Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,668 / Orlando

Posted by Eileen on June 21st, 2012

Eileen.

I haven’t blogged an Orlando crossword for months, so I was very pleased to see his name on this one – a witty puzzle, with lots of fine surfaces and clever misdirection, as always. There are several more unusual words / usages but the cluing is characteristically meticulous, so they shouldn’t cause too many problems.

As always, I enjoyed the green bananas / Trojan horse / fish finger / playing marbles / rolling stone device. Many thanks, Orlando, for a delightful solve.

Across

1   NOSE JOB: anagram [used] of ONES + JOB, the biblical character who was patient: definition – surgery
5   PIROGUE: anagram [up the creek - the first of several inventive indicators] of GROUPIE for this boat
9   DELIMIT: DELI [food shop] + MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology - University]
10  RAILBUS: anagram [at sea] of BURIALS
11  LARGENESS: anagram [bananas] of GREEN in LASS [girl]
12  SHELL: double definition, with a nicely misleading use of ‘magazine’
13  SHEAF: SHE [female] + A F [leads for - first letters of - Archers Firing]
15  CAPARISON: CON [one inside prison] round [conceals] A PARIS [a Trojan] definition: horse covering
17  PRINCIPAL: sounds like [so to speak] – and a common spelling mistake! – principle [general rule]; I didn’t know that this was a name for a person fighting a duel
19  DIPSO: DIP [go down] + SO [well]: Chambers gives so = well but I can’t think of an instance where they are interchangeable
22  NEPAL: reversal [about] of PEN [write] + A L [large]
23  APERTURES: A PERT [forward]  + SURE, with the initial letter [header] delayed until the end – another great surface
25  TALLIES: TALLIS [Thomas, composer] round [keeping] E [English] – and another!
26  IN ORDER: double definition
27  MUST-SEE: ST [stone] in MUSÉE [French museum]
28  ESTATES: double definition

Down

1   NODULES: anagram [potentially] of [b]OUNDLES[s]
2   SPLURGE: L [fifty] in SPURGE [this plant]
3   JAMIE: JAM [foodstuff] + IE [id est, that is] referring aptly to this chef
4   BUTTERCUP: C [about] in [to be eaten] BUTTER [goat, as an example, hence the question mark] + UP [on a mountain]: an amusing variation on cluing ram / goat etc as ‘butter’
5   PORTS: reversal [raised] of STROP [paddy]: this is outside my range of knowledge, so I googled ‘port, socket’ and found that a number of entries were concerned with explaining that a port was different from a socket. However, Chambers gives: ‘port: any socket on a computer by which data can pass to and from peripheral units’, so I hope it doesn’t cause too much controversy
6   REINSURED: anagram [embarrassed] of NUDE RISER – another amusing surface
7   GIBBETS: reversal [put up] of BIG [hefty] + BETS [stakes]
8   EPSILON: EP [record] + SILO [store] + N [first letter - opening - of Never]
14  FACULTIES: anagram [playing] of SIFT A CLUE: definition – marbles, as in losing one’s !
16  PULVERISE: anagram [fluid] of REPULSIVE
17  PINETUM: reversal [upsetting] of MUTE [mum] + NIP [pop] as a verb, I think, eg nip / pop round / off but there might be an overlap in the nouns, too: great misdirection with ‘mum and pop’
18   IMPALES: IMP [naughty child] + ALES [drinks] : definition ‘spits’ – puts on a spit
20  PERIDOT: anagram [rolling] of ImPORTED minus M [miles away] for the familiar crossword stone
21  OF SORTS: O [old] FORTS [defences] round [protecting] S [first letter - front - of  Second]
23  AISLE: contained in pAISLEy
24  TROUT: R [last letter of fingeR] in [to be consumed by] TOUT [solicitor]

33 Responses to “Guardian 25,668 / Orlando”

  1. gm4hqf says:

    Thanks Eileen, a nice puzzle by Orlando. On the first scan through I thought that I was going to have a lot of difficulty but as you say the cluing is meticulous.

