Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24669 – Boatman

Posted by manehi on April 9th, 2009


Getting 1dn early from a fairly obvious [but incorrect?] anagram made this a bit too easy, which is a pity as there are some nicer clues. A little theme of clues that included milk products/producers.

9 DAIRY MAID AID after rev(myriad)
10 U TURN URN=vessel after U=”you” and [flee]T
11 ANALOGY Sounds like “an allergy”, and the whole thing is an analogy, so looks like an &lit if I could only work out the “A PC crashing” bit.
12 CHEETAH Sounds like “cheater”
13 CITE sounds like “site”
14 ILL-STARRED R[escue] T[eam] mixed up in (sea drill)*
15 DUCTILE proDUCT I LEave. “Milk” seems a bit unnecessary.
17 LAMBKIN (ban milk)*
19 NORWEGIANS (no swearing)*
22 TWEE (sweet)* minus the S, &lit
23 EUNUCHS EU + N[ation] (such)*
24 EMBROIL (bitter lemon)* minus NETT
26 RHEAS (shear)*
27 CHICKPEAS Spoonerism of “pick cheese”
1 ADVANCED IN YEARS (Nana is C and very)* – only now do I notice that there seems to be an E missing from the anagram fodder.
(dead Nana is C very)* Thanks to Eileen et al for reminding me, I think I did see it this way first time round but managed to forget by the time I did the blog ;).
3 TYRO (try)* O[xford]
5 EDICTS EDITS around C[ows]. Bulls in the sense of papal edicts.
6 LUKEWARM LUKE [as in Skywalker] + WAR + M[ilitant]
7 BUTTER double def
8 ON THE DANGER LIST =Critical. (Lenin’s goat herd)* + T[ime]
16 IN EXCESS (scenes)* with I=Boatman and X=unknown mixed in.
18 KOWTOWED =Scraped. (took)* around W=point + WED=tied knot
20 RENNET rev(tenner)
21 INSECT =Cricket. I[ndia] + (scent)*
25 BAKE B[reakfast] A K[ipper] E[mulating]

34 Responses to “Guardian 24669 – Boatman”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, Manehi.

    The anagram fodder for 1dn is DEAD NANA IS C VERY.

    I thought there were some very clever clues here and, although the ‘milk’ in 15ac is not strictly necessary, it fits very well with the theme.

    I was seriously held up in the top left corner by having confidently put in DEEP BLUE for 4dn. I thought [eventually!] that 9ac was very good.

  2. Eileen says:

    On second thoughts, 9ac would have been better as ‘many a setback’.

  3. Andrew says:

    Thanks manehi. In 1dn I think the anagram is (DEAD NANA IS C VERY), though that means that DEAD is doing double duty.

    I also don’t get 10ac, unless it’s a pun on “analogue-y”, but a PC is digital, not analogue, computer.

    Despite these niggles, I enjoyed this, as I always do with Boatman’s puzzles.

  4. Andrew says:

    It occurs to me that “on the danger list” isn’t often used these days, having given way to such phrases as the rather oxymoronic “critical but stable”.

  5. Tom Hutton says:

    I thought this was excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed it throughout except that like manehi I couldn’t see how A PC crashing becomes analogy. I await enlightenment.

  6. don says:

    Thanks, Manehi, for a comprehensive blog. I don’t understand “A PC crashing” either and, after getting all the checking letters, only opted for ‘analogy’ because of the phrase ‘is like a …’.

  7. Andrew says:

    Oh, and did anyone else confidently put U-BOAT at 10ac?

  8. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog.

    I also put DEEP BLUE for 4dn, but didn’t correct it, so got nowhere with 11ac. I’d love to know what ‘A PC crashing’ is all about too!

  9. Tom Hutton says:

    I thought about it, Andrew, but it seemed too obvious with vessel in the clue so fortunately, I thought again.

