Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24108/Orlando – nippy

Posted by ilancaron on June 21st, 2007


Some nice well-disguised wordplay here – especially wrt use of head and tail letters – while preserving good surfaces. Two identical nippy clues here which are well-handled.


1 DAWDLER – (Edward, L)*: clever clue since Lear was noted for his “nonsense” (poetry) which here is the anagrind.
5 DO,D,GEMS – def is “entertaining ride” (Brit bumper cars).. GEMS are “stones” but I don’t see the “bash delivery van” contribution – probably another Brit thing. Thanks to NeilW, it’s DO for “bash” and “delivery van” is vanguard of Delivery, thus D.
10 GOLDSMITH – clever clue: double def with one cryptic: ref. Oliver GOLDSMITH and someone who forges gold is one too.
11 RUB,IN,STEIN – ref. Arthur the pianist. RUB as in “ay, there’s the rub”
12 ORAL – two meanings: ref. ORAL Roberts the right-wing Christian fundamentalist.
14 INFANT,RYMAN – nicely constructed clue: “joined up” in the cryptic reading indicating exactly that. Ref. RYMAN the Brit stationery firm.
18 [fir]E,MOTIONLESS – clever clue: def is “cold”, and MOTIONLESS is “still” and “fireback” yields E.
21 TATI – hidden in “sTATIoner”. Ref. Jacques TATI.
22 CAP,P,ADO,CIA – I only got this because literally yesterday I got mail from my brother saying that he was on vacation: I quote: “…then all night train to Ankara and we had a van meet us to take us to CAPPADOCIA, where we are staying in a place carved into a cave (with wireless access).”
27 S(I)TUATE – I in statue*. “Baroque” is the anagrind which is nice since Bernini was indeed a Baroque sculptor.
28 H,O,S,TESS – ref. Hardy’s TESS of the d’Urbervilles.


1 D(E,P)ART – ref. the River DART.
2 WH(I,TB)Y – TB’s our “disease” and WHITBY must be a UK resort… didn’t check.
3 LARYNGITIS – (angrily sit)* — sadly a case of a sore throat along with the TB.
4 RIGHT – Dexter is always RIGHT I guess (we know he’s right-handed).
5 D,ALLIANCE – another smooth surface: D is “end” of “could”.
6 DASH – our first “nippy” clue: two meanings.
7 E(PIG,RAM)S – “Midwest” produces ES. Oscar Wilde was well-known for his counterintuitive puns.
8 S(T HE)LENA – THE in lanes*. Best known as Napoleon’s final exile.
13 PRESIDENTS – (desert spin)* — I can think of better epithets for Bush and his lot but great choice of anagram fodder given current events.
17 PORT,RA,IT – another smooth surface: “appears” naturally part of the surface and cryptic readings.
19 SC(Y)THE – Y (“unknown”) in chest*. X,Y and Z are the most popular (algebraic) unknowns in crypticland – as in math.
23 PINCH – our second “nippy” clue: two (different) meanings again.

10 Responses to “Guardian 24108/Orlando – nippy”

  1. says:

    As usual, quality stuff from Orlando

    2D – WHITBY is indeed a UK seaside town.

    5A – “Bash delivery van”. “Van” (vanguard) can mean the front of something so I took this to be “bash” = DO, front of “delivery” = D.

    I got stuck on 11A and 22A so thanks for explaining those.

  2. says:

    Couple of queries:

    4D Why does Dexter =right? Are we talking Ted or Colin Dexter or someone else and what is their connection to right?

    2D I got this but don’t like it at all.
    “Why one gets disease in..” is supposed to give us WH (I+TB) Y.
    But strict reading of the cryptic would force us to put the TB inside WHYI. Or are we supposed to read it as –
    Why (big pause) one gets disease (pause) inside.

    Not very elegant at all. But if I’ve missed something I’m happy to be corrected.

  3. says:

    4d: dexter literally means “right”, opposite of “sinister” which is left (heraldry). The capitalization is a red-herring — though in a recent Times (or Guardian??), Dexter was used to refer to righthandedness and, it turns out, Ted Dexter (who I was unfamiliar with).
    2D: I think it’s acceptable to parse this as “X Y inside” where X is “why” and Y is “one gets disease” i.e. I,TB. I.e. there’s no reason why this is any less valid (cryptically) than “X1 gets Y1 inside” where X1 is “why one” and Y1 is “disease”. In both cases “gets” has a cryptic meaning.

  4. says:

    Orlando is a class act, a person who knows much about all kinds of puzzles. He may still be running, which would give you an idea as to his scope.

    Liked ‘van’ used in that way. What I hadn’t twigged (bizarrely) is that it comes from Fr. avant-garde, which is their ‘advance guard’. Nimrod did something similar the other day, also nice.

    Minor pick is that Whitby will have Afrit rotating rapidly in his ballbearing-mounted casket. By which I mean, surface ambiguity fine: cryptic ambiguity, not so.

  5. says:

    I just realized I made a horrible unintended pun in: ‘X1 gets Y1 inside” where X1 is “why one” and Y1 is “disease”’.

    since X1 obviously isn’t “why one”… etc. etc.

  6. says:

    Whitby is famous as being the port where Dracula first entered England in the Bram Stoker novel. Maybe he was rotating in his casket too….

  7. says:

    I’m sorry my clue for WHITBY was not liked. I thought it was perfectly Ximenean – if you provide the appropriate punctuation:
    WHY. ONE gets DISEASE in. Seaside resort.

    And I’m surprised no-one has commented on the fact that the surface may be read as a reference to another cryptic clue: why one gets DISEASE as the answer to “SEASIDE resort”. Too subtle?

  8. says:

    I’m not in a position to comment on ‘holiday resort’ clues, but yes, I know where you’re coming from. And it’s not Butlins.

    I think my subconscious saw it, but refused to give up the goodies. A slight throbbing ensued, and very welcome it was too.

  9. says:

    I saw the seaside/disease thing but once I saw it didn’t play in the answer I ignored it — of course, I should have realized that it wasn’t accidental…

    nice puzzle — what happened to your daily coffee break cryptic?

  10. says:


    Thanks for the succinct explanation: I still feel (ever so ‘umbly) that that structure/punctuation doesn’t ‘flow’ as well as so many other clues.
    The seaside/disease thing is very clever and subtle…but as i struggle to finish the puzzles it’s a bit like an in form quickie bowling at the tail end – the best deliveries are wasted on me as I never get anywhere near them! It’s good to have a go though.
    Thanks agan.

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