Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,540 – Pasquale

Posted by Uncle Yap on January 24th, 2012

Uncle Yap.

Enter The Dragon. To those who are not aware, yesterday marked the first day of the Lunar New Year and ushered in the year of the dragon.

Perhaps due to the revelry and the wassailing, I found the puzzle a bit of a struggle, not helped by a few new words. But, as usual with The Don, every clue scrupulously fair and very entertaining. Gong Xi Fa Cai.

ACROSS
1 BENEFIT BEN (mountain peak or eminence in Scotland) E-FIT E-fit is a trademark for a form of identikit, the image being composed on screen and adjustable by fine degrees.
5 CHINWAG Cha of CH (Companion of Honour) IN (trendy) WAG (type trying to be funny)
9 MAGMA Ins of G (good) in MAMA (mum) for a pasty or doughy mass of organic or mineral material; molten or pasty rock material; a glassy base of a rock.
10 MARCASITE Sounds like MARK A SITE (indicate a place) for a sulphide of iron in orthorhombic crystals (in the gem trade it can be pyrite, polished steel, etc).
11 SEYCHELLES Sounds like SAY (exempli gratia, for example) SHELLS (seaside objects) for the island country spanning an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, some 1,500 kilometres east of mainland Africa, northeast of the island of Madagascar.
12 DEAN Ins of A in DEN (study)
14 REPLICATION *(CIA INTERPOL) What a lovely annie clue
18 HIPPOCRATES A tichy way of presenting this famous Greek physician as containers (CRATES) for hippopotamuses (zoo stock) Hippocrates of Cos or Hippokrates of Kos (460 BC – ca. 370 BC) was an ancient Greek physician of the Age of Pericles (Classical Athens), and is considered one of the most outstanding figures in the history of medicine. To today, new physicians still swear the oath introduced by him and binding them to observe the code of medical ethics. My COD for raising a smile from me
21 REAL REALM (field) minus M
22 IDEALISTIC Ins of DEAL (bargain) & IS in I (one) TIC (twitching)
25 OVERTAXED OVERT (obvious) AXED (cut) Yes, I agree with the sentiment that all governments keep too much of your hard-earned money
26 I-BEAM Quite self-explanatory
27 TITCHES T (first letter of term) ITCHES (is desperate) for a very small person, often the butt of jokes or victim of bullying
28 REGIMEN Ins of GI (American soldier) in RE (Royal Engineers, lots of soldiers) MEN (another lot of soldiers). Add another T and you get another lot of soldiers. Soldiers soldiers everywhere :-)

DOWN
1 BEMUSE Ins of MUS (rev of SUM, tot) in BEE (spelling competition in which my granddaughter won in 2011 in Jakarta for Grade 1 … Uncle Yap is a proud grandfather :-)
2 NAGOYA Ins of GO (travel) in NAY (no) A (adult) for a city on Honshu
3 FEATHER BOA *(BEFORE A HAT)
4 TAMIL Ins of M (male) in TAIL (dog) for the rebel “freedom fighters” in Sri Lanka, since vanquished
5 CAREERIST CARE (worry) plus ins of I (one) in ERST (at first) Def is “one wanting to get on” with the “one” doing double duty. Probably the most difficult clue today which I would not have been able to parse without a nudge from NeilW.
6 IMAM Ins of M (maiden) in I AM (one hour after midnight)
7 WHITE LIE Ins of HIT (successful) ELI (priest) in WE
8 GREENING cd
13 WASSAILING WAS SAILING (travelled as a ship) WASSAILING is singing carols from house to house at Christmas. Probably an allusion to the old carol “I saw three ships” which is thought to be a reference to the three magi who came from afar to Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus Christ. I prefer the other WASSAILING which involves helping the Scottish balance of trade. Cheers!
15  PARADOXES Ins of O (nothing) X (symbol for a wrong answer in the exam script) in PARADES (displays)
16 SHARE-OUT *(AUTHORS bookstorE)
17 APPARENT Ins of P (piano, quiet) in A PARENT (relation)
19 STREAM *(MASTER)
20 ACUMEN Ins of CU (copper) in AMEN (last word)
23 ALDER An alderman is a civil dignitary and MAN is an island
24 UTAH bUsT cAsH (alternate letters of fodder)

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

58 Responses to “Guardian 25,540 – Pasquale”

  1. NeilW says:

    Thanks, UY. Happy CNY!

    Personally, I thought 8 was a dd – Apple for one def and the rest for the other. Chambers: “GREENING 4. A kind of apple green when ripe.”

