Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25145 Boatman – Fluid Floral Fandango

Posted by Uncle Yap on October 19th, 2010

Uncle Yap.

Boatman has woven an intricate set of clues around the word flower, which can take on more than one meaning. I found the clues very challenging, taking me nearly an hour to unravel. However, they are  amusing in places and extremely fair.

7 PAINTER dd I was stuck here for a while thinking this could well be a typo where pine has been printed as line and *(PINE ART) until Chambers disabused me of that notion. Painter is a rope for fastening a boat, thus boatman’s line
8 TORRENT Ins of OR (golden in heraldry) in River TRENT
9 ZEBU *(BULLDOZER minus DROLL) humped domestic ox (Bos indicus) closely related to the common ox, found throughout the Indian subcontinent, China, the east coast of Africa
12 SATIN Sat In (deputised) a closely-woven silk with a lustrous and unbroken surface showing much of the warp.
15 IVRY Ins of R (last letter of tutoR) in IVY (academic league in the USA)
16 SIREN Ins of RE (rev of ER, hesitation) in SIN (offence)
17 WHEN W (whisky) HEN (old girl) from the familiar “Say when” as you pour whisky into someone’s glass
18 INSTRUCT Cha of IN (batting in cricket) + ins of C (Roman numeral for 100 or century) in STRUT (walk proudly)
20 PORED European River PO + RED (cherry)
21 SEA BEASTS Ins of BE + A (first) in *(ASSETS)
22 WORE W (Wales) ORE (product of mining)
24 NOSEGAY Spooner’s Goes Nay … not a very good Spoonerism
25 VIOLENT Ins of N (last letter of autumN) in VIOLET

1 FACE F (first letter of Flower) ACE (brilliant)
2 INDUSTRY Indian River INDUS (oriental flower) TRY (have a shot)
3 DEAFEN Ins of FE (ferrum or iron) in DEAN (college disciplinarian)
4 BOX-WAGON B (bishop) + ins of WAG (flutter) in OXON (Oxford) Thanks Eileen – a closed railway goods-wagon.
5 DRY RUN DRY (dull) RUN (series of performances)
6 ENID Rev of DINE (eat)
11 EUPHRATES *(He tears up)
12 SEVEN River SEVERN minus R (first letter of Roses)
14 TWEED T (first letter of This) WEED (wild flower) Thanks NeilW – for the River and Harris Tweed, rough woollen cloth much used for men’s suits; a Scottish icon that even Uncle Yap had a jacket in the 70’s.
16 SAUCEPAN Ins of AU (aurum or gold) CE (Church of England) in SPAN (vault)
17 WEREWOLF WE (the royal WE, especially pronounced when the Queen delivers her Christmas message … my husband and I) + rev of FLOWER (rising river)
19 THAMES ha
20 PISTIL Ins of IS & T (first letter of Tulip) in PIL (rev of LIP, border)
21 SHOE Ins of O (love) in SHE (lady)
23 RUNS Even letters of aRgUiNgS. Scores are reckoned by number of runs achieved in games like cricket and baseball

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

36 Responses to “Guardian 25145 Boatman – Fluid Floral Fandango”

  1. NeilW says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap. A real challenge today; I thought this would have been worthy of a Saturday edition.

    I had an alternative parsing of 14dn. I read this as T (first letter of “this”) + WEED (“wild flower”)

    I think the Royal WE dates from long before the current Queen and has nothing to do with the spouse but is rather an expression of the monarch representing his/her absolute power and that his/her will is that of the entire kingdom.

  2. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Uncle Yap this was very challenging and therefore very enjoyable.

    Boatman provided an amazing mixture of clues.

  3. Eileen says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap.

    What a brilliant puzzle! I agree with Neil that it would make a great Saturday offering. Many thanks, Boatman, for a very enjoyable workout.

    I read 4dn as B[ishop] + WAG [flutter] in OXON [of Oxford].

    Re 24ac: Uncle Yap and other non-UK residents may not be familiar with the lamentable current practice among the youngsters, particularly, of using the verb ‘go’ to mean ‘say’. “Spooner goes, ‘Nay'” is therefore the equivalent of ‘Spooner says No’. Dreadful – but nothing wrong with the Spoonerism!

