Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,767 – Audreus

Posted by Andrew on October 15th, 2012


Nice to see one of Audreus’s rare appearances in the Monday slot (and we can confidently predict her son Shed for tomorrow). This was mostly easy going, with a striking number of clues involving reversals, but with enough gentle trickery to stop it being a complete walkover.

7. FIXATED TAXI reversed in FED
8. MIRACLE CAR reversed in MILE
9. BRAE Hidden in reverse of swEAR Blind
10. AUSTERITY (ARTY SUITE)* – so not every clue is going to include a reversal, though there are more to come..
12. FLOCK Double definition
13. UPSTREAM UP (higher) STREAM (school grouping)
15,16,17. FLAT OF THE HAND A HAND (worker) might be accommodated in a FLAT
18. ENFORCER Hidden in chosEN FOR CERtain. A sort of &lit, as the whole clue defines the answer, but the extra words in the cryptic reading rather weaken the effect
20. GUMMY M[ilitary] M[edal] in GUY
22. TIFF Reverse of FIT (apt) + F[at]
25. STEWPOT Reverse of TOP WETS – not sure if these are Mrs Thatcher’s wets, or just general ditherers
1. LIAR Reverse of RAIL
2. GATEPOST Reference to the expression “between you, me and the gatepost”, said when telling a secret; and a gate post is a supporter for an opening
3. REMARK R + EM (printer’s measure) + ARK
5. RAPIER I in APE in RR
6. CLOY L in COY; “be” is doing double duty in the definition
11. SPUTTERER S (bridge player) + PUTTER(club) + ER (hesitation). I was briefly tempted by STUTTERER from the definition until the wordplay decided otherwise.
12. FELON FEL[l] + ON (over)
14. ANNOY ANN (girl) + OY (Scots word for grandchild – perhaps a bit obscure, but it had to be that..)
16. ONCE OVER Cryptic definition; or possibly intended as a double def, but the two meanings are too close for comfort.
19. ORNATE N[ight] in ORATE
20. GUESTS Reference to The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, where the Mariner “stoppeth one of three” (from a group of guests about to go in to wedding feast). I suspect anyone not familiar with the line would be totally baffled by this, though there aren’t many other plausible words that would fit.
21. CERT A dead cert is a sure thing
23. FLOW One more reversal, of WOLF

40 Responses to “Guardian 25,767 – Audreus”

  1. muffin says:

    Thanks andrew amd audreus.
    Fairly easy but enjoyable. “Oy” is in Chambers as Scots for grandchild (I had to look it up)
    I got ENFORCER without noticing the hidden word! Thanks, andrew, for pointing it out.
    I wonder why the song about “ye banks and ye braes” duplicates the meaning – I always thought “brae” must mean something different from “bank”, but apparently it doesn’t.

  2. KeithW says:

    A soon as I saw the grid I was downhearted (too much black) and I didn’t enjoy this much. Gave up totally on the two short lights in the NW corner and, having seen Andrew’s solutions, I’m rather relieved I didn’t struggle on. The HOT WOMEN from HOME TOWN raised a smile, probably ruefully because there really weren’t any in my day.

    Thanks Andrew, and Audreus (for some of this and many previous delights)

  3. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, Andrew. As you say, nice to see Audreus back – on two counts!

    I missed the hidden 18ac, too [my flimsy excuse being that the clue was printed on two lines in the paper] but nothing else fitted.

    I really liked the surface of 9ac and the neat use of ‘button-holed’ in 20dn.

    I didn’t know the Scottish grandchild, either.

    Many thanks, Audreus, for a nice start to the week.

  4. Gervase says:

    Thanks, Andrerw.

    Audreus on Monday makes a pleasant change. I also pondered STUTTERER at 11d, having come across ‘sputtering’ only in the technical sense of a process to spray a thin coating on a surface. OY was also unfamiliar.

