Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Cryptic 25626 Pasquale

Posted by scchua on May 3rd, 2012


This was an enjoyable puzzle, not too difficult, with a new word for me, so it was a 14A (which is a word I dislike!).  A lot of help from the 3 related clues, which were quite easy to spot.  Thank you Pasquale   Definitions are underlined in the clues.  Each of the pictures at the bottom has an unidentified link to the puzzle. 

I can’t be sure that there isn’t a theme.  I see a civil rights connection in 2D, 18A, 10A, 8D where the Pilgrim Fathers sailed from.


1 Huge prophet passes slowly through a barrier (7)

OSMOSES :  OS(abbrev. for outsize,huge) + MOSES(the prophet of the burning bush fame). 

Answer: Verb for osmosis, the tendency for a fluid to pass slowly through a membrane,barrier.

5 Increase of status within university publisher (5,2)

CRANK UP :  RANK(status,where one stands relative to others) contained in(within) C.U.P.(Abbrev. for Cambridge University Press,publisher, not so successful as O.U.P.).

9 Give up supporting game (5)

FORGO :  FOR(in favour of,supporting) GO(old Japanese board game of strategy – this has now appeared 3 – maybe more? – times in the past 7 days)

10 Where to obtain luxury fabrics free (2,7)

AT LIBERTY :  Cryptic defn: Liberty is the long-established fashionable department store in Regent Street, London, just the place to obtain luxury fabrics, but far from free definitely.  Nice ironic surface.


11 ___ but they can’t fly in this bit of the farmyard! (7,3)

CHICKEN RUN :  Cryptic defn: Filling in the blanks, “Chicken run but they can’t fly”.  Nice idea, slightly spoiled by the incompatibility between “chicken” and “they” – I tried without success to find a reference giving “chicken” as a plural noun. 

12 “We don’t want you here!” (That sounds like Oxford, maybe) (4)

SHOOHomophone of(sounds like) “shoe”, a type of which,maybe is the Oxford

Answer: The imperative, “Go away!”

14 A tinted menu — somehow it’s amusing and instructive (11)


Answer: A portmanteau word for educational entertainment, synonymous with “infotainment”.

18 One has conjured a vision: Adam and Eve with hair unkempt (1,4,1,5)

I HAVE A DREAMAnagram of(unkempt) ADAM EVE HAIR.

21 River of Eden towards the end (4)

AVON :  Not a reference to the Garden, as one would expect from this setter (that comes later), but to Anthony Eden, former British PM who was made 1st Earl of Avon in the latter part,towards the end of his life – I’m not sure whether I’ve missed another significance in the last 3 words of the clue. 

Answer: Name of many rivers in England (not to mention in other countries), most famous of which is Shakespeare’s.

22 A peck, maybe, is what you get with dull old dance (3,7)

DRY MEASURE :  DRY(dull,uninteresting) + MEASURE(an old term for a dance, especially a slow one). 

Answer: An example of,maybe a unit of volume of dry stuff is the peck.  8 quarts make a peck, 4 pecks make a bushel, etc in the Imperial system.  In my FT blog 2 days, I was lamenting the diabolical numbers in the system – and to make it worse, a quart of liquid measure is different from a quart of dry measure!  Nice surface – you won’t get beyond first base with her, dancing the minuet.   

25 One girl about to be grabbed by unwanted person expects the worst (9)

PESSIMISTReversal of(about) [I(Roman numeral for “one”) + MISS(an unmarried girl)]contained in(grabbed by) PEST(someone you don’t want around). 

Answer: (One who) expects the worst – “person” could be doubling up.

26 The man in pub rejected treatment for alcoholics? (5)

REHABReversal of(rejected) [HE(the man) contained in(in) BAR(pub)]

Answer: Short for rehabilitation, of which there are many kinds, one of which is for alcoholics.

27 Poem in English — suggestion there’s nothing good in it (7)

ECLOGUE :  E(English) + [CLUE(a suggestion,hint) containing(there’s….in it) {O(looks like zero,nothing) + G(good)}].

Answer:  A pastoral poem.

28 A Red felt almost out of place in the Union? (7)

FEDERALAnagram of(out of place) [A + RED + FEL(“felt” minus its end,almost)]. 

Answer: Descriptive of a “federation”. a type of political (eg. the USA) or organizational (eg. the ITF) union.


1 Not liking formality in the workplace (6)

OFFICE :  OFF(not liking, as in “I’ve gone off TV”) + ICE(formality,coolness in social interaction).

