Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,046 / Enigmatist

Posted by mhl on June 25th, 2010


A great puzzle from Enigmatist – as always, some of the wordplay is difficult to parse, but with the help of my partner I think I’ve got them all. One of the aspects of this puzzle that I think we don’t applaud often enough (although it’s a strong feature of the Guardian crossword) is the breadth (if not depth :)) of cultural references. Anyway, great fun, I thought.

1. WYSIWYG SI = “Yes, European” (Spanish for “Yes”) in “more than one” W[a]Y = “way leaking a” + G = “gallon”. WYSIWYG is an acronym for “What You See Is What You Get” (pronounced “whizzy-wig”) used in computing to describe, for example, a wordprocessor where the screen display closely corresponds to the printed output. I imagine this might have caused some problems 😉
9. ILEUS Cryptic definition: an ileus is a painful obstruction of the intestine (or “food course”)
10. JEFFERSON Double definition; the first refers to the band Jefferson Airplane
11. PRESIDENTS P = “parking” for RESIDENTS might be “private parking?”
12. DORÉ DO and RE are the “first notes” of the solfège
14. GREEN PAPERS GREEN = “eco” + PAPERS = “press”
18. PLUTOCRATIC PLUTO = “Planet” + ARCTIC = “very cold”, but with the first half reversed (“with over half”) to give CRA TIC
21. COHO OH! = “I say” in CO = “business”
22. GLITTERATI (GILT ATTIRE)*; “wearing” as in “eroding” for the anagram indicator
25. ROOSEVELT (RESOLVE TO)*; I like the “(6 12)” giving “THEO DORE”
26,17. MOUNT RUSHMORE “A whip” could make a MOUNT (horse) RUSH MORE
27. MEERKAT E’ER = “always poetically” + K = “grand” (as in 1000) in MAT = “rug”
28. LINCOLN Triple definition: “Green” / “city” / Abraham Lincoln
1. WHIPPY W = “women” + HIPPY = “somewhat broad in the beam?”
2. SKEWER Double definition
3. WASHINGTON WAS ON = “Is now off, presumably” around (NIGHT)*
4. G I JOE JIG = “Quick steps” reversed + O = “old” + E = “English”
5. SAFETY NET A nice definition: “In emergency one catches”; TYNE = “banker” in (FEAST)*
6. THEO “The Ring” is the “Wagner opus”, which might be represented by THE ‘O'; THEO can be a shortetened form of Theodore, Theodora, etc.
7. PUSHOVER PUS = “Matter” + HOVER = “to brood over?”
8. NONSENSE NONE = “love” around SENS = “nurses”
13. HATCHET MAN CHET = “Baker” in HAT MAN = “milliner”
15. ENROLMENT In ET = “film”, LORN = “lost” reversed + MEN = “personnel”
16. SPECTRUM PEC = “muscle” in STRUM = “play on guitar”
19. CARUSO CAR = “It’s driven” + US + O = “round”; the definition is a homphone, unusually: a tenor = “a tenner, as quoted”
20. KITTEN KIT = “Christopher” + TEN (the answer to 10a) = “Jefferson”; the definition is “Beastly young”
23. TOTAL T[eam] + (A LOT)*
24. BERK Hidden in “Micawber knew”

25 Responses to “Guardian 25,046 / Enigmatist”

  1. NeilW says:

    Thanks, mhl. Perfect blog of a great crossword.

    Interestingly, the Jefferson banknote was a ten cent note.. but I’m sure you’re parsing of 20dn is correct.

  2. Bryan says:

    Many thanks, mhl, I needed your explanations to understand some of the solutions (eg 8d and 20d) even though I had guessed correctly.

    The theme fell into place for me after getting LINCOLN but initially I had considered HELLO MAGAZINE for 26 12. Well, why not?

  3. Eileen says:

    Many thanks, mhl, for a great blog.

    My only ‘complaint’ about this puzzle was that, once the theme was established [LINCOLN was my way in, too] since there are only four presidents on Mount Rushmore [not like looking for Shakespearean characters, for instance] it was all too easy to fill in the rest of the answers and miss the subtlety of some of the clues. I particularly liked the 6,12 THEO DORE.

  4. Martin H says:

    Yes, a great puzzle, mhl, and nicely analysed. Some excellent clues, 16 and 22 (something of an &lit?) standing out.

    I too had a mental question-mark over ‘hover’, so checked it in Chambers and was surprised, never having heard it used that way, to find it given as a transitive verb meaning, yes, ‘to brood over’.
    I shouldn’t like to see the ‘Jefferson = ten = the answer to 10′ device every day, but lets have more once-removed definitions if they’re well done like the ‘tenner’ homophone in 19.
    Tyne = banker? Hmmm, well….OK then….if you must.

    Thanks Enigmatist

  5. mhl says:

    NeilW: thanks – from the couple of examples I’ve just found it looks as it’s Washington on the old 10 cent note and Jefferson on the 5 cent, though?

    One interesting thing that turned up while I was futilely searching for “Jefferson” and “ten” (before inspiration struck!) was Thomas Jefferson’s A Decalogue of Canons for Observation in Practical Life, which I don’t think I’d seen altogether before, although of course many of them were familiar.

    Bryan: similarly 26,17 had me thinking of CAT = “whip” and something-CATWALK…

    Eileen: I see what you mean, but I have to say that even after getting the presidents I had some trouble completing the grid. (Admittedly on blogging days I try not to enter answers before I completely understand the construction of the clue.)

  6. Median says:

    Tough but fair – what I have come to expect from Enigmatist. On my first run through the clues I managed only two answers. But I stuck at it and eventually managed all except THEO.

