Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,200 / Auster

Posted by Gaufrid on December 22nd, 2010


The scheduled blogger appears to have gone AWOL today so here is a quickly prepared substitute post. In the interests of getting something published without too much further delay I have not gone into as much detail as I might otherwise have done.

An easy solve, with rather a lot of anagrams and partial anagrams (and some ‘unusual’ anagram indicators), though there is one clue (15ac) that I’m unable to explain.

1 STRAWS ST (way) RAW (unprepared) [u]S
4 UNSUNG UN (peace-keepers) *(GUNS) – just google ‘scott wretch unsung’ if you want the full background to the definition.
9 PROD P[arrots] ROD (perch) – as in rod, pole or perch, a distance of 5½ yards.
10 RUN THE SHOW RUNT (stunted beast) *(HOW HE’S)
11 WEIRDO WEIR (dam) DO (perform)
12 APPLE PIE d&cd – see Chambers (or similar) for the definitions of ‘apple-pie order’ and ‘apple-pie bed’.
13 CHAPSTICK CHAPS (fellows) TICK (credit) – a small stick of a substance for soothing chapped lips.
15 RING d&cd? – please don’t ask me to explain this one! I’m hoping someone else can. I have a couple of ideas but nothing that I am prepared to put in print.
16 MOWN [fil]M *(NOW)
17 BRACKETED RACKET (commotion) in BED – a somewhat different definition!
21 HIRES OUT Shire is an anagram of ‘hires’
22 NORWAY *([he]R ON) WAY
24 BROKEN INTO BRO (little brother) KEN (boy) *(IT ON)
25 DISH IS in DH (Lawrence)
26 DIGGER dd
27 BEHIND HE reversed in BIND (clamp)
1 SCREECH SCREE (landslip) CH (church)
2 RIDER dd
5 NO HOPE *(HOON) PE (exercise)
7 GAOLING GA (Georgia) *(I LONG)
14 POWDER KEG *(KEEP WORD) G[overnment]
18 CONDONE CON (scam) DON (fellow) E[mployed]
20 BOUNCE B (bachelor) OUNCE (little weight) – as this is a down clue it is the ‘little weight’ that is carrying the ‘bachelor’, not the other way round as clued.
23 RADII R (Roger) AD (plug on TV) II (two) – I have no idea in what context R as an abbreviation for Roger is used. It doesn’t appear in any of my dictionaries.

29 Responses to “Guardian 25,200 / Auster”

  1. liz says:

    Thanks for stepping in Gaufrid. I was hoping for an explanation of 15ac myself! Was wondering if it has anything to do with OFFSPRING?

  2. Carrots says:

    Sorry Gaufrid, but I had also guessed “RING”, but Gawdonliknows why!

  3. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Gaufrid for riding to the rescue once again.

    I settled for RING in 15a but I cannot explain the clue any better than you.

    Maybe Auster will pop by and enlighten us?

    Otherwise very easy.

  4. Robi says:

    Thanks Gaufrid and to Auster. I couldn’t understand ‘RING’ either – I posted on the crossword solver forum and so far no one has come up with a reasonable solution. I wondered whether it had anything to do with offspRING, but couldn’t see the connection. It is, of course, a hidden word in requiRING but I don’t see the connection to children??

  5. tupu says:

    Hi Gaufrid and thanks

    Not a very inspiring puzzle though I liked 9a and 6d.
    RE 15a the only thing I could think of is that ‘ring’ is carried by (transported by) requiring.

  6. Eileen says:

    Many thanks, Gaufrid.

    I thought I would not be alone in waiting for an explanation of 15ac!

    To be unseasonably uncharitable, judging by some of the rest of the clues [eg 22ac] I’m inclined to accept Robi’s and tupu’s suggestion of a hidden word!

    I don’t think there’s much chance of Auster dropping in – fairly soon, at any rate – since she’s in Australia and therefore presumably in bed!

  7. masterson says:

    Thanks Gaufrid. The whole crossword was too, too easy – maybe that’s why 15 across was included – in order to present some mystery. Please, do put whatever ideas you have in print. They may inspire a definite explanation

  8. Garry says:

    I couldn’t explain ring either having put it in. But can’t carrying sometimes be below? If you carry a bag it can be suspended from your hand for example.

  9. tupu says:

    I find there is a simple type of sling for carrying babaies called a ‘ring sling’.

  10. tupu says:

    pps search ring in the following

  11. Andrew says:

    Thanks for standing in Gaufrid. I’m another that was baffled by RING, though I speculated (in the absence of any dictionaries) that it might be an (Australian?) expression for a group of children whose parents take it in turns to drive them to school or to other activities. Or Robi could be right that it’s a (very poor) hidden clue.

  12. John Appleton says:

    I can only assume that 15a is a double definition – “Call” being one, and “children requiring transport” the other. My guess is that the latter is a dialectic term for a sort of carpool carrying children to school or some such place. If that’s right, it’s demonstrably not a well-known usage.

