Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Cryptic N° 25,651 by Orlando

Posted by PeterO on June 1st, 2012


I found this a bit of a struggle, but it yielded in the end, with the bottom half going in first.

1. Engineer in a car plant (6)
ARNICA An anagram (‘engineer’) of ‘in a car’, for the plants in the sunflower family.
4. Setback after spring floods (6)
SPATES A charade of SPA (‘spring’) + TES (‘SETback’).
9. Bugs running risk (4)
IRKS An anagram (‘running’) of ‘risk’.
10. Reserve disappearing with this vessel? (10)
ICEBREAKER Double definition.
11. Outlaw hugging a Big Apple tree (6)
BANYAN An envelope (‘hugging’) of A NY (‘a Big Apple’, New York) in BAN (‘outlaw’).
12. Toad, ignoring Jack and Edward, chewed the fat (8)
NATTERED A charade of NATTER[jack] (‘toad ignoring jack’) + ED (‘Edward’).
13. Fighter pilot with boat crew (9)
FLYWEIGHT A charade of FLY (‘pilot’) + W (‘with’) + EIGHT (‘boat crew’).
15. Accommodation like leisure centre (4)
DIGS A charade of DIG (‘like’) + S (‘leiSure centre’).
16. Drink that’s put in the oven? (4)
COKE Double definition. To be pedantic, coal is put into the oven, and coke taken out.
17. Happy state suggests one with half of Guinness (9)
TIPSINESS A charade of TIPS (‘suggests’) + I (‘one’) + NESS (‘half of GuinNESS‘).
21. Worker not happy with reinforcement (6,2)
BEEFED UP A charade of BEE (‘worker'; rather than the usual ant) + FED UP (‘not happy’).
22. A lack of publicity about illness? That’s OK (3,3)
NOT BAD An envelope (‘about’) of TB (‘illness’) in NO AD (‘a lack of publicity’).
24. Order to reps in certain retail outlet (10)
SUPERSTORE An envelope (‘in’) of PERSTO, an anagram (‘order’) of ‘to reps’ in SURE (‘certain’).
25. A bit of humidity in the south of France (4)
MIDI A hidden answer (‘a bit of’) in ‘huMIDIty’.
26. An ecclesiastic high-up like a llama? (6)
ANDEAN A charade of ‘an’ + DEAN (‘ecclesiastic’)
27. Copper reported parting words (3,3)
SEE YOU A homophone (‘reported’) of CU (‘copper’, chemical symbol).
1. Familiar ground following cut in postal service (7)
AIRMAIL An anagram (‘ground’) of ‘[f]amiliar’ with the F (‘following’) removed (‘cut’).
2. Cockney hurried, initially revealing name and rank (5)
NASTY A charade of N (‘name’) + [h]ASTY (‘hurried’, with ‘Cockney’ to indicate that the initial h is dropped).
3. Church leader in Ireland not in favour of red (7)
CHIANTI A charade of CH (‘church’) + I (‘leader in Ireland’) + ANTI (‘not in favour’), for the ‘red’ i.e wine.
5. Do without current correspondence (6)
PARITY An envelope (‘without’) of I (‘current'; common symbol for an elecric current in physics) in PARTY (‘do’).
6. Actor takes time reading a play (9)
TRAGEDIAN A charade of T (‘time’) + RAGEDIAN, an anagram (‘play’) of ‘reading a’.
7. Cat basket finally grabbed by cardinals (7)
STEVENS An envelope (‘grabbed by’) of T (‘baskeT finally’) in SEVENS (‘cardinals’ i.e. cardinal numbers). Cat Stevens is the former stage name of the singer-songwriter, born Steven Demetre Georgiou, and now known as Yusuf Islam.
8. Jellied eels for starters — seafood devoured by male model (4,9)
JEAN SHRIMPTON A charade of J E (‘Jellied Eels for starters’) + an envelope (‘devoured by’) of SHRIMP (‘seafood’) in ANTON (‘male’ name). Jean Shrimpton, Cat Stevens … we seem to be back in my generation!
14. Come to play cricket for Yorkshire city (9)
WAKEFIELD A charade of WAKE (‘come to’) + FIELD (‘play cricket’).
16. Break a saucer? Dash it! (7)
CAESURA An anagram (‘dash it’) of ‘a saucer’. for the break in a line of poetry.
18. Not affected as engineers (7)
SINCERE A charade of SINCE (‘as’) + RE (‘engineers’).
19. Animal in revolutionary American prison (7)
SPANDAU An envelope (‘in’) of PANDA (‘animal’) in SU, a reversal (‘revolutionary’) of US (‘American’).
20. It supports lots of lines in port (6)
ODESSA A charade of ODES (‘lots of lines’) + SA (sex appeal, ‘it’).
23. Private plaything entertaining same-sex couple? (5)
TOMMY An envelope (‘entertaining’) of MM (male twice, ‘same-sex’) in TOY (‘plaything’), for Tommy Atkins, the generic British soldier (‘private’).

