Never knowingly undersolved.

Everyman 3163/Tuscany and Fairbanks

Posted by ilancaron on May 20th, 2007


Solving time: 20′

Another rather fast solve for me… though spent a couple of minutes at first staring until the first clue (EVITA) succumbed. VP Spiro Agnew shows up again, proving that he’s not just anagram fodder. A few other American clues (GALVESTON, FAIRBANKS, RANCHES) but not really enough to identify a theme.


1 A, SLAP, ON THE, WRIST – def is “reprimand”, wordplay: rev(pals=friend’s) then (not he)* followed by WRIST=”joint”. Note that a “joint reprimand” could have been a kind of cryptic def for the whole thing.
9 AP(PET)ISER – PET in praise*. A “bonne bouche” is a tasty morsel.
12 GAL,VEST,ON – It’s in Texas (made famous by Glen Campbell’s eponymous song).
13 T(U,SCAN)Y – U for universal film rating (you’d think it’d be D for Disney) and SCAN in T[in]Y.
15 D,E FACTO=(to face)* – “criminal” is a nounal anagram indicator here which is a little unusual for Everyman I think.
19 BOOTLE,[mellin]G – Without checking I assume that “Melling” is also in Lancashire – certainly BOOTLE must be.
22 SHE,BA – given that there was a Queen thereof, presumably she had a kingdom.
24 A,G,NEW – see, he’s not just anagram fodder after all (Nixon’s veep).
26 THE PROMISED LAND – (Handles imported)*. Now that I’ve noticed one, I keep seeing them: nounal anagram indicators. This time it’s “product”.


1 A(S A MATTER OF FAC)T[here] – def is “in reality” (note that 15A is “actually”). Wordplay is: (a staff car to me)* in A and T where containment is indicated by “carrying”.
2 L(UP)IN – it’s a kind of plant: UP=winning in rev(nil=nothing).
6 WAS,T[her]E – rev(saw=spotted) then “there” with “her” removed, leaving TE.
7 IDENTICAL – (dialect in)* — frequently “broadcast” is a homophonic indicator, this time it’s a (verbal!) anagrind.
8 TAKEN FOR GRANT,ED – Cary GRANT was indeed born in Bristol (I actually knew this).
16 FOOLS, GOLD – not a bad antonymical bad clue since FOOLS GOOD (iron pyrite) didn’t actually make anyone rich.
18 S(AN,CT)UM – our “problem” is just a SUM in this case.
19 BI(ST)ROS – BIROS are Brit ballpoint pens (“writers”). The cryptic grammar is a bit strained here: “X brought in Y” for “X in Y”.
21 B[l]OWER – only clue I had trouble with: unsurprising since “line’s dead” is supposed to indicate that it’s absent, i.e. has been removed – in this case L from BLOWER (for “phone”).
23 E,V(IT)A – My first clue: no such state as East Virginia but that doesn’t matter in crypticland.

10 Responses to “Everyman 3163/Tuscany and Fairbanks”

  1. says:

    I think ‘criminal’ is used here adjectivally, as in ‘wicked or very wrong’. The noun (meaning ‘someone guilty of a crime or crimes’ according to Chambers 21st) wouldn’t do the trick at all, unless I’m very much mistaken.

  2. says:

    The clue is: “Actually, daughter has to face criminal” — i don’t see how criminal can be an adjective in the surface reading? (and its operand is “to face” which can only be a verb rather than a noun).

    what am I missing?

  3. says:

    Slight correction – Biro has nothing to do with being a Brit thing – its a brand name

  4. says:

    well, sort of… how about a brand name for a ballpoint pen that is used in Britain to mean a random ballpoint pen? It wouldn’t resonate among Americans. See the wikicomment at:

  5. says:

    What I think you might be missing is that surfaces are there to mislead, not (in most cases) to be taken literally! Sure, ‘criminal’ looks like a noun in this clue, but at the cryptic level I’m pretty sure the use is adjectival.


  6. says:

    … I forgot to add, amid troubles posting, that your imperative TO FACE is another deception: it’s not a part of speech at all in the cryptic reading, but fodder for the anagram.

  7. says:

    Biro pedantry: I don’t think it is a current brand name. The wiki page on ballpoints suggests that the RAF licensed an early version from Biro himself – maybe that’s how the name go into Brit colloquial.

  8. says:

    OK — I relent on the usage of criminal — in the cryptic reading it can be given an “adjectivial” role (which applies to its fodder “to face” — which, Peter, is what I meant by “operand”).

  9. says:

    “Dad, can you give me a hand with this crossword?”… the words I’ve waited so long to hear! With a little help, my 16 year old daughter completed this (amazing what avoidance of revision can drive you to). Having started out on the Everyman myself, I’m delighted it still provides a sound, amusing but accessible way in.
    When it comes to anagram indicators, I think we sometimes pay too much attention to grammar and not enough to meaning. ‘Criminal’ falls down on the latter count for me.

  10. says:

    It might be quite tough for me to resist ‘criminally insane’, however.

    Still can’t post under usual conditions -

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