Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24953 – Gordius

Posted by Uncle Yap on March 9th, 2010

Uncle Yap.

Another mixed bag of goodies from Gordius with many standard devices and some not-so-standard devices like 10A and 19D. Quite challenging overall and entertaining in parts – don’t we all snicker after solving a Spooner clue?

1 PREMED P (first letter of patient) REMEDY (cure) minus Y
4 CERAMIC *(crime + ac)
9 DEDICATED *(E addicted)
10 DRUSE The answer to 6D is MOUSETRAP and the first part is MOUSE. MO is Medical Officer or DOCTOR, represented by DR. Thus DR + USE for a people inhabiting chiefly a mountainous district in the south of Syria, whose religion contains elements found in the Koran, the Bible, Gnosticism, etc
11 CORGI COR (Blimey) GI (US soldier)
12 DUNGENESS Cha of DUNG (muck) + *(sense) for a place in Kent having a nuclear power station
13 BAGGAGE dd for Saucy female and things that are prone to disappear from the carousel at say, Heathrow Airport.
15 ESCORT *(corset)
17 DEJA VU Ins of AV (The Authorized King James Version is an English translation of the Christian Holy Bible begun in 1604 and completed in 1611 by the Church of England under titular head, King James I) in *(Jude)
19 SERAPIS *(praises) a god of the Greeks of Egypt, identified with Apis and Osiris.
22 TENTMAKER Ment Taker sounds like meant (intended) Taker (receiver) According to Acts 18:3, Paul of Tarsus was a tent-maker by trade
24 BRIEF *(fibre)
26 ARYAN Very neat ha
27 OPPRESSOR Cha of OP (opus or work) PRESS (paper) OR
28 DUDGEON Ins of UDGE (answer to 5 minus first letter) in DON (put on)
29 INTERN Sounds like “in turn” (one by one)

1 PEDICAB *(pace bid) Def = “zero carbon vehicle” Nice touch
2 EIDER Ins of I (one) in EDER (German dam)
3 ENCHILADA *(niche) + LADA (Russian car)
4 CADENCE Ins of *(dance) in CE (Church of England)
5 RUDGE (G) RUDGE Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of ‘Eighty, a novel by Charles Dickens
6 MOUSETRAP Cha of MO (Medical Officer or doctor) USE (resort) TRAP (gin) allusion to Agatha Christie’s long-running play
7 CREASE Ins of RE (Royal Engineers or soldier) in CASE (legal action)
8 STODGE *(G&T does)
14 GREEN-EYED Cha of Graham GREENE (author) YE (the old)
D (500 in Roman numerals)
16 CARIBBEAN CAROB (locust tree) with I substituted for O (get one for nothing) -> CARIB + BEAN (fruit)
18 UNKNOWN dud x used commonly in algebra to represent the unknown quantity
19 SCRAPE Possible euphemism for that is a serious crime (6) I have been staring at this for the past few minutes and cannot offer a satisfactory explanation of the answer (which I checked as correct with the CHEAT button) or the wordplay. Could it be that RAPE (a serious crime) is being described euphemistically as a SCRAPE (“My son had a scrape with the next-door neighbour’s daughter“) in which case, I cannot explain the SC in front of RAPE. Anyone? P/S Thanks to Matthew,  cha of SC (scilicet, Latin for namely, that is) RAPE (serious crime)
20 SAFFRON S (south point) AFFRONT (show of contempt) minus T
21 STRAND dd Strand is part of London
23 MINCE Ins of N (number) in MICE (plural of MOUSE, victim of a mousetrap)
25 ISSUE dd

Key to abbreviations
dd = double definition
dud = duplicate definition
tichy = tongue-in-cheek type
cd = cryptic definition
rev = reversed or reversal
ins = insertion
cha = charade
ha = hidden answer
*(fodder) = anagram

27 Responses to “Guardian 24953 – Gordius”

  1. Matthew says:

    Hi, Uncle Yap,

    I’ll trade you for explaining “tentmaker” for me: in 19D—”sc.” is an abbreviation for “scilicet,” meaning “that is to say” (used the same way as “viz.”). Mostly a legal thing, I think.

  2. molonglo says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap. 6d was the outstanding clue, and nicely coupled with 10a: but 23d was a coupling too far, and made it easy. 19d was also nifty, although it took a while to see why. The flogged in 3d and the Joseph in 26a made those clues a tad untidy.

  3. Colin says:

    A Gordius I managed to solve without using the Cheat option at all! I’m flabbergasted…

  4. Ian says:

    Thanks for the blog Uncle Yap.

    An excellent Gordius which took some solving, esp 6dn, 1dn and 10ac.

    Lovely DD at 13ac and a well written HA at 26ac to be sure.

