Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,369 : Pasquale – “Bad Tahr Day”

Posted by neildubya on April 22nd, 2008


Between a SNAFU with my contract and a chest cold, I actually had some leisure to look at this properly this morning. Just as well – Pasquale is one of the compilers who has in the past beaten me rather badly. Today’s puzzle fortunately had some easier clues that gave you an “in”. A first-rate puzzle with some groan-out-loud puns and a couple of real stinkers.


1 DI(THY-RAM)B : I had to build this laboriously from the wordplay and check it online. My favourite definition is “A frenzied, impassioned choric hymn and dance of ancient Greece in honor of Dionysus.” Sounds like enormous fun. Note that a “ram” is an animal that “butts”, therefore it is a “butter”.

6 C(OP-S)E : “Elders” in the sense of “trees”. A copse is a small wooded area.

9 FOOT POUND SECOND : (TO CONFOUND DOPES)* – The FPS system is the competitor set of units to the Metric system. Loved the surface.

10 TAHR : “Regularly” is often crosswordese for “take alternating letters” – hence – ThAtHoRn. Had to check online to find that this is in fact a Himalayan goat.


14 BUCC-AN-EER – sounds like “Buck An Ear”

15 LE(E)CH

16 SATI(r)E



21 GAFF(e) – I lost a lot of time insisting it was SPIT(e)

25 LIBERAL DEMOCRAT – (CREDITABLE MORAL)* Apart from Mark Oaten, obviously

26 Y AXIS – groan !



1 DEF(e)AT : Not a word you use every day, but perfectly fair


3 YA(P)S

4 ARUM : MURA(l) in reverse

5 BAD HAIR DAY : “Shock” as in the sense of a “a shock of white hair”

6 CLEANS-LATE : Again lost time with the misguided insistence that CLEAN SHEET would do the job.

7 Omitted on purpose – hint : double definition


12 CAD-ERID-RIS : “Sir” “Dire” in reverse on “Cad”. It’s an allegedly haunted Welsh mountain – if you spend a night on the summit you will either wake up as a madman or a poet. I would contend that you’d have to already be one of these two things to want to spend the night on the summit.


14 BEST-I-ALLY : I did mention I have a chest cold. I also had a mouthful of coffee when the penny dropped on this. Cue legendary coughing-fit that will probably have me barred for life from any Costa coffee shop.

17 TUCK BOX : Reference to Friar TUCK from the Robin Hood tales


22 FE(TI)D : I assume “TI” is some form of fodder

23 prinCESS : An old word for tax (quaint spelling of “assess”)

24 S(OF)A : I believe this is “S.A” (as in Sex Appeal) being “It”, with “belonging to” = “OF “. I am often wrong about such things.

13 Responses to “Guardian 24,369 : Pasquale – “Bad Tahr Day””

  1. Andrew says:

    Nice puzzle, but rather a lot of obscure words for a weekday, I thought.

    I agree with you for 24dn.

    22dn – TI is Cordyline fruticosa or the “good luck plant” (thanks, Wikipedia).

  2. Eileen says:

    I enjoyed this one. Especially liked 1ac, 6ac, 25ac. Couldn’t see why 24D had to be sofa but of course you’re right – good one.
    14ac: buccaneer, surely?

  3. Andrew says:

    Yes, the “few elders” misdirection in 6ac was brilliant.

  4. stan says:

    Thanks Eileen – now amended to BUCC-AN-EER

  5. beermagnet says:

    Cracking puzzle despite some words that needed checking – I was pleased there really is a goat called a TAHR – and being defeated by CESS.

    On the descent from Cader Idris I was the wettest I have ever been.
    “Waterproofs” aren’t on that kind of rain. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to spend the night up there.

  6. Nematocera says:

    Frustratingly I had Dathyramb for 1Ac as I thought the fish was Dab. Never heard of dibbing (or self evidently Dithyrambs for that matter!)

  7. muck says:

    Excellent Pasquale puzzle, if a little difficult for a Tuesday.

    1ac: I had DAB for fish too, but Google asked ‘did you mean dithyramb?’, and Chambers confirmed that DIB (vb) is fish.

    4dn: I had ADUL for the plant, from adult cut short. Unfortunately, if you look up ADUL on Google you get the other type of adult sites.

  8. Ygor says:

    On Cader Idris tahrs and lambs,

    Fear the fetid dithyrambs.

  9. Paul B says:

    Gwyn ap Nudd + Cwn Annwn, shurely?

  10. Stocky says:

    7dn – I have PRO (for) FILE (the official records) rather than a double definition construction.

    Does this make me a scallywag or a gentleman?

    Overall I thought this was tough.

  11. muck says:

    Anyone able to translate “Gwyn ap Nudd + Cwn Annwn”?

  12. stan says:

  13. Testy says:

    …and their relevance is????

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