Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,053 (Sat 3 Jul)/Puck – Taylor made

Posted by rightback on July 10th, 2010


Solving time: Turned to a dictionary for 16dn after 15 mins

This puzzle was themed around two men with similar names, the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge and the composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, and their works. I may well have missed some thematic references. The clues were ok but some were a bit over-complex, I thought.

Music of the day: Something from The Song of Hiawatha by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, but no link again I’m afraid as I have no sound or YouTube access available.

1 PARKER; PER (= ‘for each’) around ARK (= ‘vessel’) – Charlie Parker was a jazz saxophonist and ‘horn’ seems to be (American?) slang for the saxophone, which is actually a wind instrument.
9 ACID; I in AC/D[c]
10 BURGER BUNS; BUN (= ‘Some hair’) in rev. of GRUB + E.R. + S[omebody’s]
13 SHAMBOLIC; (I’M BLAC[k] + SO H[ot])
15 CHAR (hidden) – ‘char’ and ‘daily’ can both mean ‘cleaning lady’.
16 SINE; SIN + E[nvy]
17,12 THE SONG OF HIAWATHA; (GHOST OF[t]EN)* + H.I.A. + (WHAT A)* – I think ‘rent account’ must give HIA but I don’t know why. The answer is a musical trilogy based on Henry Longfellow’s epic poem.
21 BASE CAMP; BASE (= ‘Locate’) + CAM + P[ollution]
22 SAMUEL (3 defs) – the definitions are ‘Book’ (of the bible), ‘Taylor Coleridge’ (the poet) and ‘Coleridge-Taylor’ (the composer, who wrote the musical version of The Song of Hiawatha).
24 FOR ALL TIME; (I’M LEFT)* around ORAL
25, 2,20 COLERIDGE-TAYLOR; COLE (= ‘Old King [Cole]’) + [b]RIDGET + (ROYAL)*
26 FIACRE; A + C in FIRE
27 STEAMY; SEXY with (MATE)* replacing EX
1 PUCKISH (2 defs) – it took me ages to understand the first part of this clue, which obviously refers to the compiler.
3 EMBARGO; EGO around (M[ale] + BAR)*
5 ENEMAS; E[r]N[i]E + rev. of SAM[uel]
6 KUBLA KHAN; (A BLACK HUNK – C[aught])* – written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
8 ARCHBISHOPRIC; ARCH (= ‘Chief’) + BISH + O + PRIC[e]
14 MINNEHAHA; (MEN IN)* + HA,HA (= HAT,HAT with no ‘models’) – the lover of Hiawatha. If I could expunge forever one piece of crosswordese, ‘model’ = T would be high up the list of candidates.
16 SHADOOF; (FOOD HAS)* – I didn’t know this word and eventually gave up. This explains all.
18 SUSPECT; US + P[i]E in S.C.T.
23 MOCHA (hidden)

27 Responses to “Guardian 25,053 (Sat 3 Jul)/Puck – Taylor made”

  1. molonglo says:

    Thanks rightback. The STC/SCT theme revealed itself early with 5d’s SAM, leading to 22a. No aids needed for this. Among the best clues were 9, 10 and 27a.

  2. Biggles A says:

    12. I think HIA sounds like ‘hire’ = rent. This was a hard one I thought, even if the theme revealed itself quite soon. It did further my education; I find Coleridge-Taylor set Kubla Khan to music. Like Rightback I struggled with 16d after completing the rest. Having convinced myself the word must begin with ‘sea’ I spent some time unsuccessfully trying to figure out why it should be ‘seawolf’.

  3. Bryan says:

    Many thanks, Rightback, I found this rather testing and therefore very enjoyable. Having got KUBLA KHAN fairly early, this opened the door to others.

    I struggled before getting BURGER BUNS – my last one – but, as well as this, there are too many excellent clues to mention.

    Also, many thanks Puck for providing such pleasure.

  4. beermagnet says:

    What! A Saturday RB blog with no YouTube link?
    This YouTube bit from STC’s Hiawatha sounds quite nice:
    Webster Booth sings the aria from “Hiawatha” by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.

  5. tupu says:

    Thanks rightback and Puck!
    An excellent puzzle giving a lot of pleasure from its trip to Xanadu (so much better than the millennium dome don’t you think?). A good theme, not too dominant.

    I’m sure Biggles A is right re Hia – account (sounding like) being the giveaway.

