Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Genius 93 by Paul

Posted by duncanshiell on April 3rd, 2011


In the preamble we were told that seven clues require ill-advised exchanges before solutions are entered in the grid.  The resulting solutions are non-words.  In these seven clues, the definitions (indicated by the letter counts) are pre-operative and the cryptic parts are post-operative.  All other clues are normal.

My initial thoughts were that some medical terminology was going to come into play and that proved to be the case.

The first of the special clues that I solved was THE RING OF THE NIBELUNG where LUNG was exchanged for LIVER via the splendid anagram of HITLER FIRING BEETHOVEN  to give THE RING OF THE NIBELIVER.

The last one of the seven special clues I solved was for LIVERPUDLIAN.  

By this time I had:


I had assumed that we would have a closed cycle of exchanges, and the final substitution would be LIVER to HEART.  Unfortunately there were too many letters required for this, so I had to deduce another organ, which in this case was BLADDER to give BLADDERPUDLIAN

This wasn’t too difficult a puzzle once the nature of the substitutions had been deduced.  It was made slightly harder by many of the special clues involving entries at two places in the grid.

Many of the definitions were interpretations of dictionary definitions rather than slavish copies from the dictionary.  To my mind, this makes the puzzle more interesting and forces the solver to think more, as long as the definitions used are not too distorted. I had no complaints about the definitons in this puzzle.

When trying to solve 8,11 I came across an OHNOSECOND in The Shorter Oxford which describes a moment when you realise that you have made an error.  This seemed to fit the definition ‘awful moment’, but I couldn’t make any wordplay fit, so I started thinking along different lines before realising that the answer was NANOSECOND.

I enjoyed this and look forward to blogging another Genius in six months time.

No. Clue Definition Exchange Wordplay Entry
7 Run by the book, fix’d up to return Gladstone for example (12) LIVERPUDLIAN (William Gladstone was a Liverpudlian) BLADDER B (book) + LADDER (run) + (NAIL’D UP [fix'd up] reversed [to return]) BLADDERPUDLIAN
9 Dick the butcher would kill every one hen to impress wife (6)     LAYER (hen) containing (to impress) W (wife) LAWYER (reference comment by Dick the Butcher in Shakespeare’s Henry VI part 2 where he says "The first we do, let’s kill all the lawyers")
10 Denunciation of a family by princess (8)     DI (Princess Diana) + A + TRIBE (an aggregate of families; a family) DIATRIBE (abusive or bitter harangue; denunciation)
11 See 8     See 8 down INCOND
15 Plant no Irishman should consume live (6,4) KIDNEY BEAN (plant) NOSE (NO + SEAN [Irishman]) containing (should consume) BE (live) NOSEBEAN
18, 32 Furious Hitler firing Beethoven – this more to his liking (3,4,2,3,8) THE RING OF THE NIBELUNG (Hitler was a great fan of the music of Richard Wagner who composed the Ring of the Nibelung, a cycle of four Operas based loosely on characters from Norse sagas) LIVER Anagram of (furious) HITLER FIRING BEETHOVEN THE RING [OF THE NIBELIVER]
19, 3 Modern celebrity welcomes a supporter burying old paper (5,2,3,3) STATE OF THE ART (modern) EAR STAR (celebrity) containing (welcoming) (TEE [supporter {of a golf ball}] containing [burying] [O {old} + FT {Financial Times; paper}]) STATE OF [TEAR]
22 A situation as raunchy ultimately causing abandonment of faith (8)     A + POST (situation) + AS + Y (final letter of [ultimately] RAUNCHY) APOSTASY (abandonment of faith)
24 See 29     See 29 across YCHING
26 Direct thinking, no good state being admitted by alcoholic (9) BRAINWASH (subject a person to systematic indoctrination or mental pressure to make them change their views or confess to a crime; direct thinking) LUNG (NG [no good) + WA [Western Australia or Washington; State]) contained in (admitted by) LUSH (drunkard; alcoholic) LUNGWASH
29, 24 Looking to punch leader of government, king punches man first (9) SEARCHING (looking) KIDNEY (K [king] contained in (punches) SIDNEY [man's name]) + CHIN (punch) + G (first letter of [leader of] GOVERNMENT) SKIDNE[YCHING]
32 See 18 (14)    

