Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7198 by Nimrod

Posted by nmsindy on November 10th, 2009


Extremely impressive by Nimrod.    Fitting about a dozen examples of the themed answer LAND OF MAKE-BELIEVE into the grid.    Made very little progress till I worked out that thematic answer after about 20 mins, the whole puzzle took 53 mins.     One or two wordplays not yet understood, but have verified on Indy website that my answers are correct.

* = anagram    < = reversed


1/25/15A    LAND OF MAKE-BELIEVE  (vodka befell meanie)*  Pretty clear from the start that this was an anagram of those 17 letters.     The breakthrough was finding 29 across NOWHERE – I’d suspected from early on that the second word was OF.   It was a hit for the band Buck’s Fizz who won the Eurovision contest in 1981 and Buck’s Fizz is a drink used in the surface reading of the clue.

4 AN TWERP    ‘silly’ is a noun here.

8 NO D    Land of Nod.    Originally from the Bible, now meaning sleep

9 PAVLOV A    Russian ballerina and Pavlov of the conditioned reflex

10 O (REGAN) O     Daughter of King Lear from Shakespeare’s play

11 TÍR NA N-ÓG   (ignorant)*    Literally ‘land of the young’ from Gaelic (Irish)

12 G (EMIN)I   Joe = GI  and Tracey EMIN

13 SCATHE   ( Queen’s half-restrained “Blast!”)  is the clue.   blast = scathe but I do not understand the rest.

16 OVA    Think this is “over” as a ham (bad actor) might say it.

17 EX-PLAIN     I liked this a lot   ie it’s no longer plain so it’s now complicated

19 RE SIS T   sororal = relating to sister = re sis

22 ERNEST    Run the names of those two Indy setters together as BannsidER NESTor and he is a string of letters there.

23  L I LLI  (ill)< PUT     Jonathan Swift

26 HOSANNA    HOSEA  (prophet) with a nn for e (drug)

27 ALCOPOP    Punning on ‘pop’

28 KEN  I think this has two definitions, name and knowledge, with clue also indicating T = the’s has left KENT.


30 NAR NIA   ran<  (in a)*     From CS Lewis’s books


1 LAPUTA   (a TU pal)<    TU = trade union      More from Jonathan Swift

2 NEVER    Never-Never land  – J M Barrie’s Peter Pan

3  O DO RANT !!!!

4 A DOS(e)

5 T(HE) LEAL     Very pleased to work out this one, which was unknown to me, from the wordplay and confirm after.    (eh)< in (tell a)*   Scottish “Land of the Leal” (heaven)

6 EX (A MINE) ES     Another clue I liked a lot.

7 PROMISE     Definition:  word     Refers, I think, to the ‘Promised Land’

8 NAPOLEON    Double definition

14 COPING SAW    Another clue I liked a lot


17 EREWHON     Samuel Butler’s work – there and here in the crossword being (nowhere)* ie 29 across

18 ABSENCE   “Zero in on student for me”     I do not understand this

20 S T LUC I A     (a = area i (cult)s)<

21 UTOPIA   (Up to)*   I  a    Sir Thomas More’s work

24 PO P I N    Po = one of the Tellytubbies

11 Responses to “Independent 7198 by Nimrod”

  1. Gaufrid says:

    Hi NMS
    I cannot help you with 18d but 13a is CAT in SHE, a ‘queen’ being a she-cat.

  2. Mick H says:

    Excellent puzzle, loads of thematic stuff as you say.
    SCATHE, the last one I got, is SHE-CAT (queen) with half of itself restrained by the rest, if you can get your head around that.
    I think “Ham’s on top” is a homonym because it’s how a radio ham would hear it.
    And not knowing about THE LEAL, I put the highly implausible ‘THE HELL’ for 5d, thinking Nimrod might be making a controversial link between lands generally agreed to be make-believe and those about which there is dispute between believers and non-believers.
    I must have been living in La-La Land, along with Po. What the Hell!

  3. Eileen says:

    Hi nms

    Great puzzle1 Thanks for the blog, especially for explaining 12ac, where I had a bit of a blind spot.

    I can’t see how 7dn works: where does the ‘d’ come from, if it is ‘promised land’? And the Israelites did reach Canaan, the Promised Land, so it isn’t a Land of make-believe.

    18dn has just occurred to me! As a retired teacher, I should have seen it before – an absence is entered as a zero in the register!

  4. Eileen says:

    I’ve just realised that Mick H’s comment about Hell could also apply to Canaan!

  5. pennes says:

    having finished the last nimrod i have given up with one clue solved (nowhere)It didn’t help that i thought 1 ac+ must be something to do with perfumery: musk from male dear (i think a buck).
    never heard of the song, but not sure that getting this key clue would have helped that much

  6. Paul B says:

    Maybe not. It helped me though, and I liked it! Maybe Nimrod echoing earlier, perhaps more frivolous days in one or two of the clues. Brilliant stuff.

  7. Richard Heald says:

    There’s an extra bit of wordplay to 17Dn: the “Drama lived up” part is NOH WERE (rev.).

  8. uncle yap says:

    Good to see Nimrod has regained much of his jovial self. ‘EXPLAIN” now complicated made me laugh … as good as Paul’s April Written for May Oral in yesterday’s Guardian (Sorry, I am doing the Indy one day late)

    RESIS for sororal is a scream. Good show, John.
    Excellent puzzle.

  9. Jimbo says:

    18D – Student isn’t in class to register – hence Zero in = absence.

  10. Jimbo says:

    Also, isn’t 6D “examineRs”? And 16A could be how someone from West Ham would say “over”. At least that’s how i got it!! :-)

  11. nmsindy says:

    Don’t have the puzzle now, but re 6D my recollection was that the outside part was EXES = former partners or something like that, giving EXAMINEES.

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