Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,513 – Orlando

Posted by Andrew on December 23rd, 2011


A reasonably straightforward puzzle from Orlando (perhaps to soften us up for Araucaria’s Christmas special tomorrow), but with all his usual sound elegance and understated wit. Thanks, Orlando, and Merry Christmas to all setters, bloggers and readers.

1. BOOBOO BOO (a word said to shock someone), twice
5. AIRBRUSH [painte]R in AIRBUS plus H (first letter of HE)
9. AL PACINO ALPAC[a] + IN (home) + O[ld]
10. LEGACY E.G. in CLAY*, and a legacy is “what’s left”
13. TAXI TAX (make heavy demands on) + I[sland]
14. FLEAWORT F + A in reverse of TROWEL. I hadn’t heard of this plant, but it’s a plausible name and the wordplay is clear.
18. OATH Hidden in set-tO AT Home
20. PITCHFORKING PITCH (persuasive speech) FOR KING
23. LIONEL I (first person, grammatically) in LONE + L[abour]. Not Tony, as the surface suggests, but Lionel Blair. (No sniggering at the back, ISIHAC listeners!)
25. AGONISES (SAIGON [w]ES[t]), with the definition “is very worried”
26. HANDLE Homophone of the composer Handel (or at least the anglicised version of his name, the orignal being Händel)
2. ONLY O (over – as in cricket, I assume) + L in NY
3. BRAMBLING B[ritish] + RAMBLING (non-resident] – this bird was another gap in my nature study knowledge.
4. OSIRIS [l]OS[t] + IRIS (Greek goddess), for the Egyptian god of the afterlife.
5. A BOWL OF CHERRIES (CHAIRS BEFORE LOW)*. More ignorance: I never that the saying “Life is just a bowl of cherries” is a 1930s song title
7. RIGHT Double definition
8. SECOND RATE (ACTOR NEEDS)* – nicely misleading: “poor” is the definition and “play” the anagram indicator.
12. NAIL-BITING Double definition – though only just, as the “causing tension” sense is clearly a metaphorical reference to the bad habiot.
15. WOOD GREEN Reverse of E’ER in (GO DOWN)*. The slang “pants”, meaning bad, and used here to indicate an anagram, has baffled some people here before, but I think it’s reasonably common nowadays.
19. RIYADH I[nvestment] in HARDY
21. CANON Double definition, referring to the famous Pachelbel’s Canon, and a kind of priest.
22. BAWL First letters of Black And White Lamb

20 Responses to “Guardian 25,513 – Orlando”

  1. NeilW says:

    Thanks, Andrew.

    Merry Christmas to you too. You were obviously getting tired towards the end and left the “novel” bit out of your parsing at 19 – easy for me to say at a quarter to nine in the morning here! :)

  2. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks Orlando and Andrew. Agree with your assessment of Orlando’s puzzles. Merry Christmas to all.


  3. Uncle Yap says:

    Thank you Andrew, the fastest gun in the West. Thank you Orlando for an amusing half-hour. Lots of fun today and Wood Green was my favourite as it reminded me of my student holidays spent working as a boardman in various betting outfits, Talk of The Town (yes, Uncle Yap is an extinct creature from the 70’s) and several other places from a base in Wood Green in North London.

    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to my fellow-bloggers and fellow-cruciverbalists.

  4. Blaise says:

    I think I preferred the variant that the Small Faces sang on the Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake LP:

    “Life is just a bowl of All-Bran
    You wake up every morning and it’s there.”

  5. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, Andrew.

    As you say, a nice gentle warm-up – but I had to get up to check the spelling of RIYADH, which always foxes me.

    Many thanks to Orlando – and a very Happy Christmas to everyone associated, in whatever way, with the best crossword site there is.

