Never knowingly undersolved.

Everyman 3166

Posted by neildubya on June 10th, 2007


This would have been a pretty quick solve were it not for 5D; I also hesitated for a while over 19D as I didn’t fully understand the clue.

1 AB,DUCT – “seaman” is usually going to be AB, “tar” or maybe “rating” (and a few others that I’ve forgotten)
2 W in SOON, (GIN)* – the surface reading (“Fainting quickly seizing wife having gin cocktail“) paints an amusing picture.
12 I’S in (ALERT)* – if I’ve read this one correctly, “high” is the anagrind but I’m not really sure that that works…
13 REP in ROME< – REP for “salesman” is another crossword staple.
14 M in (PETRODOLLARS)* – these people.
21 ARRAN,G(am)E
24 L,INE,R – not sure I get this one. “Long” and “river” are fair enough but “narrow mark” seems to be INE. Is this something to do with the “-ine” suffix?
25 (FREUDIANS)* – not really convinced by the surface of this one.
3 U in CASSIS – CASSIS is apparently not just a blackcurrant liqueur.
5 ALTER,(sou)P in WIDGEON – never heard of him I’m afraid, so this was the last one to go in.
7 INTER, I in A LA
16 HE-MEN in VET
18 (ERODING)* – nice clue. Good surface reading and anagrind.
19 QUARREL – I filled this in without completely understanding the clue. “Find fault with” is straightforward enough but the bit about “one of 007’s allies” was lost on me. I’ve just looked it up though and apparently QUARREL was a character in Dr No.
23 PRIOR(y)

11 Responses to “Everyman 3166”

  1. says:

    I don’t remember Quarrel in James Bond. I was thinking simply of ‘Q’, Bond’s scientist colleague.

  2. says:

    12A: I think “high” is as valid an anagrind as “drunk”, no?
    24A: I think it’s just LINE,R with LINE being a “long narrow mark”.

  3. says:

    LINER While long is a common word, l is not given as an abbreviation for it, even in Chambers, though l is given as an abbreviation for length.

  4. says:

    This has been on my mind off and on for a while – if, for example, LP is an abbreviation for “long playing”, then surely L=long is OK as an abbreviation even if it doesn’t have an entry in Chambers in its own right. Or not? If not, why not?

  5. says:

    I guess it’s convention so solvers have some reference point. In the clue-writing comps on the Times website they insist (as they presumably do also in the published puzzles – daily cryptics) that everything used is in either the Concise OED or Collins. The Listener would additionally allow Chambers, indeed it’s always cited as the primary reference. So I think particularly in Everyman (which is at the easier end of the cryptic scale) l = long would be avoided.

  6. says:

    I remember Quarrel, but that Pussfellah has to be my favourite. Mind you, there’s quite a lot of Pussy in all kinds of ways in James Bond. Like Ernst Stavro Blofeld’s cat, for example.

    As for single-letter indication, I concur with nmsindy: just because LP = long-playing, Labour Party, low pressure, or Lord or Lady Provost doesn’t necessarily mean that the Ls and Ps can be so indicated in isolation. In fact, the only one from that little lot that would stand alone is the P for ‘pressure’.

    That’s the way it is with ‘SLI’ – you have to go by the book absolutely. If you want to be creative beyond it, you’re into that weird ‘first/last/middle of whatever’ Indian territory…

  7. says:

    I look in the waistband of my trousers and see a label that reads “34L”. What does that “L” stand for I wonder?

  8. says:

    Andy (linxit): I think the reason for not using L=long (or P=playing) by virtue of LP is that it would offer the setters too much material. But I’d accept Testy’s trouser label argument as real-world justification for L=long.

  9. says:

    Real-world justification is good, but not necessarily good enough for careful editors – one reason why The Times adheres to some fairly strict regs on indication, I suppose.

    Whereas herberts like me might like to be able to expand our single-letter indicators arsenal (how ’bout S & P for salt and pepper, for example?), unfortunately we can’t simply throw in new stuff without being certain that most solvers are going to ‘get it’.

    Worth remembering perhaps that if experienced solvers such as our bloggers are challenged by an indicator, chances are that normal people – out there in the Real World along with Testy’s long trousers – are at the very least similarly disadvantaged.

  10. says:

    Testy’s point is a fair one – but it’s ultimately to dict editors that the qn would have to be addressed. Some dicts include W D L (won drew lost) as in football league tables but setters keep well away – I think because it would be familiar only to a minority of the population.

  11. says:

    Strangely enough ‘won = w’ is in Chambers, though as Korean currency (I think).

    But while solvers are well acquainted with LP (or EP) = ‘record’, would they twig as easily to ‘long = L’?

    On my trousers, I think the L stands for ‘leg’, to be honest: W30 L31.

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