Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25079 – Bonxie

Posted by Uncle Yap on August 3rd, 2010

Uncle Yap.

Phew! What a tough puzzle with hard boiled eggs dressed with pepper sauce. Without Google and Wikipedia, I would not have completed this blog. Otherwise, an entertaining and fair challenge.

ACROSS
1 SUBSOIL Cha of SUBS (substitutes or reserves, say, at a football match) OIL (fuel)
5 PULL-TAB *(Penny ALL BUT)
9 UPSET ha
10 POLICE CAR *(POLAR ICE Clubs)
11 ROOD SCREEN ROOD (rev of DOOR, entrance) SCREEN (show, say a film) an ornamental partition separating choir from nave
12 SIDE dd to impart side to (snooker slang)
14 NIGHTINGALE NIGHT IN (just having a quiet evening at home) GALE (big blow) I had to google to find “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square” is a romantic British popular song as well as a 1979 film by Ralph Thomas
18 COLD STORAGE What a lovely quasi-&lit *(drag coolest)
21 FORE The square of two is FOUR (which sounds like FORE, in front )
22 UNILATERAL *(natural lie)
25 LONG RANGE Cha of L (learner or trainee) ON (working) GRANGE (country house)
26 RUMMY RUM (strange or suspect) MAY (might) minus A
27 SEEK OUT Ins of EEK (frightened noise) in SOUTH pole minus H
28 HOSTAGE Ins of TAG (label) in HOSE (socks)

DOWN
1 SQUARE dd to adjust / square position; one of 64 black or white positions on a chess-board where a bishop is a piece
2 BISHOP BI’S (twice) HOP (dance)
3 OBTUSENESS *(Set bonuses)
4 LEPER Ins of P (first letter of Person) in LEER (Rev of REEL, wind)
5 PALAESTRA Alternate letters of sPrAy LeAdErS aT bReAk ; a wrestling school; a gymnasium; wrestling; a training-ground
6 LOCK LOC (rev of COL, colonel, officer) K (last letter of cock; nice device, cocktail)
7 TACTICAL Ins of ACT I (Act one, scene one, start of play) + C (castle, presumably altho’ Chambers does not support this and the chess notation for castle is R for ROOK) in TAL (Mikhail Nekhemyevich Tal (1936-1992) Latvian chess grandmaster who in 1960, at the age of 23, became the youngest world chess champion when he upset the defending champion, Mikhail Botvinnik, by a score of 121/2 to 81/2)
8 BERKELEY Cha of BERK (fool or wally) E (sweetheart or middle letter of SWEET) LEY, any of the straight lines between features of the landscape, possibly pathways, or perhaps having scientific or magical significance in prehistoric times (also ley line). George Berkeley (1685–1753), also known as Bishop Berkeley (Bishop of Cloyne), was an Irish philosopher whose primary achievement was the advancement of a theory he called “immaterialism”
13 INDENTURES Cha of IN (trendy, popular or hip) DENT (depression) *(SURE) service contracts usually between Master craftsmen and apprentices
15 GROUNDNUT Cha of GROUND (found, to lay the bottom or foundation of; to establish on a basis) NUT (rev of TUN, barrel)
16 SCUFFLES Ins of CUFF (hit) in S (small) LES (Leslie, a boy)
17 FLORENCE FLOR (rev of ROLF Harris, an Australian gentleman?) PENCE without P, an Italian city on the River Arno (see 24Down)
19 CRIMEA CRIME (offence) + A ; Florence Nightingale is most remembered as a pioneer of nursing when she and 38 nurses served in Scutari during the Crimean War.
20 CLOYNE CLOY (weary) NE (adj (of a man) born, used in giving the original name of a titled man) See 8Down
23 LEECH General Robert E LEE C & H (cold and hot taps) I used to tell my young nieces and nephews that it was an Englishman from Leicester by name of Conrad Hutchinson who first thought of heating water above the fireplace and diverting it to the kitchen and bathroom to provide a constant source of hot water. In his honour, the Plumber Society of Great Britain decided to put his initials on taps and this practice has survived to this day.
24 ARNO Ins of R (red) in A NO (a refusal)

Key to abbreviations
dd = double definition
dud = duplicate definition
tichy = tongue-in-cheek type
cd = cryptic definition
rev = reversed or reversal
ins = insertion
cha = charade
ha = hidden answer
*(fodder) = anagram

52 Responses to “Guardian 25079 – Bonxie”

  1. NeilW says:

    Thanks, Uncle Yap. All good fun today, I thought.

