Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24209/Gordius

Posted by linxit on October 16th, 2007


Solving time – approx. 35 mins.

I managed to find some time at lunchtime to have a look at this, and was pleased to finish it without resorting to a dictionary (with three or four guesses that all turned out to be right).
No time to blog it until now though, as I didn’t get back from work till 8:30.

7 TASH(hats*),KENT – capital of Uzbekistan.
9 ENODAL – “lad one” rev. My first guess, a while before I knew what 10ac was. I was pretty confident from the wordplay though.
10 STUD(ents) – surely a class is singular (or does it break up into individuals when halved).
11 TRAM(PO)LINE – the ever-POpular Italian river makes an appearance.
12 B(EACH)Y – Beachy Head is a feature on the south coast.
15 SHAM,BA – another guess, but again the wordplay was easy. It’s an African farm or smallholding though – I couldn’t find any reference to it as a culture.
23 CHARL(A,DI)ES – how nice to see Charles and Di back together again 😉
24 (sin)CERE – righteous = “without sin”. Nice clue.
26 TIME-BOMB – for once “the setter” doesn’t refer to the setter (or the dog)!

1 FASTNESS – this one took me a long time, as I wanted it to end with ….RATE
2 CHAD – another guess. The clue is “Maybe hanging country (4).” Obviously it’s a country, but I don’t understand the rest. Other definitions in Chambers are the graffiti character Mr Chad, a fish, or the bit of paper punched out of a card or tape in ancient computers. Any ideas? [ AlanR has reminded me of the controversial “hanging chads” in Florida from the 2000 US presidential election. ]
4 BEL PAESE (please be)* – an Italian cheese, whose name literally means “beautiful country”.
6 TANNER – a bob was a shilling, a tanner was a sixpence. I’m just about old enough for this to be a straight clue for me!
13 CHAMBER,TIN – a dry red Burgundy wine. I take issue with the definition of “plonk”, which is a corruption of “vin blanc”.
18 S(urger)Y,NDROME(modern*)
21 REHANG – yet another guess, but what is this? A cryptic definition, or is there more going on here?
22 SESAME (seems a)* – tahini is a paste made of crushed sesame seeds.

3 Responses to “Guardian 24209/Gordius”

  1. AlanR says:

    2down: ‘Hanging chads’ were big news during the US election in 2000, when Bush won thanks to a few thousand votes in Florida, which used punch-card ballots. There was controversy over whether to count a vote if the hole was only partly punched out.

    Google gives shamba as a dialect of Swahili – does this count as a ‘culture’? Really need to get a Chambers to look up such things!

  2. linxit says:

    Thanks for the info on hanging chads – I’d totally forgotten about that.

    The definition for shamba I mentioned is from Chambers, and the Shorter OED agrees. It’s not even in Collins. The exact definition given is “(in E Africa) any farm, plot or smallholding for growing crops. [Swahili]”

  3. Peter Osborne says:

    Forgive the lateness of this comment: I get the crosswords off the Net in the evening, New York time, and do not work on them until the following day. I was not much worried with 15A – I simply assumed that the culture was agri. I agree with the objection in defining 13D Chambertin as plonk – wrong in both colour and price! However, my main gripe is with the CDs, which in ny opinion should have no place in a cryptic crossword – is it not the nature of a clue to give two routes to the answer? 26A time-bomb is at least witty, but I doubt that there is any way of solving it other than guessing from the intersecting lights. As for 21D rehang, unless we are both missing something, this strikes me as so feeble as to be quite unacceptable. After that diatribe, I’ve obviously left myself wide open to someone pointing out just what I’ve missed, so fire away!

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