Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,522 – Chifonie

Posted by Uncle Yap on January 3rd, 2012

Uncle Yap.

This is a quick and simple stroll through the park. Very straightforward and easy.

ACROSS
1 SUPERB Ins of UP (riding) in SERB (European)
4 MAGNETIC Ins of NET (trap)in MAGIC
9 OVOID O (no) VOID (space)
10 FULMINATE FULL (satisfied) minus L + MIN (minister, clergyman) ATE (consumed)
11 PORCELAIN *(COP IN REAL)
12 EXIST Ins of S (first letter of salmon) in EXIT (outflow)
13 OLD-FASHIONED A tichy attempt (which didn’t quite pulled off) to imitate the GEGS device for SCRAMBLED EGGS. Now that someone has pointed out that the solution is indeed a cocktail made from whisky, bitter, water and sugar, I will drink to that and label this my COD. One lives and learns.
17 HEART DISEASE HEAR (listen to) + ins of DIS (Pluto, the underworld lord) in TEASE (torment)
20 BROOD B (bishop) ROOD (cross)
21 ENIGMATIC *(GIANT MICE)
23 COLLEAGUE COL (depression) LEAGUE (class)
24 COATI COAT (fur) I (one)
25 SPECTATE Ins of ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) in SPATE (flood)
26 RATING dd

DOWN
1 SCORPION Ins of PI (relation, a symbol for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to the diameter, approx 3.14159) + O (Oscar) in SCORN (contempt)
2 PROTRUDE Ins of ROT (perish) in PRUDE (Puritan)
3 RIDGE Ins of G (German) in RIDE (spin) Arete is a sharp ridge; esp in French Switzerland, a rocky edge on a mountain
5 ALL IN GOOD TIME ALL IN (exhausted) GOOD TIME (pleasure-seeking)
6 NOISELESS *(LIONESSES)
7 TRAGIC Ins of GI (soldier) in TRAC (rev of CART, wagon)
8 CREATE Ins of A (American) in CRETE (island)
10 FEATHERWEIGHT Cha of FEAT (exploit) HER (woman) W (with) EIGHT (crew)
14 AMENDMENT *(MAN MET END)
15 PASTRAMI PAST (accomplished) RAM (meat producer) I (institute) for a smoked, highly seasoned (esp shoulder) cut of beef.
16 FETCHING F (fine) ETCHING (art)
18 ABACUS Ins of AC (account, bill) in A BUS (coach)
19 COLLIE COLLIER (miner) minus R
22 MOCHA MO (moment, short time) CHA (tea)

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

45 Responses to “Guardian 25,522 – Chifonie”

  1. NeilW says:

    Thanks, UY. Happy New Year!

    I thought this distinctly trickier than the Chifonie of 2011 – yes, some very easy stuff but one or two that I had to look twice at. Unlike you, I liked 13. :)

  2. Andrew says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap, and Happy New Year. I agree with NeilW that this was a bit harder than usual for Chifonie. I was particularly struck by the large number of insertion-type clues, in contrast to his usual penchant for charades (though there are still a few of those – I liked 10dn, even though “rowing crew” = EIGHT gave it away easily). Generally a nice diversion for my first day back at work after a week and a half off…

  3. duncanshiell says:

    I thinl 13a is fine, given that an OLD-FASHIONED is a [North American] cocktail made from whisky, bitters, water and sugar.

  4. cholecyst says:

    Thanks, UY. Not sure that RAM = meat producer (15dn) really works. As far as I know ram meat is virtually inedible. Though I suppose rams are necessary to produce mutton and lamb.

  5. tupu says:

    Thanks UY and Chifonie

    Quite tricky in places and enjoyable overall. Some good surfaces and nicely stretched definitions e.g league for class.

    Cocktails are unfortunately not part of my repertoire and I had to scramble about a bit to get 13a though it was clear that it was old something or other – I really should have got it from the crossing letters!

    21a took time (I had thought it would end in ‘ing’) and my favourite clue was 10d and I also liked 17a.

  6. andy smith says:

    Thanks UY for the helpful blog. In my book an ovoid (9ac) is not a “regular shape” – it is a smooth egg-shaped solid, and also blinked at “g” for German (3d) or “w’ for ‘with’ (10d), but otherwise entertaining. I found the SE corner quite hard going.

  7. sidey says:

    it is a smooth egg-shaped solid, which exhibits rotational symmetry about the long axis. Pretty much a regular shape to me.

