Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Genius 108 / Brummie

Posted by Gaufrid on July 1st, 2012


So, six clues have the correct wordplay for the grid entry but the definition is that of a word or phrase formed by combining the grid entry with one of the unclued entries. Should be straightforward enough.

And so it proved, despite the setter being Brummie. A lot of the normal clues fell during the first pass and I was also able to identify at that stage three of the six ‘combination’ clues. Another pass through the clues and I had enough checked letters to be able to fill in most of the unclued lights, having already determined the other part of the word/phrase combination. After a third look at the unsolved clues the grid was full.

A pleasant way to spend an hour whilst digesting breakfast on a Bank Holiday Monday when, for once, it wasn’t raining.

8 CAMELLIA CAMEL (transport over sand) LI (distance in China) A (one)
9 ODOUR OUR (setters possessively) around (appropriating) DO (social)
10 PORT see 23
11 GRINDSTONE GRIN (smirk) DONE (finished) around (squeezing) ST (virtuous type {saint})
12 BEDSIT BEDS (county brief) IT (new technology)
14 NOBILITY mOBILITY (capacity to get around) with N (name) replacing m (Miles)
16 ANARCHY RAN (fled) reversed in ACHY (being a bit of a pain)
18 BASMATI [os]B[orne] [pl]A[y] + A[rchie] in an anagram (rudely) of TIM’S
21 CHANDLER C[rufts’) HANDLER (trainer) – Raymond Chandler
23 STRAIN see 5
24 PROSCIUTTO anagram (broadcast) of SCRIPT OUT [radi]O
26 LACE see 4
27 STING see 15
28 ONLOOKER LOOK (air) in ONER (£1 note)
1 JACOBEAN JEAN (Sibelius, say) around (restraining) A COB (a horse)
2 REST [w]REST (leaderless yank) – with 20 this becomes RESTORATION (return to previous state)
3 FLIGHT see 17
4 RATIONS RATS (dash) around (circling) IO (moon) N (pole) – with 26ac this becomes LACERATIONS (cuts)
5 GOOD GO (to travel) DO (make) reversed (up) – with 23ac this becomes GOODS TRAIN (no passenger on this)
6 MONTELIMAR anagram (dizzy) of AILMENT O in (embraced by) MR
7 BRANDT BRAND (burn) T (temperature) – Willy Brandt
13 STRONG SUIT STRONG (powerful) SUIT (case)
15 BOA O (oxygen) in AB (muscle) reversed (switches) – with 27 this becomes BOASTING (being the possessor of)
17 HAL LAH (note) reversed (ascending) – with 3 this becomes HALF-LIGHT (a feature of dusk)
19 TWITCHER anagram (sad) of WRETCH around (bagging) [t]IT (bird, heading off) &lit
20 ORATION see 2
22 HERESY HERE’S (what I offer is) [bolsh]Y
23 SPOILS P[leat] in SOILS (loam and clay) – with 10 this becomes SPOILSPORT (wet blanket)
25 INGE NI (Northern Ireland) reversed EG (say) reversed – William Inge
26 LOOP POOL (bank) reversed (rising)


6 Responses to “Guardian Genius 108 / Brummie”

  1. Trebor says:

    Really enjoyed Twitcher and Grindstone. Surprised there was no connection between the unclued words?

  2. Gordon says:

    Although it was fun to do, I did not enjoy this as much as some of the other Geniuses recently.

    I think it was, as Trebor says, that there was no link between the six special clues, as far as I can make out.

    A small gripe is that I thought Oncer was the nickname for a pound, not Oner.

    My main gripe is that as I have a long background in IT, I was disappointed that 12A actually mentioned ‘New Technology’ in the clue. The T in IT refers to Technology obviously, so is a strange direct word for word clue/answer as well, that I don’t recall seeing in any Guardian crossword before. And as far as I know New Technology refers not to IT generally but simply to the old Windows Product of Windows NT, an IBM/HAL play on the DEC VMS system. [I can explain more if anyone is interested – which I suspect not!].

    Anyhow it was fun, but not his best effort.

    I actually find many of his regular crosswords harder than this.

    An excellent setter, in my opinion, who I expected more from.

  3. Norman L in France says:

    This wasn’t too hard, except that I was held up for a bit trying to pair the last two words off (SE corner, I seem to recall), until I realised that RATIONS went with LACE. It actually parsed satisfactorily on its own, with RATIONS meaning CUTS.

  4. Mr Beaver says:

    I had the same difficulty as Norman with 4d/26a, so concluded 26a and 26d must link, consequently failing to solve either.
    Likewise failed on 1d, not being on first-name terms with Sibelius..

    Frustrating, as Gaufrid says, much of it had gone in fairly quickly up til then

  5. Gordon says:

    By the way Gaufrid is HAL a word? The crossword preamble says that all grid entries are real words. Apart from HAL being a shortened name does it mean anything else?

    Nice blog by the way.

  6. Paul B says:

    ‘Valid word’ is the term used. What is a valid word? Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer is a word I know very well, as is Hal for Prince Harry in 2H4.

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