Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,758 – Orlando

Posted by Andrew on October 4th, 2012


The usual high-quality stuff from Orlando. Nothing particularly hard, but there are several definitions that are nicely tucked away in smooth surface readings.

1. REGULUS LUGER reversed (“from the right”) + US. Regulus is a bright star in the constellation Leo
5. EELPOUT Reverse of P[ostmaster] [General Robert E] LEE + OUT (forth). The eelpout is a strange-looking eel-like fish
9. CRACK Double definition – joke and expert (as an adjective, e.g. crack shot)
10. ALONGSIDE (IDEAL SONG)*, with the nicely unobtrusive definition “by”
11. CHAMBERTIN CHAMBER (room) + T + IN.A type of Bordeaux Burgundy wine – perhaps most familiar (to me, anyway) as part of the name Gevrey-Chambertin
12. ASTI Another wine, hidden in tASTIng
18. PENNY BLACKS PENNY (girl) BLACKS (boycotts)
21. ATOP Another unobtrusive definition: “on”, and A to P is 16 letters of the alphabet
26. TUTSI TUT (expression of disapproval) + reverse of IS
27. DETENTE TENT in DEE (river, so “running water”)
28. LE HAVRE V in [Franz] LEHAR + E
1. ROCOCO COC[k] in ROO (character in A A Milne’s Winnie The Pooh books)
2. GO AWAY GOA + odd letters of WeArY
3. LIKE BILLY-O LIKE (match, as a noun) + BILLY (can) + O[val]
6. LEGS Reference to the Bingo call “legs eleven”, and “pin” is slang for leg,
7. OMISSION O[ver] MISSION. I didn’t know, or had forgotten, that the Battle of the Alamo was fought at a mission of the same name
8. TEENIEST Anagram of I (symbol for electric current) + T[y]NE (Y being the unknown that is “not” there) + TEES. Definition “Least”
13. AT A STRETCH Double definition
15. MELBOURNE [Nellie] MELB[a] + URN in O E. Melbourne is the capital of the Australian state of Victoria
16. UPRAISED [comm]U[nity] + PRAISED (cracked up – usually seen in the negative sense of “not all it’s cracked up to be”)
17. INSOLENT People sailing from Cowes may be IN the SOLENT
19. GUSTAV GUST (force the air) A V
20. ADVICE A[wkwar]D + VICE (failing)
23. NATAL NATALIE [Wood, actress] less IE (that is)
24. FLAN FLAN[k]

35 Responses to “Guardian 25,758 – Orlando”

  1. peter Waterman says:

    Thanks for parsing 3 down. I’d put it in without knowing why.I thought 21 across was quite neat. It certainly had me thinking a good while.

  2. PeterO says:

    Thank you Orlando and Andrew – I think the preamble hits it squarely: not too difficult, but with enough guile to keep one on one;s toes.
    In 11A, Orlando even tells you that Le Chambertin is a Burgundy, not a Bordeaux. Unless money is no object, it is hardly surprising that the village Gevrey-Chanbertin is more familiar to you than the vineyard, although this is getting things backward. Like several villages in Burgundy, Gevrey appended the name of its most famous vineyard, to bask in the reflected glory, and to confuse some less knowledgeable wine buyers.

  3. NeilW says:

    Thanks, Andrew.

    I found this tricky but, as so often with Orlando, afterwards wondered why. As you say, “Nothing particularly hard…” but it felt like it at the time!

    Tied myself in knots trying to parse EGOTISTIC, fooled as no doubt intended by the fact that GOT was “wrapped up” in EISTIC. Several penny-dropping moments: forth = OUT (think you accidentally pressed the shift key there) GUST = air force; GO IN GROUND!

    Thanks, Philistine, for yesterday’s “topless constraint” that made LIMITATIONS a write-in.

  4. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks Orlando and Andrew. Thanks for explaining “legs eleven”. Liked CRACK and ATOP. Thanks also to NeilW for reminding where I had recently seen LIMITATIONS. How soon I forget!


  5. rhotician says:

    I forget the name of the girl but the wine was Gevrey-Chambertin.

  6. muffin says:

    I found it quite hard, but enjoyable – thanks to Andrew and Orlando.

    One minor quibble, 17dn – except that both definitions in Chambers mention the word “impudent”, I don’t think that audacious and insolent are all that similar in meaning – I like the “IN SOLENT”, but maybe “cheeky” or something similar might have been a better definition.

  7. Andrew says:

    I have no idea why I typed “Bordeaux” in my comment for 11ac – now corrected to Burgundy. (I hadn’t been drinking either of them, honest.)

  8. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog.Andrew.

    Another lovely puzzle from Orlando, with, as you say, great surfaces and well-concealed definitions. My ticks were for ALONGSIDE, GOING ROUND, LIKE BILLY-O, EGOTISTIC, GUSTAV and NATAL.