  8. Gervase says:

    Thanks, UY and Happy New Year to all.

    I found this one straightforward but pleasing, with some good clues and surfaces.

    13a is a perfectly good (and rather clever) clue, although it took me a while to recall the cocktail OLD-FASHIONED. I liked the misdirection of ‘in China’ in 11a, which suggested the answer might be the name of a city, clued in a way which irritates some. But it wasn’t, which raised a smile.

  9. andy smith says:

    Sidey – re “regular” – check out Chambers:


    5 said of a geometric figure: having all the faces, sides, angles, etc the same.

    There are no other applicable definitions of ‘regular” as far as I can see.

  10. Allan_C says:

    Merriam-Webster gives one meaning of ‘regular’ as “formed, built, arranged, or ordered according to some established rule, law, principle, or type”. An ovoid can be described in terms of a mathematical equation, which is surely an established rule, law or principle.

  11. andy smith says:

    @Allan_c – a “regular shape” has a precise geometrical meaning, as reflected by Chambers, which is the reference for Guardian crosswords. The answer was however clear enough, and I have no no wish to get into a fight over it. It should have been clued accurately though, IMO; “Doubly empty egg, perhaps (5)’ or something.

  12. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    I’m with sidey (9ac).But then I am not a member of the EPDG.

  13. tupu says:

    For what it’s worth Collins simply defines ovoid as egg-shaped and does not specify a solid.

    OED lists as follows:
    Resembling an egg; (of a solid) egg-shaped; (of a plane figure) oval with one end more pointed than the other.

    Either way it is a regular shape as Sidey accurately specifies.

  14. Andrew says:

    There’s a small coincidence involving a solution, and its position, in this puzzle and in today’s FT.

  15. chas says:

    Thanks to UY for the blog.

    I also took 11a to indicate the name of a Chinese city – until I started shuffling the letters around :)

    Unlike tupu, when I first looked at 21a I assumed it ended in IC. Sometimes we make the right guess first and other times we have to spend longer on it to get the answer.

  16. MikeC says:

    Thanks UY and Raich. Enjoyable.

    The controversy re OVOID is interesting. The strict mathematical definition, referred to above, is applied to polygons (straight-sided plane figures) and polyhedra (plane-faced solids). Technically it would exclude both the circle and the sphere, despite the fact that these are as symmetrical and even as they could possibly be. This suggests to me that it is sensible to extend the definition in some way when dealing with curved figures (steady on, Paul et al!). An example of “thinking outside the cuboid”? (Sorry).

    One suggestion might be that “regular” equals “without irregularities”. OVOID would then be fine (but so would lots of other figures).

    Not sure if this helps or not. Time for me to get back in my box.

  17. Fayol says:

    I am turning for the first serious time to try to teach myself to do Guardian cryptics, aged well past 50! It is of course useful to find you all via Google, and immensely helpful to have the benefit of all your expertise and experience – thank you. The site is clearly not for the (immediate) pleasure of beginners even if it is for their illumination. But Uncle Yap, I cannot tell you how dispiriting three days into my project and after a good deal of success yesterday, your “This is a quick and simple stroll through the park. Very straightforward and easy” was today! It was not quick, simple, straightforward or easy to this struggling learner solver. Thus it was, in turn, a relief – even encouraging – to read that some of it at least was tricky for some of you. The trouble was most of it was tricky to me! …..And actually so many inserts seemed really tedious once I had been shown them.

  18. Phaedrus says:

    Flew through this, right up to the final three (15, 16 and 26), upon which I got stuck for *ages*!! Frustrating, but that made it all the more pleasurable when the pennies dropped.

    Fayol – hang in there! What is simple for Uncle Yap is harder for the rest of us mere mortals – and these crosswords get easier with practice. Main thing is to have fun!

  19. amulk says:

    I did not really want to take sides in the “regular” controversy, but what I really want to know is what is the EPDG? By the way, I am with Andy Smith on this one. And also, @MikeC (16), the defintion “regular = without irregularities”, is basically a tautology and not a whole lot use.

  20. Plotinus says:

    10 ac: You can denounce someone, but you can’t fulminate them, can you? That is, one is a transitive, the other an intransitive, verb, surely?

  21. RCWhiting says:

    amulk
    Extremely precise definitions group.
    A seditious group who wish to transform all cryptic crosswords into non-cryptic crosswords. They must be resisted.
    ie include ‘egg’and what is already a very straightforward clue becomes utterly non-cryptic and a rapid write-in.

