Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25163 Chifonie – Light & Easy

Posted by Uncle Yap on November 9th, 2010

Uncle Yap.

After a string of masterly and challenging puzzles, today I had a very light sentence, very much like chiffon, light and easy. Should be a breeze for most regulars here.

1,5 LETTER OF CREDIT Cha of LETTER (of properties, a landlord) OF CREDIT (deserving)
9 AILMENTS Ins of MEN in *(tails)
10 KOPECK KO (knock-out) Gregory PECK (film star) for a Russian coin
12 HAIKU Acrostic (first letters)
13 ELEVATION Ins of EV (English victory) in ELATION (joy)
14 MATTER OF FACT MATTER (material) OFF (rotten as in food) ACT (play)
18 GO BY THE BOARD dd (to go over the side of a ship; to be discarded or ignored; to meet disaster … Chambers)
21 ENTERITIS *(interest I)
23 SPILL S (son) PILL (medication)
24 ITALIC I (one) + ins of I (iodine) in TALC (talcum powder, toiletry)
25 ROUGHAGE Ins of HAG (old woman) in ROUGE (cosmetic)
26 GUTTER G (golf) UTTER (say) Tuck away in Chambers are vi (of a candle) to run down in a stream or channel of drops; (of a flame) to be blown downwards, or threaten to go out; to become hollowed; to trickle or stream. I must admit I did not know this definition until now.
27 HEATHENS HEAT (cook) HENS (fowl)

1 LOATHE Ins of OATH (promise) in LE (French definite article)
2 TALLIN TALL (lofty) IN (popular) Tallinn is the capital and largest city of Estonia. A form Tallin deriving from the Romanization of Russian spelling of the name was also used internationally during the era Estonia was annexed by the Soviet Union.
3 EXECUTANT EX (former) E (first letter of employer) CUT (axed) ANT (worker)
4 ON THE STREETS *(honest setter)
6 RIOJA RIO (Rio de Janeiro, commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil) JA (German for yes) for a Spanish table wine
7 DIES IRAE DIES (passes on) + ins of A (Academy) in IRE (fury)  the day of judgement (from a Latin hymn); the hymn itself, used in the Mass for the dead.
8 TAKE NOTE TAKEN (suffered) *(toe)
11 HEART OF STONE *(to one’s father)
15 FORESIGHT Ins of ORES (minerals) in FIGHT (battle)
16 AGREEING Ins of RE (Royal Engineer, soldier) in AGEING (growing old)
17 ABSTRACT AB’S (sailor’s from AB = able-bodied (seaman) TRACT (essay or disquisition)
19 TIRADE Ins of I (one) in TRADE *(traffic)
20 PLIERS Ins of L (left) in PIERS (supports)
22 RAISE (P) raise is approval

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

34 Responses to “Guardian 25163 Chifonie – Light & Easy”

  1. Frank says:

    Thanks, Uncle Yap: a nice offering from an “honest setter” indeed. I like your delving into the meanings of “gutter”, but since when did “G” represent “golf”?

  2. sidey says:

    Golf is g in the Nato Alphabet Often referenced in clues.

  3. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Uncle Yap this was another gentle stroll.

    However, I’d never heard of DIES IRAE which sounds suspiciously like a 15th Century hymn and probably Latin, too. Wherevever did Chifonie find that?

  4. Dad'sLad says:

    Thanks UY,

    Agree with comments so far although unlike Bryan I was familiar with Dies Irae from various classical requiems and don’t think it is that obscure. Gutter on the other hand……

  5. Andrew says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap. As Dad’sLad says, the Dies Irae is pretty well known as part of the requiem mass, Verdi’s setting of it being a famous and spectacular example. On a less highbrow note, I knew GUTTER from the song “Memory” from the musical “Cats”:

      Every street lamp seems to beat
      A fatalistic warning
      Someone mutters, the street lamp gutters
      And soon it will be morning.

    (words by Trevor Nunn, the rest of the “Cats” lyrics being by T S Eliot)

  6. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, Uncle Yap – entertaining blog as always.

    Enjoyed this one, with only a few clues holding me up for long. I thought HEART OF STONE and MATTER OF FACT were both clever. I raised an eyebrow when I solved TIRADE, because I always thought ‘harangue’ could only be a verb, but it’s also a noun, I discovered.

