Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,471 / Tramp

Posted by Eileen on November 4th, 2011


I’m certainly not complaining today at having landed the third of a recent handful of a setter’s puzzles to blog! This time it’s Tramp and, in fact, this is only his fifth Guardian cryptic, so I count myself lucky.

There’s a wide variety of cluing style and subject matter here and not too many liberties taken, though I think 20dn might raise some eyebrows, if not howls of protest.

The length of some of Tramp’s clues has caused some comment and there’s a lovely self-parodying one at 5dn, which made me laugh, offset by the admirably economical 10 and 15ac and 1dn.

I was relieved to be able to identify the components of the mini-theme: after solving 1 and 4ac, I was afraid it was going to be something even further beyond my ken!

Many thanks, Tramp for another ingenious, witty and enjoyable puzzle to end the week. I hope to meet you soon in Derby.


1   MODEMS: MODE [fashion] + M and S
4   ADWARE: anagram of WAR[h] EAD minus H [hydrogen]: an inventive way to clue this menace if you solve the puzzle online – far better to buy the paper!
9   DRIVING LICENCES: anagram [controversially] of C[onservative] + DISCERNING VEIL
10  PUTSCH: PUT [state] + SCH[ool]
11  MAY QUEEN: Brian MAY, guitarist with QUEEN [band]
12  EYE CANDY: EYE [spot] + C AND Y [borders of city]: EYE CANDY has cropped up half a dozen times in the last few months, with a wide variety of clues. I especially liked this one.
14  TWEETS: sounds like [‘on the radio’] Jonathan ‘Woss’s’ pronunciation of ‘treats’
15  TAYLOR: Dennis Taylor, former world snooker champion, therefore one who pots: also Roger Taylor, drummer / vocalist in our theme band, Queen
18,21 BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY: anagram [‘relax’] of O [centre of storm ] + HM[v] + HYPE RADIO BANS: Queen song which was number one in the charts for nine weeks in 1975
22  DEACON: DEA[d] [almost late] + CON [rogue]; John Deacon played bass guitar with Queen
24  HERO-WORSHIPPING: anagram [‘careless’] of WHISPER HOPING OR
25  EGESTS: EG [say] + SS [Steven Spielberg’s opening sequence] alternating [dovetails] with ET, his favourite crossword film


1   MERCURY: double definition: Freddie Mercury, lead vocalist of Queen
2   DIVAS: V [five] in reversal [‘up’] of SAID [spoken]
3   MENUHIN: HIN[t] [short clue] under MENU [board] : Yehudi Menuhin, the Russian Jewish American violinist, who, I must admit,  played more my kind of music.
5   DECRYPT: DECRY [express disapproval] + [tram]P [Tramp’s latest] + [effor]T [effort ultimately] – superb clue!
6   AD NAUSEAM: reversal [flipped] of MAE [West] AND A [and Australia] around US [the Guardian]: I had to check that A was an abbreviation for Australia, since it usually indicates America[n] in crosswords, which, indeed it does in 23dn – perhaps a little bit naughty to use it both ways in one puzzle?
7   EVEREST: EVE [day before] + REST [break]
8   BLIMEY: B[ritain] + LIMEY [Brit abroad]: North American / Australian slang originally applied to British sailors, who drank lime juice as a protection against scurvy
13  CELLPHONE: CELL [part of battery] + PH ONE [ph 1 – measure of acidity]
16  ATHLETE: TH [initials – ‘primarily’ – of Tim Henman] following A + LET [call from line judge] + E[nglish]: I’m going to be picky and say that it’s the net-cord judge who would call a let.
17  ROOT OUT: ROO [Australian bouncer] + TOUT [illegal seller]
18  BOYISH: BO [smell] + IS [lives] in Y[outh] H[ostel]
19 HEDGING: even letters [‘oddly missing’] of SHEEPDOG SIGNAGE – as in ‘hedging one’s bets’
20  ANOINTS: ‘picks up’ indicates a ‘sounds like’ [I won’t say ‘homophone’ ;-) ] of ‘an ounce': I tried this out and it made me laugh out loud – I did live in Belfast for several years! I wonder what stiofain will make of it?
23  ALPEN: A[merica] + LP [album] + E [fourth letter of ‘Supertramp’- nice reference!] + N [last letter of ‘perfection’]: there have been comments about the number of brand names creeping into crosswords. I’ve no objection – I think this one’s well enough known.

