Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,720 – Chifonie

Posted by Uncle Yap on August 21st, 2012

Uncle Yap.

Quite an easy and straight-forward set of clues.




Place cursor over clue number to read the clue

1 DESPATCH DES (some in French) PATCH (piece)
5 BALSAM BALSA (wood) M (first letter of modelling) for a healing ointment or preparation
9 SERGEANT SERGE (common Russian name like the Scottish IAN) ANT (worker)
10 FLAGON Ins of L (50 in Roman numeral) in FAG (slang for cigarette or smoke) ON (aboard)
12 ALLEY Edmond HALLEY (1656–1742), an English astronomer of Comet fame minus H
14 PERFECT PITCH In cricket, batsmen would love a predictable bounce when the pitch is even
18 BALLET DANCER Ins of LET (allow) + D (director) in BALANCER (high wire performer)
21 CABALLERO CABAL (political faction) + *(ROLE)
23 CLOVE C (circa, about) LOVE (zero) for past tense of CLEAVE
25 PAVEMENT Ins of AVE (welcome) + MEN (crew) in PT (port)
26 DIADEM Reversal of the ins of ED (editor, journalist) in MAID (girl)
27 DEATH ROW DE (Delaware) A (atomic) THROW (as in project the image on to a screen)
1 DISMAL Rev of LAM (hit) SID (boy)
2 SCROLL SC (first two letters of Scottish) ROLL (furl)
6 ALL IN Ins of LLI (rev of ILL, evil) in AN
7 SEGMENTS Ins of G-MEN (Government-men, nickname for FBI agents) in SETS (stage scenery)
8 MONARCHY Substitution of ARCH (chief) for E (note) in MONEY (cash)
11 DISCONSOLATE Cha of DISC (record) ON (playing) SO LATE (well into the night)
15 PRESCIENT Ins of CI (101 in Roman numeral) in PRESENT (show)
16 OBSCURED OB’S (old boys, former pupils) CURED (smoked as in salmon)
17 CLUB SODA CLUBS (suit in a pack of cards) O (old) DA (District Attorney, US public prosecutor overused as lawyer)
19 DOG-EAR DO (party) GEAR (clothes)
20 BESTOW BE (Bachelor of Engineering) STOW (put away)
22 LIEGE dd also the name of a city in Belgium

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

23 Responses to “Guardian 25,720 – Chifonie”

  1. Fat Al says:

    Couldn’t get 23a, and don’t think I would have. So many thanks Uncle Yap for the early blog. I can get on to other things now.

    Looks like a typo in 9a…should be ANT for worker.

  2. NeilW says:

    Thanks, UY. Some really old chestnuts today. For what it’s worth, you’ve a typo in 9: ANy for ANT.

  3. NeilW says:

    Fat Al, sorry, crossed!

  4. molonglo says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap. I liked this a little more than you, as a challenge. 1d with the cross-letters indicated a ‘sad’ somewhere, and 23a was a testing clue too, as Fat Al indicated, and that held up 19d

  5. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Many thanks, Uncle Yap. As you say, reasonably straightforward this morning, although none the less enjoyable for that. There were plenty of good clues here, but if I had to pick favourites they would be ACETYLENE and PERFECT PITCH.

    CLOVE was my last one in; although the subsidiary indication couldn’t be clearer, it’s nicely misleading. CLEAVE is one of those strange words which has two completely opposite meanings: to cling to, and to split apart. According to my SOED, the CLOVE past tense is only used for the sense that Chifonie intended: rend/rent. You can also have CLEAVED, CLEFT and CLAVE. In the ‘cling to’ sense, you can only have CLAVE or CLEAVED. And that’s before you get onto the past participles …

    Thanks to Chifonie for a pleasing Tuesday puzzle.

  6. tupu says:

    Thanks UY and Chifonie

    Not easy to get into at first but eventually enjoyably sorted.

    Some clever clues e.g. 23a, 25a, 11d, 16d, 17d, 19d.

  7. Miche says:

    Thank, UY.

    I though 9a could have done with a question mark or some kind of example indicator. A policeman may be a sergeant and a sergeant may be a policeman, but not necessarily.

    An orienteer isn’t always a sportsman, either.

