Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,537 – Gordius

Posted by Uncle Yap on November 4th, 2008

Uncle Yap.

dd = double definition
cd = cryptic definition
rev = reversed or reversal
ins = insertion
cha = charade
ha = hidden answer
*(fodder) = anagram

A challenging puzzle which nearly got me into trouble with 19A and 25D
Most enjoyable

Across
9 WHOLEMEAL self-explanatory
10 ALONE Cha of A L (a student) ONE (single)
11 TRAMP Tram (car) P (Parking) But all the tramps I see on TV shows usually go around with suopermarket trolleys with 4 wheels :-)
12 DISPLAYED Ins of S (second) PLAY (drama) in DIED (perished)
13 SCHOLAR *(Carol’s H)
14 OIL LAMP Cha of O (nothing) ILL (bad) AMP (ampere, current)
17 CLEFT Cha of C (Conservative or Tory) LEFT (Socialist)
19 BUT Rev of TUB (a small cask) whereas BUT(T) – see Chambers butt4, a large cask of varying capacity. This was my very last clue and took me more than 5 minutes to find the Chambers entry
20 TAPER dd a long thin waxed wick or spill;and of course, the person who tapes (or records)
21 STANNIC Very clever *(tin cans)
22 FINGERS Ins of NG (no good) in FIERS *(fries)
24 RETROUSSE *(E trousers) adj esp of the nose, turned up.
26 BELOW Cha of BE (live) LOW Sir David Alexander Cecil Low (1891– 1963) was a New Zealand political cartoonist who lived and worked in the UK for many years. His cartoons of Mussolini and Hilter infuriated the WWII enemies so much that he was said to have been put on the Gestapo death-list.
28 BANAL Cha of BAN (rusticate like sending people to the countryside to live th rural life) A L (a student) See 10A above. Am I the only one who frowns on using the same device more than once in the same puzzle? It is not wrong but rather inelegant
29 DEADLY SIN *(send daily)

Down
1 SWOT Rev of TOWS (pulls a broken-down car. perhaps)
2 POTASH Ins of TA (Territorial Army or Home Guards or Dad’s Army) in POSH (smart)
3 NEAPOLITAN *(Ann a polite)
4 LENDER Well, I have once before recounted the tragic story of Hero and Leander (see Brewers) Removal of A from Leander to give you a lender of money (aka ready)
5 GLASNOST *(last song) Glasnost is the policy of maximal publicity, openness, and transparency in the activities of all government institutions in the Soviet Union, together with freedom of information, introduced by Mikhail Gorbachev.
6 TAIL dd
7 POLYCARP Cha of POLY (polytechnic or college) Car (vehicle) P (parking) Saint Polycarp of Smyrna (ca. 69 – ca. 155) was a second century bishop of Smyrna. He died a martyr when he was stabbed after an attempt to burn him at the stake failed. Polycarp is recognized as a saint in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran churches
8 BEND dd
13 SACKS dd
15 LUTINE BELL Ins of EL (Spanish definite article) in LUTINEB-L *(bulletine) a bell recovered from the frigate Lutine, and rung at Lloyd’s of London before certain important announcements.
16 PARIS Cha of PAR (average) IS
18 EXACTING Ex- acting
19 BACKSIDE I usually stay away from commenting on less-than-obvious pronunciations  and homophone clues (for fear of the angry natives :-) Maybe Andrew or Eileen or Geoff can fill in
22 FOEMAN Rev of NAME OF
23 ENLIST Cha of EN (space in printing) LIST (roster)
24 RUBY Removal of middle letter G from RUGBY (game) The best Chambers could assist me is that to wax is to rub with wax
25 ONLY It took me a long time to rationalise this clue. But, nothing more is ONLY
27 WINE Ins of IN in WE (partners in bridge)

18 Responses to “Guardian 24,537 – Gordius”

  1. Dawn says:

    24d I thought it referred to Ruby Wax the female comic often on TV.

    Thanks for 7d. I’d guessed it should end in carp but couldn’t get the beginning.

  2. Octofem says:

    I thought you might struggle with ‘Ruby Wax’, Uncle Yap. One of those answers which can’t be deduced unless you know the person.
    ‘Stannic’ was a new word for me, and had to be looked up. Thanks for blog, excellent as ever.

