Never knowingly undersolved.

Everyman 3423/13 May 2012

Posted by Pierre on May 20th, 2012


I always look forward to blogging the Everyman puzzle, because there’ll be plenty of inventive but gettable clues and a wide range of references that often have me going off on a tangent to look up more about a particular subject.  I also thought there were some exceptionally good surfaces this morning.

cd  cryptic definition
dd  double definition
(xxxx)*  anagram
anagrind = anagram indicator
[x]  letter(s) removed


1 Dubious sort with alcoholic drink on platform
A charade of (SORT)* and RUM, with ‘dubious’ as the anagrind.

5 Let off surplus dynamite, initially
A charade of SPARE and D for the first letter of ‘dynamite’.

9 Splendour of Greek article under bust
A charade of GR for ‘Greek’, A and (UNDER)*, with ‘bust’ as the anagrind.

10 Joined one editor
Fourth charade in a row: of UNIT and ED

12 Head leaving specimen, more than enough

13 Around five, alkie and a TT uncommonly chatty
An insertion of V for ‘five’ in (ALKIE A TT)* with ‘uncommonly’ as the anagrind.

14 New French calendar?
A cd, referring to the French Revolutionary Calendar (or French Republican Calendar), introduced in France during the 1790s.  It didn’t last long, although according to it, this puzzle was published on 25 Floréal an 220 de la Révolution.  Yes, I thought you’d be fascinated by that …

16 Soon converted a lone militant

20 Getting bitter with money for bread
A charade of SOUR for ‘bitter’ and DOUGH for ‘money’ for the type of bread.

21 Fish steak prepared

22 Doctor returning to northern college
A reversal of RIG for ‘doctor’, TO, and N for ‘northern’ gives you the Cambridge College, which used to be all-female, but became co-educational in 1976.  Girton undergraduates tend to be among the fittest at the University, since the college is some way from the City centre where most lectures are held, so cycling in and back each day gets their cardiovascular system going.

23 Decidedly fashionable black suit
‘Decidedly’ is the definition: it’s a charade of IN for ‘fashionable’ and SPADES for ‘black suit’.  Another lovely surface.

24 Attractive young girls with special ability
A dd.  ‘Howay, lads, shall wi gaan an check oot the talent in the Bigg Market the neet?’ as they would say on Tyneside.

25 Bird in box by bank
A charade of SPAR and ROW, for Passer domesticus, which was once extremely common, but whose numbers have declined significantly in recent years; the reasons for this are not fully understood.


1 Newspaper left on top of an overcoat
A charade of RAG, L, and AN gives you the type of overcoat.

2 Holiday-maker holding up small scuttle
Since it’s a down clue, it’s CAMPER holding up S.  ‘She scuttled/scampered off.’

3 Dickens character, impolite penning note
An insertion of G for the musical note in RUDE gives you Barnaby RUDGE, the character from the novel of the same name.

4 Rise to heaven, the home of the greater gods
I think Everyman is simply referring here to the fact that to ‘rise to heaven’ you’d have to MOUNT OLYMPUS, but perhaps someone has a better idea.

6 Writers having a drink in a US city
A charade of PENS for ‘writers’, A and COLA for the city in Florida.  Another lovely surface reading.

7 Tins are wrong for a wine
(TINS ARE)*  One of the most disgusting variants of alcohol I’ve ever tasted.  It’s right popular with crossword compilers, though, because it’s also (RETAINS)* (RETINAS)* (NASTIER)* (INTERS A)* (INSERT A)* (NEAR ITS)* and (EARN ITS)*  I think it deserves some kind of award.

8 Daughter, having drunk rye after rum, becomes unsteady
A charade of D for ‘daughter’, ODD for ‘rum’ and (RYE)*  ‘Drunk’ is the anagrind, and it’s another well-crafted surface.

11 One-armed bandits – lost cash in ’em, stupidly

15 After surprising veto duke’s dejected, defeated in the House
A charade of (VETO)* D for ‘duke’ and DOWN for ‘dejected’, with ‘surprising’ as the anagrind.

