Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Cryptic N° 25,607 by Orlando

Posted by PeterO on April 11th, 2012


A very satisfying puzzle – not too difficult, with a plethora of ingenious and witty devices.

1. Last queen but one between posts (6)
KEEPER A charade of KEEP (‘last’) + ER (Elizabeth Regina, ‘queen’). The ‘posts’ are goal posts.
5. Fancy notepaper, nonetheless, for arrested juvenile (5,3)
PETER PAN An anagram (‘fancy’) of ‘n[o]tepaper’ with the ‘o’ removed (‘nonetheless’), for the boy who refused to grow up. Very clever.
9. Run down heartless brute with mini (8)
BELITTLE A charade of BE (‘heartless BrutE‘) + LITTLE (‘mini’).
10. Abide by church given power in law (6)
ACCEPT An envelope (‘in’) of CE (‘Church’ of England) + P (‘power’) in ACT (‘law’).
11. Prepare to deal and get on with the game (12)
SHUFFLEBOARD A charade of SHUFFLE (‘prepare to deal’ at cards) + BOARD (‘get on’).
13. Come to party after funeral (4)
WAKE Double definition.
14. One from Yokohama being paid in yen (8)
YEARNING A charade of Y (‘one from Yokohama’) + EARNING (‘being paid’).
17. Swede, for example, with metal one can cut (8)
BRASSICA A charade of BRASS (‘metal’) + I (‘one’) + CA[n] (‘can cut’). Brassica is the cabbage genus, to which the swede (rutabaga this side of the pond) belongs.
18. Serpentine swimmers with Marylebone’s last golfer (4)
EELS A charade of E (‘MarylebonE‘s last’) + ELS (Ernie Els, South African ‘golfer’).
20. Folded plastic sheet is to be the deciding factor (3,3,6)
TIP THE SCALES An anagram (‘folded’) of ‘plastic sheet’.
23. Those answering to M answer to men (6)
AGENTS A charade of A (‘answer’) + GENTS (‘men’). The cryptic definition refers to James Bond’s boss.
24. Geordie area’s taken back, so Labour leader waxed lyrical (8)
ENTHUSED A charade of EN, a reversal (‘taken back’) of NE (North East of England, ‘Geordie area’) + THUS (‘so’) + ED (Ed Miliband, ‘Labour leader’).
25. Any number taken in by footballer’s contemptuous expression (8)
KNICKERS An envelope (‘taken in by’) of N (‘any number’) in KICKERS (‘footballers’).
26. Authentic egg sandwiches are tempting (6)
ENTICE A hidden answer (‘sandwiches’) in ‘authENTIC Egg’).
2. Sound fish looked at with interest (4)
EYED A homophone (‘sound’) of IDE (‘fish’).
3. Is nosy girl one to make sacrifices? (9)
PRIESTESS A charade of PRIES (‘is nosy’) + TESS (‘girl’).
4. Decisive defeat with terrorist group at first in poor spirits (6)
ROTGUT An envelope (‘with … in’) OF TG (‘Terrorist Group at first’) in ROUT (‘decisive defeat’).
5. Creepy fat child’s dicky birds (4,11)
PIED FLYCATCHERS An anagram (‘dicky’) of ‘creepy fat child’s’.
6. Deficit? Artist not quite down in the mouth (5,3)
TRADE GAP An envelope (‘in’) of DEGA[s] (‘artist not quite’) in TRAP (‘mouth’).
7. Erotic pose one ignored on page three, say (5)
RECTO An anagram (‘pose’?) of ‘erot[i]c’ with the ‘i’ removed (‘one ignored’). In a book (or newspaper), recto is a right-hand page, such as the third.
8. It seems to be put on without a tear (10)
APPARENTLY An envelope (‘without’) of A RENT (‘a tear’) in APPLY (‘put on’).
12. Unending hoo-ha (8,2)
CARRYING ON Double definition.
15. Kelly’s drinking English grape juice — there is no alternative (5,4)
NEEDS MUST An envelope (‘drinking’) of E (‘English’) in NED’S (Ned ‘Kelly’, the Australian bushranger/folk hero) + MUST (‘grape juice’).
16. One sees many pictures of Caine and ET’s cast (8)
CINEASTE An anagram (‘cast’) of ‘Caine’ + ‘ETs’.
19. Dress for Dumbo? What’s up? (6)
CLOTHE A charade of CLOT (‘dumbo’) + HE, a reversal (‘up’, in a down clue) of EH (‘what’).
21. Invigorating chapter written by Morrison (5)
TONIC A charade of TONI (American novelist Toni ‘Morrison’, best known for Beloved) + C (‘chapter’).
22. Car dealers ignoring southern county (4)
MERC A subtraction, MERC[hants] (‘dealers’) with ‘hants’ (Hampshire, ‘southern county’) removed. The car is a Mercedes Benz.

