Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,833 (Sat 17 Oct)/Paul – ‘Brass’ banned

Posted by rightback on October 24th, 2009


Solving time: 11½ mins, one mistake (15dn: ‘sagebrass’ for SAGEBRUSH)

Paul had a puzzle on Wednesday (21st) which I found very difficult. This felt slightly easier, certainly to get going with, but was still fairly tricky in places. The answer I got wrong was slightly under-checked (only 4 out of 9 squares checked by across answers) but that’s no excuse, it was a perfectly good and not especially hard clue.

There was a mini-theme revolving around the book at 4/18/23; the link to its cryptical cousin (see 24/8/3) took me a long time to see.

The forecast for today is pretty dire – must be the OMM… I’m sure some readers of this blog will be competing, so good luck and do come and say hi at half-time – I’ll be in a small green tent.

Music of the day (5dn): Angel of Harlem by U2.

* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.

9 INAMORATA; (IN A MOAT) around R, + A – lovely wordplay but ‘girlfriend’ was enough with the initial ‘I’ in place. Something like ‘loved one’ would have forced the solver to check the wordplay because of the ambiguity over the last letter.
10 DRAWN (2 defs) – it took me a while to understand the second definition, ‘like a straw?’, but of course it refers to the practice of drawing straws to see who gets the short one.
12 LORE + LEI[sure] – a German siren who lured sailors to their deaths.
13 EVIL; rev. of LIVE (= ‘to be’)
14 BAR MITZVAH; ARM (= ‘member’) in BIT (= ‘scrap’), + rev. of (V (= ‘against’) + Z (= ‘unknown’)), + AH (= ‘I see it’) – a complex wordplay but again the definition (‘Ceremony’) was sufficient to solve this, given the unusual enumeration (3,7).
16 TANKARD; TAN + (DARK)* – what does ‘dark-shaped’ mean?
19 HORRENDOUS; (REND + O) in HORUS – the likely ‘-dous’ ending from checking letters made this an easy solve as there as only four ‘common’ English words with that ending; one point for each of the other three (answer below).
22 LEVI; (EVIL)* – ‘delivered from evil’ is nice.
24,8,3 LIBERTY ENLIGHTENING THE WORLD; (THEN + [eiffe]L + GIRL WITH GREEN BODY LET IN)* – the official title of the Statue of Liberty, which makes this a pretty good anagram; the Eiffel referred to is Gustave who was the designer of the Eiffel Tower. It took me a long time to twig that ‘cousin of 18 23 [The Giant Peach]’ was cryptically indicating The Big Apple (i.e. New York)!
25 HEEDING; (HE + E.G.) around DIN – a good job I stopped to check the wordplay here as I’d written in ‘heeling’, as in a dog.
26 ELLIS; hidden in ‘well, islander’ – Ellis Island is adjacent to Liberty Island.
27 CUB + I + CINCH – very nice wordplay.
1 CIGARETTE HOLDER; (HEATER IT) around G[rate], all inside COLDER
2 FAUSTIAN; A in AUSTIN, all under F – I really liked this one.
4,18,23 JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH; JAM (= ‘preserve’) + (THAT SPEECH AGENDA IN)* – the book by Roald Dahl which contains one of my all-time favourite poems.
5 HARLEM; L in HAREM – Harlem is one of the five boroughs of New York, I nearly wrote, but actually it’s part of Manhattan.
6 ADORATION; A, + ORATION under D[irector]
7 PAVLOV; P (= ‘Parking’) + A + rev. of VOLV[o] – another wordplay that I struggled to grasp. The physiologist is Ivan Pavlov, noted for making dogs salivate by ringing bells, having done that with every time they ate for a while (something like that anyway, I’m sure a scientist will correct me).
15 SAGEBRUSH; G in (BASE)*, + RUSH (= ‘grass’) – I rushed into the non-existent ‘sagebrass’ here, having seen (BASE GRASS)* as a possibility. This was pretty stupid, firstly because I’d heard of sagebrush and should have seen it and secondly because ‘Plant beginning to grow inside’ is a pretty unlikely definition.
17 ABU DHABI; HABI[t] after A BUD – ‘New Delhi’ was my first thought here.
20 RIBALD; [t]RI[o] + BALD
21 DRY ICE; RY (= railway = ‘track’) in DICE (= ‘rollers’) – very good clue.

The other three words ending in -dous (highlight to view): hazardous, stupendous and tremendous.