16 Awareness, in a sense
A charade of IN and SIGHT

17 Grey gear?
A dd.

18 Depend on the German rowing club
A charade of LEAN and DER for one of the German words for ‘the’.  The LEANDER rowing club is one of the oldest in the world and is based near Henley-on-Thames.  If I was being hyper-picky, I’d say that ‘lean’ and ‘depend’ are only synonymous in the phrasal verbs ‘lean on’ and ‘depend on’.

19 Watch cutter pitch
A charade of SEE and SAW; ‘pitch’ is the definition.  I couldn’t make sense of the surface for ages, but I think Everyman’s asking you to imagine that you’re safely on the shore watching a cutter (boat) pitching in rough seas.

21 Wild ape is a brownish colour
An anagram to finish off.  (APE IS)*

No old films this week … ah well, you can’t have everything.  Thanks to Everyman.

11 Responses to “Everyman 3423/13 May 2012”

  1. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thank you, Pierre, for the blog.
    As you say, another very enjoyable Everyman that only needed confirmation that Pensacola is indeed an American city.

    But look at that – 11d: what a coincidence!
    While still gushing about Paul’s SLOT MACHINES a day earlier (“Foolishly cash lost in ’em?”), Everyman showed us once more that Great Minds think alike.

    BTW, that Greek wine RETSINA (disgusting?) is not always clued as an anagram. The most common chestnutty version is a reversal of CANISTER minus the C.

  2. flashling says:

    Slot machines… almost identical clues 2 days running with Paul yesterday, I’d have thought the editor would have pulled at least one of them – not accusing anyone of plagiarism though.

  3. flashling says:

    Ok Sil got in just before me…

  4. Miche says:

    Thanks, Pierre.

    Agree with your reading of MOUNT OLYMPUS. I think 19d is a charade of SEE (watch) + SAW (cutter – the carpenter’s tool, not a boat).

    Also had a déja vu moment at 11d.

  5. Pierre says:

    Thanks, Sil and flashling, for pointing out the coincidence. I don’t do the Saturday crossword, so I hadn’t seen Paul’s clue. As for editors, I think they are different beasts for The Observer and The Guardian, aren’t they?

  6. Davy says:

    Thanks Pierre,

    I thought this was a lot easier than usual but still very entertaining.

    As to MOUNT OLYMPUS, I think it’s just a charade ie MOUNT=rise and OLYMPUS = a poetic word for heaven (according to

    I particularly liked ROSTRUM and RAGLAN (all the ones). Thanks Everyman.

  7. Bamberger says:

    I couldn’t get 3d & 6d . For 3d, left with r?d?e I guessed rude+e=rudee . If you don’t know it you are stuck.
    For 6d I had p?n?a?o?a and couldn’t think of any US city with that pattern. Even if pens passed through my mind, I’m sure cola didn’t.

  8. Pierre says:

    Morning, Bamberger. If I remember well, you said a while ago that you managed an Everyman more or less on the first pass, so in the end it’s about practice and getting used to some cruciverbal conventions. PENS for ‘writers’ or even ‘writes’ is pretty common, because PEN(S) is a frequent letter sequence. And a bit of Dickens, a bit of Shakespeare, a bit of Hardy (look out for TESS), a bit of Austen (look out for EMMA) … it’s the ‘five miles wide and one foot deep’ description of the stuff you have to know for cryptics.

    And keep commenting! I think it’s always interesting for setters and bloggers to hear why someone couldn’t quite manage a puzzle rather than how someone managed it easily.

  9. Paul B says:

    And let’s not forget PEN as a container-ind either, especially in a misleading context such as writing a rude note. The definition is very clear there too, which is a help when you are faced with the likes of R?D?E.

  10. Iamwretched says:

    Surely this is Everyman 3423?! (not 3243)

  11. Pierre says:

    Whoops! Puzzle number now corrected, thank you.

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