31 Responses to “Guardian Cryptic N° 25,607 by Orlando”

  1. NeilW says:

    Thanks, PeterO.

    I found the right hand side quite hard until I sorted out the anagram in 5dn. Then it all fell into place fairly quickly. Once finished, it was one of those puzzles where you look back and wonder why it seemed so tough.

    The subtraction device used in PETER PAN and RECTO seems to be the new black. Definitely my favourites today though.

  2. Miche says:

    Thanks, PeterO.

    Re 13a: I’d have said a wake happens before a funeral, with the deceased present.

  3. JollySwagman says:

    Just had to pop in because they’re mainly moaning over on the G thread. I thought this was a fun puzzle and I particularly liked the free and easy but accurate cluing style.

    5a was my first in and straightaway I thought – this’ll be good – and it was, I thought – all the way through.

    Many thanks for the blog PO and O for the puzzle.

  4. NeilW says:

    I’m with you, JS. :)

    If you dive back in there, you might like to let them know that MERC is in Chambers, by the way. Even if it weren’t, it’s certainly in my personal dictionary of slang.

  5. Rich says:

    Thanks PeterO and Orlando.

    I really struggled with this for some reason, but as NeilW says I can’t see why when I look back.

    I am also unable to decide between Peter Pan or recto as my COD, arrested juvenile is a fantastic definition, but the whole surface of 7D is brilliant. Word play in each very satisfying too.

  6. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Peter.

    We’ll no doubt get accused of sycophancy from those elsewhere, but I always enjoy an Orlando puzzle and I thought this one was challenging but entertaining. I liked APPARENTLY today, as well as PETER PAN and PRIESTESS.

    SHUFFLEBOARD I guessed, but had never heard the word in English. I thought it was a Dutch game, because friends from the Netherlands always used to bring out SJOELSCHIJVEN on New Year’s Eve for the young and not so young to play. Once Big Ben had struck twelve, we were invited to pronounce the word. Not many came close, but I blame the alcohol.

    Fine puzzle, thank you to Orlando.

  7. tupu says:

    Thanks PeterO and Orlando

    A good blog of a very entertaining puzzle with lots of clever cluing. I wondered if I’d get started at all at first but it all became clear in the end.

    I did not realise till I checked that brassica was such a broad category of veg.

    I ticked many clues including 5a, 11a (I had always thought of it as a sort of shove-halfpenny), 13a, 20a, 6d, and 15d.

    ‘Trade gap’ was my last in for some reason. I saw a Degas connection eventually but tried it first as a sort of ****e gas.

  8. tupu says:

    re Shuffleboard and related games including shove ha’penny see

  9. Robi says:

    I found this a bit difficult to get started, but very enjoyable.

    Thanks PeterO; I didn’t parse MERChants properly. I thought it was something to do with commercial. Lots of Morrisons to choose from – I thought it might have been Van at the beginning.

    No doubt Paul would have used a different definition for KNICKERS.

    I thought RECTO was my COD with a good, smooth surface.

  10. Gervase says:

    Thanks, PeterO

    Excellent puzzle, which I found really tricky, for some reason. The bottom half fell out fairly easily, but I spent a long time on the top.

    Many clever clues: 5a and 7d, as already mentioned, 11a and 14a are well constructed, but my favourite was 8d – great surface and construction, with a sneakily tiny definition.

    I have come across ‘carry-on’ and ‘carryings-on’ but never CARRYING-ON in the singular form. But it’s in Chambers, so it must be so ;-)

  11. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    I thought I had finished this until I came here and discovered that my unsatisfactory ‘Kristina’ at 17ac was wrong.
    I was a little slow getting started until I got ‘priestess’ (I wonder how Arachne would react to that one). Then the tophalf collapsed quickly. Progress a little slower at the bottom with ‘clothe’ (very good) and ‘Merc’ being last in.
    I liked 14ac, 25ac, 19d and 22d.

    Praising a piece of work is not sycophancy, adulating the setter is.

  12. RCWhiting says:

    Gervase, you must live a very wild and dissolute life if you know carrying-on only in the plural.

