Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,158 – Brummie

Posted by manehi on November 3rd, 2010


Enjoyable puzzle today with nothing too difficult and a cute mini-theme.

1 TIEBACK TIE=”match” + BACK=”second”
5,8 NUCLEAR REACTION “He commonly”=>’E + EQUALS EMCEE SQUARED, which describes the mass-energy equivalence demonstrated by nuclear reactions.
Also (acceleration run)*
9 EQUIP an internet joke might be called an E-QUIP
10 ROCK OPERA Such as Tommy. [wa]R + (cooker)* around P[ressure] + A
11 RELATIVITY E[nergy] inside (Trivial)* + [Pursui]T [sadl]Y
14 TWO WAY RADIO Over which “Roger” is “information received”
21 LONG SHOT LONGS=pines + HOT=burning
25 OCCUPANCY (any CO)* around C-CUP. Found the choice of definition a little odd
26 EMCEE rev(E.E.C.=”old body” + ME=Brummie)
27 SQUARED double definition, “Checked” as in patterned
28 TETANUS rev(SUN + AT + E[arth] + [ne]T)
2 EQUALS (squeal)*
3 AMPUTATION A + M[ilitary] P[olice]=redcap + U[niversity] + TAT=rubbish + I[r]ON=”club not r[ight]”
4 KIROV [B]IRO with a K, + V[ery]
5 NICOTIANA (inaction)* around A
6 COOL COO=”I say” + L[arge]
7 EYESHADE E[nergy] + YES + (head)*
13 IRREVERENT (writer Verne)* minus a W[estern]
16 SCALLOPS can be found on dinner plates as ornament or as food
17 GRAND CRU G[ood] + RAND + (cur)*
19 ZIRCON [wate]R in (zinc)* with O[xygen] inside
20 CHEERS C[entury] + (her[o]es)*
23 TRYST TRY + ST[reet]=way
24 SPUR SPUR[s] – the football club minus the S[outh] at the end

23 Responses to “Guardian 25,158 – Brummie”

  1. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Manehi

    I fully agree that this was most enjoyable.

    It was also sufficiently challenging.

    More of the same please Brummie!

  2. Handel says:

    Enjoyed this very much. I’ve found Brummie tough in the past, but this one didn’t feature anything too obscure and the wordplay was all clearly indicated. Really liked the little theme, which I thought was handled very well. I got ‘squared’ by reading 5,8 and then got that one too.

  3. Moosebranley says:

    Many thanks for the blog Manehi.

    I’m sorry to say I found this crossword far too easy.

    I only buy the newspaper for the crossword and when it is this easy I feel like I have wasted my quid.

  4. Dave Ellison says:

    I enjoyed this entertaining puzzle, too, and likewise did not find it difficult, certainly not after yesterday’s offering.

    Last in was 6d which I found a little tricky to spot.

    9a (EQUIP) raised a pleasant smile (incidentally, it’s missing from your blog, manehi)

  5. James Droy says:

    Dear manehi,

    Hmm, yes enjoyable and I liked the construction of 5,8 but I’m not sure that just saying ‘different top’ should be allowed in 4dn. I could just be being grumpy because it took me far too long and I was being particularly thick about 1ac, which, depressingly, was my last in.

    In mitigation I grew up in houses without such Victorian decorative flummery.

    Cluing 4dn simply as ‘with different top’ opens up the entire alphabet, which seems vague.

    No, on second thoughts I am just being grumpy. 6dn has grown on me since I solved it.

  6. beermagnet says:

    This crossword was an absolute joy to solve.

  7. Stella says:

    Thanks manehi, I agree with your appreciation. This was entertaining enough to force me to work out several answers from the wordplay, without anything too obscure.

    On the other hand, not being a scientist, it took me a while to work out 5,8 even once I had the reference clues and recognised the formula. Wiki didn’t help this time, as it gives all sorts of explanations for idem, without mentioning a nuclear reaction, at least as far as I read.

    Hi James Droy@5. We never had tiebacks either, but I’d hardly describe them as Victorian flummery – they constitute a useful element of my living-room décor, holding back the curtains that frame a small closed balcony :). This was my last in too.

  8. manehi says:

    (thanks, Dave. and NeilW)

  9. NeilW says:

    Thanks manehi.

    I think you have to add for 5,8 that it’s an anagram of acceleration run.

  10. liz says:

    Thanks manehi. I enjoyed this a lot. EQUIP made me smile – there must be more scope for similar wordplay of the E- variety. Liked the surface of 6dn, and the mini-theme too. I immediately thought of SPUR for 24dn but resisted putting it in for a while because I was convinced that the wordplay suggested dropping an H from the end of a team’s name — nice misdirection there.

    I do share the reservation about ‘different top’ in 4dn. While the def in 25ac is a little odd, the picture conjured up by the clue is priceless!

  11. rrc says:

    my heart dropped when I saw it was brummie , but i warmed to this crossword as I worked my way through it. I actually enjoyed this crossword unlike other of his crosswords.

