Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Cryptic N° 25,789 by Bonxie

Posted by PeterO on November 9th, 2012

PeterO.

I’m back in business – if only just; in the aftermath of Sandy, after getting power back on Monday, on Wednesday an early winter storm blew in, dumping four inches of wet snow, and I was without power for another nine hours.

So to the matter in hand.  I thought this Bonxie’s best offering yet, with scarcely a weak clue, and much cunning misdirection.  Surely a great deal of thought went into the composition of this puzzle.

As usual, the clues’ definitions are underlined, single quotes indicate material from the clue, and, where applicable, portions of the clue that are of particular relevance to the wordplay are in uppercase bold.

Across
1 NOTIFY Inform, ___ but when (the Fourth of July?) (6)
A charade of NOT IF (‘___’) plus Y (”the fourth of JulY‘)
4 TRANSIT Pop art isn’t a movement (7)
An anagram (‘pop’) of ‘art isnt’.
9 BATTLEAXE For example, Maggie Thatcher (British prime minister) once admitted a wrong (9)
An envelope (‘admitted’) of ‘a’ plus X (‘wrong’) in B (‘British’) plus ATTLEE (‘prime minister’).
10 BRACE Jewellery not allowed for 2 (5)
A subtraction: BRACE[let] (‘jewellery’) without LET (‘not allowed’).
11 KNISH Sent back hotpot dumpling (5)
A reversal (‘sent back’) of H (‘hot’) plus SINK (‘pot’, in snooker, for example).
12 DECIMATED Killed many animals turning them inside out (9)
An envelope (‘inside’) of ECIM, a reversal (‘turning them’) of MICE (‘animals’) in DATED (‘out’). For me, the wordplay definitely came as an afterthought.
13 VICTUAL Provide food offcut to be stuffed in bottle (7)
An envelope (‘to be stuffed in’) of CTU, an anagram (‘off’) of ‘cut’ in VIAL (‘bottle’).
15 EASILY See about investment return with little effort (6)
An envelope (‘about’) of ASI, a reversal (‘return’) of ISA (Individual Savings Acount, ‘investment’) in ELY (‘see’ in the sense of diocese).
17 CINEMA Flicks coins inside, heads on reverse — so be it (6)
A charade of C I (‘Coins Inside heads’) plus NEMA, a reversal (‘in reverse’) of AMEN (‘so be it’).
19 POUNCES Rider embraces wildcat strikes (7)
An envelope (‘embraces’) of OUNCE (the snow leopard, or other ‘wildcat’) in PS (post scriptum, ‘rider’).
22 REGISTRAR Union official behind arresting core Republican (9)
An envelope (‘arresting’) of GIST (‘core’) plus R (‘Republican’) in REAR (‘behind’), with a cryptic definition.
24 EAGRE Permit energy to be delivered up front after surge in current (5)
AGREE (‘permit’) with an E (‘energy’) ‘delivered up front’. I take it that ‘after’ says “take a word for permit, and then…”.
26 RHINE Euros exchanged for last of old money flowing through Europe (5)
RHINO (outdated slang, ‘old money’) with the ‘last’ letter (it is tempting to make that O for ‘old’, but that leaves ‘last of’ with nothing to do) ‘exchanged for’ E (‘Euros’).
27 BEESTINGS First milk produced painful swellings (9)
A charade of BEE STINGS (‘produced painful swellings’)
28 TEMPEST First music septet played was Stormy Weather (7)
An anagram (‘played’) of M (‘first Music’) plus ‘septet’.
29 MR BEAN Sort of scan applied to head of hapless character (2,4)
A charade of MR (more commonly MRI, ‘sort of scan’) plus (‘applied to’) BEAN (‘head’).
Down
1 NABOKOV Writer rising against fine Scottish town (7)
A charade of V (versus, ‘against’) plus OK (‘fine’) plus OBAN (‘Scottish town’), all reversed (‘rising’, in a down clue)
2 TUTTI The whole pit express disapproval over it (5)
A charade of TUT (‘express disapproval’) plus TI, a reversal (‘over’) of ‘it’, ‘pit’ being an orchestra.
3 FULL HOUSE Sell-out crowd gives a good hand (4,5)
Double definition.
4 TREACLE Create large solution of sweet liquid (7)
An anagram (‘solution’) of ‘create’ plus L (‘large’).
5 ALBUM Record-breaking compound (black) (5)
An envelope (‘breaking’) of B (‘black’) in ALUM (‘compound’).
6 SMART ALEC Wise guy graduate wearing scarlet shift (5,4)
An envelope (‘weaaring’) of MA (‘graduate’, loosely) in SRTALEC, an anagram (‘shift’) of ‘scarlet’.
7 TRENDY Shot over target with it (6)
An envelope (‘over’) of END (‘target’) in TRY (‘shot’).
8 VANDAL Spoiler on vehicle lawyer left behind (6)
A charade of VAN (‘vehicle’) plus DA (‘lawyer’) plus L (‘left’).
14 CLING FILM Cold fish skin used for wrapping (5,4)
A charade of C (‘cold’) plus LING (‘fish’) plus FILM (‘skin’).
16 SOUWESTER Poll covering sweet and sour cooking (9)
An anagram (‘cooking’) of ‘sweet’ plus ‘sour’, with a cryptic definition (‘poll’ is the head; I tend to think of sou’wester as a waterproof jacket, but it can also be a hat).
18 ACROBAT Mammal rounds on another one performing in circus (7)
A charade of ACRO, a reversal (’rounds’) of ORCA (‘mammal’) plus BAT (‘another’ i.e. mammal)
19 PORTER Doorman flicks old style penny (6)
A charade of P (‘penny’) plus ORTER, a reversal (‘flicks’) of RETRO (‘old style’).
20 STEPS IN Mediates, when spite erupts between opponents (5,2)
An envelope (‘between’) of TEPSI, an anagram (‘erupts’) of ‘spite’, in S N (‘opponents'; of course, they are partners in bridge and the like, but the halves of Korea might be a more suitable image).
21 ARARAT A mountain, a river and a desert (6)
A charade of ‘a’ plus R (‘river’) plus ‘a’ plus RAT (‘desert’).
23 SUEDE Material influenced broadcast (5)
A homophone (‘broadcast’) of SWAYED (‘influenced’).
25 GENRE Class right to have vital transmitter outside (5)
An envelope (‘to have … outside’) of R (‘right’) in GENE (‘vital transmitter’).

