Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,751 – Taupi

Posted by Uncle Yap on July 14th, 2009

Uncle Yap.

dd = double definition
cd = cryptic definition
rev = reversed or reversal
ins = insertion
cha = charade
ha = hidden answer
*(fodder) = anagram

What a delightful day this has been for me. First I found that the FT people (God bless them) have fixed the illegibility problem with the on-line clues by presenting the puzzle in pdf form. Then I got to tackle Taupi, said to be a libertarian in these blogs. For many minutes, I was challenged and entertained by his clever word-play

ACROSS
1 FRINGE BENEFITS Nice clue which got me started with 7 initial letters … the brow is where the hair hangs down :-)
9 NEVERMORE To get maximum entertainment value from this clue, figure out the wordplay yourself … it’s okay to let out a small chuckle
10 ORACH I must confess this was one of my last answers. Nevertheless very clever interchange of the first two letters of ROACH. Also first time I came across this vegetable
11 ATRIA Cha of A T (a time) RIA (rev of air / atmosphere)
12 OIL PAINTS *(is plain to) with fancy as an inspired indicator
13 EYELINER Ins of YEL (bawl or yell minus last letter) in EIN (German for one) ER (Elizabeth Regina, the queen)
14 HI-TECH Ins of E (first letter of equipment) in HITCH (problem)
17 TRAUMA Ins of U (turn) in rev of A MART (a trading place)
19 HALF-HOUR If you remember Santa Claus’s “Ho! Ho! Ho!” then you will see HO is 50% of HOUR
22 LASER DISK *(dark isles)
24 ARIES CARIES (tooth decay) minus the first letter
25 SWAIN S (third letter of LAST) WAIN (wagon)
26 PATRICIDE *(I predict a)
27 INTERDEPENDENT *(ended pertinent)

DOWN
1 FUNDAMENTALISM Cha of FUN (goodtime) DAME (girl) N TALISM (northern charm or talisman without an)
2 INVERSE Poetry are in verses
3 GERMANIUM Ins of M (male) in GERANIUM (flower)
4 BLOW OVER BLOW (under or below minus E, energy) OVER (above)
5 NEEDLE dd
6 FLORA Rev of ROLF Harris + A. This Australian singer is the favourite entertainer of my children who grew up with his CD playing in the car. My daughter is one of the few people I know who can sing The Court of King Caractacus and not miss a word. My personal favourite has always been Jake The Peg.
7 TRAINEE Ins of RAIN (drops) in TEE (aid for driver) What a lovely way to disguise the humble wooden peg used by golfers to place the ball when teeing off.
8 PHOSPHORESCENT *(centre shop shop) I like the way Taupi blends his indicator (swimming) in so smoothly ; a bit like Rufus
15 INFLATION IN FLAT IRON (minus R)
16 BACKSTOP A kind of reverse clue where POTS is the reverse of STOP
18 ABSTAIN A B (a second-grade) STAIN (mark)
20 OLIVINE Ins of IN in OLIVE (bitter fruit)
21 LIMPID Another delightful whatdoyoucallit clue … limp id & ego
23 RANGE Ins of N (new) in RAGE (get in a strop)

35 Responses to “Guardian 24,751 – Taupi”

  1. Crypticnut says:

    Well done Uncle Yap. Your blog appeared before the puzzle link on the Guardian’s website (in fact it’s still not there), in my part of the world at least. I was able to access it in the archive search facility using the number.
    I’ve completed it now and agree it was a clever puzzle and raised more than a chuckle more than once.
    There were a couple that I got without understanding why until I read through your blog, so thanks for clearing them up!

  2. mhl says:

    Uncle Yap: indeed, great news about the FT doing PDFs! Thanks for the post. I didn’t understand the wordplay when I put in INFLATION, but seeing your explanation I particularly like the “ironing” sense of “decrease” :) ORACH and SWAIN were too difficult for me in this one.

  3. NeilW says:

    Thanks, Uncle Yap, especially for explaining half-hour and swain, both of which I got but couldn’t understand!

    An entertaining puzzle, with one quibble – surely when the ego is suppressed, the id runs riot?

  4. Bryan says:

    A great puzzle and great explanations of the clues that I solved but without knowing why: ORACH and OLIVINE.

    Crypticnut has now set another puzzle: How did Uncle Yap manage to post his blog at 4:31 am?

    I live in the UK and never get mine until after 6:00 am, sometimes later but usually before 6:10 am.

    I suspect that it’s something to do with the International Date Line and that Uncle Yap is an airline pilot who gets a 24-hour advantage.

