Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Cryptic crossword No 25,429, by Brendan

Posted by Stella on September 16th, 2011


A pleasantly intricate puzzle, the rather mixed theme being presented at 16ac, and with some more straightfoward clues to set the ball rolling.

Other than 21d, all theme people are also common words. Thanks Brendan.

Unfortunately, there’s one key clue I cannot parse and one I only see in part – see below.

9. Presenter with top-notch Republican introducing new part of speech (9)
ANNOUNCER N+NOUN in ACE + R(eùblican)
10. Man on board in calm sound (5)
PIECE sounds like “PEACE”, for a chessman.
11. Ministers planting parts of it in the media (7)
PRIESTS PRESS, with I and T interspersed (“planted”)The first of three anagrams leading to the second part of 16ac
12. Most active 11, when last becomes first (7)
SPRIEST The second of the three, comparative form of SPRY
13. Device for removing bristles from jaw, nervously (5)
AWNER Hidden in “jAW NERvously”
14. Pure daughter is taken inside to be scolded (9)
16. Standard 7, such as 8, 20, 21 down, 22 down and 23 across or 3 and 18, together with 11, 12, or 22 across, possibly (5,3,7)
STARS AND STRIPES The key clue, with the answer to 7d as the definition to the first part, and the other clues cited as examples of the answer sought, then the second part indicating an anagram of 11ac, etc.
19. Leader of army badly lamed, but proceeded on foot (9)
21. Shepherd and animal from herd (5)
STEER Double definition
22. To continue getting coverage in papers is terrible (7)
PERSIST Hidden in “paPER IS Terrible”, anagram nº3
23. Newspaper’s turn to secure literary anthology (7)
24. One’s found in church or part of cathedral (5)
25. Take care of English prop most sensitive to pain (9)
1. Prince standing on his head, say, in lake (7,3)
CASPIAN SEA Prince CASPIAN is one of the Narnia books, + homophone of “C”
2. Corrupt gain is in 16, for example (8)
3. This is spinning plus a source of radiation (6)
PULSAR *PLUS + A + R(adiation), and &lit, I believe
4. Marchers ignoring the odds — points of no return? (4)
ACES Even letters of “mArChErS”, for unreturnable serves in tennis
5. Offended, in France, very old-fashioned duke (10)
TRESPASSED TRÈS PASSÉ, “very old-fashioned” in French, + D(uke)
6. A dubious character, this masked man in theatre? (8)
OPERATOR Double definition, the first as in “cool operator”, the second being a surgeon.
7. Names last of three Europeans leaving Pacific island earlier (6)
CELEBS Sorry, but I have no clue on this one, my last in, except that it points to the first part of 16ac – my thanks to BrigC,@1 for an excellent clarification.
8. What every solver thinks, initially, is the point of setting (4)
WEST First letters of “What Every Solver Thinks”, giving where the sun sets.
14. It’s not repackaged in attractive form (10)
15. Refuses to accept right correction in records (10)
17. Fighters sorry, oddly, about veteran (8)
SOLDIERY Odd letters of SoRrY around OLDIE
18. Source of light at night as unorthodox sleep aid (8)
20. Standing in stream to drink (6)
BURTON TO, standing in BURN. I’m not sure of the definiton, though Burton’s is a brand of bitter.
21. Stupidly pester top American player (6)
22. Nibble at food a lot (4)
PECK Double definition
23. Medal held by Pentagon general (4)
GONG Hidden in PentaGON General

27 Responses to “Guardian Cryptic crossword No 25,429, by Brendan”

  1. BrigC says:

    Re: 7 down, Names is the definition and the last of three ‘E’s removed from Celebes is the way the wordplay works. Celebes is the former name of one of the medium size islands in Indonesia. It gave it’s name to the Celebes group of islands and the Celebes Sea.

  2. BrigC says:

    Sorry Stella, that looks a bit terse. I was dealing with something in the non-cyber world at the time. Celebes is now Sulawesi. For more entertainment see for Celebes The Elephant.
    Was your half gap 20d? A Burton is given as ‘a drink’ in Chambers and ‘gone for a burton’ comes from this. Or possibly the reverse…
    Thanks to you and your colleagues for all the blogs by the way.

  3. scchua says:

    Thanks Stella and Brendan.

    A cleverly constructed set of clues. Was helped a lot by getting 16A early on. 7D CELEBS was also my last one in, and I parsed it as BrigC@1. The “earlier” in the clue refers to the fact that Celebes now has another name, but I can’t figure out what “Europeans leaving” is doing in the clue. To signify it was colonised previously by Europeans? I thought it made the clue unnecessarily wordy (there are other ways to refer to the required “e”). Otherwise lots of great clues.

  4. Paul B says:

    It’s as BrigC mentions in his #1: ‘European’ = E, so the last of these in CELEBES is the one that’s leaving.

  5. molonglo says:

    Thanks Stella, inter aliafor explaining the C/sea in 1d. I got the 16a theme with just the S—S in the first word, but was slowed by some good (8d) and some iffy (20d) clues. The “7” reference in16a seemed unnecessary, and 7d itself, last in, doesn’t need Europeans at all (last of ‘these’ does it). That said, I liked 7d, and 5d too – and the whole thing actually. Thanks Bredan.

  6. Trebor says:

    This theme rings a bell – it might even have been in a past Brendan puzzle? I can’t be bothered trawling the archived puzzles to confirm though.
    Good puzzle all the same.

  7. Tokyocolin says:

    To PaulB, the clue is “last of three Europeans”. That is two Es. There is either a typo in the clue or something else going on.

  8. John Appleton says:

    7 down was the only one I couldn’t get. Didn’t help that I didn’t know Celebes.

