Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7451/Nimrod

Posted by John on September 2nd, 2010


All this was far too difficult for me and if it hadn’t been for the reveal function I’m sure I’d never have finished, because there are still several that I can’t understand. The initial reaction is to say hmm… but perhaps they are devilishly cunning clues that simply go over my head. Let’s hope a few come to me while I’m doing the blog, otherwise this would be rather thin. Well not many did I’m afraid.

1 TO BE SURE — Chambers gives this as equivalent to “I admit”, but what it has to do with a banker, whether regular or of the river type, I can’t see; is it saying that a banker is a cautious type? Surely no
5 ANGINA — utterly bewildered here: Carmen? Joe? News? All I can see is that angina is a condition — Google suggests that it is something about the latest production of Carmen and that Joe is Don Jose, but goodness knows how the clue actually works
10 IN THE VERNACULAR — (thu{g} cranial nerve)*
11 DINETTE — net=practise, I suppose in the cricketing sense: a batsman who is netting is practising, so it’s net in (diet)*
12 HUN DRE{a}D — a hundred is a square number and it’s also an old area, but this latter is nothing to do with it because the area part of it is used in the wordplay
13 TIME BOMB — (met bimbo)*
15 OZ ONE — Oz is Australia and a = one
18 O READ — not comfortable here: ‘0 read’ is an oblique way of saying that nothing is read, I suppose, hmm…, and an oread is a mountain nymph, so presumably the oread is in the mountains so is in a range
20 FIG LOVER — referring to Fiona Glover, of whom I’d hardly heard
23 SO-AND-SO — good clue, to give poor old Nimrod his due (I’ve been rather negative about all this): the make-up of so-so (= indifferent) is “so” and “so”
25 B LEN(D{rum})IN
26 SACHIN TENDULKAR — (he’d cut Sri Lankan)*, a very nice anagram &lit. referring to the great Indian batsman who in my opinion should have been ahead of Viv Richards in Wisden’s list of the five cricketers of the 20th century
27 TATA M1 — a tatami, as I discovered, is a basic floor covering made from rice stalks
28 ALDEHYDE — (lead)* Hyde
1 TRIODE — (editor)* and editor is Ed fully
3 S (WEE) TIE — I suppose a wee, which is an informal word for urine or urinating, is as in ‘spend a penny’. Perhaps.
4 REEVE — 2 defs, one of them referring to The Reeve’s Tale from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales
6 NO CAN DO — a bottle party is a “no can” do — I’d be very enthusiastic about this if at the back of my mind weren’t the feeling that I’ve seen it before
7 IDLE R — referring to Eric Idle of Monty Python
8 A BRIDGES — referring to Robert Bridges, Poet Laureate
9 IN THE BAG — 2 defs
14 OF(F)-SORTS — which I discovered is wool set aside in sorting, and rough = of sorts, in the sense of ‘approximate’
16 O KEY (DO) KEY — where a key is a locker, something that locks (supported by Chambers) and do = fare
17 HOUSE-SIT — (issue)* in hot and I expect in some dictionary hot = working, but I can’t find it anywhere
21 OVER US {carriag}E — to hackney is to overuse — it seems to me a bit doubtful to say that “over US” is deliveries from America
22 ENTREE — quite lost here — OK an entree is a course, but the rest of it?
24 AS COT — although how Nimrod gets “as” to be the equivalent of “one playing” I can’t see
25 B ANAL — anal = obsessive no doubt, but not in the dictionaries I can find, although it is in common usage

19 Responses to “Independent 7451/Nimrod”

  1. Uncle Yap says:

    I have been waiting for a few hours to get my input in. 26A must rank as one of the best &lit clues of all times. Bravo! John!

  2. Tykeitfromme says:

    1a – a banker could be safe bet, a sure thing.
    5a – GI Joe? Leaves ANNA. Don’t get the Carmen ref.

  3. Gaufrid says:

    Hi John
    As you say, a very tough one from Nimrod today.

    5ac is GI (Joe) in NN (news) in AA (car men)
    18ac is 0 (zero {ie none}) READ (verb)
    I think 17dn is an anagram of HOT (burning) and ISSUE with the anagrind ‘for working out’
    In 24dn I interpreted ‘playing’ = AS in the sense of ‘with John Thaw AS Inspector Morse’.

    Sorry, can’t help with 22dn as yet.

  4. Tykeitfromme says:

    …and in 12a the A for Area is ‘overlooked’.

  5. jetdoc says:

    1a: Chambers gives, as a definition for banker: ‘a certainty, something that can be banked on or betted on’.

    20a: Radio 4 addicts (of which Nimrod is not one but I am) have all heard of Fi Glover. Maybe it is a bit parochial, I suppose…

    6d: ‘Bottle party?’ was a Taupi clue for NO CAN DO; consider this as a tribute.

    17d: ‘burning’ = hot; ‘issue for working out’ = *(issue); def is ‘stay to keep eye on pad’

    22d: ‘Remarkable’ is a homophone indicator — “on tray”.

