Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,857 (Sat 14 Nov)/Taupi – Cracker, Moley

Posted by rightback on November 21st, 2009

rightback.

Solving time: 9 mins

Taupi (Albie Fiore) sadly died earlier this year; this was his final Guardian puzzle. There are many glowing tributes elsewhere on this site and on the web, including a Guardian obituary by John Henderson (Enigmatist). Having not known the man I will just say that I enjoyed his puzzles as much as any Guardian setter and will miss them. This was a fine example with 19ac my favourite.

I had to solve and blog this without Internet access and only have enough time now to post this blog; this partly explains the lack of hyperlinks (and music) this week, although another reason was that the puzzle was almost entirely ‘self-contained’, with no obscure or even uncommon references. A quick look back through my blogs suggests that this was a feature of Taupi’s puzzles.

* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.

Across
9 R.A. IN WATER – the ‘big guns’ are the Royal Artillery.
10 IVORY; (V in 10) + RY (= line) – 10/5 = ’10 divided by 5′, hence IVO. The ’10/5′ here confused me no end!
11 SHE(LT)ER – ‘Lt’ for Lieutenant.
12 ARSE + NIC[e]
13 HATCH (3 defs) – nice clue.
14 CORPOREAL; PORE (= ‘tine passage’) in CORAL – ‘material’ as an adjective is the definition here.
16 SUPPLEMENTATION; SUPPLE + MEN + TAT (= ‘rubbish’) + rev. of NOI (= ‘no one’)
19 SUPERGLUE (cryptic definition) – loved this!
21 SE(P)AL
22 FIR(EAR)M
23 BENISON; (BONES IN)* – nice clue.
24 SPAWN; PAW in S,N
25 NEFARIOUS; (FIRE ON U.S.A.) – good anagram.
Down
1 PRO’S + THE + SIS – a rather dark but very good charade.
2 SIDESTEP; S + (DESPITE)*
3 S,WITCH – when solving I assumed ‘switch’ and ‘shag’ both referred to types of carpet. In fact ‘shag?’ = ‘s + hag’ = S + WITCH.
4 STAR; rev. of RATS
5 PREARRANGE; REAR (= ‘back’) in PRANG (= ‘crash’), + E
6 DIASPORA; rev. of (OPS in A RAID) – excellent breakdown.
7 L(O)UNGE – ‘idle’ as the verb, ‘lounge’ as in ‘lounge about’.
8 SYNC; “SINK”
14 COMPLIMENT; COMMENT around (LIP)*
15 LONELINESS; (NELSON LIES)* – another good anagram.
17 LORRAINE; LORE around RAIN (= ‘fall’)
18 I’M + POST + OR
20 PARIAH (hidden backwards)
21 SUN-DRY (= ‘thing to do with tomatoes?’) – lovely clue.
22 FAST (2 defs)
23 BUFF (2 defs) – if you are ‘in the buff’ you are nude, i.e. ‘without a stitch’.

8 Responses to “Guardian 24,857 (Sat 14 Nov)/Taupi – Cracker, Moley”

  1. Bryan says:

    Many thanks, Rightback, this was one of the most straightforward Prize Puzzles that I can recall. Nothing at all contentious.

    A fitting tribute to a great Setter.

  2. Biggles A says:

    Amen to that.

  3. Tom_I says:

    Agreed. A delightful puzzle.

  4. don says:

    “I had to solve and blog this without Internet access … [the] reason was that the puzzle was almost entirely ’self-contained’, with no obscure or even uncommon references. … this was a feature of Taupi’s puzzles.”

    Yes, one of the reasons this and other Taupi puzzles were so enjoyable. And no foreign words.

  5. liz says:

    Thanks, Rightback. I agree with the previous comments. Very enjoyable puzzle, funny and fair, with some great surfaces. I’m sad there will be no more.

  6. Eileen says:

    Like Liz, I was very sad to read last week that this was Taupi’s final puzzle. I had hoped that there might be a few in reserve but, of course, they would eventually have had to come to an end anyway and it was a worthy one to go out on – some typically lovely clues and surfaces, too many to mention.

    But where are the setters of the future? Most of our compilers are, like this aged commenter, advanced in years. However, I suspect that, among our contributors, one or two of whom have have already shown themselves to be more than merely competent, there are those who can ensure that cryptic crosswords will continue. Please, go for it!

  7. rrc says:

    really enjoyed this crossword despite missing 20d annoyingly

  8. Ian says:

    It was very poignant to read the note that said this was the last Taupi puzzle. Truly the end of an era.

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