Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Genius 71 by Enigmatist

Posted by duncanshiell on May 31st, 2009


This was a entertaining, but aggressive crossword that took longer than it should have because I had  the wrong answer at 18d (KEG) for a while.  I thought to begin with that 18d was TUN (a large cask, sounds like [say] a ton weight), so I was wondering about the meaning of the middle letters of ACCRINGTON STANLEY for some time.  Eventually the penny dropped and the words PEN, POCKET, STANLEY and BREAD made some sense, following on from the one unadjusted across answer at 16a GET THE KNIVES OUT.  All types of knives had to be removed from the other across answers to make them fit the grid. I think that all the various knives were well known.

Not only was the theme aggressive (knives) but the phrase ‘act agressively’ appeared in three clues.

An eclectic mix of General Knowledge was needed to solve a number of the clues. Anyone who hasn’t seen the BBC sitcom Allo! Allo! will be baffled by Helga and her Gestapo boyfriend Herr Flick. Films are not my strong point so I had to do a bit of research to track down Butterfield Eight. I vaguely remember Lana Turner, the Sweater Girl. My pop music knowledge did cover The Stones, The Waves and David Bowie, but The The was a new group to me. Football is a much stronger subject so Accrington Stanley was no problem.

JACKBOOTS as a verb was a construction and meaning I hadn’t encountered before, but I was able to deduce the answer from the wordplay.

As ever with Enigmatist, the long anagrams were entertaining.

It felt as though there were a lot of three letter answers, but in the end I note there were only six and two of those formed part of a longer phrase.

I wasn’t convinced that the Rock and Roll link worked that well, but I’m probably nit-picking.

There are a lot of columns in the first table on this blog. I think the table will resize and be wholly visible in all but the most restricted windows; if not please let me know.

No. Answer Knife Entry

Components of Wordplay for Answer (or Entry (16a only)

8 DAVID BOWIE BOWIE DAVID (AVID [enthusiastic)]+ BOW [act of respect]) contained in (in) DIE (‘two-part Indie’ implies ‘in die’) = DAVID BOWIE (pop icon)
10 POCKET HANDKERCHIEFS POCKET HANDKERCHIEFS Anagram of (foggy) IF HE SPOT-CHECKED RANK = POCKET-HANDKERCHIEFS (wipers for one getting foggy), partly &Lit clue
11 HERR FLICK FLICK HERR H (first letter(top) of HELGA)+ ERR (sin) + F (female) + LICK (lap) = HERR FLICK (Helga’s boyfriend in the 1980s/1990s sitcom Allo! Allo!)
13 BUTTERFIELD EIGHT BUTTER FIELD EIGHT Anagram (badly) of BUDGET-HITTER containing (encapsulating) an anagram of (misspent) LIFE = BUTTERFIELD EIGHT (1960 film starring Elizabeth Taylor, Laurence Harvey and Eddie Fisher)
16     GET THE KNIVES OUT GET THE KNIVES OUT (act aggressively) = GET THE KNIVES OUT (cryptic instruction on how to treat all the other across answers to make them fit the grid) – double definition.
21 ACCRINGTON STANLEY STANLEY ACCRINGTON Anagram of (uncomfortably) CONCENTRATING LAYS = ACCRINGTON STANLEY (football team [side] in English League Two)
25 BLUEFISH FISH BLUE (IF [condition] + E [drug]) reversed (rolled) contained in (into) BLUSH (cosmetic; technically ‘blusher’ is the cosmetic I think, not ‘blush’. Each of Collins, Chambers and SOED only give ‘blusher’ as ‘cosmetic’) = BLUEFISH (a large fish found of the north atlantic coast of USA)
29 JACKBOOTS JACK BOOTS J (judge) + (ACTS [does] containing [about] an anagram [new edition] of BOOK) = JACKBOOTS (acts agressively)
30 WHOLEMEAL BREAD BREAD WHOLEMEAL Anagram of (out) LADLE A HOME BREW = WHOLEMEAL BREAD (it is possible to imagine someone ladling out a home brew with wholemeal bread as a sustenance), &Lit clue


