Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Prize Crossword 25,226 by Enigmatist

Posted by PeeDee on January 29th, 2011

PeeDee.

Another good puzzle, not easy, but all there to be found if you look.  I thought the construction of the clues was very tight indeed, only 5dn giving me any doubts, but this may just be down to my poor musical knowledge.  

Hold the mouse over the clue number to see the clues. I have another experiment this week, clicking on an answer should take to you to the definition and other related information from Google.  The results are a little US oriented, but I may be able to get a UK slant with a little more investigation. 

Across
8 TELETHON TE (Lawrence of Arabia) with Henry inside LET ON (told people)
9 COWRIE Cryptic definition. The shells were once used as money.
10 CICERO ICER inside CO (company=firm)
11 FOOTNOTE TONTO (Lone Ranger’s freind) reversed in FOE
12 LIMO aLIMOny (without ‘any’).
13 GAINSAYING GA (Georgia) IN SAYING (proverbially)
15 LET DOWN Cryptic definition
16 CASUIST CAST (shed) around SUI (Latin ‘of oneself’)
18 BRANDY SNAP BRAND (make = trading name) and PANSY (violet) reversed
19 SEPT SEPTember shortened
20 FINE ARTS NEAR (almost) inside FITS (supplies a fixture or fitting)
22 EMIGRE (REGIME)* = ‘one who has fled’ in French
23 CLARET Saint CLARE and TV (half missing). St Clare of Assisi is the patron saint of television (honestly!)
24 ETERNITY TERN (group of three) inside dEITY
Down
1 DEFINITE ARTICLE Cryptic definition, ‘the’ in several languages. Took a long while to get this one. I’m not sure if I like this clue or not, it is intriguing and inventive, but a bit thin on the definition. Newspapers also contain articles, so its ‘definite’ there is one in there.  A very clever clue.  Thanks Geoff.
2 GENE RODDENBERRY GENE (messenger of DNA) ROD (stick) DEN (study) BERRY (swell) – the creator of Star Trek
3 THROUGHWAY THe ROUGH WAY (e=energy)
4 SNUFF IT FUNS (game’s) reversed and FIT (ready)
5 ECHO ThE CHOrusmaster’s (apostrophe indicates has) response (echo) from thE CHOir. I can’t help feeling that ‘from the choir’ was tacked on to make the clue read better. Can any choristers here help on the definition part?   Another very clever clue indeed!  Thanks Sil.
6 TWENTY QUESTIONS WENT (left) with QUEST (search) inside Y1 all splitting (or ‘cracking’) TONS (many)
7 LIFT AND SEPARATE (FAN LETTER PAID)* reference to a style of bra (bra = ‘suppoter’). 
14 SWAMP FEVER With AMP (current) Female inside SEVER (separate)
17 ANISEED I SEE‘ inside DNA reversed
21 RITZ Sounds like ‘writs’

31 Responses to “Guardian Prize Crossword 25,226 by Enigmatist”

  1. Scarpia says:

    Re 5 down – possibly referring to the chorus in classical Greek drama?

  2. Biggles A says:

    I struggled with this one, getting there eventually only with recourse to the internet to confirm that St Clare is the patron saint of TV, that TERN is a threesome, that GENE RODDENBERRY is the creator of Star Trek and that LIFT AND SEPARATE is a bra advertisement. I don’t much like 15 – flat is not necessarily the same as let down – and 17 – aniseed can flavour a liqueur but is most uncommonly a synonym for anisette.

    Still, it was certainly a challenge and conferred a greater sense of accomplishment than usual.

    ECHO is hidden twice in 5. SEPT is also a sub tribe of course.

    Thanks Enigmatist and PeeDee

  3. Sil van den Hoek says:

    THE POST BELOW WAS WRITTEN LAST SUNDAY, SO IT WILL NOT REFER TO THE BLOG.
    I WILL PROBABLY COME BACK TO THIS PLACE, AFTER RETURNING FROM (THE) DERBY (DO).

    Re 5d: there are two hidden ECHO’s – therefore ECHO.
    Clever, isn’t it?

    ————————-

    I admit, I haven’t always been nice towards the other John H’s crosswords.
    Calling his clueing “chilly” and labelling a Nimrod puzzle “a setter’s crossword” [subsequently causing a stir] are two of the most obvious examples.
    But I have also thanked him for “restoring my self-confidence” after a heavyweight Pasquale.
    I thought he was by far “the cleverest of them all” when we tackled the Biggles puzzle.
    I have fond memories of the priceless “genuine/nugatory” anagram for “Annie Get Your Gun” (as IO), and of a clue containing “All About Eve” for “A Level”.

    When we started this crossword yesterday in a Cambridge café, it looked impenetrable as ever. However, sometimes things are not as they seem.
    90 minutes later, we did it! Finishing a very, very rewarding crossword.
    Apart from only two clues, which had to be unraveled using familiar resources.
    2d (GENE RODDENBERRY) – never heard of him, apparently the Father of ‘Star Trek – but why “Pioneer” was given in quotation marks alluded us.
    9ac must certainly be COWRIE – not exactly sure why, though.

