Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Prize Crossword 24135 / Pasquale – Phew!!

Posted by tilsit on July 27th, 2007


Solving Time:  68 minutes

Probably the toughest Guardian crossword I have encountered in a very long time. 
I made a good start with the big anagram but it just went backwards with unfamiliar words and cleverly hidden allusions within the clues. 

Some really great clues with 21 across being a real doozie.  22 across likewise was  extremely clever.

Many thanks to Pasquale for a ferocious battle that brought about a major sigh of relief when I wrote in my last entry.
ACROSS   * = Anagram   (CD) = Cryptic Definition   (R) = Reversal

1 see 6 down
4 SPADIX  SPA + DIX (How they would say “ten” in the L. Gardens!)
9 ONER  This really derailed me.  I entered ICON as being a hidden answer.  Eventually, after convincing myself as to the right actress at 2 and the word at 1 down, I twigged this relates to “The Three R’s” – some one just good at Maths would be a ONE R!  Bit too clever that clue!
10 PLASTIC ART I presume the definition is “What may involve modelling ceramics”
   and the wordplay is “tar?”  ie  plastic (fake) ART.  I am happy to be corrected if I have misjudged this.
11 PLAY UP  LAY (to station) inside PUP
13 CASTOR OIL NANCY  =  Astor inside COIL (To wind)
15 ARMS  A Root Mean Square (RMS)
16 BRIG  Two definitions 
21 BOOKSHOP The She in this context is Rider Haggard’s novel called “She”!  Outrageous but great fun!
22 SHLOCK  SHYLOCK (Unfair dealer) minus Y
25 WHIT  Two definitions
26 TISANE  TIS = It’s + A + N + E (Drug)
1 MANILLA  ILL inside MANA (Maori form of power)
2 TERRY   Another clever clue TERRIFY minus IF (Kipling’s lines) 
3 ON PAPER Two defs
6,23, 1AC  DUCKWORTH LEWIS METHOD THE LORD’S WICKET MUD HOW*  Nice appropriate anagram!
14 TRISKELES RISK inside STEEL*  Another new word on me
16 BLOWOUT  LOW (Mean) + O (Egg) inside BUT (Bar)
18 CASTLED  CAST + LED  A ‘special move’ in chess
19 AUCTION  This looks like a cryptic def relating to bidding (Auction) in bridge.  Thanks to BeerMagnet: Caution (Take care) with C (Clubs) shifted down a little.


9 Responses to “Guardian Prize Crossword 24135 / Pasquale – Phew!!”

  1. beermagnet says:

    For 19D Take care putting clubs down in bridge (7)
    AUCTION is CAUTION (take care) with the C (clubs) shuffled down a bit.

  2. tilsit says:

    Thanks! Much better than my feeble explanation!

  3. beermagnet says:

    I should not take credit for that AUCTION explanation – I was befuddled – it was a friend who told me.

  4. roland says:

    Thanks for explaining “ONER” which I went for with a heavy heart, having realised ICON was wrong!

  5. caesar says:

    It’s the first time in years i haven’t finished the Saturday puzzle. Must be the hardest ever. So many answers are obscure! I got about two thirds through, then came to this site for relief.
    I wonder if there will be many entrants? (I never enter – have too many dictionaries already.

  6. Fletch says:

    Thought 1d was particularly tricky – obscure word for part of the def then obscure meaning for the answer.

  7. stilt says:

    Quite a relief to find other people thought this difficult too; I gave up about halfway through, which is the worst I’ve done in ages. Things weren’t made easier by my falling into XEROTIC for 7D (despite it being the wrong bit of speech for the definition). No complaints though–everything seems entirely fair.

  8. mohair_xw says:

    As a sports ignoramus I’d never heard of Duckworth or Lewis, let alone their method, so I am pleased with guessing this fine anagram and finishing in a reasonable time despite a slow top left corner.

    Many very good clues, so thanks to Pasquale.

    I thought 8D was as vague as it was funny, and 10A was feeble, while at 21A ‘She’ is also a monthly glossy for women, so I had MAGAZINE pencilled in until I spotted PHOTON much later than I should have done.


  9. Comfy Settee says:

    Very tough puzzle – got all bar the last half dozen, and then ground to a halt. Fell into the ICON trap, then realised it was wrong but couldn’t get the right one. Eh well, hope todays Auracaria (sic) is a little more tractable…

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