Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,373 – Puck

Posted by manehi on July 13th, 2011


Not too difficult, a fun theme and some great cluing – my favourites were 1a, 18a, 3d and 13d.

1 FLAVOUR L[amb] in FAVOUR=”something curried”
5 MAMMOTH MAM + MOTHer are the maternal pair, minus e[mergency] r[oom]
9 MAYBE (embassy)* minus two S[mall]’s
11 UNORTHODOX (to Honduras)* minus A S[econd], + OX=farm animal
12,20 BLUE WHALES BLUE=right-wing + H[ibernate] in WALES
14 ELEPHANTINE A[nimal] inside (pen hint eel)*
21 LION found in milLION, bilLION, trilLION etc
22 GOOSEFLESH (golf shoes)* around E[ast]=point
25 INAMORATO hidden reversed in AscOT A ROMANIan
26 RATEL or honey badger. RATE=speed + L[arge]
27 GRENADE the odd letters of GaRdEn NeAr DeEr
28 EXHORTS =urges. EX=former + [Ford model] T inside HORS[e]
1 FAMOUS F[ellow] A MOUS[E]
2 ANYHOW =at least. (H[e’s] on way)*
3 OVER THE TOP part of [B]O.T.T.[om], “taking full expression” i.e. becoming unabbreviated
5 MICROCHIP M[ake] + I=one + CROC=large animal + HIP=cool
6 MAIN anagram of [A]nima[l], wings being the outermost letters
7 OVERLAID =Covered. OVER=once again + LAID=rev(DIAL)=face up
8 HASTENED TEN inside (head’s)*
13 AND SO FORTH =etc. (on hard soft)*
15 EVAPORATE EVA=female + POE[m] around RAT
16 CHILLING Chillingham Cattle [wiki] minus the HAM i.e. “meatless”
17 UP TO DATE UP=mounted + OD[d] in TATE
19 BEATER =someone in a hunting party who drives game out of cover. BEAR around TE Lawrence
24 ROSA [wea]R[ing] + OS=oversized=very large + A[nimal]

20 Responses to “Guardian 25,373 – Puck”

  1. caretman says:

    Thanks, Manehi, for the explanations. The reasons that 5a and 3d were what they were eluded me so I appreciate the explanations. I agree that 13d was an outstanding clue and I liked 21a when I worked it out. As you say, not too difficult but a fun half-hour. Thanks, Puck.

  2. molonglo says:

    Thanks manehi for various explanations, including the cattle breed in 16d, the OTT in 3d and the parsing of 5a. I liked this a lot, especially the hidden casualness of ANYHOW and MAYBE which I only got after resorting to TEAS. Excellent, Puck.

  3. MattD says:

    Couldn’t parse 1A, 3D or 16D but fortunately the answers were obvious enough from the definitions. Thank you Manehi for the blog to clear these up. Should have got 1A, I assumed 3D was Shakespeare reference so didn’t pursue once I’d got it and 16D – well, my knowledge of cattle breeds isn’t what it was.

    Also, thank you for clearing up 21A (Lion) which I parsed as L=Large + 10 + N (numbers), but I couldn’t see why the word “very” was there. I was expecting to come here to read complaints about unnecessary words in clues (even though the rest are tightly written).

    Thank you Puck for an enjoyable crossword with some laughs along the way. 9A was my favourite I think as it conjured the image of a rather unstatesmanlike party at an embassy (to me anyway).

  4. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks manehi, and Puck for a lot of fun. It’s not often you get a puzzle themed on the world’s megafauna.

    This was one that was easier to solve than parse, I think. HIPPOCAMPUS was a gimme, but a funny gimme, and agree that AND SO FORTH was the stand-out clue.

    Chillingham cattle are pretty well known to us sons of the north …

  5. smutchin says:

    Not been on here for a while but simply had to pop by to express my admiration for 13d. Bravo, Puck!

  6. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Manehi and Puck: as Kathryn’s Dad says, this was a lot of fun.

    HIPPOCAMPUS made me laugh and, like others, I realy admired 9ac and 2 and 13dn.

    [It’s good to see your name again, smutchin :-): are you stll writing puzzles?]

  7. gm4hqf says:

    Thanks Manehi and Puck

    I was a bit slow in getting into this one, don’t seem to see many Puck puzzles, but once I got going it was quite entertaining.

    Last one entered was 9a MAYBE as it took me a while to see it. My new word for today, RHINOSCOPE.

