Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24068/Pasquale – a la recherche

Posted by ilancaron on May 4th, 2007


Solving time: 35’

More than one instance in which clear wordplay led to a new word (THALLI, SINICISM, CHOTA, OGIVES, ADENITIS) or a familiar word had me reverse engineering the wordplay (DIE HAPPY). In any event, I used research references more than I would have liked to – seemed like a fairly hard puzzle. The long anagram at 14A was my initial strategy for a way in, as the wordplay was obvious – but,  since it was French (only realized later), I had to wait until I had some of the crossing letters.


1 MALA(GAS)Y – It’s spoken in Madagascar and is a Malayo-Polynesian language that borrows from Bantu, Swahili, Arabic, French and English.
3 QUIVER – I think this is just a (cryptic!) cryptic def for the “case” containing arrows that can fly. But I suspect I’m missing something to do with the second part: ”In that case, flights won’t be covered”. Offers? Michod notes  that flight is a kind of arrow, which I missed — the cryptic def makes sense now!
9 DI(EH,A)PPY – Only got the wordplay after seeing the answer: rev(a he= a male) in DIPPY. By the way, I’d DIE HAPPY if I won any points in today’s RTC (clocked in at 2:29—my best time I think).
10 O(GIVE)S – Mathematical curves is the def and our map makers are OS for the Brit Ordinance Survey (again, wordplay ex post facto).
12 S(P)EED – need to lift and separate “soft drug” since SPEED itself is hardly soft!
14, 18 A LA RECHERCHE DU TEMPS PERDU – Proust’s masterpiece never completely read by me, in either French or English, and many others: (Plutarch redeemed – purchase)*.
23 C,HOT,A – neither C for “colt” nor A for “Academy” were obvious abbreviations to me: CHOTA is Hindi for “junior. Slightly strained surface as well.
24 T(HALL)I – with T?A?L? I guessed at the answer given the wordplay to be rewarded with THALLI which are indeed “botanical bits”.
25 SINICISM=”cynicism” – tough clue that I only got once I had ?I?I?I?M and guessed at the “sino” part and then looked it up. The homophone is accurate but defining “cynicism” as surliness is a bit loose. But maybe I’m being naïve.
26 SASH,AY – AY is a useful archaism for “always”.
27 FL(EET)ING – Saw the answer (def is “transient”) well before I understood the wordplay: rev(tee=peg) in FLING. Recall it’s OK (according to Xim) to capitalize a word that wouldn’t normally be (but not the converse).


2 LIEDER=”leader” – German songs and it’s nice that the homophonic indicator is apposite.
3 GRAND SLA,M – (garland’s)*. GRAND SLAM as in getting all the tricks in Bridge (“clean sweep”).
4 SUPERGRASSES – kind of a double cryptic def: i.e. both defs are cryptic: ”What may be spoilt by daisies and big rats?”
6 URGE,S – take the first letter of SURGE (“well up”) and move it to the end.
7 VI,V,A, VOCE – I had to look up Bill VOCE who was a fast bowler but the rest of the wordplay left no doubt as to the answer: VIVA VOCE as a kind of oral test. The use of “six” (VI) and “test” and “fast bowler” were cricketly consistent of course…
11 G(LOCK)EN,SPIEL – GEN for “information” comes from intelliGENce.
16 ADEN,IT,IS – haven’t checked but must be “inflammation” of the adenoids. I kind of liked “positive answer to question!” indicating IT IS (honest!).
19 SOL,IDI – I read Robert Harris’s “Imperium” recently so recognized SOLIDI as Roman “coins”. SOL’s our sun and IDI Amin’s our “wicked ruler”.
20 LAD-MAG – (mad gal)*: &lit for say Playboy etc.
22 YAL=rev(lay=put),TA – cropped up in today’s Times2 RTC as it happens as well as “1945 conference site”.

3 Responses to “Guardian 24068/Pasquale – a la recherche”

  1. says:

    I agree, the generous sprinkling of dictionary words made this a tough solve – think of it as a warm-up for the weekend’s exertions. I guessed at SINICISM, but discounted it at first, thinking the I in sin- would be long, as in SINOLOGY… but Pasquale is right, of course.
    Re 3 across, I read it as referring to a quiver being normally open at the top for easy access, so the flights of the arrows are uncovered.
    The first definition of ‘supergrasses’ seems a little strained… I suppose one’s lawn might be spoilt by daisies (though I think they look quite nice on mine) but is a super lawn any more susceptible than a common or garden lawn?
    Good stuff though.

  2. says:

    Michod – I think ‘super’ here would mean ‘perfect’, ‘good-looking’, ‘spiffing’ (if you will), rather than an amped-up lawn of some kind. Then it works.

  3. jojoe says:

    Big = Super
    Rats(verb) = Grasses
    I don’t get “What may be destroyed by daisies” bit. A perfect lawn is destroyed by daisies, perhaps?

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