Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,684 – Philistine

Posted by Uncle Yap on July 10th, 2012

Uncle Yap.

A very enjoyable and mixed bag of goodies which will challenge you and make you grin at times. Most entertaining …

… and I like the way some of the clues are cross-referenced around the X mini-theme. Although some may be convoluted, you get the AHA effect once the penny drops.

 Place cursor over clue number to read the clue

1 TRICEPS Cha of TRICE (moment) + PS (Postscript, note)
5 CABARET Ins of BARE (nude) in CAT (act or musical play, possibly)
9 APPERTAIN APPER (PAPER with P&A interchanged, swaps leaders) + ins of A (one) in TIN (can)
10 MOPED dd to mope is to be miserable and a moped is a lightweight motor-cycle
11 KISS X at the end of a letter symbolises a kiss and there is a general belief that one never forgets one’s first kiss (first being the answer to 22D)
12 GENERATION Generation X is the generation born after the Western post–World War II baby boom ended. While there is no universally agreed upon time frame,the term generally includes people born from the early 1960s through the early 1980s, usually no later than 1981 or 1982. Thanks toniL@3
14 NEPHEW ONE minus O + PHEW (sigh of relief) and of course you have heard of the uncle who, in the absence of his brother-in-law in a war in a far-away land, gave the name to his sister’s new-born baby girl. When the proud father returned and asked “What name did you give?” “Denise” “What a lovely name and what would you have named a boy?” “De Nephew, of course”
15 BEDPANS Ins of DP (extreme letters of deep) in BEANS (coffee or vanilla) Lovely def vessels offered by tenders
16 NEWPORT Ins of *(POWER) in NT (New Testament, books)
18 RACKET Play on () being BRACKETS. My COD for the innovation
21 TIFF (S) TIFF … a stiff is a dead body
24 CAIRO Rev of OR I (one) AC (across) for the capital of Egypt, where there is much turmoil over the reconvene of Parliament
25 ILL HUMOUR I’LL (compiler is to) HUMOUR (indulge as in I will humour her by letting her stay up late)
26 SISTERS SISTine Chapel and cloistERS … creative &lit
27 SALIENT Ins of ALIEN (stranger) in ST (street)
1 TRACK cd and can also be a dd as Miche@2 pointed out
2 IMPASSE I’M (Philistine’s) PASSE (old hat)
3 EARS HEARS (what audience does) spoken by a Cockney (EastEnder) dropping his aitch

cd, a billet-doux is a love letter. Remember the song in the 60’s made popular by Brian Hyland ?
6 BOMBAY DUCK BOMB (explosive) AY (Yes) DUCK (a warning to mind your head) for a fish, the bummalo
7 REPLICA Ins of I (one) in *(PARCEL)
8 TIDINGS Ins of DIN (noise, racket) in *(GITS)
13 CHROMOSOME CH (church) + *(ROOM) + SO + ME (compiler) for allusion to the XX and XY chromosome that determines the sex of a baby
16 NOVICES Cheeky way of saying all virtues or no vices
17 WEDGIES Ins of GIE (second half of Maggie) in WEDS (ties knot)
19 EPITOME *(PIE) TO ME (selfishly dedicated)
22 FIRST FIRS (trees) + first letter of Trees
23 PURL Sounds like PEARL (gem)

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 25,684 – Philistine”

  1. Paul B says:

    Thanks Uncle, and pretty good fun as you say. The DUCK made me laugh as it’s very silly indeed, and I liked the idea in the RACKET clue. Like you I spotted the X/ KISS gags, but, though it may be just me, I found it rather strange to see KISS appear twice.

  2. Miche says:

    Thanks, UY.

    Took me a little longer than usual, but I had fun along the way. BEDPAN my COD.

    Isn’t 1d a double def?

    I’d say “this” in 1a is part of the definition, with “moment” alone cluing TRICE.

  3. ToniL says:

    12 across; Generation X, (WWII)Baby boom, ‘In the making’.

  4. molonglo says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap. I agree on the convolutions. 13d is one big tangle, after the neat first half:thereafter it seems to read “if first kiss must be female with two of those first kisses.” “Those” can hardly = “exes” that are never actually identified in the puzzle. The definition is hard to find in 12a, whose second half is also iffy,and its elusive in 3d. But I agree too on the enjoyability: lots to like here.

  5. ToniL says:


    IF (Generation) X (Kiss), (then…it is the one…) AFTER THE BABY BOOM.

    Definition; (as, say electircity generation) ‘IN THE MAKING’

    …is how I read it!

  6. John Appleton says:

    Great fun, 4d was my fave.

  7. Frank says:

    Thanks, Uncle Yap and Philistine.

    3d is another “outskirts” word in EastEnders.

  8. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    A very pleasant and sufficiently challenging puzzle.
    I had ‘bedpans’ as last in but it was probably my favourite for the definition. I also liked 5ac for its simplicity.
    I agree with Toni re: generation and ‘arm extension from this’ is certainly the definition (a la Miche).
    However,it pains me to say this but the grid is awful. Do you all realise that it has 65 black squares. This is almost 66 and 66 is almost 666 which has dreadful portents. The editor should take more care.
    Add to that the four corners are 3 Ts and an S. Do I need to say more?

