Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,038 – Quantum

Posted by Andrew on June 16th, 2010


My second posthumous puzzle in a row – Quantum died in May 2008 – and sadly another one that I can’t be very enthusiastic about. Most of the clues are fine, though not very exciting, but there are some cryptic definitions that are either weak or very vague, and none of them provide the “aha!” moments that Rufus’s best CDs do.

1. DISTRICT COUNCIL Cryptic definition
10. PARRY PAR (standard) + RY (railway = lines)
13. SKI BUSKING less BUNG (bribe)
17. CEDILLA Cryptic definition
25. OVERSEE Homophone of “over sea”
29. EDUCATIVE (I’VE ACT DUE)*, with rather a giveaway definition
30. EXPRESS DELIVERY Double definition
1. DEPARTURE LOUNGE Cryptic definition – in an airport departure lounge you are with other people and waiting to rise in a plane
2. SINUS IS< + NUS (National Union of Students)
3. RUINOUS R[ugby] U[nion] + IN [H]OUS[E]
4. CONFESS CONFERS with R[ight] changed to S[ociety]
6. UMPIRED (Barely) cryptic definition
15. MOUSETRAP MO + USE (consume) + PART<
16. KIT [S]KIT
18. EYE Palindrome

36 Responses to “Guardian 25,038 – Quantum”

  1. mhl says:

    Thanks for the post, Andrew. I rather enjoyed this, personally – it’s always nice to work steadily through a puzzle without major stumbling blocks and I though this was a nice example of that, although it turns out I made one error in putting ALIVE instead of AGILE. I still don’t really understand 1a though – why “Sort of diet” at the beginning?

  2. Eileen says:

    Many thanks, Andrew.

    As you say, not very exciting but nothing too controversial.

    There is surely a misprint in the clue to 8dn – ‘at the side of the Road’? [Both the paper and on-line version have ‘load’. ]

    And I think I’ve always said ‘set great store by’.

  3. beermagnet says:

    Yes Eileen – chinese version.
    Anyway, Andrem has got his rewengee by misspelling “Quantun in the blog title.
    I didn’t notice till you pointed it out. Mind you I misread schooling in the EDUCATIVE clue and spent a couple of minutes trying to get a word meaning shooting from (I’VE ACT DUE)*

  4. Andrew says:

    Oops – title corrected, thanks Beermagnet.

    Eileen – thanks for pointing out the misprint in 8dn. I wasn’t sure of the first and last words of the answer. As you say the first could easily be SET; once I had confirmation from 30ac the last was obviously BY, but I dithered over IN or ON, couldn’t work it out from the wordplay, and then didn;t read the clue carefully when I wrote the blog..

    mhl – 1ac refers to “diet” in the sense of a deliberative assembly. (Remember the Diet of Worms?)

  5. tupu says:

    Thanks Andrew.

    Another mixed bag. I too got tripped up by 27d and should have persevered with my doubts about ‘alive’ after wondering vaguely about a farmer possibly called Clive (I see after searching now that there was one – Sir Clive Farmer – in an old TV series! There’s nowt so daft that Google won’t give it some support).

    I’m sure Eileen is right about the misprint in 8d. For what it’s worth, ‘Lay great store by’ sounds OK to me.

    I thought some clues were pretty good and did get an ‘aha’ moment from 13a. – it was at first hard to see what word it might be and then harder to see why. 7d was a slightly unlikely anagram and I did not see cedilla immediately.

    Its pleasing to encounter other rivers than Dee and Exe, though Ouse is also beginning to be a bit ‘over-yoused’ (Ouch! Sorry!)

  6. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks Andrew. Can’t remember having done a Quantum before, but I’m sure I must have somewhere along the ry. Bizarrely I filled in all the bottom half before having any in the top, which took a lot longer; didn’t help myself by confidently slapping in EXECUTIVE LOUNGE (which in my defence, kind of works) and SET GREAT STORE BY (which in my defence, wasn’t helped by the chuffing typo).

