Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,379 – Philistine

Posted by Andrew on July 20th, 2011


A second outing from Philistine (the first was in May), and rather a trickier one this time round, I thought, but very enjoyable and with some interesting and witty clueing. Thanks Philistine, and I look forward to seeing you here again.

1. TRIPOLI Sounds (a bit) like TRIPLY
5. RESTIVE REST (break) + I’VE
9. INPUT Vladimir PUTIN (who is becoming quite a regular here) with his “parts” exchanged
10. LIQUORICE LIQUOR “on ICE”. The “say” is because Scotch is an example of a liquor, but is misled me briefly into looking for a homophone.
11. BED OF ROSES. You might indeed get a thorn in the side (and elsewhere) on a bed of roses. The use of the phrase to mean an easy life comes from Christopher Marlowe’s poem The Passionate Shepherd To His Love, which begins with another well-known line: “Come live with me and be my love”.
12. FUEL E in FLU*
14. HIPPOCRATES HIPPO + CRATES. This reminds me of Puck’s HIPPOCAMPUS the other day. Contrary to popular belief, doctors don’t actually swear the Hippocratic oath any more.
18. BODY POLITIC OD (overdose) “ingested by” BY + IT in POLIC[e]
21. EMMA Hidden in mayhEM MAtchmaking, &lit, as Jane Austen’s Emma did indeed cause some trouble with her matchmaking.
22. NITPICKERS Double definition
25. SINGLETON SING + LET ON (two ways to say “spill the beans”)
26. OUNCE [p]OUNCE. The Ounce or Snow Leopard is another crossword regular, also sighted last Friday in Paul’s puzzle.
27. DISOBEY BODIES* + homophone of “why”
28. ABSTAIN AB (the top levels of the socio-economic groups AB C1/C2 DE) + STAIN. Apparently ABC1 etc have now been replaced by a numerical scale.
1. TRILBY 1 LB in TRY (hear)
2. IMPEDE I’M (Philistine is) + DEEP*
3. OUT OF SHAPE PHASE cane be made OUT OF [the letters of] SHAPE
4. IGLOO [b]IG + LOO
5. ROQUEFORT BAROQUE (type of music) less BA (degree) + FOR + T[he]. According to legend, this delicious cheese when a youth left his lunch in a cave to chase a girl, and discovered it several months later with the characteristic blue mould.
6. SHOT Double definition
7. INIQUITY I QUIT in 1 NY. I originally guessed INEQUITY here, which fits the definition “unfairness” better. I wonder if this is a case where the word was changed at the last minute but not the clue.
8. EYEGLASS GLASS EYE “back to front”
15. PALMISTRY MIS[s] in PALTRY (pathetic), with definition “reading the lines”.
16. OBSESSED OBS (old boys, alumni) + SEEDS*
17. ODDMENTS ODD (dodgy) + ME (compiler) + N[ot] T[oo] S[mart]
19. HERNIA HER + (IN A)*
23. PANDA Father = PA = P AND A. The panda is a member of the bear family, though this has only been confirmed fairly recently, from genetic evidence.
24. FLAB Initial letters of Fat Lard And Butter, and eating lots of these will probably result in FLAB.

54 Responses to “Guardian 25,379 – Philistine”

  1. Eileen says:

    I blogged Philistine’s first crossword and so I was pleased to see another appearance. As Andrew says, not quite so straightforward this time, with plenty of ingenuity and wit.

    Charades are not my favourite type of clue but there were some lovely ones here, including the excellent 25ac: 14ac made me laugh and I also liked ‘scotch on the rocks’.

    Others I enjoyed were 9ac and 3, 15 and 23dn.

    The &lit clue at 21ac was one of the best I’ve seen for the best-beloved of crossword heroines.

    Re 7dn: inequity does also fit the clue but INIQUITY is also spot on in definition [from Latin ‘iniquus – unequal’]: in fact, both Collins and Chambers [but not my old SOED – perhaps iniquity = wickedness is going out of fashion!] give the ‘unfair’ definition first.

    Many thanks, Philistine, for an enjoyable puzzle, and Andrew for the blog.

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Andrew.

    I couldn’t remember this setter’s first contribution in May, so assumed it was a début. I found lots to like here: HIPPOCRATES, PALMISTRY, IGLOO, ABSTAIN and (my favourite) SINGLETON. However, I too was in the INEQUITY camp.

    I could handle some more of this setter.

  3. Andrew says:

    Eileen, thanks for your remarks on “iniquity” – it vaguely occurred to me that it probably originated from the same source as “inequity”, but didn’t check. Nevertheless, surely the “unfairness” meaning is either obsolete or very obscure, with the main meaning being “wickedness”, as in part of the Second Commandment in Exodus 20:5:

    “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them [graven images], nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.”

