Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7379/Nimrod

Posted by John on June 10th, 2010


You’d never have had a blog were it not for the ability to cheat on the Indy website. This crossword wasn’t there at five past midnight, so I did it from the paper this morning, and gave up with very few completed. I’d intended to stick it out and just get it done, but in the interests of your being able to read something I went to the website. Some of these clues are quite beyond me but no doubt they will be explained. Some are very nice.


1 SCHRODINGER’S CAT — (hrs set according)* — one of the few that I actually did (typo corrected, thanks PuzzGal)
9 HOUSE-SIT — Attack is ‘hit’, and to care for joint is to house-sit, and what white elephant has got is no uses, or ‘o uses’
10 FOXING — ???
11 BIG SUR — (is grub)*  — a problem was that I’d never heard of it
12 LINEARLY — (in really)* — I got this immediately and this gave me the false impression that I’d be able to cope
13 MOVING STAIRCASE — a scala is a staircase, so the first sentence leads to ‘moving staircase’, defined by the second
17 TRIGEMINAL NERVE — (element arriving)*
24 S(O)IGNE{d}
25 L I VEIN — but if this an &lit. I’m a bit uncomfortable; don’t really see how it works
26 KNITTING — OK if you have a new jersey it’s been knitted, but ‘Origin of contract’???
27 MARTHA’S VINEYARD — (hit man adversary)* — yet another of Nimrod’s very clever long anagrams
2 CHORIZO — OK this is a type of sausage so is a banger, but the rest of it is beyond me
3 RESISTING ARREST — (registers strain)* — an excellent &lit.
4 DISHRAG — (grid has)* but I don’t like ‘has got more cryptic’ as a mere anagram indicator, if that’s what it is
5 NOTELET — I had a suspicion it was this, without seeing just why, and I still don’t
6 EFFENDI — another I suspected, but again without any ability to explain
13 MET — 2 defs
14 SKI{n}
15 A LA and an ala is a fruity outgrowth
16 EYE — where ‘hear’ is the homophone indicator
18 REPLICA — rep “liquor”
19 MIR AND A — Miranda was the daughter in ‘The Tempest’
20 NABOKOV — (van)rev. around (book)*
21 LESBIAN — (Ibse{n})rev. in LA n{eighbourhood}
22 V INT(N{orwich})ER

23 Responses to “Independent 7379/Nimrod”

  1. 4across says:

    Oh thank you so much for that. I’m in avery similar position to yourself and thought the grey cells had at last packed up. I await enlightenment, which may show that this actually is the case.

  2. Testy says:

    10 X(“by”)+IN in FOG (def is “Indulgence of baffler”)

  3. Gaufrid says:

    Thanks John. As you say, rather a tricky one today. I will try to fill in some of the blanks:
    10ac X (by, as in maths) IN in FOG (inclement conditions)
    25ac If you house-sit (9) you would have to LIVE-IN
    26ac One of the definitions for ‘knit’ is “to contract (the brows, etc)”
    2dn RIZ (up – American form of risen) in CHOO[-choo] (first half of train)
    6dn FF END (crescendo, maybe) in IE reversed

  4. Gaufrid says:

    I think 5dn may be NOT E LET, ie if E is removed from ‘elicit’ you are left with ‘licit’ which is legal or allowable and ‘let’ can mean allow, but I may be barking up completely the wrong tree.

  5. anax says:

    Blimey this was tough and, like you John, I had to cheat to find some answers. In some cases it took a long time to spot the wordplay, but I know Nimrod and I know how fiendishly he likes to push the boundaries; he’s one of those few setters whose work you can identify instantly, and that’s a very good thing indeed.

    Eventually I found the parsings as noted by Gaufrid but 5d still has me puzzled. Could NOTE be loosely defined as “elicit”? And could “cryptic Post” possibly point to LETTER(s) with much of it hidden, leaving just “it” as the def? Not sure but, thankfully, there was no other answer for the slot.

    Good old Nimrod – naughty but nice.

  6. TRIALNERROR says:

    6D Should be person, not people. I live in Turkey, and this word is definitely singular.

  7. Derrick Knight says:

    Yes, very difficult, but satisfying to solve. An old friend once tried to get me to understand SCHRODINGER’S CAT, but it was still the last one I solved. I only understood HOUSE SIT and EFFENDI after I’d filled them in – one of the beauties of cryptic crosswords being that once you understand the wordplay a guess is justified. I thought this was an amazing grid-fill, my two favourite clues being those for RESISTING ARREST (brilliant &lit anagram) and SEXUAL CHEMISTRY (which I read as a cryptic definition).

  8. DavidA says:

    Perhaps 5d is constructed as Elicit->NOTELET by E->NOTE (music) and then Gaufrid’s observation that licit->LET ?

  9. nmsindy says:

    Yes, this was very tough with some excellent clues. Re 5 down, I’d the same idea as Gaufrid ie NOT E LET was the idea with ELICIT with no E giving LET = licit, without being quite able to pin it down absolutely totally. Thought definition was Post-it?. I thought 7D was a cryptic definition, and a very good one.

  10. Gaufrid says:

    Hi DavidA
    I think you have hit the nail on the head. Splitting ‘elicit’ to give NOTE (E) LET (licit) makes perfect sense if ‘let’ is used in the past tense when both ‘licit’ and ‘let’ would mean ‘allowed’.

  11. Derrick Knight says:

    Despite my comment above, I should have owned up to not understanding NOTELET. Can anyone do any thing with NO TELEText?

  12. Derrick Knight says:

    My last posting was sent before I’d read Nos. 8/10. I agree, DavidA’s got it.

  13. Tokyocolin says:

    I guessed 10ac from X(by) IN in FOG but what on earth has ‘foxing’ got to do with ‘indulgence of baffler’?

  14. Derrick Knight says:

    Foxing people is what a baffler does.

  15. Tokyo Colin says:

    I lived in America for 7 years but the only time I heard ‘riz’ was in the comic verse – ‘The spring has sprung, the grass is riz, I wonder where the birdies is.’ But perhaps that is good enough.

  16. PuzzGal says:

    That really was difficult! Just a note: There’s a typo in your 1A, John. You’re missing the H in Schrodinger.

  17. flashling says:

    Wow that was tough, I pity any new solvers to the Indy who got this and folks said tuesday’s should be a prize Saturday crossword, what has the Indy in store? Didn’t help thinking sausage for 2d and seeing usa in it.

    I’d have thought a dish rag is used for washing not drying.

  18. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Wow indeed flashling – after Monday’s gentle introduction to the week from Glowworm there have been some challenges in subsequent days in the Indy. This one was just way beyond me, so it’s slightly reassuring to find that even seasoned solvers (and setters) found it tough going.

    My excuse is that ‘top man in red and white’ at 22dn obviously has to have either DARREN or BENT in it, and it didn’t. A bit like England’s World Cup squad, sadly.

  19. flashling says:

    @KD I did muse on Bruce being in 22dn…

  20. Simon Harris says:

    Having drawn more than my fair share of Nimrods, I think I dodged a bullet here. After 10 minutes I’d got MET and failed to parse a single other clue. So kudos for making a respectable post out of this one.

  21. Ali says:

    I didn’t really have time to tackle this one in earnest, but in the 15 minutes or so I did scan over the clues, I like Simon got no further than MET. So glad I avoided this one too!

  22. nmsindy says:

    While I did eventually solve it, the puzzle was for me one of the very hardest Indy puzzles of the year. A lot to savour in it.

  23. flashling says:

    Was the sells alcohol in 18d and 22d accidental? I suspect so otherwise Nimrod would have surely made it harder. (!)

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