Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,795 / Orlando

Posted by Eileen on September 3rd, 2009


Nothing too taxing or controversial here, I think, but the usual good value from Orlando, with some clever surfaces and a few smiles along the way.


1   ITHACA: C[irca] [about] in TABITHA minus ‘tab’ [bill] [Edit: [tab] ITHA CA [about] – thanks, Gaufrid]: one of the Ionian Islands, legendary home of  Odysseus
4   IDEALIST: anagram of SAILED in IT
9   SURELY: reverse of US + RELY [bank]
10 IMPRISON: IMP [little devil] + reversal of NO SIR [polite denial]
11 STOCKING FILLER: cryptic definition – pin = leg!
13  SHOPLIFTER: anagram of SHELF TO RIP: &lit
14  TRAD[e]
16  OUCH: hidden in tOUCHiness
18 FLYING MARE: cryptic definition: I guessed this from the crossing letters and straightforward wordplay but couldn’t find it in either my [2006] Collins or [2008] Chambers. A quick resort to Google produced ‘a throw made in exhibition wrestling by seizing the opponent’s wrist, turning and throwing the opponent over one’s back’.
21  THE FOUR SEASONS: cryptic definition of Vivaldi’s ‘noted work’
23  TSARISTS: anagram of TASS STIR – another &lit
24 SORREL: triple definition
25 POSTCARD: POST [employment] + CARD [character]: a very easy charade


1   INST: hidden in sirloIN STeaks
3   COLD CALL: COLD [uncaring] + C[oncern] + ALL – another easy charade
5   DEMAGNETISE: anagram of MEN GET IDEAS; I liked this one
ADROIT: R [last letter of ‘cobbler’] in ADO [trouble] + IT
7   INSULAR: INSUL[t] + A + R[ussian]
8   TONBRIDGE: T [middle letter of ‘captain’] + ON BRIDGE [his place]
12  INFILTRATOR: anagram of FLIT IN [anagram indicator ‘bats’ – lovely!] + RAT [friend of Badger in ‘The Wind in the Willows’] + OR: a great clue all round
13 SHORTSTOP: SHORTS TOP: yet another easy charade
15 EGGSPOON: EGG SPOON – and another!
17 COEVALS: CO[mpany] + reversal of SLAVE [drudge]
19 AINTREE: AINT [isn’t] + reversal of ‘e’er’ [always]
20 ZODIAC: I wasted a minute or two here trying to find a reversal of a word meaning signs but, of course, ‘up’ here means ‘in the heavens’
22 PLOT: L[eft] in POT [dope] [Edit: this does work -just! –  but the answer is CLOT [thanks, Shirley and Andrew]

37 Responses to “Guardian 24,795 / Orlando”

  1. Bryan says:

    Many thanks, Eileen

    I do like to create difficulties for myself so, instead of:

    25a POSTCARD: ‘a very easy charade’

    I opted for POSTCODE (don’t ask me why) and then 12d INFILTRATED.

    This then made me question the clue for 12d but I couldn’t find any answer.

    Silly me!

  2. Shirley says:

    Thanks for this Eileen. We had Clot for 22D – it also makes sense!

  3. Andrew says:

    Thanks Eileen. I also had CLOT for 22dm, and (for what it’s worth) it’s confirmed by the online cheat facility.

  4. Eileen says:

    Shirley – you’re right! I’ve just ‘cheated’ [shows I hadn’t done that already!] and CLOT is the answer given.

  5. Eileen says:

    Once again, Andrew, snap!

  6. Eileen says:

    I really feel a CLOT now: I very nearly commented in the blog that the wordplay is the other way round from usual, ie ‘Dope’ [with] ‘left’ in – a case of the trees obstructing the wood!

  7. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Eileen
    I think you have a slight error in your blog, 1a is [tab]ITHA CA (about).

  8. Paul B says:

    FLYING MARE warrants its own entry in Collins 2007.

    There are two parts to Orlando’s clue for it AFAICS, with ‘winged horse’ being the cryptic element – whether that’s a charade X/Y or not I don’t really know – and ‘that may be executed in ring’ the definition. Not great, as inter alia clearly the throw is named after what it looks like when executed, but very fairly clued when people might not know it.