  4. Eileen says:

    Hi Andrew

    “Nevertheless, surely the “unfairness” meaning is either obsolete or very obscure,”

    The point I was making was that this meaning seems [to my surprise, too] to be the more modern one! Collins: lack of justice or righteousness; Chambers: lack of fairness and justice; gross injustice; wickedness, sin.

    [It’s just occurred to me that ‘iniquitous = unfair’ is quite common.]

  5. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Andrew & Philly this was very enjoyable.

    It’s great to get a non-regular Setter from time to time, particularly when it results in such intriguing clues.

    I nearly put in PUTIN for 9a until IMPEDE in 2d led me into the right direction.

    I liked PALMISTRY, NITPICKERS, SINGLETON to name a few.

    More please Philly and do try not to leave it as long as before.

  6. Mystogre says:

    Thanks Andrew. I too enjoyed this although I was quite happy with INIQUITY. What I was not so happy with was 22ac as I expected a hyphen in that.

    Liked 3 & 5d as both gave me a smile. The cheese did too. Although this was not too hard a solve, I found it satisfying as the clues trotted along nicely. I wondered if I had run into this setter before, so thanks for the elucidation. And thank you Phlistine for the morning mentals.

  7. Stella Heath says:

    Thanks Andrew and Philistine. I had a feeling he’d been here before, but wasn’t sure.

    This was enjoyable, with some lovely surfaces and creative use of devices. I agree with most of the remarks here, especially with Eileen re EMMA. I have no problem with INI/EQUITY, though. As far as I’m concerned, they’re basically the same word, though as often happens in English, they’re meanings have become separated over the centuries.

  8. Thomas99 says:

    Andrew’s remark about iniquity/inequity is surprising. It’s very strange to suggest that iniquity meaning unfairness is “obsolete or very obscure”. I don’t really like “inequity”, which always sounds wrong and inelegant to me, although it’s in all the dictionaries (a later coining, I’d guess). And “iniquity” meaning just wicked – with no element of unfairness – sounds a bit vague to me. It reminds me of the way children use any vaguely negative word (“snide” was once a popular one in Manchester) to mean “bad”, although I realise it’s now an established usage too.

  9. William says:

    Thank you Andrew, thanks also to Frau Stein & her daughter Philly.

    Top fun with lots to like that others have already mentioned.

    Not terribly taken with P and A for father but, hey-ho, I don’t want to be a 22a.

    More of the same, please.

  10. Median says:

    Today I was in the mood for a crossword I could do in half an hour over a cup of coffee, without heading for the computer. Thanks, Philistine, you provided just what I wanted.

  11. harry says:

    Enjoyed this as well.
    Minor quibble only – would 19 ac have been better clued as “That woman…”?

  12. chas says:

    Thanks Andrew for the blog. You explained why I was right to put TRIPOLI.

    I liked HIPPOCRATES.

  13. crypticsue says:

    Didn’t take long to solve but very enjoyable thank you Philistine, and Andrew too.

  14. JohnH (not the setter) says:

    When I were a young’un I thought 14A was actually pronounced as “hippo” + “crates” so that one was a doddle. I also thought that Aristophanes was “aristo” + “fanes” and Heracles was “Herr ackles”.

    You don’t need to know how I thought Xerxes was pronounced.

    Does cheese come from caves. I was trying to squeeze in a variety of wine at first.

  15. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    I agree,a very satisfactory puzzle with just enough difficulty to delay the finish.
    I most enjoyed 23d and 25a.

  16. Roger says:

    Thanks Andrew. Outstanding was a novel anagrind at 20d … presumably: the standing (ie order) of ‘rent’ is out.

    But can’t understand the need for ‘as’ in 12a. Source of energy = fuel … and … E(nergy) consumed by (flu)* = fuel. So why ‘as’ ?

    The resident Russian and &lit Emma make a happy couple. And 14a is reminiscent of Bill & Ted’s Socrates !

  17. molonglo says:

    Thanks Andrew, and Philistine (I still remember GO COMMANDO from the first by this compiler). Several very good clues here, including SINGLETON and PALMISTRY, last in. Only quibble (minor) is with the internal logic of (B)IG LOO where ‘not the foremost’ presupposes ‘non-spacious room’ next.

  18. liz says:

    Thanks Andrew. And thanks, Philistine, for a really enjoyable puzzle. Like Eileen and Stella, I also appreciated the neatness of 21ac. I also enjoyed the surfaced of 18ac and the wordplay at 25ac. The only iffy one, in my opinion, was 1ac.

