Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,203 / Brendan

Posted by mhl on December 27th, 2010


I hope everyone had a great Christmas. I’m afraid this is a very rushed post due to family commitments – I’m sorry I didn’t have more time to enjoy this one. An excellent puzzle, as ever from this setter.

8. SEALS OFF SEALS = “marine animals” + OFF = “starting to smell?” Definition: “Puts a barrier around”
9. ABHOR HOR[n] = “short cape” after A B = “a bishop” Definition: “Detest”
10. TRAP Double definition: “Drivers try to avoid this” (as in a speed trap) and “carriage”
11. REALTERING (LATER REIGN)* Definition: “making more changes”
12. STARCH Hidden in “moST ARCHitecture” Definition: “Formality”
14. ECO-LABEL EEL = “Fish” around CO = “company” + LAB = “laboratory” Definition: “evidence of environmental friendliness”
15. WEST END WE followed by SEND = “dispatch” around T = “time”
17. LETTERS Double definition: “Literature” and “characters in ALPHABET”
20. ESTRANGE (TEN GEARS)* Definition: “to drive away”
22. ADRIFT AD = “commercial” + RIFT = “break” Definition: “having no anchor?”
23. HALF SECOND SECOND HALF = “play after interval” “out of order” Definition “Very brief period”
24. ABET A BET = “a risky undertaking” Definition “Take part in crime”
25. EARLS EARS = “Hearing projections” around L = “line” Definition “some characters in HENRY THE FOURTH PARTS ONE AND TWO”
26. NEWSPEAK NEWS = “a lot of fresh information” + PEAK = “a climber’s destination” Definition “a language for thought domination” referring to the language in George Orwell’s 1984
1,3. HENRY THE FOURTH H = “hard at first” + (FURTHER ON THEY)* Definition “Plays”
2. CLAP Double definition
5,22. PARTS ONE AND TWO PARTS ONE AND TWO might be the first two leading roles and a reference to the two Shakespeare plays
6. THEREAFTER FT = “Newspaper” + E = “editor’s leader” in THE REAR = “the last section” Definition “from then on”
7,4. PRINCE OF WALES I guess the Prince of Wales is a theatre in the West End? Definition “Eventual successor of HENRY THE FOURTH”
13. RETURN FARE Sounds like “return fair” Definition “Cost of journey in two parts”
16. NONSENSE NO followed by NSE + NSE = “repetition of three points” Definition “for which PARTS ONE AND TWO could be CLAP and TRAP”
18. RIFLEMAN R[eading] = “initially reading” + IF = “poem” (by Kipling) + LEMAN = “sweetheart” (archaic, from Chaucer / Spenser) Definition “Soldier”
19. RECOUNT Double definition “Tell the story” and “number again”
21. STAGES Double definition “Puts on” and “vehicles”
24. ALPH Hidden in “aerial photograph” Definition “Poetic river” – the Alph is in Kubla Kahn

23 Responses to “Guardian 25,203 / Brendan”

  1. tupu says:

    Thanks mhl and Brendan

    A relatively mild and untaxing offering (thank goodness)from Brendan. I found it hard to parse ‘thereafter’ at first, and 20a (estrange) and 9a (abhor) held me up a little longer than most others.

    I suppose ‘perhaps’ is strictly speaking part of the definition of 7,4.

  2. Dad'sLad says:

    Thanks mhl,

    I guessed RIFLEMAN and now see why it’s right. All a bit theatrical for my taste but doable. And 21 words for the eight-lettered 26a……

  3. Derek Lazenby says:

    Did most of this on Saturday when it was briefly published by mistake!

    Just one thing, I thought one of the uses of hyphens was to clarify pronunciation? If that is so I would have had 11 as (2-8) as otherwise, first glance makes you want to say REAL TERING, because that is how the first 4 letters are usually pronounced.

  4. Carrots says:

    Thanks to Beermagnet spotting this puzzle posted on-line (and in error), on Dec 25th, I had a head start. I had been struggling with the Xmas Prize offering from Auracaria and turned to this for some respite. Maybe it was this juxtaposition, but I found myself putting the solutions in as fast as I read the clues. This doen`t normally happen with Brendan, who is one of my favourite setters!

  5. Mr Beaver says:

    Thanks for the explanation of 18d, which went in last. I loved the clue to 26a, but the theme was less pronounced than usual for Brendan

  6. Manu says:

    Nice and easy to cope with, after the chocolate excess from the weekend.
    It only took me 20 minutes to solve it. Are you sure this was a Brendan? :)

  7. Dave Ellison says:

    I really didn’t enjoy this as much as the ususal Brendan – I also found it too easy in places, and I lost interest with a couple to go.

  8. Stella says:

    I was surprised to see I was doing Saturday’s prize, as it still appears in the heading, and even more so as I started sailing through the clues, the inter-linked ones making the solving that much easier.

    All is now explained, so thanks mhl and Brendan.