    11ac SCREEN is “show site”, I think, rather than just “show”, although your putting “site” into the definition works too.

  2. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks, Uncle Yap, for your excellent blog and especially your parsing of 8A. Berk and Ley – two new words for me but, by golly, I knew the middle letter of sweet!

  3. ACP says:

    Can you explain a bit more of 12ac, SIDE, please ?

  4. NeilW says:

    ACP: “English” is a US slang term for striking the cue ball off-centre to impart side-spin. Bank is the definition of course.

  5. NeilW says:

    …bank as in the side-cushion of a snooker table in the context of the clue.

  6. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Uncle Yap.

    I enjoyed those I got but I am afraid that the setter was decidedly Bonksie to even suppose that anyone would know any American slang in (arguably) the most boring game in the Universe.

  7. rrc says:

    The only quick solve was Berkeley square after I had got nightingale. In the end I gave up with 12 and 14 to do. Not many smiles and fewer ah ah moments. just a slog to complete

  8. Richard says:

    Thanks for the blog, Uncle Yap.

    Having read the comments on the Guardian page, I thought I was going to be in for a frustrating time, but in fact I found this straightforward and fun apart from 12 and the awful 20.

  9. walruss says:

    I don’t know if a puzzle can be ‘entertaining and fair’ as well as ‘tough with hard-boiled aeggs and pepper sauce’, Uncle Yap. I would somply have said, ‘this puzzle is very badly written’!!

  10. Myrvin says:

    Stuck on the last 4 letter word again – 12a.
    Got it by sheer slog.
    The rest seemed OK.
    Had to Wiki the Bishop.

    Pleased to note that I finished this month’s Genius last night. Last one in was the very last clue.
    Does one have to work out all the extras too? The 8 phrases and the extra-letter words?

  11. Scarpia says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap.
    I really enjoyed this puzzle,with it’s clever use of cross referenced clues.Would have struggled to complete without access to various reference books.Luckily today is my day off so I had easy access to sources.

    Last to go in was 21 across,I spent a fair bit of time trying to fit FIRE to the definition(F1 is the white bishops square in chess).
    SIDE I knew from previous crosswords,CLOYNE I got from the wordplay,TACTICAL was the only possible answer,but had to look up Tal to confirm wordplay.
    Lots of brilliant clues, especially liked 14,18 and 27 across and 6 down(cocktail – very clever!).
    Liked the little story at 23 Uncle Yap. :)

  12. Stella Heath says:

    A convoluted solve, with the cross-references unrelated. I was looking for a theme, and rather innocently thought that the bishop’s initial square might be four; then I wondered what a nightingale had to do with anything…

    I’m too young to remember Dame Vera Lynn, but the title of the song was vaguely familiar, so I Google and spent four mins. listening to the reproduction while waiting for inspoiration for 12a – which never came, as I’d never hear of the expression. When I cheated, I thought English might refer to, for example, the football team, or “English side”, and a bank would be the side of a river. In any case, an impossible clue.

    I also had to refer to Wiki for Bishop Berkeley of Cloyne. This was a difficult puzzle – impossible without references – but I enjoyed boththe solving and the research.

    Florence>Nightingale>Crimea
    >Arno

    Berkeley>Square>Nightingale
    >Bishop>Cloyne

    Very complex!

  13. Scarpia says:

    Hi Stella.
    A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square was originally performed by Judy Campbell(mother of Jane Birkin).
    It has since become a standard,recorded by many singers,including Frank Sinatra.I think one of the best interpreters was Mel Torme http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUOi1ogwE8o&feature=related

  14. Dave Ellison says:

    I quite enjoyed this despite failing on 12a. Despite thinking TAL was in there somewhere, I also had trouble with 7d, because stupidly I had written AAR instead of CAR for 10a; I must give up this habit of writing letters wrongly, as it has caught me several times recently.

    5a I thought was not obvious; ring pull is surely more common, and googling PULL TAB gives a reference to lotteries – you have to dig a bit deeper to get the ring pull definition.

    15d FOUND and GROUND a bit too close, in my view.

    I liked the miss direction in 21a.

  15. Dave Ellison says:

    misdirection, sorry

  16. walruss says:

    An interesting history, but for many the clue would remain unsolved! That can’t be right.

  17. Myrvin says:

    DE: 17d 14a was the only Miss – in both directions.

  18. Mr. Jim says:

    Thanks to Uncle Yap and Bonxie. I’m surprised everyone found this tough, this was a rare finish for us, excepting CLOYNE (our best guess was BLAYNE). I suppose there are many things that one might not know and we were a little lucky. I remembered PALAESTRA from the Cambridge Latin Course (Caecilius est in horto etc etc)

    Thought the interweaving of NIGHTINGALE with FLORENCE and BERKELY SQUARE was quite clever.

