Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,396 – Chifonie

Posted by Uncle Yap on August 9th, 2011

Uncle Yap.

Chifonie served up a delightful potpourri of entertaining clues that shouldn’t overtax the regulars here. Much fun to solve and very correct, too.

1 BRASSY Ins of SS (ship) in BRAY (donkey’s loud noise) for an old-fashioned club which had a brass sole, corresponding to a two-wood
4 SCABIOUS SCAB (recalcitrant blackleg who doesn’t join his comrades in an industrial action) IOU’S (promises to pay) for a plant of the genus Scabiosa of the teasel family, long thought efficacious in treating skin diseases.
9 WALES W (whiskey) + ALES (other alcoholic drinks). As a serious partaker of this drink, my initial instinct was to chide Chifonie for having an E in the spelling of this elixir since whiskey is strictly for similar beverage brewed in Ireland and the USA. Then I looked up the NATO Phonetic Alphabet where W is for whiskey, probably due to American influence.
10 HANDCREAM *(can harm Ed)
11 PLATITUDE P (Penny) + LATITUDE (licence)
12 HYENA Ins of YEN (Japanese money) in HA (bit of a laugh)
13 INCANDESCENT Tichy way of saying a person of Incan descent; quite a brilliant clue, my COD
17 FAILING LIGHT Ins of AILING (sick) in FLIGHT (plane trip)
20 DRILL dd
21 AGITATION A GI (US soldier) Jacques TATI (born Jacques Tatischeff; 1907–1982, was a French filmmaker and a comedic actor) ON (working)
23 STRUMMING Ins of RUM (odd) & M (Monsieur, Frenchman) in STING  (born Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner in 1951), CBE, an English musician, singer-songwriter, activist, actor and philanthropist. Prior to starting his solo career, he was the principal songwriter, lead singer and bassist of the rock band The Police.
24 PETRA PE (physical education) TRA (rev of ART, skill) for a historical and archaeological city in the Jordanian governorate of Ma’an that is famous for its rock cut architecture and water conduits system.
25 ABEDNEGO ABED (resting) + *(GONE) In Daniel Chapter 3, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were sent into a blazing fiery furnace because of their stand to exclusively serve their God alone. By God’s angel, they were delivered out of harm’s way from this order of execution by the King of Babylon.
26 FLORID FLO (Florence, girl) RID (as in relieved of his onerous duties)

1 BOWSPRIT BOW (leading rower) + *(TRIPS)  for a strong spar projecting over the bows of a ship. Thanks to JPRidge
2 ALLIANCE DALLIANCE (flirtation) minus D
3 SUSHI ha
5 CONDESCENDING CON (convict or prisoner) DESCENDING (going down)
6 BACCHANAL Ins of C (cold) CHA (tea) in BANAL (trite)
7 OPENED Ins of PEN (write) in OED (that famous multi-volume dictionary)
8 SAMOAN S (first letter of shot) A MOAN (grouse)
10 HOUSECLEANING *(glue one’s China)
14 NEARLY MAN *(many learned)
15 AGLITTER AG (chemical symbol for silver or argentum) LITTER (bits discarded)
16 STANDARD STAND (booth) A RD (road or street)
18 ODESSA *(DOSES) + A (American) for the major seaport located in southern Ukraine
19 PIERCE Ins of R (rabbi) in PIECE (report)
22 APPAL A + PPAL (rev of Lapp, European)

Key to abbreviations
dd = double definition
dud = duplicate definition
tichy = tongue-in-cheek type
cd = cryptic definition
rev = reversed or reversal
ins = insertion
cha = charade
ha = hidden answer
*(fodder) = anagram

35 Responses to “Guardian 25,396 – Chifonie”

  1. JPRidge says:

    Nicely done Uncle Yap. Didn’t find this one too arduous with the exception of 25ac – lack of knowledge on my part.

    Re: 1 ac – I would suggest the BOW refers to the “leading rower” and BOWSPRIT the “vessel’s prow”.

  2. NeilW says:

    Thanks, UY.

    Agree with JPRidge above.

    It seems Scarpia’s wish at the end of yesterday’s blog is coming true – this was easier than yesterday’s Rufus! There were one or two reasonably good clues – I, too, liked INCANDESCENT. If Chifonie really wants to make it to the Quiptics, a clue like 16 really needs tidying up though: ARD is a road, not a street. Perhaps it was intended as misdirection given that STANDARD starts with ST but it just doesn’t seem right.

  3. caretman says:

    Great job again, Uncle Yap. I don’t know how you find the time to solve and pull up all the information you include in your analysis (unless it’s all in your head already, in which case I’m even more impressed!), given how quickly after the puzzle is available online that you have your write-up done.

    It was certainly an easy puzzle but was a good warmup for today’s Independent. I did pick up a couple of new terms: NEARLY MAN (I had not encountered that phrase before) and DRILL with a meaning of a type of cloth. Looking up DRILL I see that it can also mean a sort of baboon. The stuff you learn doing crosswords!

