Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Prize 25,622 / Shed

Posted by Eileen on May 4th, 2012


A rather more straightforward puzzle than usual from Shed, I thought,  particularly for a Prize, although there seems to be a consensus that the Saturday puzzles are generally less of a challenge these days. The anagrams seemed to leap out fairly obviously for me – I’m not sure why – and there were some rather obvious charades but there was the inventive cluing we expect from this setter and lots to enjoy and smile at. Thank you, Shed, for the entertainment!

I have decided, this time, to underline the definitions, since some people like that.

[I shall be away for the day from early morning and so shan’t be able to deal with corrections / clarifications until later in the evening.]


1 Endless alcohol added to the cold mixed drink (3,9)
anagram [mixed] of ALCOHO[l] TO THE C [cold]

8 City managed to continue (7)
RAN [managed] + GO ON [continue]

9 Rose proves less than coherent speaker (7)
double definition  – I’m not sure why’proves’ rather than simply ‘is’

11 Get a grip on girl’s head in support of ritual murder (7)
HUG [get a grip on] + G [first letter – ‘head’ – of girl] in TEE [golfer’s support]

12 Bitter (twisted) about exile’s old car (7)
reversal [twisted] of TART [bitter] round BAN [exile]

13 Invest last bit of revenue in cream (5)
E [last letter of revenue] in BEST [cream]

14 Tourist and prophet pursuing vision (9)

charade of SEER [prophet] after [pursuing] SIGHT [vision]

16 Home team in not entirely recent reshuffle (9)
SIDE [team] in anagram [reshuffle] of RECEN[t]

19 Bird is good in bed (5)
PI [good] in PIT [bed]
[There are sometimes queries when pi = good crops up: it’s an abbreviation of ‘pious’ and has its own entry in Chambers: ‘obtrusively religious, sanctimonious’]

21 About time to adopt compiler’s candidate (7)
reversal [about] of EON [time] round [to adopt] MINE [compiler’s]

23 One cretin floundering near the coast (7)
anagram [floundering] of I [one] CRETIN: a new word for me – it isn’t in my [old] Collins or SOED but Chambers has ‘belonging to the shallow waters near land’.

24 Attempt to match bird no longer with us (7)
EMU [bird] LATE [no longer with us] – shades of the dead parrot ? 😉

25 Shed is en voyage in colour (7)
I [Shed] + IS ‘in RIDE’ = ‘en voyage’

26 Interrogate and masticate, independently entering Devil’s Province (12)
ASK [interrogate] and CHEW [masticate] independently in SATAN [Devil]


1 Type of degree obtained during working hours? On the contrary (7)
ON [working] in [during] HOURS, so the opposite of hours, during working

2 Bright idea, albeit Diderot’s last (7)
THOUGH [albeit] + T [last letter of Diderot]: I wondered about the need for ‘bright’ but it certainly enhances the surface, considering Diderot’s part in the French Enlightenment!

3 Female’s male progeny welcoming death of Bellow’s hero (9)
HER SON [female’s male progeny] round [welcoming] END [death]: reference to Saul Bellow’s book ‘Henderson the Rain King’

4 He painted avian bearing right (5)
COOT [avian] round [bearing] R [right]

5 Pan of meat and wine I dropped (7)
LAMB [meat] + ASTI[i]

6 Farm work for the pre-senescent? (7)
TILL AGE: interestingly, this word appeared in the Times crossword on the same day, clued ‘cultivated land while young’

7 It sticks out of rolled gold pipe stuck into strut (12)
reversal [rolled] of OR [gold] + TUBE [pipe] in PRANCE [strut]

10 Cuter knitter producing something to get one thither and hither (6,6)
nice anagram of CUTER KNITTER

15 Novice hag wasting time where it’s monitored? (9)
GREEN [novice] + WItCH [hag] minus [wasting] t [time] – a neatly constucted clue with a fine surface

17 A youngster, by degrees, raised drink (7)
reversal [raised] of A CUB [a youngster] + MAS [degrees]

18 Country retreat given notice (7)
charade of DEN retreat + MARK [notice]

19 Scope to wire up 5, ineptly (7)
anagram [ineptly] of WIRE UP V [five]: even more spookily, this word appeared in Mr 3 dn’s Indy Nimrod puzzle on the same day, clued ‘range of The Old City Sextet when seated’. I know these coincidences do happen but neither this nor 6ac is a particularly common word, is it?

