Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,577 / Arachne

Posted by Eileen on March 7th, 2012


What a lovely surprise on a wet morning to find an Arachne puzzle to blog!

It’s all here – the characteristic wit and tricksiness, with some real laugh-out-loud clues [12ac, 25ac, 22dn]. When I started writing up the blog, there were a handful of clues I couldn’t explain. Several pennies have dropped since but I’m still stuck on 26ac, so it’s over to you. [I’m sure there are one or two of you ready to pounce. ;-) ]

Many thanks, Arachne, as ever, for a most enjoyable puzzle.


1   MISCELLANEOUS: anagram [various] of  EMAILS NO CLUES:  a great clue to start with, especially as the friendly grid means it gives us lots of initial letters
10  EXECUTANT: EXTANT [surviving] round [without] ÉCU  [French money in the old days]
11  CYNIC: hidden in mordanCY NICely: typical of Arachne to give us a female cynic!
12  THONG: song [lied – beautifully misleading] as pronounced by the lisping Violet Elizabeth Bott, who plagued Richmal Crompton’s Just William,  one of the heroes of my childhood, with her persistent threat, “I’ll thcream and thcream ’till I’m thick”
13  INSOLVENT: IN [popular] NT [books] around SOLVE [what you do!]
14  NOSEBAG: reversal [about] of SO [thus] and BE in [welcomed by] NAG [horse]
16  SOTTISH: S[c]OTTISH [from Edinburgh, say] minus C [100 – not many]:  we’re more used to seeing C indicating ‘many’ but it’s not so many in relation to the population of Edinburgh Edit: Gaufrid has pointed out my careless error here: of course, it’s not [omitted] many – doh!
18  OUSTING: O [old] U [posh] + STING [formerly lead singer of The Police]: I think the question mark is to excuse the use of the lower case
20  BARGAIN: BAR [pub] GAIN [profit]: ‘steal’ as a noun
21  BOBOLINKS  : B [black] + anagram [cuckoo] of  IN BOOK round L [large] + S [small]
22  WAGES: WAGS [wits] around E [last letter of onE]
24  ANIMA: AN[d] I[s] MA[n] minus last letters [ultimately lacking]
25  MANICURED: the definition is ‘clipped’ and we have a [reverse] anagram [MANIC] of RUDE
26  EGOTISTICALLY: I can’t work this one out, I’m afraid: there’s E [leading experts] + Go [try] but that’s as far as I can get: [there’s also an anagram of ITALICS, which is a type, in there, but that hasn’t helped.]


  ICEHOUSES:[k]I[t]C[h]E[n] minus its odd letters [oddly disposed of] + HOUSES [stores – as a verb, I think]
3   CLUNG: C [around] + LUNG [breather]
4   LEAPING: LEG [limb] round A PIN [another limb]: the definition is ‘performing bound’
5   ARTISTS: I’m not sure about this one: could it be a reference to the sibling artists, Gwen and Augustus John,  whose work is long-wearing? Edit: no, it couldn’t : see NeilW’s comments 2,4,5.wonderful clue!
6   ESCALATOR: a Rufus-like cryptic definition
  ULNAE: alternate letters [regularly revealed] in [o]U[r] L[i]N[e]A[g]E
8   MELTON MOWBRAY: anagram [producing – or pie] of TOWN MEMORABLY for the town not twenty miles from me here, which produces the splendid pies which are the traditional Christmas Day breakfast for folk hereabouts. I think this is an &lit.
9   SCOTCH AND SODA: SCOT [perhaps Glaswegian] + HANDS [workers] in CODA [conclusion]
15  BRILLIANT: BR [first and last letters of BoxeR {‘boxer disheartened}] + ILL [rough] + IAN [bloke – we’ve had enough Scotsmen today!] + T [first letter of Tactics] – brilliant clue!
17  INAUGURAL: AUG [August – month] in anagram [dilapidated] of URINAL: definition: ‘maiden’, as in maiden speech
19  GENOMES: E [middle letter {essence} of parEnts] in GNOMES [little people]
20  BASENJI: this took a lot of thinking about, then I found ‘dog’, as an adjective, in Chambers, meaning ‘base’, so it’s BASE + NJ [New Jersey – state] + I [first letter – ‘primarily’] of Is, for this dog  – which, apparently, doesn’t bark
22  BOING: I hope this is O [egg] in BING [Crosby – warbler] to give the sound that Zebedee makes – a lovely clue!
23  WICCA : WI [Women’s Institute – women’s group] + first letters [starts] of Criticise Celebrity As

64 Responses to “Guardian 25,577 / Arachne”

  1. andy smith says:

    Aha, a chance at fame re 26 – it is ExpertsGO with SCALLY (a scouse term) intermixed with TITI – a species of monkey.

