Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6,943 by Nimrod

Posted by Simon Harris on January 16th, 2009

Simon Harris.

*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed, hom=homophone, cd=cryptic definition, dd=double definition.

I can’t pretend that Nimrod is my favourite setter. Here, once again, the clueing tends towards brilliance, but becomes gimmicky in places, and then leaves an aftertaste of “you what?”. So there’s a few for the assembled to work through, as always.

Across
6 PINCHER MARTIN – IN + CHER + M “gripped by” PART IN. A novel by William Golding.
8/26 NAMESAKE – NAME + SAKE, as in the unpalatable Japanese beverage. This seems really clumsy to me.
9 PRAYER RUGS – pedestrian cd.
11 RNA – [-ca]RNA[-ge]. There is a type of RNA named Messenger RNA.
12 WHYS – hom. of “wise”.
13 HELICOPTER – (THE POLICE)* + R.
16 USUALLY – US + U + ALLY.
17 IMPORTS – I + PORT in MS.
19 TELESCOPIC – (CLOT + PIECES)*.
21 RUHR – RR “controlling” UH, as in “uh?”.
22 SUE – US< + E.
23 ADOLESCENT – ASCENT “to accept” DOLE.
27 FUNNY BUSINESS – I see a dd., but I’m left with “one of some dodgy smackers” left over, which I can’t explain away.
Down
1 INTERSTATE – INTER (as in “bury”) + STATE
2 SHOPAHOLIC – SIC “describes” HOP + A HOL.
3 BROADLY – (BY A LORD)*.
4 PACE – ACE “after” P? Again, I have words left over.
5/24 STIRLING – STIR + LING. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t want to be told it’s an (8) when it’s actually two (4)s.
6 PEACHES GELDOF – (EDGES OF CHAPEL)*. Raised a smile.
7 NO GREAT SHAKES – presumably a dd. but the 0.5 seems awfully specific, so I wonder if I’m missing something.
10 RIO – more popular culture. I’m only just old enough to remember Duran Duran, of course.
14 COMIC STRIP – (CRITICS MOP)*.
15 PROGRESSED – where does “howler” fit in?
18 SPEED UP – DEE< in PUPS<. Once you have 27, the wordplay for DEE< is “Jack in funny business”. Your mileage may vary.
20 SEE – as in “holy see”.
25 SOYA – ASYO[-u]*.

24 Responses to “Independent 6,943 by Nimrod”

  1. Eileen says:

    Shouldn’t the clue for 4dn read ‘respectfully’, not ‘respectably’? ['pace' = 'with due deference to']

  2. Paul B says:

    PACE is a three-way clue AFAICS: ‘respectably taking leave of’ (accurate or no) plus ACE after P, and a second definition, ‘walk’.

    0.5 on the Richter would hardly exercise the seismologist’s needle, so no great quake.

    I’m currently eluded by the ‘smackers’ aspect.

  3. Geoff Moss says:

    27a FUNNY (dodgy) SINE (function, in Maths) in BUSS (smacker, kiss)

  4. Paul B says:

    I don’t mind the odd ‘archaic dialect word’ Geoff – do you?

    Odd clue that one: definition + SI (with ‘dodgy’ not particularly far from the required meaning AFAICS), then a partial def or allusion seeking to profit from some of the wordplay. While we’re at it, I’m not quite sure about 14dn either – ‘As if, perhaps, here critics mop up?’: I see the anagram (obvious) but … eh?

    Decent grid though, which helped as under more restrictive circumstances my personal CPU would need substantially more RAM for this kind of thing. But would the world be quite the same place without Nimrod?

  5. Geoff Moss says:

    Paul
    “I don’t mind the odd ‘archaic dialect word’ Geoff – do you?”

    Not at all, but there again this is not surprising as my preferred puzzles are Azed, Mephisto and the other barred-grid ones.

    Oddly, unlike Collins and COED, Chambers does not give ‘buss’ as being archaic.

    Sorry, I can’t help with 14d as it doesn’t make much sense to me either.

