Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8,086 / Nestor

Posted by RatkojaRiku on September 13th, 2012


It is Thursday today so any number of different compilers can by lying in wait for one, although Nestor has always featured prominently in my Thursday blogging slots.

Long may that continue, although it sometimes seems almost sacrilegious to rattle through one of his puzzles to produce a blog when one would prefer to stop and savour each and every clue along the way.

As is always the case, I found this a challenge and at no point did a flurry of answers reveal themselves to me in quick succession; I really did have to chip away at it. I found that I solved the longer entries around the perimeter quite quickly, which provided a lot of initial letters and doubtless speeded up the solving process. My last one in was 4, where I inferred the answer from the letters in and definition but just could not figure out the wordplay.

Indeed, the wordplay in this puzzle overall is rather intricate, with individual letters being shifted about and/or replaced in a number of clues – 2, 3, 21, 23 – and the fact that my blog is a tad more verbose than usual reflects that intricacy. 26 was also a challenge to parse, since “varmint” was new to me.

My clues of the day could be any one of the & lit.s at 4, 8 and 9. I also very much admired the splitting of “Round/Table” in the wordplay at 15; the use of console in 17; and the fact that Ravi, Sitar and instrument maker could be wrapped up in a single clue at 14. I found myself wondering how Nestor spotted the latter: was he simply playing with the letters when he realised that it could be done, or did it just occur to him in a flash of inspiration?

*(…) indicates an anagram

1   AS THE CROW   FLIES   *(CHEATS) + ROW (=dispute) + F (=following) + LIES (=dishonesty, the entry at 12); “rough” is anagram indicator
10   CHILL   CHIL<d> (=nipper; “short” means last letter dropped) + L (=large); the definition is “nip”, as in There’s a nip in the air
11   LONG-RANGE   L (=liberal) + [NG (=no good) in ORANGE (=Conservative Protestant, e.g. in Northern Irish politics)
12   DISHONESTY   DI (=detective, i.e. Detective Inspector) + SHONE (=excelled) + STY (=where the filth’s found, i.e. home of pigs)
13   PROW   R (=Queen, i.e. Regina) in POW (=explosive report, i.e. said to imitate an impact)
15   OKAYED   KAY (=Bedivere’s companion, i.e. in Arthurian legend) in [O (=Round) + <tabl>E <an>D (“finally” means last letters only]
17   NINTENDO   INTEND (=aim) in NO (=drama, i.e. from Japan); the definition is “console producer”, where “console” is a noun, i.e. games console
19   SHADES OF   HADES (=the underworld) in SOF<t> (=firm’s reverse, i.e. the opposite of “firm”; “mostly” means last letter dropped); the definition is “this suggests”, i.e. reminiscent of
20   CARE OF   CAR (=vehicle) + EOF (FOE=enemy; “back” indicates reversal)
22   MIMI   MI<a>MI (=US city; “operA ultimately abandons” means last letter, the “a”, is dropped); Mimì is the heroine of Puccini’s opera La bohème
23   FOREFINGER   F (=folio) in FOREI-N-GER (FOREIG-N-ER=outsider; “bringing note (=N) forward” means the letter “n” moves to earlier position in word); the definition is “index”(finger)
26   SPEARMINT   SPE<w> (=violently eject) + <v>ARMINT (=redneck pest, i.e. US dialect); “clearing West Virginia (WV)” means the letters “vw” are dropped
27   ADAMS   DAM (=mother) in AS (=when); the reference is to John Adams (2nd US president from 1797-1801), father of John Quincy Adams (6th US president from 1825-29)
28   COLLECTOR’S   ITEM   C/O + [MET (=police force) + IS + ROT (=corrupt) + CELL (=jail place); “regressive” is anagram indicator]
2   SWISS   “Getting small (=S) for 9” means letter “s” replaces digit “9” in SW1-9-’s (=Wimbledon area’s, i.e. London postcode)
3   HOLLOW-EYED   HOLL-y (=Christmas plant) + {holl-Y in [O (=old) in WEED (=pot, i.e. marijuana)]}; “has its base in” means last letter is separated from rest of word; mince pies is Cockney rhyming slang for eyes
4   CALMED   *(MADE C<oo>L); “on the surface” means first and last letters only; “possibly” is anagram indicator; & lit.
5   ORNITHIC   NIT (=egg, i.e. of hair louse) in *(CHOIR); “in a twitter” is anagram indicator
6   FURY   U (=universal) in FRY (=young offspring, i.e. of fish)
7   IGNORANCE   Hidden (“houses”) in “campaIGN OR ANCEstral”
8   SHERWOOD   FOREST   *(HOOD’S RESORT FEW); “laid waste” is anagram indicator; & lit.
9   ACID HOUSE   MUSIC   *(SUCH MISC. AUDIO + E (=ecstasy)); “played” is anagram indicator; & lit.
14   STRADIVARI   DIVAR (RAVI’D=Shankar’d; “turned” indicates reversal) in *(SITAR); “damaged” is anagram indicator; the references are to Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar and Italian instrument maker Antonio Stradivari
16   ALARM BELL   [ARM (=weapon) + BE (=live, i.e. as verb) + L (=left)] in ALL (=everybody)
18   COLONIST   COLON (=:, i.e. punctuation mark) + I (=one) + ST (=way, i.e. street)
21   VECTOR   V-I to E-CTOR (=winner); “i” (=second place, i.e. second letter) is replaced by “e” (=third for spEar, i.e. third letter)
24   GLAZE   L (=lake) in GAZE (=look)
25   TRUE   T (=time) + RUE (=to deplore); the definition is “not showing dishonesty (=entry at 12)”


