Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25204 Chifonie … Of Castro, Cricket and Curates

Posted by Uncle Yap on December 28th, 2010

Uncle Yap.

Pardon the later-than-usual appearance of the Tuesday blog. The Christmas revelry continues. Chifonie gave us an almost painless puzzle with delightful bits here and there. Most entertaining.

5 MASTIFF MA’S (graduates) TIFF (squabble)
9 RACER BRACER (reviver) minus B
10 TESTAMENT TES (rev of SET) TAME (subdue) NT (National Trust or conservationists)
11 COURTESAN *(NO CURATES) What a lovely &lit clue ! Made me smile :-)
12 OUTRE OUT (revealed) RE (Royal Engineers or soldier)
15 AT PRESENT AT (Rev of TA, thanks) PRESENT (here)
18 ILL TEMPER I’LL (I, setter will) TEMPER (moderate)
19 ASCOT A famous racecourse nicely hidden
21 FARCE Ins of C (cold) in FARE (passenger as in “I picked up the fare at King’s Cross”)
23 HEARTBURN HEAR (pick up) T (first letter of thistle) BURN (stream)
25 DOCTORATE DOC (one of Snow White’s) TO RATE (deserve)
26 SATYR SAT (brooded) YR (short for YEAR)
27 LIP-READ What a beautiful cd
28 THEOREM Ins of ORE (Swedish money) in THEM (those people)

1 UTRECHT Ins of EC (European Commission) in *(TRUTH)
3 MERIT Ins of RI (religious instruction or scripture) in MET (gathered)
4 DATE STAMP Ins of A TEST (an ordeal) in DAMP (fog)
5 MASON Mother and Son (close relatives)
6 SOAP OPERA SOAP (flattery) OPERA (musical works)
7 INERT INVERT (upset) minus V (Victory)
8 FITMENT FIT (suitable) MEN (people) T (time)
14 STEVEDORE Ins of EVE (first wife) & D (died) in STORE (shop)
16 PERMANENT Ins of *(MANNER) in PET (petulance, paddy, slang for rage)
17 ENCOUNTER EN (first two letters of England) COUNTER (hit back) and how appropriate and timely after Day 2 of the 4th test in Melbourne. Now, let’s see whether England can hold and not snatch defeat from the jaws of victory ( Abraham Lincoln is often credited with coming up with this gem when he removed Gen. Ambrose Burnside from command after the Battle of Fredricksbrug in December 1862, describing his actions as snatching defeat from the jaws of victory
18 INFIDEL IN (popular) FIDEL CASTRO (Communist leader in Cuba)
20 TANTRUM TAN (beat) T (first letter of team) RUM (odd)
22 RECAP Rev of PACER (walker)
23 HOARD Ins of O (love) in HARD (cold)
24 TASTE Ins of S (society) in TATE Gallery

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

18 Responses to “Guardian 25204 Chifonie … Of Castro, Cricket and Curates”

  1. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks UY. Beautifully done. I knew that sideburns were named after Gen Burnside but was unaware of the rest of the story. Thank you for the enlightenment.

  2. Swukker says:

    I have been doing the Guardian crossword for decades and while it is rarely overtaxing, recent offerings seem to have been particularly easy. Is this a seasonal policy that I have missed in previous years?
    Today’s crossword, while having nothing much wrong with it, was almost filled in as I thought with no pauses. i.e. No challenge at all. Only being distracted at work meant it took as much as ten minutes.
    17D – wasn’t Adam married to Lilith before Eve in some traditions?
    18D is inaccurate and a bit of an insult to practicing heathens.

  3. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Uncle Yap. This was easy.

    There is absolutely no reason for you to apologise for your ‘later-than-usual appearance of the Tuesday blog’. You are a shining example to everyone else. Or was your comment tichy?

    I am sure that everyone will share my concern with the appearance of a MASTIFF at 5a, after one recently attacked and killed a poor lady – allegedly.

    Swukker @2

    Lilith’s name should NEVER be mentioned except behind closed doors:

    At the same time Jehovah created Adam, he created a woman, Lilith, who like Adam was taken from the earth. She was given to Adam as his wife. But there was a dispute between them about a matter that when it came before the judges had to be discussed behind closed doors. She spoke the unspeakable name of Jehovah and vanished.

  4. Dad'sLad says:

    Thanks UY,

    I agree with Swukker this seemed very easy. I also had a strong sense of deja vu. I wonder if the setter has used some of these clues – or very slight variations – under a different name for another publication. In particular I thought I had come across 5,11,13,19,23,27 and 28a. And 1,3,6 and 14d, all very recently.

  5. Bryan says:

    Uncle Yap

    I now see that you have blogged Puzzle 25204 by Chifonie but who’s going to do 25205 by Araucaria?

    It can be found through an Archive Search.

  6. Duncan Shiell says:

    The Guardian crossword website has been a bit of a muddle since it showed Brendan’s 25203 for a short time on Christmas Day.

    When I clcked on the PDF version of today’s Chifonie 25204 at about 7.30 am , I got Brendan’s 25203 again.

