Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian nº25415, by Chifonie

Posted by Stella on August 31st, 2011


Fortunately for me on the morning after a twelve-hour journey back from Dublin, there was nothing too taxing in this puzzle.

There were, though, some very smooth surfaces, many of them almost &lit. as well as a few “usual suspects”

1 BASALT B(ishop, in chess) + A SALT
4 ASPIRE A + SPIRE, definition: “long to have”
9 ONE OVER THE EIGHT Cryptic definition – the number nine, or the answer to 10ac.
10 BLOTTO B, bowled in cricket, + LOTTO
11 AGRIMONY AGONY round RIM, for this plant.
15 SOURER *ROUES + éclaiR
18 SAGACITY SAGA = myth + CITY = urban, with the terms swappedA nice neat surface
21 ADDITIVE ADDI(c)TIVE, minus C for cocaine
22 NAPKIN NAP, a bet based on expert advice, + KIN(g)
24 IN THE NICK OF TIME IN THE NICK = in prison, + OF = owing to, + TIME = sentence, as in “to do time”
26 BATHER THE inside BAR
2 STOUT S(outh) +TOUT, for a drink I had plenty of available until yesterday – although the choice of brewer was rather limited ;)
16 ORDINAL DIN, the international standard for paper sizes, the most well-known of the standards approved by the Deutsches Institut für Normung, in ORAL
17 REIGNED RE(s)IGNED, minus “son”
20 TRIMMER Double definition
23 PITCH PITH around C(onsevative)


Hold mouse over clue number to see clue, click a solution to see its definition.

35 Responses to “Guardian nº25415, by Chifonie”

  1. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Stella for another Stellar Performance and Chifonie for providing a Stellar Friendly Puzzle.

    The only new word for me was AGRIMONY and, now, I even know what it looks like!

    Did your doggies miss you?

  2. NeilW says:

    Thanks, Stella.

    Very straightforward, as usual for Chifonie, still performing at Quiptic level.

    I’m more familiar with DIN plugs for hi-fi and, indeed, that is what is mentioned in Chambers, after speed of photographic film.

  3. NeilW says:

    Thanks, Stella.

    Very straightforward, as usual for Chifonie, still performing at Quiptic level.

    I’m more familiar with DIN plugs for hi-fi etc. and, indeed, that is what is mentioned in Chambers, after speed of photographic film.

  4. NeilW says:

    Sorry about the double post… no idea what happened there!

  5. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Stella.

    As you say, nothing too taxing today – a good one for improving solvers, who I’m sure will have appreciated your explanations. I needed you today to explain SAGACITY – very clever clue.

    I got stuck in the SW corner by carelessly entering ADDICTION – the clue is clear, so it was my own fault, but that’s sometimes what happens when you’re managing to get through the clues quite quickly. Must concentrate more!

    I did indeed get my DIN in ORDINAL from the speed of a photographic film. Silver nitrate technology is still hanging on in there – got some black-and-white prints back from the processor just last week.

    Thanks to the setter.

  6. Ann Kittenplan says:

    Thanks Stella and Chifonie. Can’t add much to what’s already been said. Out of curiosity had a look at this online and finished before 00:30. Always a bit disappointing to finish early but definitely take the point about “improving solvers”.

    What to do now? Maybe I’ll go back to AZED which I’m tackling for the first time but, despite copious amounts of cheating, still less than half complete. AZED seems qualitatively different and, for me at least, not as enjoyable.

  7. Stella says:

    Hi Bryan, :lol:, yes, I think they did

    Regarding DIN, I first met it when working in an fine arts store at 18, so my perception may be warped, but I was actually loosely quoting Wiki. Of course, I also find it on 35mm film, of which I have four to take to the shop for development.

  8. Kathryn's Dad says:

    You’re just an old-fashioned girl, Stella …

  9. gm4hqf says:

    Thanks Stella and Chifonie

    Not a lot to add here either. I remember DIN plugs from audio connectors. Forgot it was also on 35mm film cartridges. Been so long since I used film.

