Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,990 – Brummie

Posted by manehi on April 21st, 2010


Struggled quite a bit with the top right corner until 17 dropped. Enjoyable puzzle overall.

4 TRIPOS rev( PI[ous] inside SORT=”class”)
10 HEAR TELL OF H[ard] + EAR=spike [of corn] + [William] Tell + O[hio] + F[orce]
12 SEE STARS SEES + TARS=salts [as in sailors]
13 PRESCHOOL POOL=kitty [in betting] around (Cher’s)*
15,9 DOWN ARMS DOWN=blue, ARMS=wings
16,25 FEEL FREE FEE around ELF=goblin + RE=about
17 INTUITION =the sixth sense not mentioned in the other clues. IN TUITION.
21 EYELINER EYE=hole [as in needle] + LINER=boat.
22 DIE OFF cryptic def DIE=”spotted thing” + OFF=sick
26 RATIFY to make ratlike
27 GDANSK hidden inside “smuG DAN’S Kind”
1 FARCEUR such as Ben Travers [wiki]. (care)* in FUR
2,11 TASTE DEFEAT (teste[s] daft a&e)*
6 PILOT BOAT PILOT=prototype + O=ring inside BAT=”echo locator”
7 SPORRAN don’t think I get the wordplay, help?
is where a Scotsman’s ready=money might be put.
8 LANSDOWNE ROAD A[lice] in (wonderland so)*
14 SMELL A RAT ELLA [Fitzgerald] in (smart)*
16 FLYOVER FLY=sharp + OVER=finished
19 OFF-PEAK OFF + PEAK which sounds like “peek” i.e. “spy, broadcast”
20 UNICEF hidden in “ChateaU NICE Farm”
23 ELFIN (life)* + ‘N’ = “and shortened”

43 Responses to “Guardian 24,990 – Brummie”

  1. Bill Taylor says:

    7a — A sporran is worn (with kilt etc.) by a “traditional” Scotsman and it’s where he puts his “ready,” i.e. money.

  2. Bill Taylor says:

    Whoops! It’s too early in the morning. I meant 7d, not 7a

  3. Gaufrid says:

    Hi manehi
    22ac is DIE (spotted thing) OFF (sick) rather than a cd.
    7dn is where a Scotsman would put his money (ready).

  4. manehi says:

    Bill – thanks, I thought it could be something like that but didn’t know the “ready”=money bit. Post updated.

  5. medici says:

    Thanks manehi. I too struggled with top right corner. I was stuck with Stupid for backward in 4 across until I twigged “examination”.
    In 7 down I think a sporran is where you keep your ready cash.

  6. Bryan says:

    Many thanks, Manehi, like you I struggled with the NE corner but even then I failed with 8d.

    After cheating, Lansdowne Road only rang a very tiny bell because I am very proud to say that I’ve never seen a rugby match in my life.

    In any event, it’s been closed since 2007 but, even when it was open, it was in Dublin!

    Otherwise very enjoyable but I do implore setters to be more sporting by confining their sporting clues to England.

  7. manehi says:

    Gaufrid, 22ac – you’re right, of course. I think that was a leftover from a previous blog. Must agree with Bill, far too early in the morning…

  8. Ian says:

    Thanks manehi.

    A real challenge as we would expect from Brummie. The usual piece by piece style yet again predominates. A style
    that I’ve become accustomed to over the years and still find hard to solve.

    Some of the wordplay, as ever, is a sheer delight. Sparkling examples include 13 across which is as witty as you could want. Similarly, 8 down is a beautifully constructed clue.

    Other smart clues of note were ‘Fitful’ and ‘Ivory Coast’ as well as the use of ‘eye’ for hole.

    Bravo Brummie!

  9. molonglo says:

    Thanks manehi. I got through all this OK except for 1d whom I not heard of. In 1a FIT=very attractive seems a poor option. Several other clues or bits of them also felt ungainly, eg the last two letters of 10a. What was the unpunctuated in 15,9? I did quite like 26a though.

  10. Val says:

    Thanks, manehi.

    In 16dn, why does sharp = FLY?

    I didn’t get very far with this, despite having seen the comment about the mini-theme and cheated on 17ac, but that’s normal for me, sadly.

  11. liz says:

    Thanks, manehi. Wow, this was hard! I often felt as if I wasn’t on Brummie’s wavelength, or tuned into what Ian calls his ‘piece by piece’ style. Solved in fits and starts, with much recourse to check button. I did very much like the surface of 13ac!

  12. Pricklewedge says:

    Re 16d. I thought it was Fly as in 1970s slang for sharp, fashionable, impressive. Must admit it did watch the great great film Superfly last week which helped!