  19. Robi says:

    Thanks Philly for an enjoyable solve, although I didn’t think much of TRIPOLI=triply.

    Nice blog Andrew. I can’t believe I missed the P and A parsing and the phase/shape anagram.

    I also assumed unfairness=inequity and wickedness=INIQUITY; maybe it’s a generation thing. My Oxford Thesaurus gives 40 synonyms for the latter, but not unfairness (wickedness and sin are highlighted.) For unfair, it gives inequitable. For a little poem on the topic, see here. From iniquity – Inequity is “injustice, unfairness”; iniquity refers to “immorality, sin, wickedness.” I think this one may run and run!

    I particularly liked HIPPOCRATES, SINGLETON, PALMISTRY and ODDMENTS……… and after reading the blog….. OUT OF SHAPE.

  20. gm4hqf says:

    Thanks Andrew and Philistine

    A very enjoyable puzzle, however I thought that clues to TRIPOLI and PANDA were not up to the high standard of the rest of the puzzle.

  21. William says:

    JohnH #14. Me too at first, but SHE being cleverer than me reminded me of how the stuff is made…

    “The mold that gives Roquefort its distinctive character (Penicillium roqueforti) is found in the soil of the local caves. Traditionally the cheesemakers extracted it by leaving bread in the caves for six to eight weeks until it was consumed by the mold. The interior of the bread was then dried to produce a powder. In modern times the mold can be produced in a laboratory, which allows for greater consistency. The mold may either be added to the curd, or introduced as an aerosol, through holes poked in the rind.”


  22. Martin H says:

    A well-made puzzle with a distinctive character to some inventive clueing.

    I have more quibbles than most of the posters so far:
    1a Horrid homophone, or rather non-homophone (heterophone?)
    5d Music = Baroque is far too loose – the word can refer to all sorts of things.
    14 ‘many’ swear by? Doctors are a minority aren’t they? The rest of the clue was very good though.
    8 I don’t see ‘glass’ and ‘eye’ as the ‘back and front’ of ‘Glass eye’. That would be G and E.
    20 ‘outstanding’ as anagram indicator. Roger’s reading @16 doesn’t convince me.
    I won’t be curmudgeonly and mention Father Bear.

    Nevertheless, I thought PALMISTRY, BODY POLITIC, HERNIA and particularly SINGLETON were excellent, and when a setter is working to get clues as good as these there are bound to be issues with some of them.

    Thanks to Philistine, and to Andrew for explaining 1 and 3.

  23. Robi says:

    MartinH; not sure I understand your point about 8. The clue says: ‘back to front,’ and ‘glass eye’ changes to ‘EYEGLASS.’ Isn’t that OK? :)

  24. NeilW says:

    Thanks, Andrew.

    I seem to remember being very enthusiastic Philistine’s first outing and would repeat my sentiments then that, with time, I think he is going to develop into the next “great” setter. Not too difficult but really good fun.

    molonglo, I think you may be missing Andrew’s parsing -“Not the foremost spacious” = (b)IG room = LOO. Def “this house.” You’re right there’s a semi&lit aspect to it but that is one of the reason’s I really liked this clue.

  25. Martin H says:

    Hi Robi – I understand the intended structure of the clue (8), but my feeling is that if you take the back of something and put it on the front, the middle stays the same – so ‘limes’ would become ‘slime’ for example. To call the only two elements of something the back and the front doesn’t feel right. (Alternatively ‘back to front’ could signal a complete reversal of the letters, but that doesn’t apply here either.)

  26. Martin H says:

    1a – ‘loud’ (intended as homophone indicator) does not mean ‘aloud’.

    No problem with ‘iniquity’

  27. Derek Lazenby says:

    I struggled to start with, but it all ended up as good clean fun.

    Can’t see why we have the debate about 7. The word play can’t possibly give an E, so why even consider it? The only question really is the accuracy of the definition, which has been answered by Eileen.

  28. Robi says:

    Martin H@25; maybe it depends on whether you are thinking of back (letter) to front, or back (word) to front.

  29. Stella Heath says:

    Hi JohnH@14, you remind me of when my sister,aged about 10, was asked to read from the Bible. Practising at home, she began, “Eccles eye us tick us” 😆

    On which subject, IMO, ethically, inequality = injustice = wickedness.

  30. Stella Heath says:

    Ps., to William@21, is that a quote? I ask because the spelling of “mould” would have to be justified in a British puzzle.

  31. Ann Kittenplan says:

    Thanks for the blog and welcome to a new setter.