    I enjoyed the Coleridge reference in the well-worded 20d, and 18a is one of the cleverest ‘hidden’ clues I have seen for a long time. 15,16,17 is a nice double def. Pleasing to see AUSTER in the puzzle – the late Guardian setter was, like Audreus, one of the relatively few female compilers. I wonder if this was deliberate?

    I also wonder how many ‘Biggles’ we’re getting this week?

  5. Miche says:

    Thanks, Andrew.

    I liked the hidden ENFORCER. Had to guess at OY for grandchild. Took me a while to get GATEPOST, as I’m more familiar with the bedpost variant of that expression.

    Muffin @1: A brae can be a hillside as well as a bank, so I don’t think Loch Lomond is tautological. [There’s a steep road near my home that’s known only as “the Brae” – the influence of Scots here in County Antrim is very strong.]

  6. tupu says:

    Thanks Andrew and Audreus

    An enjoyable puzzle with a nice light touch and just right (for me) for a Monday morning.

    I ticked quite a few clues – 7a, 25a, 2d, 17d, 20d.

    :) I knew ‘oy’ because I rememberd my son (ann)oy(ingly) using it and other carefully searched out obscure 2-letter words when we used to play scrabble.

  7. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Andrew.

    My experience was yours: mostly easy, but the last few taking a good deal more thinking to solve. I too wasn’t keen on ONCE OVER, and GUESTS just seemed to me to be wilfully obscure in an otherwise accessible puzzle. But a pleasing start to the week; thank you to the setter.

  8. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    Le mot des nos jours (10ac).
    It is bad enough applied to our finances, but now also our crosswords……

  9. Mitz says:

    Thanks Audreus and Andrew.

    90% completed after the first sweep, and in most cases without hesitation. Like others I didn’t know the Ancient Mariner reference – I was vaguely aware of him stopping 1 in 3 but had no idea it referred to wedding guests – however having g-e— meant the solution couldn’t really be anything else. Nor did I know ‘oy’, but again what else was a-n-y going to be? ‘Gatepost’ by a distance the COD. In all, a pleasant enough few minutes.

  10. chas says:

    Thanks to Andrew for the blog.

    It’s funny how these things work: many people have said they did not see the Ancient Mariner reference but I did see it. I spent an age failing to remember the name of the poem. When I saw this blog I thought “Of course” :)

  11. chas says:

    Silly me: I had meant to finish my previous comment with :(

  12. RCWhiting says:

    How did I, as a mere scientist,know the poetic reference?
    Back in the 50s Tommy Steele had a Top Ten hit with “Water, water”.

  13. rowland says:

    I am very sorry to hear about Keith W’s home town, and if he could let me know which one it is I will be grateful!

    How lovely to see Audreus in again so soon. An imaginatoive and talented setter, she is great value today with some nice references, my fave neing the Rime one. That’s a great poem.

    Looking forward to son Shed tomorrow, this promises to be a better Guardian week.

    Thank you Andrew, for your great blog.


  14. William says:

    Thank you, Andrew. I was not aware of the Shed/Audreus connection – I’m motivated to compare, now.

    Fairly pleasant, fairly easy. GUESTS had to go in unparsed, I’m afraid – poor old engineer that I am.

    Thank you Audreus.

  15. Galeraman says:

    I have been a visitor to Fifteensquared for a long time but this is my first comment!! So, be gentle with me. Thank you Andrew for a very thorough blog, as always, and to Audreus for a fine crossword.
    I am minded to lose my virginity at last, to remark on the very different treatment received here by Audreus today and poor Rufus one week ago. To my mind the difficulty level of the two puzzles was not appreciably different, and both had the apparent “flaw” of being overloaded with one sort of device. The awful vituperation of seven days ago, was ended, not before time by the administrator. Today mercifully we have had none of that. Is it because we have learnt our lesson, or because Audreus is a woman, or simply because over time Rufus has become fair game. If the latter then it is sad. I am very grateful for any crossword that is published, if it is easy and I finish it quickly, I get on with something else. If it is hard, it keeps me thinking over several day. I tend not to use Google so if I’m stumped I come here for enlightenment. So, I say, let us all get on with one another and act like the civilised crossword lovers we are.
    Many thanks,

  16. rhotician says:

    Rowly @13: “this promises to be a better Guardian week” seems to suggest that you think today’s puzzle is better than last week’s Rufus and that you expect tomorrow’s to be better than last week’s Puck.