  2. molonglo says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap. The only difficulty I had here was the parsing of 5d, so thanks to you, and NeilW (though I don’t see his nudge). Still there were some pleasing clues, as you note. Re 18a we had “Animal boxes that many swear by” six months ago (puzzle 25,379) but this was funnier.

  3. Twiddlepin says:

    In this part of China we say x?n nián kuài lè!

  4. NeilW says:

    molonglo, UY and I had a little email chat before he published the blog. ;)

  5. Miche says:

    Thanks, Uncle Yap. I found this one a little knotty, but as you say, scrupulously fair. I couldn’t parse 28, so thanks for explaining it.

    I don’t think “one” is doing double duty in 5d: if you take CAREERIST as an adjective rather than a noun, then “wanting to get on” serves as the definition.

  6. NeilW says:

    Hi Miche. Fair comment – I can’t say I’d come across CAREERIST used in that way but I see Chambers does say it can also be an adjective.

  7. MarionH says:

    Thanks a lot UY; I had one of those mornings where I could see what a lot of the answers had to be but couldn’t parse the clues, so your blog was particularly welcome today.

  8. Dave Ellison says:

    Thanks, UY, for the explanation of CAREERIST.

    I finished this Pasquale (rare for me) in a relatively short time, so I though it was easier than usual.

    I have my doubts about 18a – it wasn’t tichy enough to be stand alone, without a proper definition. The “containers” I took to be CRATES and HIPPO (= Gk for river, and river is sometimes clued as a container).

    UY, might you receive some flack for using a solution in your preamble?

  9. Dave Ellison says:

    Sorry withdraw my HIPPO comment – that would have been POTAMUS, if my brain were working

  10. NeilW says:

    Dave @8 – UY is safe! Only the first line of his preamble appears in the preview page. :)

  11. dunsscotus says:

    Thanks Pasquale and UY: needed help with the little green apples! Still don’t get 28. An insertion, if any, would presumably be GI in REME?? I thought it might be RE = one lot of soldiers, REGIMEN(t)= another wanting, GI = soldier in and the definition is about governments. But what work is ‘old’ doing? I’m still a bit confused.

    On a blogging matter, what does ‘tichy’ mean in this context. Thanks in anticipation.

  12. Dave Ellison says:

    tichy = tongue in cheek, dunsscotus. UY gives definitions beneath his commentary

  13. dunsscotus says:

    Thanks Dave @12. I should have thought of reading the glossary! Apologies also for a missing question mark after ‘context’.

  14. tupu says:

    Thanks UY and Pasquale

    An interesting and enjoyable puzzle, well clued as usual. Quite a few ‘sounds like’ snd/or ‘might be read as’ clues. I had to check greening as an apple variety just to make sure, but the answer was clear enough.

    I was rather slow to see anagram indicators this morning for some reason, probably a tribute to the quality of P’s surfaces (e.g. in 16d) and the unlikely character of some of the anagrams themselves.

    Ticked 18a, 25a, 27a, 3d, 15d.

  15. scammellier says:

    Well I thought 5d was “care” with “re” and “1st” for about and first.

    Wrong, but it works!!

  16. NeilW says:

    Hi scammellier – how do you turn RE round though? It would only work if the clue read “about about” or something like that. :) I started out trying to parse it along those lines, having seen IST at the end and then even thought for a second that it was an uncharacteristic slip from the Don and he thought that he was producing an anagram of first after CARE! (Sorry for such a ridiculous thought, Pasquale!)

  17. Robi says:

    Thanks UY and Pasquale.

    Bit of a curate’s egg; some, like APPARENT, seemed obvious, others e.g. CAREERIST, were not. Like tupu, I took a long time to recognise some of the anagrams e.g. STREAM and SHARE-OUT. I thought of REALty for field in 21, although REALm is obviously better.

  18. NeilW says:

    dunsscotus @11, I don’t see the problem with UY’s parsing. The clue is a little tortuous, in that it instructs you to insert a soldier GI in two other lots of soldiers – RE (Royal Engineers) and MEN, with the def “old system of government.” The only question in my mind was whether “old” was not redundant – Chambers doesn’t list the definition of REGIMEN as “archaic.”

  19. scammellier says:

    Ah yes, NeilW. I did have a bit of a problem with turning re round, but I am notoriously slapdash, so I let it go!! Just happy that it fitted, and seemed to make sense.

