Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,992 / Logodaedalus

Posted by Eileen on April 23rd, 2010


I’d half expected a St George or Bardic theme today. There’s a small nod to the latter but, otherwise, I haven’t really anything to say about this:  there’s nothing exceptional or exceptionable, I think – my quickest solve for ages.


SOUL-DESTROYING: anagram of OLD USE + TROY [ancient city] in SING
ON TAP: anagram of PANTO
9   TUB-THUMP: reversal of BUT + THUMP [strike]
11  PARASOL: reversal of SARA in POL[ice],  It has been said before about Logodaedalus that he tends to use [parts of] words in the clue in the answer and there are several instances in this puzzle.
12  FLOTSAM: LOTS in FAM[ily]
15  DESTITUTE: anagram of DUET I TEST
17  MODERATED: MODE [style] + RATED [admired]
20  PILLS: ILL [trouble] in PS [note]
21  LEAFLET: anagram of FEET ALL. [I don’t know why ‘look at this…’]
23 BROADEN: ROAD inside BEN[d]
25  WHODUNIT: W[oman] + HOD [carrier] + UNIT [single]
26  POINT: double definition – as in What’s the use / point?
27  BREAD AND  BUTTER: cryptic definition [means]


SHOPPING MALL: HOPPING [jumping on one leg] in SMALL [mini]
2   UTTER: double definition
4   SETTLED: SETTLE[bench] + D[aughter]
5   REBUFFS: RE [concerning] + BUFFS [enthusiasts]
6   YAHOO: reversal of HAY + OO [‘a pair of specs’ – I haven’t seen that one for a while.]
NUMBSKULL: NUMB [paralyse] + SKULL [head]
14  GODFATHER: reversal of DOG + FATHER [priest]
16 IMPROMPTU: I’M + PROM [concert] + anagram of PUT
18  TITANIA: A in reversal of AIN’T IT: Queen of the Fairies in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’
19 DEBATED: BAT[her] in DEED [activity]
22  LYDIA: anagram of DAILY
24  DRIFT: DR + 1 FT.

55 Responses to “Guardian 24,992 / Logodaedalus”

  1. Ian says:

    Good morning Eileen.

    Logodaedalus makes a welcome appearance. It seems a long time since his last effort.

    Rufensian in style and degree of diffculty. Nothing too arduous to solve. No complaints
    however about the credibility of the clue constructs.


  2. TimR says:

    Thanks for the blog Eileen. An enjoyable and straightforward puzzle. I did have a quibble about 7d. Medically speaking “numb” means specifically loss of sensation, but not loss of motion. However, I see that Chambers is wiser than my teachers and textbooks at medical school and I suppose I cannot then argue with the clue. However, I think Chambers [Having diminished power of sensation or motion] is wrong (shock horror)!!

  3. rrc says:

    Another crossword that was straight forward and satisfying although I needed the blog to explain 25!

  4. Will Mc says:

    Very dull.

  5. Martin H says:

    Don’t we usually expect something to get our teeth into on a Friday. This was Monday stuff, even quite good Monday stuff with only one cryptic definition. As with Rufus, many of these clues could have come from the Quiptic, or even the Quick – ‘Chief criminal……..(9)'; ‘…..Queen of the fairies (7)': you don’t need to look at the subsidiary element. This was all competently clued, but far too 27 ac.

    Does OO ‘pair of specs’ work when presented vertically?

  6. PeterS says:

    Are the Guardian crosswords available online? We get only one a week through the GW.

  7. Tokyo Colin says:

    Thank you Eileen. I agree with your assessment. No obstacles at all, I was able to enter most of these at first sight and was lucky I had an FT crossword in reserve for the rest of my 25 minute train ride. I certainly won’t complain about the lack of national- or culture-specific clues. In fact it occured to me that this was more a crossword for “every man” than the typical Everyman.

  8. Dave Ellison says:

    Thanks, Eileen. I found this very easy, too (hence my early post!). Nice to have a straightforward one for a change. I finished in just under 12′. Not my all time best – that was in 1966 with a Janus or Altair.

    Logo.’s last outing was 27 Jan 2010, Ian.

  9. Gaufrid says:

    The answer to your query is yes. Go to:

  10. PeterS says:

    Thank you Gaufrid. Couldn’t find it through the web site, but that’s probably just me.

  11. Another Andrew says:

    I, too, had to quickly check that I wan’t doing the Quiptic by mistake. 15′ is my fastest ever solve, by a mile (apologies for the mixed units). Too easy, even for me.

  12. Rishi says:

    Does OO ‘pair of specs’ work when presented vertically?

