Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Cryptic N° 25,747 by Pasquale

Posted by PeterO on September 21st, 2012


A couple of words new to me, clearly clued.

1 SIMEON NT character, this person in Jerusalem (6)
An envelope (‘in’) of ME (‘this person’) in SION (more commonly Zion, ‘Jerusalem’).
5 BUNFIGHT Spooner’s “enjoyable snack” turns out to be a grand party (8)
Fun bite. Grand not in a formal sense.
9,12 INSPIRE A GENERATION Mantra of 2012 with sporting arenas pioneering it (7,1,10)
An anagram (‘sporting’) of ‘arenas pioneering it’, with the motto of the 2012 Olympics as the semi-&lit definition.
10 GAVAGE Force-feeding provided — time to replace energy (6)
GAVE (‘provided’) with the E (‘energy’) replaced by AGE (‘time’).
11,23 STAR SIGN An indication of a division in high places (4,4)
Cryptic definition.
12 See 9
See 9
13 PIERCE Run through church past pillar (6)
A charade of PIER (‘pillar’) plus CE (‘church’).
14 YARMOUTH Youngster carrying gun somewhere west of Newport (8)
An envelope (‘carrying’) of ARM (‘gun’) in YOUTH (‘youngster’). There are various Newports and various Yarmouths; they come together on the Isle of Wight.
16 AGONISES Adult fails, admitting transgression’s return — and worries a lot (8)
An envelope (‘admitting’) of NIS, a reversal (‘return’) of SIN (‘transgression’) in A (‘adult’) plus GOES (‘fails’).
19 FACIES Expression of desires — any number will fade away (6)
A subtraction: FA[n]CIES (‘desires’) with N (‘any number’) removed (‘fade away’).
21 LA TRAVIATA Artist in European country joins volunteers to produce opera (2,8)
An envelope (‘in’) of RA (‘artist’) in LATVIA (‘European country’) plus (‘joins’) TA (‘volunteers’).
23 See 11
See 11
24 ERRING Eg misdialling to get Queen on phone (6)
A charade of ER (‘Queen’) plus RING (‘get … on phone’).
25 LET ALONE Much less neglected (3,5)
Double definition.
26 ADHERENT Disciple of the modern era, the man torn apart (8)
A charade of AD (‘the modern era’) plus HE (‘the man’) plus RENT (‘torn apart’).
27 DISMAL Gloomy mug laid into by sergeant major (6)
An envelope (‘laid into’) of SM (‘sergeant major’) in DIAL (‘mug’, both informally meaning face).
2 IS NOTHING SACRED Christening’s a do to be made fun of , so ___? (2,7,6)
An anagram (‘to be made fun of’) of ‘christenings a do’. Pasquale did the underlining for me.
3 EMPEROR Ruler in angry mood over gold — tons gone missing (7)
A charade of [t]EMPER (‘angry mood’) with the T (‘tons’) removed (‘gone missing’) plus OR (‘gold’).
4 NO REGRETS Little boy upset birds — there’s an absence of contrition (2,7)
A charade of NOR, a reversal (‘upset’) of RON (‘little boy’) plus EGRETS (‘birds’).
5 BLARNEY Flannel from ex-PM, one gone with craving to be ascendant (7)
A charade of BLA[i]R. (‘ex PM’) with the I removed (‘one gone’) plus NEY, a reversal (‘to be ascendant’) of YEN (‘craving’).
6 NIGER Lawson wanting a new direction, finally, for the country (5)
NIGEL (‘Lawson'; now Baron Lawson of Blaby) with its last letter (‘finally’) changed from L to R (‘wanting a new direction’).
7 IN VITRO Outside body very involved in rioting — bad, not good (2,5)
An envelope (‘involved in’) of V (‘very’) in INITRO, an anagram (‘bad’) of ‘riotin[g]’ with the G removed (‘not good’).
8 HIGH ON THE AGENDA Minutes at a meeting will be that important (4,2,3,6)
Double definiton: meetings are usually started by reading the minutes of the previous meeting.
15 REFRACTED Bent judge pretended to protect what’s right (9)
An envelope (‘to protect’) of R (‘right’) in REF (‘judge’) plus ACTED (‘pretended’). An amusing surface.
17 NERVINE Soothing remedy never working, popular for swallowing (7)
An envelope (‘for swallowing’) of IN (‘popular’) in NERVE, an anagram (‘working’) of ‘never’.
18 SCARLET Red mark that’s deadly, not half (7)
A charade of SCAR (‘mark’) plus LET[hal] (‘deadly, not half’).
20 CASTLES The French occupying sheds or big buildings (7)
An envelope (‘occupying’) of LE (‘the French’) in CASTS (‘sheds’).
22 VOGUE Very old visitor ignoring street fashion (5)
A charade of V (‘very’) plus O (‘old’) plus GUE[st] (‘visitor’) with the ST removed (‘ignoring street’).


27 Responses to “Guardian Cryptic N° 25,747 by Pasquale”

  1. NeilW says:

    Thanks, PeterO. The third day running of clever rather than difficult crosswords – my favourite type!

    YARMOUTH was last in as I needed the crossers – as you indicate, the def might just as well have been “somewhere in the UK!”

  2. Paul B says:

    Not really. You’d have trouble finding a Yarmouth west of Casnewydd, so the definition adds a certain amount of misdirection, and is carefully selected, I would argue.

