Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,824 by Monk (Saturday Prize Puzzle, 12/11/11)

Posted by Simon Harris on November 19th, 2011

Simon Harris.

I’m usually pretty excited to see a (relatively rare) appearance from Monk pop up, especially on a Saturday. Unfortunately, and probably simply to do with the challenges of being self-employed now, I got absolutely nowhere with this one. So I’m left trying to improvise a blog post based on the answers provided online, for which I apologise, since it doesn’t really do the talented Monk justice.

There’s something Nina-ish going on, with NICKEL and SODIUM appearing in the unchecked squares of columns 1 and 15, along with HYDROGEN in the bottom row. Readers will perhaps be able to tell me what else I’ve missed, or maybe even what those three elements combine to make.

A couple of clues remain unresolved for me, which I’ve reproduced inline.

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

1 PRESBYTERIANS – (SNIPER BETRAYS)*. I think “police” is the anagrind, though one sort of has to suspend one’s disbelief to make it work.
8 NOON – [after]NOON. “12” is the definition rather than a cross reference to the clue.
10 IRRIGATE – RIG in IRATE. I think the “water” in the clue is simply there for the surface.
16 OWED – (W + E – West and East are partners in bridge) in DO<.
17 KRAB – (B + ARK)<. A new term for me.
18 CINCINATTI – no idea at all: Supreme commander in military alliance finally turned on US city.
20 EXOTIC – (OX in CITE)<.
22 BLESS YOU – (SU[e] BOYLE’S)*.
24 LONGFELLOW – LONG + FELL + OW[ed], I think. Does FELL mean “cruel”?
26 TRIM – dd.
27 HYDROGEN BOMDS – (DOG + HENRY)* + BOMBS. The “mushrooms” seem a bit random, unless I’m missing something.
2 ENNUI – [duba]I UNNE[rving]<.
3 BRIC-A-BRAC – (I + C.A.B. in (B + RAC). Interestingly, I headed over to the Citizens Advice website to check how they apostrophise their name; apparently they simply don’t.
4 THERETO – ([mo]THER-TO-[b]E)*. Remove MOB in order to “shun” the “crowd”. “Resorting” is another curious anagrind.
5 RHUMB – no idea at here either, I’m afraid: Point one inch above crowd.
6 AFTERNOON – TERN in (A + F.O. + ON).
7 SHE – S[ig]H[ts]E[er].
15 SPIDER WEB – I can only read this as (IDE in SPR) + WEB, but that leaves the question of how “sapper” becomes SPR.
19 NEBULAE – BEN< + [n]U[c]L[e]A[t]E[d].
21 CREDO – RED in CO.
23 SHTUM – H[u]T in SUM. Is SUM the same as “chief points”?
25 OOH – [p]OOH.

6 Responses to “Independent 7,824 by Monk (Saturday Prize Puzzle, 12/11/11)”

  1. Allan_C says:

    18a: CINC (or C in C, abbr for Commander in Chief) + IN + NATI (NATO with O changed to I, a reference to the symbols O (off) and I (on) on electrical devices. A bit laboured, but that’s the best I can make of it.

    27a: ‘Mushrooms’ refers to the mushroom-shaped clouds associated with nuclear explosions.

    5d: The clue was ‘Point one inch above book’. RHUM is a Scottish island, or ‘inch’ in Scots, over B

    15d: Spr is the army abbreviation for the rank of Sapper (in the Royal Engineers)

    Spotted NICKEL and SODIUM but couldn’t make any obvious connection except that they’re both metals.

  2. dialrib says:

    Could it be the Nina is NiNa? (chemical symbols for Nickel, Sodium)

    I haven’t any authorative references but Spr is an abbreviation of Sapper (15d) and CinC for Commander-in-Chief (18a). For the rest of 18a, military alliance is NATO; I and O can be used as symbols for on and off; so ‘in military alliance finally turned on’ is IN NATI?

  3. Allan_C says:

    Well spotted, dialrib! I shall have to hang my head in shame as an (ex) chemist not thinking of that.

  4. MikeC says:

    Thanks Simon and Monk. Quite a tricky one – I totally failed to spot the NiNa (as I usually do!). In 10, surely “water” is the definition?

  5. Allan_C says:

    Further to #1: I should have added in 5d that RHUMB can mean a point of the compass. Usually encountered in the nautical term ‘rhumb line’ which is a course crossing all meridians at the same angle.

  6. nmsindy says:

    Very tough and fair puzzle, as one expects from Monk. I spotted the metals but not the full subtlety of the NiNa which I must say was very clever indeed.

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