Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,498 – Bonxie

Posted by Uncle Yap on December 6th, 2011

Uncle Yap.

Phew! What a tough nut to crack on this watch. I had to check my Chambers and Wikipedia almost non-stop with so many new words. This puzzle is, in my opinion, more a weekend prize puzzle than a daily one to be solved on the way to work. Quite fun but very challenging

1 LUNETTE Ins of NET (take home as in pay) in LUTE (instrument) for a noun meaning anything crescent-shaped
5 CLAPPER dd person who claps; a thing that claps, eg the tongue of a bell
9 TIGON Ins of GO (try) in TIN (money) for the offspring of a tiger and a lioness
10 RUMINATED Ins of INAT (rev of TAN I, brown, I) in RUMED (rev of DEMUR, protest)
11 FALSE ALARM Cha of FAL (The River FAL flows through Cornwall and reaches the English Channel at Falmouth) SEAL (animal) ARM (inlet)
12 NOWT N (number) OWT (rev of 2, TWO) for probable corruption of NAUGHT (zero, nothing). Chambers also gives this as cattle (probably from NEAT said after a few drams of neat whisky :-)
14 LEISUREWEAR LEIS (wreaths) + URE + WEAR. The River Ure is a river in North Yorkshire, England, approximately 74 miles (119 km) long from its source to the point where it changes name to the River Ouse. The River Wear is located in North East England, rising in the Pennines and flowing eastwards, mostly through County Durham, to the North Sea at Sunderland.
18 ANAXIMANDER AN AX (US slang for a guitar) ‘IM AND ‘ER (him and her, a couple) for a presocratic Greek philosopher and student of Thales who believed the universal substance to be infinity rather than something resembling ordinary objects (611-547 BC). My COD for the ‘appy couple.
21 KITE KIT (short for Christopher) E (last letter of Lee)
25 PTEROSAUR P (quiet) + *(EUROSTAR) for an extinct order of flying reptiles, including the pterodactyls.
26 INANE Fish may be trapped IN A NET. Take away the T for the answer
28 BUGLOSS Tichy way to say pesticide will lead to loss of bugs for the name for several plants of the borage family, especially Lycopsis arvensis, a common cornfield weed, and viper’s bugloss

1 LET OFF LE (French definite article) TOFF (posh gentleman) This reminds me of another chestnut “What do you call a French streetwalker holidaying in Pakistan?” LAHORE
2 NIGGLE Ins of G (girl, but not supported by Chambers) in NIGLE (rev of Elgin, a former cathedral city and Royal Burgh in Moray, Scotland)
3 TENDERLOIN TENDER (bid) LION (cat) with IO (guts) interchanged or twisted
4 ENROL Rev of LORNE. Lorne’s sausage or Sliced sausage, a large square sausage served in slices and popular in Scotland
6 ANNA BANDANNA (handkerchief) minus BAND (musicians)
7 PATHOGEN Ins of HOG (source of meat) in PATEN (plate)
8 REDSTART *(TRADERS) + T (middle letter of eastern)
13 HEARTENING Ins of TEN (10 or X in Roman numeral) in HEARING (trial)
15 INAMORATO Ins of AMORA (rev of AROMA, perfume) in INTO
16 LARKSPUR LARK (bird) SPUR (goad)
17 PANTHEON P (first letter of play) ins of THEO (man) in ANN (lady) for temple of all the gods
19 TOMATO Ins of MAT (protective covering) in TOO (also)
20 ASSETS BASSETS (hounds) minus B
23 SCRUB dd
24 ROAN Ins of O (nothing) in RAN (managed)

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

29 Responses to “Guardian 25,498 – Bonxie”

  1. Dr. G says:

    21A: ‘Kit’ could also come from Christopher Houston “Kit” Carson (Dec. 24, 1809 – May 23, 1868)an American explorer, guide, fur trapper, Indian agent, …

  2. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks Bonxie and Uncle Yap. Loved the puzzle. Agree with 18ac as COD. “Kit” Carson! – impressive research Dr G!


