Posted by Eileen on March 31st, 2011
Well, no one can say we don’t get variety in Guardian puzzles!
I find that I can simply repeat the preamble I wrote on the last Gordius crossword that I blogged.
‘A fairly typical Gordius, I think, comprising mostly anagrams, simple charades and/or insertions and double definitions, with several niggles, as usual for me with this setter.’
1 GUMBOIL: GUMBO ['a soup thickened with okra pods' - Chambers] + Il[l] [endlessly sick]
5 TWINSET: WIN [come first] in anagram of TEST
9 OFFAL: OF FAL [the well-known crossword Cornish river]
10 WORCESTER: anagram of WE RECTORS: as Gordius is a clergman, I hesitate to call this an &lit but it raised a wry smile.
11 MILITARISE: MILIT [anagram of limit] + ARISE [stand up]
12 DIME: DIM [backward] + E[nglish]: I think the question mark may be an acknowledgment that neither of these epithets is in general use these days.
14 TRAFFIC LIGHT: double / cryptic [?] definition: in light traffic, you wouldn’t expect to be held up.
18 COUNTERTENOR: COUNTER [one who reckons] + TENOR [sounds like 'tenner']
21 UPON: [co]UPON: a rather weak clue, I think
22 PSYCHOPATH: anagram of CHAPPY SHOT – and a clever & lit, though in rather questionable taste, I think.
25 ALARM BELL: anagram of ALL MARBLE
26 IDLER: anagram of RILED – but what’s the ‘by’ doing?
27 EMERALD: I suppose this is a cryptic definition? – a reference to Ireland, known as ‘The Emerald Isle’, but a very loose clue
28 NEMESIS: anagram of SIN SEEM; another & lit and perhaps the best clue in the puzzle
1 GROOMS: G[ood] + ROOMS [accommodation]
2 MUFFLE: FF [very loud] in MULE – ‘without’ meaning ‘outside’
3 OBLITERATE: OB [abbreviation of Latin 'obiit' - 'died'] + LITERATE [learned]
4 LOWER: [b]LOWER [telephone] minus initial letter [starting off] of ‘bell’
5 TURNSTILE: TURN [act] + STILE [sounds like 'style']
6 ITEM: IT [computer science?] + EM [space]: the wording of this clue doesn’t work for me.
7 SETTINGS: SETTING + S[point]: Gordius does setting – but ‘down to a point’ here, surely?
8 TORMENTS: MEN [people] in TORTS [wrongs]
13 ALCOHOLISM: anagram of SCHOOL MAIL: I only knew ‘jimjams’ as pyjamas, but Chambers says it also means, among other things, delirium tremens. As a former teacher, I have similar scruples about labelling this ‘&lit’!
15 FARMSTEAD: anagram of DREAM FAST
16 ACCURATE: AC [account] + CURATE [priest]
17 AUTOMATE: double / cryptic definition: I had doubts about the verb but Collins gives ‘to be made automatic’, hence, cryptically, ‘try self control’, and a co-driver would be an AUTO MATE.
19 CALLUS: CALL US [the Guardian]
20 SHERDS: HERD [cattle] in SS ['on board']
23 COLON: double definition, the colon being the currency of Costa Rica [named after Christopher Columbus, apparently]
24 EMMA: EMMA[nuel]: I said quite a while ago that I’d lost count of the number of clues I’d seen for Emma: this would not be in my top five.