Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7397 by Nimrod

Posted by nmsindy on July 1st, 2010


A fine puzzle in Nimrod’s very distinctive style.   On the hard side, as one expects from Nimrod.  Solving time, 41 mins.

* = anagram


6 SERBIA    (rabies)*

8 HAYLOFT   “Hail”  OFT

9 SLANDERER     LAND in SERE (dry)   R (Republican)

10 KILT     Sean Connery, of the James Bond movies, is Scottish.    Lee’s lead = first letter contained  in KIT = Christopher

11 LITCHI    LIT  CHI (energy – from China)

12 UNDERACT     This was very good with ham in misleading context   (A N CURED)*  n = new followed by T = time

14 TURN THE CORNER     (cut Northerner)*

17 LOOK INTO    LOO  KIN   TO (shut)

19 KERNEL    “Colonel”

21 EPOS    Hidden.    An epic poem.

22 PERPETUAL     ref  perpetual motion     PER = A    U = “you” in PETAL

23 ILLICIT     Definition = wrong   I’LL = setter will shortly  CIT = see the article ie citing something (I think that’s it anyway) with I = writer contained in it all.

24 ETHENE     onE  THE NE (Newcastle area)


1 TEE SHIRT     Liked this   HI in (SETTER)*    Definition: top

2 HARD-BITTEN     Definition:  toughened.    Not quite sure yet how this works.   (THE BANDIT)* with anagram indicator of Harry gives 9 of the 10 letters ie all except the R so if R could mean ‘one arm’ that would work but I can’t quite see it and may be on the wrong track entirely.

3 EYER     4 = LOOKER-ON    YE (old solvers ie ‘you (plural)’ in former usage) in ER (Queen)

4 LOOKER-ON   L   ON (leg – side on a cricket field) containing   ‘OOKER   = hooker in East End (of London)

5 ITALIC      New Roman = Italic ie Italians later than Romans, I think is what is meant here, have not gone back into the history.    Italic = type (printing)

7 BLANC    This refers to the chef Raymond BLANC (who has had TV programmes) and the late Mel BLANC (voice of cartoon characters Bugs Bunny, Porky the Pig etc)

8 HERCULE POIROT    This was the heart of the puzzle.     I guessed it from the start from ‘this detective’ and the enumeration, but could make no sense of the rest.   Then with the puzzle almost solved saw the Nina around the perimeter, starting with the first letter of 1D   THE LITTLE GREY CELLS.    So the ‘peripheral vision’ ie around the periphery (perimeter) of grid is what the rest of the clue refers to.    This is the detective’s catch phrase in the well-known series of TV programmes drawn from Agatha Christie’s books.

13 DOORKEEPER    (ORDER PEKOE)*    pekoe is a type of tea

15 RAKISHLY     KISH = KISS  (drunk’s show of admiration) in RALLY less the central L

16 RIESLING    Rum (dash = first letter) IE  SLING (cocktail)

18 ORPHIC    PHI (letter) in ORC (killer – whale)     This was a new word to me, but fairly gettable from the wordplay.      From a look at dicts, think it refers to Orpheus (Greek myth) who could move inanimate objects with the music of his lyre but happy to be advised otherwise.

20 ROUGH    RO = pros stripping (removing outer letters)   UGH   Definition: coarse

22 PACE    Double definition     deferring to = with respect, used when politely contradicting another viewpoint.    Also, horse’s speed, tho I guess it could also be used of people eg footballers.

19 Responses to “Independent 7397 by Nimrod”

  1. Paul A says:

    The good news – paper version foldable again. Bad news – a Nimrod! Got there in the end, but no idea why it was Hercule Poirot. The Lady Vanishes came to mind, but totally irrelevant. The Nina didn’t help, but at least I saw it.

    23ac – Could it be ILL (setter will) + C (shortly see) + IT (the article) around I (the writer)?

    Equally I don’t get where the single R in 2d comes from.

