Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24880 / Orlando

Posted by mhl on December 11th, 2009


An enjoyable puzzle today, with nothing too difficult apart from the reference in 11 across, I thought.

1. POTHERB PB = “Lead” around OTHER = “different”
9. TRURO TRU[nk] RO[ad]
11. TENNESSEE SENNET[t] = “short film producer” reversed + SEE = “clock”
12. ROPES Cryptic definition (to “know the ropes”)
13. PERCH Double definition
18. ADHERENTS HERE = “present” in (STAND)*
19. DIEGO D = “Bond’s last” + GO = “attempt” around I[nsan]E
21. CREDO Hidden answer
23. SHORTFALL Double definition; a “shower” might be a short burst of rain or a “short fall”
25. SPIRITUAL S[ongs] + PI = “religious” + RITUAL = “ceremonies”
26. END-ON ‘ENDON from Hendon
27. DRAUGHT AUGHT = “anything” by DR = “doctor”
28. THEORBO A very nice clue: THE ORB = “the Globe” before the start of O[thello]
1. PIT STOP Double definition
2. TRUE NORTH TRUE = “loyal” + NORTH = “former PM”
3. EVOKE OK = “fine” in EVE = “one who raised Cain”
5. GENRE GEN = “Dope” + RE = “concerning”
6. BOYFRIEND (FIRED ON)*, referring to Sandy Wilson’s musical, The Boy Friend
7. OWN UP [d]OWN and UP are “opposite directions”
8. STEPS ON “one of the family” = STEPSON
14. HARROWING Double definition
16. CASSOULET SOUL = “Person” + E[at] in CAST = “thrown”
17. ICELANDER Sounds like “I slander”
18. ACCUSED USED = “employed” by A CC = “a county council”
20,5across. ORLANDO GIBBONS ORLANDO = “Composer” (of this crossword) + GIBBONS = “apes”
22. ERICA [am]ERICA = “US” without A.M. = “before noon”
23. SHUNT SHUN = “Deliberately avoid” + T[ruck]
24. THERE A nice clue: “[no]T HERE”

26 Responses to “Guardian 24880 / Orlando”

  1. Bryan says:

    Many thanks, mhl, but I challenge your contention that there was nothing ‘too difficult’.

    Who on earth has ever heard of ORLANDO GIBBONS (although very guessable)?

    And CASSOULET? Really, nobody does French cooking anymore. Only Indian & Chinese, etc.

    And THEORBO? Never heard of it although again very guessable.

  2. Andrew says:

    Thanks mhl, I agree that this was good fun. I had only a minor delay spotting Mack Sennet, and unlike Bryan had no problems with Orlando Gibbons, the theorbo, or cassoulet. I have to nitpick (with Orlando) about 6dn – as your link says, the title of the musical is The Boy Friend, so the enumeration should be (3,6) rather than (9). Also the homophone in 17dn is distinctly dodgy.

    I’m sure we’ve seen a very similar clue to 8dn quite recently.

  3. DannyBoy says:

    Well, you’ve heard of Orlando Gibbons and theorbo if you’re the musical sort I suppose. I found this one a little uninspiring but a couple of nice clues.
    Many thanks mhl for the explanations of BOYFRIEND and TENNESSEE which were fairly guessable. And gen = dope! Just looked it up. Learn a new thing every day…

  4. mike says:

    Seeing that it was easy, initially, I rushed through this and put in DUNCE, as in foolscap, without thinking for 5d. What a GENRE I am! Of course, this slowed me down especially when trying to solve ORLANDO GIBBONS at 20,5a.

    But a lovely crossword.

  5. Eileen says:

    Thanks, mhl, particularly for explaining 11ac!

    I really enjoyed this. I wish we saw more of Orlando – he seems to appear much more often as Cincinnus in the FT.

    There were some great clues and surfaces: particular favourites 10, 15, 19, 25ac and 3,4,20dn.

    [Does Orlando reveal his origins in 17dn? Not from South of the Midlands, I think! :-)]

  6. liz says:

    Thanks, mhl. I enjoyed this too and thought some of the clues had lovely surfaces. We have had STEPSON recently.

    I had to Google to get GIBBONS though I really should have seen it. Also missed ERICA and should have got that one too.

    The other references were familiar, which helped.

    My favourite was 19ac — a little movie clip!

  7. Rob says:

    Bryan said:
    Who has ever heard of ORLANDO GIBBONS?
    And THEORBO?

    Gibbons was a 16th/17th century composer,
    and the theorbo is a kind of lute, developed
    at about that time.

    I was rather pleased at the presence a couple
    of early music references, which somewhat
    compensated for the problems I often have with
    clues requiring knowledge of classical music.

  8. DannyBoy says:

    The musical ones are up my street, but I feel like a guitar-strumming Lloyd Weber fan amongst theorbo-plucking Gibbons experts reading all today’s posts. Clearly much enjoyment derived from this Orlando by lots of you – if anyone cares to elaborate on what they admired in their favourite clues I’d love to share your appreciation.
    Bias aside, the THEORBO clue was lovely but lots of the more beautiful offerings were also the easiest. Does that matter?
    Here to refine and develop my taste!
    (By the way Brian, I made a cassoulet the other day!)

  9. DannyBoy says:

    Bryan – a thousand apologies for spelling your name incorrectly. Shameful here!

  10. Barbara says:

    19. Diego
    No mention was made of the def. which is: “In Spain, James”
    ‘Diego’ is the Spanish equivalent of the name ‘James’.
    My favorite clue.

  11. Eileen says:

    Hi DannyBoy

    One could take all day to respond to your comments! As I said yesterday, you’ll find that everyone has their own favourites in clues and setters. I think a smooth surface reading is one criterion for a good clue – one that tells a story [and, if possible, raises a smile] and, probably, has nothing to do with the answer, as in 15ac, or, conversely, has everything to do with the answer, as in 25ac or 4dn. After Barbara’s amplification, don’t you agree that 19ac is an excellent clue?