See 18 across



No. Clue Definition Exchange Wordplay Entry
1 While talking, take off tiny jumper (4)     FLEA (sounds like [while talking] FLEE [run away; take off]) FLEA (very agile bloodsucking insect; tiny jumper)
2 Nervous tension identified again by every second taken (4)     Second letters of (every second taken} TENSION IDENTIFIED AGAIN BY EDGY (nervous with anticipation; nervous tension)
3 See 19     See 19 across TEAR
4 Using tool that’s flat, penetrating grass (7)     PAD (bed, room or home; apartment) containied in (penetrating) SING (to turn informer; to grass) SPADING (using a spade; & lit clue as a spade is a tool that’s flat and can penetrate grass)
5 Plan I still won’t finish (4)     I + (DEAD [inanimate; still] excluding the final letter [won't finish] D) IDEA (plan)
6 Bird upset – doubled up, one’s pants alight (4)     RAIL (bird) reversed (upset) LIAR (reference the rhyme ‘liar, liar [i.e. doubled up] pants on fire" chanted by children at other children who they think are lying)
8, 11 Bacon rind having an awful moment (10) NANOSECOND (moment)   BRAIN Anagram of (awful) BACON and RIND and AN NABRA[INCOND]
9 Garland at an easy pace? Surely not! (3)     LEISURELY (at an easy pace) excluding (not) SURELY LEI (garland)
12 Somewhat overenthusiastic – to this high degree? (3)     Hidden word (somewhat) in OVERENTHUSIASTIC NTH (to the nth degree implies  taking things to a very high degree of precision)
13 Minor manufacturer’s non-starter in plant (5)     MORRIS excluding the first letter (non-starter) M (reference Morris Minor car, a stalwart of the roads in the late 1940s and most of the 1950s.  It is still cherished by many today) ORRIS (plant)
14 Foreign girl given an acknowledgement for promotion (5)     (AN + NOD [acknowledgement]) reversed (promotion) DONNA (a gril’s name, of Italian origin [foreign])
16 Stop eating a Malaysian dish (5)     STAY (stop) containing (eating) A SATAY (a Malaysian dish of marinated meat barbecued on a skewer)
17 Dog attacked dog but no cry of pain (5)     BIT (attacked) + CHOW (dog) excluding (no) OW (cry of pain) BITCH (dog)
20 Have dress but drop top (3)     GOWN (dress) excluding (drop) the first letter (top) G OWN (have)
21 Hospital in error with papers for disease (9)     (H [hospital] contained in (in) TYPO [error]) +  ID (identity papers) TYPHOID (disease)
23 Parking applied to airport unlimited, this being way beyond any long-haul flight! (5)     P (parking) + LUTON (reference Luton Airport) excluding the last letter (unlimited) N PLUTO (the planet PLUTO is far beyond the reach of any long haul flight)
25 Exclamation from misfit, having wiped bottom (3)     GEEK (misfit) excluding the final letter (wiped bottom) K GEE (exclamation [of surprise, sarcasm])
27 How many attended the opening? (4)     GATE (the people who pay to see a game or concert; the number of people who attended) GATE (opening)
28 Tree, one overlooked river (4)     ACE (one) + R (river) ACER (plant of the Maple genus; tree)
29 Sounding like fraud, getting prosecuted (4)     SUED (sounds like PSEUD [fraud]) SUED (getting prosecuted)
30 Bird, character rising vertically twice (4)     I (a character [of the alphabet] that rises vertically) + BIS (twice) IBIS (bird)
31 Trotsky turns up for Christmas (4)     LEON (christian name of Leon Trotsky [one of the leaders of the Russian Revolution of 1917]) reversed (turns up) NOEL (Christmas)

5 Responses to “Guardian Genius 93 by Paul”

  1. Mr Beaver says:

    Thanks, Duncan – a meticulous blog. Unlike you, we found this ferociously hard and only completed it last night!
    This wasn’t helped by my initial assumption that the definition of 18,32 was THE RIDE OF THE VALKYRIES, to which I clung for a long time despite contrary evidence!
    Thus it was a long while before the penny dropped re the nature of the ill-advised exchanges.
    Still, we got there in the end, and I guess it would be disappointing if a Genius crossword was easy!

  2. Judge says:

    Beautifully illustrated explication, Duncan.

  3. Wanderer says:

    Thank you Duncan for your very full blog. This was only the second Genius I have managed to complete, and I found so much to enjoy in it: the sheer inventiveness of the central idea; the all-pervasive good-humour and sense of the absurd; the brilliance of the Hitler firing Beethoven anagram, which was also my way in; and much more besides. It took me a long time even after I worked out what I was supposed to be doing, but this was a pleasure. Thanks Paul.

  4. Dynamic says:

    Thank you Duncan and also Paul. I enjoyed this as much as Tramp’s debut crossword in January’s Genius. Over the following week or two I’ve smirked to myself whenever a reference to Liverpudlian or Wagner/Ring Cycle has cropped up. Those two transplants piqued my sense of the absurd beautifully. Like Mr Beaver, I tried in vain to fit in Ride of the Valkyries. Paul seems to be a master at this sort of thing – he did it to memorably once before with ‘drunk’ hinting at Brahms and Lizst when the actual solution was Batman and Robin. Bravo!

  5. Jan says:

    Thank you, Duncan, for a superb blog and thanks, Paul for another very enjoyable puzzle.

    I’ve little to add. The liver transplant was also my way in and I’m still chuckling at the thought of picking nosebeans this summer.

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