Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,614 – Brendan

Posted by manehi on February 4th, 2009


Found this rather easy today, got a couple of answers that were connected by 11, 19 and 26, got these, and then the rest of the related answers very soon after. Lots of nice little clues.

9, 24d CHEQUERED FLAG Victory sign with BLACK and WHITE SQUARES
11 WHITE Had to be, having already put in 19 and 26, and with a couple of checking letters. A quick google suggests that the naturalist is a Gilbert White.
13 RESIDUE RESIDE around U[niversity]
17 STRIP neat dd
19 RED Put in along with 26 immediately after 7dn, but not sure how to read the clue. Maybe a cryptic reference to the red standby LED in TVs etc? Edit thanks to David: more likely to do with red cards and sending players off in football, rugby etc
20 ELLIE ELLE around I
21 SQUARES Are BLACK and WHITE parts of a crossword.
24 FRESHEN UP (free NHS)* and UP = “ahead”
26 BLACK Black polish, and the black ball is the most valuable pot in snooker.
28 ANTRA Hidden in orgAN TRAnsplants. Plural of antrum, a cavity in a bone.
29 ETERNALLY [P]ETER [i]N [r]ALLY (words with their “starts off”)
1 SCOW S[econd] COW, and “lighter” as a synonym for a barge.
2 DEBITS are written in black ink in bookkeeping.
4 GROUSE = Beef in the sense of gripe. The game bird can be BLACK or RED.
5 EDUCATED DUCAT in rev(Dee)
6 WINE Usually WHITE or RED, and sounds like “whine”
7 STENDHAL (Hasn’t led)*, wrote The RED and the BLACK
8 GREY Earl Grey was PM, and grey is between BLACK and WHITE as a colour.
13 ROSES White and red roses being emblems in the Wars of the Roses, but I’m not sure about the “alternatives to them” part. See comments
15 ONE MAN BAND “About”=ON, rev(name), BAND=”ring”
16,22ac CHESS PLAYERS BLACK and WHITE seeking to mate each other
18 ROULETTE LET in ROUTE. The wheel is split into BLACK and RED.
23 ENABLE tENt and tABLEt losing their extreme t[emperatures]
25 HEAT Intense heat being RED or WHITE

33 Responses to “Guardian 24,614 – Brendan”

  1. smutchin says:

    Really enjoyed this one – as I knew I would when I saw Brendan’s name on the puzzle. Not difficult but stylishly executed.

    7d was one of the first answers I filled in, which revealed the theme (Le Rouge Et Le Noir is the only one of his works I’ve even heard of) and that made it fairly straightforward to work out the rest of the theme answers. The only one that troubled me was 2d, which had me scratching my head for a while before the penny dropped.

    ANTRA, TROPHIC and SCOW are new words for me but all were eminently gettable from the clues. And 28a ANTRA has a very nice surface.

    Only slight gripe (very slight) is that “allow” and “enable” aren’t really synonymous, but I dare say Chambers would contradict me on that.

  2. David says:

    I always enjoy Brendan’s, and this was no exception – several ‘made me smile’ clues. I’m still not clear about 2d, though, having no book-keeping knowledge.

    Manehi, I thought Red for 19a referred to the ‘sending off card’ in football/rugby.

  3. Ian Stark says:

    Aren’t debits in red? And I noticed a typo in your blog, manehi: the anagram in 7d is HASN’T LED, rather than LET. In any event I guessed STANDHEL!

    Really enjoyed the theme and overall the puzzle had me thinking hard on more than a few occasions. I also thought the red was the ‘equipment off’ kind of red but I think David’s explanation is stronger.

    Only gripe (which may be unfounded) is UNCLEANLY is an adverb, whereas ‘wicked’ is an adjective. Or are the two interchangeable in a puzzle?

    Thanks for the blog.

  4. smutchin says:

    I didn’t really think about 19a because I got it via 7d but either explanation seems OK to me.

    Ian, wicked is also an adverb.

  5. TwoPies says:

    Thanks manehi, I enjoyed this too. I was wondering if, in 13dn, roses were alternatives to red and white wines?

  6. Ian Stark says:

    Ah, OK. I only have access to Chambers online at the moment and it shows WICKED as only being an adjective, with WICKEDLY as the adverb.

  7. smutchin says:

    On second thoughts, Ian, I’m not sure – “wicked” is used as an adverb in hip-hop slang, which you could be forgiven for not knowing, but in that context it means “very” or “extremely”, so I may be mistaken.

  8. Andrew says:

    Hi all. In 13dn I thought the idea was that roses = flowers = alternative to war.

    As others have said, a really enjoyable puzzle with clever use of the colour theme.

  9. manehi says:

    Thanks for the comments, corrected the typo and added a couple of things – I like TwoPies’ idea about ROSES

    Re UNCLEANLY, I took it to be an adjective (as well as an adverb).