  4. Eileen says:

    This is one of those puzzles that are well worth revisiting after solving, to appreciate the ingenuity of the cluing. For instance, the various uses of ‘wild flower': TORRENT [definition] FREE WORLD [wild = anagram indicator, FLOWER part of the fodder] VIOLENT [‘wild’ definition, ‘flower’ part of the wordplay] EUPHRATES [‘wild’ = anagram indicator, ‘flower’ = definition] [T}WEED} [‘wild flower’ = part of the wordplay.

    [I loved the change of direction in 17ac, where ‘river’ was the definition for ‘flower’.]

    Similarly, ‘tiny part of flower’ is used in two different ways, as is ‘old girl’. I think 17ac is perhaps my favourite clue – a laugh out loud one – but it would be invidious to pick out any, really.

  5. NeilW says:

    Yes, Eileen, I agree – although I think you mean 17 down.

    This was a work of art, with so many nice little touches, with Wales immediately following Whales for instance….

  6. tupu says:

    Thanks Uncle Y and Boatman

    A teasing puzzle that became more and more satisfying as one went along. As Eileen notes, a remarkable mixed bouquet demanding a lot of tacking back and forth to different senses of the same key words in a fine set of surfaces. Also some good cluing elsewhere.

    I understood the link between Harris and the river in 14d but did not think hard enough about the parsing. Thanks NeilW.

    I most enjoyed the 17s, and also liked 7ac (nicely misleading suggestion of an anagram)and 9ac which set me looking for a non-existent pangram (no J, K, Q).

    I was least pleased with 13ac. It seems to have to be read as ‘(to) number of (i.e. with regard to) letters (= books, literature)’. A bit contrived or is there a neater analysis?

  7. Dave Ellison says:

    Thanks, UY. I failed on 1d and 4d (the BOX bit didn’t materialise).

    I had not heard of Ivry(-sur-Seine), though gettable from the clue. It’s just a town near Paris, as the clue says.

    tupu, I took the LETTERS in 13a to indicate use the letters of, rather than that it was part of the definition; but not convincing either way.

    A CD free day – joy!

  8. cholecyst says:

    Thanks, UY. Tupu: I read 13ac simply as ” (A word meaning to) Number (using the) letters from giant ape.

  9. tupu says:

    Thanks Dave Ellison and Cholecyst. That makes a lot of sense though it is a pretty clumsy anagrind – so literal that I missed it!

  10. cholecyst says:

    Eileen. 24ac. I doubt the usage of which you disapprove is all that modern. I remember it from 60 years ago! And see this from OED’s (very long) GO entry.


    go, v.

    Add: [I.] [10.] b. Hence, to utter (the noise indicated); with direct speech: to say, utter in speech. Now often in the historic present. colloq.
    1836 DICKENS Pickw. (1837) ix. 85 He was roused by a loud shouting of the post-boy on the leader. ‘Yo-yo-yo-yo-yoe,’ went the first boy. ‘Yo-yo-yo-yoe!’ went the second. 1895 T. W. CONNOR in Waites & Hunter Illustr. Victorian Songbk. (1984) 144 She was a dear little dickey bird, ‘Chip, chip, chip,’ she went. 1939 L. BROWN Beer Barrel Polka (song) 3 They want to throw their cares away They all go lah-de-ah-de-ay. 1957 [see BOING int.]. 1968 L. DEIGHTON Only when I Larf xii. 160 Shouting idiotic things and going, ‘Whoop’, ‘Zap’, and ‘Yap’, all the time. 1975 in C. Allen Plain Tales from Raj xix. 201 ‘What’s the trouble? Why did you hit him?’ ‘Oh,’ he says, ‘I was walking down the platform and he twirled his little moustache and went, “Hmm, hmm!”’ 1988 J. MCINERNEY Story of my Life vii. 127 Alison? he goes. Are you all right?”

  11. molonglo says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap, especially for the one I couldn’t get, 1d. I really liked this one, with the flower as plant or river or neither (10a and 24a, the former being a beauty). I had a few quibbles: 3, 16 and 21d all were in the near enough-good enough class rather than perfect clues, but nevertheless congratulations to Boatman for a lot of fun.

