Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25246 Quantum – Breezy Walk in the Park

Posted by Uncle Yap on February 15th, 2011

Uncle Yap.

Quite a breezy walk in the park from Quantum. Nothing very challenging.

9 NORMANS NORM (standard) ANS (answer)
12 STAYS dd
13 TRAM Rev of MART (trading centre)
14 KETTLEDRUM Allusion to a kettle being a kitchen item and a drum is a percussion instrument (for beating)
19 FIRS FIRST (in the front) minus T
20 AGGRO *(GANG OR minus N, new)
21 OFF THE AIR OFF (removed) THE AIR (song)
23 LLANERO LLA (rev of ALL, everyone) NERO (emperor) an inhabitant of the llanos. one of the vast steppes or plains in the northern part of South America.
24 SUMMITS SUM (problem) + *(MIST)
25 ALL FOOLS DAY cd and I think the enumeration should be (3,5,3)

2 ELAND ENGLAND (country) minus NG (no good)
4 PERIDOT Ins of *(DIOR) in PET (favourite) for a pale green variety of chrysolite; used as a gemstone
5 INSISTED Not a very cryptic cd
6 EXTRAORDINARILY EXTRA (cricket score) + *(RORY Left INDIA)
8 HOUSEMISTRESS cd alluding to the fact the ETON is an all-boy institution where the person in charge of a house is likely to be male
15 ARBOREAL *(A O, round BARREL)
17 OLOROSO DOLOROSO is musical term for “in a soft and sorrowful manner” minus D for golden-coloured medium-sweet sherry.
18 REFUSAL REF (judge) USUAL (typical) minus U (posh)
22 HOMED HO (house) MED (the Mediterranean Sea)

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

30 Responses to “Guardian 25246 Quantum – Breezy Walk in the Park”

  1. RogerBear says:

    A weak one this time. Totally agree about the enumeration of ALL FOOLS DAY, and the lack of crypticity in INSISTED. The surface meaning of the ELAND clue seems inappropriately convoluted, and KETTLEDRUM and SUMMITS are partially clued at best. Very little satisfaction here!

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Truly, truly dreadful. HOUSEMISTRESS, UNJUSTIFIABLE, INSISTED, KETTLEDRUM are the worst, but I could go on. Even the ones that were properly clued didn’t give much pleasure. And the enumeration for ALL FOOLS DAY? Give me a break.

    I’m sorry you landed this one, Uncle Yap.

  3. Andrew says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap. I was amazed to see yet another posthumous Quantum puzzle less than three weeks after the last one. As Eileen said on that occasion, these puzzles really don’t enhance his reputation. I found it a mixture of the very easy with some that were hard to get because of poor clueing (especially 7 down). Apart from the dud clues that have already been mentioned, “turned up” is plain wrong as a reversal indicator in 23 across.

    Still, maybe we’ll get something special for Araucaria’s 90th birthday tomorrow…

  4. Eileen says:

    I’m equally amazed. I’ve nothing to add.

  5. Jim says:

    Yet another crossword where “eland” crops up.

  6. tupu says:

    Thanks UY and rip (once more) Quantum

    Pretty straightforward. I quite liked 9a, 23a, and 25a (pace Andrew) but not a very satisfying puzzle overall and very disappointing after yesterday. It took me a long time to believe 5d.
    It was clear that 25a had to be something-day, but the enumeration is wrong (yet again) as others have said.

  7. liz says:

    Thanks, Uncle Yap. Rather a waste of your blogging skills, I thought! Still, I learned a new word (LLANERO).

  8. Geoff says:

    Oh dear, what a shocker.

    8dn could be TOASTMISTRESS – as in ‘charge your glasses please…’

  9. NeilW says:

    Thanks UY

    It really is so sad that these puzzles, which seem to have been originally rejected, are now being served up to the detriment of both the late setter and solvers alike. I know we shouldn’t complain when they’re free but, even so!

  10. Robi says:

    Thanks UY for a good blog.

    Another enumeration problem with 25, which had me stumped for a while. I thought at first it must have something to do with Alaudidae (the lark family.) I don’t know if there is any relevance to the fact that in 5 the word ‘is’ is IN ‘SISTED?’

    At least I learnt LLANERO and PERIDOT, which can be found in America at a place called ‘PERIDOT': Peridot AZ

    BTW, AGGRO was in the Rufus 25,215 last month.

    Like Andrew @3, I found some of this very easy, but other parts difficult to solve, including as he said the DUD (geddit?) 7. Not the best, but still relatively enjoyable in parts.

  11. sidey says:

    When the first posthumous puzzles from this setter appeared there was an angry response from one of his(?) colleagues about the criticism it received. I wonder how they feel about this sort of unedited dross appearing? It really is doing no favours to the setter’s memory to continue publishing this sort of thing.

  12. Robi says:

    Oh no, not the dreaded ” appearing in my link again. I’ll try this one:
    Peridot AZ

  13. John H says:


    I had TOASTMISTRESS as well.

    It seemed to make more sense to me.

    Plus i entered OLOROSA at 17D and then wasted 2O minutes of my life staring at 25A. I dont suppose i will get that part of my life back.

  14. RCWhiting says:

    “I know we shouldn’t complain when they’re free but, even so!”