    And that’s the point, innit.

  9. cholecyst says:

    Thanks Eileen. I wonder if 24ac. is really a triple def. I thought I recalled a famous horse named Sorrel, which would, if there was one, would indeed make a td, but the best I can come up with is this (not the one I was thinking of):
    Little Sorrel, or “Fancy” as he was known, became famous as the mount of General Stonewall Jackson. Captured at Harpers Ferry by the Confederates, he was chosen initially for Mrs. Jackson but eventually commandeered by the General when his own horse, Big Sorrel, proved unreliable in battle.

  10. The trafites says:

    I got ‘FLYING MARE’ quite easily, being brought up having to watch Saturday afternoon wrestling each week as my father was a ‘grappling fan’ (and even at that early age, I knew it was nonsense, but I don’t think he did 😀 ). Strangely enough too, it is in my Collins, updated edition 1995.

    For a flash back to those days, visit wrestling furnace gallery


  11. Paul B says:

    I meant to add that COEVALS – the other entry of which most people, excluding possibly Gaufrid, won’t have heard – too is clued fairly, with ‘Company drudge upset contemporaries’. The CO is handed to you for nothing, and rev. of SLAVE wouldn’t be too taxing with three out of its five letter-squares checked.

    Not an anagram, not a CD, but a good chance to solve from the cryptic elements offered.

  12. cholecyst says:

    Sorrel: Got it (from Brewer’s). It’s George III’s nag – the one that caused Geo’s death by tripping over an obstruction raised by the little gent in black velvet. So the triple def is back in the frame. Correct as usual, Eileen!

  13. Conrad Cork says:

    Re comment 10. I went to the linked site but cleared off quickly as McAfee immediately warned me it is loaded with evil things and might harm the machines of visitors. So caveat visitor (sorry Eileen if visitor is wrong!)

  14. Eileen says:

    Hi Cholecyst

    Not as clever as you think! I didn’t know Sorrel as a specific horse, although I know the story of ‘the little gentleman in black velvet’- but it was William III’s horse!

    I took sorrel as being
    a]a plant
    b]a light-brown to brownish orange colour [ie chestnut]
    c]a horse of that colour,
    all these definitions being in Collins. [How odd that they’ve omitted FLYING MARE only from my 2006 edition!]

    Of course, a ‘chestnut’ is also a horse of that colour!

    Paul B, I don’t think it’s beyond non-Classicists [or non-Gaufrids!] to see an analogy between coeval and medieval, even if they haven’t met the word.

  15. cholecyst says:

    Eileen: Yes Of course It was William III. I was having a Homeric moment.

  16. The trafites says:

    Conrad, sorry, I don’t see these issues as I use GNU/Linux OS and therefore do not suffer from MS windows ailments – I apologise if that site is deemed ‘dodgy’ by AV software.


  17. Ian says:

    Smart clueing from Orlando!

    8d quite clever, though 22d I had as Plot. What a clot I am.

  18. cholecyst says:

    12d. Mole and Ratty etc. We also had Wind in the Willows (a literary washerwoman = Toad) in yesterdays FT. Is this an example of morphic resonance among setters? “…morphic resonance,which is the influence of like upon like through or across space or time.” (Rupert Sheldrake)

  19. mhl says:

    Thanks for the very helpful post, Eileen. Lots to enjoy here, I agree – I particularly liked INFILTRATOR for the Wind in the Willows allusion :)

    I racked my brains for Ford cars that fitted the crossing letters, but I’d never heard of a Zodiac – apparently they stopped making them a number of years before I was born.

    I knew COEVAL but had no idea there was a link to medieval! Hopefully this will help me to spell the latter correctly in future. 😉

  20. Eileen says:

    Hi again, Cholecyst

    Yes, I had noticed the connection to yesterday’s FT but wouldn’t have known what to call it! There have been several examples of it lately.

    Incidentally, with a nod [!] to you, I shall from now on refer to my ‘senior’ moments as ‘Homeric’ – much more complimentary! Thanks for that – why didn’t I think of it before?

    Conrad, not exactly Classical Latin – but i liked it!