    Why not?

    If OO ‘pair of specs’ works when presented horizontally, it should work vertically too.

    Imagine that the wearer has not put it on the bridge of his/her nose but after folding both the handles placed it with one handle inside the shirt pocket and the other handle and the pair outside.

  13. Bullfrog says:

    My quickest in memory — 15′. I’ll have to do some work now!

  14. Bullfrog says:

    …and when I’m reading whilst lying on my side in bed, my specs work fine!

  15. brr says:

    Something strange has happened. It is 10:30am rather than 10:30pm and I have a full grid. I’ve only ever finished in daylight a few times before.

  16. Rishi says:

    I think the composer must have set out with the idea of creating a beginner-friendly, easy crossword. It took only 12 minutes for me, though a couple of answers (e.g., WHODUNIT) I parsed after this timing.
    No uneasiness about the clues which are well-crafted.

  17. tupu says:

    As all agree, a relatively easy one. It is a slight shame that the clue to 10d. is so direct since the anagram itself is a fairly surprising one.

  18. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog, Eileen. Very quick solve, nothing contentious and a little ho-hum.

  19. Bill Taylor says:

    Very disappointing. No surprises, no fun, no effort. Rather like an Everyman on a bad Sunday. A waste of 10 minutes.

  20. Stella Heath says:

    I didn’t get 25a, though with all the letters I was pondering something around an anagram of “hound”. Frustrating, considering how straightforward and satisfying the rest of the puzzle was, and my fondness for the genre!

    Maybe this was because I would have spelt it with double “d” – a quick check with Chambers, confirms this as the first sp. option

  21. james g says:

    why is 24 “in the bank”? agree not a cery interesting puzzle, and as the post mentions, too many words in the clue that were exactly as in the answer

  22. crikey says:

    Probably my least favourite compiler, and this was very typical of his work.

    I wholeheartedly echo Bill’s comments at 19.

  23. Jack says:

    james g #21

    I guess ‘in the bank’ was used to make the clue ‘readable’ and refers to, say, sand or snow being drifted by the wind to form a ‘bank’ – sandbank etc.

  24. FumbleFingers says:

    In “All about Steve” Sandra Bullock says a good crossword must be solvable, entertaining, and should ‘sparkle’.

    Logodaedalus put all his efforts into meeting the first requirement, and forgot about the other two.

    Personally I have a fourth requirement, which is that solving should take at least long enough to brew a cup of tea before pondering the trickier clues. First cuppa of the day without a crossword? What is the world coming to?

  25. tupu says:

    re 21 james g. Hi, a good question that I did not think enough of till you asked it. Drift is a word with some odd local uses in contexts of civil engineering and waterways and I simply assumed the reference lay somehow in one of these. On further thought I think the link is probably through the idea of an accumulated mass e.g. of snow.

  26. Val says:

    My first completed Guardian crossword in, ooh, probably forever! I can understand that better solvers than I (undoubtedly everyone else) would find this dull because of its accessibility but it is a real pleasure for someone like me who battles away unsuccessfully each day to suddenly have a crossword that’s doable.

    As is Bullfrog at #13, I’m going to have to do some work now.

  27. brr says:

    Congratulations Val!

  28. Daniel Miller says:

    I agree with you Val. Whilst it was easy (around 10-15 mins, I don’t time them) I would normally be near completing 80% plus of the Dailies and finishing about 2 or sometimes 3 a week. It might be easy for me and, to some extent, less of a challenge, but what would the point be if there wasn’t an occasional one that we can all do.

    I don’t know the right terminology to describe what was lacking in today’s crossword in terms of difficulty but I’ll try to express it thus: Most of the answers jumped out straight away, with little thought required (just the merest of checking of the clue for validation). I imagine, with some practice, I could have produced something along these lines. It may not be an A. level standard (“Oh” Level perhaps or GCSE – Guardian Clues Seem Easy). See you all on Monday, have a nice weekend.

  29. Mr. Jim says:

    Perhaps the fact that there are 28 comments before I arrive at the party says how easy this crossword was. We solved it in 15-20 mins (I don’t keep exact time), but there were three of us.

    Were held up slightly by TUB-THUMP, WHODUNIT, and LEAFLET (which has another anagram – see the last prize Shed, 5d – held up by our own dirty minds…)

  30. NeilB says:

    Congrats Val! I’m in the same boat as you. My first ever completed cryptic! 😀

  31. FumbleFingers says:

    Good points well expressed, Daniel. We should indeed cherish the variation in difficulty levels, otherwise some of us might never experience the satisfaction of a fully-completed puzzle.

