Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8,134 / Nestor

Posted by RatkojaRiku on November 8th, 2012


Today has seen the latest of my many tussles with Nestor’s puzzles on a blogging day. My apologies if the blog seems a little cursory today: I was away from home until late last night, so time has truly been of the essence this morning.

Coincidentally, however, there is probably less to say about this one than many other Nestor puzzles that I have blogged. I found that I made fairly swift progress through this one, needing to do some really serious head-scratching only in the NW quadrant over 1 and 3, and then over the wordplay at 22, which is perfectly fair and seems obvious now, but I just couldn’t see it when solving. The word for “anorak” at 26 was new to me, but could be deduced from the rest of the clue, the same being true of the entry at 5, where I was blinded by the French meaning.

My clues of the day have to be for 1 for its flair, 13 for its sauciness, and 18 and 27 for their silky smooth surfaces. As always, there are so many clues that one could single out. Given the reference to upset tummies in 1, I couldn’t help but wonder if Nestor had been tempted to build a clue around Usain Bolt and having/getting the runs at 20, but perhaps that would have pushed the boundaries of good taste a little too far, not least for those solve solving over breakfast!

Incidentally, I was wondering if anyone could suggest a more satisfactory way of parsing clues such as 6 and 16, where we are straying into “double definition” territory, but where one of the two definitions offered is more whimsical and would not be found verbatim in any dictionary, e.g. there would be no reference to socks under the entry for the idiom at 6. Any help would be much appreciated with a view to sharpening up future blogs.

*(…) indicates an anagram

1   DICTUM DIC<ky> TUM<my> (=weak stomach); “first syllables” only are used; the definition is “utterance”, expression
5   POPPADOM POP  (=quickly move, as in to   pop to the shop) + PAD (=home, as in bachelor pad) + <h>OM<e> (=it’s, i.e. home’s, contents)
9   ENGORGES EN (=printing space) + G<e>ORGES (=Simenon, maybe, i.e. Belgian writer; “dropping earlier European (=E)” means the first letter “e” is dropped; the definition is “fills” (with blood, etc)
10   TOPEKA TOPE (=booze) + KA<nsas> (“less than half of” means 2 of 6 letters only are used)
11   LAZE Homophone (“audience’s”) of “lays” (=places)
12   ALIENATING [LIE (=invention) + NA (=sodium) + TIN (=metal)] in AG (=silver)
13   ASTUTENESS AS (=while) + TUT (=I disapprove) + *(SENSE); “stimulated” is anagram indicator
14   EVER <l>EVER (=bar); “inexperienced driver (=L) excluded” means the letter “l” is dropped
16   PAYS (Kind of) double definition: (whimsically) PAYS means “Hollande’s country”, i.e. the French word for “country”, as would be used by President Hollande of France) AND “makes a profit”, is worthwhile
18   CORDON BLEU B<eef> L<ayered> (“prime slices of” means first letters only) in [COR (=crumbs, as an exclamation) + DONE (=cooked) + U (=classy)]
21   SPEED LIMIT MILD (=moderate) in [TIE (=link) + EPS (=records)]; “in recession” indicates (full) reversal; the (whimsical) definition is “rate cap”
23   TOGS T<h>O<u>G<h> (“regularly missing” means alternate letters only are used) + S (=small, i.e. clothes sizes – S, M, L, XL)
24   UNDONE <f>UND (=financial source; “loses principal” means first letter is dropped) + ONE (=a person)
25   LAND LINE Hidden (“covered by”) in “flanneL AND LINEn”
26   SPOT-WELD TWEL<ve> (=a dozen; “more than half” means that 4 of 6 letters are used) in SPOD (=anorak, nerd)
27   TINKER T<h>INKER (=intellectual); “Hospital (=H) uninvolved” means letter “h” is dropped; the definition is “mess (with)”, toy
2   IONIAN SEA *(A NOISE IN A); “put out” is anagram indicator
3   THOREAU E (=English) in THOR-AU (=writer after circulation, i.e. the first letter has moved to the end of the word, followed by the second, etc); the reference is to American writer Henry D Thoreau, 1817-62.
4   MAGDALEN   COLLEGE M (=marks, i.e. former German currency) + {[G (=good) + DALE (=valley) + NCO (=officer)] in ALLEGE (=state)}
5   PISCINE PI (=conspicuously good) + S (=second) + CINE (=of films); piscine means “of (the nature of) fish” in English – but is a swimming pool in French!
6   PUT ONE’S   FOOT IN IT (Kind of) double definition: PUT ONE’S FOOT IN IT means “to bungle”, gaffe AND (more whimsically) “the usual way to use a sock”
7   AMPUTEE AMP (=a bit of current) + U (=United, as in Man U) + TEE (=support, from golf)
8   OAKEN O (=ring) + <t>AKEN (=tolerated; “deposing leader” means first letter is dropped)
15   EMERGENCE *(MEN + GREECE); “confounded” is anagram indicator
17   SEEK OUT SEE (=watch) + KO (=kick-off) + <br>UT<al> (“middle of” means central letters only)
19   RUMBLED RUM (=liquor) + BLED (=run, i.e. of paint or dye); the definition is “saw through”, i.e. understood e.g. a deception
20   BOTULIN *(U<sa>IN BOLT); “leaving South Africa (=SA)” means the letters “sa” are dropped from anagram; “unexpectedly” is anagram indicator
22   PIN-UP INU (UNI=academic place; “up” indicates vertical reversal) replaces the “second” letter in P-O-P, leaving “idol” as definition

