Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,560 – Pasquale

Posted by manehi on February 16th, 2012


Struggled with this even after getting 2,18 and then 7,5 quickly. In the end had to use the online “Cheat” button for 12ac. Favourite clue was 6dn.

7,5dn FRUIT AND VEGETABLES =”food” (bugs fed alternative)*
9 EYEFUL =”Attractive person” Sounds like “Eiffel”, more or less…
10 DATE *Undefined, a fruit DA[n]TE is the “Poet concerned with hell”, losing n[umber]
11 MARIONETTE “may amuse the kids” (matinee rot)*
12 MEDLAR *Undefined, a fruit related to the apple [wiki] sounds like “meddler”=interfering type
14 SHIVAREE a mock “serenade” to newlyweds [variant form of charivari] SHIVA=”Hindu god” + REE[l]=”dance endlessly”
15 SIGHTS =”may attract tourists” sounds like “cites”=”Names”
17 GALLOP =”Fast track” GALL=”bitterness” + OP=”work”
20 MAGNESIA =”white powder” MIA=girl around AGNES=girl
22 PASTRY “Small cake” PAnTRY=”larder”, swapping the bridge partners N for S.
23 FREE SPIRIT =”maverick” (Fire priest)*
24 SUIT double def a suit of cards that will contain a Q and a K, or “matching attire”
25 CARROT *Undefined, a vegetable rev[OR]=Ordinary Ranks=”soldiers” inside CART=vehicle
26 WITCHING =”Fascinating” W[omen] + ITCHING=eager
1 BREAKERS =”waves” R=Queen inside BEAKERS=glasses
2,18 FIVE PORTIONS =”daily recommendation [of fruit and veg]” (I’ve no profits)*
3 FARMER &lit M[ale] inside FARE=”provisions for the table” + R[ight]
4 SENORITA =”Miss from Europe” (one’s)* + RITA, OU student in Educating Rita [wiki]
6 AUNTIE =”woman in the family” A + UNTIE=”loose”
8 DURESS =”Compulsion” U[pper class]=”top people” in DRESS=”formal attire”
13 LOGANBERRY *Undefined, fruit (began)* inside LORRY=truck
16 TOSSPOTS another word for drunk[s] rev(SOT)=”Drunk” + SPOTS=”sees”
19 MARROW *undefined, vegetable [H]ARROW=”public school”, with the first letter changed
21 AERIAL =”could be on the radio” sounds like “Ariel”, the angel [wiki]
22 POTATO a vegetable that doesn’t count towards the five portions POO=”What an awful smell” around “TAT”=”what’s tasteless”
24 SOHO =”London area” SO[t]=Drunk + HO[t]=passionate, losing t[ime] twice

36 Responses to “Guardian 25,560 – Pasquale”

  1. NeilW says:

    Thanks, manehi. This was easy to start with, given the easy anagrams to provide the theme but, like a nasty corner, got tighter as I went into it.

    The only one I really got held up with was 1 where I spent a while trying to make “breaks” into “glasses”; when I realised the Queen was R, I wasn’t really too chuffed, as the only beakers I’ve come across are made of plastic, not glass – the exception being in the science lab but I don’t think anyone other than the Nutty Professor drinks out of them. :)

  2. Robi says:

    Fabulous puzzle, I thought, with no specialist knowledge required, apart from SHIVAREE, and apparently MEDLAR.

    Thanks manehi; I thought this was just as clever as Paul’s offering yesterday, but much more tractable. I thought I had seen AUNTIE clued that way before: ‘A loose family member’ (Chifonie 25482,) and we must have had SIGHTS/SITES before. I got CARROT via CAR but couldn’t see why TOR were soldiers at the beginning, doh :( FARMER took a while to see, but I got there in the end. :)

  3. Headteacher says:

    Another great puzzle. Two on the run – we’re getting spoiled (or am I just in half-term euphoria?).

  4. NeilW says:

    By the way, when I likened this puzzle to a “nasty” corner, I meant it only in a complimentary way – I thought it excellent, although I did have to get the dictionary out to check on SHIVAREE!

  5. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Many thanks, manehi, and Pasquale too.

