Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,825 / Orlando

Posted by Andrew on October 8th, 2009

Andrew.

A very enjoyable puzzle from Orlando, difficult enough to be a challenge but nothing outrageous. There are several nice clues where an anagram is cleverly concealed by the surface reading,

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

Across
1. PRENUP NU in PREP
5. PICKLE dd
8. SLIMMER SLIM + first letters of Military Expedition Refutes
9. PAUPERS U in PAPERS
11. UNDER THE WEATHER (RUDE THE WATERHEN)*
12. DHOW D + HOW
13. PRECAUTION (ON A PICTURE)*
17. GASTRONOME ASTRONOM(y) in G E
18. SPAS First letters of Sick People At Such, &lit, though visiting a spa is more of a leisure activity than a medical treatment these days.
20. EVENING PRIMROSE (NEVER REIMPOSING)*
23. YACHTED CATHY* + ED
24. STATION dd & lit – very nice, as “station” is an Australian word for a (usually very large) farm or ranch.
25. CLOSET S(uitcas)E in CLOT
26. YORKER YORK (Archbishop’s home) + E(xete)R
 
Down
2. RAINDROPS cRoAtIoN + DROPS
3. NO MORE Hidden in phEROMONes< , and a reference to the legendary Monty Python Dead Parrot sketch.
4. PERCHERON PERCH (= Rod = 5.5 yards, also the Pole) + confERence + ON
5. PAPAW PAPA + W(ith)
6. CAUCASUS AS in CAUCUS
7. LEECH LEE + CH
8. SKULDUGGERY SKUL(l) + DUG (understood) + GER(man)Y
10. SPRINGSTEEN SPRINGS (=spas, as at 18ac) +TEEN. Even with my limited knowledge of rock music I’ve heard of Bruce Springsteen.
14. CAMERA-SHY cd
15. IMPROVISE IS in IMPROVE.
16. ARTISTES (STAR TIES)*
19. IMPAIR IMP + AIR
21. EXCEL Homophone of XL – Rover used the same homophone, though in a slightly different way, in puzzle 24801: ‘In Coliseum forty shouted: “Do your best!””‘
22. GODOT GO (exit) + DO (act) + T (Two started), and the definition is “On stage on waited for” – nice clue.

19 Responses to “Guardian 24,825 / Orlando”

  1. Bryan says:

    Many thanks, Andrew

    I am pleased that you enjoyed it but I gave up after 30 minutes with three unsolved.

    I acknowledge that I am always likely to fail with obscure names and SLIM and SPRINGSTEEN fell into this category.

    I had never previously heard of PRENUP and I wonder if this awful word has yet made it into Chambers or whatever.

  2. Chunter says:

    Bryan,

    Sorry to have to tell you that PRENUP is in Chambers.

    (Looking up words is much less of a palaver now that I have Chambers on my iPod Touch: no need to lug around weighty tome, find reading specs, etc!)

  3. Uncle Yap says:

    Thanks, Andrew, for the usual clear explanation of the clues.

    I was similarly taken aback momentarily by 1Across. Surely the enumeration should be (3-3)

  4. Paul B says:

    TMWOT Orlando is consistently good in The Guardian, and this one was … well, inconsistent. If I’m going to be honest I reckon he’s better than this by a long chalk – a very able compiler.

    Quibbles: generally, there seemed to be a lot of, yeah-all-right-then-if-you-insist kind of indications. And in particular, 8ac I don’t think ‘starting’ sufficiently well indicates the first letters (cf. 12ac), and the definition doesn’t satisfy. 11ac we find ‘the’ both in the fodder and the answer, so points lost for style there. 22dn has a lovely surface, but again I’m not sure that ‘two started’ is a proper way to indicate the first letter (it’s also the same indicator used for the same operation in 8ac). But still a lot better than some Anagruid offerings.

    Not strictly on-topic but quite interesting information: in the pub last night, sold at the landlord’s discretion (!) they had some Polish porter – at 18.5% ABV! So it’s one pint of that, or up to nine of gneral cooking lager or bitter. Very efficient.

  5. liz says:

    Thanks, Andrew. Like Uncle Yap, I would have expected 1ac to be hyphenated. I enjoyed this and thought there were some nice surfaces. 8ac was one of the last I got.

