Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,080 by Taupi: Tea-tastic

Posted by michod on May 18th, 2007


A pretty fiendish puzzle. Trying circumstances for me, 10 minutes on a crowded tube followed by 20 over lunch approx, but I found this one very tough going, with a lot of quite advanced tricks. Vocab reasonably familiar, although some phrases seem a little contrived, but some very clever references in definition and subsidiary indications.


1. STRANGE PARTICLE. Creating plaster*.

10. B OCHE. Oche being the ‘firing line’ in darts.

 12. (H)AVE RAGE. As in: “Oo, you’ve really annoyed me now, I have rage with you”.  (??)

13,18,24,16: PER MAN GAN ATE. The whole word must be read clockwise, but the three-letter words that make it up are all proper words read in the right order, so NAG and ETA are the actual entries. I was looking for the bits to read clockwise too, and got v confused.

14. RATCHET. CHATTER*. My one real gripe – I don’t mind the anagram fodder and anagrind being one word, but ‘boxes’? How does that work?

17. S MU(GG)LE. Run is the definition, cross=mule, GG= nag (hom).

19. SPANDAU. I imagine this may have defeated many. Luckily I used to live in Berlin, and actually knew that the river Spree (pron shpray) runs through it, though I didn’t remember that it ended in Spandau (where I once rode a dustbin lorry collecting unwanted goods from the British Army base during a previous life). I guess it runs into the Havel Lake.

22. ANSWERS. Boom boom. As long as you knew that a ‘light’ means the space for an entry in the grid, in crossword lingo.

28. ACTON. NOT CA<, with two defs – assuming an acton is a jacket, as well as a part of West London). 

29. DUO DE(CI)MO. A complete guess, but I knew it was roughly connected to 12.

30. THREE-LEGGED RACE. Now, people = race, and the first bit must refer to the Isle of Man’s symbol, three legs joined at the hip with no body. But I don’t know about the charge.



2. ROCKS. Kind of CD, but seems to lack something.

4. EXCE(R)PT. Liberties with punctuation here – R (run) ‘seeds’ EXCEPT (save), and the definition is ‘cutting.

5. A RR EARS. Clever misdirection – it’s not a homonym – ‘we hear’ gives ‘ears’.


7. COC(K-A1-G)NE. Devious in the extreme. K(in)G hogs the part of COCAINE that is A1. That’ll be the bit he didn’t cut with talc then. Ref the imaginary mediaeval land of Cockaigne.

8. EBENEEZER SCROOGE. Once sober geezer*. Kind of opposite of rehab when you think about it.

15. TEAT ASTER. Tea taster???I had to let mine go when we reduced the size of the household. But don’t worry, the coffee taster’s doubling up.

21. UNWED GE. Another word you don’t find yourself using much.

22. A(GE L ON)G. Does this mean ‘evergreen’?

23. SE(AWE)ED. E.g. wrack. That’s good, very good.

27. OUIJA. Tips of the first five words.



6 Responses to “Guardian 24,080 by Taupi: Tea-tastic”

  1. says:

    30A: might this have something to do with the sphinx’s riddle? (man is three-legged in the evening…)? This what I assumed when I solved but I don’t see how “charge” fits either.

  2. says:

    (once sober geezer)* was 28ac in Tuesday’s Indie as well!

  3. says:

    Triticale rang a familiar bell. The only time I ever heard of the word ‘triticale’ was in a Star Trek episode, “The Trouble With Tribbles.”
    The tribbles were small furry alien creatures that had gotten into a grain shipment of triticale, (they called it ‘quadrotriticale’) and by gorging themselves on the grain, started to multiply in an alarming rate.

  4. says:

    30A: In heraldry, the charge is the design on a shield. The Isle of Man’s is in three-legged form.

  5. says:

    Barbara: Unless TRITICALE was in two puzzles on the same day, I think you meant to comment on a Times for the Times blog entry (though someone else there has already given us their Trekkie wisdom).

  6. says:

    14a Check means to stop, so the word “Chatterboxes” finishes, leaving “boxes” out.

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