2,19,24 Bird trying to keep a low profile when interrupted by the man of 18 (6,6,4)

MARTIN LUTHER KING :  MARTIN(any of several swallows,birds) + [LURKING(trying to keep a low profile, and even hiding) containing(when interrupted by) THE]. 

Answer: Junior, US civil rights activist and Nobel Laureate, whose famous speech included the answer to 18 across.

3 Irish operator is such a person in trade (10)

SHOPKEEPER :  Cryptic defn: The phrase “Irish operator” contains,keeps “shop”, and hence the phrase is such – a “shopkeeper”.  Another clever device.

4 Country ending with debts and distress (5)

SPAIN :  S(last letter,ending of “debts”) plus(and) PAIN(distress).

5 Reckon copper in visit gets scoffed (9)

CALCULATE :  [CU(symbol for the element copper in chemistry) contained in(in) CALL(visit,pay a call on)] plus(gets) ATE(scoffed food).

6 Father of four confessing 18 (4)

ABBA :  Double defn: 1st: Aramaic word for father; and 2nd: Four confessing the answer to 18 across here.

7 Child that is clothed in cut cloth (8)

KERCHIEF :  [CH(abbrev. for child) + I.E.(abbrev. for that is,in other words,from Latin id est)] contained in(clothed in) KERF(a cut made by a saw in a piece of wood, or, in a mine, under a seam of mineral or coal –  a new word for me)

8 Port making one move the facial muscles? (8)

PLYMOUTH :  In order to PLY(work,use) one’s MOUTH, one has to move one’s facial muscles.

13 Maybe Bristol politician getting exposed is not suffering any damage (10)

UNIMPAIRED :  UNI(short for university, an example of which,maybe is the Bristol U) + MP(politician,Member of Parliament) plus(getting) AIRED(literally, exposed to air, or figuratively, bring out into the open).

15 Wreck a French winter coat crossing Germany (9)

UNDERMINE :  UN(French for “a”) + [ERMINE(the white winter fur,coat of various weasels) containing(crossing) D(International Vehicle Registration for Germany)]

16 City presenting huge temptation for gardener (3,5)

BIG APPLE :  BIG(huge) APPLE(the symbol of temptation presented to Eve, who, as a resident of the Garden of Eden could be called a Gardener, just as eg. an Englander). 

Answer: Nickname for New York City.

17 Party song going round America (8)

CAROUSAL :  CAROL(a Christmas song) containing(going round) USA(America). 

Answer: More a drunken feast than a party.  I had this word 2 days ago, as well, so it was still fresh in my mind.

19 See 2

20 It’s said to be very short ’orticultural book (6)

VERBAL :  V(abbrev.,short for very) + ‘ERBAL(“herbal”,a “horticulturalbook about herbs and plants, usually about their medicinal value, with the two words unaspirated).

23 Special symbol must be suitable with national award being set up (5)

MOTIFReversal of(being set up) [FIT(suitable,apt) plus(with) O.M.(abbrev. for the Order of Merit, an award conferred by the monarch]. 

Answer: A distinctive symbol, figure or shape that recurs in a design.  The meaning also includes an added decoration, like a symbol, on a piece of clothing.

24 See 2



28 Responses to “Guardian Cryptic 25626 Pasquale”

  1. Dave Ellison says:

    Thanks, scchua, I needed several answers and explanations.

    It started out easily for me, especially when I got 18a straight away – I hardly ever get a key answer early on. However the last few had me struggling: 14a EDUTAINMENT (not in the usual cheat places); 3d SHOPKEEPER, which I was convinced was STOCK…E.; and 7d KERCHIEF.

    I usually struggle with Pasquale – he’s not my favourite – and I was pleased to get so far with it.

    No chuckles or giggles today

  2. Miche says:

    Thanks, scchua.

    I’d say the gardener in 16d is Adam: “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”

    I’m not making much headway with your pictures. Chicken Run was made by the Wallace and Gromit people, Aardman. James Dean was in East of Eden. Is the leathery bloke Peter Lawford?
    Ronnie Barker played a shopkeeper, but I don’t think Brando ever did.

  3. scchua says:

    Hi Miche. You’re right about Chicken Run and Ronnie Barker. There’s another James Dean connection. Unfortunately, Peter Lawford and Marlon Brando are not in the pictures; and btw the pictures are in no particular order.

