Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25139 – One-Eyed Brummie

Posted by Uncle Yap on October 12th, 2010

Uncle Yap.

One of the events I look forward to every fortnight is the appearance of the latest Private Eye puzzle with its irreverent, risque and outrageous clues. Today, as Brummie, this compiler included some elements which make him popular as Cyclops albeit that here he urinates whereas he normally has a slash. This puzzle has all the hallmarks of a big hit with royalty, religion, sex, scientific shenanigan, a tilter of windmills and half a dozen chess pieces thrown in for good measure.

ACROSS
1 BEDEWED Cha of BEDE (Northumbrian saint and historian) WED (united)
5 POPEDOM POP (report) + rev of MODE (way)
9 STALE Cha of S (second) T (time) ALE (drink) for horse urine
10 OPEN-WEAVE Cha of OPEN (frank) WEAVE (get windy)
11 OBTUSENESS OBTUS (wordplay eluded me but thanks to NeilW, it is the ins of O (zero) BTU’S (British Thermal Unit’s) being zilch output when something is out of service or useless) + *(sense)
12 ROOK ROO (short for kangaroo, a jumper) K (last letter of necK) to rook is to swindle
14 EXTRAVAGANT Cha of EXTRA (more) VAGRANT (tramp) minus R (right)
18 WHITE KNIGHT Ins of E (energy) in *(think) in Isle of WIGHT
21 MATE dd with the latter having accent on E, thus maté being a South American species of holly (Ilex paraguayensis); an infusion of its leaves and green shoots, Paraguay tea.
22 DON QUIXOTE Cha of DO (party) N (last letter of politiciaN) + X O (vote round) in QUITE (utterly fanciful) A well-loved literary character as well as one of Uncle Yap’s favourite compilers
25 EROTICISE Ins of I (one) in the middle of *(coteries)
26 CHECK Sounds like Czech (language)
27 SENEGAL Ins of NEG (rev of GEN, information) in SEAL (secure)
28 NOTELET Rev of TELETHON (TV money raiser) minus H (Henry)

DOWN
1 BISHOP Cha of BI (BISEXUAL, one with sexual attraction for both male and female) SHOP (store) for a hot drink of mulled red wine flavoured with bitter oranges
2 DEARTH D (departs) EARTH (this world)
3 WHENSOEVER *(Where’s Devon minus D)
4 DROWN DR (Michael) OWEN minus E (ecstasy), a founding member of The Social Democratic Party (created on 26 March 1981 and existed until 1988) The four senior Labour Party ‘moderates’, dubbed the ‘Gang of Four’: Roy Jenkins, David Owen, Bill Rodgers and Shirley Williams. There does not seem to be a definition until molonglo (thanks) pointed out that Chambers gives drown as the third def for founder
5 PRESS GANG Cha of PRESS (media sector) GANG (Scottish for to go)
6 PAWN Ins of W (first letter of Wine) in PAN (have a go or to review or criticize harshly)
7 DIAGONAL DIA (rev of AID, support) + *(along)
8 MEERKATS Sounds like MERE (no better than) CATS (bitchy types)
13 CAPTAIN CAT *(I can’t act a P) A retired blind sea-captain character in Under Milk Wood, a play by Dylan Thomas
15 TONSORIAL *(Sailor not)
16 SWIMMERS Cha of S (second) W (wicket) IMMERSE (bury) minus E (last letter clued as tailender, to complete the cricketing imagery)
17 PILTDOWN P (parking) + *(LOT WIND) The “Piltdown Man” is a famous anthropological hoax concerning the finding of the remains of a previously unknown early human. The hoax find consisted of fragments of a skull and jawbone collected in 1912 from a gravel pit at Piltdown, a village near Uckfield, East Sussex, England.
19 LOVELL LOVE (strong feeling) LL (lines) Sir Alfred Charles Bernard Lovell, OBE, FRS (born 1913) is an English physicist and radio astronomer. He was the first Director of Jodrell Bank Observatory, from 1945 to 1980. he constructed the then-largest steerable radio telescope in the world, which now bears his name – the Lovell Telescope. Nearly 50 years later, it remains one of the foremost radio telescopes in the world.
20 BECKET BECKETT (absurdist playwright) minus T (timeless)
23 QUEEN ha
24 KING ASKING (posing a question) minus AS (like)

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

18 Responses to “Guardian 25139 – One-Eyed Brummie”

  1. molonglo says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap for a revelatory blog. Couldn’t for the life of me link bishop to mulled wine, but Webster’s has it. Nor (like you) could I get past my obtuseness on 11a. I didn’t like a couple of others, eg quite=utterly fanciful and ‘accent on tea’ in 21a, which misleads on the pronunciation; nor the abbreviation in 2d. But I did have an aha! with 4d, seeing drown=founder.

  2. NeilW says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap

    OBTUS is O/S (out of service – useless) “output” put around BTU British Thermal Unit

  3. NeilW says:

    molonglo, I only knew BISHOP because it had a recent outing with the same sense in Brendan’s puzzle of September 27th, when even the encyclopaedic Eileen confessed that it was new to her!

