Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7537 (Saturday 11 December) – Nimrod

Posted by petebiddlecombe on December 18th, 2010

petebiddlecombe.

Solving time: just over 30 minutes – I struggled wth this, as I do with many of Nimrod’s grid stunts – this time, just 10 down answers. I guess the slight under-checking in some of the long answers was one contributing factor, but the main one was a tough set of clues, for me at least.

Apologies for the late post – I meant to solve and write up yesterday , but got diverted onto something else and forgot about this until a reminder e-mail, so this is written immediately after solving.

Across
1 KNO(WIT = IQ,A = absent – in Chambers)LL – initially I thought “local hilltop” would indicate a bit of dialect, but it’s actually just a bit of a hilltop rather than a big one.
8 DROP LIKE FLIES – def. and a rather curious cryptic def – “as tears zip”, which I think I understand, but find difficult to explain clearly
11 M(IS,R = king)ULE – a mule being a cross(-breed)
12 OCTETTE from “pOp aCTs bETTEr” – difficult but very good
13 S(QUEER = rum)S – “ship’s master” did a good job of concealing ship=SS. In Nicholas Nickleby, Wackford Squeers is eventually transported to Australia
14 E from rEvellers, ASTERN
15 EAR – hidden word, first answer for me
16 HEELTA = (the ale)*,P=soft – “drink remains in the glass” is the def., making “soft drink” a classic “lift and separate”
18 ORCHIDS = (I,chords)* – vanilla is made from the pods of a Mexican climbing orchid
20 TU(R)M,OIL (vb.) = smear = coat with a greasy substance
21 HOLS = break, TER. = territory = little land.
22 PUT BEHIND BARS – 2 defs, “appointed to work in pub” or “jail” (vb.)
23 F(REEL)IVER
 
Down
2 NEP = rev. of pen (vb.) = author,TUNE = melody – “5/7 of 21″ = (Gustav) Holst, for whom Neptune was The Mystic in the Planets Suite
3 WHITED SEPULCHRE = hypocrite – (schedule, with, rep)* – I got there, but wonder a bit about the first word in (holiday A, arranged B, dodgy C) = (A,B,C)*
4 TOWER OF HANOI – (Noah? Either of two)* – my usual grumble about arbitrary names in anagram fodder is reduced by the possibility of Noah dealing with the odd puzzle while constructing his ark
5 L-PLATES – AT = engaged, in (spell)* – (crazy A in circuit) for A* is another exotic anagram wordplay, but one I quite like
6 PRESS = squeeze,URE GROU = (our urge)*,P = power, giving us an all-in-one
7 GET THE PICTURE – Vincenzo Peruggia was the man who stole the Mona Lisa, not a famous paparazzo as I guessed
9 SMASH HITS => this – a “wordplay in the answer” clue
10 TENNIS PRO = (in Preston)*
17 TOOLBAR = list of functions – (AB = Jack, LOO = John) reversed in TR = Turkey (IVR)
19 CA(LIB)RE – ODE’s def indicates that “nurse” is often “care for” but can be just “care”.

5 Responses to “Independent 7537 (Saturday 11 December) – Nimrod”

  1. flashling says:

    Did this but failed to understand holster thanks Peter, 3dn I took as Whit(sun)for the first bit. Spent far too long wondering if 5/7 of 21 could be fifteen… Difficult, well it was a Saturday Indy and Nimrod to boot but enjoyable.

  2. jmac says:

    Thanks for the blog Pete. I thought it was hard, with, for me a couple of obscure references – Vincenzo Peruggia & the Mystic Author. However some of the clues were brilliant – SMASH HITS and OCTETTE stand out. Liked Flashlings parsing of 3 dn.

  3. Allan_C says:

    Thanks Pete for the blog, and Nimrod for a challenging but not impossible puzzle.
    The explanation of “as tears zip” in 8ac is “as tears” = “droplike” (“tears” = “drops” – a play on the two pronunciations/meanings of “tear”) and “zip” = “flies” (not many trousers with button flies these days).
    In 13ac I took “brought to book” simply as a reference to Nicholas Nickleby, the book Squeers appears in or “is brought to”.
    I thought there was a bit of an &lit in 4dn with “either of two” referring to the name of the puzzle, as I’ve always found it, being “Towers (plural) of Hanoi”, although the Wikipedia article does give both singular and plural.
    Thanks for the explanation of who Vincenzo Peruggia was – I got the answer but didn’t bother looking him up.

  4. nmsindy says:

    I thought this was one of the best puzzles ever in the Indy. Thought the shape of the grid was to meet the Tower of Hanoi but could be wrong in that. Thank you, Nimrod.

  5. John H says:

    Many thanks, NMS – you are the first to spot that, to my knowledge.

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