Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,482 by Chifonie

Posted by PeeDee on November 17th, 2011


A straightforward and quite easy puzzle, but very enjoyable nonetheless.

I enjoyed this puzzle very much.   In a world where setters are outdoing each other to find ever clever devices, grids, ninas, pangrams and what else, sometimes it comes as surprise and somewhat of a relief to blog a simple but well crafted puzzle.  Like stumbling across simple but graceful old building hidden in in a maze of flashy neon-lit titanium skinned modern architecture.  I’m not suggesting we should get straightforward puzzles every day, but now and again is nice, I think.

Hold mouse over clue number to see the clue.

1 AIREDALE AIRED (publicised) ALE (beer) – breed of dog
5 SLIP-UP PILS (larger) reversed and UP (at university)
9 SHOPLIFT OP (opus, work) Left inside SHIFT (work period)
10 BRENDA END (expire) inside BRA (something that supports) – definition is ‘girl’
12 SUITE sounds like ‘sweet’, melodious
13 AMENDMENT MEN (workers) inside TANDEM* – definition is a ‘change for the better’
14 FIDDLESTICKS FIDDLE (tinker) STICKS (tolerates)
18 PRIVATE MEANS PRIVATE (soldier) MEANS (intends)
21 CLEOPATRA (PAL TO CARE)* – ‘about’ is the anagram indicator
23 AMUSE AM (morning) USE (service, ‘put into good use/service’)
24 ABACUS grAB A CUStomer
25 MINISTER Cryptic definition, a minister is invested to the role and also wears vestments in his/her church.  An alternative and I think better explanation is: I (one, Roman numeral) in MISNTER (church) &Lit.  Thanks to Wanderer for this.
26 ELEVEN EL (‘the’ in Spanish) EVEN (nonetheless)
27 INDECENT CE (Church of England) in INDENT (an order or requisition)
1 ASSIST ASS (animal) 1ST (first)
2 ROOKIE ROOK (bird) IE (that is) – definition is ‘fledgling’
3 DOLCE VITA CLOD (halfwit) reversed and EVITA (Argentine legend)
6 LURID LUddite (leaders=first two letters) RID (free)
7 PUNGENCY GEN (general) Custer (initial letter) went inside (separated) PUNY (weak) – from=’the definition will be found in’, definition is ‘strong flavour’
11 DEGENERATION DE (‘from’ in French) GENERATION (breeding)
15 TENTATIVE TENT (shelter) ATIVE (hive=home for worker bees)
16 SPACE-AGE SAGE (sensible) about PACE (progress)
17 LITERATE LITER (volume, US spelling) ATE (devoured)
19 AUNTIE A UNTIE (loose, as a verb)
20 SECRET RE (divinity, Egyptian sun god) inside SECT (religious faction)  Alternatively, divinity can be RE, religious education, thanks to Wanderer.
22 PRUDE P (quietly, musical) RUDE (vulgar)


18 Responses to “Guardian 25,482 by Chifonie”

  1. Stella Heath says:

    Thanks PeePee and Chifonie.

    When I started this I thought I was in for a beer theme, and was already anticipating, but it turned out it went no further than the first two clues. Ah well!

    An enjoyable romp, with the SE corner giving me the most trouble, though last in was 12ac – it took me ages to find the homophone, grr!

  2. Dave Ellison says:

    Thanks PeeDee, a very clearly set out blog. It is the first time in a while I didn’t need any explanations, but useful to have 27a confirmed ( I was trying to equate DENT with REQUEST for a while).

    Enjoyable, and, like Stella, SE slowed me down. 7d last in, as I had misspelled 13a as AMENDMANT.

  3. Allan_C says:

    Stella @ 1: It took me ages to find the homophone at 12a, too.