33 Responses to “Guardian Cryptic N° 25,789 by Bonxie”

  1. NeilW says:

    Thanks, PeterO.

    Glad to hear you survived unscathed. I agree with you – great puzzle (and blog.) On the easy side for Bonxie but none the worse for it.

    I was thinking magnets rather than countries in 20dn but agree that, sadly, your suggestion is better.

  2. Prime Factor ?2? says:

    Tempest:+e(M)p°-
    :-iii (kee)
    +2 (7) [1-99-1] for clarity…

    1d “town Rising” Clever

    Ag

  3. muffin says:

    Welcome back Peter O and thanks Bonxie.
    Hadn’t heard of KNISH or EAGRE – had to use a wordfinder. Held up for ages as I had managed to read 20dn as “meditates” rather than “mediates”!
    Quite challenging, but enjoyable.

  4. JollySwagman says:

    Great puzzle and blog – thanks both.

    Needed you PO for the parsing of 12a – which turns out to be excellent.

    8a absolute gem.

  5. tupu says:

    Thanks PeterO and Bonxie

    Very much agree – best Bonxie yet for me. I found this hard to get into during a disturbed morning but it grew on me as I went along and my copy is strewn with ticks. I much liked the misleadingly ‘hidden’ definitions e.g as in 16d and 22a.

    I ticked 1a, 9a, 15a, 22a, 29a, 2d, 16d, 19d, 21d.
    In 19a I tried vainly to make sense of ‘attacks’ and in 21d of Sahara before the penny dropped.

    I had to hunt out ‘knish’ – thanks PeterO for the snooker reference.

  6. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    Very enjoyable. Overall not difficult but few write-ins. Hence a bit of thought required for each clue and, importantly, no single solution opened up whole sections of the puzzle.
    There is more than one way to produce a good challenge, and this was one.
    I particularly liked 10ac, 24ac, 5d, 7d and 19d.
    Only query: is ‘pop’ suitable for an anagram indicator?
    I surprised myself by knowing knish,eagre and beestings but probably only from a certain Sunday crossword; certainly not in my daily vocabulary.

  7. rowland says:

    I felt too that some entries were obscure, and also that one or two errors has crept in on definitions. On that ‘flicks’ one as well, why not ‘flips’? That would have been much better!

    Anyway, not bad, there were some good clues, but just careless stuff agasin spoiling it for me.

    Cheers all,
    Rowly.

  8. Norman L in France says:

    @7 rowland
    What would the definition be if you had Flips?

  9. NeilW says:

    RCW @6, pop is just a little explosion. Would you have objected to “explode” as an anagrind, except that the surface would have been nonsense?

  10. Gasman jack says:

    @8 I think he’s referring to 19d not 17a

  11. rowland says:

    Hi Jack

    Yes, coin-flipping!!

    Many thanks
    Rowly.

  12. William says:

    Thank you PeterO and glad you’ve survived Sandy – not much fun for you I’m sure.

    What a cracker to come back to, eh?

    Couldn’t parse CINEMA and failed on the snooker allusion in KNISH so thanks for those.

    Prime Factor @2 check out the way your post appeared and let me know if that’s what you meant. If it was, I’m at a loss.

