Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,620/Chifonie

Posted by Andrew on February 11th, 2009


A characteristically straightforward but enjoyable puzzle from Chifonie. There’s just one clue (3dn) where I think things have gone astray, but perhaps others can convince me it’s all right.

dd = double definition
* = anagram
< = reverse

1. CIRCLE L (student) in CIRCE, who turned men into swine in Homer’s Oddessey As Derek points out below, she wasn’t actually one of the sirens
4. VESTAL Hidden
9. KEEN dd
10. MONETARIST ONE TAR in MIST. Milton Friedman was the founder of monetarism, and an influence on Margaret Thatcher and others.
12. ELEVATOR (TO REVEAL)* A nicely misleading anagram indicator.
13. SHIPSHAPE HIPS (fruit) in SHAPE (=mould)
16. POP POP + E
22. RITUAL The last two-thirds of SPIRITUAL
24. SPEED LIMIT (SIMPLE EDIT)* After yesterday’s “nolo contendere” I was braced for another Latin legal term here..
25. WAND W(ith) AND
26. TIMBRE MB in TIRE. To be jaded is to be tired of something.
27. SCREED dd
1. CHEETAH Homophone of “cheater”
2. RUN IN dd
3. LAMBETH LAM BETH. Not sure about this – Lambeth Palace is the London residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, but I can’t see that Lambeth=Archbishop. Maybe Chifonie was thinking of the way bishops sign with the name of their diocses, but the A of C signs as “Rowan Cantuar”.
6. TERMAGANT TERM (sentence) + A G ANT. A slightly obscure word, though quite often seen in crosswords, meaning “a brawling, scolding woman”.
14. PIPE DREAM PIPED REAM – Pipe as in decorative piping on clothes etc
19. LEARNED LEAR + NED. Very neat
23. TAWSE (WE SAT)* The strap formerly used to punish children in Scottish schools.

59 Responses to “Guardian 24,620/Chifonie”

  1. TwoPies says:

    Thanks Andrew. I found this crossword a delight to do after yesterday’s and Saturday’s. I was happy enough with the association of archbishop and Lambeth but I think you’re right to question it.

  2. brisbanegirl says:

    Hello Andrew,

    Thanks for the post. As always, a couple of new words for me … circe and tawse.

    I take it in 11ac temper = tone … this is new to me.

    Lambeth, hmmm, at least I learned something, but I agree with you, maybe if it said archbishopric … still it’s a stretch.

  3. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, Andrew. A nice puzzle but I’m still trying to justify 3dn, too.

    I had the same initial thought about 24ac!

  4. brisbanegirl says:

    Same re: 24ac … what a relief to see is was something we’ve all experienced … if not been caught by.

  5. Smutchin says:

    Thanks for the blog, Andrew. I got RITUAL but didn’t understand why, so thanks for clearing that up.

    3d – I came to the same conclusion as you but it is a slightly odd definition.

    6d – I’ve heard of TERMAGANT but not with that definition. Interesting. Still, it was a very gettable clue so gave me no trouble.

    26a – jaded=tired, fine. But jade=tire? Not sure about that.

    Really enjoyed the surfaces of 4a and 18d.

  6. brisbanegirl says:

    And on a personal note … my favourite crossword beef … I take offence at social worker = ant … I don’t know any ant that spent 4 years getting a degree at uni …

  7. Eileen says:

    Smutchin, Chambers does give jade = exhaust or cause to flag, etc.

    It’s a real shame about 3dn because, otherwise, there don’t seem to be many exceptions to be taken to this puzzle – some excellent surfaces and great clues. Andrew’s and Brisbanegirl’s suggestions would both hold water if there were an Archbishop of Lambeth – which there isn’t!

    You have my sympathy, Brisbanegirl: I’m not too keen on the NUT / teacher crossword connection, either!

  8. brisbanegirl says:

    Thanks Eileen … I’ve never seen that one, but when I do I’ll think of you …

  9. Eileen says:

    Well, it is rather more justified, since NUT stands for National Union of Teachers…

  10. Peter Biddlecombe says:

    Eileen & Brisbanegirl: “social worker” = ANT seems justified by the fact that ants are “social insects” and can be workers. I can’t see the objection to the NUT as long as it’s (a) “teachers”, plural, and (b) not used so often that it becomes a cliché. Condition (b) applies to any of these tricks, of course.