  13. beermagnet says:

    molonglo asked:
    > What was the unpunctuated in 15,9?
    ‘Unpunctuated’ means remove the punctuation. The clue had “wing’s unpunctuated”, so treat this as wings = arms.

  14. Another Andrew says:

    So close – only two missing today (4ac, 5dn). I should have known 4ac as my Dad did one. Completely failed to spot the mini-theme until 17ac, by which time I’d already got the referenced clues. 10ac took me ages as I didn’t know spike = ear or marksman = tell (although that one should have been obvious).

    I thought this was great fun. Even when I was struggling at the start, the clues made me want to keep going.

  15. Mr. Jim says:

    Well, certainly a tough one today. Thanks to Brummie and manehi.

    We had one mistake (INDUCTION instead of INTUITION). The “wing’s unpunctuated” seems a clumsy device, but then I am being a little inconsistent, since I liked Araucaria’s “Deranged orange” of a while back.

    RATIFY was fun.

  16. Tokyo Colin says:

    Well it didn’t take long for “my turn”. I enjoyed this immensely and got through in good time with recourse to Google only to verify 4ac and 1dn. Brummie put up a few cultural hurdles but I got over or around them OK this time. I hadn’t heard of 4ac, of course, but it was not dificult to “guess and Google”. My heart sank when I saw “sports venue” because I know nothing of soccer but was pleasantly surprised when Lansdowne Road jumped out of the anagram fodder. Hardest for me was the NW corner but eventually remembered the English habit of referring to an attractive lady as “fit” (or “fi'”). I don’t understand why and the expression hasn’t travelled beyond England’s borders as far as I can tell. Has it made it into Chambers?

    I am with Pricklewedge #12 on how FLY = sharp but I think the expression is more recent than the 70s at least where I was, and I remember the 70s too.

  17. don says:

    Bryan #6

    “It’s [Lansdowne Road] been closed since 2007 but, even when it was open, it was in Dublin!”

    But “Work is now well underway on the construction of the new stadium … “.

    Dublin? A far nicer venue!

  18. Bill Taylor says:

    Re Colin @16: I thought FLY was far LESS recent than the ’70s — 19th century, to be exact. I believe it was slang then for artful or untrustworthy. As was “sharp.” That was how I figured out 16d, anyway. But perhaps I should stop living in the past.

  19. Tom Hutton says:

    Excellent crossword, the most enjoyable for some time.

    I notice my old favourite Ben Travers appeared again making this crossword very inaccessible to my children’s generation. Hands up who knows when a Ben Travers play was lest performed commercially without having to look it up. It’s not as though he was Shakespeare or Bernard Shaw who we might expect younger people to have heard of. Oh calamity, I say.

  20. Tom Hutton says:

    Eyesight’s not what it was. That should have said ‘last’ performed commercially.

  21. Gaufrid says:

    Regarding your query regarding ‘fit’ in Chambers, yes it has made it – “Highly attractive, sexually desirable”.

    Resorting to Collins for ‘fly’ we get – “knowing and sharp; smart” and it goes back much further than the ’70s (COED and Collins give the origin as C19). My main recollection is it being used to describe a spiv.

  22. sidey says:

    Is a pilot boat more an aid to a navigational aid as they don’t actually do any piloting?

  23. sidey says:

    I do wish that sports fans would realise that a very large portion of the world has zero interest or at best complete indifference to any of it. To a very large number of us sport of any kind is an intrusion into our lives. Away with it and more Dad’s Army references ;^)

  24. rrc says:

    I am never keen when I see Brummie’s name as compiler because I do not think I am remotely on his wavelength. I found this a real struggle although I did like particularly 27a and 20d not only because I knew the answers were right unlike a number of the clues on the grid today.

  25. Martin H says:

    Great crossword from Brummie, plenty of wit and variety in the clueing. The senses thing around 17a was very well done, and many other clues were excellent – RATIFY, TASTE DEFEAT, I liked in particular. Not keen on ‘disconnected’ for ‘fitful'; I get the connection with, say, ‘sporadic’, but I don’t think it quite works.

    Tom @19, I saw Rookery Nook at Menier’s Chocolate Factory last summer, with my son, in an audience about equally divided between my generation (and older), and his; very funny it was too – so don’t worry – Ben Travers lives on.

  26. Tokyo Colin says:

    Thank you Gaufrid re Chambers and ‘fly’. I show Collins Thesaurus as having:
    Fly – adj.(Slang, chiefly Brit.) cunning, knowing, sharp

    But the American Heritage Dictionary also lists:
    2. Slang Fashionable; stylish. This is recent, even current and close enough in meaning to sharp for me.