No. Entry Components of Wordplay
1 DAPHNE PH (measure of acidity) contained in (retained by) DANE (Scandinavian) = DAPHNE (plant)
2 PLANAR PR (pair) containing (casing) LANA (reference film star Lana Turner, also known as the ‘Sweater Girl) = PLANAR (level)
3 ROCK ROCK (stone) – reference Rolling Stones and ROCK AND ROLL ([music] genre) (see 28d). I assume AND is the central character
4 ENTRÉE Sounds like ON TRAY (being how you would serve a meal to the someone bedridden) = ENTRÉE (main meal)
5 RAREBITS Anagram of (cooking) ARBITERS (more than one arbiter) = RAREBITS (snacks)
6 KITSCH Hidden word in JUNK IT’S CHEAP = KITSCH (vulgar trash)
9 SHED WISHED (wanted) excluding (to leave) WI (Women’s Institute, group of women) = SHED (cast)
12 ROT ROTA (routine course) excluding (get rid of)  A = ROT (wasting disease)
13 FEE FEE (wages paid to professional) = FEE (fairy), double definition
14 LEI LEISURE (for casual wear) excluding (to be discarded) SURE (certain) = LEI (garland of feathers)
16,15 GO AT IT GOA (Indian island) + TIT (bird) = GO AT IT (to act agressively), entered as GOA (16d) and TIT (15d)
17 TORMENTS (MEN [people] contained in [in] TORT [wrong]) + S (society) = TORMENTS (afflicts)
18 KEG K (Kilogram, weight) + EG (say) = KEG (cask)
19 VAN VAN (vanguard, front) = VAN (vehicle), double definition
22,20 CROTON OIL Anagram of (out) LOO + CITRON = CROTON OIL (a powerful purgative or cleanser)
23 NOT-I Reverse of (turns) IT ON = NOT-I (that which is not the conscious ego, reference the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson)
24 THE THE THE THE (definite articles put together) = THE THE (An English music and multimedia group active since 1979 – no, I hadn’t heard of them either)
25 BECOME B (second-string) + ECO (environmentally green) + ME (setter describing himself) = BECOME (suit)
26 UNSEAT Anagram of (throw out) USA.NET = UNSEAT (throw out), &Lit clue
28 ROLL ROLL (a roller is a wave) – reference [Katrina and the] Waves (?) and ROCK (see 3d) AND ROLL ([music] genre) 

10 Responses to “Guardian Genius 71 by Enigmatist”

  1. bridgesong says:

    Duncan, thanks for the blog. At 24 down, I think you’ll find that the pop band is the rather better known The Who.

    I made the same mistake of putting TUN for KEG.

  2. Ralph G says:

    Duncan, great blog!
    Thanks for 11a. Kicking myself for not getting HERR F/LICK.
    24D: I had THE WHO as well but didn’t understand how WHO arose from ‘aticle’.

  3. liz says:

    Thanks, Duncan. I enjoyed this a lot. My first answer was BALLPOINT but I didn’t see the significance of leaving out the PEN until later. I also had TUN for KEG for awhile.

    I did get THE THE and I have heard of them, but I hesitated to put it in because it seemed so obscure, even for a Genius crossword! Similarly, but possibly a little less so, with HERR!

    After all that, the one I got wrong was ROT. I put RUT and can’t remember why.

  4. IanN14 says:


    How can “who” be described as an article.
    It’s definitely “The The”. I have one of their (his?) albums, Soul Mining from the eighties.
    Their music also features in a current ad on TV (can’t remember what for).

  5. IanN14 says:

    Try this:

  6. Ralph G says:

    24d Thanks Ian, THE THE it is. Should have Googled it.

  7. Matthew says:

    Put me down as another one who had TUN insted of KEG for too long.

    I didn’t solve 11ac but that didn’t stop me from guessing that the unchecked letter in the entry should be H.

    I wondered if the “central character” referred to in the clues to ROCK and ROLL was the N in the centre of the grid.

  8. Matthew says:

    I really don’t think 26dn is &lit.
    I think the anagrind is “out” and throw=UNSEAT in the sense of a horse throwing its rider.

  9. bridgesong says:

    It is indeed THE THE: I apologise. Sheer ignorance on my part.

  10. mhl says:

    Thanks for the post, duncanshiell, and it was good to meet you last week (two weeks ago?)

    Frustratingly, I had everything except HERR (FLICK) in this puzzle, despite being able to remember those characters in “‘Allo ‘Allo”. Presumably it’s meant to be read as an &lit? I’m not sure I can read it in a way that suggests that the answer might be a person.

    Otherwise, this was a lot of fun – getting the “knives” link was very satisfying, as were all the anagrams in the across clues…

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