Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,323 / Orlando

Posted by mhl on May 16th, 2011


No Rufus today, but to replace him we have an (as ever) excellent puzzle from Orlando. There are some lovely clues here.

1. EXHIBIT EX = “Former” + H = “husband” + I = “first person” + BIT = “part”; Definition: “show”
5. TERRACE TRACE = “Hint” around ER = “leading lady”; Definition: “patio”
9. RABBI RABBIT = “Timid person” without T = “time”; Definition: “teacher”
10. BROADSIDE ROADSIDE = “shoulder” after B[attle]; Definition: “More than one shot”
11. GOING ROUND Double definition: “Revolutionary” and “providing enough for everybody”
12. BEAT EAT = “Put away” by B = “book”; Definition: “club”
14. TERMINATION TERM = “21” = “[NAME]” + NATION = “people” around I = “one”; Definition: “close”
18. KATE WINSLET (SWEET TALKIN)*; Definition: “actress” – a nice anagram :)
21. NAME NA = “sodium” followed by M[or]E = “more” without “or” (“or less” or “or-less”); Definition: “Handle”
22. AFFORDABLE A + FABLE = “story” around (Gerald) FORD = “president”; Definition: “not breaking the bank”
25. ELEPHANTS HANTS = “county” after PELE = “Brazilian player” reversed; Definition: “Trumpeters”
26. WHEEL “We’ll” sounds like WHEEL; Definition: “revolver”
27. PRELATE A nice &lit: P[astoral] + RELATE = “say”; Definition: the whole clue
28. TRY IT ON Thanks to Jenny for figuring this one out: TRITON = “Hornblower” (Triton blew a conch like a horn) around [convo]Y = “back in convoy”; Definition: “to attempt something audacious”
1. ENRAGE (A GREEN)*; Definition: “Infuriate”
2. HUBRIS HUB = “Focus” + RI’S = “state’s” (RI is Rhode Island); Definition: “excessive pride”
3. BRIDGETOWN BRIDGE = “sort of roll” (the OED tells me that a “bridge roll” is “a soft, oval, bread roll”) + (NOWT)* – I like the reference to “the bread with nowt taken out” :); Definition: “Capital”
4. TABOO TA = “cheers” + BOO = “I don’t like that!”; Definition: “Not allowed”
5. THORNBILL THOR = “God” + N = “North” + B = “British” + ILL = “dicky”; Definition: “bird”
6. RUDD RUDD[y] = “red apart from the tail”; Definition: “Fish”
7. AS I SEE IT EE[j]IT = “Irish fool heartlessly” after A + SIS = “family member?”; Definition: “That’s my opinion”
8. EVENTING EVENING = “Close of day” around T = “time”; Definition: “sport”
13. SALTED AWAY I didn’t know this expression: “as peanuts may be on holiday?” – peanuts might be SALTED, and if they’re on holiday, they’re AWAY; Definition: “Hoarded”
15. RING-FENCE RING = “telephone” + FENCE = “receiver” (of stolen goods); Definition: “Secure”
16. SKINDEEP KIND = “variety” in SEE = “Bath and Wells, say” + P[ortishead]; Definition: “Superficial”
17. STAMPEDE STAMPED = “impressed” + E = “European”; Definition: “Sudden flight”
19. ABSENT S[uspect] = “suspect’s first” in A + BENT = “grass” – the OED says “bent” can mean “A name given to grass of a reedy or rush-like habit, or which has persistent stiff or rigid stems; also to various grass-like reeds, rushes, sedges, and other plants”; Definition: “Missing”
20. BERLIN Double definition: “Songwriter” (Irving Berlin) and “once divided city” (the city of Berlin
23. ONSET Double definition: “Beginning” and “film here?”
24. RHEA Hidden in “summeR HEAt”; Definition: “Bird not taking off”

25 Responses to “Guardian 25,323 / Orlando”

  1. Stella Heath says:

    Thanks mhl. I found this harder than expected for a Monday, but it may be that I’m not too wide awake yet, or simply that I was expecting someone else :)

    As you say, impeccably clued, and some raised a smile – the two four-letter across clues, and the ‘definition’ for Kate Winslet, for example.

