Never knowingly undersolved.

Everyman 3158/crosstown traffic

Posted by ilancaron on April 15th, 2007


Solving time: 20’ except for one answer

This puzzle number as printed in the paper is No. 00. So even The Observer isn’t free of Graudian Gremlins. I did this in a minicab on the way to the airport so the traffic references were apposite. I struggled though with PARKING METER and PARKING METRE as I was still in London at the time. It’s the former but that stopped me from finding 27A (FRANKLIN).


1 FAL,STAFF – Ref. Sir John (Prince Hal’s mentor). FAL is another TLR (three-letter river) that’s worth remembering along with Exe, Cam, Ure…
9 CLERI[c],HE,W – def is “comic verse” something I wouldn’t have known several months. Note how “snubbed” indicates tail removal. HE for “His Excellency” (sometimes High Explosive though).
10 MUR,DER – well, def must be “kill” and rev(Red Rum)– and turns out there was a “famous” steeplechaser Red Rum — incidentally the referenced article begins thus: “For murder spelt backwards, see Redrum”.
12 TRAFFIC WARDEN – ”A poor piece of parking? Fine by me!”. I think this is just a cryptic definition – anything else?
14 FED-UP – G-man is short for Government Man, i.e. a federal agent. UP is invariably up astride a horse.
16 POKER, F,ACE – nice surface and charade: clever suggestive overlap between the def (“impassive expression”) and wordplay (POKER for “card game”).
17 CA(STELLA)N – he’s a governor of a castle in fact: CASTELLAN.
19 PICKS – two meanings: quite a good clue using both nounal and verbal senses.
21 GOOD S(A,M),ARITAN – GOODS for “freight” and train* containing A M[ale].
25 STAG,N,ANT – “tracked” seems superfluous.
27 FRANK,L,IN – my last clue: the American in me wants this to be Benjamin FRANKLIN. Note that “holding office” is IN rather than indicating containment.


1 FACE T,O F,ACE – charade straddling word boundaries of the definition.
2 LEE,WARD – rev(draw, eel)
4 FRENCH POLISH – seen this before but enjoyed it again nonetheless.
6 ROUND TRIP – ROUND as in “round sum” which I suppose implies something considerable and TRIP up is to make a mistake… seems like the “up” is missing though in the clue. Is there another appropriate sense?
7 MAD,ON,N.A. – Our “star” is just MADONNA (of Guy Ritchie fame I guess). She’s incidentally also North American.
8 TERM – two meanings – quite different. The second (“spell”) as in a period of time.
11 PARKING METER – clever cryptic def which I thought might be METRE in England still. Our second traffic clue.
23 I,CON – the usual way to clue this.

4 Responses to “Everyman 3158/crosstown traffic”

  1. says:

    METER/METRE: as far as I know, “meter” = “device allowing payment and/or measuring consumption” has always ended ER. It’s the “unit of length” and “poetic/musical rhythm” versions that differ between US and UK.

  2. says:

    Permit me to reproduce here my own experience with this crossword (posted in an Orkut community) when it appeared in a local paper this morning.


    As usual I did all but some six within some 30 minutes. The unsolved ones were in top left corner. When such a small number of clues elude me for five or ten minutes at a stretch, I know that the time for a break has come. So I went out on the mundane errand of buying milk cards. Back home the second session took less than five minutes. All done, in ink on paper, with no overwriting. (When I was in the US on a visit someone presented me with erasable ink pen for crossword solving but that is all exhausted!) No electronic aid.

    12ac 9PARKING METER): At first I thought the second word in the phrase was TICKET but did not put it down and waited for some crossings. Re the anno, which defies even our expert solver Sridhar, I will wait for some others’ remarks.

    1ac uses the name of a river that I believe I mentioned in some other thread.

    17ac (CASTANET) I was vaguely aware of the word, got it from wordplay and then did a dictionary look-up.

    In 9 ac if you put down LIMERICK hurriedly, it would lead you nowhere.

    26 ac is a very clever telescopic clue.

    Same word (FACE) is part of 1 dn as well as 15 ac. Part of the word at 19 ac (PICK) is part of the clue at 20 dn. More careful compilers may perhaps avoid such repetition.

    We solvers here know of parts of London (13 dn) but will solvers in London know parts of Madras? How about POES GARDEN in a grid in THC? Comments sought.


    I would like to blog here on Everyman once. As its appearance in the Observer is well ahead, if someone can send me just the text of the clues (grid not needed) so as to reach me a Sunday morning, I can post the solutions within a few hours. Please let me know.

  3. says:

    If I get a chance to blog on Everyman, needless to say my posting will be on the same lines as Ilan’s with answers to some clues, with comments and annotations and identification of clue type. Thanks.

  4. says:

    Sorry. The name in the email ID should be cgrishi

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