    Thanks, Chifonie.

  4. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Uncle Yap this was certainly one of the easier ones and even the long anagrams unfolded very quickly.

  5. Michael says:

    I believe whiskey is also made in Wales.

  6. Uncle Yap says:

    Caretman @ 3, every Tuesday and every other Thursday, I wake up in a cold sweat, wondering what the setter of the day would serve up. Then I get a print-out (I do not normally solve on-line) and sit in front of my computer with my trusty Chambers and a web-page pointing to Wikipedia. As I solve each clue, I parse it and get the on-line material to back up the solution; copying and pasting on to a template as I go along.

    The whole solution is then filled in a grid using Ross Beresford’s Sympathy ( the answers copied to the template to ensure nothing is omitted by oversight. The whole process is quite stressful and I often make mistakes such as typos or seeing the wrong fodder, or misreading, etc. but the Community here will always alert me to them. On occasions when I am really stumped, I might consult a fellow-solver in KL, Dr Gurmukh and it is unlikely that both of us will have the same blind-spot.

    When the blog is uploaded, I sigh with relief, have a Glen Morangie :-) and start solving the other of the 4 puzzles I solve every day; viz Guardian, Times, Indy and FT

    Blogging requires detailed parsing and this discipline has resulted in greater care and attention when I am setting. I quite enjoy the weekly transient stress and strain and am very gratified to see the effort appreciated.

    Now to go and run my Hash … see you tomorrow.

  7. freda says:

    It always astonishes me how some people have the intellectual capacity to solve complex crosswords yet lack the intellect to realise that occasionally the Guardian publishes a crossword which even mere mortals like myself find relatively easy.

    RCWhiting et al – consider this post a pre-emptive strike…

  8. Bryan says:

    Thank you Uncle Yap @6 for explaining your modus operandi.

    In future, I will now appreciate your efforts all the more.

    Incidentally, I have a friend who is visiting KL next month. I went many years ago but never saw you. I hope that he has better luck!

  9. tupu says:

    Thanks UY and Chifonie

    A well composed puzzle with some very neat surfaces. I got stuck for a few minutes for some reason with ‘drill’ and ‘pierce’. I worked out Abednego from the wordplay and vaguely remembered the song but not the story.

    I liked 12a (almost an &lit), 13a!, 17a (an amusing unmarked spoonerism),
    2d, 15d, 16d (I liked the misdirection and did not worry about the conflation of road and street).

    I was a tiny bit sorry to see two uses of ‘descend’ (albeit clever ones) in the same puzzle.

  10. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, UY, for your usual fine blog.

    Like others, I found this pretty straightforward, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. I learnt a new word in ABEDNEGO, and liked CONDESCENDING and STRUMMING.

    Two straightforward puzzles in a row? I’m with freda. With a nod to her and to 23ac, I’ll dedicate one of Mr Sumner’s songs from when he was with The Police to our 5dn and dissatisfied contributor from yesterday: ‘Can’t Stand Losing You.’ Not.

  11. Mystogre says:

    This was a joy to solve as it all fitted very nicely, including the one I had real trouble with. That was ABEDNEGO and it was a real leap of faith(as it were) to put that in. But it fitted. Yay!

    Thanks UY – I appreciate your efforts even more now that I know here you are and how you operate. It also explains the time factor in your blogs. Great stuff and much appreciated. I also agree with your choice of tipple. Very nice, but we shouldn’t talk about that here.

    Thanks to Chifonie for providing me with a pleasant half hour or so. I did enjoy INCANDESCENT but I wonder about a specification being a standard. I suppose you measure things against a standard and a specification is much the same, but I am uneasy with that one.

  12. Puskás says:

    A first time contribution from a frequent reader: I cannot fathom the “royal” in 13a. Can anyone help? It seemed to me to spoil what would otherwise likewise have been my COD.

    My contribution is prompted not least by Uncle Yap’s exposé @6: a clearer image of processes in KL is a boon, for which my thanks.

  13. Norman L in France says:

    Inca can be used to refer to both the whole people and its royal family.

  14. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Hi Puskás, and welcome.

    I didn’t really think about the definition when I was solving INCANDESCENT, but a quick look online suggests that INCA or INKA is a word for ‘ruler’ or ‘lord’ in the native language, although its common meaning in its transliteration into English has no ‘royal’ implications, simply referring to the civilisation itself.

  15. cholecyst says:

    Thanks UY and Chifonie.

    NeilW @2 “ARD is a road, not a street. ” You may be right but I seem to remember there is a road in Roundhay, Leeds called Street Lane!

  16. Roger says:

    … and Street Road, Glastonbury !

