Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25654 – Bonxie

Posted by Uncle Yap on June 5th, 2012

Uncle Yap.

Thank you, Eileen and Phil for filling in for me so exceptionally well during my brief sojourn in Indonesia for the Borobudur Interhash 2012. The biennial Hash House Harriers event at this UNESCO Heritage site attracted 4,800 hashers from 52 countries and was so well organised that I rate it the best I have attended in terms of logistics, food and beverages, value-for-money and quality of runs. Even their President joined us for a morning walk/run.

Bonxie proved to be quite challenging, perhaps in part due to some stretches of words that did not sit well with me. This was not helped by the use of quite a few unusual and uncommon words which entailed many visits to my Chambers.

Hold cursor over clue number to read a clue.

1 CUSTARD Ins of STAR (leading lady) in CUD (something to chew on)
5 MASTIFF Ins of A in MS (manuscript) + TIFF (a slight quarrel; a display of irritation, a pet, huff) for a thick-set, powerful breed of dog, often used as a guard dog.
9 TREAT dd to minister is to treat or give attentive service and to treat someone to an Elton John concert is to provide free entertainment
10 SUPERSTAR Ins of R (first letter of redhead) in *(PASTURES)
11 AFTERWORD Cha of AFT (stern in maritime terms) ER (Elizabeth Regina, celebrating her diamond jubilee) WORD (promise) for a clause or corollary added to an already complete contract or other legal document; aka a rider
12 POSSE P (President) OSSE (Rev of ESSO, US oil company) for a group in pursuit of an outlaw or desperado (answer to 14Down)
13 SYNOD SY (extreme letters of SaintlY) NOD (head, which I find a tad oblique as I always interpret a nod as a movement of the head)
18 MARES NEST Rev of TSENSERAM, being ins of SENSE (pick up) in TRAM (vehicle) for a disordered place or situation. I wonder no more, thanks to Freddie@7 as a passenger is an inclusion indicator
19 GIRNS Ins of RN (Royal Navy, sailors) in GI’S (soldiers) for a new word to me and defined in Chambers as to grin, snarl; to grimace, make a grotesque face; to complain peevishly.
21 NERVE Hidden in …-opeNER VEry …
23 BAND BRAKE B-AND-B (bed and breakfast, place to stay) RAKE (playboy) for a rather uncommon term
25 TOSCANINI *(CONSTIPATION minus POT) Arturo Toscanini (1867–1957) an Italian conductor.
26 SLASH Ins of L (learner, novice) in SASH (band) for the stage name of Saul Hudson, former lead guitarist of the American hard rock band Guns N’ Roses
27 DUNNOCK DUNNO (corruption of don’t know, I can’t help you) CK (COOK with guts/contents removed or eviscerated) for the hedge sparrow
28 LIMITED Ins of MITE (child) in LID (top) Thanks, NeilW@6
1 CUTLASS CUT (stop) L (large) ASS (animal)
2 SWEETENER SWEET (dessert) ENER (rev of RENE, Frenchman)
3 ALTER LATER (following) with L moved behind A (demotion of head)
5 MOPED dd
7 ICTUS RICTUS (grimace) minus R (right)
8 FORFEND Ins of FEN (marsh) in FORD (crossing) for another unusual word meaning to ward off or avert
14 DESPERADO Ins of SPER (rev of REP’S, representatives or agents) in DEAD (very as in He was dead/very wrong to accuse without checking) O (old)
17 TERMAGANT *(TARGET MAN) a brawling, scolding woman clued as spitfire
18 MINUTED MINUTE (very small) D (first letter of dog)
20 SEETHED Ins of THE in SEED (egg)
22 RESIN RESIGN (leave) minus G (first letter of gardener)
23 BRICK Thanks to sidey@2, B (born) RICK (boy) for a stretcher (brick laid lengthways)
24 BOSOM Ins of S (society) in BOOM. I like the boom and bust device. My COD

Key to abbreviations
dd = double definition
dud = duplicate definition
tichy = tongue-in-cheek type
cd = cryptic definition
rev = reversed or reversal
ins = insertion
cha = charade
ha = hidden answer
*(fodder) = anagram

25 Responses to “Guardian 25654 – Bonxie”

  1. flashling says:

    Glad you had fun UY, was nice to pop back and blog for you, I’m still not really seeing 23d either. Odd mixture of (to me) old pot boilers and some inventive stuff.

    At least you weren’t in the UK for the interminable jubilee stuff, it’s wall to wall – I know it’s an unusual thing the but thr coverage isn’t – constant repeats, bah sorry end rant. How or what was this hash thing? Phil

  2. sidey says:

    A STRETCHER is a brick laid lengthways, Born + RICK (boy).

  3. flashling says:

    Thanks Sidey, yes I’ve heard that for stretcher/brick but missed it tonight

  4. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks Bonxie and Uncle Yap (and flashling for subbing). Girns and bandbrake were new words for me. Tried handbrake for a while. Loved the puzzle.


  5. sidey says:

    Brickwork terms would make a really good theme for a puzzle.