  3. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Uncle Yap.

    Re your comment on 10ac and 28 ac: it was the two instances of vehicles parking in 11ac and 7dn. that leapt out at me.

    [I’ll leave 19dn for someone else!]

  4. Andrew says:

    Since Uncle Yap kindly mentions my name – 19dn is a Spoonerism of SACK (bed) BIDE (remain).

  5. mhl says:

    Thanks for these explanations, Uncle Yap, particularly LUTINE BELL. (I considered this as a possible anagram but discarded it, not recognising the name.)

    The heraldry term “bend sinister” was new to me, as was “a spill” to mean a taper.

  6. PaulD says:

    10a I can only make sense of this clue if I take United as “all one” less l = alone (single).

  7. Mort says:

    Very clever, PaulD! I was faintly unsatisfied with 10a until I saw your interpretation.

  8. Richard says:

    Yes, seconded Mort. I was very unhappy with 10a. until I saw Paul’s explanation. Have I missed something with 25d? Aren’t “only” and “but” also more or less synonyms?

  9. JamieC says:

    I agree with PaulD re 10a.

    The Lutine bell was traditionally rung when a ship was lost at sea (and again when it was found again!) hence “news of wreck.”

    I am still a bit mystified by 19a – what is “25” doing in the clue? Is it that BUT also means ONLY, hence an extra definition?

  10. Tom Hutton says:

    I didn’t like 19ac because it seemed to me that before any other letters appeared it could be either “but” or “tub” but otherwise it was most enjoyable.

  11. Garry says:

    A propos my comment last week about (almost) coincidental anagrams. I think today’s (exactly) coincidental anagram is fantastic – tin cans/can tins/stannic. Wonderful!

  12. Dave Ellison says:

    Thanks for the explanation of 2d. I got the answer but couldn’t rationalise it. My thoughts were that “ready source” was the “r” at the end of the answer, and that I then needed to remove an “a” from a worshipper to give a hero.

  13. mhl says:

    JamieC: I think 25 = ONLY is the definition part and there are two cryptic subsidiaries, “short of a large cask” = BUT(T) and “brings back a small one” = TUB reversed…

  14. don says:

    8 Down I took ‘sinister’ as ‘Non Dexter’ = ND, hence ‘be sinister’ = BE+ND.

    My only carp was 7 Down. Never heard of Polycarp, a bit before my time, so like Dawn I had ‘carp’ without the ‘poly’. Sounds more like ingredients for a fish stew.

    Again some clever and amusing clues.

  15. John says:

    Although I deciphered alone from “all one”, I don’t like it as a definition of “united”.
    And in what way is a tramp “one without wheels”?
    It’s also a long time since anyone used “poly” to describe a college.Other than that, quite a satisfying puzzle.

  16. Bogeyman says:

    Another very tough Gordius offering, I thought – my heart sinks when I see the name. I did manage to complete it but not without the help of Google. Too many clues seem to rely on obscure bits of general knowledge (Lutine Bell and Polycarp for example). If I were doing this crossword somewhere without internet access I wouldn’t have a chance of completing it, and that doesn’t seem quite right to me. Am I being overly negative, or do others agree with me?

    I agree with John’s comment about the obscurity of defining a tramp as “one without wheels”

    Also agree with Gary about “Stannic” – quite brilliant clue!

  17. Qaos says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap for another well written and informative post. I agree with Bogeyman that without books or Internet, this was quite hard.

    As for the inelegance of repeating similar words in clues, I think that a duplicate pattern can look a little clumsy, but if it’s used more times (with different meanings) it can be quite clever. I’m sure either Paul or Araucaria set one with the use of the word “game” repeatedly, both as definition and subsidiary, that worked very well.

  18. Dawn says:

    I agree with Bogeyman too. I enjoy making up a word because it fits the clue and looking in the dictionary to find that, incredibly, that word really does exist. I then see if I can use that newly learned word somehow in the day. What I hate is getting totally stuck because of some really obscure thing that I could never have guessed or known. Using the internet, like the dictionary, is Ok for an occasional answer but seems like cheating.

    I like this site though because you give explanations which helps with seeing how to complete other puzzles.

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