Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,782 / Enigmatist & Paul – In Memoriam Albie Fiore

Posted by Andrew on August 19th, 2009


A delightful tribute to the late Albie Fiore by the double-act of Enigmatist and Paul. Naturally I was able to fill in 18ac immediately, but some of the other clues held me up rather longerI’ve noted a few Taupi-related answers, but there may be others that I’ve missed.

* = anagram
dd = double definition
< = reverse

1. JIGSAWS I G(eniu)S in JAWS (=film=picture). Very devious – “on vacation” means that GENIUS has to be “vacated”, I.e. emptied.
5. STROPPY PORT< in SPY. I think the reversal is indicated by “heading this way” meaning “heading left”
10. EGGY I’m not an East Enders fan, but I know that Phil Mitchell’s mum is PEGGY
12. APLOMB PL OM in AB (reference to “getting from A to B”)
13. THREE-PLY THE REPLY, with the second E doubled E and R interchanged (thanks to Smutchin for the correction) – is that “somewhat coincidental”?
14. APPIAN WAY P + PIAN(o) in AWAY. The Appian Way ran from Rome to Brindisi.
16. SPORT Hidden in puzzleS PORTfolio. Albie Fiore was the editor of the now-defunct Games & Puzzles magazine.
18. TAUPI (UP AT I)* – no problems here!
20. AUDIO TAPE AUDI + OT (“book”) + APE
26. GRAND OPERA GRAN + DOPE + RA (Royal Academy – located at Burlington House)
27. MOLE dd – and a reference to the origin of the nickname “Taupi”, given to Albie Fiore when he was working in France.
29. PTOLEMY (egyp)T in POLE + M(umm)Y
3. SAY SO SAY (for example) SO (thus)
4. WEST BANK B in WE STANK, and it’s a “problem area”
8. POPULAR PU(b) in POLAR. The definition is the cleverly unobtrusive “in”
9. WEST HAM UNITED (THE NEW STADIUM)* – nicely appropriate anagram for Taupi’s team.
15. IMPUDENCE I’M + PUB + (p)ENCE. Again the definition (“lip”) is quietly tucked away at the end of the clue.
17. MILITANT LIT (on – as in a fire) + A in MINT (perfect).
19. AUBERGE UBER (“over, German”) in AGE
21. PROBLEM PRO (for) + (MEL B)< – Mel B is “Scary Spice”
22. SATORI Hidden in piSA TO RImini. It’s a Japanese Buddhist term for enlightenment, and also Taupi’s pseudonym for his puzzles in the FT.
25. TAMIL (wo)M(an) in TAIL

44 Responses to “Guardian 24,782 / Enigmatist & Paul – In Memoriam Albie Fiore”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thank you for the blog, Andrew, and Paul and Enigmatist, too, for this lovely tribute.

    I think Albie also made jigsaws and one of his sons is called Iggy.

    There s a tribute to Taupi by John Henderson [Enigmatist] in ‘Other Lives’ on the Guardian obituaries page today.

  2. smutchin says:

    I missed the sad news about Taupi, so was slightly surprised by today’s crossword. Enjoyed it, though – even if I struggled with some of the clues.

    Half the fun was trying to work out which were the Paul clues and which are Enigmatist’s. Some are more obvious than others!

    re 13a – the second E isn’t doubled, it has just swapped places with the R. This is one of the clues I struggled with – got the solution but still don’t really understand it.

    re 1a – I’ve never seen “on vacation” used that way before. Very devious indeed.

  3. Andrew says:

    Thanks Eileen – the obituary is available online here.

  4. smutchin says:

    Eileen – oops! Must have skipped the obits page in my haste to get to the crossword.

  5. Colin Blackburn says:

    In addition to Iggy his other children are in the grid less obviously: THEOry and MILItant (though her name may be the more conventional Millie).

    Excellent puzzle. I liked the wordplay for THREE-PLY.

  6. Uncle Yap says:

    Thanks to Dave Tilley who prompted a small group of us, I read the Obituary first before tackling the puzzle and what a fantastic one that was … probably one of the best ever (took nearly three shots of a 12 year old single malt)

    Between the two Johns, they used so many different devices in creative befuddlement. Bravo! Barvo! Bravo!

    I really envy Andrew for the pleasant task of blogging today’s puzzle.

