Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,838 (Pasquale)

Posted by diagacht on October 23rd, 2009


Fairly straightforward for a Friday.

clue no. here comment here
1 PAGEANT: AGE in PANT (huff and puff)
5 PLONKER: PLONK (wine) + ER (half of beER)
9 ROOST: ROO (Australian animal) + ST (stone)
10,25 TURNED OUT NICE AGAIN: anagram of A TUNE TO INDUCE A GRIN. It’s a George Formby song)
11 ORGANISING: Not sure of this one. I SING (I give musical performance). But ORGAN as accompanist seems odd. I am probably on the wrong track here.
12 PALL: double definition
14 MARIA CALLAS: (ARIA (SONG) + CALL (summon)) in MA’S (Mum’s)
18 COMPARTMENT: COMMENT (remark) around TRAP (trick, reversed)
21 ENTS: hidden in multilguENT Sessions
22 MOTHER-TO-BE: from the phrase ‘in th club’ meaning to be pregnant
26 ADMIT: AD (commercial) + MIT (Mass. Institute of Technology)
27 RANSOME: RANSOM (rescue) + E (English). Refers to Arthur Ransome (1884-1967)
28 PALMYRA: PAL (friend) + MYRA (girl)
1 PARSON: SON under PAR (boy sub standard)
2,19 GEORGE FORMBY: GORGE (sfuff) with E (energy) + FORM (establish) + BY (past)
3 ANTINOMIAN: ANT (worker) IN + I (one) in OMAN (Arab territory). One who denied the necessity of keeping a moral law.
4 TITUS: SUIT (reversed, hearts being one example) around T (time)
5 PARENTAGE: AREN’T (are not) in PAGE (attendant)
6 OMEN: wOMEN (females without leader)
7 KNOW-ALLS: K (last letter of cracK) + NO WALLS (lack of defence)
8 RUTHLESS: referring to Biblical story of Ruth
13 TATTERSALL: TATTERS (ragged bits) + ALL (everybody)
16 ACHERNAR: (HE + anagram of RAN) in anagram of CAR
17 EMOTICON: anagram of INCOME TO
20 BERTHA: A under BERTH (sleeping place)
23 HANAP: AN in HAP (fortune)
24 GAPO: GAP (delay) + O (duck)

25 Responses to “Guardian 24,838 (Pasquale)”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, Diagacht, especially for confirming ENTS, which I can’t find in any dictionary but put in anyway.

    You seem to have found this easier than I did. I thought it was quite hard-going but I enjoyed it, learning some new words – ACHERNAR, HANAP and GAPO – in the process.

    I took ORGANISING the same way as you did [organ = ‘something for accompanist’] as an organ accompanies hymns.

  2. Pasquale says:

    There was some hesitation about putting in ENTS, but since Lord of the Rings is so extremely popular, I though those loquacious tree beings could do with an outing.

  3. Eileen says:

    Thanks for that, Pasquale. I’m afraid I’m not a Tolkien fan and just put in ENTS because I knew ens = being. [I thought that might be where he got the word from but I see in Wikipedia it comes from the Anglo Saxon word for giant] I knew multiloquent must have some significance – I see it all now and that’s something else I’ve learned!

    Many thanks for a very enjoyable puzzle.

  4. Andrew says:

    Thanks diagacht for the blog and Pasquale for a typically entertaining and challenging puzzle. In 10/25, I thought “turned out nice again” was just a catch-phrase of Formby’s, but I see it is indeed a song and also the title of one of his films.

  5. IanP says:

    Having read the obituary of Clinton Ford in The Guardian before solving the crossword George Formby was fresh in my mind (Ford was married to one of Formby’s dancers). Funny, that. The Guardian can go for weeks, if not months, if not years without mentioning Formby. Then, when he does get a word in, he’s in the crosswrod as well.

    Having said that, a solid and entertaining crossword, which, coupled with a SuDoku harder than most which involved several different techniques, means that the Guardian was well worth a pound this morning.

  6. ilancaron says:

    Worth mentioning Pasquale’s subtle use of “show” in two different definitions, both with smooth surface readings: 1A (show=pageant) and then 26A (show in=admit).

  7. Ian says:

    Very challenging today. A real mix of the straightforward/obscure and, for me at any rate, two words I haven’t come across before – Gapo and Tattersall.

    As a pedant, I thought the Formby song in question was 3,6,3,4,5

  8. Shirley says:

    We thought this was really difficult today – knowledge of the Bible – Titus and Boaz – worthy of a Prize!
    We only knew Tattersalls in the racing sense – didn’t know it was a material too.
    Had Lago instead of Gapo – another new word.
    Well done Don – very challenging but enjoyable.

  9. Eileen says:


    According to all the references on at least the first two pages of Google [I didn’t look any further] there’s no ‘it’s’.

  10. liz says:

    Thanks, diagacht, and thanks Pasquale for the puzzle and the comments. I found this quite hard, but fair and fun. Missed GAPO, which is a new word for me. Also missed OMEN (no excuses). ACHERNAR was also new to me and only gettable via the cheat button.

