Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24971 – Gordius

Posted by Uncle Yap on March 30th, 2010

Uncle Yap.

Quite an enjoyable set of clues. I like it when compilers consciously try to inject some humour into their clues as we see in 1A, 21A, 26A and 14D.

1 FORWARDER He he, I actually laughed aloud when I recognised a screw is prison slang for a warder. Nice risque start !
6 CORFU The last word in the solution to 9A is ISLAND which forms the def and the wordplay is C (circa or about) *(FOUR)
9 THREE MILE ISLAND Cha of THREE MILE (3 nautical miles = a league) IS Land (light as in aircraft coming to terra firma) where an  untowards incident happened 31 years ago when a partial core meltdown in a nuclear facility led to alarm and measures for better safeguards.
10 HOBS Sounds like Hobbes (Thomas, 1588 – 1679) English philosopher
14 RETENTION *(tree not in)
15 OUSEL Cha of OUSE (river) + L (line)
16 SOLAR Ins of L (first letter of Leatherhead) in SOAR (rise) Thanks to Eileen for spotting the error.
18 YESTERDAY YE (the old) + *(strayed)
20 COGITATE *(i cottage)
21 ACID A CID (Criminal Investigation Department or dicks)
25 RACIAL TOLERANCE *(a clear article on)
26 SOLVE *(loves) Nice way to describe your clientele, Gordius. Aren’t we all masochists to be tortured everyday by setters … we must be crackpot mad :-)
27 SHARP-EYED The two properties are sharp & eyed (with a hole or eye)

1 FATAH FA (Football Association) TAH (rev of HAT, cap) Palestinian political organization, now part of the PLO, seeking the liberation of Palestine by use of arms.
2 RAREBIT Cha of RARE (unusual) BIT (coin) often called Welsh rarebit, melted cheese, with or without ale, on hot toast
3 ADEN Cha of A DEN (study)
4 DRIP D (died) RIP (rest in peace, appropriate prayer) Lovely clue.
5 RUEFULNESS Sounds like ROO (kangaroo, jumper) FULNESS (baggy state)
6 CASSEROLES *(so careless)
7 READIES Supposed to sound like RED IS (colour is) ? As a non-native, I had better not say more … we no speakee Inglee good good :-)
8 UNDERPLAY Tichy cha of UNDER (beneath) PLAY (Macbeth perhaps)
12 INGRATIATE *(treating I A)
13 CITY STATES Cha of CITY’S (London’s) TATES (galleries)
17 LOGICAL Cha of LO (look) GI (soldier) CAL (California state)
19 DECENCY Ins of ENC (enclosure) in DEC (last month) + Y (first letter of year)
22 DREAD *(adder)
23 FLEA ha
24 TRAP Rev of PART (component)

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

23 Responses to “Guardian 24971 – Gordius”

  1. Keith B says:

    First time I have posted a response, but thought I would do so as for once I have completed this before many contributors. However I must admit I am on holiday in Sydney, so I got a 10 hour start on many others, except Uncle Yap….liked this crossword, my favourite clue was 9 across, which I got after guessing Corfu and so getting Island..
    Back to the Uk tomorrow, so will be lucky to finish by lunchtime.

  2. molonglo says:

    Dead right, Uncle Yap, on 7d, a roughy anywhere. On 1d, there is much room for disagreement on the end bit of your definition of Fatah. But nobody wins these quarrels.

  3. Bryan says:

    Many thanks, Uncle Yap

    This puzzle was straightforward but I’ve now spent the last hour looking for the theme – without success.

    I am beginning to wonder if this could possibly be a themeless puzzle.

  4. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Uncle Yap.

    Certainly a bit more humour than I’d expect from Gordius. I liked 6dn.

    [There’s a typo in 16ac: SOAR = ‘rise'; ‘over’ is the insertion indicator.]

  5. Ian says:

    Thank you Uncle Yap for the blog.

    Gordius on form today with several well devised clues. Took me a while (57′) despite the usual * (fodder). Very enjoyable, esp.1ac and 4dn.

  6. don says:

    Good fun, but perhaps easier than the usual Gordius, at least for me. Although 6 down was the first to go in, I loved its construction. Didn’t get ‘forwarder’ – is there such a word?

    2 down is better known in Wales as ‘Welsh rabbit’.

  7. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog, Uncle Yap. More smiles here than the usual Gordius. I liked 4dn, 16ac and 26ac. Pretty dreadful homophone at 7dn though!

  8. Bullfrog says:

    Fairly straightforward today, although I was held up in the south east corner for a while because 24d caught my eye and went in first as PART. My reaction (eventually) to 1 ac was more along the lines of OFFS!

  9. Richard says:

    Thanks for the blog, Uncle Yap.
    I must say that I enjoyed this.
    I liked 13dn particularly.
    I’m glad I’m old enough to have heard of THREE MILE ISLAND, otherwise that clue would have made me quite cross – especially as LAND = light is not exactly obvious!

