Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Cryptic 25649 Pasquale

Posted by scchua on May 30th, 2012


Not too difficult a Pasquale today.  Some nice surfaces, abundant use of the containment device, some religious references here and there, reference to a not obscure but raunchy person, and the last one for me to parse, an obscure, to a non-cricket fan, reference.  Thanks Pasquale.  Definitions are underlined in the clues.  [[Each of the pictures at the bottom has an unidentified link with the puzzle.  For the sake of a certain party(parties?) please double-bracket comments about pics like I’ve done with these last 3 sentences.  Thank you.]]


1 Town‘s serenades interrupting cook (11)

BASINGSTOKE :  SINGS TO(serenades as a verb) contained in(interrupting) BAKE(to cook in an oven)

9 Original film with old boy knocking out a US criminal (7)

MOBSTER :  “master”(original copy, say, of a film – could be any other type of recording) with “ob”(abbrev. for old boy) replacing(knocking out) “a”.

10 Trendy person of faith has rejected cathedral impressively (2,5)

IN STYLE :  IN(trendy,the in-thing) + ST(abbrev. for saint,person of faith) plus(has) reversal of(rejected) ELY(famous cathedral in England).

Answer: Adverb for doing something impressively,with flair.

11 Bird that’s cold entering a hot nest after flying (9)

STONECHAT :  C(abbrev. for cold) contained in(entering) anagram of(after flying) [A HOT NEST].

12 Big effort brings supreme happiness, all but (5)

HEAVE :  “heaven”(supreme happiness, as in “heaven on earth”) minus its last letter(all but).

13 Little girl facing the unknown in a place of great crisis (4)

SUEZ :  SUE(short for,little girl’s name, Susan) plus(facing the) Z(mathematical symbol for an unknown variable, together with siblings x and y).

Answer: The Suez Canal zone was the bone of contention and scene,place of the political and military confrontation,great crisis in 1956.

14 No longer individual gets slated, being pronounced innocent (10)

EXONERATED :  EX-(no longer, as in ex-wife) + ONE(an individual) plus(gets) RATED(to be given a scolding,slated).

16 Spread to excite gourmet and pal (10)

PROMULGATEAnagram of(to excite) [GOURMET plus(and) PAL].

Answer: To set forth or teach publicly, usually a doctrine or creed.

19 Pasquale’s an artist, first to last! (4)

MINE :  “Emin”(Tracey, British female artist) with first letter moved to the end,last position.

Answer: Possessive pronoun for me,the setter,Pasquale in contrast to you the solvers.

Art?  Oh, I know, it’s in the eyes of the beholder :-)

21 Glossy boats from stern to bow (5)

SLEEKReversal of(from stern to bow) KEELS(a literary synonym for boats)

22 Oppose profits pocketed by stupid person? (2,7)

GO AGAINST :  GAINS(profits) contained in(pocketed by) GOAT(an inferior or stupid person, – and, also a horny man)

24 Nourishment from fruit worker’s consumed (7)

ALIMENT :  ANT(a caste of which is the worker) containing(…’s consumed) LIME(a sour fruit).

25 Learn to have admirable scepticism when listening (4,3)

FIND OUTHomophone of(when listening) “fine”(admirable,classy) “doubt”(skepticism,unbelief).

26 Andy rather than Grant providing ingredient for home-made wine? (11)

ELDERFLOWERAndy, the ELDER rather than Grant, the younger of the FLOWER brothers, former Zimbabwean cricketers.


1 See me repeatedly boo a Britney pop song that she sings (4,3,4,4)

BABY ONE MORE TIMEAnagram of(see…pop) [ME,ME(me repeatedly) + BOO A BRITNEY].  Apt surface for a non-fan/anti  like me!

2 Bristly bits must be regularly extracted from sweet face (5)

SETAE :  Odd letters,regularly extracted fromSwEeT fAcE”.

Answer: Stiff hairs,bristles on an organism.  The surface conjures an amusingly incongruous image.

3 Hurried up with the cross somewhere in church? (7)

NARTHEXReversal of(up, in a down clue) RAN(hurried) plus(with) THE X(cross).