8 Responses to “Independent 8,134 / Nestor”

  1. MikeC says:

    Thanks RR and Nestor. Good fun and quite challenging. Needed your help with parsing 22 (couldn’t see it at all, perhaps because I so hate the term “uni”!).

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Goodness, well done for blogging and parsing this one, RR. There were enough gettable ones to give you a start, but there were half a dozen at the end which I got, but couldn’t understand. And I failed on LAZE. It’s a clever clue, but a solver of my ability would have appreciated something other than ?A?E to go at.

    But I agree with MikeC – good fun and challenging.

  3. Thomas99 says:

    There’s a Nina – Delapsus Resurgam, going down the left side and up the right). It means, appropriately, “When I fall I shall arise”. It’s from Pilgrim’s Progress, although it was only very vaguely familiar to me.

    No problem with 6d and 16a – both are double definitions, I’d say.

    I really enjoyed this – sophisticated but not maddening. Thanks for the blog.

  4. flashling says:

    Missed the Nina not too surprising that though, actually found it the easiest Nestor for some time with nothing really troubling me on a 25 min train ride. With Thomas for 6d and 16a.

    Many thanks RR and Nestor.

  5. RatkojaRiku says:

    I missed the Nina too, although I always do unless directed to it by some kind of preamble. Having just gone through a bad patch on the solving front, there is something rather poignant about this particular Nina for me ;)

  6. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Nestor for an enjoyable puzzle and RR for the blog.

    In response to RR’s questions, I would give 16ac as “double definition (French and English)” and 6dn as “double definition (idiomatic and literal meanings of the phrase)”. I should add that 6dn was my favourite clue – I always enjoy a well-written clue of this type.

    9ac: Nice indication for removal of one of the two Es from GeORGES.

    3dn: This comes close to being an indirect anagram, but the transformation required after finding a synonym is what we mathematicians call a cyclic shift rather than a complete rearrangement, so I was completely happy with this clue.

  7. allan_c says:

    Only got 26ac by trial and error and needed the blog to parse it because ‘Spod’ was a new word to me.

    I’m reasonably happy with ‘double definition’ to describe 6d and 16a though they are the sort of clue that defies accurate description without resorting to long-windedness.

    Thanks, Nestor, for the puzzle – and RR for the blog.

  8. Monk says:

    Thomas @3. Didn’t solve the puzzle, but I have very strong memories of 10cc’s 1976 album “How Dare You”, in which Nestor’s Nina is in the lyric of “I Wanna Rule The World” (track 3, side 1). The good old days, when (inter alia) rock music replaced missed Latin classes for those of us doing woodwork and metalwork.

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