Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7442 by Nitsy

Posted by NealH on August 23rd, 2010


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

I’d never come across this setter before but a quick search of this site finds some Inquisitor puzzles that have appeared under that name. It was mostly very good, although I found a couple of the CDs a bit weak.

1 Tire: R with tie around it.
3 Estimate: I’m ate after set*.
10 Double Standards: Standard in doubles (=type of tennis game).
11 Neediness: Seen< (= distinguished) around dines.
12 Chef: &lit. He in c[ooking] f[ood].
13 Elbowed: Elbow + Ed.
15 Rasher: R[egret] + as + her.
17 Seseli: Hidden, rev in files essential.
19 Devotee: Dee around vote.
20 Unit: U + nit. Nit for silly seems a bit odd, since one is usually a noun and the other an adjective, but apparently silly can be used to mean “a silly person”.
21 Plaintiff: Plain + tiff.
24 Leading Question: CD. Again, I found this a little weak and imprecise.
25 Last Gasp: Not sure about this. Seems to be last + GP (grand piano) around as. That would leave final as the def and last would mean go.
26 Smut: Tums<.
1 TV Dinner: CD. As usual, I struggled with this, mainly because I had great difficulty thinking of TV as a two letter word rather than 1,1.
2 Route: Roue around t[urf].
4 Sparser: Spars + even letters of peers.
5 Indecisiveness: Incisiveness around D[enmark] + [scen]e.
6 Agreement: A[miable] + greet around men.
7 Ease: [C]ease.
8 All-in wrestling: (Still learning + w(idth))*.
9 Ascend: C (about) + end after a s(mall).
14 Biennials: Bien (French for well) + snail*.
16 Reef Knot: (Keen for t[eacher])*.
18 Impugns: I S (internal security) around MP + gun*.
19 Dial up: Aid< + l + up (= in residence at university).
22 Idiom: I + Di + o(ld) m(ale).
23 El Al: E[nergy] + all*.

23 Responses to “Independent 7442 by Nitsy”

  1. Rishi says:

    25a: We may take ‘final’ as the def., in which case the breakup might be LAST (v. to endure, from ‘go’ v.) G (AS) P

  2. Rishi says:

    Under ‘silly’ Chambers does have
    n. a silly person
    I discovered this some time ago while browsing the red book.

  3. Ali says:

    I’ve never tackled any of Nitsy’s thematics, but I enjoyed this one. Some very nice wordplay, but I fell for the enumeration in 1D and guessed TO DINNER. Which is clearly nonsense!

  4. sidey says:

    I think ‘last gasp’ is simply a clue not quite up to ‘snuff’.

  5. nmsindy says:

    I saw LAST-GASP as FINAL (definition), go on = last and AS in GP in the wordplay. My favourite clue was PLAINTIFF. Also esp liked TV DINNER which was my last answer and SMUT.

  6. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Struggled with this one and ended up only two-thirds done. Of those, I liked BIENNIALS, but thought a few of the others were a bit so-so. However, since this was the first date for Nitsy and me, I’ll reserve judgement and look forward to him/her asking me out again.

  7. Colin Blackburn says:

    I enjoyed this one on the whole. A reasonable puzzle for a Monday. I too liked PLAINTIFF and read LAST-GASP the same ways as nmsindy.

    I didn’t read 24ac as a CD. The wordplay is LEADING + QUESTION, “in front of” + “enquiry”, with the remainder of the clue serving as the definition.

    A minor correction: should the DD in 10ac be there? I see the wordplay as described with just the one definition.


  8. flashling says:

    Generally quite easy but one or two iffy clues to me, seen being distinguished doesn’t ring bells and last gasp I took as one of those clues where the def and SI overlap. Anyway thanks Neal for explaining some bits I couldn’t see.