64 Responses to “Guardian 25,471 / Tramp”

  1. mhl says:

    Thanks for the post, Eileen, and to Tramp for a fine crossword – I enjoyed this a lot. I think there’s a typo in your explanation of 9 across – it should be VEIL rather than UNIT.

    I’m quite glad the theme only required a very superficial knowledge of Queen, otherwise I would have been out of my depth very quickly…

  2. NeilW says:

    Thanks, Eileen. I always enjoy Tramp and feel that his “vice” of overly long clues has finally been curbed – although I found it quite charming!

    9 – you seem to have had a “moment of distraction”, substituting UNIT for VEIL. :)

  3. scchua says:

    Thanks Eileen, and Tramp for an enjoyable tweet.

    Yes a nice mini-theme mixed (MERCURY opened up the others for me) with quite a wide range of references. I couldn’t see the parsing for ANOINTS, so thanks for that. I liked 26A AGENTS, rather naughty but simple reference to George’s indiscretion, which I notice you’ve scrupulously not elaborated/blue pencilled :-), 24A HERO-WORSHIPPING and 6D AD NAUSEAM.

  4. Eileen says:

    Thanks, both – corrected now. I don’t know how my varifocals descerned it as ‘unit’ when I came to write the blog!

    I’ll confess now, mhl, that my knowledge of Queen was even more superficial: I only disvovered Taylor and Deacon when I checked Mercury and May!

    Yes, scchua, I thought I’d be a bit more discreet than George Michael was. ;-)

  5. NeilW says:

    Sorry, mhl – you beat me to the VEIL!

    By the way, Eileen, I think there’s rather more going on. You will probably be familiar with Freddie Mercury’s sexual preferences, as alluded to, in George Michael’s case, in 26. One of his (Michael’s) most famous song’s was “Careless Whisper” – 24. The anagrind of 18,21 “relax” is the title of the song by Frankie Goes to Hollywood which was, as the clue alludes to, banned from the radio for similar reasons to the aforementioned.

    Sorry if that’s “too much information” but it is all part of the theme!(There may even be one or two other allusions in the clues or answers but I think I’ll stop there!

  6. NeilW says:

    Sorry, left out the final bracket. :)

  7. Eileen says:

    Hi Neil

    Yes, I was afraid there probably would be more going on – the blogger’s nightmare, to get a theme which exposes their ignorance. As I said, I’d have been more at home with Yehudi – and Dennis Potter.

    But it just shows that Tramp is even cleverer than I thought – over to you lot now!

  8. Tramp says:

    Many thanks Eileen for the great blog and your kind words.

    For the record, I don’t particularly like Queen. This puzzle came about when I spotted clue potential for MAY QUEEN. Wagner and Mahler are what I listen to mostly. I am partial to a bit of Pink Floyd and Supertramp though, hence the clue for ALPEN. This clue’s a bit contrived because I wanted to evoke in the surface reading that Breakfast in America is the fourth album by the classic line-up of the band. An early version of this clue didn’t have “variety of” but the editor, quite correctly, pointed out that ‘breakfast’ is a bit too loose a definition for ‘Alpen’.

    Some might argue AGENTS is a bit crude but I doubt whether George Michael would be offended: he parodied himself by entitling his Best Of album ‘Ladies and Gentleman’ after the toilet incident. On the offending front, a few on The Guardian page are disturbed by ANOINTS – I swear I never meant to offend anyone with that clue and apologise if I have done. Solvers who express their disapproval are only doing what I stated at 5d.

    I didn’t consciously set out to write (slightly) shorter clues; there’s plenty more novellas left in me, I’m afraid.

  9. Gervase says:

    Thanks, Eileen.

    Took me a while to get going on this one, but patience was rewarded. However, I was concentrating so hard on individual clues that I failed to spot the theme(s) – not unusual for me. MAY QUEEN was one of my last entries, for this reason. Some posters have commented that the word ‘number’ always catches them out – my blind spot is always forgetting that U can be preceded by Q…

    Some very clever and amusing clues here: I particularly liked 11a, 12a, 15a, 5d, 16d, 23d. 20d is horrible, unfortunately!

  10. Alan Connor says:

    A truly enjoyable puzzle. I am deeply ashamed to say that MERCURY was my last one in. Why do we sometimes make it difficult for ourselves?

  11. artiefufkin says:

    Another hugely entertaining offering from Tramp. Really enjoy the themes which run through his puzzles. The Queen references are great. Didn’t manage to get 20D but had a wry smile when I found the answer. 5D was a favourite.

