Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24042/Orlando

Posted by linxit on April 4th, 2007


Solving time 15:01 – should’ve been much quicker but for a wrong answer and stupidity at 12ac.

Sorry for the delay, couldn’t take my eyes off the cricket. No way we should have lost – neither Vaughan nor Bell were out, the umpires should be shot! Anyway, onto the crossword – I haven’t blogged Orlando before, but I thought the surface readings were excellent, and there were a lot of very subtle elements of wordplay that I’m not sure would all be acceptable by The Times but were perfectly fair in my opinion. e.g. “outer bounds = OR”, “ecclesiastical limits” = EL, “tip of tongue” = E, “50% more” = RE…

6 TO,NIC(k) – looks simple, but I only got it after all three crossing downs.
9 A(CC)RA – “twin cities” = CC – Accra’s the capital of Ghana.
12 WACO – to my shame, I thought of Waco as the only city to fit before realizing that it was the initial letters of “Without Any Chiefs Or” – probably cost me a minute of solving time!
14 NEEDLES(s) – thought “grasses” and “drug enforcement agents” before “annoys” as the definition, so this took longer than it should have too.
17 PITS,TOP – simple but brilliant! What a great clue.
22 LADY CHAP,E(cclesiastica)L – I’d never heard of this, but guessed it correctly. It’s a chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
25 INSPECTOR – ref. the play An Inspector Calls by J. B. Priestley. I put CONDUCTOR at first, which slowed me up considerably.
26 N,OR,NS – I’d heard of NORNS as the Fates in Norse mythology, so I put this straight in. Wordplay is presumably N or NS as “one or two Poles”. Yep, course it is! Very clever.
27 MAYOR – only one I don’t understand. What sauce recipe? [Duh! Just realized – MAYO(nnaise) + R(ecipe)]
3 FLA(=Alf rev),GEO(rge),LETS – a popular musical instrument lately.
4 IV(O(ute)R)IES – I suspect most have heard this expression, but “tickling the ivories” means playing the piano.
8 CAN,TONES,(tongu)E
13 STONE,HEN,GE(=e.g. rev)
14 NEPTUNIUM – MU,1,N.U.T.,PEN all reversed – N.U.T. being the UK’s largest teachers’ union.
16 BON,APART,E(lba) – more great surface and wordplay. Napoleon was the French emperor, so the “good of his country” is BON.
19 FLY,TRAP – both horse-drawn vehicles.

4 Responses to “Guardian 24042/Orlando”

  1. says:

    I rate Orlando as one the best Guardian compilers, often overshadowed by the other more prominent setters. He can produce clues that make me smile and his anagram clues are top-drawer.

  2. says:

    Excellent puzzle by Orlando – 17a, 25a and 16d were gems.

    3d held me up the most as I worked out FLAGEOLETS easily enough from wordplay and checking letters but had no idea where the definition of green beans was indicated! Only consulting the dictionary made me realise there was another definition.

  3. says:

    “outer bounds = OR”, “ecclesiastical limits” = EL, “tip of tongue” = E, “50% more” = RE…
    I can’t imagine why any of these would be disallowed in the Times (maybe the second for lack of an apostrophe). Certainly not the last two.

  4. says:

    You’d be subject to editorial decision, I imagine.

    There isn’t anything in my (very old version of) Times Notes to say what’s acceptable, but among compilers I know many would probably try to say something like e.g. ‘the limits of taste’ (TE), ‘extremists in Syria’ (SA), or equivalent apostrophised versions to make absolutely sure they were ‘saying what they mean’.

    ‘Outer bounds’ for OR? Not sure….

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