Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,062 – Chifonie

Posted by manehi on July 14th, 2010


Found this pretty quick for a Chifonie, but well-clued as usual. 20ac made me smile and my only slight niggle was with the repetition of the “O” indicator in 9 and 13.

7 CHAMBERS CHARS=cleaners around MBE=decoration
9 OCELOT O[ld] + CELT around O=love
10 BRAG BRA=supporter + G[rand]
11 SMATTERING SING=carol (as a verb), around MATTER
12 PRISON PR=priest (short for pastor) + IS + ON=working
14 DUMPSTER is synonymous with “skip” in the US
15 SELECT LE=”the Parisian” in SECT
17 STRAIN =family, as in breed. STAIN around R[oyal]
20 RETAILER might be needed by mice whose tails the farmer’s wife chopped off with a carving knife
23 WATERMELON (alert women)*
24 RUTH RUT + H[ard]
25 ZEALOT (to laze)*
26 TEAR DOWN =trash, either in the sense of belittling or demolishing. TEAR=drop + DOWN=feathers
1 CHARTRES RE=Royal Engineer in CHARTS
2 SMUG S=shilling=bob + MUG=face
3 SEASON SEA=main + SON=issue
5 HEARTSEASE (these areas)*
6 BOUNCE B[lack] + OUNCE, an old name for a lynx
13 SALTARELLO an Italian dance. ALTAR inside SELL=promote + O=love
16 CALAMITY CAL[ifornia] + AMITY
18 NIGHT OWL NIGH TO W[elsh] L[ake]
19 ARMLET ARM=member + LET
21 ERASED ERAS + ED[ward]
22 SUNDAE (and use)*
24 RUDE PRUDE=schoolmarm without the top letter

30 Responses to “Guardian 25,062 – Chifonie”

  1. NeilW says:

    Thanks manehi

    As you say, very straightforward, although the top right held me up for a couple of minutes as it was slightly more tricky than the rest, which I found very ordinary. I’d be interested to hear what Eileen thought of 24dn…

  2. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks manehi and Chifonie. Was unfamiliar with the skip definition in 14A. Here in US those who forage for the odd meal in these containers are called “dumpster divers.” Is there a similar term across the pond?


  3. Bryan says:

    Many thanks, manehi, very enjoyable!

    I guessed 13d correctly and, after deciding that 9a was the name of Chifonie’s cat, I opted for Oberon.

  4. rrc says:

    pleasant enough but smiles and aha moments were distinctly lacking.

  5. duncandisorderly says:

    like an episode of the clangers- didn’t last long, but I felt better afterwards. sometimes the “easier” grids are still satisfying, no? I put it down to biorhythms anyway- yesterday’s didn’t take me long either, but this was despatched in 12 minutes.
    thought 5d was hyphenated usually… & had to check 12d.

    grandpuzzler- a “skip” is a type of dumpster, yes. usually open-topped, often found near properties that are being renovated. often raided for waste-wood & so forth (but NB not food!) during the night, & so there has evolved a version with a lockable cover. delivered & taken away again by a special vehicle with a hooped mechanism that lifts the container using chains onto the rear of the truck. these things cost a fortune to rent, & you must obtain a permit from the local authority.

    (google images “skip truck”)

    not sure what the etymology is… chambers (7ac!) claims derivation from old norse “skep”, a basket or beehive. same word (skip) has been used for clothes hamper in theatrical contexts, but I think this is old.


  6. tupu says:

    Thanks manehi and Chifonie

    Another enjoyable puzzle though a little harder for me than some others seem to have found. I especially liked 22a, and 18d.

    I had to guess 12d and 14a. 1d puzzled me at first but it eventually clicked. 15a also held me up a little – I thought it must be pickle. The only trouble was it didn’t fit or make much sense.

    23a came immediately because I had first tried Louisiana for 16d and remembered ‘that’s where the watermelons grow’!

    Manehi re 6d. Ounce is not a word for lynx as far as I know but for the very different Asian snow leopard. Varieties of lynx are very widely distributed and have distinctive tufted ears.

    NeilW re 24down. Yes, its not very nice, even though it is unfortunately a standard idiom (cf Chambers).

  7. Myrvin says:

    Not too bad. Not heard of 13d – I worked it out though. I’d heard of 5d, but I was surprised what it meant. 14a seems to be a Rufus clue – only a cryptic def. The point of “across the pond” is that it is supposed to be called that IN the US. (OED has orig. U.S., and says it comes from ‘Dempster Dumpster’ – Dempster Brothers having patented it) Last entry was the 4 letter first part of 26a.

  8. Uncle Yap says:

    For a while I thought this was a Rufus puzzle; smooth and slick.

    Thank you manehi for the blog and Chifonie for an enjoyable puzzle

  9. Stella Heath says:

    An enjoyable romp, though I didn’t see the reason for 14a or 24d until I read the blog – my Mum and I having both been teachers, I never thought of us as prudes, but now you say so… :D

  10. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, manehi. Thought this was going to be a real breeze, with the first dozen clues falling really quickly; but then I did find a few of the remainder tougher. RETAILER was excellent and I also liked SEASON, which for some reason was my last to go in. But an enjoyable and on the whole tightly-clued puzzle. My only, very minor, gripe would be that in 26ac, ‘trash’ is not really equivalent to ‘tear down’. The Who and The Rolling Stones would regularly trash hotel rooms, and Kathryn informs me that Amy Winehouse has a similar propensity de nos jours. But the hotel rooms are still intact.

    grandpuzzler @ no 2: I think I’ve heard the term ‘skip raider’ in British English, but on Googling it I find it’s the name of a band, so happen I’ve made that up.

