Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,444/Quantum

Posted by Andrew on July 18th, 2008


I started off quickly with this one, with some very easy clues, especially in the SW corner (28ac, 24 and 25dn), but then things got a bit trickier. Got there eventually, with one or two clues that took a bit of working out even when the answer itself was clear (especially 19dn).

dd = double definition
cd = cryptic definition
* = anagram
< = reverse

9. SPOKESMAN – dd – As in the spokes of a wheel.
10. CANTO – CANT O – CANT can be “a slope in the turn of a road or track”
11. AMBER – (ch)AMBER – As in traffic lights
12. ABSENTEES – (a bees nest)* – Nicely misleading definition
13,14. GATWICK AIRPORT – (Patrick I got novel)*
17. ALIBI – BIL(l)< in A1 – “Defence” or (less accurately) “excuse” often indicates ALIBI
20. COMMA – dd – It’s a kind of butterfly.
24. PLASTERED – dd
26. IMPEL – (SIMPLE less S)*
29. CHARLOTTE – “Shah lot” – I suppose this refers to a lot in an auction, which could be a “good deal”. Or, much more plausibly, a “good deal” of something is a lot of it – thanks to Octofem

1. OSSA – OS (outsize) + SA(ck)
4. EMBARK – cd – Not very impressed by this
5. INKSTAND – cd – .. Or this
6. SCAN – SCAN(t)
7. ANTEROOM – (no more at)* – Is a mess particularly likely to have an anteroom? Any army officers reading who can confirm? See Peter Owen’s comment for confirmation.
13. GRAFT – RAF in GT – The indication of the wordplay is misleading, but OK if you read it as “in high-performance car: service”. The RAF is one of the Armed Services.
15. ROCKABILLY – ROCK + A BILLY – It took me ages to spot the wordplay here, until I remembered the Billy Can.
16. TWANG – cd – I guessed DUVET for this at first
18. ISOLATED – (SOLIDATE less CON)* – Con=study is an old-fashioned usage that is fossilised in crosswordese and never seen anywhere else.
19. LITERACY – (CATER)* replaces 2nd L in LILY – Again the wordplay took a bit of working out – the anagram of CATER was obvious but I was misled by the presence of the first L.
22. REDCAP – “Read” on CAP – MP = Military Policeman = redcap.
23. IMPUTE – I + PUT in ME
24. PACT – CAP< + T(he)
27. LIED – dd – Lied is German for “song”, and is typically used to describe songs of the Romantic period in music (the 19th Century, roughly speaking)

10 Responses to “Guardian 24,444/Quantum”

  1. Rich says:

    Can someone please explain where the ‘OS’ comes from in 1d?

  2. beermagnet says:

    OS is an acronym/abbreviation for oversized, in my experience used in libraries for OS books, but also used generally I believe.

  3. Andrew says:

    I’ve always thought OS stood for OutSize, describing clothes for the “fuller figure”.

  4. Rich says:

    Thanks guys!

  5. Octofem says:

    29 across – surely the ‘lotte’ comes from the sound of ‘lot’ meaning many – a good deal of difficulty, for example?

  6. Peter Owen says:

    7 down – I’ve never been an army officer but I have stayed in an officers’ mess and I can confirm that the sitting room in the mess is called an anteroom.

  7. Andrew says:

    Octofem, I’m sure you’re right about “lot”: much more obvious than my convoluted reasoning.

    Peter, thanks for your confirmation on military anterooms.

  8. Speckled Jim says:

    So for 2d, you are saying that nature = sort?

  9. Andrew says:

    Yes, nature=sort as in phrases such as “crosswords and other puzzles of that nature”.

  10. Ygor says:

    18D “Con” is still used as a noun in the US Navy to denote the duty officer in temporary command on the bridge, usually in phrases like “take the con” or “He has the con.” It is also the root of “connng tower.”

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