Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,218 by Nimrod

Posted by Simon Harris on December 3rd, 2009

Simon Harris.

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

Nimrod has been something of a nemesis of mine since I started blogging here. As with children, the workmanship is impressive, but I can't manage a whole one. As always, this is clearly a top quality puzzle with some remarkable clueing, but the only way this post was going to happen within a day was through relentless use of the cheat button. I've done my best to explain them.

Across
1/15 MISSIONARY POSITION – cd.
6 SCAB – S + CAB. The picket line, specifically.
10 HOARSEN – SENHORA*.
11 HOODLUM – LUM + HOOD, but “in the wrong order”. This one seemed quite clumsy to me, which left me wondering if I was missing something.
12 COFFEE-TABLE BOOK – (OF FEET + A BLEB) in COOK.
13 NEWSPAPER COLUMN – (UP + NEWCOMERS PLAN)*. A rare case of the def. eluding me, rather than the wordplay! I wondered if “this” is the def., implying that the crossword is a column, but that’s pushing things and doesn’t explain the reference to “5” and/or REHAB.
18 AVERSION THERAPY – (VERSION + THE RAP) in AY.
20 GREAT WHITE SHARK – (REG WHAT’S + IT + ASK HER)*. The nickname of golfer Greg Norman. Probably the clue of the day.
25 AXOLOTL – (0 + LOT) in AXL. The “singer” in question is one W. Axl Rose, of formerly-popular rock combo “Hired Guns and Rose”.
26 PADLOCK – PAD + LOCK.
27 IBEX – I BE + X. The implication being that country-dwellers tend to say “I be” rather than “I am”. Your blogger left Devon for the city at the age of 5, so cannot confirm or deny this!
Down
1 MOHICAN – HIC in MOAN. The book referred to is “The Last of the Mohicans” by James Fenimore Cooper.
2 STAFF – dd.
3 ISSUE – [t]ISSUE.
4 NONETN + ONE T.
5 REHAB – EH in BAR<.
7 COLLOQUIA – LO in (COLL + QU + 1A).
8 BUMPKIN – BUM + PINK*.
9/28 FOREGONE CONCLUSION – F + OREGON + (L in (ONCE COUSIN’S)*).
14 WOEBEGONE – (0 in WE) + BEG + ONE.
16 PRO – dd.
17 ROT – dd. The German word for “red”, a primary colour.
18 AFGHANI – A + FGH + (IN A)*.
19 YAKSKIN – (KINKY AS)*.
21 HELLO – dd. A celebrity-obsessed rag, and a reminder that prior to the invention of the telephone, “hello” wasn’t a greeting at all – it meant something along the lines of “what’s all this then?”. That said, I learnt that via QI, so it might very well be cobblers.
22 TOPIC – TO + PI + C.
23 SADHU – (HAD US)*. An unfamiliar one, but the checking letters help greatly, and a quick glance at Chambers confirms this to be a Hindu holy man.
24 AIOLI – L in (A + 101). Paul Merton replaced Nick Hancock as host of “Room 101″ some time after it transferred from radio to TV.

15 Responses to “Independent 7,218 by Nimrod”

  1. NealH says:

    Rehab is eh ? in upside-down bar.

  2. NealH says:

    Sorry, ignore that. I read the 13 entry and thought that meant you didn’t follow 5.

  3. NealH says:

    I did a lot better with this than with Monday’s (although to be fair, I had a lot more time, since work is a bit quiet at the moment). I only needed help on axolotl and aioli, which were a bit too obscure for me. At least, no-one can accuse Nimrod of lacking humour this time – there were some quite amusing ones, 19 down being my favourite.

  4. sidey says:

    13a “this” is the newspaper you are supposed to be holding when solving (ooh, poetry!) which presumably uses five columns. I’ve not bought the paper for years so can’t confirm this.

    I too had to cheat rather too often, however there is nothing wrong with any of the clues, I simply didn’t have time to work them out which was a shame.

    Thanks for Messrs Norman and Rose, I’d never have worked those bits out.

  5. Peter says:

    Exactly like NealH, I managed all except Axolotl and Aioli

    A great challenge for the morning commute. Perfect with the trains being up the spout.

    13ac – the crossword today did take up 5 columns (I counted them)

  6. IanN14 says:

    This was quite tough, but enjoyable.
    I didn’t understand 13ac. (I do it online, weekdays), but I get it now.
    Peter’s right, the paper’s actually 7 columns, but the crossword panel takes up 5 of them.
    And Simon, re: 25ac, I don’t know where Wiki got the W. from. I thought Axl Rose was a famous, made-up anagram…
    His real name’s Bill Bailey (also learned from QI).
    And the band’s “Guns’n’Roses” (I’m not a fan…)

  7. Duggie says:

    Some brilliant clues, but what’s really astonishing is the headaches Nimrod gave himself with all those long lights and the devious ways he found to clue them! Full marks for ‘aioli’ – superb.

  8. nmsindy says:

    I must have been lucky because I found this easy for a Nimrod, while not understanding all the references till I came here. I got a few from the definitions before the wordplay. When I saw the ‘this uses 5′ I looked above the crossword and counted 5 columns in the football coverage so not sure about the 7 referred to above. Favourite clue: BUMPKIN

  9. Paul B says:

    This was torture, but I like being tortured sometimes. No-one expects … brilliant inventiveness in torture these days (it’s all that waterboarding stuff and cheap jingles, and staring at goats) but that’s what I got today. Ouch – ooh yes thank you. More.

  10. uncle yap says:

    Bravo, John, I see you have fully recovered your irrepressible sense of humour. When I got 1Across after a few crossing letters, I literally rolled on the floor (I do the Indies sitting on the carpet at a coffee table)

    Alas, you can claim me as a scalp as I could not get AIOLI and have never heard of Paul Merton nor Room 101. Axolotl was a new word and I had to come here for the word play.

    Very enjoyable and challenging puzzle.

    Thanks for the excellent blog, Simon Harris

  11. Allan_C says:

    7 columns, Ian? My paper only has 5 except the leader page (4) and the letters page (6).

    Didn’t follow the clue for 25 but guessed ‘Mexican wildlife’ to be the def, hence ‘Axolotl’.

    Re 1/15, as someone said in a previous blog, Welcome to the Indy crossword’s polite drawing room (or words to that effect).

  12. davey b says:

    Can someone please explain answer to clue 22 TOPIC?

  13. Gaufrid says:

    davey b
    The definition is ‘subject’ and the wordplay is TO (for) PI (slightly over three) C (hundred)
    Pi is a mathematical term with a value of 3.14159 or ‘slightly over three’.

  14. davey b says:

    Thanks Gaufrid

  15. nmsindy says:

    Indy readers who had solved Radian’s Monday puzzle themed on pi would have had a head start with this clue.

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