Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24239/Pasquale – missed the sugar

Posted by ilancaron on March 6th, 2008


Always a pleasure to encounter Pasquale in The Guardian. One of the reasons is that you know that his wordplay will always be (eventually!) justifiable and sensible — with just the right touch of humor. A couple of unknown words for me which had me looking things up (e.g. ALIENOR and CYRENE).

Goodness, that sounded sycophantic. Sorry.


1 GUST,A,V[ery] – ref. several Kings of Sweden I would think.
4 C(LOSE)T – I assume that CLOSET can be a verb (I thought of being in the closet when I read this…).
9 ALEUTIAN ISLANDS – the def (“volcanic archipelago near Alaska”) rather gives this away so I haven’t worked the anag out (probably (USA installed)*).
11 TRAP DOOR – saw the def long before the wordplay which is: rev(rood=cross, part).
12 LOTHAR,I,O – but I don’t see how to produce LOTHAR (“I love to follow hussy cycling round? Quite possibly”. Comment below notes that LOTHAR is harlot (hussy) which has partially cycled around.
15 APPLE,T – I suppose it was only a matter of time before APPLETs etc. became mainstream. What’s next? Servlets?
18 MAJOR,IT,Y – nice &lit, ref. John MAJOR former PM who presumably lost his MAJORITY.
21 CAT,[an]ALYST – rather nice clue… since a CATALYST itself could be a cryptic def for an animal psychiatrist.
22 GUFF,A,W – literal homophone I guess (“Dubya” is W — in honor of our fearless leader Neil or George??)
24 DEVONSHIRE CREAM – surface a bit strained: (modern achievers)*.
26 CYRENE – ([s]cenery)* – S for “sun” and ref. CYRENE (in Libya).


1 GAL=rev(lag),I,LEO – I suppose this is an &lit since I think GALILEO was in fact imprisoned for heresy (?) by Pope LEO (??) (which would make this really nice).
3 ALIENOR – Someone in the business of transferring liens I suppose: (I learn, O)*.  
5 LA SCALA – Rather nice clue ref. Maria Callas who must have sung frequently at LA SCALA…. so take Callas, and move the the LAS to the front and add an A[stound].
8 ANATTO – It’s a tropical tree but I give up on the wordplay. A nano is probably a billionth or so… “A million-million-millionth of a tropical tree?”
13 HALF A LOAF – my explanation is I suppose better than nothing but the rest? something to do with ALOE? “What’s reduced pain for the French? Nothing be worse!” Groan…you’d think I’d remember that “pain” is French bread.
16 PLACE,BO=rev(ob)
17 TRY(P)SIN – I guess it’s always a temptation to TRY SIN. At least in Christianity. The reward (TRYPSIN) is an enzyme that helps your digestion.
19 MAT,RIX – ran into Brian RIX the comedian elsewhere recently, MAT is a kind of artistic finish and MATRIX is a kind of bed (in construction I think).
19 JAGGERY – whimsical adjective derived from Mick JAGGER but I think Pasquale missed a great opportunity to refer to the song “Brown Sugar” in the surface since that’s the actual def of JAGGERY.
20 TEA-CAKE – it’s food in the afternoon and for Spooner it’d be S(EAT)AKE, i.e. EAT (what’s important) inside of SAKE (important). Or is it KEY TAKE?
23 FURZE=”firs”

11 Responses to “Guardian 24239/Pasquale – missed the sugar”

  1. David says:

    12a – lothar is an anagram of harlot
    13d – pain is french for bread!

  2. mhl says:

    12 across LOTHAR is HARLOT cycling round

    In 13 down “pain” is the French for bread :)

    Is the Spoonerism in 20 not “key take” -> “teacake”? (“key” = “important”, “to get hold of” = “take”)

  3. AlanR says:

    8d: atto is an SI prefix meaning million million millionth or 10^-18.

  4. Geoff says:

    Agree with all of the comments above.

    Rather a tricky puzzle, I thought – but then I generally find Araucaria and Paul much easier than Pasquale. It must be something to do with the way my frontal lobes are wired…

    Two clues caused me to raise an eyebrow: 5dn and 12ac. Both contain cryptic clues to words which have to be further manipulated to fit into the solution (CALLAS and HARLOT respectively). I thought that indirect anagrams were taboo, according to strict interpretation of the ‘rules’. (Admittedly both words need simply to be chopped in half and reassembled, rather than completely shuffled, but my point remains). This isn’t a criticism -I’m as libertarian as they come – just an observation that this is a bit of a departure for Don Manley, who is usually one of the most Ximenean of Guardian compilers.

  5. Fletch says:

    20: Key take was how I read it.

  6. Pasquale says:

    Thanks to all for the feedback. I plead not guilty of course to the charge of using indirect anagrams!

  7. Chris says:

    I originally had “turnip” for 1 across, which I thought fitted the clue almost as well (“Swede gives you wind? Then take very little!”)

  8. Colin Newman says:

    25 ac = OFFEND

  9. Colin Blackburn says:

    Geoff, neither of the cases you cite are indirect anagrams. Something much more specific has to be done to the “indirect” words to produce the answer (or in these cases part of the answer.) These clues are no more indirect than defining a word and then, say, asking for last letter to be promoted to be the first.

  10. Mick H says:

    Indeed. I think the difference is that in these cases, you are given a reasonably precise idea what to do with the synonym once you have it (HARLOT cycling could be ARLOTH, RLOTHA, OTHARL or THARLO, but that shoudln’t hold one up for too long). This is not the same as having to find a synonym and then find an anagram of it.

  11. Clare says:

    Bother, my bugbear is missing again. I can’t get 10 across, it’s the only one that has me stumped. Blow on? Slow on? Slew in? I have no idea.

    Oh! Hang on! I just got it!

    Doh. I am an eejit.

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