Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,920 by Nestor (Saturday Prize Puzzle 03/03/12)

Posted by Bertandjoyce on March 10th, 2012


It took a little while to get started on this one.

The first one to go in was 26d and the last one was 16a. We were half expecting a NINA with the grid but cannot see one.

The COD was 24a for its nice surface reading which brought a smile to our faces. We were a little dubious about the definition in 7d unless we are missing something.

Overall, an enjoyable solve.

8 ABBOT What ‘is brothers ‘ave on is said to make one superior to them
  Homophone (well, close!) of ‘(h)abit’ (what monks or ‘brothers’ wear) = cryptic definition – an abbot would be superior to monks (brothers)
9 PLAIN TEXT Just characters needing extension on statement of grievance
  PLAINT (statement of grievance – in a court of law) + EXT (extension) = just characters
11 INSECTIVORE On crickets heartlessly I’ve chewed, perhaps
  Anagram of ON CRI(ck)ETS (‘heartlessly’) I’VE – anagrind is ‘chewed’ = cryptic definition – some insectivores eat crickets
12 FAN Cooler, another one with Celsius to Fahrenheit conversion
  (c)AN (‘cooler’ in the prison sense) with C (Celsius) changed to F (Fahrenheit) = cooler
13 MASTICATE Crush when jerk is hugged by friend
  AS (when) + TIC (jerk) within (‘hugged by’) MATE (friend) = crush
15 DONOR Someone providing an opening filled by noon
  DOOR (an opening) around (‘filled by’) N (noon) = someone providing
16 SPATTER Drops’ ultimate arrangement, in short?
  S (last – ultimate – letter of ‘drops’) + PATTER(n) (‘arrangement’ without the last letter – ‘in short’) = cryptic definition – a spatter is can be a pattern of drops
18 SNARLED Caught holding line in knots
  SNARED (caught) around (‘holding’) L (line) = in knots
20 RUN-IN Brush trimming gets the ends off
  (p)RUNIN(g) (trimming without the first and last letters) = brush – as in a brush with the law
22 DOG PADDLE Something simple taking in doctor, a simple stroke
  DODDLE (something simple) around (‘taking in’) GP (doctor) + A = simple (swimming) stroke
24 OPT Plump and round before exercises
  O (round) + PT (exercises) = plump (for) – choose
25 CERTIFIABLE I must have church, right one with myth about bats
  CE (Church of England) + RT (right) + I  (one) + FABLE (myth) around (‘about’) I = bats
27 SHORT FUSE Froths violently with exploitation leading to irascibility
  Anagram of FROTHS – anagrind is ‘violently’ + USE (exploitation) = irascibility
28 CRAWL Crop left to swarm
  CRAW (a bird’s crop) + L (left) = swarm as in ‘crawling with’
1 MAGIC MUSHROOMS There’s rapid development in spelling: you could trip on these?
  MAGIC (‘spelling’) MUSHROOMS (undergoes ‘rapid development’) = you could trip (hallucinate) on these
2 IBIS Two seconds to catch black bird
  II (Roman numeral for two) + S (seconds) around (‘to catch’) B (black) = bird
3 STOCKIST Most squat, disregarding end of lease for dealer
  STOCKI(e)ST (most squat) without the last letter of ‘lease’ = dealer
4 OPTIMA Best conditions bearing up Parisian friend, under 24
  OPT (answer to 24 across) + AMI (Parisian friend reversed or ‘bearing up’) = best conditions
5 BARONESS Thatcher possibly having jokes in pubs
  ONES (jokes as in ‘the one about’) in BARS (pubs) = Margaret Thatcher is a baroness
6 UNDEAD Deutschland in ruins apart from core group like vampires
  Anagram of DEU(tschl)AND (omitting the middle letters or ‘core group’) –anagrind is ‘in ruins’ = like vampires
7 NEWFANGLED Demand to go round vampire’s tooth, large on the bleeding edge?
  NEED (demand) around FANG (vampire’s tooth) + L (large) = on the edge as in being innovative – no need for the ‘bleeding’ – ‘cutting’ would have been better for the definition, but doesn’t go with the vampire imagery.
10 TUNBRIDGE WELLS Disgusted posts from here blasted “lewd blustering”?
  Anagram of LEWD BLUSTERING – anagrind is ‘blasted’ = the proverbial place from which ‘disgusted’ comments are sent to newspapers
14 STAGNATION Presumably, a country without women’s movement antithesis
  STAG (male – without women) NATION (country) = antithesis of movement
17 RADAR GUN Sped around university graduate going the other way? This should deter that
  RAN (sped) around U GRAD (‘university graduate’ reversed or ‘going the other way’) = this should deter that (speeding)
19 AT A PINCH Gutted, Crouch is after an easy goal in case of emergency
  A TAP-IN (an easy goal) followed by C(rouc)H (‘gutted’) = in case of emergency
21 NICETY Fine distinction found in Germanic etymology
  ‘Found in’ (Germa)NIC ETY(mology) = fine distinction
23 GEIGER Counter developer for hot spots of grand Alpine peak
  G (grand) + EIGER (Alpine peak) = Hans Geiger, developer of the counter for detecting radio-active ‘hot spots’
26 BEAU Almost worst posh young man
  BEA(t) (‘worst’ as in ‘defeat’ without the last letter – ‘almost’) + U (posh) = young man


