Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25708 – Orlando

Posted by Uncle Yap on August 7th, 2012

Uncle Yap.

All Quiet on the Eastern Front – the grandchildren have returned to London, bringing their grandmother along as well. So Uncle Yap is Alone Again Naturally . Before I get started on the puzzle, let me first share my huge sigh of relief (PHEW!) that Andy Murray has at last broken that big-match choke-jinx when he beat Federer so convincingly on Sunday. Well done.
Today’s puzzle is themed on some fabulous bands and singers which I found great ease at spotting as Orlando must have enjoyed similar kinds of music from about the same time as I. In fact, I was so distracted playing youtube songs that this blog is taking a very long time. Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be (sigh)

Place cursor over clue number to read the clue


1 GENESIS Creation or start, also first book of the Holy Bible. Genesis are an English rock band formed in 1967 and whose most famous member was Phil Collins
5 ADAPTS Ins of AD (advertisement or commercial) in *(PAST)
9 ORACULAR Ins of U (bend) in *(OR CLARA) SIBYL is any of several female oracles or prophetess
10 THICKO Cha of THICK (having a close relationship) O (Oscar in communication code) meaning a stupid person aka wally
12 FLEETWOOD MAC FLEET (flying) WOOD (golf club) MA (mother, old lady) C (caught in cricket) for one of my favourite rock bands. When I first heard Dreams in 1977, I thought it was a hygiene song with lyrics I heard as Wash your hair, wash your nose. Have a listen …
15 OVERRIDING Tichy way to express excessive riding. I used to think knackered was to reduce a worn-out horse to glue until I found that it is also the after-effect of having prolonged sex :-)
17 KOS Knock Out’s (KOS) for a Greek island; also spelled as COS
19 ASS Mama CASS Elliot minus C (circa, about) for a fool or neddy
20 OCTAHEDRON *(ANCHORED TO) for a solid bounded by eight plane faces
22 STEELEYE SPAN Ins of EYE (observer) in STEELS (braces as in making oneself ready for a blow) + PAN (slate or criticise severely) for an English folk-rock band, formed in 1969 and still active today
26 NEEDLE NEEDLESS (redundant) minus SS (ship, vessel) and Sting, used in the def is Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner, an English musician, singer-songwriter & multi-instrumentalist
27 GRADUATE Ins of AT (heartless AGENT) in *(ARGUED) for a calibration action
28 ESSAYS ES (middle letters of WEST) + SAYS (states)
29 BLONDIE Ins of L (50 in Roman numerals) in James BOND (007, secret agent OHMS) IE (id est, that is) for Blondiean American rock band, founded by singer Deborah Harry and guitarist Chris Stein
1 GAOL G (good) AOL (America Online, an Internet service provider) for jug, can, slammer, nick, etc
2 NOAH PATRIARCH without A&H (No A H) is PATRIRC. What a gem, my COD for the clever wordplay
3 SCULLERY SCULLER (one on boat) Y (Spanish conjunction, AND) for a kitchen (maid’s domain)
4 SLADE In the TV series Porridge, Fletcher (played by  Ronnie Barker) was incarcerated at HMP Slade, a fictional Category C prison in Cumberland. SLADE
are a rock band from Wolverhampton, who rose to prominence during the glam rock era of the early 1970s. Do hear Cos I Love You
6 DR HOOK DR (DOOR frame) HO (house) OK (fine) DrHook 
was an American rock band, formed around Union City, New Jersey.
7 PACEMAKERS Implants in the heart are also known as pacemakers and who can forget this Liverpool band with such classics as

and Ferry Cross The Mersey

8 SHOWCASING *(WHO’S) CASING (jacket) and of course The Who  are an English rock band formed in 1964 by Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, John Entwistle and Keith Moon
11 RWANDA Ins of WAND (Rod Stewart of Maggie May fame) in RA (Royal Artillery)
14 NEW SEEKERS Ins of SEE (mark) + K (king) ER (Elizabeth Regina, Queen Freddy Mercury’s band) in latest NEWS. One of my holiday jobs in the seventies was waiting at the since-defunct Talk of the Town and I was privileged to watch their show six times in a week.
16 DACTYL DA (district attorney, lawyer) CITY (financial centre) minus I + L (left)
18 YES AND NO YES (an English rock band who achieved worldwide success with their progressive, art, and symphonic style of rock music) + *(DONNA Summer, American singer)
21 ILKLEY *(KYLIE Ann Minogue an Australian singer, recording artist, songwriter, showgirl, and actress + L, middle letter of KYLIE) for a spa town in West Yorkshire
23 SCRUB dd
24 BAND Sounds like The BANNED (illicit)
25 METE MET (Metropolitan, Police) E (last letter of constable)

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


44 Responses to “Guardian 25708 – Orlando”

  1. NeilW says:

    Thanks, UY.

