Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Genius 85: a Yarborough

Posted by bridgesong on August 2nd, 2010

bridgesong.

I found this easier than some recent Genius puzzles. There was only one obscure word and most of the clues were fairly straightforward.
The requirement here was to identify how the answers to ten clues should be shortened. I fairly soon identified that we were talking about cards, as king ten and queen were to be omitted, but it took far too long for me (a bridge player!) to work out that 10 across was Yarborough, a hand of 13 cards containing no cards higher than the nine. In fact, although the instructions do not say so, there were two of each kind of card omitted (shown in brackets).

Across
8 (QUEEN’)S ENGLISH *((h)IGHNESS + L(anguage).
9 (QUEEN)SLAND L in SAND. I didn’t know that there was also an Ipswich in Australia.
10 YARBOROUGH The odds against getting such a hand are 1,827 to 1. It feels as though I get them more often than that!
11 SAPS SPAS (rev).
12 FLEXIBLE XI + B + (hote)L in FLEE.
14 (JACK)ANAPES (c)ANAPES.
15 BAGASSE GAS in BASE. For me, this was the only unfamiliar word in the puzzle.
17 PECKISH *CHICKPEAS minus C(old) and A(ppetising).
20 SEX-KIT(TEN) EX in SKIT.
22 DOPAMINE AMIN in DOPE.
24 PL(ACE)BO LP (rev); I’m not sure about the last two letters. Does anyone have any suggestions?
25 PROSTITUTE TIT + UT in PROSE.
27 SCARF(ACE)
28 BUTTER UP UTTER in PUB (rev).
Down
1 MEGA
2 EGG-BOX GB in EGO + X.
3 DISROBES O B in *(DRESS + I).
4 SHOUTED OUT in SHED.
5 ASTHMA A + ST + HMA. I loved “breathtaking problems” as a definition.
6 BAS(KING)SHARK BASS + HARK.
7 ADOPTED SON * SPOT ON DEAD.
13 LEADERLESS L + *RELEASED + S.
16 ARK ROYAL YORK (rev) in LARA (rev).
18 (JACK)ET POTATO POT in *TO EAT.
19 ADSORBS AD + ORB in SS.
21 TIP-OFF Double definition.
23 MOTH-EA(TEN) THE in MOA.
26 TRUC(KING) CURT (rev).

9 Responses to “Guardian Genius 85: a Yarborough”

  1. Peter LeFanu Lumsdaine says:

    Re 24 across, I suspect that the final BO is a reversal of OB, abbreviation for OBVERSE, although I couldn’t quite see how this makes “front, not back” add up right (OBVERSE could be defined as “front”, or “not back”, but either way, what’s left doesn’t quite say to flip it).

  2. Gaufrid says:

    Hi bridgesong
    In 24ac BO is BO[w] (front {of a ship}, not back).

  3. Little Dutch Girl says:

    Thanks Gaufrid for the post and explanations.

    This is the first Genius Crossword we’ve completed and feel really pleased with ourselves since it is one by Paul a compiler we struggle with – but enjoy. We usually struggle with the instructions for the Genius (including this one!) and lack of time to concentrate (that’s our excuse!) sees the Genius puzzle being abandoned half way through the month! I was also worried when someone earlier this month commented as part of a post on another crossword about the July Genius which made it sound like a real toughie and given the compiler I thought “oh no – no chance with this one then.” How wrong can you be – helped by the House Elf playing bridge.

    I’d thought that the non-words might mean acronyms but it was 27 across that gave us the entry into the puzzle’s special clues.

    I agree that 24a is not entirely clear. This was one of the last to be solved. I’d taken the flipping to be LP (record) to be reversed in the answer to give PL which then given the definitional part leading to placebo. Having by then grasped the instructions spotted “ace” in the word and removed it. But I can’t also see where the BO comes from. It could be that it is the front syllable from OBVERSE.

    I loved 17a.

    Thank you to Paul for giving us the encouragement to keep trying with the Genius! This month’s Genius has not yet been posted on the Guardian website. I see that there has been a bit of ding-dong about the June Genius puzzle (Guardian crossword editors blog)and the ambiguity of answers which is the kind of thing that has put us off in the past.

  4. Ian W. says:

    Little Dutch Girl @3,

    I was able to access this month’s Genius a little after 1am this morning, so if you can’t, keep trying. I think you need to try searching the archive rather than just the main Genius page. And keep refreshing the page constantly. Very annoying to stay up late just for the crossword and then spend an hour trying to access it, but it’s not the first time this has happened.

  5. Little Dutch Girl says:

    Thanks Ian @4 it’s there now and we’ve just printed it to have a go over lunch!

  6. Myrvin says:

    The first one of these I’ve tried. I was surprised I could finish it, what with all the non-words.
    Spotted the card theme fairly early.
    For those new to this (would they be doing one of these?), your explanation for 1d is missing. GAME with ME before GA.
    Wouldn’t it be wonderful to set something like this and still be able to enter real words?

  7. Jan says:

    Thank you, Bridgesong, for the blog, and thank you to Paul for another really enjoyable puzzle.

    The canapes got me going but I had very few solutions when I looked at, —B—–H, and ‘saw’, YARBOROUGH. The light bulb on my head lit up. A quick check that there was an Ipswich in Queensland and I was off.

    It took me a little while to explain BO[w]. At least it wasn’t smelly. :-)

    LDG, SCARF(ace) was the last to be solved here but was definitely my favourite.

  8. Mr Beaver says:

    Likewise, we found this easy for a Genius. In fact I only printed it out yesterday morning, having (at last) caught up with our backlog of daily cryptics the day before!
    Completing one in a day felt like a real coup: it normally takes a couple of weeks, if ever. It was good to see that, despite the constraints of the form, Paul managed to get a couple of (mildly) smutty answers in.

  9. Petero says:

    Agreed that this turned out to be not so difficult as Geniuses go; so I made difficulties of my own. The first truncated answer that I solved was 23D MOTHEA. Definition, shabby – why, it must be motheared, of course. This let up some blind alleys (red – colours? Red queen – Alice?), and it was not until the following day that the absurdity of it dawned on me. At least it led me to the reasonable, and correct, solution that the answers were to be shortened by whole words.

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