Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 23,930 by Chifonie – Uninspiring stuff

Posted by loonapick on November 22nd, 2006


Solving time – 10-12 minutes

 This is my first entry in this blog, and also the first time in a while that I have come across Chifonie.  I am not terribly impressed.  I don’t like the capitalisations in 1ac and 5dn, and I find some of the clueing very lazy (for example, using “student” for L twice in the same grid).  The setter seems to have gone for very straightforward composite clues, with rare anagrams, and some of the surfaces make little or no sense.

The setter has used a liberal amount of crosswordese, so it MIGHT be useful for beginners to cryptic crosswords, but I prefer to see clever clueing.
1ac – BARSAC – Don’t like the capitalisation on “Bill” in the clue, but otherwise a straightforward clue – BARS+AC.  “Bill” is standard indicator of AC.

4ac – CABARET – BARE (“nude”) introduced to CAT (“jazz fan”) = CA(BARE)T

9 ac – TEASELLER – TEA+SELLER (“drink vendor”) i.e one who teasels.

10ac – LEASE – again standard crosswordese (“student” = L for learner)

11ac – MUTED – MD (“doctor”) keeps UTE (Victorian pick-up – anyone who has ever watched Neighbours (so I’m told, ahem!) would recognise UTE and I quite like use of “Victorian” rather than Australian).

12ac – TOM SAWYER – straightforward – TOM+SAW+YE+R

13ac – NOWHERE – NOW+HER+E(“sweetheart” ie middle of sweet)

15ac – LANDAU – AU=”gold”

17ac – INSTAL – Definition is “ordain”.  Use of L for student same as for 10ac – lazy clueing in my opinion.  INST – “this month” (increasingly rare use these days except in crosswords)

19ac – RAIMENT – AIM (“object”) wearing RENT (“torn”)

22ac – EYESTRAIN -E(“Earl”)+YES(“agreed”)+TRAIN. 

24ac – HYDRA – anagram of HARDY. The anagram indicator is “novel”.

26ac – TWINE – TWIN+E(“bridge player”).  “Bridge player” can also be N, W or S.

27ac – HOMEOPATH – O(“orchestra leader” ie first letter of orchestra) in HOME+PATH(“family way”).  Haven’t come across “home” defined as “family” before?

28ac – LIGHTER – Double definition

29ac – GRATER – “vermin”(RAT) trapped by “German” (GER) = G(RAT)ER. 

1dn – BATSMAN – “pole”(S) held by servant (BATMAN) = BAT(S)MAN

2dn – ROAST – “a society” (A S) involved in “corruption” (ROT, ) = RO(AS)T

3dn – AMENDMENT – “social worker” (ANT) about “to heal” (MEND) and “setter” (ME).  “social worker” is a common indicator of ANT and whenever you see the word “setter”, think of the compiler, rarely of the dog.

4dn – CARAMEL – “beast” (CAMEL) carrying “artist” (RA).  RA for”artist” is also very common.  It indicates membership of the Royal Academy.

5dn – BALSA – “Bob” (S = “shilling”) put in “Welsh lake” (BALA) = BAL(S)A.  Don’t like the capitalisation on “Bob”.

6dn – READY-MADE – anagram of REMEDY ADA (anagram indicator is “quack”)

7dn – THEORY – “people” (THEY) accepting “alternative” (OR).  I’m not a great fan of “alternative” for OR – “alternatively” is the synonym,  in my opinion.

8dn – BLITHE – B(“bishop”)+LITHE

14dn – WANDERING – “with hesitation” (AND ER) enters “annexe” (WING).  “Hesitation” is normally ER, but can be UM or EM.

16dn – NEIGHBOUR – NEIGH+B(“bowled”)+OUR.  “Bowled” for B is standard fodder.

18dn – LEATHER – Definition is “hide”, so “a bit of earthenware” (E) “among the soapsuds “(LATHER) gives L(E)ATHER.  “a bit of” is a common way of indicating the first letter (sometimes letters) of a word is required, but I find its use lazy.

19dn – RENAME – anagram of “NEAR ME” (indicator is “used”)

20dn – TEACHER – “hurt” (ACHE) in “territory” (TER).  Don’t like this clue, because the surface doesn’t make sense and I don’t like TER for “territory”.

21dn – RENTAL – “conservationists” (NT=National Trust) separate “material” (REAL, as in “keep it real”?) giving RE(NT)AL

23dn – TREAT – “European” (E) in “Italian restaurant” (TRAT – short for “trattoria”) = TR(E)AT

25dn – DRAFT – “rector” (R) appears in “silly” (DAFT) = D(R)AFT. 

2 Responses to “Guardian 23,930 by Chifonie – Uninspiring stuff”

  1. says:

    I’m not sure about the benefit of some “crosswordese” for beginners. They have to learn(!) or be told that many xwd setters extend L=learner to include “student”, even though L means specifically a learner-driver outside xwds. That’s the sort of stuff that I think can discourage beginners. Things like soldiers = RE/RA/OR/etc (or even the old cliché sappers=RE) seem much more logical and checkable, and therefore helpful.

  2. says:

    I also don’t like L=student (highway code student might just about be OK though!)

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