  4. Allan_C says:

    A nice start to the day from The Don, and thanks, scchua, for the blog. 14a was new to me, too.

    Miche @2: “Then the Lord God said ‘It is not good for the man to live alone. I will make a suitable companion to help him.'”

  5. Ian SW3 says:

    Kevin Costner was in “Dances With Wolves,” which is a form of carousal, I suppose, and Efraim Zimbalist, Jr. was in “The F.B.I.”, hence federal.

  6. molonglo says:

    Thanks scchua. Held up only by 7d, and having got it immediately looked up ‘kerf’ – what a handy word, I’ll weave it into my vocab. The excellent Adam & Eve anagram alas was too easy – the one-letter words gave it away, and revealed 2, 19, 24 lurking. A tick for 1a: Amos, the usual prophet, got a bit in the way. NB: Abba had a dream, too (6d)

  7. molonglo says:

    Sorry scchua, your Abba song didn’t come up on my IPad

  8. Miche says:

    Allan_C @4: That would make Eve an assistant gardener. :)

    scchua: Oh, that’s young Brian Cox, the well-known pippin!

  9. scchua says:

    Hi Ian SW3, the Efrem Zimbalist Jr. link is right, but not the Kevin Costner one.
    Sorry Miche, no Brian Cox either

  10. briggg says:

    Costner in Field of Dreams I think. Thanks scchua.

  11. CrumlinT says:

    Is that Gordon MacRae from Carousel?

  12. scchua says:

    Hi briggg, perhaps, but there’s a more direct link.
    Hi CrumlinT, it’s not Gordon MacRae (I had his picture 2 days ago).

  13. MarianH says:

    Thanks Pasquale and scchua. A nice puzzle with a few smiles on the way. I cheated a bit in the NE.

    Kevin Costner was in a film called the Guardian – you can’t get more direct than that :)?

  14. aztobesed says:

    re molonglo #7

    The links are hard to see on Ipad. I posted about abracadabra the other day and later noticed on the desk-top that it had been covered by a link. Perhaps they need more verbal highlighting too.

  15. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    Pretty easy although I was delayed for some time in the NE corner.
    ‘kerf’ was a new word and I knew only ‘abbé which didn’t give me the Dancing Queens link.
    Also ‘crank up’ took much longer than it should have.
    As molonglo @7 says, the mini-theme was not an improvement to the puzzle.

  16. Robi says:

    I found this difficult to finish, but fair cluing.

    Thanks scchua for your usual proficient blog; I needed your help with the parsing of AVON and UNIMPAIRED.

    Corey Allan and James Dean were in the famous chicken run scene in ‘Rebel without a cause.’

  17. Robi says:

    Kevin Costner and Sean Connery were in ‘The Untouchables’ as ‘feds.’

  18. Robi says:

    ….. or even Corey Allen

  19. scchua says:

    Yes Robi that wraps it up. Thanks to all who gave it a try.

  20. chas says:

    Thanks to scchua for the blog.

    I had AVON as the only river I could think of that fitted that space – but was totally misled by Eden!

  21. mike04 says:

    So was I, chas @ 20.
    I thought maybe it was AVALON (paradise) with the middle part ignored: AV(AL)ON.
    It’s ‘end’ not ‘ends’ in the clue though!

  22. Johnny Dee says:

    Isnt it supposed to be OSMOSIS, making 1a a misspelling?

  23. RCWhiting says:

    Osmosis is the noun (see blog above).

  24. Pasquale says:

    Thanks all for your feedback, as ever — and especially for staying on message (unlike another blog we won’t mention with triple-figure contributions).

  25. Tees says:

    I don’t understand the AVON clue. Does it just mean that ‘towards the end’, Anthony Eden was given the title Earl of Avon? Bit of a GK clue if so! And, to be honest, I was misled by the fact that ‘towards the end’ can equate to ON.

  26. Pasquale says:

    As a matter of fact this was a quick replacement for ADOS when I realised at proof stage that ADO is a mass noun. Having done NOVA reversed before for AVON (an obvious alternative for A-O-, AMOS being another old favourite)I remembered that Anthony Eden became the Earl of Avon, so this was in fact just a cryptic definition. It gets hard to come up with new clues for little words and I don’t like recycling clues if I can avoid it!

  27. scchua says:

    Tees@25, I had the same doubt cf. the last sentence in my comment for that clue. So it does look a birt of a GK clue, if you’d care to enlighten me what GK is, thank you. :-)

  28. Paul B says:

    General knowledge.

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