    My 2 pennorth:
    Raced though this in ~20 minutes, some sort of Personal Best. I thought the definitions were generally very/too direct/literal. On some clues, eg Body Politic, I didn’t even need to look at the cryptic deconstruction, making it more of a Quick Crossowrd. A minor quibble and an enjoyable solve (it always is when you finish :-)). Thanks again to setter and blogger.

  32. otter says:

    Thanks Andrew for the blog. Overall, an enjoyable solve, and quite tricky in parts, although I suspect I made things more tricky for myself than I needed to. (Spent ages playing with various options for NITPICKERS and OUT OF SHAPE before seeing the blindingly obvious answers – it’s been one of those days.)

    I really don’t like the clue for TRIPOLI – not least because it is not an homophone for ‘triply’ – possibly for ‘triple-y’. I thought of Tripoli when I got the initial T, but dismissed it because I couldn’t see how it could be made to fit, including dismissing the homophone option. Oh well.

    Didn’t manage to parse the first word in BODY POLITIC, so thanks for the explanation.

    I thought SINGLETON was the cleverest clue in the puzzle – it’s probably a crossword staple, but it’s new to me.

    Look forward to seeing more from Philistine.

  33. EdUS says:

    Philistine is my new favorite setter. The clueing was clever and precise, and there were no cricket terms, rhyming slang, or allusions to British TV shows.

  34. Eileen says:

    Hi otter

    You’re right, SINGLETON is something of a crossword staple: I’ve just found four examples, from four different setters, without looking very hard – but all cluing it with a variation of ‘wearing a vest’.

    As I said @1, I thought this treatment was excellent. That’s what I like about Philistine so far, as a new setter- his new twist on old favourites, eg EMMA, which I also mentioned, [and even OUNCE!]

    Hi harry @11 [I’ve been out!]

    Re 19dn: ‘her’ is the possessive, as well as the objective case of the personal pronoun, and so ‘that woman’s’ is perfectly correct [and preferable, I think, to ‘that woman’].

  35. walruss says:

    Iniquity and inequity do not seem the same word to me. The first is always about sin, the second about unfairness, as with the often-used legal word ‘inequitable’. I agree also with Martin H at 22, who cites the flaws well, but my own take on this is, if the person is working hard enough to produce the good ones, he or she should work just as hard to improve the ‘clunky’ ones!! So, obviously an able writer, but inconsistent.

  36. otter says:

    Hi Eileen. I meant assuming this wordplay for ‘singleton’ was prob a crossword staple, but thanks for searching. I thought it was excellent.

    JohnH (14) – ah, you’re like me, then – when I was four I was once engrossed in a book about astronomy, then rushed excitedly into the study shouting ‘Mummy, mummy; there’s a man in here called Copper-knickers!’ She collapsed in a giggling heap.

  37. Eileen says:

    Hi walruss

    I’m sorry to go on about this but ‘the first is always about sin’ simply isn’t so, as the dictionary definitions I gave @4 show. In fact, @1, although I said that my old SOED didn’t have the ‘unfairness’ definition for INIQUITY first, I now see, further down the entry: ‘now generally connoting gross injustice or public wrong’ – another topical clue!

    Incidentally, no one has said that iniquity and inequity are the same word [in fact, Collins does not have ‘inequity’ as a word at all!]. Inequity, where it appears, is never defined as wickedness / sin – though I would agree with Stella @29!

  38. RCWhiting says:

    “if the person is working hard enough to produce the good ones, he or she should work just as hard to improve the ‘clunky’ ones!!”
    Very logical walruss, but only if the setter agrees absolutely with you as to which are ‘clunky’ and which are ‘good’.

  39. Steve R says:

    I’m not sure “father bear” is about P and A. Surely it refers to the Panda Dad (Tiger Mum) thing.

    I enjoyed this crossword. Needed a bit of help (eg Roquefort) but mostly do-able and some humour. Well done Philistine.

  40. Paul B says:

    Re #14 I was convinced, in my primary school years, that Julius Kaysar was your man. Only much later did I come fully to understand the importance of Testacles, the great writer.

  41. Robi says:

    Well, I’ve managed to find a source that pronounces ‘triply’ as TRIPOLI!

  42. Robi says:

    Last (humourous) description of inequity/iniquity.

  43. Eileen says:

    Bless you, Robi, @42, wherever you found it! 😉

  44. Taxi Phil says:

    Having been rather critical of Philistine’s debut offering, I shall now redress the balance with a “bravo !” I’d built a backlog and had three to do today to catch up. The offerings from Rufus and Chifonie were gone in under 10 minutes. This took nearer 20 in its own right. I queried “iniquity” but the foregoing sets my mind at rest. Most enjoyable.