  7. FumbleFingers says:

    Thanks, mhl. I did actually complete this one, but having not fully understood 15d & 20d I didn’t feel completely satisfied until you explained the exact wordplay.

    I’m with you in that the fact there were effectively four “gimmies” once the theme was established didn’t make this an unchallenging pushover by any means. The breadth of cultural reference kept me engaged without quite exposing the narrowness of my cultural knowledge!

    Am I alone in thinking BERK shouldn’t be used in polite company? Or am I alone in thinking Guardian solvers are polite company!

  8. John Appleton says:

    1 across very sneaky. Like it, though.

  9. liz says:

    Thanks for a great blog, mhl. KITTEN was the first one I got and I guessed at that point that Jefferson must be on the ten-dollar bill…in fact never saw the correct wordplay! Getting a few others quite quickly made me think this was going to be easy — but it wasn’t!

    My route into the theme was ROOSEVELT. Oddly the one that caused me the most trouble was SKEWER, for some reason.

    A really enjoyable puzzle. I liked 11ac v much.

  10. Mark says:

    I think most people would regard BERK as a mild insult, in spite of its etymology (rhyming slang = “Berkeley Hunt”).

  11. mike says:

    I think it would have been perfect if the dead-giveaway cross-refs were omitted. When there’re only four possibilities and four answers, the solutions become obvious. Why waste four perfectly good clues?

  12. FumbleFingers says:

    They certainly weren’t wasted on me – I learnt something! I’d kinda assumed Rushmore was carved much earlier, and Roosevelt took office much later, so until today I’d have probably have bet money he wasn’t one of the four.

  13. crikey says:

    The first Enigmatist that I’ve finished for quite some time, not as convoluted as he nearly is (in my view anyway).

    Solving time 4 minutes….

    …. not really…

  14. cholecyst says:

    Thanks, mhl. An enjoyable,ingenious puzzle. The 4 presidents weren’t immediately obvious to me. I’m mighty impressed that all you folks knew that there are only four on Mt Rushmore.

  15. NeilW says:

    mhl, here’s what I found earlier by googling “Jefferson banknote”:

  16. Claire says:

    Hi folks – first ever comment, though a long time aficionado of the Grauniad crossword and a past addict of most of the rest of the broadsheets (not forgetting Azed).

    We managed it all over the Friday work-finished pint, but was it possible to deduce “ileus” from the clue (ie in the pub, without a Chambers to hand) without a specific knowledge of the complaint?

  17. Scarpia says:

    Thanks mhl.
    I thought this was an absolutely brilliant puzzle.Got presidents early so 5 answers went in pretty quickly and I thought this was going to be a doddle. – WRONG!
    As usual Enigmatist had so many tricks up his sleeve that it still took me the best part of an hour to finish.
    Last to go in were Dore and Theo,both remarkably simple when the penny(finally) dropped.I should have properly read the clue for Roosevel,t instead I just spotted the link and anagram and filled in the answer!

  18. Scarpia says:

    Hi Claire,
    It certainly wouldn’t have beeen possible for me – I usually save an Enigmatist until I have at least a couple of reference books to hand.
    I take my hat off to you for solving this one without any aids!

  19. Dave Ellison says:

    Yes, I found it tough going, too – only 5 completed after 36′. A three hour break and Mount Rushmore popped out (I had been toying with the first word being GREAT, which didn’t help), then whizzed through another 19, but the last three in top-left were a struggle.

    9a ILEUS is hardly a CD – the meaning of “food course” was clear from the start, so it reads like a definition, with no crypticity.

    Also, 18a Pluto is no longer a planet, sadly. This clue took longer than it should as a consequence, since a I stopped at Neptune.

  20. FumbleFingers says:

    Hi Claire – welcome to the club.

    I managed to dredge “ileum” from the faintest memories of biology classes way back, and if I’d been in the pub that’s what I’d have written. Fortunately Chambers was to hand, so I was easily convinced to go for ILEUS instead. And I only “sort of” knew COHO after the wordplay & checking letters left me looking for C?HO. Of course, if you’re down the pub much depends on how much the other people with you might know (or in the worst case, how much they might have drunk).

    Unlike Dave E, I don’t keep up with latest develpments in astronomy – so I went the extra couple of billion miles to find ex-planet Pluto all on my own!

  21. Carrots says:

    Spoilt rotten this week with some very clever clue-ing from my favourite setters. Alas, I must confess that Enigmatist drove me to the last resort of my magic box to complete his puzzle. 1ac., 9ac. & (oddly) 21ac. were the ones which defeated me. But, thanks Enigmatist: they were all fair, although WISIWIG is a neologism for me. (Shouldn`t it be WUSIWUG ?)

  22. Micawber says:

    Am I alone in thinking ‘berk’ shouldn’t be used in polite company about one’s fellow compilers? Or even ‘twit’? Next thing you know we’ll have crossword-dissing on the scale of Tupac and Biggie. (Right, Enigmatist, you’ve asked for it now!) ;~)

  23. Mr Beaver says:

    Carrots (@22) WISIWIG is a neologism. WYSIWYG has been around for at least 15 years and has made it far enough into popular culture to be the title of a CD

  24. Carrots says:

    Oh Dear, Mr Beaver…popular culture is the last thing I would wish to become an arbiter of linguistic usage. The very idea of a CD (no doubt frying brains with Thunk! Thunk! muzac)makes me despair. We`ll be including the epithets of footballers next……(!)

  25. El Viejo says:

    WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) dates back at least 40 years, originating in a fairly vulgar comedy routine by the comedian Flip Wilson on the American television show “Laugh-in.” Google will lead you to videos if your taste runs to that sort of thing. I first heard it applied to computer interface design at a conference around 1970, where it was treated as topical humor; it is now a standard acronym in the field.

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