    I thought this was okay but a bit uninspiring. I liked RISSOLE, UNMASKS and SKI but wasn’t in love with MOROSER – is that really a word?

    Now if Quantum and the rest of you will stop putting tempting distractions in my way, I’ll crack on with some work!

  7. Andrew says:

    Kathryn’s Dad – by the wonder of the search facility I can tell you that you have not only solved a Quantum puzzle before but also commented on it.

  8. duncandisorderly says:

    also @ kathryn’s dad- I doubt, sadly, that quantum will be paying your imprecations much heed! personally, I allow myself an hour in total for the weekday cryptic, although this may occupy several shorter bouts of concentration depending on biorhythms & the complexity of the crucigramma in question. thereafter, I either cheat or head over here to 225, in order to learn something (hopefully) & then move on. I allow myself a great deal longer for the prize crosswords, although lately (perhaps due to practice?) these have been dispatched by lunchtime.
    now to crack on. :-)


  9. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog, Andrew. I got 1ac early on, which helped with the ‘set’/’lay’ problem in 8dn. But putting SPECIAL instead of EXPRESS in 30ac held me up for a time until I realised my mistake. I quite liked 9ac but overall not many ahas.

  10. mhl says:

    Andrew: thanks for reminding me about “diet” – yet another thing that I seem to forget completely between the times it’s explained to me on fifteensquared…

  11. Jake says:


    Two puzzles in a row you’ve blogged (passed setter’s your not fond of). – Maybe it’s God’s will Andrew, Quantum, Rover, ?. Things happen in three’s – What’s next???

  12. Richard says:

    Thanks for the blog, Andrew. I agree with your remarks.

    I didn’t make the assocation between drinks break and elevenses because when I was a kid elevenses wasn’t thought of a drinks break but a snack break – toast or a bacon sandwich!
    I thought 30ac was poor because the “Express” part of the solution wasn’t defined in the clue.

  13. Richard says:

    I agree with Tupu@5
    The use of other river names is ‘Welland’ truly to be welcomed, there can’t be more than ‘Severn’ that we see regularly. How ‘Kennet’ be that so few names are used regularly? The overuse of Dee and Exe is indeed a ‘Soar’ point and clearly in’Seine’, and although I try to be ‘Avon’-minded, it does leave me rather ‘Po’ faced. My frends Lee and Clyde and I hope that more river names will be ‘Forth’coming in future crosswords.

  14. tupu says:

    Hi Richard @ 11 and 13

    It Irk(s) me that I’m Itchen to Esk for Mersey. But Wye not?

    Re Express – isn’t the cluing in the word ‘fast’ as in express train?

  15. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Listen, Richard and tupu, I did ask at no 6 not to be distracted further. Your comments about rivers are doing just that and are frankly just Wearisome. Can you and other bloggers now please Deesist.

  16. Richard says:


    I guess you are right about ‘Express’.

    As for the rivers, I’m glad that you don’t find my comments ‘Wear’isome. I sometimes feel the ‘Nidd’ to ‘Aire’ my views, but never in a ‘Volga’ way.

  17. Richard says:

    Kathryn’s Dad @15

    Do you really mean it or are you just ‘Tees’ing?

  18. tupu says:

    Kathryn’s Dad
    Orwell, I’m always ready to Granta reasonable request – which yours clearly is. In any case
    Tees up shortly. No more, I promise.

  19. Derek Lazenby says:

    Oh dear, and I thought the fish jokes were bad in that ancient episode of ISIRTA. You aren’t the writers of that show are you?

    Well I ploughed my way through the puzzle, but unlike @6 I managed the right half before the left half, rather than bottom, top.

    Seemed pleasant enough to me. My only queries were the mis-print, and as Eileen, I thought the phrase was “set…” having not come across “lay…” which sounds seriously wierd to me.

