Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7255 by Nimrod (Sat 16-Jan)

Posted by beermagnet on January 22nd, 2010


With his trademark 15-letter answers you certainly get your money’s worth from Nimrod.  This took me ages, of course, and couldn’t have finished without a bit of dictionary-bashing etc.  I found the bottom left corner the most tricky.
Nevertheless, Nimrod has been known to produce even more ferocious challenges in the past and it was a pleasure to get there in the end.

1 TOWNS (IN TWOS – I)* AInd: oddly. I thought of that answer immediately, but couldn’t see the wordplay – Oddly suggests some sort of alternate hidden letters charade – but after getting a couple of crossing letters it had to be – then the anagram and fodder construction became clear.
4 FIST FIGHT THIEF – E around GIFTS, all reversed. Def: row. I actually put this in about half-way through doing the puzzle and I am sure I understood the wordplay then, but when coming to do the blog I had a complete blank on the wordplay till I gave it a lot of (re-)thought:
Out of drug, criminal nicks presents – all over street row (4,5)
9 MARIA (A1 RAM)< A1 Road, Ram sign
10 IN NUMBERS IN Trendy, Numbers book of the bible, the best-selling book that has indeed sold in numbers.
11 NORWICH W[omen] inside NO RICH (all poor)
12 ELLIPSE LIP (feature) inside ELSE (other) I put in Eclipse as it was the first figure I thought of and thought LIPS was the feature – if I hadn’t been keen to completely explain the wordplay for this blog I might not have thought more deeply. With only one letter different between ellipse and eclipse but I expect they often get confused. What I find confusing is why so many representations of the crescent moon use a circle for the inner curve (as for example on the flag of the Red Crescent organisation) when in reality it is a semi-ellipse. By contrast during an eclipse the inner curve is the arc of a circle as it is the intermediate body shading the light from the far body.
13 GO DOWN IN HISTORY CD First answer written in for me (certainly not the first read!) and a surprise that a CD should get that honour.  Normally I have more trouble with Cryptic Defs than other more ‘mechanical’ clueing techniques, but somehow this seemed obvious – lovely clue though:
As did the losing sides in classic battles? (2,4,2,7)
16 YESTERDAY’S PAPER (PAY PAY DESERTERS)* AInd: off. You have to use PAY twice to get enough fodder for the anagram, as given by “pays”
19 POST HOC (SHOT)* AInd: randomly. inside (COP)< Def. Fallacy.   Post hoc: The logical fallacy of believing that temporal succession implies a causal relation
21 AMPERES (REP)< inside (SAME)* AInd: disorganised. SI unit of current. Current effectively “supplies” electricity from the utility companies
22 AYR UNITED (ARE UNTIDY)* AInd: so it turns out.  My way in to the bottom-left corner
23 MAORI O (love) inside MAR 1 (March first – St David’s day)
24 SMELL A RAT LARA (retired West Indian cricketer) inside SMELT (separate) Def. Suspect. I had to think to equate smelt and separate, but smelting is a process of separating the iron (or whatever) from the other gunk in the ore.
25 ALECK C[aught] inside [d]ALEK I wrote in DALEK at first thinking “native of Skaro” was the full def.  I knew the youthful careful study that I gave my Dr Who Annual 1967 would come in handy
1 TIMENOGUY New word for me: A rope used on ship to prevent other lines and riggings tangling with each other. And what a brilliant word given the way it could be read as time-no-guy and the proverb “Time waits for no man” (though it looks like it’s pronounced “tim-in-o-gee”). I needed a dictionary search to get this and 2nd last entered.
2 WAR BRIDES CD The result of a “match” between a local girl and an American GI (overpaid, over-sexed and over here)
3 SEAVIEW (I/WE VASE)* AInd: breakage. Stereotypical seaside boarding house name
4 FLIGHT INDICATOR CD.  I wasn’t sure of this till it just had to fit as it seems an almost obvious simple single definition with a (dare I say it weak) allusion to flights of stairs (landing).  What am I missing?
5 SINCE THE YEAR DOT THEY (those people) inside (CONSIDERATE)* AInd: awfully. A phrase often used by my old mum
6 FEMALES Homophone “Fee males”
7 GEE UP EEU from alternate letters of rEvEnUe inside GP
8 TASTE Double Def. (that’s been seen before in crosswords)
14 ON PURPOSE (SUPPORT – T)* AInd: working. inside ONE
15 YARDSTICK YARD’S TICK – the Met’s credit
17 ETHANOL Well hidden in morE THAN OLd. One of those “should of seen it earlier” moments
18 PIP-EMMA World War One signaller’s slang for p.m. (post meridiem) afternoon. There is also ack-emma for a.m. Of course I didn’t know this till I looked it up, and was surprised to find the term so boldly clued from the wordplay.
19 PEARS Last entered answer (assuming it is correct…)  Conference is certainly a pear variety available in the winter, as is Katy (Catherine?) and Bartlett (US name for Williams). But I don’t see what else is going on in this clue:
In winter conference, Catherine Bartlett presents all these – and in these, according to reports? (5)
20 SERVE Double Def.

4 Responses to “Independent 7255 by Nimrod (Sat 16-Jan)”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, beermagnet. Like you, I made it with help of a few searches for the less common words. Thought it was a good work-out. FLIGHT INDICATOR gave me pause for thought as well: strictly, the defining code for a flight, like BA649, is a ‘flight number’ and the one identifying the aircraft is an ‘aircraft number'; a flight indicator is apparently a gyroscopic, navigational device, which doesn’t fit the definition. I think the ‘landing’ as an indicator or which flight of a hotel, etc, you’re on is a bit weak, but I can’t see anything else.

    I put PEARS as well – only thing I could think of was PAIRS as a homophone (according to reports) but it doesn’t really make sense, since pears don’t necessarily come in pairs.

    PIP-EMMA seemed the obvious answer but then your brain says ‘no, it can’t possibly be that’. But of course in CrypticLand all things are possible …

    Good puzzle, enjoyed it.

  2. IanN14 says:

    19d. I think is the fact that “winter + conference” then “Catherine + Bartlett” (all types of pear, though winter may be pushing it a bit) are presented in the clue as pairs, indicated by the comma).

  3. nmsindy says:

    Great blog, beermagnet. Some excellent clues in this, GO DOWN IN HISTORY, WAR BRIDES, SEAVIEW and PIP EMMA in particular. I too found it a little easier than some from Nimrod.

  4. Emrys says:

    I thought “flight indicator” particularly badly clued, I’m afraid. I sat here and thought that it fitted but couldn’t imagine how an artificial horizon instrument could be said to show details of planes, let alone of planes taking off. Thank you for the explanations, beermagnet.

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