Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent on Sunday 1127 18 September 2011/Nitsy

Posted by Pierre on September 25th, 2011


You’ll have to put up with me twice today, I’m afraid, since as well as the Everyman, I’m doing my first IoS blog.  I won’t comment on the difficulty level, since I’m not that familiar yet with these puzzles, but I did enjoy the crossword that Nitsy compiled for us today.  I’ve quite a few quibbles, but it could just be me not understanding what’s occurring.



cd  cryptic definition
dd  double definition
(xxxx)*  anagram
anagrind = anagram indicator
[x]  letter(s) removed


Egg whisk
Great start to my IoS blogging career when I can’t even explain 1ac.  The nearest I can get is that an ‘egg’ can be a ‘bomb’ (ask Two Jags Prescott) and to ‘bomb’ and to ‘whisk’ are synonyms for ‘going fast’.  But I don’t really think it can be that, can it?  If it is, then it’s not my favourite ever Nitsy clue.

Determined to have pressure fixed in shower
An insertion of OWN for ‘have’ and P for ‘pressure’ in DOUR for ‘determined’.  Is a downpour equivalent to a shower?  That’s two quibbles in the first two clues, but I can only blog it as I see it, your honour.

10  Judging one’s convictions are important?
A cd.

11  Awful rant? Cool it – losing one’s voice
Nitsy’s asking you to take the I (one) out of (RANT COOL [I]T)*

12  Decrease temperature fast
A charade of DIE for ‘decrease’ and T.

13  Leader of extremists gave permission to capture soldiers, generating respect
A charade of E for ‘leader of extremists’ and an insertion of MEN in LET for ‘gave permission’.  However, how ‘element’ is a definition of ‘respect’, I have no idea, so would welcome a parsing from someone out there in cyberspace.

15  Impossible golfing position – it’s my shot by rear of tree
A charade of (IT’S MY)* and E for the last letter of tree.  Although the word has entered the language as a synonym for ‘thwart’ or ‘frustrate’, its origins are in golf.  Yawn.

17  Bar area – roasted nuts ordered
Nice surface.  The setter’s prompting you to take the A (bar, except, area) out of ‘roasted’ and then make an anagram (RO[A]STED)*  ‘Nuts’ is the anagram  anagrind.

19  Imposing lady placing bet after party
A charade of DO and WAGER.  A DOWAGER is a widow who holds title or properties from her deceased husband, and she’s not normally from t’masses, which the ‘imposing’ is implying.

20  Handsome adult sitting in tree
A for ‘adult’ in FIR.

21  Having cold turkey’s fat wrapping round
I discovered that STRUNG OUT is a term for someone recovering from drug abuse, therefore having ‘cold turkey’.  STOUT is ‘fat’ and it’s around RUNG.  ‘Rung’ for ’round’ was a complete mystery to me, but Chambers confirms the following: RUNG, ‘a ladder round or step'; ROUND, ‘a ladder rung’.

24  Harsh note from son on pipe destroyed character
A charade of (SON ON PIPE)* and LETTER.  ‘Destroyed’ is the anagrind.

26  Intelligence error initially ignored by Foreign Office
[S]IN plus FO.


Where you might find flat fish caught and almost abandoned
I started the across clues with a bit of a hmmm, but the first down clue has a great surface and a lovely piece of misdirection.  Separating out the ‘flat’ and the ‘fish’ is the key to solving the clue: it’s BASS for the ‘fish’ added to C for ‘caught’ in cricket and LEF[T] for almost ‘abandoned’.  And of course the BASS CLEF is (along with the treble clef) where you would find a ‘flat’, a note lowered by a semitone.

Adam finally alone, wickedly plucking a fruit
The removals lorry has been busy in this puzzle: it’s a charade of M for the last letter of Adam, and ([A]LONE)*  ‘Wickedly’ is the anagrind and ‘plucking a’ is the removal indicator.  It’s another really good story-telling clue, though, so I’m going for this as my COD.

Threatening – nothing less – without oxygen?
A charade of O for ‘nothing’ and MINUS for ‘less’ outside O for the element with atomic number 8.  ‘Without’ means ‘outside’, as an antonym of ‘within’, although setters also use it to indicate that you should remove a letter.