    Last in was PINETUM, took me a while to see it.

    I sometimes wonder if compilers get the words then make up the clues or reach an impasse and try and find a word to fit in. Might explain some of the strange words you find in crosswords.

  2. Audrey says:

    Thanks Eileen. So! What’s up? Well! What’s up?

  3. Matt says:

    Agree with Audrey.

    Also, when I was at school: “That’s well good” = “That’s so good”

  4. Eileen says:

    Hi Audrey

    Your suggestion did cross my mind but it seemed rather imprecise for Orlando: I think there are several other words that could be substituted in that context.

    And Matt – I was trying to ignore the possibility of your second suggestion! ;-)

  5. Derek Lazenby says:

    Finished with about my average gadget usage so I guess that makes it OK.

    I have a vague memory of the duelist’s title, but even without that it rather makes sense of why his assistant is then called a Second, which was much more to the front of the memory banks.

  6. molonglo says:

    Thanks Eileen. Like you I was especially impressed with the nine or so neat anagrinds, especially the ones eliding into the definition (rolling stone, playing marbles).

  7. ClaireS says:

    Thanks Eileen.

    I couldn’t parse 12a for the life of me – completely fooled by the surface. I too enjoyed Orlando’s rolling stone/Trojan horse type devices. Thanks Orlando – a satisfying solve (for me).

  8. chas says:

    Thanks to Eileen for the blog.

    On 22a I had all the elements: PEN,A,L but I spent an age trying to put PEN around the outside of A L and get something meaningful. Eventually I saw it :(

    5d is one of those I hate: (part1) reversal indicator (part2) – there is nothing in the clue to say which one is wanted!

  9. Robi says:

    Precise cluing for a good crossword. I struggled a bit with the NW corner at first.

    Thanks Eileen; I liked the goat up the mountain. Perhaps in 19 the ‘well’ could have been omitted giving a more conventional so=as without the surface suffering much. I also liked PINETUM for the parsing, although it was a bit of a write-in from the definition. Maybe as an alternative ‘wood’ or somesuch could have been used to make it a bit less obvious.

    For 3 I could only think of Oliver Twist at first until I got some of the crossing letters.

    gm4hqf @1; ‘I sometimes wonder if compilers get the words then make up the clues or reach an impasse and try and find a word to fit in. Might explain some of the strange words you find in crosswords.’ As I (inexpertly) understand the process, many compilers start at the centre and work outwards. I think that is the reason that obscure words (like PIROGUE) are often found at the periphery as they have to fit in with the other answers.

  10. rhotician says:

    Good blog, excellent puzzle. Thanks both.

    I got both connections between so and well but consulted Chambers out of curiosity. It does indicate both under ‘well’ but under ‘so’ it is, as you say, how shall I put it, rather bald.

    For ‘pop’ I made the same connection as you but Chambers only gives to go suddenly, which is not quite the same. It also gives ‘pop off’ meaning ‘die’ but that’s not the same at all.

    I was doubtful about ‘spit’ as a verb but Chambers has it. I had no problem with ‘port’ or ‘principal’. Chambers has both.

    (I do like Chambers. So much more authorative than The Laws of Rugby.)

  11. scchua says:

    Thanks Eileen, and Orlando.
    Enjoyed this puzzle (by coincidence, I had also just completed, enjoyably too, his Cincinnus in the FT).
    I can only think of “He’s so drunk”:”He’s well (and truly) drunk”, or “She’s so into it”: “She’s well into it”.

  12. chas says:

    rhotician @10: I have seen ‘spitted’ as a verbal past tense so it does have such a use in real language.

  13. rhotician says:

    Chas @8 re 5dn.

    You’ll be accused of being a Ximenean.

