Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,110, Brummie: Numbers game

Posted by michod on June 22nd, 2007


My blog day falling conveniently on a day off, I settled down at 8.30 to get the crossword out of the way,but it was not to be. Several hours of partner stranded by tube chaos, daughter’s forgotten homework etc ate up the morning. So you could say this one took me three hours, but I think it was more like 20-25 minutes. Quite hard, and with some good tight clueing, the linked clues all having to do with numbers, in the contexts of sports and time.


1. AC RO BAT (tab or<). Two different bills.

5. S(CAR)A(a)B. I was looking for a less up-market model in the middle, but it’s just car – the Saab being more up-market than the Beetle in the clue.

9. MAJOR IT Y, ref 21 in the number clues. Fine, except that ‘it’ should be put out to grass.

10. R(AF)FIA. I didn’t think of ‘plastic’ as an anagrind, but adjectivally, why not?

12. MAXI MUM BREAK. Ref 147 in the number clues, being the maximum break in snooker. I can’t remember how you do it, but then it’s not something I’ve managed.


19,17. O(NE-TW)O. I tried for ages to work out how the wordplay could make this NIL-NIL, but of course that was just the casing (0-0) around WENT*.  very good.

20. L(ITTLE R)OCK. State capital of Arkansas and home town of yet another Bill.

27. A VIE MORE. Def is ‘here winter sports’.

28, 24, 23. TWENTY-FOUR-SEVEN. 20 being the top number in darts. I think of rowing crews as eights, but I guess you can have fours too.

29. NATURAL. Good misleading double definition, long enough to make you look for the wordplay. Chambers has ‘natural’ used of children to mean legitimate or illegitimate, but more usually the latter.


1. (g)AMMO(n). Not sure about the surface. Are they firing bacon guns?

3. BA(R RA)CKS. Good use of US comic writer and broadcaster with unusual name.

4. TUT SI.  A minority in Rwanda and Burundi.

6. C(RAB)BE. Bar< in CBE. Ref George Crabbe, 1754-1832.

7. REFLECTION (IT+FLORENCE*). Nice anagram. ‘Of’ is not the best link word.

8. BLACK(BOOK)S. Surface a little strained here, presumably the idea is that someone’s nicked Blind Date presenter Cilla Black’s script, putting them in her bad books.

13. AT LONG LAST. I like this one a lot. I don’t even think ‘oversized’ is necessary, you can get the idea from imagining a clown’s shoes.

14. NINE TO FIVE. At first I had  ‘five to five’, as being the time that would really ‘make your day’ as a wage-slave – i.e. nearly home time. But those aren’t odds, they’re evens, so it must be nine-to-five, which literally makes up the traditional working day.  

16. W EIGHT. 8 being the product of 2×4.

21. B(EIR)UT. Ire (displeasure), bottom to top, becomes eir. Surely ‘divided capital’ doesn’t apply to Beirut in the way it does Jerusalem or (formerly) Berlin?

One Response to “Guardian 24,110, Brummie: Numbers game”

  1. says:

    I particularly liked 13 down, too. It’s not often that solving a clue will make me laugh out loud on the train, but ‘at long last’ did just that.

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