Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24155 Brendan

Posted by neildubya on August 14th, 2007


This didn’t take me very long, and was short on elation in the solving.

9 C EASE F IRE C for constant, ire is anger, ease is to moderate and f for fellow.
10 TANG O Number meaning a tune here, gnat is a fly set backwards against the last letter of Rio
11 OSCAR I didn’t like this clue much. You must have been in a cast to get one, but it is not awarded by a cast. Would it have been better as “Small statue one might get being cast”?
13 AMPHOR A Camphor is sold as moth repellent. First taken off refers to the c, and then add ‘a’. Amphora are containers for liquids mainly used by the Greeks and Romans.
19 LID is slang for a hat. Not the most exciting clue.
20 P LEAD, P for piano, the musical term for quietly, lead being what the opening player does in Bridge.
22 QUARREL is a scrap, or fight, and also the short arrow, or bolt, used in a crossbow.
24 XY LOP HONE X and Y are mathematical symbols for unknown quantities.
26 HO TEL – tel is let (rented) turned.
29 GREEN ROOM is the hospitality room for performers or guests while they are not needed on stage or on camera in a TV studio.

1 ECHO – some of thE CHOir.
3 NE’ER DO WELL anagram of lender about owe L (for pound).
4 S I ERR A SA for South America, with I err inserted. A sierra is a rugged mountain range.
5 DE VAL U ED Val is the girl, and u sounds like you. The act is the ‘deed’ wrapped round.
7 ANTE LOPE Etna is the mount up, ie reversed. Lope is to run.
13 ATTIC, flight meaning stairs here.
15 IM PEACHING To peach is to betray. Impeachment is to be prosecuted.
16 ME D AL The Latin quingenti, or 500, is ‘D’. A gong is slang for a medal.
18 SCALLOP S is a tailless Pollack upside down in a ship. Interestingly enough the same ship could be full of Callop, which is the Golden Perch, right way up.
19 LIE DOG GO the dog or cur is trapped between a deception, lie, and a try, or go.
22 QUE B E C As the answer started with a ‘Q’ and with a reference to French Canada, the outcome didn’t seem in much doubt. BC is British Columbia. Que is French for ‘that’.
23 RATIO N a ration is a helping.
24 X RAY Not a lot of choice when it comes to answers starting with X.
25 PEAK –A homophone to pique, or stimulate, and to peek, for a quick look.

7 Responses to “Guardian 24155 Brendan”

  1. eimi says:

    Always interested to see what Virgilius gets up to in other guises. As a Mike born in November, I spotted this theme quickly.

  2. conradcork says:

    Roger that, Eimi.

  3. Michod says:

    I solved all the clues and then thought ‘hang on, this is Brendan, where’s the theme?’. Then I looked back and spotted Alpha, Charlie, Echo etc. It would be a tall order to get all 26 in, but 12 is pretty good going.

  4. Barbara says:

    Thanks for pointing out the theme. I wasn’t looking for one, and hadn’t notice it. Do all Brendan’s puzzles have a theme? Barbara

  5. neildubya says:

    A Brendan puzzle will have a theme or some kind of grid trickery more often than not, as will Virgilius puzzles in the Independent (they’re the same setter). To get a flavour of this, you could try searching for Virgilius and/or Brendan using the Search box (just under the calendar) to find previous posts on his puzzles. That will give you an idea of range of themes and tricks that this fantastic setter uses. You’ll have gathered that I’m a fan of his.

  6. Paul says:

    I always look forward to Brendan’s (roughly) monthly puzzle as I like trying to spot the theme or grid-filling gimmick as early on as possible. It took me a bit of time to spot it today, but then made a fair few remaining entries rather easy.

    Regarding OSCAR at 11 across, I had the same thought as the original poster here at first, but then I reread the clue and realised that it was supposed to be read as saying that the ‘one’ was from a cast – in other words, were it not for the intended surface misdirection, the sentence would be “Small statue one from cast might get”.

    Of course by re-ordering this the logical reading of it is that it is the getting, not the one, which is from the cast. Depending on your level of comfort with reordering sentences I suppose this clue may or may not be acceptable; either way I must admit that I don’t think it’s one of Brendan’s better clues!


  7. radchenko says:

    First crossword I complete for weeks without resort to the the inter-webby thang, then I find I have missed the theme completely. Even though I am accustomed to suspecting a theme in Brendan’s puzzles. Some people are just oblivious to the bleedin’ obvious…

    However, I’m also pleased to see that others had problems with 11ac. I guessed OSCAR but could not see why. I also guessed 22dn, which was kind of obvious as soon as you had the Q from 22ac but I could not see why. Thanks for the explanation; however it is a pity it is such an easy guess because the clue is nicely constructed.

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