Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,021/Shed (Sat 10 Mar) – Waggish

Posted by rightback on March 16th, 2007


Solving time: 11:46

Amusing theme this week centred on 15ac involving several across answers (and 22dn), giving me an ideal excuse for a football rant. Steve McClaren wouldn’t even have been on my shortlist for England manager, and his appointment, on the back of a couple of lucky comebacks in Europe against mediocre opposition, demonstrated perfectly the folly of putting a committee in charge of anything, especially where the FA is concerned. Nonetheless, his one useful contribution so far has been to ban the WAGs from future tournaments. Just a shame that I’m not expecting us to qualify for Euro 2008 to give him a chance to action this decision.

* = anagram.

9 [b]UNION – referring to ‘foot’ (40% of 11ac)
11 FOOTBALLER; BALLET with the T moved to the front inside rev. of ROOF
15 THE TAIL WAGS THE DOG; THETA + WAGS inside (LIGHT ODE)* – not a phrase I knew but clear from the wordplay. If you’re not familiar with the dreaded WAGs, this explains all.
17 UND (‘and’ in German) + ERGO (‘hence’ in Latin)
20 HAIRLINE (double definition, the second cryptic)
23 ARCHI(TRA)VE – slightly surprised that ‘Architect’ appeared in the clue, given the similarity in form (and etymology, Greek archi- = ‘chief’) to the answer.
24 MITE (double definition) – the Arachnida include spiders, scorpions and mites.
25 WIVES; IV (= ‘4’) in rev. of SEW – cleverly misleading with the second numeral indicating a clue number.
1 C(A LAB)ASH – this fruit.
2 M1’S S(MUFF)ET – referring to the nursery rhyme.
4 DEMOTIC; rev. of (TOME in CID)
6 GIRLFRIEND; (FLING RIDER)* – I loved this anagram/definition, though ‘to’ is a bit unfair (although standard for The Guardian).
7 ENTERA; N inside rev. of ARETE
16 IDIOTISM; (I SO TIMID)* – not a word I knew, but a helpful anagram.
24 MYTH (hidden)

9 Responses to “Guardian 24,021/Shed (Sat 10 Mar) – Waggish”

  1. says:

    As you say, rightback, an amusing theme. Whilst I agree entirely about Steve McClaren, I feel you are being unfair about the WAGs.

    Usually over-sized and over-promoted (by the English press), I have no time for them but they cannot be held responsible in any way for the state of English football – Brazil have and have had just as many WAGs (look at the ex Mrs Ronaldo!).

    Nor is it just SGE/McClaren/FA – it lies at the fact that Arsene Whinger (sorry – Wenger) and others seem to think English players are over-priced and over-rated. It is quite likely that very many are but we’ll never get anywhere if Arsenal (for example) choose to promote the likes of Senderos/Cygan instead of home-grown defenders who surely, at worst, cannot match them for clumsiness and inability.

    Rant over.


  2. says:

    No Guardian blog yesterday?

  3. says:

    16 Down is very appropriate for the FA’s guiding spirit. On the point about foreign players, we probably don’t need to go back to the days of only three foreign players, but the pendulum has swung too far now and a certain Jean-Marc Bosman has a lot to answer for. Spanish teams are similarly dominated by foreign players and what have the Spanish national side ever won? Look at the number of Italian players in Italian teams. Apart from the aptly-named Internazionale, the other 19 teams in Serie A are predominantly Italian. And who won the World Cup? If we could have a minimum of three British players in each 16, or even 11, for Premiership games that would at least be a start.

  4. says:

    Try following a sensible game like cricket, as I do. The maximum number of foreign players in each county side is 2 (I think- it may be even 1).


  5. says:

    I follow both games Al.

    And if Ireland beat Pakistan, it will be the sporting highlight of the year for me!

  6. says:


    Brilliant Ireland!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Guinness all round – and on St. Patrick’s day too!!!

  7. says:

    Our vice-captain has been sacked, and ‘rested’ after drinking. Beer to start off with, then he tried to round off the evening with something called the Caribbean Sea (mistakenly, as it contains very little alcohol) after falling off his pedalo.

    This bodes well, I think.

  8. says:

    All I can say is that if you’re a vice-captain, isn’t that what you’re supposed to have… a lot of vices?

  9. says:

    Ireland as a sporting nation sure has some power. Not only have they knocked Pakistan out of the World Cup, they have also caused the death of Bob Woolmer, Pakistan’s coach. (Actually, he did have diabetes, or (depending on who you read/listen to) a heart condition, so that may have had a tiny bit to do with it).


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