Never knowingly undersolved.

Observer 3138/Everyman – The Cs have it

Posted by ilancaron on November 25th, 2006


Seems like the theme might have been words starting with C given the high proportion (CHERISHED, CARPETBAGGERS, CROWN, CHILE PINE, CHESS, CHRISTABEL, CONFIDENT). Quite an accessible puzzle with generally sensible surfaces (except for 11D – unless I’m missing some local knowledge about dwarfs in Sale) and accurate wordplay.


1 SACROSANCT – anag(“Carson’s act”). Johnny Carson was a late-night chat show host in America when I was a boy – considered the most urbane and witty of the lot.
7 LIFE(P+RESERVE)R – The wordplay is accurate and life-preserver is slang for a policeman’s billy club.
9 CH(ILE P)INE – anag(“pile”) inside of CHINE (UK ravine). The whole thing is also a kind of monkey tree or Araucaria and anag(“Cinephile”) which is the setter’s byline in The FT.
10 C+HESS – Chess the musical (ex-ABBA/Tim Rice production) and Myra Hess the pianist. Last one I filled in: I couldn’t get Cats out of my mind once I had C???S.
13 CHRIST+ABEL – Usually it’s Cain and Abel . The unfinished poem is by Coleridge.
16 END PRO+DUCT – connectives like “for” are invisible sometimes, but in this case “for” = PRO.
20 CONFIDE+N(o)T – The question-mark is there to indicate that the definition is a bit diluted: CONFIDE = “share secrets”, NT = “not without love” and the whole thing is almost “certain”.
21 ADIPOSE TISSUE – anag(“spouses” + “a diet I”). Nice way to connect the anagram fodder (no pun intended) to the definition..
22 W+ELLINGTON – The dukes Wellington and Ellington shared a clue elsewhere very recently.


1 SAPPER – anag(“papers”). I don’t think sappers never get promoted beyond “private” though.
2 CHERISHED – anag(“riches he’d”).
3 OBESE+E – OBE is “Order of the British Empire” (which no longer exists does it? The empire I mean).
5 CARPET+BAGGERS – anag(“beggars”). Yankee carpetbaggers descended on the south after the American Civil War.
6 BLACK S+HEEP – Uriah Heep was the bad guy in David Copperfield (also a bad band).
8 FAIR AND SQUARE – “Also” serves a role by providing AND. I guess that cricket was played in the village square?
11 S(ELF) E+STEEM – Outskirts of Sale yield SE, elves are little people and rev(meets = “joins”) , reversal indicated by “up”, gives us STEEM. Somewhat unlikely surface.
15 FREE WILL – I wondered about the definition a bit: “showing discretion” but that’s precisely what you’re able to do if you have free will: exercise choice.
18 TIT(I)AN – Titian is a popular cryptic painter since he has v. common letters.

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