    The same thing seems to happen on Araucaria’s 25205, which as mentioned above @4 is available through the search. In this case if you click on PDF you get Chifonie’s 25204. I assume 25205 is really tomorrow’s crossword. I don’t have a paper Guardian to check.

    No doubt it will all get in synch again sometime soon.

  7. TokyoColin says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap. For me you have blogged the puzzle I did yesterday. They are loading on the iPhone this week without number or compiler and I only now realise it was a (very easy) Chifonie. And based on Bryan@5 above, I guess the (significantly more challenging) puzzle I did today was an Araucaria. I suppose I will have to wait until tomorrow for the blog to explain a couple I don’t fully understand.

  8. tupu says:

    Thanks UY and Chifonie

    A relatively easy puzzle, especially the top half, with some nice clues dotted about – I particularly liked 11a, 25a, 14d.

    I was less taken by 17d – I only now realise that Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson were literally ‘batting for England’ in their Brief Encounter.

    Am I alone in preferring not to to see extra himts to answers in the title on the left of the blog? Before solving, I brought up the site with Brendan’s puzzle still on and I immediately saw Castro, (cricket and curates). 18d is easy enough without this.

  9. Robii says:

    Thanks Chifonie and UY for a nice puzzle and blog.

    I particularly liked 11a; perhaps just what was required by 26a.

  10. Scarpia says:

    Thanks uncle Yap.
    Pretty straightforward stuff from Chifonie,no quibbles,no questions.
    BTW tomorrow’s Araucaria is a cracker!

  11. Stella says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap, I like your blog titles, but I must agree with tupu that they may sometimes be a bit of a giveaway for those of us who check up on the comments to the previous day’s puzzle before tackling today’s.

    On the other hand, tupu, I don’t think UY made things any easier for you at 18d, did he? I think he’s usually quite careful in his choice of words.

    As has been commented, a relatively easy and entertaining puzzle from Chifonie today. No doubt with the Christmas mix-up I could access tomorrow’s, too, but then what would I do tomorrow? I prefer my daily fix :)

    To Bryan@3, regarding your comment about the mastiff, I doubt Chifonie had any idea of the incident you describe when compiling the puzzle. Anyway, I never blame the dog, much less the breed, but rather irresponsible owners. Mastiffs particularly, though large and powerful, are generally even-tempered and excellent with children, for example.

  12. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, Uncle Yap. I am completely confused about which crossword is which, but enjoyed this gentle offering from Chifonie. And of course am made up about the goings on in Melbourne, so will nominate 17dn as my CoD.

  13. Carrots says:

    No matter how much I dawdled, I couldn`t make this stretch to a second pinta.

    Tupu….you might already know that, before their takeover by ITG many years ago, Howard Johnson Hotels were known in some circles as “Hot Sheet Hostels”…quite appropriate for Trevor & Celia`s shenanigans don`t cha think?!?!

    Roll on the Araucaria….these over-easy puzzles are getting me down.

  14. Davy says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap,

    Yes this was relatively easy but let’s give credit for some great clues. I thought “Worker’s first wife died in shop” was brilliant. I’ve never heard of Lilith but despise religion in all its manifestations. Religion equals wealth acquisition, pomposity and hypocrisy.
    Thanks Chifonie for an entertaining puzzle and don’t listen to Swukker even though his name sounds like what he really is.

  15. Mr Beaver says:

    Davy, there’s no call to be quite so personal about Swukker, though as an indifferent solver, I do agree that it’s irritating when more gifted brethren complain about a puzzle being too easy. Some of us are just grateful to be able to finish!

  16. Carrots says:

    Hi Davy…..from one happy infidel to another. I don`t know what Swukker was going on about with “inaccurate” or “insult to heathens”…it seemed a perfectly clear, simple and innocuous clue/solution to me.

    As a dedicated heathen, I find it almost impossible to be offended by any reference to it….even by the silken-suited Jehovah`s Witnesses who very occasionally (and equally foolishly) turn up uninvited on my doorstep.

  17. Bob says:

    In addition to those already pointed out, I dare say Chifonie has upset sex workers (11a), their clients (26a’s indulging in 18d-ity), PhDs (25a), PhD candidates who supplement their income in unconventional ways (all the foregoing), dockers (14d, why shouldn’t they have some fun?), and 18a-ed old men who get irritated by 21a-ical 20d’s.
    Perhaps the Guardian should drop the crossword altogether, just to avoid causing distress to the sensitive.

  18. William says:

    Thanks, Uncle, for the blog and in particular for the interesting background to the General Burnside thing.

    I’m one of those who has had to become resigned to feeling slightly crestfallen to read fellow bloggers report that they needed only 7.4 minutes to complete a particular grid. I generally use the Guardian crossword to aid the onset of sleep but found myself still wide awake with a completed grid last night. I even nudged the memsahib to share the triumph, but it elicited only a muttered, “Well done, dear”, before moving on with her novel.

    Hey-ho, all the best for 2011 and thank you for all your excellent posts through the year.

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