  10. nick says:

    Isn’t crashing an analogy for what a computer does when it goes wrong? Although i’m no english student..

  11. beermagnet says:

    I had a laugh about 11A because I inferred that when a PC crashes it stops being digital (not that it does in reality of course), so it becomes analogy …

  12. Paul B says:

    I think we probably ought to say that 11ac has itself crashed, but the great thing about Boatman is that there’s always a good idea in there somewhere. A very good addition to the G team in my view.

    Re 1dn, that is another very common Grauniad practice (and therefore legit in context, I begrudgingly concede) that I despise. The ‘of’ in 8dn too grates, but there’s no reason why it should. I just don’t like ofs.

  13. Phil says:

    New here, so hellp everyone!

    I went along the same lines as Nick with “A PC crashing” being an example of an analogy. A bit of a weak definition though in my opinion.

    I also put DEEP BLUE, then on realising my mistake spent an age trying to work out why it was BABY BLUE, which of course it wasn’t.

    I thought it was an enjoyable puzzle on the whole though.

  14. cholecyst says:

    11 ac. I don’t get it either. Surely “A PC crashing” is a metaphor, not an analogy?

  15. smutchin says:

    I also put Deep Blue and still think it’s a better answer even now I know it’s wrong. Hmph.

    That aside, I have to echo Paul B’s comment – Boatman is a very welcome addition to the Guardian. Five outings to date, according to the archive, and all pretty good stuff.

  16. Testy says:

    Cholecyst, I agree. Calling that phrase an analogy would be like saying a dog is a cat!

  17. beermagnet says:

    I’ll try again:
    When something is ‘not digital’ it is analog-y

  18. Boatman says:

    Oh, I suppose I’ll have to put you out of your collective misery … The clue was meant to read “A PC crashing on certain inputs is like a person’s hypersensitivity, say” Now, that IS an analogy, unlike “A PC crashing which, as you rightly point out, isn’t exactly. The extra words fell victim to Hugh’s blue pencil on grounds of verbosity (not unlike this comment). At the time, I agreed with him, but maybe I should have stood my ground.

    Thanks to Beermagnet for your additional insight – must be the basis of a good clue for something, though I can’t immediately think what.

    I like DEEP BLUE, too, those who noticed it. Into the notebook for a future date …

    Thanks as ever for the positive crits. Glad you’re having fun – Boatman

  19. Eileen says:

    Thanks for that, Boatman – we could have gone on all night! It’s always very much appreciated when a setter does put us out of our misery :-)

    And many thanks, too, for a very entertaining puzzle. Looking forward to your next outing.

  20. Arthur says:

    Glad to have the definitive answer to 11 – thanks Boatman. Fair to say this wasn’t a particularly Ximenean set of clues, but there were certainly some smiles along the way. I’m not sure I like the double use of dead in 1, or cricket for insect in 21 (surely it would be fairer to clue the fact that cricket was an example rather than synonym of the solution). I also had (imho, superior) DEEP BLUE which held me up a bit. I very much enjoyed the spoonerism though.

  21. dagnabit says:

    Thanks, manehi!

    I first had NAVY at 4d, then changed it to DEEP, then back to NAVY when the penny dropped for me on DAIRYMAID, but I agree with others that “deep blue” is the better answer. Also, in reply to Andrew, I thought about U-BOAT for 10ac at first as well.

    All of this reminds me that I think it would be entertaining to read a description of one solver’s complete progress through a puzzle, including an account of all the guesses eventually rejected (and why they were guessed in the first place). I’ve even thought about writing such a thing myself, but in my case it would quickly grow tedious, to say nothing of embarrassing.

    This was my first time solving a Boatman puzzle and I was very impressed with the quality and good humor of the clues. However, I must confess that I haven’t yet been put out of my misery over 11ac – I still can’t work out how “on certain inputs” improves the clue. :(

  22. Stiofain says:

    I enjoyed this one a lot and liked the different uses of milk and Boatmans trademark nautical references, but I have to admit that like Dagnabit, Im none the wiser even after the explanation about 11ac.

