Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,480 – Pasquale

Posted by Uncle Yap on November 15th, 2011

Uncle Yap.

Cannot say this is an easy one as I found myself stumbling all over the place, trying to understand the crafty word-play of many a clue. As usual with the Don, this is very Ximenean although many clues could not be solved in the normal forward way, so one has to hazard a likely answer and work back to justify the answer. Put another way, the answer may well be gotten from crossing letters and definition, making the puzzle one not of getting the answer but understanding Pasquale’s word play. Do we call this back-tracking?

10 INTENDS Cha of IN (favoured) TENDS (nurses)
11 RANKINE Ran (hurried) KINE (cows) The Rankine cycle is a cycle that converts heat into work. The heat is supplied externally to a closed loop, which usually uses water. This cycle generates about 90% of all electric power used throughout the world, including virtually all solar thermal, biomass, coal and nuclear power plants. It is named after William John Macquorn Rankine (1820-1872), a Scottish polymath. The Rankine cycle is the fundamental thermodynamic underpinning of the steam engine.
12 ERASE Ins of A (article) in ERSE (language few of us can read, being the language of the people of the West Highlands, as being of Irish origin; sometimes used for Irish Gaelic, as opposed to Scottish Gaelic.)
13 SOLFEGGIO Ins of F (loud) in SOLE (only one) GG (repeated note) I O (love) … new word to me
14 BACON B (first letter of Bard-craft) A CON (trick) Allusion to Francis Bacon, first Viscount St Albans, the 6th Earl of Derby (thanks to Thomas99) one of those mentioned as a possible author of the words of The Bard, William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon
16 BASILICAS BASIL (RC saint) + ins of CA (circa, about) in IS.
18 EASTWARDS I struggle to understand this but according to my good friend, Dr Gurmukh, Pasquale used choir as the area of a church or cathedral, usually in the western part of the chancel between the nave and the sanctuary … now the clue makes sense. Thanks Dr G
19 DURER ENDURER (one to live on) minus E N (English name) for Albrecht Dürer (1471 – 1528) a German painter, printmaker, engraver, mathematician, and theorist from Nuremberg
20 SAN MARINO Ins of *(RAIN) in *(MOANS)
23 THEFT THE FT (Financial Times)
24 NOISOME NO I (number one, top bod) SO ME (this writer) or I can say ins of SO in NO I & ME … same difference
25 ANTLION Ins of NT (Northern Territory in Australia) in A LION (much bigger animal) for a neuropterous insect (genus Myrmeleon) similar to a damselfly, whose larvae trap ants in a funnel-shaped sand-hole.

3 OUNCE POUNCE ( jump) minus P (power)
4 RASPS Ins of S (last letter of papers) in RAPS (rev of SPAR, box) Very devious clue, my COD for the misdirection
5 MORALISTS Ins of LIST (group of Celebs) in MORASS (confusion) minus S … I was stuck here for a while trying to find a word, MORS? meaning confusion as I equated group of celebs as A-LIST
7 SLING Another cunning clue disguising the def SHY, to throw as SHY,  being bashful. Probably the best-known sling in the world must be the cocktail containing brandy, gin, orange juice, lime juice, Cointreau, Benedictine and grenadine aka the Singapore Sling.
8 MIXED BLESSING I would label this as a tichy dd which got me started into this puzzle
9 DEMONSTRATING Ins of ST (street) in DEMON (fiendish) & RATING (sailor)
15 NEW LABOUR *(WON’T USE BLAIR minus ITS) What a lovely surface
16 BERLINERS BERTHS (bunks) minus THS + LINERS (ships)
17 CORNELIAN CORN (banal) ELIAN (of Elia, the essayist aka Charles Lamb) for a fine kind of quartz, generally translucent red.
21 NAIVE Ins of I (one) in KNAVE (rogue) minus King
22 ON AIR A cyclist on pneumatic tyres can be said to be on air. I wonder about the penny-farthing; are its wheels solid rubber?
23 TITRE Sounds like TIGHTER (more properly fixed)

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

40 Responses to “Guardian 25,480 – Pasquale”

  1. NeilW says:

    Well done, UY. Very tricky. Are we in for another week like the last? Let’s hope so!

    You’re right about 22. From Wikipedia:

    “In 1888, when John Dunlop re-invented the pneumatic tire for his son’s tricycle, the high wheel was made obsolete. The comfortable ride once found only on tall wheels could now be enjoyed on smaller chain-driven bicycles.”

