Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,688 – Bonxie

Posted by Ciaran McNulty on May 1st, 2009

Ciaran McNulty.

An unfamiliar setter to me, but seems quite fond of anagrams.  In fact once I started to assume every answer was going to be an anagram, the second half went a lot quicker.

d.d. = double definition
c.d. = cryptic definition
* = anagram
“” = homophone
< = reversed


9. FILAMENT. FINEMALT*. ‘Whisky’ as an anagrind is not something I’ve seen before.
10. LINING. musLIN IN Granny.  Not sure what ‘nightie’ is doing here, unless it’s a triple definition.
11. NUTS AND BOLTS. d.d.
13. HALO. HA + LO.
14. INEXPERT. IN + EX(P)ERT.  Using ‘home work’ as two separate parts of the wordplay is clever.
18. OPUS. O + SUP<.  Good to see it as an answer, considering Op. is so common as wordplay.


2. UNIT. d.d. presumably, but I’m not sure of the Ammo connection.
12. PACESETTER. c.d. with I=1 in the clue? Doesn’t seem quite kosher.
21. UTTER. (p)UTTER.

32 Responses to “Guardian 24,688 – Bonxie”

  1. cpendred says:

    unit is part of ammunition, and is it not missus rather misses due to positioning of hear.

  2. C.G. Rishikesh says:

    2d is hidden: part of ammUNITion

  3. C.G. Rishikesh says:

    I think 12d is charade of PACE (step). SETTER (I)

  4. smutchin says:

    9a – I presume “whisky” is something to do with “related to whisks”, ie the letters have been “whisked” about, but it’s a bit peculiar. Perhaps Scotch(ed) might have worked better?

    10a – “nightie” is just for the surface but you’re right, it is superfluous and shouldn’t really be there. Since only the G of “granny” is used, a different word beginning with G might have worked better here. Don Manley specifically deprecates “overhidden” words in his book.

    9d – SANATORIUM, ahem.

    I really liked 15d – very elegant. Despite the minor gripes expressed above, this new[?] setter definitely shows some promise.

  5. C.G. Rishikesh says:

    In 9a, ‘whisky’ seems to be coined from ‘whisk’ in the sense of “move quickly and rapidly”.

  6. Lanson says:

    20a should be remuneration – financial reward rather than renumeration – from renumbering

  7. C.G. Rishikesh says:

    10a – “nightie” is just for the surface but you’re right, it is superfluous and shouldn’t really be there. Since only the G of “granny” is used, a different word beginning with G might have worked better here.

    For example:

    Inlay some muslin in greatcoat (6)

  8. Andrew says:

    Bonxie isn’t totally new: he (?) has set at least a couple of Quiptics in the past.

  9. liz says:

    I quite enjoyed this, despite messing up 21dn and not getting 25ac. 15dn was very neat and I also liked 20ac.

    I took ‘whisky’ to refer to ‘scotch’, but I don’t really think it works so well as an anagrind. I agree ‘nightie’ is redundant (except, of course, for the surface).

  10. Eileen says:

    There may be a lot of anagrams but they had some nice surfaces, particularly, as Smutchin says, 15dn. I liked 20ac and 4dn, too. And I rather liked ‘whisky’ as an anagrind. The question mark excuses its quirkiness, for me.

  11. Eileen says:

    Andrew, re your question mark: I thought that pseudonym looked rather feminine, which was interesting, in view of my earlier observation that we’d had two female setters in three days. Courtesy of Google, I find that it’s another name for the great skua, from the Norse ‘bunksi’, meaning ‘an untidy old woman’!

  12. don says:

    Can someone please explain 22 down? It was obviously an anagram of ‘same’, but why does ‘mesa’ = ‘American hill’? Also, in 5 across, why is there ‘nothing harder’ than ‘simplest’? I’d have thought there was nothing easier than the simplest, or everything was harder than the simplest.

    ‘Forebearer’ for 12 down messed up 13 across (where I assumed the ‘o’ of ‘plainsong’ was the ‘ring’) and 23 across and, like Ciaran, I put in ‘renumeration’ and, initially, had ‘sanitorium’ until I checked the letters of the anagram.

  13. C.G. Rishikesh says:

    MESA is a flat-topped hill with steep sides, especially in the southwestern U.S.,/i> (Chambers) emphasis mine

  14. don says:

    Thanks Rishikesh. Babynames(!) gave it as meaning ‘table’, which seems to be about the same thing.

  15. jetdoc says:

    I noticed that, at 5a, the definition should have been ‘nothing easier’. That is carelessness.