  6. Paul B says:

    I’ve been doing a bit of research, and apparently some people didn’t like the Comic Strip TV stuff. Spike Milligan for example (‘Adrian Edmonson is putrid/ the arsehole of British comedy’), and Dennis Skinner (found fault with the Miners’ Strike episode, for obvious reasons).

    On the other hand, Jim Bowen hated it too. But did it really provide such a field day for the critics?

  7. Geoff Moss says:

    Well, Paul, you got further than I would have done because I have never heard of the programme to which you refer.

  8. Eileen says:

    I thought you meant 15dn at comment 5, Geoff, as that’s the one Simon was querying.

    I think it’s R[ight] [O.G. - own goal {back's howler}] inside PRESSED [with urge].

  9. Dave says:

    Re. 14dn: I read “as if” as referring to the distinctly unamusing comic strip of the same name which occasionally appears in the Indy. In an unconnected piece of news, As If cartoonist Sally Ann Lasson is married to Indy MD Simon Kelner. Just saying.

  10. Geoff Moss says:

    Eileen
    No, I meant 14d as I was responding to Paul’s query about it. I hadn’t even noticed that there was a query in the original blog regarding 15d.

  11. Geoff Moss says:

    Thanks Dave. It obviously helps if one reads the paper rather than just doing the crossword on-line!

  12. Al Streatfield says:

    Why is RNA in a crossword, since it is neither a word nor a compound word, phrase etc? (It’s also pretty obscure, unlike DNA, for instance)

  13. Paul B says:

    Ditto 11!

  14. Allan_C says:

    14d: (CRITICS MOP)* ‘As if’ – example of a comic strip, ‘here’, i.e. in the Indy – but ‘up’ is not immediately obvious as an anagram indicator.
    I don’t understand ‘howler’ in 15d either.
    And I’m not quite sure about 11a being a (3) – but I suppose (1,1,1) would give it away too easily as an abbreviation. I’m quite happy though with 8/26 and 5/24 being (8) – in both cases it’s the length of the answer regardless of the fact that it can be split into two distinct words

  15. Eileen says:

    Allan: didn’t you like my ‘explanation’ of ‘howler’? [comment 8]

  16. Allan_C says:

    Sorry, Eileen, got it now. I was still thinking of howlers of the schoolboy type.

  17. Al Streatfield says:

    Re. Paul B’s comments:

    “Ditto 11″. I thought I was referring to 11- is there another dodgy three-letter acronym?

    Didn’t understand his comments about the grid. CPU? RAM?

  18. Geoff Moss says:

    Al
    I think Paul’s “ditto” was simply a means of indicating that he agrees with your comment about 11a.

    His ‘personal CPU’ and ‘RAM’ is simply a cryptic way of referring to his brain.

  19. beermagnet says:

    I suspect Paul B’s “ditto 11″ referred to comment 11, rather than clue 11, meaning he agreed with you Geoff that “it helps if you read the paper, not just do the crossword online” in the light of that “as if” reference and the amount of research Paul did trying to explain it.
    Though the fact that 11 was the RNA answer makes it confusing.
    I thought the RNA answer fine of course.
    I’ll get my smelly old lab coat.

  20. davey b says:

    Can someone please explain 10 down “Noted dancer on sand in SA City” I get RIO the city, but as for the rest?

  21. Geoff Moss says:

    Davey
    In his blog, Simon has indicated a connection to Duran Duran. If you google this name, along with ‘Rio’ you will find, as I have just done, that “Her name is Rio and she dances on the sand” is a line in a song entitled Rio by the group Duran Duran.

  22. davey b says:

    Thanks Geoff
    I think this type of clue is more appropriate to a quizword rather than a crossword!

  23. Paul B says:

    Thanks Beermagnet – that’s right. I do agree with Geoff, but not with Al, as RNA is listed as a noun (and not as an abbreviation) in Collins.

  24. Al Streatfield says:

    I’m not familiar with Collins but it seems a pretty strange system of categorisation…

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