Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,432 – Bonxie

Posted by Uncle Yap on September 20th, 2011

Uncle Yap.

This is very much an alcoholic puzzle centred around the pub and various drinks which can make you feel quite thirsty. Bonxie has taken some minor liberties with his clues but then they are not all that terribly unfair and in the end, very solvable.  Indeed, it has been a very entertaining morning for me.

1,5 TEQUILA SLAMMER *(QUITE A Large) SLAMMER (can, prison, stir, nick porridge, jail, jug) The Tequila Slammer is a cocktail served in a rocks glass. It is made with equal parts tequila and a carbonated beverage. Champagne can also be used, and this is called a “Slammer Royale” or “Golden Slammer”
9 TEE UP Sounds like Tea (drink) Up (ready) for the action of placing a golf ball on a support before driving off (the act of hitting the ball with a driver, a large golf club)
10 BOTTOMS UP Quite self-explanatory
11 INNOVATION INN (pub) OVATION (clap clap cheers)
12 TIER TIMER (watch) minus M (Monsieur or Frenchman)
14 RATIOCINATE *(AIR IT AT ONCE), a new word for me which I will probably never use when reason is available and more widely understood
18 CROSSBREEDS Ins of B (first letter of boys) in CROSS (prickly) REEDS (tall grass) for the offspring of a donkey and a horse
21 ACID PLACID (mild) minus PL (place)
22 BUSHWHACKS Ins of H & W (husband and wife) in BUS (coach) HACKS (horses) a likely name for a pub; talking of which, I like the British sense of humour that changes White Swan (in Edgbaston, Birmingham) into Dirty Duck, where we have had many a pint
25 IMITATORS I’M  IT (Please see NeilW & EB’s excellent explanation in 5 & 6 below; in my youth, I was more interested in fighting spiders and fighting fish) ACTORS (cast) minus C (circa or about)
26 ROUSE dd the other is archaic term for an alcoholic drink, esp a full measure (Thanks to Dr Gurmukh at 4)
28 ABSCESS ABS (abdominal muscles) CESS (tax)

1 TATTIE Sounds like TATTY (worn out) King Edward is a variety of potato aka tattie, tatie, tater
3 IMPOVERISH Ins of OVER (maiden; not quite fair as there are other common conjointed words with maiden like name, race, flight, speech & voyage) in IMPISH (mischievous)
4 AMBIT Ins of MB (Bachelor of Medicine, doctor) in AIT (eyot, key, low island)
5 SOTTO VOCE Sot to voice (drunk to say) minus I for an undertone or aside
6 AMOK A MO (moment, short while) K (king) The Malay language has contributed many words to the English language like compound, sarong and many species of tropical hardwood but all people can remember are brown-skinned natives running hysterical (sigh)
7 MYSTICAL *(CITY SLAM) Indeed inexplicable when only two weeks ago, it was 3-2 in United’s favour at Old Trafford
8 REPORTER RE (about) PORTER (beer)
15 TORTUROUS Ins of R (last letter of finger) in TORTUOUS (twisting)
16 OCCASION *(COCOA IS) + N (first letter of near)
17 NOTICING *(gin tonic)
19 SCOUSE Ins of C (cold) in SOUSE (get drunk) for a stew. This word can also mean of Liverpool
20 ASTERS MASTERS (becomes expert at) minus M
23 HOSTA HOST (landlord) + A for a plant of the Hosta genus of decorative perennial herbaceous plants (family Liliaceae) from Asia with ribbed basal leaves and blue, white and lilac flowers.
24 MALT Rev of T (time) LAM (knock) I will certainly drink to that. Glen Morangie, anyone?

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

29 Responses to “Guardian 25,432 – Bonxie”

  1. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks Bonxie and Uncle Yap.

    First of all: WHERE IS BRIAN?

    On to the puzzle. Learned about queens and tatties today. Can’t help you with ROUSE. I thought it might be a double definition. Maybe caretman will have the answer if he is still up.

    I’ll pass on the Glen Morangie but I’ll have a Smithwick’s if you’re pouring.


  2. molonglo says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap, especially for the parsing of IMITATORS. I was stumped by CROSSBREEDS although I had all the letters, rescued by TEAS. Once I finished I worked out the wherefore, with a little Google help. ROUSE is an old word for bumper (Websters says it’s in honor of a toast, and cf also carousal). SCOUSE as a stew I’d not heard of. I liked several of these clues: 22 and 28a, and 13d. Good work Bonxie.

  3. caretman says:

    I’m still up and I hadn’t a clue about ROUSE, so thanks to molonglo for working it out. That was my “how in heaven’s name does that clue work?” clue for the day.

    Good stuff all around, although most were straightforward. SOTTO VOCE may revive the argument about Latin terms in puzzles, although it was rather familiar to me. And RATIOCINATE is a word I’m sure I’ve seen often in old whodunits, maybe even Sherlock Holmes.

    With SCOUSE, I thought Liverpudlians were named after the stew since it was commonly eaten there, so I have seen it in both contexts. I know several traditional Irish and Scots folk songs referring to scouse and lobscouse with the sense of a food.