  19. Tokyo Colin says:

    Many thanks Uncle Yap. You clearly put a lot of work into the blog.

    I was lucky enough to know most of the Berkeley/Nightingale/Crimea connections but had to wait until I had most of the crossing letters to even suspect that PALAESTRA was even a word. I am impressed that Mr. Jim has heard of it. And SIDE was difficult, even though I can see it in hindsight.

    I might borrow the story of Conrad Hutchison for my grandchildren, when they arrive.

  20. tupu says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap and Blonxie

    Very hard at times. 12a held me up and only became clear when I looked up English in the dictionary! I took bank to be the side of a river or lake. A very tough clue given the possibilities with _i_e and the apparent Americanism.

    I had to work out and then check 5d.

    Enjoyed the connections between 1d, 2d, 8d, 14a, 17d, 19d, 20d and 24a.

    Other nice clues included 10, 18 and 26.

    Overall I rather enjoyed the challenge till getting stuck for too long on 12 at the end.

  21. John says:

    Mostly ok. The anagrams in 18 and 22 ac deserve better anagrinds though.
    I’m not sure I exactly equate tactical with cunning. It has a different slant somehow. C for “castle” is another of my pet hates, the indiscriminate use of an initial letter, (as is R for “red” in 24 dn), and is only there because of the chess allusion,
    Also I don’t think the “bank” in 12 ac has anything to with a snooker cushion. It’s a simple dd with SIDE being the definition of both “english” as noted elsewhere and “bank” as in “side” of a river.

  22. Myrvin says:

    Side: Chambers has (among lots of others) “an aspect; a direction; a particular district; a border or bank”.

  23. muck says:

    Many thanks Uncle Yap for your excellent and comprehensive blog.
    I thought this was difficult, didn’t get SIDE or CLOYNE and needed your explanation of FORE.

  24. Carrots says:

    A challenging and satisfying puzzle. I wonder where Bonxie gets his psuedonym from…I hope it isn`t derived from what I think it might be?!?!

  25. Aloysius Donald says:

    Never heard of Tal & hate the baize game, so the last two in were only well informed (but correct) guesses. It’s one thing to complete it and another to get 100% resolution of every clue. This was a bit tough for a Monday, Bonxie.

  26. monica says:

    a very good puzzle, but like most other solvers i had to wikipedia ‘cloyne’

  27. monica says:

    aloysius: er… it’s tuesday

  28. Derek Lazenby says:

    Glad to see this was rated hard, having given up on just a couple :(

    Just to clarify 12, both words, English and Bank, are American Pool slang, there is even a variant called Bank Pool where you can only score from “banking” shots, i.e. off the cushion in English terms.

    So the clue is US Pool Slang + US Pool Slang gives English Snooker/Billiards Slang. Quite neat when you think of it like that! And dang it all, it was one I didn’t get.

    Hmm, why is it most of the things I get to explain indicate a mis-spent youth? Then people wonder why I never had the time for more literary pursuits, :D

  29. cholecyst says:

    Carrots: Bonxie is the Shetland name for the Great Skua. I still await someone to justify Castle = c in 7dn. Is it sometimes abbreviated in place names? eg C. Cary? Though I can’t recall ever having seen it used in this way.

  30. Bryan says:

    Cholecyst @ 29

    And here are some images of Bonxie who looks friendly enough:

    http://www.nigelspencer.co.uk/wildlife-web-pages/british-birds/skua-great.htm

  31. Stella Heath says:

    Thanks Scarpia “13

  32. tupu says:

    Re 12a. Like John and Myrvin I don’t see any need for the further Americanism (re Bank) to clarify the clue. English is an americanism for ‘side’, but whatever else it may be ‘bank’ is a standard non-jargon English and American word for side (of a road, river, lake). Any further ref. to pool is at most an extra ornamentation.

  33. Sylvia says:

    When I only had 5a, 12a and 7d to complete I tried for ages to make 7d ‘Sicilian’, thinking of chess. Eventually realised it couldn’t be and tentatively inserted ‘pull tab, tactical and side’ though not too sure. Glad to find this was correct.

  34. Garry says:

    And Bonxie is a birdwatcher http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/bonxie

  35. Myrvin says:

    C. Chambers has: “C or C. abbreviation: Calorie, a kilocalorie; especially in place names on maps, Cape; castle (chess)”. So there you go.

