Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8158 / Nestor

Posted by duncanshiell on December 6th, 2012

duncanshiell.

Initally posted at 16:45 this blog started out as a very quick and basic one as Gaufrid has asked me to help in the apparent absence of the scheduled blogger.

Now that I’ve got the all the detail sorted out, I can comment on the puzzle.

I thought this was one of the most enjoyable puzzles and the best set of clues I have come across for a long time.  The misdirection in many clues was superb.  There are too many good examples, so I won’t be able toi mention them all.

The reference in 1 across to Mitt [Romney], corporations, money and face-reddening was very apt.   Introducing ‘Flyer and circular letter’ into a clue leading to a bird was clever at 19 across.  The surface at 22 across was all about wine – the entry was to do with cricket; splendid misdirection.  I also liked the crude painter at 5 down.  Describing a film as a projected work at 7 down, may be a cliche to some, but it was new to me.  The cluing of EVANGELICALISM was excellent.  After Fitou at 22 across we had more red wine (Merlot) at 8 down, apparently nothing to do with KREMLIN when you read the clue.  Going from Space Command to the BENEDICTUS at 14 down was wonderful.  Finally the usage of Ronnie Barker in the clue at 25down was extremely clever.

In addition to the surfaces, I was impressed by Nestor’s ability to avoiding repeating the same words for simialr treatments in the wordplay.  In recent blogs I have seen critical coments about setters using the same terminology in almost consecutive clues.  Nestor made use of the construct of omitting one or two letters on a number of occasions, but in each case he clued it differently – e.g. ‘half of‘ at 5 across, ‘avoiding‘ at 15 a cross, ‘dropping‘ at 26 across, ‘briefly‘ at 3 down, ‘almost‘ at 5 down, ‘reduced‘ at 7 down, ‘but not‘ at 21 down and ‘not being in it’ at 25 down.  In each case, the word or phrase used fitted in very well with the rest of the clue.

Finally, I like the way that Nestor tends to avoid lifting definitions straight out of the dictionary.  He makes you think about the clue more than some setters do.

It’ll come as no surprise when I say I look forward to another Nestor.

 

Across
No. Clue Wordplay Entry

1

 

Mitt and corporation with billion pounds in face-reddening free-for-all (5-3-6)

(HAND [mitt] + TUM [corporation] + B (billion) + L (pounds sterling) contained in (in) ROUGE (cosmetic powder used to redden the face; face-reddening)

ROUG (HAND TUM B L) E

ROUGH AND TUMBLE (haphazard and scrambling; free for all)

10

 

Assistance in exterminating Post Office can be found in shop (3,6)

(PO [Post Office] + IS [can be?]) contained in (found in) RAT ON (tell on; shop)

RAT( PO IS) ON

RAT POISON (RAT POISON provides assistance in exterminating)

11

 

Strictly round?  Odd half of sphere (5)

RUM (odd) + BA (first two letters of four [half of] BALL)

RUMBALL

RUMBA (reference the TV programme Strictly Come Dancing, where one of the programmes focused on Latin American dances)

12

 

Perform awkwardly where hands may need a warm-up (4)

MUFF (a cylinder of fur or thick fabric for keeping the hands warm;)

 

MUFF (perform awkwardly)  double definition

 

13

 

A file covering British group’s revolting phase (4,6)

 

(A + RASP [coarse file] containing [covering)] BR [British]) + RING (group)

A RA (BR) SP RING

ARAB SPRING (reference the recent round of popular revolutions in a number of Arabic speaking countries)

 

15

 

Indebted to house husband, spent cold months avoiding wife (2,3,3)

 

(WINTERED [spent cold months] excluding [avoiding] W [wife]) containing (house) H (husband)

WINT (H) EED

IN THE RED (overdrawn; indebted)

 

16

 

Train conks out near Eastern Line (6)

 

DIES (conks out) + E (Eastern) + L (line)

DIES E L

DIESEL (train)

 

19

 

Flyer and circular letter certainly turned around publicity (6)

 

