Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24211 / Auster – Monster mistake

Posted by tilsit on October 18th, 2007


Solving time: 9 minutes

Sometimes when I encounter what I believe to be a less than adequate puzzle, I tell myself that it’s aimed at the easier end of the scale and solvers need puzzles like this to advance their experience.  I can’t justify that with today’s puzzle. 

The theme is based on phrases that are synonyms of ABANDON (11 ac). Can’t help thinking that there is a good crossword in here with sharper clue-writing. There’s a factual error:  The character in 16 across is not in The Munsters, he was in The Addams Family. 

9  BOAT-OWNER Cryptic definition, and quite clever.  Boat-owner is not listed as a phrase in either of my dictionaries.
10 OKAPI  I dislike clues that are “contrived” and this comes across as one. It just reads badly to me.
12 MOVE OUT Don’t understand this – can see the definition, although should if “Change of address” is to be the definition, the “of” is not needed.
13 DITCH   2 defs
14 WAISTLESS Homophone.  WASTE LESS to end up WAIST LESS!  I’ll let  you judge this for yourselves.
16 LEAVE IN THE LURCH As I mentioned above, Lurch was the butler in The Addams Family, not The Munsters.
19 WALK OUT ON Here ON is used in the same sense as in 11.
21 PEDRO  Apparently Pedro the Fisherman is a song by Richard Tauber and Gracie Fields.  ED in PRO.
22 FORSAKE  2 Defs.  FOR + SAKE (rice wine)
23 BAIL OUT Acc to Chambers, when meaning to abandon, it’s usually spelt BALE OUT,  but this version is OK.
25 ABSCONDER AB’S (Sailors) + CON (Double-cross) + DER (The German)

1 EBB AND FLOW Another one a bit too contrived for my liking. NABBED ** + FLOW (R).  Ladykiller = WOLF (Depending on which version of the fairy tale you read.)
3 DOODAH  I thought De Camptown Races had been confined to the Non-PC box.  For those unaware, the phrase “Doo-dah Doo-dah” is repeated after each line.
4 IN ON  Hidden in Alb-INON-i.  “Personal notes” id redundant.
8 JILT  J = Jamaica’s First + I LT (One officer – one lieutenant)
14 WINS THE DAY         THEY WIND AS** –  Nice to see Dicky getting an outing as an anagram ind.
15 SCHOOL TERM SCHOOL (Lots of fish) + TERM (Label)
18 REDWOODS         R = Initially Robert – Does EDWARDS sound the same as ED WOODS?  A thoroughly rotten clue.
20 LERNER  LEARNER (Homophone)
21 PRISON  Probably the best clue in the puzzle.  Two defs.
22 FAST  Dbl def
23 BASE  Dbl def

7 Responses to “Guardian 24211 / Auster – Monster mistake”

  1. conradcork says:

    Don’t quite see your problem with ‘move out’, Dave. A move is a change of address (so IMHO you need that ‘of’), and if it is out of the question we get a telegram-like ‘move out’.

  2. Matt Fletcher says:

    I thoroughly agree about 18 down – a rotten example of a rotten species of clue which discriminates against those of us who pronounce the letter ‘r’!

  3. Comfy Settee says:

    Do you think Auster has just been dumped or something? Or done the dirty on his partner? I can’t think of any other reason for using this as a theme…..

  4. AlanR says:

    I enjoyed this crossword – not too hard, but fun! I smiled at ‘boat-owner’, my last clue, and everything a cryptic definition should be – a totally straight definition when you get it!

    I can’t see the problem with using edward as a homophone for edwood – if setters restricted homophones to those that sound alike in every conceivable dialect, then they’d be very limited. I imagine some 90% or so of English people rhyme edward with wood and I can’t think many Scots/Cornish/Americans wouldn’t eventually get the clue just because they don’t.

  5. jetdoc says:

    Do you think Auster has just been dumped or something? Or done the dirty on his partner?

    Because I can’t resist being pedantic, I must point out that Auster is a woman, Shirl O’Brien. I hesitated to draw attention to this — after somewhat acrimonious exchanges on the Crossword Centre’s Message Board about women’s intellect and creativity — because, like Dave, I think this is a pretty unimpressive crossword, and I would hate anyone to draw unwarranted sexist conclusions.

  6. Paul B says:

    Avoid the potential for criticism of your homonyms by deploying the magical ‘some say’.

    ‘I hear’ also works reasonably well in this respect.

  7. muck says:

    I enjoyed this Auster puzzle. Nice theme and not too difficult, though it did take me more than 9 minutes.

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