9 Responses to “Independent 8,086 / Nestor”

  1. MikeC says:

    Thanks RR and Nestor. Quite a challenge, with some very ingenious clueing. SPEARMINT and VECTOR were last in for me – both very cunning!

  2. rowland says:

    Thanks both. I used the cheat button here, but only through unfamiliarity. When the clues unfolded I saw the simplicity, as was kicking myself, as I sometimes do with the ‘tougher’ compilers. Really good stuff though, from this fellow who must stand alongside Nimrod and Bannsider as a hard taskmaster. Today I liked the ACID HOUSE clue best.


  3. Thomas99 says:

    Thanks for the blog. Mainly a bit easier than I expected – Nestor can be really tough. One or two oddities: I was worried about 22a with “La Boheme” indicating Mimi and I thought he’d forgotten the last word (“…La Boheme soprano” or whatever). But in fact I see that “Boheme” in French can be translated as “Bohemian” as well as “Bohemia” (which is what the title of the opera means). So it’s a better clue than I realised, with the Frenchness nicely indicated by “la”. I also wondered about the indicator in 8d – surely the “laying waste” of Sherwood Forest wasn’t really at issue for Robin Hood so it doesn’t really help define it. Why not “Hood’s resort few found out?” or “rumbled” or something? Still, 9d (Acid house music) is brilliant, as Rowland says.

  4. Rorschach says:

    Tricky but enjoyable which is exactly what you look for in a puzzle. ACID HOUSE sublime – SHERWOOD FOREST a shoe in which can be a problem with longer &lits. Also not 100% au fait with the definition. Many of the other clues were memorable. COLONIST for inventiveness (had IST immediately and took about 15 mins to click with the rest… HOLLOW-EYED for definition, etc. etc.

    Thanks both!


  5. Cumbrian says:

    I found this hard going, but enjoyable and rewarding, and it all came together after much chipping away. Some convoluted clues, but all fair; I made a couple of parsing errors, so thanks to RR for the blog. Filed away for future use is the Japanese NO drama – I was convinced it was only spelt NOH, but not so!

    Favourite clue was probably 18d and/or 14d, with much respect to the lengthy reversal in 28a.

    Many thanks to Nestor for hitting the spot.

  6. Dormouse says:

    Just couldn’t see 21dn, maybe because I’m more mathematically inclined than biologically. Also, I managed to get “brow” for 13ac, having got the wordplay reversed, and then was wondering why that was an explosive report.

    Couldn’t see the wordplay for 23ac, but it’s obvious now that you’ve pointed it out.

  7. nmsindy says:

    Very inventive and innovative clueing. Hard but not fiendishly so and all adding up in the end. Thanks Nestor and RR.

  8. flashling says:

    Looking back RR you’ve had all the thursday Nestors for months, not as hard for me as Nestor usually is, nut I guess hardness comes down to seeing the long answers early on.

    Thanks RR and Nestor who is clearly a master setter, hopefully hatchets are now buried :-) Flash

  9. Bertandjoyce says:

    Well….. had to give up last night and finished the puzzle this morning. We did need the blog though to parse 19ac, 26ac and 21d – all is now clear so thanks RR. We obviously needed to wake up a bit more as the clues were very fair.

    Thanks Nestor for the fun!

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