Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8225 by Nimrod (Saturday Prize Puzzle 30 March 2013)

Posted by mc_rapper67 on April 6th, 2013


An interesting mixture from Nimrod here – a plethora of long answers – six 15-letter entries – and a smidge-ette of a theme which, unless I missed something, didn’t seem to develop into anything …

As it happened, and as is often my wont, my eye drifted straight to the bottom right-hand corner, and pretty quickly spotted 23A – EASTER BUNNY. A-ha, a theme here surely, given the weekend of publication?! But no – after that quick entry – and SIM in the top right, it took me a while to get going on this. Those six long solutions, 5 of which involved at least some sort of anagram, slowed things down a bit.

At 8D my eyes were telling me ‘MISDEEM’ fo a long while before the brain kicked in and insisted on parsing it closer. In a similar way – PYLON seemed to obviously fit the definition, but the lonely spy – ‘007 isolated’ – was another ‘a-ha’ moment.

It took a while, when writing this up, to work out that ANNUS HORRIBILIS was a partial anagram. I entered it straight off on solving – from the definition and crossing letters –  but only realised later that there was a missing L in <HARBOUR INNS IRIS>, which prompted some extra effort to track this one down.

An educational slant here as well – SIGYN had to be right from the wordplay, but a Wiki-oogle was needed to discover she was the wife of Loki…

Some excellent and diverting surface readings – from the sinister combinations of gas mask and the Syrian president, to the image of the papparazzi chasing John Paul I with their long lenses. I never watched Mr Ed on TV, but DERM as ‘box-occupier who talked up’ must be a mini-classic of the form.

So, unless the EASTER BUNNY is street-slang for the GO-TO GUY for CLASS A DRUGS, trying to keep himself away from the COP SHOP, my initials expectations of a theme were unfounded, but I certainly got an enjoyable workout solving this – and then writing up the blog!

Happy Easter Eggs, and thanks to Nimrod.

Clue No Solution Clue Definition (with occasional embellishments) /
1A CLASS A DRUGS Gas masks a Syrian President misappropriated covering narcotics (5,1,5) narcotics /
CS (gas) around (A)L-ASSAD (Syrian president, without A – misappropriated?) + RUG (covering)
7A SIM Information carrier is going the wrong way on motorway (3) (mobile phone) information carrier /
SI (‘is’ going the wrong way) plus (on) M (motorway)
9A PANEGYRIC Laudatory address for which grey snakes in the grass? (9) Laudatory address /
PANIC (type of grass) around anag (i.e. snakes) of GREY
10A ATLAS Titan with a fearsome burden finally got rid of cross (5) Titan with a fearsome burden the world on his shoulders) /
AT LAS(T) – finally, without T (TAU, cross)
11A HOSANNA Rating received by animator, praise be (7) praise be /
HANNA (Hanna Barbera, cartoon animator) around (receiving) OS (Ordinary Seaman, rating)
12A PEERAGE Lords go and speak with passion (7) Lords /
PEE (go, urinate) + RAGE (speak with passion)
13A PHOTOJOURNALISM Motors around with John Paul I, snapping at the heels of the rich and famous? (15) snapping at the heels of… /
anag (i.e. around and/or snapping?) of MOTORS JOHN PAUL I
15A FORKED LIGHTNING Celestial phenomenon dedicated to monarch enthrals Felicity, with head turned north (6,9) Celestial phenomenon /
FOR (dedicated to) + KING, around (enthralling) EDLIGHT (felicity, delight, with DE turned to ED) plus N (North)
17A SOBER UP Get real ale tab written out – well done for drinking that! (5,2) Get real /
SO (well) plus UP (finished, done), around (drinking) BE(E)R (beer, ale, without E – tab, or ecstasy tablet)
18A TEST ACT Historical pro-monarchy legislation put back with diplomacy (4,3) Historical pro-monarchy legislation /
TES (SET, or put, back) + TACT (diplomacy)
20A PYLON Bearer of cable from Home Counties leaving 007 isolated? (5) Bearer of (electric power) cable /
007 isolated would be ‘SPY LONE’ – then take off SE (South-East, home counties)
21A IMBURSING Having run into broken-down minibus, German settling (9) settling (e.g. a bill) /
anag (i.e. broken down) of MINIBUS plus R (run)
22A TIS I confirm the identity of Pacific trees (3) I confirm the identity of (by saying ‘It is…’) /
TI (Pacific liliaceous tree) – in plural = TIS
23A EASTER BUNNY A tenner buys novelty egg-carrier (6,5) egg carrier /
anag (i.e. novelty) of A TENNER BUYS
Clue No Solution Clue Definition (with occasional embellishments) /
1D COP SHOP Crack opera enthralled Nick (3,4) (the) Nick /
CHOP (crack) around OPS (op – opus, plural opera)
2D ANNUS HORRIBILIS One going in dodgy harbour inns with Iris? It’s really not a good time (5,10) It’s really not a good time /
anag (i.e. dodgy) of HARBOUR INNS + I (one), followed by LIS (fleur-de-lis, or iris)
3D SIGYN Ram perhaps nurturing yen for wife of mischievous husband (5) wife of mischievous husband (Norse god Loki) /
SIGN (Ram, sign of Zodiac) around (nurturing) Y (yen)
4D DERMATOGLYPHICS Box-occupier who talked up training got physical work on hands and feet (15) work on hands and feet /
DERM (MR ED – talking horse, or box-occupier, upwards) + anag (i.e. training) of GOT PHYSICAL
5D UNCOPYRIGHTABLE The horrendous early botching up of work that can’t be made secure (15) of work that can’t be made secure /
anag (i.e. horrendous) of EARLY BOTCHING UP
6D SPARE PART Has PA repartitioned walls a bit? (5,4) a bit /
hidden words in (i.e. walled in by) ‘haS PA REPARTitioned’
7D SYLLABIFICATION A breakdown of communication, basically? Not if I can fix it! (15) a breakdown of communication (or, of words) /
anag (i.e. can fix it!) of BASICALLY NOT IF I
8D MISTERM Man acquires married name in an inappropriate way (7) name in an inappropriate way /
MISTER (man) + M (married)
14D OPEN RANGE Area that’s limitless fruit – put a pound in! (4,5) area that’s limitless /
ORANGE (fruit) with PEN (pound, enclosure) put inside
15D FUSSPOT Perfectionist three-quarters safeguard position (7) perfectionist /
FUS(E) – three-quarters of FUSE, or safeguard – plus SPOT (position)
16D GO-TO GUY Leave with the intention of ridiculing American brick (2-2,3) brick (reliable person) /
&lit-ish double defn – couldn’t find this defined in Chambers, but ‘go-to guy’, with a hyphen, can be Mr Reliable, and if you go to ‘guy’ someone, in the US, you could be leaving with the intention of having a joke at the expense of someone…
19D SHRUB Irritate mum, promoted to supervise plant (5) plant /
SH (sh, quiet, keep mum) above (promoted, overseeing) RUB (irritate)

