Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24095/Gordius

Posted by linxit on June 6th, 2007


I was too busy at work yesterday to finish the puzzle, so I completed it when I got home, only to find that my ADSL connection was down. It didn’t come back up until gone midnight, so here I am back at work hoping for a quieter morning to get this done quickly!

Solving time – 10 minutes in odd snatches at work, plus maybe another 10 at home to finish it. There was some dodgy wordplay interspersed with some excellent clues. Gordius is obviously no fan of Jeffrey Archer or the Bushes!

1 TRACTION (into art c)* – nice misleading surface.
5 A,B(US)ED – “us” or “we” for “Guardian” is used quite often by most of the Guardian setters, as is “setter” for I (although not always – see 21ac).
9 RECLINER – “wreck liner”
10 SC,RAWL – SC is short for “scilicet”, Latin for “namely”, or “to wit” as it’s used in 7dn. I don’t think “informal writing” is a good definition though.
14 BALL,O’TRIGGER – I didn’t understand the wordplay at first, but looked up The Rivals by Sheridan and was pleased to see that one of the characters is Sir Lucius O’Trigger. Jeb Bush (Dubya’s brother) was governor of Florida at the time of the disputed presidential election result there.
18 HANDEL’S LARGO (Len’s goal hard)* – took a long time to decipher, even though I was looking for the name of a piece of music from the start.
21 NEW STREET – answer is wordplay for “setter”, Brummie is a Guardian setter, and New Street is a Birmingham railway station. I thought this was a brilliant clue.
24 A,TAXI,A – last one I put in, along with 22dn. Only vehicle I could think of at first to fit ?A?? was CART, then I was looking for ?A?A because of a mistake. Duh!
26 SOLD(i)ER – slowed down by putting TRASH in for 22dn at first, which clogged up the whole SW corner till the end.
27 TSIGANES (Sign Teas)*
1 THRACE (the car)* – I thought this was a bit unsatisfactory. It’s sort of supposed to be an anag. &lit clue, but doesn’t work for me.
2 ARCHER – refers to Jeffrey Archer, who was jailed for perjury in 2001, but surely it’s a crossbowman who’d shoot his bolt, not an archer?
3 TAILPLANE – “tale plain” – another one I didn’t like: the wordplay indicates “plain tale”.
4 OPERA GLASSES – why “Stargazers?” – I don’t get it.
6 BACON – nice triple definition. The philosopher is Roger Bacon.
8 DIL(=lid rev),A,TORY
15 IN,GROWING – nice double CD
17 SNOWBALL – not Tony, but Eric. Snowball is one of the pigs in Animal Farm.
19 GIDE,ON – André Gide, Gideon in the Bible.

5 Responses to “Guardian 24095/Gordius”

  1. says:

    4D: presumably because what you’re gazing at through them are the singing stars on stage?

  2. says:

    4D: I was hoping there’d be more to it than that though, and I was missing something a bit more subtle.

  3. says:

    well, perhaps the subtlety is because opera glasses are generically used at any kind of performance — thus generic ‘stars’ (and of course the misleading astronomic connotation).

  4. says:

    Having tried the evening standard’s cryptic for a while I decided to try and play with the bigger boys. Thanks for this site guys as it saves me alot of pain while I figure things out.

  5. says:

    I’m not normally a big fan of Gordius – who steps outside the realm of my ideas on solvability on occasion! – but I really like the NEW STREET clue. Great stuff.

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