Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Cryptic 25467 Brendan

Posted by scchua on October 31st, 2011


We find an unexpected Brendan for today’s crossword, and which is also a bit harder (especially the SE corner) than the usual start to the week.  Perhaps there is something going on….

The crossword is peppered with clues and answers making reference to crosswords – (pseudonyms/name of Guardian) setters, solvers, devices, grids, the Guardian, and on-line and dead tree solving.  Clues with the theme connection are marked :-) .  But I’m unable to find the reason for the theme today (which also happens to be Halloween, but I’m sure that’s got nothing to do with it), (even with checking out info on Rufus). Perhaps someone more experienced with the Guardian will know.  In any case, it was an enjoyable crossword, thanks to Brendan.  Definitions are underlined in the clues.  There is one picture that is not what it seems.


8 Protector of child in a gun raid shot (8)  :-)

GUARDIANAnagram of(shot) IN A GUN RAID

9 Grind away, getting the answer to crossword clue, finally (5) :-)

ERODE :  Last letters of(finally) thE answeR tO crossworD cluE

10 Colluded, oddly, in something like this (4) :-)

CLUE :  Letters in first, third, fifth, seveth positions of (oddly) CoLlUdEd

Answer:  The “this” pointing to clue 10 across

11 A danger with a TV broadcast that’s cutting-edge (5-5)

AVANT-GARDEAnagram of(broadcast) [A DANGER +(with) A TV]

12 No 1 piece of fiction in part of India (6)

GOALIE :  GOA(part of India) LIE(piece of fiction) – ie. a “lie” (perhaps found, or originating) in “Goa”, the latter being used as an adjective, like “Peking duck” for example

Answer:  In association football (at least), the goalkeeper traditionally is referred to as being Number 1, and may even wear the No 1 shirt


14 Desires no end of money up front for what one’s made (8) 

EARNINGS :  “yearnings”,desires minus(no) “y”(last letter,end ofmoney”) from start of word(up front)

15 Crib clue from Crucible, for example (7) :-)

ANAGRAM :  Cryptic defn:  “crib clue” is an example of an anagram of,fromCrucible

17 For me, goal is to tuck into health food (7) :-)

BRENDAN :  END(goal) contained in(is to tuck into) BRAN(health food, to make you regular)

Answer:  The setter himself,me of this crossword

20 Judge I’m entering final part of puzzle, say (8) :-)

ESTIMATEI’M contained in(entering) {E(last letter,final part ofpuzzle”) STATE(to say so)}

22 Second most important role in musical I rejected for you (6) :-)

SOLVER :  S(second, as in H:M:S) OLVER{“Oliver”, lead,most important role in musical of the same name minus(rejected) “i”}

Answer:  Since a setter is “me”/”I”, we solvers are “you

23 Estimating badly as puzzle expert (10) :-)


Answer:  One who makes or talks in puzzles, in other words, like a crossword setter

24 A dozen players go after this role in Shakespearean comedy (4) :-)

PUCK :  Double defn:  1st: The round disc that ice hockey (just plain hockey to Canadians and Americans – “is there any other? :-)”) players go after, a dozen of them in the rink   Edit.note per comment#6: excluding the goalkeepers, who, I think, don’t go after it – but may still knock it about?; and 2nd: aka Robin Goodfellow in Shakespearean comedy, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” 


25 8 22 down providing a lot of fun in endless career? (5) :-)

RUFUS :  FU(most,a lot of letters of “fun”) contained in(in) RUS{career,”rush” minus last letter(endless), “h”}

Answer:  The Guardian(8 across answer) setter(22 down answer)

26 Like our superior education, excessively on display? (8)

OVERUSED :  OVER US(descriptive of,like what our superior is) ED(education)