    Thanks for explaining 25ac and 7d.

  2. Eileen says:

    Thanks for a great blog of a lovely puzzle, mhl. Two Orlandos for the price of one today – the Quiptic’s by him, too, and I reckon it’s a little bit more tricky, but very entertaining.

    I loved the Kate Winslet anagram here and the 27ac &lit is excellent.

    I didn’t spot the reference in 3dn, so many thanks for that. They were great adverts!

  3. Robi says:

    Entertaining puzzle; I had to find EEjIT, which I assume is a crossword special.

    Thanks mhl for a good blog and to Eileen for a lovely bread link. Like Stella, I particularly liked BEAT and NAME as well as BROADSIDE. Hadn’t heard of RUDD before.

  4. William says:

    Thank you, mhl, for an excellent blog to a super puzzle.

    Loved the Kate Winslet anag, and failed to spot to the &lit at PRELATE.

    The RHEA = ‘bird not taking off’ is clever, as is SEE for ‘Bath & Wells’.

    Also, a nice a-hah moment when spotting shoulder = ROADSIDE.

    A very welcome alternative for a Monday. Thank you Orlando.

  5. NeilW says:

    Thanks, mhl.

    Robi, eejit’s not that common – I remember it last in the Guardian from a 2009 Araucaria (24770), when it elicited a little discussion on this site about whether it was a Scottish or Irish expression.

  6. Geoff says:

    Thanks, mhl.

    This was a most pleasant change for a Monday. A slightly more difficult Orlando than usual, I thought.

    There are some excellent clues here: two of my favourites were 10a and 27a, which were among the last to go in, but special mention also for 18 (surprised I haven’t seen this anagram before) and 28 is cleverly constructed.

    However, I didn’t like 26. There are often comments about supposed homophones that don’t work with rhotic accents, but many Scots pronounce ‘wh’ as a silent ‘w’ with breath, so that WHEEL and we’ll don’t sound the same. Weak clue anyway, especially considering what great ones it is among.

  7. Dave Ellison says:

    Well, I finished but I didn’t know why: 12a, 27a, 28a, 2d and 7d needed your elucidation, so thanks, mhl. I should really have seen all of them, but a slow brian day today. Otherwise, as others have said, a fine crossword, and not a CD in sight.

  8. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    Oh dear. I seem to be out of step. Combined with last week’s Mon/Tues/ Wed this was another puzzle which I do not think earned a place in The Guardian.
    True, there were some good clues (10a 18a) but it had nothing to lead to a long rumination for the day and that wonderful feeling when something which was invisible earlier suddenly appears out of the fog and hits you in the brain.
    The fact that it included my very favourite actress did nothing to solace me.

  9. Bryan says:

    Dave Ellison @ 7

    What on earth is a ‘Slow Brian Day’?

    Surely, you meant ‘Dopey Davey Day’?

    But many thanks mhl and Orlando for a very enjoyable romp. I found his Quiptic somewhat more difficult but also very enjoyable.

  10. chas says:

    Thanks to mhl for the blog.

    I needed this to explain why I had the right answers for 16d and 28a. Unfortunately with 27a I totally missed the spiritual meaning for pastoral so I found myself unable to pick a word to go in there.

    I agree with Geoff @6: we’ll and wheel do not sound the same.

    I liked 18a even though I struggled for an age to find her surname!

  11. Dave Ellison says:

    Brayn @9: It’s Grauniad for “brain”

  12. Kathryn's Dad says:

    I didn’t have time for a long rumination today, so found this an ideal challenge. As often happens, I got most of it pretty quickly and then struggled to fill in the last few – TERMINATION and BEAT took me most time to see.