  12. rob in wolves says:

    Quite a few of these made me smile. I specially liked the misdirection of boatman’s line, assuming we are all too smart for our own good especially as the more usual cryptic useage appeared later n 17d.

  13. tupu says:

    I too have been a bit resistant to ‘go’ = ‘say’. It is interesting that most of the above OED entries (and all the older ones) involve uttering idiomatic ‘noises’ rather than words, phrases and sentences. I encountered the modern usage with my children and noted then that while they might say ‘So s/he went “Are you OK?” one could not ask ‘What did s/he go?’ if wishing to know what someone had said. Unless this has changed, the usage seems somewhat incomplete. Perhaps the correct question is/was ‘How did s/he go?’.

    :) In the clue in question, it might have been better if ‘goes neigh’ could be fitted in.

  14. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog, Uncle Yap. The variety of devices used in this puzzle was great fun — and quite a challenge. The ones that caused me the most trouble were 1dn and 8ac, and the check button was needed here and there…

    I spent ages trying to make something of ‘line art’ in 7ac before the penny dropped.

    re 21dn. Is the possessive the indication to put O in SHE?

  15. Stella Heath says:

    Hi tupu.

    Regarding 13ac, I took ‘paginate’ to mean to number pages, therefore “letters” in the sense of literature, making the word do double duty as part of the def. and anagrind.

    I was a little dismayed when, having gone through all the clues once, I found I had a couple of zig-zags going from top to bottom, but no real idea how to go on from there. In the end, though, I discovered a delightful variety of clue types, and I think every possible use of the key word. Bravo, Boatman!

  16. Eileen says:

    Hi NeilW @5 [I’ve been out in the meantime]

    I did actually mean 17ac, although 17dn is very good, too. :-)

  17. Eileen says:

    Hi liz

    That’s the way I read 21dn.

  18. Tokyocolin says:

    I agree this was very good. My enjoyment was dampened only a noticed lack of CDs. But many of the clues were cleverly disguised and provided that same “aha!” experience. A “flower” will never be quite as simple in future.

  19. NeilW says:

    Eileen I have also been away.

    It hardly seems worth it but to quote you:

    [I loved the change of direction in 17ac, where ‘river’ was the definition for ‘flower’.]


  20. Carrots says:

    Good one, Boatman….keep `em coming. I was stumped by FACE of all things and, although I can see it now, “going through the alphabet” did turn up some possible alternatives with the same operatives. Best of these was RACE (fast flowing part of a river, e.g.mill-race).

    There were one or two frowns: shouldn`t BOX-WAGON be BOX-CAR ? NOSEGAY I still can`t read as a spoonerism of anything, but overall it was a cracking puzzle.

  21. NeilW says:

    Tokyocolin, one of the best things about this crossword was the absence of any flower (in the pretty sense) names that normally stop me in my tracks, not being a “flower” person. A real joy, I thought.

    Surprised you’re still awake, by the way. (Greetings from Indonesia…)

  22. Eileen says:

    So sorry, NeilW – I thought you meant my reference to my favourite clue, which was 17ac. Of course I meant 17dn the first time. ;-)

  23. NeilW says:

    Eileen, thanks so much for replying – apologies for my pedantry. Now I really must get off to bed! :)

  24. Dynamic says:

    Did this online when sleepless at silly-o’clock. When I saw Boatman’s name, I couldn’t resist, especially once I’d grabbed hold of the painter in 1a.

    Thank you Boatman for superb fun and Uncle Yap and all commenters. I’m in agreement with Eileen@4 especially regarding the two ‘old girl’ clues and the various uses of ‘flower’. A thoroughly fun and involving mental workout. I can scarcely believe I missed the hidden word (19d) for so long.

    Regarding ‘goes’ meaning ‘says’, I guess it implies not only utterances but, in the retelling can also include gestures and facial expressions. There’s a newer version of this, which I’m sure many of us find unutterably jarring, but I wonder how long it will be before we have other way of saying “says”, that has been adopted via California Valley-girl speech patterns by many of our youngsters:

    Spooner’s like “No flowers”! (7)
    …and I’m like “Whoa, dude, that so, like, homophobic!”.

    “Shut UP!” – I can’t believe he’d say that out loud. Like, I guess, I just had to be there.