1 Demolish an impression with this kind of clue (4,4) :-)

PULL DOWN :  PULL(as a verb, in printing, it means to take an impression or proof from a plate or similar, so I presume, it can be used as a noun – or does it have to do with impressing the opposite sex to pull them?) plus(with) DOWN(descriptive of,this kind of this clue, 1 down)

2 Araucaria exemplifies this sort of diagram (4) :-)

TREE :  Double defn:  1st: The monkey puzzle tree, araucaria araucana, exemplifies this genus of conifers; and 2nd: A sort of diagram used in mathematics, statistics, linguistics, physics, biology, game theory, decision making, and elsewhere to represent the hierarchical nature of any structure, such that connecting lines branch out from a stem.  A familiar example is one’s family tree.


3 Cross words from one caught in traffic (6) :-)

TIRADE :  I(=1=one) contained in(caught in) TRADE(traffic,buying and selling)

4 Theoretically practical 8, perhaps (2,5) :-)

ON PAPER :  ON(practical,feasible as in “your project’s just not on”) PAPER(an example of which,perhaps is the answer to 8 across,Guardian)

5 Don from Oxford, say, with funny clue about time on run (8) :-)

LECTURERAnagram of(funny) CLUE containing(about) T(time) RE(about,on the subject of) R(run, as in cricket notation)

6 Kind of symmetry that’s reasonable, incorporating old tradition, primarily (10) :-)

ROTATIONAL :  RATIONAL(reasonable,based on reasoning) containing(incorporating) {O(old) T(first letter of,primarilytradition”)}

Answer:  The kind of symmetry of an object/diagram which looks the same after rotation through whatever number of degrees 


7 Boatman as main 22 down, say (3,3) :-)

SEA DOG :  SEA(main) DOG(of which answer to 22 down,setter is an example,say)

Answer:  Whimsically, SEA DOG = sailor = shipman = boatman

13 Finishing session on keyboard with nothing very loud after unusually long gig (7,3) :-)

LOGGING OFF :  {O(=0=zero=nothing) FF(fortissimo,musical direction to play very loudly)} placed after(after) anagram of(unusually) LONG GIG  

Answer:  Continuous verb of what you do on the computer keyboard, say, after finishing the crossword 

16 Piece of verse a peasant composed (8)

ANAPAESTAnagram of(composed) A PEASANT  

Answer:   A foot in poetry of three syllables, two short followed by one long in quantitative meter, and two unstressed followed by one stressed in accentual meter.  That’s the best explanation I can give, being no prosodist myself.

18 Business types putting a Conservative in the best of spirits? (8)

AGENCIES :  C(­Conservative) contained in(putting…in) A(class/grade,the best) GENIES(spirits who proverbially grant you your wishes)

19 Left country without capital – new work either 22 could use (7) :-)

LEXICON :  L(left) EXICO{(“Mexico”,country minus(without) “m”,its initial letter,capital} N(new)}

Answer:  Book,work either a crossword setter(answer to 22 down) or solver(answer to 22 across) could use

21 Small way in which soldier protects sleeping comrades? (6) :-)

SENTRY :  S(small size) ENTRY(the way in)

Answer:  Response to the question in second half of the clue

22 Street being out of order, one provides direction to game (6) :-)

SETTERAnagram of(being out of order) STREET 

Answer:  An example of a hunting dog,one which points to where game is.

24 Saintly fellow – friendly type with top-class input (4) :-)

PAUL :  PAL(friendly type) containing(with…input) U(upper-,top-class


46 Responses to “Guardian Cryptic 25467 Brendan”

  1. tupu says:

    Thanks scchua and Brendan

    A very enjoyable crossword. I had to check ‘pull’ for 1d and seek out ‘anapaest’. I missed the obvious (once you’ve pointed it out) parsing of ‘e-state’ in 20a.

    Some very amusing clues with nice wordplay – ticked 12a, 26a, 3d, 19d, 21d.

    I assumed Don in 5d was a reference to Quixote, Pasquale etc.

