Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,622 – Orlando

Posted by Ciaran McNulty on February 13th, 2009

Ciaran McNulty.

Straightforward for a friday but very pleasing with a nice agricultural theme.

dd = double definition
* = anagram
“” = homophone
(X) = inserted
(x) = deleted
<< = reversed


7. GOVERNOR. dd. A device for regulating speed in an engine, most notably the one developed by James Watt.  Apparently also colloquial for ‘father’, according to Chambers.
9. THRESH. THRESH(old).  The first agricultural work – to separate grain from the plant.
10. HEMP. H(ous)E + M.P.
11. RAT-CATCHER. CHARACTER* around (eas)T.
12. HARROW. H + ARROW. I liked ‘director’=ARROW.  To break up the soil with a harrow.
14. ANNOYING. ANN + (b)OY + IN + (ni)G(ht).
17. TRAMPS. TRAM + P(ari)S.
22. WINNOW. WIN NOW. Separate grain from small particles by throwing it in the air.
23. PRESSING ON. Is record production still called ‘pressing’ nowadays?
24. BAKU. UK AB <<.  Capital of Azerbaijan.
25. PLOUGH. Constellation with 7 major stars. To turn ovre the soil with a plough.


1. BONEYARD. BONEY + (m)A(d)R(i)D.
2. REAP. (mo)RE AP(ples). To gather in a harvest.
5. TRACEY EMIN. TRACE + YE + MIN. Artist b. 1963.
6. ASTERN. A + S + TERN.
8. RITUAL. RI(TU)AL. TU is ‘you’ in france, maybe.  The Rial is the currency of Iran.
18. STOCKTON. STOCK + NOT<<.  A stock is a type of flower.
19. ADAGIO. ADA + G(1)O.  Means ‘slow and graceful’.
21. KERALA. A LARK << around E.
22. WINNER. Michael Winner, b. 1935.
24. BALE. B. + ALE. To bale hay into bundles.

48 Responses to “Guardian 24,622 – Orlando”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Ciaran, especially for 9ac, which I got but couldn’t explain.

    I really enjoyed this, particularly 11ac, 14ac and 20ac. I almost always initially get caught out by ‘distressed’ but I thought it was particularly clever here, going with ‘cut up’. 24dn was clever, too, because there actually is a beer called ‘Bishop’s tipple’.

  2. brisbanegirl says:

    Thanks for the post Ciaran,

    I don’ feel like such a dill when people like Eileen couldn’t understand 9ac.

    20ac … LOL … dis-tressed … too funny.

    Never heard of Tracey Emin, but … thanks to google …

  3. BrisBella says:

    Another Brisbane girl for the forum, not my first visit but first comments. I finally decided to stop being 6 weeks behind & jump ahead to the future, like Brisbanegirl (Hi, Bg.) Been doing cryptics for over 40 years & still love them. This one was rather easy except for Tracey Emin who I have never heard of.

  4. brisbanegirl says:

    You be careful … you northerners, Brisbane is here to conquer the world (well fifteensquared anyway) !!!

    Welcome BrisBella … I can’t believe there’s another of us. Enjoy the blog … It can be lots of fun, and you’ll learn heaps.

    However, had I started puzzles 40 years ago, I’d have been 2…

  5. Geoff says:

    Nice crossword, pretty straightforward. I hadn’t come across dis-tressed before – love it. And I couldn’t see the wordplay for 9ac either – the word ‘back’ in the clue is a bit superfluous to the meaning of the charade, but is needed for the surface reading.

    Good variety of clues in this puzzle, which is a bit more prolix than usual (6.93 wpc!)

    Welcome to another Brizzie brain!

  6. Ciaran McNulty says:

    Huh I knew there was something more to 20ac but couldn’t quite see it – dis-tressed is very good.

    BrisBella / BrisbaneGirl – Emin is in the papers a lot over here, she’s either at the forefront of Young British Art or a complete charlatan, depending which columnist you listen to!

  7. Andrew says:

    Good morning all from 3 across, and welcome bbgirl number 2. (I went to Brisbane about 15 years ago; mostly for work, but I had time to visit the Lone Pine Koala sanctuary and take a trip up to Noosa.)

    As has been said, nothing too tricky here, apart from THRESH which was easy to guess though it took me a while to see the wordplay.

    I actually did this one last night before I went to bed – it was available on the web site at just after midnight GMT, so they may have changed the publishing schedule. Either that or someone was extra keen this time. If they keep it up the Ozzies will be able to do them with their morning coffee..

  8. Andrew says:

    (I mean 3 down of course)

    PS re 7ac – “Governor” or “Guv” meaning “Father” should be familiar to anyone who’s read “The Diary of a Nobody” (and if you haven’t, do so immediately!). It’s probably better known these days as meaning “boss”, as in The Sweeney (and probably more recent sources).

