Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8083 by Nimrod

Posted by NealH on September 10th, 2012

NealH.

*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed, hom=homophone, CD=cryptic def, DD=double def, sp=spoonerism

My criticism of Nimrod is that he sometimes does seem to go out of his way to make the puzzle as difficult as possible, occasionally with rather unfair tricks such as the inclusion of a lot of misleading verbiage. But this was generally at the more accessible end of the spectrum with a decent number of easier clues and only one or two that I thought bordered on being slightly unfair. There were a number of terse, tightly written clues such as 19 and 24 that I very much admired.
 

Across
1 Manx: [The]m anx[ious] i.e. remove the + debts (=ious).
3 Composer: Compo (character played by the late Bill Owen in Last of the Summer Wine) + ser (abbr of series).
8 Samba: Hidden in this ambassador.
10 Insomniac: I + (Con man is)*.
12 Nappy Rash: (P[e]rhaps + any)*(European=E removed).
13 Thyme: Thy + me (thy being the older (elder) form of you).
14 Guano: (On Aug)<, def =mess about by the sea. This was my main gripe, as 8th here could refer to anything and it's not obvious it should refer to the 8th month.
15 Masticate: Asti + cat (=carnivore) in me.
17 Use by Date: (Tuesday + b + e)*, b + e being 5th and 6th letters of October. Wasting is the anagram indicator and the whole is an &lit.
18 Graze: Hom of Gray’s (as in Gray’s Anatomy or Grey’s Anatomy, if you prefer the US TV series).
19 Being: Nice, deceptively simple clue – it’s just beg round in.
21 Penal Code: Another &lit, this one being (One placed)*.
23 Elevenses: Ens (a word for being or existence) in eleves (French for pupils).
24 Eject: Another nicely constructed clue – C (cocaine) found in [th]e (rear of the) + jet (=plane).
25 Tasselly: Ass (=fool) in telly. TV is sometimes called the box (although most of them aren’t very box shaped these days), so boxed could mean inside telly.
26 Oboe: 3 clues – OBE around o, obe[y] around o and something that’s blown.
Down
1 Mustn’t Grumble: MG around US TNT + rumble.
2 Nameplate: ET (alien) + apeman (swinger) around l(ine), all reversed.
4 Ouija: Oui + ja, words for yes in French (François Hollande’s language) and German (Angela Merkel’s language). Actually, ouija is an invented word that was derived using precisely that trick of putting the two words for yes together.
5 Posthaste: Thast (that’s with modified ending) in pose.
6 Something else: Some + thin + gels (=sets) + [ar]e.
7 Rainy: Ray (Ray Charles) clothing (i.e. being around) in (=popular).
9 Anybody’s Guess: U in (bygone days)* + SS (Schutzstaffel being the full name of the German SS).
11 Creme de menthe: Merc< + me in Eden + the. Def is "spirit".
15 Meat Paste: (Estate map)*.
16 At a low ebb: A tab (Ecstasy tab) around lo (=see) + web.
20 Id Est: Hidden in Aristides transcribed. Def is “in other words”.
22 Nasal: NASA + l. Curiosity’s origin here refers to the NASA Curiosity probe which is currently examining the Martian surface.

15 Responses to “Independent 8083 by Nimrod”

  1. crypticsue says:

    Nimrod on a Monday – Oh heck I thought but it turned out to be a very accessible puzzle which didn’t take me that long at all (relatively speaking!- for an Indy puzzle generally, and definitely for a Nimrod). I didn’t struggle with 14a mainly I suppose because I had the checking letters by then and so it was obviously what the 8th was.

    Thanks to Nimrod for a very enjoyable brain work out and to Neal for the explanations.

  2. allan_c says:

    I saw it was Nimrod (on a Monday!) and thought “urrgh”. But solved in under 40 minutes without external help apart from the check button so I suppose the appropriate comment is 1d. The emergence of X, Z and J had me looking for a pangram, but no luck there.
    Some nice topical references in 4d and 22d.
    Thanks, NealH, for the blog – I needed it to understand the parsing of some clues, e.g. 12a and 2d. And thanks to Nimrod for a satisfying solve.

  3. aztobesed says:

    Thanks to Neal and Nimrod.

    22 had me tied in knots. NASA and cats? There was the Cosmic Anistrophy Telescope (decommissioned) which may or may not have paved the way for projects such as Curiosity – or was the suggestion that projects like Curiosity deprived the telescope of funding and that in a way Curiosity killed the CAT?

