Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 23917/Taupi — Bad start for me!

Posted by Colin Blackburn on November 7th, 2006

Colin Blackburn.

Solving time : 45 minute bus journey plus some looking up when I got to work.

I had hoped that a Tuesday Guardian puzzle would be a gentle start to my blogging, instead I got Taupi. The puzzle did introduce me to two new words, MULLEIN and BOMBARDON, and a new definition for a word that I knew as both a haircut and a fish but not a star, mullet.

5 LAWLESS — anagram of AS WELL AS dropping an A. This threw me for a while as I took unruly to be the anagram indicator rather than the definition.
11 GESTATION — anagram of AN EGOTIST, the question mark here suggesting that either period is too loose a definition or that the whole clue serves as a definition, you decide.
18 BOMBARD+ON — straightforward clue but I didn’t know that this was a bass tuba.
23 MEAN+WHILE — WHILE here is clued as a homophone of WILE the soundness of which will depend on one’s aspirations.
28 MULL+EIN — again, simple worplay but it turns out the shepherd’s club is a common name for MULLEIN, the others listed in Chambers are: hag-tape, Adam’s flannel, and, Aaron’s rod.
1 PS(rev)+ANGLE — one of my favourite words, clued nicely.
3 IND(one’s)IA — I’m sure the two country names have been combined in many clues before but this is the first time I’ve seen an example.
6 W(HIM+SIC)AL — LAW written upwards holding HIM+SIC. Taupi uses upholds to signify the reversal and the containment, meaning up holds, a typically non-Ximenian device to look out for from some Guardian setters.
8 SCREE+CH — As a fell runner I can vouch for the cry of the fallen when running down scree! In my mind this clue conjures up an image of the small chapel in Wasdale.
16 P+E(N)TAGRAM — excellent reversal of MARGATE, I did not know that mullet is a heraldic term for a five pointed star.
17 T(ITTI+V)ATE — IT reflected here gives ITTI. It’s always worth having a first guess at TATE when gallery is in the clue.

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