Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24152/Puck – breezy

Posted by ilancaron on August 10th, 2007


Not the easiest puzzle to return to from France.

Puck and Paul must have gone to the same school of cryptic wizardry if their senses of humor are anything to go by. The theme this time is appropriately a favorite subject of schoolboys (breaking wind) and the Brit 90’s sitcom “Father Ted” which I’ve seen on transatlantic BA flights. Though I don’t think any linkage is intended – unless theme #1 was recurrent in theme #2?


1 SDON=rev(Don’s),GRASS – ref. Augustus SNODGRASS in “The Pickwick Papers”.
9 GO ON, GO ON, GO ON – first theme clue: ref. Mrs. Doyle’s catchphrase. I had to read the “Father Ted” wiki entry.
17 MEL – hidden in “soME Licks”. “On the contrary” indicates that the containment indicator “some” isn’t actually a legal indicator since it overlaps with the fodder.
19 LIPPI,ER – I assume ref. Marcello LIPPI the Italian manager who won the last World Cup.
20 SANDPIT – rubbing my eyes, but is this a baseball clue? I must admit in spite of being American, I can’t, for the life of me, remember if this is the correct term for where batters and pitchers warm up. noted below: hidden in “batterS AND PITchers”.
27 FAT,HER TE=three*,D – the only two Brit shows that occurred to me were Doctor Who or FATHER TED. The latter had a leading FAT so… We’ll excuse the very mildly indirect anagram of 3.
28 LET OFF – I wonder when Puck noticed this – it turns out that if you remove “the” from FATHER TED you get the breezy term “farted” which is LET OFF.  I wrote this up incorrectly at first — thanks for pointing out the mistake.
30 GRAHAM NORTON – he had a small part as Father Noel. Haven’t worked out the wordplay though. Noted below that it’s (or, r, to hangman)*
31 BROKE WIND – (Rob winked)*. Another way to make a breeze.


3 DOYLEY – (old, Y, Y, E)* — I didn’t see the indirect anagrammatic wordplay until I wrote this up. I’d spell it “doily” but DOYLEY is valid as well. Surprised no ref. to Mrs. Doyle though.
4 ROOK,I.E. – cryptic men on board are likely to be chessmen.
5 S,I(N,CE)RE – oddly enough the Church of England turning up in Southern Ireland. Casus belli?
6 DOWNTURNS – I saw the answer v. quickly with (won’t run)* in DS. But as I write this up, I don’t see how DS is produced by: ‘“Dips won’t run out” (from the sign outside)’. Noted below that DS is del signo (“from the sign”).  New to me as well…
7 ENDOMOR=doormen*,PH=public house – the kind of term my parents would use to describe someone fat when they didn’t want me to understand.
14 B(L)ACKLEGS – “scabs” as in people who cross picket lines. I’m going to guess that BACKLEGS is part of an animal costume, say, for a lion.
15 OPERETTAS – brilliant clue: (poetaster’s)* and ref. DOYLEY CARTES=d’Oyley Carte, the G&S performing company.
16 RIVER FLAT – my last clue: for some reason “current accommodation” had me thinking about wires.
17 MRS, BEET,ON – nice homophonic clue: she wrote a cookbook in the 19C.
18 LSD – I think this is a sort of hidden clue: it’s in “oLD Sid” but you have to be hallucinating. Noted below that it’s actually “oLd SiD”.  Thanks!
22 A,MATE,UR[n] – Chinas are MATEs in the East End.
25 ARK,LOW – that trip last October round Ireland continues to pay off.

12 Responses to “Guardian 24152/Puck – breezy”

  1. radchenko says:

    20ac: the answer is hidden in “batterS AND PITchers”. Nice indirection because even if you’re not American you start off thinking ‘diamond’ is the answer.

    Good crossword with quirky sense of humour (esp the Doyly Cartes pun) to match the theme(s) though.

  2. Shirley says:

    12 Ac Surely the Italian who painted is Fra’ Filippo Lippi (15c artist) not a footballer!!

  3. Shirley says:

    30,2 Graham Norton is an anagram of TO HANGMAN R (right) OR.

  4. steve says:

    18d: I think LSD is more likely found ‘somewhat spaced out’ in oLd SiD.
    This was the first Guardian I’ve finished in a fair while, and in comfortably my quickest ever time – no doubt helped by the relative ease of today’s puzzle, but also due in large part to the tips and explanations gleaned from this blog over the last couple of weeks, so many thanks to all involved.

    By the way, even after your explanation I can’t quite see how ‘on the contrary’ fairly indicates where to find MEL (17 ac). I obviously still have a long way to go!

  5. Darcy Sarto says:

    Sorry, but 28 Across is LET OFF not FARTED, which is (6) not (3,3). I agree about 6D though; where does the DS come from? Loved the Father Ted theme, better than all the classical music ones that you usually get. You will get the right answer, you will, you will, you will.

  6. ilancaron says:

    17A: The clue reads “Some licks from a Gibson? On the contrary” — there are two potential hidden indicators here: “Some” whose fodder should follow (i.e. “licks…”) and “from” whose fodder should also follow (“a Gibson…”). In this case, the fodder is “some licks” which means that “from” should/could be the indicator but, in the cryptic grammar, it can’t apply since it doesn’t make any sense. So… the setter gets around this by saying that we should interpret things backwards basically.

    A long explanation — surely someone can say this better than me.

  7. Darcy Sarto says:

    17a “Some licks from a Gibson? On the contrary” So you need the opposite – ” A Gibson from so(ME L)inks.” Is that easier?

  8. muck says:

    6dn: musical abbr DS= del segno, from the sign

  9. Darcy Sarto says:

    Wow! That musical abbr. is nearly as obscure as the rally driver from the day before.

  10. ilancaron says:

    Darcy: thanks for the simplification of 17A!

  11. steve says:

    Thanks for the 17ac explanations – easy once you see how. I guess they’re not called cryptic for nothing…

  12. Paul B says:

    17a is flawed for me by its having the definition in the middle of the clue. Yes, I know the setter is telling us that the ‘real’ word order is

    A Gibson from some licks

    but even so. It irks me all the more as, I think, this problem might easily have been circumvented (are farts ‘circum-vented? I s’pose they are since they come out of your … never mind) with a little more thought, whilst retaining the guitar gag.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

− 2 = seven