Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24859 – Puck

Posted by Uncle Yap on November 17th, 2009

Uncle Yap.

dd = double definition
cd = cryptic definition
rev = reversed or reversal
ins = insertion
cha = charade
ha = hidden answer
*(fodder) = anagram

A cleverly crafted puzzle with four film titles around the peripheral of the grid plus a catty film sneaked in at the tail. As expected, an entertaining and not-too-difficult (except for the sandwich clue) offering from Puck.

1   NATIONAL VELVET *(valet Valentino) A 1944 film based on the novel by Enid Bagnold, published in 1935. It stars Mickey Rooney, Donald Crisp and a young Elizabeth Taylor.
9 ROUNDELAY Cha of ROUND (about) ELAY (rev of Yale University)
10 VAPID RAPID (fast) minus R (race leader) substituted by V (very)
11 HYDRA H (horse) + DRAY (cart) with Y brought to the front to form YDRA, water monster with many heads, which when cut off were succeeded by others
12 SAGE DERBY S (first letter of straw) AGE (become old) DERBY (hat)
13 OVERTOOK Cha of OVERT (open) O (hole) OK (all right)
14 MUTANT Ins of AN (a new) in MUTT (mongrel)
17 TAVERN Ins of AVER (party or RAVE with R, right to the end) in TN (Tennessee)
19 SANDWICH What a tough clue! Took me a while to remember that in July 2011 the British Open  (golf) will be held at the Royal St George’s, Sandwich, Kent, England and of course, a club sandwich is not open.
22 WAR EFFORT *(F RAF wrote)
24 REFER Reefer (joint) minus E (last letter of TOKE)
25 SINAI SIN (wrong) A1 (road, a major motorway in the UK)
26 ICELANDIC Ins of E (East, a bridge player) + LAND (end up) in IC-IC (one club doubled)
27  BLAZING SADDLES BLAZING (very angry) S (son) ADDLES (goes off) A 1974 satirical Western comedy film directed by Mel Brooks

1 NORTH-NORTH-WEST or North by Northwest is a 1959 American suspense film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint and James Mason. The odd letters of no new are N-N-W
2 TRUNDLE Ins of NDL (North Dakota lake) in TRUE (right)
3 OLD MASTER The middle letters of woman are O (old) MA (Master of Arts)
4 ALLUSION *(soul in LA)
5 VOYAGE rha
6 LIVID Ins of VI (little girl) in LID (hat)
7 EMPORIA *(Rome + Pisa minus S)
A DAY AT THE RACES ADA (palindromic name of girl) YAT (rev of Scottish River Tay) *(a Chester) A film starring the three Marx Brothers
15 UNDERHAND Ins of N (name) in *(a hundred)
16 OAK TREES *(Kate Rose)
18 VERONAL Verona (Italian city) L (first letter of lights)
20 INFIDEL Reversal of LED (took the initiative) IF (providing) NI (Northern Ireland or part of UK)
21 MOTION Promotion (advertising) minus Pro (expert) to give Andrew Motion, the former Poet Laureate
23  FRITZ F (fine) RITZ (hotel) A 1972 animated film written and directed by Ralph Bakshi as his feature film debut

22 Responses to “Guardian 24859 – Puck”

  1. IanN14 says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap.
    I really liked this one.
    Some very sneaky clues, eg. 19ac. 3d. 21d. 1d. (the answer to which, I think should be pointed out, isn’t exactly a film, but “bygone”… very clever).
    Incidentally, was anyone else hoping 1d. was going to be a film to do with horses?
    (Especially with reference to 12ac.).

  2. Bryan says:

    Many thanks, Uncle Yap, a truly wonderful puzzle to start the day.

    I finished it in good time but, in some cases, without knowing why and you have now provided the explanations.

    I hadn’t seen three of the films but I had heard of them so (for once) no obscure names, places, flora or whatever.

    Bravo Puck!

  3. Andrew says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap, this was quite tricky in places but good fun.

    I read 10ac slightly differently, as V(ery) RAPID less R(ace). I was trying to make the substitution idea work but I don’t think it’s really justified by the clue.

    Also there’s a small typo in the link to “Fritz the Cat” – an extra “t” on the end.

  4. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Uncle Yap. I liked this one: I don’t think we see enough of Puck.

    I agree with Andrew about the parsing of 10ac.

    And thanks, Ian, for your additional explanation of 1dn, which was still puzzling me!

  5. Bryan says:

    And here’s the correct link to Fritz:

    Surely, this puzzle should be X-rated?

  6. Ian says:

    Very good from Puck today.

    I started with the boundaries and had the three titles OK but it took another 3′ for the penny to drop re the Hitchcock film. By Gone. Doh!!

    Some seamless clueing, especially 24ac, 25ac and 12ac.

  7. liz says:

    Thanks, Uncle Yap. This was great fun. I was also hoping 1dn would have something to do with horses…but a great clue nonetheless!

    The wordplay of 19ac and 26ac eluded me, so thanks for the explanations.