    SCULLERY was first in – I think all this Olympics success for Britain made sculling leap to mind! Last in was GRADUATE because I was totally misdirected by “regularly.” :)

    Good work with all those links in the blog.

  2. molonglo says:

    Excellent blog Uncle Yap. These were all my vintage, too, so no worries except for failing on 2d, guessing ‘niac’ from the lettering as matching the nonsense first word. Last in, like Neil’s, was 27a.

  3. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, UY.

    I should have known it would be fatal. The plan was to do this puzzle on the train to Stansted this morning, en route to spend a few days with my grandsons in Copenhagen, but, naturally, I couldn’t resist a peek to see whose name was on it – and then I knew there was a treat in store. Seeing the theme word at 24 made me think I’d have problems, without Google at hand, but Orlando is my vintage, too, and a quick glance at 1ac made me grab a pen and then there was no turning back. No need whatsoever for any googling – I’m just sorry there’s no time for following up all the links [thanks again, UY – incidentally, there’s another band in the clue to 13dn] which can wait until I get back.

    Great misdirection in 27ac – my last, too.

    Huge thanks to Orlando – sheer delight! – and I’m still chuckling over 2dn. :-) [And I’ve now got plenty of time to read the rest of the paper on the train!]

  4. Cajela says:

    Thanks for the reference over at the Grauniad.
    Mark=see was the bit I was missing. It sounds rather Shakespearean. Or possibly Welsh, mark you.

  5. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, UY, fine blog.

    This was a lot of fun. The gateway clue was straightforward, so the theme became obvious; but even then the bands took a bit of working out. A few blasts from my past too, so thank you Orlando for a bit of nostalgia. Of the non-themed clues, GAOL was my favourite.

    In 19ac, I think it’s just that ‘neddy’ is a dialect word (mainly from the North of England, I think) for ASS.

  6. John Appleton says:

    Straightforward but enjoyable puzzle. 2d is certainly nicely cunning.

  7. Gervase says:

    Thanks, UY.

    Good fun – and an unusual themed puzzle from Orlando, great for us middle-aged folk. His clever misdirections are here in force: in 27ac, particularly, as others have noted (my penultimate, as METE was the last in, as I almost always forget ‘police’ = MET).

    Other favourites were 20ac (didn’t see the anagram at first), 1dn, 2dn (very Araucarian), 13dn (looked like an anagram of IN REAL MESS – very ingenious twist).

  8. ClaireS says:

    Thanks for the blog – I couldn’t parse 14d. I also missed the “Who” reference in 8d.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this crossword from Orlando, 2d was also my COD and was one of my last in. I liked the way the theme was carried across the surfaces of other clues.

    13d contains a reference to Madness – a UK ska band and 26a to Sting (Gordon Sumner) who was the lead singer of The Police, another UK band, mentioned in 25d.

  9. Ian Payn says:

    Oddly enough, I was at a quiz last night and a music track played was a version of Pinball Wizard. “It’s Elton John” said someone. “No, it’s The Who.” said someone else. I said it was neither, it was The New Seekers. They all laughed. Well, they all laughed at Christopher Columbus when he said the world was round, as well.

    Another point squandered…

  10. William says:

    Thanks UY, fine blog.

    Not much use with pop or rock bands – thank heavens for enumeration and also the right vintage.

    NOAH was brilliant.

    One small point…I always thought the name of the band was THE New Seekers. Perhaps I’m wrong. If Uncle Yap saw them 6 times in 1 week, perhaps he could remember the billing!