    Just out of interest, pro tennis tournaments no longer have a let cord judge do they? If a serve hit the top of the net and bounced out then a line judge would have to call it ‘out’ and Cyclops would call it ‘in’. Is that how it works? Only ever follow tennis for 2 weeks of the year.

  12. Tramp says:


    Sorry for the mistake with the line judge. The last time I watched tennis rackets were wooden and shorts were short.

  13. tupu says:

    Thanks Eileen for an excellent blog and TRamp for an entertaining puzzle

    I first thought I could not get anywhere with this, but I completed the grid which was fortunately possible from the clues without detailed knowledge of the Queen theme which I lacked. My only error was stupidly to put in Davis instead of divas in 2d. I somehow assumed that here was another bit of my ‘pop’ ignorance and I momentarily (long enough) thought ‘dais’ was the reverse of ‘said’.

    The clues were often quite amusing though it took some time to get into the many that involved building up words from single letters or other small bits.

    I particularly liked 1a, 12a, 24a, 25a 5d, 6d, 17d.

  14. Tramp says:

    Sorry for the solecism at 13d. It will be changed online within the hour.

  15. Eileen says:

    Bravo, Tramp, for owning up – I don’t know how on earth I hadn’t noticed! [It makes me feel better about my own occasional inexplicable typos.]

  16. William says:

    Thank you Eileen, and Tramp for a wonderful diversion which made the now habitually interminable delay in a doctor’s surgery bearable. I was just sneaking in ANOINTS as the final (and at that stage unexplained) answer when my name was called. Astonishingly, my GP is from Derry and when he read out the clue the penny dropped! A lovely moment.

    Thanks again to Tramp for reminding us of solecism. It seems the ancient Athenians deemed the rural accent of the inhabitants of Soli to be a corruption of their purer Attic version, hence Solicism and thence solecism.

    More please, Tramp.

  17. Kathryn's Dad says:

    I thought this was a super puzzle – just hard enough, with a good variety of clueing and some lovely constructions like CELLPHONE, EYE CANDY, MODEMS and HERO-WORSHIPPER. Kind of got a flavour of the Queen theme, but some of the references were beyond me. But liked the Supertramp clue for its surface – and I can cope with ALPEN as an answer.

    I had no idea why ANOINTS was the answer, but having had it explained to me, how could anyone take offence at that? Regional accents are celebrated these days; nobody cares much about RP any more. I thought it was really funny.

    Thanks to Eileen and Tramp. And just to confirm that Tramp is the latest setter to have indicated that he’ll be joining us in Derby. Happen he’ll bring one of his novellas for us …

  18. dinsdale says:

    Amazed no one’s picked up on misspelling of ‘worshiping’ (24 ac)

  19. Tramp says:

    I might not be able to spell GOSSIPED but I’m sure WORSHIPPING is correct. The version with one P is American I think.

  20. NeilW says:

    Thanks, Tramp, for all your input. Your finest hour? Pointing out your own mistake in 13dn. The lack of previous comment shows how hard we were looking at the wood rather than the trees!

  21. Miche says:

    Thanks, Eileen. And thanks, Tramp, for making me laugh twice: at 26a and 20d (I’m from Belfast, and I don’t think the homophone quite works, but it amused me all the same).

  22. Tramp says:

    Thanks for the comments folks.

    I have to thank Alan Connor for spotting the error and for resisting to post it here for fear of showing me up.

  23. NeilW says:

    As an insider, perhaps you can tell us, Tramp, do they still have an editor at the Grauniad? :)

  24. Stella Heath says:

    Thanks Eileen and Tramp for a very enjoyable puzzle which I was sorry it wasn’t my turn to blog – unlike many commenters here, I do like Queen, having discovered them a couple of years before Bohemian Rhapsody, thanks to my elder brother.

    On the other hand, my knowledge of George Michael is practically nil, other than his having similar preferences to Freddie Mercury’s. I’ve no idea what happened in “the toilet incident”, so the clues was lost on me, though I got it from the definition.

    I did notice the solecism, but thanks to Tramp for recognising his slip. I seem to remember I committed the same fault in a post here some months ago :)

    In response to Gervase@9, my blind spot is MAE for “West”, so it took me a while to parse 6d.

