Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,227, Brummie: Rhine whine

Posted by michod on November 6th, 2007


Brummie seems to be becoming more regular, which is generally to be welcomed, though I don’t think this is one of his best, and several long clues seem to me to fall into the NCD (not cryptic definition) trap. Thanks to Dave for 8 and 20 down, which beat me.


1. DESCEND INTO FARCE. E.g. this one – the image is of Peter crashing to the stage, which would be farcical, but that’s just applying the metaphor literally.

9. LE(A)NDER. Nice misleading surface.

11. I, NG(E)NUITY (UNTYING*). It took me a while to see the anagram here.

16. RHINE’S TONE. As in paste, not real diamond. Nice clue, put in to cross with Django going down, which at least cleared up his spelling for me (see 1dn).

21. SAHIB (BI HAS<). Hmm… hermaphrodite = having two sets of sexual organs;  bisexual = having sex with people possessing either set. Not the same, surely.


24. TURN OFF (FORT FUN*). ‘About’ before the word seems an even weaker anagrind than after, somehow.

25. A(TH(e))LONE.


1. DJANGO RHEINHART. No, RHINEHARDT. No, that’s too many letters, hang on, let’s check the anagram – HAG-RIDDEN TROJAN… RINEHARDT, OK. Until I got 16 ac, and realised it was REINHARDT. Nice anagram on it’s own, but the clue’s surface is a bit meaningless.

2. SU(DA)N. Not sure what the shortened haircut is – DA_. (see comments – M).

3. EARLIER. I like this a lot – i.e. more ‘earl-y’.

5. NAIL FILE. Another nice idea with a slightly opaque surface. Digital = to do with fingers or toes, of course.

6. ON PERMANENT LOAN. A pretty straight definition, I’d say.

7, 19ac. FLYING LEAP. Don’t really get this one – is it really just brief = flying, leap = bound, and what a squirrel does? Only the comma attempts to mislead.

8. ??? I put in ‘orbery’ (OR + B + (t)RY, er, not sure about the E), but I don’t think that’s a word. Any offers? (Totally wrong. See comments – M).

16, 26ac. RISE TO THE OCCASION. Another NCD, if you ask me.

20. ???? P_R_E_. Is this some measure of light years? (Indeed it is – see comments – M).

23. MA + H(D)I.


16 Responses to “Guardian 24,227, Brummie: Rhine whine”

  1. david taylor says:

    ORRERY not orbery

  2. david taylor says:

    20D = PARSEC

  3. beermagnet says:

    2D “short coarse haircut” gives DA which is an abbreviation (short) for the haircut known as a “Duck’s Arse”, which I suppose is coarse.

  4. Michod says:

    Thanks for those, David and BM. I had come across DA = Duck’s arse in crosswords before, but was looking for a shortened 3-letter word. So ORRERY is OR + RE(t)RY, AND ‘break down with cold’ in 20d gives PARSE + C. Both sound clues, revealing my astronomical ignorance.

  5. Ron says:

    Is 15D Pembroke? If so, why?

  6. Michod says:

    It is, Ron, as follows:
    E (‘padding of her’) in PM (Major, say, once – as in John M) + BROKE = ‘town’.

  7. Paul Wigham says:

    8dn OR=alternative plus RETRY minus temperature (t)
    20dn PARSE=break down plus cold(C)

  8. Geoff says:

    Thanks, michod, for explanation of 15dn – I tentatively had PEMBROKE but couldn’t see why.
    This wasn’t the easiest of Gaurdian crosswords, but I didn’t find it too impenetrable and I knew (scientific education) the words ORRERY and PARSEC, so I solved these easily.
    I didn’t find the clues at all off the wall – they all worked for me (except for 15dn, which is perfectly acceptable once explained!) ‘About turn!’ means ‘turn about’ – don’t be so pernickerty!

  9. muck says:

    1dn: DJANGO REINHARDT was a swing jazz instrumentalist. I didn’t get this obvious anagram, or many other answers either!

  10. AlanR says:

    Brilliant crossword I thought – loved the fact that I was able to get ‘Django Reinhardt’ despite having never heard of him (her?) and despite the seeming improbability of someone’s being called Django!

  11. muck says:

    Jean “Django” Reinhardt (January 23, 1910 – May 16, 1953) was a Belgian Sinto Gypsy jazz guitarist. He was one of the first prominent jazz musicians to be born in Europe, and one of the most renowned jazz guitarists of all time. His name is pronounced [d?????go ?e?n??t].

    [this is from Wiki].

  12. Kieron says:

    Um, excuse the idiot here, but I can’t get 4D at all and it’s killing me. I have CLIPPER for 10 and FRITILLARY for 14, which leaves me with D_C_Y_T.

    And that leaves me with a sleepless night unless someone can help.

  13. Matthew says:

    4D is DE(CRY)PT

  14. Kieron says:

    Of course it is, thank you very much. Amazingly, I even had the CRY bit in and still couldn’t see it! You’ve saved me a brain meltdown.
    Thanks and good night.

  15. Dave Ellison says:

    D_C_Y_T may be hardish to complete, but so is _ENY

  16. Alan G M says:

    Better late than never. I’ve just finished this one after 3 days trying. And after reading all these comments, it seems I wasn’t the only one who had trouble with this brilliantly set crossword. 20d was the last clue I got, and only with help from my dictionary. Now onto Wednesday’s…..

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