Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,593 – Orlando

Posted by manehi on March 26th, 2012


A tricky puzzle with some excellent cluing – I especially liked 14dn and 21dn.

9 ABHOR =”can’t stand” Hidden inside [ar]AB HO[rse]
10 NONE OTHER =”the very same” anagram of (E=”25’s first” + ON THRONE). Surface reads nicely as “Emperor’s first on throne…”
11 SEDGEMOOR =”battle” [wiki] S[l]EDGE=”Transport left out” + MOOR=”North African”
12 ENTRY =”getting in” [g]ENTRY=”Well bred people not initially”
13 DESTINY =”lot” (Tynesid)*[e]
15 SLIP OFF =”Go quietly” SLIP=”piece of paper” + OFF=”rotten”
17 CRAMP =”Painful muscular contraction” Steve CRAM is a British runner + P[roblem]
18 SKA =”music” sounds like “scar”=”Mark”
20 GOPAK =Ukrainian cossack “dance” [wiki] GO=”Leave” + PA=”old man” + [fol]K
22 LANGUOR =”Weariness” LANGUR=”monkey” [wiki] around O=”nothing”
25 EMPEROR =”sovereign” [t]EMPER=”Paddy wasting first” + OR=”gold”
26 CUTIE =”Babe” CUE=”reminder” around TI[ghts]=”pair of tights”
27 CROSSOVER =”as country folk?” – example of crossover music Diana ROSS of the Supremes, inside COVER=”disguise”
30 AS IT COMES =”anyhow” A SITCOM’S=”A programme’s” around E[ntertainment]
31 VIALS =”BOTTLES” VI[olet]=”Little girl” + ALS[o]=”too short”
1 PASS double def “I don’t know” and “highland route”
2 RHODESIA =”Where Salisbury [its former capital] was” (so I heard)*. Nice misdirection using a potential homophone indicator as the anagram fodder.
3 TRUE =”faithful” T[hose]=”Those taking off stockings” + RUE=regret
4 ANTONYMS =”War and Peace, say” ANTONY is a role for the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford + MS=manuscript=”writing”
5 INGRES =French “artist” [wiki] (arresting)* minus the letters of “art”
6 COVERING UP =”withholding information” COVE=”Old fellow” + RING UP=”call”
7 WHAT HO “Call for Bertie Wooster” [wiki] HAT=”topper” inside WHO=”doctor?”
8 GRAY referencing Thomas Gray’s Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard G[e]R[m]A[n]Y=”Odd characters in the land of Schiller”
13 DECAL “Transfer” rev(LACED)=”tied up”
14 IMPRUDENCE “Lacking discretion” [Worceste]R inside IMPUDENCE=”sauce”
16 FAKIR =”Holy man” F[emale] + A KIR=”a drink”
19 ALEHOUSE =”pub” EH=”What” inside A LOUSE=”a detestable character”
21 PERUVIAN =”Paddington [Bear], for example” (rave up in)*
23 NITWIT =”Silly ass” rev[IN] + TWIT=”another [silly ass]”
24 RACEME =”flower arrangement” [wiki] AC=”Aircraftman”, inside R[oyal] E[lectrical] [and] M[echanical] E[ngineers]=”soldiers”
26 CZAR =”Emperor”=”25″ CAR=”Wheels” around Z=”the last” letter
28 SAVE =”Husband” S[econd] AVE[nue]
29 RISE double def “Hike” and “spring”

39 Responses to “Guardian 25,593 – Orlando”

  1. Gervase says:

    Thanks, manehi.

    I’m glad you found this tricky as well! Doubly unusual: Orlando on Monday and Orlando much less straightforward than usual.

    Good puzzle, with some clever constructions and misleading definitions combined with Orlando’s characteristically plausible surfaces. Favourites were 10a, 27a, 2d, 4d, 7d, 16d, 19d, 21d 24d (that’s rather a lot, isn’t it?)

    I thought 20a looked like GOPAK and went to the dictionary without much hope of vindication!

  2. scchua says:

    Thanks manehi and Orlando.

    For while, last Saturday, this puzzle was mistakenly shown online as the Prize puzzle, and I found some of the clues as tricky as to found in a Prize puzzle: in particular GRAY, PERUVIAN, and CROSSOVER, which I found v. good. Held up a moment by 14D IMPRUDENCE, where I was trying to fit IMPRUDENT, adjective, in keeping with “lacking discretion”.

  3. scchua says:

    P.S. Though I hasten to add that “lacking discretion” can also be a nounal phrase.

  4. tupu says:

    Thanks manehi and Orlando

    Some predictably smooth surfaces in an enjoyable if harder puzzle than usual from Orlando, which left me conscious of what seems to be a lot of ‘letter play’ – taking bits and pieces off words – e.g. in 9a, 12a, 13a, 26a, 31a, 3d, 5d, and 8d.

