Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,723 (Gordius)

Posted by diagacht on June 11th, 2009


Trying to blog this in record speed this morning as I am on borrowed internet usage and won’t get back to a computer until much later in day. Three clues solved but not decoded: 2, 5, and 8.

9 EXCEPTION: anagram of EXPECT NO I (one)
10 IDAHO: IDA + HO (house); Princess Ida, a opera by Gilbert and Sullivan
11 RAILWAY: Not sure I see the cryptic here. Refers to a line from ‘The Hunting of the Snark’ by Lewis Carroll: “You may threaten its life with a railway-share”
12 ATHWART: anagram of WHAT + ART
13 SPIN: PI (constant) between S and N (poles)
14 FIRE ESCAPE: cryptic definition
16 EN MASSE: anagram of SEAMENS
17 STIFFEN: IF F (force) all held in STEN (gun)
19 CORNUCOPIA: CO (firm, company) + anagram of RUN + OP (work) in CIA
22 GNAR: RANG reversed
24 UNCLOSE: anagram of NO CLUES
26 SEEDY: homophone for CD
27 SOLDIER ON: I in SOLDER (fix), ON (relating to has, perhaps)
1 REFRESHER COURSE: FRESHER (first year student) in RECOURSE
2 ACTINIUM: clearly an element but don’t get the ANTHONY reference
3 SPAWN: PAW (foot) between S and N (partners in bridge)
4 CITY-WIDE: anagram of DIY TWICE
5 INMATE: clearly right but why?
7 SAHARA: (A RA (artist) + HAS) all reversed
8 NORTHERN IRELAND: part of the UK but don’t see the INDIA bit
15 PSEUDONYM: (MY + N (name) + DUES in OP) all reversed
17 SLIGHTLY: SLY about LIGHT (clue)
18 FUNFAIRS: anagram of RUFFIANS
20 ROCKET: ROCK (music) + ET (alien)
21 ODENSE: O (nothing) + DENSE

24 Responses to “Guardian 24,723 (Gordius)”

  1. RichardSmyth says:

    Hello. Just recently discovered this site – really helpful, so thanks to all concerned…

    5 dn. INMATE is an anagram of ‘time an’.
    2 dn. (Mark) Antony was defeated at Actium.

    Still stumped by NORTHERN IRELAND, though.

  2. RichardSmyth says:

    I suppose the even letters in India give you ‘NI’…

  3. harry says:

    Re 8 – “RichardSmyth says:
    June 11th, 2009 at 8:59 am
    I suppose the even letters in India give you ‘NI’…”

    That was my assumption also – not the greatest clue ever, I think.

  4. Berny says:

    Unhappy with UNCLOSE, GNAR and ROCK part of ROCKET

  5. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, Diagacht.

    I thought this was rather patchy: I liked 14ac and 2, 15 and 17dn but, like you, I could find nothing cryptic in 11ac and the anagrams in 9ac and 5dn were rather oddly indicated. And where does the last [first] A come from in SAHARA? I’m sure RichardSmyth is right about 8dn [we’re havng an awful lot of this type of clue lately] but, as harry says, not the greatest of clues. The role of ‘has’ in the clue for 27ac is vague: I’d taken ‘fix’ as being ‘solder on’ but didn’t like that either!

    GNAR was a new word for me. [I knew ‘gnarl’.]

  6. grunos says:

    it’s only gordius though, you can’t expect too much!

  7. chunter says:

    7ac: ARA is Associate of the Royal Academy.

  8. Eileen says:

    Thanks, chunter. I should have looked it up!

  9. chunter says:

    17ac: a light is the answer to a clue (or perhaps the block of squares into which it is to be entered), not the clue itself.

  10. chunter says:

    Sorry – my previous comment referred to 17dn, not 17ac. (Is there a spell-checker at work here? Can one turn it (the underlining in red) off?)

  11. Mister Sting says:

    ‘Offender’ is no kind of anagram indicator, and I’m unconvinced by 26ac. I’m not at all sure that I follow the construction of 20dn, either.
    I rather like 8dn, though.

  12. Eileen says:

    Mr Sting

    ET [alien – a crossword cliché] after ROCK [music]
    Stephenson’s Rocket was a [railway] ‘track pioneer’.

  13. teesween says:

    We needed a good Gordius to continue our fine run but this, to my mind, patchy affair was not the one. He can do better.

  14. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog. I didn’t get 26ac or 12ac. Also got 5dn wrong. GNAR was a new word for me. Didn’t enjoy this as much as the rest of this week’s offerings and found it a bit of a slog.

  15. Brian Harris says:

    Yes, today’s puzzle does break the sequence of good crosswords this week. It was too good to last.

  16. sidey says:

    #10 chunter, spellchecking will be your browser’s responsibility.

    Not the best puzzle ever, never mind.

  17. Dave H says:

    I thought 23d could also be Ellie: i in Elle = she in French – alternative setting?

  18. IanP says:

    As predicted we come crashing down to earth, with a below average effort. Ah, well. It was a nice run while it lasted…

  19. Pricklewedge says:

    I really struggled with this one, especially after the real joy of the last couple of days… I fair skipped to the station newsagent this morning expecting against all hope a repeat of the pleasure of the last three days. Down to earth with a bump and grumpy at work as a result… Co-workers don’t understand when one states that one is not in a bad mood but that “Paul and Shed got me all excited but then Gordius let me down”

  20. Shirley says:

    Just before Gordius tops himself for not coming up to the high standard of the rest of the week, we enjoyed it very much. I don’t see a problem in 11Ac not being a cryptic clue. I bet a lot of people had to look up the reference in a book of quotations and learned something new as a result

  21. Dagnabit says:

    Thanks, diagacht. Any week in which I can so far go four for four without leaving any spaces blank is a good one for me, so I am tempted to say that Gordius has kept up the high standard. :)

  22. Pumpkin says:

    I imagined that ‘gnar’ had a lot to do with Dennis the Menace and Gnasher so wasn’t troubled but badly missed ‘athwart’. Agree with Shirley – I had to look up the reference but am no worse for the adventure.

  23. Paul (not Paul) says:

    If I thought these comments would cause Gordius to top himself I would have been posting earlier! I always find him patchy and frustrating. This was a particularly poor effort.

  24. James Droy says:

    As everyone is in bed I can say that I was stumped on parts of this everyone breezed and sailed through those which raised most complaints. I liked 14ac, thought 8dn fair, the even letters in India are N and I and NI is part of the UK. Despite the last 400 years. My biggest mistake was writing in sheet for 26ac, as in charge sheet and sounds like shit, which is as much a stretch for poor as seedy, but I swear more than most crossword setters, perhaps. That made 15dn difficult.

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