Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,625 – Brummie

Posted by Uncle Yap on February 17th, 2009

Uncle Yap.

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

Wow! So many new words in a weekday puzzle? Hardly the kind of stuff for commuters to solve. Brummie’s fantastic and creative clueing style is challenging and entertaining enough without resorting to the use of unnecessarily obscure words, which necessitate the use of reference books. My enjoyment was a tad marred by some of these strange words

1 INFAMY Info (intelligence) minus O + Amy (presumably Winehouse)
4 VISCERAL (EL) VIS + *(clear)
9 DEGUST Ins of EG (say) in Dust (fime powder) A new word for me. Wonder why Brummie didn’t choose the simpler DIGEST to clue
10 SCENT BAG (A) SCENT Bag (a grip perhaps)
11 VANISHING POINT Allusion to Bermuda Triangle where there has been many mysterious disappearances
13 REPOUSSOIR n a figure or object in the foreground of a painted, etc composition intended to draw the viewer’s eye into the picture. I do seem to be able to parse this new word
14 SHOO Cha of S (second) HOO (Robin Hood minus D for Day)
16 NECK Spoon and neck both are canoodling actions and of course, the collar goes round the neck
18 FREE FLIGHT Cha of Free (gratis or on the house) Flight (steps on the staircase)
21 FORESHORTENING Sounds like “for shortening”
23 NON-TOXIC Ins of OX (beef source) in NON (French negative) TIC (repeated action)
24 RELIEF Re (on) *(file)
25 ESCAPISM Ins of C (caught in cricket) in *(impasse)
26 OSSIFY ha

1 INDY (w) indy after the annual Indianapolis 500 race –  Indy car n a high-speed supercharged racing car.
2 FOGLAMP Ins of Glam (Glamorgan Country) in FOP (snappy dresser)
3 MYSTIQUE Substitution of Y for U in Mustique
5 INCONTINENT If it not on the edge, it must be in the continent
6 CANOPY Ins of A N (a new) in Copy (parrot) I do not seem to be able to find the def “tester” from Chambers – n a covering hung over a throne, bed, etc; a ceremonial covering held over the head; any overhanging covering, such as the sky; the topmost layer of branches and foliage in a forest; a rooflike projection over a niche, tomb, statue, stall, altar, etc; the transparent cover over the cockpit of an aircraft; the overhead fabric part of a parachute.
7 RUBBISH Cha of Rub (be a masseur) Bish (mistake)
8 LIGHTS OUT dd for that familiar instruction, hated by most schoolchildren
12 HISTRIONICS Ins of I (one) in *(its Cornish)
13 RING-FENCE Cha of Ring (call on telephone) Fence (crook receiving stolen goods)
15 FLINDERS Ins of L (line) in Finders (those discovering) Another new word. I wonder why Brummie did not use simpler words like blankets, blenders or plunders and instead opted for a word marked in Chambers as “rare”. As for the Australian geographical feature, Wikipedia gave: There are many places with the word Flinders in their name. Most of these are in south-east Australia and are named for explorer Matthew Flinders.
* Flinders, Victoria, a town in Victoria, Australia.
* Flinders, New South Wales, suburb of Shellharbour, New South Wales
* Flinders Bay, in Western Australia
* Flinders Island, a part of Tasmania in Bass Strait (also Municipality of Flinders)
* Flinders Park in Melbourne, now known as Melbourne Park, site of the Australian Open Tennis Championships
* Flinders Street, in the Melbourne CBD
* Flinders Street Station, Melbourne
* Flinders Ranges, South Australia
* Flinders River
* Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia
* Flinders Medical Centre, Adelaide, South Australia
* Commonwealth Parliamentary Division of Flinders
* Electoral district of Flinders, a state electoral district in South Australia
Where’s the mountain?
17 CHRONIC Cha of Ch (chain) *(iron) C (cold)
19 GINGILI Ins of N (name) in Gigi (film) LI (51) n a species of sesame; an oil obtained from its seeds.
20 ASTOOP Ins of Too (unduly) in Asp (snake)
22 IFFY (j) iffy

31 Responses to “Guardian 24,625 – Brummie”

  1. Fletch says:

    13 looks like so in an anagram of superior.

  2. David says:

    I struggled through this one, and nearly got there in the end. Like Uncle Yap,(thanks again, Uncle Y) had never come across ‘repoussoir’ and didn’t get it; was sure 6d was ‘canopy’, but had no idea why (any ideas anyone?); and as for 15d, there can be few of our regular bloggers who know anything about ‘Flinders’!!! :)

  3. BrisBella says:

    C (AN) OPY A tester is a frame to hold nets or drapes for a bed, i.e. a canopy. We used to have testers on our beds for mosquito nets.

  4. BrisBella says:

    And I should have said, the Flinders Ranges are the mountains referred to.

  5. C.G. Rishikesh says:

    Uncle Yap,
    Under tester (1), the canopy sense is indeed recorded in Chambers (1998).

  6. brisbanegirl says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap,

    I really needed a few of your explanations as I was completely in the dark as to the reasons for some answers… and I’ve never heard of 13ac or 19dn … my new words for the day.

    The apostrophe in 22ac completely threw me, and did a big D’oh when I realised my mistake.

    David, I think you may find that a couple of regular bloggers (both from Brisbane) know a reasonable amount about Flinders … the Flinders Range is a well known geographical feature in Australia.

  7. brisbanegirl says:

    mountains = range/s

  8. Dawn says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap for the explanations. I got quite a long way and then ground to a complete halt. I’ve never heard of 13a and was hopefully trying to start 15d with alp.

