Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,648 by Crucible

Posted by flashling on May 29th, 2012


Well my first ever blog at the Guardian, and I get Crucible who I know rather better as Radian. Used to a theme, but let’s see if I get the picture… 

Well 9d is the main break into this, but you need 8 to solve 9 for which you need 8, hmm. There are several linked clues just to make things easy, ok perhaps not.

9d turns out be The Old Masters – a mixture of teachers, golfers and artists, I’m not qualified to say if the artists are considered Old Masters, I’ll leave that to you folk.

A couple of 2 out of 5 checked lights which I know upset some folks, and Ulster is not the same as NI but since Crucible lives in NI I guess he should know best on this. At least there doesn’t appear to be any dodgy homophones so Eileen who I thank for covering for me last week whilst I was in Glasgow with no way to blog can come out from under the blanket, normality will be returned next week with Uncle Yap.

OK this was a midnight oil job on the On – Line version – 6d has now been fixed… see Hugh’s comment on the Guardian blog, definition was plural but answer singular.

 A fine crossword for a first here thanks Crucible.

1 PEDANTS AND* in PETS (9 as Teachers)
5 EDUCATE 15 is a 9 (teacher) so DUCAT in 2 * E(uro)
10 VEDA The editor in V&A
12 TITIAN I in TITAN (9 Artist)
16 ABYSS ABYSS(inian)
17 FALDO (9 as Golfer) FA + OLD*
19 CANALETTO ( 9 as artist) [A TALENT]* in CO
23 SERGEANT SERGE + ANT (See 7’s Boss)
24 GIBBON Rise and fall etc  – OBB rev in GIN
26 MISGOVERNS Did wonder why teacher was not clued as a 9, gender perhaps? [(Michael) GOVE + RaNt ] in MISS
27 SINK IN in S(outh) K(orea)
28 BRUEGEL (9 as Artist) B(loody) + EG in RULE* Can’t find B = Bloody in Chambers but sure someone can find something.
29 RAPHAEL 9 as Artist RA + [A HELP]*
3 AMATI Hidden in melodrAMATIically
4 TRAINER RE + NI + ART all rev
8 THE ARTS HEAR in 2* T(imes) + S(quare) and largely the theme
9 THE OLD MASTERS Key to the puzzle, Anagram of 8 (THE ARTS) and MODELS
15 PEDAGOGUE 9 as Teacher PE + AGOG in DUE
18 ATELIER EL in A TIER (one who ties)
20 AUGUSTA U in A G(olf) + TA (reserves) nice wrap around surface.
21 TROUNCE T(he) R(evolution) + OUNCE
22 LARVAE L(ine) + V(irgin) in AREA*
25 BOSCH 9 as Artist OB rev + SCH(ool)




43 Responses to “Guardian 25,648 by Crucible”

  1. flashling says:

    6d should this be plural? or is like sheep etc – I don’t know on this.

  2. Rick says:

    Welcome flashling and many thanks for an excellent blog.

    I enjoyed the puzzle. The theme was perfectly reasonable and there was enough variation to keep me interested. Many thanks to Crucible!

    Flashling: one minor point. For 20 down you have

    U in A G(olf) + TA (reserves).

    I think you need a reference to America as well:

    U in A G(olf) + US (America) + TA (reserves).

    With regards to your comment @1, I didn’t have a problem with 6 down; I think that dolmen is a valid singular …

    … which fits the clue.


  3. sidey says:

    Dolmen is the singular but it’s not the plural which is implied by the clue.

  4. Rick says:

    Sidey @3: OK, I’m obviously missing something here (a pretty common occurrence!).

    For me the definition part of the clue was “Tomb” for which (I think) “Dolmen” is a valid answer.


  5. Rick says:

    Sidey @3: Looking on the Guardian web site I see:

    6 down’s clue has been changed from that originally published.

    I did the crossword online and saw “tomb” in the clue but this must be after the clue was changed. I’ve referred to the version in the actual newspaper and that says “tombs”. I now understand your point (and that of Flashling @1).


  6. Ian SW3 says:

    20d is surely A + G(olf) U(nion) in US (America) + TA (reserves)

  7. aztobesed says:

    Well blogged, flashling, first one must be nervy.

    6 seemed the only curve-ball. Can’t see a problem with it myself.

    In 28 I guessed the ‘bloody’ came from ‘using the B word’ and similar euphemism.

  8. Eileen says:

    Thanks flashling, for the blog [nice to see you back!] and Crucible for a very clever and enjoyable puzzle.

