Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24260/Brendan – The Sound of Musicians

Posted by ilancaron on December 14th, 2007


I always feel more intelligent after solving a Brendan puzzle — I think it’s because he is fair, challenging and there’s a clever nina or theme which is always gratifying to identify. Anyway, this time it’s homophones of musicians (5D).


1 BRI[gh]TON=”Britten” – well, one of you at least! Brighton’s our resort (though frankly, I’d rather be at a Club Med).
9 ANTONY,MS – Neither Leo nor Tolstoy involved — but “war and peace” are good examples of ANTONYMS. Tony’s our chap.
13 VILE=”Weil” – hidden in “priVILEges”.
18 LIST=”Liszt” – two meanings I guess but not sure about “the edge” (must be obvious… to someone…). “Lean over the edge”.
20 NEW(B,RUN)S,WICK – parsing wordplay can be complex whenever directions (compass points) are involved: in this case the setter is explicit about “all directions” so we have NEWS. I suppose WICK is just a village (in Scotland)?
23 AVO=rev(ova),CET=etc* – it’s a kind of bird well-known to cyclists (as a brand name).
24 AS SOON AS – v. well-hidden in “Picasso on a screen.”
26 HANDLE=”Handel” – two meanings


3 TWO-TIMERS – hunters are a kind of watch I think thus TIMERS.
4 NAY=any*,SAY – elegant concise clue.
5 MUSIC TO ONES EARS – so here’s (no pun intended) our theme. Six composer homophones elsewhere in the puzzle.
6 NU(ME)RATE – ME in nature* — good def: “able to figure”.
7 FRANC[o]=”Franck”
12 TIME-SERVER – two meanings of conviction
15 WELL,K,NOW,N – Knight is N in chess.
19 KITSC=stick*,H
21 BACKS=”Bax” – two meanings: another concise elegant clue. Turns out that there’s an Arnold BAX who’s a composer. Did not know this!
22 DAIL[y] – it’s the Irish parliament and The Guardian is just an example of a daily newspaper.

11 Responses to “Guardian 24260/Brendan – The Sound of Musicians”

  1. Michod says:

    Thanks, Ilan. I tumbled to the theme after VILE, and got the theme word, but I was thinking of it as ‘VIOL’ and was looking for instruments rather than composers, which slowed things down. Loved the clue for ANTONYMS.

  2. linxit says:

    18A: list² in Chambers says “the selvage on woven textile fabrics; a border; a stripe; a strip, esp one cut from an edge”. There’s a lot more but that’s the relevant bit.

  3. Shirley says:

    20Ac Wick is the Saxon word for a village

  4. ilancaron says:

    thanks Shirley — hence no doubt prestwick (and greenwich and ilk) i suppose. Wicked!

  5. muck says:

    Brilliant Brendan, as ever. 5dn wasn’t difficult and I assumed the following answers were all musical homophones, because of the ‘say?’ at the end. I didn’t get the composers, but it was clever to have the homophone indicator in both the 5dn clue and its answer!

  6. mark says:

    Help please, I still can’t get 8D or 17A.

    Other queries:

    13D What is the double meaning of TIME SERVERS? Ok I get that convicted people in prison are “doing time”; but why does someone not convicted (“…yes and no”) also fit the clue? A conviction isn’t a necessari;y positive belief so it’s not like saying they have no morals.

    21D I got that it was Bax leading to (rugby players say) BACKS. But what have defending champions got to do with it?

    Many thanks for any help/insight you can offer

  7. ilancaron says:

    8: LIMB(ERNES)S and 17 is in the blog.
    In 13 I think you’ve got the idea: men serving time have been convicted, therefore they have convictions but do they have convictions in the moral sense (it’s doubtful)?
    21D: Split the clue between defending/champions and you have “players picked for defending” as one def and the other is “champions”.

  8. mick h says:

    A time server, in a work context, is someone just going through the motions, not committed to the job but just waiting for the next pay cheque/counting out the days to their pension, so – arguably – someone lacking conviction in what they’re doing. That’s how I read it anyway.

  9. mark says:

    Yes but why does BACKS = champions???

    By the way I don’t see why 5D is so raved about by others. For the cryptic part it should be MUSICIANS TO…not MUSIC which then doesn’t work. Trying to say music and musicians are the same thing is lazy.

  10. beermagnet says:

    Backs/Champions: It’s the verb meaning that’s equivalent. If you back someone you champion their cause.

  11. Testy says:

    Mark, I think that it is quite common for the names of composers/authors/artists and their work to be interchangeable.

    For example we often listen to some Mozart and read Dickens. Lots of people are very fond of Shakespeare (even though they couldn’t possibly know how likeable the man himself was) and others would pay a fortune for a Picasso (but wouldn’t expect to get a chap in a stripy shirt delivered to their door).

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