  22. morpheus says:

    Fayol – as Phaedrus says stick with it. I remember my first attempt at solving the Guardian crossword on a holiday to Morocco a long time ago. It took me and the friend I was travelling with the whole week to get anywhere with it! I’d compare it to learning a foreign language – with the same challenges of grammar and vocabulary. You would’t expect to master French overnight but it’s no surprise to find some people are fluent speakers. Good luck.

  23. Derek Lazenby says:

    It’s always this setter that does it and it’s happened again! And that despite explaining it in detail to the editor. Only a complete moron, which includes the writer of the dictionary entry, would ever call pi a relationship. Please see the archives, cos I really can’t be arsed to explain it again.

  24. amulk says:

    RCWhiting 21 – thank you. Yes I see your point.

  25. chas says:

    To Fayol: I would add that solving crosswords is a skill that needs to be practised in order to achieve a competent performance. You will find that people posting on this website are usually happy to give a helping hand to somebody who is struggling.

    I also mention something I have seen occasionally: the person posting the ‘solution’ sometimes says “I cannot see why the answer should be xxx – please help”. Then two or three visitors to the site give their explanations.

  26. RCWhiting says:

    Sorry, Derek, who exactly was the ‘moron’ who explained pi to the editor?

  27. MikeC says:

    Apologies, Chifonie, for muddling you up with Raich (today’s Indy setter) in my thanks.

    Amulk@19: I understand the logical point you make. What is your view on the substantive question of how to apply “regular” to non-rectilinear shapes?

  28. PeeDee says:

    Thanks UY.

    Derek @23,

    I doubt if you a still reading this, but what is wrong with PI for relationship (of diameter to circumference)?

    Sure there are many other ways to define pi, but this is a very well known representation familiar to anyone who did maths at secondary school.

    Perhaps you could give a link to the ‘archives’ you mean?

    (or perhaps you are just an angry person who likes calling people morons?)

  29. Uncle Yap says:

    PeeDee, you are supported by no less an authority than Chambers
    pi
    a symbol for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to the diameter, approx 3.14159

    ratio (Chambers Thesaurus)
    n
    proportion, percentage, fraction, index, relation, relationship, correspondence, correlation, symmetry, balance

  30. Derek Lazenby says:

    Uncle Yap, you are not reading what I said properly. He is not supported by Chambers as that is one of their many errors.

    PeeDee, briefly, a number is a number, a relationship is a relationship, an expression is an expression, they are entierly different and exclusive concepts. Yes they may be used together in the same sentence but that does not make them equivalent. For example, “a boat has masts” does not make boat and masts synonymous.

    So, a relationship is a property combining two or more expressions, for example an equation, an inequality etc.

    An expression is some combination of mathematical quantities, such as a ratio. A ratio is not therefore relationship, it is an expression. It may be used as part of a relationship, but it is not itself a relationship. Chambers is wrong.

    A number is the most trivial form of expression. A number may be used in a relationship because an expression may be so used, but that does not make it a relationship.

    If you make an exception to that for any number, you would have to be consistent and say the same of all numbers. The statements “all numbers are relationships” and “all relationships are numbers” are clearly false. So, pi is just another number, a very useful number, but, at the end of they, just another number, no exceptions.

    There are longer versions of this in the archive.

  31. RCWhiting says:

    I bet there are, but it doesn’t add anything to your misguided opinion.
    Question: Is there a relationship between the circumfrence and diameter of a a circle?
    Answer: Yes.
    Question: What is it?
    Answer: pi. (the words ‘multiply by’ which you would insist on are not essential in everyday usage).
    (Of course pi is a number, that doesn’t prevent it acting as a relatio(ship).

  32. Derek Lazenby says:

    RCW you were not reading what I said. For pi to act as a relationship it would have to act as “equals” or “not equals” or “less than” etc etc. It clearly cannot do that.

    Expression is defined recursively, so the whole thing, c/d=pi may be called an expression, but not a relationship. = is the relationship. “Relationship” is not the name of the whole thing, that is “an expression”. If you want to call pi an expression then fine, as I said, a number is just a trivial expression.

    But calling an expression a relationship, or visa verca, is at worst totally wrong (“=” is not an expresion), or at best totally sloppy. It is sloppy because it is confusing “that which is used to define” with “that which is being defined”.

