Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24013/Pasquale

Posted by Colin Blackburn on March 1st, 2007

Colin Blackburn.

I expected a Pasquale puzzle to be straightforward with good cluing, and for the most part it was. However, I had to use TEA to find the final answer, 14ac. Even with maximum checking in a 13 letter answer I had no idea what the actual answer was despite understanding the word play fully. I found that a little unfair. When I discovered what the answer was I realised it was very clever but that made it no fairer. In addition a handful of obscure words left me feeling less than satisfied despite enjoying many of the clues.

1 SANG-FROID — (IFDRAGONS)* — excellent anagram.
6 ACAS — A CAS(e) — A.C.A.S is the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, a body that mediates between employers and employees in industrial disputes. They are in the public eye much less now than they were when founded in the Seventies.
10 FLOWN — FLOW N(orth) — very nice word play.
13 TRUMPET — double def — I believe that this is an organ stop.
14 GELSENKIRCHEN — (KEENENGLISHCR(y))* — this town was the venue for the World Cup quarter final in 2006 when England were knocked out by Portugal, that makes the clue clever. However, it is an otherwise insignificant town with a minor football stadium and I find it hard to believe that many people, other than devout England fans, would have got this from the anagram. I saw the game and it rang no bells with me.
21 TRELLIS — T(R)ELL+IS — Wiliam Tell.
22 PALPATE — PAL+PATE — palpate is a medical term meaning to examine by touching, ie to touch.
24 LOOK SMART — double def — I messed up for a while by putting in LOOK SHARP which didn’t help with 19dn.
25 GAUGE — “gage” — I got this from the definition but I had not come across gage and so I don’t feel a homophone was very fair here.
26 NASH — SAN< +H — are they back to back?
27 EGYPTIANS — (ISPYAGENT)* — another vey nice anagram
1 SUFFRAGE — (right)S+U+FF+RAGE — great &lit.
3 FUNDAMENTALIST — FUN+DAME+NT+A LIST — good to see nice long charades (as in 1dn too).
4 OFF-PEAK — double def — as with most of the double definitions here one of the definitions is nicely cryptic.
7 CAN-OPENER — CA(NOPE)NER — has Pasquale got a thing about whips and canes? (see 17ac)
9 BROUGHT TO LIGHT — double def
20 STOLON — STOL+ON — I’d not come across stolon and STOL wasn’t the first plane I thought of!
23 ABUNA — A+BUN+A — a patriarch of the Ethiopean Orthodox church. Apparently.

8 Responses to “Guardian 24013/Pasquale”

  1. says:

    I thought this was an excellent puzzle from Pasquale with great clues like 1a, 3d, 14a, 17a, 24a and 20d. Compared to previous puzzles this week, the ‘obscure’ words (in my case, GAGE and ABUNA) weren’t to difficult to get from definitions and checking letters.

    Have to disagree about GELSENKIRCHEN – it came almost immediately and I would have smiled at the cleverness of the clue if the memory of the England/Portugal game hadn’t made this keen England fan cry endlessly!

  2. says:

    Gelsenkirchen was fine – it came pretty easily once I’d got few letters in. Was stumped completely by STOLON though – have *never* heard of it before, and STOL for aircraft seems real tough to me. Eh well, I will keep practicing…

  3. says:

    BenIngton, you make my point about 14ac. As a keen England fan you knew it. I didn’t and I suspect many people wouldn’t have known the place. Had the word play been a charade it might have been achievable but as an anagram it simply was not, to me. I don’t think I should have to use TEA and then the wikipedia to solve a weekday puzzle that I do on the train. I feel that this was a clever anagram saved up for the wrong puzzle.

    GAUGE wasn’t difficult to get but only from the definition and checking letters. The word play played no part in me getting it as GAGE is an obsolete word which I deduced from the grid entry. Had the grid entry been GAGE and the word play a homophone of GAUGE I would have had less of a quibble as that way easy word play is aiding a more difficult definition.

    Maybe I’m alone on this one!

  4. says:


    I take your point regarding Gelsenkirchen – if I had been presented with the anagram before the 2006 World Cup, I would have had no idea and would have resorted to Google etc.

    But this, in my opinon, is offset by the fact that the World Cup made Gelsenkirchen known over its duration – I remember quite a few commentators giving snippets of information on the city, stadium etc in the course of the matches played there and particularly so during the buld up to the England/Portugal game. I think it is reasonable to assume that, even if they did not know the correct spelling, the name remains reasonably memorable to most people (and quite a few ‘non-football’ people watched the game) given the short time lapse since the WC.

    Let’s agree to disagree on this one!


  5. says:

    Things I learned during the World Cup:

    1) Most commentators can’t pronounce Gelsenkirchen.

    2) ITV should not let the BBC have exclusive coverage of the next major football tournament if they can’t do a better job. I see that even Gabby Logan has jumped ship now.

    3) England doesn’t have a football team, just a collection of inflated salaries and egos, and Gerrard and Lampard can’t play together.

  6. says:

    Thanks for the feedback. As you may guess GELSENKIRCHEN was the first word I put in (once I found I could clue it). There is a good tradition at The Guardian of allowing a wide range of words and phrases, and Araucaria is a good exponent of this. As a solver you can find this a bit irritating at times, I agree, but on the whole I am in favour. And if you are at the business of writing thousands of clues over a long career you will be glad of the extra resource that an enhanced vocabulary provides!

  7. says:

    eimi – did you mean to say ITV should let the BBC have exclusive coverage? All those commercial breaks …ughhh!

    I learnt during the WC that Sven Goran Erikkson is an intelligent man. Who else, some business leaders aside, would do such a useless job and still have the nous to negotiate be paid a vast sum for a year after he quit the job? Mind you, after watching McClaren’s attempts, I yearn for SGE back!

  8. says:

    Sorry, yes. Must engage brain before adding comment to blog in future.

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