    I knew GUTTER, but only from crosswords, I think. I’ll take us highbrow again with a quote I found:

    ‘The porter halted on the stairs to settle his guttering candle.’ (James Joyce, Dubliners – The Dead)

  7. tupu says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap and Chifonie

    Pretty straightforward on the whole. The odd nice anagram and surface.

    The only puzzle, and last to go in, was gutter which I vaguely knew. I had thought of it as onomatopoeic (like splutter) but I wonder if there may be something more technically descriptive of the process involved when a candle burns downwards.

    The link to golf was unclear.
    I suspect G + utter is right. I knew old golfballs were made of gutta-percha and Chambers in fact gives ‘gutta’ as the word for such a ball so I stopped there. Possible then but perhaps that bit less likely.

  8. tupu says:

    OED seems to support the idea of candle guttering’s involving the formation of a channel or channels. It also gives gutta (and gutty) as a standard word in older golf literature for a gutta-percha ball.

  9. Ian says:

    Thanks to Uncle Yap & Chifonie.

    Failed on one clue i.e. Gutter. Otherwise a puzzle I rather liked with two clever surfaces.

  10. Tokyocolin says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap for an entertaining blog. While this was at the lightweight end of the scale I found it very enjoyable. A wide range of clue types, varied references and amusing surfaces.

    I was familiar with GUTTER and DIES IRAE so had no real holdups. Last in was PLlERS but only because I finished in that quadrant. I seem to be convincing myself that it was a mere trifle but I found it a tasty morsel.

  11. Dave Ellison says:

    Thanks, UY, needed you to explain 3d and to supply 20d PLIERS which I just couldn’t get for some reason; so obvious now.

    7d I knew, but only since yesterday, since it appeared in the BBC4 program “Only Connect”.

    For 26a, I was toying with GATHER for a while – as in gathering storm clouds.

  12. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog Uncle Yap. This was really quite easy, with another version of an old chestnut at 6dn.

    Bryan, you may recognise the music of this famous Dies Irae:

    (I went to hear it performed last week!)

    I was toying with ‘gather’ for 26ac, too, until I realised that ‘threaten to go out’ was the definition, not simply ‘threaten’. I probably read too much historical fiction, but I’m very familiar with ‘guttering candles’ :-)

  13. Stella Heath says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap and Chifonie.

    That’s the second day in a row I’ve learnt an unusual meaning for a very common word – yesterday, it was ‘cat’ in the quiptic.

  14. tupu says:

    7d seems likely to be mainly accessible to a relatively small constituency of sacred music lovers and/or older Catholics, or those like myself with some knowledge of Latin.
    Although ‘dies irae’ is often translated as ‘day of judgment’ it literally means ‘day of wrath’ (cf Eng. ‘ire’). Its role in Catholic liturgy was seriously curtailed in 1969-70 reforms when there was an attempt to move away from medieval ‘negative spirituality’. cf.

  15. William says:

    Why is it that whenever I am struggling with a puzzle, I seem to be surrounded by people. This one I romped as fast as I could write and no one was there to say how clever I must be.

    Is this a mere demonstration of a cruciverbalist’s version of Murphy’s Law, I wonder? Who’s law, do you suppose?

    Answers on a postcard please.

  16. Kathryn's Dad says:

    William, you could always print off another pdf version of the crossword and solve it even faster in front of your mates tonight. I won’t tell if you do.

  17. joeplus says:

    Very nice puzzle, I liked 14ac a lot.

    For me, GUTTER is familiar from Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds’ wonderful “Straight To You”:
    The light in our window is fading / and the candle gutters on the ledge / well now sorrow, it comes a-stealing…
    Everyone here seems to know it from a different source!

    Never heard GO BY THE BOARD either but guessed from the checking letters.

  18. Tokyocolin says:

    To William and K’s D @ 15, 16 – why stop there? Print out last week’s Pasquale monster again and impress ‘em even more.

  19. noel says:


    The law you refer to (which states that you can get through lots of it in a short time when you’re on your own, but in company you can hardly start it) is Cole’s Law.

  20. Twiddlepin says:

    I’m glad I wasn’t the only one to fail to get to “GUTTER”!