Answer: An architectural term for an enclosed passage between the main entrance and the nave of the church.

4 In love and almost ecstatic holding hand (7)

SMITTEN :  SEN{“sent”(ecstatic,in an excited state) minus its last letter(almost)} containing(holding) MITT(slang for hand).  A nice surface.

5 Cell consisting of three round objects (8)

OOSPHERE :  OO(two round objects) + SPHERE(third of three round object).

Answer: An unfertilised egg cell of some algae and fungi.

6 Baronet, hairy man, frightful beast on Greek mountain (11,4)


Answer: In Greek mythology, a wild beast that ravaged the area round Mount Erymanthus, and captured by Hercules as his fourth labour.

7 One’s ending with muck around one — as a result of this? (6)

EMESIS :  E(last letter,ending of “One”) plus(with) [MESS(muck,dirty stuff ) containing(around) I(Roman numeral for “one”)].

Answer: The act or process of vomiting, that might,? leave muck around one.  A clever WIWD (wordplay intertwined with definition) clue.

8 Support brilliant objective (6)

DEFEND :  DEF(slang for excellent,brilliant! – apparently an Americanism from the early 80s) + END(an objective,goal).

15 Spooner’s ungainly person to fix down in part of ship (8)

BULKHEAD :  Spoonerism of “hulk”(an ungainly,awkward person) “bed”(to fix down,lay flat in a bed or layer – reminiscent of the sexual meaning).

16 Mathematician from China embracing a leading pair of scientists (6)

PASCAL :  PAL(China,friend from Cockney rhyming slang, China plate = mate) containing(embracing) [A + SC(the first 2 letters,leading pair ofscientists“)]

Answer: Blaise, French philosopher, mathematician and physicist.

17 One may produce smile, not half, going about stage being funny (7)

GAGSTER :  GR{“grin”(smile) minus(not) “in”,half of its letters} containing(going about) anagram of(being funny) STAGE.  Another fine WIWD clue.

18 Emotional rugby group left after meal (7)

TEARFUL :  [RFU(abbrev. for Rugby Football Union, governing body,group of English rugby) + L(left)] placed below(after) TEA(in England, a meal, in the late afternoon or evening).

20 Car with Spanish identification, say (6)

ESTATE :  E(International Vehicle Registration,identification code for Spanish vehicles) + STATE(to say,declare).

Answer: The term in Britain for what is called elsewhere a station wagon.  Distinguished from the saloon car by having a shared rear passenger and boot space, with additional access via a backward opening door or tailgate instead of a boot lid.

23 A set of directions hardly used (2,3)

AS NEWA + S,N,E,W(south,north,east,west, a set of directions).



29 Responses to “Guardian Cryptic 25649 Pasquale”

  1. KeithW says:

    Thanks for a thorough explanation of why I got the answers I did but the pedant in me insists that in GREEK mythology it would have been Heracles who captured the Erymanthian boar.

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, scchua.

    This was hard, hard, hard, for me, but I was pleased to finish it with a bit of on-line help. I liked the anagrams for PROMULGATE and STONECHAT, and ELDERFLOWER was clever if you know your cricket.

    I entered BE AGAINST for 22ac, on the basis of GAIN in BEAST, which I think just about works, so that was my niggle today.

    I’m on the extreme edge of being liberal, but I think some folk will be offended by your Tracy Emin images, which are perhaps not ideal for featuring in a crossword blog.

  3. Gaufrid says:

    Hi K’s D
    “I’m on the extreme edge of being liberal, but I think some folk will be offended by your Tracy Emin images, which are perhaps not ideal for featuring in a crossword blog.”

    Thanks for this comment otherwise I wouldn’t have known about the unacceptable Emin images which I have now removed.

  4. scchua says:

    Hi K’s Dad,
    I do apologise for going too far with the Tracey Emin images. I’d intended to show how rubbishy it was, but perhaps not here.
    Sincere apologies again, and to anyone else who were offended.

  5. Dave Ellison says:

    Well, I am now intrigued as to what I missed; perhaps you could post a link, then the offended can choose to see what they should be offended about.