  7. Andrew says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap – I envy you in return for being able to drink single malt while solving it. Just coffee here…

  8. Conrad Cork says:

    Wonderful stuff. Thanks guys.

  9. Pricklewedge says:

    Thanks for the blog Andrew. A thoroughly enjoysable puzzle and a rare completed grid from me, astonishingly. I’m still stumped by the method of 27ac. I got from the theme and schoolboy French but still can’t see the dd. Rarely has a train journey from Horsham to Tonbrige been so enjoyable! I also found the obituary deeply moving and affectionate.

  10. Pricklewedge says:

    Apologies for spelling grammar etc. Blame mobile interweb.

  11. Andrew says:

    Pricklewedge – mole is a sauce used in Mexican cuisine, and also a growth on the skin, hence “spot”.

  12. smutchin says:

    Can anyone explain 13a, please? I’m still baffled by “somewhat coincidental”. Am I missing something really obvious?

  13. Andrew says:

    Looking at 13ac again, maybe the idea is that THE and REPLY are overlapping (i.e. “coinciding”) in the answer: TH(R)E(EPLY)

  14. Pricklewedge says:

    Ah it all becomes clear! I had never heard of the Mexican sauce. Re the 13ac I read coincidential as “to coincide or overlap”. BTW loved seeing Iggy Pop in the hallowed Granuaid cryptic (although I can think of no other easy way to get “Iggy” into the grid), trouble is I’ve been humming “I wanna be your dog” and “TV eye” all day!

  15. smutchin says:

    OK, that makes sense. Thanks!

  16. Mike says:

    Too hard for me…. I followed my usual custom of printing it off and trying to solve it during my morning bath… but didnt manage to get even halfway through it before the paper became soggy and unreadable. Sounds like it was loved by many though, and therefore a fitting tribute for Taupi….

  17. mhl says:

    What a marvellous tribute to Albie Fiore. Thanks to Paul and Enigmatist for this excellent and touching puzzle. I always enormously enjoyed Taupi’s puzzles, and my thoughts are with his family and friends.

  18. liz says:

    Thanks, Andrew. This was a wonderful puzzle! I found the SW corner the hardest and 17dn was the last one I got — didn’t see why. 9dn was a superb anagram and 25dn made me laugh, when I eventually got it.

    Thanks, Enigmatist and Paul!

    Some of the online tributes to Taupi have mentioned his fondness for the film Jaws, so I wondered if 1ac was intended to include a sneaking reference to this.

  19. liz says:

    Sorry — of course I meant SE!

  20. The trafites says:

    There is more on Taupi HERE (

    I solved all this great puzzle, but didn’t understand the wordplay in 13ac and 12ac until reading here, thanks.

    Scary one = Mel B. indeed! 😀


  21. jetdoc says:

    The original clue for 4d was based on one originally written by Taupi himself, and was: “Spooner provides maximum relief for this 21a area”. Unfortunately, as when it was first submitted, it didn’t make it into the final published version; but it deserves an airing.

  22. Geoff Anderson says:

    three-ply is a knitting reference. I don’t knit but my mother owned a draper’s shop when I was little and sold three-ply wool. I guess it’s made up of three strands? Anyway, THE and REPLY are knitted together.

    TAUPI is mixed up in ‘audio tape’ but I imagine that is coincidental too!

    A great puzzle, thanks. 9d is one of the best clued anagrams I’ve seen in years.

    I too shall miss Taupi’s puzzles.

  23. Pasquale says:

    Quite a tricky little beast, taking me about half an hour over a post-lunch coffee. A worthy tribute to Taupi. Well done, fellow-setters!

  24. Pricklewedge says:

    I’m starting get the feeling that this one will become a classic that we will recall in later years. I can think of no better tribute to Taupi. RIP

  25. The trafites says:

    “Spooner provides maximum relief for this 21a area”

    😀 Brillaint – Cyclops style.


  26. NeilW says:

    Thanks, jetdoc. What a great clue from a great man; just a little too risque to be accepted I suppose but still wonderful.

  27. jetdoc says:

    I should have written 21d, of course!

  28. davids says:

    Just to point out with the THREE-PLY: It is somewhat coincidental with THE-REPLY as 6 of the letters coincide (are in the same place).