  2. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks Pasquale, Uncle Yap and Dr G. RANKINE was a new word for me. Regarding MORALISTS: your explanation makes sense. I did note that Chambers specifically indicates that A-LIST is a group of celebrities. I could only find MORS(E)which doesn’t equal endless confusion that I could see.


  3. molonglo says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap – agree with all your observations. Had to go searching for the answers to two – 11a and 13a. 5d definitely should have both a-list and moras(s), but can’t. I wondered if the lion in 25a was an Oz part (role), but your rendering copes with the ‘eaten’ element.

  4. Alex in Oz says:

    Bit of a struggle today – so thanks Uncle Yap for the blog. Needed quite a few explanations to fill in the gaps. Not much else to add really, except that I agree with molonglo re 5d.

  5. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, UY.

    Some great surfaces, especially, as you say, 15dn – and I’d add those of the long anagrams in 1 and 26ac. I liked 21dn, too.

    Re 18ac: I think this refers to the practice in some churches of the choir [group of singers in a church or cathedral] who sit in the architectural choir, described by Dr G, sideways on to the congregation – who are already facing the altar – turning to the altar [eastwards] for the Creed and the Glorias.

  6. Thomas99 says:

    Francis Bacon the 6th Earl of Derby? Don’t think so. He was the first Viscount St Albans, though. I like the fact that Pasquale doesn’t seem to be taking the surface too seriously, by the way…

  7. Pasquale says:

    Confession which someone might like to pass to the other GU site — A in MORALISTS has been counted twice — sincere apologies

  8. Dave Ellison says:

    Pasquale at his worst for me. Gave up after struggling to finish only nine clues. Glad I did.

    Thanks Uncle Yap – this is the first time I have seen your blog without its customary exuberant introduction :).

  9. tupu says:

    Thanks UY and Pasquale

    Many thanks too Pasquale for the helpful ‘confession’ – you have sacks full of credit left, of course, as generally such an impeccable setter.

    Had to work out some answers without knowing the basis (Rankine, solfeggio (which sounded likely), and eastwards (likely again).

    :) I nearly tripped up over 16d (were we expected to?) – almost a Basil Fawlty ‘don’t mention’ moment when I thought it might be referring to holiday-makers reputedly making a beeline for the sunbeds!

    Interesting to see the second ‘l’ in tunnelled this week and also another at this time unmentionable word.

  10. newnewname says:

    Enjoyed the variety in this puzzle. Some very elegant clues. (Not so sure about 6d.)

    Surprised that Pasquale apologizes for 5d, since we can have A, B, C and Z lists, making ‘list’ a kind of ‘group of celebs’ on its own, no?

    Thanks Pasquale and Uncle Yap.

  11. Robi says:

    Fairly impossible; only made possible by my computer working overtime, but then I’m a beginner, so no criticism of the setter. Thanks, Pasquale for clearing up MORALISTS – I just took it as MORass and A-LISTS.

    Thanks, UY. Being a scientist didn’t help with the RANKINE cycle – sounds like more detective stories. I wish I had known about St. Basil when I used to watch Fawlty Towers. SOLFEGGIO, ANTLION, ER(a)SE and CORNELIAN new to me also.

    With many clues, I followed UY’s ‘back-tracking,’ but parsed most of them eventually.

  12. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    I hope this is the start of a good run like last week.
    I had to do some thrashing around at the end (25ac 2d 16ac) especially Eastwards, is it at all cryptic?
    I had ‘Carnot’stuck in my mind for some time (11ac).
    I also wasted time with Degas (19ac) as I always think of Durer being an engraver, although I’m sure he did a bit of painting in spare moments.

  13. rrc says:

    I crossword I enjoyed unlike most of last weeks, with the exception of Tuesday and the prize.

  14. Stella Heath says:

    Thanks UY and Pasquale.

    I did find 5d a little short, as LIST didn’t really equate “celebs” for me, so thanks for dropping by.

    Plenty of new words gettable by wordplay – and guesswork: 16ac was almost purely the latter, but it gave me the start for 16d. Also, I entered 11ac from a vague memory both of the archaic plural form and of a scientist.

    I made my life more difficult as 1ac by vaguely assimilating Spanish “tramoyista” with something to do with “trammel”, thus imagining someone who literally works above the stage :) Also, I’d forgotten our favourite crossword cat, and tried to justify “tiger” for 3d, which didn’t help with the anagram.

    Thanks to Eileen for explaining 18ac. Most churches I’ve attended Mass in are 20th century, and though where I live is one of the best examples of Gothic cathedrals in Spain, I know little about the orientation of such edifices.

