Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,806 / Chifonie

Posted by Andrew on September 16th, 2009


I found this mostly very easy, with just a few clues preventing a complete walkover. I have quibbles about 12ac, 18ac and 3dn, but generally it was all pretty sound, if not terribly exciting.

dd = double definition
* = anagram
< = reverse

1. VERTIGO VERT + I GO. “Turn”=”go” as in board games, for example.
9. LADLE LAD + LE(a)
10. TREATMENT EAT M(onsieur) in TRENT
11. APARTMENT PART (duty) + ME (Mechanical Engineeer) in ANT
12. END ON EN DON. “Don” is to put on (clothes); surely isn’t the same as “dress”?
13. THIEF I in THE F
15. PALESTINE PALES (fence posts) + TINE (spike)
18. SINGLETON dd – “in wearing” seems redundant SINGLET ON thanks to Eileen for correction
19. APPAL APP(E)AL with “half its heart” removed
21. ETHOS Hidden in “internET HOSting”
26. ADAGE AD (bill – as in posters) + AGE. The use of a misleading capital as in “Bill” is sometimes frowned on but accepted by all but the most pedantic.
27. REACTOR RE (touching=”about”) + ACTOR
3. INERT I think this must be INSERT less S (a newspaper supplement could be an insert), though the dollar sign isn’t really an S. (The most plausible explanation seems to be that it is a monogram of P and S, from “Peso”.) On checking I find that Chambers gives “(in the form $) dollar” as a meaning of S.
4. ON THE SPOT (TEN PHOTOS)* – very easy: “ON THE” was obvious from the enumeration, leaving little choice for the final word.
5. WREST W + REST. I spent far too long trying to use OP H here..
14. FALL SHORT ALL (every single) + SH (“mum”=”quiet”) in FORT
17. IMPRECATE (TRIPE CAME)*. An unfamiliar word – the noun form IMPRECATION is probably better known.
18. SLENDER S (shilling = “bob”) + LENDER (“uncle”=pawnbroker)
20. LONGEST (TEN LOGS)* Another very easy anagram clue
22. HOOKA HOOK + A. More commonly (I think) spelt HOOKAH
23. CHAIR C + HAIR (“shock”) &lit – reference to the electric chair.
24. EXACT EX (former partner) + ACT

30 Responses to “Guardian 24,806 / Chifonie”

  1. Bryan says:

    Many thanks, Andrew, I enjoyed it even though I cam unstuck on 5a and 5d.

    So, who is this Webster then?

    Surely not Mrs Nesta H Webster?

  2. Uncle Yap says:

    Noah Webster (October 16, 1758 – May 28, 1843) was an American lexicographer, textbook author, spelling reformer, word enthusiast, and editor. See

    Thanks Andrew. I agree, quite an easy puzzle.

  3. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Andrew. I didn’t enjoy this much at all, I’m afraid, for the reasons you mention. As with Rover, I can’t understand why Chifonie is classified on the site as ‘hard’. [I’m not complaining that it’s ‘too easy’ – just rather lacking in style and humour.]

    I think 18ac is a very poor clue: I think ‘wearing’ *is* necessary [and makes a fine clue, which I’ve seen several times before! – 16dn is rather jaded, too] but the ‘in’ is not only superfluous but downright misleading, as it seems to indicate insertion.

    5dn: ‘wrest’ doesn’t mean ‘work hard’ [‘wrestle’?] and a dent[25ac] isn’t really a hole.

  4. Andrew says:

    Eileen, my reading of 18ac was that “one alone” and “a vest” were defintions, leaving “in wearing” unaccounted for, so maybe I’m missing something.

    Bryan, sorry, I thought Webster was too well known to need explanation. Maybe I should have added the Bob Hope/Bing Crosby line: “Like Webster’s Dictionary we’re Morocco bound” 😉

  5. Eileen says:

    Hi again, Andrew

    My reading is definition: one alone [singleton]; wordplay: ‘wearing vest’ = ‘singlet on’.

  6. Andrew says:

    Oops, you’re quite right, I have no idea why I thought a singleton was a vest. In that case I don’t mind the “in” as a linking word.

  7. IanN14 says:

    I know I’ll be accused of pedantry here (what else is new?), but does anyone else have a problem with 25ac.?
    Not in the way Eileen does with “dent”, but in the fact that the definition doesn’t work?
    “Hides smell” doesn’t define the answer, it just suggests what it does.