    I can’t quite follow your reference to Melbourne being the capital of Victoria: it would be very unusual to separate a definition like that, wouldn’t it? I took ‘Victorian singer’ as being a straight [for once!] definition of Nellie Melba. [Lord Melbourne was one of Queen Victoria’s Prime Ministers, so there could be a double definition, I suppose.]

  9. Eileen says:

    Sincere apologies, Andrew – I realise now that you were simply pointing out that Melbourne is not the capital of Australia!

  10. Robi says:

    Good, tricky stuff.

    Thanks Andrew; I thought ATOP [last in] was some reference to UPRAISED. I even counted the letters to ‘O,’ but forgot about ‘P’ :(

    I hadn’t heard of Nellie Melba, although I had, of course, heard of MEL-B. Presumably, that is the reference to Eileen’s split definition. EELPOUT had me guessing a while and I particularly liked Eileen’s faves plus OMISSION.

  11. Andrew says:

    Eileen – it wasn’t even as subtle as that: I was just saying that Melbourne is a capital. The connection with “Victorian” at the start of the clue is a nice coincidence, though.

  12. Eileen says:

    And, Robi, it wasn’t as subtle as that, either! I simply meant ‘Victorian’ at the beginning and ‘capital’ at the end of the clue. I wasn’t thinking of Mel-B – although I have heard of her. ;-)

  13. Kathryn's Dad says:

    We’ve had some cracking puzzles from Orlando recently, and this was another. MELBOURNE led me up so many garden paths I practically ended up in Australia. DETENTE and ALONGSIDE I really liked today.

    Gevrey-Chambertin I have savoured, but the last time was about 2BC (two years before children) when I had disposable income. Now my darling children dispose of it for me, and not on Grand Cru Burgundy …

    Thanks for blogging, Andrew.

  14. aztobesed says:

    Thanks for the blog.

    I had 6 as an oblique hat-tip to wine-speak – “This Burgundy has legs” – and totally missed the bingo connection. I missed quite a lot of this today.

  15. tupu says:

    Thanks Andrew and Orlando

    I found this quite tricky to parse in places e.g in 8d but this led to some good penny-dropping moments.

    I nearly put in ‘kegs’ for 6d (pins are casks among other things) before I saw the Bingo connection.

    Lots of ticks – 10a, 21a, 22a, 28a, 1d, 3d, 5d, 8d.

  16. Jeff says:

    I thought that CANBERRA was the capital of AUSTRALIA and Melbourne was merely the capital of VICTORIA!

  17. chas says:

    Thanks to Andrew for the blog. I had put in 3d without understanding why – you explained that.

    On 23d I spent an age trying to think of a tree (=wood) that would go in here but eventually settled on the lovely lady.

  18. Peter Mabey says:

    Dame Nellie did actually come from Victoria, and derived her stage name from Melbourne, so was particularly relevant.

  19. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    A pleasant run-out for a Thursday.
    Last in was ‘atop’.
    I agree with several above who commended some deliciously misleading definitions: my favourite was 16d.
    Others I admired were 15d and 5ac.
    25,758 shows the limitations of the editor’s role.

  20. rowland says:

    Real quality. I think Orlando shows the way with neat clues and avoiding ‘cryptic clunkery’, so Bravo!

    Cheers all,

  21. apple granny says:

    We romped through this but were completely stumped by 21a “Atop” Had to log on here to see it and kick ourselves. Thoroughly enjoyable.

  22. John Appleton says:

    As with last week’s Orlando, I found it a struggle, but not through any fault of the setter – it’s a fine puzzle, and ATOP (which I failed to get) is my COD.

  23. Martin P says:

    1:0 to Orlando. Could see “atop” but not the device.

    I think I’ve seen something similar before, but not often.

    Well done setter.

  24. Kathryn's Dad says:

    The other ‘alphabetical’ clue I remember – reasonably recently I think, but I can’t recall from whom and the exact surface – was to clue GHANDI as being G, H AND I, relying on the fact that G, H and I are consecutive letters of the alphabet. And it’s helped me to remember how to spell his name ever since.

  25. tupu says:

    I weondered if I had seen a similar clue with 13 and atom.

  26. tupu says:

    wondered even

  27. Martin P says:

    “Ghandi” rings a bell…

  28. muffin says:

    I wanted the ring engraved “From A to Z” – “From Adam to Zelda” – not the whole bloody alphabet!

  29. muffin says:

    Sorry – very old joke.

  30. morphiamonet says:


    Unless I’m missing out on some ‘in joke’, isn’t
    G and H,I ??

  31. Kathryn's Dad says:

    No, morphiamonet, it’s me that is the joke. It is of course GANDHI. I did say I had difficulty spelling it!

  32. RCWhiting says:

    I think the most famous one is HIJKLMNO (5).

  33. OlofW says:

    Still not sure about 8D. Why does “not unknown” mean remove the Y? Is it because y sounds like why? Or is it algebra symbols?

  34. Paul B says:

    Look up Y (or X, or Z) in Collins. It’s all there.

  35. OlofW says:

    Algebra then. 2 years of A-level maths wasted on me.

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