  17. RChiting says:

    Thanks all
    Freda, your view is as valid as mine.
    When Polly, George or Zoe express their views it is quite permissble and common to write to the letters page or one of the several MBs to express criticism and disagreement.I am sure they all expect and even welcome this.
    Why should crossword compilers and editors be any different?

  18. cholecyst says:

    Nice one ,Roger. And all those Roman Roads: Watling, Ermine, Dere Steet…

  19. jackkt says:

    It’s years since I did a Guardian puzzle but recent retirement leaves me with time on my hands so I thought I would have a go. I found this mostly straightforward, the only one that gave excessive trouble was my last in, PIERCE at 19dn for no accountable reason. Fortunately I had remembered my childhood bible studies so 25ac came easily.

  20. superkiwigirl says:

    Many thanks Uncle Yapp for another fine blog – we are lucky at 15/2 to benefit from the trouble that you go to in providing such detailed (and entertaining) explanations.

    I found this an even quicker solve than Rufus yesterday, so agree that we ought to expect some stinkers later in the week to even things out!

    The only new word for me was ABEDNEGO (I wasn’t aware of the biblical reference or the song) but it was clued fairly and so easily gettable.

    Thanks too to Chifonie for an enjoyable puzzle.

  21. Sheila says:

    Could I sak what tichy means and how one says it please? I’m often puzzled.

  22. Stella Heath says:

    Hi Sheila, it means “tongue-in-cheeky”. I believe it was UY’s invention, though it might have been Rightback’s.

    Pronounce it as it looks – ‘titchy’ :)

  23. Bryan says:

    Sheila @ 21

    Uncle Yap does list all his abbreviations at the end of his blog.

    Very useful!

  24. chas says:

    Thanks to UY for the blog. The process description @6 makes it sound like even more work than I had guessed. The part missing from there is ‘solve all the clues’. I have been trying the Graun crossword for quite a few years now but still I often fail to complete a puzzle.

    I also disliked Chifonie’s use of ‘a street’ to indicate ARD.

    I grew up in NE Leeds and went to Roundhay School. I frequently cycled along Street Lane – but had totally forgotten it until reminded by cholecyst @15 :)

  25. RCWhiting says:

    Strangely, after rattling through the rest, I had to go off and take a shower before I could solve ‘pierce’. I think I was too reliant on ‘report’ as a homophone indicator.
    In Swindon, my mother lives in a road called ‘The Street’.

  26. caretman says:

    Thanks, UY @6, for the description of how you do the blog. The care you take really comes through and I much appreciate it. Your Glen Morangie is well-merited!

  27. apiarist says:

    Surely house cleaning is two words ?

  28. Kathryn's Dad says:

    apiarist, I guess if HOUSEWORK and HOUSEKEEPING are all one word, then HOUSECLEANING can be too. It looked fine to me.

  29. apiarist says:

    I used an Oxford Spellchecker, (naughty I know), and whereas it recognised housekeeping and housework – it gave me both those words as alternatives. Housecleaning just does not look right !

  30. Paul B says:

    Not sure if K’s D is absolutely right at 28: HOUSECLEANING appears in neither Chambers nor Collins, and so, probably, exists only as a two-word phrase. But no-one could argue that it’s totally okay as an entry. Just as CLEANING HOUSE would be okay too. Perhaps just an oversight on the part of the Guardian’s crack editing squad.

    Very enjoyable puzzle from the Lakeside Logodaedalus.

  31. tupu says:

    OED gives ‘house-clean’, ‘house-cleaner’, ‘house-cleaning’ but some of the examples are spelled without a hyphen.

    One sad tale reads
    ‘1905 Daily Chron. 16 May 5/5 ‘A house-cleaner?who was maddened with liquor, to-day shot?his landlady’.

    Partridge (1925 Usage and Ubusage) is quoted as approving of both ‘house-clean’ (or ‘houseclean’) as a ‘permissible – and very convenient – word’.

    The simple word ‘cleaner’ (presumably contextually implyingr ‘housecleaner’) is of course standard usage.

  32. Craney says:

    Small world – I used to lived on Street Lane in Roundhay until only last year! Nice place. Enjoyed this xword, didn’t get Abednego or Pierce though.

  33. Ann Kittenplan says:

    Thanks Chifonie and Uncle Yap. Was really tuned in to this one. Even managed Abednego. Incan descent :-) It even got me to go and learn something new with Petra.

  34. Scarpia says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap,
    As others have already said,about on a par with yesterday’s puzzle.Fairly and amusingly clued but pretty easy going(2 out 5 NeilW @2!).
    Further to tupu’s link @9,the song was around for a long time before Brook Benton’s version – the best(IMO) being this one by Louis Armstrong

  35. tupu says:

    Hi Scarpia
    Thanks for the Armstrong link. I’m sure you are right. I just wanted to draw attention to a song that older solvers like myself had probably heard in one version or another, and the Benton link came up first with the lyrics.

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