  25. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    I seem to recall that Tramp’s last effort was excellent.
    This one is not quite up to that standard but nevertheless an enjoyable challenge.
    To get the complaints out of the way first: 9ac and 23ac ,with just one crossing letter each, were almost write-ins due to the over straightforward definitions.
    My last two were ‘alpen’ (I had Aspen for a while, they are a British jewellers, like Tiffany’s?) and ‘Taylor’,one of those “well done setter, you had me there” type clues.
    ‘candy’ (C and Y) is of a type which seems to have appeared several times recently; this time I was fooled for a shorter time so they are losing some of their effect, but I still like them.

    PS Do the rules for this board have anything to say about emoticons?

  26. John Anthony Helliwell says:

    From one ‘Tramp to another – I really enjoyed your crossword today, as you may imagine!
    I suppose it would be too much of a coincidence if it’s from Supertramp that you created your nom de plume. Can you tell?
    Best wishes, John from Supertramp.

  27. NeilW says:

    If anyone’s still awake… (I often wonder why I sometimes seem to be, apart from Stella and Sil, almost the last to post on this blog, coming from Indonesia.) I am always surprised at the indignation that accompanies homophones. If we take all the regional variations in Britain into account, (Don’t let’s talk of Singlish!) it would be almost impossible to include a homophone in a cryptic crossword. I, for one, saw immediately the idea behind 20dn and laughed. It’s obvious, once you get it. Isn’t that enough?

    RCW, I seem to remember there used to be guidelines on how to fashion emoticons but no more. I can only refer you to the top of the page – the FAQ – which employs an emoticon, so you can understand the general attitude. Today’s blogger, Eileen, uses them frequently, as do I, to avoid causing offense. :)

  28. Eileen says:

    Hi Neil

    The guidelines are here:

  29. Thomas99 says:

    It was a pretty big story when George Michael was “outed” in that incident, one of those times when a pop story was promoted to the top of even the most serious news bulletins. Amazingly, if he hadn’t been arrested – which he probably shouldn’t have been – in that LA gents you and I probably wouldn’t even know he was gay. He managed to turn it into a positive image change for himself and probably a step forward for “the gay community” in general.

    JAH (26)-
    So that’s what rock stars do all day! I knew it. Should’ve practised more…

  30. NeilW says:

    Thanks, Eileen. I knew I’d seen it somewhere!

  31. Tramp says:

    John – you’re a legend. It is indeed. My nom de plume is attributable to the fact that I’m partial to a bit of Tramp (and it has a weak connotation with my surname); a source of mickey taking throughout school/university days. I’m 37 years old and have followed Tramp since my elder brother bought BIA in 1979. I’ve seen the Tramp five times including last year at the O2. Me and my twin brother got your autograph at the Stage Door at RAH c1997. Living in Barrow in Furness, as I do, we’ve seen Creme Anglais twice in Ambleside – I was too shy to introduce myself. Thanks for the comment – wait til I tell the missus.

  32. NeilW says:

    Gosh! What else can I say? (Being a big Supertramp fan once upon a time as well!) :) (Apologies to RCW.)

  33. John Anthony Helliwell says:

    Tramp -you’re a legend to me! November 26th at Zeffirellis – please come and say “Hello” Can I have your autograph please? -

  34. RCWhiting says:

    “Today’s blogger, Eileen, uses them frequently, as do I, to avoid causing offense.”

    Sorry, but it doesn’t work for me.
    I object to them everywhere but was particularly surprised to find folks with, presumably, very large vocabularlies,using them on this MB.

  35. RCWhiting says:


  36. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Bit of a diary clash now on the 26th, Tramp?

  37. Tramp says:

    That’s right. Although 26th Nov at Zeffirellis is very tempting, unfortunately I won’t be able to go this time — I have a clash with a crossword meeting in Derby. Amazing eh? I hardly go anywhere all year and within two days I get a clash.

  38. Kathryn's Dad says:

    The choice between a personal invitation to a gig from a member of a world-famous group that’s sold 60 million albums and the chance to join 60 crossword obsessives for lunch in Derby? A no-brainer really …

    What a lovely exchange. Crosswords make strange connections.

  39. Eileen says:

    Hi Tramp

    Yes, how lovely!

    It’s just like buses – you only yesterday said that you’d come to Derby and then …!

    As Kathryn’s Dad says, it’s a no-brainer. There’ll be other Midlands S and Bs, won’t there, K’s D?

  40. molonglo says:

    Thanks Tramp. Re your comment at 8, I thought 20d was brilliant and fair. I’ve never forgotten the image in William Boyd’s novel The New Confessions of the laconic Ulsterman slipping to his death in WW1 mud, saying “I’m going doyn.”

