Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,008/Orlando – took longer to blog than to solve

Posted by loonapick on February 23rd, 2007

loonapick.

Not quite sure how to summarise this puzzle. It was fairly easy, even if some of the references and definitions are not immediately obvious, and, for the most part, the clues made sense. I solved it in about 12 minutes, then spent a good twenty minutes researching for this blog.

ACROSS 1 B-ACKERS – “angels” in the sense of theatrical sponsors; hadn’t come across ACKERS = money before, but it’s in Chambers, and the OED says the word was first used by British troops while in Egypt.5 INHUM(e)-AN

10 G(U(nethica)L)AG – I assume that the setter is referring to the system as he uses the plural “camps” in the clue. A gulag was a prison camp for political dissidents and other “criminals” in the Soviet Union. It was an acronym for a long-winded Russian politburo title, which I’m not going to attempt to write out here. Reminds me of studying the excellent novella of one of my favourite authors at school – “A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch” by Alexandr Solzhenitsyn. I’d recommend it and his other novels to anyone.

12 MILITARIST – (similar tit)* – nice surface, even if it was a failry obvious anagram

15 DODD-(v)ERY – as in Ken Dodd. I went to one of his shows once. It lasted nearly FOUR hours. Like him or loathe him, he certainly didn’t short-change the audience, the way he did the taxman.

16 REBIRTH – R(central ameRica)-(<=tribe)-H(capital of Honduras)

18 YORKER – hidden in galwaY OR KERry – for Ilan’s benefit, a yorker in cricket is a ball which, when bowled, lands right up at the batsman’s feet, designed to go under the bat and be almost unplayable.

21 S-TAG – According to Chambers, a “tag” is a trite quotation, especially in Latin (a new meaning for me)

24 T(R)OON – My favourite clue. “Toon” is how we Scots (and much of Northern England) refer to a town, and Troon is the site of a championship golf course on the Ayrshire coast, so there is a good &lit. element to this clue.

25 NO-ACCOUNT – Mmm, not sure. I can see what the setter is trying to do, but don’t like “telling off”.

27 E-ARNE-ST(op) – Nice surface, and taught me that EARNEST can be a pledge.

DOWN

3 EDDY – although the answer was obvious from the definition and the checked letters, I do wonder how famous Mary Baker Eddy is?

4 SPANISH CHEST-NUT(<=tun) – very good.

5 IN THIS DAY AND AGE – DAYAN in (hiding eats)* – relates to Moshe Dayan, an Israeli Chief of Staff in the 1950s

7 MALAISE – homophone of “Malays” – at last a homophone for we Rhotics to appreciate, because it doesn’t rely on the “mispronunciation of an R”.

8 NIGHTLY – (thing)*-L(orr)Y

13 SACRA-MEN-TO – the state capital of California is sometimes referred to as The River City, after the Sacramento River.

17 BUT-TO-N-S – Buttons is a character in “Cinderella”, created specifically for pantomime.

8 Responses to “Guardian 24,008/Orlando – took longer to blog than to solve”

  1. says:

    Mary Baker Eddy is as famous as a yorker.

    And I don’t know anyone (in my immediate circle of friends and relatives in the US) who’d recognize Sacramento as The River City. But an easy clue for me because sacra was in a recent Azed.

  2. says:

    Sacramento – just going by what it says on Wikipedia, but then that entry may have been written by the only Sacamentan (?) to call it River City.

    As for the yorker, over here, I’m fairly confident that there more people who will know what a yorker is than there are who could tell you who Mary Baker Eddy was. I may be wrong, but I’m getting used to that feeling!

  3. says:

    Re 3d, the clue was easy enough to solve with definition and checking letters but I had no idea who Mary Baker Eddy was and had to look her up – for those who are interested:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Baker_Eddy

    Relatively easy puzzle but some nice clues, particularly the two long down clues.

  4. says:

    Was just teasing about Mary Baker Eddy and yorkers to point out transatlantic relativism… meaning that “everyone” in the US knows that she founded Christian Science (the religion that believes it’s better to die that use modern medicine which btw, if anyone cares, is why Jim “Sesame Street” Henson died). And I’m sure “everyone” in Britain knows what a yorker is. Well, except for my grandmother.

  5. says:

    Am I missing something? Where are the rest of the clues? 22D? 25A?14A?15A? 11A?

  6. says:

    Hi Owen

    We have a policy of not revealing all of the answers to a puzzle because both the Guardian and Independent have phone lines (provided by third-party companies) that you can call to get answers to clues and we don’t want to open ourselves up to accusations of depriving these companies (and the papers) of potentially valuable income streams.

    Neil

  7. says:

    Just a thought – perhaps all the clues should be answered here but some of the answers given in fiendishly cryptic ways.

    :)

  8. says:

    Okay, I get it. More than I can say for that crossword.

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