  9. aztobesed says:

    My memory is hazy but I vaguely remember my brother had a book on his shelves that came out after the Mods and Rockers punch-ups in the 60s, written by a Sunday broadsheet (?) journalist, that was titled ‘Generation X’. I always thought that was the origin of the term.

  10. Ian Payn says:

    A good crossword. Challeging but eminently finishable in a normal time-frame. I do agree that it was a bit odd to see Kiss twice but this didn’t ruin it for me.

  11. chas says:

    Thanks to UY for the blog. You explained why I had the right answer for 15a.

    I liked the misdirection in 24a: for a long time I tried to force Triceps into it. Eventually I saw what ‘1 across’ really meant :)

  12. roger says:

    The 5 down clue ends (is sealed with) an x (a kiss).

  13. Dave Ellison says:

    Thanks, UY. I enjoyed the rh half, but struggled with the left; I don’t know why, having seen the explanations.

    20a VIDEO NASTY took me ages, again (I thought we had it as an answer recently, but I can’t find it now).

    I put ILL FAVOUR at 25a but only corrected it when I realised 23d was PURL.

  14. rhotician says:

    12 and 13 use the same device.

    To elaborate on Toni: if you take this answer, GENERATION, and seal it with a kiss, ie follow it with X, then you get what follows the baby boom. (I didn’t get it myself so thanks Toni.)

    On 13: if first kiss, ie precede this answer, CHROMOSOME, with X then you get what a female has two of.


  15. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog, Uncle Yap. This was fun and I enjoyed the variety of devices, especially the brackets at 18ac. TRICEPS was my last one in.

    I was also surprised to see KISS twice, but this didn’t detract from the enjoyment.

    Thanks, Philistine!

  16. crypticsue says:

    The most fun of all today’s cryptics, especially 18a. Thanks to Philistine for keeping me smiling while I was pretending to be working!

  17. Robi says:

    I struggled a bit with this one, but some clever clues. Whatever I did in the playground, it was not WEDGIES [anyone else never heard of this?]

    Thanks UY and rhotician @14 who explained why the ‘first’ was not redundant in the clue for CHROMOSOME.

    I seem to have seen MOPED a lot recently, but I particularly enjoyed BEDPANS, RACKET and IMPASSE (although, again, I feel like I may have seen something similar recently.)

  18. Trailman says:

    Took three visits but got there. 12ac was last in, from ‘making'; needed the blog to parse it (as a boomer, unaware of my successors!)
    At 25ac I had ILL FAVOUR first until my mother’s old knitting patterns came to mind for 23d. Clearly there is no such thing as wasted knowledge.

  19. Taco_Belly says:

    Good fun today – thanks Uncle Yap and Philistine.

    Last ones in were delayed by a strange conviction that KISS just couldn’t be in the puzzle twice! Still not convinced – but balanced by some great clues – particularly RACKET and BEDPANS.

  20. Mick says:

    Great puzzle. 17d last in but still can’t parse many a playground prank!

  21. Paul B says:

    It’s written that way to express the plural without being too obvious: ‘many a playground prank’ = more than one wedgie.

  22. tupu says:

    Thanks UY and Philistine

    A clever puzzle which I managed to complete eventually but only after checking ‘wedgies’ (a new one to me) and ‘guessing ‘generation’ after considering a range of alternatives including ‘veneration’. I did not know ‘generation x’ but decided that ‘making’ was the definition and I also liked the idea of a ‘gene ration’

    Like others I too wondered about the second kiss.

  23. sheffield hatter says:

    I had to cheat on 4d – only Roger @ 12 has spotted (or mentioned) the fact that the clue ends with an x – the clue was otherwise not a clue as far as I was concerned. I wrote in SISTERS without conviction. I was more confident about BEDPANS, although I associate vanilla with pods rather than beans – a view that Chambers seems to share.

    And I wrote in WEDGIES even though my copy of Chambers says nothing about playground pranks. I had to finally Google the word and found this: which convinced me that I must have led a very sheltered upbringing. I’m truly astonished that all the other bloggers here have accepted this word without comment. “Prank”??? – seems more like bullying to me!

    Unlike most I didn’t find this very enjoyable, though the definition of TRICEPS raised an appreciative smile, the wordplay of CAIRO gained a nod of approval, and the innovative device at 18a at least left one in no doubt of having arrived at the answer.

  24. RCWhiting says:

    SH @23
    The most recent Chambers gives ‘wedgie’ as a prank,as does the first words in your link.
    It is a recent usage so would not be in older editions.
    Of course in my youth we could not afford underpants so the situation did not arise.

  25. rhotician says:

    sheffield hatter, I’m glad that at last someone has said they did not find this enjoyable.

    The inclusion of vanilla in 15a is just plain wrong. And even if vanilla had anything to do with beans it would be redundant.

    molongo @4 says that the definition in 3d, EARS, is elusive. It’s not just elusive it isn’t there.

    He also describes 13 as one big tangle and 12 as iffy. These two are at the core of the wordplay with X, a rather neat idea. But the attempt to link the various meanings is far from neat. The parsing is convoluted and the surfaces are a shambles.

    PS. My Chambers, 11th edition, does have wedgie defined as a prank. I did happen to know it because not long ago I had to look it up. I forget why.

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