7 Responses to “Independent 7,920 by Nestor (Saturday Prize Puzzle 03/03/12)”

  1. flashling says:

    Did this on the plane back to Gatwick from Aberdeen, was rather apprehensive seeing Nestor after his recent midweek showings but got through this relatively smoothly.

    Not overly happy with 8a Abbot don’t care for forced homonyms but seems I got the right answer somehow.

    Still thanks Nestor for the challenge and B&J for a fine blog.

  2. Dormouse says:

    Hmm, in my sarf London accent, ‘abit and abbot are indeed homophones, and I think this was the first clue I got.

  3. Allan_C says:

    A slow start but nothing too difficult here. I was uncertain at first whether 12a should be FAN or CAN – ‘cooler’ could have been either and it wasn’t immediately obvious which way the Celsius/Fahrenheit conversion was supposed to be taken. But looking at 7d and with DONOR at 15a it became pretty clear that ‘fang’ was going to be part of 7d, which settled the argument. Later, having got NEWFANGLED for 7d it took me ages to see how the clue worked.

    Quite a few clues raised a smile – CERTIFIABLE, MAGIC MUSHROOMS and TUNBRIDGE WELLS among them.

    Thanks, Nestor and B&J

  4. Lenny says:

    I enjoyed this, it’s nice to have a Saturday puzzle that does not require specialist knowledge. There were some tough clues though. Favourites included those for Certifiable and Short Fuse. Least favourite was Abbot. There’s a Greek word for a weak vowel sound as in ‘abit/abbot but I can never remember it.

    I think the bleeding in bleeding edge is intended as an expletive because Newfangled is defined as superfluously, excessively or ostentatiously modern.

    Last two in were Ibis where I almost invented the African bird Mbos and Spatter. Thanks to B&J for the wordplay on that one.

  5. sidey says:

    Bleeding edge was originally a printing term where the print goes beyond the limits of the paper as a full page magazine advert. Fusion power is bleeding edge because although theoretically possible it is beyond present technology. No profanity necessary.

  6. pennes says:

    Yes Lenny I agree : nice to have a puzzle that does not require specialist knowledge. I didn’t really like “ones” equating to “jokes”. The connection is clear but they don’t seem synonymous

  7. Bertandjoyce says:

    Hi pennes! Re ones = jokes, Chambers defines one as a joke and we’ve noticed it used quite a few times in cryptics.
    Thanks for all the comments everyone.

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