28 Responses to “Guardian Cryptic N° 25,651 by Orlando”

  1. NeilW says:

    Thanks, PeterO.

    Like you, I found the bottom half easier – great surface to 23! Then I went back up to the top for a few doh! moments. Typical Orlando, in that afterwards you wonder what the fuss was about.

    By the way, you’ve left the “with” out of 13.

  2. KeithW says:

    Thankyou but how is 10a a double definition?

  3. Gervase says:

    Thanks, PeterO.

    Great puzzle from Orlando, whose crosswords I find have got trickier lately. Like you, I found the bottom half fell out more easily.

    Loads of clever clues with smooth surface readings. I ticked a lot going through: 1a (anagram disguised as a container clue), 15a (neat), 17a (amusingly allusive), 5d (great use of ‘do without’), 20d (great misdirection), 23d (LOL).

    Last in was STEVENS – sneaky!

  4. John Appleton says:

    16 could also work the other way around (for some poetic cases at least), with “break” as the anagrind, and “dash it” as the definition: caesurae are often indicated by dashes.

    Very much enjoyed this one.

  5. PeterJohnN says:

    Keith @2. Notice the break in the underlining!

  6. PeterO says:


    Thank you; the correction has been made in 13A.


    From Chambers: icebreaker – a ship for breaking channels through ice, … something or someone that breaks down reserve between a group or gathering of people.

  7. PeterJohnN says:

    Thanks Orlando for an interesting puzzle with lots of clever surfaces, and PeterO for an (almost) perfect blog.
    I gave up on DIGS, and failed to parse ODESSA.

  8. Robi says:

    Entertaining one from Orlando.

    Thanks PeterO; like John @4, I parsed 16 the other way around. With NATTERED I first was trying to make an anagram [chewed] of ‘nattrack,’ which proved rather difficult!

    I particularly liked NASTY, SEE YOU and the simple DIGS.

  9. tupu says:

    Thanks PeterO and Orlando

    Relieved others did not find this a doddle. Some lovely cluing as usual from Orlando with an elegant light touch one has come to expect. The top right corner was last to yield.

    It was fun to see SA as ‘it’ after a fairly long and welcome break.

  10. SteveTheWhistle says:

    Re 1d:

    I didn’t spot it at first, but it is f (= following) that is cut.

  11. Robi says:

    Steve @10; that is what I think PeterO says in the blog above.

  12. Robi says:

    P.S. Jean Shrimpton’s First Vogue Cover was 50 years ago in June 1962.

  13. chas says:

    Thanks to PeterO for the blog. I needed you to explain STEVENS. I had been thinking of Lion, Panther, Ounce etc for types of cat :(

    For 1a I tried for ages to insert RE into a 4-letter car to make a plant! Eventually I saw it the other way round and ARNICA dropped out very swiftly.

  14. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    Not too difficult but there was enough left at the end to chew over for a while.
    Unlike most others my last in was ‘sincere’ along with much of the SE corner.
    I parsed 16d as John A.@4 et al.
    In view of Robi’s reminder it was depressing that I wrote in JS (8d) as soon as I saw the word ‘model’.

