Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,774 – Bonxie

Posted by Uncle Yap on October 23rd, 2012

Uncle Yap.

Quite a delightful morning exercise which did not trouble me at all except 23A but help was very quickly forthcoming. Many creative definitions which added spice to the clues.

Place cursor over clue number to read the clue 

1 PLUCKY Ins of LUCK (chance) in PaY (odd letters in pay) for being courageous (game)
4 OBEDIENT O (nothing) + ins of DIE (pass away) in BENT (crooked)
9 OILED OI (interjection) LED (light-emitting diode) for another word meaning drunk, blotto, sozzled, plastered, pickled, etc. I love the rich English language
10 BANDONEON Tichy way to say “Band Number 1 is on” for a kind of button accordion popular in S America, esp for playing tango music
11 ANCESTORS A very clever *(TEN for 10 + ACROSS). Yes I was tricked into trying to anagrammatise BANDONEON
12 KNIFE Rev of E (note) FINK (grass, stool pigeon, peacher, nark, informer, etc)
17 FEARLESSNESS Ins of EARL (peer) in FESS (in heraldy, a horizontal band over the middle of an escutcheon) + NESS (cape or headland as a land feature)
20 AMEND Another tichy way to say when AM (morning) ENDs at noon and PM (afternoon) starts
21 SHELLFISH An attempt to say SELFISH (mean) by someone who has one too many and is starting to slur in speech
23 CONSTRUCT CONS (fleeces) + CURT (rev of CURT, short) +  T (first letter of tailored) with MAKE as def Thanks to NeilW for the pointer
24 TWEED Removal of A K (king) from TWEAKED (pulled) for a river in Scotland
25 STRESSED Rev of DESSERTS being ins of S (square) in DESERTS (leaves, goes away)
26 PORTAL At the Glastonbury Festival, the huge crowd would require portable toilets like PORTALOO (a trade name like BIC for pen and HOOVER for vacuum cleaner that has passed into normal usage) Take away the two O’s (give up rings) and you get the gate
1 PROLAPSE Ins of APS (rev of SPA, well) in PROLE (proletarian, worker)
2 UNLACING U (uniform) N (navy) + ins of C (cold) in LAING, noted psychiatrist
3 KUDOS *(SUDOKu) unfinished sudoku
6 DROP KICKS DROP (provide as in drop some cheers in an otherwise dull evening) KICKS (excitement)
7 EMETIC Ins of METI (rev of ITEM, a couple) in EC (crossword slanguage for the London district housing the financial houses) for something that causes vomitting or bringing up whatever you have ingested
8 TINDER Ins of N (first letter of nihilism) in *(TRIED) Chambers defines PUNK2 as touchwood; tinder; amadou, a preparation made from fungi to be used as tinder. New to UY
14 ANECDOTES *(TO DANCE) + ES (East & South, opponents in a game of bridge)
15 SEDIMENT Ins of MEN (crew) in SEDIT (rev of TIDES, waters)
16 ASPHODEL ASP (reptile) HO (house) DEL (key on your keyboard like ESC & TAB & CTRL)
18 FAECES Ins of E (energy) in FACES (mugs)
19 TENNER Rev of RENNET (a kind of apple)
22 LET GO Ins of T (tonne) in LEGO (as in small interlocking plastic pieces, principally bricks for constructing model buildings, etc)

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

32 Responses to “Guardian 25,774 – Bonxie”

  1. NeilW says:

    Thanks, UY.

    I solved this one NW to SE, and perhaps I was tiring but it seemed to get harder as I progressed.

    BLOOD PRESSURE was excellent as were PORTAL and TWEED, although this last seemed a little vague in the construction – perhaps if it had read “pulled out from the river”?

  2. NeilW says:

    Sorry, I meant “Pulled a king *out* from the river.”

  3. rrc says:

    few smiles today Im afraid.

  4. Rick says:

    “Quite a delightful morning exercise which did not trouble me”: I’m impressed Uncle Yap – I found it quite hard (possibly due to tiredness and not thinking too well). There were a few clues which I struggled to parse and (as always) your excellent blog was invaluable. Much appreciated!

    Having said that, I thought that the puzzle was fair with some excellent clues (5 down was a particular favourite) – so thanks to Bonxie. Only one small niggle: I too might quibble a little bit with the construction in 24 across (and I would have preferred something along the lines NeilW suggests).

