Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Genius 107 / Puck

Posted by mhl on June 4th, 2012


As is typical of Puck’s puzzles, this challenging Genius has lots of satisfying and intricate wordplay. The across clues are all of the DLM (Definition and Letter Mixture) type, which neither of us are particularly used to, but are fun to solve.

The key to the theme here is 25 across, which turned out to be LOST IN TRANSLATION. As one can quite easily guess from this and the rubric, the answers to the starred across clues are all translations of the word “lost” into different languages. The languages are indicated by two words in those clues that can be prefixed with the name of the language, e.g. “[German] Shepherd” in the clue for VERLOREN. This is a neat device, and fun to solve, but we found that once we’d got 25a, completing the puzzle went very fast.

There’s one clue that I still don’t understand (1d) – suggestions would be very welcome!

4. DETAIL “fa(T LADIE)*s”; Definition: “Enumerate”
6. VERLOREN German shepherd / German measles “chil(L OR VENE)*real”
9. PERDU French kisses / French letter “(RUDE P)*erson”
10. PERDIDO Spanish omelette / Spanish onions “wound(D PRIDE O)*n”
15. CAILLTE Irish setter / Irish stew “cri(TICAL LE)*tters”
17. INTENSE “solutio(N SET, INE)*vitably”; Definition: “Concentrated”
18. CHARGE SHEET “has(H? HE GETS A REC)*ord”; Definition: “one [a record] that lists offences”
22. GOLLWYD Welsh rabbit / Welsh dresser “si(LLY DOG W)*ees”
23. PERSO Italian Vermouth / Italian garden “(PROSE)*cco”
24. EXEGESIS “(XI SEES GE)*nerosity”; Definition: “Critical interpretation [of (say) Matthew 2]”
25. LOST IN TRANSLATION “Miche(LIN, ONION TART’S STAL)*e”; Definition: “film”, referring to the excellent Sofia Coppola film
1. SIT-UPS I don’t get this one: “Part of exercise routine used by practising artistes?” – “Part of exercise routine” is clear, but I don’t get the rest… Thanks to NeilW, who explains this as: “Both the words “practising” and “artistes” contain reversals of SIT.”
2. DESPOILING (S[howing] NIP[p]LE I’D GO)*; Definition: “being a stripper”
3. CLARINET IN (inch) = “small section of foot” in CLARET = “wine or blood”; Definition: “Item blown down in the wind”, meaning the wind section of an orchestra
4. DIPSTICK Triple definition: “Stupid idiot”, “Rod” and DIPS = “declines” + TICK = “credit”
5. TERRAPIN (PARTNER I[s])*; Definition: “turtle”
7. RAIL LIAR = “storyteller” reversed; Definition: “Bar”
8. NEON [ove]N + EON = “gas supplier”; Definition: “Gas”
12. ALEXANDRIA ALE = “beer” + X = “wrong” follwed by (DRIN[k])* = “sort of drink almost” in AA = “unnamed drinkers”; Definition: “Port”
13. IN SECRET “[we]RE” = “were we missing” in INSECT = “cricket?”; Definition: “Confidentially”
14. MELTDOWN MOWN = “As grass may be” around (DELT[a])* = “Delta wreckage, after nose of aircraft lost”; Definition: “crash”
16. LOCOWEED LOCO = “Nuts” + WEE = “very small” + D[ying] = “top of dying”; Definition: “plant”
19. SIPHON SIP = “Drink” + HON[ey] = “sweetheart shortly”; Definition: “use the Tube to do so [drink], perhaps”
20. AGUE A + GUE[st] = “way-out visitor” (ST = “way”); Definition: “Complaint”
21. SLOE S[o]L[d] = “regularly sold” + O[n] E[bay] = “on eBay primarily”; Definition: “Fruit”

6 Responses to “Guardian Genius 107 / Puck”

  1. NeilW says:

    Thanks mhl.

    Both the words “practising” and “artistes” contain reversals of SIT.

  2. Jan says:

    Thanks, mhl.

    I agree, it was not too difficult once the ‘theme’ appeared. I think I solved ‘Lost in translation’ from ‘seeing’ the word, PERDU, from the crossing letters. The Welsh word proved most elusive – I ended up reading about some Welsh policemen who were lost in London.

  3. Gordon says:

    Strangely it was the Welsh word Gollwyd that led me to the full theme. I knew by then that we had German, Irish, Welsh; etc. as part of the theme, and I had ‘Lost in Translation’ already put in, as well as Perdu and Perdido. You might think it was therefore obvious that I was looking for words that meant ‘Lost’ – not so. Perdido and Perdu are the Spanish and French words for the same mountain in the Pyranees. I was stuck on somehow finding other names for the same mountain. That made it far harder than it should have been. Fortunately as I knew a fair bit of the welsh style of language from having worked there 15 years ago, I decided from the possible letters that only Gollwyd would be a Welsh word. When I looked up the meaning that is when it all dropped into place and I stared at myself in disbelief [metaphorically] that I could have been so blind [can you stare if you are blind?].
    My only grouse is that the use of EON as a gas company, which I knew from before I moved to the USA 11 years ago, would make that clue all but impossible for any non-UK resident or recent resident to have completed.
    I still enjoyed this puzzle thoroughly.

  4. sidey says:

    Just about right.

  5. Mr Beaver says:

    Indeed, we had ‘lost in translation’ fairly early on, but it still took a while for the penny to drop. Can’t have been too hard, as we managed to finish it – which doesn’t always happen for the Genius – but a satisfying challenge nonetheless.
    Interestingly, it was the British (non-English) ‘lost’ words we had to look up – not the truly foreign ones!

  6. Cosafina says:

    This was the first (indeed, only!) Genius I have ever managed to complete, so I thoroughly enjoyed it. Hats off to Puck!

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