  17. Rorschach says:

    Presumably HR has a “week off Rufus policy” in order to find out who automatically posts anti-Rufus messages here without even doing the puzzle! :)

  18. RCWhiting says:

    Welcome Galeraman,and long may you stay.
    However, just to get you into the swing of things, I cannot agree with you.
    Surely “civilised crossword solvers” should be capable of disagreeing over their estimation of a puzzle’s worth without failing to get on with eachother.
    I thought today’s was much too easy for a Guardian cryptic but I have nothing at all to say about the compiler (or any of her relations).
    This is the difference to recognise since I do not think it is possible to apply “awful vituperation” towards a puzzle.

  19. Galeraman says:

    Yes, you make this point every week but still the insults keep coming. If you criticize a crossword, then by implication you criticize the compiler. But it is not necessary, surely there is much to enjoy in all the puzzles. No compiler sets out to upset you or me or anyone else. He simply sets a puzzle as best he/she can and sends it for publication. I might just as well rile at John Coltrane for playing saxophone music that I can’t play. Fine, point out genuine errors or faults, most compilers seem only too ready to say “mia culpa”, but questioning the difficulty of a puzzle seems pointless to me. But, it is good to cross swords with you in any case. And, as we seem to be of different temperaments I’m sure we well find it hard to agree.

  20. Gervase says:

    Hi Galeraman

    All blogs have a tendency to become vituperative; this one less so than many, I feel, but it can still get a bit intemperate. I try to follow the precept of Thumper’s father: “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”. This is one of the reasons why I sometimes do not make a comment! (Actually, the quotation is: “….don’t say nothing at all’, but, as a bit of a pedant myself, I don’t want to get tied up in an argument about the significance of double negatives).

  21. Galeraman says:

    Gervase@20 You and Thumper’s father make a lot of sense. I think I generally go by that precept, but I will still bear it in mind in future.

  22. Dave Ellison says:

    Hello, Galeraman@19, nice to have a new “face”, but…”If you criticize a crossword, then by implication you criticize the compiler. But it is not necessary, surely there is much to enjoy in all the puzzles.”

    Well, yes, but then I must conclude from this that one shouldn’t criticise a novel or a film or a piece of music? And I am not convinced that one is necessarily criticising the author of the work; I may criticise Clockwork Orange for being too violent, but this does not mean I am criticising its author for producing a work of merit.

  23. Galeraman says:

    Dave Ellison@22 Thanks for the welcome, (and thanks also to RCWhiting for his, which I forgot to acknowledge.) You make a good point and I did concede that mentioning a fault or error was acceptable. It may well be that Anthony Burgess would concede that his novel was a tad violent, and not be too wounded, but if you berated him for producing a trite or simple novel I think he would be mortified. Similarly to have told James Joyce that Ulysses was impenetrable, as I find the AZED crossword, probably says more about the critic than the criticized. I was just making the point that I felt last weeks remarks about the Rufus crossword were OTT.

  24. Galeraman says:

    @ at 23 I do realize that the late very great Anthony Burgess has passed away. My remarks should have been in the past tense.

  25. Brendan (not that one) says:

    A nice enjoyable crossword with just enough deviousness to make it more than a write in.

    Welcome Galeraman to our civilised blog/forum. ( Although apparently I am one of the “Barbarians” :-))

    I’m afraid I don’t agree with you regarding the puzzles overuse of any particular device as I found it used a representative selection of the usual devices. Something I believe is necessary for a “beginner’s” puzzle.