  3. Andrew says:

    Thanks PeterO: I agree with NeilW’s assessement – a very enjoyable puzzle.

    I parsed 8dn as “Minutes at a meeting will be that” and “important”. I always think that “high on the agenda” is a rather silly metaphor (much-loved by politicians) for “very important”, as the items highest on the agenda of a meeting are usually rather trivial administrative matters such as apologies for absence and, as in the first definition, approving the minutes of the previous meeting.

  4. John Appleton says:

    I’ll also concur with NeilW, clever without being difficult. I rarely complete Pasquale’s puzzles, but this week have managed both his Indy and Grauniad ones. I think I’m finding his wavelength.

  5. rhotician says:

    @3 It’s not a mataphor. See Chambers.

  6. NeilW says:

    rhotician @3, is it a matador?

  7. NeilW says:

    @5,even! :)

  8. Jason says:

    Can someone explain 24D (ROPE)?

  9. rhotician says:

    NeilW – was it you who wittily called me optician when I referred to birdsnog?

  10. Stella Heath says:

    Hi Jason, I think you’ve got the wrong blog – there is no 24d.

    I agree with the general sentiment of approval, and thanks PeterO for taking the trouble to work out the anagram fodder – I couldn’t be bothered for 2d :-)

    I’m afraid you have a couple of typos in your blog – and it seems to be catching!

  11. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    In spite of three new-to-me words (nervine, gavage and facies) this was too easy to match up to our recent challenges.
    I liked ‘this person’as an alternative for ‘me’ in 1ac.
    If 11,23 is a cryptic definition it is too cryptic for me. Perhaps one needs more astrological knowledge than I have to understand it.

  12. Robi says:

    Nice crossword, although ‘Mantra of 2012′ was a bit of a giveaway to start with.

    Thanks PeterO; I don’t think I understand STAR SIGN – on a computer this is for multiplication, not division. Maybe it’s just to do with division in the skies – can someone please explain in simple terms?

    NERVINE and FACIES were new to me, although both very gettable from the clue. I liked the surface of 5d, a nod to the said ex-PM, I think. ;)

  13. Robi says:

    RCW @11; we seem to have the same problem with 11,23.

  14. Robi says:

    I suppose it is because the Zodiac is divided into twelve equal parts. Is that right?

  15. PeterO says:

    Robi @14

    That’s how I took 11/23.

    I shall not be using red for the clues again – I do not like the effect, and it makes typos more difficult to spot.

  16. tupu says:

    Thanks PeterO and Pasquale

    A clever puzzle which I found quite hard and and a bit dry, I’m afraid. I had to check facies, gavage, and nervine (all well clued) and star sign – ‘division’ is, it seems, the correct term for the different areas of the heavens involved. I also worried that it is a calculator’s multiplication sign.

    I did not know the Isle of Wight Yarmouth and Newport so I was also puzzled by 14a, till I checked, though the answer was clear enough. In any case, I suppose that even Yarmouth in Norfolk is west of Newport, Mon. if you go far enough round the globe!

  17. Andrew says:

    The things you learn from crosswords! GAVAGE is from the French gaver, to stuff, which is also the source of GAVOTTE, a 17th-century dance (much used in Baroque instrumental suites, and also appearing as the Ascot Gavotte in My Fair Lady), originally a Provencal mountaineer’s dance, ‘from “gavot”, a local name for an Alpine resident, lit. “boor, glutton.” ‘

  18. yvains says:

    @8, Jason – you want the blog on today’s Independent – :)

  19. rowland says:

    Well, this is old school stuff, but isn’t it great? Well put together I say. Couldn’t do STAR SIGN for the reasons you all give, but that’s just a gap in my knowledge, not anyone’s fault.

    Thanks Peter for your blog, which contained the clues and was thus very good! The red typr, yeah, drop it. I can’t read it properly either!

    Well done Pasquale too.


  20. CliffB says:

    Am I missing something or has the Guardian website become inordinately slow recently. Is the delayed echo of the character just typed deliberate for some reason? It is really annoying.

  21. anio says:

    @20 I’d put the slowness to my aged,clogged up computer so it’s good to hear I’m not alone. It is pretty maddening though.

  22. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks Pasquale and PeterO. New words for me were NERVINE, GAVAGE, BUNFIGHT. Chambers shows the latter as two words? I will echo the comments of CliffB and anio. Each letter entry takes three seconds. I am using a three year old Dell Inspiron 1525. Maybe that’s the problem.


  23. RCWhiting says:

    GP @22
    Mine is also a Dell Inspiron 1525 but I would guess older than yours.
    I have just done a test run and managed 16 characters in 10 seconds.
    Much faster than my brain so no problems.

  24. Martin P says:

    I found this quite hard, but not as satisfying as some of late.

    A couple of new ones: gavage; facies.

    I don’t think I like medical/legal expressions as solutions. Perhaps it’s because these professions have enough going for them as it is, without being given the edge in crosswords too.

  25. MS says:

    To the west of Newport, Isle of Wight is Yarmouth, Isle of Wight

  26. gronwi says:

    Didn’t help that the Weekly had omitted the clue to 27! But I liked the idea of nervine “never working”!

  27. Maureen says:

    As there was no clue for27a in The Weekly I wrote in dismay!

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