  6. Chunter says:

    In the 9th edition Chambers has ‘pre-nup’, but in the 11th ‘prenup’.

  7. IanN14 says:

    I agree with Mr B @ comment 4.
    I’ve mentioned before, I don’t like unsatisfactory initial letter indicators, and there are two examples here, as Paul mentioned.
    12ac. works well, though.
    (Also agreed about the double use of “the” in 11ac.).

    Chunter, to return a favour, have you got this app, too?
    Not as comprehensive as Chambers, but does all the same stuff with proper nouns, too.
    Works offline.
    And it’s free.

  8. Derek Lazenby says:

    Long time readers will be unsurprised to learn I hated this one. But I really can’t be bothered to go into all that again.

    However, PRENUP. I absolutely don’t care which dictionary this appears in, but the inventor of the term, and anyone who is tasteless enough to use it should be hung drawn and quartered. It is the most ugly artificiality I have had the misfortune to see in a long while.

    Can’t blame the setter for using it though, he just uses what is there. What is there isn’t his fault. But I would have prefered it if he had had the good taste to not use it.

  9. Neil says:

    “Bryan says:
    October 8th, 2009 at 5:30 am
    I’m prepared to bet serious money that Thursday’s puzzle will be set by Orlando whose Difficulty is rated as ‘Medium’.”

    So, how much did you rake in, Bryan?

  10. Chunter says:

    Ian, Thanks for the tip. Will add it to my collection.

  11. smutchin says:

    Just as well I didn’t put any money on it being an impossible Araucaria today… This was probably the hardest so far this week but still by no means really difficult. What’s going on?

    Quibbles… I share Paul B’s feelings, on the whole. Nothing seriously wrong, just a few niggly things. Nothing really worth mentioning.

  12. Jim from Quincy says:

    Such a fuss over “prenup”! Not a peep, however, about “skulduggery” — an un-euphonious word of questionable origin and variable spelling (“skullduggery”, “scullduggery”) that dates back ONLY to 1867! And it was probably filched from the Scottish “sculduddery”! Damned thieving Yanks! Anyone who uses this vulgar neologism should be boiled with their own pudding and buried with a stake of holly through their heart!

  13. Bryan says:

    Neil

    Just in case you are a Tax Inspector …

    I’ve got nothing to declare.

  14. Derek Lazenby says:

    Jim, it’s not easy when you are house bound, but I’ve tried a limited head count. The concerns of those commenting in 1867 seem not to be reflected currently, but I’ve had a 100% yuk reaction to prenup. OK, I know, small sample = bad stats, but if I remember I’ll do it again when I get my mobility back. But that is essentially the answer to your question.

  15. Jim says:

    Perhaps unfortunately, prenup is in common use in the USA.

  16. Sil van den Hoek says:

    I agree with PaulB (#4) that the first Orlando since ages wasn’t fully up to his usual standard. But I am glad he’s back.
    And I did like the many fine surfaces, in the same way I like them in the FT (Cincinnus).
    The first thing I did was reading through the clues without thinking of their cryptic construction.
    It was satisfying to see that so many of these clues could be read as proper sentences, like e.g. (especially) 1ac, 20ac, 25ac, 15dn (the ‘togetherness’ of better & without is rather nice) or 22dn.
    Surely a trademark of this excellent setter.

    His anagrams were slightly under par, I think.
    PRECAUTION was well hidden, but ARTISTES and ‘Star ties’ are too similar.

    One major quibble:
    Why does “influential group, as in” gives us CAUC(AS)US?
    I know what Orlando means, but “as in” is not really enough, or do I miss something?

    By the way, a revelation to discover that SPRINGSTEEN can be an obscure name (#1).
    All in all, welcome back Orlando, and looking forward to this Saturday’s Cincinnus (but I’m not gonna bet serious money on that ….)

  17. IanN14 says:

    Bet tomorrow’s is a Paul…

  18. Bryan says:

    IanW14

    I’ll take your bet dated 9 October that ‘tomorrow’s a Paul’!

    Me? I bet that today’s a Paul.

    You see, I reckon that it’s highly unlikely that we will have a Paul two days running.

    Maybe a Shed tomorrow?

  19. IanN14 says:

    Oh, very clever Bryan.
    Bet’s off.
    (I didn’t realise it was so late….).

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