Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,103, Pasquale: Final answer?

Posted by michod on June 14th, 2007


A good, not too difficult puzzle from Pasquale, with two long double-entry clues of 24 letters each making up the perimeter. Both were very clever anag + lits, but such clues present an immediate dilemma. Do you sit and try to work out the long anagrams cold, leaving the rest of the puzzle half-solved, or do you, as I did, wait for the checking letters to give the game away, like in a game of hangman. The trouble with that is that the anagram becomes almost incidental, you just decide it looks about right and admire the setter’s ingenuity. Took just over 10 mins.


1, 7dn. WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE. Anag everything except ‘unfairly’.

 8. MALAISE. A in EMAILS*. No spam here, but a nice use of ‘junk emails’.

9. BUM(P OF)F. FOP< in BUMF. Someone remind me why misleading upper case (Dandy) is deemed acceptable, but not misleading lower case?


19. RIF(f)LE. Pleasing use of ‘half-hearted’ with good misleading surface.

21. IN(MAT)ES. Or clients, as we should probably call them these days.

24. ENA M(O)UR(der). Girls name much beloved of setters, if not of parents.

25. (G)RUMBLER. Interestingly, quite a few complaining words start GR (grouse, gripe etc).


1. WELLS ET. Film is often ET, but cathedral perhaps more often Ely than Wells.

2. O(RINO)CO. A tributary of the Amazon (I think), not just a womble.

3. A WEST RUCK. Ref Mae (‘is that a gun in your pocket…?’) West.

4. TAB OO. Interesting one. BAT< is the rising cricketer. But is ‘pair’ a recognised term for two ducks in one match, or is the reference to be taken from the definition, as the batsman wouldn’t want such a record mentioned?

5. TEMPE RA.  Ref ancient Greek valley of beauty.

6. B(LOU(i)S)ON. Emerging, here, means disappearing.

10, 26 ac. FREDDIE STARR ATE MY HAMSTER. Ref. famous Sun headline of the 70s, which became a template for such outrageous and fictitious stories. Anag everything except’misled’.

15. PEN TAG RAM. ‘Mark’ for ‘tag’ – as in graffitti – and ‘stars’ for ‘ram’ (astrology) both less than obvious, but the word itself is clearly defined.


22. SA RAH. ‘SA’ for ‘sex appeal’ lives on in Crosswordland long after being consigned to oblivion by the living language.

8 Responses to “Guardian 24,103, Pasquale: Final answer?”

  1. says:

    16A: I think the wordplay is NEB,RA(SKA)N i.e. rev(ben=man)+SKA in RAN=”managed” — no anagramming required.

  2. says:

    2D The Orinoco would be upset to be called a mere tributary! It is the second longest river in South America and flows mainly through Venezuela.

  3. says:

    21A I didn’t like “dull” meaning MAT, surely it is MATT that means dull.

    19A Similarly, RIFLE doesn’t precisely mean “rob”. You can surreptitiously rifle through stuff without stealing it.

    Ilancaron’s comment 1 above reveals a difference between the clue for 16A in the paper and the website:
    Paper: American and Jamaican music amidst banner waving (9)
    Online: Man spinning round managed to capture the music from Omaha, maybe(9)
    It seems to me both clues are equally valid. Presumably one is a later edit. It might be interesting to know which came first, and why the change.

    I found this surprisingly not so hard for a Thursday (as were the so-called “hard” sudoku & kakuro – maybe mention of these is 4D here) – a 1 pint crossword (I was reduced to the S & K to see off the 2nd pint).

  4. says:

    16A: Should have suspected something like that — michod wouldn’t misparse wordplay so egregiously!

    As for mat: it’s a valid spelling of matt or matte: see:

  5. says:

    For 25 I got WHINGER and it then took me a long time to realise I’d made a mistake. Could WHINGER have been a valid answer?

  6. says:

    Some fine clues and a very enjoyable puzzle!

  7. says:

    Michod – re 4D: yes a “pair” is standard cricketing terminology for two ducks…. I know, I’ve had many…

  8. says:

    I suddenly felt very old, when I read “FREDDIE STARR ATE MY HAMSTER” was from the ’70s, because I remember it so clearly.

    Thank goodness, it was actually 1986!


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