Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,025 – Brummie

Posted by Uncle Yap on June 1st, 2010

Uncle Yap.

Brummie presented yet another very Ximenean puzzle which is not as difficult as one under his other alter ego in the Private Eye. Shorn of risque references, it is not quite as entertaining as a Cyclops product.

ACROSS
1,7,23,9 TALKING NINETEEN TO THE DOZEN This is one clue where you have to hazard a guess from the crossing letters and then work backwards to explain the wordplay. A baker’s dozen is 13. 19 minus 13 will get you 6 which is slightly less than half of 13.
5 UNLINED UNDERLINED (stressed or emphasised) minus DER (rev of red)
10 GLISSANDO *(signals) + DO (party)
11 UNRESOLVED Ins of SOLVE (what a solver hopes to do) in UN-RED (tichy way of saying not looking embarrassed)
14 HOMO SAPIENS *(SHAME minus S + POISONS) with the def US so innocuously and unobtrusively placed
18 CHOIRSTALLS *(to crash Lil’s)
21 LAWN dd many blades of grass will make a lawn; sort of fine linen or cambric
22 RHETORICAL Ins of TORY minus Y (party follower less unknown) in *(Charlie)
25 TURBULENT Ins of *(BLUE) in TURN (wind) + T ( first letter of totter)
26 POINT dd but I do not seem to find point = bluff in Chambers, my primary dictionary but according to sidey (thank you) A bluff can be a headland, mostly in N America, a point also eg Lizard Point.
27 RESULTS Ins of U L (unionist line) in RESTS (breaks) Win, loss and tie are all results
28 EVERTON Chris EVERT (former tennis great) ON (performing)

DOWN
1 TEDIUM MEDIUM (spiritualist) with first M (Miles) replaced by T (tense)
2 LIZARD Ins of I (one or a) Z (middle letter of griZzly) in LARD (fat)
3 IONOSPHERE *(poison) + HERE (at this point)
4 GOGOL GOGO (of erotic dancer) L (live)
5 UNIVERSAL Ins of V (five) E (earth) in *(urinals)
6,17 LOST FOR WORDS Quite self-explanatory
8 DOORPOST DO (act) OR (alternative) POST (job)
13 APOSTROPHE *(THE POST OR A minus T plus P)
15 MATCHLESS Tichy reference to the expression to strike a match. By a remarkable co-incidence, today’s Times 24552 has the clue  also 15Down Perfect reason for rubbing sticks together? (9)
16 SCULPTOR Ins of LP (long play at 33 rpm) in *(courts) Henry Spencer Moore (1898–1986) an English sculptor and artist.
19 SCRIPT *(CRISP + last letter of plot)
20 BLYTON ABLY (skillfully) minus A + TON (heavyweight) for Enid Mary Blyton (1897–1968) a British children’s writer and Uncle Yap’s favourite author in primary school
24,12 FULL STOP Cha of FULL (loaded) STOP (rev of POTS, piles of money)

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

24 Responses to “Guardian 25,025 – Brummie”

  1. Dr.G says:

    4Down: ?Nicolai Gogol Russian novelist

  2. sidey says:

    Dr.G, Uncle Yap has provided a link to him, click the answer.

    A bluff can be a headland, mostly in N America, a point also eg Lizard Point.

  3. Bryan says:

    Many thanks, Uncle Yap and also his Sideykick, yet anoher great team.

    I enjoyed this but failed to get either the POINT or BLYTON.

    No complaints from me: Brummie has done us all proud yet again.

  4. sidey says:

    Very good Bryan ;)

    I feel a change of username coming on.

  5. cholecyst says:

    Thanks, Uncle Yap. As you say, what a remarkable coincidence to have the same word in the same position in two different puzzles on the same day(15dn MATCHLESS). Can any of you very clever people work out the odds of this happening?

  6. tupu says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap for an excellent blog and Brummie for a testing and entertaining puzzle. Several excellent clues I thought, especially 14a, 22a and 20d. 5d amused. I rather thoughtlessly solved 21a from the letters (once I got the ‘l’) and missed the pretty blades of grass idea, having first been led up the garden path by the temporarily lone ‘w’ which seemed to suggest something to do with moWer blades.
    I also liked 1a etc. I take the ref. to be to the amazing speed with which livestock auctioneers rattle off the progress of each sale. The 13/19 ratio was a nice touch.

  7. Ian says:

    Thanks to both Uncle Yap and Brummie for both a comprehensive blog and an entertaining puzzle.

    I always find Brummie to be a hard slog. Though not easy, this was one turned out to be less demanding than usual.

    Like tupu, I was very taken by the wordplay that ended with ‘Homo Sapiens’. Like UY states the definition of us’so innocuously and unobtrusively placed’.

    45′

  8. tupu says:

    :)Wistfully gazing at my ‘lawn’, I begin to wonder if my lapse on 21a also stems from the fact that there is less grass and more moss there than there should be, and that I have to keep on mowing it if only to keep the daisies and the plantains down!!

