Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24786 / Chifonie

Posted by mhl on August 24th, 2009


I thought this was easier than normal for a Chifonie puzzle, but a good level of difficulty for a Monday and satisfying to solve.

[Links to the puzzle as HTML, PDF and Java Applet]

1. MINUTE Double definition
4. FRIGHT F = “Loud” + RIGHT
9. TRAP Hidden answer; the definition is “Gin”, as in a gin trap
10. CLOVERLEAF C = “Many” + L = “left” + OVERLEAF = “on the other side”
11. ANKLET (TAKEN)* around L = “port”
12. TANGIBLE I = “one” + B = “bought initially” in TANGLE
13. TROUSSEAU T[he] + ROUSSEAU = “painter”
15. PARR Double definition; Catherine Parr was the wife of Henry VIII after Catherine Howard
16. CUBE CUB = “young” + E = “earl”
17. ADVENTURE ADVENT = “coming” + URE = “river”
22. TIDDLY TIDY = “groom” around DL = “many litres” (D is the Roman numeral for 500)
24. CAPE DOCTOR C + “Catholic” + APE = “primate” + DOCTOR = “to give treatment”; the definition is “wind in South Africa”
25. PEAR PEA = “veg” + R = “recipe”; R as an abbreviation for the Latin “recipe” (meaning “take”) used to be used on prescriptions and apparently still is in medical notes
27. SWATHE HE = “ambassador” (His Excellency) after SWAT = “sharp blow”
1. MARINER AR = “Arab” in MINER = sounds like MINOR = “under-age”
2. NEPAL LA = “The French” + PEN = “writer” all reversed
5. RUEING EIN = “a German” in RUG = “wig”
6. GALLIVANT GALLANT = “Noble” around IV = “intravenous”
7. TRAILER TILER = “Artisan” around RA = “artist”
8. NORTH AND SOUTH Double definition
16. CHORALE ORAL = “Vocal” in CHE = “revolutionary”
18. EAT CROW (WATER CO)*; I hadn’t heard this expression before, but apparently it does mean “to humiliate oneself”
19. RELEASE RE = “Soldier” + LEASE = “let”
20. INCOME IN = “Indian openers” + COME = “turn up”
23. DEPOT TOPED = “got drunk” reversed

22 Responses to “Guardian 24786 / Chifonie”

  1. Bryan says:

    Thanks, mhl, I loved it!

    I made it more difficult for myself by ‘solving’ 2d as ALPEN but eventually I realised that nobody climbs over (or into) a breakfast cereal.

    For all those who find the Monday puzzles too easy, please make a few mistakes and so add to your enjoyment.

  2. NeilW says:

    Thanks, mhl.

    Like Bryan, I managed to hold myself up by putting Rudd for Howard’s successor – it’s a NZ fish related to the salmon and the Australian PM – too clever by half!

    Staying on the antipodean theme, I’ve never heard of the Cape Doctor, but do know of the Freemantle Doctor that visits in Perth…

  3. liz says:

    Thanks, mhl. I enjoyed this — I’m not so familiar with Chifonie’s style, which made it harder for me in places than it really was. CAPE DOCTOR was new to me. Lots of nice surfaces, I thought.

  4. Colin Blackburn says:

    Luckily there isn’t yet a novel called SOUTH AND NORTH, I did wonder though.

  5. smutchin says:

    The CAPE DOCTOR is known to me as a follower of Test Match Special over the years, but a CLOVERLEAF junction is new to me.

    This was all very straightforward but obviously a different style to the usual Monday Rufus – felt more like an Everyman to me, very “by the book” with lots of classic crosswordese. Nowt wrong with that.

  6. Derek Lazenby says:

    Got hung up on 15 being some sort of reference to politicians!

    Other than that I was the oher way round to smutchin. I can’t have been listening to TMS when CAPE DOCTOR got mentioned, but I’d come across CLOVERLEAF wrt motorways.

  7. smutchin says:

    Come to think of it, Derek, I’m not entirely sure that is where I know the Cape Doctor from – it was probably the Fremantle Doctor I was thinking of. In any case, the solution did spring out at me and, for whatever reason, I instantly made a cricketing connection in my mind.

  8. JohnR says:

    Thanks for the blog, mhl. I’ve found Chifonie very difficult in the past, so approached this with some trepidation. But I’ve stopped patting myself on the back now I’ve read smutchin’s comment above! Moderately straightforward, for me – and very enjoyable.

    25a PEAR is by coincidence the solution to 11a in today’s (excellent) Quiptic from Pan. Is “Soundly trim fruit” the better clue?

  9. JohnR says:

    smutchin’s comment 5, that is…

  10. Dave Ellison says:

    Surely Chifonie deserves more comment than 9/10 at this time of day. On my list, S/He’s my 8th easiest. I enjoyed it, and a pleasant change from the usual crop of Monday’s cds.