  13. pommers says:

    Hello Gaufrid and thanks for the blog.
    Agree with all about 15a – abit thin I think!
    Re 23d, I too can’t see why R is an acceptable abbreviation for Roger. The clue would work if the guy’s name was Romeo!

  14. Eileen says:

    Hi pommers [and Gaufrid]

    Please don’t shoot the messenger – a quick google produced this:

    “In 1927 ‘Roger’ was used to represent the ‘R’ in ‘Received’ and was used by the pilot to let the radio operator the pilot had received and understood the instructions. It was used primarily during WWII because not everyone understood English. In 1957 ‘Roger’ was replaced by ‘Romeo.'”

  15. pommers says:

    Hi Eileen

    Well one lives and learns!

    I had actually wondered on occasion where the ‘Roger’ came from in radio transmissions! I was a yachtsman for many years and it was always a source of some irritation when people used the term on the VHF, along with ‘over and out’ which is self-contradictory!

    Now I know, so thanks for that.

  16. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid, for standing in.

    This was a strange affair. After about five minutes I thought I was solving the Quiptic, and as others have said, it was a bit uninspiring. I have the same thoughts as others too about Roger and RING.

  17. Robi says:

    Andrew @15 – I think maybe that is the right track. See ‘ring and ride’

  18. rrc says:

    I too couldn’t see a connection with the clue and ring – not a crossword i found particularly inspiring although I did like 16d

  19. tupu says:

    Hi Robi

    I too came across a similar ‘ring and ride’ site when trawling. There is a problem – which applies equally to the ring-sling idea I also came across – that the clue ideally seems to need a ‘for’ before ‘children’. Although such schemes are not generally for children in particular, one in the West Midlands seems to be.

    I also came across ‘ring shout’ a religious ritual of African origin where people seem to become ‘transported’ by the occasion. Children seem to be taught to participate but it is not specifiacally their thing.

  20. Daniel Miller says:

    Re my question – I’d do a blog if I was needed.

    Yes this was ridiculously easy and yes, I don’t understand 15a much either – Ring was my guess based on ‘call’ and the hidden Ring.. Maybe ‘children’ implied the last part of Requiring – where the parent of a word might be indicative of Short in Shortfall for example! Who knows?

  21. Robi says:

    Final thought! (Of course I meant Andrew @11 previously). Maybe it’s just ‘children requiring transport’ ring their parents for a lift.

  22. Danny says:

    I thought ring could be because children call (their parents) when they require transport.

  23. pommers says:

    I think it’s about time the setter came on line and explained the working of 15a. Nobody has yet come up with a viable explanation of this very weak clue – unless I’m missing something here!

  24. Brian says:

    Hi, I’m a newbie and very much in awe of the talent show by all of the other contributors. I solved 23d using “spokes” in the sense of as radiuses (radii) of a circle or wheel. As for 15a, call is a synonym for ring fitted. In addition, in the film and TV series Stargate alien technology for short distance transportation called rings are used (it’s CGI) and the first two episodes of SG-1 are titled “Children of the Gods”. I’ll get my anorak.

  25. Carrots says:

    Hi Auntie Eileen….you may be interested to learn that “Roger” for “received and understaood” was still common aeronautical parlance in the 60s 70s and 80s.

    When I made my first solo trip across the “wide bit” of the channel in a tiny Piper Cherokee, I fell instantly in love with the Deauville TMA controller who had the sexiest voice imaginable. “Gulf Alphur Victure Lima Echo, now contact tow-uer en wan-tree-zeeroh-decimal-fife: Bye-Bye”. “Roger, Madam” I enthusiastically replied, more in hope than anticipation.

    I couldn`t wait to meet this sexy lady and (unusually for me) reported to the control tower to pay my landing and parking fees on arrival. There she was, sylvan hair, husky voice and all….of eighty years old.

    Over the next two decades I had several R/T flirtations on the airwaves of many countries, but that one has remained special!

  26. Mick says:

    I’m a newbie but I like this site, mainly because it rarely has ‘I solved this in 5 minutes’ boasters unlike the Guardian comments one. I come here to see if people parsed clues the way I did when I think I’ve got a crossword out, and the parsing and comments are great.
    There is something utterly satisfying about solving a tough Araucaria Xmas special, having a groan of laughter at Paul’s naughty wordplay (my favourite setter)and struggling sometimes with a Rufus corner that isn’t as easy or obvious as people say.
    And no – I don’t see why ‘ring’ in today’s one either.

  27. Petrus says:

    I think ring might be arrived at from offspring, taking off s.p. – sine prole. Like a double negative.

  28. John says:

    Straws are being grasped at.

  29. Huw Powell says:

    I came here to find out “why” RING too… oh well!

    I also found this puzzle a bit easy, in context of the typical Gaurniad fare. No individual clue would have been out of place to “get things rolling” in a harder puzzle, but all in the same one was a bit odd. I kept waiting for the hard corner to appear.

    That said, if every Monday was on this level, that would be nice for newcomers to the addiction, and the experts would expect it and either not do it or set some rule to make it harder, like not writing in any answers, or using a blank grid.

    So, anyway, thanks Auster and Gaufrid!

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