Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,821/Brummie – Ars est celare artem

Posted by rightback on October 10th, 2009


Solving time: 14 mins, 4 of which on 21dn (HALE-BOPP) and 31ca (PIPER).

Brummie gave us another art-themed puzzle, following Araucaria’s epic jumbo last month. This time the artists were more traditional, but I was unfamiliar with three of the nine. After blogging, it occurs to me that the full ‘connection’ referred to in the preamble is that all of the artists’ names are normal English words, and all are defined as such in the puzzle.

Apart from a mental block in the bottom right this was reasonably straightforward for a prize puzzle, but very good. The clueing is as accurate as you’ll ever see in the Guardian with some really inventive bits; my only quibbles are ‘of’ used as a link word, which I 1ac, and a couple of the surface readings which are questionable.

Music of the day: O Fortuna, the opening movement of Carmina Burana by 1dn – something suitably stirring for those attending the Times Crossword Championship in Cheltenham tomorrow. Best of luck to all competing.

* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.

1 [ar]ABHOR[se] – I wonder how Paul would have clued this deletion?
10 CONVOLUTE; (COUNT + LOVE)* – a nice anagram indicator (‘smitten’, as the past participle of ‘smite’).
12 BANAL; BAN + AL[e] – good clue.
13 BALEFUL; BALE (= ‘Paper bundle’) + FU[e]L
15 THEOREM; ORE rev. of ROE in THEM [Thanks to Ozzu for the correction here.]
17 CURRY; CUR (= ‘dog’) + R[a]Y – ‘dog fish’ is almost excellent, but slightly spoiled by the space (‘dogfish’ is one word).
18/28 RED(TAP)E – ‘Bureaucracy’ with ‘(3,4)’ is so obvious that the obscure wordplay (‘rede’ meaning ‘advice’) doesn’t really matter and anyway it’s a very good surface reading, probably a nod to the recent swine ‘flu hysteria.
20 ASHE + N – ‘Arthur once associated with court’ is cleverly misleading. Arthur Ashe, Wimbledon champion in 1975, is still the only black winner of the men’s singles there; the Arthur Ashe Stadium is the U.S. equivalent of Wimbledon’s Centre Court.
22 NUMBERS (2 defs) – a ‘number’ being ‘something that numbs’, hence a ‘local injection’.
25 STEAL + TH[e] – a rather bizarre surface reading.
26 GULAG; GAG around U + L? – I’m not sure about this; the only interpretation I can see is that ‘lost’ indicates the ‘L’. If that’s the case then unless there is dictionary support to the contrary I think it must refer to the won/drawn/lost columns in (e.g.) a football league table, but I think that’s too much of a stretch; if this is allowed then ‘for’ = F and ‘against’ = A would have to be fair as well. The argument that ‘won’ = W is permissible doesn’t hold water: that ‘won’ is the Korean currency!
27 CONSTABLE; CON (= ‘politician’) + S + TABLE
30 ELECT + RODE – ‘elect’ as in ‘Newcastle United are the champions elect’, as then Wimbledon manager Joe Kinnear described them in the 1995-6 season before their infamous meltdown.
31 PIPER; P in PIER – ‘to pipe’ can mean ‘to force (e.g. icing) through a nozzle’. Not sure why I dithered over this, it seems clear enough now. The artist is British painter John Piper; lots of his work is viewable here.
1 CARL ORFF; CAR + L + O + R + FF – nicely-themed surface.
2 WHISTLER (2 defs) – the ski resort in British Columbia.
4 S + CHILLER – the German poet Friedrich Schiller. You probably remember Whistler’s Mother from a Mr Bean film of a few years ago.
5 KNIGHT; rev. of THINK around G – Dame Laura Knight, I think. In Chambers, ‘G’ is given as an abbreviation for ‘grand’, meaning $1000.
7 TURNER (2 defs) – the first Tina I thought of; not sure I could have come up with a second. Wikipedia tells me that ‘Tina’ is also slang for methamphetamine, which extends my crosswording drugs knowledge. Art-wise, Joseph Turner is probably most famous for the Fighting Temeraire and Rail, Steam and Speed (my own favourite), and for giving his name to the Turner Prize. I’d be interested to know what he’d think of some of the recent candidates for this latter.
8 BELL; BE + L,L – cunning: ‘L’ stands for ‘live’ in electrical wiring, so ‘two lives’ = LL. The inventor is Alexander Graham Bell; I think the artist might be Vanessa Bell.
13 BACON; rev. of CAB (= ‘conveyance’) + ON (= ‘working’)
14 FLY (= ‘Front opening’) + WEIGHTS (= ‘gives a bias to’) – not quite the lightest boxers; strawweights just pip them, with a maximum weight of 105 lb.
16 MUNCH; MUCH around N
19 DIS + INTER – the opposite of ‘bury’. Edvard Munch painted The Scream.
21 HALE-BOPP; HALE (= ‘Blooming’) + BOP (= ‘Teddy Boy dance’) + P (= ‘Prince’) – actually, one more quibble: I think the enumeration here should be (4-4) and not (4,4). [Edit – This was correct in the PDF version (and maybe the paper version too?) – thanks Sil.] This comet was in the news around 10 years ago when it was visible from Earth for a while.
23 MILLET; MILL + E.T. – having just solved ‘Schiller’ and without yet a full understanding of the theme, I thought this was going to be the playwright Arthur Miller, but in fact it’s Jean-François Millet.
29,26 EARL GREY; EARLY around rev. of ERG

