Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,529 (Sat 25 Oct)/Brummie – Stoup and roup

Posted by rightback on November 1st, 2008


Solving time: 9:51

A rare Saturday outing for Brummie. Nothing too difficult, although NO STRINGS, DROSOPHILA and LUTYENS probably accounted for a third of my time. I enjoyed the puzzle but thought a lot of the surface readings were weak or meaningless.

A mini-theme is the presence of both LOCK, STOCK & BARREL and HOOK, LINE & SINKER in the grid, linked by the clue to 11ac.

* = anagram.

1 BOG + LAND – not the best opener: ‘Gents’ = BOG needs an example indicator such as ‘perhaps’, and I’m not quite sure how this surface reading is supposed to be read; there’s no apostrophe in ‘Gents’, so ‘leading’ has to be a gerund (I think that’s the right term), which spoils the phrase ‘leading light’. Come to think of it, doesn’t ‘Gents’ as a lavatory require an apostophe? Curiously, Chambers says no, although the ladies’ equivalent does have one. Explain that!
5 CALL OFF; (LOCAL)* + FF – not sure if ‘papers’ = FF is via ‘folios’ or ‘following pages’.
10 BAT + H,C + HAIR (= ‘shock’)
11 COM(P + LET)ELY – nicely joining the two theme phrases.
12 [s]HOOK
14 NON-INVASIVE – a medical term, with a pun on ‘operation’.
18 RIGHT (= ‘just’) + AS RAIN (= ‘like a fall’)
21 PUPA; rev. of UP (= ‘erected’) + PA (= Pennsylvania) – one of my favourite clues, ‘Monarch’ (as in the butterfly) is well worked in and fooled me.
22 DROSOPHILA; (SHIP OR LOAD)* – trying an ‘O’ in second place cost me quite a bit of time here. A bit of Greek would have helped: ‘drosos’ means dew or moisture. Good clue though.
26 [t]INKER
27 LUTYENS; (N,U,STYLE) – the hyphen here is a bit naughty and means the cryptic reading doesn’t quite work. The composer is Elisabeth, although I only knew the name via her father Sir Edwin, most famous for designing New Delhi.
1 B + I[n]SECT
3 ALKALINITY (hidden) – with so many curious and short words in the clue this stuck out as a hidden answer.
5 CAT + ALON[e] + IA
6 [c]LOCK – a hank is a lock of hair, and ‘clock’ is apparently a slang (i.e. vulgar) word for the face.
7 OR + A + T(O)RIO
8 FOREKNEW; rev. of OF, + RE(K)NEW – this surface reading doesn’t make much grammatical sense.
15 NO ST RINGS – nice charade and a cunning one-word definition to kick off the clue (‘Unrestricted’).
16 PROPOSAL – a very obvious cryptic definition.
17 EG + G + PLANT – another name for the aubergine.
19 S[t]INKER – a sinker is a weight for sinking a fishing line.
20 BARREL; rev. of (ERR in LAB)
23 STRIA; [six]T[ies] in rev. of AIRS – a narrow groove.
24 LI + NE – a li is about a third of a mile, as you probably know if you solve barred cryptic puzzles.

7 Responses to “Guardian 24,529 (Sat 25 Oct)/Brummie – Stoup and roup”

  1. Paul B says:

    Well, at best clue surfaces merely offer us that false security of sense.

  2. Andrew says:

    I found it very hard to get properly started on this one, though DROSOPHILA was the first answer I got – one of those cases where the anagram just jumped out at me. On the other hand I didn’t notice the hidden answer in 3dn for ages, despite the rather contrived wording.

  3. mhl says:

    I found this slow-going until luckily guessing the mini-theme from HOOK.

    DROSOPHILA was also the first one that I got, but given that my PhD topic is neuroanatomy of Drosophila melanogaster I would have been very upset to miss it. :)

    1a: I thought FF = “papers” for folios worked better…

  4. Fletch says:

    I enjoyed this. Much as I like Araucaria and Paul on a Saturday, it was good to have a change.

  5. Dave Ellison says:

    re 1ac apostrophe. Yes, strange. I have never fathomed the difference between “a summer’s day” and “a spring day”

  6. Barnaby says:

    I suppose “gents” without an apostrophe is comparable with “men”.

    (Which reminds me that I have always been intrigued by where the emphasis lies in the advice “please adjust your dress before leaving” – is it simply a reminder that adjustment may be required, or a warning against doing it after leaving?)

  7. Paul B says:

    You can wear a dress if you like, Barnaby.

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