  11. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Peter. I was being facetious, really. Of course it’s justifiable – and I’ve always thought that ‘ant’ and ‘bee’ as ‘social worker’, for the reason that you state, was quite clever. I was just having the usual banter with Brisbanegirl. I don’t think either of us was being particularly serious!

  12. Derek Lazenby says:

    Comments as per above but with two additions.

    8d) What a wonderfully appropriate anagram, really made me smile that one.

    1a) Sorry, that is just plain wrong. Circe advised Odysseus how to safely listen to the sound of the Sirens, but was not herself a siren.

  13. manehi says:

    If I remember correctly, several archbishops have held the title of baron of Lambeth. Can only find one so far, but this is possibly what Chifonie was getting at.

  14. brisbanegirl says:


    Another new one for me … but I’m glad for the explanation .. no doubt, it will help me in the future.

    Peter B … it may be justified, but please understand my umbrage ;_)

  15. manehi says:

    PS Derek: agreed about 1a.

    I also assumed many=TON in 11a and came here wondering how temper=ACE would be justified..

  16. Eileen says:

    Quite right, Derek – I missed that one. Circe was an enchantress, who turned Odysseus’ men into swine. To avoid being driven onto the rocks by the alluring song of the sirens, Odysseus filled his men’s ears with wax and had himself lashed to the mast.

  17. Eileen says:

    PS Sorry, Andrew – you’ve already mentioned the swine! [I really did miss that clue in the blog!]

  18. brisbanegirl says:

    Oh .. back to the crossword … I still don’t get 11ac … I know I’m just being dense … but I still don’t get it!!!

    Manehi, have you been speaking to bad boy, I’hoping he enjoyed my little moment of cranky-pants??

  19. brisbanegirl says:

    My apologies … my internet is as slow as a wet weak tonight …

  20. Colin Blackburn says:


    Many = C (100)
    a temper = A TONE

  21. Derek Lazenby says:

    I got 11ac but was not initially happy with TONE for TEMPER either. But I eventually remembered the senses of both which relate to treating something, as in to tone something down, or to temper ones response. Hope that helps BG.

  22. brisbanegirl says:

    Thanks Colin … I thought as much …

  23. brisbanegirl says:

    Thanks …Bad boy … did you like my little try at cranky????

  24. Derek Lazenby says:

    I may have to sue for breach of copyright. LOL

  25. brisbanegirl says:

    sorry .. nothing from nothing … equals ….

  26. Derek Lazenby says:

    Oh, BTW people, I finally finished my little project. I can now take the grind out of combining Crossword Write, Crossword Utility and Across Lite. Program done and dusted, Helpfile created by a neat little freebie that takes the yuk out of that job, context links to the Helpfile made, and all wrapped up in an Install package which was produced by yet another neat little freebie.

    Trouble is, now I’ve done it I’m unlikely to use it, and no-one else will probably want it either. Sigh. Oh, well, it kept me busy and entertained for a while.

  27. smutchin says:

    Eileen, re jade – Thanks. Once again, I have to concede the point to Chambers (it’s also in my Collins), but once again I don’t really like it. No one actually uses the verb except in its participle-adjective form, do they? But as usual, if it’s in Chambers, I guess it has to be considered fair game for a setter.

    Brisbanegirl, re ants – even if your comment was meant to be serious, it made me chuckle! Thanks for the laugh.

    Derek, re Circe – the error completely passed me by. Well spotted! Slightly careless on the part of the setter.

  28. C.G. Rishikesh says:


    I am familiar with – and use – all the three crossword software that you mention.

    I am curious to see what _your_ program does.

    Now, how do I get a copy? If you are ready to give it to friends, that is!

    cgrishi AT gmail DOT com

  29. Geoff says:

    Too busy first thing this morning playing with crossword compilation software to have a go at a professional’s effort!

    By the time I had picked it up and completed it there were already 26 responses – the number and tone of which confirms that this was a relatively straightforward puzzle, well regarded by the regulars.

    I agree – apart from Circe not being a siren and LAMBETH being clearly related to but not obviously synonymous with ‘archbishop’, this is an extremely well constructed crossword with a nice variety of clues. (They aren’t all dd and cd!).