    Thanks, Uncle Yap, for the blog, and to Bonxie for the puzzle. Now go drink your Glen Morangie, UY!

  4. Dr. Gurmukh says:

    The Free Dictionary :

    rouse 2 :
    n Archaic
    1. an alcoholic drink, esp a full measure

  5. NeilW says:

    Thanks, UY.

    I thought there was a bit more to 10: BOTTOM (final) SUP (drink).

    IM IT in 25 refers to the children’s game of tag: when you are tagged, you shout, “I’m it” and have to then try to catch everyone else. (As far as I remember!) :)

    I wasted a bit of time on 1,5, successfully making an anagram of “quite a large can” and then searching on the internet for a cocktail that sounded quite possible: TEQUILA Carnage!

  6. EB says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap and Bonxie.

    Enjoyable crossword as usual from Bonxie.

    RE 25ac. If you read the first 4 letters of the answer as “I’m it” then this equates to the ‘setter’ being ‘it’ in the children’s game of ‘Tag’ which according to the following link is a game played worldwide. In this game the person who is ‘it’ has to ‘catch’ all others, normally by chasing them and touching them on the back.

    As for pub names – I remember a pub in Manchester named The Black Swan which the locals used to call The Mucky Duck.

  7. TokyoColin says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap for an entertaining blog of an enjoyable puzzle. This was a theme I am well-acquainted with.

    COD was TEQUILA SLAMMER. I slammed a few of those on the bar in Southern California in my youth.

    Thanks to NeilW and EB for “I’m it”. That makes 25ac an excellent clue as well. Last in was ROUSE. I knew what it had to be but was trying to make something of U in Rosé.

  8. jackkt says:

    Mostly straightforward or guessable but failed at the 19dn/26ac intersection where I didn’t know either of the drink references. 26 was going to be RAISE or ROUSE but I couldn’t decide which,and without the final checker in place I would never have considered SCOUSE.

  9. Gervase says:

    Thanks, UY.

    Fun, as usual with Bonxie. My favourites are 1,5 and 22a – both cleverly constructed and misleading, with great surface readings.

    I was held up a long time in the SE corner – I couldn’t get my mind off PUSHCHAIRS for 22a, even though it was obviously wrong. And I am ashamed to admit that as a Liverpudlian myself I failed to spot SCOUSE immediately. ‘Scouse’ is a dish of meat, potatoes and vegetables cooked together, not dissimilar to Irish stew, and popular in Liverpool – hence the nickname. The word is a shortened form of ‘lobscouse’, which was a similar dish (though with ship’s biscuit replacing the TATTIES) eaten by sailors on board ship; there are similar words in other Germanic languages. (Incidentally, the Liverpool Daily Post made a desultory attempt in the ’60s to introduce the demonym ‘Liverpolitan’, but it never stuck, unfortunately).

    Just one little quibble with the blog: HOSTAS were formerly classified as a genus in the family Liliaceae, as Uncle Yap has indicated, but recent DNA studies have shown that the ‘old’ Liliaceae was a rag-bag of plants with some superficially similar characteristics but which were not particularly closely related. The genus Hosta is now not even considered a member of the same order as the lilies, and is comfortably housed in the family Asparagaceae.

  10. tupu says:

    Thanks UY and Bonxie

    I found this quite hard in places. I was stumped by 21a. I thought of ‘acid’ but abandoned it since I thought, and still think, that it is not really a synonym for bitter. Checking seemed to confirm this. Unfortunately I did not see the ‘pl +’ adjustment to make ‘placid’. Ended up putting Asia in, imagining there might be some linked word a…sia for ‘taste loss’.

    Lots of ticked clues inc. 11a, 18a (mules again – I first tried to fit ‘clogs’ in), 22a (I don’t think the idea of it as a pub name is relevant), 25a (my COD – extremely pleased to have understood it!), 1d, 5d, 13d!!, and 16d.

  11. Robert Darby says:

    An enjoyable struggle, but as an Australian I am not happy with 22 Across. I don’t see how BUSHWHACKS can mean “attacks”. As far as I know, BUSHWHACK is an Australian word meaning “To work in the bush, esp. as an unskilled labourer, felling timber etc”, and is derived from BUSHWHACKER, “One who lives in the bush.” BUSHWHACKED has the additional meaning (not recorded my my edition of the Aust National Dictionary) of being “lost in the bush”. To us, BUSHWHACKS is simply not a word. Oddly enough, I considered putting BUCEPHALUS in the spot, which had the coach, and fitted the cross letters that I then had.

  12. Paul B says:

    I can’t see why you’re unhappy about it. Collins lists it as a transitive verb, US, Canadian and Australian, meaning ‘to ambush’. And an ambush is a ‘surprise attack’.

  13. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    I enjoyed that one.
    I failed utterly to understand the cryptic in 25ac, stubbornly thinking it was ‘cast’ – ca = st,and failing to spot the tig reference!
    Despite any Oz objections I liked 22ac; Chambers says (N.Am) ‘to ambush’ or ‘fight in the woods’.

