Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24907 / Chifonie

Posted by mhl on January 14th, 2010


A typically enjoyable Chifonie, I think – some tricky clues sprinkled among the easier ones

[Links to the puzzle as HTML, PDF and Java Applet]

7. MISSPENT MISS = “girl” + PENT = “locked up”
9. REAPER REAR = “parent” (as a verb) around PE = “Peru” (its 2-letter country code)
10. SCAR SCAR[e] = “endless panic”
11. INNOVATION INN = “pub” + OVATION = “plaudits”
12. AVERSE A tricky clue: AV = “bible” (the Authorized Version) + ERSE = “Gaelic”
15. RATTLE Double definition; the latter is Sir Simon Rattle
17. RENOIR RENO = “Gambling centre” + IR = “Irish”
23. JUST AS WELL JUST = “Only” + A = “one” + SWELL = “dandy”
24. KEYS Double definition; I guessed KEYS = “lockers”, but didn’t know that the House of Keys is part of the Isle of Man’s parliament
25. BAROLO BAR = “pub” + (LOO)*
26. TRIPLANE TRIP = “Travel” + LANE = “aisle”
1. DISCOVER DISC = “record” + OVER = “finished”
2. USER Hidden answer
3. RETIRE ER = “Queen” reversed over TIRE = “hassle” (?)
4. PROVENCE PROVEN = “Established” + CE = “church”; I’m not a huge fan of the “in France” style of definition..
5. FACTITIOUS FACTIOUS = “Partisan” around IT
6. REPOSE ROSE = “girl” around EP = “record”
8. TENANT TENT = “A shelter” around AN
13. RETRACTION RE = “engineer” + TRACTION = “drawing”
16. LONG SHOT LONGS = “sets heart on” + HOT = “contraband”; shouldn’t it be “longs for” = “sets heart on”?
18. RALLYING ALLY = “friend” in RING = “band”
19. ADVERT D = “Penny” in AVERT = “to ward off”; I think you have to read the apostrophe-S as being “has”, i.e. it has AVERT about it
21. NOUGAT NO + U = “universal” + TAG reversed = “mark” “up”
22. HOLD IT OLD = “veteran” with HIT = “strike” outside
24. KILT L = “Sovereign” in KIT = “Catherine”

30 Responses to “Guardian 24907 / Chifonie”

  1. Ian says:

    Thanks for the blog mhl, much appreciated.

    This was slightly harder than the normal Chifonie which I tend to rate somewhere between Moderate & Medium. 41’ to finish.

    All in all, this was another puzzle with which I have no complaints in terms of the quality of the clueing. It was just me not being able to summon the synonyms up as quickly as normal!

    I particularly liked both Retraction and Innovation as well as the multi word answers that have that overlapping element. 5dn held me back for a while.

  2. Colin Greenland says:

    Thanks very much for explaining 9a, which I got last, by cheating, and 24d, which I got but didn’t understand. I supposed K was the sovereign, but couldn’t find any Catherines in ILT.

    I don’t know if I’ve ever done a Chifonie before. An odd mixture of startlingly easy (1d, 22a) and impressively cunning (12a, 17a).

  3. Monica M says:

    Hi All,

    Why does L = sovereign … and D = penny.

    23ac made me laugh.

  4. Orange says:

    Hi Monica.
    Us Older persons remember Lsd – Pounds, Shillings, Pence, and a Sovereign was a pound coin (Librum in the Latin). D was denarii in Latin , a penny

    Likewise, we also remember ep and lp records – comes in useful in crosswords like this!
    (btw, they are extended play and long play)

    Quite enjoyed this one – don’t remember seeing Kit for Catherine before, and rear for parent, both being a smiley moment when the penny (!) dropped

  5. Eileen says:

    If Monica M is who I suspect she is [if so, welcome back, Monica!] she has the [dis?]advantage not only of being younger than some solvers but also of living in Brisbane!

    Thanks for the blog, mhl. I’m with you re ‘longs for’. And I’ve never heard death referred to as [the] reaper, without ‘grim’.

  6. Monica M says:


    Same Monica M. Had my compouter stolen in a break-in. Have only, after 3 or so weeks, gotten back on-line. I’ve looked in occasionally, but it’s not something you can really do at work. I’m pleased to be back … and promise not to be too naughty!!!

  7. Richard says:

    Thanks mhl. I’d never have worked out how 17 and 19 were constructed.
    I must say I can’t think of any Catherine who is known as Kit. I’ve never seen Sovereign = L before, either.

  8. Bryan says:

    Many thanks, mhl, I enjoyed this except that I couldn’t work out KILT (which I entered) nor REAPER (which I didn’t) so your explanations are much appreciated.

    I know a Catherine who is known as ‘Cat’ but I’ve never heard of ‘Kit’ being used in this context.

  9. liz says:

    Thanks, mhl. Like some of the others, I found this a mixture of easy and tricky. I’ve never seen L for ‘sovereign’ before and didn’t know the reference to the House of Keys.

    Welcome back Monica!

  10. Andrew says:

    Thanks mhl (and hello again Monica). I enjoyed this, subject to some of the quibbles already mentioned. I wasn’t too keen on 5dn, because of the slight obscurity of both FACTITIOUS and FACTIOUS (I don’t know else the word could be clued though, FAC[e]+TIT+IOUS maybe? FICTITIOUS probably isn’t much better).