    (TY of course for the helpful blog)

  2. NeilW says:

    Thanks, Eileen.

    I have to admit to lazily waiting for you to parse 26!

    21 – You’ve left the IN out of the fodder.

    5 – they’re all the names of artists!

  3. NeilW says:

    I thought this was a beautiful puzzle, by the way. A great variety of devices and the usual beautiful surfaces.

    You’re absolutely right about 22 as well – another great clue.

  4. NeilW says:

    I should have said that the JOHNS is Jasper JOHNS.

  5. NeilW says:

    Gillian Wearing and Richard Long. I have to confess that this guesswork needed a bit of googling. :)

  6. Eileen says:

    Many thanks, andy. I was tempted to delay the blog until light had dawned but I’m afraid you’d have been waiting till the cows came home!

    Hi Neil: you let me down in one respect – I was sure you’d be there with 26ac ;-) – but many thanks for the artists. [So I wasn’t even right with the JOHNS!]

  7. Eileen says:

    21ac corrected – thanks Neil.

  8. NeilW says:

    You’re welcome, Eileen.

    At the risk of kicking things off again, I think you’re right about 8 being an &lit: since the name of the pie is MELTON MOWBRAY *Pork* Pie so “pie” doesn’t quite define the solution.

  9. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Many thanks, Eileen. Without, I assure you, the slightest trace of Schadenfreude, I was slightly comforted by the fact that you couldn’t parse EGOTISTICALLY either. But I think Andy deserves his fifteen minutes of fame for unravelling that one.

    Lovely puzzle, which I thought was going to fall out easily enough when my first three solutions were the long ones round the edges. It did all come together in the end, but there was some tricky stuff in there as well. I love BOING now you’ve explained it, and I also liked OUSTING and the clever anagram in MELTON MOWBRAY.

    Needed the list of birds in my trusty thesaurus to nail down BOBOLINKS. And I can’t be doing with dogs, but if I could, that BASENJI sounds like (or rather, doesn’t sound like) my kind of mutt.

    Thanks to Arachne for an enjoyable puzzle to brighten up a pretty foul Derbyshire morning.

  10. molonglo says:

    Thanks Eileen – et al for the several I couldn’t parse, notably BOING and 26a, or dog=base. I did finish, though, resorting to the Net only for the weird birds (21a) and dog (20d). I really liked 12 a but pity any solver not in my demographic. Thanks Arachne for a sticky web.

  11. Gervase says:

    Thanks, Eileen – your luck still holds!

    Lots of fun from the Spider Woman. I was unsure about 5d – thanks NeilW – and couldn’t parse 26a apart from the E GO – well done andy.

    Many lovely clues: Violet Elizabeth’s lied raised a laugh, as did the former policeman and the pregnant warbler. Nice reverse clue at 25a (Arachne is fond of these, happily), and I enjoyed the allusive 19d and the marvellous anagram for 8d (which is definitely an &lit – see NeilW @8 – because the clue points to the town and not its eponymous pie).

  12. chas says:

    Thanks to Eileen for the blog. You (and some commenters here) explained why I had the right answers for 5,9 and 26.

    I felt pleased with myself for spotting that lied is the German word for song and also for remembering Violet Elizabeth :)

  13. John Appleton says:

    Once more, Arachne please with the anagrams!

  14. StanXYZ says:

    Thanks to Eileen (et alia) for explaining 5d, 20d, 22d, and 26a.

    14a – Does this work? Where is the reversal indicator for “be”?

    Thanks to Arachne for the entertainment!

  15. Gaufrid says:

    Hi StanXYZ
    14ac BE SO (is thus) reversed (about) in (to be welcomed by) NAG (horse) which works for me.

  16. nusquam says:

    Thank you, Eileen. I put in ‘boing’ for 22d, not really understanding it but assuming that there was some current star who was heading towards motherhood. Your explanation is better than my ignorance, but did Bing Crosby really warble? And isn’t o=0=egg rather far-fetched? I feel uneasy. However, after Andy’s explanation of ‘egotistical’, which also baffled me, perhaps anything is possible.