  29. muck says:

    Thanks, Enigmatist & Paul, for this wonderful tribute to Taupi.
    And thanks, Andrew & the usual commenters, for explaining some of the allusions I didn’t get.
    I didn’t know of Albie Fiore, but Google found the obit which I might otherwise have missed.
    I do wonder how many regular cryptic solvers, ignorant of 15sqd, will appreciate any of this.

  30. IanN14 says:

    I can’t say that I knew Albie Fiore, but I do know Taupi and his crosswords.
    Always enjoyable.
    Just wanted to add to everyone else’s messages that this was a brilliant tribute, which I imagine was enjoyed by everybody who’d ever done one of his puzzles.
    Thanks E&P.
    And love to his family and close friends.

  31. enitharmon says:

    I thought I recognised the name Albie Fiore and the obit revealed why – I used to subscribe to Game & Puzzles in the 1970s, until it suddenly stopped arriving with neither explanation nor refund.

    I’ve often wondered what happened to it, because its niche has never really been filled. Anybody know?

  32. Tim says:

    Never heard of Mr. Fiore so found this one even more difficult than usual and quickly resorted to this blog to find out the answers. Thanks as always for the clear explanations as I would have found most of the wordplay impossible to work out from the answers for myself.

  33. Brian Harris says:

    Lovely puzzle today, and a great tribute to Taupi.

  34. Peter Biddlecombe says:

    Good tough puzzle. It’s in the linked material, but maybe worth mentioning that SATORI at 22D is Basque for mole, as well as the Japanese enlightenment.

  35. stiofain says:

    A very nice puzzle and a very nice gesture printing it along with the obit.
    I am sure there are many subtleties that have gone unnoticed by us and mean something to Albies family and friends.
    Nice one Paul and Enigmatist.

  36. Wil Ransome says:

    enitharmon (31): Games and Puzzles was wonderful. At its peak I was just getting interested in both chess and crosswords and the magazine was perfect. Someone tried to resurrect it a few years ago — I saw one copy but didn’t like it — it didn’t have the enthusiasm and style of the original. Obviously not enough others did, either.

  37. Mike Laws says:

    If anyone wants to know more about G&P, please contact me.

    But this is about Taupi and the puzzle – a superb one, effectively set by three of the best in the business.

    Taupi would have been proud of it.

  38. Chunter says:

    7dn: I learnt from that ON THE SPOT is the title of a book he wrote.

  39. Martin Searle says:

    A beautiful tribute. What a good and close-knit community crossword setters are.

  40. Graham says:

    Wonderful puzzle. I remember Albie from odd publications through the years. Never knew he was Taupi.

    And of course, Iggy Pop is a reference to Albie himself (along with Satori and Mole, of course).

  41. Sil van den Hoek says:

    There’s just one word that springs to mind when thinking of this crossword: touching.
    And so, any critical remark is therefore slightly out of place.

    Yet, I am a bit, eh, ‘puzzled’, by the use of the word “behind” in 26ac, because GRAN+DOPE are not really behind RA. Of course, one can read it as “rel….ugs” and subsequently “behind (all this) B.H.”, but this is my opinion (again) one of these clues that goes in two directions (like e.g. the MAPS-SPAM one recently).

    Like some others I am still wondering if there are more references to Albie Fiore to be discovered. For instance, was 27ac also written with Albie the Family Cook in mind?

    And I agree with Liz (#18) and Geoff Anderson (#22): the anagram of 9dn deserves a “hurrah!”.
    (I don’t like anagrams when they are too obvious or too contrived, but I like them very much when the words involved are linked to the solution)

  42. liz says:

    Sil — I agree. 9n must rank as one of the best anagrams of all time.

  43. stiofain says:

    Graham well spotted on the Iggy Pop reference Pure Genius.
    Sil I am sure the Appian Way and cassette references are part of the theme and probably lots more.

  44. Denis says:

    Hi. I live in Gympie (Qld, Australia) and find the Guardian Crosswords in the Courier Mail – about five weeks after you Brits get them. Unfortunately, many of the clues relate to British politicians, personalities and place names with which I am totally unfamiliar. A few examples from recent puzzles : Cannon Street, Cato Street, Auberge, Taupi, Phil Mitchell. Sometimes, other clues are based on these. I wish the setters would be mindful of the fact that their puzzles are published abroad, and urge them to make their clues more foreign-friendly.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

− six = 1