    The answer to you second question is not “pi”. As you use the word multiply in your first question, I presume you were thinking of the form of the equation which looks like c = pi.d. pi is the answer to the question “by what do you have to multiply d by to obtain c”. You are asking a misleading question (like the ones in those apparent paradoxes that some books are so fond of). If you want to ask a question which genuinely includes the concept “rellationship” then you should ask “is there a relationship between c and pi.d” to which the answer is “yes, it is =”.

    But if you insist on having it your way, then you accept that “all relationships are numbers”?

  33. RCWhiting says:

    I fully understand every word you say and agree that in a suitable context they are correct and valid. In the context of a cryptic crossword produced for the entertainment of the general public they are over-pedantic, over-prescriptive and show an over-obsessive nature.
    Put simply, cool down.

  34. Derek Lazenby says:

    Wrong request. I enjoy arguing. It gives me something to do when I’m enforced resting between bouts of restricted movement, which can get seriously boring if you’re not careful.

  35. RCWhiting says:

    Me too. I hope I have helped to slightly relieve the boredom.
    Good luck with the mobility.

  36. Gerry says:

    I’d completed all but 13ac, when it came to me as I exited a supermarket today…and I remembered the ‘eggs’ thing then, too. Very clever…the clue, not me.

  37. PeeDee says:

    Hi Derek, sounds like you need to let off some steam

    I am aware of all the differences between nunmbers and relationships between them. Two points:

    1)defining a number with a relationship is as good a way to define it as any other

    2)since relationship=ratio=number is in common useage in English then it matters not a jot what technical definitions one quotes, its a valid usage for a cryptic crossword regardless

  38. morpheus says:

    It’s all the fault of Dr Roget really… ;)

  39. Huw Powell says:

    Interesting puzzle – along the way I noticed what struck me as a bit of a mini-theme – the numerous three letter acronyms in clues and solutions. While mostly a fairly steady and smooth solve, I, like Phaedrus @18 got stuck on 15, 16, and 26. Onelook got FETCHING for me, I never would have guessed F for “fair”, but I am sure it’s legal. Also the RAM as a meat producer would never have occurred to me.

    Now on to the controversies!

    I know my way around the math and science stuff, and fully expect terms of art in those fields to be used in their broader senses here in puzzleland. It’s only fair. I did not bat an eye at “relationship” = PI. The word is not being used in a strict mathematical sense – this isn’t a math class or physics lab. And once OVOID dropped, again, I didn’t care about the word “regular”, except that is could be considered redundant. In lay terms (did you see what I did there?), an ovoid is “regular” due to its symmetry.

    And no one barked about MAGNETIC, which can be equally replulsive…

    Anyway, thanks for the blog, Uncle Yap, the puzzle, Chifonie, and the rest of you for the entertainment and enlightenment!

  40. Derek Lazenby says:

    PeeDee, no I don’t need to let off steam, as I said in my previous post, I just like arguing for the fun of it. It passes the time more entertainingly.

    Interestingly, I tried this subject out on a collection of arts and humanities graduates that I have known for decades. Despite their lack of technical knowledge, they were uniformly appalled at the idea that anyone could use relationship/number/ratio as synonyms. So presumably the confusion lies within the uneducated masses.

    (Anyone daft enough not to see that last sentence as a wind up?)

  41. madman says:

    A circle is a polygon with an infinite number of sides; an ovoid is a solid with an infinite number of faces.

  42. James says:

    What has “past” to do with “accomplished” ?

  43. Kayoz says:

    I love this site. I visit it every day after finishing the crossword (mostly). I’m from Queensland, Australia. Our local paper has the Guardian crossword but we are about a month behind the English version. This one came out today in The Courier Mail. I must say I loved it. It may be easy to some, but I thought it was perfect for me. I got a few chuckles – 13ac for one. Are then any others visiting this site a month late? Maybe we could also discuss?

  44. Kayoz says:

    *then there

    “The Courier Mail”‘s numbering of the crosswords is different, and they are not published in the same order. After reading this forum, I think that is better in a way because I don’t know who the setter is until I get to the page – yeehah!

    The excellent search engine here makes it easy to find the correct crossword – just put in one of the more unusual answers (do not use the clue as they are not always included)and there you are. Guardian crossword by …. around a month ago.

  45. rmcbrisbane says:

    Kayoz,
    I do the same as you, wait til it is published in the C-M, and know I can check the bits I miss on this site. They are in the same order, you just need to recognise that the Saturday’s Guardian shows up here a week later as it is a prize crossword.

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