  12. Carrots says:

    Seems we are back to some semblance of normality after offerings ranging from sublime to ridiculous over the past few days. The only problem was that I convinced myself that 5,8 was some kind of “Equation”…and then (something to do with) “Einstein”. It was only by cracking the anagram that I got this clue at all. I guessed COOL, but still don`t really understand it. Surely, something which is “cool” is a lot more admirable/desirable than just “fine” ?
    “Coo” is to “murmour fondly”, not just “say”, is it not?

    Anyway, I`m splitting hairs. This was a jolly good puzzle and thanks to Brummie for setting iit and Manehi for explaining it.

  13. Andrew says:

    Thanks manehi. I enjoyed this, apart from thinking the cds for the two long across answers were a bit weak, especially 14ac.

    Carrots: “coo” is being used as an interjection, meaning “I say!” Both these usages are of course somewhat dated.

  14. otter says:

    Thanks for the blog, manehi. Like most others, I found this quite an enjoyable solve, although most of it was pretty straightforward. I am now banging my head on the table because I couldn’t understand why ‘He commonly’ has anything to do with the rest of 5,8 or the solution. I flummoxed myself at first because I was looking for an anagram of ‘this acceleration’ minus ‘r’, and was also looking for a name (Niccolo someone?), finally worked out it was more likely to be an anagram of ‘acceleration run’ and that the connecting letter was going to be R, but still took me a long time to see it. And was left think ‘why “he”?’ ‘E’ = MC squared, not ‘he’. Just couldn’t make the leap from ‘he commonly’ to ‘E’. What a dolt I am. Well done to Brummie for that misdirect.

  15. otter says:

    By the way, re KIROV, I couldn’t see anything in ‘different top’ to suggest that it was K that should replace the B of biro. Am I missing something, or was it that vague? And if so, is that legitimate in setting? It’s not something I’ve come across before. It didn’t cause much of a problem until I got to K and thought ‘ah – Kirov Ballet – that must be it’, but even so it seemed a bit odd not to have some sort of indicator.

  16. Jim says:

    Nice to have a crossword with a few references to Science for a change. Spotted the theme almost immediately. Only hold up was scallops.

  17. muck says:

    otter@14: I had the same problem with ‘He commonly’ at 5,8

  18. tupu says:

    Thanks Manehi and Brummie

    Like baby-bear’s porridge – just right!
    Teasing and amusing but not a Herculean task.

    I enjoyed 6d (back to an expletive of Beano and Dandy days to make up a very modern usage), 9a, 18a,21a, 27a, 7d.

    Missed the He = ‘e while getting the answer to 5,8 (very nice).

  19. Davy says:

    Thanks manehi,

    I really enjoyed this and found it a reasonable challenge. I certainly wouldn’t say that it was easy but compared to Pasquale, I suppose it was. The last answer in was COOL which it took me a while to see – it’s always the short clues that are problematic. There was lots to like about this puzzle and I found the level (ala tupu) to be just right. The mini theme was good and to be honest I enjoyed most of the clues especially LONG SHOT, ROCK OPERA and IRREVERENT. Many thanks to Brummie for this excellent puzzle.

    PS To Moosebranley : if you begrudge paying a quid for the paper, just print the crossword from the Guardian web site – dead easy.

  20. Davy says:

    Forgot to say that I can’t see a problem with replacing the first letter of biro with a ‘k’.
    It wasn’t that difficult was it !.

  21. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Davy (and others), I don’t see it either.
    It’s just take IRO + V and put a letter other than B in front of it.
    Nothing wrong with it, and quite guessable.
    [btw, yesterday I wrote, purely by accident, ‘guettable’ – shall we add this to our vocabulary? :)]

    Actually, that word was our first non-entry.
    Yes, because we thought it was KIROV, but we’d never heard of a ‘city’ called Kirov [as for others the famous Ballet rang a bell, which has nothing to do with a Russian city, but is named after Sergey Kirov – although on the other hand the (small) town of Kirov in Kaluga Oblast is named after him].
    So we hesitated to fill it in.
    In other puzzles and with other setters people might call this ‘obscure’.

    We liked the crossword very much.
    “Nothing too difficult”, manehi? [thanks for the blog , btw]
    Well, before we did the puzzle I saw your preamble, so I was a bit disappointed by having a slow start. But when the ball started rolling, everything went well – this being our first crossword since, yeah since when?, that we could finish being far far away from the Real World.

    She said at the end: “He’s a good setter, but sometimes a bit wacky” [nót my words :)].
    She was probably referring to a clue like 25ac.

    Yes, Brummie is indeed a good setter.
    And one who joined the Army of Lift & Separate: “Trivial Pursuit” (in 11ac) and “Mineral water” (in 19d).

  22. Carrots says:

    Andrew/Tupu: Many thanks…I hadn`t spotted “Coo” as an interjection or expression of surprise. I dimly remember it from Dandy & Beano days and most definitely from Biggles and Ginger tales….but I don`t think we`ll go there!

  23. tupu says:

    RE 1a.
    I knew Kirov the popular politician whose murder was engineered by Stalin, and the ballet, but I did not know the city.

    There was no great difficulty, however, because it was soon pretty clear that ‘second’ was going to be ‘back’ – as manehi notes.

    I perpetually find it odd that some solvers seem to feel its wrong to have to make use of the letters of crossing words in a crossword!

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