Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6974/Nestor (Prize puzzle 21-02-09)

Posted by neildubya on February 27th, 2009


Top-notch puzzle from Nestor which, annoyingly, I was unable to finish. I really should be able to get 3 as it’s only a short word but 6 is more of a mystery. Any enlightenment received with gratitude.

1 WAS,TIN,GAS,SET – new to me but quite gettable from the wordplay, once I’d decided that it wasn’t an anagram of “metal and fuel”.
9 (WOOL SIGH CEASED)* – WILD-GOOSE CHASE. A skein is a flock of wild geese in flight.
14 RUNG – “spoke” is a word for the rung of a ladder.
15 C(O,MEAT)ABLE – COME-AT-ABLE. More new stuff for me to learn here: in nautical terms, a CABLE is 200 yards (in this country anyway. In the US it’s 240 yards.
17 BROWN STUDY – this one I did know, but only from a previous puzzle I think.
18 hidden in “errORS Often” – excellent clue, with a great hidden indicator in “sampling”.
20 NOTELETS (reversed, with the final T swapped for K) – SKELETON. Another great clue, with very imaginative wordplay).
24 GEN,(LET)*,MA(NJ)IM – GENTLEMAN JIM. James John Corbett, world heavyweight boxing champion in 1890s. One of his fights ended in a draw after a staggering 61 rounds.
2 last letters of “faiR ladY elizA doolittlE yoU woulD” in (RYAEUD)* – AUDREY Hepburn.
3 T?O? – couldn’t get this one: “A Grand Day Out of stopmotion’s most often seen character”.
6 S?A?T?B?R?F?S? – haven’t the faintest idea what this might be although the wordplay must be (TRIBAL ARTS)*,FAST. I can’t even come up with a vaguely sensible word from that lot. Full clue: “Tribal art’s customised quickly for global designer”.
7 THEATREGOERS – don’t really understand this one either, but it looks like a cryptic def: “Are they concerned with run in closing of set pieces”.
10 GEN,REBUS,TING – Another excellent clue.
13 METRO,MTS,OP (all going up) – POST MORTEM.
16 I,N,FERN,AL[-l]
22 W(R)EN – WEN is an archaic word for a large (or overcrowded city), hence “olde London”. As WREN designed St Paul’s Cathedral, among a number of other buildings, that would make the clue an &lit.

13 Responses to “Independent 6974/Nestor (Prize puzzle 21-02-09)”

  1. Paul B says:

    Looks like THOU (a grand) (but I haven’t worked it out yet) and the other one is definitely SLARTIBARTFAST, of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fame.

  2. Allan_C says:

    Also totally foxed by 6d. My word finder gave up as soon as it reached ‘b’ and several searches on google using possibe starting combinations of letters plus wildcard revealed nothing either. Be interesting to see if there were any prizewinners come tomorrow!

  3. Chunter says:

    6d: Paul B – not quite. It’s SLARTYBARTFAST

  4. eimi says:

    According to Wikipedia (and the anagram fodder) it’s Hopefully there are some Douglas Adams fans out there.

  5. Geoff Moss says:

    3d Paul B is right. THOU – O (stopmotion’s most often seen character) in THU (day).

  6. neildubya says:

    Well, the Hitchhiker’s Guide is one of those books I’ve never quite got around to reading so it’s not surprising I didn’t get that. Thanks for explanations of 3d – excellent clue.

  7. Chunter says:

    3d I stand corrected!

  8. Richard Heald says:

    7 Dn is another & lit., the wordplay being RE (‘concerned with’) + GO (‘run’), all in T (‘closing of set’) + HEATERS (‘pieces’ = guns).

    According to Wikipedia, the name originally coined by Douglas Adams for Slartibartfast (but rejected for some reason by the BBC) was “Phartiphukborlz” – try making an anagram out of that!

  9. Bella says:

    Of course – Slartybartfast!! How could I have missed it. Very annoyed as it was the only word I didn’t get in this rather nice, but not too hard puzzle. Not too hard for a prize puzzle I mean.

    “According to Wikipedia, the name originally coined by Douglas Adams for Slartibartfast (but rejected for some reason by the BBC) was “Phartiphukborlz” ” ….. how wonderful is that.
    I’m not sure about 7d either – theatregoers. “Are they concerned with run in closing of set pieces” – se(t) piece(s), run=heat ?? who knows . Anyone?

  10. Bella says:

    Oops missed #8. Sorry

  11. Al Streatfield says:


    Douglas Adams’ gorgeous name, presumably not in any dictionaries or reference books, should be left for readers to discover from reading his superb books, and not used in crosswords, in my opinion.

    From memory, didn’t Slartibartfast design Norway? Although this is a country, I hardly think this makes him a “global designer”.

  12. Paul B says:

    I’m afraid you’re wrong there, Al.

    Slarti – and certainly not Slarty – bartfast is, as clued, a Magrathean designer of planets particularly proud of work done on the fjords of Norway, for which he has won an award.

    I’m sure he deserves it.

  13. nmsindy says:

    This was a very good puzzle and the clue for A BIENTOT was a classic for me. I thought THEATREGOERS might be T = closing of set (last letter) HEAT (RE GO) ERS
    re = concerned with go = run heaters = pieces (furniture) with the surface reading suggesting the answer also. Not 100% sure.

    6 down was new to me though I did suspect it was from that book so I found it.

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