11 Responses to “Guardian 24,833 (Sat 17 Oct)/Paul – ‘Brass’ banned”

  1. Bryan says:

    Many thanks, Rightback, you’ve made my day: I did it without ANY mistakes but, of course, it took me longer.

    I started it during a 60 minute train journey and I had done all but 7 when I got off. On my return trip 7 hours later, I polished off the remainder in less than 5 minutes. I guess that my brain must have been churning things over during the course of the day.

    I didn’t help myself by entering ABU DHABI as ABU DAHBI – I always prefer to solve my puzzles on a hard copy without any aids – not even a dictionary. So HEEDING was the last one that I got.

    Sadly, none of my fellow passengers was any help whatsoever and, even after getting JAMES AND THE MAGIC PEACH, it took me ages to solve the LIBERTY stuff.

    Funnily enough, I met Roald Dahl over 20 years ago.

  2. Bryan says:

    Magic Peach?

    It was, of course, Giant Peach!

  3. NeilW says:

    Thanks, rightback.

    Eiffel was also the constructor of the Statue of Liberty.

    I agree with you that Wednesday’s puzzle was tougher.

  4. Petero says:

    Thanks for the blog. Like you, I found it not too difficult – particularly if you can get the childrens’ book essentially from its word division.
    You got yourself in a twist with 5D: as your reference points out, Harlem and Manhattan are two of the five boroughs of New York City.

  5. cholecyst says:

    Thanks, Rightback. The New York link is there to see for all those who have read the book (not me,alas), because that is where James and the giant fruit end up.

  6. liz says:

    Thanks, Rightback. I managed to get all this out before I finally twigged that ‘cousin’ meant Big Apple. For a while I wondered whether the Empire State Building would be in there somewhere, as I think this is where the Peach eventually lands.

    I agree with you about 9ac.

    Had to google for the exact quote in 24,8,3. I knew it was ‘Liberty (something) the world’, but couldn’t unpick the wordplay.

  7. Dave Ellison says:

    Good luck with the Karrimor that was, rightback. I am with you in spirit, but a quadruple heart by-pass two years ago means I can manage only shorter fell races these days.

    I got James straight away and then had to read resumes to find all the characters, which of course didn’t help. It took a while to twig the cousins bit.

  8. Ralph G says:

    Thanks, rightback, for the note to 19a re the four words ending -dous.
    The three -endous words are of course from the Latin -endus. Surprising that we don’t have more -endous words but it has lost out mostly to -able, -ible as in admirable, terrible, rather than admirandous and terrendous. The -ous suffix dates from Middle English, borrowed from Old French -eux (etc.) and direct from Latin -osus eg famous from fameux and/or famosus. There was an early move to insert a ‘u’, eg tremenduous, (possibly by analogy with sumptuous, from sumptuosos) or an ‘i’, stupendious (1547), -ious being common after stems ending in -t. Conversely, ‘horrend’ occurs in Middle English with no suffix at all. Once adopted the -ous suffix was thoroughly anglicised and available generally although ‘hazardous’ happens to come from Old French ‘hazardeux’.
    Quite pleased to finish this OK without ever having heard of “James and the Giant Peach” and having forgotten the full title of the Liberty statue.

  9. rightback says:

    Thanks for the comments, clarifications and elaborations.

    Petero (#4) – are you sure Harlem is a borough? The link says otherwise, as far as I can see, as does the entry for ‘Harlem’.

    cholecyst (#5) – I’d completely forgotten that, thanks!

    Brian (#1) – yes, it’s strange how often it is that a previously intractable puzzle seems much easier after leaving it to stew for a bit. There must be some scientific explanation.

    Dave (#7) – thanks for the luck, I think we got it on day 1 with a late start, thereby avoiding the early clag which cost some teams dear navigationally, and managed to come in 3rd in the ‘A’ class overnight. Not quite such a good second day but finished 4th overall so pretty happy. The terrain in the Elan Valley is some of the toughest I’ve seen!

  10. Ian says:

    For Paul, slightly easier than normal. Tough for me nevertheless. Great clueing as ever and it took me over 90 minutes to complete.

  11. Ian W. says:

    If anyone’s still reading, (re #4) while Manhattan is indeed one of the five boroughs of New York (along with Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island), Harlem is but a neighbourhood in Manhattan.

    As I was reproached for suggesting in an earlier thread, I too thought this was easier than Paul’s recent daily offering. I prefer something I can enjoy a few extra minutes on of a Saturday.

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