    A very enjoyable solve. I particularly liked Tasselly. There must be a way of referencing the asses who work in television. Maybe it’s just me.

  4. rowland says:

    I prefer to have the blog showing the clues, especially where they are quite complex ones as you get with Nimrod. I agree with crypticsue that this was a bit easier than the last one, and I successfully completed the grid without cheating. Very original clues, you don’t get too many like Nimrod! I can’t remember the clue, but the one for use-by-date I think is the best one.

    Cheers
    Rowly.

  5. Rorschach says:

    The expected toughness from the master but so many stonking clues in there – oh to have half his talent! Thanks Nimrod and thanks NealH for a helpful blog. One can only expect a difficult week with a Nimmy on the first day eh?

  6. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Many thanks, Neal.

    On discovering who the setter was, my version of ‘urrgh’ and ‘oh heck’ was ‘chuffing nora'; but the solving experience was the same. I wouldn’t exactly say it was Nimrod-lite, but with a bit of perseverance it was gettable, and fun. I liked GUANO and USE-BY DATE especially; and although TASSELLY was a bit left-field, I thought that was a good one too.

    Thanks to Dr H for the entertainment this morning.

  7. Donk says:

    Thoroughly enjoyable puzzle, many thanks to Nimrod and also to NealH for explaining a few that I couldn’t quite fathom myself. A solid challenge for me, but very rewarding with many excellent clues – absolute favourites being 13a, 1d and 22d.

  8. Gervase says:

    Thanks, Neal.

    I’m not a regular Indy solver, but today’s Guardian blog has not appeared and I thought I would try the Nimrod, as comments had already appeared. And I know this setter as Enigmatist in the Grauniad; his puzzles are never a walk in the park, but a rewarding challenge.

    This was typically good fun, with some complex and amusing wordplay. The ingenious cryptic definitions are characteristic (‘mess about by the sea’ – the crossing letters made ‘the 8th’ perfectly acceptable for me, though I needed the G and the O to solve the clue). USE-BY DATE is splendid.

  9. flashling says:

    I found the quiptic in the Guardian tougher to complete than this, seeing Nimrod as a monday setter was a bit of a shock and wondered if it was the Anax celebratory puzzle, if it is it’s too subtle for me!

    Thanks Neal, Nimrods are never easy to solve or blog.

  10. Eileen says:

    Hi flashling

    The Anax birthday puzzle is here: http://bigdave44.com/crosswords/ntspp-135/ – a tad harder than this one, you might say, and well worth a go!

    Many thanks to Neal – and to Nimrod for another great puzzle.

  11. flashling says:

    Thanks Eileen.

  12. allan_c says:

    I doubt if rowland’s comment (#4) was meant as a direct criticism of today’s blog, but whilst it is nice to have the clues repeated in the blog I don’t think it’s something we can expect as of right. The bloggers are a varied bunch of people, some of them obviously with jobs to hold down, and the amount of time they have to devote to blogging varies accordingly. And they don’t get paid for it either. If there’s a need to check back to the clues there’s little problem if you do the dead tree version, and online there’s always crossword solver.
    Btw I’m not a blogger commenting under another name.

  13. Paul B says:

    The mysterious non-blogging continues.

  14. Dormouse says:

    Definitely not my day for crossword solving. After several attempts and only getting a couple of clues, finally seemed to make a start late in the day – end then dried up again. Thought I’d be better employed reading a book at that point.

  15. JollySwagman says:

    Enjoyable solve – the Nimrod pleasure without the Nimrod pain. I wondered whether he had consciously watered it down a bit but there was still plenty to chew on and savour.

    Thanks for the blog Neal but I don’t think it’s fair to use the word unfair lightly.

    If you have a personal dislike for a setter’s style, fine – say so – that’s another matter – but I don’t thing it’s fair to make a broadside criticism of a setter without justifying it with specific examples. Nimrod clues are often tough but rarely if ever unfair – in fact one (only one) of his trademarks is the clue that appears at first sight to be chatty and overwordy but on later inspection turns out to be 100% watertight and free of redundancy.

    Here I found 8th for August fairly obvious – NASA from Curiosity less so, not being a space-probe geek, but I presumed my guess to be correct.

    Anyway – many thanks to both – it was fun and didn’t take too long (for once).

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