  10. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, Manehi.Really enjoyable, as always with Brendan.

    TwoPies: I’m sure you’re right about 13dn – brilliant! – and you just beat me, Manehi, re ‘uncleanly’!

  11. Ian Stark says:

    Smutchin, being an unquestionably cool 45 year old I have my finger on the pulse of youth-speak ;-). That was really my query – that ‘wicked’ in the ‘very good’ sense doesn’t work with the clue. Only a minor point though.

    Just got round to doing your number 5, by the way. Loved it. 1a, 21a, 25a, 2d, 8d and 20d in particular. More please!

  12. Andrew says:

    Ah, Rosés – now I get it. D’oh!

  13. John says:

    I think the adjectival UNCLEANLY is biblical, means impure in a religious sense, i.e wicked, and is pronounced “unclenly”, as opposed to the adberb which I would pronounce “uncleenly” if I ever did – which I strongly doubt I would.

  14. John says:

    And I pronounce ADVERB “adverb”, not “adberb”.

  15. Ian Stark says:

    John: Yes, that explanation makes sense, thanks. Thus departs my sole niggle with this excellent puzzle.

  16. Tom Hutton says:

    This was good fun.

    I thought roses was as in Guns and Roses. I agree that the red must be in the card though I didn’t see that when I put it in.

    Even if uncleanly is an adjective, is it the same as wicked? This seems another of those clues where the definition is slightly unfair. I speak as someone who is by nature uncleanly but not, I hope, wicked.

  17. smutchin says:

    Thanks for the clarification, John.

    And thanks for the comments, Ian. I’ll post up some more in due course. Again, it’s interesting which clues you’ve picked out – Paul liked 27a. (Talking of which, good showing by the fifteensquared faithful again. The gold winner this week is excellent, and I really like the clever Range Rover clue too.)

  18. Barnaby Page says:

    Where are you posting those, Smutchin?

  19. Geoff says:

    3dn crossword from Brendan, as ever.

    Took me a little while to get a purchase on this one – not unusual for such a tightly interlinked puzzle – but once I had the theme it fell out quite smoothly.

    I was dubious about UNCLEANLY, never having come across it as an adjective (pronounced with a short e, according to Chambers – as John points out).

    Thanks for the accolade, Smutchin – like yours too!

  20. smutchin says:

    Bit of mutual back-scratching doesn’t hurt, Geoff.

    Barnaby, I’ve put a few online as pdfs using Zoho Viewer (free online document sharing thing). If you’re interested:

    Maybe not in Brendan’s league but I’m quite pleased with them.

  21. Barnaby Page says:

    Thanks, Smutchin – I’ll take a look at those.

  22. smutchin says:

    …or even back-slapping.

  23. Ian Stark says:

    . . . steady . . .

  24. Anon says:

    I’m interested to see that so many enjoyed this. I could’t get black or red (ok maybe I should have done but I didn’t) so couldn’t get very far. In fact I’d have to say that I don’t like crosswords that refer to other clues because if you haven’t got them there is very little you can do. In any case I’d never heard of trophic, antra , scow & stendhal. So for me not enjoyable at all. Still it’s a difference of opinion that makes a horse race.

  25. Mike says:

    Ian: UNCLEANLY (pronounced ‘un-clenn-ly’) is one of a few adjectives that end in …LY, like LOVELY, COMELY, STATELY and FRIENDLY.

  26. steven says: of the best things about this site is that if you’re stuck on a clue that you need to solve to get other clues,you can always sneak a peak and have a chance of solving the rest.I’d heard of scow but not the others you mentioned but managed to solve them.I’ve struggled for years with cryptic crosswords but since finding this site about 6 weeks ago I’ve improved a lot.I use to hate crosswords with clues that refer to to other clues but I’m starting to appreciate them a lot more.

  27. muck says:

    The Guardian cryptic has had themed puzzles and interlinked clues for some years. I believe this was started by Araucaria, but other setters are increasingly competing in this department.

    If you don’t like this, there are many other newspapers. Personally, I always look forward to brilliant Brendan!

  28. steven says:

    Ah,”interlinked clues” cheers Muck.

  29. don says:

    Brilliant Brendan!

    Loved ENABLE and,especially, ETERNALLY with clever wording and a neat trick.

  30. Brian Harris says:

    Very enjoyable crossword. Lots of ingenious clues and very clever constructions. Brendan is definitely the most fun setter out there at the moment. The red/black/white links were all nicely deployed.

  31. mark says:

    13A stumped me and with the answer I’m still unhappy – how does RESIDE=accommodation, surely it would have to be RESIDENCE??

  32. manehi says:

    Mark, I think it was “have accommodation”=RESIDE.

  33. mark says:

    Thanks Manehi – silly me.

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