    Thanks, scchua. 7d defeated me, and the TR corner I found difficult, but the rest fell fairly easily.

  6. tupu says:

    Thanks scchua and Pasquale

    I too found this hard and was pleased to complete it successfully. The Flowers, Britney and the labours of Hercules (these days) are situated on the edges of my conscious knowledge and I had to check the answers I’d arrived at by ‘logic’ and vague memory. I also checked ‘def’.

    As the above implies, the cluing was its usual precise, smooth-surfaced self. 8d had me looking mentally for anagrams including ‘yeti’ before the penny dropped.

    I liked 1a and 9a. I was first in two minds about bulkhead and eventually read it phonically and correctly as Scchua did, but I first played with the idea of bead-ing (helping to fix a panel down) as a writing-based answer. Collins simply mentions the transposition of letters but it must be essentially a ‘sound’ phenomenon.

  7. scchua says:

    Hi Dave Ellison@5,
    If you’re not familiar with Emin’s work, here’s the link:'s+art+work&hl=en&qscrl=1&nord=1&rlz=1T4ADBR_enSG322SG322&site=webhp&prmd=imvnso&source=lnms&tbm=isch&ei=xf7FT721IcH5rAfQ25ClBQ&sa=X&oi=mode_link&ct=mode&cd=2&sqi=2&ved=0CFcQ_AUoAQ&biw=998&bih=559

    I pasted the first pictures on Page 2 and Page 5, with my caption: “Art? Oh, I know, it’s in the eyes of the beholder” to indicate what I thought of it. There are more offensive images than these, so please do not click if you’re not prepared to be offended.

  8. Kathryn's Dad says:

    I’m coming across as a bit Mary Whitehouse this morning, but they were just two works by Tracy Emin, which you could no doubt find if you google her.

  9. crypticsue says:

    One of those where it helped if you were a long time crossword solver as solutions like the bristles and the boar just wrote themselves in. Thanks to scchua and to Pazsquale too.

  10. Allan_C says:

    Could one say that some of 19’s work might make one 12, or even result in 7?

  11. gm4hqf says:

    Thanks scchua and Pasquale

    A nice puzzle but I was a victim of the ERYMANTHIAN BOAR!

    Thanks also for the explanation of ELDERFLOWER. Cricket and Greek Mythology are not my favourite subjects.

  12. Robi says:

    Interesting and quite difficult crossword. As gm4hqf@ 11, I didn’t know the cricket or Greek Mythology. NARTHEX was also new to me.

    Thanks scchua; yes, I am offended by the Emin art, but not by the sexual imagery, just the whole crap nature of it. Does she spell ‘tiered’ and ‘maney weired’ for effect, or can’t she help it? As Alan_C @10 the presence of HEAVE and EMESIS (is that Tracey’s disease?) may not be a coincidence.

    [[I’ll get back a little later about the quiz pictures]]

  13. Tom_I says:

    [[To make start on the quiz, No 2 is Lou Ferrigno and No 6 is Bill Bixby, who both appeared in the television series “The Incredible Hulk” (part of the Spoonerism in 15d).

    Bixby played a character called Dr David Banner, who in times of extreme anger transmuted into a large green creature known as “The Hulk”, played by Ferrigno.]]

  14. Robi says:

    [[Thanks Tom_I @13;
    #1 is Rudyard Kipling; not sure of the connection unless it is to his facial SETAE
    #3 is Jeffrey Archer; again not sure, although he did write ‘HEAVEN – North Sea Camp’
    #4 is the cast of the TV programme ‘Goodness Gracious ME’ – is that the ‘me’s’ in 1d?
    #5 is Denis Healey who said that: “Suez was a demonstration of moral and intellectual bankruptcy.” He was famous for withdrawing military commitments from East of Suez.]]

  15. Robi says:

    [[Archer did also write ‘The Fourth ESTATE’]]

  16. Tom_I says:

    [[ I think the connection in No 1 is that the phrase “East of Suez” comes from the poem Mandalay by Rudyard Kipling. ]]

  17. Robi says:

    [[Archer later claimed that he had been “EXONERATED”, but the DTI inquiry had merely stated that there was insufficient evidence to bring a prosecution.]]