    Things I liked about this crossword: some well-signposted gateway clues, which got you into the puzzle straight away; a clever anagram in FREE SPIRIT; and a new word (for me) in SHIVAREE. And also the fact that I learned that a MEDLAR is also called an OPEN-ARSE (it’s in Romeo and Juliet if you want to check it out).

    Things I didn’t like about this crossword: nothing really! (Although if I’m being hyper-picky I would say that all the non-clued fruits and vegetables were in the western side, which made it more tricky.)

    And of course there are exactly five portions in the whole puzzle … which actually helped me to finish to get MEDLAR.

  6. William says:

    Thanks manehi. I was a bit disappointed when the big theme flew in with the fairly innocuous anagrams, and thought I’d have it done with the morning tea, but an hour later I was still wrestling with MAGNESIA & MEDLAR.

    Amazingly, I knew SHIVAREE from the track ‘Goodnight Moon’ by the US pop group which my kids used to like.

    I really liked AUNTIE and unlike Robi @2, I hadn’t seen it before.

    All hail The Don – we don’t get many from him but they are usually belters.

    Thank you.

  7. William says:

    I forgot to say thanks to K’s D for OPEN-ARSE for MEDLAR. That’s up there with yesterday’s NATAL CLEFT from NeilW!

  8. tupu says:

    Thanks manehi and Pasquale

    An elegant puzzle meticulously clued by P as usual. Solving interrupted for a couple of hours which allowed grey cells to recuperate.

    I knew shivaree, the American version of charivari and known in Britain as rough music. The cacophonous serenade of miscreants was often only part of some very rough treatment doled out in less enlightened times by outraged local communities to, inter alia, men who did not keep their wives under control!

    I was a little disappointed by the use of sot in both 16d and 24d.

    Ticked 9a, 12a, 22a, 4d, 13d (my favourite I think).

  9. Meic says:

    Great 15 minutes’ worth of entertainment. Not difficult I thought. I didn’t know SHIVAREE but constrcted the answer from the clue. Surprise so many people seem unaware of MEDLAR.
    In my business it’s good to see the Public Health mesagess have even penetrated to teh Guardian crossword. Well done, Don

  10. liz says:

    Thanks manehi. I enjoyed this very much. Like others, I got the two big anagrams pretty quickly, but it wasn’t all plain sailing. 20ac and 21dn were the last ones to go in. And it took a while before I got MEDLAR. Like Kathryn’s Dad @5, I guessed that there would be five helpings of fruit and veg, which helped.

    I dimly remembered SHIVAREE as a variant of charivari.

  11. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Yes, indeed, a very nice crossword.
    7,5 and 2,18 were my first two entries, but unlike yesterday the grid wasn’t filled that quickly.
    Like Robi, I remembered AUNTIE from the Chifonie puzzle.
    And I am quite sure that I recently saw SIGHTS with a similar construction/idea, too.
    But these things happens.
    I guess there are more cryptic clues in this world than English words. Or is this is a bald statement?

    The NW was the area where I struggled most, because it took rather long to see BREAKERS [too much focused on ER for Queen].
    The only one I didn’t get eventually, was FARMER (3d). It was clear that it had to be ?A?E around M plus R, but because there was no definition, I thought this had to be one of the F & V.
    In hindsight, a clever &Lit – also nicely misdirecting in a puzzle in which some definitions are lacking.

    Thank you, manehi, for the blog.
    And Pasquale for another fair and precise puzzle.
    Very enjoyable.

  12. Pasquale. says:

    I am heartened by mostly favourable comments here. Thank you! I don’t expect to be everyone’s cup of tea (who is?) but on the GU website any appreciative comments often come through gritted teeth — not always nice to wake up to!

  13. Miche says:

    Thanks, manehi. When I saw the “special instructions” I thought it was going to be tough for a weekday, but in fact the 5-a-day presented no problems. It was no walkover, though.

    I didn’t know SHIVAREE or Ariel the angel. Knew MEDLAR from Shakespeare – a fruit that is allowed to rot and ferment before eating.

    TOUCHSTONE. Truly, the tree yields bad fruit.

    ROSALIND. I’ll graff it with you, and then I shall graff it with a
    medlar. Then it will be the earliest fruit i’ th’ country; for
    you’ll be rotten ere you be half ripe, and that’s the right
    virtue of the medlar.