    I loved the anagram in 10, 25!

    ENTS was a guess — I knew it, but had forgotten the Tolkien reference.

  11. pendrov says: has gapo as giant armpit odor! but i can find no other references, does it just mean a flood plain generically or is it a specific one?

  12. Gaufrid says:

    Chambers has the following definition for gapó – “an area of riverside forest that is periodically flooded”.

  13. beermagnet says:

    Put me down as a LAGO man (definitely not a lager man). LAGO: Italian for lake – liable to flood … well.

    I really liked ACHERNAR – best guess from the wordplay though I’d not heard of it so pleased it was right – 9th brightest star! Southern sky though – that’s my excuse.

  14. Tom Hutton says:

    Another crossword artfully designed to discourage younger people from taking up the pleasures of crossword solving (Callas, Ransome, Formby)

    I thought that to describe an organ as ‘something for an accompanist was a bit’ was a bit feeble.

    I don’t like casual abbreviations being used like st for stone without any acknowledgement. Is there any letter that can’t be used as an abbreviation?

    I feel along with Eileen at al that this was not easy, largely because of the amount of obscure words.

    Having whined away as usual, I did find this very enjoyable but failed with GAPO. (I don’t much like gap as a synonym for delay although I suppose it will be in Chambers.)

  15. Pasquale says:

    I guess there was a gap between Tom writing in GAPO and coming to understand that it might be OK. Incidentally I use the New oxford Thesaurus of English quite a bit, and you’ll see a justification in there (using an example similar to teh one I’ve given you). Anyway thanks for all feedback — over and out.

  16. Dave Ellison says:

    This was seriously hard today. First run through, 5 mins, 1 answer (20d); 2nd run through 14 mins, 2 more answers; third, 32 mins, 8 more; finally, 15 mins more and 18 done, 11 to go!

    8d I only knew Boaz as the name of one of the pillars of Solomon’s temple, but that nugget proved worthless. Ruth means “compassionate”, if I remember correctly, so this is not just a biblical reference, but also a pun. Boaz had to go through some hoops to marry Ruth in the end. This is a seriously good clue, therefore. (Ultimately Boaz wasn’t Ruth less; and, Ruth = wasn’t so unmerciful)

  17. Paul B says:

    Rather too many tough words for my (daily puzzle) taste.

    Sure Fridays are allowed to be tough, but using so many recondite entries – especially where there’s no theme, Nina, or other grid-constricting device – seems hard for hard’s sake, which is a bit of a disappointment. Compare Enigmatist for example, where the trickiness (key word alert) tends (alert over) to reside in the SI.

  18. Speckled Jim says:


    Sometimes I wish that the all-knowing solvers here would at least pretend they found a crossword like this even a tiny bit challenging!

  19. diagacht says:

    Speckled Jim,
    I did not mean to sound arrogant when I baldly stated that I found this crossword ‘straightforward’. First, I meant the comment relatively; Friday crosswords are sometimes very difficult, this was by comparison ‘straightforward’. Second, the ease or otherwise with which one tackles a crossword will depend a great deal on how your mind works. As it happens I very much enjoy the Don (in his various guises) because I find he seems to think in a way that I can latch onto. There are other setters that pose significant challenges for me.

  20. Speckled Jim says:

    Of course – no offence taken, it’s just galling when that’s the first thing you see after slaving away fruitlessly and finally giving up to look at the solutions! I wasn’t aware that was a ramping-up of difficulty through the week in the Guardian though – yesterday’s seemed the easiest of the week…

    I think the main problem today, as much as Pasquale’s style, was the obscurity of some of the words (and the fact that I don’t know any of George Formby’s oeuvre).

  21. Bryan says:

    I had to go to London today and I had intended to do it on the train but I had finished it as far as I could over breakfast.

    My failures were ACHERNAR & GAPO: I’ve never heard of them.

    I guessed HANAP correctly.

    Very enjoyable nonetheless.

    Many thanks, Diagacht.

  22. muck says:

    I agree with others above: it wasn’t easy!
    However it’s Friday, so what should I expect?

  23. Mr Beaver says:

    Admittedly we started this late, but we gave up after half an hour without having entered a single answer :(. I did spot ENTS, but didn’t think it could be right. Most dispiriting

  24. mhl says:

    I think I’d agree with those who suggested this was on the difficult side for a daily crossword – I did badly on it because of being stuck on a plane where I couldn’t check my guesses. (e.g. I had ACHERNAR, ANTINOMIAN and RUTHLESS pencilled in, but not much confidence in them.) I’ve never heard of the phrase “in the club” to mean “pregnant” at all – normally with such things I usually have a glint of recognition after finding the answers!

    Anyway, a good puzzle – thanks for the post & puzzle…

  25. maarvarq says:

    Geez, I don’t see a crossword with solutions including “antinomian”, “Achernar”, “gapo”,
    “hanap” and “palmyra”, let alone a detailed reference to a performer who died the year after I was born (and I am no spring chicken) to be “straightforward”. I don’t suppose anyone will read this comment anyway.

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