Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,666 Brummie

Posted by Uncle Yap on June 19th, 2012

Uncle Yap.

Brummie set out to do something unusual but the result was not all that inspiring, probably due to awkward Down words, forcing him to abandon after two down clues.

The word SET is used in all the Across clues in a variety of ways … somehow this did not produce ringing bells nor flashing lights with me and for a Brummie puzzle, this one left me quite disappointingly cold.

Place cursor over clue number to read the clue

Across
9 INSTITUTE Ins of S (small) + TIT (bird) in *(UNTIE)
10 ORDER Ins of R (river) in ODER (river in Central Europe)
11 RATIONS ORATIONS (speeches) minus O (round)
12 EXPOUND E (first letter of Europe) X (unknown in algebra) Ezra POUND (poet)
13 FOUND dd
14 SIGHTSEER Ins of *(SET) in SIGHER (audibly exasperated type)
16 COUNTERBALANCED *(ACCELERANT BOUND)
19 EARMARKED Tichy way of saying that clumsy cosmetic piercing results in an ear being marked
21 STEAM *(SET) + AM (verb to be for first person singular as in I am the blogger today)
22 STRETCH Ins of TR (rev of RT, right) in SET + CH (chain or 22 yards) for a stretch limousine
23 LATVIAN Ins of A (one) TV (television set) in LIAN (rev of NAIL, collar)
24 CASTE CAN (container) minus N + *(SET)
25 MINNESOTA *(SET IN OMAN) for the US state whose capital is St Paul
Down
1 MICROFICHE *(CHOICE FIRM)
2 TSUTSUMU T (last letter of set) + *(US MUST Use) for the Japanese art of wrapping articles in a harmonious way.
3 MILORD *(LIMO) + RoaD (empty road)
4 See 23
5 NEW ENGLAND New England would have been the anagram clue for “AND GLEN”
6 HOSPITIA Ins of P (parking) in *(HAITI SO) for the plural of HOSPITIUM, a lodging place, new word to me
7 ADJURE A DJ (short for disc jockey, a Radio 1 presenter, say) + U R E, first letters of Unscripted Religious Education
8 GRID G (good) RIDDANCE minus DANCE (ball)
14 STRIKE HOME *(IRKSOME THE)
15 RUDIMENTAL Ins of DIM (simple) in *(NEUTRAL)
17 TOASTIES Sounds like TOASTEES (those wished good health)
18 CREDITOR A tichy device of saying someone who believes (credits) is a creditOR; somewhat weak and stretched even to this non-native. Perhaps a result of NOT using the DIRECTOR annie
20 RAREST ha
21 SUTTEE Sounds like SOOTY, a British glove puppet bear and TV character – Indian widow who burned herself on her husband’s funeral pyre, since banned
22 SACK dd
23,4 LINE-OUTS Ins of OUT (dismissive cry as in “Out, damned spot!”) in LINES (actor’s words) A line-out in rugby is like a throw-in in football.

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

32 Responses to “Guardian 25,666 Brummie”

  1. Barbara says:

    #24 caste
    The way I see it is:
    cassette (small container) minus set = caste

  2. molonglo says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap. With two and a half pages of SET in the Shorter, the down clues looked daunting. But 25a at once gave 14d and the whole thing opened up in no time. I had ‘toastier’ (toast-to-yer) for 17d but yours is better. I had your 24a, but Barbara’s is better.

  3. molonglo says:

    I mean across clues

  4. Brian H says:

    Sorry, Uncle Y, but a line-out only vaguely resembles a throw-in. To start with the ball HAS to be returned at 90 degrees to the line, which is essentially much fairer, rather than the ad-hoc “anywhere goes” of soccer.

  5. Eileen says:

    Thanks, UY, for the blog. Like you, I found this rather unsatisfying for a Brummie puzzle.

    I read 7dn as A DJ [script]URE [unscripted religious education] but that doesn’t account for ‘source’, as your reading does, so I think you must be right!

  6. Uncle Yap says:

    Brian H@4, “they’re used to restart play” applies equally to line-outs and throw-ins and that’s all that matters for this clue.

    As for comparison in other respects, is it pertinent? One game is about pushing into enemy territory when a player would risk life and limbs to gain a few yards; whereas in soccer, the back-pass is so prevalent that I wish the power-that-be would ban back-passes across the mid-field line (like in basketball)

  7. ToniL says:

    If toastee is actually a word, it is NOT a homophone of Toastie.

    Also, vaguley uncomfortable with humorous wordplay to describe a hideous death, then compounding that by jesting that, in English, it sounds a bit like a glove puppet.

  8. morphiamonet says:

    In view of the Sporty theme of 23,4, I thought a Cricketer’s ‘Dismissive cry’ worked.

  9. dunsscotus says:

    Thanks Brummie and UY. Of course lines-out and throws-in are relevantly similar. Agree with Morphiamonet at 8 that ‘out’ is probably intended as the umpire’s dismissal of a batsman.

  10. aztobesed says:

    Or, given the ‘sets’ – the ‘out’ is a call from a line-judge at Wimbledon?

  11. beermagnet says:

    Thanks UY – needed your blog to resolve a few here: TSUTSUMU and HOSPITIA far too obscure for me.

    Talking of line-outs, in the paper edition there’s a footballer’s elbow from a 30-year-old photo causing a line-out and impinging on the crossword grid.
    Why do I find that so off-putting?

  12. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, UY. I’ve never really got on Brummie’s wavelength, and usually don’t manage to finish his puzzles. I finished this one with a bit of online help, but found it pretty uninspiring. However, if you’re going to choose a word around which to theme your crossword, then SET is a good option: its claim to fame is that it’s the longest entry in the OED, running to around 60,000 words, which is the length of a short novel.