  11. Brian says:

    duncandisorderly @ no 5: A “freegan” raids skips behind supermarkets for discarded near sell by date food.

  12. Myrvin says:

    If it’s a ‘dumpster diver’, then it ought to be a ‘skip dipper’.

  13. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Stella @ no 9: forgive me, because we hardly know each other, but if you’ve been on an enjoyable romp this morning, it’s unlikely that you’re a prude …

  14. tupu says:

    Hi manehi
    p.s. re ounce. On further searching, I must agree that you are right that this is an ‘old’ (but now apparently obsolete) word for lynx (and an ill-defined range of other mid-sized cats). More than this I see it derives from the same Latin root as ‘lynx’ (the ‘l’ has been dropped). However, the standard modern meaning, is more narrowly ‘snow leopard’.

  15. Myrvin says:

    Ounce has quite a story in the OED. The l was lost from the old French ‘lonce’ because someone thought it was ‘l’once’. This is the opposite of what hapened to ‘ewt’, which gained the n from ‘an ewt’ to become our ‘newt’.

  16. James Droy says:

    Dear all,

    Skip diving is alive an well in Britain, although not in Chambers. Skip diving, unlike dumpster diving, is simply retrieving furniture, kitchen stuff, brick-a-brack etc from skips. I’ve decorated and furnished at least one whole flat with free furniture. It helps if you live in an area being rapidly gentrified. Because the gentry, as we all no, have more money than sense.

  17. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Myrvin @15 – interesting etymology, thank you. The opposite has happened with another animal, the adder. Originally this was a nadder, but then it lost its initial consonant to become an adder. Apparently ‘nadder’ still survives in some northern dialects, but I’ve personally never heard it.

    Since you ask, yes, work is a bit slow today …

  18. tupu says:

    Hi Myrvin
    More like ‘orange’ etc. from ‘naranja’ etc.?
    Here as elsewhere, OED etymologies are fascinating but not always easy to follow, I find.

  19. FumbleFingers says:

    Thanks manehi (my only “slight niggle” was W for Welsh, which seems slightly forced)

    Satisfyingly brief & well-formed clues throughout, though somewhat unchallenging for me personally. Certainly a good puzzle for tyros – if you want to do cryptic crosswords you have to learn OUNCE sooner or later, so why not start early?

    14a was my COD, for the slick misdirection of the surface reading.

  20. Wysawyg says:

    @Kathryn’s Dad.

    I interpretted Tear Down and Trash as synonyms in context of ruining someone’s reputation. You trash a reputation, you also tear down their reputation.

  21. Carrots says:

    A simple enough confection which which was largely easy to solve. BUT (!) my nemsis was 14 ac. Having worked and lived in the States, I confidently put in DIGESTER for DUMPSTER….and this snookered for CONTEMPT at 4 dn!

    I knew that I hadn`t imagined this term, so I called an American friend who tells me that a DIGESTER is a “green” device for converting organic waste into electricity. I don`t remember ever having seen one, but the connection with “waste” must have stuck in my fly-paper brain…hence the relationship to “skip”. Whattawally!!

  22. Derek Lazenby says:

    Didn’t think I was going to finish this but then I did something else and came back to it.

    Not only does 24d contain the politicaly incorrect, experience indicates it incorrect full stop, :D

  23. Gerry says:

    Never heard of ‘saltarello’ but worked it out. Liked 20ac.

  24. Brian Harris says:

    Good solid stuff today from the reliable Chifonie. Learned a couple of words -Saltarello and Heartsease (being neither a dancer nor much of a botanist).

  25. Peter up North says:

    Enjoyable and quite straightforward. However, not knowing the cat referred to by ‘ounce’, I persuaded my wife that Black should have been Dead :-)

  26. FumbleFingers says:

    @Peter up North,

    I just checked my copy of “101 Uses For A Dead Cat”. So far as I can see, they’re not renowned for being particularly bouncy once all 9 lives are used up.

  27. Ian says:

    Thanks manehi. I really did like this Chifonie.

    Much pleasure from 14 and 20 ac.

    38′ The right hand side took 80% of the solving time.

  28. Davy says:

    Thanks Manehi and Chifonie,

    This is the first crossword I’ve finished this week having missed a small number in both Rufus and Brummie.
    I seem to do better with the prize crossword these days and nearly always finish it. Must try harder during the week.

    Don’t know why 24d is a problem. I had a music teacher called Miss Higson who was very schoolmarmish with no sense of humour. Anyone who laughed in class got the strap (tawse) and back in those days, the teachers used to hit the pupils with anything that came to hand. They would be arrested today for similar behaviour.

    An enjoyable puzzle which made me realise that I didn’t know how to spell OCELOT. I was convinced that it began ‘OS’ and couldn’t find it in the dictionary. Hey ho.

  29. Scarpia says:

    Thanks Manehi.
    Pretty straightforward stuff from Chifonie.Pleasant enough to solve but too much use of the same devices (insertions and charades)for it to rise above the o.k. level.
    Top clue 20 across.

  30. Joshua's mum says:

    Late as usual as I read the Guardian in the evening. I thought 5d might be petrissage because of the cultivation and petri dish connection.

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