Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6970 by Nimrod

Posted by nmsindy on February 17th, 2009


I found this very hard, but got there in the end, solving time, 63 mins. There are a few that I do not fully understand, though.

* = anagram < = reversed


1 GOING CONCERN This was the easiest of the four perimeter entries.

8 H (ERB) ALS This was my last entry – central letters of Derby and simple = herb

9 HANDS UP Position of the hands in an analog watch at midnight

11 JUNIPER “Auditor’s catching Fagin with Oliver in a bush?” bush is definition, but wordplay not understood.

12 EQU (ATE) S Very tricky ate = bit for u in the “horse” play “Equus” with mean = average or the same

13 REEST Double definitions, both Scottish, so learned something new to-day.


18 IGUANA DON No! It’s IGUANODON  see note below Quixote = IoS setter, Don Manley, well-known as author of Chambers Crossword Manual

iguana = “One dropping from a great height”, it seems, reference not understood

It’s I GUANO DON as explained by Richard Palmer below – many thanks to him.

19 C LING One of the very few I solved first time round.


23 UNCOVER cf Undercover which contains red<

24 TIER (CE) L L = 50 in Roman numerals

25 BE (RR I.E) D Rolls Royce 11 = JUNIPER

26 CR EDIT CR ‘UNCH I think the CR here = cr = carriage return from typing of old which I think I remember seeing Nimrod use in the past.


1 GI (R ON) DE

2 IN A SPOT Definition “not well placed” but don’t understand the rest “The matter is often not well placed”

3 GAS(TROP)OD “Maybe slug Maradona, when left back’s infield” Definition “Maybe slug” the left back may be (port)< but do not see the rest, thought Diego might be in there somewhere, but, while some of the letters are in common, it’s not quite the same.

4 OCH (R) E Oche = Line in darts

5 CENSURE “Condemn being smoked?” condemn = censure but do not see the rest.

6 RIS OTT O Sir< Seamless join at duck/dish

7 THE JURY IS OUT I think the seamless join here is between One/Court, giving (they just our 1 = i)*.

This was the last of the perimeter entries I got.

10 PASSING TRADE A cryptic definition, I think.

15 PIN N (UM B) ER Pinner is in/near Harrow in London, I think. Strictly speaking, though it’s in common use, this is a tautological expression as number appears twice.

17 UNCLEAR Doubt – and I’d a great doubt whether it was nuclear or unclear before IGUANODON resolved it. Appropriate organisation = UN, I guess, turning heads = nu.

18 NUANCED (Nude can)*

19 COCHRAN Old enough to remember all that, this refers I think to Eddie Cochran’s hit “Three Steps to Heaven” i.e. ascendant. Don’t understand the rest apart from hr = hour “3-step ascendant officer has 60 minutes locked up?”

20 INVEIG H (give in)* last letter of British definition = rail

22 DELF T fled<

23 Responses to “Independent 6970 by Nimrod”

  1. Peter says:

    11ac Is it “Jew, Nipper” ?

  2. C.G. Rishikesh says:

    11ac: homophone of Jew and père?

  3. Paul B says:

    ‘Dropping from a great height’ is guano.

  4. Peter says:

    3dn Maradona = God (Hand of God)
    When = as

  5. C.G. Rishikesh says:

    Sorry! I was off the mark, I think.

  6. Al Streatfield says:

    I didn’t like some (many) of the surface readings because they didn’t seem to make very good sense.

    An example of one I didn’t like is:

    20 dn: Nuts give in at the end of British Rail

    (Answer: INVEIGH)

    (The cryptic reading is perfectly OK)

  7. Colin Blackburn says:

    CO C[HR]AN
    CO = officer
    locked up means in the CAN !

  8. C.G. Rishikesh says:


    You mean an example you did like?

  9. beermagnet says:

    8A I think the artist is Franz HALS and thus the def. for HERBALS is “simple literature?”

  10. C.G. Rishikesh says:

    5ac: homophone of ‘censer’?

  11. Richard Palmer says:

    18 is iguanOdon not iguanAdon. The definition ‘dropping from a great height’ for GUANO is spot on.

    2 down – ‘matter’ is the pus often found in a spot. Sound enough if not in the best of taste.

  12. C.G. Rishikesh says:

    Re 3dn:

    Rev of as (when),port (left) in God? God because Maradona was deified?

  13. C.G. Rishikesh says:

    Rather as (when), trop (reversal of port) in god

  14. Peter says:

    “God” because of the “Hand of God” goal he scored against England in the 1986 World Cup –

  15. Mick h says:

    Some great clues here – I loved the groan-inducing homonym at 11ac (spelt out by Peter above) and ‘Hands up’.
    Re 18, surely the Cervantes novel is enough to make Quixote = Don, without bringing in our esteemeed setter!

  16. Al Streatfield says:

    Re. 10:

    Why should I say an “example I did like” when I mean an example I didn’t like?

    What’s to like about the surface reading?

    To refresh your memories, the clue is:

    “Nuts give in at the end of British Rail”.

    Who, or what, are the nuts, and why should they “give in at the end of British Rail”?

    The only remotely clever thing about the clue is the ambiguity of “rail” meaning “inveigh” as well as “railway”. “Nuts” is an OK anagram indicator, but not a particularly inspiring one.

  17. Al Streatfield says:

    Sorry, I meant: “Re.8″ not “Re.10″

  18. nmsindy says:

    Good point Mick H at 15 above re Quixote, maybe it’s all the Quixote blogs I write on every Sunday’s IoS puzzle that led to that!

  19. NealH says:

    I thought “passing trade” could just as easily have been “roaring trade”.

  20. Quixote says:

    I can think of one or two people who would like to see me get dumped on by birds. Unusually I found this Nimrod quite easy, almost suitable for inclusion as a daily puzzle for normal ‘everyperson’ solvers :)

  21. Allan_C says:

    In 8a herb = simple. I don’t get that, but I’ll take your word for it. But how does literature come in to it?

  22. nmsindy says:

    Dicts in general give simple = herbaceous or medicinal plant and I’ve seen the equivalence often in puzzles.

  23. Allan_C says:

    Thanks, Nmsindy. And I’ve got the literature bit now – a herbal can be a book about herbs or with herbal recipes.

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