Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,913 / Nimrod

Posted by RatkojaRiku on February 24th, 2012


My apologies for the later than usual posting, caused by other commitments as well as by the trickiness of the puzzle.

Nimrod never disappoints: you know he’ll never hand you a solution on a plate; that you’ll have to work hard to complete the grid; and, importantly, that it’ll be worth the effort of soldiering on until the end. This puzzle was no exception to that.

I was actually up held by some of the more obscure vocabulary today, not least the entry at 2 and the reference to “rubber” in the wordplay at 8: if I had just quickly checked the words concerned in Chambers, I could have saved myself a whole lot of head-scratching as I tried to find alternative reading of those clues.

Despite struggling valiantly through to the end, there is still something which eludes me, so I am appealing to fellow solvers to explain the wordplay in 10 – thanks!

My favourite clues were 9, which is blindingly obvious once you get it, but which kept me guessing for ages; and 24, for working “songbird” and “twig” into the same concise clue. The completed grid is also a pangram, with all 26 letters of the alphabet appearing at least once.

*(…) indicates an anagram

1   ADAM AND EVE [A + MAN (=chap)] in *(EVADED); “cunningly” is anagram indicator; Adam and Eve is Cockney rhyming slang for “to believe”, hence “(to) credit in the Queen Vic”, i.e. in   the East End
6   ZEAL Hidden (“in”) in “siZE A Lot”
10   ESTATES Definition: property; wordplay: the E(astern) states of the US are “looking (out) over Atlantic”
11   NAURUAN Palindrome (“returning … would change nothing”); situated in the South Pacific, Nauru is the world’s smallest republic
12   ENCLOSURE Double definition: ENCLOSURE means “pen” as in pigpen, pigsty AND (something sent with) a “letter”
13   THETA the TA (=volunteers, i.e. territorial army); the definition is “letter”, since “likewise” refers to “a letter” (here, of the Greek alphabet) at the end of the clue to 12
14   MAINS Double (cryptic) definition: MAINS are “followers of those starting”, i.e. courses of a meal that follow starters AND “a current public source”, i.e. the mains electricity supply
15   BATH-TOWEL *(THAT) in BOWEL (=the intestine); “unfortunately” is anagram indicator
17   THEM AND US T<ables> (“top of” means first letter only) + HE-MAN (=Mr Muscle) + DUS<t> (=dirt; “not quite” means last letter is dropped)
20   OVERT OVER (=on) + T (=time)
21   BHAJI B (=book) + HAJI (=pilgrim, i.e. in Islam); the “Indian” in the definition stands for “Indian restaurant”
23   NUREMBERG REM<em>BER (=recall; “heartless” means middle letters are dropped) in NUG (GUN=arm; “twisting” indicates reversal); Nuremberg was the site of the war crimes tribunal following WWII
25   SPRINGY SP-Y- RING (=group of agents, i.e. spies); “relegating Number 3” means that the third letter – “y” – is placed later in the word
26   TURNOUT Cryptic definition: a turnout is the number of people assembled, a gathering; the verb to turn out means to stir in the sense of to get out of bed
27   YALE Cryptic definition around Yale University (“institution that academic may want …) and Yale lock/key (“… to provide an opening”)
28   LITMUS TEST [IT MUST (=it is essential)] in LEST (=for fear of)
1   ARETE Hidden (“may reveal”) in “Chi-squARE TEsts”; an arête is a sharp ridge, hence “feature of (mountain) range”
2   ANTICLINE ANTIC (=cavorting around, i.e. frolicking) + LINE (=row); an anticline is an arch-like fold dipping outwards from the fold-axis, in geology
3   ACTION   STATIONS *(ICON + SATANIST TO); anagram indicators are “injured” and “reformed”
4   DISTURB TUR (RUT=groove; “for reversing” indicates reversal) in [D (=daughter) + IS + B (=born)]
5   VINCENT IN (Ni=nickel; “wheels” indicates reversal) in V CENT (=what it’s worth, i.e. a nickel, the US coin, is worth five (=V) cents); the definition is simply “man”
7   EXUDE *(DE<l>UXE); “discharging luminance (=L, in physics) means that the letter “l” is dropped from anagram; “models”   is anagram indicator
8   LANDAULET L (=left) + AND (=with) + A + ULE (=rubber, i.e. from a Central American tree) + T (=model Ford)
9   QUOTATION   MARKS Cryptic definition: the four quotation marks (two before and two after) are what enclose an utterance (“what was said”) in punctuation
14   MATT BUSBY MATT (=lustreless, i.e. dull) + BUSBY (=black headgear, e.g. a   bearskin); the reference is to Sir Matt Busby (1909-94), long-serving manager of Manchester United football club, hence “he had successful charges”
16   WHEREFORE Hidden (“of”) in “snoW HERE, FOR Example”
18   DINKY-DI IN in *(KIDDY); “outrageous” is anagram indicator; dinky-di is an Australian expression meaning genuine, real, honest, cf fair dinkum
19   STRATUM STRAT (TARTS=women of the night; “going upstairs” indicates vertical reversal) + UM (=let me see)
22   APRIL PR (=couple, i.e. abbreviation of pair) in AIL (=suffer)
24   GET IT TIT (=songbird) + E.G (=perhaps, i.e. for example); “picking up” indicates vertical reversal; the definition is “twig” as a verb, i.e. to understand, realise

5 Responses to “Independent 7,913 / Nimrod”

  1. Gaufrid says:

    Thanks RatkojaRiku
    My interpretation of 10ac is that the definition is ‘property’ and the cryptic wordplay ‘Are they looking over Atlantic …?’ gives E[astern] STATES.

  2. crypticsue says:

    For some reason(i must have been in that mythical ‘zone’) I didn’t find this a particularly difficult Nimrod at all – some of his take me a lot of on and off cogitation time, but this was completed in two short sessions. My main holdup was with 11a – I could see it was a palindrome but I had to scratch my head a bit to ‘get’ it. I agree with Gaufrid about 10a.

    Thanks to blogger and setter

  3. nmsindy says:

    Thanks RatkojaRiku and Nimrod. I enjoyed this too – I found it a little less difficult that Nimrod sometimes is but hard by the overall Indy standard of difficulty. Favourite clues SPRINGY, YALE, WHEREFORE, STRATUM. NAURUAN was my last answer tho I’d the idea of a possible palindrome from the start.

  4. RatkojaRiku says:

    Thanks to Gaufrid and crypticsue for explaining 10 – I could see how “states” might fit in, but I hadn’t understood why the “e” was there at all.

  5. Allan_C says:

    Quite a surprise to find Nimrod when I was expecting Phi. And as was the case yesterday, I completed the grid without fully understanding all the clues, so thanks, RatkojaRiku, for the blog. Without the ‘check’ facility when doing it online I probably wouldn’t have finished it though. Like crypticsue I guessed 11a was a palindrome but was none the wiser when I got it – I wondered if Nauruan was the name of some obscure challenger to Romney, Santorum et al; nor did I understand 8d.

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