Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,092/Nimrod

Posted by Ali on July 9th, 2009


Well, we knew that there was a one in three chance of getting a Nimrod before the week was out, so I braced myself for this and started late last night. I’ve been getting on better with his style recently, but found this one a bit of a chore and had to resort to help to finish it off. There seem to be a lot of clues with question marks here, and there’ll be a few in this blog too, so any help will be welcome!

1 BACKWARD POINT – DOT rev. – I eventually got this from the crossing letters and have no issue with the wordplay, but what’s the definition here? Assuming it’s a cricket reference and the definition is simply ‘not on’, then ‘one’s’ is redundant. I guess the definition could be ‘not on one’ (i.e. a cricketer who is not ‘on’), but that seems very loose.
10 REGALIA – A1 LAGER rev.
11 DRESS CODE – Had to cheat toi get this. Whatever the ‘CODRR or ESFTT’ code is, it’s gone way over my head
12 ORPIN – PRO rev.,IN
13 WHISTLE-STOP TOUR – (PROSTITUTES HOWL)* – A very nice anagram
17 DISCOVERED CHECK – Cryptic def. relating to chess, the material being pieces captured I presume
22 AORTA – A,ORT,A – An ORT is a piece or fragment
23 EXCHEQUER – Can’t quite piece this one together – King’s rook’s taken by queen, similarly colecting most of this game’s funds’
24 THE LIKE – L,1K in THEE
27 NONSENSE VERSE – NS (non-smoker) + ENS (being) + EVER (always) in NOSE (flair)
1 BIG – Double def, ref. the dead rapper
2 COSMETIC SURGEON – (RECOGNISE CUSTOM)* – Another nice anagram
5 PERCEPT – C[-rew]E + P in PERT
6 IN-GROUP – NOt sure how the ‘away from them’ bit fits in here?
7 TELEPHONE NUMBER – (THE MELBOURNE PEN)* – Another lovely anagram
11 DOWNDRAFTS – I think that this is DOWN (experienced) + DR (doctor) + AFT (behind), but not sure how ‘Sussex walkers here’ gives S
14 LAV – L + AV
15 SIR – Hidden in iS IRanian
16 ODD – O,DD – Chambers gives AD as meaning ‘after date’ and DD as ‘days after date’, so I think is what is meant here
18 ORATION – Hidden in hORATIO Nelson
21 CZEKHOV – “Check off”
26 TIE – Double def.

19 Responses to “Independent 7,092/Nimrod”

  1. Chunter says:

    1ac: ‘not on’ (in cricket- crossword terms) means ‘off’. Backward point is a fielding position on the off side.

    17ac: In chess a discovered check doesn’t necessarily lead to a material loss. Perhaps I’m missing something.

  2. IanN14 says:

    Thanks Ali,

    I found this quite hard too, but loved the long anagrams, especially 2d. Fantastic.

    11ac. If you shift forward alphabetically from the first (or backwards from the second) set of letters, you get Dress. In Code.

    11d. (North or South) Downs = Hills in Sussex.

    16d. Odd (“This”, meaning the definition) letters from OLD AD.

    Sorry, can’t help with 1ac. Just think you (and Chunter) are right, but it’s a bit of a vague definition.

    23ac. Def: Funds, but can’t quite see the rest. King = Rex -R(ook), ER = Queen around Chequ(ers) = game?

  3. Paul B says:

    Dress code: shift DRESS one letter either east or west (‘one way or the other?’) in the alphabet and you encode ‘CQDRR or ESFTT’. Easy.

  4. Paul B says:

    The windy one is possibly an &lit with the good doctor behind among the (Sussex) Downs, but I can’t find that word in Chambers or Collins. Closest I have are the N. Am. versions of DRAUGHT and DRAUGHTY, so maybe their spelling of DOWNDRAUGHT reflects this.

  5. Paul B says:

    I’m away now, dammit, just as I was starting to get worried about the number of chess, drafts/draughts, chequers and Chek-hov references around the grid. And I still can’t parse EXCHEQUER (which has a very interesting C13 O. Fr. etymology, especially if you’re a chess-player).

    IN-GROUP seems to be comprised of a cryptic part whereof if people are all together, they’re IN (a) GROUP, with ‘away from them’ signifying the elitism associated with in-groups generally. As often with Nimrod/ Enigmatist/ Dinsdale Piranha*, the boundary between wordplay and definition are blurred in this and other clues in today’s puzzle.

    * cruel but fair.

  6. Mick H says:

    Yes Paul, there clearly is a chess theme going on here – PAWNbroker as well. As for 17, I think the ‘material’ refers to check. But my favourites were the long anagrams, esp 2down and 13ac, and A1 LAGER (though I’m mroe of a bitter man myself).
    Interesting to not that the three-letter words in the middle row give seven consecutive checked (!) letters in 13 and 17, which is a gift to solvers.

  7. Chunter says:

    Mick H: (17ac) if that is the intention it is wrong. In chess ‘material’ refers to what’s on the board.

  8. C. G. Rishikesh says:

    Towards parsing 23ac:
    King’s rook’s taken by queen, similarly collecting most of this game’s funds
    If we accept that king = Edward = E, then
    king’s rook’s taken by queen yields QU E R
    similarly collecting most of this game yields
    E x CHE(ss)(in chess notation x indicates capture)
    It is the order of these components that is posing a problem still.

  9. Chunter says:

    21dn: Should be CHEKHOV rather than CZEKHOV. I don’t understand why anyone who died in 1904 should be described as a ‘writer for radio”!

  10. Mick H says:

    It’s a homonym indicator – Chekhov sounds like ‘check off’ on the radio.

  11. Chunter says:

    Yes – thanks.

  12. Testy says:

    How about:
    King’s rook’s taken = (r)EX
    by queen = + QU
    similarly = another queen ER
    collecting most of this game = containing CHE(ss)

  13. Paul B says:

    Chunter – Mick H I think refers to ‘fabric with a pattern of squares or crossed lines’, positing a CD (using the double meaning?) as the mechanism for the clue. ‘Discovered check’ doesn’t necessarily lead to a cost in terms of chess materials, if I understand the definitions correctly, but I’m not au fait.

  14. The trafites says:


    I think this works like this.

    [R]EX (rook taken), by queen = ER collecting (i.e. having) most of CHEQUers.

    CHEQU in EX + ER

  15. IanN14 says:

    The trafites,
    Please see the last line of comment 2.

    However, I now think that Testy’s reasoning is more likely…

  16. jetdoc says:

    To clarify 1a — ‘not on one’ is the definition, i.e. an offside fielder, who is not on the on side; ‘tod’ is the wordplay. It could be argued that, backward of square, what isn’t the off side is the leg side rather than the on side; but that is taking cricket pedantry a touch too far, perhaps.

    I loved this clue, but the chess-related ones were lost on me. As doubtless this cricket talk is on many other people.

  17. John McDonald says:

    Re. 23 across

    I think the parsing is as follows:
    Queen = ER which accepts X (chess indicator of King’s rook rather than the one on the queen side) and cheque being “most of this game”.

    John M.

  18. IanN14 says:

    But the game played with rooks, kings and queens isn’t chequers. It’s chess.
    And how do you account for “similarly”?

    No, I’m still with Testy…

  19. Chunter says:

    ‘X’ certainly isn’t used to indicate a rook: it denotes a capture (for example Rxf6).

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