  14. Gervase says:

    Robert Darby @ 11: The SOED does not list any meaning of BUSHWHACKS which is synonymous with ‘attacks’, which I suspect is probably true. Chambers, however, does list ‘fight in guerrila warfare’, but this may be an erroneous usage based on false etymology (‘bushwhackers’ whack their way through the bush, rather than whack people in the bush!)

    tupu @ 10: I also demurred about ‘bitter’ = ACID until I spotted the parsing PL(ACID). This is another example of wrong usage which is rather common: ‘bitter’ is sometimes used when ‘sour’ is meant. These primary tastes are distinctively different – only in one’s G&T might one confound the acidity of the lemon (or preferably lime) with the bitterness of the quinine.

  15. gm4hqf says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap

    I managed to finish this one which is surprising as I always struggle with Bonxie. I must admit that I am not a lover of his clueing style.

    RATIOCINATE is my new word for today.

  16. Robi says:

    Difficult puzzle for me, but a good one.

    Thanks UY, and to NeilW & EB for the parsing of IMITATORS.

    Robert Darby @11,Gervase@14; my ODE gives the second meaning of BUSHWHACK as: ‘engage in guerilla warfare.’ As others have said, it is also in Chambers, so I don’t think we can argue with that.

  17. tupu says:

    Hi Gervase

    Thanks for your support re bitter. Incidentally, I was surprised to see in Chambers that ‘to the bitter end’ derives from the idea of reaching the end of a rope attached to a ‘bitter’ (fixing pole) and apparently has no original connection with bitterness.

  18. mike04 says:

    In 26ac, I read “when full to the brim” as meaning “when taking the whole word”.
    So ROUSE meaning ‘to stir’ could become CAROUSE meaning ‘to drink’.
    Too far-fetched?

  19. riccardo says:

    Another one signing in for tequila carnage…

  20. Paul B says:

    SOUR (the ‘taste that detects acidity’, according to Wiki) and BITTER are shown, in Collins, as interchangeable (each appears under the other’s headword), and I don’t think anyone here would have a problem equating ACID with SOUR. So what’s a compiler to do? Reach for Fowler? Nothing there, I’m afraid, so I wonder whether we might take Bonxie’s side in the matter. Chambers is not as generous, however …

  21. RCWhiting says:

    Perhaps 21ac is an example of why this was so much more enjoyable than yesterday’s with its Cornish dance.
    The allusion of bitter for acid did still leave me wavering and not writing it in until I saw the ‘placid’ cryptic. Then it was written in with absolute certainty. The definition must not be too precise,otherwise the cryptic is wasted.

  22. Jim says:

    Wrongly guessed rationicate for 14ac

  23. tupu says:

    Hi Paul B and RCW

    Thanks. I do not feel all that strongly about it. As Gervase says, the equation of the two is becoming more common. I think the clue is saved by the cryptic element (as RCW suggests) – which I was sorry to have missed. OED gives a nice 18 century quotation ‘All men are agreed to call vinegar sour, honey sweet, and aloes bitter’.

  24. Paul B says:

    Well, I don’t know about all that, but as a beer joke I think it’s pretty good!

    I guess my point, which for some reason I’m only just about bothered to make, is that while I’m sure we’d all like to preserve as many subtleties and distinctions as possible in a language that’s under fire from meatheadedness generally, where dictionary support is available a compiler is entitled to a little exploitation innit.

  25. apiarist says:

    I’m afraid that took me over three hours. I just can’t seem to tune into Bonxie’s wavelength. On top of that I had to use technology to find ratiocinate so instead of feeling any triumph I just felt guilty ! Never mind, I will now return to my recent gift of 100 Monkey Puzzles. Lovely !

  26. jackkt says:

    Gervase @14. I don’t know which edition of SOED you have but this is from mine:

    BUSHWHACK: 2 verb trans. Surprise (someone) by attacking them from a hidden place; ambush. N. Amer. M19.

    D. Hammett If I get there first I can bushwhack him.

  27. Scouse Tim says:

    Gervase, I am also ashamed not to spot the scouse. In fact I hardly got into the bottom half. Some very tricky combinations there from Bonxie I thought. As for Liverpoliton – this is how I describe myself (as an Evertonian!) and I picked it up from my long dead grandmother.

  28. robinwolves says:

    Dear Uncle Yap,
    I must demur from your quibble about 4 down; of course there are several words maiden might allude to, however of those you list only one has the requisite 4 letters and it does not fit the crossers. That is why this is a crossword rather than a list of cryptic quiz questions. you have to consider the possibilities and look for one of them to be confirmed.

    I do, however have my own quibble, in that, a key is a reef or sea island whereas, as I understand it, an ait or eyot is a small island in a river.

    I had my own parsing of this which was that key refers to the Alt key on a keyboard, where the lower case L looks like uppercase I.

    Either explanation seems slightly off to me but I would be interested to know which is correct. I dont know if Bonxie is one of those who loks in here from time to time.

    All the best

  29. el stano says:

    Hi All,
    Re 1,5: carnage didn’t occur to me whereas sunrise did (perhaps showing my age) and held me up similarly.

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