  2. Allan_C says:

    Half expecting a Halloween-themed puzzle, but I see the Quiptic is that. Nevertheless a cleverly themed puzzle. 19d proved a bit elusive with its reference to “either 22″ till I got 22a and 22d.
    And what a tour-de-force of a blog – well done scchua!

  3. pommers says:

    Hi Scchua

    Great review of a great puzzle – thanks to both you and Brendan.

    Re 23a: ENIGMATIST is a Guardian crossword setter of course and it’s the pseudonym of John Henderson, who holds the record for solving a Times competition puzzle in just 2mins 53secs, so he really is a ‘puzzle expert’!

  4. liz says:

    Thanks scchua. I was pleased to see a Brendan puzzle today — even though he caught me out on two clues — 12ac (didn’t know goalies wore no 1 shirts) and 18dn.

    I think you might put a :-) beside 26ac. i read ‘Like our superior’ as a reference to the crossword editor…but perhaps that is a bit of a stretch.

    24ac made me smile!

  5. Robi says:

    Entertaining puzzle; I liked the theme.

    Thanks scchua; I also got a bit stuck with E STATE in ESTIMATE. I’m no great football expert but I think one of your footballers might be Ossie Ardiles, who was not a goalkeeper, as far as I know, but I can’t fathom the connection.

    Brendan’s put himself in the crossword, so maybe it’s his birthday or something.

  6. William says:

    Thank you scchua for a top blog and Brendan for his usual high setting standard.

    I wonder if you are quite right about the PUCK clue at 24a – as far as I remember, there are 6 players in an ice hockey team: 3 offense, 2 defense and 1 goaltender.

    Tupu @ 1 – that’s what I thought about The Don.

    Can anyone provide an example of an anapaest? Very arcane.

    Thanks again.

  7. NeilW says:

    Thanks, scchua. Just the right level of a difficulty for a Monday. Fun but easy with an obvious theme. It has become quite common for Brendan (normally one of his more straightforward puzzles) to replace Rufus on a Monday. Since there’s nearly always something else going on, perhaps the playful Nina that you mention in your preamble is to be found reading across the bottom solution line?

  8. NeilW says:

    William – 6-a-side makes twelve going after the PUCK.

  9. Robi says:

    William @6; examples given at:

  10. NeilW says:

    Also, sschua, since Brendan lives in N. America, I’m sure it’s ice hockey he’s thinking of.

  11. Allan_C says:

    William @6: see – plenty of examples there!

  12. Will Mc says:

    Robi @ 5
    Ossie Ardiles wore the No 1 shirt for Argentina in the 1978 World Cup because for some reason shirt numbers were assigned to players in alphabetical order.

  13. Allan_C says:

    Sorry, Robi, you beat me to it while I was typing.

  14. Robi says:

    P.S. Ossie Ardiles was given the number 1 shirt in the Argentina squad for the 1982 FIFA World Cup (although not a goalkeeper.) Argentina numbered their players alphabetically in both 1978 and 1982.

  15. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, scchua. Good fun puzzle, helped a bit if you were a regular 22ac and knew the other 22dns. I particularly liked the in-jokes with SEA-DOG and ANAGRAM today. I’m pretty sure that NeilW is right with the tongue-in-cheek RUFUS OVERUSED as well – that can’t be a coincidence … Personally I could handle either setter on a Monday.

  16. Robi says:

    Thanks, Will; we crossed.

  17. scchua says:

    Hi William@6, you’re right of course. I didn’t read further down the Wiki article – the game, in some form or another, has evolved from “a large number” to nine to seven to the current six per team. Thanks, I’ll correct.
    Hi NeilW@10, for sure, since the other hockey uses a ball.

  18. Will Mc says:

    Robi, I was wrong, anyway. He was No 2 in 1978, it was 1982 he was No 1.

  19. crypticsue says:

    Brendan does do really good themed puzzles and I found this one no exception. thanks to him for the fun and scchua for the review too.

