Never knowingly undersolved.

Everyman 3140/2nd time round

Posted by ilancaron on December 10th, 2006


Solved this when it was published last week, wrote up my notes and then promptly misplaced them which I just discovered. Turns out that solving a puzzle the 2nd time round, when you know you’ve already solved it, is surprisingly hard. Interestingly I’m pretty sure that the last clue I solved was the same in both cases (1D).

A general comment about Everyman: the puzzle seems to getting easier. There’s virtually no esoterica and the wordplay is usually pretty basic. Perhaps this is the Observer’s way of ensuring that Everyman+Azed have a constant average level of accessibility. Of course this assumes that Azed is getting harder.


1 DE+SCRIBE – “Extremely” typically indicates the two ends of a word (DivisivE).
10 MIMI+C(ry) – If the only thing you know about opera is the heroine of La Boheme (and Aida and Verdi) then you’ve made a good start.
11 MOONSHINE – double meaning
12 I(MAGI)N+E – Nice to see the use of East in the context of the Magi.
13 MOISTEN – (on items)* An anagram is more satisfying when the indicator (fluid) and the answer are related as in this case.
14 CAUGHT IN THE ACT – double meaning with a cricket allusion (CAUGHT for dismissed).
17 CANTERBURY BELL – How many Edinburgh-born inventors are there? OK – I’m sure quite a few, but the telephone guy must be the first to come to mind. “See” is a nice little word that can be quite invisible: lots of other cathedral towns to choose from other than CANTERBURY: e.g. Ely, York, Ripon. I wasn’t familiar with the flower (not a river!).
23 A+L+LEG+R. O. – musicalese for played rapidly (“scored at a brisk speed). With another abbreviated cricket allusion (“run out”).
24 ROUND+HEAD – turns out that ROUND has “lively” as one of its meanings.
26 ON (TIM)E – X “wearing” Y is a way of indicating Y contains X. TIM is a frequent young visitor to crypticland, as are Don, Reg, Les…


1 DO+MAIN – Pretty sure last clue I managed to solve both times: sometimes clues of the form A, B, C are hard to parse since they could be A+B as a charade for C or B+C as a charade for A. In this case I got stuck thinking of “top field” as a charade for “prepare”.
2 SAME AGA+IN – The Aga cooker is probably well-known in Britain (though it’s originally Swedish!)
4 BUMPER-(TO)-BUMPER – It’s what you are in a traffic jam.
6 HAS+HIS+H – The kind of clue that is trivial to a child of the 70’s.
8 ETERNI(T)Y – (entire+y)* containing T(urkey): the capital of Turkey is almost never Istanbul in crypticland.
9 COMMON OR GARDEN – (no regard)*. The COMMON OR GARDEN variety is the vanilla flavor.
15 ALLIGATOR – (at gorilla)* — the two animals are often related in crypticland.
20 (augus)T+(h)ORRID – A subtraction clue variant: find a word meaning “horrible” and remove its first letter.
22 SHUN+(car)T – Crash is another meaning of SHUNT.

3 Responses to “Everyman 3140/2nd time round”

  1. says:

    Does anyone else dislike ‘extremely’ as an indicator for the letters at either end of a word as much as I do? Not really saying what it means, for me.

  2. says:

    I think it’s acceptable — at least no worse than say: “outskirts of London” for LN.

  3. says:

    I prefer your indication by a long way: it names names!

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