Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,041/Shed – Religion? Bah, humbug!

Posted by loonapick on April 3rd, 2007


An enjoyable and challenging Tuesday puzzle from Shed. Once you get the two longer answers, the rest is just clever enough to keep you interested, which is a good trick to carry off. Two of the clues in particular were very well constructed – 12ac and 23dn, but I also liked 22ac and 3dn.Being an atheist, this took me a bit longer than I’d like to admit because my lack of religious knowledge let me down on a couple of allusions, but I got there in the end.


9 SOFT-PEDAL – SOL around (<=adept F)

11 ILEAC – (Alice)* – of the ileum, the lower intestine, not to be confused with the ileus, a blockage in the intestine – all three words regularly appear in cryptics.

12,24 SAINT JOHN THE DIVINE – (dine Tintin Jehovah’s)* – excellent clue, love the wordplay, esp. linking the definition and anagram fodder (Jehovah’s Witness!). Saint John the Divine wrote the Book of Revelation, aka the Book of Apocalypse.


17 POLYP – half of POLYPhonic – not sure why Tallis was the chosen composer for this, as there are probably a couple of more famous proponents of polyphonic music, which involves the use of two or more melodic voices to add texture to a piece of music.

20 VENUS – (<=SU(NE)V) – SUV is a sports utility vehicle, otherwise known as a Chelsea tractor, and Tyneside normally indicates NE as in the North East (of England that is), because of course the world ends at the border (must shrug that chip off my shoulder sometime)


22 SALADIN – S-ALA(d)DIN – a Sultan of Egypt and Syria known for his struggles against the Crusaders.

26 TAMIL – TA(M)IL – cleverly worded, although I think I have come across this device before somewhere

29 NARCOTICS – (Cost Rican)* – this one threw me for a wee while, because I was looking for an anagram of Costa Rica, then I realised that “numbers” related to “things that numb”


2 AFFECT – A(<=eff)CT – EFF as in “eff and blind”

3.19ac APOCALYPSE NOW – A-PO-CALYPS(EN)O-W – I solved this clue in less time that it took me to work out the wordplay. Just in case no-one has heard of it (unlikely!), Apocalypse Now was a movie adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s novella Heart of Darkness, but set during the Vietnam War – highly recommended

5 PLAISTOW – (pilot was)*

7 AUTOBAHN – AU-TO(BAH)N – surface doesn’t make a lot of sense, but I do like “humbug’s precursor” for bah



19 NESCIENT – (nice)* in NEST

22 SKERRY – S-KERRY – a rocky isle

23 DOMAIN – DO MA IN! – Brilliant! According to Greek mythology, Orestes, following advice from the Delphic oracle, avenges his father’s death at his mother’s hands by slaying her. His sister, Electra, helped him to make the decision to exact his revenge.

25 IFFY – (j)IFFY

One Response to “Guardian 24,041/Shed – Religion? Bah, humbug!”

  1. says:

    17A: a possible reason for choosing Tallis is that his motet Spem in Alium, for forty parts, is about as POLYphonic as you can get.

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