  21. Andrew says:

    If you liked this one, try the puzzle by Chifonie’s alter ego Armonie in the FT today – it’s at a similar level of difficulty.

  22. Thomas99 says:

    Re Gutter-
    Not as cool as joeplus’s reference (17 above), but it also features in “Memory” from the less than wonderful Cats (words by T.S.Eliot, mind you):”Someone mutters and a street lamp gutters / And soon it will be morning…”

  23. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap for the blog. GUTTER was new to me also. I knew DIES IRAE from US Crosswords where it is in common usage because of the letter combination.


  24. walruss says:

    Had trouble with GUTTER too! Quite annoyes as well, I thought I was on for a record solving time. Bit odd to find something like that in an otherwise pretty straight puzzle!

  25. Stella Heath says:

    Anyone notice the coincidence between a couple of comments here – Andrew@5 and Thomas@22 – and today’s great Indy?

  26. Carrots says:

    This comes to you from The Queen Elizabeth as she wends her way across the Bay of Biscay at a blistering 12 Knots because of heavy weather. Chiffiknickers has provided a nice, gentle start to our cruise, with only a couple of very small bones to pick. I always thought (being Godless) that I was a HEATHEN, but now, it seems, I am a SAVAGE as well. And I don`t really think TAKEN=SUFFERED…it would have to be qualified by ILL, wouldn`t it?

    However, small bones in a big world. We and our fellow Slver-Tops are bouncing off the floor and walls at the moment, so I will sign off.

  27. Andrew says:

    Stella – thanks for the tip about the Indy puzzle. I don’t usually do them because I don’t like the interactive-only interface, but this one was good fun, especially with the coincidental connection…

  28. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Carrots at no 26, I’m jealous. I can only offer you the following: if because of the stormy weather you are bouncing off the walls and ceilings at the minute, then you might have TAKEN a blow to the head, or you might have SUFFERED a blow to the head.

    Bon voyage!

  29. Gerry says:

    I enjoyed this. I liked ‘gutter’ and knew the term, but perhaps it only sprang to mind because it was mentioned by Tim Wonnacott on Bargain Hunt when he was describing some candlesticks!

  30. Davy says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap,

    An enjoyable puzzle from Chifonie today with a good set of well-structured clues of which HEART OF STONE was a great answer to a marvellous surface. GUTTER was the last to go in although it was just a guess and I didn’t appreciate the candle aspect. I was thinking of gutter as a synonym for bunker. I’d never heard of DIES IRAE but it fitted the wordplay perfectly so I just wrote it in and couldn’t be bothered checking. Thanks Chifonie.

    Today’s was a breeze after having a titanic struggle with Saturday’s Paul and still one to get. Can’t wait to see rightback’s solve time this coming Saturday.

  31. tupu says:

    Hi Uncle Yap et al
    According to my Guardian hard copy this is puzzle number 25,163! (not25,157)

  32. William says:

    K’sD @16 & Tokyocolin @18…Thank you, but I couldn’t, I simply couldn’t.

    Noel @19, thank you for the suggestion, but isn’t Cole’s Law a chopped vegetable salad in mayonnaise?

  33. Uncle Yap says:

    tupu @ 31, today’s deliberate error well spotted :-)

    When I blog, I use a template in my mail program and overlooked changing last Tuesday’s number to this Tuesday.
    Now amended so that future searches will yield the correct result. Thanks, tupu.

  34. otter says:

    I enjoyed this puzzle, mostly straightforward, with a few unusual words. I ended up completely foxed by three: 19d – simply couldn’t think of the correct synonym for ‘traffic’ even though the relevant meaning crossed my mind; 24a – very nice definition; and 26a – I know of ‘to gutter’ of a flame, but never considered ‘threaten to go out’ as the definition – I was stuck on ‘threaten’ as the definition. However, all three clues were perfectly fair and I only have myself to blame.

    Tupu: ‘7d seems likely to be mainly accessible to a relatively small constituency of sacred music lovers and/or older Catholics, or those like myself with some knowledge of Latin.’

    I think it’s familiar to people who enjoy classical music in general: as someone pointed out about, it is part of the requiem mass, and some Requiems, e.g. Verdi’s, are frequently performed in the secular (concert) as well as sacred (church) setting. Also widely available on CD. I know the term, and I’m in none of the categories you list above.

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