Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7660 by Nimrod

Posted by flashling on May 5th, 2011


I sit down on the train, open up the paper and what do I find, something to strike terror into the heart of bloggers, well this blogger  – it’s a Nimrod. After 30 minutes on the train I’d got about 7 done, and I feared for a late blog and a long lunch break …

We have a Nina 4dn is TOGETHER and the top row reads WE STAND; 7dn (linked with 4 by ellipses) is DIVIDED and bottom row WE FALL. There may well be more to this than I can see right now, so any ideas gratefully received below.

This grid isn’t fully symmetrical which is a little unusual. This being Nimrod there’s bound to be some other way of parsing some of these and I still can’t really justify 1dn.


8 Arm broken by socialist (4) MARX ARM* + X = multiply = by, I’ve seen this a few times recently.
9 Concerned with vocalic switch by foreign craft (5) ABOUT U-BOAT with vowels A & U switched. [Edited, thanks Paul A for noticing that]
10 Order the ticket, or forget? (4) OMIT Order of Merit + just the ticket (IT)
11 Tons to be discarded, release bricks (4) LEGO T discarded from LE(t) GO
12 Flower of Scotland – short and sweet, by God! (5) TWEED Twee + D = Latin Deus – God
13 One anticipating Swinging Sixties finally discovered long-legged bird (4) IBIS Long clue for such a short answer. 1 + BI + (sixtie)S
14 In private city hospital nine bed sheets supply (6-3-6) BEHIND THE SCENES (C + H + NINE BED SHEETS)*
15 Fly-by-night, once-honoured club members (7-2-2) MOTHERS-TO-BE In the club. MOTH (a flyer by night) + ERST + OBE
20 Flower deliveries were fast from him, allegedly (4) LILY Sound like former Aussie pace bowler Dennis LILLEE [Edit Spelling corrected thanks Ian]
21 ‘Assassin in Japan’ covers it (5) NINJA Hidden in clue.
23 Kelvin’s disembarked, it seems, to eat out (4) ETCH No K in kETCH
24 15 PAs in court? (6-2-7) LADIES-IN-WAITING Cryptic Double Definition
27 Sordid social circumstances shook up one fellow (3,4) LOW-LIFE (1 FELLOW)*
28 Government Dossier A restricted following Eden’s cover-up (3,4) FIG LEAF G(ov) in FILE A + F(ollowing)
Down `
1 Ripple emanating from 12A (7) WAVELET LET indicates small but I don’t see the WAVE (=D?) part. Ideas?
2 Illustrating what is meant by showing the first person in legend (10) EXPOSITORY EXPO + I in STORY
3 Alternative to dry-roasted nuts stale – must get pennies back then! (6) SALTED STALE* (nuts) + D = old penny
4 Clothing item number one … (8) TOGETHER TOG – clothing + ETHER ellipsis link to 7d
5 Disputing when to arrest London murderer (2,4) AT ODDS AS around (Sweeney) TODD
6 May be regarded as ‘never to be assassinated’? (10) NOTICEABLE NOT ICE-ABLE, can’t be murdered.
7 not one did this by 6:45 in sequence of letters (7) DIVIDED Ellipsis link from 4. DID divided (did this!) by VI (6) + letters 4&5 of the alphabet D&E. This wasn’t obvious at all to me.
16 Don’t touch the workers on holiday (5,3) HANDS OFF Cryptic Def if anything
17 Liqueur Time: Nimrod’s song (3,5) TIA MARIA T + I AM (Nimrod) + ARIA
18 Deny base was void (7) DISAVOW (WAS VOID)*
19 Film two silvery metals (7) SCANDAL SC (Scandinavium Scandium) AND AL (Aluminium) (Both silvery metals) [Edit thanks Scchua, brain was a bit fried when I wrote this up!]
22 FA – or NA? (4) NONE F*** all or Not applicable. Double Definition.
25 Vain member of the Circus (4) IDLE Eric of Monty Python infamy.
26 Archer in form, getting it 4 (4) TELL Triple Def: William the archer, INFORM (IN FORM 4 –together) & getting it (Eg Rolf Harris saying can you TELL what it is yet?)

15 Responses to “Independent 7660 by Nimrod”

  1. Gaufrid says:

    Thanks flashling
    1dn is *(TWELVE A)

    In 22dn I had Fanny Adams and Not Available.

  2. scchua says:

    Thanks for the blog flashling and Nimrod for a challenging puzzle. This is the second Nimrod in a row that I could complete, so I must be doing something right! (More likely, Nimrod is easing off.)

    The only difficulty was 1D WAVELET, where I fell for the misdirection to 12A TWEED, convincing myself in the last resort that the herringbone pattern in the cloth does look like little waves! Favourites were 14A MOTHERS-TO-BE; 7D DIVIDED, liked the 6:45 device; and 4D TOGETHER. Got the Nina as well, though I always knew it as UNITED WE STAND…, but no matter, it was a great puzzle.

