Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,281 by Nimrod

Posted by Simon Harris on February 16th, 2010

Simon Harris.

This was quite a challenge, though the very thoroughly-implemented theme was a big help once it clicked.

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

8 HASTINGS – dd.
14 BUNTER – dd., Sergeant Mervyn and Billy respectively.
16 ELY – hom. of “eely”. It’s a rare treat to find this particular city clued without the use of the word “see”!
20 WATSON – presumably this chap.
22 WYE – Y in WE.
23 ABLAZE – (A + Z) in ABLE.
26 BOODLE – dd.
28 POIROT – (TO RIO + P)<.
29 FLAMBEAU – dd.
31 SMELTERY – (ME + LETS)* + RY.
32 LEWIS – dd. “A dovetail iron tenon, made in three pieces, for lifting blocks of stone”.
1 TROY – dd.
3 STOLEN – (E + LOT) in SN.
4 IN CASE – dd.
5 PSEUD – (DUE + SP)<.
9 WIMSEY – hom. of “whimsy”.
13 ONUS – ON US.
15 TEA – hom. of “T”, and a reference to “Tea for Two”.
17 FOIL – F + OIL.
19 AWL – hom. of “all”.
20 WEBCAM – WE + BC + AM.
21 TROUBLE – (TRO[t] + BLUE)*.
24 BURDEN – dd.
25 ASTUTE – TUT in [b]ASE.
27 MORSE – (OR + S) in ME.
30 AXIS – A XI’S.

15 Responses to “Independent 7,281 by Nimrod”

  1. anax says:

    What a cracker!
    The clever deception of 17d meant it took me a long time to see the theme, and I must confess some ignorance about a couple of the pairings but, thankfully, most of their respective clues were very gettable. At least in some of his other guises Nimrod can take a liberal approach to clueing but this felt like very solid stuff (and I’m trying to work out whether that’s a good or bad thing!). Of several super clues I thought 27d was exceptional. 18a is another great one although I wondered if Nimrod had considered “ringing” as the containerind, not that it matters.

    Top stuff Mr H!

  2. Derrick Knight says:

    I agree with the positive comments above. I think 21 down uses two abbreviations: T + RO

  3. nmsindy says:

    Tremendous tour de force by Nimrod, congrats to him. Getting those 14 words into the grid was quite a feat and, as you say, 17 (the key to the puzzle) was very well concealed. Very hard initially to break into but I saw the light when I’d the third detective’s name and after that it was quicker. Thanks for explaining WEXFORD.

  4. Mick H says:

    Despite getting 17d quite quickly, I was almost foiled by lack of knowledge of crime fiction. Very good stuff though, amazing to fit them all in. Not sure about defining ‘webcam’ as ‘spy’ though – as I understand, they’re more used voluntarily by the subject, whether on Skype or for more exhibitionist purposes.

  5. eimi says:

    My webcam came with software that allows it to be set to start recording when it detects motion – admittedly not much use if the person who set it off then walks off with your computer – but it could be considered a spy in such circumstances.

  6. walruss says:

    Very hard but very good, and as always the themed Independent puzzle seems just right for the day. Very good with a drop of claret over lunch.

  7. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Should have tried the claret technique, walruss. Didn’t get very far today, too hard for me at the moment. But I’ve managed most Indys recently, so no complaints.

  8. NealH says:

    Even after getting foil, I was still struggling to work out the theme for a long time. I’m glad I did get it because I’d never have got clues like 32 and 20 otherwise. I’d never heard of boodle at all (either definition) and spent ages reading the dictionary entry to try to work out how axis and captain could be synonyms. Eventually a google search informed me it is a comic book character (probably a bit naughty of Nimrod not to put Captain with a capital letter).

    I actually got a bit too clever for my own good at one point. I became convinced that the answer to 5 down must be the name of the Detective from the series Hawaii Five-O. I couldn’t remember the character’s name but I did remember he was played by Jack Lord, so if it had also sounded like a word for quaint, it would have made a great &lit as well. It was so good it’s a shame it wasn’t right.

  9. Uncle Yap says:

    I am doing this after a couple of GlenMorangie (it is Lunar New Year, after all); but can someone explain (fully please) LEWIS and BURDEN, two clues that defeated me. “dd” just did not help at all to this addled mind :-)

  10. sidey says:

    Late as usual. Puzzles like this really need to be done on paper, how about a print version editor?

  11. eimi says:

    Good choice, Uncle Yap – my favourite malt, apart from one I once had in a hotel in Tomintoul (whose bar had more malt whiskies than I have ever seen), by which time I was incapable of remembering the name.

    Lewis, apart from being Morse’s sidekick, is a lifting device – it’s in all the dictionaries, but defined in Collins as “a lifting device for heavy stone or concrete blocks consisting of a number of curved pieces of metal or wedges fitting into a dovetailed recess cut into the block (Perhaps from the name of the inventor)”.

    Burden, Wexford’s sidekick, is in sense 2 “a line of words recurring at the end of each verse of a ballad or similar song; chorus or refrain”.

    There are no plans at present for a print version of the Independent puzzle, sidey. This is for commercial reasons, but I apologise to those would-be solvers who are unable to get hold of a paper version by reason of geography.

  12. beermagnet says:

    I always take a print from the online Indy crossword page by “screen-scraping” it into a Word doc and printing that.
    I use the “Print Screen” key (Alt+PrintScreen in fact) and (Ctrl+V) paste this into Paint to trim the edges before cut’n’pasting that into Word. It takes 3 or occasionally 4 goes to get all the clues but I’ve always managed to fit it on one page. I’ve been told that Vista comes with its own “screen scrpaing” tool that is more convenient.
    I find the faff is worth it as I much prefer doodling on paper than screen.
    I even now prefer using my home-grown print version to the actual paper as there’s more white space to scribble on.

  13. Richard says:

    I thought this was top class. Difficult, but well worth the effort.

  14. Wilfried says:

    Great to have found your solution via Google, Simon. Would have really struggled without your help. Nimrod and his logic is new to me.
    Can someone please tell me how ‘pants’ (21A) refers to an anagram of ‘blue’?
    I would also suggest an alternative logic to ‘time’s run out’, ie: time=t and ro=run out (abbreviation used in cricket).

  15. Simon Harris says:

    Welcome along Wilfried, this was indeed a tough one.

    “Pants” caught me out the first time I blogged a Nimrod. He uses it occasionally as an anagram indicator, in the (perhaps UK-specific) sense meaning “rubbish” or maybe “in a mess”. It’s a characteristically unorthodox Nimrod touch.

    You’re absolutely right about 21ac, and I remember struggling to explain that one!

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