    I liked 16a CUBE and 25a PEAR; such an economy of words, with DIE suggesting D for a confusing long time, and only solved 25a when I realised R was recipe.

    Thanks for explanation of HE in 27a – it occurred last week sometime with no explanation, so I couldn’t see my way through that clue. I shall just have to try and remember it.

  11. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Nothing too difficult at the start of the week.

    But I think, DL for ‘many litres’ (22ac) is a bit dangerous.
    Of course, it is Cryptic Land where everything may be broken down into pieces, and, of course DL stands for “500 litres”.
    But in countries where they really use the litre as a measure for volume, DL means: ‘decilitre’ which is not even a small glass of red wine.

    My partner in crime was a bit annoyed about 2dn. “This would never be accepted by The Times” (not my words!).
    It is all about the double use of ‘climbed’.
    As a reversal indicator ánd as part of the definition, because ‘here’ is certainly not enough to define NEPAL.
    I, personally, don’t have that many problems with it (things like this happen, for example, in &Lit’s – which this isn’t), but I can see her point.

    In 1dn Chifonie uses a homophone (‘minor’ for ‘miner’), but within the answer ‘miner’ is not sounding like that. Mwah. I know, it is OK, but still I don’t see why one should use a homophone here (it’s a kind of a construction within another one).
    But then, life is só complicated, ay?

    Finally, I hope not that ‘interest’ is synonymous to INCOME (20dn), because that would mean that I am a real poor lad …
    Having said that, ‘interest’ is a kind of INCOME, of course.

    But, in the end, a good puzzle with some nice surfaces (10ac and 5dn).

  12. liz says:

    Dave — I also liked the economy of CUBE and PEAR.

  13. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Just thought, wasn’t 16ac (which many liked) not a missed opportunity?
    What about ‘Die young taking drug’ ?

  14. liz says:

    Sil — that is even better!

  15. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thank you, Liz (heartfelt & so much).

    But why is nobody given any comment on the things I tried to express in #11.
    This has happened before. Substantial comments, but no-one bothering whatsoever.

    And I had another thought (maybe, I shouldn’t think too much), but why is AR Arab?
    In which context do we use it? To be honest, I have no idea.
    I couldn’t find it on the Internet either.
    One can abbreviate everything that’s around (the English are very good at it), but …?
    To be provocative, RA, RE, RI, RO, RU, RY are all soldiers.
    (Yes, silly you, who does make a complaint now, RA = Artist – I know)
    But maybe, someone out there gets the point of what I am saying.

  16. liz says:

    Sil – I do take your points re comment 11 and 15. I wondered about some of these things myself, eg Ar for Arab and the def of INCOME. But oh well, it’s Monday, and I thought these things could pass.

    Bravo for your reworking of 16ac!

  17. ACP says:

    Re the points made in Comments 11 and 15 :
    Isn’t that the sort of stuff that Araucaria does ? Yet he’s just considered deviously clever ?

  18. JohnR says:

    On #11 above – homophones.

    Sil, presumably you would reject “Top drug doesn’t sound heavy” (5) = ELITE on the ground that in the answer the element LITE is not pronounced “light”? Perhaps I wouldn’t say I’m happy about it, but it seems an acceptable stretch!

  19. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Re #18:

    JohnR, to be very clear, for me it is acceptable too (within the borders of Cryptic Land).
    But I think, if I were a setter, I wouldn’t want to do it.
    I would opt for another construction, like E(LIT)E, or I would try to link LITE to LIGHT without using the sound of it.
    But even so, I am not rejecting it in general!

  20. Philip says:

    Fantastic editing today – two words (Easter and Pear) appearing in both the Cryptic and the Quiptic – makes life a lot easier.

  21. mhl says:

    (Sorry for the late followup – the email notifications of comments didn’t come through to me until today due to a server misconfiguration.)

    Sil van den Hoek, in reply to comment #11:

    Personally, I don’t have a problem with the minor / miner homophone and it was easy to guess from the cryptic part.

    L, C, D and M for “many” are certainly considered dubious by, um, many people – Don Manley marks these as “unsound/not liked by many Ximeneans” in his list of abbreviations in the Chamber Crossword Manual.

    I didn’t notice the double duty of climbed when doing the post (was in a rush) but agree that it would be better avoided.

    “interest” for INCOME also raised and eyebrow for me, but it seems people generally didn’t have a problem with it. *shrugs*

    I’d love to know where AR = “Arab” is actually used as well!

  22. RB says:

    Agree with all of Sil van den Hoek’s comments #11 and #15, especially double duty of climbed in 2D, and ar=arab in 1D.

    I too originally had Rudd for Howard’s successor (as Aussie PM).

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