Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,504 – Philistine

Posted by Uncle Yap on December 13th, 2011

Uncle Yap.

What a delightful puzzle from Philistine. Cleverly-crafted clues with some exquisite word-play. This is such a pleasure to solve and to blog.

ACROSS
1 BUMPER-TO-BUMPER Ins of PERT O (cheeky love) in BUM BUM (pair of tramps) + PER (each)
9 INNKEEPER Ins of KEEP (store) in INNER (private) with a lovely def, one putting up
10 RHINO *(I, one HORN) I rate this a quasi &lit and bemoan the fact that some of my clansmen, in their ignorant pursuit of the aphrodisiac and other wonder drugs, are endangering the survival of this magnificent creature.
11 GIGOT GIG (concert) + *(TO) for a leg of mutton
12 SAINT-MALO *(MAO STALIN) for a walled port city in Brittany in northwestern France on the English Channel
13 PEASANTS PHEASANTS (game birds) minus H (hard)
14 ASTHMA *(A MATHS)
17 HUMANS HUM (murmur) ANS (short for answer, reply) with the def WE  sitting coyly and quietly by the side
19 FLEXIBLY FLEX (cable) + possIBLY; lovely surface
22 RARE TREAT RA (Royal Academician or member of the Royal Academy of Arts, artist) + RETREAT (sanctuary)
24 PATER PATTER (spiel) minus T
25 AMIGO A MI (the British motorway) GO (travel)
26 VENGEANCE Ins of *(GENE) in VAN (the lead) + CE (Church of England)
27 FIRST TIME LUCKY What an inspired *(FRUIT TICKLES MY)

DOWN
1 BRING UP THE REAR Ins of THE (definite article) in BRING UP (raise) & REAR (raise)
2,23 MENAGE A TROIS Cha of MEN (folk) AGE (get on) + *(AS TRIO) for a threesome sexual relationship; another quasi &lit
3 EYESTRAIN *(RETINA YES) Wow! Another quasi &lit
4 TYPESETS Cha of TYPE (kind) SETS (hardens)
5 BERLIN Ins of R L (the right and left hands) in BE IN (to stay at home) White Christmas is an Irving Berlin song reminiscing about an old-fashioned Christmas setting. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the version sung by Bing Crosby is the best-selling single of all time, with estimated sales in excess of 50 million copies worldwide.
6 MERIT rha
7 EPITAPH ha
8 CORONARY ARTERY Ins of A R (a right) YART (rev of TRAY, platter) in CORONER (legal officer) + Y (one of the symbols for unknown used in algebra)
15 SEX APPEAL SEXA (rev of AXES, cuts) + *(APPLE) Beautiful anagrind and what a demure and unobstructive def; IT indeed !
16 PLATINUM Ins of A TIN (a container) in PLUM (very good)
18 MARTINI 70% of Martinique (a French island in the eastern Caribbean Sea)
20 BOTANIC B (second) *(ACTION)
21 VELVET VEL (middle letters of DEVELOP) VET (veterinary surgeon)

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
rha = reversed hidden answer
*(fodder) = anagram

22 Responses to “Guardian 25,504 – Philistine”

  1. NeilW says:

    Thanks, UY. I really enjoyed this. Neatly clued and neatly blogged. Not too hard but loads of fun along the way.

    I needed the crossing letters for 5, as I was side-tracked trying to do something with Bing!

  2. molonglo says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap. This reminded me of a book you don’t want to end, when the answers to very neat clues came too easily, like 12a and MENAGE A TROIS. That and the next, 3d, were commendable quasi &lits, as you point out. Pity for the compiler that 19a’s ‘supply’ had been given an airing here only four days ago. Thanks Philistine.

  3. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you UY and Philistine.

    This was fun to solve – plenty of wit and ingenuity in the clueing. ‘It’ and ‘We’ as definitions were cleverly hidden and I also liked the &litish ones. BUMPER-TO-BUMPER is very good, now that you’ve explained it for me.

  4. Stella Heath says:

    Many thanks UY and Philistine.

    Great fun, though I missed the two short definitions, so for me there were five &lits in one puzzle – it’s unusual to find one!

    Brilliant!

  5. Eileen says:

    Thanks, UY, for the blog.

    Sheer delight!

    Superb cluing throughout and lots of aha moments. All totally fair and completely satisfying – just what we need at this time of year, when there’s so much else to do, but I agree with molonglo that I didn’t want to finish it!

    Once again, it’s invidious to single out clues – they were all good – but 15dn is superb and 12ac a very clever anagram.

    Very many thanks, Philistine – come back soon!

  6. Rob Harries says:

    3. EYESTRAIN, surely?
    Enjoyed this one immensely on the No. 26 to work this morning!

  7. Gervase says:

    Thanks, UY.

    Fantastic fun. Like NeilW, I spent a while trying to do something with ‘Bing’ in 5d until old Irving hove into view.

    There are a lot of excellent clues here. Loved the &littish 10a, 2,23, 3d; 17a and 15d with their tiny but perfectly formed defs; great anagrams at 12a and 27a.

    More please, Philistine!