    I enjoyed the puzzle greatly, though, and am grateful to the setter for devising it and you for blogging it.

  17. NeilW says:

    nusquam, if you prefer, think of 22 as one of those “dingbats”, a picture-word, a pregnant BING!

    See Paul, Guardian 25,089, where he played a similar game.

  18. Robi says:

    Difficult solve with some nice touches.

    Thanks Eileen; I failed to parse MANICURED and EGOTISTICALLY, and had no clue ;) about ARTISTS. I also failed to see the last ‘ca’ in WICCA. I’m not sure I understand your O=egg=pregnant; I just took this as O=round=pregnant. If the former, perhaps you can explain for a thickie.

    Of course, I got tricked again about ‘lied’ meaning song, and thought OUSTING had a good clue (among many others.)

  19. gm4hqf says:

    Thanks Eileen

    I haven’t read all the blogs yet but this Arachne puzzle was mostly too difficult for me. Four or five clues that I could make no sense of. I don’t seem to have got on to this compilers wavelength yet.

  20. tupu says:

    Thanks Eileen and Arachne

    Some fine anagrams and an extraordinary mixture of hard and soft devices. Like K’s D I had to google bobolinks and I too couldn’t parse egotistically.

    I quite like NeilW’s 17 dingbat idea. O = egg in such expressions as a ‘duck[‘s egg]’ in cricket.

    I can’t see anything at all wrong with Johns (Augustsus and Gwen) + Wearing and Long as artists. I had to google the latter two.

    I ticked several – 13a, 24a, 25a (probably my favourite), 8d, 9d, 17d, 19d.

    It was nice after my thoughts about ecthyma yesterday to find Violet Elizabeth here today.

    The dog = base idea seems to occur in expressions like ‘dog-Latin’.

  21. Giovanna says:

    Thanks, Arachne for quite a work-out and Eileen for the explanations!

    22d Boing was my favourite – happy memories! 15d held me up as I was trying to make Ali fit.

    I’m not an anagram fan but with sufficient crossing letters and thoughts of pies, Melton Mowbray sprang out at me. It must be time for lunch!

    Giovanna x

  22. KayOz says:

    Thank you Eileen and Arachne

    A lovely puzzle. I had trouble parsing a couple, ARTISTS and EGOTISTICALLY. Thanks to Andy and NeilW for the extra help. When I saw the parsing of 5d ARTISTS, I groaned. You know that feeling when it is a fine line between pleasure and pain. The old spider’s web!

    Stumbled on ICECHESTS before THONG put me right. And I don’t mean that literally.

  23. Robi says:

    tupu; I still can’t see where the egg comes in from the clue, which says pregnant. Perhaps you can explain.

  24. Kathryn's Dad says:

    To answer Robi’s question at no 18, I understood BOING (once Eileen had explained it) to be O for ‘egg’ (a standard piece of crosswordese) in BING, for Mr Crosby, who’s a ‘warbler’ or a singer. So if Bing/the warbler is pregnant, (s)he’s carrying an egg. It’s what Uncle Yap would probably describe as a ‘tichy’ (tongue-in-cheek) clue.

  25. KayOz says:

    I have not received an email. Kaye.

  26. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog, Eileen. When I saw it was Arachne this morning, I hoped you would be blogging it! I thought this was a great puzzle with some fantastic clues. 8dn was very satisfying! I also liked 25ac, being a particular fan of reverse clues.

    I couldn’t parse 26ac, or 22dn and missed the ‘song’ sense of ‘lied’ in 12ac.

    5dn was the last to go in — for me it was one of those clues where you walk away and the answer pops into your head. Having a daughter who is an art student helps :-)

    I knew Basenji, particularly from Maureen Lipman’s columns — she got one a few years ago.

  27. NeilW says:

    liz, as the husband of a dog lover with five of them in the house, I think Maureen Lipman had the right idea – apparently the main characteristic of the BASENJI is that it rarely barks. :)

  28. Gaufrid says:

    Hi KayOz @25
    I don’t know why that should be as I copied and pasted your email address so there was no typo in it (and I didn’t receive a non-delivery error message). I have sent the email again.