  3. molonglo says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap. Worked it all out except for 9a. Never hear of the ax guitar but I did like the clue (never heard of the philosopher either) when it at last revealed itself. Praise to Bonxie, including for the cut in 3d and the posh frog.

  4. Alex in Oz says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap & Bonxie – enjoyed this although found it quite tough going. All fair, with some good misdirection. Only gripe was that I wasn’t sure whether to put LARK or COCK as the bird at 16d (larkspur and cockspur both being valid solutions).

  5. nusquam says:

    Thanks, Uncle Yap. You helped me with Ax in 18a.

    I think 5a trades on the fact that some styles of religious worship are referred to rqther disparagingly as ‘happy-clappy’.

  6. noddybankie says:

    A roll with lorne sausage (brown sauce optional) + a glass of Irn Bru.
    A nation’s hangover cure.

  7. tupu says:

    Thanks UY and Bonxie – good blog and rewardingly hard puzzle

    I found this quite difficult (especially in NW) and felt both relief and pleasure when I’d completed it.

    AlexinOz Re Larkspur 16d: The fact that larks hover makes it the clear choice I think plus of course the crossing ‘A’.

    I echo UY’s good-natured ‘plaint’. Bonxie seems to operate on or outside the outer edges of my vocabulary (e.g. ax for instrument, Lorne, bugloss, zip = 0) but his cluing is ingenious and fair and he has some very witty moments.

    I ticked 18a ( :) its nice to find some use for a classical education after 50 odd years – and my COD too despite not knowing ‘ax’), 26a, 28 (guessed this), 1d, 3d, 13d.

  8. tupu says:

    I agree with nusquam re 5a.

  9. dunsscotus says:

    Thanks to Bonxie and UY. Loved this, especially the philosopher. Agree with numquam and tupu re ‘happy-clappy’.

  10. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, UY, and many thanks to Bonxie for a very enjoyable puzzle.

    Favourite clue:18ac, which reminded me of the Araucaria classic: ‘Royal couple are flirting'[9].
    Like tupu, I had no problems with the philosopher: the only problem I ever had with him was distinguishing him from Anaximenes and Anaxagoras. When I first came across Anax’s puzzles, I thought he must have got his pseudonym from one or all of them but apparently not.

    Runner-up: 14ac.

  11. Dave Ellison says:

    Thanks UY and Bonxie. I found this quite tough, too; fair and enjoyable. I was held up in TR corner for a while by putting LEISURE TIME for 14a.

    I knew all (just) but AX and had forgotten what TIGON means.

    UY 12ac: OWT or NOWT is what we would say in Lancashire (or Yorkshire), but pronunciations would vary slightly.

  12. tupu says:

    re ‘nowt’. There is of course the well-known northern injunction ‘if tha ever does owt for nowt do it for thysen’.

  13. Andrew says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap. I was surprised to see Bonxie again so soon after his previous outing in 25,489 – in fact as the numbers are anagrams of each other I thought it might have been a Grauniad editing error. Despite having had no time for crosswording the last few days, I didn’t find this too hard, though the top half took a lot longer than the bottom.

    I first came across Anaximander in the book “Ximenes on the Art of the Crossword”, where X goes through the process of creating a barred puzzle: the first two words in the grid are the intersecting ANAXIMANDER and ANAXIMENES (there are two Greek philosophers of the latter name). I don’t think I’ve ever had to use or be aware of either name since, but they’ve always stuck in my memory. I can’t remember the clue for either, but I think ‘im and ‘er may have featured.

    One false trail – I had HITCH for 23dn H + ITCH=brush(???), with “rub” = “problem” until the fairly obvious PTEROSAUR put me straight.

  14. chas says:

    Thanks to UY for the blog – I really needed you.
    I had settled on PANTHEON for 17d and started off OK with P as ‘start of play’ then decided that HE was the ‘man’ part. This left ANTON for the lady!

