVER-NEVER LAND — never never land
21 REV ERIE — Rev. W. Awdry of Thomas the Tank Engine fame
22 REVE(A)L R(A)Y
 
Down
1 DISGUSTED — dis-gusted, ‘Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells’
2 LE(GALES)E
3 BEADLE — a in (bleed)* — ‘over’ here is being used in a sense that you sometimes (and only ever?) see in crosswords
4 HE(N RY II)I
5 S(EVER)N — Sn is tin, and if ‘ever’ is tinned it’s put in tin — nice clue
6 L(EVE)R
9 ALL ABOUT EVE — ‘all’ about ‘eve’ is ‘al(eve)l’. Very pretty, but I don’t understand ‘group’. Isn’t ‘All About Eve’ merely a film?
12 ASCENDERS — (des res can)*
14 TR(E’EN)AIL
15 OXALATES — ox(a la)(set)rev.
17 ChildREN EVErywhere — hidden reversed
18 anotHER MESsage
19 LEVEE — 2 defs, the second one merely ‘quay’

8 Responses to “Independent 6924/Nimrod”

  1. SimonHarris says:

    Well blogged. I wish I had the patience to make it through a Nimrod.

    16. Same reservations as you.

    20. is an excellent clue, although Peter Pan might disagree with “Utopian”.

    12. “Fashionable” as an anagrind is…interesting.

    19. I can only see one of the defs (the one you mention, of course).

  2. nmsindy says:

    EVEry across answer and some downs contain EVE – hence ALL ABOUT EVE I guess – I think they are a band.

  3. nmsindy says:

    LEVEE is an early reception as well as a quay

  4. Colin Blackburn says:

    In this case _E_E_ had a limited number of opportunities, _EVE_. nmsindy is right, All About Eve is a band that took their name from the film.

    It helps if you remember that it is Christmas EVE at some point during the solving!

  5. Colin Blackburn says:

    Oh, just thought, nmsindy, you could have said:

    EVEry across answer and sEVEral downs contain EVE!

  6. Duggie says:

    The theme turned this fine puzzle into a superb one. I can’t believe that, even with all the eves, the date and the blinding central light, I didn’t spot it until reading this blog. Which just goes to show that, however obvious it is to some, a themed puzzle may be better served if there is some explicit reference somewhere among the clues. Any thoughts?

  7. nmsindy says:

    I’ve missed many a Nina, but this I saw fairly soon which certainly sped up solving. The less than 50% checking made me suspect something as well as the fact that Nimrod appeared on a Wednesday (usually Dac’s day – he was on Monday this week).

    Re explicit reference, Virgilius had that yesterday – I think variety is served by sometimes yes, sometimes no.

  8. John says:

    So obvious. I always miss these Ninas. It puts a whole new complexion on the puzzle and my grouses about only 22 clues and the lack of checking are well answered. The unusual Wednesday appearance should have alerted me.

    Only one tiny point: if it’s ‘all ABOUT Eve’ then ‘eve’ should be hidden inside when it’s hidden. But in EVENT HORIZONS it isn’t.

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