Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,521 – Brendan

Posted by Ciaran McNulty on October 16th, 2008

Ciaran McNulty.

An interesting theme today, 23A is quite correct!  It took me longer than I expected, mainly because the theme psyched me out a bit!

* = anagram
“” = homophone
dd = double definition
(X) = insertion
(x) = removal


9. AYE-AYE. “I-I”. A type of lemur.
10. COIN. CO(I)N. ‘do’ in the sense of ‘con’.
12. IRITIS. Infection of the eye, and ‘I’ appears regularly in the answer.
15. BRENDAN. B(REND)AN and the setter’s name.
17. CAPITAL LETTER. Punny dd.
20. TIVERTON. T(I VERT)ON. ‘Ton’ meaning high fashion is new to me.
24. IDOL. I’D + O + L.
25. RED-EYE. RED + “I”. Slang for a night flight.


2. SPAN. SPA(i)N
3. DIVERS. D(I’VE)RS. Older variation on ‘diverse’.
6. MYSORE. MY SORE. Weak pun, IMO.
18. ANEMONES. NAMES* around ONE.
21. INGRES. strikING RESults.
22. LACKEY. LACK + E(fficientl)Y.
24. ISLE. “AISLE”, no idea about ‘I may stand for it’.

23 Responses to “Guardian 24,521 – Brendan”

  1. Mort says:

    I think ‘I may stand for it’ is a reference to maps, where you often see ‘I.’ as an abbreviation for ‘island’ or ‘isle’. Perhaps more common is the plural e.g. “Shetland Is.”

  2. Andrew says:

    24dn – “I” is an abbreviation for “Isle” , as in IOM = Isle of Man, for example.

    An enjoyable puzzle, I thought, with “I” being used in a variety of ways. The only clue I wasn’t keen on was 12ac, where the wordplay is a bit weak, I think.

  3. Andrew says:

    PS a bit of a Grauniadism in your heading, Ciaran…

  4. Eileen says:

    Surely ‘stands for’ just means ‘is the initial letter of’? I’m sure I remember saying in primary school, ‘A stands for apple, etc.’

    I really enjoyed this and was sorry when I’d finished, despite delaying myself by putting in SERGEI for 19dn.

    Learned several new words today; aye-aye, red-eye, manta, but no cmplaints, because they were all fairly clued.

  5. Mort says:

    Agree with you Andrew. Don’t really see how one could be expected to get 12ac without the checked letters. Still, in a puzzle of such a high standard, I’m not one to complain about it too much.

  6. Eileen says:

    No, I didn’t say that. I said, ‘A stands for apple’, etc.

  7. Andrew says:

    Eileen, this is getting spooky – I initially had SERGEI as well. (A bit much when it was actually the French & Russian versions of my own name.)

  8. Eileen says:

    Andrew – yes, this happens a lot, doesn’t it?

    Re 14dn: I should have explained that my reading of this was “I stand[s] for ‘it'”.

  9. Eileen says:

    Sorry again – 24dn, of course. Time for the lie-down in a dark room.

  10. Eileen says:

    I don’t seem to be listening to what I’m saying today. I read it, of course, as “I may stand for ‘it’, i.e. ‘isle'”. I’ll go for a walk now and promise not to make any more inane contributions.

  11. mhl says:

    It’s quite a feat designing a crossword like this, and with such a good variety of clues… All the “I” statements made me think of those first-person riddles, if you know the ones I mean.

    I had SERGEI as well, unfortunately, which caused me some problems with the bottom left corner – otherwise I didn’t find it too difficult.

    (I was expecting this blog post to be called “The ‘I’s Have It” or something similar :))

  12. Trench Adviser says:

    Anyone want to use “ton” in a sentence meaning fashion?

  13. Trench Adviser says:

    Ah, I found “bon ton” and the Regency period etc…A new one for me. A decent puzzle today.

  14. Andrew says:

    I did an Araucaria puzzle in the “Monkey Puzzles” book only the other day where most of the clues start with “I”, but the theme there is different – I’ll say no more so as not to spoil anyone’s enjoyment of it.

  15. Peter says:


    If you have not done it yet there is a truly amazing Monkey Puzzle still to come. Number 80 on page 159.

  16. Geoff says:

    Very ingenious and fun puzzle, which I found largely straightforward, but with a few more difficult (but clever) clues which slowed me down a bit at the end. The last one I put in was BRENDAN. Duh!

    I also had SERGEI for 9dn under TIVERTON leapt out at me! Odd that so many of us fell into the same trap. I wonder if Brendan had spotted the ambiguity when he set it?

  17. Richard says:

    Nothing much to add except excellent puzzle. None I could quibble with and no need even for Google. The two I had to check in the dictionary were fair and eminently “getable”. Well done Brendan and yes, as Geoff also revealed, BRENDAN was appropriately my final entry.

  18. JimboNWUK says:

    Likewise another BRENDAN final-filler here!

    Enjoyed this one a lot and was thwarted in my hunt for a “me” somewhere — not a single one (or should that be a ‘single ‘I’?). No canines either which I was expecting somewhere… (setters).

    The only clue I was a tad unimpressed with was for 8D, EUCLID — unusual for an anagram to be so blatantly indicated, perhaps Brendan was rushing to finish for the deadline..? Other than that, most enjoyable.

  19. Fletch says:

    Nothing more to be said really, another terrific themed puzzle from Brendan. Coin was the last one I filled, Brendan before that.

  20. ACP says:

    This again demonstrated why Brendan is my favourite setter – interesting themes and no unnecessary obscurity.
    (I also had Sergei first off).

  21. Dave Ellison says:

    19d is definitely my last one; what is it? Is it so simple?

    At first, I put in intoxicate for 11ac – it is an anagram of excitation. Didn’t quite fit the definition of the clue, though.

  22. Dave Ellison says:

    24d: probably not relevant, but there is an Isle of May off the Fife coast.

    Just got 19d after reading Andrew’s comment.

  23. mark says:

    12a is the first time i’ve seen a clue where you simply weren’t given part of it/some letters….for goodness sake it’s ridiculous, if everyone starts doing that the ‘rule’ book goes out of the window

    PS Whatever you do please don’t actually say what 19D is, just allude to the fact that you got it (if one of you wasn’t called Andrew I’d still be in the dark)

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