    Sped through this one so quickly that I first entered NAPERY instead of NAPKIN and then wondered why TRIMMER wouldn’t fit.

  10. tupu says:

    Thanks Stella and Chifonie

    Pretty straightforward. Like K’sD I got stuck for a few minutes with ‘addition’. Liked 9a, 11a, 21a, 19d.

  11. Mystogre says:

    Hi all. Another very gentle ramble, although I could not work out the ORDINAL one, even though I got the word. So thanks Stella. All were not greatly taxing and I finished most during part of my lunch break and didn’t get back to the rest until a few minutes ago. I think it is called work. I did like 9 & 11 ac though. Smooth clues – thanks Chifonie.

  12. jackkt says:

    Thanks for this. You may care to correct the puzzle number in your heading.

  13. Stella says:

    Thanks jackkt, I will :)

  14. William says:

    Thanks, Stella, lovely blog.

    Attacked this with such vim that I became over-cocky and fired in NAPERY as soon as I saw ‘table linen’. That meant an unnecessary extra 10 mins in the SE corner. Serves me right.

    My mother used to make a noisome concoction from agrimony, but I can’t remember what is was for. I have a feeling it fell into that category of home made cures that was so vile that one feigned recovery to avoid repeated doses.

    Thanks again.

  15. Disco says:

    Stella, for an old-fashioned girl, you make excellent use of the title attribute of span tags.

    Or to the non-geek contingent: I love the fact that holding the mouse over the clue number shows you the clue. That’s a fantastic idea. Thanks a lot for going to that extra effort in your blog.

    As one of the improving solvers* Kathryn’s Dad mentioned, I enjoyed this one. SAGACITY, particularly, put a smile on my face.

    * At least, I hope I’m improving…

  16. Allan_C says:

    Nice gentle solve. I have a feeling of déja vu about 9a; I’m sure someone’s used that device before, maybe in a different paper and probably with a different synonym for ‘drunk’ as their No 8.

  17. William says:

    Disco @15 – Wow, didn’t even realise. How clever. Thanks to you for noticing and to Stella for the really top idea. How’s it done?

  18. chas says:

    Thanks to Stella for the blog.
    You explained why I was correct to put ORDINAL – I had totally failed to parse it.

    I liked 9 once I had solved 10 :)

  19. Disco says:

    William – like so:

    <span title="Bearing solicitor's drink (5)"><strong>2</strong></span>

    (I’d hesitate to reveal Stella’s secrets but nothing much on web pages is ever really secret. You can always right-click the page and select “View Source” to see how things are done.)

    Allan – I’m pretty sure you’re right. I’m sure I’ve seen BLOTTO clued like that before too.

  20. Robi says:

    Thanks, Chifonie for a fairly gentle one.

    Nice blog, Stella, although I can’t get your TARN link to work – one too many slashes methinks. Perhaps too many stouts – yes, I had one or two last night. ;) Thanks for the DIN, which I forgot and AGRIMONY was another unknown plant for me.

    Allan_C @16; Everyman clue from 27th March: ‘Helplessly drunk, bishop before game.’

    I would always spell: LA-DI-DAh with an ‘h,’ although Chambers gives the solution as the first choice.

  21. Conrad Cork says:

    As a footnote, since a number of people where not familiar with agrimony, anyone interested in attracting bees and butterflies to their gardens should consider planting hemp agrimony. Not obviously pretty, but a great attractant.

  22. Stella says:

    Hi Disco and William, and thanks for the praise, but the merit is not mine. I and other computer novices use a programme devised by a fellow blogger, whose name I unfortunately can’t remember at the moment, and linked, if I wish, to one by the Trafites as well as to 225.

