Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,776 – Pasquale

Posted by manehi on October 25th, 2012


Just wasn’t on the right wavelength today and found this very tough, even after the long 24etc solution went in. Favourite clue was 17ac.

1 BED REST &lit BE + DREST=”clothed no more” i.e. old form of “dressed”
5 ENGELS =”socialist” E[nglish] + [a]NGELS=”supporters of production ignoring a“. Angels are financial backers of (esp. theatrical) ventures.
9 LONG SUIT double def Can refer to a person’s strongest quality, or to having many of the same suit in hand in card games such as bridge
10 DOLOUR =”Sorrow” DO LOUR=”Don’t be afraid to frown!”
12 IMMANUEL KANT =”philosopher” I’M=”I am” + U[niversity] around MAN=”fellow”, + ELK=”big beast” + ANT=”worker”
15 GROUNDMASS =”Mass of rocky material” (mound)* inside GRASS=”greenery”. “Mass” appearing in both clue and solution is a bit awkward
17 IAN IAN Bell is an England batsman I cAN = “confident assertion”, with c[entury] taken away
19 RAM double def a constellation, and a verb meaning to hit
20 PRESCIENCE =”Vision” PRESENCE=”ghost” around C[hannel] I[slands]
22 SANTO DOMINGO Capital of the Dominican Republic (It’s no good man)*
26 OBERON =”King” OBE=”honour” + rev(NO R), where R[ex]=”king”
27 STANNITE =”Mineral” STATE=”situation”, around rev(INN)
25 SPRING =”WELL” or the three-month season
29 EVANGEL =”the Christian gospel” EVAN=”Welshman” + GEL=”set”
3 EASEMENT [wiki] =”Legal right” Sounds somewhat like “He’s meant” with a Cockney accent
4 TAIGA [wiki] =”forest” TA=”Volunteers” + rev(A GI)
6 NOODLE double def “Silly person” & “food”
7 EVOCATIONS =”acts of calling out” O[ld] CAT=”PUSSY”, all inside (son I’ve)*
8 SCRUTINEER =”examiner” (Current E[nglish] is)*
13 AGGRESSORS =”Attackers” (are gross g[ros]s)*
14 COMMANDEER =”Take away” Sounds like “common deer”
16 MARROW =”essence” MAR=”Harm” + ROW=”DING DONG”
18 VIRGINIA =”State” VIA=Latin for road=”classical way”, around IR[ish] + GIN=”drink”
21 MOTOWN =”music” rev(TOM) + OWN=”have”. “Tom, Tom the piper’s son, stole a pig…” [wiki]
24,2,1,11,23,25 DING DONG BELL PUSSY’S IN THE WELL [wiki] &lit (down plight needless bullying’s)*

33 Responses to “Guardian 25,776 – Pasquale”

  1. KeithW says:

    I struggled because I convinced myself that GROUNDMASS was wrong. “Mass of” was superfluous and very confusing.

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, manehi. This was a tough one, so I was pleased to manage it in the end. A nice nod to some famous nursery rhymes, many of which date from a long time ago, as your link shows.

    I wasn’t keen on the long anagram. It’s clever, but it’s just a personal thing – I’m not keen on long anagrams. On the other hand, I thought SCRUTINEERS was a beautifully constructed clue. Thanks to Pasquale for the puzzle.

  3. Gervase says:

    Thanks, manehi.

    I didn’t find this too tricky, though the long anagram took a while to spot (on this occasion I didn’t even try to work out whether it was an anagram, but just relied on some strategic crossing letters and the link with CAT in 7d).

    ‘Mass’ in the clue for 15a and ‘be’ in 1a are uncharacteristically infelicitous, but there are plenty of well-constructed clues with good surfaces. Favourites were DOLOUR, SCRUTINEERS and RAM (pleasantly misleading to use the English name of a constellation rather than the usual Latin in a straightforward clue with a good surface).

  4. NeilW says:

    Thanks, manehi. Hmmm… I normally really enjoy the Don but found this a bit like Gordius often is, a mixed bag, which is odd considering yesterday’s G was pretty good.

    I’m still not sure I completely get 1ac.

    It’s as broad as it’s long, but I parsed TAIGA as TA around A <GI.

    Thanks for pointing out that EVANGEL is only a noun – I'd assumed it could be a verb and that "bring" was part of the def.

  5. Rick says:

    Thanks manehi. I found this quite tough and I needed your blog for a couple of clues (including 17 across I’m ashamed to say – as a cricket lover I should have seen that!).

    I sympathize with the quibble about the double use of “Mass” in 15 across but otherwise I thought that this was both a fair and entertaining puzzle. 3 down and 18 down were particular favourites. Thanks Pasquale!

  6. molonglo says:

    Thanks manehi. This was a slog but the speed picked up when with 4 of the letters (two from EVANGEL) the ding-dong answer presented itself. SCRUTINEER was nice.

  7. Robi says:

    Not my cup of tea; the long anagram, and references to it, did not help at the beginning, but once solved it took up too much of the grid.

    Thanks manehi. The GROUND MASS clue was lazy, I thought (matrix instead of MASS in the clue?), and I thought the clue for IMMANUEL KANT made little sense; likewise the clue for the long one.

    I thought IAN and VIRGINIA were entertaining.

  8. Pasquale says:

    Sorry about the repeated ‘mass’ — more carelessness than laziness, I assure you. I solved the clue when checking the puzzle at least three times — there’s none so blind as those that can’t see!

  9. Robi says:

    Thanks Pasquale for the response. Sorry if my ‘lazy’ was inaccurate and a bit rude. I understand it’s difficult to spot one’s own mistakes.