    The Listener Crossword reference specifically proscribes this kind of clue, on the grounds that there are two possible solutions, and the ambiguity can only be resolved by means of solving crossing clues. Some would counter that a crossword is a puzzle and the more difficult the better, provided that only one complete solution is possible.

    To avoid reopening a can of worms I should point out that agreeing with one of the Ximenean “rules” does not imply endorsement of the whole shebang.

    On this specific point I offer no opinion. (though I do have one.)

  14. scchua says:

    PS. Forgot to mention – I think both nip and pop could mean a small drink of liquor.

  15. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    A middling challenge although made more difficult by my own careless error.
    I was helped because I was familiar with all the moe obscure words (pirogue, pinetum, caparison,peridot). Note to RCW: obscurity is in the eye of the memory.
    Spent time after completion trying to parse 12ac; obsessed with the magazine ‘She’.
    Strange that the medical profession’s obsession with popping everywhere would seem quite off-putting if replaced with ‘nipping’.

  16. Paul B says:

    Well, rhotician, chas et al, I think if a compiler does something, like plonking the reversal indicator between two elements either of which might be the definition, s/he is open to accusations of (a) poor technique, (b) being difficult for difficulty’s sake, or (c) both, BEFORE any pro-Ximenean argument, or related position, is put forward. To add difficulty in that way is just bad, isn’t it?

    Not that one questionable clue makes this is a bad puzzle – on the contrary, it is, as usual from Orlando, really good. Loved the Trojan caparison and rolling peridot.

  17. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Eileen and Orlando.

    I struggled with the less common words in this one, so found it harder than your average Orlando. But NOSE JOB was a stand-out clue.

    ‘I was well pleased with my exam result’, ‘I was so pleased with my exam result’. Or my kids will come home and say that ‘the exam today was well hard’. I’m trying to disabuse them of that usage, but I think I’m fighting a losing battle.

  18. PeterO says:

    Thanks to Orlando for an enjoyavle puzzle, and to Eileen for the blog.

    Eileen, in 15A you omitted the A taken straight from the clue (though you did quote ‘a Trojan’). Caparison is a word that I only knew because it is one of Mrs. Malaprop’s isms. There is a typo in 21D.

    The form of 17A is (definition 1) (homophone indicator) for (definition 2), which seems to me as clear an indication as you can expect in this type of clue that (definition 2) is the answer.

  19. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog, Eileen. I got out the right hand side of the puzzle before making any headway at all with the left. PIROGUE was new to me and needed the check button. 1ac made me laugh. Missed the parsing of 12ac (I also was stuck with SHE the magazine) and 17dn.

    I particularly liked the surface of 10ac!

  20. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the corrections, PeterO – amended now. [I've been out since late morning.] I didn’t know I’d implied any ambiguity in 17ac: I was merely commenting that I’d seen both words spelt incorrectly many times – most recently in the Indy crossword!

    Hi Kathryn’s Dad: “I’m trying to disabuse them of that usage, but I think I’m fighting a losing battle.” That’s what I meant by my second comment @4. It’s still on my list of battles worth fighting. ;-)

    And scchua @14, that’s the idea I had but I could find ‘pop’ only as a generic term for fizzy drink.

    rhotician @10; Collins gives ‘pop’ as ‘to come [to] or go [from] quickly’ [as well as 'suddenly']. Certainly I would use eg ‘pop / nip out to the shops’ completely interchangeably: I perhaps made a mistake in the blog in writing ‘off’ instead of ‘out’.

  21. slacker says:

    In 19ac I think I thought the “as” clued the “so” leaving “Go down well” to be “dip” – which it could be, if one is thinking of a watery well, no?

  22. Eileen says:

    Hi slacker – I thought of that, too!

  23. scchua says:

    Eileen@20, I’ve seen some with one too many tequila pop. And cf #19 in:
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Pop?s=t

  24. Eileen says:

    Thanks, scchua – and your link confirms my verb usages, too. ;-)

  25. tupu says:

    Thanks Eileen and Orlando

    I only got to this late in the day after driving home in the rain after a sunny few days in Nidderdale with old friends.

