Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7686 by Nimrod (Saturday Prize Puzzle 4 June 2011)

Posted by mc_rapper67 on June 11th, 2011


NB. For some reason, this is not the puzzle posted on the Indy website today – which is an old Nimrod…The thematic preamble states: “Nine related answers lack a definition in the clues. A tenth, normally clued, supplies a hint.” For those of you who didn’t get the paper copy last week, I have had a go at recreating it here indy7686  (hopefully not breaking too many copyright laws…(;+>)

So, on with the puzzle. An explicit thematic, with preamble and undefined, linked clues…fairly rare for a Saturday Indy, I would suggest? After a slow start, I started getting some of the non-thematic answers, and then found my first thematic – 29A – NEVER SAY DIE, and immediately lurched off in the wrong direction looking for more Bond films.

Once I’d realised the error of my ways I ploughed on, gradually filling the grid, but didn’t twig the theme, even though I had solved the hint clue at 19D – until 7D – NIJINSKY – jumped off the page, or rather didn’t jump, as the Derby is a flat race!

After that, it all fell into place, although horse racing is not really my bag…so some Googling was necessary. Not only were they all Derby winners, but they were also among Lester Piggott’s Derby winners, and almost all of them symmetrically positioned…

A masterclass of thematicism and symmetricism, and some great clues like 23D, 29A, and many, many more. I would like to wax more lyrically but it is the early hours of Saturday, and I need to sleep. ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Solving time – lost count – several sessions and a slight diversion into the James Bond theme!

