Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8,181 / Nestor

Posted by RatkojaRiku on January 3rd, 2013


The last time I was scheduled to blog a Nestor puzzle was the unfortunate occasion on which I confused my dates and someone had to step in and write a blog on my behalf. So producing any blog at all today has to be seen as an improvement on that performance!

I had a real struggle to complete today’s puzzle – perhaps the overindulgence of the festive season has numbed my brain? For me, this was at the harder end of the Nestor/Indy spectrum, with some rather intricate wordplay, e.g. at 6 and 7. Nestor is certainly setting the bar high early in 2013.

Despite being made to work (too?) hard today, I found much to appreciate in this puzzle. My favourite clues today are 7 and 24 for their & lit. components, as well as the rare quadruple definition at 26. I am somewhat baffled by the wordplay at 23 and hope to be enlightened by fellow solvers – done, thanks!

*(…) indicates an anagram

1   VESTAL Hidden (“featured”) in “ReeVES TALe”; a vestal (virgin) is a “modest female”
5   ANGERS Double definition: ANGERS is “winds up”, irritates AND “Maine city”, i.e. city on River Maine in French department of Maine-et-Loire, not the US State of Maine
10   URGE G (=good) in URE (=Live Aid organiser, i.e. Scottish musician Midge Ure)
11   CHATTERBOX C (=conservative) + HATTER (=Tea Partier, from the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland) + BOX (=fight, i.e. spar)
12   MANITOBA [TO (=as far as) + B (=British)] in MANIA (=uncontrolled state)
13   ORACLE O (=nothing) + [L (=left) in RACE (=contest)]
14   HALLE L (=large) in HALE (=healthy); the reference is to US actress Halle Berry
15   STAR TURN START URN (=first step in serving tea to crowd)
17   ODYSSEUS SUES (=prosecutes) + S<omebod>Y (“renouncing inside” means all but first and last letters are dropped) + DO (=party); “from the east” indicates a (total) reversal
20   LEFTY LEFT (=went) + <speedil>Y (“at the finish” means last letter only); the definition is “Trot maybe”, i.e. Trotskyite
22   ERRATA RAT (=grass, i.e. betray) in ERA (=stage, i.e. period)
24   ATTORNEY A<ssaul>T (“case of” means first and last letters only) + *(TRY ONE); “out” is anagram indicator; & lit.
25   INFINITIVE INFINIT<e> (=limitless; “endless” means last letter dropped) + I’VE (=Nestor’s, i.e. Nestor – today’s compiler – has)
26   BUTT A quadruple definition: BUTT is “target”, i.e. in   archery or butt of joke AND “vessel”, i.e. water butt AND “ram”, drive at AND “end”, i.e. cigarette end
27   OBLONG O (=old) + [N (=new) in BLOG (=online diary)]
28   YOGURT RUG (=carpet) in TOY (=trifle); “turned over” indicates a (total) reversal
2   EARBASHED R (=run) in [<steeplechase>E (“finally” means last letter only) in ABASHED (=out of countenance, i.e. disconcerted)]; the definition is “did nag”, i.e. nagged, henpecked
3   THE PILL [HE (=male) + P (=power)] in TILL (=up to)
4   LACTO-VEGETARIAN *(EATING VEAL OR CAT); “is preposterous” is anagram indicator; & lit.
6   NATIONAL LOTTERY [ALL (=quite, i.e. altogether, completely) + OTT (=lavish, i.e. over-the-top)] in {N (=name) for ST (=street)}-ATIONERY (=letterhead, etc)
7   EARHART <s>EARCH PART<y> (“those   within” means internal letters only); “leaving edges of Pacific” means first and last letters of word, i.e. “p” and “c”, are dropped; & lit. , since US aviator Amelia Earhart disappeared without trace over the Pacific Ocean in 1937
8   SHOAL H (=hospital) in *(ALSO); “distressed” is anagram indicator
9   HARASS HAR<d>ASS (=American tough guy); “democrat (=D) ousted” means letter “d” is dropped; the definition is “press” as a verb, i.e. pressurise, coerce
16   RHYMESTER HYM<n> (“short” means last letter dropped) in RESTER (=person making no effort); & lit. , since rhymesters, poetasters tend to produce second-rate poetry
18   SPANIEL [I (=one) + N<ow> (“primarily” means first letter only)] in LEAPS (=is a springer); & lit. , since a springer is a kind of spaniel
19   SHARIA SH (=not a word, i.e. be quiet!) + ARIA (=song)
21   FIREBUG *(FIGURE + B<laze>); “involved with” is anagram indicator; & lit. , since a firebug is an arsonist
23   RINGO John / Paul / I (=Ringo) / George (and another), i.e. the four Beatles; RING (=papal regalia, in word form) + O (=papal regalia, in picture form, i.e. a ring)


9 Responses to “Independent 8,181 / Nestor”

  1. Raich says:

    I think 23D is ring in two forms RING O.

  2. MikeC says:

    Thanks RR and N. I do agree this was a tough one! Raich’s explanation of 23d seems good; I also struggled with parsing 24a, although the answer seemed obvious enough. Good stuff.

  3. allan_c says:

    Yes, a tough one today – we’ve been spoiled by three fairly easy ones so far this week. Needed assistance to finish it, and the blog to understand some of the parsing.

    One quibble re 12ac – MANITOBA is a province of Canada, not a territory. For the difference see

    Thanks, RR – and Nestor.

  4. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Another one who struggled with this one. Couldn’t get there in the end but enjoyed the bits I did manage. STAR TURN was priceless …

    Thanks to S&B.

  5. allan_c says:

    Just noticed a small typo at 17ac: S should be SY – but hardly worth bothering about.

  6. allan_c says:

    Oops, what happened there? What I intended was S(omebody) should read S(omebod)Y but the angled brackets seem to have fouled it up. So replace ‘(‘ and ‘)’ with angled brackets.

  7. Andy B says:

    I thought this was hard but fair, and I was very pleased to finish it without resorting to aids. Ringo was my last in after the penny finally dropped on “John Paul I”.
    Andy B.

  8. RatkojaRiku says:

    Many thanks to allan_c for spotting the typo – there is one almost every week, despite my efforts to proof-read my blogs before posting them.

    And to Raich for the parsing of 23. The bit about the word “ring” and the picture (of a ring) “o” seems obvious now that it has been explained to me. I think that I was expecting a more technical term for papal regalia, although I suppose the wording was chosen mainly to reinforce the papal reference initiated by John Paul I. I did, however, expect a reversal (“backed”), although I suppose this could be understood to be back to back, one after the other. If this is the case, it is not a device that I recall having seen used very often ….

    I will supplement the blog accordingly.

  9. Bertandjoyce says:

    A difficult puzzle today. Sorry, yesterday – we’ve only just finished it!

    We wondered whether ‘backing’ in 23d referred to Ringo’s role (as opposed to drum-roll).

    Thanks RR and Nestor fir keeping us awake with a good and enjoyable challenge.

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