    I too wondered whether the Quiptic and the Cryptic had got muddled up. Both enjoyable puzzles, though, so thanks to Orlando, who’ll no doubt be spending his double fee for today at the bar next week at the S&B London get-together. Given beer prices in the capital, it should pay for a couple of pints …

    Thanks for the blog, mhl.

  13. Eileen says:

    Hi Dave E and Bryan / Brayn

    You can see a slow brian here:

  14. caretman says:

    Thanks, mhi, for the blog and explaining 7d to me. I had decided that ‘Irish fool heartlessly’ could conceivably clue E(ir)E I(dio)T but was none too happy with that interpretation so I’m glad there’s a better solution. I loved the use of ‘more or less’ to clue ME. It was a nice, quick start to the week.

  15. tupu says:

    Thanks mhl and Orlando.

    An excellent blog of a fine puzzle. Started easily but some teasers along the way.

    I too missed the reference in 3d.

    Likede 5a, 10a, 11a!, 18a, 21a (very neat), 28a,
    7d,16d, 17d.

    ‘Eejit’ is a version of ‘idiot’, I believe.

  16. walruss says:

    It is. What a good puzzle, with exapmples of invention everywhere. Orlando may seem underrated, but it is good to see him getting an appreciative audience here. Great stuff!

  17. MikeC says:

    Thanks mhl and Orlando. I too liked 21a: lots going on in a 5 word clue.

  18. Tokyocolin says:

    To Eileen@2, that video link looks interesting. Is there a version with subtitles :-)

  19. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Eileen @ 13

    What a handsome snail!


  20. Eileen says:

    Sorry Tokyocolin, not so far as I know.

    I contributed it as an antidote to all the Cockney rhyming slang we get! :-)

  21. RCWhiting says:

    To illustrate my point:
    Several very clever and unusual devices were completely wasted because the solutions were too obvious without them.
    7 down
    In spite of all the ‘eejit’ discussion what else could (2,1,3,2) be for ‘in my opinion’?
    With ‘handle’ and ‘na–‘ (not to mention 14ac) the brilliant ‘more or less’ was thrown away.
    Of course there is some pleasure in post-parsing but it doesn’t compare to a genuine tussle with an unsolved clue.

  22. Ian says:

    Thanks mhl and to Orlando.

    A fine puzzle that took me by surprise. As a creature of habit it took me a to adjust to the absence of Rufus.

    Orlando is up to his usual high standard .

    Several excellent clues, key amongst them were 18ac, 27ac and 28ac.

  23. FranTom Menace says:

    I agree with RCWhiting to a point, but I still think there’s enjoyment getting the likes of ‘more or less’ once the clue’s in. It’s far better to have that than scratching your head to understand woolly clues like ‘some of’ anagrams, which often demand you get the solution first.

    All but one for us today, we were broadsided. So frustrating! We did enjoy it though, the Kate Winslet anagram was excellent and after wondering what Spoo was the god of for a couple of minutes, 5d was a very enjoyable and cleverly written clue.

  24. Davy says:

    Thanks mhl,

    I didn’t have time to finish this yesterday so I finished it this monring (brianspeak). This was very enjoyable with impeccable clueing and some great clues including BEAT (last in), BROADSIDE, RING FENCE and I particularly liked the smoothness of BERLIN. If RCW finds this too easy then stick to AZED or the Genius monthly puzzle. Not everyone has a brian the size of a planet so most people enjoy the invention and style of Orlando.

    I can’t understand the debate on 26a which I thought was rather good. For normal pronunciation, we’ll and wheel sound identical. It doesn’t matter how wheel is pronounced in Scotland, that’s totally irrelevant.
    How picky can some people get !.

    Thanks Orlando.

  25. Daniel Miller says:

    Some of the clues in this crossword were of the highest quality – the economy of words was quite splendid. I left it until very late to take it on (hence not commenting until today) – really enjoyable, several amusing moments. All in all an excellent effort – slightly tougher than the usual Monday fare..

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