    When we know the answer to this, I envisage really hurting the bookies.

  5. Crypticnut says:

    Bryan
    Just to put things in perspective I live in Australia and, I believe, Uncle Yap is from Malaysia. When he posted his blog it was 1.30pm here and 11.30 am in Malaysia (I think).

    The puzzle should be available at midnight in the UK which is 9am here and 7am in Malaysia.
    Still doesn’t explain how he was able to access it some hours before I did.

  6. greyfox says:

    Is 19 across a reference to ‘Hancock’s Half Hour’?

  7. Uncle Yap says:

    No great secret about the timing. The Guardian on-line puzzle is available at one minutes past midnight GMT which is 8.01 am here in Kuala Lumpur. Normally, I would solve Times, Guardian, Independent, FT and maybe the Telegraph Toughie with a friend, Dr Gurmukh, have some shots of single malt (in fact we rate the degree of difficulty of a puzzle by the number of drinks). Today, Dr G had something to do so I stayed back, polished off Taupi and blogged his puzzle earlier than normal. Cor, don’t I feel thirsty :-)

  8. Monica M says:

    Hi All,

    9ac … I got the clue bit …. but I still can’t see the wordplay, and I do hate to miss out on the joke … as a favour (because I’m so stretched for time these days and rarely get to join the blog) … “please explain?” (that last bit was for you Crypticnut)

    My LOL moment was 21dn

  9. Crypticnut says:

    Hi Monica M – welcome back!

    Re 9ac I was appreciative of the clever clue construction – at no time = never, always = ever but always equal or less = nevermore.
    I also had a giggle at 17a with the use of A MART, which, as you’re aware is a chain of furniture retailers here, of which Taupi would not have been aware.

  10. Dave Ellison says:

    Enjoyed this. 1a was one of the last to go in, not the first, as with Uncle Yap.

    Couldn’t see the explanation for 15d, so couldn’t decide if it was INFLATION or DEFLATION, so plumped for D as I didn’t think 17a would be _I. Was convinced it was a Latin phrase AD something.

  11. Monica M says:

    Thanks C-nut, 2 laughs, what a bonus … I didn’t see the a-mart bit … very clever of you.

  12. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Uncle Yap and Crypticnut for your (partial)explanations about availability but these have left me even more puzzled.

    I’m an early riser and, occasionally, I’ve looked for the Puzzle before 6:00 am UK Time – without success.

    I then became convinced that they weren’t available until after 6:00 am but, of course, even Crypticnut admits an inability to explain how Uncle Yap could solve and post before Crypticnut himself was able to collect.

    I now suspect that Uncle Yap visited the Astral Plane.

    Clearly, there are Dark Forces at work.

  13. Crypticnut says:

    Bryan
    I’ve just had a look at crossword editor Hugh Stephenson’s column on the Guardian website last month, where he discusses the link between crosswords and pedantry. In part he attempts to explain why the crosswords appear at different times in different parts of the globe, which is not entirely satisfactory, but might help….

  14. mhl says:

    Bryan: you have to go to the search box and search for all the puzzles in the current month. After midnight you can find the next day’s puzzle in that list. The front page is updated rather later – about 6:00am does sound plausible…

  15. liz says:

    Thanks, Uncle Yap. I enjoyed this puzzle, but didn’t finish. LIMPID was funny! I couldn’t think of a vegetable beginning with O and ending with H, so cheated on that, hoping I would get 7dn, but I didn’t…OLIVINE doesn’t appear in my Chambers, so I hesitated to put it in. Lots of fun anyway.

  16. Neil says:

    A really clever one, eh?

    Thank you Uncle Yap, and particularly for your unravelling of ‘half-hour’ and ‘inflation’, both of which I got without properly understanding why.

    1a – once ‘fringe’ had arrived ‘benefits’ was bound to follow but, whilst ‘Perks’ as a definition makes it obvious I still can’t see how it is clued. ‘Up’ isn’t enough to give ‘benefits’, is it?

    Dave @10: I went the same route at 14a/15d until I wondered “what if it IS an ‘I’?” If so, 14 was very likely to start as ‘HI-’. Ahah!

    Never heard of ‘orach’. Once it arrived from finding a 5-letter fish ending with ‘H’, I had to look it up for confirmation.

  17. sidey says:

    The easy way to get the puzzle at 00:01GMT is to click the “Cryptic” link at the top.

    Lovely puzzle, great blog.

    Further to yesterdays reef knots, good sailors use them for reefing sails because they ‘collapse’ and can be undone even if tied with wet rope.