    It was 12ac which gave me the theme and I worked back from there to 8dn.

    I parsed 20dn as Ian SW3 did.

    [We try hard to be welcoming on this website and don’t really go in for ‘in-jokes’, so I’m briefly coming out of my homophone hideaway, to explain once again to relative newcomers – and there must be a fair few of them, since it goes back several years – why I should be mentioned in this context two days running.

    I never actually objected to eg ‘stalk’ and ‘stork’ being clued as sounding like each other. I simply said that this was the kind of clue that got my late Scottish husband going and even he was very good-natured in his exasperation. It came to be a bit of a joke here and for a while I got into the habit of blogging them as ‘homophones’. [NB: my blog of last Saturday’s Brummie puzzle was written before yesterday’s discussion. ;-) ]

    I laughed out loud nearly three years ago [yes, that long!] when I saw this clue in a Shed puzzle: “Tenor in drunken choir fought for fort? Not in such a dialect (6)”: [my husband was a tenor in a choir!] and I was hugely chuffed when Shed commented here that it was our discussions which had inspired the clue. My husband would have loved it.]

  9. Dave Ellison says:

    Thanks, flashling and Crucible. I enjoyed this.

    I got 9d straight after 7d CONSTABLE, so the themes were relatively easy for me.

    The TL gave some problems as I was convinced 10a was EDDA (though the DA was problematic).

    I do the paper version so I did wonder about 6d – I guess a typo.

  10. Gervase says:

    Thanks, flashling.

    Nice one from Crucible. My experiences seem to have been very like Dave Ellisons @9: CONSTABLE gave me 9d and the entry to the theme, I also toyed with EDDA for 10a, and the paper version’s misprint of ‘tombs’ in 6d was puzzling (though it didn’t hold me up).

    Favourite clues were 11a (lovely surface!), 23a (even though it had a rather weary ‘worker’), 3d (great ‘hidden’ clue) and 15d (which was my first ‘non-artist 9d). Great fun and bizarrely easier than yesterday’s Rufus (for me, at least).

  11. chas says:

    Thanks to flashling for the blog. I needed you to explain why I had the right answer for 18d.

    We all seem to have had different leads in to the theme. For me it was CANALETTO.

    I do the paper version so to me 6d was a misprint in having plural tombs.

    I have been going crazy trying to remember the name of the man at the head of the Virgin companies. I know he is not needed to answer 22d but I am still worried. What is his name? :(

  12. flashling says:

    @Chas #11 a certain Richard Branson sometime hot air balloon chap….

  13. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    As themes go this was reasonably mixed, although more painting than putting.
    I wondered about the plural in 6d but found the plural in 8d more thought provoking. Can ‘the arts’ be ‘subject’?
    I considered Bruegel for 28ac but left it empty because I did not recognise the ‘bloody’= B. OK I guess.

  14. chas says:

    I have now remembered: his name is Bransom

  15. Bertandjoyce says:

    Hi flashling – good to see you blogging again!

    An enjoyable solve over coffee this morning. We were fooled a bit by 17ac which had to be FALDO. It took a few moments to realise the ‘masters’ connection!

    Thanks Crucible and flashing!

  16. Paul B says:

    Re 14: it is not.

  17. Robi says:

    Nice touch to include FALDO in the old masters. An entertaining crossword, although I shuddered when I saw THE OLD MASTERS as I thought there might be some obscurities, but, happily, they were all well-known.

    Thanks flashling; I still needed my trusty computer to help me with this; VEDA and DOLMEN were unknown. I think the ‘bloody’ in 28 might relate to the blood group [as in ABO.]

  18. Robi says:

    RCWhiting @13; I guess that you can say: “the Arts subject that I wish to study.”

  19. aztobesed says:

    Bloody = blood groups? (A,O,B)

    I like that.

    Bloody, bloody, bloody little Robert…


  20. Robi says:

    ‘b’ for bloody is discussed here.

  21. Paul B says:

    F U NE M N X?

    No, but we can discuss single-letter indication issues for as long as you like. Only one paper, as far as I know, uses a list of these, allegedly rather short, to which compilers must adhere, presumably to save solvers from a hunt through a potentially infinite number of sources.

  22. Gervase says:

    I’m pretty sure that Crucible was intending ‘b*****’ for ‘bloody’, rather than any allusion to haematological classification.

  23. Paul B says:

    Well, quite. Adjectives don’t define nouns as far as I’m aware.