  9. brisbanegirl says:

    St Andrew,

    I can usually download the puzzle by lunchtime – 12.30ish (I haven’t tried any earlier as I don’t have time – morning tea … what’s that).

    Ciaran, I can’t believe you missed that … funniest moment of the puzzle for me. (but then again we all have Homer moments.

  10. Chunter says:

    Brisbanegirl and Brisbella: it looks as though Fifteensquared is bigger in Brisbane than Tracey Emin. Probably just as well that you (BG) didn’t go to sit in the rain at the Gabba, but a win is a win.

  11. Eileen says:

    Yes, welcome, Brisbella. Hope we’ll be hearing more from you.

    I’ve met ‘dis-tressed’ a number of times over the years in crosswords but, as I said, don’t always recognise it immediately. Here it was easy to miss: the clue works without it but, with it, it’s brilliant!

    Talking of Homer moments, I don’t think I’d ever have got 9ac. I just wouldn’t have thought of ‘threshold’ = ‘beginning’. I was using ‘beginning’ [to] to give me the initial ‘t’ and I couldn’t do a thing with ‘hresh’!

  12. brisbanegirl says:

    Chunter: I thought there was no result … but I suppose that means we won … not terribly convincingly tho … I though you’d be more impressed with my waether prediction … only it was’t hot …

  13. David says:

    The same for all of us, then: couldn’t parse 9a, and loved ‘distressed’!

    Welcome, BBella. If you’ve been lurking for a while, you’ll know that the first rule of this blog is that we (Brits, that is) can object to rare non-British references, but you (everyone else, that is) have to put up with rare British ones.

    (Bloody ‘Hump the bluey’!)

  14. Chunter says:

    Brisbanegirl: Mea culpa! I had a quick look at the scores without reading the report. You did however retain the Chappell-Hadlee trophy.

  15. brisbanegirl says:


    David is refering to blog from 17 Feb 09, which also has a reference to 12 Nov 08 …. look at them and


  16. Ian says:

    Extra straightforward today. Easier I thought than the Quick Crossword.

  17. brisbanegirl says:

    To All,

    Be nice to BrisBelle … I might have found myself a new best friend!!!


    I’ve said it before …. bring on The Ashes.

  18. Eileen says:

    Well, I have a soft spot for ‘hump the bluey,’ because Don saved up a nice comment on it for my blog two weeks later on 27th November. I’m still looking for an occasion to drop it into conversation!

  19. Chunter says:

    BBG: Yes, one-day matches against the Black Caps are no substitute. Incidentally, many in Oz might be surprised to find that the 1st test will be in Cardiff. The ‘England’ team also represents Wales.

  20. David says:

    Just for that, Eileen…
    It’s a glorious day in Yorkshire; I might just go to The Dales for a while.

  21. brisbanegirl says:


    I think “hunp the bluey” cam about in the great depression. Many men went bush looking for work, they kpot their brlonongs wrapped in a blanket … grey … blue, pretty close.

    I’m sure the welsh are up for it … they just might cheer for us …

  22. brisbanegirl says:

    No chance of getting to my favourie places … they’re all flooded-in…

    Enjoy the snow before it turns to slush.

  23. Eileen says:

    David: Enjoy!

    [I have to wait until August for a week in West Burton.]

  24. Eileen says:

    Brisbanegirl: they did what? Is that more Aussie slang? :-)

  25. brisbanegirl says:

    No, just bad spelling …. who’d have thought I do QA for legal documents

  26. brisbanegirl says:

    It is Friday …. G’night,

  27. medici says:

    Have I missed something?
    My paper has it as No. 24622
    And isn’t 11 across an anagram of character + (eas)t?

  28. Ciaran McNulty says:

    Medici – mea culpa, I typo’d in both instances.

  29. John says:

    BBG: Speaking of Aussie slang, would you care to enlarge on “dill” in comment 2? If it’s what I think it is, it should be interesting.

  30. Derek Lazenby says:

    For some reason I found this hard work. Still finished it but I just didn’t seem to be on his wavelength for some of the clues. Some were fine, but the ones I struggled with were, for me, in key places where I needed more letters for the other clues and that slowed me down. No complaints, but it wasn’t fun like yesterday’s was.

    Hi to BB2.

    Well, actually, there was one. Yer see what I meant the other day about never having had a good memory, I just finished it and already I’d forgotten my complaint!

    In 1d, and I know several setters do it, but oddly is supposed to mean the odd numbered letters, not the even ones.

  31. smutchin says:

    Eileen (#1) – I’m almost entirely in agreement, except that I wasn’t so keen on 14a – a touch waffly (cf recent discussions and Geoff’s comment #5) and a slightly clumsy surface. But it’s fine really. And I thought 11a was excellent – a lovely, seamless surface.