  45. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Taxi Phil @44:
    “The offerings from Rufus and Chifonie were gone in under 10 minutes. This took nearer 20 in its own right”
    Gosh, I am soooooo slow.

    Philistine’s debut some time ago was warmly welcomed. There was a neatness in his cluing that was appealing, even though too many of his clues were giveaways due to definitions that were too obvious.

    This was a different kettle of fish.

    I could be nitpicking today:

    – the unconvincing homophone at 1ac (TRIPOLI)
    – the double duty of “Source of energy” in 12 ac [as it is not an &Lit]
    – “Those who groom” for NITPICKERS – bit of a stretch
    – the language of “deep in trouble” (2d) is not really what people say [unlike “deeply in trouble” or “in trouble deep”]
    – the use of “another” in 3d (OUT OF SHAPE) – do we really get ‘another phase’ out of ‘shape’? Well, we might. But I think , Philistine wanted us to get ‘shape’ out of ‘phase’ which the clue doesn’t say
    – “outstanding” as an anagrind in 20d – Philistine is not already becoming an Araucarian by using words that suit him better than some of us …. ? :)

    So, I cóuld be nitpicking today, but I am not.

    This was a crossword in which the clues had Heart & Soul.
    Written by a very committed compiler who put a lot of thoughts in this puzzle.

    As it happens, since the Brum Bash I know a bit about Philistine’s background. If others would know, they would perhaps fall off their chairs for admiration.
    And perhaps it explains the homophone in 1ac [at least, we considered that option].

    Some fantastic clues.
    Apart from 14ac (HIPPOCRATES) and 25ac (SINGLETON) we were enchanted by the easy but neat FLAB (24d), the splendid 5d (ROQUEFORT) [‘Music degree abadoned …’ – this way of cluing is right up my street] and the extraordinary 28ac (ABSTAIN) with its fantastic definition ‘Don’t’.

    Thanks to you Andrew for blogging this one.
    Even more thanks to Philistine for enriching the World of Guardian Crosswords (once more) !

  46. john goldthorpe says:

    As a late-shift lurker, could I just say what a find Philistine is – and, it seems, a pretty good Ximenean too. More please!

  47. Martin H says:

    Sil – ‘Nitpickers’ seems fine – social grooming among primates.

    2d: The usual phrase is ‘in deep trouble’, but Philistine’s language here doesn’t jar.

    Surely you can make another ‘PHASE’ out of ‘SHAPE’?

    But I think we both agree that we have an exciting prospect here.

  48. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Sil.

    You’ve reminded me that I’d forgotten to highlight, in my favourites, perhaps the best clue of all – 28ac.

    Since you’ve mentioned it [and I realise that modesty perhaps prevented you from enlarging on it! :-)] I also learned at the Birmingham do that English is not Philistine’s first language, which makes his début puzzles even more remarkable.

    When I blogged his first puzzle, I was very impressed by his ‘end of term party [6]’ and, the more I think of it, I think it’s an absolute classic.

    I really look forward to more of his puzzles!

  49. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Yes, Eileen, I didn’t want to mention the fact that English is not Philistine’s first language, mainly because I think Philistine wouldn’t want us to judge his puzzles by that. In fact, English is not even his second language … !

    But I want to emphasise once more: Philistine’s cluing has Heart & Soul.
    There’s something very right about his cluing!

    PS, Martin, you’re right about everything you said @47. And I also hope you read my post @52 at the last Crucible blog (no reply needed (other than perhaps yes or no)).

  50. Leopold says:

    I have come across yet more shocking and terrifying information on the Philistine enigma: English ain’t even his second language.

  51. Carrots says:

    It took me a while to get started, but once I was “in” it became more and more enjoyable. Loved PITKNICKERS who can all now bask in the glow of their recognition.

    ROQUEFORT got me salivating and I dived into Waitrose on the way home for a chunk….and also ended up impulse-buying Osso Buco and Craster Kippers. Only 28 quid: a bargain!

    Thank you Philistine (and Andrew, of course): You must let us know the origin(s) of your Avatar…it doesn`t seem quite right for such a witty setter.

  52. Martin H says:

    Sil – Thanks for drawing my attention to your last Crucible post. I hadn’t seen it, but have now posted a reply.



  53. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thank you, Martin, for your reply.
    That’s the only thing I hoped for.
    Let’s leave it there, OK?

  54. anna ~ instructions for tom says:

    thanks for linking to my inequity/iniquity post – loving reading all the comments here about those words!

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