  15. KeithW says:

    PeterO @6

    Thanks. Yes, I understood the two concepts re the ship and the couple-of-martinis but failed to see the two definitions in the clue until PeterJohnN @5 pointed out the tiny gap in the underlining in your blog which otherwise explained everything very nicely. I must get my eyes tested when I visit the UK next week.

  16. PeterO says:

    When solving the puzzle, I took 16D as did most of you, mainly because ‘break’ shouts anagram; but on writing up the blog, I decided that ‘break’ was a better definition, and ‘dash it’ (smash,break) a perfectly good anagrind.

  17. Gervase says:

    PeterO @16: I agree. A CAESURA in classical poetry is not usually indicated by a dash, but is a subtle ‘break’ within the line – a breathing space, as it were. On this blog I use the term ‘caesura’ to indicate the break in a clue between the definition and the rest of it (which is often not apparent in the surface reading); this is my own usage because I don’t know what else to call it!

  18. Robi says:

    Perhaps the beauty of 16d is that it can be read either way. ‘In most cases, caesura is indicated by punctuation marks which cause a pause in speech: a comma, a semicolon, a full stop, a dash, etc.’ I gather it is also used in music, viz: ‘In musical notation, the symbol for a caesura is a pair of parallel lines set at an angle, rather like a pair of forward slashes: //.’

  19. Kathryn's Dad says:

    I do like Orlando’s puzzles in the Grauniad. I think there’s just an understated quality to them, and as tupu says, a lightness of touch. ANDEAN, TOMMY and PARITY demonstrated that today, I thought. I only struggled with the last few on this one. JEAN SHRIMPTON and CAT STEVENS – as you say, Peter, of a certain generation. Thanks to you for the blog and to Orlando for the crossword.

  20. Median says:

    Pretty tough for me, but I felt it was worth the effort. The only one I didn’t get before coming here was STEVENS. PeterO’s parsing of this – ‘T’ in ‘SEVENS’, with CARDINALS = SEVENS – is plausible but vague (lots of cardinal numbers other than seven!). So I wonder if Orlando had something else in mind: the seven cardinal/deadly sins.

    Thanks, Orlando and PeterO

  21. Peter blackburn says:

    This is also Saturday 2 prize crossword.

  22. RCWhiting says:

    Yes,Peter,what a disappointment.

  23. Wolfie says:

    Hi RCW

    You can find today’s correct prize crossword (by Araucaria) on the Guardian website. (Though I seem to recall you mentioning sometime ago that you don’t have a printer?)

    Good luck!

  24. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks wolfie. I do not have a printer but have emailed my grandson who, with luck, will present me with a copy tomorrow.
    Azed and Araucaria on the same day!
    I did notice that some clues were badly printed and was there an enumeration error?
    Perhaps it will print-out corectly?

  25. RCWhiting says:

    corectly correctly is correctly.

  26. John Coleman says:

    thanks – I got the same result in the bath last night. But I didn’t expect to see the same Guardian Cryptic N° 25,651 by Orlando AGAIN in Glasgow this morning, billed as Guardian cryptic crossword for Saturday 2 June – complete with Name:…. Address:… fields etc but lacking the usual ‘must be received by the first post on the Friday…’

    Happily Araucaria’s Prize crossword No 25,652 is available on line so I can do that. Would gave preferred a bank holiday double though.

  27. wilbur says:

    You are a genius just branching out from the d telegraph this was a brain stretcher for me w

  28. brucew_aus says:

    This one had been kept in the holding bay for a couple of weeks :(. Reasonably straight forward when I finally got around to it with the crisp clueing and enough grist in it to get one thinking.

    Last one in was PARITY which took a while for the penny to drop. Second last was DIGS which I ended up parsing wrongly – we have been using community leisure centres quite regularly now as temporary ‘digs’ following both fire and flooding disasters!

    Jean Shrimpton’s mini dress at the 1965 Melbourne Cup carnival is still regularly discussed around spring time here. :)

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