Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24058/Brendan – reading between the (phone) lines

Posted by linxit on April 23rd, 2007


Solving time about 10-12 minutes altogether in 3 short sessions. I was trying to look at it while on a conference call at work, but somebody asked me a question and I didn’t know what they said. I suppose I should have hung up really – one should get one’s priorities right!

As Ilan pointed out in a comment, there’s A HIDDEN MESSAGE referred to by 15,17,20ac in the 3rd and 13th rows.

9 BAR,SAC(k) – mostly referring to the Spanish white wine. I didn’t think misleading punctuation was used in daily cryptics – they even warn you about it in the Listener!
11 CON,FI(=IF rev),DANTE – poem = If, by Rudyard Kipling, easily the most common poem in crosswordland!
12 GAD,FLY – last one I got. I initially pencilled in SLY at the end, until I got 13dn, then thought of BARFLY. Thinking BAR might be one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, I looked it up and spotted GAD.
14 SHAD,DOCK (or S,HADDOCK) – another name for a pomelo, which is similar to a grapefruit.
25 NEPALI (Alpine*) – funnily enough I noticed this apposite anagram only the other day when I wasn’t even doing a crossword.
26 TEN,DEN(C)Y – i.e. 10 Downing St = “number of political leaders”.
2 (te)ACHE(st) – kind of a reverse insertion clue. 8ac is BLACK TEA.
3 ST,ICKY – wasn’t sure about this, but the dictionary confirms it’s an adhesive note.
6 BREAK(“brake”),DOWNS
7 roMANTICally – I thought this would only be a suffix, but Chambers gives it as a word in its own right.
13 FIDDLEHEAD – bow as in the bow of a ship, not of a violin. Just crying out to be the subject of a cryptic clue!
24 AGED – Dega(s) rev.

3 Responses to “Guardian 24058/Brendan – reading between the (phone) lines”

  1. says:

    It’s worth mentioning that Brendan handily tells us where to go looking for the nina: literally READING BETWEEN THE LINES he leaves A HIDDEN MESSAGE in the 3rd row and 3rd from the bottom row.

  2. says:

    12ac: I guessed ‘barfly’ over ‘gadfly’. That’s a bit of a stinker – thanks for the explanation.

  3. says:

    Thanks Ilan, I didn’t spot that – even though the clue only works if it’s there!

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