Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7416 by Nimrod

Posted by nmsindy on July 23rd, 2010


A special puzzle to mark a special day as Nimrod and Jetdoc marry.   A puzzle that nmsindy found extremely hard with a massive anagram, eventually after about 2 hours had to confess defeat on that and on some other clues.    Did get fairly far with it but could not crack the SE corner and even with quite a few letters could not see the long entry tho MARRIED looked part of it all right.    Many thanks to Gaufrid for explaining those ones I missed.    

And congrats once again and best wishes to the couple who nmsindy has had the pleasure of meeting at crossword events.

* = anagram


1 STOMACHACHE    STOMA (opening) CHA CH(a)  bridE

9 Teather ERROR    Jetdoc  is of  course Jane Teather

10 DIALYSIS    One of those v hard ones with 3 intersected by the quote but I got it in the end   LAID (reversed)  Y (year) SIS (girl)

11 ATTITUDE   V amusing clue  T (time) in AT IT  (DUE)*

12 SCHLEP   S (son)  (CHAPEL)* less A (one)

13 NORDIC    Another tough one with just one letter not checked by the long entry.   Even letters of bRiDe in (ICON)*

14 ERECTION    (erotic)* in EN  ie deny without its first and last letters

16 LIFEBELT    (w = with)IFE  BEL(l)  in LT (London Transport) with the definition ‘saver’


19 BANTAM    17D is “THE RING” so this refers to a boxing weight.   A NT (book – New Testament) in BAM   from WHAM BAM THANK YOU MA’AM ie congress, another fun clue.

21 EXEGESES     EG (for example) E (initially evident) in (SEXES)*

22 MATA HARI     Another clue I liked a lot.     Dancer, spy, executed in WWI.    Nice husband = MARI  (French ie from Nice) around A HAT (reversed) ie pork pie (hat), say.

23   TOWNIE   OWN (to have) in TIE (knot) 

24  FINGER BOWLS     OWL  in (FERNS BIG)*   owl comes from the thematic quote


2/5/3/7/8    The central answer, an anagram of the first 63 letters in the clue, I spent a  long time trying to tease it out but could not quite get there.     THEY TOOK IT AWAY AND WERE MARRIED NEXT DAY BY THE TURKEY WHO LIVES ON THE HILL.     With the benefit of hindsight nmsindy’s failure to get this was that it was a quote totally unfamiliar to him, but he may be quite unusual in this.   He finds it’s from the Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear which, while he’d heard of the title, did not know anything about it or who wrote it.

4 CARBUNCLE    BRAC(e)  reversed UNCLE

6 HEADS     NAHT is a head teachers’ associati0n.    ‘Pre-match’ call was very good because it suggests a wedding though what it actually means is the toss at the start of a (football or other) match, I think.

15  EGGBEATER    EG (perhaps)  G   GROOM less ROOM    and “B-TIER”

17  THE RING    Love-starved other = (o)THER  (box)ING  = half boxing

20 MIAMI   I AM  in M1 (motorway)

18 Responses to “Independent 7416 by Nimrod”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, nms. A sixty-three letter anagram might normally raise an eyebrow, but of course on this special day we’ll forgive Nimrod this indulgence, I hope. I got a third of the answers, but struggled to get the anagram and the rest (although I was familiar with the Lear quote). So I’ll just add my very best wishes to everyone else’s.

  2. Eileen says:

    Phew – well done, nms! A hard slog indeed but extremely satisfying.

    I’m not a huge fan of very long anagrams but that one is just stunning – a lovely paraphrase of the quotation!

    I’m also very impressed that Mr Henderson produced two very good but totally different clues for EXEGESES here and in the Guardian.

    Apart from that, favourite clues: 22 and 23ac.

    Least favourite: 15dn. ‘Groom’s leaving area’ for me leads to ‘room’ – and “B-TIER” for beater?? [I know I made a promise about homophones but that was on the Guardian thread and, anyway, this is bizarre!]

  3. Simon Harris says:

    Too hard for me: bought the paper at Aberdeen airport and had less than 1/3 of the grid filled by the time I reached SE21 – not including the anagram. Can’t say I particularly enjoyed any of those that I did get.

  4. Derrick Knight says:

    WOW! Congratulations to Nimrod on both counts.

  5. Eileen says:

    Hang on a minute – isn’t second-grade ‘beta’?

  6. Allan_C says:

    First of all, congratulations to the happy couple! I guessed there might be some connection to the event after seeing “Appeal of Bells” in Announcements on Monday.

    But I didn’t even try unscrambling the long anagram as it seemed obvious it was a quotation, and after getting a few checking letters I had a good idea what it was – all that was needed was to look it up.

    One little quibble about 18a; ‘whirl’ is presumably the def and ‘tying knot with difference’ the anagrind so that ‘in a’ is a bit superfluous. But hey, who’s worried about that today? Nimrod and Jetdoc must be in a whirl after tying the knot. Enjoy 20d if that’s where you’re headed!