  30. TwoPies says:

    As with Lambeth, I was happy with the association of Circe. Chifonie wrote siren (small s) as opposed to an actual Siren.

  31. David says:


    I don’t know any ant that spent 4 years getting a degree at uni …

    My mother-inlaw’s sister did!

  32. Derek Lazenby says:

    But if you meant Siren you would surely write it with a small s anyway just deflect the attention. So I’m not sure that is an excuse.

    I mean, if I used small letters and said something about Margret Thatcher being involved in the trade union wars, you wouldn’t then apply the term trade unionist to her would you?

  33. Ian says:

    A well crafted puzzle with some extremely clever clueing.

    I’m sure even atheists like me are aware that the CoE community refer to Rowan Williams as ‘Lambeth’.

  34. Dave Ellison says:

    “Odysseus filled his men’s ears with wax “; where did he get it? Not out of his own?

  35. Andrew says:

    He probably stole it from those other (buzzy) social workers..

  36. Eileen says:

    Well done, Andrew! Thanks for the smile, Dave. I’ll have to stop giving these extra little bits of information – they usually backfire on me!

  37. Dawn says:

    …not to mention the Lambeth Conference where loads of Bishops get together.

    A very fair puzzle I thought with some lovely clues – 1d made me laugh when I finally got it.

  38. Ciaran McNulty says:

    Great puzzle today, 8dn was excellent and I thought 10ac was well constructed.

    Agree with the general comments about 3dn, but I think the press use phrases like ‘the news from Lambeth’ and so no to mean the archbishop or his staff.

  39. Andrew says:

    Ah, time for another obscure rhetorical term: Ciaran’s phrase is an example of metonymy. Others are “Downing Street” for the Prime Minister or “The White House” for the US President. But surely it’s more likely to be “Lambeth Palace” for the archbish?

    (Metonymy is not to be confused with synecdoche, discussed here recently.)

  40. Ralph G says:

    26a JADE. Example of the dictum “There ain’t a noun you can’t verb”. In Chaucer (about 1390) in noun form – worn-out nag, and in literary use at least from Shakespeare (A&C III i 34) onwards as a transitive or intransitive verb eg the well-known* quotation from Ruskin (1857) “Contemplation of works of art without understanding them jades the faculties ..”, and the lesser-known Burns (1879) “When I feel my Muse beginning to jade, ..”. *(Just joking).
    Seriously though, contemporaneity, in question here, see #27 above, may be a generational thing. With grandparents born in the 1860s and brought up with the collected works of Ruskin in the bookcase I feel pretty much at home there anyway. But don’t ‘big readers’ feel at home, contemporaneous, with literary English from Shakespeare onward in any event?

  41. Ralph G says:

    3d LAMBETH. Shared the general unease about ‘Archbishop’ = ‘Lambeth, so a little taken aback to find the OED definition of Lambeth kicking off “Used allusively to refer to the Archbishop of Canterbury”! However, the definition continues “… or to the Church of England” and the majority of the citations are to the “Lambeth degree” or the “Lambeth Conference”. The one citation that supports the ‘Archbishop’ equivalence, I think, is from William Temple (1941 – sufficiently contemporaneous?) “It is the duty of Lambeth to remind Westminster of its resposibility to God…”.

  42. Andrew says:

    Thanks Ralph – at least we now have an authoritative reference. However I wonder if Temple used “Lambeth” there to provide a direct parallel to “Westminster”, rather than it being a common usage in that sense.

  43. Geoff says:

    Paul has posted this week’s winners in his clue competition. Congratulations to our regular correspondents who have been mentioned in dispatches. My own submissions this week were rather baroque, so fell foul of Paul’s decision to crack down on longer clues (last week I got the gold with a 10-word clue, but heigh-ho!). I wonder if this has anything to do with our conversation earlier this week, Smutchin?

  44. smutchin says:

    Geoff – well, my first thought was that Paul must be a closet fifteensquared reader! And it’s true what Paul says about his average – it’s rather lower than you might expect, given that he does like to throw in the odd long clue. Same for Araucaria.

    No mention for me this week (boo!) but some worthy winners. Anna’s clue is “very Paul” (that’s meant to be a compliment) but Barnaby’s was my personal favourite.

  45. Eileen says:

    Never mind, Smutchin: you have loads more excellent clues in your puzzles! I thought this week’s batch were about the best so far – Iparticularly liked Rishi’s cheeky one.