    While we didn’t like LET-DOWN (15ac), we raved about the quality of many other clues.
    The long one at 1d, another long one at 7d, and the very witty ECHO (5d) stood out.

    We didn’t fully understand CLARET (23ac), but the beloved Fifteensquared will clarify, I guess.
    Re 24ac, we thought a “deity” doesn’t have to be a goddess, but at least me-myself-I (a man) was absolutely sure that she (the goddess) would be more attractive than a god when topless ….

    Oh, and there was Shed again – he must be the most popular setter around by now. J

    To be honest, this puzzle was a Highlight (indeed, capital H) among recent Saturday Prize Crosswords!

  4. Biggles A says:

    I’m not too sure about Swell and Berry either.

  5. molonglo says:

    Thanks PeeDee. Nutted this out with minimal recourse to aids. Googled ‘Gene space pioneer’ when I had most of the surname in 2d. TEAS fixed up 16a (nice clue). Having got them was still vexed (like Biggles A@2) by 15a and 17d, and what the ‘half’ was in 23a. 9a was curious, seeming to demand wordplay: okay, I suppose. The EMIGRE in 22a – an anagram, a reversal with a half twist or what?

  6. Jim says:

    Found this incredibly difficult, failing to solve four of the clues within the hour: lift and separate; aniseed; casuist and eternity.

    Gene Roddenberry did not present a problem as I remembered his name from Thunderbirds, but I sympathise with those who found difficulty with substituting berry for swell.

  7. Bryan says:

    Many thanks PeeDee for yet another brilliant analysis.

    I also found this a toughie and. had I only known Jetdoc’s number, I would have ‘phoned for help. (Maybe next time?)

    As it was, I gave up with 5 failures. It is evident that puzzles from members of ‘The 4 Johns Biggles Consortium’ have become very much tougher since their infamous meeting.

  8. tupu says:

    Thanks enigmatist and Peedee

    My son was home and we did this together. A tough but fair and entertaining puzzle. Like others I noted the two echos (responses).

    I knew St Clare because I came across her in a guide to Assisi. She was St Francis’s close collaborator. She described from Assisi, I think, what was going on several kilometeres away and this ‘farsightedness’ was the basis of her beatification.

    As I have noted in an earlier blog, I begin to wish that setters would ‘burn’ their ‘supporters’ for a time.

    My son’s ‘inspired guesses’ in some clues (I don’t think he is up for being the Patron Saint of Twenty Qs yet though) certainly cut down solving time.

    Like Sil, I may come back to this later if my brain isn’t too frazzled after today’s trip!.

  9. Mr Beaver says:

    We found this very tough, and eventually gave up with four (16a, 20a, 14d, 17d) unsolved.
    However, a big thankyou to Peedee for the mouseover on the clue numbers – especially for the Saturday blog when the paper’s often been discarded!

  10. bridgesong says:

    I found this tough as well; glad it wasn’t my turn to blog this week! Thanks for the explanations, PeeDee. CASUIST was the last clue to go in.

    One small point. I’m intrigued by the mouseover link (which has obviously worked for others), but it’s not working for me on my wife’s Mac. I haven’t yet tried on my PC.

  11. Dave Ellison says:

    Thanks, Peedee, struggling to see some even with your explanations. I gave up after a very long time, with about 12 to go! Having seen the solutions, I am not really keen on some of the clues, for example “not providing for any” in 12a doesn’t quite make sense (it’s the “for”); 15a doesn’t make sense at all, unless he’s referrring to a midriff; 16a is “sui” fair without some Latin indicator? 20a Is “Fine arts” really inspirational work(s)? …

  12. PeeDee says:

    Sil@3 – ECHO hidden in both parts of the clue, now that is clever! Failed to fully fathom this clue despite much trying, thanks for showing the way.

    Biggles@2 – I agree about ANISEED not really meaning liqueur, it is not listed directly in the dictionaries I consulted, but I could imagine “an aniseed” being a reply to a request for drinks.

    bridgesong@10 – the pop-up clues uses a standard html feature, the “title” attribute, which is intended to be used to give additional information about an item on the page. The HTML specification doesn’t dictate when or how this should be shown, so it is up to the browser manufacturer to decide if or when to show it. Many older browsers only show titles for images and links.

    I have only IE8 at home to test on, so I would be interested to know if any other people have browsers where the pop-up clue feature does not work.

  13. Dynamic says:

    This was a very good crossword – slow going, but enjoyable, with plenty of variety. Thanks, PeeDee, for explaining St Clare, which I hadn’t got round to looking up, but the definition part and checking letters were enough to be pretty darned sure. Thanks, Enigmatist, too.

  14. blaise says:

    My 1977 Chambers does give anisette as the second meaning of aniseed.

    And I couldn’t help noticing a bit of trivia linking 23 and 24 across. A nun from the Poor Clare order founded the Eternal Word Television Network.