  20. William says:

    NeilW @8. Agreed, it’s just that the blog suggested there as 6 a-side plus a goalie. See scchua @17 and the corrected blog

  21. Mr. Jim says:

    My first attempt at a Guardian after nearly a year away. Brendan’s good as always. I particularly liked RUFUS, which surely qualifies as an &lit.

    Thanks to Brendan and scchua.

  22. Gervase says:

    Thanks, scchua.

    Nice one from Brendan; very much at the easy end of his particular spectrum, I thought. I hadn’t spotted the NINA in the bottom row (no great surprise as I hardly ever do) but it adds a bit of extra fun.

    First time I’ve seen ANAPAEST in a crossword, as far as I can recall. Iambs and trochees pop up very occasionally – and I’m sure I’ve spotted a dactyl….

  23. Gervase says:

    Correction to my comment on ANAPAEST: Bonxie had it in a puzzle in Feb 2010, and Araucaria in 2007. Isn’t the search facility on this site wonderful!

  24. Eileen says:

    Thanks, scchua.

    I agree with crypticsue that Brendan does do really good good themed puzzles.

    The great thing is that anyone doing a Guardian puzzle for the first time today would not have been hampered by not knowing the regular setters – apart from in 25ac, where the clue led straight there and a bit of googling would have confirmed – but, for those of us who know and love them, it was a joy to see nine of them included in either clue or solution.

    Hi Gervase

    Yes, the search engine is a wonderful timewaster! I discovered that I blogged the Bonxie puzzle – a nice clue: ‘Foot spa with a neat switch’.

  25. Eileen says:

    [I’m sure they really are good good – but I only meant to say it once!]

  26. Stella Heath says:

    Thanks Scchua and Brendan for a very entertaining start to the day.

    I got 7d wrong, for some reason thinking of Boatman as an Irish setter, ie. a RED DOG 😆

  27. chas says:

    Thanks to scchua for the blog. You explained several cases where I had the right answer without knowing why.

    Once I had spotted the theme I went looking for somewhere to insert BRENDAN, since I had not seen him until then. Hey presto – 17a :)

  28. Jezza says:

    A most enjoyable puzzle – thanks to Brendan, and to scchua for the review.

  29. NeilW says:

    Eileen, as the ultimate arbiter, right or wrong about the Nina? (Since it looks as though Brendan’s not dropping in?)

  30. Eileen says:

    Hi NeilW

    Why on earth me??

    I think I have to refer you to Francis Urquhart’s catchphrase. 😉

    All I will say is that Brendan’s Ninas are usually more symmetrical – and that I’ve always been impressed by how generous setters are to each other on this site!

    [As has been already said, Brendan is on the other side of the pond, so there’s still quite a bit of his day left and always a chance that he’ll tell us whether it was accident or design.]

  31. gm4hqf says:

    Thanks scchua

    I always have problems with Brendan. Failed to work out SOLVER and AGENCIES.

    Didn’t expect him to put his own name in the puzzle.

  32. scchua says:

    Hi NeilW, IMHO one can’t say that on the basis of a weekly appearance, or even much more frequently for that matter, that one can call any setter “overused”, much less put it in a Nina. (On that basis, Araucaria would be that more “overused” than Rufus?) Nor could one say that “overuse” has any meaning if fresh clues, devices, etc. are being presented all the time. With due respect, I think you’re seeing a Nina where there isn’t one.

  33. Brendan says:

    It hadn’t occurred to me that the bottom line could be interpreted as some have. It certainly wasn’t intended. My comment on RUFUS is the clue, with “endless” an affectionate way of saying he’s been doing this even longer than me.

    No significance in the date either (which I don’t get to choose unless I make a special request).

    I still haven’t got used to how American hegemony extends even to the names of sports, particularly “football”. Don’t get me started on “The World Series”. I used to play (field) hockey, with little distinction or skill.