    But it would be nice if easier puzzles like this included a bit more humour / wit to compensate more experienced solvers for being short-changed on the “intellectual challenge” front.

  32. Eileen says:

    Hurrah, Fumblefingers!

    I’ve been glad to see that there were a number of solvers who enjoyed this more than I did but I can’t agree with those who have put Logodaedalus in the same bracket as Rufus, who has all the qualities that you found lacking here, at the same time as being ‘beginner-friendly’.

  33. irm says:

    Hmm! I don’t usually get onto the crossword until lunchtime when I come in from tending the olive groves. I struggled with Brummie this week until I cheated a few clues, also started well on Araucaria but then went into orbit. So today it was satisfying to complete while listening to World at One. So at least I am happy along with a few other beginners here. Thanks Eileen.

  34. crikey says:

    Agree with Eileen and Fumble above. It’s not the easiness that is the issue for me, it’s the lack of humour and invention.

    On another point, I would argue that IMPERSONATOR does not give the correct part of speech for the definition, ie IMPERSONATES would make more sense. I can see how it works – an impersonator “tries to be like someone else”, but I’m not that comfortable with these constructions. I think I may have disputed another answer similarly on here a few weeks ago, come to think of it.

  35. Bill Taylor says:

    I agree with Crikey, Eileen and Fumble above. Meanwhile, I’m a little surprised that no one has complained yet that TITANIA is an answer only a public-school swot would get, leaving working-class northerners baffled!

  36. Gnome says:

    Thanks Eileen

    Could Logodiddlypop and Falcon of the FT be related by any chance? There’s a remarkable similarity between 1 Down in today’s Grauniad and 9 Across in today’s FT. And the general style of the two crosswords is not a million miles apart.

  37. Davy says:

    Thanks Eileen,

    I thought that the style and level of difficulty of this, was very similar to Everyman and I thought the surfaces were largely very good. NUMBSKULL especially made me laugh and reminded me of the Goons. I could imagine Eccles having his head paralysed.

    The last two to go in were WHODUNIT and PILLS which took just a little extra thought.

  38. Eileen says:

    Crikey, you’re quite right about 10dn: you need to include the ‘man’ from the beginning of the clue but that’s needed as anagram fodder – and it’s certainly not an &lit!

    Gnome, I know just what you mean [I marginally preferred the Falcon] but no. Funnily enough, I’ve just been re-reading about Logodaedalus in Jonathan Crowther’s A-Z of crosswords. He has an extremely impressive record. I was going to say ‘…but he’s 80 this year’ and then decided against it: Araucaria is either 86 [Crowther] or 89 [Wikipedia]! :-)

    [Click on ‘Setters’ at the top of this page to find notes on their various identities.]

  39. Rishi says:

    Guardian 24,591 by the same setter was also considered easy and the blog by mhl on that puzzle drew 70 comments.

  40. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Rishi: I looked through the archive this morning for previous Logodaedalus puzzles. My comment on 11ac re words appearing in both clue and answer was actually taken from a blog of Andrew’s. I’ve just had a look at the one you mention and find it includes one of the worst clues I’ve ever come across [I’d forgotten it was one of his]: ‘Clumsy when giving ring to a fish [6]': it’s certainly a feature of his puzzles!

  41. John says:

    I don’t understand the “bringing a bloodhound into this” phrase in 25 ac. Is it a feeble &lit or an attempted anagrind?

  42. Rishi says:

    25ac Woman carrier, single, bringing a bloodhound into this? is a charade.
    W (woman) + HOD (carrier) + UNIT (singular).
    As the word has spelling variants, the setter leaves no doubt about the spelling that is to be used here.
    “bringing a bloodhound into this” seems to suggest that she is bringing a detective into this.
    WHODUNIT almost always has a bloodhound in it, ‘bloodhound’ meaning ‘detective’.

  43. Paul B says:

    Well, the wordplay is W/ HOD/ UNIT, so take it from there. Otherwise, maybe Peter Lovesey can help.

    Re ‘pair of specs’ (often shortened simply to ‘pair’), not all compilers work with regard to the across/ down distinction. I think it works anyway, but there you are. Nice to see folks acknowledging that easy puzzles can still be glorious fun, and that this easy one wasn’t.

  44. EdUS says:

    Have a little sympathy for us minorities, Mr. Lazenby. In the US crosswords have been dumbed down to such an extent that those of us who want a challenge are forced to look abroad. Kudos to the Guardian for providing it (today’s trivial offering excepted).

  45. Duke says:

    Isn’t numskull usually spelled without the b?

  46. Bill Taylor says:

    Usually, yes.

