Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7336 by Nimrod

Posted by NealH on April 21st, 2010


*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed, hom=homophone, CD=cryptic def, DD=double def, sp=spoonerism

I volunteered for this slot after the scheduled blogger fell victim to volcanic ash on the assumption it would be a nice easy Dac, but was instead presented with a daunting Nimrod. I’ve not always been the greatest fan of Nimrod, but I have to say that I found this a delightful puzzle, even though I also found it incredibly difficult. I did manage to finish it with a couple of uses of the “check” button to confirm suspicions. In retrospect, paying more attention to the 9/10 theme would have made things easier.

9/10 Samuel Langhorne Clemens: (Noel German measles lunch)*. The real name of Mark Twain. Had to resort to the check button for a bit of help with the spelling as I’d always thought of it as more like “Samuel Longhorne Clemons”.
11 Florist: Loris in ft. Nice def – “woman in bloomers”.
12 Ahead: DD. A ridiculously easy clue that I didn’t get until late on – I think the question mark made me think it was more cryptic than it was.
14 Twain: T on wain.
15 Opt: Op on t[wain].
17 Missus: Is sus after M[ale].
20 Hippie: [C]hippie[s].
23 DDT: Hidden in “Odd that”.
25 Never: Hidden in one version.
27 Shall: Sh + All. Def is “may come to”.
29 Humidor: I think this is hum + i + d’or.
30/31 Golf is a good walk spoiled: CD (driving = golf, constitutional=walk). Obviously also a famous quote by 9/10.
1 Asocial: Laic< after (pursuing) A so. Def is "reluctant to join the company".
2 Ampere: A me around per (=a as in “per head”/” “a head”).
3 Behead: He in bead.
4 Closet: Close t. Close is given as a synonym for short in Chambers.
5 In a flash: (L fan I)< + ash.
6 Thrown up: Worth* + pun<.
7 Orsino: Sin in Or o.
8 Meet: DD.
13 Ass: This was the only one I didn’t quite follow – “Bottom of the boards ? Yes, bottom”. Possibly the bottom part of some word for boards, but can’t think of anything. As explained by Gaufrid, it refers to Bottom from Midsummer Night’s Dream, whose head was transformed to that of an ass.
17,16 Mud Pie: Seems to be * of (pud I)* in me, although the I seems to be doing double-duty. Def is of course a wonderful reference to Mississippi Mud Pie – hom of “Missus Hippie”.
18 Sent down: N[utmeg] in Set down.
19 Severely: Sever Ely.
21 Pah: Hap<
22 Alcalde: (Called a)*. Possibly a bit too obscure but an easy clue at least.
24 Tom Tom: Twain’s hero Tom (Sawyer) twice (him and his twain).
26 Rugose: Go in Ruse. I think the “Corner Square” refers to Monopoly.
27 Sallow: SA (sex appeal = it) + l + low (= non-high).
28 Afield: Failed*. Flourish here is a used as an anagram indicator, which is a bit unusual. One of the meanings is “to move in fantastic patterns”, so that may be the intended use.
29 High: H (= Henry) I + HG< (HG Wells).

17 Responses to “Independent 7336 by Nimrod”

  1. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Neal
    Thanks for standing in. You have a typo in 1dn (I instead of A) and 4dn (short twice).

    In 13dn ‘Bottom of the boards’ refers to the character in Shakespeare’s MND.

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you Neal.

    The solution in 21dn is PAH rather than HAP, I fancy, but thanks for the blog and I agree with you, this was really tough. I kept going till I got more than half; but the two long across clues just wouldn’t come to me, and since one depends on the other, that was my undoing.

    Nimrod is a tough setter, which I don’t mind since it lets me see how much better I’m getting (not much at the moment, since you ask). While not wanting to restart over here the long discussion in Another Place yesterday about what’s obscure and what’s not in the literary field, I think unless you’re pretty well versed in American literature then Mark Twain’s real name is likely to be difficult to get even with a sizeable number of crossing letters.

    But as my comment on the recent puzzle with Masters Golf as its theme reveals, 30/31 sums up my feelings exactly (sorry, Wil).

  3. Mick Hodgkin says:

    A fine puzzle, but I was stuck on the top half until I googled for Mark Twain’s real name – I’d guessed at Samuel but didn’t know the rest, but it looked like he was the man.
    As well as the long ones, 29 down was very nice – “Wells up” for HG fooled me for a long time.

  4. nmsindy says:

    I too found this v tough with some excellent clues and a pleasing overall theme. I don’t think I is doing double duty in MUD PIE tho, I think it’s (pud I)* in ME.

  5. beermagnet says:

    Can I point out that today is the centenary of Mark Twain’s death. (So that’s why Dac got bumped a day.)
    Cracking puzzle.

  6. anax says:

    Nimrod will know what I mean when I say this was a slightly different experience for me, but what a cracking puzzle.

    Other solvers may notice some answers giving NEVER (the) TWAIN SHALL MEET.

    Thankfully Twain’s real name is something I knew, as was the quote, both of these just bits of trivia picked up over the years. To my shame I never read the man’s works.

  7. Mick Hodgkin says:

    Good spot Anax. Now if the left and right sides of the grid were unconnected, that quotation could be true of the puzzle too!

  8. pat says:

    Failed miserably even when I twigged the Mark Twain connection. Very frustrating experience, and not made any better on seeing the answers….

  9. beermagnet says:

    Thanks for pointing out the icing on the cake Anax.
    I meant to say that, I wouldn’t have got far with this but Nimrod/Enigmatist played the same game elsewhere recently.

  10. sidey says:

    It’s days like this I wish there was a printable version. As he said “When angry, count four; when very angry, swear.”

  11. Derrick Knight says:

    I agree – a cracking puzzle. I knew neither Twain’s real name nor the Golfing (?title or ?quote). It took great discipline not to google Twain until I’d had (fortunately successful) stabs at the name from the anagram and the GOLF …….. from the clever CD. This meant I had to solve all the crossing answers first, making it a greater struggle than usual. Thanks, Nimrod.

  12. Ian says:

    Thanks Neal.

    One of the graet crosswords of the year so far. It had everything. Wit, audacity and a great theme. Tough but satisying and a real intellectual challenge.


  13. walruss says:

    Readers of Philip Jose Farmer will not have been disadvantaged!! Very enjoyable, though I did expect to fail!

  14. TRIALNERROR says:

    Could anyone tell me the clues for 28D and 29D? Not the answers, just the clues? Thanx

  15. Gaufrid says:

    28 Failed to flourish away from home (6)
    29 Wells up after Henry I gets elevated (4)

  16. TRIALNERROR says:

    thanx again

  17. TRIALNERROR says:

    Thanx Gaufrid. Phew, that was a struggle. Didn’t recall the quote unfortunately. Hate that. Still, as the man said: “I would rather have my ignorance than another man’s knowledge, because I have so much more of it”.

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