Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,444 – Shed

Posted by Uncle Yap on October 4th, 2011

Uncle Yap.

A very pleasant morning’s canter … nothing too difficult although there were a few new incidental words that I learned today

8 QUIRINAL Q (queen) + ins of I (iodine) in URINAL (toilet fixture) for one of the Seven Hills of Rome
9 AMORAL Ins of MO (Medical Officer or medic) in ARAL Sea (actually a lake that lies between Kazakhstan in the north and Uzbekistan in the south in Central Asia)
10 AMOK A MOKE (donkey) minus E. Not another hysterical Malay !
11 OCCIDENTAL ACCIDENTAL (sharp or flat in musical terms) with blood group A changed to O
14 TRIBUNAL Ins of BUN (cake) in TRIAL (hearing) collective noun for a judicial panel or judges
15 SCRIMPY Ins of CRIME (misdemeanour) minus E in SPY (agent 007?)
17 CLARITY Ins of I (one) in CLARTY (muddy), a new word to me; CLART is mud and dirt in Scotland and North England
20 SINFONIA SIN (something to be confessed) *(FAN I O,love with rock as anagrin) for a symphony orchestra or band
22 HEYDAY Ins of EYD (rev of DYE, colour) in HAY (grass)
23 RUMINATION Ins of M (Monsieur Frenchman) in RUINATION (wreckage)
24 WAFT W (women) AFT (behind) I never knew this gentle propel meaning of the word, knowing the word as in My appetite was awaken by the strong aroma of curry wafting from the kitchen-window of my neighbour
25 ANNEAL Ins of E (East, a point on the compass) in ANNAL (record)
26 BISEXUAL *(A BLUE SIX, 6) I was caught out here for a while trying to find out what mischief John Aubrey got up to

1 TURMERIC TUR (rev of RUT, routine) + *(CRIME)
2 TREK T.RE X (10) multiplied by 100 will give you T.RE K (1000) T. Rex were a British rock band, formed in 1967 by Marc Bolan. They shot to fame in the 1970s, with hits like “Jeepster”, “Get It On”, “Ride a White Swan”, “20th Century Boy”, “Children of the Revolution”, “Hot Love”, “Telegram Sam”, and “Metal Guru”. My COD for the clever wordplay and the memories it brought back of my student days listening to them and Slade and Lindisfarne, etc etc. Now listening to I told you I am easily distracted
3 SNOOZE SN (chemical symbol for tin from stannum) OOZE (leak)
4 PLACATE Ins of A C (crocodile’s head) in PLATE (Río de la Plata, South American river)
5 MANDRILL MAN (chess piece) DRILL (practise)
6 JOHN AUBREY  Ins of *(BHUNA RicE) in JOY (delight) John Aubrey FRS, (1626–1697) was an English antiquary and writer, best known as the author of the collection of short biographical pieces usually referred to as Brief Lives and as the discoverer of the Aubrey holes in Stonehenge.
7 BANANA B (second as in b-class product) ANANAS (pineapple, another fruit) minus S (second) another very inventive clue
13 BRIEF LIVES BRIE (cheese) + ins of V (5 in Roman numeral) in FLIES (is airborne)
16 PINNACLE Ins of L (learner or trainee) in PINNACE (small vessel with oars and sails; a boat with eight oars; a warship’s tender boat; loosely, a small boat)
18 TOADFLAX Ins of *(ADOLF) in TAX (scot)
19 MARIMBA Ins of RI (rev of IR, Irish) in MAMBA (snake) for a percussion instrument with wooden bars tuned to produce a chromatic scale and with resonators; played with small mallets
21 IGUANA *(University AGAIN)
22 HONEST HONES (whittles) T (time)
24 WAXY Ins of X (symbol for kiss usually at bottom of letters to loved ones) in WAY. en route is on the way so a strict interpretation would lead to XWAY but I suppose the ? made WAXY ‘not wrong’

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

30 Responses to “Guardian 25,444 – Shed”

  1. NeilW says:

    Thanks UY.

    I made life hard for myself by misreading the clue to 9 as “sea-girL” instead of “sea-girT”!

    In 24, I thought the ? indicated to take a literal translation of the French, in which case “en route” becomes “in the way.”

  2. molonglo says:

    Thanks…. especially for 11a and 2d which I couldn’t parse. My eye was caught early by ‘cheese’ in 15d and I solved it at once. Moving to 6, Noel Coward, who fitted came to mind, and he wrote a ‘Lives’ play, didn’t he? But the buhna curry looked like an anagram with joy around it. Googling the right answer wasn’t really cheating. I Google once more, penultimately, for ‘toadflam’ in 18d, and saw this was not quite correct. All that remained was one of the best clues of all, 22a. There were numerous other good ones (8a, 7d etc) so thank you Shed.