    Shadoof held me up till the end as I did not know the word. After struggling with ‘sea..’ like Biggles A, I reluctantly decided it must be an anagram and came to the conclusion that that must be shadoof – and there it was grinning with a look of insane self-satisfaction in the dictionary.

  6. Max says:

    17,12: HIA used to be Housing Income Account, now the Housing Revenue Account (HRA), but they’re somewhat specialist acronyms in local government, and neither are in my Chambers. I’m not at all convinced about the homophone, but I can’t remember how I got the right answer for this one – possibly I got Minnehaha first.

  7. Gaufrid says:

    Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, an American composer named after Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, scored a ballet entitled ‘For Bird, With Love’ which was inspired by the music of Charlie Parker so perhaps 1ac was not fortuitous. With ‘perk’ appearing in 4ac I began to wonder if there was more to this puzzle than just the two Samuels but I didn’t find anything further.

  8. Tokyo Colin says:

    Thanks Rightback. I got most of this very quickly but then struggled mightily because I was doing it without electronic assistance and don’t know much about either STC or SCT. I suppose I have heard of the river Cam but it wouldn’t be in the first 1,000 I would name.

    No problems with Shadoof. I remember making a model in high school and will remember it forever.

    Can someone explain how LAY = Song? I entered [Over]LIE to begin with thinking there might be a connection with Lied but needed the ‘y’ for Steamy.

  9. tupu says:

    Hi Tokyo Colin
    Lay is an old word for poem, tale or song. It seems to be of doubtful origin. Macauley wrote ‘The Lays of Ancient Rome’ of which the best known is the poem about Horatius and the bridge. He is said not to have talked till the age of three when a woman fussed over him after spilling tea on him, whereupon he is reported as saying ‘Do not trouble yourself Madam, the pain has now abated’.

  10. Tokyo Colin says:

    One more comment… Rightback seems surprised that Charlie Parker’s saxophone is referred to as a horn. I am surprised that someone more musical than I am hasn’t stepped in to explain but maybe that has to do with the nature of this forum. The terms ‘horn’ and ‘horn section’ are frequently used for brass instruments in jazz, soul, R&B and even rock bands. And I am fairly sure that it is not restricted to the US. The explanation below is from a UK musician’s website.

    ‘However in jazz and popular music the term “horn” has come to mean any instrument that is blown, so a three piece horn section in a soul band will usually consist of a trumpet, saxophone and trombone, not a “French” horn.’

  11. Tokyo Colin says:

    Thank you tupu. I am able to find numerous references and definitions via ‘poem’ that include the meaning of ‘song’. That meaning of ‘lay’ seems to be of old French origin. And thank you for the reference to Macaulay and Horatius. Well worth knowing.

  12. Davy says:

    Thanks rightback,

    This was definitely hard work and I didn’t really enjoy it that much but persevered all the same. I got the theme quite early but that wasn’t really helpful in finishing the puzzle. The last two were SUSPECT which it took me ages to work out and STEAMY.

    I thought that 10a and 8d were overly complicated and didn’t quite work. Overall the puzzle was well-crafted but didn’t have much spark to it.

  13. Biggles A says:

    The Lay of the Last Minstrel of course.The four-beat lines that create its distinctive galloping rhythm were influenced by a recital that Scott had heard of Coleridge’s Christabel.

  14. Stella Heath says:

    Can anyone explain where ‘fire’ comes from in 26a? ‘Cashier’?

    Also, I would hardly describe an enema as an injection, at least not the only one I’ve ever had to suffer :(

    By the time I got ‘puckish’, I’d forgotten who the setter was; thanks for reminding me, RB.

  15. Bryan says:

    Stella @ 14

    Officers who misbehaved were often ‘CASHIERED’ (= ‘Fired’) from the Army.

  16. otter says:

    Thanks for the blog.

    I enjoyed this crossword. Got the theme very early – scanning the clues, and seeing that 25 2 20 was interchangeable with 20 25 2, and that they referred to people, I realised what it must be – but like others struggled after that, not being familiar with the works of STC or SC-T, beyond Kubla Khan of course. I got HIAWATHA at one point but then convinced myself I was wrong as I’d always thought Hiawatha was female. In need of re-education, clearly. Eventually had to look it up.