    Musical references (27a contains two) left me checking Ross and Ska and Gopak though answers were clear enough.

    I ticked 11a, 13a, 8d, 21d, 26d as I went along.

  5. David W says:

    I know my comments in the past have tended to the negative so I am delighted to say that this was my idea of a decent crossword!

  6. Mitch says:

    Lovely, lovely crossword. Thanks t

    Shouldn’t 22a be languor

  7. manehi says:

    Mitch – thanks, fixed.

  8. William says:

    Thanks manehi and Orlando.

    This took me ages. Horribly misdirected by CROSSOVER, ANTONYMS & RHODESIA – all jolly clever stuff and very smooth.

    Very minor gripe over ‘a pair of tights’ = TI, but that aside, an excellent puzzle that would have graced a Prize any time.

    I feel sure we’ve seen IMPRUDENCE

    Many thanks.

  9. William says:

    Thanks manehi and Orlando.

    This took me ages. Horribly misdirected by CROSSOVER, ANTONYMS & RHODESIA – all jolly clever stuff and very smooth.

    Very minor gripe over ‘a pair of tights’ = TI, but that aside, an excellent puzzle that would have graced a Prize any time.

    I feel sure we’ve seen IMPRUDENCE clued this way before.

    Many thanks.

  10. William says:

    Apologies for the double post – can’t type!

  11. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    A pleasant surprise for a Monday.
    Not particularly difficult but in 27ac had one of the best clues I have seen for a long while.
    Last in was ‘sedgemoor’ Wasted time thinking of ‘sidi……’ for N.African battle.

  12. Gervase says:

    The clue for 27a, with its multiple musical allusions, is ingenious but it didn’t entirely work for me. “Country music” and “folk music” are overlapping genres, so “country folk” is not a particularly good example of CROSSOVER!

  13. chas says:

    Thanks to manehi for the blog.

    I have a couple of objections. One, already mentioned, is in 26a: “a pair of tights” being used to mean ‘the first two letters from tights’ – I am sure a much better way could have been found to indicate TI.

    My other objection is in 19d: ‘stopping’ is used to mean ‘inserted into’. What a weird usage!

  14. Gervase says:

    chas @13: ‘stopping’ can perfectly reasonably mean ‘inserting something as a blockage’ – the cork in a bottle can be called a ‘stopper’.

  15. Blaise says:

    Gervase @12
    In the US I’m pretty certain there’s a distiunction between “country” and “folk”. The image this evoked for me was the Blues Brothers turning up to play at Bob’s Country Bunker. When they ask the barmaid what kind of music they have there she replies “Oh, we have both kinds: country AND western.”

  16. CrumlinT says:

    Obscure and very unenjoyable, (is that a word?).

  17. rrc says:

    holy pi man m female ms = pimms well it works logically sorry it was the wrong answer, two crosswords to do Saturday and nothing to solve to day

  18. liz says:

    Thanks, manehi. I found this quite tricky and had to cheat to get SEDGEMOOR, although if I’d spent more time on it the penny would have dropped eventually. Good surfaces, as others have said, but my enjoyment was slightly spoiled by the feeling that I wasn’t quite on the setter’s wavelength — or perhaps it’s just Monday :-(

    I agree with tupu that there seemed to be a lot of clues where letters were removed here and there.

  19. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Manehi & Orlando

    I enjoyed this enormously when I completed it on Saturday.

    However, I had never heard of GOPAK but I then found it on Youtube:


    Will I now get the Prize that I fully deserve?

  20. RCWhiting says:

    I seem to remember from my youth that stuffing stuff into a tooth was called stopping although the term filling now seems preferred.
    Do you think that pedantic could be considered the same as obstinate, just like country is the same as folk?

  21. Derek P says:

    A cracking crossword I thought with many fine clues. Particularly liked 3dn (took me a while to see ‘those removing stockings’ = T). Only small quibble with 29dn, as both words used in a similar sense, and would say ‘leap’ work just as well if it weren’t for crossing letters?

  22. Robi says:

    Difficult for me, more so than some of the Prize ones. Only solvable with wordsearch help.

    Thanks manehi; I didn’t see the pair of tights, the GeRmAnY or the INGRES/arresting. I think Paul might have provided an interesting clue for SLIP OFF.

    I wouldn’t normally equate vial with bottle, despite Chambers. Modern-day usage, I think, is different. I thought CROSSOVER was good, in spite of the comments above.

  23. gm4hqf says:

    Thanks manehi and Orlando.

    I struggled for ages to complete this one and ended up failing with 18a. A three letter word with only the middle letter missing and I couldn’t get it. Never heard of the word Ska before.