  21. liz says:

    Thanks, Eileen. I enjoyed this. I hadn’t heard of FLYING MARE, but it was perfectly gettable. I liked 8dn a lot.

    The one I made heavy weather of was POSTCARD. Couldn’t see the wood for the trees for a while, but when I did, I finally got ZODIAC.

  22. Eileen says:

    Oh dear, mhl, you make me feel almost mediaeval [equally correct spelling, if not more so!] I do remember the Zodiac but it wasn’t the first to spring to mind, as I said, because I was looking for a model beginning with S but Sierra didn’t fit.

  23. Dave Ellison says:

    mhl #19. I think Z-cars police drove Zodiacs (or maybe Zephyrs).

  24. ray says:

    missed out on 1a, 25a and 20d. I’m also old enough to know about Zodiacs, but was trying to work in the usual T for the old ford.

  25. IanN14 says:

    I was wondering why nobody’s mentioned 15d. being one word, especially after yesterday’s Gordelpus teakettle controversy?
    At least this one had a proper definition…
    I liked 12d. and 20d. My dad drove us round in a Zodiac in the late-60s.

  26. C. G. Rishikesh says:

    May I mention that probably because I was a student of Eng Lit, the word ‘coeval’ in this puzzle is not new to me.

  27. Paul B says:

    Okay Rishi, I take that point (also made by Eileen), but I wasn’t familiar with the word: all I’m saying is, where there’s any doubt at all it’s nice to give punters a high chance of solving from the SI.

  28. smutchin says:

    I put PLOT for 22d. It made sense to me.

  29. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Smutchin – and Ian. It’s nice to know I wasn’t completely alone – and it does make sense! :-)

  30. IanN14 says:

    You’re absolutely right.
    I actually put “clot” because I’d thought that first, but “plot” is just as good an answer.

    Re: “coevals”. I’d never heard of it either, but easily gettable from the very fair clue (although I didn’t see the analogy until afterwards), and another word learnt.
    Which, I believe, is the point Paul B is making…

  31. Dave Ellison says:

    I think perhaps people are being a little unfair on Gordius via COEVAL. How does a compiler judge how well known a word is – it must sometimes be quite difficult to know. I knew coeval, roughly its meaning but I would never use it in conversation.

    One way of knowing is to consult lists such as Wiktionary Frequency list . There “coeval” is ~18,500th most common word (“the” is first), which sounds as though it is hardly used, until one sees surrounding words such as “contentious” “unacceptable” “Worcestshire” etc

  32. Dave Ellison says:

    Oops! Worcestshire wouldn’t even appear – Worcestershire does!

  33. cholecyst says:

    re #31. I don’t believe it – not your citation but wiki’s frequency list’s veracity. You would have to know which texts Wiki trawled and then factored in how often they were likely to have been read. E.g The Sun vs The Listener.

  34. Dave Ellison says:

    Yes, I found it surprising, too.

    They say: “This is a frequency count of words in a collection of TV and movie scripts/transcripts, primarily downloaded from the Internet. The total number of words counted is: 29,213,800. ”

    When I eyeballed through the first 10,000 words (and then the next 10,000) I was amazed that I knew and use so many of these words (almost all of them I think)

  35. Paul B says:

    Well, I know what ANOSMIA is, but I might choose to judge it’s not all that frequently said on EastEnders. Or in Butterflies with Wendy Craig. So I might not put it in, unless I’m absolutely jiggered without it.

    It’s boring, isn’t it, to cover this ground over and over, but if a puzzle is themed or Nina’d, or both, I reckon the compiler’s going to have a job NOT putting in one or two NYSTAGMUSES to complete the grid, and so fair play. A bit of generous clueing and Bob’s your uncle, but in a straight daily grid? And before the clues are written? Shurely a bit of a rejig can deal with any seriously obscure entries.

    In Listener puzzles, are words sometimes deemed too familiar?

  36. IanN14 says:

    Oh, come off it Dave,
    I (and I’m sure I’m not the first to think this) find it unacceptably contentious that “coeval” is anywhere near as high on that list as it says…

  37. liz says:

    I confess I knew ‘coeval’ but the point is, surely, that it was fairly clued.

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