Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,073: et tu, Gordius?

Posted by michod on May 10th, 2007


Then fall, Tony! Thrice hath the crowd asked Caesar to stay, but… That’s showbiz! Maybe Blair will follow his old mate Clinton and set a special crossword?  ( ) if you haven’t seen it).

I don’t feel betrayed by Gordius myself, but perhaps mildly let down by what feel like a few instances of loose clueing. Also quite possible I’ve missed a few tricks, there were some quite hard clues here and a couple of unfamiliar words. Some good ones too. High Barnet-Camden Town, 30 mins.


9. ENATE. (EATEN*). I didn’t know this word, but guessed it. ‘Through having … junk’ as an anagram indicator seems convoluted.

12. ESNE. An old word for a slave that I know form advanced cryps, but I don’t see the wordplay unless ENSE gives English.

18. STARTING GUN. I.e. Gun starts with G. Nice clue.

25. DISCOUR(ag/S)E. Replace AG (silver) in ‘discourage’ with S. Why? Because ‘it’ in Crosswordese = Sex Appeal = SA, and S is ‘a bit of it. I don’t like SA particularly anyway, but I think I’d draw the line at ‘a bit of it’ for S.

27. ROSTRUM. Latin for beak.


1. PS EU DO. Not bad. Bizarrely, I got to PS thinking ‘Strasbourg party’ might refer to the Parti Socialist for whom Segolene Royal just lost the election, but of course it’s ‘EU do’.

2. ORACLE (?) The clue’s not clear and my answer’s not reliable. I see an anagram of ‘clear’, but where’s the O come from? Anyone got an explanation or a better answer?


 5. D(ANNEBR)OG. The Danish national flag, I now know.

8. SUSPECTS. CD, but too much D and not enough C for me.

16. ISLANDER. Sneaky. Sounds like Cowes liver, i.e. inhanbitant of the isle of Wight. Remember ‘What’s brown and comes steaming out of Cow(e)s?’ The IoW ferry.

17. NARCOSIS. Another guess. With narcosis you aren’t with it. Doesn’t quite work for me.

19. BEWARE (ERA WEB<). Good clue.

20. (k)ITCHEN. If you can’t stand the heat…


5 Responses to “Guardian 24,073: et tu, Gordius?”

  1. says:

    2dn: ‘oracle’ is hidden in ‘fOR A CLEar’. Doesn’t quite work for me.
    1dn: why is Strasbourg, EU ? (Sorry. I’m Antipodean.)
    16dn: Hated it though I did get it.

  2. says:

    Thanks for that – I agree, ORACLE as a concealed answer is not very well contructed.
    Strasbourg is in France, but along with Brussels it’s the joint HQ of the European Union. As a result of past horse-trading, one week in four the commissioners and Euro-MPs all decamp at great expense from Brussels to Strasbourg, where they maintain parallel offices.

  3. says:

    For 12A: ESN Educationally Sub Normal = Backward

  4. says:

    There’s no need to get personal, just because I missed the wordplay!

  5. says:

    25A: No need to resort to {it = SA} here. In context, ‘it’ = silver, so ‘a bit of it’ = S. Mind you, {put off = discourage} eluded me, so DISCOURSE was just put in with crossed fingers as it fitted checkers and a possible def.

    This took 25:40 and didn’t really entertain. 18A didn’t work for me, and the rump steak clue: these days, you probably do get your rump steak from a supermarket. 5A: is “Dec” really “the beginning of winter”? Putting “beginning of winter” rather than the much more defensible “beginning of December” seems like making things difficult just for the sake of it. Also suffered some Grauniad website cock-up – 23D had “… down %u2014 that is …”

    The Bill Clinton puzzle is worth a look, especially if you’re less dense than I was about the significance of ‘Boomer’ in the theme clues. Still working on it, but hope to finish.

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