Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,601 – Rover

Posted by Uncle Yap on January 20th, 2009

Uncle Yap.

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

Not at all a difficult puzzle although I cannot fully explain a couple of answers (9A & 8D)

9 AUTOGRAPH The def is straight-forward enough but I do not fathom the fist part
10 MINOR dd
11 ELASTIC *(laciest)
12 TERMITE Cha of TERM (call) IT E (last letter of the)
13 EDGE Rev of EG (for example or say) DE (French of)
14 METHYLATED *(met the lady)
17 PAISLEY dd Paisley is the administrative capital of the Renfrewshire council area in Scotland and Paisley pattern or Paisley design is a type of pattern whose most characteristic feature is an ornamental device known as a *cone* used in the Paisley shawl
19 ROYAL FLUSH Delightful cd
22 OTTO Not only is this palindromic but it is the same when invertedĀ  laterally (mirror image)
24 ILLNESS Cha of Illinois (US State where President Obama hails from) Ness (head)
25 ISRAELI Ins of *(laser) in I’s (sound like eyes)
26 THORN I suppose I have to classify this as a dd. Old English and Norse character and Hawthorn
27 RELUCTANT *(cattle run)

2 STRANGER Cha of ST (street or way) R (unexplained) Anger (rile) I have checked Chambers which does not give STR as an abbreviation of street
3 AGATE dd In printing agate is a type
4 CATCHERS In a ball game like baseball, the fielders are also catchers – allusion to Catcher in the Rye (a 1951 novel by J. D. Salinger)
5 THATCH This reminds me of the time when I first went to Newcastle in the early 70’s. One Wednesday afternoon, there was a demonstration and I was asked to carry a placard reading “Margaret Thatcher, Milk Snatcher” without then knowing why. Talk of misspent youth (sigh)
6 AMARYLLIS *(Mary Allis) What a give-away annie
7 ENLIST Ins of L (fifty) in *(I sent)
8 FRIENDLY SOCIETY Another clue I do not fully understand. Why Tonga?
15 CHILTERNS Sounds like chilled terns. Appointment to the office of Crown Steward and Bailiff of the three Chiltern Hundreds of Stoke, Desborough and Burnham or Manor of Northstead is a sinecure appointment which is used as a device allowing a Member of the United Kingdom Parliament (MP) to resign his or her sea
17 PASTILLE *(pills tea)
18 LUTHERAN L (left) + *(her aunt)
20 YELLOW dd
21 LUSTRE *(result)
23 CRACK dd

33 Responses to “Guardian 24,601 – Rover”

  1. brisbanegirl says:

    Good Morning Uncle Yap,

    For once I know an answer for you. Tonga is commonly known as the “Friendly Islands” … well … commonly known in Australia that is.

    Thanks for clearing up 26ac for me … but sorry, I can’t help with 9ac.

  2. C.G. Rishikesh says:

    Re 26ac. At first I thought that after all to make your autograph you need your fist (with the pen tucked in there).

    On looking up ‘fist’ in Chambers, I find that it has the meaning ‘handwriting'(colloq).

  3. C.G. Rishikesh says:

    Sorry. That was 9ac.

  4. TwoPies says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap. Happy enough with 9a and 8d. Thought 2d and 24a a bit loose. And not happy with 26a. But overall straightforward enough and not unenjoyable.

  5. Ian Stark says:

    Hope this isn’t being picky Uncle Yap, but I suspect it’s ‘chill terns’ rather than ‘chilled’. Thanks for the blog.

    Quite straightforward but enjoyable. Some lovely clues, in particular 1d, 25a and 13a, mixed with a few rather too simple examples, like the last three down clues (IMHO).

    Had to guess 26a but still don’t understand it. Is ‘str’ acceptable for ‘way’ (2d)?

  6. smutchin says:

    Twopies – I agree that a few of the clues are a bit “loose” today, but what’s wrong with 26a? It seems OK to me.

    Uncle Yap, re 4d – interesting that you should refer to baseball catchers rather than cricket catchers in light of this article in yesterday’s Guardian about sporting metaphors. But thanks none the less for stepping up to the crease with your blog, delivered with perfect line and length as usual.

