Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,461 – Gordius

Posted by Ciaran McNulty on August 7th, 2008

Ciaran McNulty.

Took me a while to crack into, but once a few of the longer clues were in, especially 1D, I managed to rattle through most of the rest.

I couldn’t spot any theme, aside from the two clues that related to 1D and a couple of Latin phrases.

* = anagram
cd = cryptic definition
dd = double definition
“” = homophone


  • 1 NET CURTAINS – TEN backwards + CURTAINS with a nice cd.
  • 10 CUBISTS – CUBITS around S
  • 11 STONEWALL – NOTASWELL* – refers to Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson the American Civil War general
  • 12 CREDO – CO around RED – Latin for ‘I believe’, mostly associated with a part of the Catholic mass.
  • 13 DOPE – DO + PE
  • 14 STERILISED – S could be spade, but other than that I can’t see the wordplay. EDIT: “spayed”, an interesting use of a homophone definition
  • 19 BATS – I initially wrote SANE in here. EDIT: Eileen pointed out the correct solution in the comments
  • 20 TEETH – A cd with a charade hidden in it
  • 21 DINING CAR – Another cd
  • 23 OTTOMAN – NATO with MOT in, all backwards
  • 24 ACCRUES – “A cruise”


  • 1 NON COMPOS MENTIS – NO + SIN backwards around COMPOST around MEN – Latin for “not having a controlled mind”, i.e. insane
  • 2 TABLE – T + ABLE
  • 3 UPSTART – PUT* around STAR
  • 5 IMBECILE – (CLIMB + IE + E)* – I was prevented from getting this for a while because I was spelling it ‘imbicile’
  • 6 SUSPENSE ACCOUNT – Something used in bookkeeping and a cd for a thriller
  • 8 AS BOLD AS BRASS – ASBO + LADS* + BRASS – An asbo is an AntiSocial Behaviour Order
  • 15 ISCHEMIA – CHEMIS* + 1 + A – A blood disorder. I guessed it after spotting HEMIA in the anagram but had to look it up.
  • 18 CANDACE – CAN DACE – I spotted the girl’s name, hadn’t heard of the queen
  • 22 NICER – NICKER – K

9 Responses to “Guardian 24,461 – Gordius”

  1. Eileen says:

    19ac: BATS – the last one I got!

  2. Eileen says:

    I couldn’t understand 14ac either.

  3. Ciaran McNulty says:

    A friend who owns cats just pointed out that sterilised = “spayed”.

  4. JohnR says:

    20ac: surely just a hidden clue, not a cd?

    19 ac: brilliant! Like 1ac…

  5. Dave Ellison says:

    Enjoyed this, specially 1ac. and possibly 21ac. I wasn’t sure a chef would be in a dining car, but I couldn’t squeeze restaurant in.

  6. John says:

    Finished this ok yesterday on Eurostar. But IMO “aidance” and “bats” are both poor. The first is an anachronism and since when does A1 mean brilliant rather than in top condition or in good health.
    “Bats” makes no sense v the clued “1 down is in”. Unless I’ve missed something.

  7. Ciaran McNulty says:


    BATS means ‘is in’ in the sense of cricket, and is also a synonym for 1D.

  8. John says:

    Thanks Ciaran. I wasc out first ball!

  9. Jess says:

    Dave, 21A: it’s ‘trained chef’ i.e. a chef on a train.

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