Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,206 – Brendan/Ambiguity

Posted by loonapick on October 12th, 2007


A clever themed crossword which shows the ambiguity of the English language.

Most of the across clues and some of the down clues lead to words which have two conflicting definitions. 

Time taken: about 7 mins.


1 BOLTED – first clue, first ambiguous word


10 PHOTOGENIC – (got one chip)*


12 B-LESSING – Doris Lessing, Persian-born British writer who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature earlier this week.


15 AGED – hidden in “trAGEDian”

17 SENSITIVE – (<=IT IS) in (seven)*







1 BRESCIA – Br.+(case I)* – a city in Italy

2 LIT(eratu)RE




14 INSTANCES – (incessant)*


18 STRUDEL – “removed from” “feaST RUDELy”


20 DIV(I’D)E

12 Responses to “Guardian 24,206 – Brendan/Ambiguity”

  1. Chris says:

    Terrific stuff, I thought. I love Brendan’s themed crosswords. In an ideal world, Brendan, Paul and Orlando would do two Guardian crosswords each per week.

    I assume it was just happy coincidence that Doris Lessing made an appearance just after being awarded the Nobel Prize – or did Brendan have some insider knowledge?

  2. bracoman says:

    Could Brendan/Virgilius be nominated for a Nobel Prize for crosswords?

  3. muck says:

    8dn: Double Meaning, defined by ambiguous, makes a good theme. But could someone explain “It could be folded once, or twice”??

  4. Geoff says:

    8dn: Took me ages to understand the cryptic for this. You have to read the clue ‘It could be’ (ie it could mean), ‘folded once’ or ‘twice’ (both of which mean ‘double’). Very clever.

  5. Shirley says:

    Can anyone let us know what 9A is please?

  6. Geoff says:

    9ac: LEFT

  7. Guardianista says:

    I think 9A is Left as it’s a double def, Shirley, but I could be wrong.

  8. Guardianista says:

    oops! Geoff beat me to it!

  9. Shirley says:

    Thanks a lot

  10. Geoff says:

    Further thought on the clue for 8dn. Brendan could have left off ‘- it’s ambiguous’ and just given: ‘It could be folded once, or twice’. That clues a double meaning of the word ‘double’ and makes it a even trickier &lit.

  11. Paul & Lin says:

    What about 16A? Is it BEST or BASE? And why?

    Paul & Lin

  12. AlanR says:

    16A: I wondered which it was – it’s BEST, because to worst someone means the same as to best them.

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