  41. Tramp says:

    I can’t make Zeffirellis anyway. That’s what’s a bit gutting. Probably around 48 other weekends of the year and I’d be able to go. The reason I’m coming to Derby is that we’ll be in Liverpool, at my mother-in-law’s, that weekend. By another amazing coincidence she works with the brilliant Tyrus/Lato. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him twice and as I’ll be in his neck of the woods, he’s very kindly offered to take me to Derby. Sorry for the novella.

  42. stiofain says:

    What a great crossword and blog exchange.
    Lately ive been doing the guardian online usually at 12 on the dot
    (for obsessives the link in the cryptic listing doesnt usually show til around 5 past but if you use the search facility and put the number in you can get it a few mins earlier)
    but last night when I seen it was Tramp and because I had an appointment in central Belfast this afternoon I decided to save it and do it “a la Carrots” over a few pints in one of Belfasts finest hostelries and bohemian hangouts “Kellys Cellars”.
    This was a 3 pint puzzle, with the knowledge of the usual homophone controversy I decided to conduct a straw poll among the adjacent patrons and the consensus was 6 to 2 that 20d was indeed a homophone in a Belfast accent, so Tramp gets dix points from the Belfast panel, although 8 hairy 40 something men repeating “an ounce” “an ounce” in such a venue is about as discrete as Mr Michael in a toilet. ( Agents, great LOL clue tho that abbrv will prob offend MR RCW ).

  43. Derek Lazenby says:

    RCW. Can’t say I’m fond of emoticons, but there is no visual or audio feedback on here, so I found my normal dry wit frequently got taken as something else entirely far too frequently. So I have a choice. I can explain precisely what I mean by writing something as long as War and Peace (and have done on several occassions) and thereby kill the humour, or I can try to keep it punchy but indicate no offense via emoticons. Therefore, I eventually decided that it’s a necessary evil given the nature of the medium.

  44. Dynamic says:

    It’s been a while since I’ve had time / made time to finish a cryptic on the day it’s published, but seeing Tramp’s name on it and having enjoyed his debut in the Guardian Genius so much, I couldn’t resist. Very enjoyable it was too. I recall also that George Michael sung a few songs live with Queen, which turns out to be The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert and the EP Five Live including his Somebody To Love debuted at No.1 in the UK Singles Chart, according to Wikipedia.
    Thanks again to Tramp, Eileen and all you lovely commenters.

  45. stumped says:

    Thought I might finish this but failed on 2.

    15a Obviously a name, but what? Gave up & cheated. Even now I’m not getting any snooker image from the name. Though I did get the mini-theme I never liked that band, so even if the clue had in some way alluded to Roger Taylor I’d never have got this. Also upper-case P in potter was misleading, I was trying to think of a name fitting both Dennis -A-L-R & -A-L-R Potter.

    25a What could the 2nd letter be? Ending of ESTS was clearly directed. I decided on eVests for no good reason, perhaps because it sort of, kinda sounds like evicts. I took the “say” as meaning the solution was a homophone for the definition of “Removes…” etc. Dumb of me to miss “EG”. Is the solution sort of antonym for ‘digests’? Never encountered this word. My ignorance clearly.

    4a. Quibble. Adware – annoying, yes. Menace? Naah! Expats have no option but online :(

    14a Tweets – easy solve. Connection to Jonathon Ross was obscure to me. Guessed it was what Eileen says in blog.

    Started rather late on this as we were returning home from hotel after electricity finally restored 6 days (!) after our unseasonable snow storm. Now to try and solve last 4 clues from Araucaria’s latest Prize before the witching hour.

  46. tupu says:

    Hi RCW

    Although there seems to be a jeweller called Aspen in Woodbridge and elsewhere in Suffolk, thiat is scarcely like Tiffany’s. I wonder if you mean Asprey’s in London.

  47. RCWhiting says:

    I think I do, tupu,thanks.

  48. RCWhiting says:

    I would never be offended by LOL,although I would never use it.
    At least partly since it has two distinct meanings which are not entirely suitable in all situations.

  49. Wolfie says:

    I loved this crossword. Thank you Tramp.

    Stumped @45: In zoology, egestion = defecation.

    Tramp shows an impressive knowledge of chemistry, to add to his familiarity with rock bands: the pH (acidity) of the sulphuric acid in a lead-acid battery would typically be in the range 0.5 to 1.0, consistent with the word-play for 13d.

    Thanks to Eileen for the blog, and to the commenters above for an entertaining discussion.

