Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 23,982, Auster: What’s up Doc?

Posted by michod on January 24th, 2007


A puzzle with an overt theme, rather than one to be deduced, which gives a good illustration of the many different uses of ‘doctor’ in a puzzle. All the across clues and a couple of the downs contain the word. I counted four DRs, an MO and an MB,  one anagram indicator, two or three types of doctor, four named doctors and several other clues in which doctor was part of the definition. Help welcomed with 15Ac and 19dn.


7. GR(IM)ACE. Ref cricketer Dr WG Grace (did he run a field hospital?) 

8. DR + AUGHT.

10. MEDICO. Mice do*.

11. OVERDRAW. O  REV< DR A W. I read ‘wants’ in crossword usage as meaning ‘lacks’. Here it means ‘has’. This seems like a case of having your cake and lacking it.  As Desmond Dekker said, you can’t always get what you want.

12. NO DI. Ref Dr No… assume this is the plural of some complication – is that a nodus, or just a node?

14. LIVING STONE. Def being ‘Doctor presumed’, which is nice.

19. Looks like it should be something like ‘PELIETERANS’. No idea. Is there a solver in the house?

22. OMEN. MO< (h)EN.

23. BELL (B1) DR<.

25. F(AUST)US(s). Ref Marlowe’s Dr Faustus.

26. DETAINS. INSTEAD*, ‘doctor’ as a verb in anag indicator.


1. FREEDOM. FR + E + MODE<. Good clue, sadly no doctor in sight.

2. U MB I(LI)CI.

3. AC  CO DR<. I like to think that, had it not been for the need to get a doc in here, there might have been a linkage between ‘cord’ and the previous clue! 

5. SUEDES. Cryptic def.


9. COASTGUARDS. DRUGS COSTS A* + lit, but relying on dubious ‘mint’ as anag indicator.

15. Any offers?

18. REPAINT. REP AIN’T. I’d take issue with ‘isn’t in ignorance’ for AIN’T, which is a form used in various regional accents. Oh, you mean the standard English word is ‘isn’t’? Well, I never knew that, pardon my ignorance!

5 Responses to “Guardian 23,982, Auster: What’s up Doc?”

  1. says:

    19 REGISTRARS Just fits. Think its GI in REST with R before A and SR reversed. Bit convoluted. 15 is INTRIGUE Anagram of URGENT with II. The sound of eyes? Could be a million eyes, don’t see why you’re meant to think of two.

  2. says:

    Thanks for that, I should have got both of those, although I’m not happy with either. Surely “relax (in private)” gives GRESTI, not REGIST. And 15 down doesn’t indicate why I I should be combined with URGENT in an anagram.

  3. says:

    nodi is plural of nodus (knotty point, complication)

  4. says:

    I had ‘treatment ‘ as an anagram indicator for urgent , with the i i indicated by ‘eyes said’ – i.e. could be the the letter i pluralised.

  5. says:

    Good to see a (non-Aracaurian!) themed puzzle in the Guardian – I enjoy them and wish there were a few more, hidden or overt.

    Re 15d, you could argue ‘need’ indicates the I’s are to be linked in with urgent for the anagram – that’s how I read it instantly and had not too much difficulty coming up with the answer.

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