  34. Paul B says:

    ‘If’ indeed: is there a subtext here too?

  35. stumped says:

    Very nice puzzle and very thorough blog. Thanks to both.

    Got 9a but didn’t get the clue until the blog

    gm4hqf @31 – I also failed to get 18d & 22a. Strange.

    Favourite clue 24a

    scchua @32 I’m think Brendan meant OVERUSED tongue-in-cheek, given that Monday appears to be usual spot for RUFUS.

  36. stumped says:

    Cross-posted with Brendan @33. I stand corrected about last line of puzzle.

    Agree with him about American wanna-be hegemony on sports names. I resolutely refuse to use the word “soccer”. American friends still get cross with me referring always to “American Football”.

  37. scchua says:

    Thanks Brendan for dropping by and giving confirmation.

    Hi Paul B, that was a hypothetical “if” – don’t think I have (nor ever will) encounter a setter who does not present fresh clues,……

  38. MattD says:

    Highly enjoyable puzzle but I am uncomfortable with 25a as unlike all the other setters mentioned, you had to know the names of the setters. Can’t decide whether that is better or worse than requiring some knowledge about Shakespearean characters or not for 24a. As eileen said, wouldn’t take long on google to find the name rufus!

    However, didn’t spoil an enjoyable solve. Took far too long to get goalie though!

  39. stumped says:

    Simply look at the category Guardian right here for names of setters.

  40. dunsscotus says:

    Thanks for all the help on this one, which I found quite difficult, and a special word of thanks for taking the trouble to provide the pictures.

  41. Sil van den Hoek says:

    An affectionate crossword is what we thought it was.

  42. Tony Davis says:

    Forgive my grumpiness, but it is infuriating, when viewing this blog on a smartphone, to be presented with a series of quite superfluous images of football and hockey players and diagrams illustrating concepts which are surely familiar to us all. End of tirade.

  43. MEB says:

    I gave a little cheer when I saw the clue to 23a. I remember that, shortly after Enigmatist had been introduced to us goodness knows how many years ago as a 15 year-old schoolboy, he produced a clue based on the estimating anagram of his name. Like orchestra/carthorse it is one I have carried round in my head ever since.

  44. Davy says:

    Thanks scchua,

    I did most of this yesterday afternoon and finished it off this morning. The last one in was ON PAPER which was clever. Lots of great clues and tricky(to me) wordplay. I particularly liked LOGGING OFF, SENTRY, SOLVER and AGENCIES.

    There were plenty of easy ways into this puzzle and the theme soon became apparent. For once, I didn’t have much difficulty in parsing the clues but wouldn’t describe the puzzle in general as easy, unlike NeilW. Maybe I just don’t have his massive interlect.

    Thanks Brendan for a great puzzle.

  45. Boatman says:

    I agree. A very pretty piece of work, full of good feeling.

    Incidentally, my wife’s name is an anagram of “Brendan? A1″ … Make of that what you will.

    Stella – wrong side of the Irish Sea, I’m afraid – that’ll be the mother-in-law you were thinking of.

  46. Huw Powell says:

    How delightful! I am growing to like Brendan more and more, perhaps it’s one of those “wavelength” things? Looked at the puzzle last night for a bit and I think all I did was put some bars in the multi-word spots on the grid. Oh, and got GUARDIAN – using the printed header to make sure I spelled it correctly – and thought “hmmm, that’s amusing, that’s the name of the paper…”

    Sat down with it this “morning”, noticed a couple of setters’ names in clues, noticed the rampant use of words like “clue” in the clues… and all of a sudden I was filling in answers like crazy. An easy one for me in general, so perfect for a Monday, though a few went unparsed and stayed in pencil, thanks there scchua, and I failed to get TREE! I had forgotten what “Araucaria” means!

    As mentioned by many, a puzzle loaded with affection and smiles, thank you for all of them, Brendan!

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

1 × six =