  47. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Of course, I do agree with the majority that this was far too easy, with the emphasis on ‘too’.
    Even if the crossword itself was technically seen rather OK, I can’t understand that the editor puts a setter, who we only see a few times a year and then with super-easy stuff, on the Friday spot – solvers expect something else [certainly after a Brummie and an Araucaria].

    I didn’t care too much about the so-called lack of humour today.
    Oh well, there’s a ‘bottom’ in it (10d) – many more of them I expect to find tomorrow when probably Paul will be in charge.

    My PinC was a bit ‘annoyed’ (although not really) by Logodaedalus’ use of superfluous-words-for-the-surface, like ‘having TO sing’ [for: having sing], ‘THE penniless’ [for: poor], ‘THE bank’ [for: drift] and the word ‘asks’ in 18d [that was just there].

    Having said that, and in defence of Logodaedalus, there were some smooth clues/surfaces as well: 1a, 13ac, 3d and 16d.

    Comparing this setter with Rufus is, indeed, out of place.

    Comparing him with Falcon’s offering in today’s FT as well.
    Also rather easy, but not just that full of (cheap) anagrams and charades. While Falcon was a kind of Everyman-plus [which is not strange, because both setters are one and the same person], Logodaedalus was more an Everyman-minus.

    Not much wrong with the crossword as such [of course, we all have different feelings and expectations], but it shouldn’t have been a Friday one.
    The positive thing, though: it makes you really long for Tomorrow’s Cracker!

  48. anax says:

    I think it’s unfortunate that solvers should enter into arguments about the stylistic merits of a crossword (and, by extension, its setter). For me there’s only one criterion by which to judge good and bad, and that’s the degree to which a setter adheres to the accepted technical rules of the craft.

    Beyond that, everything is down to personal taste. For every easy, medium or tough setter there’s a dedicated audience which prefers puzzles at those levels. Humour? Some solvers relish it and others aren’t particularly bothered. Short and snappy clues or long and intricate? Again, two different and equally enthusiastic audiences. A generous smattering of CD clues? For many these are a gold mine of wit and creativity, while others just can’t stand them.

    There never can be – and certainly shouldn’t be – a set crossword formula which satisfies everybody, because we’ll end up with something bland and – well, formulaic. None of us wants that.

    To my mind it’s wrong to criticise a puzzle/setter on the basis of personal preferences because to do so fails to take into account what others like.

  49. slipstream says:

    I found this one soul-destroying.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist that.

  50. Sil van den Hoek says:

    anax (#55), I hope you’ll understand that I do not criticise the setter [as I hardly ever do]. Although I think the crossword was too easy for the Friday spot – a misjudgement by the editor, the setter’s not to blame – there was indeed not much wrong with the ‘neatness’ of the clueing, as I said in my previous post. Everything else has to do with the solver’s perceptions and expectations.
    The one and only thing I [personally] find less attractive in this crossword is its simplicity, but despite that I can still have admiration for some fine clues – as I hopefully made clear.

    Basically, I do agree with your post, and certainly not with slipstream (#56).
    ‘Soul-destroying’? Hope you sleep well tonight, mate.

  51. john goldthorpe says:

    I’ve been too busy to do many Guardian crosswords of late but this, especially after the excellent Brummie earlier in the week, was really disappointing – not because it was rather easy but because so many of the clues were terribly clunky. As several others have suggested, the comparison with Rufus really makes the point.

  52. Admin says:

    Argumentative and seriously off-topic comments have been moved to a more appropriate location. Unfortunately this may make some subsequent comments appear to be out of context.

    Would those who have had comments moved please be a little more circumspect when posting comments in future.

    This is the first time in over six months that I have had to intervene and move comments. Please try to ensure that I don’t have to do so again.

  53. ernie says:

    Thank you Eileen. I’m with Val and others in reception class. This was do-able: hooray! I can finish maybe one in five Grauniad crosswords with or without help (anagram dictionaries, missing letter dictionaries, Anne Bradford, etc.) so it’s nice to have the occasional easy one. Sometimes I can have an Araucaria Jigsaw lying around for a year (yes!) because I love them and I can eventually ferret them out. Please don’t be too hard on the setter.

  54. Jobs says:

    I’m with those backing an easy Friday crossword. After a week of struggling and not finishing it is nice to have a sense of completion before the inevitable difficulties of the Saturday prize puzzle. Thanks Logodaedalus.

  55. Matt.vantage says:

    I agree this was particularly easy, but for an inexperienced solver like me, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Actually, it’s the first one I’ve finished! But I can see the gripe with having it on a friday for a hardened solver

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