  9. Scarpia says:

    Thanks Neal.
    I remember Nitsy from a lovely Henry James themed puzzle in the Inquisitor series,so I was a bit disappointed this was a relatively easy (daily) puzzle.
    As usual (in most puzzles) I found the cryptic definitons to be the weakest clues.Some work very well but that seems (to me) to be the exception rather than the rule.
    Other than that,some good stuff here,including 5 down(nice Shakespearian surface),25 across and the excellent 12 across.
    Last to go in for me was 1down,I too having difficulty in thinking of TV as one word,although I have come across it before in “crosswordland”

  10. Wil Ransome says:

    It seems that the Indy setters are now quite ignoring what the editor has said: twice (in 13ac and 25ac) we have ‘on’ where A on B is AB in an across clue. Perfectly OK by me, but not I think what Eimi has said.

    Some good clues (25ac has been unfairly slated I think: nms has it right and it’s excellent). But I wasn’t sure about vote=suggest in 19ac, or ease=wealth in 7dn (although some dictionary probably gives it).

  11. Mike Laws says:

    Nitsy has had 16 puzzles in the Inquisitor series – first was 22/3/03, when it was still called Weekend Crossword.

  12. Quixote says:

    A on B having to mean B followed by A in an across is a Times convention — introduced (I think) by Brian Greer. As a Times setter, I am obliged to follow this convention, but would not feel the need to do so when setting for other papers, since I have never been persuaded of its logic. The fact that the current Azed winner uses A on B to mean A followed by B seems to suggest that I am not alone! (and I can’t remember Eimi imposing the rule either!)

  13. Allan_C says:

    Totally missed 1d, being old-fashioned enough not to indulge in TV dinners. All I could think of was TE DANSEE as a variant of Thé Dansant (‘sets’ occur in some forms of dancing) ‘Illiterate’ variants, identified as such, do find their way into Chambers, but that wasn’t one of them.
    Otherwise, pretty straightforward, as others have said.

  14. Colin Blackburn says:

    Scarpia: sure you’re not talking about Rufus on the other channel? There was only one CD in this puzzle.

  15. Merlyn says:

    I found this quite hard, and only got a couple. Nitsy obviously has a different mind set to me… I think 10A is a Double Def (unfair behaviour/ normal in a game of tennis), though I put ‘Taking Advantage’ (which made all my efforts at the first 9 downs quite impossible!)

    Could someone explain 3A? How is worried with criminal ‘ate’?

  16. NealH says:

    Eat can be a colloquial expression meaning to be worried about something, as in the title of the Johnny Depp film “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?” It comes up quite often.

  17. Colin Blackburn says:

    Merlyn, I don’t see how 10A is a double def. The wordplay is STANDARD in DOUBLES ie normal = STANDARD, game of tennis = DOUBLE. For it to be a double def tennis would have to be a pretty nasty game!

  18. Colin Blackburn says:

    That should be: game of tennis = DOUBLES

  19. Merlyn says:

    NealH] 3A – I see!

    Colin] 10A – Double standards are unfair rules or policies As defined by wikipedia “The term double standard, coined in 1912, refers to any set of principles containing different provisions for one group of people than for another, typically without a good reason for having said difference.”

  20. Colin Blackburn says:

    Merlyn, I know what DOUBLE STANDARDS means. I am arguing that the clue wasn’t a double definition. I don’t see how your explanation does anything other than clarify the definition in the clue. The rest of the clue was wordplay (STANDARD in DOUBLES), not a second definition.

  21. Merlyn says:

    Colin] My understanding of ‘double definition’ is a clue with 2 halves, each of which gives the same answer: “Unfair behaviour” and “that’s normal in a game of tennis” (though the second is slightly cryptic). However, I am happy to agree to disagree.

  22. nmsindy says:

    I would take double definition to mean both parts of the clue were direct definitions of the answer e.g. to quote Don Manley’s book ‘University name on key’ (YALE). If the answer is got in another way, wordplay to some, subsidiary indication to others, it’s different. You have in the clue one direct definition combined with another way of working the answer out. I think DOUBLE STANDARDS in the Nitsy puzzle falls into that latter category as indeed do maybe 90% or more of cryptic clues.

  23. Merlyn says:

    OK – most clues referred to as DD on these blogs (which is what I base my understanding on) seem not fall into that more narrow definition.

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