Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,878 – Brummie

Posted by Andrew on December 9th, 2009


You wait for ages for a Brummie, and then two come along almost at once – this one and the latest Genius puzzle. This was somehow a bit easier than it appeared to be at first sight, with its many two-entry answers, all of which (as I only noticed when writing the blog) involve a colour (and, as IanN14 points out, the colours form a complete set of snooker balls) ), but even so there were some tricky moments. Brummie’s alter ego of Cyclops in Private Eye seems to have had a bit of a hand in this puzzle, especially at 6dn and 26/31, though he held back at 10ac.

10. EJACULATE Homophone of (I think) “Ee, Jack, you late” – “rather archaic” I suppose because “ejaculate” isn’t often used in the sense of “cry out” these days.
11. GUARDROOM A in (MOOR DRUG)*. Spike=drug as in spiking a drink.
12,9. BLACK LOOKS BLACK (=jet) + LOOK (=air) + S. One of the weaker clues I think, as the meanings in the wordplay are very close to those in the answer
15. NURSING RUN< + SING (sing = squeal = be an informer)
18,8. REDNECK (D(ate) + (jonatha)N + CREEK)*
20,17. WHITE NOISE (Barry) WHITE + I in NOSE (hooter)
22. EXACTLY EX (once) ACT (do) L[a]Y (put with “one out”)
25. BEST MAN STEM* in BAN – “knot-tying supporter” is a nice definition
26,31. BROWN-NOSER N N O in BROWSER. Echoes of the OBN (Order of the Brown Nose) column in Private Eye.
27. LOGOPEDIC (POLICE DOG)*. I didn’t know the word, but it was wasy to guess from he anagram. Logopedia is the study of speech defects, so logopedic can mean “of speech therapy”.
30. UNDERGONE UNDERDONE with D replaced by G (grand). Second use of Date=D in the puzzle.
2. POLANSKI POLE AND SKI with E and D (ends of “tie” and “cod”) removed (from separate places).
3. USED Hidden in hoUSE Dogs
6. NUMBER TWOS Double definition – the Cyclops personality definitely sneaks in here!
16,29. GREEN CARD GREEN (Olive, possibly) + CARD (comedian)
21. IMMODEST M MODES in IT (“just the thing”)
23. A-ROADS BROADS (impolite US term for women) with “a new start”, or possibly “‘A’ [as a] new start”
24,1. YELLOW FLAG YELLOW (wimpish) + FLAG (iris). A yellow flag on a ship shows that it’s quarantined.
28,5. PINK SALMON PINKS + ALMON[d] – yet another D=Date. Pink=scallop as a verb meaning to shape the edge of fabric, etc

23 Responses to “Guardian 24,878 – Brummie”

  1. IanN14 says:

    Thanks Andrew.
    Quite Paul-esque and very entertaining.
    I wondered if the grid had anything to do with snooker?

  2. NeilW says:

    Thanks, Andrew. Isn’t the answer to 6dn “no 1s” not “no 2s” ?- I agree your answer is perhaps a better solution to the clue but it doesn’t fit the grid

  3. Ian says:

    Quite a feat from Brummie. As IanN14 says very entertaining and typically irreverent.

    I too didn’t realize the colour theme until around 4 answers in.

    The scatological appearance of 6dn put me off my Fruit ‘n’ Fibre though.

  4. UncleAda says:

    Number Two = First Mate =
    An officer on a merchant ship next in rank to the captain and responsible to the captain for the safety and security of the ship.

  5. NeilW says:

    Whoops! Apologies; I managed to put WHITE and NOISE the wrong way round in the grid!

  6. Andrew says:

    Thanks Neil, I was puzzled for a minute there!

    IanN14, good point about the snooker – all the balls are there. (Incidentally, are you the Ian of London N14 mentioned in the latest newsletter as being the first to submit the answers to last month’s Genius?)

  7. liz says:

    Thanks, Andrew. Took me a while to get into this, but it was very entertaining! I only clocked the colour theme when I had nearly finished.

  8. Bryan says:

    Many thanks, Andrew, I consider this BRILLIANT!

    I struggled with a few but got there in the end without ever realising that there was a colour theme.

    Also, I wasn’t totally convinced with some of my entries until I read your blog.

    Thank Heavens for 225!

  9. IanN14 says:

    Yes, that is indeed myself.
    I’ve managed it a couple of times before, but not since last year (and am quietly confident with December’s Brummie, too).
    Nice to beat the Australians at something once again this year…

  10. walruss says:

    I don’t really like the clues much, but I will admit that a feat of grid filling has taken place! Well done for that, Guardian.

  11. liz says:

    Well done, IanN14! I was chuffed to be among the 39 who submitted it on the first day…

  12. Gazza says:

    I think that 11a is a reversal (about) of MOOR DRUG round A, rather than an anagram.

  13. Andrew says:

    Gazza, you’re right – I’m sure I meant to say it was a reversal!

  14. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Like the Indy, very entertaining puzzle today. Personally, found it challenging, and didn’t twig the colour scheme element.

    At 10ac, wasn’t it in the Biggles books that this term was famously used in its ‘archaic’ sense? Along the lines of: “‘Good grief!’ Algy ejaculated.” I seem to remember it was because of the author’s dislike of ‘said’ to report speech, which led to substitutions like this.

    But I might have made that up; it’s a very long time since I read one of the Biggles books.

  15. Grumpy Andrew says:

    Didn’t know Brummie also did the Eye crossword. Now I know why I never attempt it.

  16. Andrew says:

    K’s D – yes, there’s a lot of that sort of thing in Biggles – not just ejaculating but also replying, opining, commenting, gasping, etc. A fine example is quoted here.

  17. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Andrew – you have revived a memory or two. It’s certainly not PC any more – perhaps Brummie/Cyclops would approve. At 24/1, apparently there’s a flower called the yellow flag iris. Is that in there somewhere as part of the wordplay?

  18. NeilW says:

    Inspired by the comments above, I took a look at the Genius crossword for the first time. I actually found it easier than this one, probably because you have to get some of the answers wrong!

    Good fun though.

  19. NeilW says:

    K’s Dad, yes you’re right but I don’t think it’s more than a coincidence. I. too. tried to see a link but it didn’t seem to lead anywhere.

  20. John says:

    Anyone else not like “purged” as an anagrind?

  21. JB says:

    John @ 20:

    Me. Good fun though.

  22. Dave Ellison says:

    Thanks for the blog, Andrew, much appreciated. I finished in about 40 mins today, but couldn’t explain a few – 11a, the ly part of 22a, and the pola of 2d.

    I enjoyed this and much more than yesterday’s Paul.

    Incidentally, on the Eye theme, slapping a 7d would be a suggestion too!

  23. Davy says:

    Thanks Andrew, I enjoyed this puzzle and the colour theme made it a lot easier. The first I saw was “Green card” then others followed.

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