  24. harhop says:

    I’m far too late in the day to raise a query, but I still dont get 8d. I solved it with crossers and ‘Times Square subject’ – but cant parse ‘Try cutting’

  25. Gaufrid says:

    Hi harhop
    It’s never too late to raise a query. The parsing is:

    HEAR (try {as in a court case}) in (cutting) TT (Times) S (Square)

  26. Jeremy M says:

    As a complete newcomer to the cryptic crossword world, could someone explain 8d, please?

  27. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Jeremy M
    I’ve just done so. ;-)

  28. Jeremy M says:

    Thanks Gaufrid. Please tell me that 8d is a relatively difficult clue. If it isn’t, then I anticipate that my cryptic crossword solving career is going to be somewhat short!

  29. flashling says:

    @Jeremy M #28, not straightforward as you needed the theme for the definition. This wasn’t an easy puzzle.

  30. Gaufrid says:

    Jeremy M @28
    I would say that it was towards the harder end of the spectrum unless like me you have been solving cryptics for nearly 50 years and have seen most of the various devices before.

    Don’t get disheartened. Keep trying to solve puzzles. If you find there are a few clues that defeat you come here to find out the parsing. You will soon learn a few ‘tricks of the trade’ that setters use and gradually your knowledge of these will increase.

  31. David Travis says:

    Many thanks for explaining this extremely difficult puzzle. I hope there is a special place in Hell reserved for recursive crosswords like this which seem specifically designed to alienate beginners.

  32. Jeremy M says:

    Last question on 8d (I promise).

    I still don’t quite understand how the two Ts are obtained from “…cutting Times Square…”. I assume “Times Square” gives you one T and one S but where does the second T come from? At first I thought the two Ts were from the word “cutting” but then wouldn’t the word “Times” be completely redundant and misleading?

    Please be patient – I will try to learn ;)

  33. Derek Lazenby says:

    read Times as plural of Time

  34. Briggg says:

    Thanks Flashling (Also; anyone who ignores the us/them stances re 225 and The G thread wins my approval)

  35. Jeremy M says:

    Thanks, Derek. It’s quite a learning curve!

  36. tupu says:

    Thanks flashling and Crucible

    I found this generally amusing and quite hard in places. I was convinced 10a was Edda which left me in the lurch with 2d. I should have listened to the alarm bells over Edda which warned that (Van)dA was not good enough for ‘hacking museum’. ‘Hacking into’ would have been very helpful.

  37. Paul B says:

    Somewhat contentious at 34, but it’s still nice to see just about everyone (if that’s a sensible way to understand things) migrate over the last couple of days from The Guardian’s own crossword thread to good old 225. Hi!

  38. flashling says:

    @Briggg/Paul B – I was somewhat aware of an us/them between Indy/Guardian at 15sq didn’t realise that the G blog and 225 were at odds, really don’t understand why; seems to me we’re all on the same side and just crossword fans trying to help each other. Ho hum.

  39. RCWhiting says:

    Jeremy M
    Good luck, the long term benefits are considerable.
    When you reach my age (70 last week) it is reassuring almost every day to hear someone tell me that solving cryptics is an excellent way to delay dementia.
    Ref 8d. Probably the trickiest part to a tyro is ‘try’ = ‘hear’.
    Try is used often because it is part of many words and can mean ‘go’,’hear’ etc. So when you see it you will automatically run through the possibilities rather than assume ‘attempt’.

  40. Mingulay says:

    Jeremy M:
    Try the Everyman crossword in the Observer.

  41. Kjbsoton says:

    So pleased to see the definition of 8dn, thanks

  42. Paul B says:

    Re Flash @ 38, I wasn’t aware of any such adversity either until I went to the Graun’s own thread, probably out of sheer boredom, or somewhat flatter curiosity, a few weeks ago: in it, there were quite a few sneers (from vaguely recognisable sources, it seems to me) at somehow pompous or ‘nit-picking’ fifteen squarites, esp. with reference to our Grauniad thread. We weren’t laid back enough re contentious and/ or off-topic remarks, apparently, and had some really strange views about fairness.

    Perhaps the GU Army now comes in peace, or marches upon us.

  43. dan b says:

    I am absolutely gutted ,just having checked my answers,to discover I got one wrong! I had 17 across as Gaudi (I remember thinking at the time that he was a bit young to be considered an old master)(G (note) aud (old) i (one)). It never occurred to me to include golfers as “old masters”. On that basis why wasnt Auracaria woven in somewhere?

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