Never knowingly undersolved.

Genius 78: Brummie — contrariwise

Posted by jetdoc on January 4th, 2010


As Geniuses go, this was on the easy side — the preamble was explicit about what needed to be done, and the clues were pretty straightforward. For those who missed the preamble, which apparently was missing at first, it said: ‘Nine solutions must be converted into a contradictory word with the same number of letters before entry into the grid’.

Initial letters of ‘contradictory’ words entered in the grid give OPPOSITES, the entry at 7d.

Words which are given by the clue then replaced in the grid by their antonyms are shown here in red.

1 SKEW-WHIFF S = second; KEW = most renowned gardens; WHIFF = stink
6 FAST SLOW Double definition — diet; of a watch or clock, showing a time in advance of the correct one. Chambers gives ‘fast’ in the second sense as an adjective or adverb, neither of which seems accurately indicated in the wordplay.
8 DISCREET TACTLESS SCREE = small stones; in D = diameter, IT = exactly what’s needed
9 CANOPY AN = article; COPY = ape. A tester is a canopy or its support, or both, especially over a bed.
10 SIMPLE ORNATE SIMILE; with P (penny) instead of I (one). Some people might object to the capitalisation of ‘Penny’ in mid-sentence, as ‘p’ is an abbreviation of ‘penny’.
11 DISABUSE AB = (abdominal) muscle; in DISUSE = neglect
12 INSTEP STEP = stage; IN[ch]
15 TOGETHER SEPARATE OG = ‘go’ (try) backwards; TETHER = lead.
16 ESOTERIC E = energy; SOT = soak (heavy drinker); ERIC Morecambe
19 DEFEND OPPOSE D-E-F = three successive characters; END = tip
21 CATARACT A; R = rock’s pinnacle; between CAT = tom, and ACT = bill. I’m not sure why ‘on going through’ is needed. [See response from Max, below.] Another example of questionable capitalisation, as ‘tom’ and ‘bill’, rather than proper names, give the parts of the answer.
22 BOVINE B = book; O = circle; VINE = climber
24 NOTICE IGNORE Double definition — bill; meltwater is not ice.
25 NEGATIVE POSITIVE EG = say; NATIVE = aboriginal
27 TOWN HALLS T = tense; OWN = admit; HALLS = ‘hallos’ without the round letter
2 ENTRANT ENT[ertainment]; RANT = storm
3 WHERE WE’RE = the Guardian’s; H = 25% of cash. Unless there is a different interpretation of this, I think it doesn’t quite work without the ‘of’.
4 INSIDES IN = elected; SIDES = teams
5 FACES UP TO *(of teacups)
6 SANDBAR S = opening to snug; AND BAR = as well as taproom
7 OPPOSITES OPPO = partner; SITES = web locations
13 NOSTALGIA Indulging in nostalgia is remembering a good time; but I’m not sure that the wordplay entirely works here.
17 TEA COSY TEA = old US slang for marijuana; C = cocaine; OS = so laid-back; Y = junky’s back
18 CATS-PAW CAT = whip; SAW = observed; P = backside of MP. A person who is used by another (from the fable of the monkey who used the paws of the cat to draw chestnuts out of the fire).
20 PIVOTAL LA = Los Angeles; TO = turnover; VIP = big name; all reversed
22 BOSCH BO = unpleasant odour; SCH = school. Carl Bosch
23 NAVES ’Knaves’ (cards) without K. A nave is the main part of a church, generally west of the crossing, including or excluding its aisles.

8 Responses to “Genius 78: Brummie — contrariwise”

  1. liz says:

    Thanks, jetdoc. This has been so long ago now that I’ve forgotten it. But I see from my print out that I failed to get SLOW, why I don’t know, because the clue seems straightforward. Otherwise, as you say, pretty easy for a Genius, but enjoyable all the same.

  2. Chunter says:

    It was just as well that I didn’t make a serious attempt to solve this one, as the preamble was missing when I printed a copy. (it has since been added.)

  3. jetdoc says:

    Actually, Liz, FAST/SLOW was the last one I got, by quite some time — as I said, I don’t think the (presumed) double definition quite works.

  4. Max says:

    Re 21 ac: an ACT is what a BILL becomes ‘on going through’ (i.e. being passed).

  5. jetdoc says:

    Thanks, Max.

  6. Jerb says:

    FAST/SLOW also bamboozled me, to the point of failure. I’d thought “diet” might be some old Scots version of “died”, i.e. LATE, which is also “not the right time”. So I entered SOON…

    It’s obvious now, looking at it.

  7. sidey says:

    I got all the answers to be entered correct but three of the unentered ones wrong, oh well.

  8. Mr Beaver says:

    (Belatedly) Personally, I don’t see the objection to misleading capitalisations (Tom, Bill, Penny) – I’d see it as included in the rule that punctuation is to be ignored in a clue, in other words it’s fair game for the setter to change caps to make the surface make sense and throw the solver off the scent. We only complain when it works too well!

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