    ‘Horn’ is a pretty common jazz term for a saxophone (or trumpet) – ‘Bird blew a mean horn’, so didn’t surprise me here. I suppose it’s a sort of horn shape, even if the mouthpiece is different from that of (French) horns in classical music.

    Like Rightback, I got PUCKISH but simply couldn’t work out why – ‘I am at home’ – had completely forgotten who the setter was. Thanks for pointing it out.

    I’m still unclear on 9a: I got ACID for ‘tart’ but why would AC/DC be ‘bisexual’? If so it’s a bit of language use of which I’ve been blissfully unaware.

    Like Biggles (msg 2), I took HIA to be a homophone of ‘hire’, ‘account’ in the clue being the homophone operator, as in ‘giving an oral account of’.

    13a was easy to solve but inelegant in construction.

    Got BASE CAMP for 21a immediately in a flash of inspiration for ‘it’s uphill all the way from here’, but took me ages to work out why, until I suddenly saw CAM in there.

    Stella (msg 14), I’d say ‘injection’ is all right for ENEMA, as it is strictly an injection of fluid into the body; just not intravenously, which made it a misdirection. I think it was reasonable.

    I don’t mind ‘model’ for T, but ‘hats (no models required’ is horrid for HAHA. I did get it, though.

    I was left with 16d and 26a, which had to wait until I came back to the crossword the next day. I then had inspiration as to what to do with the cryptic part of the clues, and filled them in with words I’d never encountered. Looked them up and lo! now I know two new words.

    No complaints from me on this crossword: it was enjoyable and testing while still being possible without too much esoteric knowledge. While struggling with some of the themed clues for SC-T I did think it was a bit unfair to use such an obscure composer (at least, I think his name is reasonably well known, but I don’t know how well known his oeuvre is in these days even among the music-loving fraternity). However, on the other hand, it can be a bit of a let-down when, as soon as you get the ‘theme’ clue, you can fill in half the grid without having to think about the cryptic clues because the answers are so obvious from the theme. So I suppose there’s nothing wrong with a tricky theme, which keeps you thinking (unless you happen to be one of those few people who know the theme subject inside out).

    Bit long-winded there, but I hope it makes sense.

  17. Sil van den Hoek says:

    In Crypticland there are many roads to travel.
    When I drive to Araucaria’s place the road is OK, but I regularly think that someone changed the road signs to mislead me. Driving to Rufus’ house is a pleasure – the sun always shines and the road is well-maintained.

    Last weekend I visited Puck.
    Only to find out that the road was a kind of bridleway with some unexpected holes in it that made the journey rather unsettling.
    The problem is that I think Puck could have filled these holes to make travelling a bit less complicated.
    Luckily for me, I saw a library on the way, so I could ask for advice how to make the rest of the journey more comfortable.
    Indeed, in the end I reached Puck’s place. It didn’t take even that long, but I didn’t fully enjoy the journey. Bit wobbly.

    Anyway, thanks Rightback, and as you might suspect now, I fully agree with you when you say about the clu[e]ing: ‘ok, but some a bit over-complex’.

    For me, by far the best clues were: 1+4ac and 7d.
    9ac (ACID) was nice as well, and I learned today that AC/DC can mean ‘bisexual’ [which I didn’t know – thought it was a noisy band from Down Under].
    STEAMY (27ac) – Puck’s regularly smutty as well – wouldn’t have been out of place in his ‘Discontented’ crossword from May 7th [#25,004].

    Puck seems to like ‘partial to’ to indicate a hidden answer (23ac). He did it before [in that same May puzzle], and as far as I can remember, he is the only setter that I have ever seen using this indicator.
    Like Stella I didn’t know that ‘cashier’= ‘fire’ , but thanks to Bryan I am up to date.

    Just like me in this post [ :)], Puck sometimes wants to say too much.
    The words “I’m” and “and” are not needed, and probably there for the surface – but I don’t like them.
    Why “A function of envy etc.” and not just “Function etc.”?
    “that’s” is superfluous and in a way misleading (I was thinking of IE – one of these holes in the road). It has to be read as “that has”, but why not just “… female, aroused …”?
    I knew it had to be ARCHBISHOPRIC [no other word fitted] but the definition was made over-complicated by adding “overseas, say” . Apparently Puck means: an office that deals with sees. The trouble is that my Chambers says that an archbishopric is usually called a see itself.

    I had no problem with HAHA as a result of “ha[t] ha[t]” , but I didn’t like it very much because it could just as easily be a single HA : “hats” minus “ts” [plural of t: 1 t, 2 ts].