  29. nusquam says:

    Despite the assertions of KD @25 and others, the identification of an inserted letter ‘o’ with pregnancy (surely rather more than carrying an egg anyway) seems far-fetched to me. But what about Bing? Chanmbers On Line says under warble ‘2 said of a person: to sing in a high tremulous voice; to trill’. Is that how Bing Crosby sounds to anyone? Crooner, maybe, but not a warbler.

  30. Mitz says:

    Arachne gets better and better. ‘Thong’, ‘egotistically’ and ‘artists’ went in without being justified, but so much was 15, especially 1, 8 and 25.

  31. nusquam says:

    Sorry, I meant @24.

  32. nusquam says:

    NeilW @17
    Thank you for the reference to that Paul crossword, which I looked at and enjoyed. It’s good to see inventive approaches to cluing. But this case seems altogether different to me (at least as so far explained).

  33. Dave Ellison says:

    Thanks Eileen and Arachne. Got held up in BL corner because I misspelled as MOWBARY, leaving R for 24a. I was certain it was BOING but couldn’t see why, as with many other commentators.

    I’ve been suffering withdrawal symptoms in the Caribbean for two weeks, so this was a nice start back.

  34. Kathryn's Dad says:

    At the risk of turning Eileen’s blog into the length of a small novel, and acknowledging that Arachne’s a big girl and can defend her own clues if she wishes …

    A warbler is a bird; it sings; therefore it’s a singer. Bing is a singer; he’s carrying an egg. And yes, of course, it would have required an act of congress for the egg to become fertilised and for her to become pregnant and I hope she enjoyed the moment. But clues sometimes have fuzzy edges, and if it makes me laugh, I’m all for fuzziness.

  35. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    When I wrote in 1ac immediately and polished off most of the NE corner I was expecting to be disappointed by this usually excellent setter.
    How wrong I was.
    A real work-out followed, difficult and delightful – what a combination.
    Last in was ‘anima’ but only because I had misspelled Mowbray (ery), must check anagrams properly in future!
    5d was brilliant although I had to hesitate for a while over Long. I thought the use of the plural for Gwen and Augustus was very clever.
    Bing was an example of what was known as a crooner for which warbler is a very satisfactory synonym.
    12a was slow because I thought her speech impediment was ‘w’ for ‘r’ and forgot the lithp.
    I especially liked 16a, 18a,25a and couldn’t parse 26a.

  36. David W says:

    Many thanks to all for the parsing of the ones I could only guess at! On a pedantic note, are “icehouses” really old refrigerators? My dictionaries have “ice house” (two words) as a building where (naturally formed) ice was stored, in the days before artificial refrigeration was available.

  37. Robi says:

    K’s Dad @34; very inventive, and it made me laugh. I do still think, however, that a much simpler explanation is that pregnant means round. This one might make you laugh too. :)

  38. Kathryn's Dad says:

    That is too much detail, Robi. I am staying out of further discussion now by taking my Basejni for a walk. Like Captain Oates, I may be some time.

  39. Mitz says:

    I hope other users (and especially Gaufrid) will forgive me for this:

    RCW – I wasn’t around yesterday, otherwise I would have replied to you then. Swindon Town! Oh yes!

  40. Thomas99 says:

    David W @36 –
    Surely they didn’t just store the ice, they used it for refrigerating things, didn’t they? I know the Enlightenment threw up some pretty weird collectors but a building full of ice isn’t much of a wunderkammer.

  41. David W says:

    Thomas99 @40

    Now I think more of it, I have seen a game store, in which venison was preserved with loads of ice. But, for example, the ice house in Kew Gardens was just for storing ice cut from the lake during the winter. The ice would have been used for cooling things on special occasions, but there would hardly have been enough of it to use for routine refrigeration. In the absence of any articial means of producing ice in summer, to have an ice cube in your drink would indeed have been wunderbar!

  42. KayOz says:

    Kathryn’s Dad @34 You made me chuckle. Thanks. I would like to attend Congress that day.

    Gaufrid, emails now received. Thank you.

  43. andy smith says:

    NeilW@2 – thanks for the explanation of 5 – I had previously partially parsed it as being some iffy allusion to ars longa, vita brevis …

  44. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks to Arachne and Eileen. Loved this puzzle although it took a long time to complete and there were several I couldn’t parse. Wasn’t aware of Violet Elizabeth. My formative years were spent watching Alan Mowbray as Colonel Humphrey Flack on television. Was Alan related to Melton?


  45. Arachne says:

    Greetings from Spider Towers.

