Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Genius 74 / Paul

Posted by Andrew on September 6th, 2009

Andrew.

A tough challenge from Paul that took me several sessions to complete, though looking back at it now there’s not much that seems particularly obscure or difficult. The crucial 8dn was actually one of the last clues I solved, but I worked out the gimmick – that alternate rows of across answers are entered from right to left – from finding that the answers were the right length for the spaces, but didn’t match the crossing letters.

Key:
dd = double definition
* = anagram
< = reverse

Across
1. GNATCATCHER TANG< CATCHER. An insectivorous American songbird.
9. ORINOCO dd – a river and a Womble (who is named after the river, of course)
10. ORBITAL BIT in ORAL
11. FORTH Another river, and a homphone of “Fourth” – this clue is the 4th of the puzzle.
12. AWARENESS E in (AS ANSWER)*
13. TRIUMPH (PT in MUIR)< + H
15. ROSETTE SET in ROTE
16. SECTION SEC + O in TIN
19. RAT TRAP (PART TAR)<
21. ARCHANGEL A + CHANGE in R L
22. EAGLE dd – two under par in golf (so “made with iron”), and (I presume) the Lunar Excursion Module in the Apollo 11 mission (“the Eagle has landed”). I suppose that’s an “early spacecraft” – it was 40 years ago, after all.
23. NINNIES IN< in NINES
24. HORATIO H(ardy)+ ORATIO(n)
25. ALTERNATELY A + TERN in LATELY. I’m sure the clue has changed since I solved the puzzle: it now reads “Off and on, a winger comes through in recent times”; I’ve mislaid the paper copy I used but I’m sure the definition had a reference to the boustrophedon gimmick (something about “how these answers are entered”?). Perhaps someone can confirm I’m remembering correctly!
 
Down
1. GROGRAM GROG (rum for sailors, hence “main drink”) + RAM
2. AMISH (h)AMISH
3. COOLANT LOO< in CANT
4. TILLAGE GALL<in TIE
5. HOTTENTOT HOT (sexy) TEN (figure) TOT (babe)
6. RIBLESS R (2nd letter of “freedom”)+ I BLESS
7. WOLF-WHISTLING LOW< + WHIST in FLING
8. BOUSTROPHEDON S in BOUT + OP H in RED + ON (“in the red corner..”) – describing writing that goes alternately left-to-right and right-to-left, from Greek meaning “turning like ploughing oxen”.)
14. IMITATIVE (EVITA TIM I)<
17. COGENCY GEN C in COY
18. NICOSIA I + COS + I in NA
19. REACHER CHE in REAR. A reacher is a type of sail, though this meaning isn’t given in Chambers.
20. REGATTA GAT in REGA(in)
22. EGRET Last letters

7 Responses to “Guardian Genius 74 / Paul”

  1. Eileen says:

    Many thanks for this, Andrew.

    This is my first attempt at a Genius and, although I finished it [and enjoyed it immensely], it’s so long ago that I needed reminding of how I reached some of the answers.

    The copy that I have has 25ac as you have given it but I wondered if there was something missing in the clue for 8dn, which reads: ‘Seconds into fight, work hard in one corner on going 25 and 11′ ie ALTERNATELY and FORTH. I was looking for ‘back’ somewhere. Am I missing something very obvious?

  2. Andrew says:

    Thanks Eileen, you’ve jogged my memory – 25ac is written right-to-left so it’s “alterately back”, with “and forth” giving a full definition of BOUSTROPHEDON. Like my solving of the puzzle, the blog was done in several sessions, and I missed fully explaining 8dn.

  3. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Andrew. Yes, I was missing something pretty obvious! :-)

  4. Mr Beaver says:

    This was our second attempt at a Genius, after getting hardly anywhere with Araucaria’s previous (musical) one, so it was a great boost to solve it in only a couple of days. Having mislaid the paper copy, I can now remember very little about it, though!

  5. liz says:

    Thanks, Andrew. I found this a little bit easier than some of the previous Genius puzzles, but very enjoyable all the same. I worked out the back and forth business relatively quickly, which helped.

    Cheated with 8dn once I had all the crossing letters — I guessed I wouldn’t know the word and I was right! The last one I got was 13ac.

  6. Bryan says:

    Many thanks, Andrew, I enjoyed this immensely.

    Regarding 25a, my clue is exactly the same as yours.

    However, there was a ‘Special Instruction’ advising:

    ‘Across solutions are to be entered 8 down.’

    I eventually twigged the significance after solving 22d EGRET and then realising that 25a ALTERNATELY didn’t work until it was reversed.

    After that, the rest followed, albeit slowly.

    One of the very best – thanks, Paul.

  7. Ralph G says:

    Thanks for the blog, Andrew, as I needed the explanation for 9a ORINOCO.
    8d BOUSTROPHEDON was a gift because I recently got to grips with Greek epigraphy via the BM booklet “Greek Inscriptions”. If you look at the illustration in the Wikipedia article, you’ll see that the in the ‘right to left’ line the individual letters are written that way, eg E with the upright on he right. The Greeks must have had a different mind set with regard to letters, because they would quite happily carve an A on its side, base first.
    Incidentally, the Greek “bou(s)” (ox) is more familiar in the Latin form bov(em) (as in bovine, Bovril) which is an oddity as from the IE root *gwom” (acc.), one would expect an initial v in Latin. However, Osco-Umbrian would have an initial ‘b’ here, so this is probably the source of the Latin “bov-“.
    That adventitious ‘b’ provides us with an unlikely b/c cognate in English, namely bovine and cow. There is a standard gw/b/v/kw pattern: eg IE *gwei, Gk “bios” (life), Latin “vivus” (alive) ProtoGermanic “kwikwaz”, English “quick” as in ‘the quick and the dead’. Consequently the ProtoGermanic cognate of the IE *gwom is *kwon”, which gives rise ultimately to Old Frisian “ku”, Old English “cu”, English “cow”.

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