  8. Matt says:

    Thanks for the 16D answer… I could see it was chilling but had no clue as to why. Rather embarrassed about how long it took me to get from ‘blue’ to ‘blue whales’ (slapped forehead when finally spotted), and slightly titillated by the fact that I had been parsing 5A’s ‘maternal pair’ as mammary… But good puzzle, and it must have been at least a bit easy as it’s also the first I’ve completed, after about 10 days of trying.

  9. tupu says:

    Thanks manehi and Puck for an excellent blog of an excellent puzzle.

    I missed the proper parsing of 3d thinking it might be an (oblique) reference to MSD and somehow relatingto more than full. A very good clue!

    I first thought 6d might involve ‘al’ as relating to wings but then it clicked.

    Many vg clues – I particularly liked 18a and the unlikely anagrams in 11a and 22a.

    Some very smooth surfaces.

  10. Geoff says:

    Thanks manehi.

    Enjoyable puzzle with some great clues. 13d is a classic.

    Quite a few Araucarian ‘parts’ in here: the clues for 1a, 21a, 3d, 17d all refer to parts of words without indicating how much is to be incorporated into the answer.

    17a is a nice example of the misleading caesura – like Brummie’s Buffalo Bill yesterday (which I was too late to comment on…)

  11. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Manehi & Puck this was quite a challenge.

    Happily, I finished it in style because my preferred solutions were:

    16d SHOCKING

    21a CROC

    I’m sure that all solvers will agree that mine are great improvements.

  12. Robi says:

    Super puzzle that, unlike the experts, I found difficult.

    Thanks manehi for a great blog – completely missed the OTT in bottom, and the parsing of LION and INAMORATO (inamorata was in Monday’s Quiptic.)

    So many good clues: AND SO FORTH, UP-TO-DATE, BLUE WHALES, MICROCHIP, EVAPORATE etc. And new words: RATEL and caesura from Geoff @10, which was more misleading as it’s 17d. :)

  13. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    Last one in was 9 ac which sums up my view of this puzzle.

  14. smutchin says:

    Hi Eileen – no, haven’t done any new ones for a while. Too busy…

  15. Qaos says:

    Another very nice puzzle – we’re already having a good week.

    13d undoubtedly the clue of the day for me.

    A few too many vague “part of word” devices for my liking, but forgivable given the number of thematic entries in both clues and answers. But overall, a very enjoyable puzzle. Thanks Puck!

  16. liz says:

    Thanks manehi and thanks Puck for a very enjoyable puzzle.

    Missed the wordplay at 13dn — after reading the blog, this is my favourite clue! A classic.

  17. Joshua's mum says:

    I’ve only just finished it and agree with all of you who think 13d a very clever clue, one of the best for a long time. How enjoyable the whole crossword proved to be.

  18. otter says:

    Thanks Manehi, and thank Puck. I enjoyed this, most of it not too difficult, but quite a struggle for me in parts as brain is not working well today. So I appreciated it a lot. Didn’t get the explanation of OVER THE TOP, so thanks for that.

  19. Davy says:

    Thanks manehi,

    I didn’t find this too easy but finished it finally. Of course it was a lot easier than yesterday’s Brummie which I still haven’t finished. I always seem to enjoy Puck’s puzzles and there was plenty to enjoy today.
    I didn’t spot OTT nor the anagram in the brilliant 13d but guessed correctly anyway. In 25a, I spent ages trying to get an anagram of “in Ascot a R” before realising the significance of ‘over’. A great clue I thought along with ITCHINESS, UNORTHODOX, RHINOSCOPE and MAIN which had a great surface.
    Thanks Puck.

  20. Sil van den Hoek says:

    It took us a lot more than caretman’s half an hour (for various reasons), but when there’s so much top-notch cluing going around I can only say: time well spent.

    As others said, not too difficult. But the way Puck used ‘large’ and ‘animal(s)’, often in a different way, was (in our opinion) clever and satisfying.

    A hidden answer like 25ac’s INAMORATO is not hard to find, but writing a smooth clue like this is a different kettle of fish.
    Very good surface in 1ac (FLAVOUR) and more highlights in 9ac (MAYBE), 14ac) (ELEPHANTINE), 2d (ANYHOW) and 3d (OVER THE TOP).

    Whilst there were (only) a couple of weaker ones (eg ITCHINESS), this was more than compensated by the great MAIN (6d) [we thought, this is such a well-written clue] and the one that should be in the Book of Classics from now on: 13d’s AND SO FORTH.

    Really good puzzle – thanks, Puck!

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