  15. blaise says:

    Re the mouseover titles nor working on a Mac, the reference site for browser compatibility says “Safari 3.0 does’t show the title of an element in any way…” so that’s possibly the explanation. In Safari 5 on a PC they DO show up.

  16. PeeDee says:

    baise@14 Anissed shows as anisette in my chambers 2008 too, I must be going blind. Thanks.

  17. Allan_C says:

    Couldn’t finish this one, Gene Rodenberry, Swamp Fever and Eternity being among my failures.

    But, interestingly, that day’s blog for the previous Saturday’s Indy generated a whole host of comments on ‘Lift and Separate’ as a clue-solving technique. Just co-incidence, of course.

  18. John Dean says:

    PeeDee@16 The mouseover works fine in IE7 and is a valuable new feature – thanks!
    BTW, in your @16, did you intend to swear in French?

  19. PeeDee says:

    John@18 – Oops, that is very rude, what I meant was merde@14.

  20. Judy says:

    Thanks very much for the mouseover clues – works fine on my Mac with Safari 5.

  21. Robi says:

    Thanks Enigmatist, although it took me most of Saturday to complete (but then I’m a beginner!)

    Many thanks also to PeeDee for a very good blog. I liked the idea of the mouse over, but thought it was not working until I found that the cursor has to be slightly to the left of the number before it seems to appear (at least on my PC.) This is an excellent idea, especially if it can be done without too much time and effort.

    Although I eventually completed the puzzle, I was at a loss to explain one or two, especially TWENTY QUESTIONS – thanks for the blog! I originally thought 16 was VACUIST from vacuous, although I’m not sure that is a real word. I spent ages on trying to link the clue to Shed (the setter) starting with Younger and then dreamer, but eventually realised the shed/cast link.

    In retrospect (as always) 1 seemed obvious, but I was testing my linguistic skills for a while before the penny eventually clanged!

  22. tupu says:

    Hi all
    Lovely to meet so many of you.

    Sorry – I don’t quite see the problem with 15a. It seems to depend on let (past participle passive) down and (a)let-down (noun). A spare tyre which is found to have been ‘let down’ would be a ‘let-down’ if needed after a puncture. Of course as Sil says, not all flat tyres have been let down but the clue does not mention a flat tyre but a spare that has been let down. Or am I missing something else?

  23. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Welcome home, tupu.
    But it wasn’t me who said something about LET-DOWN [other than that we didn't like the clue very much] – I think you refer to Biggles A’s post.
    Maybe I should have asked the other John H this afternoon what he really meant in this clue, but I was too busy explaining to him that I sometimes dó like his crosswords …. :)
    Back to 15ac, I do not fully see why it reads “this spare tyre”.
    Maybe it’s because I’m not a Brit.
    Does it mean “a spare tyre in a state like this”?
    If so, then it’s alright.
    And I still wonder why “Pioneer” is written as “Pioneer” in the clue of 2d.
    Apart from this, I’ll stick to my earlier verdict:
    one of the most satisfying Saturday crosswords we had recently.

  24. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks Enigmatist and PeeDee and kudos to all who completed this puzzle. I could only get about 1/3 of the answers. There was a radio program called Twenty Questions that I grew up listening to in the 40′s. Is this what the clue refers to only a British version?

    Cheers…

  25. Biggles A says:

    @22.23. It’s a little pedantic I know but it seems to me that there is a difference between a tyre that has been let down deiberately and one that has just been allowed to go flat.

    I did acknowledge that ANISEED could be a synonym for ANISETTE but the OED says it is s very rare usage and I still think it is unnecessarily obscure. I now find the same source gives BERRY as another esoteric synonym for SWELL which is a relief because I was beginning to wonder if it was a slight on Mr Pleydell.

  26. tupu says:

    Sorry Sil! :) I should have just let myself ‘crash out’ after a ‘tyring’ but most enjoyable day!

    Hi BigglesA. I agree but my own (pedantic)point was that the clue said nothing about a ‘flat’ tyre and only, by implication, one that had been ‘let down’ – admittedly a slightly less plausible though not impossible scenario.
    Now, like the dormouse, Id better go back to sleep again!

  27. PeeDee says:

    Sil@23 The ‘Spare Tyre’ clue reads quite naturally to me, I don’t find the need to force the meaning for it to make sense. I can easily imagine someone making a “well thats a let down” pun on finding a flat spare. I’ll try it on the children next time they have a puncture on their bicycles, its just the sort of thing they find funny!

    I think space “Pioneer” in quotes as he didn’t actually go anywhere except in his imagination:

    “Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before…”

    Still gives me goose bumps after all these years.

    Hope everyone enjoyed the Derby do, and not too many sore heads this morning.

  28. Geoff says:

    Bravo to Enigmatist for a toughie – got there in the end – and to PeeDee for a great blog.

    1dn is not light on the definition: newspapers contain articles, therefore if all four are sure to contain one it will be a definite article. Clever.

  29. PeeDee says:

    Thanks Geoff, another one I missed. This crossword is completely watertight!

  30. maarvarq says:

    I finished it, but I didn’t enjoy it, and had to get several clues explained here.

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