  3. molonglo says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap.

  4. cholecyst says:

    Thanks, UY.

    I thought this puzzle was a little gem, May we have more of Shed, please, editor? (And this was a pangram, too.)

  5. tupu says:

    Thanks UY and Shed

    A sharp shock after yesterday’s stroll. It took me some time to get going at all – with iguana. Like Molongolo I found 18d when looking for toadflam. A nice clue but a hard word. I also had to check clarty though the answer seemed clear enough.

    Some clever cluing – amused by 8a, 9a, 11a, 20a, 26a, 3d, 7d, 19d.

    I meant to look if it was a pangram and forgot. Well spotted cholecyst.

  6. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    An over easy challenge except that my own carelessness turned 17 and 22 across into a struggle.
    I foolishly entered John Bunyan at 6 and only rechecked when Brief Lives appeared.
    The only new word to me was ‘quirinal’,although the cryptic was very straightforward.
    I thought ‘trek’,although it was first in, was a clever little clue.

  7. RCWhiting says:

    I think the fact that the ‘X’is not at the start or end of ‘way it must be ‘on the way’.

  8. Eileen says:

    A very welcome [and overdue] appearance of a Shed puzzle. Many thanks, Shed.

    I’m amused to see I was not the only one beguiled for a while by toadflam [I was so relieved that it wasn’t ?????IAN]. Lovely misdirection of ‘Scot’! Talking of which, I had no problem with ‘clarty’, which I often heard from my husband.

    And I didn’t think twice about WAXY: ‘en route’ means ‘on the way’, or ‘in the course of / during the journey’, so the kiss goes inside the way.

    I think tupu has picked out all my favourites – apart from HEYDAY.

    Thanks, UY.

  9. MikeC says:

    Thanks UY and Shed. I enjoyed this – but like molonglo I entered Noel Coward for 6d, convinced that he was the author of Brief Lives. This delayed me for some time, before 11a and 17a convinced me that I was wrong. Checking, I now think I was rolling together Brief Encounter and Private Lives. A bit of a senior moment but not completely idiotic (for once!). Quirinal was new to me but well clued.

  10. Mark says:

    I don’t like anneal for re-inforce. Annealing and re-inforcing are both ways to strengthen something but that doesn’t make them synonymous.

  11. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks Shed and Uncle Yap. Enjoyed this one. Moke, clarty and toadflax were new words for me. Hadn’t heard of John Aubrey; must get out more.


  12. Gervase says:

    Thanks, UY.

    Good fun from Shed, who appears only too rarely. Too many good clues to pick favourites.

    I spotted that this was likely to be a pangram quite early (SNOOZE, JOHN AUBREY and WAXY having given me a lot of rather rare letters) which help me to get QUIRINAL – a familiar word, but not one of the seven hills which comes first to mind. The TOADFLAXes (Linaria spp) are one of my favourite genera of plants, so this didn’t pose too much of a problem. HEYDAY and MARIMBA were my last.

    2d is clever: at first I was decoyed into thinking ’10cc’ a hundredfold and wondering how to fit ‘litre’ into the space.

  13. apiarist says:

    Hands up time for me today. Although I finished by sheer guesswork I hadn’t a clue of the parsing of at least half of the answers so thank-you Uncle Yap.
    My only query is 22d. Do whittle and hone mean the same ? As a butcher I used to hone my knives on a steel but I always thought whittling was done with a knife on a piece of wood.

  14. AndyB says:

    Like others, I loved this. 8, 19 and 25 were new words for me (25 perhaps one I had forgotten)M. 9 and 17 involved new words to get there. But all were gettable, and not a weak or questionable clue. I love Shed’s puzzles – so spare and elegant. Lovely surfaces, nice misdirections, wholly fair. Just to take a simple answer, the lovely 1d immediately inviting us to think “spice up” is the definition. 18 possibly my fave.

  15. gm4hqf says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap and Shed

    I didn’t get to this very enjoyable puzzle till mid afternoon. Some very nice clues but it took me a bit longer than normal. My new word for today QUIRINAL

  16. amulk says:

    nice puzzle, except that 2dn makes absolutely no sense. trex times 100 does NOT equal trek.

  17. apiarist says:

    amulk,I think 2dn is is fair enough, k being generally accepted as one thousand these days ?

  18. amulk says:

    apiarist, yes i know k can be taken to be a thousand. so that means, x times 100 = k. fair enough. but that does NOT mean that trex times 100 = trek. if the band had been called tre.x the clue might just have some sense in a crosswordy sort of way, but they were actually called t.rex. so the clue is nonsense.

