Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,479 Prize Puzzle/Nimrod

Posted by Ali on October 23rd, 2010

Ali.

Nimrod’s been in for a bit of stick with some of his recent Indy puzzles, but I doubt that there’s anything in here to create such a fuss. This was a good, tough, prize puzzle with solid clueing. Too tough for me in places, so I’ll need to defer to the great and good for help on one or two clues.

Across
1 COMPUTER SAYS NO – (CUSTOMER PAYS ON)* – The ‘diminutive Britsh’ refers to Little Britain
9 RID OF – DI in FOR, all rev.
10 GLISSANDO – I worked this out from 17D, but can’t piece it together – ‘Volcanic islands around which to hold true gliding’
11 HARVARD – VAR[-y] in HARD
12 FESTIVE – EST in FIVE
14 SLIM PICKINGS – LIMP in SIC. KINGS
18 OBJECT LESSON – Cryptic def., a strippers end/object being to have less on!
21 EWE NECK – (N[-i]ce WEEK)*
22 NOTABLE – One of those 3-parter type clues – NOT ABLE is unqualified, NOTABLE is well-known and an operation may be cancelled if there’s NO TABLE
23 DESPOTISM – SPOT in DEISM
25 OWLET – Hidden in nOW LEThal
26 WATCH THIS SPACE – (PASTE WHICH ACTS)*
Down
1 CORNHUSK – OR in (CHUNKS)*
2 MIDBRAIN – (BIRD) * in MAIN
3 UNFLAPPABLE – LAPP in UN + FABLE
4 EDGED – Double def.
5 SKINFLINT – KIN in S(outhern) (Capt.) FLINT
6 YES – [-e]YES
7 N?N?I? – No idea on this one – ‘Italian with intelligence and no hooks inserted’
13 SUGGESTIONS – (GUESTS I SNOG)*
15 CHECKLIST – “Czech Liszt”
16 ISABELLA – I’m guessing this is IS + A[-nne] B[-ronte], but unsure how to get the ELLA part
17 UNSETTLE – An anagram of LUTES + TEN (i.e. the answer to 10A!)
19/8 ?E?D? ?O?E? – I’d guess (by cheating) that this is READY MONEY, with ONE in MY for MONEY, but unsure how ‘set 1′ gives READY
20 GEISHA – (HIS AGE)*
22 NIMBI – N(ame) + I’M BI
24 ORC – Double def., assuming ORC is a canine (which I can’t find anywhere)

20 Responses to “Independent 7,479 Prize Puzzle/Nimrod”

  1. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Ali
    10ac is *(ISLANDS) in GO (hold true)
    7dn is NUNCIO – UNCI (hooks) in NO
    16dn is IS A[nne] (the origin of Anne) BELL (Bronte) A[gnes] (the origin of Agnes)
    19/8 is READY MONEY – READY (set) ONE (1) in MY (I’m surprised) – ‘ready’ is defn. #12 in Chambers for ‘set’ (adjective).

  2. scchua says:

    Thanks Ali for the blog and Nimrod.

    I suppose this is some milestone for me, courtesy of Nimrod, being the closest I’ve been to completing one of his; the one that spoilt it was 7D NUNCIO. Though I still can’t figure out the connection between 24D ORC and “canine”. Thanks Gaufrid for explaining the only other parsing I couldn’t figure out, not knowing Bronte’s pseudonym.

    Favourites were 14A SLIM PICKINGS, 18A OBJECT LESSON, 26A WATCH THIS SPACE, 3D UNFLAPPABLE, all long ones one could sink one’s teeth into, and the double homonym-ed 15D CHECKLIST.

  3. nmsindy says:

    I think ORC is whale with wordplay OR C C abbrev for canine, OR given by the \ in the clue. I found it a little easier than some of Nimrod’s recent Indy puzzles.

  4. Allan_C says:

    16d. Anne Bronte’s pseudonym was A(cton) Bell. The final A is the origin (first letter) of Agnes. ‘Grey’ is the definition – dingy yellowish-grey or drab. Chambers says origin unknown, but too early to be from Isabella of Castile.

  5. Allan_C says:

    … and, of course, a neat bit of clueing by Nimrod to refer to Anne Bronte’s first novel (Agnes Grey).

  6. Allan_C says:

    Sorry, Gaufrid, I didn’t read your comment fully!

  7. jmac says:

    Thanks for the blog Ali. 1 across opened the top half nicely, and there were enough “easy” clues to keep me going. READY MONEY, OBJECT LESSON, FESTIVE, and GEISHA were my favourites. EWE NECK was the only answer I hadn’t heard of, but it couldn’t really be anything else. For me this was a slow but steady solve which is exactly what I want from a weekend puzzle.

