Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,641 – Brendan

Posted by manehi on May 21st, 2012


Enjoyed this – got 8ac second last and got to play hunt-the-theme on the finished grid. Also liked 25ac. 22dn and 24dn.

8 FRUITFUL =”Productive” I can count 13 fruit hidden in the answers, highlighted bold below.
9 NEATEN =”Put in order” [cor]N + EATEN=”consumed”
10 SPEW =”Forcefully expel” S[outhern] + PEW=”part of church”
11 IMPEACHERS =”opponents of Clinton, say” (Scheme pair)*
12 FLATLY =”In a monotonous way” AT + L[ength], all inside FLY=”pilot”
14 EYEGLASS =”Visual aid” EYE sounds like “I”, + Philip GLASS=”minimalist composer” [wiki]
15 CRABBED =”hard to decipher” George CRABBE=”old English poet” [wiki] after D=”Note”
17 KNAVISH =”Like a rogue” KNISH=”dish of friend dough” about AV[erage]
20 SPHERULE =”small ball” SHE + RULE around P[iano]
22 AEROBE =”Small organism” E[uropean] inside A ROBE
23 AUTOMATONS =”People without feelings” AUTO=”car” and TONS=”a lot” around MA=”old lady”
24 CHIT =”impudent young woman”;=”note” C[irca]=”About” + HIT=”strike”
25 SERENE CALM S[outh]=bridge player=”person bidding” + ERE=before + N[orth] and E[ast], two more bridge players
26 PLUMAGED =”with a soft cover” PLED=”Argued in court” around U[niversity] MAG=”publication”
1 GRAPPLER =”One who struggles” PP=”pages” inside (larger)*
2 VIEW =”Belief” I.E.=”that is” inside V[olks]W[agen]=”reliable car”
3 EFFIGY =”Guy” (eg. iffy)*
4 CLAPPER double def “Theatregoer showing appreciation”;”striking part”
5 ENGAGE IN =”Be involved with” AGE=”a lot of time” inside ENGIN[e]=”unfinished machine”
6 BATH OLIVER =”biscuit” B[ook] + (Voltaire h[ot])*
7 PEARLS =”paragons” P[ressure] + EARLS=”noble types”
13 TABLE MONEY =”Allowance for entertainment” rev(YET around NO MELBA)
16 EXUDATES =”Lots of stuff coming out” U=”socially acceptable” inside EX DATES=”former girlfriends”
18 SUBLIMER =”More awe-inspiring” SUB=”warship” + LIME[y]=”British sailor docked” + R[iver]
19 RECOUPS =”Makes up score” (up score)*
21 PRUNED =”trimmed” P[iano]=”quietly” + RUN=”work” + ED.=”limited edition”
22 AT STUD =”giving stable new generation” Hidden in greAT STUDents
24 CIAO =”so long” CIA=”spies” + O=”ring”

37 Responses to “Guardian 25,641 – Brendan”

  1. Rick says:

    I agree – an excellent puzzle. Many thanks for the great blog manehi!

    A pedantic point (sorry!): 6 down is B followed by (Voltaire h)* not (Voltaire hot)*.

    Just proving I read the blog! (-;

  2. NeilW says:

    Thanks, manehi.

    Not sure I like the recent spate of product placements (2dn.) – bad enough in the movies. :)

    I spent an embarrassingly long time trying to figure out how RABBED meant an old English poet before the penny dropped. Otherwise, pretty straightforward and just right for a Monday. I spent longer afterwards scouring the puzzle for any more cunningly concealed fruit but I think you’ve got them all. (Slight reservations about crab, even if it does cross with apple.)

  3. Dave Ellison says:

    Thanks, manehi.

    I foolishly put APSE at 10a which ruined 2d.
    I got 8a fairly early on, but I think it only helped with 23a AUTOMATONS.

    I suspected 25a was something to do with bridge but couldn’t quite get there, so thanks for the explanation.

  4. Rick says:

    I went astray early on with 21 down:

    Quietly work on limited edition being trimmed.

    I had “lopped”. “OP P” is “Quietly work” after “L’ for limited before “ED” for edition. I accept that my answer really pertains to a clue starting “Work quietly” as opposed to “Quietly work” and I did realize my mistake eventually.

  5. manehi says:

    Rick – thanks, edited.

