Fifteensquared

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Independent 7,584 by Nimrod (Saturday Prize Puzzle, 05/02/11)

Posted by Simon Harris on February 12th, 2011

Simon Harris.

I regularly used to struggle with Nimrod puzzles when I was blogging the daily Independent puzzles, and it’s nice to see that some things don’t change.

In fact, once again I was saved by the decision to move these blogs to the Saturday, otherwise I’d be asking you guys to solve at least a couple. As it is, there are several I can’t explain. Often, even where I can see what the wordplay is doing, it still doesn’t click for me.

Of course others will have loved this. Speaking of love, that’s this week’s theme, as hinted at by 4dn. Around the perimeter we see several other words which can mean “zero”. In order these are:

NIL
ZIP
SWEET FA
DIDDLY SQUAT
JACK

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

Across
8 CLUE IN – I in UNCLE*.
9 OVERSEAS – O + VERSE + AS.
10 ADIT – [d]AD + IT.
11 OVERSHADOW – OVERS + (AD in SHOW).
12 JEZEBELS – J[erry] + (ZEBE[dee] in Ernie ELS).
13 CADDIE – CAD + DIE. Presumably a reference to the mark Twain quote: Golf is a good walk spoiled. I’m not sure where the “long” in the clue comes from.
14 TRAD – DART<.
16 ALLYL – [re]ALLY L[ight].
17 SITE – hom. of “sight”.
18 AVOCET – A + VOCE + T? No idea who or what VOCE is, and some light web searching didn’t help.
20 ANAPAEST – A + NAPA + EST.
22 UNGRACIOUS – U + CAROUSING*.
24 GOOF – GO OF[f].
25 QUESTION – QUÉ + IT’S< + ON.
26 URANIA – U (turn) + RANI + A.
Down
1 KLUDGE – (U + DG) in ELK<.
2 NEATHERD – I guess this is A in NETHER + D, but that’s not quite what the clue suggests. Any enlightenment welcome.
3 INTOLERANT – (NOT RELIANT)*.
4 LOVE IS ALL AROUND – dd. Our key clue this week.
5 ZEUS – SUEZ<.
6 ISLAND – I think this is a triple, with two definitions (Isle of Man, No man is an island) along with IS + something about landing a plane, which I don’t quite follow.
7 PARODIST – (ROD Stewart + IS) in PAT.
13 COLLAR STUD – COLLAR + STUD.
15 RAVENOUS – R.A. + VENOUS.
17 SHANGHAI – H.G.< in (SH + AN + A1).
19 CURTSY – CURT + S[a]Y.
21 STOLID – T in SOLID.
23 COIL – I in COL.

11 Responses to “Independent 7,584 by Nimrod (Saturday Prize Puzzle, 05/02/11)”

  1. beermagnet says:

    Thanks Simon.

    18A For Voce of AVOCET, I can point you to Bill Voce (cricketer of Bodyline series time) and have found this Wiki page for enlightenment.

    I think you actually have the correct wordplay for the others that you seem doubtful about.

  2. flashling says:

    Voce was a bowler during the infamous bodyline period in cricket. Agree this was tough!

  3. Allan_C says:

    Nice one, Nimrod. One is tempted to say “nothing to it” except that it wouldn’t be true – it took quite a lot of effort, but it gradually dawned on me that there was a nina and what it was about.
    Thanks, Simon, for the explanation of 12a; a bit of ‘lift and separate’ required with JS. For anyone who doesn’t (or whose children don’t) remember The Magic Roundabout, ‘Springer’ refers to Zebedee a jack-in-a-box figure on a spring who used to bounce in at the end of some episodes accompanied by the words ‘Time for bed, said Zebedee’ Incidentally, I in one place I worked at one of the managers had the surname Spring; he was always known as… – you’ve guessed it!

  4. jmac says:

    Thanks for the blog Simon. I think there is a bit more going on in 4 down, where the answer is also an anagram of o (love) + universal + a + l[ine] + old. I also think that there might be more to 2 down not really seeing where the “not” fits in.

    Spotting the nina early on helped me a lot with this I don’t think I would have got KLUDGE otherwise. Personally I prefer slightly lighter puzzles – the sort that give so much pleasure you don’t want them to end. With Nimrod, it is a bit like going into battle and the pleasure comes from finally finishing it. Nice every once in a while, and certainly everything is very precisely clued providing you can see what is going on.

  5. Gaufrid says:

    Hi jmac
    In 2dn the ‘not to have’ indicates the removal of ‘own’ (have) from ‘down’ to leave the required D.

  6. togo says:

    Thanks jmac

    In 13ac, ‘cad’ = not a gentleman, and ‘die’ = long (as in I’m dying for a drink) I think. As I was after this – sometimes the very talented Nimrod’s puzzles feel like a rather dry slog – until the finished article, ninas and all. There’s just a bit of a feeling that you’re supposed to admire the thing, rather than enjoy solving it. But he works you hard, and there are some entertaining clues in the mix.

  7. jmac says:

    Thanks Gaufrid. Nice to have that one cleared up.

  8. rodders says:

    Well sorry – I guess it is just me and this setter out of kilter – I could not finish it and even with the advantage of Simon’s blog I am not a lot wiser !
    I can’t be totally thick because today’s prize crossword I finished in less than an hour.
    I think that some setters have a mind set that is not compatible with some solvers – not a complaint just an observation.
    Puzzles vary – like Beelzebub I expect to need many ” reference manuals ” and a few hours – everyday puzzles I expect a small number of references and around an hour or less.
    Anyone agree / disagree ?

  9. flashling says:

    Aye rodders, I always struggle with Nimrod, I think most do. Still we do this to be tested, tricked and teased. Where would be the fun if we did them all in 15 mins or less? Although sometime writing the blog can take twice the time to solve…

  10. rodders says:

    Fair comment flashling !
    One learns doesn’t one.
    I first got involved with cryptic crosswords in 1968 when I was a sub manager in a two horse bank with a Daily Telegraph supplied.
    At first I was doing well to get 3 or 4 clues but as time went by I got better and better and the rest is history……..!

    Nimrod however is like a REAL PROBLEM for me and I think it is his mindset – for me he is the most difficult setter of all – even worse than Beelzebub and that says a lot !!

  11. Graham Pellen says:

    Presumably a typo in blog for 11, which is OVERS + (AD in HOW).

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