Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,272 : Enigmatist – “In with the New”

Posted by neildubya on December 31st, 2007


Monday is usually the day the crossword editor sends down a “loosener”, such as the recent series of pleasing, humane Rufus puzzles.

This isn’t a usual mundane Monday, so he’s let loose the mighty Enigmatist upon us.

The following is the result of some fumbling, some help from Mrs. Stan, a fair amount of broadbandage <<and no little help from Commenters below>>.


1 T-SQUARE : Well, it is used as a rule and “as”=QUA, hooker’s heel=R, all in TSE (half of tsetse) <<thanks Foggy Web>>

5 PONTIFF : (PINTOFF)* Benedict is the current Pope

10 UNCO : What would New Year’s Eve be without Rabbie Burns. “Unco” is a very Burns way of saying “very” – “regular” is a Crosswordish indicator to take alternating letters tUrNaCtOr

11 M(A,URITAN)IA – beheaded puritan, AIM backwards around it <<thanks to Foggy Web for the explanation>>

12 ROSTRA : plural of rostrum, and hidden in (clouded by) cirROSTRAtus

13 WINDPIPE : Air Duct that is also WINE (port) surrounding DPP (director of public prosecutions) holding I <<thanks to Croque for the explanation>>

14 Finally, a straight anagram I can leave out ‘cos we don’t do them all here

16 GNAR-L – which is L-RANG in reverse <<thanks again to Croque>>

17 OSSIA – First advantage of sleeping with a woman with a Music and English degree – Mrs. Stan knows about this – an alternative passage in a piece of music.

18 ST.AG(n)ES-HOW : Second advantage : Mrs Stan knows Keats’ “Eve of St. Agnes Day” – take the “N” out (unnamed) and the rest is WHO’s anagram. CATS is a Stage Show.

23 V-A(P(OR)I)S-E : A little vague on the word play, but you divide V-AS-E by PI. Not sure how “/2″ becomes OR

24 ONSIDE : Too easy if you know cricket and soccer, probably impossible if you don’t


26 LOIN – Can’t work out the explanation, but it is a cut. I had (S)NIP, which I still feel is a valid solution.


29 PRIMULA – “marsupial” minus “as”, then anagrammed. A Primula is something from the garden, which is why I had no earthy chance of getting it <<Thanks for the rescue, Comfy Settee>>


2 Straight anagram omitted here. Do you know the way we work here by now?

3 U-BOAT : TABU reversed around O

4 RAM-PART : very droll wordplay

6 ON-I-ON-S : Working is ON – I is first and S is second

7 TRAPPINGS : fancy clothing and the results of trapping

8 FLIP-PER : More cricket knowledge required , Shane Warne’s most feared weapon was this type of ball. A “flip” is an old-fashioned mulled drink, and “per” means “for every”

9 OUT-WITH-THE-OLD : Not sure of the origin of the term, but it’s a very New Year’s Eve thing to say

15 PRISON-VAN : Clever Cryptic Definition – the other type of “sentence”


21 OLD-BILL : Mrs. Stan strikes again. Carroll’s poem runs “You are Old, Father William” – which gets condensed here to Old Bill – slang for the police.

22 SI-ENNA : ANNE IS backwards

25 SALEM : Lot 13 would be sale m (m=13th letter), with knock-down being a reference to an auction. Salem is the State capital of Oregon (not the witch-trials town – that’s in Massachusetts).

22 Responses to “Guardian 24,272 : Enigmatist – “In with the New””

  1. croque says:

    16 is GNARL (lrang rev)

    The state capital is SALEM

  2. croque says:

    Oh, and WINDPIPE is WINE (port) surrounding DPP (director of public prosecutions) holding I.

  3. Stan says:

    Yes, I got “gnarl” over lunch

    “Salem” is annoying as it makes my 26a.(s)nip incorrect and I can’t see how the wordplay goes – except that Lot and Salem are both involved in Genesis

  4. Trev says:

    Lot 13 would be sale m (m=13th letter). Not sure what knockdown has to do with it.

    That makes 27a LOIN

  5. Stan says:

    D’oh : “knock-down” as in what an auctioneer does with a Lot

  6. Comfy Settee says:

    29ac is PRIMULA – “marsupial” minus “as”, then anagrammed

  7. foggyweb says:

    1A – TS(QUA,R)E – as=QUA, hooker’s heel=R in TSE (half of tsetse)
    11A – M(A,URITAN)IA – beheaded puritan, AIM backwards

    p.s. your across numbering goes off after 17.

  8. Richard Heald says:

    The wordplay for 1ac is QUA (“as”) + R (“hooker’s heel”) in TSE(tse) (“fly half”).

  9. Richard Heald says:

    Nice Nina too!

  10. beermagnet says:

    I reckon …
    LOIN Lo(p) is short cut, INside after it
    [I too had SNIP and was stuck on 25D and a few others]
    VAPORISE: Pi/2 gives PORI because Pi/2 is either P or I

    Annoyed that, yet again, I didn’t see the Nina before it was mentioned – it might have helped with that bastard of a bottom right-hand corner.

    Can someone explain why a Nina is called a Nina?

  11. stan says:

    Dang ! Only just seen the nina myself. What a lightweight I am – room for improvement in 2008 !

  12. Stan says:

    This article explains the origins of Nina – probably worth adding to the FAQ

  13. Comfy Settee says:

    Thanks for the explanation of what a Nina is – I hadn’t come across them before. What is the Nina in this crossword?

  14. croque says:

    Turn over a new leaf – reading down the left hand column, and up the right.

  15. Comfy Settee says:

    Hey, that’s great – thanks!

  16. Struggler says:

    As a great fan of pleasing, humane Rufus (the only reason I bothered to buy a newspaper on Christmas Eve), I am reassured to learn that I didn’t miss one of his today (when there was not a Guardian in sight in my neck of the woods). Here’s to lots of ‘mundane’ Mondays in 2008!

  17. mick h says:

    Good puzzle – I liked 5ac’s image of Pope Benedict down his local getting the beers in, though I imagine he’d have a Weissenbier with a slice of lemon in it, rather than a Foster’s. Happy New Year fellow bloggers, setters and solvers.

  18. jetdoc says:

    An unexpected treat on a Guardian Monday. I liked 19a (listed as 18a above).

    Happy 2008 to you all.

  19. Richard says:

    I think my brain has turned to sawdust. Will someone please spell out this Nina business for me?

  20. Stan says:

    Don’t worry – you will have seen evidence of my mental disarray all over this posting. Just read the letters down the left column of the completed solution and up the right column – they spell out the phrase “Turn Over a New Leaf”.

    It’s not part of the crossword – just a flourish – similar to an Easter Egg in a computer game or DVD.

  21. Stan says:

    And I mean this kind of Easter Egg – not the chocolate kind

  22. Richard says:

    Thanks, Stan. I may sleep tonight now!

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