  8. harry says:

    thanks UY

    20ac – strictly a Bchelor of Engineering is a B.Eng. A very minor quibble and mainly an excuse to boast that my daughter just graduated with one. I’m so proud of her.

  9. Robi says:

    Like tupu @6, I started slowly but satisfying to solve.

    Thanks UY; I particularly liked MONARCHY and PAVEMENT.

  10. CynicCure says:

    Excellent news Harry. Good to know some people still do proper degrees and not just Media Studies and the like!

  11. rowland says:

    If they can afford them, CynicCure!

    Bad day at the puzzles so far today as I didn’t get on to well with Indy, and this one seemed a bit tame. Point of order: in 12 across shouldn’t it be ‘loses’ rather than ‘lost’?


  12. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    A very straightforward solve for 90% but I was (like several others, it seems)held up in the SE corner.
    Last in was ‘clove'; well done KD for attempting to unravel that well known etymological knot.
    Rowland, either works perfectly well.

  13. Barry says:

    Not having a Spanish (or English) dictionary to hand I ventured ‘CABALHERO’ for 21a! A hero is a role model, right? Oh well…

  14. William says:

    Thank you Uncle, just a few minor observations…

    Not very happy with BE for BEng (many congrats to Harry’s daughter BTW)

    Also, don’t much care for despatch = butcher. Seems the first is a clean kill and the second most definitely not – but it’s probably fine for crossword usage.

    Lastly, not at all happy with PERFECT PITCH for musical talent. It’s most certainly not, it’s a wretched curse. Other than the ability to tune one’s instrument, it says nothing whatever about one’s ability to play it. On the other hand it’s a damned nuisance and makes it very hard to enjoy any performance that isn’t pitched perfectly at A = 440. Both my son and I are plagued with it and both wish we weren’t.

    Thanks Chifonie for a smooth puzzle, particularly liked CLOVE & CLUB SODA.

  15. chas says:

    Thanks to UY for the blog. I had MONARCHY for 8d but needed you to tell me why I had the right answer!

  16. rowland says:

    Past tense though, RCW? It seemed a little odd to me, I must admit, as it can be avoided pretty easily!

  17. Davy says:

    Thanks UY,

    Yes it was on the easy side but also very entertaining. Lots of good clues and no wordplay that I couldn’t understand.
    I did get stuck on the last four in the SE though and PAVEMENT was the last one in. Favourite clue was probably DEATH ROW.
    Thanks Mr Hurdy-Gurdy man.

  18. rrc says:

    3/4 solved superbly 1/4 problematical bottom right clove being the main culprit which is still puzzling me

  19. Davy says:

    rrc (18)

    The clue is “Rent is about zero” :

    The definition is Rent and rent=clove (as in spilt) so rent is(=) c=circa=about + love (zero in tennis).

    Hope that makes sense.

  20. Martin P says:

    Chipping in for the evening pub solvers, I found this tricky in places.

    3d: didn’t like “inflammatory” for what’s really “inflammable”, not really the same thing, but my only grumble.

  21. RCWhiting says:

    I think an acetylene torch does tend to inflame (in the lieral sense) and therefore is inflammatory.

  22. Paul B says:

    I think we have the two different words for a very good reason. And, while we’re at it, I think we have the present tense for a very good reason ‘n’ all.

  23. Huw Powell says:

    Not really my cup of tea, this, although I did actually finish it.

    When I was about 1/3 done, my irritation at the incorrect definition of ACETYLENE finally clicked. What is going on here is that Chifonie is more concerned with “smooth surfaces” than “fair cluing” in this puzzle. Read every single clue, and it is a legitimate sentence that appears to say something.

    Trouble is, I squiggle-marked seven clues as being questionable.

    13 Since when is orienteering a “sport”?
    18 Artists is plural. The solution is singular.
    23 (not such a big deal, but unsolvable without all the checks, for me)
    25 Pavement = flags is weak, and PT for “port”?
    27 A for “atomic” is weak. Yes, I know occurs in acronyms, but on its own?

    1 I just tire of clues that involved guessing a random name
    3 Covered above

    None of this would matter except that as I was solving, instead of the “aha, that’s so excellent” when finally getting a hard one, it was more of a “groan, what a clue”. And so many clues seemed to have similar structures.

    Oh well, we can’t love them all! Thanks for the effort Chifonie, and the blog Uncle Yap!

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