Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7631 by Nimrod

Posted by flashling on April 1st, 2011


On Monday Gaufrid wrote: It was something of a surprise to see Phi on a Monday, Eimi must have something interesting lined up for April 1st Oh dear he was right, seems the joke is on me. To me this is Hard with a capital H, Anax yesterday, this has been a tough couple of days. It’s a Nimrod. So naturally there’s stuff I don’t quite get.

Clowning around is the order of the day, it is April 1st after all. There are clowns and jokers around the grid border unchecked squares – BUBBLES + MR BEAN on the left and (Norman) PACE, (Paul) MERTON (who did a TV series on clowns) and (Jack) DEE on the right. So clowns to the left of me (Theme 1), jokers to the right (Theme 2) (here I am).

And what goes in the middle square? well 4/20dn have ellipses… giving Stuck in THE MIDDLE with you by Stealers Wheel. So it seems Nimrod is stuck too so he’s just entered a question mark!

Anyway this is April fool’s day, there’s probably more to this than I’ve spotted so far. Thanks to Gaufrid for his help on bits of this one and Nimrod for a brain buster.


8 Bowsprit BO + W(ith) + SP(i)RIT
9 Rewire I,WE in ERR(to err is human) reversed
10 Lord it L(eague) + R (king) in (do it)*
11 Cronyism (my corn is)*
12 E-Cup Ooh err missus! PUCE rev
14 Elias Middle name of Walt (is ale)*
15 Ance Scottish for Once, (rom)ANCE no Read Only Memory
16 Statism S&M around TATI(T1 clown)’S
18 See 23  
21 Marx Brothers MARS (bar) around [X (by – multiplication) + B(a)R (bar without one) + OTHER (different)] (T1 clowns)
22 Blini B(erbatov) One Nil rev
23 Last Emperor Cryptic def cf Emperor penguins
24 Research Careers* + H(ospital)
25 True to Hmm Rue in OTT rev? OTT = blue?
27 Bikini Multiply sexual = BI + KIN + I
28 Oerlikon (looker in)* A new one on me..
1 Bozo Boyo with Y becoming Z (T1 clown)
2 Used Up U (turn) + SE (toward Dover) + PUD(ding) rev
3 See 21  
4 Stuck in TUCK in SIN
5 [Greg] Proops P(ublic) R(elations) [spin] + OOPS (T2 Joker)
6 Away Game A gammy leg is an injured one hence limping away and goals count double in some away matches (legs) Ideas please.
7 Criss-cross CRIS(i)S + CROSS
13 Cottage Pie Cryptic Definition
17 Toxaemia OX in A1 MEAT rev
19 [Michael]Mcintyre T in (MR NICE(gu)Y)* (T2 Joker)
20 With You Cryptic Double Definition unless anyone knows better.
22 Berlin (tim)BERLIN(e)
23 [Hugh] Laurie AU in L (theme1) R (theme 2) + IE (T2 Joker)
26 Trod Hidden reversed in tuDOR Times

13 Responses to “Independent 7631 by Nimrod”

  1. Conrad Cork says:

    Hi Flashling

    I think you explained 6 down pretty well. Off is away and you put it forward of game for limping. That’s how I read it anyway.

    To borrow what Anax said about this setter, a very playful and edgy puzzle. When I hear the word fun I usually reach for my culture, but not today. Loads of fun.

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, flashling, for what must have been a tough blog to produce.

    I got started with this one, but didn’t get very far. Even knowing the date and realising that there would be a message around the edge didn’t help, because there was more than one person involved and the ‘clowns and jokers’ theme wasn’t solved to provide any guidance.

    I think it’s fair to say we’ve had two Indy puzzles at the top of the difficulty scale for a daily cryptic in the last 48 hours.

  3. beermagnet says:

    20D WITH YOU is anagram of (OUT WHY I)* AInd: to work.

    I didn’t see PACE and DEE in the circumference due to the odd S and U from the middle vertical, which I also didn’t see.
    Still not sure if you’re supposed to put anything in the middle.
    Couldn’t be a Prize crossy because of that surely.

  4. Eileen says:

    Well done, flashling – to see Nimrod’s name on a puzzle on April 1st strikes terror indeed!

    However, I found this less of a problem than his Enigmatist on Wednesday and a lot more fun.

    I can’t get any further than you with 25ac and I see Beermagnet’s beaten me with the explanation of 20dn.

    Many thanks, Nimrod, for a really enjoyable puzzle.

  5. crypticsue says:

    I always enjoy a tussle with the mind of Nimrod and this themed crossword was great fun once my cryptic brain cells finally got the hang of the theme etc. If you hadn’t know it was one of his crosswords, 12a would have given it away! Thanks to Nimrod for the fun and Flashling for the explanations.

  6. Derrick Knight says:

    Many thanks, NIMROD, for an enjoyable struggle, and to flashling for a brilliant blog. I didn’t see the left right bit. Could OTT, lacking restraint, be synonymous with BLUE, indecent. Sorry, KD, can’t get Blackberry to change my name to Mordred!

  7. Kathryn's Dad says:

    You have a good memory, Derrick! Nice to hear from you again on the blog. It’s when setters comment on their own puzzles with their real name that is confusing, I think – here you’re just a humble (and unlike me, successful) solver …

  8. nmsindy says:

    This was a tremendous idea and grid construction from Nimrod. Yesterday’s puzzle by Anax was my slowest Indy solve this year, until this 24 hours later. It was really enjoyable working it out with the theme, in its fullness, becoming apparent only very near the end tho I had spotted MR BEAN quite early on. Not sure if LAST EMPEROR is a cryptic definition, this it’s just last = the only surviving emperor = penguin and then the film title. PACE and PROOPS was my final step. Thanks, Nimrod and flashling.

  9. Thomas99 says:

    What a week this has been! This was fitting Friday finale. Thanks for the blog – I hadn’t looked at the edge of the grid. Seen in its entirety the theme is a thing of (quirky) beauty.

  10. flashling says:

    Thanks for the replies, it got to the stage where I felt I’d done enough and would let you folks help out which you’ve done. @NMS about LAST EMPEROR I agree but it’s one of those clues that defy a proper category. @BM ouch should have seen that!

  11. BertandJoyce says:

    PHEW! Once again thank goodness for FS!

    We only managed to solve a handful of clues last night. A fresh start this morning enabled us to almost complete the grid with a certain amount of ‘cheating’! There was some very devious word play and even though we expected a NINA the omission of S and U April-Fooled us!

    We are still perplexed by 25ac. Can anyone help? Maybe it’s too late or perhaps solvers are still working on this.

    Thanks Nimrod and flashling. Thanks Eimi as well – An excellent week in the Indie.

  12. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Hi B&J.

    Flashling is probably still suffering from post-traumatic stress, so I will try to help with 25ac. I can’t remember the exact clue, but I think the parsing is RUE (regret, from memory) in OTT reversed. OTT is over the top, and I think flashling’s question mark is whether this can be equated with ‘blue’ in the sense of risqué or pornographic (am I allowed to use that word on 225?).

    Hope that helps. If it’s complete cobblers then flashling will come to your rescue no doubt.

  13. flashling says:

    Flashling comes out of hiding under the duvet. Re #11&12 I suspected the same as K’sD but I’m still not convinced despite Mordred’s thoughts on it.

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