    Robi@20, the link works fine as far as I can tell – which isn’t saying much as you might guess :). Anyway, it’s to Wiki, so you can find it yourself if you’re interested. I was disappointed it didn’t refer to this lake in my husband’s home province:

  23. Dave Ellison says:

    Thanks, Stella. I considered also SHORT and SNORT for 2d. For some reason I couldn’t see the SOLICITOR, but decided the STOUT sounded most likely.

  24. Robi says:

    Stella; small point but your link is to: http:/// above; it should be with one less slash, I think, which seems to work fine.

  25. Eileen says:

    Well, both links work for me!

    Stella, re tarn: when I solved the puzzle this morning, I remembered supplying a link for this myself [to the lovely Tarn Hows in the Lake District]

    and, via our wonderful ‘Site Search’ facility, [under the calendar on the right hand side of this page, for those who’ve never used it] found that it was in a Quantum puzzle in January and that it was in reply to a comment of yours that you didn’t know the word – we’re always talking about the words we learn from crosswords, aren’t we? :-)

    [Thanks for the blog – glad you had a good holiday.]

  26. Stella says:

    Hi Robi, thanks for clearing that up – that’s the trouble with copying and pasting, you sometimes get more than you bargained for :)

    Hi Eileen, yes, it did at least ring a bell this time, though I had to look it up.

    Just for good measure, here’s another link for the Lago de Sanabria, where it at least appears to qualify as a Tarn:,r:1,s:137

  27. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog, Stella. Easy, as others have said, but a couple made me smile. SAGACITY in particular.

  28. JH says:

    Thanks Chifonie and Stella.

    Once again, pleased with myself, only to discover I’d got one wrong. This time ‘SPORT’ instead of ‘STOUT’ — ‘bearing’ could be a *very* tenuous definition of ‘sport’.

    I also had LA-DE-DA, but I’m having that one. It’s a valid spelling, and Eda is a name.

  29. Mal P says:

    Pedant’s corner. Thought a saga was a story, often historical, and always in verse. Is that the same as a myth?

  30. Robi says:

    Mal P @29; I think ‘urban myth’ has a different meaning for myth; see:

    ‘urban myth
    a story, esp one with a shocking or amusing ending, related as having actually happened, usu. to someone vaguely connected with the teller’

  31. cholycist says:

    Thanks, Stella @26, for possibly the longest link on this site. Is there any limit, anyone?

  32. Dave Ellison says:

    I don’t know if there is a limit, but you wouldn’t want to type the link in! It seems to be the result of a google search; here is a shorter one to the same page:

  33. Stella says:

    Thanks for that, Dave, of course it was a Google search – I only ever search there or in Wiki. It would be nice to know how to shorten the resulting address, but it would have to be a very simple process, as ME makes it hard for me to concentrate for long, or learn too many new words, processses or whatever at a time.

    MalP@29, I believe it is fairly accepted that the Bible and Greek myths are loosely based on fact, distorted by centuries of oral story-telling before being written down, and I presume the same applies to the sagas and most other folk lore.

  34. Disco says:

    Stella – there are a few address-shortening tools around. I’d recommend using TinyURL for the sole reason that it’s an easy one to remember (providing you’re familiar with URL meaning an internet address, of course).

    You just open up that address and paste the address into the box marked “Enter a URL to make tiny”. One click of the “Make TinyURL!” later and you’ll be provided with something a little more concise, like so:

    There’s also an option to add a button to your bookmarks/favourites toolbar. Clicking that button will make a TinyURL of the site you’re currently visiting. It’s a little more work to set up (with easy-to-follow instructions) but the result is ridiculously easy to use and you won’t need to remember a thing – except that it’s there.

  35. Howard says:

    As one of those ‘improving solvers’ I really appreciated this. Good fun and I actually got most of it for once! Only had to cheat on 18, 22 and 23. Got ordinal but had no idea why! Do keep sprinkling in a few of these ‘easier’ ones, we’re not all at advanced level.

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