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Match of the Day? by Nimrod

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Match of the Day? by Nimrod

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The answers to several clues lacking a definition may be sorted into sets of Variations to each of a number of Theme words – to be deduced, not themselves appearing in the grid. The relationship of Variations to each Theme is the same, but the types of Variation differ between the Themes. Wordplay affecting the letter in each of seven cells supplies an incorrect letter for that cell, spelling a two-word phrase. The centre-points of the seven cells – containing the correct letters – must be joined by straight lines. Three letters of the phrase must be changed to form a new phrase describing the result of this joining, to be written under the grid. Finally, three letters must be highlighted in the top row, completing the representation of what, in Nimrod’s opinion, is not a very good match.

PHRASE: ________________________________________________________


1 Rimer looked over titles on book (8)

7 Uncompromising options on counter: English or Irish sage (5)

11 When your compiler’s naughty, take no notice (5)

12 To emphasise either, it’s essential for me (8, 4 words)

15 Lies besetting both sides of House after Government misses (5)

16 Olivia’s first golden bouquet from Uncle Sam? (4)

17 Narcotic took effect in first pub on crawl? (9)

20 A ceremonial official’s back to visit training vessels (8)

22 Pungent-rooted plant pickling from Day Zero (7)

24 Fat Parisian officially off the danger list (4)

26 Prepared in the kitchen with lettuce, tomatoes etc – but no dressing (3, 2 words)

28 Sleep roughly, parking cycles (5)

29 Run, but not with this little woman (3)

30 Last of parade’s fine lookers (4)

31 Private caught by chance patrolling base without rigour? (7, 3 words)

33 For Ed, exciting denouement: cat not dead! (8)

36 Preparation of psyllium hospital’s injected in a clumsy way (9)

39 Expert appears on pyramid’s top step (4)

41 Unconventional type somewhat broad in the beam? (5)

43 Failure to ban Rio broadcast (8)

44 One exposes republic over the airwaves (5)

45 Off on date, sample a little pub in Seville? (5)

46 Having emptied keg and eaten out, carried on whinging (8)


2 New deli in the wynd out of milk (4)

3 Officer in Turin lifted gold bars (6)

4 Organ repairs needed from time to time (3)

5 Lady acclaimed primarily for slips in representation? (8)

6 Bereaved mother given elevation in honour (5)

7 Android amplifier effective in one sense? (5)

8 Engaged by Lord of the Glens, I dispensed with raised digit (7)

9 Christiansen’s baby’s on oxygen … (4)

10 … McDonald’s baby’s deficient in boron, his element (4)

13 Excellent chap transporting divers here (10)

14 20% extra added to every raspberry order from the ground (10)

17 End of finger swallowed by European sea fish (5)

18 When all went out of bounds? (5)

19 A time to celebrate who you are? Indeed (4)

21 Inclined to dispense with introduction to team (5)

23 Swapping first of infielders with old Heather, sole catcher in the deep? (8)

24 Good track punctuated by irregular rock thrown out (5)

25 Supermarket chain not having say about the minority? (4, 2 words)

27 GI’s tail’s up, having met his mate (7)

32 Equine in shot (6)

34 Georgia has top-of-podium position in prospect (5)

35 Pottery family’s taken over by Independent (5)

37 Jack’s given the push by big boss (4)

38 Low end exposed? (4)

40 Language spoken by Algonquian on entering church (4)

42 Up last? Nothing odd in that (3)

All entries to be received by 27 May 2022. Solutions and winners will be published online on 10 June 2022.

The first correct entry drawn will receive a £75 CUP book token and a copy of The Night Climbers of Cambridge by Whipplesnaith (Oleander Press). Two runners-up will receive a £50 CUP book token.