  18. Gervase says:

    Thanks, scchua.

    Good puzzle, which I managed without help, except for checking that OOSPHERE was right. Went in fairly easily apart from the NE quadrant, which took as long as the rest of the crossword. The Herculean task didn’t come easily because I couldn’t find the caesura in the clue and wanted to include ESAU as ‘hairy man’. IN STYLE was also a bit recalcitrant: ‘cathedral’ for ELY is a bit off-centre for this most strictly Ximenean of compilers (it’s analogous to using ‘airport’ for BIRMINGHAM) , but I’m not complaining.

    I didn’t know the cricketers, but a few crossing letters (including the W) made ELDERFLOWER a write-in (though the flowers are more usually made into a cordial – it’s the berries that are the traditional wine-making ingredient). Favourite by a long way was the allusively funny EMESIS.

  19. Mitz says:

    Most enjoyable from the Don (IMHO) for a while. Ingenious surfaces, educational and fun, covering opposite ends of culture in 1d and 6 and plenty in between.

    RE: the Flowers – surprised that no-one else has yet mentioned that the 26, as well as being a very fine cricketer for Zimbabwe, has latterly been instrumental in taking England to the number 1 Test ranking as head coach.

    Gervase – my mum has made wine from both elderberries (red) and elderflowers (white) – sadly both utterly undrinkable!

  20. Derek Lazenby says:

    No surprise that I’m with the “this was hard” and “thank goodness for software” faction! Several items were previously unknown.

  21. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    Pretty straightforward.There were more words than usual which I didn’t know (emesis,narthex, oosphere, erymanthian) but the cryptics were solid enough to make them solvable.
    I can claim equality with Gervase’s Mum; dreadful stuff.

  22. Sylvia says:

    Phew!This was hard but satisfying. Needed reference books for 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7d and didn’t know the cricketers, but 26 had to be elderflower. Surprised that Basingstoke leaped out at me initially and much later turned out to be right.

  23. RCWhiting says:

    [[Thankyou very much, it works beautifully.]]

  24. Thomas99 says:

    [[Re picture 4 & the cast of Goodness Gracious Me – could it be a reference to Meera Syal’s character “Smita Smitten, Showbiz Kitten” and 4d?]]

  25. BigAl says:

    I went to the Emin retrospective in the Hayward and was mightily impressed. But there again, I also go to see the Turner prize exhibits each year – and Hockney – and Freud – open your eyes a little!

  26. Derek Lazenby says:

    …and see what BigAl? All the people who like any excuse for pretending they are better than everyone else staring at The Emperor’s New Clothes? LOL.

  27. scchua says:

    [[Hi Tom_I, Robi and Thomas99, well done:
    Rudyard Kipling’s poem Mandalay gave the phrase “east of SUEZ”, which phrase became much used in 1968 when Denis Healey, Defence Secretary in Harold Wilson’s government decided on British troops withdrawal east of SUEZ;
    Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno were in the TV series The Incredible HULK;
    Jeffrey Archer wrote The Fourth ESTATE;
    and Goodness Gracious Me had that character Smitta SMITTEN.
    That’s the end of the innings, and thanks for playing!]]

  28. Pasquale says:

    Thanks for all feedback (here and elsewhere). This time I teased you with a peculiar mixture, reflecting my beliefs that 1) we live in a wondrously diverse world that ought to be celebrated, and 2)solving crosswords is about decoding fair clues that might lead you to discover new words describing that world.

  29. brucew_aus says:

    Thanks Pasquale and scchua

    Another one that I had put on the backburner whilst busy at work. Again, it was worth the wait – reasonably hard but the clues clearly giving the answers. A great mix of all types of subjects – science, geography, contemporary / historic, sport, pop, etc.

    Last in was MINE having never heard of Tracey Emin – also had not seen DEF for brilliant before either. Thought that there were many fine clues with the favourite two being the long 2D and 26A.

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