  7. brisbanegirl says:

    Hi Smutchin,

    In baseball or softball for that matter, the fielder who stands/crouches behind the batter is called the catcher… unlike cricket where catchers are more likely to be be positioned in the slips, gully or cover.


  8. brisbanegirl says:

    … and as for todays crossword, I was never on the back foot and hit it for six.
    (despite being tricked by a flipper …26 across, whixh I blocked, but failed to get …. away)

  9. smutchin says:

    See, Brisbanegirl, that kind of proves the point! I know nothing about baseball or softball – only cricket. I know what you mean about slips/gully, but in the broadest sense of the term, anyone on the fielding team can be a “catcher”, which is how I interpreted the clue, being English and all that.

  10. brisbanegirl says:

    Of course Smutchin, your point is proven.

    I think I may be at silly mid-off, or maybe 12th man, as I can’t take a catch.

  11. Derek Lazenby says:

    Well I found the rye reference distracting. I wanted to put in catchers, then being illiterate couldn’t see what rye had to do with it. I eventually put it in and pressed check and saw it was ok and was left wondering what the extra bit was about. Now I know, I’m sure I’ll forget!

    Artists have a lot to answer for! Just because artists call yellow a primary colour, people think that is correct. Ask anyone who knows anything at all about light (and colours are light as opposed to a mere effect of dyes) and you will be told that the primary colours are Red, Green, Blue. Look at your PC colour settings. Look at your TV. What artists should say is a primary paint, but since when did artists get anything right? (he said removing tongue from cheek!)

  12. brisbanegirl says:

    My apologies for being so frivilous.

    Thanks for the blog …. It’s bed time here.

  13. Tom Hutton says:

    I found “out” in 4dn a bit misleading because the fielders most commonly known as catchers are to be found close in (slip, gully, point, short leg, wicket keeper) and not out in the field. “In the field” would have done as well as “out in the field”.

    I thought 9ac and 19ac were very enjoyable clues.

  14. Eileen says:

    I thought 26ac was a good clue. I remember learning about ‘thorn’ in English lessons: it’s an Old English character representing ‘th’, which came to look like a ‘y’ and thus accounts for abominations such as ‘Ye olde tea shoppe’.

    My only [small] quibble is with 13ac, which seems a great clue but ‘of the’ French is ‘du’, not ‘de’, and usually appears thus in crosswords.

  15. smutchin says:

    Brisbanegirl – don’t worry, frivolity is good!

    Tom – unless it’s Pietersen batting, when the man at deep fine leg is as likely to get a catching opportunity as anyone.

  16. Chris says:

    Any time spent, as a youth or otherwise, protesting against Margaret Thatcher was not at all misspent.

  17. Geoff says:

    Derek: “Primary” colours can be either additive primaries: red, green, blue – or subtractive primaries: traditionally red, yellow and blue, but more properly magenta, yellow and cyan – as in printing. Objection overruled!

  18. Derek Lazenby says:

    I worked in the printing industry for a while as part of my real time software career on a colour scanner, producing “separtations” (b/w negatives)from colour originals for each colour ink used in printing. Printing uses magenta, yellow and blue and black. The black is used to cut costs where equal parts of colour inks would otherwise be used. Magenta, yellow and cyan are refered to as secondary colours or subtractive colours, but not primaries. Or at least they were thus called 30 years ago!

  19. Derek Lazenby says:

    Correction, my first use of blue should have been cyan as per later sentence.

    Thinking about it further, the very term primary was defined as those colours which combine additively. The underlying biological reason of course is that we only have red, green, blue receptors in our eyes.

    So, the definition of primary precluded the use of the phrase “subtractive primary” as that is an oxymoron. Is it yet another example of ghastly trans-atlantic jargon? It wouldn’t surprise me. Let’s face it they can’t spell colour in the first place, so what hope for anything more complex?