    And as for “awful vituperation”. Surely now you’re going OTT. 😉

    Thanks to Audreus and Andrew.

  26. Derek Lazenby says:

    Oh dear, and it all started so gently!

    Of course it is bull excrement to criticise a puzzle just because it’s difficulty level doesn’t match your own solving ability. Difficulty level is just not a valid parameter.

    Why? Because the same puzzle can be evaluated as good in one context and bad in a different context. It can’t be both. So clearly any parameter which depends on the context is meaningless as a means of criticising the puzzle. What should be criticised is the editorial mistake that put a puzzle in an incorrect context, not the puzzle itself.

    Now, the editor has publicly stated several times in his blog that the Monday puzzle will, normally, be easier than the rest of the week. Why is it then surprising that an easy puzzle turns up? Therefore, it is pointless to complain about a Monday puzzle’s difficulty. The setter was just doing the job as required. If anyone wants to slag off the editorial policy that is different.

    (Why are some people unable to understand the simple English used by the editor in his blog?)

    Just to show how ignorant some solvers are as to what makes a good crossword, it has been stated here, on several occasions, by the setters of the harder to solve crosswords, that the hardest crossword to set, if you want to make a decent job of it, is an easy crossword. They have also said how much that makes them admire people like Rufus for being able to do that difficult task week in week out.

    But there are those here who think they know better than the professionals, the setters, and criticise easy crosswords merely for being easy, despite what the professionals have said.

    If anyone wants to know how good a job the Guardian’s setters of easy crosswords are doing, just get out there on www-land and compare what is available under the description “easy”. Now those are crosswords which really are awful, clunky clues, no wit or humour etc, unlike the efforts in the Guardian.

    By all means have an opinion, we all have those, but please base that opinion on parameters which are valid to measure.

  27. Brendan (not that one) says:

    DL @26

    Where did that come from? Are there posts on here that I can’t see?

    Somebody will be describing this kind of post as “awful vituperation” if your not careful. 😉

    To put the record straight, I have never criticized a puzzle for being too simple or easy. Of course this type of puzzle has its place and this place is apparently Monday!

    My personal gripe is that the recent Monday puzzles, usually by Rufus, are becoming a little repetitive and do not truly represent the clue mix of puzzles that appear on the other days of the week.

    How is a “beginner” to make the step up if all they are fed is endless Double and Cryptic definitions? Of course it’s difficult to set a good easy puzzle, just as it is also difficult to set a good difficult puzzle.

    I am attempting, obviously poorly, to make constructive criticism of the way in which the easy puzzles are being chosen.

    And yes, of course I have written directly to the Crossword Editor. (without reply or even acknowledgement I may add.)

  28. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Well, well, there we go again.
    I 101% agree with Galeraman’s approach @15, with Derek’s @26 too.

    That said, this wasn’t a very sparkling beginning of the week, though decent enough.

    I have met Shed on a few occasions, hence I am aware of the fact that he might be the next kid on the block (tomorrow). Meeting a setter and, therefore, knowing a bit more about the Andreus connection can possibly influence one’s feel about a crossword. For that reason, I expected then average poster being very friendly/favourable today – which wasn’t always the case.

    I am not really a ‘grid expert’ but this Audreus seemed to be almost like a free-form grid. Not a favourite. It didn’t prevent us from solving the lot, though.

    Decent crossword, albeit in lower case, with some weak ones (eg 12ac,16d,19d), but also one or two faves like 21ac (CONCOURSE) or 17d (HOME TOWN).

    Whatever one’s opinion, let’s enjoy tomorrow’s Shed!

    Oh, and many thanks to both of you, Andreuws :)!

  29. Derek Lazenby says:

    Just one more point as it’s been raised in 27, Rufus did say on here one day that our dear editor regards dd/cd clues as something of an endangered species so to some extent he regards Rufus as redressing the balance.

