Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,601 / Brummie

Posted by Eileen on April 4th, 2012


Many thanks to Andrew for standing in for me last week.

A reasonably straightforward puzzle from Brummie, which I found quite enjoyable but the very clear definitions and / or enumeration in the clues for the longer answers, eg 29/18, 3, 4/19/25. 15/7, meant that they practically wrote themselves in, without the need for wordplay, and made it less satisfying. There seem to be rather a lot of charade-type clues.


9   WORDSMITH: WORD promise] + SMITH [singular of The Smiths – British pop group]
10  ADULT: anagram [movement] of DUAL + T [centre of waTch]: definition ‘dirty’, as in adult humour, etc, hence the question mark
11  YAHOO: reversal [perversely] of OO [love twice] + HAY [grass]
12  INSPECTOR: I hoped that the explanation of this would come to me while writing the blog but I’m afraid it hasn’t, so over to you.
13,6,1  CHINESE TAKE AWAY: I thought I was in for deciphering some intricate wordplay here but it’s a cryptic definition, depending on several double definitions – clever, but it made me feel rather uneasy
14  LEG SPIN: reversal [upsetting] of GEL [hair product] + SPIN [journey], ‘deliveryman’ being a bowler in cricket
17  MOTET: MOTE [spot] + T [time]
20  FOYER: YE [you once] in [interrupted] FOR [on behalf of]
21  CHIRRUP: anagram [filthy] of RICH + R [right] + UP [cheerful]
22  BURNISH: BURN [stream] + anagram [wheels] of HIS: I thought ‘wheel’ usually indicated a reversal in crosswords but Chambers gives it as ‘reel, be giddy’, so it does work
24  MAJOR-DOMO: M [miles] + A [one] + anagram [working] of MOJO round [roping in] anagram [rocking] of ROD: definition, steward
26  HEFTY: hidden in tHE FT Yearbook
28  BERYL: double definition, the artist being Beryl Cook
29,18  ADD INSULT TO INJURY: anagram of JOURNALIST, NUDITY and D [democrat]


2   BRAHMI: BRAHMs [German composer] with the s [south] replaced by I [one] to give the ancient Indian script
3   C S FORESTER: C S [first letters of Create Series] + FOR [on behalf of – again] + anagram [blighted] of TREES: C S Forester wrote a series of books about Captain Horatio Hornblower R.N.
4,19,25  DIVIDE AND RULE: anagram [revolutionary] of DAREDEVIL HINDU minus [escaping] H [hard]
5   WHISTLED: WHIST [game] LED [produced the first card] – a clever surface
13  COMIC: COsMIC [on a grand scale] minus [excluded] S [society]: I think there perhaps ought to be a ‘say’, or ‘eg’, as the Beano is an example of a comic
15,7  GO FORTH AND MULTIPLY: GO FORTH [sounds like [said] Go fourth, ie wait until after No 3] + AND [reversal [about] of DNA] + MULTI-PLY [many-stranded, like wool, for instance]
16,8  NORTH STAR: anagram [rounding – which, again, for me, suggests a reversal] of HORN around [about] T [time] + STAR [lead] – a nice nautical surface
19  APPROVAL: PR [prince in [tucks into] anagram [nuts] of PAVLOVA minus one V [very]: definition, OK
22  BROODY: ROOD [cross] IN B[ab]Y [baby’s limits] – this made me laugh
23  INFLUX: IN [accepted] + FLU [viral infection] + X [kiss]
24  MOBS: hidden in memoriaM OBSessed
27  YETI: YET [even] + I [crossword setter]

31 Responses to “Guardian 25,601 / Brummie”

  1. Ashley says:

    12ac is IN (part of the clique) + SPECTOR (Phil Spector).

  2. EB says:

    Thanks both.

    Re: 12ac – Spector refers to the ‘infamous’ Phil of ‘wall of sound’ fame; In = part of the clique.

  3. Eileen says:

    Thanks, both. I’m relieved to find that it’s something I would never have got, never having heard of the man. 😉

  4. NeilW says:

    Thanks Eileen. Maybe the source of your uneasiness about 16,3,1 was that AWAY appears in both clue and solution.

    Re “rounding” I guess if Brummie had used “around” as the anagrind, it would have seemed better but then the surface would have demanded the insertion of “the” which wouldn’t have worked.

  5. William says:

    Thanks Eileen. Didn’t know BRAHMI but, like a lot of this puzzle, it wrote itself in.

    I liked the Rod ‘STEWARD’ gag, though.

    GO FORTH AND MULTIPLY went in easily enough but I needed you to parse it.

    Isn’t it curious how a setter who has on occasions produced near impenetrable stuff can also come up with the other end of the spectrum? As Forrest Gump said, “Life is like a box of chocolates…”

  6. molonglo says:

    Thanks Eileen. 13 was the only one that held me, partly because I had Brahms for 2d. Even so I wasted some time trying to make sense of the second part of the clue. DItto for the ‘wait’ part of 15, 7 having solved it, so thanks for that, too

  7. John Appleton says:

    The proliferation of long answers made it a bit more like a game of hangman – as Eileen says, the wordplays weren’t necessary.