Clue No Solution Clue Definition (with occasional embellishments) /
1A THE MINSTREL To begin with, how many letters in PANTS? (3, 8 ) undefined /
anag (i.e. pants) of H + M (initial letters of how and many) plus LETTERS IN
9A INSULIN In love with us over a hormone (7) hormone /
IN + SULIN – NIL (love) + US ‘over’
10A ST PADDY My mum’s new bloke Ed’s gradually given the push (2, 5) undefined /
STePdADDY (mum’s new bloke, step-daddy, without E or (first) D – ED gradually removed)
12A INTERIM Fit after taking pills for a while (7) for a while /
IN TRIM (fit) around E (esctasy pill(s))
14A SIR IVOR Run out of Rome, man is heading back (3, 4) undefined /
RO (run out) + VIR (man, in Latin/Rome) + IS – all heading back = SIR IVOR
15A STEREOTYPE Too readily categorise Bush? Eye protest suspiciously (10) too readily categorise /
anag (i.e. suspiciously) of EYE PROTEST – not sure what Bush has to do with it, maybe &lit reference to Private Eye’s treatment of Bushes Sr and Jr?
17A BLOC Starters to bracket lots of competing parties together (4) parties together /
first letters of Bracket Lots Of Competing
20A YETI Exist, did/does it, even before the crossword compiler? (4) &lit to something that may or may not exist /
YET (even) + I (the compiler)
21A WEATHER EYE Invitation from restaurant in British valley is conditional lookout (7, 3) conditional lookout (weather = conditions) /
WYE (British valley) around EAT HERE (invitation from restaurant)
23A ROBERTO Naughtily take to grabbing throne-occupier (7) undefined /
ROB (naughtily take) + TO around ER (Queen Liz, throne occupier)
25A HABITUE Clamour overwhelming some regular visitor to a place (7) regular visitor to a place /
HUE (clamour, as in hue & cry) around A BIT (some)
26A TEENOSO Lawrence like this round the back of one? (7) undefined /
TE (Lawrence) + SO (like this) around ENO (one, backwards)
27A REDPOLL Concerned with putting head of pin through toy flier (7) flier (bird) /
RE (concerned with) + DOLL (toy) round P (head of pin)
29A NEVER SAY DIE One stuck by severe Indy anagrams (5, 3, 3) undefined /
anag (i.e. anagrams!) of SEVERE INDY plus A (one)
Clue No Solution Clue Definition (with occasional embellishments) /
2D HAS Playing Hearts, on top, is in possession (3) is in possession /
H (hearts) + AS (playing, as in acting a role)
3D MALARKEY Cheeky one’s winding up nonsense (8) nonsense /
MALAR (relating to the cheek) + KEY (one winding up, as in a clock)
4D NANOMETRE Men are distracted with not a short distance to travel (9) short distance /
anag (i.e. distracted) of MEN ARE + NOT
5D TESTS Critically examines short Biblical composition (5) double defn /
Tests = Testaments, in the bible, or critical examinations
6D EMPERY It’s weird strangling someone in the House (6) undefined /
EERY (weird) around MP (someone in the House)
7D NIJINSKY Judge, having taken off, is following fashionable looping the loop (8) undefined /
NI (in, looping the loop) + J (judge) + IN SKY (having taken off)
8D DYER Colouring agent is awful when one tries to pick it up (4) colouring agent /
homonym (i.e. trying to pick it up, by hearing) of DIRE (awful)
11D DEVILMENT In the grip of depression get bad marks for mischievousness (9) mischievousness /
DENT (depression) gripping EVIL (bad) + M (marks)
13D TREATABLE In transcribing letter a rating may be discussed (9) may be discussed /
anag (i.e. transcribing) of LETTER A, including AB (rating, or Able Seaman)
16D POTSHARDS Bits and pieces found in digs, squalid pads with short lets (9) Bits and pieces found in (archaeological) digs /
anag (i.e. squalid) of PADS + SHORT – ‘lets’ seems to be superfluous/decorative?
18D CREPELLO Player gets agent in (8) undefined /
CELLO (player) with REP (agent) in
19D DERBY DAY (the hint!) Wine chucked up during the waking hours, when the Old Firm get together (5, 3) &lit/day of football match between Celtic & Rangers, the ‘Old Firm derby’ /
DER (‘red’ wine, ‘thrown up’) +  BY DAY (during waking hours)
22D BROOKE Shields man using coat of beryllium (6) (Brooke) Shields, film star /
BE (beryllium) around ROOK (chess-man)
23D RITZ Where they won’t be putting odds on Her Majesty’s drink? (4) &lit /
RITZ = spritzer – drink – without SP (odds) and ER (Her Majesty)
24D OZONE No go area up in the clouds (5) &lit?/up in the clouds /
O (no go, zero, zilch) + ZONE (area)
28D OBI Charm with the not quite late news? (3) charm (as in witchcraft) /
not quite OBIT (obituary, ‘news’ of the late, or dead)

8 Responses to “Independent 7686 by Nimrod (Saturday Prize Puzzle 4 June 2011)”

  1. Allan_C says:

    Some of us had a preview of this puzzle at the Midlands Sloggers & Betters in January (and were informed it would appear later in the year) so I was expecting it to turn up on Derby day. But even knowing the theme and having previously solved it I had forgotten a lot of the answers and had to work them out afresh. So thanks, Nimrod, for a “double helping”; and mc_rapper67 for the blog.

  2. sidey says:

    Thank you for the original grid Mr_Rapper.

  3. Mustyx says:

    15ac. I can only think that ‘Bush’ was a TYPE of STEREO (record player). A very old brand name now!

  4. Allan_C says:

    Well spotted, Mustyx!

  5. Mustyx says:

    Glad you agree, Allan. But that means the anagram part of the clue is superfluous. “Too readily categorise Bush, perhaps? ” would be enough.

  6. Paul B says:

    See your point, but it’s not a hard and fast rule. You can have more than one set of indication plus your def if the mood takes you, and why just double define where more will do?

    Fierce lambs went down hill (4)

  7. Thomas99 says:

    There isn’t a Bond film called Never Say Die, is there??

  8. mc_rapper67 says:

    Thomas at #7 – Ah…good point! There was one in my head, in the middle of a campsite field in Dorset, with no internet or Halliwells handy!…

    Mustyx at #3 – Good spot on the ‘Bush’ type of stereo – a little before my time, maybe (;+>)

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