  9. Ian Payn says:

    I do the crossword on the train, so although some new (to me) words I worked out, a few I didn’t, which is, of course, frustrating. This puzzle would have been more suitable for a Saturday, with access to reference books.
    Having said that, I prefer them difficult, so mustn’t grumble too much.

  10. brisbanegirl says:

    Hi Ian,

    I don’t generally do the Saturday Guardian online (too much to do), but I understand, if you need to look in the reference books/internet … Saturday is preferable.

    But none the less an enjoyable (though at times tricky) puzzle … it’s always good if you learn something … but I get cranky when the words are truely obscure … like 13ac.

  11. brisbanegirl says:


    If you want … email me … I use my work email for just about everything …. try monica.muller at our local authority ie council.

    It’s time we antipodeans got together … but don’t expect a response until tomorrow.

  12. Derek Lazenby says:

    Been looking at not just this crossword. It is one of those days. I just look blankly at the easiest clue. Just really not up for it today, so when I saw this was going to be hard I left it alone.

    Still, interesting to read the blog. People are fond of sneering at my lack of knowledge of the world of glamour (I really don’t understand why any one would want to know that stuff). Then I find that what I regard as not just general knowledge, but common knowledge is a big black hole except to the natives! Don’t know where the Flinders are? Ye gods. So what should I do now? Sneer back or keep smugly quiet?

  13. Will says:

    Do us a favour and keep smugly quiet.

  14. medici says:

    Re 13ac
    Should this be “So” is held by sad superior not “As”?

  15. brisbanegirl says:

    Hey Bad Boy,

    I sympathise with your lack of interest when you know it’s gonna be hard … altho these days, I give it a go regardless.

    Perhaps that’s some ill gotten confidence from playing on this blog … but I know I’ve gotten better.

    By the way … I’m terribly glamorous … not …

    Hope your leg gets better soon … and I’ve probably upset the “serious” with my fluff.

  16. brisbanegirl says:

    You can only keep smugly quiet, if you pretend to know something …

  17. Smutchin says:

    I know of a “half tester” as a type of bed with a canopy at one end (a “full tester” being better known as a “four poster”).
    Thanks for the blog, Uncle Yap. I agree that some of the obscure words were avoidable, but at least they all have very fair clues (unlike, say, “nainsook” from last week, which also used an obscure word in the clue) and as I always say, I enjoy the variety between difficult and easy puzzles that the Guardian provides.

  18. John says:

    13 ac is clearly an error, unless “as” is meant to equate to “so”, which it doesn’t, does it?

  19. smutchin says:

    I have no problem with as=so – you can use them synonymously in phrases such as “You’ve never had it so good.”/”You’ve never had it as good.”

    I’ve just checked in my Chambers Crossword Dictionary and “so” is listed as an entry under “as”.

  20. papryki says:

    I thought it was “as is” for “so” but Smutchin’s explanation is also good.

  21. liz says:

    re 6dn In US/Canada where I grew up tester beds are called canopy beds. Random fact: the word ‘upholsterer’ comes from the old ‘upholder’, someone who suspended testers and bed hangings.

    It was hard today. Didn’t finish, not helped by putting ‘dog’ for ‘bag’ in 10ac. But I did smile at 21ac.

  22. Tom Hutton says:

    Repoussoir!! Gingili!!! If you had my back, you wouldn’t be wanting to jump up and down for the dictionary the whole time. Otherwise an excellent crossword in my view. One of those that looks horrible (sorry Eileen) at first sight but turns out to be very fairly clued and accessible with a little time. Apart, of course, from repoussoir which I didn’t get at all…and which, incidentally, foils the spell checker when I submit this response.

  23. Tom Hutton says:

    I meant to add that Uncle Yap was obviously well brought up and never employed the cry of “finders, keepers” as a child when engaged on stealing a sibling’s or friend’s belonging.

  24. Brian Harris says:

    Great crossword. Very enjoyable and learned some new words (and some geography).

    Thought the included clue for OSSIFY was particularly nice. Was barking up the wrong tree for a long time with this one, and when I found the answer I was kicking myself, but in a good way.

  25. stiofain_x says:

    I thought this was a great puzzle with some lovely surfaces I usually dislike hidden words but ossify was nicely hidden and the nice surface was perhaps a reference to the current housing crisis.
    Whats going on? 2 Aussie refs in as many days they will be taking over 15/2ed next…….

  26. GauldreyGuy says:

    First time through I got just one clue (16 ac Dove) and it turned out to be wrong, of course! Therafter, FLIGHT in 18 ac provided an edge in to most of the rest of an enjoyable crossword. A few I didn’t get, notably 9 and 13 ac. Kicked myself on 15d, which I new but couldn’t pop out of the old brian.

  27. BrisBella says:

    Degustation seems to be a fairly common term these days amongst celebrity chefs & the like, but I had never heard the word “degust”, presumably the verb. I got flight but the free part had me stumped till the cross words were in. Brisbanegirl – find me through doghousestudio web address.

  28. Paul B says:

    Uncle’s intro says it all for me on this one. Like him, I just can’t dig why it’s necessary to populate daily puzzles with so many obscure words – especially in the absence of devices such as Ninas or thematic clues. And even then, these days …

  29. Tyro says:

    I didn’t finish this. Too many 22 Down answers – one or two obscure ones would be fine if the clues were obvious, but jeez, as our Brisbane girls might say.

  30. BrisBella says:

    Not me – never said jeez in my life, cobber. This will probably be **CENSORED**

  31. C.G. Rishikesh says:

    One man’s poison may be another man’s meat.

    Gingili oil might be in a typical homemaker’s shopping list in these parts where I live.

    All the time they talk of Brisbane girls!

    in Madras that is Chennai, India

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