Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,409 (Sat 7 Jun)/Brummie – Camera work

Posted by rightback on June 16th, 2008


Solving time: About 15 mins I think.

The eight answers clued by definition wordplay only (asterisked below) were all types of camera, which took me a long time to spot; I think a combination of DIGITAL and PINHOLE provided the breakthrough. I’d never heard of PLATE or BROWNIE cameras, while I found the wordplay to POLAROID the hardest.

Brummie’s clues tend to have more accurate wordplay than those of most Guardian setters, while retaining the slightly off-beat element which sets this newspaper’s crossword apart form the other broadsheets’. 11ac was my favourite clue today.

Sorry this is late, for the second week running – real life and lack of Internet access have intervened over the last week and a half. WordPress has an ‘autopost’ facility which allows blogs to be written in advance and scheduled for posting, so I’ll try to use that in future to avoid delays (although it wouldn’t have helped in this case).

Music of the day: would be ‘Somewhere In My Heart’ by Aztec Camera, but I haven’t managed to fix the sound on this prehistoric machine so no link I’m afraid.

* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.

4 M(RSM)OP – RSM = Regimental Sergeant Major. It didn’t occur to me that ‘Warrant Officer’ might be anything other than WO, which made this and 5dn rather tricky.
9 EMMA; rev. of [h]AMME[r]
10 GIRLFRIEND; (FIELDING + R + R)* – nice definition (‘Bird some say’).
11 CAVE A[r]T – excellent.
15 GENE – Gene Kelly of Singin’ In The Rain fame.
16 BACK (double definition)
* 17 MINI + A + T + URE – the rock star is Ultravox’s Midge Ure, who co-wrote the original Band Aid single Do They Know It’s Christmas?.
* 21 PO(LA ROI)D – ‘le roi’ is French for ‘the king’, hence ‘the effeminate French ruler?’ = ‘la roi’. This was my last thematic entry.
* 22/25
  / 5dn
SINGLE + LEN’S + REFLEX – ‘reflex’ = ‘unconscious’ is fair but not easy.
26 ER + SAT + Z – Z as in Zzzzzz…
27 URANUS; rev. of (SUN + A + R.U.)
* 1 COMP. + ACT – ‘comp’ short for ‘competition’.
* 2 PLAT[h] + E – I was expecting a classical poet here; Sylvia Plath would never have occurred to me, especially as I’d never heard of a plate camera.
* 3 DIG + I.T. (= ‘computing and stuff’) + A + L
6 MAINSHEET; MAINS (= ‘Electrical supply’) + E in (THE)* – a sheet can mean a rope in nautical terms.
* 7 PIN + HOLE – clever!
8 ORGAN(GRINDER)S – with several letters in place this looked as though it had to contain an anagram of ‘in rags’, but no.
14 MO(C,C + AS + I)NS
* 16 BROWN (= ‘PM’) + I + E (= ‘a quarter’)
19 RULINGS (double definition)
20 HOLD IT – ‘Stop’ is the definition; a ‘gin & it’ is a gin and Italian vermouth, which explains the second part of the clue.
23 NYLON; N + (ONLY)* – here ‘short and’ gives ‘n’ as in ‘his ‘n’ hers’.

10 Responses to “Guardian 24,409 (Sat 7 Jun)/Brummie – Camera work”

  1. Fletch says:

    I had slight misgivings about the abbreviation h for home, I couldn’t find it anywhere.

  2. John Dean says:

    Any sporting fixture list will yield (h) and (a)

  3. Andrew says:

    > The eight answers clued by definition only

    You mean by wordplay only, of course.

  4. rightback says:

    Thanks, corrected.

    H for ‘home’ gave me pause for thought as well, but H/A = home/away seemed a reasonable explanation, although I couldn’t recall seeing this before.

  5. Fletch says:

    No, me neither so thanks John.

    I automatically go riffling through dictionaries when I come across an unfamiliar abbreviation, the Phonetic Alphabet often catches me out.

    Am I right in saying that PA abbrevs. are acceptable in The Times the days, or am I thinking of The Indy?

  6. Paul B says:

    Indy. Don’t know about Times. But H in PA is hotel AFAIK!

  7. Fletch says:

    Yes, sorry did I make that confusing? I meant non standard dictionary abbrevs often catch me out, for e.g. PA ones, not that I thought home was from the PA.

  8. Paul B says:

    I lied. I do know about Times.

    It says that the editor ‘will require serious persuading’ to include a single-letter abbrev that isn’t in the List. In this List – which is dated 2004, so I can’t vouch for its authenticity in 2008 – there are no examples from the NATO Phonetic Alphabet (alpha, bravo, charlie etc.).

  9. rightback says:

    I’m sure I’ve seen phonetic alphabet abbreviations used in the Times – I remember on one occasion kicking myself for failing to understand why ‘echo’ should give ‘E’, possibly in a Championship puzzle. Roger Phillips said in a recent comment on his clue-writing challenge on the Times Crossword Club that they “aren’t commonly used in The Times crosswords but I can’t see any argument against them”.

    I certainly don’t have any problem with this – the phonetic alphabet is very much in current use in all sorts of professions and activities, and seems much more relevant and fair than ‘posh’ = ‘U’.

  10. Fletch says:

    Thanks Rightback. I thought I could remember a fairly recent Times clue where November was used to indicate N, but couldn’t be absolutely certain that I wasn’t getting it confused with an Indy puzzle.

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