    I am sure you are correct that Brummie was referring to the Collins definition, but it is interesting that I was able to get there with a more modern, less British usage of the word.

  27. xanthoma says:

    I agree with rrc about the strange quality of Brummie’s wavelength. It is,I am sure, most offensive to any bat to have itself defined as a mere “echo locator” (6 d.) By the way, a Scotsman may put his ready cash, or, more usually his “readies” in his sporran (8 d) but never, never, never his “ready”.

  28. Dave Ellison says:

    I thought this was great after yesterday’s contribution. I took nearly 80′, with top right being a struggle.

    Bryan #6 “Otherwise very enjoyable but I do implore setters to be more sporting by confining their sporting clues to England.”

    England? Perhaps you mean Britain or even UK?

  29. tupu says:

    Thanks manehi. A tough but very satisfying puzzle which deserved more time and closer attention than I allowed it. Like Mr. Jim I fell for ‘induction’. I vaguely felt it wasn’t quite right, but I didn’t see intuition – a lovely answer to an excellent clue. I also like 10a. which I nearly missed – I started trying the outlandish ‘hear shot of’ and was reminded of the correct answer when trying to check this.

  30. crikey says:

    Dave @ 28, I’m surprised that you are the first to comment on Bryan’s earlier comment (unless you count Don @ 17 – but I don’t understand what he means – sorry, Don!).

    Perhaps Bryan can explain what he means if he’s still there? I’m not being antagonistic by the way, I just thought his words were…well… bizarre!

    I suppose I get the point about certain specialist references being obscure, but Lansdowne Road (from a fairly obvious anagram) is fair enough i think. There are often plenty of literary and “high culture” references which have me foxed. I don’t see how I’d be helped if I knew they were going to be English. Surely the whole beauty of doing a cryptic crossword is that (a lot of the time) you can discover an answer, from the wordplay, that you would never have heard of otherwise.

  31. Bryan says:

    Dave Ellison @28

    I really did mean England.

    But that was a concession. I had thought of limiting it to Lancashire but I’m not quite that xenophobic.

    Well, not yet.

  32. Daniel Miller says:

    Great wordplay throughout. Can’t praise highly enough. Testing in parts – unusual, different. Particularly liked the use of the 5 senses and the requirement for a bit of intuition. Good stuff.

    And fly looks familiar to me – common round the North for untrustworthy.

  33. stiofain says:

    Great crossword, lovely surfaces though I must admit I intuited intuition and didnt get the theme til coming here. I loved RATIFY. As for fly it is in commonn usage here in Belfast usually in the form of a “fly man” meaning a dodgy character.

  34. Derek Lazenby says:

    Almost got there, hard work. Is anyone going to answer #25 re disconnected? I’d like to know too please.

  35. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Derek
    I cannot find any suitable correlation in the usual dictionaries but for synonyms of fitful Chambers Thesaurus gives “sporadic, intermittent, occasional, spasmodic, erratic, irregular, disconnected, haphazard, uneven, broken, disturbed”.

  36. tupu says:

    What first worried me about ‘fitful’ was the ‘fit’ part which is not glossed as ‘very attractive’ in my (older) dictionaries. The word itself gets meanings such as spasmodic, capricious, having irregular periods of activity which, like sporadic, seem to imply some idea of disconnectedness.

  37. Daniel Miller says:

    If something is fitful it might be said to be misfiring, partly successful or similar. Something of a curate’s egg!

  38. Davy says:

    A great crossword from Brummie I thought and the only one this week that I’ve nearly finished. Just missed out on BOAT of PILOT BOAT fame. I couldn’t think of a suitable word to fit the clue although it’s obvious when the answer is seen. Ah well, there’s always tomorrow.

  39. Davy says:

    Forgot, a spiv used to be referred to as a fly-boy, a sort of Arthur Daly character.

  40. Macca says:

    Ah, good to see Lansdowne Road remembered again.
    It’s forever burnt in my mind for the deafening silence accompanying Michael Lynagh’s try in the corner in the final minutes of the ’91 RWC quarter-final.
    But don’t mention the quarter-final of ’07 . . . sheesh.

  41. Tom Smith says:

    “Fit” is very common slang among teenagers & twenty-somethings meaning attractive. A nice counterpart to the completely inaccessible (to me) “Travers” – did anyone get both?

  42. Ian says:

    ‘Fit’ as in ‘She’s as fit as a butchers dog’ I assume. Very much in the Cyclopsian vein as beermagnet would testify, I’m sure.

  43. Will Mc says:

    As fit as a butcher’s dog has nothing to do with looks, that’s to do with fit as in healthy.
    It’s fit as in ‘She’s well fit, innit.’

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>

2 × four =