    I’ve seen “distressed” used that way before. I’m sure the strict Ximeneans will moan but I don’t mind these tricks (nor “midnight” for G in 14a).

    Andrew #8 – I’m more familiar with “governer” used that way from PG Wodehouse (I think it’s Freddie Threepwood who uses it).

  32. smutchin says:

    re 22a & 22d – it bothered me slightly that the two six-letter words shared their first four letters. And although “Victor” was used in a nicely misleading way in 22d, the effect was spoiled somewhat by “victory” being used in 22a.

    One of the facilities in the Crossword Compiler software I use is “similar words”, which highlights any solution words that share sequences of three or more letters. It’s very helpful for avoiding this kind of clash.

  33. Andrew says:

    Derek – in 1dn it’s “oddly ignored”, which I read as “ignore the odd-numbered letters”

  34. Derek Lazenby says:

    Andrew – yup, guess so, doh.

  35. smutchin says:

    Of course, 22d could have been replaced with a word with K as its fourth letter, and still referred to Michael Winner in the definition…

  36. Geoff says:

    Smutchin: There are quite a few alternative words that would have fitted 22dn – not all of them rude! And don’t you think 9c is a bit cumbersome? The idea (THRESH = THRESH{OLD}) is great – particularly as ‘threshold’ is often pronounced ‘thresh-hold’, with effectively a double ‘h’) – but the execution is not quite perfect. Many of the other clues are great, though.

    Stung by Paul’s comments on Cryptica I have just knocked together a puzzle with an average clue length of just over 5 words! Whether it is entertaining or not I leave for others to decide. I’ll send it privately to anyone who is interested: drop me a line to [email protected] and mark your email CROSSWORD – my spam filter is very aggressive! May be a while before I reply as I’m off to France for a week. Happy solving in the meantime..

  37. smutchin says:

    Geoff, in case you missed it, I added a few thoughts on the subject of word count to yesterday’s blog, which may be of interest…

    (By the way, I made today’s puzzle exactly 7 – obviously we have different ways of counting!)

  38. Geoff says:

    Smutchin: I have just re-calculated the word count for today’s crossword and find 194 clue words for 28 clues, which by my reckoning is under 7 wpc. If you count ‘Leslie’s’, ‘he’s’, ‘that’s’ and ‘it’s’ as two words each (they are contractions, after all) you get 196 words, which is over 7 wpc!

    Of course, Orlando has included the words ‘Work on farm’ in every one of his themed clues. Some setters cheat a bit in these cases by stating in a heading that there are linked clues which lack definitions!

    By the way, my method is to divide the total number of words in the clues by the number of lights, rather than the strict number of clues. I don’t think it’s fair to penalise a long clue if the solution is divided over two or more lights.

    Memo to self: must get out more…

  39. C & J says:

    We are usually so late getting round to looking at the crossword that we rarely have anything relevant to add to all that has gone before.

    However, I (this is the J talking) must thank Smutchin on 35 for giving me a giggle. I usually yell insults at the TV set whenever that patronising insurance advert comes on.

  40. David says:

    C & J: Calm down, calm down

  41. brisbanegirl says:


    Dill = fool, idiot.

    I did some searching for its derivation and the best I can come up with is a shortening of daft + silly.

    It is a word so commonly used here that I didn’t think it was only in regular usage in Aus and NZ …

  42. Paul B says:

    But your definition is pure Collins! After which, shhhurely, the etymology’s stated quite clearly.

    I had a good giggle at the High German link, but that’s just me.

  43. John says:

    BBG: Hope you’re still watching this thread. My Aussie friend reckons “dill” is shorthand for a piece of equipment used for personal pleasure. Now he can say that but I couldn’t possibly comment…

  44. steven says:

    As teenagers growing up in north London we used “Dill” as short for Dillon ,the dopey character in the Magic Roundabout.A dill was someone who was dim witted.

  45. Mr Beaver says:

    Anyone know what’s happened to the blog for last Saturday’s (24617)?? Dying to find out if anyone has sourced the quotation from Anon….

  46. mhl says:

    Andrew: I’ve found that even if yesterday’s crossword is still listed on the main page, when searching for all the crosswords in the current month a new puzzle appears at midnight every day.

  47. muck says:

    Eileen has now blogged last Saturday’s prize puzzle, 24617. Anon is probably Araucaria.

  48. Allan_C says:

    After a real stinker in Friday’s Indy I downloaded this one for some gentle relaxation and completed it in next to no time – well, apart from a little mental block with 15a.
    Ciaran (comment 6) refers to opinions on T Emin according to which column you read. Herself has her own column in the Indy – and I still can’t decide which camp I should be in.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

+ one = 2