    Firstly, and most importantly, huge thanks to Eileen for the absolutely splendid blog – you are such a star.

    It’s a great big adventure, this crossword lark (sorry to keep bringing birds into it). I for one think it should keep evolving in whatever direction(s) solvers find enjoyable, which will involve taking risks and breaking rules but also recognising when the experiments haven’t worked. Enormous thanks, then, for all the feedback (except possibly to K’s D who made me laugh so much that I choked on my Hobnob).

    26ac is indeed E(xperts) GO and then an overlap of TITI and SCALLY. I had to fight Hugh S to keep this one in, as he wasn’t sure that scally=monkey. In my ‘hood that’s being polite to scallies, I can tell you.

    22dn Yes, BING (Crosby) is intended to be the warbler, and if a warbler is pregnant then it’s carrying an egg. O as egg is, I think, quite well-established, but the clue as a whole requires a little indulgence and I can quite see where nusquam (passim) is coming from – sorry, nusquam.

    Time to check my webcam!

    Love and hugs,
    Arachne x

  46. Eileen says:

    Wow! – I’ve just come in after being out since before lunch to find 30-odd comments in my inbox.

    Many thanks, K’s D, for saying so much more succinctly than I would have what I meant about the pregnant warbler and to Arachne for confirming it [and, as always, of course, for dropping by. I remember the first time you did so, wondering if it was ‘comme il faut’, not realising that it absolutely makes a blogger’s [and solvers’] day when the setter takes time to comment.] Apologies for my mistakes, the correction of which has made me realise that the puzzle is even better than I thought it was!

  47. Derek Lazenby says:

    Damned hard work and the gadgets are glowing red hot! Unusually, this hard work was good fun and not a slog, so congrats for that. And despite being a “grumpy old man”, I didn’t share any of the minor objections above, itself something of a rarity.

    Is scally related to, or a short form of scallywag?

  48. RCWhiting says:

    Mitz @39
    For peace and quiet I had better refrain from replying now.
    I will wait until a compiler features an STFC theme!

  49. tupu says:

    Hi Derek
    Yes it is according to Collins which describes it as north-west rather than especially Liverpool.

  50. Derek Lazenby says:

    Thanks. Never heard of scally, but on the other side of the Pennines we definitely had scallywag. The difference the odd few miles and the odd hill makes eh?

  51. tupu says:

    It seems to have been an American term originally from around the 1860s and was often combined with ‘carpetbagger’ as a Southern term of contempt for white northerners who ‘interferingly’ came south and supported the black cause.

  52. Gervase says:

    I can’t be certain, but as a Scouser myself, and pace Collins, I think ‘scally’ is definitely an expression of Merseyside origin, and obviously a contraction of ‘scallywag’. Unlike scallywag, it carries connotations of class as well as behaviour: a scally is a young working-class male, somewhere on the spectrum between mischievous and petty criminal. Not unlike the now ubiquitous ‘chav’. Richmal Crompton was from Bury (wherein I also now do dwell, BTW) and would never have described William Brown as a ‘scally': it wouldn’t have been in her vocabulary, and anyway William was far too middle-class for such an appellation.

  53. Kathryn's Dad says:

    I’m back from walking the dog, and since we seem to be off on one, I will just add that the first time I really became aware of ‘scally’ was when the Liverpool footballer Robbie Fowler denied that he was any such thing after he was criticised for his post-goal celebration which involved him sniffing the white line alongside the goal. Something to do with his reputation with cocaine, if I remember well. But I might not have.

  54. tupu says:

    Hi Gervase

    As below, the OED supports a ‘scouse’ focus while also including Lancs.

    “orig. and chiefly Eng. regional slang (chiefly Lancs. and Liverpool).

    A young working-class person (esp. a man); spec. a roguish, self-assured male (esp. from Liverpool), typically regarded as boisterous, disruptive, or irresponsible. Also: a chancer, a petty criminal.

    [1936 E. M. Forster Abinger Harvest 43 During the interval we discussed, not whether the Scallies were good, but whether they were better or worse than the Wags. They were less hot stuff, that was admitted on all sides.]

    1986 End 15 18/1 You scallies would say Carm on scarse, two or three seasons back in a Cockney accent.

    1990 Independent 30 June 8, I think McCartney has the philosophy that he was one of four scallys who did it all with no assistance. It’s the classic capitalist ideology. We’ve done it; why can’t everyone else?