20 Oracular snake dropping round for 1A? (7)
I did wonder, momentarily, whether the answer was going to be a hit by the 70s / 80s pop band, Hot Chocolate [just a shameless excuse to play this favourite song] then quickly realised it had nothing to do with 1ac: it’s PYTHON [snake] with the O replaced [‘dropping round’] by IA, referring to the Pythia, the Oracle of Delphi, one of the most magical places I’ve ever been to, which means, I think, this has to be my favourite clue.

22 Hard up? (5)
I laughed out loud at the cheekiness of this double definition after the erudition of the preceding clue. I  think it has to be my second favourite for the ‘sublime to ridiculousness’ of it. Many thanks again, Shed – and congratulations on gettng away with it!  😉

10 Responses to “Guardian Prize 25,622 / Shed”

  1. flashling says:

    Henderson in 3d, John or Paul? Just a thought.

  2. Biggles A says:

    Thanks Eileen. I agree, not too much of a challenge but enjoyable nevertheless. I needed confirmation of 20 and 23 but the answers were readily derivable. I hesitated with 22, thinking it was rather out of character risqué.

  3. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    Quite enjoyable although I am not sure whether to ‘laugh out loud’ or shade my blushing face at such a ‘risqué’ clue as 22d.
    Being the miserable old sod that I am I obviously did neither.
    Although I solved ‘Henderson’ easily it was new since I do not think I have read anything by Saul Bellow. Perhaps it is not too late to sample his work – what would you suggest, Eileen?

  4. molonglo says:

    Thanks Eileen. Trouble only in the bottom right corner, with a correct guess at NERITIC, and then aha for PYTHIAN, my clue of the day, too.

  5. Robi says:

    Enjoyable and not too taxing for a Prize one.

    Thanks Eileen for a good blog with lots of links. I see you’ve referred to the Dead Parrot sketch again – it must be one of your favourites. :)

    I well remember the TRABANTs on visiting East Germany when the wall was still intact. Certainly a different world.

    I particularly enjoyed PYTHIAN and GREENWICH.

  6. Gervase says:

    Thanks, Eileen.

    Pleasant solve, with a little ribaldry to spice it up a bit; the only difficulty (such as it was) being the vocabulary.

    My favourite was also PYTHIAN: nice word and the misdirection of ‘1A’ was amusing.

    I remember, just a few weeks after the fall of the Berlin Wall (while I was living in Scotland), seeing an old (presumably Ossi) couple chugging slowly up the incline on the northernmost stretch of the M9 in a Trabi – emitting copious amounts of smoke. They probably drove it into a loch and then had a wee dram to celebrate.

  7. Eileen says:

    Hi Robi

    You’re right – I do tend to indulge myself, particularly in weekend blogs, where it’s usually quieter [even more so today]. I did love Monty Python and it struck me that ‘no longer with us’ was just about the only possible synonym / euphemism for ‘dead’ that didn’t appear in the sketch and, combined with ‘bird’, it was just irresistible. 😉

  8. RCWhiting says:

    Observer, today.
    Riddell’s cartoon pg 33.

  9. Eileen says:

    Thanks RCW. 😉

    I don’t have the Observer any longer – it was a real wrench, after buying it ever since I was at University – but there’s so much in the Saturday Guardian that I just wasn’t getting through both of them.

    I managed to find the cartoon on the website:

  10. brucew_aus says:

    Thanks Shed and Eileen for the blog.

    Late entrant again … but found this an enjoyable solve when I finally got around to doing it. A number of clever clues with my favourite also being PYTHIAN – but also liked 26, 25 and 11.
    Last in was TRABANT which I was not aware.

    Often wonder why there is such a low number of commenters on the Prize puzzle.

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