Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24205/Gordius – evasive setter

Posted by ilancaron on October 11th, 2007


Not for the first time a couple of clues for which I don’t understand the wordplay: e.g 26A, 4A, and a few others in which I can imagine what the answer must be. And an original clue for the familiar cryptic phrase MIDDLE OF THE ROAD in 24A.


1. GAD,GET – GAD is one of the twelve tribes of Israel.
4. DIVES,T – must be right given the definition “strip”: are DIVES where you look for strippers? with T as our model?
9. DANCE OF THE HOURS – cryptic def, ref: opera of same name
10. NAP=rev(pan),OLI=oil* – must be a wreck called NAPOLI? OK, just saw in wikipedia that this is v. recent news (“deliberately broken up after she ran into difficulty in the Channel on 18 Jan 2007”)
12. TART,RATE – it’s a salt – but I don’t see how TART is baggage?
15. BEAUNE=”bone” – as in bone dry. It’s a kind of Burgundy.
21. BARN([dick]Y)ARD – ref. Dr. Christian BARNARD who performed the first heart transplant in 1967.
24. MIDDLE OF THE ROAD – fresh clue for a familiar answer. To be honest though, not sure why C of E is controversial at the moment but I suspect there’s something Brit topical that’s relevant here?
26. BENETS=”Bennets” – ref. Austen’s family in “Pride and Prejudice” — not sure to what the exorcists refers though??


2. DECK,O – another guess… is DECKO slang for “look”, say, down under??.
3. EROTICA – (creatio[n])*
6. ELOPEMENT – two meanings I think: the first “bolt” makes sense… is there an ELOPEMENT in metalwork?
8. S(TRIP)E – Kent is in SE England and you get another stripe in the army after promotion.
13. TOUR(NEDO)S – done* in TOURS. It’s a kind of steak I guess.
16. EVAS=rev(save),I’VE – first of several setter clues, this one self-referential. Rather cynical def of politicians I’d say.
17. ETAG=rev(gate),ERE – a crossword word meaning furniture” stand”.
18. M(ODIF=rev(fido))Y – another self-referential setter clue: maybe Gordius’s dog really is Fido. Since setter is also a kind of dog, a rather nice clue.
19. ARACHNE – (can hear)*. oh, another setter clue. This time referring to his colleague, ARACHNE, on the Guardian team.
20. MAENADS – (sane, mad)*. Mythical maids.
23. SERGE – it’s Koussevitzky’s, the conductor, first name.

10 Responses to “Guardian 24205/Gordius – evasive setter”

  1. AlanR says:

    12 ac: My dictionary has baggage meaning ‘good-for-nothing woman, saucy girl’, hence tart.

  2. Fletch says:

    6. In metal, work = op in element.

  3. AlanR says: says that benet means exorcist – anyone seen it in a ‘normal’ dictionary?

    2 down – see – UK (& no doubt aussie) slang, from hindi, as in ‘take a dekko at that’. I guess decko is just as good a spelling.

  4. Fletch says:

    26: Ilan, Chambers gives benet, an exorcist, the third of the four lesser orders in the Roman Catholic Church – so there you go!

  5. Fletch says:

    Crossed Alan – does Chambers count as a ‘normal’ dictionary?(!)

  6. ilancaron says:

    thanks for all the clarifications (shouldn’t have missed EL(OP)EMENT but…). As for the rest, just moved to NYC and I’m Chamberless (you know what I mean, I do have an apartment). Looks like it’s time to ship it over here.

  7. muck says:

    2dn: DECKO is Yorkshire slang for a quick look. It isn’t in Chambers and I don’t know its etymology

  8. muck says:

    Sorry, my 1998 Chambers does have “dekko, decko (slang) a look” from [Hind. dekho, imp. of dekhna, to see]

  9. Shirley says:

    9a Sorry to be really picky but Dance of the Hours is not an opera. It’s a ballet within an opera and is best known for Alan Sherman’s use of its tune in “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh”

  10. Gordon Roy says:

    I know this is old, but I understand that you get the mail from me anyhow anyhow. I’m slowly finishing off a load of old Guardian crosswords from years ago.

    4A is a sort of double definition.

    The definition is To Strip and that leads to Divest, which means To Strip.

    The rest is mainly as you have it. It does require using each word ‘strip’ and ‘model’ twice though in different ways to get he answer. I don’t like that.

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