10 Responses to “Independent 8225 by Nimrod (Saturday Prize Puzzle 30 March 2013)”

  1. Phi says:

    Well, there’s a sort of Easter egg in there. 4d and 5d are (the only?) two 15-letter words in which no letter is repeated.

    Captcha not trying alert: one + 1 – almost infra dig…

  2. michelle says:

    I enjoyed this puzzle by Phi, especially all the long anagrams and 15-letter words, some of which were new for me such as SYLLABIFICATION, DERMATOGLYPHICS & UNCOPYRIGHTABLE. And SIGYN, wife of Loki was also a new word for me today.

    My favourites were PHOTOJOURNALISM, EASTER BUNNY, MISTERM, PEERAGE, OPEN RANGE & ANNUS HORRIBILIS which was an easy solve in a way because another puzzle I did earlier this morning had ‘Annus mirabilis ‘ in the clue.

    Thanks for the blog, mc_rapper67. I needed your help to parse 1d, 10a, 15a, 17, 20, 15d & 4d – what a brilliant reversal of Mr Ed the talking horse.

  3. michelle says:

    I hadn’t realised this was a Prize Puzzle dated 30 March as I did it this morning, thinking it was today’s puzzle.

    Will there be a Prize puzzle online today, Saturday 6 April? Or was that a special one for Easter?

    Now I understand about the “Easter Bunny” – I was thinking this puzzle would have been better if published last week, which in fact it was!

  4. mc_rapper67 says:

    Thanks Phi – an interesting factoid to hide away for a future quiz!

    Michelle – thanks for the feedback. As far as I know the Saturday prize crosswords are initially published only in the paper version of the Independent – very 20th Century, I know, but worth buying as you also get the excellent Inquisitor in the magazine section. These puzzles are then posted online a week ‘in arrears’ – so you can still access them/solve them online, but the ‘prize’ element is taken away, as the deadline is the Friday…

  5. michelle says:

    thanks for the information. I’ll continue to do the online Prize every Saturday morning as I am located outside the UK and cannot buy the hard-copy of the newspaper.

  6. crypticsue says:

    I am slightly disappointed that Phi got to the fact about 4d and 5 d before I did. Now when am I ever going to get the chance to use that piece of information again? :)

    The usual entertaining brainstretching from Nimrod. Lots to enjoy. My particular favourite was the small but perfectly formed 22a.

    Thanks to Nimrod for an Easter Saturday diversion and to mc_rapper67 for the explanations.

  7. Eric Wolff says:

    Nice blog, thanks. But come on give those of us who are challenged a clue, what is this “Mr Ed”? I got the clue, but had and still have no idea what Mr Ed is. Thanks.

  8. Gaufrid says:

    Eric @7

  9. mc_rapper67 says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid – and apologies to Eric – I do usually try and put a few explanatory links in, on the more ‘obscure’ references…although obscurity and clarity can depend on perspectives and locations/backgrounds…

  10. Simon Harris says:

    Found this completely intractable, so have given up after a couple of weeks! Thanks, Mike, for putting me out of my misery.

    Slight pedantry here (and apologies, because it annoys me when people do this to me!) but I think this was #8255 rather than #8225.

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