Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24299/Orlando – calling for a fatwa?

Posted by ilancaron on January 31st, 2008


Well-phrased wordplay and clues on the whole. I struggled with several, to my mind, esoteric refs (SQUEERS, OSBERT, TREVELYAN) but I’m sure someone better educated (in Britain!) than myself would not have been challenged.


1 SAPP[h]O,R,O – ref. the poetess Sappho. I would have expected “taking hour off” to have removed a trailing, rather than an interior, H though.
9 GUM ARABIC – I guess GUM also means “fool around”? Ref. sticky stuff.
10 N(IS)AN – ref. the month in the Hebrew calendar. Note that “entertained” indicates “contained by”.
11 TUN,A=rev(A, NUT=”fruitcake”)
12 C[lip],RY FRE=ferry*,EDOM=rev(mode) – Ref. the movie about Steve Biko.
14 CORNEL[l] – it’s a tree I guess. Ref. CORNELL University.
15 R,AFTER,S – a clue worthy of Paul/Araucaria. R comes AFTER S in SR…
16 SIT-UPON – SIT-UP is a kind of exercise. And our “bottom” is what we typically SIT UPON. Nice clue.
18 SHOD,D[irt]Y – “with shoes” is a nice way to define SHOD.
20 C,ORIOL[e],AN,US – it’s a bird, it’s a play…
24 NA,A,FI=rev(IF, A, AN) – I guess “counter” indicates reversal (as in, “against”) but is it really valid?
25 TR,EVELY(A)N – TR is Turkey and ref. John EVELYN who’s a diarist not a diaris which the online version would have you believe and ref. TREVELYAN who one assumes was a historian.
26 S,PENS,ER – Ref. Edmund our old poet and ER, the George Clooney medical drama.


1 SIGHT – two meanings where the first “mess” as in: “waking up this morning after too many vodkas the previous night, I was a SIGHT to behold”
2 PI(M[or]E)NTO – I like “more or less” indicating ME.
3 OGRE – rev hidden in “undERGOing”.
4 OSBERT LANCASTER – (Rat’s nest – or cable)* – never heard of him (early 20th century artist).
5 WACKFORD SQUEERS – (acqu[i]re[s] r[o]w of desks)* nor him: Dickensian schoolmaster (needed looking up as well). Purists would argue that “so I” should be contiguous in the fodder.
7 RUSH,DIE – for some reason I found this amusingly clever: seems like Iran could have adopted this as its cry for a fatwa! (RUSH is “fly” as in to hurry).
8 DYNA=”Dinah”,MOS=”mows” – groan.
13 KNIPHOFIAS – (A[nthony], Hopkins, if)*: another reason to look something up. It’s a kind of flower, also known as “red-hot pokers”.
19 DE(COY)ED – ref. Andrew MARVELL’s COY mistress.
22 WIND=turn,Y[our] – not sure of the def though: “Turn your head yellow?”
23 LEDA – hidden in “SwaLEDAle” — see cryptics do teach you a thing or two about mythology after all.

9 Responses to “Guardian 24299/Orlando – calling for a fatwa?”

  1. linxit says:

    22dn – confused me too at first, but one of the defs in Chambers for WINDY is “frightened, nervous”.

  2. JamieC says:

    9a – GUM is “fool around” because it’s MUG backwards (as in to make a mug of somebody)

  3. Andrew says:

    NISAN was also in a recent Azed (1860 – blogged by linxit).

  4. Dave Ellison says:

    4d “Osbert Lancaster” was a cartoonist (rather than artist), in the Daily Express, so “drawer” is appropriate here.

  5. diagacht says:

    24a I too had problems with NAAFI. I think it must be as you say but I was unhappy with the use of counter.
    22d Again I agree, what is the definition?
    I found this puzzle difficult with a few clues (like those noted above) a little uncertain, at least to my way of thinking.

  6. AlanR says:

    22d: As linxit said, windy can mean ‘frightened’ (presumably related to ‘having the wind up,’) so the definition is ‘yellow’, meaning cowardly or scared.

  7. PaulB says:

    I’ll stand up and be counter.

    I like it, and that’s not merely a threat – I’ve used it too! ‘Original chicken counter in popular Indian’ I think it was. The usage is adverbial, as in: ‘in a contrary direction or manner’, or ‘in a wrong or reverse direction’.

    I know you’ll be worried about the grammar at the cryptic level rather than at the surface, but I reckon Big O (a fine compiler) is on solid ground here.

  8. Chris says:

    Orlando’s definitely been getting trickier of late. Lots of obscure references here – definitely not one I could hope to do on the train.

  9. Anne says:

    Re 24 across, NAAFI stands for Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes, which provided cafeteria food for British Forces during the war. A canteen is another word for a cafeteria, and the acronym became synonymous with the canteen itself.

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