Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 23977/Brummie

Posted by linxit on January 18th, 2007


We had an excellent night out in London last night with bloggers from here and Pete Biddlecombe’s Times for the Times blog, Tony Sever (RTC2) and a few setters too. A possible side-effect is that this puzzle took me over half an hour this morning! Or maybe it’s quite tough, I can’t really tell.

10 TAI(l),PAN – The taipan is a large Australian snake, and the most venomous land animal in the world.

11 UNDER(TA)KINGS – “men in suits” = kings (i.e. in a pack of cards) is good.

14 DOGS,BODY – not keen on the definition here. Servant maybe, but surely not slave…

17 MY,O=round,SO,’TIS [last six letters not a jumble of “so it is” as I first thought; see comments] – I didn’t know this but the wordplay’s easy enough (or not!).  I looked it up afterwards – it’s the name of the forget-me-not genus.

20 BRIDGE,TR(ILE)Y – an artist I was familiar with as we had a lesson about her in Art at school, and an exercise to produce our own works of op art.

24 NI(HI)L,IS,(sal)T – ought (alternative spelling of aught) = nought = nil.

26 TIP OFF – got this from the definition (alert), but don’t understand the wordplay. [TIP=crown, OFF=high, as in rotten meat. See comments.]

3 SADDUCEES (“sad, you seize”) – the homophone bit only works if you make it the whole word, otherwise the second D isn’t accounted for. Anyway, the Sadducees were the rivals of the better-known Pharisees.

5 COLORADO,SPRINGS – American city located close to Pikes Peak, at the eastern edge of the Rockies.

6 L,ETH(the*),ARGY – L = Lambert is OK, as a lambert is unit of illumination with that abbreviation.

7 (go)BLIN,I – what the Russians spread caviar on.

15 BELLY,FLOP – I really liked this clue, don’t know why.


21 DEFOE – wordplay seems to indicate DEFEO (E,F inside OED, all rev). Am I missing something? [Yes, I was. See comments]

22 A,SIF(t) – last one I got (but only because the second last was 26a so I didn’t have the F, and was thinking of the other sort of riddle.

8 Responses to “Guardian 23977/Brummie”

  1. says:

    You are right about 21d – the wordplay should give ‘DEFEO’ as the answer.

    26a – I read this as TIP (= crown) + OFF (= high as in ‘he is off his head’)

  2. says:

    Did the paper version today being in London, which is a nice change. And in fact probably here longer than planned due to Heathrow weather.

    Great time last night.. thanks Peter!

    I agree about TIP OFF i don’t the 2nd way to get OFF (no pun intended).

    As for DEFOE — it’s EF,OED with D moved from “back to front”

  3. says:

    DEFOE works if you take ‘back to front’ literally – put the last letter first, so OED becomes DOE, not DEO.
    I liked BELLY FLOP too. Agree this was tough, and I probably didn’t have time to drink as much as you last night! I couldn’t get SADDUCCEES at all.

  4. says:

    Oops, crossed with you there, Ilan. NB ‘high’ = ‘off’ is not about drugs, it’s about meat which is past its sell-by date.

  5. says:

    Thanks to Ilan and Mick for explaining DEFOE – I knew I was missing something! TIP OFF works for me too now – I just couldn’t see how off = high before.

  6. says:

    I read 17A as MY + O (= round) + SO + ‘TIS rather than MY + (SOITIS)*

  7. says:

    And of course you’re right, Charybdis! I think I’d better go and fix that. Anagrams usually have the same set of letters as the anagram fodder…

  8. says:

    I Liked ‘men in suits’ = kings

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