Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,235 – Chifonie

Posted by Andrew on February 2nd, 2011


A fairly typical Chifonie, with a lot of quite obvious clues. There’s a preponderance of charade clues, with 13 out of 28 being of that type, including 10 out of 14 acrosses: rather an excessive proportion I think, variety being the spice of crosswords as well as of life. Still, all the clueing is sound, with the exception of a familiar bugbear of mine at 13dn, so a pleasant if unchallenging solve.

10. WAIL W + AIL, making three very easy charades in a row
12. CLAMMY CLAM (seafood) + MY (blimey!)
15. DERIVE E in DRIVE (motivation). No confusion of infer and imply here!
20. REHEARSE RE (soldier) + HEARSE (last conveyance)
23. WELLINGTON WELLING (rising) + TON (fashion)
24. THEN THE (article) + N (new)
25. RECESS Double definition
26. RESTRAIN REST (calm) + RAIN (storm)
1. DETAILED TAIL (detective) in DEED (action)
2. FELL Double definition
3. CANOPY A N in COPY. Tester is “a canopy or its support, or both, esp. over a bed”, from old French and related to tête = head
4. MALINGER MA + LINGER. I thought “swing the lead” was an American expression for malingering, or generally wasting time at work, but Chambers says it’s nautical and military slang “to invent specious excuses to evade duties”,
5. DEFAMATION (MAFIA TO END)*. Finally we get an anagram!
6. FURORE U.R. in FORE (shouted warning in golf)
13. MARSEILLES (ARMIES SELL)*, with my usual grumble about “in France” as the definition
18. ESOTERIC TORIES* in EC = the City (of London)
21. ELEVEN EL (Spanish “the”) + EVEN (flat)
22. VANISH VAN (leader) + IS H[ot]
24. TERM Double definition. I nearly put TURN here, which matches “spell” but not “name”.

23 Responses to “Guardian 25,235 – Chifonie”

  1. TokyoColin says:

    Thanks Andrew. I too found this to be pleasant but simple, unchallenging and a bit repetitious. 23ac was my favourite. And I still have time left to tackle Dac in the Indy.

  2. Paul B says:

    An adjective (or adjectival phrase) defining a noun? In The Guardian? A traveshty shurely.

  3. Monica M says:

    Thanks Andrew,

    I’ve never heard of ton = fashion. It’s certainly not commonly used in Australia.

  4. Martin H says:

    I don’t think ‘ton’ is used commonly anywhere, Monica, although with increasing frequency I think in Guardian crosswords. It’s a horrid word. Nobody says ‘Blimey!’ any more either – nor ‘My!’ for that matter, so I suppose that makes the synonym fair.


  5. tupu says:

    Thanks Andrew and Chifonie

    Straightforward on the whole. 3d took a minute or two longer than most clues (wanted to use fake).

    Quite liked 12a, 20a (can see the apostrophe might not please everyone though), 8d and 16d.

    Martin is right re ton, my and blimey but the last two at least had amusing memories (false?) of days with the Beano and the Dandy.

  6. Stella Heath says:

    Thanks Andrew.

    Don’t you think this puzzle and Monday’s Quiptic got crossed over? This was much more straightforward, and I had over half of it on the first run through. As you say, though, there’s nothing wrong with the cluing.

    So if anyone hasn’t done it yet and feels a little short-changed with this one, difficulty-wise, I advise you to look in on the Quiptic :)

  7. Roger says:

    I wonder, tupu, whether soldiers’ in 20a might allow the apostrophe to be more easily ignored ? RE could also be obtained from “out soldiER’s last” of course but maybe that’s pushing things !
    Blimey! I think is still alive and well, My! on its own less so with ton perhaps reserved for the pages of Georgette Heyer and others.

  8. Andrew says:

    I think “soldier’s” is fine if you read it as “soldier has”.

  9. Robi says:

    Thanks Chifonie and Andrew.

    Fairly easy for a Wednesday, although I didn’t know ‘tester’ as a CANOPY.

    Martin H @4; I think blimey is still in common usage for those of us ‘at a certain age.’ My seems OK as well: ‘my, how you’ve grown!’

    WELLINGTON has been used once before this week. I, of course, forgot the dreaded TON and thought that wellingtons were just rising up your leg! 😕

  10. Monica M says:

    With Gaufrid’s indulgence …. Please, if you are so inclined, say a prayer or have a positive thought for North Queensland … we’re in for it again. Please.

  11. Robi says:

    Monica – yes, it appears very scary. Looks like Cairns is going to take a bashing. My thoughts are with you.

  12. tupu says:

    Hi Andrew
    Thanks. Yes that makes sense. I saw it as a possessive and accepted RE as somehow adjectival in the answer – as a sort of sub-category of, say, military hearse. But that is probably selling the setter short. I agree with Roger about the plural, if one wants to stick to the possessive idea.

  13. William says:

    Thank you Andrew, a very tidy blog.

    Not the hardest crossword to complete but nonetheless satisfying. It’s sometimes nice to be reminded of more original meanings. INSCRUTABLE & ESOTERIC for example.

    Astonishingly, I did know TESTER. I once saw a list of daily, weekly & monthly tasks compiled by some head of servants in a large house. The testers were to be taken down, shaken and replaced every month, and washed every quarter.

    Lastly and with Gaufrid’s indulgence, my thoughts are with MONICA and her friends & family as they brace themselves for Typhoon Yasi.

    Thinking about you.

  14. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Oor Wullie would have said ‘Crivens!’ but that’s another story.

    I’m in the ‘yawn’ and ‘repetitous’ camp today, I’m afraid. Nothing too much wrong with it, but it wasn’t inspiring.

    Thank you for the blog, Andrew, and slightly off-topic, I really enjoyed chatting with you on Saturday.

  15. Andrew says:

    I’ve just done yesterday’s Armonie (=Chifonie) puzzle from the FT: if anything it’s slightly harder than this one, but it has an exact duplicate of 24ac, and another “in France”.

    K’s D, re Saturday – likewise!

    Monica – best wishes to all in the path of Yasi: it looks very frightening. This gives some idea of how huge a storm it is.

  16. Will Mc says:

    @Kathryn’s Dad. Oor Wullie would actually have said “Crivvens!” with two vs, preceded by a “Jings!” and followed by a “Help ma Boab!”

  17. walruss says:

    Really boring, wasn’t it.

  18. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Will Mc. I’ll take the lesson about my lack of a double consonant, but the rest of your comment is beyond me, I’m afraid – I only have a passing acquaintance with Oor Wullie. Is Boab a biblical character or something?

  19. Paul8hours says:

    Thanks Chifonie for a pleasant 20 minutes in my local Indian, and to Andrew for the blog. I don’t like detective clueing ‘tail’, which could be any old Tom, Dick or Harry.

  20. mark says:

    Was just about to make the point in 19 above otherwise I thought it a pretty fair puzzle. Thanks

  21. Carrots says:

    Although this was a bit of a cakewalk, a couple of stretched definitions (in 1dn. and 25ac) slowed the solution.

    These apart, I`ve nothing really more to add. Just “saying hello” really.

  22. Monica M says:

    Thanks for your kind wishes. Both my brothers and their families live in Townsville. They’ve weathered the storm and are safe and well. They haven’t been able to determine yet weather they have any structural damage as it’s still too blowy to get out and have a look.

  23. David M says:

    Re 13D
    Marcel Berlins will be fuming at the spelling of Marseille….

    Late response, sorry – I get the paper ‘paper’ a day late and usually don’t start until the day after that.

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