    I wasn’t too happy with 17d at first, ‘Literate’ suggesting simply ‘able to read’, but Chambers gives ‘learned’ (accent on the last syllable) as one meaning so I suppose that implies ‘well-read’

  4. tupu says:

    Thanks Peedee and Chifonie

    Very much agree with PeeDee’s positive assessment -‘delight in morning service’ sums it up. Carefully clued with some smooth surfaces. It took me some time to see the HA in abacus. I suppose I was looking for something more semantically cryptic.

  5. Wanderer says:

    Thanks PeeDee and Chifonie.

    I read 25 as an &lit: one = 1 or I, invested in church = MINSTER (as in York Minster) to give “one invested in the church”.

    Also I read divinity in 20 as RE = Religious Education, the school subject, but your Egyptian divinity works fine — I haven’t seen that spelling before.

    Enjoyable stuff.

  6. PeterJohnN says:

    “Girl’s” in 10a could nave a double usage, bra being a girl’s supporter.
    In 20d, I’m sure the setter intended RE to mean Religious Education, not sun god.
    Neat but pretty easy today, a relief after last week’s string of very tough puzzles. Thanks Chifonie & PeeDee.

  7. nusquam says:

    Thanks to the setter, and thanks for the blog.

    Like Allan_C @3 I had a problem with 17, but not with the definition (although I see his point). What’s the justification for the apostrophe s after volume in the clue? Of course it helps the surface, but isn’t it redundant to the clue structure? This is a nitpicking point, but Chifonie’s personal standards seem to be very high in this area.

  8. PeeDee says:

    ‘Americam volume has devoured’ – it is an instruction to us on how to contruct the solution, no?

  9. Robi says:

    Straightforward and pleasant puzzle, which I don’t think will rate very highly on the RCWhiting scale.

    Thanks PeeDee for your good blog. I should have got it earlier, but my last in was FIDDLESTICKS – fairly obvious in retrospect. I particularly liked the clue for TENTATIVE.

  10. crypticsue says:

    I too enjoy a nice straightforward puzzle and this was a good one, thank you Chifonie. Thanks to Peedee too.

  11. nusquam says:

    Thanks, PeeDee @8. That sort of works, except that I feel that a reduction proper to auxiliary ‘has’is being extended to the full verb in a situation where it is not idiomatic. Or do we take ‘ate’ as an acceptable alternative to ‘eaten’?

  12. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    The SW corner was a sad (notice, no ‘pathetics’ from me)write-in.There were a few little challenges,my last two were ‘assist’ and ‘suite’ but overall rather disappointing.
    Robi @9
    There is a blogger on the Azed MB (cannot remember the name) who already has a hardness out of 10 scale but I guess it is purely subjective, as is mine, which is why you will never see it.

  13. liz says:

    Thanks Peedee. Agree with previous comments that this was all very pleasant and straightforward. Glad I wasn’t the only one to spend ages trying to work out the homophone at 12ac.

  14. Stella Heath says:

    So am I Liz, I was feeling quite stupid as I wrote my comment@1 :)

  15. chas says:

    Thanks to PeeDee for the blog.

    On 24 I spent ages trying to remember the name of the calculator which slides spheres along wires – could not remember its name. I put the paper down and went for lunch. When I came back I looked at the clue again and saw ABACUS sitting there! :(

    I always thought the Egyptian sun god was RA so I was surprised at the blog calling him RE. I have just checked the web and I see the two spellings are given as alternatives.

  16. dunsscotus says:

    Thanks to setter and blogger. A nice puzzle.

    Nusquam: I think you’re trying to make a sentence out of something that isn’t trying to be one. ‘ate’ is being mentioned, not used (the heart of cruciverbalism surely) so there are no difficulties with parts of speech.

  17. PeeDee says:

    chas@15 I immediately thought of Re as my daughter had an ancient Egypt school project recently and the name was spelled that way in her book, I had only heard of Ra before.

    The obvious thought for older solvers and those with a public school education may have been divinity as an RE lesson, that did not occur to me at the time.

  18. RCWhiting says:

    “The obvious thought for older solvers and those with a public school education may have been divinity as an RE lesson,”

    or anyone who regularly solves cryptic crosswords?

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