Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,051 (Sat 14 Apr)/Enigmatist – Blue is the colour

Posted by rightback on April 20th, 2007


Solving time: 22:12

I made heavy weather of this, especially the key long answer (16ac) and the top left corner, and I can’t explain 4dn.

No main theme that I could spot, but a few mini-themes – symmetrical birds at 5dn and 14dn and a nice double clue at 22/23dn.

* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.

11 NO(SHIN)G – tricky. I only got this because ‘nog’ was the only drink I could think of beginning with ‘n’.
12 KARAOKE; K, + A-OK in ARE (= ‘live’)
13 ARCED; CEDAR with the letters cycled – a nice idea, which I didn’t understand while solving, but is ‘recycling’ quite the right word? If you ‘recycle’ e.g. a radio frequency, it usually means you end up back where you started.
16 ABSTRACT (= steal = appropriate) + PAINTER (= rope = line) – this took me ages, partly because I thought the definition was ‘line’ and the rest of the clue was some cryptic reference (I’d written in ‘railway’ for the second word at one stage), and partly because I didn’t really know anything about Jackson Pollock, other than that he was the inspiration for John Squire’s famous Stone Roses record sleeves, and the classic track ‘Made of Stone’ (available here).
19 STREETCAR; (CRETE)* in STAR – a reference to the play by Tennessee Williams.
21 PAD (= ‘thief’, from ‘footpad’) + RE
22 ST + KIT + TS (= rev. of ST)
23 ARSENIC; (IN SCARE) – the chemical symbol for arsenic is ‘As’. This fooled me completely, I thought ‘as’ was probably part of the answer.
25 EN PRIMEUR; (MENU RIPER)* – an obvious anagram but I had to make up this phrase.
1 FANNY ADAMS – I’m not convinced about this clue (‘Sweet nothing‘). ‘Fanny Adams’ actually means ‘tinned mutton’.
2 ODD(SOCK)S – very clever definition (‘Their top drawer partners are missing‘).
3 INK IN + D
4 RING – when I saw this clue (‘Start to call‘), I almost wrote in ‘ring’ straight away, then realised that I couldn’t explain ‘start’ = ‘ring’. It turned out to be my last entry, after going through the alphabet, and I still can’t explain it.
5 ROCK(H + OPP.)ER – ‘a small crested penguin’. Not a word I knew, and I needed all the checking letters before working this out.
8 BLUE – or alternatively, ‘Leicester fan after a run of ten games without a win leaves them perilously close to the relegation zone?‘. Sob. Chelsea are not my favourite team after this disgrace (number 4) probably cost Leicester the FA Cup in 1997, but I would dearly love to see Manchester United win absolutely nothing this season.
14 DICK + CISSEL (= (SLICES)*) – another visit to the natural world, this time ‘the black-throated bunting’.
15 THREESCORE; (HERE ESCORT)* – I was convinced the definition was ‘Get excited here’. Nice clue.
17 ROENTGEN; R (= recipe = take) + (NEON GET)*
18 TV + D(IN + NE)R
19 RAKI + SH (= mum)
23 [d]AMPS – I think, but it could be [c]AMPS or [t]AMPS!

4 Responses to “Guardian 24,051 (Sat 14 Apr)/Enigmatist – Blue is the colour”

  1. says:

    Like you 4D was the last to go in and I cannot explain it. Worse, I stuck in DIAL initially and had real trouble with 11A as a result.

    1D: I had no idea Fanny Adams is tinned meat. Now that you mentioned it I looked it up to find that is indeed the first def. in Chambers – as a nautical term! Surely it is in very common usage as “Sweet Fanny Adams” often shortened or alternative to “Sweet FA” which is a euphemism for “Sweet Fuck All” i.e. nothing.

    Def. in Clue for 2D is definitely my favourite “odd socks” – “top drawer partners are missing” – brilliant.

  2. says:

    I had no idea about 4 either, but the annotated solution on the
    website says that it’s a double def of sorts, with a 0 (ring) being the first digit in telephone numbers. A bit of a groaner.

  3. says:

    Jesus, thank you for that Stilt, had been bugging me all week that I couldn’t understand that one, thought I must be missing something obvious. Huge fan of Enigmatist/Nimrod but that’s somewhat cheeky!

  4. says:

    Have only just come across this posting. I was in the RN for 15 years and was fascinated by naval slang. I quote from the Manual of Seamanship, Vol II, Appendix I. TERMS AND EXPRESSIONS USED BY SEAMEN:

    Fanny – A cylindrical mess tin holding about a gallon. The introduction of tinned meat into the Navy was not popular, and coincided approximately with the murder and dismemberment, in 1867, of a child called Fanny Adamns. The tins in which the meat was packed were then used as mess tins throughout the service.

    The use of sweet little Fanny Adams’ initials came much later.

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