Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent – 7517 by Nestor

Posted by flashling on November 18th, 2010


To borrow a phrase from Anax this was for me a monster. I found bits of this at times beyond me and I’ve still got some gaps in the wordplay for you lucky folk to fill in for me.

Don’t think I’ve blogged a Nestor before and with luck it’ll be a time before I do again.

1 Scotch Terriers – SCOTCH (Finish off) + TERRIERS (Irregular soldiers)
10 Inane – IN AN “E”(cstacy) MDMA is better known as E
11 Neon Tetra – (ARE NOT NET)* A new one on me
12 Dragon Ship – 21d is “Viking” DON’S HIP around RAG for rib
13 Cnut – N in CUT
15 Osbert – Initial letters in O(ne) S(itwell) B(rother) E(dith) R(emebered) T(hem) & &lit
17 Valhalla- ALLAH + LAV reversed
19 Squirrel – R(ook) in SQUIRE + L
20 Parsec – PARSE + C
22 City – C + (p)ITY
23 Tibiotarsi – Fused bones in the leg of a bird (didn’t everyone know that!?) – T(rouble) + 1 + BIOTA (flora and

fauna of a region) + R(epetative) S(train) I(njury). Took me a long time to parse(c) this one.
26 A Fortiori – A FOR + I in TORI (spelling)
27 Dylan – hidden in (bo)DY LAN(guage)
28 Ethylene Glycol – (THE ONLY G(r)EY CELL)* as once infamously added to certain red wines to sweeten them. [Corrected for typo – thanks K’sD]

2 Clara –  Another initial letter clue, C(ertain) L(ondon) A(reas) R(esisting) A(uthority)
3 The horrors – T(ime) + H(usband) + OH reversed in ERRORS
4 Honest – ONE + S(ingular) in HT
5 Erotical – ROTI in LACE rev.
6 Ruth –  Topless (t)RUTH – Interesting word play after the previous answer.
7 Entangles – I can’t fully get this you’ve got ANGLES but ENT for truncated Apex. Please feel free to assist on

8 Smart Sanctions – SMART (hurt) + (I cannot)* in SS
9 Wild-goose chase – GOO + SEC + HAS in WILDE
14 Thwartedly – T(ulloc)H + WAR + TED + L(argel)Y. Why TED for spread I don’t know.
16 Bluetooth – No, not the wireless technology but

BLUE(miserable) + TOOTH (crown a type of dental treatment)
18 Demijohn – DIJON around (th)EM + H(eroin)
21 Viking – V (see) + (l)IKING
24 Rollo – Viking ruler in Normandy – Don’t really see the swaying gait bit
25 Et Al – LATE reversed

OK enough, I feel a need to lie down now.

15 Responses to “Independent – 7517 by Nestor”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, flashling.

    I think this is one of the few Nestors I’ve managed to finish, or indeed get anywhere close to finishing. It was hard, but I think the difference was that there were a number of reasonably straightforward long clues that gave you a bit of a start. I got VIKING just by guessing, needing your explanation of how it worked, and then the theme was a bit of a help.

    As you can imagine, I can’t assist with any of your queries.

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Oh and btw, if you’ve finished your lie down, you have a tiny typo at 28ac: it’s ethYlene glycol. We don’t see Austrian wines over here much any more, do we?

  3. anax says:

    Conversely to K’sD this is the first Nestor I’ve not finished, eventually cheating to see 23a, 14d and 24d (the last of these puzzles me too).

    For 7d though ANGLES is a red herring; it’s a first letter deletion of (p)ENTANGLES.
    In 14d TED means to spread new-mown grass for drying.

    Despite losing in that SE corner I got the theme quite quickly and none of the theme answers put up too much of a struggle, although some – NEON TETRA, A FORTIORI and WILD-GOOSE CHASE were entered on an ‘It can’t be anything else’ basis.

    For all the difficulty this was, for me, a welcome brain-rattler. The puzzles this week have been by no means easy, but this really tested me – and it won! No complaints though; it’s what you have to expect from time to time.

  4. Pandean says:

    Thanks for the blog, flashling. Also to Anax for the parsing of Entangles at 7dn.

    24dn: Roll = swaying gait; o’ = of; Rollo = Duke of Normandy.

  5. Handel says:

    Hmm, if Anax had to cheat to finish this it’s probably just as well that I picked up a Times for today…

  6. Eileen says:

    Quite right, Handel – I don’t feel nearly so bad about cheating now!

  7. anax says:

    Yes, but… Pandean points out the O’=OF trick in 24d, and it’s so blindingly obvious when you see it. Nestor has always had the knack of hiding things very well and I’d be far more upset if I didn’t get an answer and then didn’t get the wordplay explanation.

    Incidentally, the same blinding obviousness applies to a hidden answer in today’s Graun puzzle from Arachne; it’s staring you right in the face but it take ages to see.

  8. Stella says:

    Thanks for the blog, flashling.

    While looking for clues in Wiki, I discovered that St. Nestor wrote of the vikings in his Chronicles! :)

  9. Richard says:

    “Ted” means to spread out to dry – e.g. cereal crops.

    I agree this was a toughie!

  10. scchua says:

    Thanks flashling for a blog under trying circumstances, and to Nestor for a puzzle that seems (so far) universally agreed to be a tough one.

    It’s one of those puzzles with quite a few clues that you get by going straight for the definition and not worrying about the wordplay, at least not until after you’ve filled in the answer. But of course there is that one clue, in this case 23A for me, where nothing works and one is forced to give up, with completion short by that one.

  11. scchua says:

    P.S. 23A TIBIOTARSI: The definition “fused bones” itself could be a wordplay, as “Tibia” and “Tarsus” are bones respectively. Change to “Tibio-“, a prefix, and to “Tarsi” the plural, fuse them, and you’ve got the answer.

    Ah well, hindsight’s a wonderful thing!

  12. flashling says:

    (peeps head back out from the covers :-) ) thanks Anax ET AL (hmm see blog) for getting the bits I missed must admit TED is new on me (even if dictionary says archaic 15c). Pentangle annoys me as ex wife plays in a group of that name. Regarding Rollo thanks Pandean I’ve seen a few studies where people don’t see “of” but do notice it if it’s missing. Got caught by that.

    Stella @#8 suspect somehow Nestor knew that!

  13. Mike Laws says:

    This puzzle was also by way of being a tribute to the late Derek Arthur, fomerly Nestor’s colleague as co-editor of the Listener series, who used the pseudonym Viking.

    I found it extremely enjoyable, but also extremely testing, with some vocabulary and clueing more appropriate for an Inquisitor, rather than a weekday Indy cryptic.

  14. Allan_C says:

    Got there in the end with some wordfinder assistance, but even that didn’t know TIBIOTARSI; I was reduced to thumbing through Chambers, having guessed it started with T, for something beginning TI-I, and there it was! And that led me to ROLLO; Nestor describing him as a king put me in mind of King Rollo, a series of books and TV programmes our children enjoyed back in the 80s.

    But I have to confess I’d never heard of Clara Bow (although I’d heard mention of the ‘it’ girl). For anyone still in the dark, she was a star of the silent film era – see

  15. Colin Blackburn says:

    My usual Thursday night train journey back to England gave me ample time to fail on this one. 23ac and 18dn were left unfilled. I picked up an abandoned Guardian and did the Arachne puzzle for a little light relief. I even pored over a Magpie puzzle during one break! It was, though, a great puzzle despite its difficulty.

    @8 Stella, to be pedantic it is Wikipedia not Wiki. There are thousands of wikis, Wikipedia is just one example of a wiki. It’s worth looking up wiki on wikipedia!

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