    Lovely puzzle, thanks Orlando

  11. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    Strangely, although this was too easy to extend the pleasure and I was familiar with the theme, I enjoyed it.
    I failed to parse ‘Noah’ and hence it was last in. I admired 5ac and 6d. Door frame is, of course, a jamb, which sounds like a clue for absolute beginners.

  12. rhotician says:

    2dn has a blatant misprint. It should read ‘Ptrirc’.

  13. William says:

    …and another thing, Uncle, do you think ADAPTS is really an insert as you suggest? I parsed it as AD (commercial) + (PAST)* (breaks for past) = fashions (ADAPTS). No?

  14. martin says:

    Good stuff. Having got Yes and Genesis as early answers, I thought that it might be all prog-rock bands; maybe saving that for another day!

    The “The” seems to be almost optional when talking about bands. Eagles being the most famous example where almost everyone adds a “The” that shouldn’t be there to make the sentence flow better. The New Seekers, one of many where it is routinely dropped.

    And one more not yet mentioned. 14d. “Mark joined king…” a reference to Mark King bassist and singer with Level 42. I liked this one a lot.

  15. ClaireS says:

    My apologies Uncle Yap, I completely missed the link to Sting in your parsing of 26a. Oops.

  16. Dave Ellison says:

    Thanks UY.

    2d was also my last in, and a super clue.

    K’s D @ 5: I don’t think Neddy is a dialect word. I remember it from my baby plate which I had when I was aged one or two (I don’t mean I have remembered it at that age, but from seeing it many years later). It read “Gee up Neddy …”. I can’t trace the plate but something similar is Gee up Neddy to the fair

    I see my brother-in-law has yet another outing, today.

  17. CynicCure says:

    If we’re trying to get *all* the band references, then let’s not forget the Band and indeed the Banned (who get an indirect and inadvertent mention in the same clue).

  18. rowland says:

    Orlando pushes the boat out today with a theme. I’m not sure I can remember him doing one of this ilk before, but it was very enjoyable. No quibbles at all for me, and I like Uncle Yap’s remark about Dreams!

    Cheers all,

  19. Barry says:

    Completion: 14d mentions “Queen”, rock band, Freddy Mercury lead singer. Bohemian Rhapsody anyone?

    There’s a “Terry Dactyl and The Dinosaurs” (16d), but I think that’s coincidental…

  20. Orlando says:

    Thanks to Uncle Yap for a fine blog and thanks to all those who have commented.

    Uncle Yap’s hearing of the Dreams lyrics as “Wash your hair, wash your nose” is a fine example of a Mondegreen. My favourites are the hymn “Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear” and the Crystal Gayle song “Doughnuts Make My Brown Eyes Blue”.

  21. CynicCure says:

    Orlando – heard at a funeral… “In the name of the father and of the son and into the hole ‘e goes.”

    …Not to mention “As our saviour tortoise, so we pray…”

  22. Ferret says:

    Might want to add Cass Elliot, Donna Sumner, Island records, Jim Morrison was a Door…….

    Dumb question, I’m struggling to understand the A&H reference from 1A in 2D?

  23. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Hi Ferret, no such thing as dumb questions, as I know …

    NOAH (of Ark fame) appears in Genesis in the bible and is a PATRIARCH. If you have NO A and H in this word, you end up with the nonsense word, PATRIRC, that Orlando put in the surface. It’s a bit off the wall, and is kind of an &lit, or ‘all-in-one’ clue.

    Hope that helps.

  24. rrc says:

    I didnt link gaol with nick the analysis of the clue is fine but I’m not sure of the definition.

  25. nic@60 says:

    rrc@24@: a ‘nick’ is slang for ‘prison’.

  26. Ferret says:

    Thanks KD

  27. chas says:

    Thanks to UY for the blog.
    There are two troubles with a theme like this one. (1) If you get the theme quickly then you find the rest of the puzzle easy and (2) if you do not get the theme then you struggle badly – like me :(

    Many people have commented that the bands appearing here were from ‘their own’ era. I am somewhat older, so these bands are people I have heard of but do not particularly care for.

  28. Paul B says:

    Gentleman appearing on BBC News this evening, representing some dodgy organisation called Quilliam, is called NOMAN BENOTMAN. Quite right too of course, as indeed no man be not man (except perhaps where Man be an island, or a Welsh rock band): that would be a contradiction in terms shurely.