  8. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, Ali.

    First prize puzzle I’ve tried for a while, and when I saw it was a Nimrod I wasn’t hopeful, but like scchua, I got all but one. There were half a dozen, though, where I had no idea about the wordplay.

    I liked OBJECT LESSON (now it’s been explained) and EDGED for its cricketing theme. The one I got wrong was 1dn, where I didn’t have a clue what was going on and slapped in CIRRHOSE because of the ‘yellow’ connection. I still don’t see where the OR bit comes from, if someone could oblige.

    I got COMPUTER SAYS NO because my kids got me into the TV series, but if you haven’t watched it you might have struggled. It’s an anagram, though, so you’d eventually get it from the crossing letters, I suppose.

  9. Eileen says:

    Hi Kathryn’s Dad

    OR is yellow in heraldry. Like you, I knew this would be a challenge when I saw the name but I was very pleased to be able to finish it and explain all but /C in 24dn.

    My favourite was ISABELLA – a beautifully constructed clue, with a surprising definition. Actually, Allan_C, Chambers says: “too early for Isabella, daughter of Philip II, who did not change her linen for three years until Ostend was taken; an etymological connection with Isabella of Castile, to whom a similar legend is ascribed, is chronologically possible but by no means certain.” – a rather gruesome derivation, anyway!

  10. Allan_C says:

    Thanks, Eileeen. My memory of the Chambers entry was obviously faulty and I didn’t take the trouble to look it up.

  11. redddevil says:

    Just to tidy up it’s orca that’s a whale but orc is a sea creature in its own right as per COED definition “obsolete orc ‘ferocious sea creature’”.
    I got all but 7 D for which I’m still not convinced that a nuncio – which I did consider – has to be Italian (albeit a papal emissary). If I’d have heard of unci I’d have got it of course!
    Still a lot nearer to finishing this than ‘the other’ Nimrod so making progress.

  12. flashling says:

    Certainly a lot easier generally than Nimrod’s previous outing, I had a couple left but at least I could put up a good show. After THAT crossword I very nearly handed my blogger’s badge in. Nuncio and orc beat me, even now unci for hooks has me left floundering. Not exactly common usage methinks, still it was a prize crossword.

  13. Gaufrid says:

    Hi flashling
    Unci is the plural of ‘uncus’ which Chambers defines as “a hook or hook-like process”.

  14. flashling says:

    OK fair enough G. I obviously need to brush up on my anatomy :-) Living away from home with no dictionaries/thesaurus does make these harder! Although I do try to do crosswords without assistance, using on-line help feels like cheating.

  15. Eileen says:

    Hi flashling

    Don’t beat yourself up too much. I thought this was a particularly hard clue – perhaps more suited to the more advanced crosswords – with both the answer and the wordplay involving rather obscure vocabulary.

    I was lucky, knowing [papal] nuncio from A Level History and, from my [state educated!] Classical background, uncus = hook, but had no idea that the latter had a medical application!

  16. flashling says:

    Ah well Eileen I’m not too upset. The clue misled me good and proper, saw italian and intelligence = gen hence genoan or something similar. Not trying to do pythonesque 4 yorkshiremen sketch, but I’m just a poor comprehensive schooled lad who did maths type subjects and failed English Lit O level before doing maths at Cambridge. How come I do crosswords I don’t know!

  17. Simon Harris says:

    Well blogged, Ali – rather you than me!

    I struggled on the same ones as you, plus a few more. I like a challenge, and really want to like Nimrod’s puzzles, but it can be hard to. This time, I just couldn’t see any payoff for how hard this was. Still, I’m sure I’ll keep trying.

  18. Eileen says:

    Hi again flashling

    Totally off-topic [but it’s late, Gaufrid ;-) ]

    The Four Yorkshiremen sketch

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xe1a1wHxTyo

    is one of our family favourites and my son, who knows it practically by heart, was rehearsing it just a couple of weeks ago when he was visiting from Copenhagen.

    As I said, I was lucky with this one but there are lots of mathematical ones that fox me completely!

  19. flashling says:

    Eileen in maths v classics in crosswords, hmm words being a minor clue guess who wins. :-) thanks for the link btw. Still the illiterate lad I will soldier on. (no joke my english teacher at 12 years old thought and told my parents I couldn’t read! Came as a shock to her when I then came top in her exams)

  20. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Hi Eileen.

    A belated thanks for the OR explanation. Another one to store away till next time.

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