  18. Dagnabit says:

    Neil, I got 1ac by reading it more or less straight: If the brow is where the fringe is, then fringe benefits are perks that are located “up on the brow.”

  19. Simply Simon says:

    The smilies certainly add nothing to the discussion. I have no interest in peering at a tiny picture to try to understand what emotion is being described. Better without them.

  20. Neil says:

    Dagnabit @18 – Yeah, thank you, and that’s pretty much what I did too; but I still don’t see where the particular word ‘benefits’ is indicated by the clue; anyone?

    (Have to agree about the ‘smilies’; not being a young person I suppose).

  21. Dagnabit says:

    Hi again, Neil,

    I think “benefits” just comes from “perks”? Which makes the clue either a double definition or a cryptic definition or possibly even an &lit — I’m not very good at distinguishing among those, especially this early in the workweek. [insert optional smiley here]

  22. Neil says:

    Re my #20 following Dagnabit’s #18. Ah! ‘Perks’ is the definition of ‘benefits’, where I’d taken it to be the definition of the whole solution. Is that it? Too many holes developing in my brain.

  23. Neil says:

    Dagnabit, we crossed. I sent my 22 whilst you had already sent your 21. Sorry! Must have holes in my typing finger too.

  24. Dagnabit says:

    No problem, Neil, I’ve got those holes (both kinds) as well. And yes, it looks as though you understood what I was trying to say, before I even said it!

  25. Neil says:

    Derek; you OK?

  26. Derek Lazenby says:

    Yeah ta, just didn’t have anything to say about this one. Struggled to two thirds, but that’s not new. The blog told me all I needed to know.

    Trying to be topical, I entered this into Paul’s weekly clue comp……

    Queen consort belonging to king makes Matilda waltz more than Strauss (9,7)

    Daresay it’ll get ignored as usual.

  27. Neil says:

    Derek: I wish I hadn’t asked!
    Was just off to bed, but now you’ve given me reason to stay up a little longer – maybe too much longer though. I’ve committed your clue to paper in my best copperplate and shall give it some more thought, in the morning. Initial inclinations towards Philip or Albert were going to get me nowhere, I suspect. My concern is that you may have added to my restless crossword dreaming. So, how sad is that? Maybe I should be thinking ‘cricket’, perhaps women’s cricket? I hope I’m not being out of order to publish these thoughts. I don’t know anything about Paul’s clue comp. so don’t know the protocol.

  28. Derek Lazenby says:

    Oh it’s public domain, no sweat. And your later thoughts are definitely getting there! Congrats.

  29. Neil says:

    Derek: codicil, or addendum, or supplementary or some such:

    ’9,7′ comes to 16. Can that be right?

  30. Derek Lazenby says:

    Guess it would have to split into two a la Araucaria, or just use a bigger grid!

  31. Neil says:

    Derek: reject bigger grid! I’ll try splitting it. Won’t yet try googling the English women’s test team, but can’t for the life of me recall the name of our captain, or our top scorer, or bowler in the triumph. Ashamed! Back to the wordplay before cheating with Google. It didn’t get the Media coverage it deserved, did it? Or am I going in the wrong direction? (You did mention the other day that you were watching it on TV).

  32. Derek Lazenby says:

    Very very nearly there.

    Could be a Times Jumbo xword!

    It certainly didn’t get the coverage it deserved, even though it got more than previous years.

    Haven’t worked for nearly 4 years, semi-retired I guess, so I wanted a cheap way to see a good game. Thought laterally, went to an England game last year for £5 instead of £75+. Wasn’t disappointed, been a fan ever since. It’s a no-brainer money-wise.

  33. Neil says:

    Nothing semi about my retirement, but i really feel sleepy now, so going to have to find my pit.

    Pleased I’m closing in on it and will try again tomorrow. Rather enjoyed playing cricket, until an incompetent teacher put me off the game. But there, I’m in a minor County (ONLY in that regard) and you’re not.

    I did recall Holly Colvin (wow!), which doesn’t seem to help much. Thanks for all this, Derek. I’ll get back to you here or in the responses to the next puzzle. Meanwhile, I shall go and seek my troubled crossword dreams.

    Unless we’re blasted for getting too far off-topic.

  34. Barnaby Page says:

    Thanks for the explication of 23d. I had foolishly seen it as an anagram of ANGER (which would make it a rather bad clue, with two anagram indicators – “about” and “new”).

  35. Gaufrid says:

    Neil and Derek
    Re comments #25 to 33. In future please keep your early morning chats on-topic or else move to the Chat Room.

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