Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Genius 98 – Crucible

Posted by Andrew on September 4th, 2011


Well, I must say these Genius puzzles vary a lot in difficulty. After two hard ones from Araucaria and Tramp, I found this one from Crucible hardly more difficult than a standard daily puzzle. It was pretty obvious that the “classed catalogue of words” mentioned in the preamble would be Roget’s Thesaurus, but the reference to “the Dutch version” was a little more puzzling. It turns out that Robert Dutch produced the first “Americanised” version of the Thesaurus. The undefined answers are the six main “classes” of words used in Dutch’s version: Abstract Relations, Affections, Intellect, Matter, Space and Volition, which I remember being intrigued by in the Penguin edition that I owned in the early 1970s.

1. PACIFIC IF (provided) in (ICE CAP)* minus E
5. INDIANA AID reversed in INN I. Reference to Indiana Jones
9. SPACE Hidden in reverse of timE CAPSule
11. AFFECTIONS AFFECTATIONS (“false pretences”) less A T[ime]
12. LEER Reverse of REEL
18. ON PRINCIPLE [s]N[i]P[e]R[s] in (NI POLICE)*
21. INRO Reverse of RN in 10. An Inrō is a traditional Japanese case made of nested boxes, hence “boxes in Tokyo”
22. REALLOCATE REAL (proper) + LOCATE (place)
25. INTELLECT INTEL (silicon chip manufacturer) + C[hinese] in LET
26. INTRO T (first letter of Three) in INRO
27. NO SWEAT SON reversed + W + A in AT
28. OBSERVE OBSERVER (the Guardian’s “stablemate” since 1993) less its last letter.
1. PASCAL PASCHAL (about or pertaining to Easter) less H[ard]. Blaise Pascal published his Pensées (thoughts).
3. FUEL CRISIS C[oal] in FUSILIERS* &lit, referring to the need to call out the troops during coal strikes.
4. CORGI C.O. R G I – nice one for the Queen’s favourite pet dog, though I don’t think the connection goes back to George I (not that it matters).
5. ISLAND HOP LAND (light) in 1 SHOP
13. CATEGORIES C[h]A[t] + E.G. in TORIES. As the undefined answers are categories of words, it’s appropriate that ROGET is, as the preamble says, “locked up” in this answer.
15. INCLEMENT IN + CLEMENT – the name of fourteen popes (and two antipopes)
16. VOLITION VOL (book) + (I INTO)*
17. OPERATES OPERA (Carmen is one) + reverse of SET (located)
19. MATTER T[hin] in MATER
20. JEROME Jerome K Jerome, writer of Three Men in a Boat, has this as his first and last name, with middle initial [boo]K (for Klapka)
23. LOTTO First letters of Lucky Ones Take Time Off, &lit, as you would probably take time off work if you won the lottery
24. SLOE S[e]L[l] O[n]E for the berries used to make sloe gin

6 Responses to “Guardian Genius 98 – Crucible”

  1. bridgesong says:

    Thanks for the comprehensive blog, Andrew. I agree that this was less challenging than recent months; it’ll be interesting to see if the first correct entry breaks any records!

  2. Mr Beaver says:

    Thanks for the explanation of the ‘Dutch’ reference which had me foxed – also for the locked-up Roget, which I’d missed.
    But as you say, this was surprisingly tractable for a Genius, though it took a little while for the thesaurus penny to drop – it was ABSTRACT RELATIONS which rang a bell for me.

    Still, no complaints, it’s always a pleasure to be able to finish a Genius!

  3. Mr. C says:

    I agree with the general feeling this was an easier crossword than of late under the appallingly-named ‘Genius’ variety. Sat down to this mid-month, and being a Crucible thought it would be on my solving table being gnawed at for a few days, but was surprised it very nearly got done at first swipe. However, I had to sleep on 20d, but woke in euphoria around 2am barking out ‘JEROME!’. I think ‘er indoors thought I’d had a calling to greater things, and was a little annoyed by my admission it was a crossword clue that had been revealed to me.
    All in all a satisfying puzzle, especially 20d.(!)

  4. Jan says:

    Thanks, Andrew – I forgot to look for the ‘locked up’ Roget. Not a particularly challenging puzzle so rather disappointing.

    I really liked 20d once the penny dropped. Fortunately, not in the middle of the night!

  5. Katherine says:

    Thanks for the blog. I liked this crossword and would much prefer puzzles such as these compared with the dreadful Auracaria Printers Devilry offering of a couple of months back.

    I liked the surface readings of all these clues [unlike many in puzzles from some of the other seemingly more favoured compilers]

    Genius puzzles are supposed to take 2-3 times longer than a normal puzzle and I think that is what it took me.

    I was disappointed though that the unchecked letters that made the anagram SCENT OF A CONTEMPLATIVE BATTLE, whilst clever, was meaningless as it did not relate to anything at all.

    Unlike Jan and Mr. Beaver [sounds like the name of a children’s book!], I remembered about Roget, but could’t find him. So much for my search talents.

  6. Crucible says:

    Thanks for your message, Katherine. You can please some of the people some of the time etc. Nice to know someone enjoyed it. I had originally thought the puzzle would be a suitable candidate for a Saturday slot (as many others seem to have done) but the instructions were perhaps too long for that. Regarding the anagram: I actually chose it for its relevance, thinking that solvers might enjoy a contemplative battle, with a whiff of pleasure. From the blogs it seems many didn’t consider it a battle at all. And maybe I’m too eager to justify it post hoc.

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