Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,037 – Puck

Posted by Uncle Yap on June 15th, 2010

Uncle Yap.

What a tantalising offering from Puck who teased and tormented us with such a wide and varied array of cryptic devices …. and like all masochistic cruciverbalists, I thoroughly enjoyed each clue.

1 JUTLAND Cha of JUT (stick out) LAND (win) The Battle of Jutland, on 31 May 1916, informally known by participants as Der Tag (The Day), was the largest naval battle of World War I
5 TOFFEES Ins of OFF (unavailable) in TEES (sounds like T’s, the middle letters of briTTany)
9 HOOTS SHOOT (film) move S (first letter) to the end
10 BIPARTITE Ins of I PA (one old man) in *(bitter)
11 NEAPOLITAN *(into a plane)
14 DICTATORIAL Ins of C (Conservative) TA (Territorial Army, volunteers) TO R (run) in DIAL (rev of LAID, set)
18 UNFORTUNATE Ins of TUNA (fish) in *(FOUR TEN) 4.10 … My COD for its devious use of numerals to represent the anagram fodder
21 CASH CLASH (jar) minus L (left)
22 DIAPHANOUS Cha of DI (Diana, dear girl) A (one) + *(a nosh-up) transparent; translucent; pellucid; clear; light, delicate.
25 KNOCK DOWN dd With a single slingshot, David was able to fell/knock down Goliath.
26 EXTRA ha
27 STERNUM STERN (back) UM, I’m not sure
28 CAYENNE Sounds like KN (first two letters from KNickers) a very strong, pungent red pepper (cayenne pepper) made from several species of capsicum.

1,13 JOHNNY COME LATELY Johnny (slang for condom or rubber) + ins of O (duck) in *(cellmate) + Y (yes)
2 TOO BAD Ins of OB (obituary or died) in TOAD (character from The Wind in the Willows, a classic of children’s literature by Kenneth Grahame, first published in 1908)
3 ABSCONDERS ABS (abdominal musles) + *(scorned) to abscond is to leave quickly and secretly, esp to escape a legal process … bad runners :-)
4 DUBAI DUB (knight) AI (a motorway in the UK)
5 TOP BANANA Ins of BA (British Airways, airline) in TOP (supreme) NANA (fool)
6,12 FOREHEAD Cha of FORE (warning in golf; in all my years of playing, I have never heard anyone shouting “FORE!”. We always shout “BALL!”) HE (helium gas) AD (advertisement, bill)
7 EPIDEMIC EP (extended play record) IDEM (Latin for the same) I C (one clubs) a disease that attacks great numbers in one place at one time, and itself travels from place to place; a widespread outbreak.
8 STEADILY Ins of *(A DIET) in SLY (knowing)
15 CRUCIFORM Ins of RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary, now replaced by PSNI, Police Service of Northern Ireland) IF (provided) OR (last letters of tO editoR) in CM (centimetre or short measure) something shaped like a cross (50% of CROSSwords)
16 CUPCAKES *(case puck)
17 OFFSHORE One of those reversed angram clues where the answer is like anagram clue for HORSE
19 ROTTEN *(to rent)
20 ESCAPE E (Ecstasy, drug) SCAPE (scene)
23 PANIC Ins of AN (inside letters of bANd) in PIC (movie)
24 SKIN SKINT (broke) minus T, slang for drum

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

19 Responses to “Guardian 25,037 – Puck”

  1. Bryan says:

    Many thanks, Uncle Yap, this was more challenging than most but, as a result, all the more enjoyable.

    Unlike you, I live in the UK but I cannot recall any motorway called the AI …

    There is a very long road called the A1 – which is not quite the same thing, is it?

  2. Uncle Yap says:

    Well, I studied at Newcastle-upon-Tyne and often visited London during holidays. We always said “Get on the motorway” to go on to the A1

    Per Wikipedia, the A1 is the longest numbered road in the UK at 409 miles (658 km). It connects London, the capital of England and the United Kingdom, with Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. It passes through and near Hatfield, Stevenage, Letchworth, Peterborough, Grantham, Leeds, York, Gateshead, Newcastle upon Tyne and Berwick-upon-Tweed.[2]

    For much of its path it follows the Great North Road. Several sections of the route are classified as motorway.

    Chambers defines motorway as a trunk road for fast-moving motor vehicles, with separate carriageways for vehicles travelling in opposite directions, and limited access and exit points.

    I stick by my description of A1 as a motorway in the UK in 4D

  3. Bryan says:

    Many thanks, Uncle Yap, but even accepting the A1 (A ONE) as a motorway then how on earth does it get converted into AI as required for DUBAI?

  4. rrc says:

    Uncle Yap

    a motorway in the UK is preceeded with the letter M If there is no M it is not technically a motorway although I accept that some A roads are up to motorway standards. The clue i think is fine knight and road.

  5. Geoff Chapman says:

    I lived next to the A1 throughout my childhood in Sandy. It was never referred to as a motorway – because it isn’t one. Except on those rare sections where it becomes the A1(M). Which would give Dubaim.

    It’s a road. Which is what the clue is.