  19. MattD says:

    Hi. Loved the T-Rex clue, also got confused with 10cc for a while like a previous poster.

    I have no problem with TREX x 100 = TREK as you can read TREX as TxRxExX in mathematical notation. Multiplying the whole thing by 100 is the same as multiplying any of the different numbers by 100, so 100xTxRxExX = TxRxEx100xX. Using the standard Cryptic device of X=10, 100xX = 100×10 = 1000. 1000 is often refered to with the letter K (usually lower case granted), so we can make the substitution of 100xX = 1000 = K to give TxRxExK which would be written TREK.

    I can’t see the problem amulk!

    thank you UY and Shed. It took me 4 sittings to complete this.

  20. FranTom Menace says:

    We enjoyed today’s crossword, quite chuffed to complete it without much bother. We were stuck on 20 and 23 for a few minutes before parsing them correctly. Good stuff, thanks Shed.

    I sort of agree with amulk(18). The ‘trek’ clue IS a nonsense, but it’s a gettable nonsense. Better than using clues like ‘some pensioner’ for ‘o’ which some compilers seem to get away with!

  21. Wolfie says:

    Thanks for the blog UY

    I was pleased to complete this while away on holiday and without any dictionary or on-line aids. I usually find Shed difficult but I thought this was pitched just right in terms of level of difficulty and accuracy of clueing – apart from 25ac. (I agree with the comment by Mark @10 – ‘anneal’ is not a synonym for ‘reinforce’.) But thank you Shed for an entertaining couple of hours while the rain was falling outside my hotel window.

  22. apiarist says:

    amulk. I really can see what you mean but as you say it is “crosswordy” and therefore I think the full stop, no matter where it appears, can be forgotten and overall increasing tre x by 100 can become tre k.

  23. RCWhiting says:

    I think matt @19 makes it perfectly clear that ‘trek’ is absolutely valid even if you want to be a mathematical pedant.
    And I am sure nobody wants that,do they?

  24. Sil van den Hoek says:

    First I would like to say that I agree with cholecyst @4 that this puzzle was “a little gem”. One that took us, just like tupu, quite some time to get into – so no “over easy challenge”.

    There were a few words that were new to us (toadflax, John Aubrey, clarty, Quirinal) but they were all gettable – which is another plus for this splendid crossword.

    As to TREK, just like some others we were (or to be more accurately, I was) on the 10cc track. After having ???K, I suggested that the answer might be TREK (from the definition). And see, my not-into-pop PinC got the T.Rex connection!
    I am fine with the clue. But not with MattD when he says “Multiplying the whole thing by 100 is the same as multiplying ANY of the different numbers by 100″. I think the clue works only because X is the last letter of T.Rex.
    T R E X multiplied by 100 = T R E (X multiplied by 100).

    Nowadays we see Shed more as part of Biggles than in his own right.
    But this was a warm welcome back!!

  25. FranTom Menace says:

    It’s grand, I was at a loose end a couple of weeks back and picked a random crossword from the archive, it happened to be a Shed. Mightily impressed with it (they don’t come up often!) I did another couple the next day, I have to say that it’s my style of puzzle. The odd liberty with the standard rules but none which I’d consider as unfair.

    Having no compiler as a favourite, if it came down to it then Shed would certainly be up there.

  26. Daniel Miller says:

    To call someone a Clart – means they faff around. Not sure if I picked it up in Glasgow or Newcastle (or perhaps from my in-laws) but sounds reasonable to this muddy explanation.

  27. Daniel Miller says:

    Apparently it’s Geordie for Fool :)

  28. RCWhiting says:

    Sil,now I am being pedantic, but matt was simply pointing out that multiplication is both associative and commutative.

  29. Shed says:

    Thanks all, especially Uncle Yap for a clearer analysis than I could have produced myself. Thanks also to NeilW #1 and Eileen #8 for parsing ‘en route’ the way I meant it to be parsed. QUIRINAL was a new word on me too, but when a friend pointed it out (having come across it in the Daily Telegraph Quick Crossword), I thought I’d better get in there before Paul did.

  30. Sil van den Hoek says:

    RCW, mathematically speaking you are of course right, as is MattD.
    But why on earth would you want to see TREX as one big multiplication?
    Moreover, it would be a very unfair device in Crosswordland where it is all about wordplay [which, in my opinion, this isn’t]. And what happened in this case to the ‘.’ in T.REX (as the band was called)?
    I’m sorry, but I find this explanation (within the borders of Crosswordland) absurd.
    If we were to accept this, then WAY could equal WAXY. Or to stretch the boundaries even more, ANTIMESON might be clued as ANON.
    Maybe, others will disagree but I am fine with my own explanation.

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