  8. Dave Ellison says:

    I finished this, and found it, as all Pucks, quite hard. I finished it but couldn’t see the expalanation for seven(!) of the clues, so thanks, Uncle Yap.

    I, too, thought there must be a horsy reason for 1d.

    What’s Veronal? By dic. says it’s a trademarked drug.

    I thought 10a must be RAPID for a long time (I had the wrong definition – so a cunning clue, I guess) , but also was convinced 6d was LIVID, though I couldn’t spot why.

  9. Grumpy Andrew says:

    In deference to an earlier poster called Andrew who was here before me and to avoid confusion I’m now Grumpy Andrew.
    1d annoyed me because it’s wrong (I think) – there is no such film as north-north-west, it’s north by northwest. Sloppy.

  10. Dave Ellison says:

    Oops! corrections: explanation, horsey?, My, not By

  11. Dave Ellison says:

    Grumpy Andrew: This had me puzzled, too. It isn’t the film at all. Its NNW, from the odd letters of NONEW, as Uncle Yap said. However, if you remove By (By gone) from the film North-By-North-West, you end up with North-North-West, as IanN14 said at #1.

  12. Paul (not Paul) says:

    Not mad about this one. Lots of clues that even now I’ve read Uncle Yap’s blog I don’t really get.

    I had old master for ages but it make no sense apart from the definition. Am I really expected to take oma from woman and extend that to get old master? Stretching my imagination a little.

    And whilst we’re grumbling…too many US states (I refuse to memorise all 52, I’m not an 11 year old nerdy boy any more) and too many obscure one letter abbreviations (F for Fine anyone?)

    I give it a six and three quarters out of ten

  13. smutchin says:

    Grumpy Andrew, if the definition for 1d were “film” you’d be right, but the somewhat cryptic definition is actually “bygone film?” with the all-important question mark. It’s a bit of a liberty, sure, but it made me smile so I can forgive it! In fact, lots of this puzzle made me smile. My only gripe is that the golf club isn’t ever called “Sandwich”. But it’s a clever clue so I can forgive that too.

  14. IanN14 says:

    Paul (not Paul),
    I think Old Master’s OK.
    You could clue the letters O MA as “old” and “master”, why not the other way round?
    (It IS the cryptic part, not the definition).
    And which were the other two states (which presumably no longer exist) when you WERE an 11 year old nerdy boy?
    F for Fine; fine too when it comes to pencils…

  15. Eileen says:

    Paul [not Paul]: I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this.

    Re 3dn: I’m with IanN14 here.

    This site is here to help. What are the ‘lots of clues’ you still don’t get?
    [Memo to Grumpy Andrew – and a warm welcome if you’re a new contributor: you can sometimes get answers to queries from later comments, as well as the blog itself, as I did today, from Ian’s Comment 1]

    And ‘too many obscure one-letter abbreviations’?’ What others, apart from ‘F’? [I must admit I was looking for ‘….H’ in 23dn and was expecting ‘U’ rather than ‘YALE<' in 9ac but that's all part of the fun, because it's more unusual!]

    I'm quite proud of myself at having worked out 19ac all by myself. I knew there was a golf course there but didn't know it wasn't known as that. Is it known as 'Prince's' then, Smutchin? [says, she, having googled!].

  16. cholecyst says:

    “which were the other two states”…how about UK and Canada?

  17. Sil van den Hoek says:

    We thought this crossword was not too hard, but extremely clever.
    The whole range of clueing techniques came around.
    And as a bonus, good surfaces too.

    The first one we found (to be honest, I found) was A Day At The Races, strangely enough by just looking at (1,3,2,3,5) and thinking of a film. Because my PinC is from Chester, she immediately agreed – a Chester outing cán be A Day At The Races!

    Re #8:
    Veronal is indeed a drug, and therefore perhaps (no, surely!) hypnotic, but the word “hypnotic” can be a noun – and that’s what it is here.

    Re #12:
    Don’t quite get what you mean by “too many US states” – ND for North Dakota was clear enough, and this crossword wasn’t dealing in too many abbreviations (as you might possibly suggest).

    This was a splendid crossword.

  18. Jake says:

    ‘mutant’ and ‘blazing saddles’ were my favourite clues.

    Brilliant xwd Puck.

  19. Jonathan says:

    Enjoyed this puzzle, though 19ac completely foxed me.

    BTW, “Fritz the Cat” IS a film by Ralph Bakshi, as noted above, but perhaps more significantly was a comic strip for a long while before that by the US artist Robert Crumb. (Credit where it’s due…)

  20. ChrisOz says:

    As a retired pharmacist I distantly remembered Veronal which was a barbiturate used in the 60’s. Drugs which induce sleep are classed as hypnotics.

  21. walruss says:

    I quite like Puck puzzles, but have a bit of doubt about the clueing style. It strikes me that writing clues comes easier to some compilers than it does to others, but there’s no doubt that this one has good ideas, and a good eye for the grid-fill.

  22. IanN14 says:

    @ comment 16.
    B-dum, Tsshh!
    Aah, Good to see that satire is not dead…

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