  9. scchua says:

    I got you, PaulB, thanks. The last E=European of the three E’s in Celebes, and not the E in “three” or the E’s in European. I hadn’t read BrigC’s comment properly. It does explain the clue, but IMHO the surface is not that great.

  10. Tokyocolin says:

    D’oh. Now I understand. Sorry.

  11. Paul B says:

    That’s okay old bean. For molonglo, ‘last of these’ (indicating ‘E’) doesn’t really do it, as there are three Es to choose from in CELEBES. The clue is written to indicate precisely which one we must boot out.

  12. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    Nice puzzle. Like the crowd, 7d was my last in, and I hadn’t completely sussed the link to Celebes.
    I liked the four-fold anagram. My entry was gong-garland even though I was not aware of the anthology meaning, I just had a vague recolection of Golden Bough (??).
    I had ‘pick’for 22d until the list in 16ac became evident.
    Can any old-timers please tell me why my ‘Name’ and ‘e-mail’ sometimes stays in place and at others randomly disappears?

  13. Stella says:

    Thanks all for your contributions, especially to BrigC for explaining 7d. Once again showing my ignorance regarding Geography, all I know about Pacific islands is that there are thousands of them, so I thought it would takes ages to look up the particular one referred to here.

    I’m familiar with the phrase “gone for a burton”, but as that indicates that something is spoilt and useless, what kind of drink is that!? 😉

  14. andy smith says:

    I don’t think that the Burton brewery is running under its’ own name anymore – swallowed up into some suit-based conglomerate no doubt.

    But a few years ago in an Ind Coope pub I would invariable ask for ‘a pint of Burton, please’ – it was good, strong bitter.

  15. Scooby Doo says:

    In WW2, RAF pilots who died were said to have ‘gone for a burton’. Apparently it came from a pre-war advert for Burton’s Ale, in which there was an empty seat at the dining table. The missing person was said to have ‘gone for a Burton’, i.e. gone to the pub for a drink.

  16. chas says:

    Thanks for the blog Stella – it explained several I had ‘solved’ without knowing quite why.

    If I can rephrase the parsing of 7d I would say: there are three E[uropeans] in Celebes and we must remove the last of them.

    I was totally flummoxed by GARLAND as I had never heard of its ‘anthology’ meaning.

    On 6d I was stuck with theatre meaning ‘stage plus actors’ having forgotten the place where surgeons work. :(

  17. Stella says:

    Thanks for the explanation, Scooby Doo. I must admit I never thought Burton’s at all bad, though I prefer local brewed real ale.

  18. chas says:

    RCW @12 I have noticed the same thing happening occasionally. I have never taken note of the dates where it happens but I wonder if there is an expiry date on the cookie? Maybe Gaufrid can explain.

  19. Robi says:

    Good puzzle, Brendan. I didn’t know AWN(ER) or the anthology use of GARLAND.

    Thanks, Stella; didn’t get the ‘C’ in CASPIAN. I guess in 21d you mean *PESTER. I thought I would come here for the explanation of CELEBS – thanks, BrigC.

    RCW @12; it may be that some Windows or Explorer updates wipe the cookies. Otherwise maybe you have some automatic wipe set to remove them? (I’m no computer expert, so maybe others have better ideas.)

  20. John Doe says:

    @chas & RCW

    *All* cookies have an expiry date: it’s really a question of how long the web programmer/225 policy allows the cookie to exist

    It probably disappeared after a short absence from blogging on this site.


  21. Gaufrid says:

    RCW et al
    I have just checked on my pc and the 15² cookie is set to expire one year after it was last modified.

    However, your name and email address used when adding comments are not stored in the cookie. Your browser stores them (in IE9 it is listed as ‘form data’) and, unless steps are taken to prevent it, the information will be lost if the browsing history is deleted (also known as clearing the cache).

  22. Stella says:

    Whoops! Thanks Robi, now corrected.

  23. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks for all those attempts to explain to me.

  24. gm4hqf says:

    Thanks Stella and BrigC for the solution to 7D CELEBES which was the one I couldn’t work out even though I had heard of the Island group.

  25. tupu says:

    Thanks Stella and Brendan

    A very good puzzle with nicely interlocking parts around the theme. I guessed stars and stripes early on, but the description of it in the clue only became clear towards the end of solving.

    Much of the pleasure was in understanding the individual answers as part of the whole contsruction. I ticked the non-theme 6d and 14d individually as I went along.

  26. rival says:

    First time poster, but no one has mention this. Anthus is a Latin (and possibly Greek) term for a flowers, so ‘anthology’ could be read (literary) as ‘collection of flowers’ or garland.

  27. Huw Powell says:

    I ignored 16a for a while, since clues like that just make my head hurt until I have some meat to work with. Along with some of the easier normal clues crossing important places, I had figured out PULSAR and (oops) PLIEADES (which made STEER a little slow to drop!) by the time I gridded out the way all the clues 16 refers to. Oh, and STREEP and WEST (loved that clue!), with STREEP making it immediately obvious that this wouldn’t some sort of sentence. That was just enough to make STARS clear – and help me solve PECK and BURTON, I like how the theme wrapped both ways in a sense once I got it – and I had beaten my way into PRIESTS AND SPRIEST. Very nicely constructed. I danced all around PIECE without getting it, making it so OPERATOR never came in. Not sure if looking at a map would have helped me get CELEBS, but I am familiar with the island, due to the rainbowfish that hails from those parts.

    Thanks for parsing those out for me, Stella, along with the stellar blog of this star-themed puzzle (feel free to groan), thanks to Brendan for another wonderful workout.

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