O (circular letter) + (YES [certainly] reversed [turned] containing [around] PR [public relations; publicity])

OY (PR) ES<

OSPREY (bird; flyer)

 

20

Cheerful piece put in medley (8)

 

Anagram of (in medley) PIECE PUT

(PIECE PUT)*

EUPEPTIC (cheerful)

22

 

Deep man swilled Fitou with more maturity (10)

 

Anagram of (swilled) FITOU + ELDER (with more maturity)

(FITOU)* ELDER

OUTFIELDER (in cricket a fielder who is stationed some distance from the batsman, in the deep; deep man)

 

24

 

In France, I’ve left detention (4)

 

J’AI (French for I have) + L (left)

J’AI L

JAIL (detention)

 

26

 

Maybe Greenlander is to pick up on dropping temperature (5)

 

INTUIT (to know by instinct; to pick up on) excluding (dropping) T (temperature)

INTUIT

INUIT (indigenous people of Greenland)

 

27

Company review of things listed by chartered surveyor which should improve exterior (9)

 

CO (company) + ITEMS (things listed) reversed (review of) + CS (Chartered Surveyor)

CO ITEMSCS

COSMETICS (potions purported to improve beauty; should improve exterior looks)

 

28

 

Novel pace limits certain lives with office network (8,6)

 

TREAD (walk; pace) containing (limits) (SURE [certain] + IS [lives] + LAN [Local Area Network])

TREA(SURE IS LAND

TREASURE ISLAND (novel by Robert Louis Stevenson)

 

Down

2

 

What might unconventional foot set-up make you?

 

Anagram of (unconventional) FOOT SET-UP

(FOOT SET-UP)*

OUT OF STEP (an unconventioanl FOOT SET-UP may well cause you to be OUT OF STEP)  &Lit clue

 

3

 

Briefly stop liking Bungle (4)

 

GO OFF [stop] excluding the final letter (briefly) F

GO OFF

GOOF (make an error; bungle)

 

4

 

Was a sponge confusing "sober" with "bad"? (8)

Anagram of (confusing) SOBER and BAD

(SOBER BAD)*

ABSORBED (swallowed or soaked up; acted like a sponge)

 

5

 

Crude painter almost captures Northern river (6)

 

(DAUBER [one who paints crudely] excluding the final letter [almost] R) containing (captures) N (Northern)

DA(N) UBER

DANUBE (river in Europe)

 

6 Oxford perhaps embarrassed about Republican area, still bust (10)

(UNI [University, Oxford is an example] + RED [embarrassed]) containing (about) (REP [Republican] + A [area])

UN (REP A) I RED

UNREPAIRED (still broken; still bust)

7

 

Projected work having breadth and scope reduced (5)

 

B (breadth) + AMBIT (scope) excluding the final letter (reduced) T

B AMBIT

BAMBI (reference the film BAMBI which is projected onto a screen for public viewing; projected work)

 

8

Inclination to convert Islamic converts under raised stage in church (14)

 

(LEG [stage of a race] + NAVE [area in church]) all reversed (raised) + [under; down clue]) an anagram of (converts) ISLAMIC

NAVE LEG<  (ISLAMIC)*

EVANGELICALISM (the concept of  believing in and being inspired by the necessity of carrying the Christian faith to those not already within the community of the Christian church; inclination to convert)

9

 

Connoisseur of reds liking Merlot, so sloshed (14)

 

Anagram of (sloshed) LIKING MERLOT SO

(LIKING MERLOT SO)*

KREMLINOLOGIST (one studying the former Soviet government and its policies; probably still studying Russia today; connoisseur of reds[left wingers; communists])

 

14

 

Mass component of transport intercepted by Space Command (10)

 

(EN [space in printing terminology – the width of the letter N] + EDICT [command]) contained in (intercepted by) BUS (component of transport)

B (EN EDICT) US

BENEDICTUS (the fifth movement of the Mass)

 

17

 

Rising numbers, divided by two, cloaking tense circumstances (9)

 

When I compiled the initial blog I said I was still thinking about this one.  Thanks to Allan_C and Pelham Barton at comments 1 and 3 for coming to my rescue.