  20. NeilW says:

    …or *was redundant* – you know what I mean! :)

  21. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    Not a prolonged entertainment but quite enjoyable.
    Last in, ‘greening’, which I took to be ‘apple’ as a colour, not having looked in Chambers.
    I liked 25 and 13.
    Does 23d break some rule regarding the position of the definition?
    Is it time for Eli, the priest to retire; surely he must have served whatever dreadful penance that all-loving god in the OT blessed him with.

  22. Gervase says:

    Thanks, UY.

    I found this much more straightforward than most Pasquale puzzles, perhaps because I didn’t attempt it until the brain was properly warmed up.

    I had no problem with the parsing of 5d, though I couldn’t quite see how 28a worked. The ‘special occasion’ meaning of GREENING was unfamiliar, but there wasn’t much else it could be (last one in).

    I wasn’t terribly happy with ‘crust’ = MAGMA, as the former is solid (‘the solid exterior of the Earth’ says Chambers) and the latter is definitely not, although it is certainly found within the crust. And MARCASITE isn’t always strongly yellow, but this is probably just being geopedantic.

  23. Gervase says:

    Re ‘priest’ = ELI (which I agree is a bit tired), a prize (or plaudits at least) for anyone who can devise a charade clue in which ‘priest’ = ZADOK.

  24. Robi says:

    Re REGIMEN; could the ‘old’ refer to the Ancien Régime? Regimen is used a lot in medical/pharmaceutical circles as in ‘drug regimen.’ Some people say “drug regime,” although I always thought this was incorrect, but apparently it can be used (yuk!)

  25. Robi says:

    Gervase @23, what’s the prize. ‘Last advantage is alright for priest.’

  26. Gervase says:

    Robi @25: I didn’t make myself clear. ZADOK has to be incorporated into the charade, and not be the definition (nice try, though!)

  27. Ape says:

    Had to cheat for NAGOYA and MARKASITE which I hadn’t heard of but otherwise not too tough.

    Favourite clue was TAMIL.

  28. Ape says:

    Also I thought the parsing of REGIMEN was

    One group of soldiers (REGIMENT) and another (add an A to get REGIMENTA) wanting soldier (remove TA to get REGIMEN).

    But maybe TA can’t be just one soldier.

  29. Paul B says:

    Laundry detergent sent over in good condition for the High Priest (5)

    Ye gods look what you’ve started …

  30. Paul B says:

    … that’s right, move the goalposts!

  31. Mitz says:

    Enjoyed this. Typically smooth from Pasquale throughout, and especially liked Hippocrates. I have a slightly different parse for 5d: Care + 1st around ER (ie her majesty, who would refer to herself as “one”.

    Gervase: Crazy priest goes without drug? Blimey! (8)

  32. NeilW says:

    Robi @24, in modern French, if you talk about regimes (feminine, by the way, and sorry can’t do accents) people will think you’re talking about diets. I can confirm, though, that we docs do use the phrase “drug regimen” from time to time – I think it’s dying out, though.

  33. Robi says:

    ……. I’ll try again: ‘Priest with short comic is more lewd than revolutionary war patriot.’ (5,8).

    If you’re stuck try this.

  34. NeilW says:

    Mitz @31, nice idea but I think super-smooth Pasquale would give at least a hint of a royal connection!

  35. Gervase says:

    Mitz @31: Indirect anagrams just aren’t on, I’m afraid. I wish I hadn’t started this. Sorry, Gaufrid!

  36. Thomas99 says:

    Re Zadok
    Shunning publicity, priest takes on work leading a thousand with one cross

    (ZADOK wihout AD, around OP + K + I. A Zopkiok is a cross between a yak and a bull.)

  37. RCWhiting says:

    Gervase,you didn’t, but I wish someone would end it.

    No comments about 23d?

  38. Mitz says:

    23d – especially after ‘regimen’ went in it was hard not to think of ‘mayor’. I liked the reverse construction. The word ‘Alderman’ always makes me think of Jeremy Fisher who counted the Alderman Ptolemy Tortoise amongst his friends.

  39. Robi says:

    RCW @37; I guess if it said ‘the’ tree, you would have a point, but ‘this’ tree makes it reasonably clear for a definition, even if it isn’t first or last (I think?) It’s the sort of thing that Araucaria might do without provoking much comment, wouldn’t he?

  40. NeilW says:

    Well, I thought 23 perfectly fine as a kind of cryptic definition. Unusual but, if it was Araucaria, no one would bat an eyelid.

  41. NeilW says:

    Robi, snap!

  42. chas says:

    Thanks to UY for the blog.

    I agree with RCW @21: it looks wrong to have the definition in the middle of the clue rather than at one end or the other.