    I suspect L = sovereign is a “clue to a clue”, as I think L means pound as a unit of currency, whereas a sovereign can only mean the coin (he said rashly, without checking a dictionary).

  11. John says:

    Can anyone explain how “lucky” gives JUST AS WELL?

  12. Bill Taylor says:

    Kit is legitimate (though perhaps outmoded) for Catherine. I have a friend by that name who is sometimes known, rather to her displeasure, as Kitty. I thought that was a decent clue. 9a stymied me for the longest time as I tried to work in the letters from Peru! I got 3d but didn’t understand the clue.

  13. Eileen says:

    I’ve heard of Kitty for Catherine but Kit only ever for Christopher [eg Marlowe]

  14. Mister Sting says:

    Thanks for the blog. I think that the ‘on’ in 16dn refers to the construction of the down clue – ‘longs’ on ‘hot’.

    Eileen (re: 5)
    Have you not had the pleasure of Blue Oyster Cult’s ‘Don’t Fear the Reaper’?

    John (re: 11)
    That’s lucky = that’s just as well

    The only thing I really didn’t like was ‘tire’ for ‘hassle’.
    I rather liked 4dn.

  15. cholecyst says:

    Thanks mhl. And welcome back Monica M.

    I’d never heard of Kit = Catherine but if you Google “Catherine Kit” you’ll find dozens of examples

  16. Tom_I says:

    Kit is given as a diminutive of Catherine in the “Some first names” section of Chambers. It also gives reaper (alone) as meaning “the grim reaper”.

  17. sandra says:

    i enjoyed this one – only quibble i had was with reaper. thought the clue lacked something. i have never come across “pe” for peru before so thank you mhl, for both the blog and the explanation. when i put it in i vaguely thought of vehicle registration.

    when i was a child – er, a while ago now – i knew a few older women who were called kit, as a diminutive of catherine, so i didn’t have trouble with that.

  18. mhl says:

    Thanks for all the comments.

    Mister Sting: I thought about that, but I don’t think that LONGS = “sets heart” quite either…

  19. Dave Ellison says:

    Didn’t quite finish – 9a, 26a, 5d, 6d and 18d to go.

    26a All I could get was “tripline”, which didn’t seem very likely. I was put off by the word “in”, looking for something inside an aircraft, so didn’t like this one.

    18d Got “relaying” fixed in my mind and it wouldn’t shift; so obvious now.

    Welcome back, Monica

  20. Tom says:

    A joint effort with me and my girlfriend, we completed it despite getting stuck on a couple.
    We only had two real problems, one was with ‘hassle’ and the other was with 19d – I had ‘adsent’ – Penny’s (ads) + ward (ent), and had to read the clue umpteen times to agree it could be advert, I couldn’t see where the ‘s’ fitted in.
    Still, got there in the end.

  21. Davy says:

    Thanks mhl, quite an enjoyable puzzle with lots of misdirection. I failed on “kilt” and whilst I got “Long shot”, I wouldn’t say that hot is a synonym for contraband. It’s very loose.

  22. Rob says:

    I had 13d as ‘reclaiming’ since ‘claiming’ can mean ‘drawing’ (benefits for example) so that held me back for a time.

  23. Alex says:

    Thanks for the explanation of 12a. I had the answer but had no idea why. Enjoyed today’s puzzle very much.

  24. Brian Harris says:

    Yes, quite nice stuff today from Chifonie. Like Colin at #2, 9ac was also the last clue I solved. It just never occurred to me that “parent” could be something other than “pa”, “ma” or “da” or that Peru was “pe” and not an anagram. So good work Chifonie, stirring me out of my complacency.

    The rest I found reasonably straightforward, although “Reno” doesn’t immediately leap out as a gambling city. I was thinking of “Vegas”.

  25. Carolyn says:

    They are all so obvious with the answers in front of me! The learning curve continues.

    I assume RE=engineer is for Royal Engineer? I didn’t get that.

    I managed to get d for penny, but missed the L for sovereign. I really liked the sunglasses clue and I might have stood a chance of getting it if the names were Layla and Roxanne instead. Curse my youth.

    Science brain defeated me with the conductor clue – I was thinking about the transfer of heat or electricity. Probably because I’ve spent the afternoon heating metal rods and will be investigating series and parallel circuits tomorrow.

  26. Mr Beaver says:

    Carolyn – yes RE=Royal Engineers is not uncommon, as is RA=Royal artillery (eg ‘gunners’), or of course Royal Academician, not forgetting TA for volunteers etc, which made an appearance on Tuesday.

    By the way, wasn’t Sunglasses yesterday ? :) And you can’t be that immature if you remember Layla!

  27. mc says:

    Re 16, the definition is “outsider”.

  28. Michael says:

    My first sally onto this entertaining and useful deep breath!

    But I thought Reno, Nevada, was famous for quickie divorces and not gambling?

  29. Bryan says:

    Michael @ 28

    Getting a divorce in Reno is a big gamble: she hopes to get everything; he hopes that she doesn’t.

    Whatever the result, it’s usually quick.

  30. Pwlw says:

    Re #28. Reno & Gambling. The Godfather trilogy. Is the casino that Mo Green runs in Reno? Oh, you’re not that Michael are you?

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