Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Genius 57: Arachne — home economics

Posted by jetdoc on April 3rd, 2008


There were three kinds of clue here:
13 were ‘beset by inflation’ — they each included an extra letter.
13 were ‘beset by recession’ — a character string (not necessarily a whole word) within the clue needed to be reversed before solving.
The rest were normal, but their solutions had to ‘suffer property repossessions’ before being entered in the grid. This meant that a word for a property had to be removed. Nice idea, though I think some were a touch sub-prime execution-wise, when what was omitted was half of a two-word phrase (although, to be fair, at least all entries were proper words).

Solving time: no idea — I did it in bits.

Grid entries are shown in BOLD. Deleted properties are shown CROSSED OUT.

9 WHOLESOME Recession: ‘Ned’ becomes ‘den’ ‘Whole’ = “hole”; ‘some’ = ‘a bit’.
10 OZONE Recession: ‘a tart’s’ becomes ‘strata’ ‘zone’; after O = love. Ozone is sometimes loosely used to mean ‘fresh, bracing air’.
11 FLATBREAD Repossession ‘Unable to generate’ in the sense of ‘flat batteries’; money = bread.
Flatbread is (usually) unleavened bread.
12 BREAKNECK Inflation: extra C *(Barak keen). Breakneck speed is very quick.
13 SULLAGE Inflation: extra P Chambers defines ‘sullage’ as all the delightful ‘filth; refuse, sewage; scum; scoria; silt’.
S = ‘last of noxious’; ullage = dregs.
14 APHESIS Inflation: extra L *(pea hiss). For aphesis, see …
17 ISLET Recession: ‘llot’ becomes ’toll’ *(tiles). An atoll is an islet.
19 PHALLUS Repossession PH = first letters of (‘starts to’) ‘provide hope’; ALL; US.
20 ASTON VILLA Repossession *(los valiant).
21 GROGRAM Inflation: extra C GR = Greek; Margo (a lass’s name) reversed. Grogram is a kind of coarse cloth of silk and mohair.
22 CATCHES Recession: ‘ban’ becomes ‘nab’ catch; E’s (‘drug’ having become a very convenient way of indicating E). ‘Catch’ can mean ‘concealed difficulty or disadvantage’.
24 SWEETENER Inflation: extra N (?) I think this is ‘sweep’ minus P; then ‘tener’. But I would expect ‘accepting’ to mean that one word became included in, rather than appended to, another — so I was wondering about ‘ten’ in most of ‘sweeper’.
26 HARSH Inflation: extra E Hidden in ‘Kandahar shouting’; ‘hard’ is the definition.
28 GREENHOUSE Repossession ‘Green’ = ‘young’; ‘ken’ = ‘a house, esp a disreputable one’. ‘Greenhouse’ is a word for cockpit.
29 EDITORIAL Inflation: extra F *(Rita oiled)
1 SWAB Recession: ‘Pom’ becomes ‘mop’ I always like a cricket clue, and this is a sound one. The definition is ‘mop’. SA is South Australian; W and B are abbreviations used in scorecards.
2 BOREAL Inflation: extra U *(n labour e), where E is ’importance, finally’ (i.e. the final letter).
3 HEADMASTER Recession: ‘Tupac’ becomes ‘caput’ I’m not entirely happy about this one. ‘Caput’ = head; ‘master’ is a leading authority; ‘headmaster’ is an authority figure…er…
4 ROUBLE Recession: ‘race’ becomes ‘care’ ‘trouble’ minus its first letter.
5 VETERANS Recession: ‘Del rang’ becomes ‘gnarled’ *(steven ra). ‘Gnarled’ is OK as an anagram indicator; but I think the purists may take issue with RA = ‘a couple of randy’.
6 PADLOCK Repossession PACK around *(old).
7 SOMERSET Inflation: extra D *(s m dorset). Somerset, for non-Brits, is a county bordering Dorset.
8 REEK Recession: ‘knits’ becomes ‘stink’ ‘Breeks’ are trousers in Scotland.
13 SHUTTING Repossession *(things ut) — ‘things out’ minus O.
15 HEART-THROB Recession: ‘nip’ becomes ‘pin’-up HEAR = listen; T = supposed northern form of ‘the’ (actually, it’s a glottal stop); THROB = beat.
16 SINKS Inflation: extra L K in ‘sins’. Sink can mean ‘to pay (a debt)’.
18 LOOSENER Inflation: extra A LOO = ‘can’; *(Seren).
19 POMANDER Inflation: extra D MAN in PODER (‘powder’ minus D). Pomander.
22 CARDIE Inflation: extra D (I think) *(Dirac e); ‘Dr’ is the anagram indicator. A nice warm cardie could be described as an insulator.
23 HORRID ? First letters of ‘he obstinately refuses’; RID = ‘remove’. I can’t remember whether I fully worked this one out; if I did, I didn’t make a note of it.Thanks to Qaos for explaining this one — reverse characters to form ‘beastly’.
24 SIGN Recession: ‘Nemo’ becomes ‘omen’ Double definition — to sign is to take on.
25 TINA Recession: ‘dia’ becomes ‘aid’, making ‘maiden’ I suppose Tina is contained in ‘agglutinate’, though ‘Agglutinate around the maiden’ doesn’t quite seem like a full clue. Maybe I’ve got it totally wrong.
27 HOME HELP Repossession HOME = ‘local’, as in sports events; HE = chap, LP = Labour Party.

One Response to “Guardian Genius 57: Arachne — home economics”

  1. Qaos says:

    23d: Recession, because “belt, say” -> “beastly” (horrid) with “ltsa” reversed. Overall, I thought this was a very fun xword to do. The “recession” part had me trying to ADD letters to the clues to make things work – the possibilities of which were endless and actually fitted in a few places, making it harder to give up that idea!

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