Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,966 / Nestor

Posted by RatkojaRiku on April 26th, 2012


My Thursday slot often presents me with a puzzle by Nestor and today was one such day.

For me at least, this puzzle fell into place more easily than some earlier Nestor puzzles that I have blogged, although it still required a fair amount of concentrated solving. Unusually for me, I solved the longer entries first and slotted in the shorter solutions around them.

14 was a new word for me but wholly gettable from the wordplay. The wordplay at 3 proved elusive, and this was the last clue that I parsed to my satisfaction. I appreciated the original use of “parts” at 11 and “to name but one” in 17. My clues-of-the-day are 9 for its smooth surface and 1/10 for its & lit. element.

*(…) indicates an anagram

1/10   NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE *(INTENSIVE CARE TO ALL + H H + A); “with twice hospital (=H) and area (=A)” means 2 x “h” and 1 x “a” are added to the anagram; “what could deliver” is anagram indicator; & lit.
11   SLOGANS LOG (=diary) in SANS (=without, i.e. in French); “parts” is to be understood as a verb, i.e. splits, separates
12   ELI ELI<xir> (=life-giving drink); “getting half-cut” means that half the letters are dropped
13   AHEAD OF TIME [HE (=male) + ADO (=trouble) + FT (=foot)] in AIME<d> (=pointed, i.e. of a gun; “cut” means last letter is dropped)
15   ASSAILANT LA (=Louisiana) in [AS (=how, i.e. in the manner of) + SAINT (=someone virtuous)]
17   AEGIS A (=answer, as in Q & A) + E.G. (=to name but one) + IS (=lives); the definition is “sponsorship”, as in “under the aegis of”
18   TWINE TWIN (=double) + E (=energy); the definition is “twine” as a verb
20   INHIBITOR [I (=one) + BIT (=part of bridle)] in [IN + HOR<ses> (=steeds; “half of” means half of letters only are used)]
22   RALLYING CRY [ALLY (=partner) in RING (=phone)] + CR (=credit) + <da>Y (= “’s end” means last letter only)
24   OWL <b>O<s>W<e>L<l>; “regularly featured in” means alternate letters only are used
25   TRIESTE TRIES (=ventures) + TE<n> (=decade; “almost” means last letter is dropped)
27   DENTINE DEN (=study) + TINE (=spike)
28   SELF-INTERESTED S (=second) + ELFIN (=delicate) + TE (=note, i.e. in music) + RESTED (=still)
2   AIR KISS *(IS A RISK); “potentially” is anagram indicator
3   IMITATIVELY I (=one) + M (=medium) + ITATIVEL (LEVITATI<on>=flotation; “losing 20%” means 2 of 10 letters are dropped; “over” indicates reversal) + Y (=year)
4   NIECE Initial letters (“leaders”) of N<ewcomer> I<s> E<xposing> C<ouncil> E<states>
5   LAST-DITCH LA (=for Parisians the, i.e. in French) + STD (=standard) + ITCH (=desire)
6   EMO Hidden (“held by”) in “thE MOb”; emo is a style of rock music characterised by melodic musicianship and expressive, often confessional, lyrics
7   LOAFING [A + FIN (=propeller, i.e. organ in fish)] in LOG (=timber)
8   HOSTESS TROLLEY STROLL (=saunter) in *(EYESHOTS); “rendered” is anagram indicator
9   OSTEOARTHRITIS *(SORE THROAT) + IT IS (=that’s); “terrible” is anagram indicator
14   FLAMBOYANTS F (=following) + LAM (=hit) + BOY (=young male) + ANTS (=soldiers possibly); a flamboyant is a tropical tree with flame-coloured flowers
16   ALIGNMENT A<ss>IGNMENT (=task for course); “ship (=SS) to turn to left (=L)” means that the letters “ss” are replaced by “l”; the definition is simply “order”, as a noun
19   ILL WILL <k>ILL (“with the opening cut” means the first letter is dropped) + WILL (=Bill, i.e. short forms of the name William)
21   TWO-TIME *(EMO + TWIT); “emo” is the entry at 6; “exercise” is anagram indicator
23   CEDAR Homophone of “seeders” (=sowing machines)
26   SKI SKI<p> (=jump; “falling short” means last letter is dropped)

7 Responses to “Independent 7,966 / Nestor”

  1. nmsindy says:

    Many thanks, RatkojaRiku, for the excellent blog. My experience was v similar to yours, in that I found the puzzle a little easier than Nestor normally is. The main reason for this was, I think, that I got the long answer NHS at the top of the grid very early on. All clues excellent, fair and bullet-proof (with innovative approaches), in the Nestor style. Thanks to him also.

  2. MikeC says:

    Thanks RR and Nestor. Enjoyable puzzle. I needed your help, RR, in the parsing of 3d – I got the answer but missed the levitation bit.

  3. Jean says:

    Emo not in my dictionary – Chambers. Too old for such references!

  4. NealH says:

    I found this quite tough, but got there eventually. Getting the longer answer at 1 across helped a lot and I might have struggled to finish if I hadn’t got that fairly early on. I didn’t follow 3 down – I just assumed the over meant the word which was reduced by 20% was on top of the y.

    Emo is listed on Wiki as a type of music, so is obviously not too obscure.

    I’d question whether Bill and Will can be really be used as synonyms – is everyone who calls themselves Bill equally happy to be called Will?

  5. flashling says:

    Emo’s in my 11th ed Chambers, I suspect most Bills shudder still when their mother calls them William! Pretty tough I thought although 1/10 fell pretty much instantly, Nestor must have spent some time on that very clever clue, pity solving it required no effort at all.

    Thanks Nestor – quite a workout and RR for explaining a few I didn’t fully parse but just entered because I knew it was right.

  6. Bertandjoyce says:

    We’ve been busy all day so started this one rather late. We completed the grid but needed 225 for explanations for 3d and 16d. Thanks RR for your help!
    Would agree with flashling @5 about 1/10 which fell into place quite quickly with just two checking letters. The clue was excellent though and very cleverly constructed.
    Thanks Nestor for waking up the grey matter at this time of night.

  7. Dormouse says:

    Well, I got there in the end – I was out this evening – but it was a bit of a slog towards the end. 3d I sort of got and a word search confirmed it was the only word that fit, but I couldn’t for the life of me see how it worked. Similarly with 17 I’d guessed AEGIS but couldn’t see why. 14 and 20 needed searches, and 14 was a new one on me.

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two + = 9