Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,769 – Gordius

Posted by Uncle Yap on August 4th, 2009

Uncle Yap.

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

Quite a benign day really with all four puzzles (Times, Guardian, Indy and FT) easy to mild and the going was good. Gordius crafted some &lit clues and was, overall, quite entertaining

ACROSS
1 BIRDCAGE
Ins of CA (rev of AC, alternating current) in *(bridge)
5 ISOBAR
*(Boris a)
9 ARMY CAMP *(may cramp) First of the &lit
10 KAOLIN Ins of AOL (America On Line, Internet server) in KIN (family)
12 DINER Ins of I (one) in DNER (rev of rend, tear)
13 SCAPEGOAT Cha of SCAPE (snipe, feathery creature) GOAT (another creature)
14 MADAME ARCATI cd of the eccentric medium and clairvoyant in Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit (see 18A)
18  BLITHE SPIRIT *(Polite British minus O)
21 CROSSBILL Cha of CROSS (annoyed) BILL (charges)
23 FRAIL F (French) for RAIL (that is what chemin de fer mean in French) nothing to do with the game or baccarat
24 ROUBLE Trouble minus T
25 ESTRAGON *(O + strange) (affectionately Gogo; he tells Pozzo his name is Adam) is one of the two main characters from Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. Defined as a waiter ! Priceless !
26 DESERT Another &lit *(trees + D, first letter of don’t)
27 OSWESTRY Cha of Great (OS or outsize) Western (WEST) Railway (RY), a town and civil parish in Shropshire, England

DOWN
1 BRANDY BRAN (refuse from husks of grain) DAY minus A
2 REMAND Ins of MAN (chap) in RED (in debt)
3 COCKROACH Cock (bird) Roach (fish)
4 GAMESMANSHIP Ins of ME in GASMAN (After the song, The Gasman Cometh by Flanders and Swann) + SHIP (vessel)
6 SKATE *(steak) Yet another &lit, I believe as Chambers allows steak to include the meat of a fish, eaten traditionally in Roman Catholic countries on Fridays
7 BALMORAL Cha of BALM (emollient) ORAL (speaking)
8 RINGTAIL Cha of RING (phone) TAIL (back) I am not too sure about the secondary part of the clue
11 MATERIALISTS *(at it miss real)
15 REINFORCE
Cha of REIN (leader of a horse) FOR CE (Church of England)
16 OBSCURED OB (obituary or dead) *(cursed)
17 PIROGUES Pious rogues must be hypocrites;  a S American dugout canoe, or a craft with a single trunk as foundation, often a schooner-rigged barge
19 MAGGOT
MAG (magazine or periodical) GOT (featured)
20 PLENTY Ins of LENT (advanced money) in P (copper or pence) + Y (unknown)
22 SOLAR delightful cd

22 Responses to “Guardian 24,769 – Gordius”

  1. NeilW says:

    Thanks, Uncle Yap. Like you I can’t quite see 8dn… Ringtail is obviously right from the wordplay and crossing letters but what’s the definition? Oh well, I’m sure we’ll be enlightened in due course!

  2. JohnR says:

    8d – a type of sail, so “from on board”?

    13a – How about SC (abbrev. of scilicet, “namely”) + APE + GOAT

    Not great clues… But I liked 23a FRAIL.

  3. Chunter says:

    8dn: ringtail is a ship’s sail.

    7dn: there is yet another of those annoying and unnecessary errors in the print version – ‘emolient’ for ‘emollient’.

  4. Bryan says:

    Thank you Gordius & Uncle Yap

    I enjoyed it although I did’t get 17d PIROGUES and 25a ESTRAGON.

    Some of the clues were great.

  5. Eileen says:

    Chunter, my print version has ‘emollient’ – or at least ‘emol-lient’.

    JohnR: I read SCAPEGOAT as you did.

    I really liked FRAIL, ESTRAGON, OSWESTRY and GAMESMANSHIP.

  6. Chunter says:

    Hi Eileen,

    I meant the print version on the website.

  7. Eileen says:

    Hi Chunter, yes, of course – sorry!

  8. Chunter says:

    Eileen, It was I who should have apologised!

