Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,906 / Orlando

Posted by Eileen on January 13th, 2010


An enjoyable and not-too-taxing puzzle from Orlando, with a fair number of straightforward charade clues. There are one or two indicators which some may not like!


9   IMPROVISE: IS in IMPROVE [revamp]
10 REBEL: B[ishop] in REEL [dance]
11  DEEPEST: DEE [river] PEST [disease]
12 URUGUAY: reversal of GURU [teacher] + U[niversity] + A + [pigg]Y
13 CUSHY: CU [copper] + SHY [retiring]
14  SOLAR CELL: SO + LA [notes] + R[oman] C[atholic] [follower of Pope] + ELL [measurement – approx. 45 inches]
19  DECATHLON: CATH [girl] in DELON [French actor Alain]
22 CYPRESS: C[lubs] + Y [unknown] + PRESS [iron] – nice surface
23  FORBEAR: FOR [instead of] + BEAR [stomach]
25  EMIGRANTS: EMI [record company – Electric and Musical Industries Ltd.] + GRANTS [awards]


1   VINDICATED: V [five] + INDICATED [shown]
2   APPEASER: APPEAR [look] around SE[a]
3   SOLELY: E[gyptians] in SOLLY
4 LIST: hidden in animaL IS Terribly
5   REPUBLICAN: [mo]RE + PUBLICAN [host]
6   FROUFROU: anagram of FOUR [X two]: ‘ a swishing sound, as made by a long silk dress': Collins
OBTUSE: Bt [ baronet] in OUSE [the second of the crossword setter’s favourite rivers]
8   PLAY: P[rogramme] + LA [the French] +Y [Spanish ‘and’]
14 SUNGLASSES: SUNG LASSES: my favourite clue, referring to two girls in songs: ‘My Darling Clementine’, whose ‘shoes were number nine’ and K-K-K-Katy, ‘the only g-g-g-girl that I adore’
15  LENTEN ROSE: anagram of LOSE TENNER: nice surface and anagram indicator, ‘going to the dogs': I knew the daffodil was called the Lent Lily but didn’t know this name for helleborus orientalis.
17  WITH EASE: THE + A [articles] in WISE [sage]
18  IN THE END: HE [middle of ‘Manchester’] in INTEND [Aim]
20  COPING: double definition
21 TORERO: TORE [lacerated] + reversal of OR: a bullfighter who fights on foot
22  CAWS: homophone of CAUSE: I was caught out with ‘lied’ last week but I think this one is indisputable!
23  FOIL: double definition

35 Responses to “Guardian 24,906 / Orlando”

  1. Andrew says:

    Thanks for the blog Eileen. I agree that this was good fun despite being quite an easy one – Orlando seems to be good at that combination.

    My last entry was LIST at 4dn – sometimes hidden clues can be surprisingly difficult to spot!

  2. IanN14 says:

    Thanks Eileen,
    I thought this was good for an Orlando.
    I couldn’t see anything too contentious here, apart, perhaps, from Y for piggyback, but I don’t mind these in a daily.

  3. Eileen says:

    Hi IanN14

    That’s the clue [perhaps there was only one, after all] and you’re the person I had in mind – are you mellowing? [The surface told a nice story, anyway!]

    Andrew – I know what you mean. In the paper version, the clue for 4dn is at the top of the second column and caught my eye first, so I spent a couple of minutes trying to make an anagram of LEAN into an animal [as I’m sure I was meant to!]

  4. Ian says:

    Thanks Eileen.

    Some lovely surfaces today from Orlando and absolutely no complaints.

  5. IanN14 says:

    Sorry Eileen,
    I see what you mean, but I think there’s a difference between that and the “first post” syndrome (which I might have mentioned before?) used so often by Araucaria, Gordius and, recently, Bonxie. And no, I haven’t mellowed over that…

  6. Bryan says:

    Many thanks, Eileen, this was sheer delight! Proof (if ever required) that a puzzle doesn’t have to contain obscure words to be challenging and enjoyable.

    My last entry was 3d SOLELY – at first I didn’t see Solly as an abbreviation of Solomon. I was looking for something obscure.

    Thanks Orlando, you are one of the very best!

  7. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Eileen, I have no complaints either – very enjoyable and just about tough enough. SUNGLASSES is neat now I see why it’s the answer, and I thought the surface for the anagram in the long across clue was very cleverly constructed.

  8. don says:

    Very enjoyable, Orlando, but I don’t think this was easy as you experts seem to imply.

    As for obscure words, ‘froufrou’ was unobtainable without ‘help’ and I personally hadn’t heard of a ‘torero’, as opposed to a matador or toreador. And now we all know there’s a ‘definite’ link between the Spanish and the Welsh.

