Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,718 / Orlando

Posted by Eileen on June 5th, 2009



An enjoyable puzzle from Orlando, who’s always good value, I think. There are some very cleverly constructed clues and several to raise a smile.


1   REGAL: REG and AL, two male names
10  DUDE RANCH: anagram of A HUNDRED containing [corralling] C [head of ‘cattle’] – great surface
11  AS IT COMES: A SITCOM [TV programme] + SE [‘outer’ letters of ‘space’] reversed [about]. The usual reply to, ‘How do you like your tea?’ Another good one
12  BAIRD: A [initially active] in BIRD [slang for prison] John Logie Baird [1888-1946] the Scottish engineer who invented the first working television system
13  UNEATEN: U [posh] NEATEN [groom]
15  PRESENT: double definition
17  PISTE: homophone of ‘pieced’
18  SAD: hidden in pillS A Doctor
20  GECKO: OK [very well] C[aught] EG [say] all reversed
22  RELAYED: [approximate] homophone of ‘real aid’
25  PIERROT: PILOT with the L replaced by ERR [stray]
26  LISLE: L[last letter of ‘mill’] IS LE [first and last letters of Lancashire]: lisle is a cotton yarn, originally manufactured in Lille.
27  ON THE WING: ONT[ario] HEWING [chopping]
30  TRIANGLES: anagram of ELGAR ISN’T: perhaps not quite an &lit – he probably included triangles in some compositions
33  SIGHT: TH[‘the’ short] GIS [soldiers] reversed


1   AREA: homophone of ‘airier’ [allegedly :-)]
2   UGLINESS: G [beginning to get] LINES [wrinkles] in US
3   ALEC: hidden in mALE Character: &lit
4   ODDMENTS: ODD MEN [eccentrics] TS [’empty tins’]
5   ADDS UP:  A DD [Doctor of Divinity] SUP [drink]
6   ARAB LEAGUE: ARABLE [farmland – it can be a noun as well as an adjective] + AGUE [fit] – a neat construction
7   ON FIRE: FIR [tree] inside ONE
  SHED: double definition [to slough is to shed [a skin], like a snake]
14  TEENY WEENY: the definition is ‘what rhymes’ and it goes ‘with’ itsy bitsy in the 1960 song ‘Itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini. [Several youtube versions available!]
18  TROUT: R [last letter of ‘finger] in TOUT [solicitor]
19  DEPUTISE: PUT [place] IS [islands] in [River] DEE
21  CARRIAGE: AG [silver] in CARRIE [abbr. of Caroline] A victoria was a four-wheeled carriage with a folding hood
23  LASSIE: ASS [animal] in LIE [fiction LASSIE is a young female but, of course, LASSIE was also a female animal in fiction – nice one!
24  DOODLE: the penultimate part of ‘Cock-a-doodle-doo’
26  LOTS: PLOTS minus P: very topical, we hear!
28  EASE: [yet another] homophone of ‘Es’
29  GOTH: GOT [saw – as in ‘understood’] + H [capital of Hungary] The Goths were an East Germanic tribe thought to have migrated from modern Sweden

23 Responses to “Guardian 24,718 / Orlando”

  1. Ian P says:

    Ellen, thanks for the blog.

    I agree that the homophone for “relayed” was approximate. I might even go so far as to say very approximate indeed.

  2. mhl says:

    Thanks for the excellent post, Eileen. I thought this was fun as well, and pretty easy on the whole. Unfortunately, I was rather held up at the end by having ROYAL (which works perfectly well) instead of REGAL – that was the first clue I put in, in fact…

  3. Eileen says:

    Hi mhl

    Thanks – I meant to point out that ROYAL works, too. We had it yesterday in a similar clue: ROY ALAN DAN!

  4. Mart says:

    Nice crossie, but what has U got to do with posh?

  5. mhl says:

    Mart: U is posh in the sense of U and non-U words, U standing for “upper class”.

  6. Crypticnut says:

    I thought this was a very easy puzzle yet with some very delightfully clever clues.

    For Mart: U is short for UPPER (as in class) or can also be used to denote IN (eg in fashion). Hope that helps.

  7. Mart says:

    Thanks folks. That’s the sort of thing that seems a bit crossword specific. At least I’ve never come across it elsewhere.
    I always enjoy Orlando, one of my favourites along with Rufus – probably because they are fair and possibly easier than some others (that may have something to do with pine trees!).
    Roll on Monday!