  50. Eileen says:

    Hi again, Tramp @41

    That’s a shame, for you – but a gain for us and I’m sure you two will get together before too long [and I’m sure, too, that you’ll enjoy Derby].

    Hi stiofain

    I’m so glad to hear from you and receive such confirmation. It was the insertion of the Y sound [as in molonglo’s comment @40] that did it for me, absolutely. I tried it out on my son, who’s a whizz at accents, and he fell about, as I did.

  51. Tramp says:

    I’ve emailed JAH via his website to apologise. I hope he replies. Still waiting for Brian May or George Michael to pop along!

    I really must thank everyone today. I don’t feel I deseve all of the nice comments. I looked at this puzzle recently (as I often do with publication day approaching) and I thought it wasn’t up to scratch and that I’d get a good mauling on here. In the end, it’s turned out to be a day that I’ll never forget.

  52. stumped says:

    I saw the so-called solecism in the original clue for 13d & thought nothing of it. The solution (!), pH value = 1 – it’s indeed an approximate value, since anything below pH 7 is acidic to some degree :)

    P.S. I read Chemistry at University

  53. stumped says:

    Oh, and Thanks wolfie @49.

  54. Stella Heath says:

    Living up to NeilW’s comment@27, I’ve3 come back to see what’s been going on since I popped in this afternoon, to find an incredible confluence of one of my favourite musicians with one who is rapidly becoming a favourite setter here, plus a weird discussion about emoticons – Wow, what a site!

    To RCw, I’d like to say that I’ve had trouble learning internet/cellphone shorthand, but I do find it convenient.
    “LOL”, if you precede and follow it with a colon, and in lower case, produces a lively :lol:

  55. Stella Heath says:

    Ps.: I don’t know how the 3 crept in :)

  56. Jan says:

    Thanks to Eileen and Tramp – I don’t usually post when it’s this late but I just have to say that this has been a really entertaining thread.

    I had a backlog of puzzles and need to look at 6 blogs. It’s taken so long to read and enjoy this page that the other 5 will have to wait until tomorrow.

  57. stumped says:

    Just had a look at comments @ Guardian’s own blog page.

    Some of them sound like they’d be more at home doing the Torygraph.

    Well done Tramp, Thanks!

  58. Davy says:

    Thanks Eileen,

    I’ve just found time to read through these comments. What a great puzzle it was although I failed on ADWARE (never heard of it as a term), TAYLOR (should have got that one especially with the theme) and EGESTS (couldn’t make sense of the clue). I find Tramp’s clues hard to break into but definitely worth the effort.

    To stumped at 45. You may not read this but to give you a ‘snooker picture’,
    Dennis Taylor’s trademark was to wear his glasses upside down.

    Thanks a lot Tramp.

  59. apple granny says:

    This was a real teaser, and we both had a hectic day on Friday, so didn’t have much time for it. We are rather clueless about the music theme, so were delighted that we did finish it, looking up a couple of things on google to confirm our guesses. Didn’t understand “agents” until the blog reminded us of the episode. A great challenge. Interesting set of blogs too!

  60. Bev Maydon says:

    Really enjoy your puzzles, Tramp. Thanks

  61. Huw Powell says:

    What a lovely little puzzle! And it’s always nice when the setter drops by the blog, but when one of their heroes does too… sweet indeed, allowing for 24a to be almost quadruply-themed.

    Did anyone else notice what I thought was another mini-theme, the four modern tech terms at 1, 4, 13, and 14?

    I actually managed to finish this, though had to check Alpen along the way. If not for the theme I would not have cracked TAYLOR though.

    Thanks Tramp for the amusing solve, do come back more often, and thanks Eileen for the blog!

  62. Huw Powell says:

    Oh, and I forgot to mention that I saw Queen twice in the early 80s at the Boston Garden, and Bohemian Rhapsody was the first record I ever bought. Great band and great people.

  63. ernie says:

    Thanks Eileen and Tramp. All very enjoyable. Started my chemistry teaching career in Belfast so 13d and 20d were appreciated. A very happy site ‘today': two mutual heroes (T and JAH) meeting up like this! :)

  64. Ste says:

    Another superb and thoroughly entertaining puzzle from my favourite setter. The homonyms and plays on pronunciation are a particular forté. We’ve had Midlands and Ulster – wonder where to next? It’s a great journey in any case. Can’t get ‘Let’s go outside’ out of my head now. This on top of all the other cleverly themed musical connections. Great clues. Great humour. Great music. Thanks Tramp – looking forward already to your next ‘outing’.

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