Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6,954 by Nimrod

Posted by Simon Harris on January 29th, 2009

Simon Harris.

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

Another Nimrod which I found to be heavy going. Perhaps if I were at liberty to spend a lazy afternoon lingering over Nimrod’s puzzles I might enjoy them more.

There briefly looked as though there was going to be a “periodic table” theme, but that didn’t come to pass. There are also a few references to Greek mythology (e.g. Argus, Electra, Helios/Helium). As usual, there are a couple (in particular 9/10 and 3) where readers’ insights into the wordplay will be most welcome.

Across
1 ASH-HEAP – (H + He) “dumped in” ASAP.
5 REBECCA – RE + hom. of (Boris) “Becker”.
9/10 GLUTEUS MAXIMUS – I almost see where the wordplay is going, but I haven’t nailed it yet.
11 SPINAL TAP – If it taps your spine, it knocks your back! Also a reference to the legendary Spinal Tap, of course.
12 AGAIN – NIAGA[-ra]<.
13 ARGUS – ARGU[-e]S.
15 KNIFE EDGE – KEG* “containing” N + I + FEED. “Powder” makes for an interesting anagrind.
17 CUPBOARDS – CUPIDS with I “sacrificed for” BOAR.
19 ADMIX – (MAD + XI)*.
22 STOAT – S TO A T.
23 PUFF ADDER – ADD “into” PUFFER.
25/26 ELECTRA COMPLEX – (EXPECT ME OR CALL)*.
27 NOTEPAD – PET< in NO AD.
28 ORRISES – OR + RISES.
Down
1 AUGUSTA – AUGUST + A.
2/18 HOUSING PROJECT – cd. Unless I’m missing something, the seemingly superfluous “detailed” weakens an otherwise excellent clue.
3 ENEMA – again, I’m foxed by the wordplay.
4 PISS-TAKER – SIP< on STAKER.
5 REMAP – Once you have 12 this become “Plot again”. REP “to keep” AM<?
6 BOX CAMERA – NEAT (ox) in MACABRE*.
7/20 COMMAND MODULES – (CANDLE + MUMS MOOD)*.
8 ABSENCE – presumably this is (AN + CE) “to contain” BSE.
14 SHORTSTOP – SHORTS + TOP, and a fielding position in cricket baseball.
16 IPSO FACTO – SOFA “broaching” TOPIC*.
17 CISTERN – IC< + STERN.
21 XEROXES – O in XERXES.
23 PLAID – PAID “trimming” L.
24 AIMER – the French verb “to like” being Aimer, of course.

16 Responses to “Independent 6,954 by Nimrod”

  1. C.G. Rishikesh says:

    I am tying myself up in trying to see wordplay in GLUTEUS MAXIMUS.

    GLUM (gloomy), MA (mum)contained in cha of TEUS (rev. of suet [fat] and XI (side) …

    So far so good.

  2. Eileen says:

    Hi Rishi

    That’s exactly how far I’ve got!

  3. C.G. Rishikesh says:

    The above seems to work fine except that the last two letters US are yet to be accounted for.

  4. C.G. Rishikesh says:

    Suppose we think that US is Uncle Sam, man!

  5. C.G. Rishikesh says:

    The def is just muscle, forgetting the gluteal area!

  6. Geoff Moss says:

    3d how about – ENEMY (time) with A (one) overlaying the Y (end of allergy)?

  7. Geoff Moss says:

    9/10a Rishi, are right in your original post but I don’t think your comment #4 is realistic. Try man = human race = us.

  8. C.G. Rishikesh says:

    Thanks, Geoff.

  9. nmsindy says:

    Two minor points – in 5 down (REMAP), it’s a hidden reversal, I think. In ADMIX (19 across) I thought it was (MAD)* then XI reversed (‘reversing order)

  10. Anon says:

    I tried this crossword for the frist time ever. I’m not the greatest of solvers -on a reasonable day I might get 3/4 of the Telegraph out and 1/2 the Times & Guardian (I don’t try all 3 on the same day!). After 30 mins I only had 11a and 19a. I didn’t think 11a was a good clue as many many not have heard of the group. I did guess 4 down but thought that it couldn’t possibly appear in a national. How hard was today’s compared to other Indies, please?

  11. Simon Harris says:

    Welcome, Anon. I think it’s fair to say this was pretty hard for an Independent. Nimrod has a very distinct style which isn’t always to everyone’s taste. I think 4dn wouldn’t ever appear in the Times, but the Indy seems to be a shade more open-minded!

  12. nmsindy says:

    Yes, Anon, this was harder than the Indy usually is – an annual review of the year giving the average solving time for the various setters by this particular blogger may be found on 31/12/2008. Nimrod is among the harder setters. My time today was 38 mins.

  13. Duggie says:

    When did you last hear Test Match Special mention ‘short stop’? This puzzle was tough enough without baseball terms creeping in.

  14. nmsindy says:

    The only place I’ve ever seen ‘shortstop’ is in a crossword – I remembered it.

  15. Simon Harris says:

    My mistake, Duggie. I assumed it to be a cricket position, but I claim to know very little about either sport!

  16. Allan_C says:

    I eventually got gluteus maximus from some of the checking letters and can see all the elements of the wordplay, but don’t quite see how the clue indicates that they fit together.

    But thanks Geoff for the explanation of 3d – that was another one that I didn’t understand.

    I thought 14d should have been (5-4) rather than (9); it’s hyphenated in Chambers.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


2 + one =