    Oh, and I’ve never known the editor to reply to e-mails either. If you are lucky though, the topic might be aired in an upcoming blog. I have had that happen. So keep your eyes peeled.

  30. Paul B says:

    Looks a bit like Grid 8. That probably doesn’t mean a lot to anyone I’ve just realised, but hey.

    Re vituperation, you should have seen GU! Here, you’re far more likely to be set upon by a viciously nibbling gang of ducks.

    Which reminds me of a joke that you have to say with a NI accent. So, with apologies to Bannsider and Radian:

    Scene: two ducks walking down the Falls Road.

    First duck: Quack.

    Second duck: Quack quack.

    First duck: No! I can’t go any quacker.


  31. Sil van den Hoek says:

    “My personal gripe is that the recent Monday puzzles, usually by Rufus, are becoming a little repetitive and do not truly represent the clue mix of puzzles that appear on the other days of the week”.

    I’m doing crosswords since mid-2008 and, indeed, I haven’t seen much of a change since then on a Monday. But should there be a change? Rufus is Rufus, and happily so. Brendan (TO) turns up quite frequently, but don’t tell me he’s not an asset.

    “Of course it’s difficult to set a good easy puzzle, just as it is also difficult to set a good difficult puzzle”

    Did you ever (try to) set one yourself?
    If so, it will really change your view on crosswords.
    Well, it changed mine.

    “I am attempting, obviously poorly, to make constructive criticism of the way in which the easy puzzles are being chosen.
    And yes, of course I have written directly to the Crossword Editor. (without reply or even acknowledgement I may add.)”

    May I ask, what did you explicitely tell the editor?

  32. Davy says:

    I would just like to say that Everyman is an excellent example of a good easy puzzle
    although I often struggle with the last few. His consistency is amazing.

  33. rhotician says:

    Paul B @30:
    The punch-line of the joke is “I’m going as quack as I can”.
    That way you don’t have to tell it with a NI accent.
    That’s the point of the joke.
    (Unless you think that sex is what you used to get your coal delivered in.)

  34. RCWhiting says:

    Of course my (or anyone’s) assessment of a puzzle based on difficulty is subjective.
    So are all other criticisms.
    Two irritate me constantly,although unlike others I do not complain daily.
    One is from solvers who consider themselves (and probably are) experts in a field, and complain that a definition is not absolutely precise enough,although perfectly adequate for its purpose.
    The second is the grid-moaners, quite beyond my comprehension.
    My complaints are always about the whole puzzle and does it live up to its name. I would never base my view of A C/W Orange on one paragraph.

  35. Ivah says:

    Why no criticism of 1d? Kidding is fun, lying isn’t – very poor clue.

  36. Paul B says:

    At #35 re 1dn, I’d say you’ve just solved your own problem.

  37. thinjames says:

    hello all ( another newbie to this forum here – and a relative crossword newbie in general – I like the monday puzzles as they are more my level…!)

    can anyone explain the parsing in 12d? I got ‘felon’ because it seemed to fit but even with Andrew’s answer I don’t understand the clue – what is ‘FELI’?

    Is it supposed to be ‘cat’ i.e. ‘felix’ or ‘felix’ without the ending to make ‘fel’…?

  38. thinjames says:

    answering my own question of a few seconds ago, I see 12d is ‘FELL’ losing the 2nd ‘L’

    the mix of upper and lower case in the answers above – FEL(l) had me confused thinking it said ‘feli’… doh

  39. Derek Lazenby says:

    I was just about to say that. We’ve all done it at one time or another, that doh moment just after you click Submit!

    Now you’re here, get stuck in!

  40. Jouanny says:

    I’m not sure if I would have preferred Rufus. I thought 9a was dubious, 20d completely obscure, 22a unclear. ‘Enforcer’ a good one though.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

9 × = eighteen