    Where do you get your Guardian “newspaper”?

  15. Derek Lazenby says:

    Hmmm. As you all say.

    Can I add to the gripes by pointing out that 19 is ambiguous. If you parse it with the definition at the end then FORE[st] works equally well.

  16. Ron says:

    Agree with all that’s been said!

    8dn. My wife used to work at Eton (only in accounts!) – and she tells me that the day-to-day running of the houses were in the capable and formidable hands of ladies known as House Mothers, presumably replacing the nannies they had at home.

  17. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap for your efforts. Here is another vote for TOASTMISTRESS. Re 25ac: is there a gremlin at the printers?


  18. HelenEdith says:

    I’m sorry that so many of you are disappointed.

    I am finding these Quantum puzzles give me hope of being able to actually solve a Guardian crossword – a feat I have achieved only once so far.

    I gave this one a good try and then I came here for the explanations. Only 17 down and 23 across had me completely defeated.

    I do take the point that some of these clues weren’t particularly good. Arriving at the answers was sometimes more a process of deduction once some letters from other clues were in place.

    However, that’s often the case in my crossword solving and if I can’t get anything into the diagram to start me off, I don’t get very far.

    I’ll definitely have a go if there’s an Araucaria puzzle tomorrow, although my expectation of success with his puzzles is a bit like the locker room preparation for a match with Steffi Graf in her prime: it’s not hope of winning the match or solving the crossword, but merely an estimation of how many games or words can be taken off the master. :-)

  19. JS says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap

    I’m tempted to say “From the sublime (yesterday’s Brendan) to the ridiculous” but that’s probably being too harsh on this effort; I agree with those who say that bringing out posthumous puzzles of this standard don’t do the setter’s reputation much good.
    For some reason the first clue I looked at was 25ac and, given the mistake in the letter count, would have been tempted to enter ‘exaltations’ but it didn’t ‘fit’ with the singular ‘a good time.’

  20. MikeC says:

    Thanks, Uncle Yap.
    Yes, a mixed bag. I didn’t help myself by entering HOMER for 22d, instead of HOMED – didn’t read the definition carefully enough. In my defence, the sloppiness of some of the other clues did not encourage great care. The mistaken enumeration at 25a was really annoying, nevertheless.

  21. tupu says:

    Hi HelenEdith

    Take heart! We all have to start. There is a slight tendency for criticism to ‘get on a roll’ once it starts, and this puzzle is a relative disappointment rather than a complete disaster. Also it is a ‘cross’word and everyone draws inspiration from the crossing letters so don’t worry too much about that!

  22. Eileen says:

    From the Guardian comment site:

    ” HughStephenson

    15 February 2011 7:56AM

    The letter count for 25 ac should clearly have been (3,5,3) not (11) and is being changed.”

    Note: no apology, as before, and the time of posting. The letter count in both online versions still reads ’11’.

    Well said, RCWhiting @14: I’m glad I don’t buy my paper only for the crossword.

    Hi Derek @15: I put FORE first!

  23. muck says:

    Thanks UY, and commenters. The letter count for 25ac is still unchanged.

  24. Peter says:

    @Eileen (#22): ah, well spotted! Good to hear that they’re changing it; hope it goes through soon. Not too bothered by the lack of explicit “sorry” — owning up honestly to a mistake and doing something about it make a much better apology than flowery words.

    But agreed with others, this was a disappointing crossword. Too many that were just cryptic definitions, and not terribly good ones at that. I came here to see what I was missing with INSISTED, and found I was just being too hopeful in thinking there should be any good explanation.

    On the other hand, still a few gems amid it. LLANERO, OLOROSO and RISOTTO were very pleasing, I thought. (Although of course LLANERO should really have been a down clue to make “turned up” work.)

  25. TerryL says:

    14 across is an allusion to the percussion section of an orchestra being known as “the kitchen”.

  26. Carrots says:

    They say it does not bode well to speak ill of the dead, so I`ll vent my spleen on the crossword editor. Unless this was a deliberately introduced “softener” for an Araucarian 90th birthday celebration, it barely justifies the title of a cryptic puzzle. True, I didn`t get LLANERO, (I`ve never heard of the term) but it only took a millisecond to guess it once the operatives were in.

    I`m sure that Quantum`s memory could be better served.

  27. Davy says:

    Come back Rover all is forgiven. On reflection, don’t bother.

  28. Andy B says:

    I was looking forward to settling into this on a day when I had a two hour plus return train journey. So i was pretty irritated that such a poor offering should be served up. More irritated by the validly formed but dreadful clues, especially 12ac and 22d, than by nonsense such as “housemistress”. Dreadful. I do hope this is the last we have from Quantum

  29. Kate says:

    Didn’t have time to get on here yesterday to find out about 25a – isn’t this the second time in as many weeks that we’ve had to put up with something that is definitely several words being clued as a single word?

  30. PeeDee says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap, just got round to doing this one. I was hoping that someone would explain 5dn, for which I couldn’t find a good answer. Still waiting…

    There have been a few disapointing cryptics in the Guardian of late. After a lifetime of Guardian solving I’m finding myself hanging out in the FT and Indy pages more and more.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

3 × = fifteen