Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7241 by Nimrod

Posted by nmsindy on December 31st, 2009


A clever New Year’s Eve puzzle by Nimrod.    Nmsindy solved the clues in 39 mins, then spent another 30 mins trying to puzzle out the unclued ones before surrendering and going to the website – all became clear.

I’ve put the explanation of all of this at the end of the blog ie after the clue explanations

* = anagram  < = reversed




10 BLETHER   Hidden 4 = HERE

11 NE (W YE) AR

12 ONIONS   England cricketer and phrase “Know one’s onions”

13 MAESTRO   (or steam)*

15 SHE RIFF    6 is LAWMEN

20 NON-ZERO     ie positive or negative     No-no = no-n(zero)

25 AL (FAL) FA

26 AT TEN D      News at Ten


30 RE TURN   (ER)<



1 RIB ROAST   (bar riots)*

2/28/3   THE TIMES (paper) THE Y ARE (river) A-C (current) HANGIN’ (hanging intertiminably)

BOB DYLAN (19) song (It helped that nmsindy was very familiar with this)

4 HERE (hidden)

6 LAW (ME) N

7 SVELTE   (the elves)* less he

8 Y(A)RROW    worry<

9 ENEMA   (AMENd tubE)<   &lit

14 EFF     Hidden in both directions

16 mANY

17 UNSTABLE     Dunstable (in Beds!) less D = daughter

18 S (EM) ESTER    me<

19 BOB DYLAN     l in (boy band)*



23 A L T AIR

24 FA (DE) D    Social classes

27 YO-YO    (tOY)<  twice

Unclued entries change one letter at a time to get from EVE to DAY ie EVE, ERE, ERA, FRA, FRY, DRY, DAY.    Also, not sure about this, but A NEW LEAF  is symmetrically in rows 6 and 10, that may be a Nina which I thought about quite a bit when trying to puzzle those out those unclued entries.

14 Responses to “Independent 7241 by Nimrod”

  1. mhl says:

    Thanks for the post, nmsindy, and Happy New Year to you! I got the nice answers for the missing clues down the middle OK but got stuck on the bottom right corner. Looking at these clues now, I love NON-ZERO (and was annoyed not to get it!) but “Beds where I am – daughter’s not” for [d]UNSTABLE is very difficult…

    Overall very enjoyable though – 9 down in particular made me laugh.

    Incidentally, the missing clue numbers here caused my script for generating PDFs of the the crossword to fail for the first time in over a year – the file format seems to have an extra section to specify the renumbering :)

    I’ve very much enjoyed doing the Independent crossword this year – I think the very sound cluing has improved my solving a lot compared to previous years where I’ve more-or-less exclusively done the Guardian. Many thanks to the editor and setters for their excellent puzzles.

  2. jetdoc says:

    As well as A NEW LEAF, you’ll find TURN OVER in the last row.

  3. beermagnet says:

    I thought 27D was an absolutely superb &Lit:
    Timeless plaything repeatedly changing direction (2-2)

    I wondered about the choice of intermediaries between EVE and DAY, but now that you’ve pointed out “A NEW LEAF” is hidden there too (which I failed to spot), I see that the first E had to convert to D via F, and the final E had to convert to Y via A, which leaves only R as a middle letter that delivers real words.

  4. sandra says:

    the second time of doing the independent and, again, found it difficult. had to click on reveal a few mhl i have concentrated on the guardian, plus everyman and azed, i will get there though.
    after all this time, i do not know what a nina is. could anyone enlighten me please?

  5. jp says:

    Sorry, what’s “ect” in 22 down?

  6. beermagnet says:

    jp: ECT = Electro Convulsive Therapy which some head doctors use as “treatment”

    sandra: Nina: some previous explanations of the origin of the term “Nina”, which refers to a hidden message in the grid, can be found here:

  7. nmsindy says:

    electroconvulsive therapy = ECT. Re 4, a Nina is a hidden message in a grid.

  8. sandra says:

    thanks beermagnet

  9. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Coming late to this, but an extremely cleverly constructed puzzle, which I nearly managed unaided. Maybe everyone has understood this and found it too obvious, but just wanted to flag up the reference in the clue for the Dylan song: ‘explanation for missing acrosses’. I took this to be a reference to the changes from EVE to DAY, as in THE TIMES THEY ARE A’CHANGIN.

    Really enjoyed the challenges in the Indy this year, thanks to all.

  10. sandra says:

    kathryn’s dad – it wasn’t obvious to me! thanks.

  11. nmsindy says:

    Re comments 9 and 10, I should have spelled this out more clearly in the blog. Thanks to jetdoc too for the info re TURN OVER which another, thanks to him, tipped me off about too.

  12. Lucy says:

    Lordy, we found this difficult and did not even get it half done. However, I just wanted to say, what a lovely clue 27d is.

  13. pennes says:

    I was just wondering about the definition in 7 dn (svelte): on checking in Oxford dictionary it gives “slender/elegant”. Maybe Chambers has someting closer to the clue solution?

  14. nmsindy says:

    Yes, ‘free and easy’ is in Chambers. It was not a difficult clue tho, in fact the very first one I solved from the accessible wordplay.

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