  9. cholecyst says:

    27 ac. Yes there was a GWR station here:- “In 1848, the first of two railway stations opened in Oswestry. The station, later known as Oswestry GWR, (The Great Western Railway), opened on the Gobowen Road and served the single line linking Oswestry with the main Shrewsbury to Chester line to the east at Gobowen. This station closed in 1924.

    The second station for Oswestry opened in 1860 a few hundred yards down the road. This station was part of the Cambrian Railways Company which ran trains from Whitchurch to Newtown. In 1865 The Cambrian Railways Company was formed through the amalgamation of four smaller companies and chose Oswestry as its new headquarters. In July 1865 the comapny was extended by an Amalgamation Act to include the Aberystwyth and Welsh Coast Railway. “

  10. cholecyst says:

    4 d. The song’s title was of course harking back to Eugene O’Neill’s play “The Iceman Cometh”. This contributes to the puzzle’s dramatic mini-theme

  11. liz says:

    Thanks, Uncle Yap.

    I missed PIROGUES, which is a new word for me. But I remembered that Sc=namely, thanks to this blog!

    ESTRAGON, OSWESTRY and GAMESMANSHIP were my favourites, too.

  12. NeilW says:

    Thanks to JohnR and Chunter for the information that a ringtail is a type of sail. Just shows Google doesn’t always work – I had given up after two pages of lemurs!

  13. sidey says:

    The only explanatory reference to a ringtail sail I can find is under Studsails on Wiki:

    Studding sails have also been used to increase the sail area of a fore-and-aft spanker, again by extending the upper spar. Such a sail extending the leech of a fore-and-aft sail is known as a ringtail.

    So not in the least obscure then. Unfair in a daily puzzle IMHO.

  14. cholecyst says:

    sidey : Let’s consider ourselves fortunate – see the following for what might have given us an even more severe test:

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=lIaasKJmhhkC&lpg=PA116&ots=C3SXM-2TE0&dq=ringtail%20sail&pg=PA116#v=onepage&q=ringtail%20sail&f=false

  15. mhl says:

    An enjoyable puzzle, and mostly not too hard. Like others, I particularly liked GAMESMANSHIP and ESTRAGON.

    I really hope “server” for AOL (or any other ISP) doesn’t pass into crosswordese – it’s just wrong, I’m afraid, even allowing for a certain amount of cryptic latitude.

    14 across struck me as too hard for a daily puzzle – I’ve seen the film of Blithe Spirit a couple of times, but still would never have been able to remember the name of the medium.

  16. Jake says:

    I’m not sure if I liked this puzzle, not may smiles today. I did enjoy 22dn that raised a grin, but the rest was rather a chore than enjoyment. Any way I hope others enjoyed it more. Sorry Gordius.

  17. The trafites says:

    Sidey, RINGTAIL is listed in Chambers as a sail.

  18. muck says:

    mhl#15: I agree that 14ac is too hard for a weekday puzzle. It is obviously MADAME -R-A-I but I would need to refer to Google or Wiki without any further indication in the clue.

  19. rightback says:

    I enjoyed this but couldn’t get RINGTAIL and MADAME ARCATI, both unknown to me; ‘ringtone’ looked likeliest but I couldn’t justify it (obviously), and I agree with mhl and muck that the second of these needed some wordplay. But OSWESTRY was very good.

  20. liz says:

    RINGTAIL was also unknown to me, but I thought gettable from the wordplay — I checked it in Chambers.

    re MADAME ARCATI. At the risk of showing my age, this and BLITHE SPIRIT were my first entries, tho I do think more wordplay would have been appropriate for those who aren’t familiar with Margaret Rutherford. (I seem to remember both BLITHE SPIRIT and MADAME ARCATI in a crossword before.)

  21. liz says:

    Meant to add — PIROGUES, now that was impossible! (Which of course means out of my frame of reference).

  22. Dinos says:

    I like your logic behind 6d Uncle Yap: Chambers allows steak to include the meat of a fish, eaten traditionally in Roman Catholic countries on Fridays

    Interestingly enough I was thinking of Robinson Crusoe’s pal, Man Friday who probably would have caught a skate for lunch!

    An enjoyable one this. Having never heard of BLITHE SPIRIT I solved it through pure anagramming, and upon Google-checking it and reading the wiki-article further, I accidentally found the answer to 14d! Oops.

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