    More difficult than some previous Orlandos but well worth the effort. Very good surfaces and some clever anagrams. I ticked 1a, 19a, 21a, 16d and 20d but many others also pleased.

    Re ‘nip’ and ‘pop’, I did not fully understand this when solving. However, I think you can use both without adverbs such as ‘out’ or ‘off’ e.g. ‘I must just pop/nip to the chemists before they close’.

    Orlando is fast becoming one of my favourites setters.

  26. Eileen says:

    Dear tupu

    Lucky you, to have spent time in my spiritual home!

    “However, I think you can use both without adverbs such as ‘out’ or ‘off’ e.g. ‘I must just pop/nip to the chemists before they close’.”

    I think that’s what I meant all those hours ago!

    “Orlando is fast becoming one of my favourites setters.” He’s always been one of mine, even before one of his puzzles being, as I’ve often mentioned before, my first experience of blogging – and I couldn’t have wished for a better introduction.

  27. Dave Ellison says:

    Thanks, Eileen, needed for a couple of explanations.

    The Xword started out quite easily for me, but slowed down thereafter; I suspected such as PIROGUE and PINETUM were correct, but didn’t have the confidence to be sure, and I had no access to sources at the time.

    No one else seems to have commented on the ports/socket thing. I think Chambers are probably conflating several technical meanings of these terms, and once again have not got it quite right (we had discussions a few years ago about their definitions of some mathematical terms such as “differential” I think it was).

  28. rhotician says:

    Paul B @16:

    a) Surely you’re not accusing Orlando of poor technique, are you?

    b) As I said, some would argue that a puzzle should be difficult, especially a Cryptic one. They might even argue that difficulty IS the sake of a Cryptic.

  29. RCWhiting says:

    rho@28
    “b) As I said, some would argue that a puzzle should be difficult, especially a Cryptic one. They might even argue that difficulty IS the sake of a Cryptic.”

    There is no ‘might’ about it, rho.
    It is much more valid to criticise a whole puzzle rather than all this sqibble/squabble and niggle/naggle about one word in one clue.
    Just because it does not agree with the poster’s ‘superior’ knowledge on the issue then very severe language, often directed at the compiler is fine.
    However daring to suggest that it is a duff production brings down the wrath of the resident gods upon one’s head.
    Just think how sad was Johnmcc’s comment very late the other night.
    Almost samizdat.

  30. rhotician says:

    RCW @29
    Took me a while to understand what you were getting at. I had to go yesterday’s comments. Curious coincidence that the same type of clue occurs at 5dn in both puzzles, and amusing that it elicits the same complaint.

    I agree that it is perfectly valid to criticise an entire puzzle, and thereby the compiler. Thankfully this is not always possible.

    I like quibbling and provoking argument, even when I have to admit defeat.

    I dont’t like your disparaging description of this. I can find neither squibble nor naggle in Chambers.

  31. rhotician says:

    RCW @29
    Took me a while to understand what you were getting at. I had to go yesterday’s comments. Curious coincidence that the same type of clue occurs at 5dn in both puzzles, and amusing that it elicits the same complaint.

    I agree that it is perfectly valid to criticise an entire puzzle, and thereby the compiler. Thankfully this is not always possible.

    I like quibbling and provoking argument. It’s fun, even when I get it wrong.
    I don’t like your disparaging description of this. I can find neither squibble nor naggle in Chambers.

  32. RCWhiting says:

    Just a Lear liberty.
    Just a Lear liberty.

  33. r_c_a_d says:

    I am late here, but just to clear up the port vs socket thing – in terms of computer hardware a port and socket are pretty much the same thing (a physical connection point) – but in computer software a port is just one property of a socket, which is a virtual data connection.

    Oh, and I really enjoyed the crossword too :)

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