  23. Dave Ellison says:

    I first had DEEP BLUE, followed by DARK BLUE (and eventually NAVY). I couldn’t spot the MYRIAD. So I had, correspondingly, DAIRYHERD, then contemplated DAIRYFARM, and finally DAIRYMAID, as M for MANY followed by AID, without being able to resolve it. Congratulations to Boatman, if this was planned!

    I also do not follow explanations to 11ac.

    Dagnabit: see Mark Goodliffe’s Narrative
    , for a mind blowing experience of a solver’s progess.

    I am surprised 15a DUCTILE has not attracted comment. I recall from my chemistry lessons of yore, that malleable is not the same as ductile.

  24. dagnabit says:

    Dave, thanks so much for the link! I will be reading it carefully as soon as time permits. By the way, I too tried DAIRYFARM and DAIRYHERD…

  25. JamieC says:

    I think the point re 11ac is that as originally written it was an elaborate &Lit i.e. a computer crashing because of bad inputs is analogous to a person reacting to bad inputs i.e. an allergy which sounds like etc etc. Not brilliant but just about works. It certainly didn’t work once the editor had taken his blue pencil to it.

    I thought about pointing out ductile vs malleable earlier, but then for once decided to check a dictionary before I did, and ductile is indeed defined as malleable, though I had similar memories of them being different things. It’s something I’m learning to do before I get on my definitional high horse :)

  26. liz says:

    Dave and Dagnabit — Putting DEEP BLUE and not changing it (because I thought it was pretty good) meant I was stuck with DAIRYHERD without knowing why and scuppered 11ac. It’s good to be in company…

    I will check out the Mark Goodliffe link, thanks Dave. If this is not going off topic, I seem to remember that Len Deighton, who was a great crossword fan, wrote about the process of solving a particular puzzle in one of the Harry Palmer stories, can’t remember which one.

    Jamie — I nearly got on a definitional high horse re ‘cool’ for ‘lukewarm’, until I checked in the dictionary and was reminded that it could mean ‘half-hearted’ as in ‘cool response’.

  27. dagnabit says:

    Thank you, Jamie, I think I’ve got it now! My original confusion was due to people saying the published clue was not an analogy at all but the original version is, while I thought they were both analogies because of the presence of “like” in each. But I see now that the real problem was that without the deleted text the clue was a poor and imprecise analogy, whereas the deleted text properly explains how the two elements are analogous.

  28. dagnabit says:

    Welcome to the club, Liz! :) And thank you for the Deighton reference.

  29. Phaedrus says:

    To a scientist, ductile and malleable are certainly different things – the former describes something that can be drawn into strands, while the latter describes something that can be beaten into sheets. To a normal person, however, they can be interchangeably used to mean pliable (which again is something different to a materials scientist!)

    Great puzzle, keep up the good work Boatman! (except 11ac)

  30. Stiofain says:

    This has been annoying me all day could PC maybe be “political correctness”? Then PC crashing could be analagous to someone being hypersensitive?

  31. MartinR says:

    Only had the chance to tackle this late this evening …
    what an absolute cracker of a puzzle. A delight to solve, despite the odd dodgy point such as 11ac, filled with gentle humour and some lovely devices. Thanks Boatman – more like this please!

    19ac: No swearing as an anagram for NORWEGIANS – brilliant.

    Like many others, I had DEEP BLUE too.

    For those who take an interest in The Listener puzzle, the setters often blog their setting experiences at Listen With Others:

  32. MartinR says:

    Correction: solvers blog their solving at Listen With Others (though setters blog there too).

    You might also try George vs The Listener, an entertaining blog recounting one man’s struggle:

  33. Paul B says:

    Thank God for Jamie C.

  34. dagnabit says:

    Martin, many thanks for the additional links.

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