  36. Myrvin says:

    Oh! And “pull-tab a ring pull, a tongue of metal with a ring attached to it, which pulls to open a beer, etc can; in eg illustrations, especially in children’s books, a piece of paper or card attached to a part of an illustration, which can be pulled to make (that part of) the illustration move or alter in some way.”

    What did AD do with Monday? I lost a day between Tahiti and Aukland once.

  37. Myrvin says:

    While we’re at it. INDENTURES: What do they say of apprentice makers of false teeth?

  38. C. Smith says:

    Alternative explanation to 21a. The Bishop’s square (or at least one of them)is in most chess notations file 4

  39. cholecyst says:

    Well spotted Garry @34. Not a lot of skuas in Somerset.

    Myrvin @35. Thanks. That settles it. Couldn’t find that example in my Chambers. Failing eyesight or braincells.

  40. Derek Lazenby says:

    @35, so that font of inaccuracy, Chambers, gives C for castle in chess does it? I’ve been playing for 5 decades and in that time there have only been 2 accepted notations for moves. Both of them use the letter R. Do Chambers give any citation for the origin of that rhubarb?

  41. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Here’s our Opinion of the Day – our??:

    All good fun today, I thought (NeilW, #1).

    Lots of brilliant clues, especially liked 14,18 and 27 across and 6 down (cocktail – very clever!) (Scarpia, #11).

    15d FOUND and GROUND a bit too close, in my view (Dave Ellison, #14)

    Many thanks Uncle Yap. You clearly put a lot of work into the blog (Tokyo Colin, #19).

    I thought this was difficult, didn’t get SIDE or CLOYNE (Muck, #23)

    A challenging and satisfying puzzle (Carrots, #24)

    Unexpectedly tough for a Bonxie, but very rewarding (Sil van den Hoek, #41)

    Sorry, walruss, completely disagree with you (#9) [or was it a fun remark?]

  42. Gerry says:

    I enjoyed it and found that once I’d got 14ac most others sliped into place. Had to check where Bishop Berkeley did his bishopping though. And 5d almost ‘threw me’.

  43. Aloysius Donald says:

    My brain is so addled with cruciverbalism that I don’t know what day it is, thanks to those who set me straight.

  44. Paul B says:

    Well, it’s Wednesday.

    Of course, castles are rooks in serious chess. But we should be aware that whilst castling Kingside is 0-0, castling Queenside is 0-0-0.

  45. Uncle Yap says:

    From my Chambers Dictionary & Thesaurus (Compact Disc)
    C or C.
    abbrev: Calorie, a kilocalorie; esp in place names on maps, Cape; Catholic; clubs (); cocaine (); Coloured (); Command Paper (series 1870\sm1899); Conservative; Corps; Cuba (IVR); the sum of $100 ().

    That was why I wrote
    + C (castle, presumably altho’ Chambers does not support this and the chess notation for castle is R for ROOK)

    I have donated my dead-tree copy of Chambers (20th Century) to my club as the small font is beyond me nowadays.

    My question : How many versions of Chambers are there and why is my CD version at variance with Myrvin at 35
    “C or C. abbreviation: Calorie, a kilocalorie; especially in place names on maps, Cape; castle (chess)” ?

  46. Bryan says:

    UY @ 45

    Eleven, going back to 1872:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chambers_Dictionary

  47. Myrvin says:

    UY @ 45
    Also my “The Chambers Dictionary” 1997.
    But not in OED as far as I can see

  48. arfanarf says:

    The Conrad Hutchison tale reminds me of a Spike Million line in his Mussolini book. While invading Italy he complains that there is hot water coming out of the cold tap.

  49. Davy says:

    Re #48, I think Spike Milligan would really appreciate being called Spike Million, assuming he wasn’t ill.

  50. muck says:

    Spike Milligan was known as ‘the famous typing error’ – Milligna

  51. Huw Powell says:

    I didn’t get SIDE 12A, and only had RUMMY 26 penciled in, but I LOVED this puzzle. There were some easy bits, there was the delightful intertwining of important clues, what seemed like an endless series of themes (chess, churches, squares, etc….) and the most important part, that I almost managed to finish it. With copious assistance and cross-checking with various internet sources.

    My wikipedia editing pattern is beginning to look like a live blog of gaurniad puzzle clue topics…

    Thanks, Bonxie, for a delightful romp, and Uncle Y, for the explanations of what I missed!

  52. maarvarq says:

    As “English” and “side” (in the context of snooker) are both pretty obscure, I found 12ac highly unfair given the unhelpful crossing letters.

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