    But your blog was as comprehensive and comprehensible as usual, Eileen. Thank you.

  9. sandra says:

    thank you eileen

    i enjoyed this but although i got sunglasses i have never heard of the “g-g-g- girl” song. not torero, though i guessed it from the clue and the crossing letters. for both of these i had to look at the blog in order to know the full explanations. i don’t mind this at all – i enjoy learning new things. but could you enlighten us as to which song this is?

    a thoroughly entertaining puzzle with a great clue for the long anagram.

  10. don says:

    K K K Katy

  11. Eileen says:

    Thanks, don. I’m just rushing out for a while!

  12. don says:

    Don’t rush, Eileen. It’s icy

  13. sandra says:

    thank you don.

  14. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Hi Don at no.8. I wouldn’t class myself as expert yet!

    And if I understand you well, I’ll have to disappoint you on your links between Welsh and Spanish: Y is Spanish for ‘and’, not for ‘the'; if my extremely limited knowledge of Cymraeg holds up, I remember that Y is the definite article on the other side of Offa’s Dyke. But someone will put me right if not, sin duda …

  15. Richard says:

    ‘ELL’ is a measurement? That’s a new one on me. I’d never heard of a lenten rose either. Otherwise an entertaining crossword.

  16. Conrad Cork says:


    Old saying from my distant youth. “Give him an inch and he’ll take an ell”.

  17. Andrew says:

    However, the Ell is not related to the Em and the En, which are also measurements (and also often found in crosswords).

  18. Eileen says:

    Thanks for your concern, don – I was very careful, having had one fall already!

    There’s some discrepancy re ELL. THe definition I gave in the blog came from Collins and next it gives ‘OE forearm [the measurement orig. being from elbow to figertips]’. [I’d always thought of this as a cubit – and Collins has that, also.]
    Chambers has ‘ELL: a varying measure of length originally taken from the arm; a cloth measure equal to 1 1/4 yards’ = so, presumably the whole arm.

    I’m reminded of my grandmother measuring an approximate yard of string etc. by holding one end at her nose and extending it with the other arm to its full length. As a small child, I thought she was measuring by smell!

  19. don says:

    Kathryn’s Dad #14

    Yes, the definite article is y in Welsh – I don’t speak Spanish, obviously, and as someone moaned yesterday this is supposed to be an English language paper! I despair when I’m supposed to know French, Greek, Italian, Latin et alia in order to solve English-language crosswords.

  20. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog, Eileen. I thought the long anagram was great and also liked the SUNGLASSES clue very much. TORERO was a new one for me and I didn’t get SOLEY. The hidden in 4ac was very well hidden!

    A very nice puzzle overall, and good surfaces, but I still needed the check button on occasion…

  21. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Don, if it’s any consolation, most days I’ll get a number of solutions without knowing exactly why, and then rely on people like Eileen to put me in the know. But I suppose that’s what has attracted me back to cryptics. Knowing a little bit about a lot of things rather than lots of stuff about one thing is generally not a recipe for success in life, but in CrypticLand, like in Munchkinland, things work differently.

    Off to pantomime rehearsal now, snow permitting! Is that an invitation to crossword editors to let us have a pantomime related puzzle sometime soon?

  22. Eileen says:

    Kathryn’s Dad’, re ‘people like Eileen’ and don, re ‘experts':

    We [or I, at any rate] don’t always have all the answers – as I remember saying before, we bloggers are only ordinary solvers who stuck our neck out a bit further!

    What I really wanted to say is that I’m soon to be in a ‘pantomime’, too, but ours is ‘Treasure Island’, so I had my turn yesterday!

  23. Jerb says:

    I think it’s great that we’re expected to know a smattering of basic “schoolboy” French, German, Spanish and Italian, and perhaps the words for “yes” and “no” in Russian – and if I don’t know a word, I’m grateful to the people on this blog who can teach it to me! I may even get there in Welsh one day.

    “A person is only worth the number of number of languages they speak”, as they say in Serbia…

  24. Paul B says:

    Re 14 I do believe that, not so long ago in a competitor daily paper, beginning with I, though not by I, well not me, we saw something akin to

    Shades of Eleanor Rigby and Lovely Rita

    – more lasses e’en than dear Clemmie? Who can say. But this is not to detract from a very naice puzzie from Orlando: really good long anagram I thought, and bravo.

  25. Eileen says:

    Quite right, Paul B – 21st May 2009, by Eimi himself. I seem to have missed that one.