  4. NeilW says:

    Uncle Yap, please, mostly disregard comment 2! I apologise to Brummie for suggesting such an inelegant construction in a superb puzzle: the output of a quite useless boiler is, of course, zero BTUs!

  5. NeilW says:

    By the way, Uncle Yap, hidden in molonglo’s comment at no1 is the answer to your question about the definition in 4dn – Founder.

  6. Dad'sLad says:

    Thanks UY.

    A toughie. Particularly liked 1a and 4d – amongst the last in – though the latter might prove somewhat obscure for some generations. 22a is a bit contrived but raised a chuckle. As well as the chess pieces there are also “check” and “mate”.

  7. Ian W. says:

    Thanks for the blog. I think, however, that in 22a it is just “quite” = “utterly”, and “fanciful, would-be 18″ is the definition, as without the “fanciful” a would-be knight is not necessarily quixotic.

    Another minor point on 10a, I think it is “weave” = “get windy”.

  8. Dave Ellison says:

    I found this quite tough (~60′), and thanks for the explanations, UY, for 11ac, 21a and 1d.

    I was delayed for a while at 14a since I was trying to fit an anagram of “more on tramp”.

    I hadn’t noticed the chess theme, which raises a fairly dull offering to a slightly higher game.

    I thought 4d (my last entry) was good.

  9. Ian P says:

    Not only half a dozen chess pieces, but check, mate and diagonal as well.

    A lot to like in this puzzle, I thought (never heard of a BTU – I leave messing about with the boiler to the wife).

  10. tupu says:

    Thanks UY and Brummie

    Hard but rewarding. Enjoyed this more and more as harder clues became clear. Lots of pleasing clues with ‘aha’ moments:- 1, 14, 3, 4, 5, 8.

    I came to 4d the other way round. Knew ‘founder’ = ‘drown’ and then saw dr + ow(e)n.

    Some obscure meanings (mate, stale).

    I realised 10a was open-weave but the link to windy eluded me till I checked ‘wind’ (again a change of pronunciation misled as yesterday).

    As noted we’ve had bishop before recently.

    I didn’t pick up the number of chess refs. I should learn to sit back and look at puzzles as whole, but this one had already taken quite a time.

  11. nusquam says:

    Michael Owen is playing out of position in your explanation of 4d.

    If ‘stale’ refers only to the product and not the process of production (which is what I believed and what your explanation implies 9a), there is an error in the clue. But I have a dictionary which glosses ‘stale’ as urinate, so it seems OK.

    Thanks for your post, which explained a number of points I failed to understand.

  12. liz says:

    Thanks, Uncle Yap. I enjoyed this, despite finding it tough. 4dn was clever and 1dn too clever for me — I failed to get it despite its recent outing. Also didn’t spot the chess theme or the wordplay in 11ac.

  13. Stella Heath says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap and Brummie.

    I love the way the blogs open my eyes: I struggled through this one, with much use of the ‘check’ button, and totally unable to see the theme – I’ve a feeling I’m Araucaria-spoilt, and only see it when there are connecting clues. Once you’d pointed it out, I went back to the puzzle and saw the other related answers mentioned @9.

    I’m not familiar with horses (unfortunately) or British Thermal Units, which as far as I know could be as totally British as the term ME for fibromyalgia, which explains two of the answers I got without understanding.

    To sum up, this site is well subtitled :D

  14. Tokyo Colin says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap. I enjoyed this one immensely and finished fairly quickly. I knew most of the references (no Welsh towns or ex-footballers). I particularly enjoyed 11ac, (I am used to BTUs but more used to measuring the output in a server room than from a boiler.) And I remembered MATE from drinking maté de coca in the Andes to cope with the altitude. And just like tupu@10, I first connected founder with DROWN and then twigged to Dr. Owen, a big aha moment.

    I noticed a few chesspieces passing by but with Meerkats, Piltdown Man and the Man of La Mancha included the theme didn’t seem important.

  15. tupu says:

    PS Re chess pieces, all of them are in fact named (plus check, mate and diagonal as others have noted). In addition there is also ‘stale’ which is a short form of the word ‘stalemate’.

  16. jim says:

    And 9 + 21 gives stalemate!

  17. Frank says:

    I’m surprised no-one has noted that the “martyr” in 20d refers to Thomas Becket (the murder in the cathedral – Canterbury).

  18. PS says:

    Bishop — a Drink

    Each year I read A Christas Carol by Charles Dickens. At the end of it Scrooge, after wishing Bob a merry Christmas, offers to discuss his affairs over a Christmas bowl of smoking bishop. This puzzled me for some years unti I discovered a reference to a manuscript by T. W. Hill, Hon. Secretary of the Dickens Fellowship 1914-1919. In this he writes, “Bishop is made by pouring heated red wine over bitter oranges and then adding sugar and spices. The liquor is purple, the colour of a bishop’s cassock, hence the name.”

    Knowing this helped with this crossword and Brendan’s on September 27th but thanks to Uncle Yap and other contributors for helping me finish and for other explanations.

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