NOS (numbers) containing (divided by) (II [Roman numerals for two] further containing [cloaking] TAUT [tense]) all reversed (rising)

(NO (I (TAUT) I) S)<

SITUATION (set of circumstances)

 

18

 

Lawyer used skills selectively in some court appearances he won (8)

 

RUSEDSKI (hidden word in [selectively in] LAWYER USED SKILLS)

LAWYER USED SKILLS

RUSEDSKI (reference Greg RUSEDSKI, Canadian born British tennis player who won a few matches on court; in some court appearances he won)

 

21

 

One makming ball curve kicks up but not over (6)

 

RECOILS (kicks [of a gun]) reversed (up) excluding (but not) O (over in cricket scoring notastion)

RECOILS<

SLICER (reference a golfer who makes the ball curve to the right [right hander] or left [left hander], usually unintentionally.  I can give you chapter and verse on how to be a SLICER)

 

23

 

Fifty Shades of Grey must include this worry over keeping excited (5)

 

EAT (worry) reversed (over) containing (keeping) UP (excited)

E (UP) AT<

TAUPE (a brownish greyish colour – there are many shades, 50 even, of TAUPE)  No, I haven’t read the book

 

25

 

Long timber from Barker’s house, Ronnie’s heart not being in it. (4)

 

KENNEL (dog’s [barker’s] home) excluding (not being in it) NN (middle letters of [heart of] RONNIE)

KENNEL

KEEL (the part of a ship extending along the bottom from stem to stern, and supporting the whole frame; a ship; a longitudinal member running along the underside of an airship’s hull; any similar structure functioning like a ship’s KEEL

 

 

12 Responses to “Independent 8158 / Nestor”

  1. allan_c says:

    17dn: TAUT in II(Roman numeral) in NOS, all reversed

  2. Gaufrid says:

    Thanks for standing in Duncan. The speed with which you generated this post amazes me!

  3. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Nestor for the puzzle and Duncan for stepping in with the blog.

    17dn: TAUT in II in NOS, all reversed.

  4. Pelham Barton says:

    allan_C @1: Crossing answers – we seem to be of one mind on this clue.

  5. RatkojaRiku says:

    My apologies to one and all – to Geoff for not showing up, to Duncan for having to step in, and to Nestor, for not having produced a blog for his puzzle, which I much enjoyed. I am walking around thinking it’s Wednesday still, not Thursday, and since the days rotate, I occasionally get confused. Hopefully, I’ll be back next week.

  6. duncanshiell says:

    Allan_C@1 and Pelham Barton@4 – thanks for the parsing of 17 down

  7. Bertandjoyce says:

    Thanks Duncan for the speedy blog. Joyce thought she may have had to stand in at one point but she and Bert hadn’t actualy solved the puzzle! Using the reveal button on Crossword Solver and then working backwards was an interesting way of ‘solving’ the puzzle!

    Thanks Nestor – Bert will be solving this on his own tonight the ‘normal’ way!

  8. Kathryn's Dad says:

    With ‘red’ appearing in a couple of clues, together with Fitou and Merlot, I thought we might be in for a wine-related theme, but I can’t see anything.

    Got a good start but struggled to finish. Being a keen cricket fan, I am ashamed to say that OUTFIELDER was one of my last in.

    Thanks to S&B (and particularly to the stand-in B for explaining a few I couldn’t parse).

  9. Conrad Cork says:

    A gem.

  10. NealH says:

    A very enjoyable puzzle that I didn’t find as difficult as some of the Thursday offerings. I was completely lost on the parsing of 17 as well.

  11. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks Duncan for giving us your usual full blog and explanations. I meant to say earlier that ‘une taupe’ is the French for ‘a mole’ (of the digging, rather than the spotty, variety) and I’ve always assumed that’s where we get the word for a browny-grey colour from. They are annoying little b*****s in the garden though.

  12. Graham Pellen says:

    Typos. 13A it is “b”, not “br” for British. 15A “red” not “eed”.

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