  13. rhotician says:

    Sorry, Brian H @4, but a line-out is like a throw-in, it is in fact euivalent. (See ‘like’ in Chambers.) Also they resemble each other much more than vaguely.

    Thanks UY for the usual high-standard blog.

    I remember one of Brendan’s tours de forces where he had ‘say’ at the END of EVERY clue, using it in, I think , six different ways. And I’ll bet it had few ugly surfaces or obscure words.

  14. harry says:

    beermagnet 11 – Because its Kevin Keegan in short shorts? That cetainly unsettled me.

    Thanks UY, as ever for an informative blog.

  15. Robi says:

    Nice try by Brummie; I can’t see why ‘setting out’ could not have been used in place of ‘cruising’ in 3; maybe ‘settlers’ for 5. Perhaps the other down clues could have been ‘setted’ with more thought, although that might have induced brain failure. :(

    Thanks UY; I found this quite tough and failed to parse SUTTEE. I also took a while to parse LATVIAN, but got there in the end. I parsed CASTE as you did, but I think Barbara’s @1 is better.

    I liked EARMARKED and the STRETCH limo (appearing also in 3.)

  16. John says:

    Thanks UY. You may be right about Brummie running out of SET variants at 2 dn, but I thought it was a nice touch to tell us so in the clue – “end of set”.

  17. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    This was delightful. A steady struggle until the SE corner. There I stagnated for quite a while over ‘line-outs’ and hence ‘Latvian’ until I could finally discard ‘spider’ for 21d. Even after getting ‘suttee’ I still hadto muse a while before recollecting ‘Sooty’!
    I didn’t spot her version but agree with Barbara @1.
    I think you themists who are upset by the ‘set’ theories should settle for what was set before us by the setter.
    It produced no setbacks for me as I set out on my settee to set forth my solutions.

  18. Miche says:

    Thanks UY.

    Anagram-heavy today, I thought. I like anagrams, but I like a bit of variety too.

    TSUTSUMU and HOSPITIA new to me. I liked “to be first personalised” for AM at 21a.

    But I felt, like ToniL @7, that 21 was in poor taste.

  19. noddybankie says:

    “Or, given the ‘sets’ – the ‘out’ is a call from a line-judge at Wimbledon?”

    Or ‘Arrgghhh!!’ if at Queens.

  20. John Appleton says:

    Nice idea for a theme, given the famously large amount of definitions that dictionaries give it. Poorly executed, in my opinion though. Too many similar constructs (set out as anagram for “set”, for instance).

  21. carneddi says:

    Re 23/4 – the Laws of Rugby refer to a Throw In at a Line Out so a Line Out is totally different to a Throw In!!! (Law 19 Touch and Line Out)

  22. David W says:

    Oh dear! I usually find myself criticising a puzzle which others say was the finest thing since beard. Now here I am saying in the face of the critics that I enjoyed a hard but satisfying tussle…

  23. Trailman says:

    Started this late morning, quickly left it largely unsolved, came back to it 20 mins ago and found it went quickly. Like others, found 21d poor taste, plus the homophone didn’t work for me: the first syllable is a very different vowel sound. At least with 2d I now know where the annoying modern trend for gift wrapping comes from.

  24. Eileen says:

    Having taken a vow of silence over Gordius’s lapses, I didn’t comment earlier in the day but, following earlier comments, I’d like to register my distaste at 21dn: I agree with ToniL @7 about both halves of the clue – but my discomfort is rather more than vague.

    As I said this morning, very disappointing for Brummie.

  25. Mrs.T says:

    @ Eileen

    I`m in total agreement re 21 – it`s the inapproprate `humour` which shocks and offends.
    Surprised that anyone could laugh at this, Brummie.

  26. rhotician says:

    carneddi @21: I can find no such reference in The Laws. Under definitions in Law 19, for instance, it says “The purpose of the lineout is to restart play after…”, and is consistent throughout. No reference to “Line Out” anywhere.

    This does mean, however, that 23/4 should be (8) rather than (4-4).

  27. RCWhiting says:

    Just because I was not in the least offended by ‘suttee’ does not mean that I found it funny.
    That is because I come to a crossword not seeking,or expecting, that any of my emotions will be affected. In the context of a crossword words are very limited with distinct meanings as given in the dictionary.
    Their function is to puzzle- this they did here very successfully.
    Brummie should be protected from over-sentimentalised and inappropriate reactions.

  28. RCWhiting says:

    Chambers gives line-out (hyphen included).

  29. Abhay says:

    Regardless of whether one finds 21dn offensive, the clue is wrong: the word sounds nothing like “sooty”. The u is pronounced as in “but”.

  30. Wolfie says:

    Late I know, but in Brummie’s defence I should point out that the wordplay for 21ac does not imply a homophone. Had the clue started ‘Articulated puppet etc.’ it would have indicated a homophone. But the clue was ‘BADLY articulated puppet…’. Badly articulated’ means ‘mispronounced’ so it is pretty obvious that what the setter had in mind was an indicator of a partial or false homophone – you would need to mispronounce ‘SOOTY’ to make it sound like ‘SUTTEE’. Perfectly good clue in my opinion – as far as the parsing goes.

  31. rhotician says:

    RCW @28: Quite.

  32. brucew_aus says:

    Thanks Brummie and UY,

    Found this quite a challenge taking a couple of sittings to get it out and needed a bit of reference help (especially with TSUTSUMU and HOSPITIA) to get over the line. Hadn’t heard of Sooty as a finger puppet before but had heard of the former Hindu practice before and was able to solve from the latter part of the clue.

    GRID was last in strangely enough after looking back to see how straightforward it really was!

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