Never knowingly undersolved.

Everyman 3264

Posted by Arthur on April 26th, 2009


As always, a well-clued easy puzzle particularly suited to newcomers to cryptic crosswords. I have reservations with 6dn in that it makes very little/no sense in its surface reading. As far as i can tell it requres you to read “mounts” as a plural noun as in “I bought two mounts yesterday.” and “jumps racetrack” as a compound noun as in “I prefer the jumps racetrack to the flat racetrack”. The wordplay works fine but there’s no point if the clue doesn’t make sense as a sentence.

Since I imagine most people reading this will probably be quite new to cryptics, I’ve listed any common abbreviations used in the puzzle for easy reference.

4 TURKS HEAD – (DRAKETHUS)*. A Turk’s head is a decorative knot.
9 LEND A HAND – A HAND = a worker, after LEND = advance, as in money.
10 RAILS – dd. Rails are secretive birds also known as Rallidae.
17 SEOUL – E in SOUL = individual. Seoul is South Korea’s capital city.
19 PRIMA BALLERINA – PRIM = demure + A BALL + ER IN A(ustralia).
22 OVOID – O + VOID. OVOID = egg-shaped, like Humpty Dumpty.
23 UNTENABLE – TEN in UNABLE = not up to
24 LUNAR YEAR – (ARYANRULE)*. A lunar year lasts 354.37 days.
25 SUSHI – hidden in ‘makeS US HIgh-class’. Group refers to a group of letters and isn’t strictly necessary except for the surface reading.
1 CALL – ALL after epiC
3 BRANDY ALEXANDER – BR + ANDY and ALEXANDER = boys. A Brandy Alexander is a brandy and cream based cocktail.
4 TEASE – Eating-house after TEAS
5 RED ENSIGN – N in REDESIGN. A red ensign is a Navy flag – the British Red Ensign is currently flown by all civil ships.
6 SARATOGA SPRINGS – SARA + GOT< + A SPRINGS. Saratoga Springs is a City in New York State famous for its racecourse.
7 EPITHET – HE in E PITT = William Pitt, the younger; a British Prime Minister.
14 BLOW A FUSE – BLOW = hit + A F + USE = work
18 OMNIBUS – dd
20 LATER – LATE = departed, as in dead + R
21 DELI – (I + LED = was first to go)<

Common crossword abbreviations this week:
cold = C [I imagine from its use on cold taps]
Queen = ER [Elizabeth Regina. Probably the most common abbreviation in cryptics, it appears almost every day]
round = O [due to the shape of the letter – also watch out for “ring”]
British = BR
new = N
English = E
ambassador = HE [His/Her Excellency]
female = F
river = R [river can often mean the name of a river too, so be a little careful with this one]
one = I [another extremely common one. Due to its shape, or Roman numerals I suppose]

4 Responses to “Everyman 3264”

  1. Andrew K says:

    Thanks. A good puzzle for me. EPITHET held me up- thinking of modern PMs!

  2. MartinR says:

    Thanks Arthur. Quite enjoyed this one, though you are right about 6d, and both SARATOGA SPRINGS and BRANDY ALEXANDER were new to me. The former especially was obscure for Everyman, and in my case required a bit of Googling.

  3. Hughie says:

    Thank you for blogging this with the explanatory notes. I managed to complete this, albeit with some reference to wikipedia for knot types and cocktails. Some answers I get without fully knowing why in a cryptic sense, so it is good to see how they are actually constructed. I think I struggle most with some of the common abbreviations used (e.g. I didn’t know H) and also with clues where different parts of the clue make up small groups of letters that go together to form the overall answer.

    I think the horse racing one just about makes sense, taking mounts as in horses; i.e. the girl successfully rode her horses over the fences at the racetrack – she got round as opposed to falling etc – presumably taking them round one at a time unless she was some sort of trick rider! I got Saratoga but had to look up the full name.

    I appreciate the Everyman blogs, as people here seem to refer to this crossword as a good/fair starting point. I have just bought a book of them actually – sorry, going a bit of the specific puzzle now so will stop.

  4. Hughie says:

    The above should have read that I didn’t know HE for his excellency as in an ambassador

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