Annoyed with almost dire news, “sexed up” for short-lived excitement?
(ANNOYED DIR]E] NEWS)*  The ‘almost’ is nudging you to take the last letter from DIR[E] and ‘sexed-up’ is the anagrind.  This phrase famously entered the language in a big way when the BBC’s Andrew Gilligan reported on the BBC Today programme, at just after six o’clock one morning in the summer of 2003, that the government had ‘sexed up’ the dossier which indicated that Saddam Hussein had access to weapons of mass destruction which could reach the UK within 45 minutes.  There were a few repercussions if you remember.

Although I have known and used the phrase for ages, I was tempted to look into its origin.  If you’re interested, you’ll find it here.

Leaving work to whinge about head of newspaper
The definition is ‘leaving’ and it’s (TO WHINGE N)*  ‘Work’ is the anagrind and N is in the anagram fodder because it’s the first letter of ‘newspaper’.

Coarse fish with no tail on bottom of lake
The rudd is a fish; remove its tail and you’ve got RUD; add E for the bottom of lakE and you’ve got a word for ‘coarse’.  Cleverly-constructed surface.

Expletive could be this?
I could be missing something, but is this cryptic?

Edit: perfectly sound clue; indeed just me missing it.  Rishi explains it at comment no 1.

Learn about international motorway length – it could well be boring
GET for ‘learn’ around IML gives you a tool for boring holes.

14  For example, ordinary daffy.  Narcissus was one
Narcissus was the youth who admired himself in the water too much, giving us the adjective ‘narcissistic’.  Whether this is the same thing as egomaniacal is another question (my answer would be no).  Whatever, it’s EG for ‘for example’ added to O for ‘ordinary’, as in O-levels, and MANIAC for ‘daffy’.  Narcissus is also the latin name for ‘daffodil’, so Nitsy is trying for a piece of misdirection with this.

16  It’s full of melodic sounds, beginnings of ornothological ramble – and it’s fresh air too
The first two letters of ‘ornothological ramble’ added to (AIR TOO)*  give you your answer.  ‘Fresh’ is the anagrind.

18  Rubbish Pat’s put in brown cleaning receptacle
An insertion of (PATS)* in DUN for a shade of brown.  ‘Rubbish’ is the anagrind.

19  Bottle opener for drinks attached to a belt
‘Bottle’ is a noun here.  D for the first letter of ‘drinks’ and A RING for ‘a belt’.

22 Temper – losing head regularly

23  Ran over reckless pedestrians
A synonym for ‘ran’ is included in recklesS PEDestrians.  Is ‘over’ a reasonable inclusion indicator?

Enjoyable Sunday puzzle despite my reservations; thank you to Nitsy.  Looking forward to seeing who will come up for my blog next month.

9 Responses to “Independent on Sunday 1127 18 September 2011/Nitsy”

  1. Rishi says:

    Re 8d

    I think the clue-writer is suggesting that this is a four-letter word – by mere letter-count.

  2. Pierre says:

    Thanks, Rishi. I’m kicking myself, because I’ve seen this before.

  3. nmsindy says:

    Thanks, Pierre, and Nitsy. Re 1A, I think you are right whisk = bomb = move fast. The other part, I think, is that ‘egg’ is a slang word for a bomb or mine. Enjoyable puzzle, on the easy side.

  4. flashling says:

    Re 1ac I believe hand grenades are referred to as eggs, that’s how I saw it anyway. Welcome to the IOS blog Pierre.

  5. Pierre says:

    Thanks, chaps. Any notion on 13ac?

  6. flashling says:

    Best I can come up with for 13a is …
    In that respect = in that part = in that element of it.

    I couldn’t see it last week either…

  7. nmsindy says:

    Sorry, did not notice the 13A query first time around. I agree that element = respect = part of something as flashling says.

  8. Stella Heath says:

    Thanks Pierre for your double effort.

    At 17ac, you have “‘Nuts’ is the anagram” rather than “anagrind” :)

    Re 5d, I always thought the phrase came from the story of Lady Jane Grey

  9. Pierre says:

    Thanks for the correction, Stella. I’d never get a job proof-reading, would I?

    That might be a good call for NINE DAYS’ WONDER. A brief flirt online when I was doing the blog suggested my link, but it’s perhaps one of those phrases where the origin is uncertain.

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