  24. NeilW says:

    Thanks manehi. As others have remarked, this was originally posted as the prize last Saturday and I solved it then, finding it of medium/light difficulty for a prize but not for a moment questioning its place in the Saturday slot. Bizarre to find it resurfacing today of all days – my normal gentle Monday morning stroll was replaced with Araucaria’s prize to do instead!

    I’d love to know what an earth went on – but, as usual, I’m sure the Grauniad will sail serenely by. “Never apologise: never explain.”

  25. Robi says:

    NeilW @24; comment from Hugh on the Grauniad site:

    ‘As a result of some glitch in the loading program two puzzles were initially loaded on Saturday as the weekly prize puzzle: Araucaria’s No 25,592 and Orlando’s No 25,593. In principle this should not be possible as the Saturday prize puzzles are tagged as such and have a different format. I have not yet been able to discover how it did happen. What made things worse was that, although both puzzles go0t into the system as prize puzzles, the Orlando one was shown on the crossword home page.
    When the mistake was discovered on Saturday the mistake was put right manually.
    My apologies for the inconvenience caused. I am praying that the reason for the glitch can be found soon.

  26. RCWhiting says:

    Who or what, exactly, do you pray to when a piece of software has been badly written by a human?

  27. NeilW says:

    Thanks, Robi and, to Hugh, my apologies for an unreasonable assumption. I’m still not sure that this excellent puzzle really fitted the Monday bill, especially given the “different format”, whatever that means. It would seem the effort to “put right manually” still went awry.

  28. Biggles A says:

    I downloaded this as the weekly Prize too. Did anyone else enter SHIP OFF for 15? SH = quietly, IP = one page, Ship off = go away? I acknowledge that SLIP OFF is the better solution but not necessarily the only one.

  29. stiofain says:

    I did this early on saturday too and thought it was prize xword standard – ie tough but fair ….. missed an easy start to the week today and didnt have time to tackle the Arry replacement

  30. Davy says:

    Thanks manehi and full marks to Orlando for this excellent puzzle. I also wanted to put LEAP for 29d and also toyed with RAP and DUB for 18a until ALEHOUSE came into view.

    Of the many good clues, I’ll select RHODESIA, CROSSOVER and PERUVIAN as particular favourites.

    As to Hugh’s comment which I did read earlier, it seems that there are too many glitches for what is essentially a simple application. I really don’t understand how so many mistakes can be made for what should be an automated process. Ah well, at least it’s free to print the crossword, assuming of course that the correct page emerges which sometimes it doesn’t.

  31. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Like others, we found this a very enjoyable Orlando.
    In many crosswords we consider the NW to be the hardest part, but not today.
    So, plain sailing? Not really.
    My PinC felt that there was some kind of cross referencing going on. Not just EMPEROR-wise. An “old man” (20ac) and an “old fellow” (6d). “Paddy” (25ac) and “Paddington” (21d). “Folk” in both 20ac and 27ac. “Wooster” (7d) and “Worcester” (14d), homophones.
    It made the puzzle all the more coherent.

    Many thanks, manehi, for the blog.
    And the same amount of thanks to Orlando for another bunch of quality clues.

    [and for those who really liked it, try last Saturday’s FT Prize Puzzle in which Cincinnus (Orlando’s alter ego) geared up a bit too]

  32. stiofain says:

    Davy@30 my pet hate/glitch ( among the many ) is when there are multiple lights to fill for a clue ( Paul is the main offender ) the numbers overwrite the start of the clue eg if it is 19,13 it overwrites the first letter or two of the clue, if it is 21,15 across,17 down,14 it overwrites the first line and you need to refer to the pdf to see it.
    This is so easy to fix with one <br added into the css that controls the layout.
    I applied for a web job at The Grauniad a few yrs ago, I should of wore a turtleneck sweater grew a little goatee and a ponytail and had the latest overpriced MAC under my arm and not worried about being compatible and I would have got it. They were paying 45k, now who can think of a good clue for SINECURE.

  33. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Wrong about roping old money: money for old rope!

  34. Paul B says:

    Someone is praying to be given reason? Shurely shome (etc).

  35. gordon ellitt says:

    Worth investigating Leap Year syndrome for the glitch?

  36. stiofain says:

    haha great clue Sil if you are still reading

  37. Sil van den Hoek says:

    To be honest, stiofain, I couldn’t resist the challenge.
    So, I did just something, very quickly.
    I have no idea whether the surface makes sense (probably not), but the clue sounded/looked so silly that I started to like it.
    BTW, just saw that I posted it at 12:46 am.
    Can’t remember me being awake at that time ….

  38. stiofain says:

    Sil its worthy of earning you a sinecure in the guardian stable!! The surface is brilliant especially in the early hours

  39. Davy says:

    “Easy money but insecure arrangement.”

    A bit too close to the answer methinks.

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