    As for “lots of the more beautiful offerings were also the easiest. Does that matter?” – it doesn’t matter in the slightest. You only have to look at Monday’s Rufus puzzle to see that.

    I can see that you’re really going to enjoy contributing to this site! :-)

  12. mhl says:

    Barbara: Indeed, it’s a nice clue – I was going to mention “In Spain, James”, but wasn’t quite sure about it – I’ve just found this page about these names’ complicated relationship, though:

    ORLANDO GIBBONS was one of those clues where my partner got the answer instantly, so I’ve no idea how long it would have taken me to get there  :)

  13. AngryVocab says:

    16D Ouch!

    Saw ‘person’ as Cass + ‘beginning to eat’ as ‘e’ and with a definition ‘stew': casserole was scratched in without thinking about the rest of the clue… Didn’t help when it came to solving 23A, 25 or 28 …

  14. DannyBoy says:

    Hi Eileen

    Thanks so much for taking the time to reply (twice!) to my rather too open-ended posts. Your thoughts very well put, much appreciated and yes, I agree that 19ac is a lovely clue (thanks Barbara for enlightening). It’s quite possible, especially early in the morning, to get so embroiled in trying to solve the puzzle that you miss some of the artistry of the setter! Well for me anyway.

    Enjoying the site very much!

  15. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Apart from the dubious homophone in 17d, we found this not just an enjoyable crossword but a very good one as well, full of splendid surfaces (like the fantastic 19ac).

    And even though this wasn’t a very difficult crossword, most of the clueing was just great. Perhaps this crossword is not challenging enough for some, but the elegance is top-notch.

    Everyone seems to have his own favourite, but what about 24d (THERE), a clue that nobody mentioned so far?

    Great stuff from a great setter (when on top form)!

  16. NeilW says:

    I’m surprised at the universal acclaim. I found a lot of this a bit of a trudge.

    Why, in 25ac, does RITUAL equate to “ceremonies” not “ceremony”?

  17. Tom Hutton says:

    I thought this was most enjoyable and entertaining from start to finish. There should be far more references to composers and instruments familiar to recorder players than there usually are. A few more bicycle themed clues and I would be in heaven.

    More Orlando please and less……(can’t say for fear of upsetting people)

  18. NeilW says:

    Tom, “There should be far more references to composers and instruments familiar to recorder players than there usually are.” I hope you are joking?

  19. DaveEllison says:

    I found this reasonably tough – 60 mins in all – with 10 minutes for the last three: 9ac, 23 ac and 3d! But enjoyable. I was too busy trying to fit M1, RD, AI into a city in 9ac.

    6d needs the BY too (FIRED ON BY)*

  20. DaveL says:

    Why so many negative comments (“ouch”, “dubious”, “dodgy”) about 17d? It seems perfectly acceptable to me.

  21. Benington says:

    Re 20,5a:

    Eminently solvable given the clue and cross-checking letters but I’m always uneasy about the use of lesser known persons in their field.

  22. Eileen says:

    NeilW #16 – ‘Ritual’ can be a collective noun: ‘the prescribed or established form of a religious or other ceremony; such prescribed forms in general or collectively’ [Collins]; ‘a body or code of ceremonies’ [Chambers]

    DaveL #20 – as I said earlier, it depends where you live: it’s fine by me! [And the ‘Ouch’ referred to a mistake in 16dn.]

    Benington #21 – we’re back to the perennial ‘one person’s obscure is another’s commonplace’ [several of us have said we had no problems with Orlando Gibbons – but then I sing in a church choir!] and I can’t see any way of resolving it. We often say that it’s a poor day when we don’t learn something new.

    And finally: Hi Sil #15 – we may be in a minority but Liz, Barbara and I named our favourites, too! :-)

  23. john goldthorpe says:

    I thought this puzzle marked a most enjoyable end to a much better week than last. The surfaces were really excellent and there were several original, very clever but still entirely accurate clues. Yes, more Orlando, please.

  24. liz says:

    Hi Sil, I liked 24dn too. It gave me a little smile when I solved it, which is always nice. I singled out 19ac because I thought that it was very neat and told a story. I guessed that Diego might well be the Spanish equivalent to James but did not look it up. So thanks to Barbara for confirming it. Not a word in the clue was wasted, either, which of course you could also say about 24dn.

    I had to go out today and was in a rush when I posted, otherwise I might have talked about more of the clues that I liked in greater detail. Thankfully you were all spared :-)

    DaveL — I didn’t mind the homophone either and most homophones seem a bit dubious to me. I certainly struggle with them usually.

  25. Paul L says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed today’s. I hadn’t heard of Orlando Gibbons, but I don’t so much mind if the answer is a word or person I don’t know, as long as it’s possible to work out the answer in some other way. Once I’d got Orlando, there were only so many words that might fit “apes”. Similarly, “theorbo” had to wait until I’d got all of the answers that intersect with it, but I still managed to work it out. It’s nice to see a setter who includes more “logical” clues for the more obscure references.

    Took me rather longer than an hour… I left it a few times during the day and came back to it later on, but still quite pleased that I finished it on my own. The only one I slightly cheated on was 6d, wikipedia search for Sandy Wilson. Bit annoyed with myself that I didn’t see the anagram – they were well hidden here. The last one I got was 4d, whoops…

    I liked 1a as well!

  26. ernie says:

    Lovely puzzle. Had heard name Orlando Gibbons but no idea what he did. Since setter is Orlando and gibbons are apes I just put it in. Did not get theorbo and spellchecker doesn’t like it!

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