  26. Sil van den Hoek says:

    We thought this was a real treat.
    Indeed, not very hard, but as others said, splendid surfaces, not too many anagrams (but thát one was great) and a good variety of cluing types (with one or two rather original ones, like 6d).
    And we didn’t even find SUNGLASSES one of the best, probably because we had seen this before.

    Orlando is very good at surfaces and anagrams (as is FT’s Cincinnus), but in our opinion he is also extremely good in ‘wrong-footing’ the solver.
    22ac seems to be about ‘golf’, but then it isn’t.
    In 1d ‘5 shown’ does make you look at the solution of 5d, but again, no.
    The ‘royalty’ in the clue of 5d is another ‘royalty’ than the one associated with REPUBLICAN.
    In 8d one might think: “oh, there’s that horrible ‘first seen’ = S again”, but happily not, it is ‘programme’s first’ which is not obvious because ‘programme’ is nicely linked to ‘drama’.
    The word ‘pens’ in 17d is used in two different senses.

    It is just a very clever way of cluing.
    And we liked it very much!

  27. Davy says:

    Thanks Eileen, I enjoyed this Orlando but found it difficult to get into. I read through the clues twice and couldn’t see anything obvious then I saw REPUBLICAN. I thought this clue was referred to in 1d and spent a while trying to make an anagram of republican before seeing VINDICATED. These two answers gave me the starting letters of the first two words of the long anagram which I saw almost immediately. I wouldn’t say this puzzle was easy but all clues were fair. I got one wrong by putting ‘LENNET ROSE’ which sounded good to me but I couldn’t be bothered checking. I think it sounds better than lenten.

  28. Derek Lazenby says:

    All a bit much for the class dummy, but my better half finished off again.

    No obscurities? Apart from the ones mentioned, and allowing for the depressing fact that I can barely remember the names of English and American actors, then my response to a French actor is “who’s he?”. Not even current, so tough luck younger solvers too.

    Let’s just say say if I were a setter, I wouldn’t have done that even though a person might have been known to me. It’s on a par with me using the names of racehorses. Many of you’ll have heard of some, but not most of the ones I know and regard as famous. I would be presuming a target audience if I used some of those. Which is why I wouldn’t do it. And it’s why, “oh but he was an actor” isn’t an excuse. We all have different interests remember?

  29. Derek Lazenby says:

    Message from Maureen as follows (hands over keyboard) :-

    I must be getting old and cranky – doesn’t anyone know anything these days? Before nasty foreigners invented metrication, you used various parts of the body to produce suprisingly consistent measures viz
    The width of a man’s thumb, or the length of the top joint -an inch; across the 4 knuckles 4 inches, or a hand used for measuring the height of horses. extend the thumb for a span or 6 inches. A foot is a foot. Ground to knee 18 inches. Finger tip to elbow 17 inches (a cubit – needed for pyramids and ark building) Fingertips to nose – 3 feet or 1 yard. Fingertips to point of opposite shoulder (eg left hand to right shoulder) is an ell or 45 inches.This is still the width of a lot of woven cloth although these days you have to pretend its 115cm, unless as I said you’re old and cranky or an American – they do have redeeming features. Rant over.

  30. Mr Beaver says:

    We also had never heard of Alain Delon, but having got all the crossing letters, Mrs B spotted that DECATHLON fitted and was a contest, and contained Cath. That just left Delon to which we thought “yeah, sounds like a French actor, must be right”.
    Mind you, that’s how a lot of solutions seem to come – I couldn’t tell you what a Lenten Rose is, but had vaguely heard of it somewhere. Likewise FROUFROU – only really heard of it in connection with Bob Geldof’s poor daughter…

  31. Gareth Rees says:

    “Pixie Frou-Frou” is the fictional daughter of pop star Gary in the cartoon “Celeb” in Private Eye. The name is generally thought to have been inspired by Geldof’s daughter, Fifi Trixibelle.

  32. Davy says:

    Alain Delon was in a well known sixties film “Girl on a Motorcycle” which also starred Marianne Faithfull but maybe some people have never heard of her either.

  33. Sil van den Hoek says:

    As one from the continent, Alain + Delon was immediately clear to me.
    Jsut like Y for Spanish “and”.

    Only two years ago Alain Delon (now in his seventies) played Julius Caesar in “Asterix and the Olympic Games”, next to Gérard Depardieu (Obelix).
    [or is this also too obscure?]

  34. Gareth Rees says:

    Maureen: I guess you’re just being cranky, but “nasty foreigner” is a rather unpleasant way to describe John Wilkins. Are you sure he deserves your opprobrium?

  35. Sylvia says:

    Sil, I think Alain Delon’s girlfriend was Catherine Deneuve, which makes 19a an even better clue! (are we among the few who remember old people?)

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

9 − = three