Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,507 by Nimrod (Saturday Prize Puzzle, 06/11/10)

Posted by Simon Harris on November 13th, 2010

Simon Harris.

I would normally panic at seeing Nimrod’s name appear on a blogging day, but with a two hour train journey ahead of me, this was a welcome challenge.

I’d filled about two thirds of the grid by the time I reached Sheffield, and was staring blankly at the remainder. Mother and sister offered to help, but I pooh-poohed that idea since this is a Nimrod, and they have next to no cryptic crossword experience between them. They couldn’t possibly help.

Of course, they promptly spotted ADRIFT, TROLL and OWNER (“I thought you said this was supposed to be hard”) (“We used to think you were smart for being able to solve these puzzles”).

Suitably humbled, back in London I had to cheat to get GAUCHERIE, though in retrospect, it seems entirely fair, and finally GARDENING dropped into place.

*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed, hom=homophone, cd=cryptic definition, dd=double definition.

Across
1 ADRIFT – AD + RIFT.
5 SET OFF – dd.
10 EAT ME – [gastronom]E AT ME[altimes].
11 OLIVE DRAB – (D in OLIVER) + AB.
12 FUNERAL DIRECTOR – (FOR CERTAIN RULED)*.
13 NOISE – IS in (NO + E).
15 GAUCHERIE – hom. of “Go, Cherie!”. I spent ages trying to make [c]HERIE fit in somehow.
16 UNNATURAL – (A TURN)* in ULNA*.
17 RUN IN – dd.
18 GREEN REVOLUTION – GREEN (a feature of a golf course, specifically) + REVOLUTION.
21 NITRATION – NIT + RATION.
22 PILAU – (Muhammad ALI in UP)<.
23 PENANG – (N + N + PAGE)*.
24 RESIST – IS in REST.
Down
2 DETENTION CENTRE – very clever. ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) is the “centre” of the word “detention”, i.e. [det]ENT[ion].
3 IN EARNEST – I + NEAR NEST.
4 TROLL – dd.
5 SPIRITUALSP + I + RITUAL.
6 THERE – THE RE. A sapper is a particular type of soldier.
7 FIRST PRINCIPLESF + (TRIPLE + CRISPS IN)*.
8 SELF-INDULGENT – FIND in (S + ELUL + GENT).
9 ABERDEEN ANGUS – NEED< in ABE RANG US. This made me smile.
14 GARDENING – I think this is (G + NINE + DRAG)<. The Ennead were a particular group of nine Greek things, so “G Nine”.
15 HARRUMPHS – RUMP in HARSH, but with the SH reversed to HS, since they are “curling up”.
19 NYALA – [ke]NYA LA[tterly].
20 OWNER – [d]OWNER.

4 Responses to “Independent 7,507 by Nimrod (Saturday Prize Puzzle, 06/11/10)”

  1. Polly says:

    2 down was the one clue whose wordplay eluded me completely – brilliant, and so obvious when it’s explained! Three small typos: 21 ac should be NITRATION; 9 down is DEEN (‘requirement for upsetting’ = NEED), and DAG in 14 down should be DRAG.

    This was a fairly tough puzzle for me, but the kind I prefer: I like filling in one or two solutions at a time while waiting for the kettle to boil. I don’t have time to do the weekday puzzles, so finishing the Saturday one quickly leaves me at a loose end. Thanks, Nimrod and Simon.

  2. Quixote says:

    Much easier than many a Nimrod. The remember seeing V as a clue for CENTRE OF GRAVITY once (from Mass), but that had no further definition. Nimrod’s central-ENT clue did have a definition, but my guess is that most of us solved the clue by inference rather than by deduction. And indeed that is often the way with clever stuff!

  3. Allan_C says:

    Not too difficult for a Nimrod.

    I agree with you, Simon, about 13a, where ‘e’ is the base of natural logarithms but for those of a non-mathematical bent it could be IS in (ONE)* with ‘base’ as an anagrind. And I had the same difficulty as you with 14a.

    The surface of 11a had me fooled for a bit; I was trying to fit in something to do with ‘GI Blues’.

    I thought otorhinolaryngology in 2d was a bit of a giveaway, but it made a change from the standard ‘hospital department’ used by setters for the sequence ENT. Though I must admit I haven’t encountered that for some time.

    Something else I’ve not come across for some time is ‘run in’ for ‘arrest’ (17a). Reminds me of a cartoon seen in the 50s or 60s, depicting a police car with a ‘running in’ sign (something else you don’t see these days; I must be showing my age!) on the back.

    Better stop there before Gaufrid censors this for going off-topic.

  4. jmac says:

    Thanks for the blog Simon. I thought there was much to admire here. I love the way Nimrod’s long answers help you fill the grid quite rapidly. My favourite clue was GAUCHERIE, an apposite word to associate with Mrs. B.

    On the subject of DETENTION CENTRE: yes, it was very clever, but I think Quixote makes a good point with his remark about solving this type of clue by inference rather than deduction. Here Nimrod uses the device just the once, but in the hands of a less talented setter it could become a bit 8 down.

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