Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,294, Taupi: Poetic licence

Posted by michod on January 25th, 2008


Easier than it looked at first glance. Some nice clues, with concise and convincing surfaces. One or two slightly loose definitions, but I guess you can put that down to 8down!


1. RE(COR)D. I thought it must be this, but wasn’t sure about the definition. I think the idea is that a record score means top score.

4. W(E)AP ON (PAW<). Good unified surface.

10. FR(ON TB)ENCH. ‘Guarding against’ as a container for ON is quite subtle.

13. TAKE STOCK. As in what a rustler does….

14. L(O)OT. …which could have linked in to this one, I suppose.

16. MIDDLEMEN. Good tricksy clue that may have foxed a few solvers. To get ‘ad’ to ‘aMENd’, you need (its) MIDDLE (to be) MEN.

22. COSTA RICAN. Good anagram – Latin as in someone from Latin America.

23. AC(N)E. I think this must be right, as the wordplay fits, but I’m not convinced by the definition. I can only assume ‘point 999 recurring?’ is meant to suggest a profusion of spots that keep coming back.

24. PE(YOT)E (TOY<). A south American hallucinogenic mushroom.


1. RE P(L)ICA.

2. COTTAGE INDUSTRY. (CITY STATE GROUND*). First of a couple of good long anags.

5. (s)EXTANT. Good clue – ‘aid for sailor’ gets topped.

6. PLENIPOTENTIARY. (INEPT IN REPLY TO A*). I did have a couple of letters by then, but this was one of those anagrams that leapt straight out.

8. POETIC LICENCE. Henley made me think of boats rather than poets, but I suppose that’s the point.

15. PE(A)SO UP. This was listed as (7) in the paper, but surely should be (3,4)

17. DAPHNIA (AN APHID*). Nifty  anagram, not very hard if you know the word – it’s a kind of water flea, apparently.

18. EQUIN(e)OX. Another one I liked – neat wordplay, and a great definition: ‘start to spring astronomically’.

19. GARRET (GAR-TER<). Another clever surface.

5 Responses to “Guardian 24,294, Taupi: Poetic licence”

  1. beermagnet says:

    23A ACNE : I was happy with “999 recurring?” as the definition. Given that the answer to 9 is SPOT – that’s a lot of spots!
    For the wordplay – “1′s about point” – surely it is “1′s about” meaning “ACE is around” N for “point”, so point isn’t part of the def.

    I slapped in REPRINT for 1D and had real trouble with 13A before realising the mistake.

    Agree 15D PEA SOUP should surely be (3,4). As a result it was almost the last I put in.

    Nevertheless, that was a really enjoyable puzzle.

  2. rightback says:

    One of the best Guardian puzzles I’ve done for a while – WEAPON, EXTANT, POETIC LICENCE, COSTA RICAN all top clues.

  3. Dave Ellison says:

    I don’t know about this being easier than it looks – I only managed nine clues and that after a struggle. Just couldn’t get going with it.

  4. Geoff says:

    Like Dave Elliison, I found this one really tough, although I did eventually complete it. Excellent crossword though. Taupi’s clues have particularly well polished surfaces, using a lot of words with multiple meanings in highly imaginative ways, which results in my often having great difficulty in parsing them. Araucaria and Paul are a cinch by comparison!

  5. radchenko says:

    Dave, Geoff, I sympathise, I had a lot of trouble with this, got about a dozen before i was in front of the computer looking for leverage into the rest of it. One thing about Taupi puzzles is that he seems to have a special knack of getting the surface to mislead, examples being WEAPON, TANGIBLE and COSTA RICAN. Fluffed the bottom left corner on account of spelling licence with an s. Duh. But also the Guardian sometimes seem to leave the week’s hardest crozzie for the Friday, when your brain’s completely fried (or am I muddling cause and affect?)

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