  8. Mitch says:

    Thanks for the blog, Eileen. Like you, I hooted at 22d – perhaps it’s a female thing :-)

    Despite it being so straightforward, it was a pleasure to do. Thanks Brummie

  9. crypticsue says:

    Everyone has already said it, straightforward and enjoyable and being a ‘girl’ I hooted at 22d just like Eileen and Mitch. Thanks to her for the explanations and Brummie for a nice start to Wednesday morning.

  10. Colin says:

    I still can’t parse the chinese take-away. More help please.

  11. Eileen says:

    Hi Colin

    I read 13,6,1 as being a play on the two meanings of noodles and of ‘put away’ [eat] and in a home / at home – as I said, I didn’t like it much.

  12. Phil says:

    After a spell away from weekday Guardians and 15 squared I was quite chuffed to complete this. The chuffedness disappears when I read here from Eileen and co. that it’s all quite straightforward! So maybe more satisfying for us mortals than some of you.

  13. tupu says:

    Thanks Eileen and Brummie

    Some amusing bits but long-winded in places and overall less enjoyable than I hoped.

    13 etc kept me puzzling long after the answer was clear. I’m sure NeilW is right about the double use of ‘away’.

    15d reminded me of the children’s joke along the lines of ‘And God said unto Moses ‘Go forth’ and he came fifth and was disqualified!’

  14. Eileen says:

    Hi tupu

    It was the surface of 13 etc that I was not comfortable with – but I’m no doubt being hyper-sensitive again. The double use of ‘away’ hadn’t struck me until NeilW pointed it out but it does weaken the clue.

  15. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog, Eileen. I wondered why I was finding Brummie easier than usual! Needed your explanation for 15,7.

  16. DougHug says:

    The first thing I saw was “Chinese Takeaway”, but I also hesitated because of the “away” in the clue. Even went off on a brief tangent by mapping the characters ESTINE in “destined” to their re-arrangement in ch[INESE T]akeaway before realising that nothing else worked, anagramatically or otherwise, and that the clue was just a cryptic definition.

  17. tupu says:

    Hi Eileen

    It was also an irritating clue because it looks as if some interesting play might be possible e.g. (whi)ch + (conta)in + (noodl)es + e (from a later word) with a possible reference in ‘destined’ to ending and to ‘noodles’ as an anagram indicator etc. Something like that could also possibly account for the double ‘away’. ‘Nest’ (home) and ‘set’ (put) were also lurking about. I couldn’t see how it might ultimately work though, recultantly decided it must be an a cryptic definition, and felt tempted like a disappointed honeymooner to ask ‘Was that it, then?’.

  18. tupu says:

    Hi DougHUg
    By the time I’d formulated 17 you were already there!

  19. smokeythebandit says:

    I don’t think anyone else has mentioned it but wasn’t there a mini theme here in that all 4 rules of arithmetic were included in the answers. ie add, take away,multiply and divide

  20. Colin says:

    Hi Eileen.
    Thanks indeed. I’m still trying to find the word ‘Chinese’ somewhere, but I think this might be a cultural thing. Perhaps Brummie has no concept of the food bit outside of a tinfoil tray.
    Still, it was all oddly simple for him, and I only turned to Chambers a couple of times.

  21. Eileen says:

    Thanks, smokeythebandit @19 – well-spotted! 😉

    I’m sorry, Colin, I’m afraid you’ve lost me now …

  22. Paul B says:

    Nice grid though, eh?

  23. Paul B says:

    I don’t get the CHINESE TAKE-AWAY one either, to be honest! Too clever for me. Meal in Shanghai? would have been my humble, and most likely plagiarised effort.

  24. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    Rather disppointing for a Brummie.
    If a setter builds a reputation for a tough challenge they doubly let us down when they produce a softie.
    I was delayed shortly by 2d because I misidentified the definition.

  25. Derek Lazenby says:

    Struggled but got there.

    Eileen, I hope you followed the link @1 and looked at the discography section. You really sure you never heard of him?

  26. Eileen says:

    Hi Derek

    I didn’t follow the link beyond the first paragraph, which confirmed that I’d never heard that name – honestly! [I do recognise [most of] the song titles, of course.]

  27. nametab says:

    Sometimes I’m not on Brummie’s wavelength, but found this one pretty easy, except for 2d.
    Rod Stewart, not ‘Steward’, by the way.
    Yes Paul B – nice grid.
    North Pole (ie ‘lead’) fits the parsing at 8d, but not quite the definition.

  28. RCWhiting says:

    Stewart/Steward is the point.

  29. nametab says:

    Ok, but I realised the point well enough. Perhaps I see it as overdone. I would have liked a question mark.

  30. William says:

    Bravo smokeythebandit @19! Missed it.

  31. PeeDee says:

    Thank you Eileen. I thought exactly the same about not needing the subsidiaries. It felt more like a concise crossword. I found myself just hunting words that looked like definitions then writing in the answers. I thought Chinese Takeaway felt a bit iffy too, it was almost there but just needed a little refinement.

    I liked the + x – / though. Nice and subtle.

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