Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24, 164/Brendan – Questionable?

Posted by loonapick on August 24th, 2007


This was quite tough, and I had to give up after I’d done about 75% of it.  When I got home from work, I attaked the NW corner, and eventually finished after more than 45 minutes’ effort.  Some of the delay relates to trying to find the significance of the “1 across” in 16 ac.  Generally, the puzzle was fair, but I’d like a bit of explanation for 16 across if anyone else can provide it.


9 OCTAHEDRA – (teach a rod)* – eight-faced solids, with “originally” as the anagrind

10 HO-HUM – as uttered by someone resigned to something

11 RIG-IDLY – liked this, took me ages to think of “supply” as “in a supple way”


13 ORACH hidden in “fOR A CHange” – ORACH is a desert plant


16 LEADING QUESTION – answers to 3, 6, 7 and 19 begin with questions, and so does 21 dn, the “1 across” in the clue defeats me, tho’


21 H-ORATIO(n)

25 DOUBLE-YOU – don’t know if this is a dictionary word?

2 (<=AT AM. GITS)

3 WHY-(<=HAD) – a WHYDAH is an African weaver-bird



14 LA GIOCONDA – (cold again)* about O – the mysterious “Mona Lisa”

15 SANATORIUM – (a nostrum I)* around A – I don’t think “sickroom” is a very good synonym for SANATORIUM

17 INERT GAS – “He” equals “helium”

18 IN EMBRYO – IN + (my robe)*

20 E-U(RE)K-A

21 W-HOLLY as in Buddy Holly

23 C(O)UP

13 Responses to “Guardian 24, 164/Brendan – Questionable?”

  1. Comfy Settee says:

    The “leading question” in a xword is, er, 1 across…. i.e. the one you come to first.

  2. loonapick says:

    Comfy Settee

    OK, I see what the compiler may be getting at, but there was no 1 across in this puzzle, for example!

  3. muck says:

    If there were a 1 across, it would be the leading question!

  4. muck says:

    A friend has pointed that 21dn (WHOLLY) could have been included in the clue to 16ac. 21ac begins WH- too.

  5. loonapick says:


    Did you actually read my blog? I already pointed out the 21dn instance. I am still unconvinced by the 1 across/leading question thing. We don’t answer “questions” in crosswords, we answer “clues”.

  6. Stan says:

    16a looks fair to me – 1 across is generically the first clue in a crossword. Or maybe the curse of Guardian typography has struck again, and the 1 should have been a 9.

    Either way, it’s an inexactitude not worth convening a 1 down over. It’s not like he’d 23 across’ed you in the 6.

  7. muck says:

    Thanks for a good blog, Loonapick, which I did read. I was only pointing out that 21dn, WHOLLY, began with a question, but Brendan didn’t include 21dn in the clue to 16ac. When you say that you ‘already pointed out the 21dn instance’ you only pointed out the W- not the WHO- at the beginning.

    Re: “questions” not being quite the same as “clues” you probably have some others in agreement.

  8. loonapick says:


    I pointed out in my comment for 16dn that 21dn begins with a LEADING QUESTION, not a W, that would have appeared against 25ac.

    I am still unconvinced that “double-you” is a dictionary word, and I still contend that 1 across is not necessarily the first clue in a crossword, never mind the first QUESTION.

    Still, doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things – it was generally not a bad puzzle.

  9. loonapick says:

    Correction to last post – 16dn should read 16ac.

  10. Fletch says:

    Double-you is given in Chambers as the 23rd letter of the alphabet.

    I don’t get the 1 across thing either.

  11. Paul B says:

    It doesn’t matter whether or not 1ac is the first clue in any PARTICULAR xwd, lads! We have here a GENERAL indication of what tends to come first.

    1acs aren’t ‘leading questions’ in anything other than the cryptic sense deployed here by Brendan, and it seemed an okay idea to me.

  12. Fletch says:

    I remain unconvinced.

    But as Loonapick said, it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme and it was generally an okayish puzzle.

  13. petebiddlecombe says:

    15D: A sanatorium is a room in a boarding school where sick pupils are treated, as well as an institution with its own building(s).

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