    At 25a, ‘obscene’ seems to me to be a poor definition of ‘prurient’ — Chambers gives: ‘having an unhealthy interest in sexual matters; arousing such interest; itching; causing itching’.

    It’s a pity that the MISSUS/MISSES question isn’t resolved by a checking letter. I thought the clue led to MISSUS, by the way.

  16. Eileen says:


    I didn’t understand Don’s comment about 5ac: in the paper, the clue *is* ‘nothing easier’. I’ve just checked the online version and it is there, too. Maybe it’s been changed?

  17. Chunter says:

    5a: the definition *is* ‘nothing easier’, at least in the (non-PDF) ‘print’ version.

  18. sidey says:

    The cheat button gives MISSIS for 19D. The OED says this is a verb:

    {dag}1. trans. To address as ‘Mrs’. Obs.

    2. intr. Eng. regional. To act as if one were the mistress of a household, assume a superior air.

    MISSUS is a wife.

    Other than that I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  19. Gaufrid says:

    Chambers, COED and Collins all give ‘missis’ as a variant spelling of ‘missus’ so either answer is correct.

    The pdf version of the puzzle does have ‘harder’ in 5a.

  20. jetdoc says:

    I printed the PDF version fairly early this morning. I think 5a must have been changed to ‘easier’ since then.

  21. Ian says:

    Not familiar with Bonxie. For some reason I always expect new compilers to be tough, but this was medium. I don’t mind that at all, and thought this a neat first effort (although I agree it was one for the anagram fan).

  22. Derek Lazenby says:

    And apart from all that, 12d is ambiguous. MACEBEARER also works and hits all bar one of the cross checks.

    Overall, not as much fun as yesterday, but generally ok, the above minor quibbles notwithstanding I guess.

  23. owenjonesuk says:

    Derek: I don’t think 12d is ambiguous. It’s not a CD – as C.G. Rishikesh said in the third comment, “I” = SETTER and “step” = PACE and “in front” tells you which order to put them in.

  24. Dave Ellison says:

    I quite liked this for a first showing.

    MESA is also Spanish for table.

    11a I knew it should be easy, but I found this quite hard to get – was that just me?

  25. Jon says:

    Nothing ambiguous about 12d except perhaps that a pacesetter may not be the ultimate leader in a race. Tightly worded clue in my opinion.

    (@Owenjonesuk – you’re not a ginger liverpudlian/wirralian by any chance, are you?)

  26. muck says:

    Thanks for the blog Ciaran, and for other comments.
    Bonxie, new for me, welcome!

  27. Ed H says:

    Dave E – I got 11a immediately, but also got it wrong immediately. A couple of construction sites near me have a sign reading “No hat, no boots, no job.” So “hats and boots” went straight in as the essentials of construction.

    Also, had 1a wrong, again going with my instinct and shooting at ‘outcry’, although obviously that doesn’t parse properly needing dischrage to = cry.

    Top left corner didn’t go so well!

    As others have said, nice effort from Bronxie.

  28. Derek Lazenby says:

    Thank you for trying to be helpful, but I already know how to parse that to get to the required answer. But, to say that the clue is type x rather than type y is with the benefit of hindsight. On an empty grid, not knowing the answer, it is not a given that a clue is on or the other. Most of the time, if you find wordplay, you can usually assume it is not there by accident. That is what I assumed which is why I got the right answer.

    I wasn’t asking for unnecessary help, though I appreciate the thought, I was just providing an observation for your amusment. Basically, until you see the word play there is nothing to stop you reading the clue in a diffferent way and coming to a quite logical answer.

    What is of more interest is whether this was deliberate misdirection or accidental and whether or not any one else spotted this.

  29. don says:

    Sorry, I wasn’t complaining about 12 down, I was just pointing out the errors of my ways. ‘Pacesetter’ is spot on.

  30. Arthur says:

    Really enjoyed this, mainly for the excellent surfaces (something that many of the more well known setters seem to give up on after a few clues), and a good one for the train with mesa being the only guess for me (well it was either that or sema).

    In terms of the old Ximinean/Libertarian debate, I think we can confidently stick Bonxie down as a lib! Ximines will be spinning in his grave about many of these clues – absolutely loads of excess misleading punctuation (and I’m not sure whether he would have liked homework as home work or not), a hidden clue with a superfluous word, ‘in front’ meaning above… Not that I’m complaining – I thought it was very fair, except perhaps the Missis/Missus debate(I think it was clear we wanted wife rather than misses, but which spelling was indeterminate)

  31. sandra coleman says:

    I also found it difficult to get 11a. Re Dave Ellison’s comment.

  32. Ximenes says:

    ‘Ximines’, indeed.

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>

six + 1 =