  6. apple granny says:

    We also enjoyed this Orlando, but took a few minutes to get properly started – and it wasn’t a “morning after” problem, though we have had a few of those lately! My other half knew how to spell “Riyadh”. Neither of us knew the bowl of cherries song, but the anagram was enough. We loved 20 (pitchforking) and felt pleased when we worked out 11 (brilliantine) Now we are gearing up for tomorrow!Happy Christmas!

  7. tupu says:

    Thanks Andrew and Orlando

    A typically pleasant and amusing puzzle.

    I ticked 5a, 10a, 24a, 12d, and 19d.

    Got caught out by 2d and entered Oslo without a clear idea why – I should have known better with this immaculate setter.

  8. Eileen says:

    Hi tupu

    Snap! I think in my case it went something like O SO = just over [round] L[ine].

    [I’m glad I’m in such good company – but yes, we shoould know better: ‘Sic notus Ulixes?’ ;-)]

  9. Eileen says:

    I think I need a comma after ‘just’!

  10. tupu says:

    Many thanks Eileen

    Yes that was one of my vague ideas and the OS contributed too to my muddle when I remembered that Oslo itself was not very big! :) I didn’t remember the quotation but wonder if, like Ulysses, I too could do with a ‘sic notus’ from the doctor in the mad rush up to Xmas, enjoyable though it will all no doubt be! Incidentally, and almost unbelievably, ‘sick note’ was one of Google’s offerings when I looked it up.

  11. Thomas99 says:

    That was exactly my parsing. It now seems pretty questionable but I don’t think I had any doubts at the time.

  12. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the chuckle, tupu. 😉

  13. NeilW says:

    Hi Eileen, tupu and Thomas99 – me too, until I had a re-think. I had in mind, “Oh so close but yet so far!”

    I’ve been wracking my brains over why A BOWL OF CHERRIES was so familiar to me that it went straight in – never heard of the song but I seem to have it firmly in my mind, although in the negative: “His life was certainly no bowl of cherries!”

  14. Bertandjoyce says:

    Glad to hear that we were in good company. Thought of OS for big or SO for just and put OSLO in without really thinking it through! It was towards the end of our solve …… at least that is our excuse!
    Thanks Andrew and Orlando.

  15. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, Orlando and Andrew.

    I found this quite tough, but then when I’d finished it couldn’t quite understand why. I was another OSLO error-maker. I thought BRAMBLING was good, and particularly liked PITCHFORKING.

  16. F.Durst says:

    The Undertones had a greatest hits album in the 90s called “Cher o’ Bowlies”, the calling to mind of which helped me in a lateral way with 5d.
    The Undertones weren’t on hand when I fell, like so many others for the Oslo Syndrome. Not even original in my error. Boo. BOOO!!

  17. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    In spite of “reasonably straightforward”, “half-hour” and “gentle warm up” I found this the toughest puzzle this week.
    Like Eileen et al I went for Oslo although it was last in and I wasn’t really convinced. The NW corner had been a struggle since I was reading 9ac as ‘el……..’ and an astronomical star!
    5d was very familiar, it is one of those standards which just about every singer seems to have a go at.
    I liked 24ac since it enabled me to use my vast knowlege of Greek mythology for the second time this week.
    It always annoys me when Paxman sniffs at any quesion on contemporary culture but never demurs at the frequent references to not just mythological religions (all of them) but ones which no living person still believes in.

  18. RCWhiting says:

    Sorry, I was short of time when I typed @17.

  19. MikeC says:

    Thanks Andrew and Orlando. This was enjoyable, though I found the NW corner hard, like others. 17 was one of my favourites – I spent some time trying to fit something into “slo mo”, until I got the crossing final H. Perhaps Lilian Gish should crop up more in Xwordland?

  20. Brendan (not that one) says:

    I too found this the most difficult puzzle of the week!

    Many clues just wouldn’t “come”.

    “Different strokes ……” I suppose.

    Anyway more like 2 hours for me to complete.

    At least I seem to be one of the few not to enter OSLO 😉

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

eight × = 24