Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 23,932 by Shed

Posted by michod on November 24th, 2006


Some nice touches and some tough clues here – 8ac and 18ac took some thought. This Guardian grid pattern’s not the easiest, with no first letters for more than half the words, and eight with more unchecked letters (unches) than checked, which I believe the Times and Indy don’t allow.


8. INDOCILE. Setter=I, + DOC in NILE). Neither solution  nor definition are common words, making this particularly hard.

10. SHADED. (AD in SHED). Compiler also means the setter of the puzzle, but this time gives the pseudonym.

12. PORN. R(oyal) N(avy) on (i.e. after) PO. One of three different rivers in the puzzle,  here called a waterway for variety.

13. WITHDRAWAL. WIT + H + AWARD reversed + L. That pesky student again.

16. VAN DYKE. Hidden. Names of real people will often mean an anagram or hidden clue – here the radio DJ Andy Kershaw stood out as unlikely to define anything – though you could call Rachmaninov world music I suppose!

18. HEARTSEASE. The last clue I got, not knowing it was another name for the pansy.  Anag of EAST in HEARSE – beutifully defined as the ultimate people-carrier. And I was looking for a word going E—-SPACE!

20. STREAMER. R in STEAMER. Ship usually gives SS. Showing is arguably a redundant link word to help the surface. 

22. SHIMMY. SHY around IMAM ‘wanting a’, i.e. not having the letter A. 


1. ANTHROPOCENTRIC. ANTIC around anag of H-CORE PORN + T. Hard to spot exactly what the anagram would be, with the misleading use of ‘hard-core’, from which the first half must be abbreviated. Bust nice cross-reference to 12 across.

2. GOLDEN RETRIEVER. REDOLENT anag in GRIEVER. Nice way of splitting the word.

3. WINDOWLESS. D (deceased) OWL in WINE + SS. Port can also mean left, or any number of seaports, so a good flexible indicator.

5, 7. WHAM BAM THANK YOU MAAM. anag of the last six words.

6. STAND AND DELIVER. Cryptic definition suggestive of giving birth standing up. Not sure what ‘facilitate’ is doing though.

17. SATRAPY. Gin gives TRAP – a classic crossword synonym, inside SAY, as in I have no say about something. A pretty hard word to put in with only the 2nd, 4th and 6th letters given.


5 Responses to “Guardian 23,932 by Shed”

  1. says:

    Grids and 50% unching: your’re right about the Times. The Indie in the past had some grids with “2 of 5″ checking, but the current norm seems to be that checking under 50% is reserved for puzzles with some theme which mitigates the effect.

    I guess “bust nice” in the 1D comment is a Freudian slip after typing stuff about hard-core porn!

  2. says:

    Two indirect anagrams (frowned upon in “certain circles”): 1D and 2D. I got both of them from the def and crossing letters but never managed the caper->antic and mourner->griever leaps.

    With some perserverance I could have reverse engineered them I suppose — but there was quite a bit of other stuff going on, at least in ANTHROPOCENTRIC, e.g. model T, abbrev(Hard) to make that a Leap Too Far. For me.

    and i guess sex qualifies as the them with Wham, bam…, eros and porn

  3. says:

    I reckon 15A Van Dyke should’ve been letter-numbered (3,4).
    Mind you it was the first I got after scanning half the clues.

  4. says:

    Those indirect anags: Don Manley’s book has an example something like “Garbled language on the beach” for SHINGLE – language = English, anagrammed to get the answer – that’s the kind of thing usually meant by ‘indirect anag.’ . 1D is a bit indirect as you need to convert hard to H before anagramming, but such things are done a few times a week in the Times puzzle. I can’t see that 2D is indirect – ‘griever’ is used as a container, not anagrammed.

  5. says:

    Yes re 2D and I guess 1D as well… since AN(…)TIC is a container.

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