  7. Myrvin says:

    Gosh! It’s wide open spaces here compared with the Grauniad.
    Are all Indy puzzles like this – impossible to do and dirty?
    The Web version could’t split the looong answer into different word lengths, so all my regular tricks were almost useless. I guessed THE at the front (but it was THEY) and even got MARRIED because of the theme, but nothing else. And I know the poem very well, being a Lear fan. (He writes but he cannot speak Spanish …. How pleasant to know Mr Lear)
    Lots of checks and cheats.
    I’ll try again another day.

  8. Scarpia says:

    Thanks nms.
    I started this one as soon as it was up on the indie website,which meant a very late bedtime for me.I very much doubt if I could have completed if it wasn’t for the enumeration of the long anagram posted here(Thanks Gaufrid and Eimi).
    I had a little moan yesterday about long answers making a puzzle too easy once filled in.This was different,I got the long anagram fairly early on and the check letters provided gave a much needed aid for the rest of the clues.
    Thanks for explaining 1 across,I’ve been thinking about this one on and off all day and couldn’t work it out.
    Eileen @ 5. That’s the way I read it.
    Too many excellent clues to highlight favourites,just one word to describe the whole puzzle – brilliant!

  9. Quixote says:

    If it isn’t too late, I’d like to extend my congratulations to the happy pair

    I saw TURKEY in the long anagram fairly early on adn recognised the Lear quotation. All the anagram fodder was ingenious but unused by me alas

    Anyway I hope they are dancing by the light of the silvery moon!

  10. flashling says:

    Very hard and took a while to remember the poem and the turkey bit escaped my memory. Got there in the end. Bit embarrased by struggling with 23a despite being a Cambridge granduate. Lots of clever stuff, very well done and congrats to the happy couple. Grid shouted nina down the sides but can’t see one. Eimi what was the problem for the online version? Just the length of 2dn?

  11. eimi says:

    Just back from the Nimrod nuptials. I don’t know why or how, but the online software, somehow determined to fit the numeration on one line, reduced the text size to unreadable to make it happen.

  12. Dr.G says:

    A most enjoyable crossword.
    Uncle Yap and I finished it in one hour amid having a couple of Glen Morangie (18yr).
    Thanks Nimrod and Congrats!

  13. Bannsider says:

    Ref the query about GYRATE at #6: it also means “in a whirl”.

    I don’t expect to see slip-ups in a Nimrod puzzle so I made a point of checking this!!

  14. theminx says:

    No – it’s actually anax here on the minx’s pc. Nowt to do with the crozzer (which – along with the other 4 yesterday – was huge fun) but I just wanted to take the opportunity to extend hearty congrats to a wonderful couple. It’s a privilege to know you as friends and we both wish you the longest and happiest future together.

  15. Sil van den Hoek says:

    I am not just talking about the long anagram [which was stunning, also because of the appropriate surface – and we needed it to find out whether the turkey lives or lived], which we – luckily – didn’t crack too quickly.
    I am also talking about myself [ :) ] because “I” managed to complete 4 crosswords by Mr H in a row – something that I never would have thought of [well, in dreams].

    The IO as an entertaining warm-up, the Enigmatist as a fine (and tough) one with several topical clues, then the Times puzzle which was very clever and precise [but contained hardly any references to the Big Day], alas no Elgar, and finally this crossword which beat them all by miles!

    A special mentioning for [as we saw it] the ‘sexual interaction’ between clue and solution in both 11ac and 14ac. Cunningly done.
    Last one to go in was EGGBEATER.
    And a clue that took a while to understand, because we were thinking about ‘eater’ as maybe an American word for ‘tooth’ (chopper) – only to find out that an ‘eggbeater’ is a helicopter (‘US chopper’). And, of course, as Eileen and Scarpia made clear, the last part is a homophone of ‘beta’.

    In your blog, nmsindy (and thank U, of course) you say that the BEL-part of LIFEBELT (16ac) is BELL without the last L. We, though, took it as plain BEL: a unit of sound equal to 10dB (so ‘some noise’).
    Well, in the end it doesn’t make that much different.
    As long as the Wedding Bells weren’t associated with ‘noise’ ….

    Cheers [again] to the Happy Couple (who are now in 20d? … :) )

  16. Scarpia says:

    Hi Sil.
    Glad someone else noticed the “thematic entry” at 14 across :) .

  17. Uncle Yap says:

    It is gratifying to note that all those years of expensive primary education is beginning to pay off. About midway through, I had OWL as missing anagram fodder and the penny dropped. I startled Dr G by reciting Edward Lear’s poem which I had committed to memory (almost) some decades ago.

    Three cheers for Everyday Classics which also taught me
    Up the airy mountain
    Down the rushy glen
    We daren’t go a-hunting
    For fear of little men;
    Wee folk, good folk,
    Trooping all together;
    Green jacket, red cap,
    And grey cock’s feather!

  18. Merlyn says:

    Well, Congratulations Nimrod. I was feeling quite chuffed last week at getting nearly completed grids for the first 4 days, and wondered why Phi ended up on Thursday, but there’s the answer.

    Now I see the answer to the long anagram I should have picked up on the clues in the anagram, but didn’t get it. I didn’t do too well and only got a few of the words crossing the quote, which gave me very unuseful letters.

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