  8. Testy says:

    That ROY AL/REG AL dilemma has come up before. I think that setters should make absolutely certain that any possible ambiguity is at least resolved by the checking letters (as was the case here) but should ideally strive to ensure that clues can stand alone, without having to rely on checking letters to resolve any ambiguity.

    This sort of thing is most common with homophones and reversals where it can often be difficult to decide which part is intended to be the definition and which is the wordplay.

  9. chunter says:

    30ac: hi Eileen,


    Elgar used a triangle in the Enigma Variations. ‘In addition to the majesty of the kettledrums in the Enigma Variations (1899) there is the gentle colour of the triangle, with its grace note … depicting the tinkle of the medal on the collar of the great bulldog Dan as he gives himself a shake after his glorious plunge into the Wye (opening of Var. II)’.

  10. Eileen says:

    Thank you Chunter – I’ll listen out for it!

  11. sidey says:

    Very nice. Laughed at doodle, but real aid is surely three syllables? Or are real and reel homophones now? Not round here anyway.

  12. John says:

    Abbreviations again.
    Is IS really used as short form for “islands”?
    And the official short form for Ontario in Canadian convention is ON not ONT.
    Pieced = assembled? I don’t know. Pieced together perhaps..
    Other than that there are some really well constructed and satisfying clues here. I like surfaces as far from the solution as possible e.g. 6 dn and 16 dn.

  13. Eileen says:


    I’ve always understood ‘Is.’ as being an abbreviation of ‘islands’. It is in my atlas and Chambers gives it as an abbreviation for island[s] and isle[s].

    For ‘piece’, Chambers gives ‘combine’ and Collins: ‘[often followed by ‘together: to fit or assemble piece by piece.’

  14. Eileen says:

    Sorry – I should have previewed that last comment! – Collins: ‘[often followed by ‘together’]: to fit or assemble piece by piece’.

  15. liz says:

    Thanks Eileen. I too was held up by putting ROYAL instead of REGAL (shades of yesterday), but got there in the end. DOODLE made me smile and I thought 23dn was a neat, clever clue. RELAYED was stretching it a bit, though!

  16. Crypticnut says:

    Sidey and Liz: RELAYED/REAL AID as a homophone seems OK to me. Certainly REAL AID has three syllables but the spoken words SOUND the same – at least to my ancient ear.

  17. Derek Lazenby says:

    Mart, U and Non-U may seem crossword specific nowadays, but there was a time when they were in common usage as social class indicators.

    Eileen, thank you for spoiling my day! The good part was finishing two days running, but that meant having to face up to the awful self knowledge that I still remembered that dire ditty about the bikini. Now you tell me it is just a click away on You Tube? AAAARRRGHH!

  18. Dagnabit says:

    Thanks, Eileen!

    sidey and liz, I wasn’t able to enjoy 24d whatsoever, since I missed it – I had (ahem) DROLLY. My thinking process here is too tortured to explain, but my first two mistakes were thinking “drolly” a synonym for “casually” and “dr” an abbreviation for “drawing”…

    mhl and liz, put me down as another who had ROYAL for far too long – I was much too influenced by yesterday’s clue.

    sidey, in the U.S. at least, “real” and “reel” are considered such exact homophones that, for example, “reel life” is a virtual commonplace whenever a journalist wants to write something clever about the relationship between films and reality.

  19. liz says:

    Dagnabit — re 24dn, I was thinking DROOLS for a while for no reason whatsoever! It wasn’t until I wrote the clue out horizontally that I spotted the answer.

    I have no problem with ‘real’ sounding like ‘reel’. It’s just the combination ‘real aid’ bothers me a little as a homophone of ‘relayed’. I think it is to do with the way the word is stressed, but it is a small point in a v enjoyable puzzle!

  20. C & J says:

    I suppose one needs to be a certain age to remember the widespread use of U and non-U promoted by Nancy Mitford.

  21. Paul (not Paul) says:

    I liked today’s. That’s my level.

    Don’t know where Dude Ranch is though but its probably just a click away on you tube.

    And out of interest, is there an opposite of an &lit because, as gentlemen of a certain age may be able to verify, the blue pills (see 18 ac) make you happy not sad. (as long as you don’t buy the dodgy ones off the internet that is.

  22. Eileen says:

    Yes, C & J, one does! But if people follow mhl’s link [Comment 5] they can sample her glossary of U / non U words.

  23. Derek Lazenby says:

    Dude Ranch is generic like Health Farm

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