16 Responses to “Guardian 24,821/Brummie – Ars est celare artem”

  1. Bryan says:

    Many thanks, Rightback

    I’d never heard of CARL ORFF or HALE-BOPP and I could only positively identify 5 of the 9 artists.

    Rather than KNIGHT and MILLET, I had assumed CURRY and GREY. Indeed, I now find that John Steuart Curry and Alex Grey are arguably less obscure. But, of course, that mattered not because the ‘connections’ were of very little help in solving the puzzle.

    In fact, the Grauniad’s online ‘Annotated Solution’ only shows 8 with Piper/Curry/Grey all missing out.

    So how can anyone now be sure?

    Moreover, I bet that Brummie has also forgotten.

  2. Biggles A says:

    14a. Why etc I wonder?

  3. Bryan says:

    Good question, Biggles A.

    Of course, you did mean 14d.

  4. The trafites says:

    I think etc. is there due to other sports like judo, karate etc ( :-) ) having the same weight categories – so it isn’t only boxing.

    I solved this, but also had trouble trying to find the correct 9 artists intended.


  5. Ozzu says:

    I couldn’t identify all the artists either, so many thanks for the links Rightback.

    I think 15a is rather reverse of ROE=eggs in THEM.

    I still don’t get Pluto in 19d.

  6. The trafites says:

    Ozzu, Pluto was a God of Hell/The underworld, with an alternative name of ‘Dis’ (refer to Chambers). See HERE


  7. The trafites says:

    Actually, this is a better link: Dis


  8. Chunter says:

    Bryan, For what it’s worth I’d heard of Knight and Millet (as artists) but not of Grey or Curry.

    21dn: I’m sure Hale-Bopp should be hyphenated.

  9. Ozzu says:

    Thanks Nick

  10. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thank you, Rightback, for the excellent blog.
    Your quibbles are my quibbles, so there’s not much to add.
    Regarding 21dn:
    In the pdf-version it says (4-4), so hyphenated – which takes away one of your quibbles.
    Somehow we thought the HALE-BOPP clue was a missed opportunity.
    As HALE is a part of Bill Haley, and his band were the Comets, Brummie might have done something with that.

    Looking back at it, an OK crossword, but lacking humour and therefore a bit “clinical”.

  11. sidey says:

    I missed reading the rubric so didn’t spot a theme, silly me!

    “following Araucaria’s epic jumbo last month.” I also seem to have missed this, anyone know the number or date please?

  12. Gaufrid says:

    #24,791 29th August

  13. sidey says:

    Thank you Gaufrid.

  14. liz says:

    Thanks, Rightback. I got this out without too much trouble, except for a bit of sloppiness — I put ‘theorum’ instead of ‘theorem’. Twigged the theme once I got ‘Turner’. At first I thought all the artists were going to be British, but then I saw that all the names were all common nouns.

    Turner was a considerable showman himself and would have certainly understood the publicity surrounding the Turner prize — see Matthew Collings’ article ‘Master in the Making’ in the Guardian 19.09.09.

  15. liz says:

    Or in the case of ‘munch’ a verb!

  16. sidey says:

    liz, the OED gives munch as a noun. Colloquially though.

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