  46. mhl says:

    Woohoo, I got a mention for my Big Lebowski clue :)

  47. Telberts says:

    I don’t know if it would be stretching it too far that in circe=siren the compiler was referring to this?

  48. Derek Lazenby says:

    Hilarious Telberts.

    Rather begs the question as to why one should look that hard for an excuse. Are you related?


  49. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Dear Mhl, congratulations with your Big Lebowski commendation, indeed. Although it was one word above the average length Paul wants us to have … I must say, that did upset me today. Of course, he knows all about the cryptic world (and surely more than I do as a person from Holland who only came here 18 months ago), but I don’t like the fact that only clues that are short will be accepted. Meaning, more or less a preference for double definitions (which I, sorry, don’t like that much – although Rufus’ ‘Quits flat’ was very clever and how a dd-clue should be) and perhaps cheap anagrams. Or wordplays that are more visual than cryptic.
    I must admit, I didn’t like the Gold (and I am not a grumpy old man, because my name wasn’t mentioned this time. It didn’t put you on the wrong track – the clue was just not independent enough of the solution. Moreover, I think the commended(!) ‘Y?’ clue was unacceptable. It is fun, indeed, but just part of a clue in which a definition should be there as well. What will be next?
    P? (8,5)
    Or am I too cynical?
    I just don’t like the fact that I have to submit clues that are conform the style of Paul. It should be about quality, not quantity i.e. the length of the clue.
    The answer?
    Starting point.
    Sorry that this wasn’t about Chifonie …

  50. Colin Blackburn says:

    In any individually judged cluing contest you surely always have to submit clues that conform to the style of the judge, be that Paul, Roger Philips or Azed. There are cluing contests that are judged by voting such as that at the Crossword Centre or some of those at rec.puzzles.crossword

  51. Barnaby Page says:

    Andrew – thanks for reminding me of the term “metonymy” – I was just about to make the same comparison with Downing St., the White House, the Kremlin etc.!

    Smutchin – what do I owe you for the compliment?

    Derek – thanks for your email about software – I haven’t overlooked it and will get back to you in due course. (In due course – a concept which I am trying to get my dog to understand, without much success.)

  52. Ralph G says:

    3d LAMBETH. Andrew (#42 above). I reckon you’re right about the Lambeth-Westminster connection, esp. as the quote continues “… but this does not mean that Westminster is reponsible to Lambeth.” The citation isn’t a clincher. Possibly the OED editors had more evidence than they cited or put more weight on the fact that the ‘Lambeth degrees’ are honorary degrees conferred by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Perhaps someone more au fait with CofE matters could comment but it remains somewhat abstruse.

  53. Fletch says:

    I think you need a separate folder for back-patting/whingeing about the Cryptica results, they seem to take over the Guardian blogs on the day they’re announced.

  54. stiofain_x says:

    cruel fletch cruel did u get a clue ignored?

  55. Fletch says:

    Your response says it all, Stiofain.

  56. Paul B says:

    Lambeth = the AoC is in Collins, for gawd’s sake.

    And in the same, widely-used tome, Sirens can just as easily be sirens. Check for yourselves, if you can be bothered.

    For ‘Derek’, capitalisation *added* is allowed (by convention): capitalisation subtracted is not.

    And finally, as a passing observation, what a lot of padding there seems to be among these Guardian comments.

  57. Tyro says:

    Hallelujah, Paul B, you seem to be the voice of reason here. I didn’t like Lambeth, but you’re right. It’s a fair cop. Let’s keep discussions to the puzzle in question. Clue comps and weather and cricket are another matter.

  58. smutchin says:

    Fair comment, Paul. Duly noted.

  59. Ralph G says:

    3d LAMBETH. Many thanks Paul B (56) for noting the Collins entry. Still interested in the parameters of this usage. A trawl of the first 50 pages of Google hits drew a blank so I tried the “Church Times” – just the sort of pithy locution that would appeal to journalists, I thought. No joy there either except for the Feb 1909 story: Morning Prayer and Evensong available in full on the gramophone, shock horror. Enquiry made of the Angican priesthood, G family division, but they’re all very busy tending their flocks, writing poetry, composing music, lecturing on T S Eliot etc.

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