Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7283/Nestor

Posted by John on February 18th, 2010


This is one of the first Thursday puzzles I’ve ever blogged, and I was a bit uneasy, knowing that some of the more user-friendly setters were not due. Would this be something by Tyrus or Scorpion that kept me up all night? In the event it was a very pleasant crossword from Nestor, someone with whom I’m not all that familiar. An extraordinary grid, with 20 acrosses and 10 downs, suggests some devilish Nina, but I can’t see anything.

1 FASTENS — I suppose this is a sort of DD, with one meaning quite straightforward and the other a sort of made-up word for speeding up
5 boAT’S EAsily
7 L U(CA)S — oh dear, I thought as I saw this and 6dn, this is going to be a Star Wars-themed puzzle, and I’ve never seen the film. But I don’t think it is.
11 PLATO{on} — I don’t quite see the ‘maybe’ —  surely a platoon is a detachment so there’s no maybe about it
13 A{che} FT
15 ENTWINE — win in (teen)*
20 “TO ASTER” might be the title of a floral ode
22 A{ugmented} B{y} S{it-ups}
23 CREDO — 27dn is ‘decor’, so this is (decor)*
24 MO(T)ET
25 REPTILE — (pet)* in rile
26 EA S{h}ED
27 DECOR — co in (red)rev.
28 SORCERY — (R{oll}S Royce)*
1 F{lowers} A(MOUS{e})LAS TWO RDS — ref. the film Citizen Kane, whose last words were “Rosebud…”
2 inforMS A CRASs — hidden rev.
3 EXALTED — I hope someone can explain this, because I can’t
5 ALPHA PARTICLE — alp apart in (Chile)* — OK I cheated here because I simply couldn’t do it. I never knew that an alpha particle was an object of decay. It isn’t apparently according to Chambers. No doubt a physicist will elucidate.
6 S PACE IN VADER’S — referring to that fine old game of the 70s and 80s, also to Darth Vader of Star Wars
8 CANNIBALISTIC — “canny ballistic”
18 WRAPPER — w r (paper)*
19 J{udges}AS MINE

10 Responses to “Independent 7283/Nestor”

  1. sidey says:

    3d is Hex = spell + Halted = stopped with the aitches dropped.

  2. Colin Blackburn says:

    5dn When radioactive elements decay they emit alpha, beta or gamma particles. Alpha particles are essentially Helium nuclei. They are big and heavy and can do a lot of damage but you don’t need much shielding to stop them.

    I haven’t spotted a Nina. Maybe Nestor just wanted to have six long down answers?

  3. Kathryn's Dad says:

    It was indeed an odd grid. Felt like a bit of a slog today, with not too many smiley moments. 1dn seemed over-convoluted, and ‘rosebud’ as the indicator is rather obscure, I’d say. But I liked AGEISTS and SORCERY. My Kathryn would just laugh at Space Invaders today.

    Thanks for blogging, John.

  4. nmsindy says:

    Yes, when I saw the grid, I thought there might be a Nina esp featuring the top and bottom rows. Not quite as tough as some from Nestor and I enjoyed teasing out the wordplay in the long answers once I’d a few letters and some hint of the answer. Favourite clues PLATO, TOASTER, ARCHIVE.

    Great blog, John.

  5. Jon88 says:

    Somehow I decided that a reptile was an unsettling pet, and wondered how an abject person was an ept. Happily, the bruise where I slapped my forehead is fading already.

  6. eimi says:

    I agree with nmsindy on Plato and toaster, but I loved abs too

  7. NealH says:

    I enjoyed this one. It was hard work getting some of the long answers, but quite satisfying when I finally spotted them. Cannibalistic was the last one I got, mainly because the clue was cleverly constructed to make you think it was a homophone of missiles inside a word for wise. What I most liked was that I understood every answer and, despite the fact that some of the clues (e.g. 20 across) initially looked like they would need some arcane knowledge of poetry or some other subject, in the end none of them did.

  8. Ian says:

    John, a great blog mate.

    This was tough and took me over two hours – almost uninterrrupted.

    It was stuffed with fiendish clues and the setter deserves admiration for the grid alone.

    8dn,21ac, 20ac and 22ac were top drawer material.

    Bravo Nestor.

  9. Bill says:

    Far too difficult for me.Got about 6 clues.Seeing the answers 8d,9d,1d never would have got.Although I did get alpha particle!

  10. CPALLEN says:

    Produced during alpha decay, an alpha particle is a fast moving helium nucleus.

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