    Re 12 above, an interesting point: does NOAH cryptically imply not employing a unit AH (or two separate entities A and H), or does it allow no As or Hs at all? Answers on a postcard please.

  29. Orlando says:

    Paul B@28

    ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

  30. Paul B says:

    One of the finer episodes of Lewis.

  31. Giovanna says:

    Thanks, Orlando and Uncle Yap for the fun.

    Noah was first in and was just brilliant, with more and more layers gradually revealing themselves.

    Thanks for the memories… of bands past and present.

    Giovanna x

  32. Davy says:

    Thanks UY and Orlando,

    A great puzzle from Orlando and rather Trampian I thought although not so verbose. I particularly liked GAOL which strangely enough I got from SLADE.
    The first themed clue I got was STEELEYE SPAN which is strange because one of its ex members lives about 75 yards away from me. The last in was NOAH
    which had to be right but I didn’t understand the clue. I should have twigged when I googled PATRIRC and up came patriach.

    I loved the Humpty Dumpty quote and thanks Orlando for the mondegreens which gave me the best laugh of the day especially ‘gladly the cross-eyed bear’
    which is just brilliant.

  33. RCWhiting says:

    Like chas I am from a ‘somewhat’ earlier era but all of these were quite familiar.
    I am still waiting for a Little Richard theme; I fear it will be a long wait.

  34. tupu says:

    An enjoyable puzzle as usual from Orlando.

    10a reminds me of a conversation in (I think)Thorne Smith’s Nightlife of the Gods. A flirtatious woman tells Hunter Hawk that he and her husband used to be ‘pretty thick together’ to which he replies that her husband was pretty thick on his own.

  35. rhotician says:

    Paul B @28: Over on the other place someone said of 2dn “Presumably a Grauniad typo…should be Patriarch in 1 across”. What made this specially delicious was that the post was made about 4am and no-one could explain fully for fear of posting a spoiler.

  36. Rorschach says:

    Porridge? Seriously?

  37. Paul B says:

    Well, yum-yum.

    Among the several reasons why I choose not to post in that other place is that you can’t actually talk about the clues. Presumably at some point during the proceedings such discussion is allowed, but I don’t know when that is. Here, no such limitation applies.

    For the record, and despite Mr Dumpty being quite right, I think you made a good point about the slippery nature of NO-AH.

  38. rhotician says:

    Orlando & UY: Thanks for the Mondegreen stuff. I first encountered Gladly in a television play. Might have been Dennis Potter.

    I learned a nonsense song at my mother’s knee which she left unexplained, allowing us several years to work it out for ourselves. Anyone else remember “Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey”?

    Oh, by the way, thanks for the puzzle and the blog. Most enjoyable.

  39. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Yes, that man called NOAH defeated us.
    And Rhotician and Paul B, yes, you were right to question the clue (and, I think, Orlando knows exactly what you’re talking about (but he took the risk)). Nonetheless, a nice idea.

    Btw, NOAH isn’t very much out of place in this extremely enjoyable crossword as Noah and The Whale is quite a popular band too (though not from ‘that’ era):

  40. Paul B says:

    Well, I think it’s pretty clear which bands here carry ‘authorial intent’ and which do not!

  41. Barry says:

    RCWhiting: For a Little Richard crossword, I would love to see the clue that results in “Awopbopalubop,awopbamboom”.

  42. Dave Ellison says:

    rhotician @ 38

    Yes, I remember it. Explanation here

    and a version hear , but not the one I remember.

  43. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Paul B @ 40: I am well aware of that.
    Let’s just call it ‘shameless plugging’, OK? :)

  44. brucew_aus says:

    Thanks Orlando and Uncle Yap and all the others who elicited the rest of the bands.

    Only did this one today … and what a joy. Did not find it particularly easy and probably spent as much time again properly parsing all of the clues.

    First in for me was ESSAYS and last in was GAOL which was very clever – think AOL was in a puzzle not all that long ago, but tend to forget about America Online after it was bought by Ted Turner. Like others, I thought that NOAH was quite brilliant after the penny finally dropped along with the A and H !

    Now to take on Paul …

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