    On 1d I spent an age trying to make an anagram of TOTBEE :( but eventually I remembered than tot can mean SUM.

  43. nic@60 says:

    NeilW @32 (re Robi @24), sorry to be pedantic but it is in fact “un régime” (masculine) in French, and therefore Ancien Régime is correct! I do agree though that anything to do with “régimes” is dietary.

  44. NeilW says:

    Sorry, nic@60, I haven’t lived there for a while (18 years actually) so my French is a bit rusty but yes, of course, you’re right. Apologies Robi. :)

  45. Norman L in France says:

    Beat me to it, nic@60. Masculine. And “régime” is so dietary that it can also mean a “bunch” of bananas.

  46. Paul B says:

    23 isn’t a cryptic definition, but a subtraction.

    I suppose you have to know what your editor will let you get away with when you play around like this, but I can’t see any technical reason for binning a clue that follows a reasonably familiar pattern (if you’ve ever studied the &lit page in CC you’ll know what I mean). It’s a good surface, in any case.

  47. flashling says:

    Was very dubious about greening but rest was fair enough to me, although careerist took a few minutes to work. My first G for a while, but quite a pleasant brain workout thanks Don.

  48. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks for comments re 23d.
    I have no objection to the subtraction,infact I like them.
    My objection is, as chas, explains, that the definition (whether ‘tree’or ‘this tree’) is not at one or other end of the clue. I do not see that rule broken often, even by Araucaria.
    It seems a very fundamental rule.

  49. Gervase says:

    Re 23d: As Robi (@29) said, the word ‘this’ flags up where the definition is to be found in the clue – far more distinctly that putting it at either end without indication. There is nothing in ‘the rules’ which says that the definition has to be at one end of the clue. It would clearly be very unsatisfactory to stick a definition in the middle of a charade, but in a ‘reverse subtraction’ clue like this it seems perfectly reasonable.

    And Pasquale is one of the current leaders of the Spanish Inquisition, so he would be unlikely to do anything heretical, even in such a heterodox publication as the Guardian.

  50. tommy says:

    I read CAREERIST as CARE, ER (one, as her majesty would refer to herself) and 1ST. Probably not right but I liked it.

  51. dunsscotus says:

    NeilW@18. Thanks for your time; I agree with you on all points.

  52. Paul B says:

    Indeed, as Gervase says there is nothing to prohibit the placing of a definition at any particular point so long as the whole idea works fairly. The unfamiliarity, which – it is slowly dawning upon me – appears to constitute the RCW concern, arises simply because one hardly ever sees this sort of construction in daily puzzles. Compound anagrams, OTOH, very often take the form ‘With X, this answer could be Y’.

  53. Robi says:

    P.S. re HIPPOCRATES – ‘Contrary to popular belief, the Hippocratic Oath is not required by most modern medical schools, although some have adopted modern versions that suit many in the profession in the 21st century. It also does not explicitly contain the phrase, “First, do no harm,” which is commonly attributed to it.’ This is from the US (NIH), and I don’t know whether it is the same in the UK.

  54. RCWhiting says:

    Paul
    I am very familiar with compound anagrams (see my comments @Azed) and really enjoy them.
    23d is of course not a compound anagram.
    I assume that your attempt to include the ‘this’ is toimply that it is a &lit, but I think that would be a long stretch.
    What makes it unnecessary is that it could be:
    Civic dignitary would, on an isle, plant this tree.

  55. Paul B says:

    Well, you’re right that it’s not a compound anagram, which is strong evidence indeed of your powers in parsing. Just to recap, the point has been unequivocally made that the clue is a subtraction: I don’t think anyone has got so far away from reality as to call it an &lit (although someone did opine that it might be a cryptic definition).

    But I digress. If it’s the *this* which is ‘unnecessary’ (#54), why does that same word survive in your suggested amendment ‘Civic dignitary would, on an isle, plant this tree’?

  56. matt says:

    Once in a blue moon I’ve seen definitions in the middle of a clue. I’ve never seen it cited as a rule before, only that (if you’re solving) it makes sense to look at beginning or end, as clue structures most commonly lead to that being where the definition is located. There have been several examples where this convention is not adhered to in Everyman crosswords.

  57. matt says:

    Let (D) be the definition:
    “…(X) gives (D), when (Y) is added”
    is how you sometimes see it done.

  58. RCWhiting says:

    Well,Paul,I will stop there.I do not particularly enjoy discussions where I am patronised.
    “Well, you’re right that it’s not a compound anagram, which is strong evidence indeed of your powers in parsing.”

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