Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24127/Rover – holi shaman!

Posted by ilancaron on July 12th, 2007


Spent longer than usual since there were quite a few clues for which I understood either the wordplay or the definition but not both. One or two is par for the course – more than that and the solving experience becomes frustrating… and a bit humiliating. Nonetheless some nice touches here: 12A, 13A. A couple of cases in which hidden clues weren’t very well – e.g. 25A, 11A.


5 SHA=has*,MAN – took me longer than it should since by now I should realize that “bishop, perhaps” is likely to be a chess reference.
6 PATER,A – my children call me PATER when I’m in trouble with them. PATERA is a new word for me, being a Roman dish.
10 UNA,WARES – our girl’s UNA today – and I guess WARE as in “line” of business?
11 HOLI – my last clue: kind of hidden in HOLIdays. I don’t like it when the answer is a prefix. Anyway, now I know it’s an Indian spring festival.
12 MOTION,LESS – I liked this a lot: ref. Andrew MOTION the poet.
13 THEOLOGIANS – anthologies* — good clue with a surprisingly apposite anagram.
18 BOTTLE,NECK – hard clue for me since BOTTLE for “nerve” is a Britishism that I’m not used to (though I’ve seen it before). Not sure about NECK but I’m going to guess it has a similar slang meaning.
21 PINE – hidden in “shoP IN Edinburgh”. I had a sinking feeling when I first saw this that I was going to have trawl Chambers for some obscure Scots term.
22 ARMCHAIR – I fear I might be missing something here: just a cryptic def? “Comfortable part of the suite”
23 T(ELLE)R – Ref. ELLE the fashion mag. And TR is std abbrev for Turkey. As for the def: I suppose that a bank TELLER works at counting up your money.
24 WILLOW[y] – wordplay is “almost lissome” and I think that sally is related to the Latin salix for WILLOW (but I had to wiki for this).
25 ALLOYS – another lazily hidden answer in: “ALL OYSters”


1 SANDWICH – not sure how this works: “Place for two different kinds of course” but why not speculate? Perhaps it’s a double def &lit: because a SANDWICH you eat (often) has two different things in it or is constructed from two things (namely slices of bread) and it’s also a location since presumably the Earl of SANDWICH not only invented them but came from there and perhaps there’s a racecourse there as well. Who knows… Shirley knows: it’s a golf course as well.
2 RANSOM – again not sure if this isn’t just a cryptic def: “Money paid to a king’s retainers” – since his retainers would need to pay a king’s RANSOM presumably to get him back?
7 AVERSE – (as ever)*. Good sensible clue.
8 AUCTIONEERS – I haven’t been doing cryptics long enough to call anything a chestnut but this cryptic definition must qualify…
14 OPERA,TOR – again what must not be a cryptic def but I think “Norma Hill” must be a Britishism (in the US, it would be the character Lily Tomlin played on ‘Laugh-In’ if that means anything to anyone here). Shirley also knows that there’s a Bellini OPERA called ‘Norma’ and TOR is hill.
15 NAPOLEON – if I was Emperor I’d have a coin named after me as well (the Caron Crown works rather well…).
16 BORROW – two meanings: I had to wiki to learn that George BORROW wrote ‘Lavengro’.
17 ANGELS – two meanings: ref: Charlie’s Angels the TV show and movies.
20 KETTLE – a rather unsatisfying cryptic def (am I missing something?): “It’s put on to get warm”.

10 Responses to “Guardian 24127/Rover – holi shaman!”

  1. mark says:

    what happened to solutions to no 24126 by Brummie?

  2. neildubya says:

    Mark – as if by magic, it’s just appeared.

  3. conradcork says:

    The king’s retainers are the people who are holding (retaining) him.

  4. Shirley says:

    1 Dn Sandwich is a links Golf Course in Kent where the Open is played from time to time.
    14 Dn – Norma is an opera by Bellini, and another name for a hill is a tor

  5. Mick Hodgkin says:

    Bottleneck – one of half a dozen clues I failed to get here – is rather good, and plays on two slightly different meanings of nerve. If you have bottle, you’re brave, but if you’ve got neck (often ‘brass neck’) you’re being cheeky – it’s more like “you’ve got a bloody nerve, you have!” Like chutzpah, perhaps? Or does that carry more positive connotations?

  6. mark says:

    22A and 20D – I agree with ilancaron. Furthermore I don’t put my kettle on to get me or it warm – don’t like tepid tea.

  7. radchenko says:

    Yes, but you do put the a kettle on, and in doing so it does, or you make it, get warm… But I agree, it’s nearly a good clue but doesn’t quite work.

    I didn’t much care for 25ac and especially not 11ac. For the latter, once you have the crossing letters it is sort of obvious, but the reference is so obscure. Completely unlike 21ac, which was quite clever.

    Any explanation for 3dn? I have MACARONI but it is a wild stab in the dark.

    Still after the Paston Letters and now Lovengro, it is quite an education this week…

  8. ilancaron says:

    3d: ref. Yankee Doodle dandy

  9. Stan says:

    Managed to guestimate the willow reference from Yeats’ “Sally Gardens” – left me with a nice warm smug feeling even after I gave up on finishing.

    I’m sure “to kettle” is a verb (i.e to cook in a kettle), which makes 20d a simple (but unsatisfying) double definition – “it’s put on” and “to get warm”

  10. petebiddlecombe says:

    Lavengro: older Grauniad solvers will recall a setter of this name c. 25 years ago – no idea who he or she was.

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