  9. Kathryn's Dad says:

    I was pleased to stumble across this one on line over the weekend, since I’m missing Virgilius in the Indy. It was pretty straightforward for this setter, but as the man himself says, the definition of a good puzzle is one that you can finish.

    LETTERS and SEALS OFF were my favourites in this one. Needed your explanation though, mhl, for THEREAFTER.

  10. mike04 says:

    Thanks mhl

    This was a nice easy enjoyable crossword for this time of year.
    As a golfer, though, I think the driver in 10ac may be on the tee and the trap may be a sandy one!

  11. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks to Brendan and mhl. Agree with mike04 that 10A

  12. grandpuzzler says:

    Oops – my shaky hands hit the submit button too early. Agree with mike04’s parsing of 10A regarding golf. So is the Prince of Wales a West End theatre as mhl queries?

    Happy New Year!

  13. malc95 says:

    Thanks to mhl & Brendan

    Hi grandpuzzler,
    Yes, Prince of Wales Theatre is in the west end of London just off Leicester Square – I think it’s in Coventry Street.

  14. tupu says:

    Hi grandpuzzler
    The answer re the theatre is yes. It is in Coventry Street. Cf.

    Re motoring and golf – either reading seems OK. OED gives trap = sand-trap as chiefly American. The use of the term in England for a police speed trap apparently goes back over a century!

    “1906 Westm. Gaz. 28 Aug. 4/2 The fear of the traps and the consequent fines is?an inducement to avoid tours in England.? Car owners do not care to take the risks of the traps”.

  15. JohnR says:

    The Monday cryptic is No. 25204, by Chifonie. For some reason it hasn’t been added to the “Cryptic” list, but you can get to it by typing its number into the Find box to the right.

    The Brendan does seem to be a weekly Prize – that’s why it has no Check button!

    So I’ll stop reading the blog this minute…

  16. Robi says:

    Thanks Brendan and mhl. Yes, JohnR, I’m slightly confused because the website says Prize Crossword, Saturday 25th December. Can’t seem to get any result from 25204, though.

    Maybe too many seasonal festivities at the Guardian!

    Thanks for the explanation of rifleman, which was beyond me. Leman doesn’t seem to be a very current word!

  17. stiofain says:

    This what the xword editor said in the comments when the Brendan puzzle was up on xmas day

    For some reason that, as it is Christmas, I have not yet been able to discover, the crossword computer has got ahead of itself today. There is no Guardian today, Christmas Day, nor tomorrow (26 December); but normal service should be resumed on Monday 27 December.
    However, we have somehow managed to print Monday’s Cryptic by Brendan (No 25,203) today and, as today is a Saturday, have presented it as a Saturday prize puzzle, which it is not. And we have also given you Monday’s Quick (No 12,676) 48 hours early. This is why neither of the puzzles wrongly published online today came with a PDF option, for that was still firmly coded for Monday.
    I hope that things can be sorted out by Monday. Meanwhile please accept my apologies, meanwhile, that you are not getting an extra unexpected puzzle for Christmas.

    So I think the ridiculously easy Chifonie that is now available is actually Tuesdays puzzle

  18. rrc says:

    enter 25204 in the search box on the guardian website and chifonie emerges – really very easy – some great clues in this Brendans pity I didnt discover it until today. Guardian way off beam on crosswords this week end, I suspect tomorrow will now be another fallow day

  19. Davy says:

    Thanks mhl,

    I just couldn’t see STAGES for some reason but I do remember Chuck Connors as the Rifleman. I’m sure Carrots will remember too. My favourite western however was The Dakotas with Larry Ward and Jack Elam. Very gritty.
    Thanks Brendan for a very entertaining puzzle.

  20. Robert Clarida says:

    I too was impressed with myself for doing this so quickly on Saturday but now see it was just an inadvertent Christmas gift. Kathryn’s Dad, if you are still reading posts, I was given your pseudonym as a possible lead in obtaining an autograph from Rufus (for a birthday gift for one of my Rufus-loving colleagues here in New York). If you are able to assist or steer me to someone who can I would be most grateful. And I won’t trouble you fine people again.


    Robert W. Clarida

  21. Carrots says:

    Davy….sure do, pardner, but The Rifleman was a “b” budget soap, although a relatively O.K. one. Mention of “Stagecoach” allows me to throw a three-pennyworth into this arena, but my favourite western of all time has to be “Shane”….which caused me to fall madly in love with Jean Arthur. “The Searchers” comes a close second.

  22. tupu says:

    Hi Carrots
    Yes. Shane it is! And in love with Jean Arthur – me too! And Alan Ladd and Jack Palance and van Heflin! :) The most depressing thing about young people is that they don’t know what I’m talking about when I mention it.

  23. Davy says:

    Yes I agree, Shane is definitely my favourite western FILM too. However, The Dakotas was a TV series and so falls into a different catagory. Best western music just has to be The Big Country. Music on a grand scale, no pun intended.

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