    1996 ikon Jan.–Feb. 45/1 Maybe even now some rat-faced scally is flogging bits of Brookside’s storyline from a fly-by-night market stall.

    2000 A. Sayle Barcelona Plates 60 An Opel Omega full of Swiss tourists?caused panic?when they stopped to ask directions and their ‘CH’ plate sent all the scallies diving into doorways and running home for their nine mils.”

    I dare say the Pool (my own birthplace) makes a likely landing place for an Americanism, and of course you and I both have migrated from there at some stage. The quotation from Forster is interesting. I haven’t read the book and don’t know if there is a Merseyside or Lancs link there.

  55. William says:

    Thank you Eileen, what a cracker.

    Everyone’s said what I wanted to say, so simply one of the best puzzles this year.

    More please, 8 legs.

  56. RCWhiting says:

    Alan Bleasdale (who is from Liverpool), before his fame as a TV dramatist, wrote plays for Radio 4 and a novel.
    The central character, who fitted tupu’s description perfectly, was named Scully.
    I never heard Alan explain this but it is likely there was a link.

  57. Davy says:

    Thanks Eileen,

    Great puzzle from Spider Woman which I initially thought was quite easy. How wrong I was. As per other people, I needed explanations for a few answers but not many. One of the last answers was BOBOLINKS but I firstly guessed booblinks and googled it. Unsurprisingly I got loads of porn sites. Hey ho. For anyone interested, here’s a nice little film of the bird :

    I particularly liked OUSTING, MELTON MOWBRAY and INAUGURAL (loved dilapidated urinal).

    Many thanks Arachne.

  58. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the link, Davy – lovely!

  59. PeeDee says:

    Thanks Eileen, Arachne et al for the explanations of this fine inventive crossword.

    I’m really made up that bobolinks made an appearance. Until today I did not realise that this is a real bird, I thought it was a name made up by David Kossov in Mouse on the Moon, a classic 1963 film satire of the space race.

  60. pennes says:

    First time ever I’ve tried a Guardian crossword: I have a subscription to the Independent and never ocurred to me that the Guardian crossword was online and free. I printed it off as couldn’t be bothered to work out how to do it online.
    I finished the Indy Dac in good time today so had a go at this, this evening. I’ve been slightly peeved with the Indy as i had a 4 hour journey on the train one Saturday recently and the Indy that day was almost entirely themed about one music group about which I knew virtually nothing
    I found this a very nice surprise, most clues very clear and inventive 12 ac Thong has to go down as one of my favorite clues.
    I got manicured from crossing letters and realising there was an anagram of rude at the end but didn’t fully understand the clue until I got here. Actually I can’t recall coming acros this type of “anagram in the word” clue before, but maybe I just don’t remember.

  61. tupu says:

    Many thanks for the link Davy! A sort of avian ‘disgusted of Tunbridge Wells’.

  62. Paul B says:

    I had hate for EGOTISTICALLY. Not so much for SCALLY, which to me seems pretty good for monkey (and I’m from Hampshire), but for TITI, which is GK pure and simples. And ‘leading experts’ does not indicate E either. And ‘crossing’ too I thought a bit dodgy. Apart from that though …

  63. Huw Powell says:

    I’m a bit frowny over “ICEHOUSES” = “old refrigerators” too, though there may be a cultural divide here of course. The icehouse is where those whose business it was to invest in cutting, hauling, and storing ice during the winter then selling it in the summer would store said ice. Then it would be sold to those who needed it, in suitably sized blocks, to place in their “iceboxes”, which were “old refrigerators”. But what the heck, it parses, and I suppose they would certainly be cold, and perhaps the owners also rented out space to act as refrigerators, perhaps to larger customers with bulk goods to preserve…

    I had a lot of pencil left at the end of this… and although my notes say “sottish” and “artists”, the uncrossed letters there stayed blank. Although I sort of see how “sottish” is derived, I defy anyone to actually parse it clearly using the exact words in the clue. Not to fret, though, since the Rev does that all the time.

    Thanks for the blog, Eileen, and the intricate puzzle, Arachne!

    Oh, and a PS, a puzzle I was just working on included “EILEEN” as an answer I found early on and I was hoping, hoping, to see a handful of 225 bloggers represented, to no avail, alas.

  64. tupu says:

    Hi Huw

    I parsed it ‘from Edinburgh, say’ = Scottish > not many = remove ‘c’ > = sottish.

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