Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,029, Puck: Wolfie and the gang

Posted by michod on March 20th, 2007


Quite a hard one to get going with, though fell into place reasonably once I had the theme (with one exception, see below). But there are several whose wordplay I’m unable to explain.


 8. NEGATIVE. EVITA GEN<. All-round meaning the whole thing’s reversed. 

9. PRAGUE. (plague). I didn’t know this was his 38th, but the wordplay’s clear.

12. MOZART. Theme word, but I can’t see the wordplay – works of beauty=art, but where’s the castle? Is broadcasting a homonym indicator?

15. A(MADE)US. No doubting the elegant wordplay here though.

17. REQUIEM. Not sure about this one either – REM’s the rock band I presume, but why is either QUIE or EQUI ‘piece, we hear?’ Not sure it’s obvious how you’d pronounce them.

22. F REN CH. As in French and Saunders.

23. S(E PARAT)ING. Almost +lit, with anag of APART in middle.



2, 10 ac. G ANGLING.

4. V RED* URE.

5. OPERA B(roadcasting) LE. ‘The French’ by cross-reference.

6. MA(GI C FLU)TE. I like ‘caught virus’ for CFLU – not that many places you could use it though!

7. BU(R)GLE. I had ‘bungle’ for a mo, but the R is Mozart’s fifth letter.


16. Don’t know – ‘in Paris, you enunciated vulgarly’ could be ‘tu’ I suppose. Any offers?

18. E(SCA)LOPE. Confusing – it looks like ‘lo’ in ‘escape’, but I think it’s actually SCA in ELOPE. ‘Some scanties’ for SCA seems a bit vague, though, and while and escalope is a cut, I don’t see where ‘somewhat revealingly’ comes in.  


22. FIGARO. OR A GIF(t)*.

24dn/ac: WEREWOLF. WE, FLOW<… but where’s is RE coming from?


17 Responses to “Guardian 24,029, Puck: Wolfie and the gang”

  1. says:

    24 dn/ac “in which (we re)versed current”

    Best guess for 16 dn is uvularly – u vul(g)arly without the g (gravity) and presumably meaning in back of throat as in the R in Paris

  2. says:

    12A I think the “MOZ” of Mozart is given as a homophone of “moats” (around castles).
    [Glad it’s not just me that can’t see 16D]

  3. says:

    17A “unfinished piece, we hear” => Quie(t) (peace) seemed OK to me.

  4. says:

    16d is uvularly – the ‘u’enunciated + ‘vularly’ (vulgarly without gravity.)

    Francois Rabelais was a writer and humorist and as uvularly means ‘a speech sound articulated with the tongue near or touching the uvula’, I can only presume his style of writing was maybe tongue in cheek?

    Hopes this helps.

    I only recently discovered your site and find it very useful with checking answers – or help for when I get stuck

  5. says:

    Was travelling by train before normal papers arrived, so had a go at this one. Just scraped inside 10 mins.
    16: Rabelais – just someone convenient who starts with R, a letter that’s likely to be uvular in French (specifically “Parisian French” according to the Collins entry for ‘uvular’)
    24D/A my interpretation was that current = “flower” in the corny old xwd interpretation

  6. says:

    Thanks for all those clarifications.
    With 16dn I’ll go with Ducklofty and Pete, I think – the French R explanation makes it, for me, an excellent clue (though I like Colin’s version too!)
    For 12a and 17a I’m grateful to Beermagnet, though i think ‘moat’s art’ is an odd phrase to allude to.
    As for the 24s, we have a wealth of different explanations, of which Pete’s seems to work best.

  7. says:

    I hate 16dn, and I hate with a vengeance that ‘you enunciated’ = letter U thing some compilers use!

    In a word where the U actually sounds like ‘you’ (e.g. ubiquitous) I might restrain my ire, but in this case (the ‘uh’ case) it simply does not work.

    Now matron, bring my medicine.

  8. says:

    I disagree, and in fact I’d go further – I see nothing wrong with clueing U as ‘you’, which is now universally understood text-speak, and infinitely preferable to using an abbreviation invented long ago by the Mitfords and no longer in use.

  9. says:

    Re 18d – ‘escalope’ is more specifically a thin cut of meat, often flattened further with a mallet so it is translucent, hence ‘revealingly cut’. The one time I tried this technique, the slice of pork split into several pieces after the pounding!

  10. says:

    I too have recently (about three weeks ago) discovered this site and love it.

    Many thanks,


  11. says:


    Welcome, and thank you both for your comments!


  12. says:

    Thanks Mick – in case you were wondering, I’m not complaining about your blogged opinions: it’s my personal dislike for a particular technique some find acceptable (or ‘U’).

    As to text messaging, I agree that the abbreviations are becoming well-known. But despite your very progressive attitude regarding ‘crosswordese’ I’m not totally convinced that, for most solvers, ‘you’ (without accompanying indication such as ‘texting you’) is fair for U.

    See you on Thursday for a fuller discussion, perhaps.

  13. says:

    One weakness in my argument is that UVULARLY is in fact pronounced ‘you-view-la-lee’. But let’s not dwell on it.

  14. says:

    c u thurs!

  15. says:

    As a point of note the terms U and non-U were first coined by the British professor of linguistics Alan Ross in a relatively obscure academic article that covered vocabulary differences between different social classes. Nancy Mitford merely popularised the terms.

  16. says:

    Brief question about text messaging: with the advent and penetration of predictive spelling, does anyone still really use abbrevs like U, G8, cu… etc.? Based on my informal survey of text messaging users (sample size=1) the answer is an emphatic no.

  17. says:

    I should like to get my hands on an official list of how our letters are spelt: where ‘I see’ fairly indicates IC, maybe there are other helpful combinations….

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

+ 4 = eleven