    Chambers gives “pooh” but not “poo” as an exclamation at a bad smell.

    I don’t think one loganberry counts towards your five-a-day!

  14. MikeC says:

    Thanks manehi and Pasquale. Enjoyed this, including SHIVAREE. Sadly, I failed on 12a, where I entered “feeler”. I thought this was a bit vulgar for Pasquale, and I couldn’t make it fit the whole clue properly, so I was not astonished that the real answer was different.

    Anyone else take this wrong turn?

  15. Kayoz says:

    Hi there. Thanks to Pasquale and Manehi

    I enjoyed this puzzle, although like Manehi, I had trouble with 12ac.

  16. nusquam says:

    Thanks to setter and blogger. I enjoyed and admired this too.

    In 8dn I think the explanation should be U = ‘OF top people’. Surely ‘U’ is used to characterise the language and behaviour of the upper class, not the people themselves.

    Is there any justification (apart from surface-saving) for the word ‘for’ in 23ac? I realise this is rather an exigent question, but I wonder if this clue lives up to the very high standard of the rest.

  17. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    I,too, got the two long theme solutions very quickly.
    Having read the preamble before starting I then completely forgot about it. Consequently after a very straightforward solve I found myself with five stubborn ones. I then thought of ‘meddler’ and suddenly remembered the preamble which enabled me to write in the missing ones.
    I was still left with ‘shivaree’ which was entirely unknown to me. I also discovered that spinach can be spelt spinage(s) but that led nowhere.
    Overall not too bad, mostly due to my self-imposed handicap.
    I liked 6d and hadn’t remembered it from elsewhere.
    10ac nicely misdirected me since I took ‘poet’ as the definition rather than ‘poet concerned with hell’.

  18. chas says:

    Thanks to manehi for the blog.

    I was like several others here: 2,18 and 7,5 fell into place quickly but I struggled after that.

    I was disappointed in 19d: change the first letter to something e.g. barrow, farrow…yarrow

    I also failed to spot that the number of F&V was actually given in 2d :(

  19. Kayoz says:

    I needed help with the parsing (explaining) of second half of 4dn. Thankyou.

    22dn, I started with PUTRID. Wrong.

    25ac, I hate carrots, even though I eat a few to be healthy.

    16dn I started with PISSPOTS which is more Australian I guess. SIP v SOT.

    14ac SHIVAREE was new word for me. There you go, still learning in my 50’s.

  20. RCWhiting says:

    Re ‘poo’in Chambers.Miche @13
    While it is true that poo (bad smell) is not given pooh is given and also as pooh-pooh with the alternative spelling of poo-poo.
    It must be a very intriguing process which leads to some entries (or omissions) in a dictionary.

  21. Gervase says:

    Thanks, manehi.

    First quick trawl through the clues gave nothing which popped out immediately, so I went back to the key anagrams – FIVE PORTIONS gave me the fruit and veg and I was away; the rest fell out fairly easily. SHIVAREE was a new one for me, but it had to start with Shiva, so Chambers did the trick. An American corruption of ‘charivari’ apparently (another good cross-word), as tupu has noted. I knew MEDLAR: there was a medlar tree in Cambridge whose fruit I used to collect. As various posters have noted, the fruit has to be practically rotten before it becomes edible. There is a special word for this: ‘bletting’. There’s nothing like a well-bletted medlar – two nice words in a pack.

    I was expecting more fruit and vegetables. It was only when I counted up at the end that I realised that Pasquale had doled out exactly five portions – nice touch. Lots of well-constructed clues with good surfaces, as we would expect from this setter. Nice &lit (a genuine one this time) at 3d, and I particularly liked the clever substitution clue for MARROW and Rita in 4d.

    ‘White powder’ is perhaps a little vague as a definition for MgO, but ‘swallowing’ in the clue for 20a gives a bit of an allusion to something medicinal. (I had no problem with this one – a few crossing letters, especially the final A, were enough). This must be one of those words which is falling down the list of familiars: these days most people take Gaviscon or a proton pump inhibitor rather than milk of MAGNESIA.

  22. scchua says:

    Thanks manehi and Pasquale.