    NeilW – Chambers gives CRAB as “a wild apple (tree or fruit)”

  6. NeilW says:

    mmm… I just can’t see anyone see anyone saying, “Have a slice of my pie. I made it with crabs!” :)

  7. NeilW says:

    Sorry about the crab-induced double vision!

  8. chas says:

    Thanks to manehi for the blog. I have never heard of TABLE MONEY – I just hope I remember it if it crops up again.

  9. crypticsue says:

    Very enjoyable themed start to the week, thank you Brendan. Had never heard of TABLE MONEY either. Thanks to Manehi too.

  10. Robi says:

    Nice idea; like Dave @3 getting FRUITFUL didn’t help that much at the time.

    Thanks manehi; the top half yielded quite easily but then I got a bit stuck on the SW corner, although the fruit connection did help with PRUNED. I made the same initial mistake as NeilW with RABBED not corresponding with an old poet.

    I hadn’t heard of KNISH before – I must try to remember for Scrabble. Perhaps MELBA could be included in FRUITFUL; I didn’t realise it was named after Dame Nellie Melba until I consulted Chambers.

    Is there a connection between the clues for 22a and 11? 😉

  11. Miche says:

    Thanks, manehi.

    I did this at about 5 a.m., having given up on sleep, and maybe that’s why it took quite a while. One quibble: is a pew part of a church? Is furniture part of a building?

    NeilW – “crab” for wild apple was good enough for Shakespeare:

    Pet. Nay come Kate, come: you must not looke so sowre
    Kate. It is my fashion when I see a Crab
    Pet. Why heere’s no crab, and therefore looke not sowre
    Kate. There is, there is
    Pet. Then shew it me
    Kate. Had I a glasse, I would

  12. Robi says:

    P.S. Apparently it was Auguste Escoffier who invented Peach Melba.

  13. liz says:

    Thanks, manehi. I got FRUITFUL fairly early which helped with a few of the clues. Didn’t quite see the parsing of 25ac, so thanks for clearing that up. The one fruit I failed to spot was FIG. :-( I knew there’d be at least one!

    TABLE MONEY was a new expression for me too.

  14. postrophe says:

    Did anyone spot the lemon in table money?

  15. postrophe says:

    Whoops, clearly our blogger did!

  16. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    A puzzle of two halves for me. The top half was literally a write-in without a blink.Oh dear, another Monday wash-out. So I decided to extend the ‘ectasy’ by going out to do my food shopping.
    What a lovely surprise to get home and find a series of quite tricky struggles in the bottom half.
    I couldn’t parse ‘serene’. Last in was ‘recoups’.
    I hate to be picky about individual clues (I usually resist) but I was intrigued by the presence of ‘originally’ in 19d.

  17. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, manehi.

    A pleasing puzzle from Brendan which I enjoyed. I got FRUITFUL early on, but it wasn’t really needed till a couple near the end. Plenty of elegant clues as usual from this setter.

  18. Miche says:

    Oh, one more thing:

    Chambers says an AEROBE is “an organism that requires free oxygen for respiration.” Wikipedia says “An aerobic organism or aerobe is an organism that can survive and grow in an oxygenated environment.”

    So sequoias, blue whales and Brian Blessed are aerobes.

    “Small organism”?

  19. Monkeypuzzler says:

    RCW has pre-empted a couple of points I was going to make.

    It was certainly a crossword of two halves for me, but in this instance it was grim down south. I too can’t make sense of the ‘originally’ in 19d. Has it some bearing on ‘up’ doing double duty?

    A strictly personal view on clues like 24a where there is a clue & two definitions, or those with three cryptic definitions leaves me pining for for Occam’s Razor. Less is more.

  20. Robi says:

    Miche @18; the terms ‘aerobe’ and ‘anaerobe’ are conventionally used for bacteria – see It may be that they can be used for larger organisms but I don’t think this is very usual, so I wouldn’t criticise the setter for his clue.

  21. tupu says:

    Thanks manehi and Brendan

    I only got to this one this afternoon. I liked it a lot – clever cluing and a theme that amused but didn’t at all spoil the fun of solving. I missed one or two in the process, including the nicely hidden tomato and olive in two very good clues – 6d was my COD.

  22. Shirley says:

    Don’t know if table money has anything to do with 25A – when you go and play a game of bridge at a club you pay table money.
    Perhaps Brendan is a bridge player!

  23. Rick says:

    @16, @19: I just took the “originally” in 19d as part of the anagram indicator. I take the point of people who feel it is superfluous but, for some reason, it seemed entirely natural to me to have “originally composed” to indicate an anagram.