  2. nmsindy says:

    ILLICIT. Paul A (comment 1), that looks much better, thanks.

  3. walruss says:

    The only puzzle I managed to find the time to do today. Oh well! Saved by ze leetle grey cells as was MNS Indy. Thanks for your blog, sir.

  4. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Well beyond me today, but I know you have to have some hard’uns sometimes to keep everyone interested. Fish on Fridays, and Phi on Fridays to look forward to.

  5. Allan_C says:

    Not tackled the puzzle yet (managed to scroll down with the blog and comments covered up) but I must take this opportunity to commend the Indy for putting the dead tree version across the bottom of the page once more. I know eimi doesn’t have much control over the layout but please ask “them” to make sure it stays in that position from now on!

  6. Eileen says:

    My take on 2dn was R = right hand and so, presumably, right arm?

  7. Paul B says:

    Right enough.

  8. flashling says:

    Remind me not to complain when it’s too easy ever again, got there in the end, well over an hour. I thought 7D was a great clue, but that was hard work to get into. Nice Nina but don’t know enough of the books to get any other links in the answers. And thanks Eimi for getting the layout fixed. Even if we’ve lost the scribble pad.

  9. Quixote says:

    One of the easier Nimrods, I thought, but ‘easier’, not ‘easy’. As with Bannsider, I found several answers from definitions and couldn’t always justify the subsidiary indications straightaway. As a crossword ‘insider’ (like many of you) I was looking for the perimeter Nina and this helped. A tough one for an ‘outsider’ everyman solver who wants to try out a different quality daily though. (Incidentally, you can read some useful advice from me in Virginia Ironside’s Dilemmas column. I’m often there!)

  10. Scarpia says:

    Thanks nmsindy.
    Great puzzle I thought,solved in the early hours on line.Didn’t spot the nina and it’s now too late to access the puzzle.I did Google Hercule Poirot and peripheral vision(together) and had a few hits mentioning “little grey cells” so thought it was just a very oblique reference.
    I’ve only recently started tackling the Indie puzzle regularly,so have still to learn to look for ninas etc.

  11. carl2bob says:

    usually dread a Nimrod, as with a Bannsider or an Anax, this one, tho I couldnt finish it, was fun

    thank you

  12. Uncle Yap says:

    Splendid puzzle and equally splendid blog. I missed the NINA until I came here for a better explanation for Hercule Poirot.

    Kish for a drunken kiss ; you’re too much, John Henderson :-)

  13. Allan_C says:

    Hard but not impossible, as might be expected from Nimrod. Thought there had to be a nina but didn’t twig it till I realised 8d had to be the famous Belgian. Just been looking for a date-related reason for the nina (e.g. Christie’s or David Suchet’s birthday) but can’t find one.

  14. Ali says:

    About 40 mins for all bar ORPHIC. I wouldn’t have got nearly as far as I did without spotting the Nina though, but never equated it with POIROT (I just entered that as it fitted!)

    Was very pleased to see the puzzle moved back to its rightful place. Boy was that short-lived!

  15. Moose says:

    Made a really good fist of this.Got about 2 thirds.Sometimes it’s easy to over analyse.Got 8d because it fitted as with 23a and 16d.4d don’t like looker on as I’ve always heard and used onlooker but good clue.Fav clue 7d

  16. Moose says:

    Could someone tell me the Nina please!

  17. Nick Corney says:

    Apparently 8d’s catchphrase was ‘The little grey cells’. Not only was this the Nina around the perimeter – starting as usual in the NW corner – but it was also referred to in the clue for 8d by the words ‘peripheral vision’. And that very last piece of the puzzle had escaped me till coming here!

  18. Moose says:

    Never ever watched Poirot but still find Nina ( now I’ve seen it) ingenious!

  19. don says:

    Surely if “a dash of R U M” = R, as in 16d, then “one [of] A R M” can also be R as in 2d? Both equally lazy clueing.

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>

5 + seven =