  15. NeilW says:

    Thanks, Pasquale, for confirming my unvoiced suspicions. Editor, where art thou, yet again? (Perhaps a little too relaxed, given the usual impeccable cluing from the Don.)

  16. Uncle Yap says:

    @6 Thomas99 said

    Francis Bacon the 6th Earl of Derby? Don’t think so. He was the first Viscount St Albans

    Upon what authority? May I ask
    Please go to

  17. Dave Ellison says:

    Stella @ 14, and Eileen. There seems to be controversy about the orientation of churches; see, for example, Church Orientation and the references therein.

  18. Tom Hutton says:

    @16 Uncle Yap advised to go to Wikipedia but I think he has missed a comma. Stanley was the Earl of Derby.

    Amidst the universal praise for last weeks crosswords on this blog, I must be counted a dissenter. Too many vague definitions and too many signs of the setter enjoying himself at the expense of the common or garden solver such as myself. I don’t want to have to sit at a computer to solve a problem.

    Today we have Rankine, of whom few will have heard, purely so the setter can have two cycle clues I presume. I don’t much care for top bod as No 1 either.

  19. Eileen says:

    Quite right, Dave E, and many thanks for the link, which gives some very interesting information about churches not far from me here in Leicestershire.

    I just meant to say that, generally speaking, the altar is placed at the east end of the church. In my church, we certainly talk of the east window, above the altar. I’ve never thought to test the geographical accuracy – I shall have to go along on 22nd July [feast of St Mary Magdalen] next year, to see if the sun rise shines directly through the window!

  20. PeterJohnN says:

    Eventually completed the puzzle except for 4d with a little help from an anagram solver site. Re 26a, amazingly, my usual site (Andy’s) didn’t come up with “neurosurgeons”. Thought Pasquale must have boobed on 5d, as he has admitted. Re 4d, it’s a bit feeble to use the last letter of a plural to get an S isn’t it, though I realise “papers” was intended as a red herring? Re 11a, again amazingly, my copy of Chamber’s mentions the Rankine temperature scale but not the Rankine cycle. Re 3d, ounce is a crossword favourite, but for those who don’t know, it is otherwise known as the snow leopard.

  21. Derek Lazenby says:

    And on behalf of the silent non-expert majority can I say I hope this week is not going to turn out like last week. But selfish experts will never consider the needs of the majority.

  22. Jim says:

    Thanks for explaining 5dn – I fell into the A-list trap.

    13ac was last to go in, which I got from the wordplay.

  23. RCWhiting says:

    Despite all the expertise @14,17and 19 nobody has answered my query.
    Is ‘eastwards’ a solution to a cryptic clue or is it just a fulsome definition.
    signed; ‘a non-churchgoer’

    Cheer up Derek,you might be in a (silent) minority, how can one tell?

  24. Derek Lazenby says:

    Well it is occasionally mentioned here that there are many readers but few posters. There may be several reasons for that but occasional posters have mentioned they are in the non-expert camp, and non have said otherwise, so one extrapolates. Most people don’t understand crosswords at all, another pointer.

  25. PeeDee says:

    RCW – I agree with you about 18ac not being cryptic. I can’t see any word play and I can’t see a play on words either. Just a literal definition of the solution.

    Did anyone else have SHORT for 7 down? It is an alcoholic drink and to be shy of something is to be short of it, eg just 2p shy of a pound. Seems just as plausible as SLING. I don’t like it when clues don’t have a unique solution.

  26. PeeDee says:

    Sorry, forgot to thank Uncle Yap for the blog. Thanks Uncle Yap.

  27. Eileen says:

    Hi PeeDee [and RWC]

    If I may take it that you are agreeing with my interpretation @comment 5, I have to agree that there is no cryptic definition.

  28. PeeDee says:

    Derek, I’m not wishing to cause any offence to anyone, but what is wrong with not being able to finish a crossword? I couldn’t finish the Guardian crossword for years, I don’t remember enjoying them any less, in fact I think I enjoyed them more for the challenge therein. Who exactly are you defending here?

  29. PeeDee says:

    Hi Eileen, yes it was the traditional orientation of churches that I assumed was the explanation of the clue.

  30. PeeDee says:

    Hi Uncle Yap, its interesting your take on back-tracking as not being the usual way to find solutions to clues. I generally find that back-tracking is the normal activity, the solution typically pops into my conciousness slightly ahead of working out how it got there.

  31. Sil van den Hoek says:

    A good puzzle by Pasquale [normally we say ‘scrupulously fair’] that did not match his previous crossword which was really sparkling, but so what?