    (So much for being non-judgmental…)

  8. Andrew says:

    Ian, I agree with you about 25ac. Likewise in 15ac, neither “Middle East” nor “in Middle East” are accurate definitions of PALESTINE. (I did notice these when I was writing the blog, but there’s only so much nitpicking you can do, and it’s nice to leave some work for the commenters 😉 )

  9. IanN14 says:

    Thanks Andrew, you know me, always willing to help…
    (I did notice 15ac. too, but sometimes, you know, I just can’t be bothered).

  10. The trafites says:

    Fairly easy today – and as per comment #8, in 2dn can waves really define RADIATION? What about gravity~, micro~, tidal~ etc.


  11. enitharmon says:

    Chifonie is ‘hard’? This was the fastest solve in ages for me. Impeccably clued, not very exciting but there you go. (Give me a good quirky Araucaria every time!)

  12. Chunter says:


    Were you thinking of ‘singlet’? (18ac)

  13. Andrew says:

    Chunter, yes I was: see correction in the blog.

  14. Lanson says:

    Andrew, 12a surely to don and to dress both mean to put on clothes

  15. Andrew says:

    Lanson – yes they do, but they’re not interchangeable: you don a garment, but dress a person.

  16. cholecyst says:

    Eileen, 5dn. I was amused to see that the on-line Chambers gives one of the defs of “wrest” as “to distort or twist (words) from their true meaning”!

  17. Eileen says:

    Don doesn’t mean to put on clothes: it means simply to put on, or assume – it could be a role or a personality – whereas ‘dress’ can be used alone, intransitively, meaning to put on clothes.

    Hi Cholecyst

    … and in the print version, too!

  18. Uncle Yap says:

    5dn: ‘wrest’ doesn’t mean ‘work hard’ [‘wrestle’?] and a dent[25ac] isn’t really a hole.

    Chambers said wrest = “to get by toil (eg a living from an unpromising environment)”

    It is acceptable if one can make a sentence with the two words interchangeable without any change in meaning… His lack of shopping savvy resulted in a huge hole/dent in his budget.

  19. Eileen says:

    Uncle Yap

    Like Ian, I sometimes think it isn’t worth the bother! ‘To *get by* toil’ is transitive – as in your own example, it needs an object – and is not the same as to toil.

    [Would you rather have a dent or a hole in your car? ;-)]

  20. |Jake says:

    An OK puzzle, I’m glad “brendan” and “boatman” are out of the way for a while.

    I agree with Andrew-the blogger, not particularly something to climax over but never the less a puzzle to break the day up.

    A few OK clues, nothing special.

    Thanks for the blog Andrew.

  21. John says:

    To add to all the others:
    “A” = American?
    “Poor” = SLENDER?
    “Shock” = HAIR?
    “Correct” = EXACT?
    Just because words are interchangeable doesn’t make them synonyms.
    And I don’t get “touching” = RE.

  22. JamieC says:

    I agree with all the comments here. John – “touching” means concerning, as in “an inquest touching the death of…” (which is the formal title for a coroner’s inquest), and “concerning” = RE.

  23. IanN14 says:

    Sorry, but all those you mention are reasonable answers/devices.
    Respectively, abbreviation in Chambers (I know, I know…),
    Both mean “meagre”,
    A mass of hair,
    Think change or time,
    (also all in C.)

    Also (and to a certain extent this applies to Nick@10),
    Surely all answers don’t need to by synonyms of the definitions; very few are
    As long as the answer can be defined as such (eg. chameleon as creature; tweed as material) I can’t see a problem. They certainly don’t all have to be interchangeable.

  24. IanN14 says:

    Actually, just noticed “changeable” in the chameleon clue, so perhaps not a good example…
    But, (11ac.) apartments aren’t the only type of accommodation…

  25. Derek Lazenby says:

    My ever knowlegable wife says that END ON is about dressing ranks in military parades. Hope that helps.

  26. NealH says:

    Re 5 down, somehow I don’t think telling your boss “I wrested all day today” would improve your promotion prospects.

  27. The Trafites says:

    NealH #26, depends if you are Mick McManus, I guess.


  28. Martin Searle says:

    To #10:

    Nick, a simple Collins definition of radiation is:

    a. the emission of energy as particles, electromagnetic waves or sound
    b. the particles or waves emitted

    Microwaves are certainly covered by this as they are part of the EMR spectrum.

    I’m not so sure about your other two examples.

    People tend ‘radiation’ as meaning ionising radiation, but it covers more than that.

  29. maarvarq says:

    Am I missing something, not being British, but why the heck does “Battersea” = “Daughter”?

  30. Gaufrid says:

    It doesn’t, I think you have your clues mixed up. 6d was “Whack pithy American in London” leading to BATTERSEA (a place in London). 7d was “Material for dainty daughter” giving TWEED.

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