Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7399 (Sat 03-Jul) by Nestor

Posted by beermagnet on July 9th, 2010


Another first Saturday of the month slot for Nestor, and another non-Nina puzzle as far as I can see (Unless Nestor is now sponsored by “Savalab”)

1 SHOULDER PADS SHOULD (are obliged to) (SPREAD)* AInd: out.
For the chuckle it gave for the silly def.  (when I eventually got it – late on) this was my favourite clue:
Dynasty’s expansive features are obliged to spread out (8,4)
9 ALSO-RANS SOR[t] inside ALAN’S
10 SHARON Double-Def.
11 VIEWER Homophone “VEWER” Fewer with F changed to V – I think – maybe.  What do you think?
With voice at the front, not so many heard audience member (6)
13 TOP-HEAVY (HAVE PITY swap I for O)* AInd: doddery
14 AGES A[rea] G[o]ES
15 CROP CIRCLE CROP (exclude fringes) CIRCLE (group)
17 LANCASHIRE A N[ew] CASH (Money) inside LIRE (old money from Italy) Def: northern region. Oh dear. Early on I slapped in FLORENTINE thinking of FLORIN for “Old Money” and “from Italy’s northern region” and didn’t fully justify the rest of the wordplay (which it doesn’t). Of course this seemed OK when I got 18D based on the I, but stopped me getting the long left-hand side down answers “with hilarious consequences”.
19 VEAL VE[rn]AL  RN from last letters of cellulaR collageN.  Vernal clued by “springy”  What can you not like about this clue?
20 ATLANTIS T[ime] repeatedly inside ALANIS which was indeed Ms Morissette‘s first album. She’s best known to me for her part playing God in Dogma.
22 MALADY MAN with N replaced by LADY
23 BROKER CD/DD 1. FInancial Expert 2. Even more penniless? First answer entered (I got this far before finding something I could enter – but was still happy about it!)
24 GROUNDED (UNDERDOG)* AInd: criminal. Have I seen this anagram elsewhere recently – it seems very familiar
26 ROSETTA STONE CD referring to the British Museum’s brilliant object (The 15 min radio program on that link is worth a listen if it’s still there).
The stone that enabled decipherment of Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs:
Tablet helping to sort out tongue (7,5)
2 HOLDING PATTERN Double Def. 1. Planes not yet coming to [a]light (land) 2. Tenant farmer’s (e.g. smallholders, who have a holding) view of crop circles
3 UFO (OF (from) U[niverse])<
4 DRAG RACES DR (doctor), GRACE (archbishop) inside AS (when)
5 RISOTTO All reversed (served up): O[ld] T[ime] “TO SIR” (address of Lulu’s). Ref. Lulu’s 1967 hit “To Sir With Love”
8 TORVILL AND DEAN TOR (peak) V[ery] ILL (badly) D[rawn] inside ADEAN (mountain range)  One of those answers you get miles before decoding the wordplay
12 WISECRACKER WISER around E[cstacy] CRACK (cocaine)
16 CREAM SODA REAMS (lots of paper) inside CODA E (end piece)  I had this down as my favourite before getting 1A but that was only because cream soda (= “pop”) was my favourite tipple when I was a nipper (I’m surprised I could remember quite frankly)
18 INSIGHT IN SIGHT (visible)
21 TORUS Homophone “Taurus” (works for me – enough)
25 NUT Hidden in kitcheN UTensil

7 Responses to “Independent 7399 (Sat 03-Jul) by Nestor”

  1. jmac says:

    Lots of fun clues here: HOLDING PATTERN; VEAL; BROKER; CREAM-SODA; and of course the groan-out-loud SHOULDER PADS which I got very late on having failed to accomodate all manner of Hapsburg, Ming, etc. dynasties – very clever. Thanks to Beermagnet for explaining the Lulu reference at 5dn. Also parsed 11ac as a homophone – probably deserved another groan but I’m pretty relaxed about sound-alikes.

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, beermagnet. This was back in the tough but doable category for me, and to add to your comment at 19ac, what’s not to like about the whole puzzle? Many excellent clues: CREAM SODA and SHOULDER PADS were top-drawer, but this is probably one where people will be impressed by different clues, there being barely a weak one in sight.

    ROSETTA STONE also produce language training courses, and since I work in that field, that was my route to the answer once I saw ‘tongue’ and had a few crossers.

    The reference to the song by the wee Scottish lassie passed me by (as did most of her contributions to the genre).

    I agree with your parsing of 11ac, where the voiced and unvoiced consonants are swapped.

  3. nmsindy says:

    Thanks for the blog, beermagnet. Yes, this was very good. I guessed how RISOTTO might work but had forgotten that Lulu sang that song. Favourite clues, TOP-HEAVY, CROP CIRCLE (great definition), LANCASHIRE, BROKER, INSIGHT.

  4. nmsindy says:

    PS I wondered for quite a while if there was more to the ROSETTA STONE clue than a cryptic definition, esp as the letters of ‘to sort’ were in there, but I think not. Think it’s the first time I’ve seen the phrase ‘non-Nina puzzle’, I guess those will always be with us…

  5. Stella Heath says:

    Thanks for the excellent blog, Beermagnet, you saved me having to go back and forth between the puzzle and the explanation.

    I also missed the Lulu reference, and K’s D got there before me explaining that ‘v’ is the voiced pronunciation of ‘f’.

    In your parsing of 16d, you have CODE for ‘end piece’, which not only doesn’t fit the word-play, but is actually a mistake, the end-piece of a musical work being ‘coda’ – ‘tail’ in Italian.

    That apart – and it might have been a typo – your blog is as entertaining and informative as the puzzle itself.

    BTW, I’m presuming the Dynasty reference is to the TV series, which I avoided, but I do remember shoulder pads were in fashion at the time?

  6. Moose says:

    10a? Never really got started.Got a handful of clues and having seen the answers wouldn’t have got anymore.Way above my ability.

  7. Moose says:

    As a believer really liked 3 and 7 down!

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