    Today we had RANKINE (just seen him somewhere else), TUNNELLED (with one L – Hi Boatman :)), OUNCE (can we, please, give this animal to Emma who lives in Ur?), one more THE/FT and BERLINERS (which Pasquale used a while ago with a similar construction – I know exactly where I was when we had that clue then).

    Anyone noticed that there were a few couples today?
    Two nurses (10ac,26ac), two cycles/cyclists (11ac, 22d), two rogues (26ac, 21d).

    The weakest link? 18ac (so agree, RCW). Didn’t like 25ac either.

    Of course, I know that BASILICAS here in the UK is the plural of BASILICA, so no problem with 16ac.
    Yet, I can inform you that in Holland ‘basilicum’ is the name of a herb that you all know as ‘basil’. Since BASILICA might be the Latin plural form of ‘basilicum’, BASILICAS sounds odd to me.
    Can you help me Eileen (out of my dreams?).

    Thank you, UY (for the blog) and Pasquale (for the puzzle).
    Oh, and I would appreciate it when someone comes up with the ultimate explanation of CORNELIAN, because I still do not get it at the moment.
    It could be the wine, though :).

  32. PeeDee says:

    Hi Sil, ‘banal piece’=corn, i.e. something corny, and ‘Elian’ meaning ‘of Elia’ or ‘by essayist’ Elia being the pseudonym of essayist Charles Lamb, author of ‘Essays of Elia’.

  33. Allan_C says:

    As a chemist I was going to quibble about TITRE which I’ve always used only in the sense of the quantity of reagent required to complete the reaction in a titration. But I find that it can also mean the concentration or strength of a solution. Oh well! :|

  34. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thank you, PeeDee, for your ‘help’.
    ‘Banal piece’ meaning CORN is fine by me, but ELIAN for ‘by essayist’ is not something on/at my wavelength.
    Your explanation is clear enough, though.

  35. nusquam says:

    Sil @31

    I got interested in the question you addressed to Eileen, and I hope neither of you will mind if I reply.

    basilicus,-a, -um is a Latin adjective derived from Greek, and means ‘royal’. The ‘basilica’ building type which was adapted for church use implies an underlying feminine noun like ‘oikia’ or ‘stoa’ – a ‘royal’ house or portico. The herb on the other hand is a specification of the Greek neuter word for basil ‘ocimum’, so we are dealing with ‘royal’ basil. ‘Ocimum’ survives in the scientific name for ‘basil’, which is ‘Ocimum basilicum’.

  36. RCWhiting says:

    I am also an (ex) chemist and I had exactly the same thought about ‘titre’.
    Thanks sundry folk for confirming my thought on ‘eastwards’.

  37. PeeDee says:

    Hi Sil,

    the way I read it was Shakespearean is ‘by playwright, Joycean would be ‘by novelist’, so Elian would be ‘by essayist’.

  38. Huw Powell says:

    Enjoyed this puzzle, it was a hard one-word-every-half-hour slog (or so it seemed), but an amusing ride. I don’t tend to notice surfaces much, but after reading the interview with Rufus yesterday and the attention he pays to making them smooth, I did notice some really nice ones here today. 1 and 26 spring to mind.

    Had to use every trick in the book to finish this, 9 was last to go in. Got 1 from one checked letter (the R), then was saddened to not be able to use a single one of the checked letters it gave me for ages!

    Had a few I couldn’t parse, so thanks for the blog Uncle Yap – one minor quibble, I found NOI at 24 to be “An English term for Snazzy or Groovy.” and was fine with that meaning “top bod”, though I agree “No. 1″ works well too.

    Eileen at 19, I think you’ll want to visit the church on the equinox, not the solstice, for a due East sunrise. In July (! should be June anyway) the sunrise will be far South of East.

    Sil at 31, yes, I noticed the “paired” clues, seemed like there were quite a few more. You mentioned nurses, cycles, and rogues… I thought that BACON and the essayist in 17 count; a couple of churches; stars/celebs; there may be more.

    And thanks for the puzzle and dropping in on the blog, Pasquale!

  39. Eileen says:

    Hi Huw, if you’re still there.

    I think you didn’t read Dave Ellison’s link @17 ;-)

  40. Huw Powell says:

    Ah, I see, thanks Eileen! Today for the first time I looked at “recent posts”, realizing that since I am always posting a day or two or ten after the puzzles and blogs come out I should look for posts on older puzzles since they might be replies to me – and was rewarded for the effort on the first go.

    See you all over the rest of the blogs!

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