Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24312/Brummie

Posted by linxit on February 15th, 2008


Solving time – 17:05

This started out fairly straightforward and I made good progress, thinking I was going to finish inside 10 minutes for a while. Then I got stuck in two places, with the pair at 8d/10a, and three crossing at the bottom 18d, 23a/d. Still, today’s Times took me twice as long, so I can’t grumble.

Update: Beermagnet has spotted a mini-theme – see if you can spot before looking at the comments!

9 HORSEPLAY – Equus is a play by Peter Shaffer, so that’s HORSE PLAY. If you remove the space you get the word for tomfoolery.
10 OUT,DO – nice cricket reference, and well-disguised definition, which is just “cap”.
16 F(OUR-L)ETTER WORDS – At first I thought this was to do with Lynne Truss, maybe her book Talk to the Hand, which is about rudeness. But no, it’s OUR L (Guardian’s line) inside FETTER (truss) + WORDS (discussion). Anyway, I got it from the fact that 4, 8, 22 & 23d were all four-letter words and worked the rest out later.
19 LUD(I,CR)O,US – more self-reference, this time US = setters.
21 GO(OD)O – what you’d say if you were glad. Not what I’d say, but someone would perhaps!
22 P(I)B,ROCH – basically just an anagram of (Pb, choir), but written so that you know the I is between P and B, the rest elsewhere. Not keen on “mediocre” as anagind though.
25 (b)OB,LIVIOUS(Louis VI)* – took me a while to see where OB came from (I don’t have any kids).

2 GRAND CRU – this is (narcotic drug)* without otic (not aural).
5 EYE,WIT,NESS – clever build-up of this answer: mark of King Edward (potato)=EYE, joker=WIT, crime-fighter=(Eliot)NESS.
6 TOMORROW – not sure about the easy listening music scene reference though. Maybe it refers to the song from the musical Annie? [ Thanks to Mick H, the wordplay is TO MOR (abbreviation for middle-of-the-road), ROW=scene. I would never have spotted that! ]
8 BOO,T(ree) – not sure why this took me so long. I’ve seen enough American films to know that BOOT=trunk.
14 MATRONHOOD – Hattie Jacques often played the Matron in the Carry On films.
17 L(ACROSS)E – “unlike this clue” is a nice touch.
18 RO(O)T,CROP – I held myself up here by thinking it would be ????ROOT, which also blew my chances of getting 23a.
23 MULE – “mewl”

11 Responses to “Guardian 24312/Brummie”

  1. Mick H says:

    Good job Andy, this was definitely harder than it looked. I failed to get GRAND CRU, but eventually guessed at PIBROCH (not a musical form I’m familiar with).
    In 6d, “in honour of easy listening music” = TO MOR, i.e. Middle Of the Road, an abbreviation I’ve seen a couple of times recently I think. And ‘scene’ is ROW as in ‘there was a bit of a scene’.

  2. beermagnet says:

    There is a mini-theme in that the four 4-letter words referred to in the clue for 16A are all footwear though none of their clues allude to this: Boot, Mule, Clog, Pump. If I hadn’t noticed that I don’t think I would’ve finished this as I put in a couple of wrong ‘uns on the way, e.g. Matronlike, but in the end it was Good-O from me (yes, I do say it).
    I was completed foxed by the construction for Grand Cru so thanks for decoding that.

  3. Amnesiac says:

    I noticed the shoe thing and wondered whether it was an attempt to make 16 more misleading, i.e. you solve the short ones, realise they’re all shoes and therefore try to make 16 across fit with the theme…

  4. linxit says:

    Amnesiac, if so it didn’t work on me – I only had CLOG when I got 16ac, based on F???L?T???????? and what the four answers mentioned in the clue already had in common. That’s probably why I didn’t spot the theme though.

  5. rightback says:

    Amnesiac – it worked for me! And at the end I was left wondering what kind of footwear a ‘flag’ was, but I now see that the answer to 4dn was CLOG.

  6. beermagnet says:

    I agree with Linxit. I suggest that the clues for the four 4-letter lights were harder than most in this puzzle. I had solved 16A (mostly from a variety of checking letters like L) and more than half the puzzle, but I hadn’t got any of them, and I did wonder what the “4-letter words” might be …
    … after all, this is Brummie aka Cyclops, and this is the Graun.
    Anyway, I was already thinking of them as a group when I got Boot and Clog so the other two followed easily when I thought along the lines of the footwear theme, which particularly helped with the bottom RH corner.

  7. Dave Ellison says:

    Getting 21 ac wrong didn’t help. I thought it was “snide” – hidden backwards in “overdrawn, steeped in schmaltz”, and fitting with “Glad you said that” taken sarcastically.

  8. johnnydee says:

    O dear.

    Where you haven’t explained the missing answers – does that mean that they’re blindingly obvious?
    1d is surely ‘thimbleful’, but there’s several others I haven’t yet solved.

    I think I will have to do a lot more lurking here!

  9. linxit says:

    Hi Johnnydee,

    Not necessarily blindingly obvious, although at the easier end of the scale (in my opinion, of course). See the first question in the FAQ for why we never give all the answers.

    Don’t be shy though – if you want answers to clues not mentioned, just ask! That’s what we’re here for.

  10. Dennis Brooker says:

    Guardian 24312/Brummie
    3D Perhaps Mozarts class stiffling Salieri ultimately

    13A tail-less, devouring creatures place.

    Are these the answers?

  11. Testy says:

    I don’t have the crossword, so can’t be sure but I assume that there should be apostrophes in “Mozart’s” and “creature’s” and I assume that the two clues intersected at their last letters. In which case the answers might be:

    3D “Salieri ultimately” gives “I”, in “class”=GENUS, giving GENIUS (i.e. Mozart perhaps)

    13A “Devouring creature” is probably LOCUST, “tail-less” gives LOCUS=”place”

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