    I am like several others here: I have never heard of AX as a guitar. I have seen it clued as ‘american chopper’ but that was no help here.

  15. Phaedrus says:

    “Axe” is a common term in the UK too, for a guitar used for playing rock or heavy metal on. “Axeman” is a guitarist that plays such, such as Gary Moore (RIP), Jimi Hendrix (RIP), Slash from Guns ‘n’ Roses (still with us, I think….)
    “Ax” is just the American spelling thereof.

  16. Gervase says:

    Thanks, UY.

    Great fun; I found this a challenge but not too difficult, as I knew all of the vocab apart from AX – though 18a was solvable through the crossing letters and the inspired ‘appy couple.

    Like tupu I got bogged down in the NW. It took a while to see the mechanism for 1a and I was then looking for an adjective rather than a noun – this is the only clue I have a slight 2d with. Too many excellent clues to make a choice.

    Etymological observation: REDSTART is from the Old English and means ‘red rump’ (the Swedish name, rödstjärt, still has this transparent meaning). ‘Stark naked’ is a corruption of ‘start naked’ (ie ‘butt naked’). Similarly, the name of the bird known as the ‘wheatear’ is a corruption of ‘whitearse’.

  17. Jake says:

    ANAXIMANDER and ANAXIMENES If one wish’s to read about them check out Cottliebs’ ‘the dream of reason’

    A fantastic book into the world of early philosophers up to the renaissance:

    Worth checking out, and quite surprising how much of it sticks in the memory once read. Well written book.

  18. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    A very satisfying challenge, took some working out and like tupu I finally ground it out via the NW corner.
    Some great vague definitions (9a, 11a, 2d, 3d, 20d)and a couple of unknowns (to me): bugloss and Lorne. a sausage named after a comedian doesn’t sound very promising!
    Like chas I couldn’t see ‘anton’ as a lady so thanks for blog.

  19. Eileen says:

    I meant to say earlier that I’ve known Lorne sausage ever since I bought my 2008 Chambers: it’s at the top of page 904 and it’s one of those that have caught my eye umpteen times in my search for something else!

  20. Derek Lazenby says:

    Took a while to get to 4 left then I finally gave up. Considering UY’s classification I’m pleased I got that far!

    I can only think Xword enthusiasts have led quiet lives because absolutely everyone and their uncle calls a solid bodied electric guitar an ax(e).

  21. gm4hqf says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap and Bonxie

    Too tough for me. Failed completely with the top left corner and 18a. The answer obviously ended IMANDER but I have never heard of ANAXIMANDER.

    Had there been one or two easier clues in the top left corner I might have gotten a bit further. There is always next time!

  22. stumped says:

    Thanks for the enlightening blog UY. This was much tougher for me than the previous Bonxie. Never heard of Bugloss, Redstart, Anaximander amongst others.

    Eileen @10 – What’s the solution to the Araucaria classic?

  23. Alex in Oz says:

    Tupu – I did wonder about hovering being an indicator, but ultimately waited to get the crossing letter before filling in the rest.

  24. Eileen says:

    Hi stumped


  25. stumped says:


    Strictly speaking a step beyond flirting. Also a genus of opossums & a current South African Cricketer, first name Vernon.

  26. Thomas99 says:

    Derek Lazenby (20)-
    I was also a bit surprised, especially as it’s the second time it’s come up in crosswords in two days!

  27. PMS says:

    Alex in Oz @14
    Tupu @ 7

    The reason that larkspur is the answer is that larkspur is a plant ( delphinium) but as far as I know cockspur isn’t. I stand to be corrected if wrong!

  28. Uncle Yap says:

    Per Chambers
    cockspur n a spur on the leg of a gamecock; a type of catch used on casement windows; a hawthorn (Crataegus crusgalli) with long thorns and orange autumn foliage.

  29. duncan says:

    never seen “ax” short for guitar. “axe” yes, “ax” no. bit of a stretch, that one, for me. yes, I own a few guitars.


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