Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,705 – Chifonie

Posted by Andrew on August 3rd, 2012


After an interesting and challenging week of puzzles we are back to rather more standard territory today. This is very much in Chifonie’s style, with a lot of charades (ten of them) and other generally straightforward clueing. Pleasant enough, but not very exciting in comparison to the rest of the week’s fare.

6. SCAD C in SAD. The scad is a type of fish.
12. PARLOUR PAR (mean, average) + LOUR
13. OUTDONE OUT (abroad) + DONE (settled)
14. CORRESPONDENT Double definition
17. MOTHER HUBBARD RHUBARB* in METHOD*. Old Mother has a dog in the nursery rhyme.
22. LEAFAGE A FAG in [General Robert E] LEE
24. STIMULATE (I MUST)* + LATE (after hours). The definition is “stir up”, and “trouble” indicates the anagram.
25. NOISE I in NOSE. The clue needs to be read as “about one is bill [=nose]”
26. MINX MIN[ister] + X. I don’t remember seeing the abbreviation Min=Minister before, but (for what it’s worth) it’s in Chambers. It’s also an abbreviation of “Ministry” (as in “Min of Ag and Fish” for example) so I wonder if it really only refers to a government minister rather than a clergyman.
2. REFER REF (umpire) + ER (hesitant sound)
4. STIRRUP R[are] in STIR UP. I think we had R as an abbreviation for “rare” recently, provoking some discussion, but I can’t find it. This time it seems not to be in Chambers (at least not in my iPhone app).
5. RUNDOWN Double definition
7. CONSORTIA ON (working) + SORT (class) in CIA
8. DUELED DUE (earned) + LED (spent – as in spending or leading your life). This would normally be spelled DUELLED in British English, so perhaps the Americanism should have been indicated.
9. SCATTERBRAINED SCATTER (broadcast) + BRAIN + ED[itor]
15. REMISSION RE (soldier) + MISSION
18. ELEGANT LEG (stage, e.g. in a sporting event) in E ANT
19. HELLENE ELLEN in HE (His Excellency – title of an ambassador)
20. HANSOM HANS + OM (Order of Merit). I’m not sure if Hans is a particularly Danish name (as opposed to German, say, or Scandinavian generally), except for the obvious example of Hans Christian Andersen.
23. ASIDE Hidden in amandA’S IDEntity

24 Responses to “Guardian 25,705 – Chifonie”

  1. William says:

    Thank you, Andrew.

    Bit of a romp as you say, however it’s been a fairly tough week and the contrast is sometimes agreeable.

    Chifonie is sometimes tricky with double def clues where it’s difficult to imagine a single word which will work with the two endings. Agree-ing with report-er for CORRESPONDENT is a nice example.

    Not too keen on NOISE where one is required to read the clue in a clumsy way but, that apart, a smooth enough offering.

    Nice weekend.

  2. Chris says:

    Thanks Andrew and Chifonie.

    I suspect this is just a bit of crossword lore I haven’t picked up yet, but I couldn’t (and still can’t) work out why SEN is “nurse”. Can someone enlighten me?

  3. martin says:

    @Chris: State Enrolled Nurse

  4. William says:

    Chris @2.

    There used to be 2 qualifications in nursing SEN and SRN (State Registered Nurse). I don’t think either endures but you might watch out for both as they still appear in crosswords.

  5. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    A rather too straightforward and disappointing puzzle after some great challenges during the week.
    I did spend as long wondering about 8d as the whole of the rest of the crossword.
    I settled eventually on ‘dieted’ with no enthusiasm (di(et=and)ed) but declined ‘dueled’ because of the spelling.
    3d interested me because we frequently get a phrase which includes ‘ones’ where my strong inclination is to use ‘your’.
    Do posh types really say ‘hold one’s tongue'; I have never heard it although ‘hold your tongue’ is very frequently heard.
    I am now too old and experienced to fall for it anymore and I always watch one’s language as I write it in!

  6. RCWhiting says:

    r=rare is not in the latest print version either. Presumably it must be in some dictionary, somewhere, perhaps The Dictionary of Menu Abbreviations.

  7. Giovanna says:

    Thanks, Chifonie and Andrew.

    This flew in with the exception of 8d, on which I agree with Andrew. An indication of an American spelling would have been helpful. As it stands, it looks like a spelling mistake.

    Giovanna x

  8. dunsscotus says:

    Thanks Chifonie and Andrew. Agree that this is easier than some this week. When we last discussed “r=rare”, which is not so long ago, I recall someone noting that waiters sometimes put little flags on steaks to indicated the level of cooking, the ‘r’ flag indicating, of course, rare. Can’t remember any better suggestions!

  9. muffin says:

    I agree with Giovanna – easy apart from 8d, which I still wasn’t sure of until I read this blog.

    Also not entirely happy with 27ac using “yearns to be” for “dies” – “dying” can be used metaphorically, but I’m not so sure “die/dies” has any meaning other than the literal one.

  10. CynicCure says:

    Muffin @9:

    “Sometimes Mother Hubbard’s dog simply dies for a rare steak!”

  11. rowland says:

    I completed this one very quickly, for the reasons others have described above, but I’m tempted to add that compared with SOME of the Flash Harries we’ve seen this week, with attendant controversy, Chfonie has provided a refreshing, if slightly sober change. Pretty good really, but a bit easy for a Friday?

    Thanks all

  12. dunsscotus says:

    I’m dying for a cup of tea = I’m yearning for a cuppa? Somehow, the difference between the simple present and the present continuous seems to make a difference.

  13. martin says:

    “r” is often used in biological field guides as an abbrv.

    SEN used to appear regularly in crosswords, but has died out as the term is no longer used. Nice to see it on a farewell tour.

  14. muffin says:

    Re CynicCure@10

    Mother Hubbard’s dog might be dying for a steak, but I doubt if it will actually die for one (unless, of course, the dog stole it!)

  15. gm4hqf says:

    Thanks Andrew

    Wasn’t too sure about DUELED from the clue.

  16. allan_c says:

    I wasn’t too happy about DUELED or MINX. I go with Andrew’s suggestion that ‘min’ probably only refers to a govt minister. For a clergyman ‘rev’ is the usual abbreviation – I’ve never come across ‘min’ for ‘minister’ anyway, only for ‘ministry’.

  17. chas says:

    Thanks to Andrew for the blog.

    I am another who says that if a foreign spelling is required then the compiler should say so – in some fashion!

    On 27a it clearly had to be TRENDIEST but I got off on the wrong foot. I had the river TEST stuck in my mind and just could not make sense of it :(

  18. David Travis says:

    Thanks for the blog. In 9d, is it just me or is ‘brain’ not synonymous with ‘egghead’? ‘Brainbox’ or ‘Boffin’ would work, but not ‘Brain’. Thoughts?

  19. allan_c says:

    David @18: The winner of a certain radio quiz series is known as “Brain of Britain”.

  20. muffin says:

    No, “brain” is OK with me. A “brain” would be recognised as an egghead?

  21. nametab says:

    Thanks Andrew
    Pretty standard fare. Didn’t like spelling of DUELED, but decided it had to be.

  22. Eileen says:

    FWIW the clue for 8dn has been belatedly changed to ‘American fought for, earned and spent’.

  23. GeoffreyMM says:

    So we’re expected to enter US English ‘dueled’ and Brit/Int’l English ‘parlour’ in the same grid? Not very consistent, is it?

  24. Paul B says:

    Well, it’s Anglo-Norman really. Norman came to visit, didn’t he.

    Re DUELED, it’s crazy to have that word in at all, since there’s a list of other, good old Limey-spelled woyds that fit.

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