Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,401 – Brendan

Posted by manehi on May 29th, 2008


My chronic lack of geographical knowledge slowed me down quite a bit in this puzzle with lots of varied and often rather clever uses of “capital”, both in definitions and wordplay. On reflection, this probably made me waste more time in those clues where the geographical capital could not possibly have been relevant, eg 4ac.

1 WEALTH (thelaw)*, one meaning of “capital”
4,25 GEORGE BUSH aka Dubya = W[yoming]
9 DISC DC around IS
10 SACRAMENT,O capital of California
11 K,I,GAL,I capital of Rwanda
12 RICH,MON,D capital of Virginia
13 AGNES GREY (gasenergy)*. Novel by Anne Bronte.
15 STOA thankfully, pretty unambiguous from the wordplay (hidden in PiraeuS TO Athens). It’s a type covered walkway of Ancient Greece.
16 P,ACE ACE being another meaning of “capital”
21 COOL DOWN made me smile
24 WIDESCREEN cd? seems pretty weak if it is.
26 OTTAWA O, rev(A WATT), Canadian capital
28 HAVANA “Hospital area” -> HA, around A VAN
1 WRITING sounds like “righting”. the three R’s (R[ussian]’s) are reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic
2 A,C,C,RA capital of Ghana
3 TOSSING cryptic def.
5 EXARCH AXE = “dismiss” reversed, R[esistance], CH for church
8 SCAR,LET RUNNER a runner bean, hence “climber”. does LET = “hindrance” if taken in the tennis sense?
14 EXCELLENT E for European in (next cell)*
16 PROVISO PRO, V[ery] O[ld] around IS
18 ATLANTA AT, LA around ANT=worker. state capital of Georgia (see 19).
19 AUGUSTA city in Georgia that hosts the Masters, but is also the capital of Maine
20 MOSCOW MO = second, SCOW = boat. “invested” in the military sense of “surrounded”
23 UMBRA Umbria minus I[taly]

17 Responses to “Guardian 24,401 – Brendan”

  1. Andrew says:

    Thanks for the explanations of WRITING and GEORGE BUSH – I’d put them in but hadn’t made links with R and W.

    I agree with you that WIDESCREEN is (a) just a cryptic def; and (b) not a very good one. Maybe we’re both missing something.

    LET does mean “hindrance” in general – the two words often appear together, as in the stern injunction (formerly?) printed in the front of British passports where “Her Majesty’s Secretary of State… requests and requires all those it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely, without let or hindrance…”.

  2. Eileen says:

    Thanks for 5dn; I had ‘eparch’, which is a bishop, too, but [no wonder] I couldn’t work out the wordplay.

    i got 21ac by deduction but wasn’t familiar with ‘keep your shirt on'; hereabouts we say, ‘Keep your hair on’!

    I don’t get 24ac at all. If something’s ‘relatively long’, then it’s not wide at all, is it?

  3. Andrew says:

    Quite right, Eileen: for a screen I would say the relevant dimensions are width and height, and length doesn’t come into it at all. It the clue had been “… relatively short… ” it would have made a lot more sense, as shortness can apply to height as well as length.

  4. Garry says:

    I don’t fully understand the solution to 3d.

  5. manehi says:

    Garry – it’s a cryptic reference to the tossing of a coin before a game of whatever

    Eileen + Andrew – agree that it’s not really on to conflate length and width as the non-height dimension of a screen, but even if you let that go it’s still not much of a clue

  6. beermagnet says:

    3D I didn’t get this and obviously now agree it is TOSSING from a whole clue CD. I put in TESTING and even convinced myself it was OK, like this: Oh look there’s TIN in there, that can be “cash” and “ahead of the game” does for the G, so just got to find some reason for the initial TES from what left – “Raising a bit” – well, raising indicates reversal in a down clue and “bit” must equate to one of the 128 different definitions of SET, so there ya go. A definition? I didn’t really worry too much about that but I suspect I thought it was some whole clue &lit def. where “testing” is a financial term – a bit like testing the water – raising partial funds before the start of an enterprise. You know sometimes I reckon I over-think things.

  7. Austen says:

    3d – At the start of many games, a coin is tossed to see who starts etc. Hence “raising a bit of cash” here is TOSSING…

  8. muck says:

    Good to see another ‘Dubya’ clue (at 4, 25ac)!

  9. stan says:

    Missed the wordplay for 1d (but slammed it in anyway because of the circumstantial evidence of it sounding like RIGHTING), and I went with EPARCH for 5d after self-delusion that it was (RAPE) reversed + CH.

    In 8d LET is a legal term used in the tautology “without let or hindrance”. In tennis a let is actually a help – interesting …

  10. Eileen says:

    Stan: nice to know I was not out on a lonely limb wuth ‘eparch’ but how did you justify ‘RAPE’? [I struggled!] Actually, I’m not too keen on ‘axe’ for ‘dismiss’ but I’m sure EXARCH must be right.

    Tought 6dn [RHEUMATIC] was clever, &lit?

  11. Eileen says:

    PS: Sorry, THOUGHT 6dn…

  12. Eileen says:

    PPS: Yes, I suppose axe = behead – and that’s pretty dismissive…

  13. Eileen says:

    Sorry,everyone, yet another PS. Stan: I know I’m not supposed to do this but Tuesday is a long time ago and there hasn’t been a ‘correction or clarification’ for SENDER as a solution to 26ac so presumably your challenge to come up with an explanation still stands? Not that I have one!

  14. manehi says:

    Eileen, AXE = dismiss in the sense of cutting jobs. And I for one have no explanation for SENDER.

  15. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Manehi, yes, and perhaps it’s a case of ‘Return to SENDER’.

  16. Paul B says:

    Arr. Me and the Tiverton Ladies stumped by TOSSING & EXARCH. Think perhaps the cryptic def here may lead to TOSSING THE COIN rather than what we were given. EXARCH was simply hard, and the ‘to’ didn’t help much!

    Those are our excuses.

  17. stan says:

    SENDER … there’s presumably someone paid to check this of thing, right ? We should burn tyres and blockade Farringdon Street until apologies are made.

    I have no excuse for thinking EPARCH – the voices told me if it was right.

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