Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 23920/Auster – quite straightforward

Posted by neildubya on November 10th, 2006


An easier day today after yesterday’s toughie from Paul. Auster is a very occasional setter for the Guardian – one or two puzzles a year I think.

5 HOARDED – anag of “odd hare”
9 G(L)ORY – Libyan leader is L not Gadafy.
10 RAINCOATS – anag of “castration” minus “t” (“not the first [letter of “the”]”). I was expecting flashers to be some sort of cryptic definition. Surface reading of the clue is spot on.
12 ABLE – hidden in “Mabel” so “cooking” is superfluous and probably there to make the surface read better. Abel (and his murderous sibling Cain) make frequent appearances in crosswords. Cain is usually the “first murderer” something like that.
14 NEAPOLITANS – a cake obviously and a ref (I think) to the film “It Started in Naples” starring Sophia Loren.
18 AGGRANDISED – anag of “gardenias” and g,d (“both sides of good”)
28 ECSTASY – “easy” with “cost” minus “o” (“nothing to it”) inside. Other drug-related crossword stuff includes e = ecstasy, pot, and H(eroin).
1. IN GRID – a girl’s name and where you enter it. The most popular girl’s name in crosswords surely must be “Ada” but I doubt that it features in any current top 10 girl’s names.
2 St oops – as in “oops, silly me!”
4 TARKA – the otter and the Tarka Trail in North Devon.
7 DEAD BEAT – “whale” is variant of “wale”, an 18th C word meaning to beat or thrash.
15 Add it, I’ve s – “selected initially” is “s”.
16 PASTOR,AL – “reverend gentleman” is PASTOR held up (“supported”) by one left – A L.
17 Ag,litter – it’s worth knowing some of the more common chemical symbols as they often crop up in crosswords. Au=gold, Fe=Iron, Na=sodium are fairly common.
20 S(NAP)PY = mole=spy. Technically, a mole is a particular kind of spy, one that has infiltrated an organisation.
23 G(-E)ORGE

5 Responses to “Guardian 23920/Auster – quite straightforward”

  1. says:

    Is ‘nothing to it’ (28 ac) a reasonable instruction to leave out the letter O? Surely that would require a double negative, like ‘without nothing to it’! ‘Nothing to it’ suggests to me I should be adding O somewhere.

  2. says:

    Quite right; maybe that explains the exclamation mark at the end of the clue?

  3. says:

    According to that handy recent book, Auster is an Aussie lady (Auster = the S wind), who was influenced by the late Alec Robins (Custos of The Guardian). She sets a few Guardian puzzles each year and her favourite setters are reported as Rufus and Crispa.

  4. says:

    I must put a word in for that 1 Down INGRID.
    It was the last I solved and elicited a loud “Doh!” when I finally got it.
    (Now someone will come along and say they’ve seen it before.)

  5. says:

    ‘Nothing to it’ would indeed be okay for adding an O to the end of a word, or to some portion of the SI.

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