  9. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog, Uncle Yap. I didn’t find this too hard. Some nice surfaces and some stodgy ones too! I found in quite a few places that I was getting the answer before working out the wordplay. I did like ‘us’ as the def in 14ac.

  10. Bill Taylor says:

    Blessedly shorn of risque references, this was very entertaining. Brummie’s last two or three puzzles have been excellent. I thought with 13d and 24/12d, he might be going for a grammatical theme. Some great clueing, though (4d) I wouldn’t classify a go-go dancer as erotic. And, in 27a, “UL” for “Unionist line” was iffy. Unlike Liz, I thought the “us” in 14a was quite clever. I got BLYTON but needed Uncle Yap to tell me why. Big grin from LAWN and another from DOORPOST.

  11. liz says:

    Bill Taylor @10 — I did like ‘us’ :-) Perhaps you misread my post as ‘didn’t’!

  12. Richard says:

    Thanks for the blog, Uncle Yap.
    This was the best crossword I’ve done for ages. I do agree with Bill Taylor about 27a, though.

  13. Bill Taylor says:

    Sorry Liz!!! I really did read it as “didn’t.” Serious brain-fade. All I can say in my own defence is that it’s still rather early in Toronto and I don’t have my intravenous caffeine drip in yet!

  14. muck says:

    Thanks for the blog, Uncle Yap
    I finished the puzzle, but needed your help to explain some (fairly obvious) wordplay.
    Best clue, for me, was 14ac HOMO SAPIENS

  15. Dave Ellison says:

    Enjoyed this, about a medium difficulty Brummie for me.

    I was trying to fit EPISPLE and ORA into 13d for ages, until the penny dropped.

  16. retired pleb says:

    Went straight through in 35min.
    Agree with others about ‘UL’ in 25a being rather iffy and haven’t come across E=earth before in 5d although Chambers allows it (with a small ‘e’).
    Best clue for me 14a.
    No complaints though, a nice puzzle

  17. sidey says:

    L, N & E, live neutral and earth. Less common now plugs are pre-wired though.

  18. Martin H says:

    Lots of excellent clues here, and an enjoyable and challenging puzzle, but a few things I thought didn’t really work: 1,7,23,9: If you better a baker you don’t do it by talking. The 13 – 19 thing is cleverly done, but, in the subsidiary element, ‘talking ‘ is left out in the cold. Also ‘livestock’ doesn’t add anything to ‘auctioneer’; it’s redundant.
    I don’t like a=one=1=I in 2d. Too much of a stretch, even though it’s readily understood. I suppose you could read the whole ‘iz’ as being ‘grizzly’s heart’ as, like the heart, (at least in humans, I don’t know about bears), it lies just to the left of centre.
    19d. ‘gruesome’ as an anagram indicator – it certainly is.

  19. sidey says:

    Also ‘livestock’ doesn’t add anything

    Oh but it does, most auctions are quite staid affairs, livestock auctions are noted for their almost continuous patter.

    ‘A’ is a dialect form of ‘I’.

  20. Scarpia says:

    A bit late getting to this one as I was waiting for my ‘inky’ version to be delivered – to no avail as it turns out,papers diverted to Luton where they have remained!
    A very enjoyable solve on the internet;the Guardian site is much more user friendly than the Indie.
    Among the many excellent clues standouts for me were 14 across,1 down and 20 down,which was last to go in,even though,like Uncle Yap,she was my favourite author in primary school days.
    Ah…the Secret Seven,the Famous Five and lashings of ginger beer!

    cholecyst @5: Approximately 1 chance in 650,000.

  21. tupu says:

    Hi Sidey. I suggested the same point re livestock auctions @6. I feel sure we are right – perhaps it was too obvious for UY to comment on in his excellent blog. Best wishes.

  22. cholecyst says:

    Thanks, Scarpia. I knew I could rely on someone. Guess I’ll have to wait about 1800 years for the next one.

  23. Daniel Miller says:

    Clearly The Times and The Guardian were a match today…

    Nice to see Everton clued as well. Come on you Blues :)

  24. Huw Powell says:

    This was a fun puzzple, that went in fits and starts for me. Before getting 1A (etc.) and having UNMATCHED wrecking its checkwords, it was looking very grim.

    Then I did the math (!) and with only 4 checked letters it fell in place (it helped that two of them were in NINETEEN), giving me lots of places to work from.

    With the SW corner almost empty and nothing falling, I finally realized it was MATCHLESS and rapidly got 18, 25, & 27, and HOMO SAPIENS leapt out at me.

    I think LAWN was last for me, bit of a forehead slapper there.

    While my notes claim to have understood every single wordplay for once, I didn’t catch the LAWN = fabric, I just thought the “material” *was* the LAWN.

    As I said, lots of fun. Amusingly, since I don’t really know “who’s who”, now I know why I kept thinking I was working on an EYE puzzle.

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