    That’ll be £5 from whoever uses the idea…

  6. NeilW says:

    Thanks UY.

    I thought 28 was MITE inside LID.

  7. Freddie says:

    For 18a I got

    Vehicle [TRAM] to pick up [SENSE] a passenger {riding in} using passenger as the indicator for being “contained in” = TRA(SENSE)M, reversed of course.

  8. JollySwagman says:

    Thanks Freddie – now I can sleep tonight. Lovely puzzle – quite tough.

    As ever – the one that stumps you (me that is) turns out to be a corker. Plus thanks UY for the blog.

  9. Gervase says:

    Thanks, UY.

    Good puzzle, facilitated by rather a lot of anagrams.

    19 puzzled me because I am familiar with the word under its more usual spelling gurn.

    Last in was MARE’S NEST, which I couldn’t parse (thanks – nice one!); my favourite clue was the constipated conductor.

    sidey @5: A puzzle on brickwork terms? You must be bats.

  10. postrophe says:


  11. PeterO says:

    Uncle Yap

    Thanks for the blog. To avoid confusion in the archives, you should correct the puzzle number to 25654.

  12. Robi says:

    Nice varied cluing with some help, as Gervase @9 said, from the anagrams.

    Thanks UY; welcome back! With ALTER, I was wondering how falter=following. :(

    I hadn’t heard of MARE’S NEST before; some interesting facts about its derivation here. I also didn’t know FORFEND.

    I did like DUNNOCK, although I felt that BOSOM was rather weak, having most of the answer in the clue. MOPED seems to have been clued a lot recently (e.g. Everyman & Orlando: ‘Was blue bike seen here?’

  13. dunsscotus says:

    Thanks UY and Bonxie: great fun.

    Re 13ac. It’s quite common in ‘soccer to hear ‘On the nod, John’ with ‘nod’ doing duty for ‘head’.

  14. crypticsue says:

    Very enjoyable if a little tricky in places. Anyone who had solved yesterday’s Rufus in the DT would have had no trouble at all with the ‘stretcher’. We all now know more than we did about these things before thanks to the followers of BD’s blog :D

  15. buddy says:


    Or, more commonly, as a verb – ‘to nod the ball’ = ‘to head the ball’.

  16. chas says:

    Thanks to UY for the blog. I needed you to explain why I had the right answer with MARES NEST.

    I have never heard of a guitarist named SLASH but it could be nothing else once I had the crossing letters. I have heard of the group called Guns n Roses but I have never heard their sound.

  17. muck says:

    Thanks UY and Bonxie. It wasn’t easy, with some new words (AFTERWORD, BAND BRAKE) and some which I needed parsing (MARES NEST, ALTER). Enjoyable nevertheless.

  18. Mr Beaver says:

    Like Gervase, I hadn’t realised GIRN was an alternative to GURN, though it obviously fits the wordplay better.

    Robi@12 – I think FORFEND may be of those fossil words like ‘Mortal coil’ – I’ve only ever heard it in ‘Heaven forfend!’ as in ‘God forbid!’ – presumably it was once more common.

  19. Innocent Abroad says:

    Only got six to-day :( including “girns” which I dislike – I’ve always seen it spelled with a “u” up to now.

  20. Alan Moore says:

    Thank you for the blog. Once again I needed it to understand a few answers. The one I was most annoyed at not understanding was 22d. I just couldn’t get GRESIN or RESING to mean LEAVE. Once I read the blog it was so obvious.

  21. RedKev says:

    Completely thrown by coming up , not implausibly, with “pelican” for 27a

  22. nametab says:

    Ditto Red Kev @21. I too had pelican at 27ac. And it does almost work exactly, except that the two misssing (eviscerated) letters t and h aren’t quite in the middle of the anagrind. Oh well.
    I once solved a clue that read ‘mangled dialect of the river mouth’ as ‘deltaic’, but the actual answer was ‘estuary’ (as in Estuary English).

  23. tupu says:

    Thanks UY and Bonxie
    Got to this late last night and left comment till now hoping I would see the logic of Mare’s Nest (I’m up at this time to see visitors off). Thanks Freddie – nice clue.

    Otherwise liked 5a, 23a,1d, 8d, 24d in an enjoyable puzzle that felt a bit easier than some Bonxies.

  24. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    Very good puzzle which held me up for quite a time in the SW corner. I couldn’t parse ‘mare’s nest’ but it was a neat clue. I liked ‘dunnock’but ‘band brake’ was obvious but unknown to me.
    I am a day late with Azed and this one because I enjoyed a big family 70th birthday party on Sunday when I was presented with the 2011 Chambers signed by everybody.I baptised it with Azed of the 4th.
    At a risk of repetition, has it been pointed out that the 2011 Chambers contains a spelling mistake?

  25. brucew_aus says:

    Thanks Bonxie and UY

    Late again to do this one … and it was pretty tough going. Like many others there were new words for me at 19, 23a,7 and 8.

    Seemed to have parsed all of the tough ones OK, but didn’t work out how DESPERADO was constructed apart from the REPS bit.

    Nice puzzle Bonxie … thanks.

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