Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7273 by Nimrod, Sat 6 Feb – Serendipity strikes again …

Posted by petebiddlecombe on February 12th, 2010


… or so said Nimrod by e-mail when it turned out that I’d found an extra bit of thematic material.

Solving time: 11:27

A fairly easy but well-crafted example of the multi-cross-reference puzzle as seen in the Guardian when I was cutting my crossword teeth. I took the time to jumble the anagram fodder in 21/1 on paper on first look, got the answer quickly from {something SPONGE}, and soon established the theme – though I didn’t realise there were six cakes scattered through the answers until looking back at the clues for blogging purposes and having to explain the clue to 17/4.

1 See 21D
5 M,AM(ASBO)Y – “little woman” is Amy, one of the March sisters in the Louisa May Alcott book – and for any overseas solvers, order=ASBO comes from “Anti-Social Behaviour Order”, a New Labour measure supposed to combat yobbery.
10 D(WARF(are))S – “hors de combat” = (literally) outside of combat
11 BAN(d)ANA – one of six cakes among the answers to clues
12 EPI(SO,DI)C – Di = Diana Spencer = “The Queen of Hearts” – EPIC = “heroic work”
13/19 THE QUEEN OF HEARTS – (theft he, Square one)*
15 A(YES)HA – even my poor knowledge of pop includes Iceland: Bjork, Norway: Aha
16 CLUE UP – CD with very broad hint from “crosswords” and “not Down”
22 STOREMAN = “shop steward” – rev. of “name rots” = “authority corrupts”
23 R(ASHE)R – {Tennis champion = ASHE} seems top be getting nearly as common as {composer = ARNE} – time to give Pat Cash a few turns?
25 CHEESE – another cake, with a meaning of “anything of excellent quality” – watch out for “to grovel” as well
26 THE(ODIC)Y = vindication of the justice of God in creating a world in which evil exists
27 E(MISS=Spinster,I)VE
28 DUNDEE – end* in due – and another cake
2 PUG,W=”first to widdle”,ASH=tree – Captain Pugwash was on TV for about two decades starting in 1957, and was apparently in the Eagle comic before that.
3 NAIRA – hidden word, and currency of Nigeria
4 See 17
5 MARIE ANTOINETTE = (I rent one at a time)* – defined by 13 = “The Queen”
6 M,A,DIER=”dear”,A – another cake
7 SO=very,A,(POPE(R),A)
8/20 OFF WITH HER HEAD – The Queen of Hearts in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has “Off with {possessive pronoun} head” as her catchphrase and I’m sure asks for Alice’s excecution in the same fashion – hence “lice”.
14 QUE,ERNE=bird,SS=steamship=vessel – a catchphrase from Fawlty Towers this time
17/4 LET THEM EAT CAKE – the mistranslated quote from Marie Antoinette – if memory serves, she really said “let them eat brioche”, and brioche was sold cheap by French bakers in the same way as out-of-date food at your local Tesco’s. The “in places here” part is Nimrod’s way of making sure that we notice all those cakes.
18 POMP = “It’s august”,I(E)I – “burial site” = rather brutal def
21/1 TREACLE SPONGE – (gal, open secret)* – and two cakes in one answer – “treacle cake” being the one that Nimrod didn’t know about – what we might call a jammy fluke (gets coat)
24 SEDAN = litter – reverse hidden in “lemonade shandy”

5 Responses to “Independent 7273 by Nimrod, Sat 6 Feb – Serendipity strikes again …”

  1. nmsindy says:

    This was a very enjoyable puzzle indeed with, as you say, all those various ideas nicely interconnected.

  2. Quixote says:

    Having made some criticisms of thematics from colleagues recently, let me be positive and say that I thought this one got it just right. What a Saturday puzzle ought to be.

  3. nmsindy says:

    Minor point, but I thought 23 across had three parts – more hasty, slice, and then the wordplay that you have explained.

  4. IanN14 says:

    Absolutely, nms.
    I seem to remember Gordius doing this very recently, with the same word…
    I really enjoyed this last week, but I did wonder at the time if Diana was ever known as the “queen” of hearts?
    I thought she was always the “Princess of Hearts”(TM), but I could be wrong…

  5. sidey says:

    There’s a cake of soap too…


Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

4 × eight =