Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24370/Brendan – placeholder

Posted by Colin Blackburn on April 23rd, 2008

Colin Blackburn.

Talk amongst yourselves…

22 Responses to “Guardian 24370/Brendan – placeholder”

  1. Andrew says:

    It’s a shame Brendan couldn’t work the world’s first female Prime Minister in among all those 9Dn. .. (Sirimavo Bandaranaike of Ceylon/Sri Lanka, to save anyone having to look it up.)

  2. Chris says:

    How would you clue that, then? There must be a good anagram in there somewhere…

  3. Eileen says:

    I only ever heard of her as Mrs. Bandaranaike, so offer, for her surname: First of Admirals in Victory follows Hastings artist, first of 9d.

  4. Eileen says:

    I’ve several queries about this puzzle.19ac [GLOBALISM]23ac [LEGAL AID[ and 28ac [STARTLE} all have the definition as part of the wordplay. Is this usual? [At least 19 and 28 have a question mark.]

    I couldn’t quite see why 11 ac was FIELD EVENT and spent far too long after writing in IMITATE for 2dn puzzling why a Christian was a mate, until the pebnny dropped: Fletcher Christian was Master’s Mate on the ‘Bounty’!

    Very enjoyable, though!

  5. Andrew says:

    19ac, 23ac and 28ac are all “&lit” clues, where the definition and wordplay are cleverly the same.

    In athletics, a FIELD EVENT (high jump, javelin, etc) is in contrast to a TRACK EVENT (running) – the latter have times (e.g. world record for 100 metres is 9.something seconds) whereas the former usually have a height or distance instead.

    Applause for your BANDARANAIKE clue 😉

  6. John Ridge says:

    Eileen – on 11ac, I think it’s that field events, unlike track, are not timed – the def is “in the Olympics, for example”.

    I also was a bit put out by the three clues you query.

  7. Eileen says:

    Thanks, both. I thought the FIELD EVENT must be something like that.

    I still don’t see where the definition for 23 ac is!

  8. Andrew says:

    I think the idea is that LEGAL AID is a form of support for advocates; the definition reading of the clue should be parsed as “Support [that] advocate put in place” with “support” as a noun. Slightly dodgy wording, I think: legal is not exactly “put in place” _by_ an advocate..

  9. muck says:

    Thanks for help with this: I had quite a few of the refs in 9dn but only just now got it!

  10. Andrew says:

    Who needs bloggers when the 15sq community is there to help? (Only joking, Colin, we await your notes with interest.)

  11. muck says:

    23 ac: LEGAL AID. LEG=support, A=advocate primarily, LAID=put in place. But where is the definition?

  12. Dave Ellison says:

    Muck, isn’t LEGAL AID a form of support for a member of the public? Another &lit, as Andrew pointed out.

  13. Fletch says:

    The whole clue is the definition plus elements of wordplay. As Andrew says above this, 19 and 28 are examples of &lit clues. Brendan seems to have a particular talent for these.

  14. Cruciverbophile says:

    Thank you Eileen (post 4) – I would have never have understood why Christian = mate. Nice puzzle and very hard – in terms of quality and difficulty it wouldn’t have been out of place as a Saturday prize puzzle.

  15. neildubya says:

    If anyone wants to go ahead and write up their own blog then please feel free as it looks like Colin has been delayed by Real Life.

  16. Andrew says:

    OK, I’ll give it a go… hope Colin’s RL delays are nothing serious.

    A double-edged theme here, featuring two types of LEADING LADIES, and a smattering of &lits including one of the thematic clues.

    1ac HILL + A-RY (RY = railway = system of track)

    5, 10ac LILLIAN GISH – anag of L (pound) + A SHILLING – a film star, initially of the silent era, and the first of the 9dn

    11 FIELD EVENT – cryptic defintion: see discussion in previous comments

    12ac,22dn LAUREN BACALL – another anagram (A BANAL CLUE + L (learner) & R), another leading lady. Useful pub quiz fodder: her real name was Betty Joan Perske, and she married Humphrey Bogart when she was 20 and he was 45.

    13 DO-(R)-I’S DAY – another one.

    14 BEGGARING . Def is “Making poor”, but the wordplay took me a while to work out. I think it’s start=BEGIN , “finally good” = G at the end, and so GAR must be a fish: which luckily it is.

    17 SMELT – nice double def

    19 GLOBALISM – anag of BIG + O + SMALL, and the first of three &lit clues in this puzzle.

    23 LEGAL AID – LEG (support) + A (advocate primarily) + LAID (put in place), and another &lit – see previous discussion in comments

    27 WORD – “what you are doing” is a CROSSWORD

    28 STARTLE – anag of RATTLE+S &lit

    29 CLINT-ON – I had to check Chambers to find that CLINT is “one of a series of limestone blocks or ridges divided by fissures or grikes”. So what’s a grike? Glad you asked – it’s “a fissure in limestone rock formed or widened by the dissolvent effect of rain”. And here we get a link to 1ac for another CLINTON.

    2dn IMITATE – IT in I MATE. As mentioned in a previous comment, Fletcher Christian was a Master’s MATE on the Bounty, of Mutiny fame.

    3dn LEHAR – hidden

    4dn RE-FINE-R

    6dn,24ac – INDIRA GANDHI: R in INDIA + anag of HEADING less E. Another “leading lady”, though a different sort this time; and also another &lit

    9dn LEADING LADIES – the theme phrase for the puzzle. Note the “maybe” after “1 29″, indicating the Hillary Clinton is only a potential LL.

    15dn GOLDA MEIR – GO + anag of A MILDER. Another political LL – PM of Israel 1969-1974.

    18 MAE WEST – back to film stars, and also the name of a wartime lifejacket, named after its supposed resemblance to her curvaceous figure.

    20 BIG DEAL – B + G in IDEAL

    21 SCHERZO – Z (unknown) in anag of ORCHES(tras).

  17. mark says:

    Failed to get 8D and 16A – help please.

    Also I have a gripe with 4D. What is the purpose of the words “in a way” in the clue? I was trying to put ST or RD around bits for ages. Not needed for the clue to flow.So??


  18. Eileen says:

    16A BE[A]ST
    8D ANNU[A]LS

  19. Colin Blackburn says:

    Hi All,

    Sorry about the lack of a blog. Great puzzle, solved early but I ran out time to actually blog the thing. Thanks in particular to Andrew for taking the time to produce a blog. At least this demonstrates the effectiveness of the Neil’s placeholder idea.

  20. mark says:

    Thanks Eileen, I should have got those.

    But anyone, please, what is the answer to my query on 4D?

    “Also I have a gripe with 4D. What is the purpose of the words “in a way” in the clue? I was trying to put ST or RD around bits for ages. Not needed for the clue to flow.So??”

  21. Andrew says:

    I think “in a way” is not technically incorrect – fining someone is a “way” of punishing them. As you say, it could be omitted without affecting the wordplay: maybe it’s deliberate misdirection.

  22. mark says:

    Thanks Andrew.
    I haven’t really come across/thought about the idea of “deliberate misdirection” before but take your point. I think a well crafted and ingenious clue should be hard enough; dare I suggest that deliberate misdirection is the last refuge of a lazy setter?!

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