  8. tupu says:

    Thanks UY and Philistine

    As others, I really enjoyed this all too 22a. Ticked lots of clues with a list more or less identical to Gervase’s. A real work of art presented with a lovely light touch.

    13a brought back youthful memories of heaven-sent young au-pairs and other girls from Europe at the language schools in an almost all male early 1960s Cambridge. A common ‘libellous’ myth, had them telling some future Cameron or Osborne boy-friend how much they had enjoyed shooting the 13a on their estate. My friends and I had no such country seats, but many of us are still married to our French, Norwegian, Swedish, or (in my case) Finnish wife some 40-odd years on.

  9. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    Although this was a little too straightforward for my taste it did contain a good ration of interesting clues. These have been mentioned above so I will not repeat them.
    My favourite was 15d and I also fell into the ‘Bing’ trap.
    I agree with molonglo, I would have liked it to last a bit longer.

  10. crypticsue says:

    My enjoyment of this one was spoiled by the fact that the print version option doesn’t work and so I ended up with a squished 3″ x 3.5″ version of the grid with missing gridlines which made it particularly difficult to work out which letters went where. I will agree that there were some very good clues in there once I got it all sorted. Thanks to Philistine and UY too.

  11. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks Philistine and Uncle Yap. Had the same printing issue as crypticsue. Also tried to make Bing work somehow in 5d. Didn’t we have the retina yes anagram recently or am I misremembering as usual? Enjoyed this puzzle very much.

    Cheers…

  12. Norman L in France says:

    Rather a good crossword although I wasn’t as over the moon about it as some posting here or elsewhere.
    tupu@8
    As a frequent reader and infrequent contributor, I thought I’d detected a Finnish input for your nom de keyboard:-)

  13. Paul B says:

    We did, although not as an (attempted) &lit.

  14. chas says:

    Thanks to UY for the blog. I needed you to explain 1a and 1d.

    On 5d I thought of Bing then decided that ‘dreamer’ in the clue meant the writer of the song. I could not remember and Gershwin refused to go into a 6-letter space! Eventually I worked it out.

  15. Mitz says:

    Just wanted to add my thanks to Philistine and Uncle Yap. Lovely stuff, lots of smiles.

  16. tupu says:

    Hi Norman L in France

    You are of course quite right. In Finland, Donald Duck’s three nephews (our Huey, Louie, and Dewey) are Hupu, Lupu and Tupu.

  17. Gervase says:

    tupu & Norman L: Unless of course you are finlandssvensk (a Swedish speaker from the west of Finland), in which case they might be more familiar as Kalle, Palle and Valle….

  18. FranTom Menace says:

    Well we thoroughly enjoyed solving this crossword. Pretty much every clue was cleverly thought out, and a pleasure to get! I really don’t mind solving a crossword in two passes if it’s this good!

    We don’t have a favourite clue, they were all so good.

    Many thanks UY and Philistine.

  19. Median says:

    crypticsue @10 and grandpuzzler @11, if you ever have problems making the ‘Print version’ do what it says on the tin, it’s worth trying the ‘PDF version’. I always go for the PDF when I need to print the cryptic from the web and it’s usually fine.

  20. Davy says:

    Thanks UY,

    What a marvellous puzzle from Philistine which I didn’t find as easy as some but I do seem to be getting dimmer by the day. My ability shines out like a one watt bulb. I was delayed by many false anagrams and some quite devious wordplay but got there in the end. The only clue I failed to parse correctly was HUMANS which I saw as HUM(murmur) + AN(a) + S(short). I wondered where ‘reply’ came in and amazingly failed to see ‘ans’. My COD is definitely 27a which is a brilliant construction. Thanks Philistine.

    PS Nice story tupu.

  21. Davy says:

    crypticsue at 10.

    Yes, the Print Version was annoyingly not working today so I did use the PDF version but I do prefer the Print Version as it has a bigger grid and doesn’t have yesterday’s answers.

    How you managed to complete that strange grid I’ll never know but well done anyway.

  22. Huw Powell says:

    Crypticsue @ 10 and also Median and Davy, another approach is to use the “print screen” button and then paste into an image program, crop the excess and print. If only part of the puzzle shows on your screen, do it in two goes.

    While the pdf is a good option, I don’t like them because I often do these out of order and the pdf contains the solution to the day before’s puzzle, as Davy points out. (When an Aurabetical or something similar turns up I take my reading glasses off and with the puzzle upside down take a sharpie to the solution until it’s a blurry black blob!)

    25503 and 25504’s bizarre printing glitch was strange indeed – I looked at the html source and even though all I saw on my screen was the normal print version, the html contained all the comment etc. that used 13 sheets of paper (only on one side, though). Anyway, from my first glance, 25505 appears to be working properly.

    On to the puzzle! Agreeing with everyone else, this was a real delight, with many wonderful clues. Apart from verifying 12a, I was even able to finish it unaided. I especially liked the “compressed” &lit/anagrams at 10a and 3d. The exhortation that a clue contain “…and nothing more” says nothing about “…and nothing less”!

    Thanks for the blog, UY, and extra thanks for the fun, Philistine!

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