    Which reminds me that an elderly family friend in conversation at dinner regaled us with some extraordinary wartime memoir, to which my California-raised cousin said “Shut.. U-uh-p!” in amazement.
    Rather surprised at her instruction, he promptly stopped speaking until one of us realised what had happened and translated “shut up” in this sense as an expression of surprise or disbelief, and that the intention was more along the lines of “you’ve got to be kidding, tell me more!”

    Perhaps a crash course with <a href=""Armstrong & Miller's airmen (youtube video) would have helped him. Actually, he served with Geoffrey Palmer, who seems to have it down to a tee in the linked sketch for Comic Relief.

  25. Dynamic says:

    Sorry, I made a broken link, should be this youtube video

  26. Dad'sLad says:

    Thanks UY.

    Did this after work rather than before as usual. Thank goodness, otherwise I’d have been very late getting in as this took the best part of an hour even with several clicks of the check button.

    I seem to be having a thing with first clues at the moment as 1d was the only one I couldn’t get (thanks molonglo – glad I wasn’t the only one). Perhaps I’ll try starting in the middle rather than NW tomorrow…….

  27. tupu says:

    Thanks Dynamic

    Re goes: your point about gestures etc is a good one which I believe complements my point. The earlier uses typically involve expressive sounds (rather than ordinary words) which go well with paralinguistic facial and bodily expression. Such sounds are I believe commonly referred to as ‘ideophones’ by linguists, though there seem to be arguments about the boundaries of this category. By definition one is of course usually dealing with oral as opposed to written language in such cases.

    Now you mention it I have come across ‘like’ in the sorts of sense you indicate.

  28. duncandisorderly says:

    couldn’t get going today- managed about six or seven. then got one of my migraines. henceforth, I will be using my ability or inability to “see” the grid as a heads-up that something’s up with my head…. :-/


  29. Roger says:

    A pleasant afternoon’s sailing with the Boatman today ~ a few sirens about who tried their worst but no major sea beasts to scupper the trip !
    Could the ‘once’ in 10a be in some way implying that America/Europe are now not quite so free as they may once have been or perhaps that others are now mercifully free also. Just a thought. Anyone ?

  30. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks, Boatman, for the puzzle and UY for the explanations.
    Could only get about half the answers. Unfortunately, I was convinced that 7A was RATLINE. This foolishness prevented me from getting 1D, 2D, 3D. Now I’ll go back to AZED 2003 to try to regain my self-respect.


  31. Paul B says:

    Good to see EUPHRATES, anagrammed with such restraint, in an excellent puzzle.

  32. rrc says:

    Sorry but this was not my cup of tea completed top right to bottom left then gave up.

  33. Dad'sLad says:

    Roger @29. Yes, on solving I took it to be a bit of both.

  34. Sil van den Hoek says:

    As others said a very clever crossword with some features typical for this excellent setter.
    As always there’s Boatman using his own name in a couple of clues.
    And – as Eileen rightly made clear in #4 – the use of identical words for different purposes/devices.
    On previous Boatman occasions I tried to make a case for that [though hardly anyone responded to it], this time there were so many ‘flowers’ that one must be blind not to have noticed his playfulness with ‘flower’ and various other words.

    On the other hand, we felt that the overdose of all these ‘flowers’ made the clues somewhat ‘one of a kind’. I mean this: you read a clue (with a ‘flower’ in it), try to find the answer, can’t find it, go to another clue, another ‘flower’ in it.
    As a result we didn’t go very smoothly through the clues, the solving was a bit laborious.
    We had some trouble in the NW and didn’t eventually find the Spoonerism.

    This was a extremely challenging puzzle, but as Boatman fans we were slightly disappointed that the solve wasn’t comfortable enough – we were so focused on the constructions that we didn’t appreciate the surfaces enough. Probably due to this excessive flower bombardment.

    Some crosswords are like throwaway books, others are like a witty novel, this one felt like a piece of literature [worth reading more than once].

    Excellent puzzle, perhaps published on the wrong day.

  35. Sylvia says:

    I thought the spoonerism was gaes no!

  36. IanP says:

    14ac. “Harris” was a boatman, of course (one of three)

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