Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,449, Brendan – A Shaw Thing

Posted by golgonooza on July 24th, 2008


A great themed puzzle from Brendan for my first blog – based around George Bernard Shaw and My Fair Lady. I really enjoyed doing this but had recourse to wikipedia for some of the characters and references, not being a massive fan of the film or Shaw.

* = anagram


1 OSCARS  OS (particularly large) CARS – the film My Fair Lady won lots of them.

2 DEMIURGE  Cryptic def. a demiurge sounds like half a drive, but in fact is the limited creator of this world in Gnostic myth, who is responsible for the evil in the world.


10 LERNER  writer of My Fair Lady – sounds like Learner.

11 HENRY HIGGINS Professor from My Fair Lady – not sure of the wordplay

13 MYNA  M(Y)NA* – Myna birds can be taught to speak

14 UNTAPPED (UN)TAP(P)ED – UN for middle of tune, TAPED outside of (without) P

17 BASS TUBA  Fish – BASS, front of area – A, round boat – TUB

18 COCK  Do East Enders call each other cock? I thought it was more a Northern thing. Not half-cocked I presume is the wordplay.

20 PRE-EXISTENCE  PRE(EXIS)TENCE – former partner one’s =EXIS in act = PRETENCE


24 HARRISON  Rex Harrison played Prof. Higgins in My Fair Lady. George Harrison from famous group

26 WAGNER  Producer of the Ring Cycle, who Shaw criticised.


2 SHAW  Hidden , &lit, IRI(SH A W)RITER a clever clue

3 ACIDHEADS  A CID HEADS – top detectives gathered together – but would acidheads be drug addicts? Maybe I’m being pedantic but it’s not a drug that causes addiction.

SATINY  Smoothly finished. A TINY after S.

DROP YOUR AITCHES  Eliza originally talked like this in My Fair lady – lack aspiration – the ‘h’ sound is an aspirant I think. A lovely clue which took me a while to get.

6 MELT INTO  MEL(TINT)O – cut fruit is melon without the last n.

7 UNRIG  another hidden clue – well hidden I thought

8 GREENPEACE  an environmental group GREEN = space, P(E)ACE , pace being measure

12 MY FAIR LADY  Just can’t get the wordplay here.

15 PICKERING  Colonel dramatically is another character from 12dn. I have the wordplay as PICK(ER)ING, but not familiar with ER as ‘King’ – it must be Edward Reginum?

16 PURITANS  PU(RITA)NS – did Shaw write three dramas for Puritans?

21 ELIZA  ELI(Z)A where final character = Z, Elia was an alias of Charles Lamb, an essayist

13 Responses to “Guardian 24,449, Brendan – A Shaw Thing”

  1. Matthew says:

    The wordplay for 18 across is COCK[neys].

    12 down in a reference to “London Bridge is Falling Down”. I groaned when I worked it out.

  2. Mick h says:

    Thanks Matthew, I didn’t get the thinking behind 12 down either, but that’s very good.
    And thanks for the maiden blog, golgonooza.
    18 ac, COCK is just a form of address, the wordplay is COCK(neys).
    Re GB Shaw, he did write Three Plays for Puritans, as well as, of course, Pygmalion, the play on which My Fair Lady was based, which I was expecting would make an appearance here.

  3. Andrew says:

    15d: ER = Edward (or more likely Eduardus, or some other latinisation) Rex. Similarly GR for King George both – as formerly seen on some coins, or on old pillarboxes.

    18ac: COCK is definitely a cockney usage (thought not exclusively so) – short for cock sparrow, I think.

  4. Dave Ellison says:

    An enjoyable puzzle. Can’t understand 11 ac either – is it something to do with dropping two Hs? Or two solutions 11 and 24 Ac begin with Hs?

  5. Andrew says:

    There are four H shapes formed by black squares in the grid; I don’t know if that’s relevant to 11 ac.

  6. golgonooza says:

    Well spotted Andrew and Dave; 11ac must be a ref to the H shapes in the grid. I suppose if you drop two H’s from the four shown you get the two that are referred to in 11ac.

  7. beermagnet says:

    The clue to 11A is more accurate than that: Henry Higgins initials are HH and that appears twice in those big black shapes!

  8. Dave Ellison says:

    I think Beermagnet must be right. I would query the “in a row”; more in “an off diagonal”, but that would ruin the clue.

    I like Brendan’s originality; every time something unexpected.

  9. Richard Thayer says:

    Yes, thanks golgonooza and of course Brendan for an enjoyable puzzle. Well done for spotting those aitches (or was it a reference to 5D?). But still no explanation for 12D, which I only got from the general context. Enlighten me someone.

  10. Qaos says:

    Hi Richard, for 12d, Matthew was referring to the nursery rhyme London Bridge is Falling Down, the last line being the answer and the person who the rhyme is being sung to.

  11. don says:

    What’s the answer to 19d, please?

  12. don says:

    OK – Julie (ANDREW)S

  13. Richard Thayer says:

    Sorry Matthew, just re-read your contribution – all is explained.

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