  10. Geoff Anderson says:

    I loved Bryan’s comment, for we do seem to have had a lot of themed puzzles recently.

  11. Mr. Jim says:

    THREE MILE ISLAND had a nice definition, but there are several things I would quibble with.

    I’m not impressed by 16a; both the fact that Leatherhead = L (it could never be anything else) and that the dividing line between clue and wordplay is in the middle of the word

    READIES just doesn’t seem to work for me, either. If the whole clue is a homophone, it’s a terrible one, and if not I don’t understand what is going on.

    still, at least “last month” clued DEC and not ULT.

    Cheers Uncle Yap for clearing up the several confusions I had – with Gordius I have resorted to filling in words that fit the definition, even with no idea of the wordplay – I filled in CORFU with C_R_U whilst looking at the wrong clue! (Just as well – the actual clue wasn’t very interesting).

  12. JohnR says:

    Thanks as always, Uncle Yap.

    An exceptional puzzle for Gordius, I thought – many congratulations!

    [except for 7dn…]

  13. Dave Ellison says:

    Yes quite liked this. The bottom 3/4 went in in 25 mins, but the last 10 clues took nearly as long. For some reason 6d, which should have been obvious, took me ages; I blame my cold addling my brian.

    I liked 7d – seems to me a perfect homophone (but then, perhaps because of my cold, I might not be hearing too well!).

  14. Peter W says:

    Good fun, but took me longer than it should have done because my first, confident entry was CANT for 10a…

  15. Davy says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap,

    An enjoyable puzzle from Gordius today with no particular problems and plenty of good clues. I wasn’t sure of FORWARDER but it is in the dictionary with the main definition being as follows :-

    1.a person who forwards.

    I only did about half of Brendan yesterday and I can appreciate his cleverness but I don’t seem to be on his wavelength. It was good to finish a crossword today after giving up on Saturday’s Pasquale. I just found it extremely boring and the grid didn’t help either.

  16. Sil van den Hoek says:

    After yesterday’s exceptional Brendan (which left me speechless) and his equally brilliant follow-up in the Independent (as Vergilius) [btw, how annoying that you can only do them online, something that I hate anyway], we were convicted to Gordius today.

    But, look at that … as others already said – it was good one.
    We hadn’t seen so many smiles in his crosswords recently.
    Maybe, it’s because it is Springtime [well, I know, it’s raining here].

    :) :) in 5d (RUEFULNESS), 26ac (SOLVE) and 23d (FLEA).
    Good construction in the THREE MILE ISLAND, and nicely misleading that CORFU had to do with it (only partially) and 4d hadn’t.
    Splendid anagrams in 25ac (THEOTHERLONGONE) and 6d (GOODSURFACETOO).

    Two critical notes:

    -24d (TRAP) – While I remembered the construction from another recently published crossword, it is one of those clues that can be taken two ways: it cán give us PART just as easily. Maybe, that’s even better.

    -16ac (SOLAR) – I am quite libertarian, and used ‘sunrise’ myself to describe ‘nus’, but this is One Step Beyond (courtesy of Madness :) ). This is “Like the sun” + “rise”.
    And as a bonus we get Leatherhead for L (ye olde Gateshead discussion).

    Apart from this, I can only say that we enjoyed it very much.
    [and JohnR (in #12) says it all, we think]

    One last remark:
    molonglo (#2) said something about FATAH.
    Uncle Yap (many thanks for your blog), he has a point.
    I wouldn’t have said “part of the PLO, seeking the liberation of Palestine by use of arms”.
    Recently, Brendan was heavily criticised for similar things in his (IMHO, stunning) War & Peace crossword.

  17. Daniel Miller says:

    Poetic licence.. Although I fret sometimes over those Trap/Part 2 way ones. Clearly one has to wait before striking with the pen. ‘Tis part of the trap – as one might say!

  18. james g says:

    i loved this one. I think Gordius is getting better and better.
    I know we shouldn’t talk about it, but re Davy at 15, I can’t disagree more about Sat’s Pasquale. I think it’s a wonderful puzzle, and inparticular, the grid and the placing of the themed clues really impressed me. A really beautiful puzzle. Mind you, I haven’t quite managed to finish it!

  19. rrc says:

    I have been smiling at Bryan’s comment all. I too thought Saturday’s theme and the way of construction was brilliant.

  20. Mr Beaver says:

    Sil – re 1d, I assume you are (gently) criticising Uncle Yap’s blog rather than Gordius’s definition (“ME party” seems uncontroversial…) but I think that’s hardly fair – I challenge you to come up with an elucidation of FATAH that is acceptable to everybody! :)

  21. Uncle Yap says:

    The definition of FATAH came directly word for word from Chambers, my usually first source of objective reference.

  22. Bryan says:

    Mr Beaver @20

    How about:

    A Ha moment sounds like Big Bottom


  23. Mr Beaver says:

    Bryan – ho ho !

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