Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7547/Nimrod

Posted by John on December 23rd, 2010


My easy time had to come to an end sooner or later. I find Nimrod about as difficult as any of the Indy setters. There are some good clues here and it seems to be fair, but as feared I still don’t understand some of it. The fact that there were a number of very long anagrams — Nimrod’s speciality — made it both easier and harder: once solved they opened up great areas of the grid, but they took me ages to work out and in the case of 1/5/29/30 I just couldn’t see what was being anagrammed and gave up and used the Reveal button.

1/5/29/30 MAKING A DRAMA OUT OF A CRISIS — what is being anagrammed? This seems to be (If a good Samaritan runs amuck)* but it isn’t: there are 25 letters here and only 24 in the answer, also it has two U’s. I just can’t see it. Yes I can at last.  It isn’t runs, it’s r, and ‘is’ is thrown into the anagram, which is indicated by ‘represented’. Phew. After all that rather a good clue.
10 O VER(PA)Y — although the clue would have been just as good I think if the second and third words had been swapped, and all those pedants like me who see split infinitives as inelegant would have had nothing to moan about
11 LighT UMBRELla — a tumbrel is a cart, especially for dung
12 FROSTY — referring to Rime, which is both frost and an old word for rhyme, as in ‘The Rime of The Ancient Mariner’, which has as one of its dramatis personae a wedding guest
13 HEADSHOT — hotheads with the syllables reversed, as indicated by ‘have repaired parts’. Hmm… Now someone will tell me that one meaning of repair is exchange
15 RE(GIST ERE)D NURSE — a nurse is a tender as well as a dogfish
18 ANABOLIC STEROID — and around (borosilicate)* — I suppose an anabolic steroid is a stimulant in the sense that it stimulates growth of body tissue
24 CO-AL(ESC)E — the esc key is the top-left one on (all? probably) computer keyboards
25 OFF ICE — not quite sure here: I suspect being on ice is being in solitary confinement, but if so the term is new to me
27 TSUNAMI — (i(manus)t)rev. — the manus is the hand
28 PEN NAME — George Eliot was the pen name of Mary Ann Evans
2 A(GEL ON)G — the Ag outside is the chemical symbol for silver
3 IMPETUS — (time’s up)*
4 GOYA — but why on earth I can’t see: Goya was a romantic artist so the definition is ‘this romantic’, but San Francisco??
5 AT THE LEAST — I think this is (that)* {Graci}e leas t, but if so then is ‘fitting’ really good enough as an anagram indicator?
7 M ARCHER — as in the Zodiac
8/9/14 NOT FOR ALL THE TEA IN CHINA — (international chef h a lot)*, but wins seems to be superfluous in the wordplay
16 E ON
17 SKI — (is)rev. around k{noll}
18 ALCOTT — Louisa May Alcott, author of Little Women, and {W}alcott I think, although I can’t see how he is beheaded: sent off doesn’t do it, and if it’s the rather complicated w for ‘little women’ sent off Walcott then it seems wrong: Meg, Jo, Amy and Beth would have to be repeated
19 A (MA) ZULU — wasn’t familiar with the act but the wordplay makes it easy enough
20 0(REGAN)0 — referring to the character in King Lear, who was one of Lear’s daughters
21 EFFENDI — (fed fine)*
22 ORIGAMI — (a giro)rev. M1
23 DIETER — 2 defs — Dieter is a German man’s name
26 SPEC — 2 defs, one of them using the possible idea that spec is less than specs, so monocular rather than binocular

9 Responses to “Independent 7547/Nimrod”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Morning, John.

    Flashling has given me his man-flu, so I was up early this morning with a fuzzy head, not the ideal state in which to attempt a Nimrod. I did finish it, but there were many clues where I couldn’t see what was going on, so your blog was welcome. I got the two long anagrams when I had a few crossing letters, and that helped. Of the ones I did understand, I liked OREGANO and ORIGAMI.

    Thanks for blogging. Try not to overly worry about split infinitives: the rule is an invention of 18th century grammarians …

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Meant to say I couldn’t see GOYA either. I thought it might have something to do with San Francisco being known for its gay culture, but I still can’t make it work.

  3. Gaufrid says:

    Hi John
    4dn is GOY (I don’t believe {non-Jew}) [s]A[n] – Fransisco is Goya’s first name.

  4. scchua says:

    Thanks John for the blog, and Nimrod for a challenging puzzle, requiring a good dose of perseverance before I got all of it. As with difficult clues like 1,5,29,30 I could only work out the wordplay after figuring out the answer.

    Last one in was 4A GOYA: GOY = non-Jewish, ie. non-believer + (s)A(n) = heart of San. Great piece of misdirection, and my favourite – sometimes it’s the shortest lights that can be most difficult.

  5. scchua says:

    PS. Sorry Gaufrid, just got overtaken by you on the cyber highway.

  6. Michod says:

    Some great stuff here. I liked FROSTY and HOTHEADS – which involves re-pairing the two halves of the word, rather than repairing.
    24 across was made easier as I was solving online for once, otherwise I’d have had to think about which key was at the top left.
    Re 5dn, I think ‘fitting’ is a containment indicator, and ‘on’ (old-fashioned slang for tipsy) is the anagrind for T(ime) THAT.
    Not quite sure about non-believer=goy – surely non-Jewishness covers a multitude of believers in other religions as well as atheists. Then again, Ricky Gervais argues in the WSJ that any believer in one god is just as atheistic as he is: “I don’t believe in 2,870 gods, and they don’t believe in 2,869″.

  7. flashling says:

    Wouldn’t have got Goya for the right reasons, I only saw that and gays fitting – obvious SF misdirection there but couldn’t understand either really. The anabolic steroid clue really should have used “and” in it to give us a break IMO.

  8. flashling says:

    Too few comments for such a sterling effort. That’s one hell of a sneeze to get you in Derby K’sD I knew I was ill but. I got all the long anags by guessing the answer and fitting the wordplay in, which made this a pretty long solve and I still, despite the blog (thanks john btw)haven’t really convinced myself about several others. Glad for the first time in a month or so I’ve not taken the bullet!

  9. scarpia says:

    Thanks John,for what must have been a very difficult puzzle to blog.
    I got MAKING A DRAMA … from checking letters and guessed it was an anagram but didn’t try to work out what was being anagrammed.
    As Michod says,’on’ seems to be the anagram indicator for 5 down,which I have seen before but I cah’t say I particularly like it.
    As for Amazulu – it would seem their biggest hit(Too Good To Be Forgotten) was somewhat ironic.
    Plenty of good stuff here though,favourites being 28 across;4 and 22 down.

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