    Got 7,5 and 2,18 in that order early on, and 2 gave a further clue to the number of theme answers. Very enjoyable.

    Is there a significance for “See” in 14D, other than to get the singular “dance”? My last one in, as it misled me into trying to fit Shiva/Siva into the middle, before I got the checking letters.

  23. Gervase says:

    scchua @22: I also tried to put Siva into the middle of 14d at first. ‘See’ is a bit odd, but is needed to make ‘dance’ singular, as you say. ‘Serenade Hindu god with endless dance’ would have avoided this. Likewise, as others have pointed out, the ‘for’ in 23a doesn’t really fit and ‘New head’ is rather imprecise in 19d. Nothing here that would make me feel queasy, but they are uncharacteristic little heresies from one of the chief Inquisitors.

  24. scchua says:

    Gervase@23… Or even “Hindu god has dance endlessly in/to serenade”, and of course I meant 14A.

  25. cholecyst says:

    Thanks, Manehi and Paul. Good stuff even though I’d didn’t get shivaree – too lazy to look it up.

    NeilW @1 – plastic beakers. Shame on you for not recalling Keats’s
    “O for a beaker full of the warm South,
    Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
    With beaded bubbles winking at the brim”

    He probably didn’t have a Starbucks close at hand.

  26. Pasquale. says:

    It may (or may not) interest you to know that the puzzle underwent a late alteration when I discovered ( at proof satge) that potatoes don’t count (unless they are sweet) in the five — a chance remark on Countdown raised my suspicions! DATE was drafted in but if I’d had more time to think about it I might have put in KALE. Until the next time …

  27. Robi says:

    Thanks Pasquale for dropping by. As I said @2, a super puzzle. ‘Beer for the first thousand,’ or somesuch.

  28. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Pasquale at no 26. Damn! I’d always thought that Big Mac and large fries counted for two portions: one for the chips and one for the gherkin on top of the Big Mac.

  29. Gervase says:

    Pasquale and K’s D: It’s rather unfair on potatoes not to include them in the 5-a-day, and gives the impression that they are ’empty calories’. I presume it is to discourage the consumption of 5 portions of chips a day, which would have other obvious health disbenefits. But potatoes contain a respectable amount of Vitamin C and folic acid. A portion of new potatoes would be much better in this respect than a similar quantity of celery, for example. Or DATES, probably!

  30. wingate says:

    An excellent puzzle by Pasquale, impeccably clued as ever – and such a welcome relief after Wednesday’s effort.

  31. Fallowfield says:

    Biblical scholars may wish to consult their texts for ‘Ariel” – a man in Ezra, and a name for Jerusalem in Isaiah. No angel. Uriel?

  32. RCWhiting says:

    manehi quoted

  33. Fallowfield says:

    Yes RCW, I went to that, immediately realised it was misinformed. As I said, not in the Bible. Have you checked? I always do.

    I know its all fiction anyway, so pedantry in the midst of myth might be too much. But the Grant and Rowley Dictionary of the Bible (2nd edition 1952 1059pp) in front of me outranks Wiki in this instance.

    Have you checked Uriel?

  34. Fallowfield says:

    I see that Ariel gets into Chambers down the list in ‘later demonology’ after ‘water sprite’ as an angel, so maybe permissible. The third largest moon of Uranus would have perhaps offered more possibilities.

    Typical Pasquale – asks us to think of the word he’s thinking of and then find some – any – way of justifying it.

  35. RCWhiting says:

    I have Buckland and Williams 5th impression 1960 and guess what – it agrees entirely with yours.
    But both are BIBLE dictionaries and Wiki also agrees with them both.
    However, Wiki also gives several other, non-biblical references which do refer to Ariel as an angel. There is no mention in the clue of the bible.

  36. Fallowfield says:

    RC – as I said @ 31, ‘Biblical scholars’ …. Other mythologies are also available.

    I sometimes wonder how pedantic we should be in the wonderful world of crosswording, and transliterations are problematic as we can’t even agree how to pronounce vowels from one end of the A580 to the other.

    Love that book though. It sits between the Chambers 7th ed and Larousse Wines and Vineyards of France, on the shelf above the iMac. Decorative and oft surprisingly useful.

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