    The only other thing was the ? in 15. Inferior cheese seemed quite a reasonable definition. I thought ? was used to indicate being slightly unreasonable in some droll fashion.

  20. Richard says:


    Me? A writer of ISIRTA? No Wey.

  21. Stewart Holden says:

    Enough of these awful river puns on the Guardian page. I’m going to defect to reading The Thames.

  22. Davy says:

    Thanks Andrew,

    I enjoyed this puzzle and it reminded me very much of a slightly more difficult Everyman. I’d forgotten
    that Quantum had passed on in 2008 and also had no recollection of his previous puzzle. It would seem that
    I can’t remember very much.

    I thought 1d was good and knew the answer would be obvious once I could find the correct interpretation of
    ‘rise’. The clueing was pretty good and everything was gettable.

    As stated above, I also didn’t understand ‘Sort of diet’ in 1a. The only possible reference to ‘diet’ is STRICT
    but that leaves DI to be explained.

  23. Richard says:


    OK. Up Styx and go to The Thames then!

  24. tupu says:

    Hi Davy

    Diet as parliament and council turned up in a Gordius on 25th May and there is a full discussion in several comments there (cf. also Andrew here @4). It connects with the idea of ‘days’ on which people attended meetings and connects with other words such as Reichstag for the German parliament.

  25. Eileen says:

    Well said, Stewart Holden!

    tupu [you sDarted this] Richard and Kathryn’s Dad – Ure all seriously off topic and have been for ages. It has been faintly amOuseing but Ure beginning to Test our patience now. You don’t Aftoname all of them, you know.

    I’m aStournished that Gaufrid has not clamped down on you by now but perhaps he unDerwent a change of heart after his embargo and Isis [sorry, slight stutter there] becoming more sympathetic to Ure [and, of course, I mean ‘our’!) ] off-topic ramblings.

    Please stick with us, Stewart – our comments are not always so [L]iffey. :-)

  26. sidey says:

    Let’s clear the Aire & Calder whole thing off.

  27. morpheus says:

    All these river puns. Ural maad ;)

  28. Richard says:

    Eileen, sidey, and morpheus.

    Glad you’ve Cam along and joined this Lark – but I guess it Congo on forever, though I’m Brent on trying if you give me enough Elbe room!

  29. Kathryn's Dad says:

    It’s usually a sign of an unremarkable puzzle when we all go off on one to amuse ourselves. Goodness knows what lurkers must be thinking.

    I’m just off to see Nurse Ratched for my medication and suggest you all do the same, otherwise before we know it Don will be making one of his contributions to the blog.

    A demain.

  30. Richard says:

    Kathryn’s Dad

    We didn’t “all go off on one”. It was a Quantum Leap!

  31. Eileen says:

    sidey @ 26

    Thanks – loved the juxtaposition – it reminded me of my schoolgirl mnemonic for the tributaries of the Great Ouse:

  32. tupu says:

    Richard, K’s D, Eileen, Morpheus, Sidey et al. (Who’s Al?)
    Many thanks. The living proof of chaos theory! A butterfly flaps its wing and we get a perfect storm. I didn’t know what I was letting loose!

    Till tomorrow whenNile hopefully enjoy some tRU’AHA’ moments from the puzzle itself!

  33. tupu says:

    Re 8d
    Macmillan’s online dictionary gives
    ‘set/put/lay (great) store by/on’
    under synonyms etc for appreciate.

  34. Richard says:

    Eileen @31

    I think you mean the Yorkshire Ouse, not the Great Ouse.

  35. Eileen says:

    Richard, of course I did – how could I have made that mistake?!

  36. sheffieldhatter says:

    Sorry for coming late to the discussion but I did this one on holiday and have only just caught up with the blog. I am puzzled at the explanation of 17 as a “cryptic definition”. Isn’t it in fact a non-cryptic definition? A cedilla is, precisely, a “sign at the bottom of a letter” – nothing cryptic about it.

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=""> <strike> <strong>

six − 2 =