  5. blaise says:

    In 6 down, I thought “drop” was cued by “little”.
    As in…
    “Have a drink?”
    “Just a drop.”
    (Not that I’d ever say that…)

  6. yvains says:

    I agree with NeilW about 24, and with blaise about 6. I found this quite a testing puzzle, and enjoyed all the clues except 24 and the rather bland 13. Favourites, probably 1 and 16, though there were many good ones. Thank you, Bonxie and Uncle Yap.

  7. Gervase says:

    Thanks, UY

    Excellent puzzle from Bonxie, which I found difficult to get into, but which fell away steadily once I had a handful of solutions across the grid.

    Lots of great clues, and quite a few smiles for me (unlike rrc @3). I especially enjoyed OILED, ANCESTORS, SHELLFISH (cheesy but fun), PORTAL and the wonderful anagram/surface combinations of BANK STATEMENT and BLOOD PRESSURE. BANDONEON was a new one to me (not being great at the tango), but couldn’t be anything else from the wordplay and crossing letters.

    ‘Cape’ immediately flagged up NESS for me in 17a, from which I eventually pieced together the solution, but it did strike me that it could also signify HOOD, which is another abstract noun suffix.

  8. William says:

    Thank you, Uncle.

    My, my, I’m impressed that this gave you no trouble, I had to work quite hard on this. I had them all except TINDER but failed to parse several others.

    Are you sure you’re right about STRESSED? I read it as DESERTS (leaves back) across S (square). Don’t see your pudding reference.

    Sorry for rrc with his lack of smiles…I really liked this. Favorites were EMETIC with its clever use of item, and the sly misdirect of ‘Ladies’ in PORTAL – brilliant.

    Very smart stuff, Bonxie – more please.

  9. William says:

    PS… forgot to mention the excellent anagram of ‘ten across’ for ANCESTORS. Has this never come up before? Very surprised if it hasn’t.

  10. chas says:

    Thanks to UY for the blog.

    Early on I had D in 13a. Looking at the numeration I thought GUYS AND DOLLS – but in due course I had to discard it.

  11. NeilW says:

    William @8, I think that’s what Uncle Yap was saying; he just printed out STRESSED backwards and then explained how it was constructed.

  12. William says:

    NeilW @11 – of course, see what you mean, thanks.

  13. Robi says:

    Hard one for me. I always struggle with Bonxie, but a good puzzle.

    Thanks UY; I liked the simple AMEND, and PORTALOO was fun. Couldn’t parse SHELLFISH (I tend to avoid that when drunk.)

    ASPHODEL, BANDONEON and TINDER [2] new to me.

  14. yogdaws says:

    Like many others was impressed – and ego-bothered – by Uncle Yap’s effortless solving.

    Took me an hour. ‘Tinder’ for ‘Punk’? ‘Bandoneon’? Both new to me. Found the SE corner particularly tough.

    But on an up note: a great puzzle with many inspired touches.

    Praise: Liked 11a and 23a. And being a basic sort of person was entertained by 1d and 18d.
    Quibble: ‘Drop’ for ‘provide’ in 6d.

    Thanks to all.

  15. William says:

    yogdaws@14 I think ‘drop’ might relate to ‘a little’ not ‘provide’.

  16. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    A very good challenge from Bonxie.
    Favourites were ‘ancestors’, ‘shellfish’ and ‘portal’. In the latter I spotted L(oo) early but thought ‘tor’ was involved.
    Many other clever ideas.
    Last in was ‘knife’ immediately after getting ‘drop kicks’ (I had concentrated on aeroplane manoeuvres). Also,I knew ‘fink’ as a general termof abuse rather than an informer.

  17. Giovanna says:

    Thanks, Bonxie for the puzzle and Uncle Yap for the parsing.

    Took a bit of getting in to but then flowed nicely. Asphodel reminded me of walking through fields of the flower in the pouring rain to see the Etruscan necropolis at Tarquinia last April.

    Portal and Ancestors were favourites.

    Giovanna x

  18. Bertandjoyce says:

    We were pleased to read that others found this a tough solve. It certainly woke up the brain cells this lunchtime!

    Al the clues were very fair we thought but we were caught out by some unusual words which needed the odd dictionary check before entering.

    We also kept thinking of Guys and Dolls and it took quite a few crossing letters before we were able to solve it. We actually thought it was quite a clever clue.

    Thanks Bonxie and UY.

  19. Thomas99 says:

    blaise @5d
    I agree re 6d – a drop = a little (not drop = provide).

    Thanks for the blog and to Bonxie for a particularly good one. There seems to be a minor (coincidental?) theme of bodily functions. 26a seems to be most people’s favourite of these, but I liked 1d too – after solving it it was hard not to read it as &littish – poor worker!