  13. rrc says:

    Thought 5a excellent, but otherwise this was bit of a slog -

  14. chas says:

    Thanks to PeterO for the blog. You explained why I had the right answer for 3d.

    I liked PETER PAN.

  15. chas says:

    I also found this one slow to start. However, when I had a few written in the others fell into place fairly swiftly – apart from a couple I was unable to parse. Thanks to this website for explaining why I had the right answers.

  16. engineerb says:

    I enjoyed this puzzle, but I have to agree with Miche (Comment 2). In Ireland the wake is always before the funeral; that held me up for ages “it looks like wake, but it can’t be”

  17. Kathryn's Dad says:

    The discussion on ‘wake’ is interesting. For me, like Orlando but unlike Miche and engineerb, it was always the do after the funeral, but I had a look in my Collins and it gives the following:

    9: ‘a watch or vigil held over the the body of a dead person during the night before burial’

    10: ‘(in Ireland) festivities held after a funeral’

    Which seems to contradict what you both have said. But dictionaries don’t always get it right …

  18. Pandean says:

    For ‘wake’, Chambers has ‘a watch or vigil beside a corpse, sometimes with revelry’.

  19. NeilW says:

    Come on guys! I’ve refrained from commenting on Miche’s comment @2 until now.

    We all know that the traditional WAKE is as described above but nowadays WAKE normally refers to the party after the funeral. I might be wrong, but I don’t think many attend open casket WAKEs any more.

  20. Trebor says:

    Can’t believe I missed accept! Surely the sign of a great crossword that you can spend 20mins on a puzzle, solve 85% and give up; yet understand within seconds how the elusive answers work.

  21. engineerb says:

    Open coffin wakes have made quite a comeback where I live over the past 10 years or so (it’s worth remembering that the funeral in Ireland almost always takes place within 2-3 days of death). I’ve never heard the party after the funeral being called a wake.

  22. PeterO says:

    It is curious how often an answer that seems ‘obvious’ to me when solving turns out to have some mileage in it at discussion time. Here we have two: SHUFFLEBOARD and WAKE.

    SHUFFLEBOARD I always associate with cruise ships (not that I have ever been on one). Tupu, thanks for the Britannica link, which notes that the game is mentioned in Shakespeare. K’s D – Wikipedia mentions the Dutch variant sjolen.

    As for WAKE, the word certainly suggests to me the presence of the corpse – but, just to muddy the waters even further, a funeral is not necessarily synonymous with an interment (or other disposal of the body). I feel that Orlando is within his rights with the clue as it stands, even if it does not conform with possibly common practice. Perhaps he might have sidestepped the problem by phrasing the clue ‘Come to party after death’.

    At least we have not had a squabble over MERC.


  23. claire says:

    We convinced ourselves that 1ac was ‘temper’ as in ‘last’ (sort of) with the justification that a ‘temp’ ‘er’ was a queen between posts. Ah well.The rest was fun. Also fun, I should say.

  24. Martin P says:

    Lovely puzzle.

  25. kenj says:

    Is tempting acceptable as a definition in 26 ?
    Surely entice is a verb ?

  26. morpheus says:

    kenj @25 I think the definition is “are tempting” rather than tempting, which works for me.

  27. RatkojaRiku says:

    I agree with Trebor about the mark of a great crossword, and like others, I thoroughly enjoyed this one. As always with Orlando, I completed this one in fits and starts, with the NE quadrant proving particularly tricky.

    Like the blogger, I wondered about the use of “pose” as an anagram indicator in 7; nor was I sure about “keep” for “last” in 1.

  28. RCWhiting says:

    I think it helps to think of food which does not go off easily.

  29. Rorschach says:

    Robi @9

    If memory serves correctly Paul’s version was almost identical: along the lines of “Footballer’s with their name sewn into their underwear”

  30. Rorschach says:

    Checked: “Name sewn into footballers’ underwear”… Close… Knickers!

  31. brucew_aus says:

    Thanks Orlando and PeterO. Did struggle with this one … and like RCW I had Kristina in beautifully parsed as KRIS (can cut) with TIN (metal) A (one) … but not to be and BRASSICA is much better !

    The puzzle went in bits and pieces and across a fairly long elapsed time finishing over lunch today with KEEPER and ROTGUT.

    Did fail to parse the HANTS part of MERC :)as well – so points victory to the setter with this one ! Thoroughly enjoyed all the same.

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