    Carry on. :)

  6. Uncle Yap says:

    Chambers defines motorway n a trunk road for fast-moving motor vehicles, with separate carriageways for vehicles travelling in opposite directions, and limited access and exit points … and I contend that the A1 fulfills this description

    I think whoever is challenging my use of the word “motorway” for A1 is thinking of Motorway with the capital M. British convention for designating certain road with certain letters does not invalidate Chambers

  7. Shirley says:

    Bryan 3D – to dub someone is to confer a knighthood on them by tapping their shoulders with a sword.

  8. Stella Heath says:

    Uncle Yap, thanks for the blog. Enjoyable puzzle, with some very amusing surface reading and “aha” moments.

    Having recently taken the A1 from London to Durham, I have to agree with my fellow English bloggers. Although on some stretches it is of motorway standard, many of which have the epithet (M), others are two-way, dotted with roundabouts, and going can be very slow. What’s more, until 2012, many of the motorway stretches are alos slow-moving, due to roadworks. Maybe when they’re finished it will be entirely motorway-class :-)

  9. Richard says:

    Thanks for the early and very thorough blog, Uncle Yap.

    What a delightfully different challenge this was. I would never have worked out 9ac in a month of Sundays! Must say having seen the answer to 15dn, that it is a little over-contrived for me.

  10. tupu says:

    Many thanks Uncle Yap for an excellent blog with detailed analysis of this (for me) quite demanding but also satisfying puzzle (Thanks Puck too).

    16d was a nicely misleading anagram. I kept expecting to find a ‘me’ missing from some word or other. 3d was very nice and I regret I moved on to another clue before parsing it correctly as you do.

    Having failed twice in previous puzzles I was pleased to remember ‘he’ = helium this time round in 6,12.

    1,13 was cheekily well-constructed and amusing, and 23 took some time to understand after seeing the answer.

    While the heart of the 18a clue is in the right place for me, it is clear that not everyone sees it that way.

    5d seemed to be a sly poke at Mr Walsh.

    Re motorway – the term is at least ambiguous and I suspect it is probably best avoided in this context unless one actively wants to get into an argument. As it was I tried at first to think if the answer could be Miami!

  11. Martin H says:

    A very entertaining crossword, and your enjoyment of it came across clearly in your thorough blog, UY.

    I particularly liked 16, 24, 28.

    I didn’t like ‘bad runners’ very much (3), nor ‘Placing’ in 17 – fine for an offshore business or bank, but a very odd word when referring to a boat, as here. Otherwise great stuff – thanks Puck.

  12. Richard says:

    By the way, the word ‘motorway’ does not appear in the clue (4), the word ‘road’ does and the A1 is clearly a road.

  13. Val says:

    Didn’t the whole I-say-motorway-you-say-big-road argument start because Uncle Yap typed AI instead of A1 in his blog and all subsequent contributions have taken us almost as far as from London to Edinburgh from where we were when that wasn’t actually what Bryan was saying? Or isn’t that the point, that A1 isn’t AI and so this was sloppy clueing?

  14. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Val
    1=I (Roman numeral) has been used in puzzles for as long as I have been doing them (45+ years) so I hardly think it can be classed as ‘sloppy cluing’.

  15. Tokyo Colin says:

    A very enjoyable crossword and a great blog. Thanks Puck and Uncle Yap.

    I too enjoyed 18ac most with 5ac a close second.

    And I don’t give a fig what sort of motorway/expressway/country lane the A1 is as long as it is a road and enables me to enter DUBAI as a port. FYI there is an “A1 road” in Sabah. If I lived in Kota Kinabalu I would still get the correct answer from the clue as written. What is the harm in that?

  16. William says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap. This has to be the best crozzie for ages. The knickers clue at 28ac is a belter.

    Finished it without really understanding IDEM = same in Latin and wrote in HOOTS for 9ac and waited for your excellent blog to understand why.

    Lovely smooth anagrind at 18ac with roughly 4.10.

    Smashing stuff, Puck, more of the same, please.

    “Puck is a clever and mischievous elf and personifies the trickster or the wise knave.”

  17. Val says:

    Gaufrid @14 – I know, I was just trying to say that my understanding of Bryan’s comments were he was referring to the A”I” typo and not the motorway definition. I’m sure he can speak for himself, though, if he had been misunderstood!

  18. FumbleFingers says:

    Many thanks to both Puck AND Uncle Yap. Both puzzle & blog seem excellent to me, and I honestly can’t find anything in either to merit even the faintest criticism.

    UNLESS of course I’d been doing it with my mother, in which case I’d have been slightly discomfitted by the cluing of JOHNNY. But then again she’d probably say I’m a bit of a prude (as might some here!)

    I particularly liked the quality of the “surface readings” in many of today’s clues. I know some folk are a bit indifferent to this aspect of cryptic clueing, but for me it’s the cream on my strawberries. Love it!

  19. Carrots says:

    A tortuous road to solution, and one which prompted me to cry “foul” about several clues.

    But, checking Chambers, all the clues turned out to be fair, so I`ll shut up.

    As I live in a village (not too) near the A1, I can confirm that it is a road and has cars, trucks and everythin` trundling up and down it. Where the hell did the “Motorway” debate originate: it is not mentioned in the clue!

    Even so, Puck and I don`t get along. The clues all too often rely on obscure usages and “stretched” definitions, wrapped in convolutions worthy of Byzantium. I groan when I see this setter: I know that, ultimately, I will crack the puzzle, but Loves Labours are too easily Lost.

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