  5. Nick Norris says:

    Thanks, Uncle Yap. In 17ac, I assume we are meant to understand the reference to Jude (the Obscure) -the anagram indicator being obscured!

  6. NeilW says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap.

    Nick: the anagram indicator is “perhaps”.

    There’s something of an &lit about 3dn, I thought. The Lada when first available in the UK was renowned for being unreliable and was certainly only of interest to a niche market!

  7. IanN14 says:

    Sorry, but can someone please explain 19d. more satisfactorily?
    I understand “sc.” and “rape”, but what’s the definition?
    Are we supposed to surmise that a “scrape” is a euphemism for a “serious crime”?
    A trivial misdemeanor, perhaps, but…

  8. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Like IanN14, I don’t understand 19dn. But apart from that, a good puzzle – is Gordius’s star on the rise?

  9. Ian says:

    Scrape, despite it sounding a mild offence, is often referred by many as a more serious misdemeanor. It was a noun used frequently by the news media late last year when reporting the distressing predicaments being suffered by politicians embroiled in the ‘allowances’ brouhaha.

  10. Bill Taylor says:

    “Don’t we all snicker after solving a Spooner clue?” Not all of us, Uncle Yap. They seem to be coming thicker and faster these days and some — like today’s — are horribly contrived. Other than that, though, a good crossword — 6d was excellent and 13a made me smile, if not snicker.

  11. dialrib says:

    Would someone please expand on Saucy female as a definition for baggage (13a), please?

  12. Eileen says:

    Hi dialrib

    ‘Pygmalion’ Act II Scene i:

    HIGGINS. Pickering: Shall we ask this baggage to sit down or shall we throw her out of the window?
    THE FLOWER GIRL [running away in terror to the piano, where she turns at bay] Ah-ah-ah-ow-ow-ow-oo! [Wounded and whimpering] I wont be called a baggage when Ive offered to pay like any lady.

  13. Richard says:

    Thanks for the blog, Uncle Yap.

    Eileen, I don’t see that your quotation justifies the description ‘saucy’.

  14. Richard says: gives:-

    bag·gage? ?/?bæg?d?/ –noun

    5.Often Offensive. a pert, playful young woman or girl.

  15. Richard says: gives:-

    bag·gage? ?/?bæg?d?/ –noun

    5.Often Offensive. a pert, playful young woman or girl.

  16. Eileen says:


    You seem to have answered your own question. [Eliza has just had the ‘sauce’ to offer to pay Professor Higgins to give her elocution lessons, although she is ‘only’ a flower girl.]

    Collins has ‘a pert young woman’. Surprisingly, Chambers has no entry for this usage.

  17. Stella says:

    Chambers has ” a cheeky young woman” – ie. a saucy female

  18. Stella says:

    At least in my (10th) edition, Eileen. WE seem to have got cross-over

  19. Eileen says:

    That’s interesting, Stella. Mine’s the 11th edition and I really can’t see it [but I have been known to miss things in Chambers! :-)]

  20. Eileen says:

    Sorry, yes – found it!

  21. liz says:

    Thanks, Uncle Yap. I had to use the check button to finish this. I’ve never heard of DRUSE or SERAPIS before and thought they were a little on the obscure side for a weekday crossword.

    I liked 13ac and 26ac but found some of the definitions a little iffy.

  22. MartinR says:

    If you were listening to the news in the 1980s, DRUZE (with a Z rather than S, usually) would be very familiar. Their militia was very active in the Lebanese civil war.

  23. sidey says:

    Baggage was a term in the British army for everything following behind including wives and ladies of easy virtue. I think some bits of our services still use the word. Ghastly, innit?

  24. IanN14 says:

    Sorry Ian (@9)
    I know what you’re saying, and I don’t want to trivialise what those MPs got up to, but “serious crime”?
    Isn’t that just (tabloid) press talk?
    Why haven’t they been banged up for life?
    Jack the Ripper didn’t get into some “scrapes”, the Bash Street Kids may have done….

  25. Paul (not Paul) says:

    Some pretty obscure stuff today. More mixed than usual even for Gordius.

    And is it just me who finds the use of rape in the crossword in slightly questionable taste?

  26. Dave Ellison says:

    What a peculiar thing! I had all the answers to my last six clues (10, 13, 19, 22a, 21 19d), though I didn’t know it, and spent some twenty minutes trying to see why. This happy circumstance happens infrequently in programming (normally you spend most of your time debugging, in order to find out what is wrong), where you pass an hour believing something is wrong, only to find out that you were right all along.

    Mostly a good Gordius, but I also thought the Spoonerism was weak.

  27. The Trafites says:

    Ref 19dn, shows my thinking – on first parse of the clues, I entered ‘sodomy’ here 😉 ‘SOD’ + ‘O MY’ – it seems to fit the clue, sort of.


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