  3. Ian says:

    Thanks flashling. A heroic effort, well done.

    Nimrod, as always, is a hard nut to crack and requires the maximum quantities of both lateral thinking and full-on concentration.

    With this in mind, assuming that panic at seeing the word Nimrod doesn’t induce at a panic attack, it should be OK for experienced solvers to tackle without too much trepidation.

    This I completed in 70 minutes. Which was only 22 minutes longer than the Shed in this mornings Ugnadiar.

    Today it was up to his high standard. 21ac was superb for a embedded solution, 20ac smooth as silk (Dennis Lillee btw), whilst At 8ac, a candidate for the clue of the day, there is much mischief and intended misdirection.

    17Dn is of course brilliant too.

  4. crypticsue says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed this Nimrod. As Ian says, you do need to take a deep breath, avoid panic and concentrate on lateral thinking, but it was all eminently ‘gettable’, even though I did take a couple of solving sessions to get to the end. I had 9 favourite clues and still can’t decide on clue of the day. Thanks to Flashling for the review and Nimrod for the usual great entertainment. Note to Scchua – isn’t it tempting fate to suggest he might be easing off? !!

  5. Mick H says:

    ‘United we stand’ is more familiar to me too, but I can think of three reasons for ‘together’ here.
    1) you couldn’t get ‘united’ and ‘divided’ to intersest with the letters of ‘we fall’ and ‘we stand’, as both need the ‘d’ of ‘divided’.
    2) ‘Together we stand’ is the name of a Pink Floyd song.
    3) Nimrod’s an Arsenal fan. We Gooners avoid the U word where possible!
    Top puzzle.

  6. Thomas99 says:

    I thought this was absolutely brilliant. My favourite is probably 7d but they’re almost all special. Last in was ETCH – one of several extraordinary clues for short words. By the way my parsing for 22 was FA=None (sweet FA etc.) and NA=N+ONE. I often use “N/A” for Not Applicable but am never sure whether I’m really saying “None” or “Don’t Know”, or even “Mind your own business”. All three parsings for the clue seem fine to me.

  7. nmsindy says:

    Yes, this was just a little easier than Nimrod has sometimes been (in recent times anyway), I thought. Was greatly helped by seeing WE FALL as a possibility in the bottom row and then noticing that the grid was not symmetrical in the normal way. My favourite clues were NINJA, LOW LIFE, and FIG-LEAF (the latter with great misdirection suggesting – to me anyway – the Suez crisis). Thanks, Nimrod and flashling.

  8. Paul A says:

    9ac – It’s U and A switched

  9. Wanderer says:

    Quite exceptionally good, I thought. Hard to pick a favourite in such an array of excellence but I loved MOTHERS-TO-BE (ERST is a word we don’t see enough of) and its linkage to LADIES-IN-WAITING. My last in was FIG-LEAF (I too was fixated on Anthony Eden and British politics in the 1950s). Thank you flashling and Nimrod, very tough and as good as they come.

  10. flashling says:

    Thanks to Gaufrid for clearing up 1d and Ian and Paul A for spotting the silly errors in the blog.

  11. caretman says:

    I didn’t quite finish (well, not without cheating), as I couldn’t for the life of me parse 22 dn, so I’m glad to see how it worked (the first initialism isn’t common on this side of the water). 16 dn I think was a charade rather than a double definition, with “the workers” = HANDS and “on holiday” = OFF, leading to the definition of “don’t touch”. And thanks, flashling, for explaining 7 dn, it was clearly the right answer given the crossing letters and the nina but I could work it out only partially. A nicely challenging puzzle (nearly) solved in a couple of sessions around my evening dancing.

  12. scchua says:

    Hi flashling, on second reading, re 19D SCANDAL, I think that SC (my initials too) is the symbol for Scandium, which was discovered from rare minerals from Scandinavia (hence its name). Scandinavium, amongst other things possibly, is a sports complex in Gotheberg.

  13. bamberger says:

    Relieved to find out that Nimrod is a hard setter as I only got 21a & 16d.

    It didn’t look too daunting with the hypenated answers but it required digging too deep for me e.g having to get the London murderer as Sweeny Todd still isn’t enough.

    Not convinced that na, which I interpret as not applicable is the same as none .

    At least I know what vocalic means now.

  14. 4across says:

    oh, that was tough. shouldn’t 2d be expository ? [flashling says yes thanks for spotting that!]

  15. flashling says:

    Night all, thanks for spotting the stuff that needed correcting. @scchua & crypticsue PLEASE don’t give Nimrod ideas about making them harder!

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