Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,704 by Nestor (Saturday Prize Puzzle, 25/06/11)

Posted by Simon Harris on July 2nd, 2011

Simon Harris.

I must admit that this seemed to be about the toughest Nestor puzzle I’ve ever come across. As a result, I was picking away at it all week. One final entry, 17dn, remained blank until I could check it online today. Nevertheless, there is some very inventive and pleasing clueing in there.

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

Across
1 LIEUTENANTSHIP – ((U + TENANT) in LIES) + HIP. The “let contractor” definition for TENANT was well-hidden, I thought.
9 UPLIFT – (FLIP [o]UT)*.
10 PALOMINO – from DOMINO, with PAL (“china plate” = “mate”) ousting the leading D.
11 GREAT APE – [o]GRE AT A PE[nitentiary].
12 ENGULFENG + FLU<. ENG was certainly new to me.
13 GANDHI – G[oing] AND HI.
14 SEMESTER – (M + EST) in SEER.
16 AMUNDSEN – (US MANNED)*. Roald Amundsen, no doubt.
19 DILUTEDI + LUTE.
21 GARUDA – U in GARDA. It turns out to be these chaps, though I had to rely on wordplay for this one.
23 OVERSTEP – (VOTES PER)*.
24 EUPHUISME + UP + (IS in HUM).
25 SWIVEL – (W in LEVIS)<.
26 ETHNIC MINORITY – cd.
Down
2 IMPERIAL MEASURE – (AREA MILES)* in IMPURE.
3 UNITARD – NIT in [g]UARD.
4 ESTUARIES – ES TU + ARIES.
5 APPLETS – APPLE + T[ool]S &lit.
6 TILDE – L in TIDE.
7 HOMAGES – MAG in HOES.
8 PENAL SETTLEMENT – TALENTS* in (P + ELEMENT).
15 MID-SEASON – SIDE* in Perry MASON.
17 NOUGHTH – (UGH + T) in NOH.
18 NUOC MAM – COUN[t]< + (M + A.M.).
20 LOSSIERL + [d]OSSIER.
22 ALIBILIB in A.I..

6 Responses to “Independent 7,704 by Nestor (Saturday Prize Puzzle, 25/06/11)”

  1. jmac says:

    I agree it was quite tough but very good as usual from Nestor. There is also reading down the left hand column LUGGAGE i.e. [Left] luggage, and down the right hand column OF REPLY i.e. [right] of reply.

  2. Bamberger says:

    I spend about 5 hours and only solved 8 clues. Thought that was down to my lack of ability but I see that it was tough.

    Thanks for the blog

  3. Allan_C says:

    Yes, tough but solvable. Thanks, Nestor, for the challenge, and Simon for the blog – and jmac for spotting the nina which I missed.

    21a was obviously U somewhere in GARDA but I’d never heard of the airline so it was Google to the rescue, and also to confirm 17d from the wordplay. At Oxford the week before a university term is frequently referred to as ‘noughth week’ – see http://www.dailyinfo.co.uk/guide/uniterms.html

    NUOC MAM was also new to me, but I got it from the wordplay and then found it in Chambers.

    Favourites? ESTUARIES and TILDE.

  4. Simon Harris says:

    Yes, well spotted jmac. I noticed that but didn’t understand it at all, and eventually forgot to even mention it. Thanks for the explanation!

    The other thing I meant to mention relates to Allan_C’s comment: us programmers start counting at 0 (for example in the context of array indices), so the noughth of anything would be the initial, rather than the one preceding the initial item! That’s basically pedantry, though ;)

  5. nmsindy says:

    Yes, this was pretty tough, but totally fair. Seeing LUGGAGE and OF REPLY emerging helped me but I did not get the LEFT RIGHT idea till coming here. Quite a few words I’d never heard of but the clear wordplay led me to them in all cases. Favourite clues GANDHI and TILDE.
    Thanks, Nestor, and Simon – programmers may start at 0 for convenience, Simon, giving 10 one-digit numbers, but I guess the rest of us will stick with 1 as our starting point for the foreseeable future…

  6. scchua says:

    Thanks Simon and Nestor.

    Really challenging, though perhaps I had a slight edge with GARUDA and NOUC MAM. Last one in was NOUGHTH, couldn’t think of a word ending ….H_H, until I thought east and Japanese drama. Lots of tough but fair clues as always with Nestor, favourites of which were 10A PALOMINO, got held up slightly trying to fit “China”=”Ming” porcelain, 5A APPLETS and 25A SWIVEL, though some might frown at the use of tradenames in the latter two. Thanks jmac for the explanation of the ninas, which I spotted but couldn’t connect.

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