Never knowingly undersolved.

The Guardian No 25,583 by Brummie

Posted by Stella on March 14th, 2012


Thanks to Brummie for an enjoyable puzzle with a couple of intriguing images in the surface reading.

Definitions are underlined in the clues.

8. Dramatic character making love in exotic villa, caught by doctor (8)
9. It’s far from the gold route, start to finish (5)
OUTER ROUTE, with the first letter last. I find the definition a little puzzling here – is “the gold” the bull’s eye?
10. Grant holds C sharp (4)
ACID AID around C
11. Crafty revolutionary move, terribly irksome, gaining last 75% of vote (6,4)
12. Operation cuts lives in extremely bloody medical procedure (6)
BIOPSY IS round OP, in B(lood)Y
14. Crank cap, say, and chain for bird (8)
16. Caveman-speak about to be implanted in mutated Asian reptiles (7)
18. African warriors, revolutionary yet showing irreverence (7)
21. Tasteful circles restricting one with no time for medical openings (8)
FISTULAE 1 in *TASTEFUL minus one T
23. Retired American, Mr Barlow Sweet? (6)
24. Verbal form of (the symbol for pi) reversed in electron, say (10)
26,4. Gigolo Don’s dancing around all right, which is fair (4-7)
27,1. Keenly anticipating going-home time, like Westminster sightseers? (5-8)
CLOCK-WATCHING Definition and cryptic definition
28. Negative poles seen around hot air (8)
1. See 27
- See 27
2. Poet‘s round — very one just cited (4)
OVID O + V + ID, short for “idem”
3. Tired skin lifted in surgery — extremely (6)
SLEEPY <PEEL in S(urger)Y
4. See 26 across
- See 26 across
5. Report which a sailor often has to avoid (4)
BOOM Double definition
6. Astronomer’s job, giving celebrity Georgia energy (10)
7. For movement tailless parasites leap about (6)
13. Pressure on national bats circling entrance to Tottenham’s growing estate (10)
PLANTATION P + *NATIONAL round T(ottenham)
15. See 20
- See 20
17,23. Nothing’s outside the scope of one who is single and ale-besotted (3-6)
19. Shell carrier sounding stretched on French river (8)
TORTOISE Sounds like “TAUT” + OISE
20,15. After pint, change of tempo in eg one looking for sexual pleasure (7,3)
22. Make a horticultural graft, caused by chain reaction round tip of tuber (6)
INARCH *CHAIN round (tube)R
23. See 17
- See 17
25. Angelica kept as cover for this? (4)
CAKE Hidden in “angeliCA KEpt”
26. Computer enthusiast‘s right to abandon language? (4)

27 Responses to “The Guardian No 25,583 by Brummie”

  1. tupu says:

    Thanks Stella and Brummie

    I found this more straightforward than I expected which was welcome since I have a busy day ahead.

    Yes I think the gold is the bullseye.

    I think the ‘caveman speak’ is ‘ug’ which then needs reversing.

    I was surprised to find the same ‘extremely’ device in 12a and 3d.

    I ticked 11a, 16a, and 26a and found the whole a pleasant solve.

    19d reminded me of a man who turns up naked at a fancy dress ball with his girlfriend riding pick-a-back. Asked what he was he said ‘I’m a tortoise and this is Michelle’. Boom – boom and apologies.

  2. andy smith says:

    Thanks Stella.

    The ‘gold’ refers I think to an archery target

  3. NeilW says:

    Thanks, Stella.

    Very easy for a Brummie. tupu has beaten me to every one of my comments – well except for his last. :)

    There’s a sort of mini-theme in the down parts of the solutions with:

  4. Stella says:

    Thanks all. You’re quite right, of course, tupu, about “caveman speak”. I wasn’t thinking, in my haste to get the blog published :)

  5. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Stella.

    I’ve always struggled with Brummie in the past – a wavelength thing, I fancy – but this one went in nicely and I enjoyed it for its light touch. Particularly liked the medical answers – BIOPSY and FISTULAE – but ESKIMO ROLL also brought a smile.

    Thanks to Brummie, and to tupu for a truly awful joke. If challenged, I will deny laughing at it.

  6. Mitz says:

    Thanks Brummie, and Stella.

    Very straightforward today. As easy as a Private Eye Cyclops and without the rude bits. No less enjoyable for all that.

  7. tupu says:

    I neglected to mention that I did not know ‘inarch’ and found it on checking that ‘inatch’ was not a word! The mechanism was clear but I started at the wrong end of the tuber!

  8. NeilW says:

    I suspect the vast majority of us had to look up INARCH, tupu!

  9. William says:

    Thank you Stella.

    Tupu @7 – me too. But unlike you, I suspect, it took me a silly amount of time to spot it.