  20. tupu says:

    Thanks UY and Bonxie

    I found this hard in parts. I knew bandoleon but not its variant bandoneon. I had to check this and also punk/tinder, fess/band and rennet/apple. I failed to parse ‘ancestors’.

    Nonetheless I also ticked several clues inc. 21a, 25a, 26a, 5d (worthy of Rufus), 7d, 10d and 18d.

  21. yogdaws says:


    Got the message!


  22. Mitz says:

    Thanks Bonxie and UncleYap.

    Testing. Got there in the end but was held up by many of those that have already been mentioned. I got the two long anagrams at 5 and 10 down pretty quickly, and unlike some others I wasn’t encumbered by ‘Guys and Dolls’ at 13 so I thought I was well away, but this was far from easy. ‘Tinder’, ‘bandoneon’ and ‘fess’ all new for me, the parsing of ‘stressed’ completely eluded me (although I did reluctantly put in the right answer) and I can’t believe I missed the ‘del’ of ‘asphodel’, given that with my lack of typing skill I use it far too much.

    ‘Portal’ the clear winner of COD in my book…

  23. Martin P says:

    Sue and I found this a cracker in t’ pub this evening.

    Favourites as RCW’s.

  24. Davy says:

    Thanks UY,

    An excellent puzzle from Bonxie that I really enjoyed. The last one in was BANDONEON which took me an eternity
    to get and even then I missed the parsing. I also failed to spot the clever anagram of ten across. Loved the
    simplicity of AMEND and the great surfaces leading to UNLACED and BANK STATEMENT. Favourite clue was, you guessed it,
    PORTAL which gave me a good laugh and also had a surface that painted a picture. I could see those ladies queueing
    up with rings in hand. Apart from 10 and 11 across, I didn’t have any problen with the parsing so thanks Bonxie for
    a tough but fair puzzle.

  25. Sil van den Hoek says:

    For some reason, I have always found Bonxie one of the hardest Guardian setters. Today’s offering, however, was eminently doable.

    Splendid (and precise) clueing all around, with clues like 5d (BANK STATEMENT), 23ac (CONSTRUCT) and one of two clues we didn’t find (PORTAL, 26ac) some of the best.
    Just like RCW, we were playing around with the obvious TOR. But referring to the Glastonbury Festival in this way, Bonxie made clear he’s a ‘now’ setter.

    TWEED (24ac) (the other one we didn’t get) is, we think, the Achilles heel of this puzzle. Weak construction – one we’ve seen before, though. Also no need to capitalise King.

    But all in all, splendid crossword, even though we weren’t taken by the imagery of 7d and 18d (a bit typical to the Guardian, IOO).

    Many thanks to Bonxie for a challenging (but not too difficult) puzzle and UY for the excellent blog.

  26. rhotician says:

    Flying moves? Drop kicks?

    Still it’s nice to be reminded of professional “wrestling”. Jackie Pallo. Billy Two Rivers. The Boston Crab. Showbiz just isn’t what it was.

  27. Paul B says:

    Jimmy Savile too.

  28. brucew_aus says:

    Thanks Bonxie and UY

    I cringe whenever I see Bonxie – as it usually means a lot of hard work and often getting one or two wrong. Although this was no push over – managed to get through it. A number of new words and new definitions of old words – but the clue-ing made it a case of confirming the meaning of the word rather than go looking for options.

    PORTAL was my cod … and amused to read that this year’s Glastonbury festival was closed due to a shortage of PORTALOOS – which put an extra smile on to the face for the surface of it.

  29. RCWhiting says:

    Actually the Eavis’s decided not to attempt it because all the portaloos were at The Olympics. Winning gold medals – very buttock clenching?

  30. Brendan (not that one) says:

    Well, I found this incredibly difficult. As you can see from the time of this blog.

    Very enjoyable and I just wish this had been switched with last Saturday’s offering!!!!

    “Quite a delightful morning exercise which did not trouble me at all…”

    Yet again UY you astonish me. Thanks for the blog andd thanks to Bonxie for the puzzle.

    P.S. I can only find rennet as a mistake for reinette! What is your source?

  31. Derek Lazenby says:

    Well, um, Google finds 1.78 million hits! This includes dictionaries and dear old Wikipedia. Guess a new reference work might be on your Xmas wish list, 😀

  32. nametab says:

    A post 5 days late: did anyone notice that an (almost) alternative solution to 8d is ‘rotten’ – as in Jonny Rotten erstwhile punk?

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