Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7523 by Nimrod

Posted by flashling on November 25th, 2010


One equals zero? With Nimrod it does. An Ashes inspired crossword, our boys haven’t had the start we might have hoped for alas. There’s a lot of wishful thinking of ducks for the Aussie side around the grid, naturally clued as one. It is a Nimrod however, so there’s some I can’t work out.

7 DUCK Pintail – P(onting) + IN + the TAIL
8 In vacuo – (vicuna)* + O (round not duck)
9 Agreed – AG + REED (Oliver/Carol)
10 DUCK Shelduck – HELD in SUCK
11 Cockatoo – AT (where you’re performing) in KO(stunner) in COCO (palm), at least that’s how I think it goes.
13 Strive – Hidden in WideST RIVEr
14 DUCK Harlequin – HARLEy street + hom Dr Quinn medicine woman – a TV series
17 Malibu – MALI + BU (french past tense for drink)
18 Light Box – Light (easily digested) + B + OX
20 Swimwear – West Indies + M in SWEAR
21 Tetchy – Livery perhaps the rest is beyond me.
22 El Greco – OGLE rev about REC (park)
23 DUCK Mallard – Again can’t see what’s going on.

Down (Eider/feathers?)
1 DUCK Widgeon – G in WIDE + ON
2 Streak – R in STEAK
3 DUCK Wild – Hom WILDE
4 Underslung – NURSED* + LUNG
5 DUCK Mandarin – MAN + DARINg
6 DUCK Muscovy – O(ver) in CV (Resume in US) in MY.
10 DUCK Shoveller – SH + ELL in OVER
12 Turbulence – N + C in (true blue)*
14 Hail Mary – L + MA in HAIRY
15 DUCK Gadwall – LAW rev in GLAD*
16 DUCK Pochard – CHAR in POD
19 Tattle – Time twice in TALE
21 DUCK Teal – A in LET rev

16 Responses to “Independent 7523 by Nimrod”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, flashling. I like my birds and I love my cricket, so I couldn’t not have a good crack at this one. I did manage it, but only because I was familiar with the ducks – I’d not have got many of them from the wordplay.

    The usual tough workout from Nimrod, with some very tricky wordplay, so pleased to have finished. Can’t help with your queries, I’m afraid.

    I think there may be a mistake at 10dn: SHOVELER (as in the duck) only has one L. Both my dictionaries confirm this.

    Let’s not mention the cricket …

  2. IanN14 says:

    Thanks flashling.
    21ac. I think is ETC (items I won’t mention) in (stabled by) THY (your). Def: Livery (presumably “wanting” is just for the surface?)
    23ac. is Sam Allardyce with SAY and CE (establishment) removed.

  3. anax says:

    Gotta love Nimrod! No, really – this was tough challenge but well worth it for the amazing way he can present definitions; very oblique but they make sense when you think about them. 21a TETCHY is a case in point, where I read it as ‘items I won’t mention’ = ETC inside (or ‘stabled’ by) THY. ‘Wanting’ is perhaps unnecessary padding but it helps the reading.

    Your interpretation of COCKATOO seems right; COCO around KO which is in turn around (it is ‘to have’) AT, which seems fine for ‘performing’ as I think I’ve heard phrases like ‘being at a task’ = ‘performing a task’.

    I can’t see the play for MALLARD though – probably relies on soccer knowledge beyond what I possess.

    BTW my Chambers lists SHOVELER as the US spelling for SHOVELLER, so it seems fine.

  4. anax says:

    Sorry Ian – we crossed!

  5. anax says:

    PS: And very well spotted for MALLARD!!!!

  6. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Hi anax

    Re SHOVELER – my SOED and Collins only give this spelling. SOED has SHOVELLER, but only as someone who works with a shovel, for example Ricky Ponting digging a pit into which he intends to bury England’s Ashes aspirations.

    And randomly, the genus of the Shoveler duck is Anas, so it must be some close relation of yours, I guess?

  7. anax says:

    Hi there K’sD.

    I meant to add that unders ‘Ducks’ in Chambers Crossword Lists there’s only the SHOVELLER spelling. On further reading, though, the dictionary almost appears to tie itself in knots a little:

    Shoveller or (US) shoveler n. someone who shovels; a dabbling duck … with … spadelike bill (usu shoveler)

    Well, it’s got me confused!

  8. anax says:

    Incidentally, re Anas. No relation I’m afraid – one S short.

  9. crypticsue says:

    Nice to know people (well Nimrod) was listening at a recent bloggers and setters gathering when I bemoaned the fact that you never see 23a in a crossword anymore. In the 1970s it was never out of the DT Cryptic. Excellent crossword, really enjoyed the theme.

  10. crypticsue says:

    Sorry I don’t mean 23a I mean 16d. Going cross-eyed in my old age

  11. scchua says:

    Thanks flashling for the blog, and Nimrod for another hard one I couldn’t complete, but burnt a few synapses trying.

    First reaction this morning was Nimrod! groan, cricket! another groan. But the answers weren’t really about cricket, were they? Hats off for perhaps the biggest crossword misdirection I’ve been subject to. This is Nimrod after all, which fact should have alerted me that it was s tongue-in-cheek “dedication”.

    After getting all the non-“One”s, and MANDARIN, HARLEQUIN and TEAL (you’d be surprised that these three have a non-duck cricketing connection of some sort or another), I was stuck until I had a peek at this blog’s preamble. Finally got all but two ducks.

    Great mental workout!

  12. Stella says:

    Having found no coincidences with the Australian Ashes team – which, not living in England, I had to Google – I decided to look for what relates Muscovy and Gadwall, and suddenly realised the cheekiness of the dedication :)

    Thanks Nimrod and flashling.

  13. Stella says:

    Is no-one blogging Paul today? For some reason I can’t access the calendar.

  14. NealH says:

    I think it should have been dedicated to Andrew Strauss!

    I got there in the end with this, despite the fact that all the ducks I could think of (ruddy, merganser, eider) weren’t there and quite a few of those that were there I’d never heard of. I didn’t follow cockatoo, mallard or tetchy, so thanks for the explanations. As usual with Nimrod, there was a huge amount of misdirection going on. I think 13 across has to win the award today – a simple hidden that was made up to look much more cryptic by the addition of the rather unnecessary “to be first”. I thought wild duck was pushing the theme a bit.

  15. flashling says:

    Thanks to Ian and Anax, who certainly isn’t An Ass for the bits I couldn’t get especially Mallard which I spent over 30 minutes thinking how the hell does this work. Nestor then Nimrod in succession, quite a treat for a gentle midweek blog although I did ask for a swap(thanks John btw). Suppose it means I get Bann man on tuesday…

    NealH shared your reservations about both of those too.

    Come on England let’s give the baggies Nimrod’s gifts.

  16. Colin Blackburn says:

    Very enjoyable though I missed out on WILD. I also missed several bits of wordplay so thanks to everyone here.

    I initially imagined 12 of the current England squad going in there but thought that would be near impossible. Then I got GADWALL and the penny dropped. Being a bit of a birder (but nearer to dude than twitcher) I immediately pencilled in several theme words. I too thought that it should have been SHOVELER though the double-ell spelling is justified by Chambers but not by many birding sources.

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