    24d: As in ‘…with David Jason as Del Boy’

  6. Tykeitfromme says:

    21d – over = deliveries (continuing the cricketing theme)
    22d – “on tray”? Surely not. That’s terrible!

  7. Gaufrid says:

    The best I can offer for 22dn is an anagram (remarkable!) of ENTER (to table) E[ast] (a course).

  8. Tykeitfromme says:

    (xposted with jetdoc @7)

  9. jetdoc says:

    25d: Chambers gives: ‘(of an adult) categorized as having personality traits such as obsessiveness, attention to detail, and obstinacy, thought to result from fixation at the anal stage’.

  10. Uncle Yap says:

    22D is a homophone clue … entree sounds like “ön tray” = being brought to table
    remarkable is the homophone indicator

  11. Paul A says:

    Had to cheat on Fi Glover. Agree 26ac amazing. I seem to recall that the last time the paper version was foldable (good news), it was a Nimrod (bad news). Does he insist on it I wonder?

  12. Conrad Cork says:

    If memory serves, some years back Araucaria also clued Fi Glover, parsed as fig lover. I think there were similar ‘who she’ reactions then. I know who the woman is because I have a permanent diary note to avoid her on Saturday mornings.

  13. walruss says:

    I think the Taupi clue jetdoc remebers is the other way around! Othherwise it does not work as a crptic definition.

  14. Stella says:

    I don’t envy you, John, this was devillish! Quite apart form being totally out of touch with cricket ( :( ), the parsing is truly convoluted.

    I had a few ideas while reading your post, so I’ll take them in order – maybe it’ll help:

    1ac. I think at least the initial purpose of a banker was to keep one’s money safe, ie. sure.

    5ac. I don’t know about Ana as Carmen. The two are Spanish names, but have nothing in common. ‘Carmen, carmine’ = song in Latin, but I don’t know about Ana. News=’n’, and have you never heard of GI Joe?

    18ac. Thanks for the information about the mountain nymph. That explains the etymology of ‘orography’ ‘orography – noun 1 the branch of physical geography that deals with the description, formation, etc of mountains.’ (Chambers online)

    20ac. The answer is Fi Glover, of whom I’d never heard, and the clue is an &lit, or cryptic definition. I’m not sure which, as I don’t know what branch of broadcasting she works in.

    27ac. I actually knew the word – I believe it’s the mat on which karate is practised.

    28ac. No idea what it is, but many compounds end in ‘dehyde’, and ‘al’ seemed more probable than ‘la’ for some reason. I’m no chemist!

    7d. Thanks. Incredibly, Mr. Idle didn’t occur to me :(

    17d. ‘hot’ = ‘burning’ around *issue

    21d. I quite agree.

    22d. A being could be an ‘ent’, but I don’t see the rest.

    24d. Olivia de Havilland AS Scarlett O’Hara, for example.

    25d. No idea!

  15. Stella says:

    Wow! when I started my answer, there was only one post!

  16. Stella says:

    Must have been my connection. I now see most of yours are a few hours earlier.

  17. Dynamic says:

    Very clever stuff, though I didn’t actually solve it all. I think my head would have hurt! I enjoy the wordplay, anyhow.

    I loved Carmen = Car Men = AA (formerly the Automobile Association), News as N and N again (two examples of the abbreviation for New) and GI=Joe. Most devious. 6d is clever too.

    26a is just magnificent, and he’s a major enough figure in his sport to justify inclusion without narrowing it down in a separate definition (such as Indian legend), and a fair but beautiful all-in-one/&lit is so much more satisfying, artistically.

    21d is fine with me and clever splitting of a common phrase between definition and wordplay. Treating “deliveries” separately in the charade before decoding “from America” seems legit. Deliveries = OVER = 6 deliveries of the ball in cricket (common British crossword device, I think). A “US company” or “US athlete” is one “from America”. You could rewrite, albeit with a change of word order, to say “a company from America” or “an athlete from America” with the same sense albeit that you’re specifying the country more accurately with US. I think this equivalence is just as acceptable as adjectival phrases in crossword definitions, such as “stands by the bank” for “angler” which you can also decode from the wordplay.

    22d is another fine clue and interesting homophone indicator, though difficult to solve without checking letters, I’m sure.

  18. flashling says:

    Didn’t get round to starting this till late, but my god what a difference to yesterday. John sorry you really caught a bullet on this one. Couldn’t see the as in ascot before coming here, but obvious now. Entree! and KD complains about my puns.

    Carmen is clever misdirection as is news in the same clue. Thought the clue for tendulkar was fantastic, and if original one of the best clues I’ve seen.

    Hardest weekly for a while but Nimrod often is. Got there in the end, no comments on dubious abbreviations I see. :-)

    Cheer up John, Dac should be gentler next week!

  19. Allan_C says:

    Definitely a struggle but almost got there in the end, with recourse to a word finder and Google/Yahoo. Only defeated by 14d. Re 20a, Ms Glover is on R4 I believe, as is The Food Programme – nice misdirection there, it had me trying to fit in ‘grocer’.

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