    On the 15th of June Puck had a truly fabulous crossword published [# 25,037 – one of the best this year]: last weekend I decided to return from Puck’s place along thát road [despite some devious bends, but the weather was good].

    Came home safely!

  18. Claire says:

    Hi, just for clarification (unless someone has beaten me to it) As far as I have always been led to believe, in electricty, AC = alternating current; DC = direct current. Hence AC/DC means capable of working both ways.

    Shadoof was one of the first I got with memories of history lessons on the Egyptians when I was about 11.

    Ain’t education great!

  19. Martin H says:

    For some reason I thought I was doing an Araucaria, and only realised the truth when I saw the blog today. It actually worked very well as an Araucaria, incidentally providing an – albeit slight – instance of Borges’s technique of erroneous attribution. (“Pierre Menard, Author the Quixote” by Jorge Luis Borges in ‘Labyrinths’, a work to be recommended to all devotees of cryptic crosswords). However, it worked equally well as a Puck, and now I understand 1 down.
    Thanks Puck, rb and indeed Araucaria.

  20. rrc says:

    The Guardian crossword page did indeed say the prize was by araucaria. I printed it off and started OK managaged to crack the theme, and began thinking that this was very complicated for A. and then noticed it was Puck. I agree that having got the linked clues there were still gaps in the crossword. Not a pleasant or enjoyable experience overall – i also dislike compliers who rely on single letter in clues because this practice should be outlawed.

  21. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog, rightback. SHADOOF was new to me, too. I dimly remembered a Radio 4 programme about Samuel Taylor-Coleridge, but too dimly to avoid Googling.

    Sil — I loved your ‘roads to travel’ metaphor!

    Martin H — For some reason (possibly the linked clues), I thought I was doing an Araucaria, too, which was why 1dn mystified me and 5dn seemed a little risque!

  22. liz says:

    rcc — The pdf on the website correctly attributed the puzzle to Puck, so I had no excuses!

  23. tupu says:

    I agree with rightback that t = model has become rather laboured. Minnehaha’s name meant Laughing Water, as Longfellow repeatedly tells us, and perhaps a clue with laughter in it might have been more appropriate.

    Longfellow is perhaps best known for ‘The Village Blacksmith’ (Under the spreading chestnut tree etc) and ‘The Wreck of the Hesperus’ which has given rise to a common metaphor. His Hiawatha was inspired by the Finnish Kalevala epic. The style and metre of the poem seems to lend itself readily to parody – there is a nice one, I recall, about Hiawatha making himself a pair of mittens.

  24. Roger says:

    Hi Sil,
    I too have been on a journey, only mine was a few days away from Computerland altogether, returning just this morning ~ so you have probably ‘left the building’ by now !

    However , wrt your comment on 13a, “I’m” is indeed needed since it forms part of the anagram and in 16a, “envy” is needed as it is a sin (one of the Seven Deadly variety). I agree “that’s” is a bit iffy in 25etc; maybe the humble “and” would work better …

    Thanks for your analysis btw, rightback, although this is puzzle 25053, isn’t it ?

  25. Gaufrid says:

    Thanks Roger, numbering now corrected.

  26. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Roger (#26),

    You’re absolutely right about 13ac, of course.
    I’M is indeed needed for the anagram, silly me.
    [I remember that I didn’t like ‘and’ because it was only there to link two parts of the construction, and it could have been left out easily]

    I do not fully agree on 16ac, though.
    The answer SINE is a well-known mathematical function, but the definition doesn’t need the “a” at the start [in my opinion, it doesn’t refer to “envy” (‘envy, say’ is enough for SIN) but is only linked with “function”].

    I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Puck’s puzzles.
    They are undoubtedly clever, sometimes even a bit too.
    But it is the surface reading that’s most of the times not smooth enough to my taste – especially given the fact that I feel it could be more fluent.

    But then, as I often say, we’re all different aren’t we?
    Happily so.

  27. Roger says:

    Hear what you’re saying wrt 16a Sil (still there ?), although I have no problem with the clue as it stands. SINE is “a function” after all and not “function” im(very)ho.

    (Just a thought, I wonder if ‘a function of’ could be doing extra duty in indicating the subsequent relationship between SIN and E ~ but probably best not to go there).

    I’m with you entirely on your last point though ~ vive la différence !

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