  20. muck says:

    I was given three pigments to mix at primary school: red, yellow and blue. I learned from my later scientific training & from my amateur interest in photography, that this was not strictly correct. However, from my experience teaching the principles of colour vision, I can tell you that it isn’t quite so simple. The photoreceptors in the human retina include 3 colour-selective types, often referred to as red, green and blue cones. In fact each has a rather broad spectral response, peaking at 570nm (yellow), 540nm (green) and 450nm (violet): fortunately their broad responses make them fairly insensitive to exactly which primary wavelengths are used in RGB TV/computer screens. Psychologically there are 4 primary colours, in complementary pairs: Red/Green & Blue/Yellow. These originate form nerve cells which compare their inputs from 570/540 cones and from 570/450 cones. Nothing wrong with the primary=yellow clue then!

  21. bridgesong says:

    I had assumed that the answer to 2 dn was ORIENTAL (all the letters are there in “to rile an” and I assumed that “alien” was the definition and “way” a weak anagram indicator. I was expecting howls of protest (justifiably) so in a sense I’m pleased to have been mistaken. I can’t explain the “r” in “stranger” either.

  22. Geoff Moss says:

    It appears that the ‘R’ in 2d has remained unexplained all day!

    Uncle Yap is right in what he says about Chambers but ‘str.’ is given as an abbreviation for ‘street’ in Collins.

  23. Ralph G says:

    2d (21 above)- str is not in Chambers as an abbreviation for ‘street’ (way), but it _is_ in Collins. Just wondering whether the ‘oriental’ anagram was deliberate. If so, very clever.

  24. Ralph G says:

    No explanation all day and two come along simultaneously.

  25. Derek Lazenby says:

    Except Muck (nice post btw), that the idea of 4 primaries corresponds to neither artistic nor optical definitions, both of which say only 3 for differing reasons. It makes more sense in some respects to have 4, but flies in the face of accepted definitions, which also happen to be mutually exclusive and therefore a good excuse for an argument. I knew his one would run, that was the whole point of starting it!

    Also, admitting 4 would be very awkward for either the artistic view or the optical view as the 4th colour does not work in the same way as the other 3 in either case. Both of those views define what is a primary by the way they act, which may well be unfortunate, but is the way things are.

    And in case anyone is wondering, the frequency responses in the eye are indeed somewhat spread. But, unless it’s hidden away in some scientific paper, you won’t too many people using that to claim 4 primaries due the “doesn’t work the same” problem.

  26. Derek Lazenby says:

    I like the way you gentlemen had to refer to Collins to get “str”. It rather gives the lie to the idea that any one dictionary should be regareded as the bible. Too much reliance on any dictionary is a concept I struggle with due to some appalling howlers when it comes to technical words (see PI a while back).

  27. Derek Lazenby says:

    Umm, Muck? Why, given that I am severely green deficient do I a) think I see green at the same intensity as other colours; and b) it is my favourite colour. None of my opticians ever managed to explain that!

  28. muck says:

    Derek: There was a BBC Horizon TV program, many years ago, which had a pretty good explanation of how ‘colour-blind’ people, generally males who lack the 570nmm or 540nm cones, experience colours.

  29. Derek Lazenby says:

    Ta. I’ll search.

  30. muck says:

    Derek: If you go to Wikipedia and search ‘Colour vision’ or ‘Colour blind’ you will find most of what I know. End of annoying people more interested in crosswords.

  31. Duncan says:

    re 9ac I recall from childhood reading of wartime novels that a morse code machine operator’s distinctive style or ‘signature’ was known as his (or her) ‘fist’- so I’d taken this as signature = autograph. On the other hand I was slightly less confident that ‘make a sign’ (rather than just ‘sign’) = autograph.

  32. Geoff Moss says:

    Re comment #26 “It rather gives the lie to the idea that any one dictionary should be regareded as the bible.”

    Chambers is the ‘bible’ for certain crosswords (mainly barred-grid) but not all. Most of the ‘blocked-grid ‘dailies’ use COED or Collins as a reference.

  33. smutchin says:

    I think the reason Chambers is favoured over COED and Collins is because it gives lots more variant spellings and obscure words of the kind that are so loved by “advanced” setters and solvers (the kind that mean I find Azed more of a chore than a bit of fun). Collins includes a lot more proper names than the other two.

    Chambers Crossword Dictionary (essentially a glorified thesaurus) and Brewers Dictionary of Phrase & Fable are also useful references.

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