  10. Giovanna says:

    Thanks, Pasquale and manehi.

    Like Gervase @3, I didn’t try to work out the anagram but got it from crossing letters. 25ac Spring was the key to Well and then it fell into place.

    I liked Virginia. The via led in quite nicely.

    19ac, Ram was a change from Aries and Taiga @4d, evoked old school memories.

    At one point, I thought we were in for a philosophers theme and was looking round to see where the usual suspects might fit!

    All in all, an enjoyable puzzle.

    Giovanna x

  11. Thomas99 says:

    Thanks for the blog. Glad others found this hard too. I was pleased to find the ones I found hardest (1a, 9a and 16d) were worth the wait. I would disagree with Robi @7 about those surfaces – 12 makes sense, though it’s a bit weird admittedly, and the surface of the long one is very clever – a summary of the nursery rhyme that manages to include the whole of the wordplay too! Very impressive.

  12. tupu says:

    Thanks manehi and Pasquale

    Quite tough but do-able. I agree with others re 15a.

    I first thought 21d might be motets. A nice clue.

    14d amused me. Reminds me of the ‘What do you call a blind stag?’ chestnut.

  13. Trailman says:

    I don’t normally finish the Don, so I was pleased to get to the end of this one (though, typically, I rushed in 12ac as EMMANUEL, and wondered why it didn’t parse). About the limits of my abilities I think. Unfamilar with ‘marrow’ as ‘essence'; liked OBERON as a king instead of the usual temporal subjects; 18d favourite.

  14. rowland says:

    We were not as advanced as you guys, tupu: ‘what do you call a deer with no eyes?’.

  15. retired pleb says:

    Not come on here for a while, but this was my sort of puzzle. Most enjoyable, last in was motown.

  16. apple granny says:

    We have just done this over lunch. We missed Ian Bell, and failed to see “I can”. Apart from that, we got everything after a bit of a struggle with some, and dislike of groundmass. 3d was quite nice once we got it, and we loved 8d like everyone else. Our first was 12a for some reason, then we began to move. And the long anagram came quickly once we did 27a and 29a. Some fun clues

  17. Rick says:

    rowland@14: No idea.

  18. Andy says:

    rowland@14: my deer has no legs either…and I have still no idea!

  19. Galeraman says:

    Thanks manehi and Pasquale. I hope all of you who moan about the easy Monday offerings are fully appeased by this very fair but tough puzzle. 3dn and 16dn were my favourites. Nice penny dropping moment when I realised that ding-dong = row. Am I right in thinking this could have done justice to the Prize slot?

  20. Matt says:


    No moaning this Monday, and with good reason. Long may it continue.

  21. John says:


  22. Matt says:

    Good puzzle by the way, and thank you to manehi

  23. Gervase says:

    Altogether a very Donnish day, with a Pasquale in the Guardian, a Bradman in the FT and a reconditioned Quixote in the i.

  24. John says:

    Anyone else think it’s Monday?

  25. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    A filling meal on Thursday does not compensate for an empty stomach on Monday.
    This was definitely a sumptuous feast. A real little challenge.
    Last in was ‘Motown'; a delicious clue.
    27ac puzzled me because I took ‘situation’ as ‘site’ rather than ‘state’.
    Gervase @3
    I think the ‘be’ is essential but the ‘up’ could have been left out.
    17ac Although I got I(c)an quite easily it was a while before I linked to ‘Belly’ (very weird nicknames England cricketers use? – show no ingenuity). A good clue.

  26. Gervase says:

    RCW: I agree that ‘be’ is essential for 1a. Hiding a clue word in a charade is a common device. However, my quibble was that it isn’t very elegant to have the first word of the clue incorporated unchanged as the first part of the solution.

  27. RCWhiting says:

    I see.Good point.
    Rather like the ‘mass’ complaints.

  28. Brendan (not that one) says:

    Not as tough as Tuesday’s for me but still a good challenge.

    I very much enjoyed this which was a surprise as I don’t usually get on with “The Don”.

    Got the long anagram very early on but struggled mostly with the SW corner.

    Last in was “taiga” as I’d never heard of it!! The word play was fairly explicit and it was only my own obtuseness which caused the delay.

    As regards the double “mass”, surely if Pasquale doesn’t see his own “mistakes” then the crossword editor should. Isn’t that his job after all?

    Thanks for the blog Manehi and Don for the puzzle.

  29. Sil van den Hoek says:

    As others said, a very tough crossword.
    Since nobody mentioned it, I can’t see (yet) why in 7d CAT equals PUSSY’S (“11″).

  30. RCWhiting says:

    I think you need to read 7d as ‘old cat is (cat’s) being drowned…..’.
    Then ‘cat is (cat’s) can be replaced with ‘pussy is (pussy’s).

  31. Sil van den Hoek says:

    OK, RCW, that makes sense.
    Also many thanks to manehi.
    And despite the inelegancy in 15ac, to Pasquale for an otherwise good crossword (one that was a real challenge).

  32. brucew_aus says:

    Thanks Pasquale and manehi

    Like many, I found this one quite tough -and not helped by a major dose of hay fever! Never got a real run on with it after starting with TAIGA and KANT. Only got the long anagram when 1and 9 submitted – it has to be my cod to create a long anagram with such a relevant surface. Plenty of other fine clues in a puzzle that provided a lot of satisfaction when MARROW went in to complete.

  33. Huw Powell says:

    It took me a month and a half to solve this, but I eventually got there!

    Enough to like to be able to “forgive” the doubling of “mass”. I liked 12, along with most of the puzzle.

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