Posted by Pierre on September 23rd, 2012
I don’t recall having seen Nitsy in the Indy for quite some time, but this was a welcome reappearance, with a puzzle that was reasonably accessible but thoughtfully constructed and with some nice touches. I particularly liked some of the anagrams in this one, although if I’m being hyper-critical, there was an overuse of a couple of devices. I solved this after a leisurely Sunday lunch and really enjoyed it.
cd cryptic definition
dd double definition
anagrind = anagram indicator
[x] letter(s) removed
1 Bond embracing his boss for a moment
An insertion of M for James Bond’s boss in TIE for ‘bond’.
3 Toilet repairer beginning to leave – it should smell nice
I’m sure it should. A charade of LAV and [M]ENDER.
10 Footpath at source of river – head off immediately
AT THE DROP OF A HAT
(FOOTPATH AT R HEAD)* The anagrind is ‘off’.
11 Be disloyal to defeat union workers
A charade of SHOP for ‘be disloyal to’ and FLOOR for ‘to defeat’. The clue is fine, but perhaps members of The First Division Association, the trade union for senior policy wonks in the Civil Service, might object to being referred to as the ‘shop floor’.
12 Ned’s fantastic clothing for everyone to see? Not a bit of it!
I liked this one: a clever clue for a short answer. It’s an anagram (‘fantastic’) of (NED)* with an insertion (‘clothing’) of U for ‘everyone to see’, the film classification.
13 Chests sounding like bronchitis sufferers?
Once I’d convinced myself that there were no items of furniture called WEEZERS, then it became obvious. A homophone of COUGHERS.
15 Deadly river of the underworld cut off by a lake
A charade of LETH[E] and A L. Lethe – the river of forgetfulness – is one of the five rivers of the Greek underworld and is much more useful to setters than its friend the river of lamentation, KOKYTOS, which for some reason never seems to get a look in in Crosswordland.
17 Chinese food with no starter for a feast
19 Departed train?
A cd, and an elegantly concise clue.
20 Mad to return blow
Bit of a chestnut. A reversal of NUTS.
21 Lack of talent shown by one with high rank: all initially for nothing
Another one I especially liked. A charade of I and NABILITY. Nitsy’s suggesting that you replace with O in N[O]BILITY with A for the first letter of ‘all’.
24 Criminal angrily let go and almost shot drug-users here
(ANGRILY LET GO SHO[T])* ‘Criminal’ is the anagrind. Being naive, I only know the term as something where target practice takes place; but apparently it also refers to a place where druggies go to shoot up. According to his profile, Nitsy is a primary school teacher, so he’s no doubt come across this during a PSHE lesson.
25 What Ophelia was eventually called in the middle of act
An insertion of RANG for ‘called’ in DEED for ‘act’. The reference is to Ophelia from Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
26 Boss’s work unfinished
1 Carry out cans drunk in Italian restaurant
An insertion of NSAC or (CANS)* in TRAT for an abbreviation of TRATTORIA, an Italian restaurant. ‘Drunk’ is the anagrind.
2 Saying too much in a very short time
An insertion of OTT (over the top, or ‘too much’) in MO for moment or ‘a very short time’.
4 Parents at first are wearing lap dancing clothes
Another insertion: of P for the first letter of ‘parents’ and ARE in (LAP)* with ‘dancing’ as the anagrind.
5 Relent with brat? Fine. Unfortunately this could be the outcome
A great clue, and perhaps another insight into Nitsy’s teaching methodology. It’s (RELENT BRAT FINE)* with ‘unfortunately’ as the anagrind.
6 Heated and dry, awfully dry
(HEATED DRY)* ‘Awfully’ is the anagrind.
7 Hard to support rubbish novelist
Because this is a down clue, it’s ROT above H to give you Philip Roth, the American novelist perhaps best known for Portnoy’s Complaint.
8 Argument over duke’s meal
Again, relying on the fact that it’s a down clue. BEEF in its ‘complaint’ sense over WELLINGTON.
9 Army kills without error, regularly
Clever if slightly disturbing surface. It’s an insertion of RO for the second and fourth letters (‘regularly’) of eRrOr in TOPS for ‘kills’.
14 Exit from Mordor finally? Frodo not worried
Another fine surface reading. It’s (R FRODO NOT)* with ‘worried’ as the anagrind.
16 Innocent? Got hitched up before end of July, I’d heard
An adjective that’s certainly in my passive vocabulary but which I probably have never used. Again, because it’s a down clue, it’s a reversal of WED, Y for the last letter of JulY and EYED for a homophone of ‘I’d’.
18 Discipline: something learnt at school
A dd, but I thought this was one weak clue in an otherwise excellent puzzle.
19 In church hold back a few coins
An insertion of HANG for ‘hold back’ in CE for ‘church’.
22 Wanting writer to rise in sex appeal
Yet another down clue trick: an insertion of NEP for a reversal of PEN, ‘writer’ in IT for ‘sex appeal’.
23 American death: not new, not new
A charade of US for ‘American’ and E[N]D for the removal of N for ‘new’ from END for ‘death’.
Thanks to Nitsy for an enjoyable prize puzzle and hope to see him again sometime soon either here or in the daily Indy.