  24. tupu says:

    Hi Shirley

    Collins gives ‘an allowance for official entertaining of visitors, clients, etc., esp. in the army’ and Chambers gives a similar gloss. I myself had not come across it before.

  25. NeilW says:

    Miche @18, or should I say “Steve”? I saw AEROBE as did Robi.

    RCW @16, I think, after a lot of head-scratching throughout the day, that 19 is (uncharacteristically) just not very good. (Brendan, do please pop in and explain my idiocy!)

  26. NeilW says:

    Rick @23, the problem is that we’re already asked to accept double duty, so a superfluous word on top is too much. There’s not even a ? (I’d love someone to prove me wrong… Brendan?)

  27. Rick says:

    NeilW @26 Yes, I do see your point and I’m not sure why the whole thing seemed more natural to me that it has done to other people. It didn’t cause any hesitation when I solved it (but I do admit that I find it hard to justify it now).

  28. Derek Lazenby says:

    The less talented amongst us struggled with this one. Intrigued at the lack of knowledge of the phrase TABLE MONEY. Um, you guys fancy a game of poker?

  29. apiarist says:

    I couldn’t finish this because at 15ac I was trying to solve it as note – poet and not poet – note. But even then I had never heard of “crabbed” so I doubt it would have made any difference . No sour grapes from me though !

  30. Robi says:

    NeilW @26; maybe this is stretching things, but could it be that ‘makes’ is the anagrind and ‘originally’ refers to ‘makes up’ which is ‘composed’ [or comprised]

  31. RCWhiting says:

    As I said @16 ” I hate to be picky about individual clues (I usually resist)”.
    I wish I had stuck to my usual habit.

  32. Brendan says:

    Some comments on comments.

    19 was a blunder. No excuse. The double duty of “up” inexcusable.
    But I have no problem with “originally” (“original” = “novel”, see Chambers). Superfluous words, if they are justifiable, I see just as other possible resource for the cluer; likewise with 3-way clues.

    Thanks Robi for saving my blushes on AEROBE, almost another blunder. My memory told me it was a small organism.

    Nice one about Clinton and Monica, Robi.

    I hadn’t heard of TABLE MONEY either, but sometimes a little stretching is acceptable for the sake of the theme, surely. It’s in Chambers, its meaning can be inferred from its constituents, the clue is reasonably clear, and it has LEMON in it.

  33. RCWhiting says:

    I am not a purist so superfluous is OK by me.
    I would have preferred just “Makes up score.” A very fine clue.

  34. JollySwagman says:

    @Brendan #32. Recanting like that, you would never make it in politics. As your self-appointed spin-doctor for 19D perhaps the explanation should be:

    “Makes” can mean “recoups” on it’s own. E.g. what did you recoup from that investment?

    That leaves “up score” as anagram fodder.

    And “originally composed” taken together as the anagrind.

    It comes from once having been a public “servant”.

    “Never complain, never explain, and never ever resign.” – only sadly I did the first and last of those things.

    Of course away from my duties as your spin-doctor I would say that the fact that “makes up” tightens the definition makes for what is sometimes called an extended definition – ie the short version is enough – the extended version (which appears to include double-duty) adds to it.

    OTOH, personally, I see no reason at all for double-duty on the def/wordplay overlap to be perfectly allowable.

    Thanks anyway for a characteristically enjoyable puzzle (and M for the blog).

  35. JollySwagman says:

    @RCW #33 – yes – that’s good too.

  36. Huw Powell says:

    What a lovely Monday “substitute setter” puzzle! Difficulty just right, humor level perfect, theme fun without spoiling the hunt… and the grid I love to hate! Who could ask for more?

    I was even able to completely parse the two unfamiliar phrases at 6d and 13d before looking them up.

    Thanks for the fine blog, Manehi, and the superfine Monday (Tuesday…) Treat, Brendan!

    PS, I got a pocket-sized Collins “crossword” dictionary at the dump yesterday!

  37. brucew_aus says:

    Thanks Brendan and manehi.

    Another very late blog – usually struggle with Brendan, not in duration, but getting a word wrong. No problems with this one, although like others, I did take some time to work out what was going on with CRABBED which was my last in.

    Enjoyed the theme which I twigged onto about half way through – didn’t really help with getting any more answers, but did give another aha when spotting the fresh fruit.

    BATH OLIVER which I hadn’t seen before was my c.o.d.

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