Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24432 – Placeholder

Posted by manehi on July 4th, 2008


Computer failure – will try to post by tonight but if anyone wants to step in with a blog of their own please do.

26 Responses to “Guardian 24432 – Placeholder”

  1. smutchin says:

    OK… 1ac,31ac is BARK UP THE WRONG TREE, with WRONG TREE being used elsewhere – both to indicate an anagram of TREE but also in enjoyably devious ways in other clues, eg 28ac (replace “teak” with “pine” in steaks to get SPINES) and 11ac uses a similar technique.

    6dn JEWELLERY is a gorgeous clue – WELL inside JEER with Y (lady’s butt, arf!)

    7dn Maggie’s attacks is HANDBAGS, of course – drop the G (gravity) and add IN to get HANDBASIN

    I have a slight grammatical gripe with 17ac – “seer’s” should be “seers'”, surely? Anyway, seers is a nice crosswordism for “eyes”.

    13ac – I got ALPACA but didn’t fully understand the wordplay.

    And I’m still stuck on 27ac and 26dn.

  2. smutchin says:

    15dn I had trouble with the wordplay until I remembered that investors earn interest on the PRINCIPAL

    I also enjoyed 30ac – RE: A SON

    Although I didn’t complete it, I thought today’s puzzle was surprisingly easy for a Friday. A god one though.

  3. conradcork says:


    27 ac is pit in palate

    26 d is flat tire without fl for Florida

  4. smutchin says:

    Thanks, Conrad – I was trying to make something of “de[fl]ate” for 26dn and not getting anywhere. I suppose “in America” excuses the spelling. And I got the “pit” part of 27ac, so should have been able to work it out from there.

  5. Eileen says:

    Can’t get 22dn [help!] and have KAOLIN as clay for 3dn but can’t explain it. I don’t know why it’s ALPACA, either!

    I think I’ve seen something similar to 30ac before – but didn’t help myself by putting in REMARK to begin with!

    I thought this was a very clever puzzle. It took me a while to get started with 1,31ac and I still don’t fully understand the wordplay.

    I particularly liked 7dn and 26dn.

  6. Mort says:

    Website doesn’t say the setter (and no PDF today – boo!) – does the print version?

  7. smutchin says:

    22dn is C (hundred) and TO inside REAR (bring up) to get REACTOR (pile).

    3dn NIL (love) and OAK (tree) reading upwards for a type of clay.

    1ac,31ac cork is produced from the bark of the cork oak, but if you were to find it in a plane, that would be the wrong tree.

  8. Rich says:

    I thought jewellery was excellent, can anyone please explain 3d ?

    9a DETAIN – calumNIATED
    10a NO C(hapter)ON TEST
    12a anagram
    19a HEROINE
    20a anagram
    21a (A)WRY
    23a MAN AG E
    29a STRA TEGI C (rev ‘i get’ in rev carts)

    2d A MO UNT
    3d KAOLIN don’t get the word play yet – O or L love AIN for heart of saint but cant see the K
    4d PETREL (lp tree)*
    5d anagram
    8,14 anagram
    18 STY
    22 REA C TO R
    25 STREET (st tree)*

  9. Eileen says:

    Many thanks, Smutchin.

    22dn: I had SHY [which does fit, though not so good as WRY!] for 21ac, which didn’t help! I’d put YES for 17dn instead of 17ac and forgot to change it later. Made a proper mess today – but enjoyed it all the same!

  10. smutchin says:

    Love means nothing (NIL) to a tennis player. The “heart” of STREET is “tree”, of which OAK is an example.

    If you didn’t know your trees, today’s puzzle would be quite tricky.

  11. Eileen says:

    Mort – the setter is Taupi

  12. Eileen says:

    Just had a thought about ALPACA: ALP [mountain] CA[t] ‘lion, say, last [letter] to go’ after A

  13. Pat says:

    13ac. ‘Mountain’ is ALP. ‘Lion, say,’ is A CAT, with ‘that’s last'(letter), T, going, to leave ACA after, giving a woolly beast

  14. Pat says:

    Sorry, Eileen, I was too slow, and I’m sure your explanation of the A is the right one

  15. smutchin says:

    Thanks Eileen & Pat – it seems obvious now you’ve explained it, though the clue itself is a bit woolly, never mind the alpaca. Surely “… its last to go …” would make more sense?

  16. Dave says:

    This has to be the most non-Ximenean puzzle in a while (both grid and clues). The /’s/s in 16 and 17 were particularly irksome.

  17. Kate Wild says:

    I’m still finishing yesterday’s (Chifonie) crossword today – and its bugging me that I didn’t get 5ac, and no one’s posted the answer. Anyone remember that far back? 5ac, the country’s getting a long examination. Stupidly the only word I can think of is parasol, which is obviously not right.

  18. Dave Ellison says:

    I agree with Dave about 16d; the clue works well enough without the s.

    For me Taupi ranks between Shed and Paul in difficulty; I only ever completely finish 18% of them, so I was pleased to finish today’s

  19. AlanR says:

    Kate: It’s perusal (Peru’s getting a L.)

  20. Eileen says:

    I don’t understand the comments about the ‘s’ in 16d. Record: single; hundred: ton; definition: ‘one’. What am I missing?

  21. Eileen says:

    PS: a hasty sorry! Just realised you mean the ‘s’ in the CLUE

  22. muck says:

    I loved this puzzle, with 31ac as ‘wrong tree’ used in various ways. Eg 11ac replace W(ash) by W(elder) and 28ac replace S(teak)S by S(pine)S. But many other great clues.

  23. don says:

    Reading other people’s answers and difficulties is much more helpful/enjoyable than just reading the experts answers, often without adequate explanation. Let’s hope for more ‘computer failures!

  24. Dave says:

    16d. Actually, I’m sorry. I’ve just noticed that it’s possible to read “record’s hundred” as “the hundred of the record”, for which “single ton” is awkward but technically fine. Still, I think I would have preferred something like “one hundred below record” or “one record, then a hundred”.

  25. manehi says:

    Hi, apologies for failing to blog in the end – I’ve had to send my computer away for repairs and am on a friend’s machine at the moment. Happily, you seem to have done much better between you than I could have done – I missed the wordplay for several of the clues that you’ve explained. Agree that there were several (28a,7d especially) excellent clues.

  26. Kate Wild says:

    Thanks AlanR. Of course. It was bugging me.

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