    Found this slightly bland fare after yesterday’s spicy Tom Yum. Odd, really, as I’ve sometimes struggled with this setter. Rather too many easily spotted anagrams to keep the interest; except “tasteful circles” which led to FISTULAE which was quite neat. I only got it from the limited number of words that would fit and yield a plural.

  10. William says:

    …forgot to say that I missed the theme – well-spotted, NeilW.

  11. Peter says:


    I also had to use your solution for Inarch.

    Aside from the puzzle and as someone fairly new to 15 sqared, I have to ask you who are those gorgeous creatures in your picture? They look just like my little Lakeland Terrier.

  12. Stella says:

    Hi Peter, the larger one is my Bouvier des Flandres, Lucas, and the smaller one is a giant schnauzer-pitbull mix called Vicki, unfortunately no longer living with me, as someone took a fancy to her shortly before her 3rd birthday :(

  13. Gervase says:

    Thanks, Stella.

    Pleasant solve, though by no means vintage Brummie – there’s less humour and the surfaces are a bit rougher than usual. My favourites were 9a and 17,23 – clever definitions, good constructions and smooth surface readings.

    Like tupu, I spent a lot of time trying to work out *(CHAIN T) for 21a. INARCH was unfamiliar to me also, and was last in – after FISTULAE, which I didn’t recognise as an anagram for an unconscionably long time.

  14. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    Rather disappointing for a Brummie who usually provides something with more bite.
    Last in was ‘inarch’for the same reason as tupu et al.
    There were too many obvious definitions, notably ‘astronomer’s job’ = ‘stargazing’ and 27,3.

  15. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Stella, for the blog.

    Hi Gervase

    I had the same problems re INARCH and FISTULAE, which is one of the least obvious anagrams I remember seeing, but I do dislike this device ‘no time for’ when only one of the Ts is to be omitted. And I think I’ve been caught out before by ‘tip’, which to me means the top [I automatically think of an iceberg] although, to be fair, Collins has ‘1.a narrow or pointed end of something; 2. the top or summit.

  16. chas says:

    Thanks to Stella for the blog. I needed you to explain why I was correct with FISTULAE – I had totally failed to spot it as an anagram :(

    2d had me fooled. I already had —D then I saw the clue “just cited” so I wrote in IBID. Later I got MALVOLIO so I realised OVID was better.

  17. Giovanna says:

    Thanks Brummie and Stella, for your usual super blog.

    Hope the rotter who took your dog lived to regret it!

    This was my best-ever solving time for a Brummie. I was pleased to note from Chambers that INARCH is rare!! It was gettable, however, from the clueing.

    Giovanna x

  18. Peter says:

    Thanks for the info Stella and I agree with Giovanna. Bouvier De Flandres is as new to me as Inarch was. There must be an anagram there. Thanks again for the Blog.

  19. Robi says:

    Thanks Brummie and Stella.

    Like Eileen @16; I thought of tip as a head selection indicator (as in my Chambers Crossword Dictionary.) I see, however, that Chambers has: ‘a slender, often tapering extremity; a small piece forming an end; the furthest part….,’ so I suppose it is legit.

    I think andy @2 is probably right about archery. However, rather confusingly, there are inner and outer rings to the gold in target archery. Although in field archery the outer is an outer, but the bullseye is then black rather than gold. :? Yes, I used to be an archer in my youth!

  20. Robi says:

    …… or even Eileen @15……

  21. Stella Heath says:

    Thanks for the sentiment, Giovanna, but I rather hope he took her because he realised her qualities, and is giving her the life she deserves – and I shall now let this off-topic rest :)

  22. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks Brummie and Stella. Enjoyed this puzzle. ESKIMO ROLL was a new term for me. Thanks for the parsing of IGUANAS. My old (2003)edition of Chambers has UG meaning something different from UGH.


    Admin: Edited to remove the answer to a clue in a prize puzzle for which entries are still open.

  23. Derek Lazenby says:

    Having got to 7/8 done yesterday, I was thinking this would be worse when started, but I managed it eventually, with the usual gadget aid of course. My excuse is that I’m too busy being distracted by the proceedings at Cheltenham.

  24. stiofain says:

    re 24 across Today is actually international pi day

  25. Robi says:

    Ha, ha 3.14, I get it now!

  26. stiofain says:

    @ Robi I hadnt spotted the 3.14 connection …. nerd humour I guess!

  27. Dreadnought says:

    Thanks for the crossword Brummie and the blog Stella.

    I remain convinced that “inatch” should be the solution to 22d; I even wrote it in.

    Is the Eskimo roll some kind of pudding a la baked Alaska or Swiss of the same ilk? Seal flavoured perhaps?

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