    RCW @6 congrats on knowing KNISH & EAGRE. Surprised you baulked at ‘pop’ as an anagrind – there have been many more abstruse than this.

    This was one of those satisfying puzzles that failed to yield a single answer on first read through; I crept into it through the SW corner and then it opened beautifully. Very satisfying.

  13. RCWhiting says:

    Neil@9 William @12
    Thanks.I think I am a little happier now although I would prefer ‘pop’ as a verb (exhortative).

  14. Norman L in France says:

    My bad, chaps.

  15. PeterO says:

    Rowland and Norman L

    ‘Flicks’ is clearly required in 17A as the definition, and I would suspect that Bonxie repeated the word deliberately in 19D, with a different function in the clue, even though, as Rowland indicates, ‘flips’ would be more natural and serve the function better. Although, of course, there is always the possibility that it is a Grauniadism.

    RCW

    In 4A, ‘pop’ as an anagrind is a little unusual, and at a guess chosen primarily for the surface reading, but it seems OK to me – think of bursting a balloon and finding little pieces of rubber all over the place. I did toy with reading the clue the other way round – with ‘movement’ as the anagrind and ‘pop’ the definition, but that hardly works.

    For those who have not come across KNISH before, the K is pronounced.

  16. Median says:

    Thanks, PeterO. A clever puzzle but too tough for me in the time I was prepared to give it. I managed about half before coming here. The relative dearth of comments makes me wonder if others also found it difficult.

  17. muck says:

    Thanks PeterO and Bonxie
    Tough but fair puzzle
    KNISH, BEESTINGS and EAGRE all new to me
    Prime Factor @2 – explain please

  18. Artie Fufkin says:

    Could someone please explain 27a? I don’t understand why first milk = beestings. Cheers.

  19. PeterO says:

    Artie Funkin @18

    It’s a straight definition: see for example colostrum.

  20. Dave Ellison says:

    median@16 Yes, I found it tough, tougher than most Bonxies. I had to keep coming back to it and managed most of it eventually.

    Why do I keep not seeing _I_E_A for CINEMA – I am sure we have had it several times within living memory and it always eluded me.

    I recall my Lancastrian mother talking about “beests butter” being the best (I hated it), when I was very young ; perhaps I misheard “beests” for “beestings”?

  21. Derek Lazenby says:

    A bit on the hard side for the class dummy but got there with heavier use of gadgets than I prefer.

    Dave @20:- put ?I?E?A into http://www.onelook.com/ and you’ll see why! Though flicks should have concentrated the mind. Mine didn’t concentrate for some time I must admit, as I was thinking it was an indicator of some sort.

  22. nametab says:

    Excellent puzzle and blog. Thanks to both. ‘Eagre’ & knish’ new to me.
    Loved ‘battleaxe’.
    My Westmorland-farm upbringing provided ‘beast-milk’ pudding each time there was a new calf. It was sublime.

  23. rhotician says:

    Rowland @7: “Not bad”, eh?

    “one or two errors”? “careless stuff”? Can you be more specific?

  24. Artie Fufkin says:

    Thanks peter. Having become a dad this year I knew colostrum, but had never heard its alternate names before.

  25. Brendan (not that one) says:

    Got all but some of the SE corner.

    Never heard of BEESTINGS so was trying to work out how COLUSTRUM would fit? i.e. how where the obviouly correct answers entered wrong?!!!

    Still don’t see how PERMIT can clue AGREE. Doesn’t work in my opinion! Still a rather clunky clue even if it does.

    We had EAGRE fairly recently if I remember. (Gordius 27th July now I’ve checked.) But I failed to recall it.

    In fact BONXIE used AGREES in his Sep 4th puzzle to get MEAGREST. (Almost Mozartian in his recycling :-) )

    Thanks to Bonxie and PeterO

  26. Brendan (not that one) says:

    Have just read my previous posting to see that the effort expended on the “Bonxie” has made me illiterate.

    Where did the “where” come from.

    Profuse apologies and many blushes!!!!

    If only I were more intelligent! :-)

  27. Paul B says:

    Indeed. It’s agreed. It’s permitted.

  28. Paul B says:

    … though there are two Es (so which ‘energy’ is it?), and ‘after’ is not adequately explained. I’ll give you that.

  29. Brendan (not that one) says:

    Paul B @ 27.

    Definitely not the same in my opinion.

    One means it’s been agreed. (Could even be an agreement that something is not permitted!!)

    The other is something that is permitted. Definitely.

  30. Paul B says:

    Hello Brendan NTO.

    I see your line of enquiry, but the words in question are synonyms in The Chambers Thesaurus – under both headwords. I was thinking along the lines of ‘we”ll permit/ allow/ consent to the funding’, which turns out to be the sense for which they’re listed.

  31. brucew_aus says:

    Thanks Bonxie and PeterO
    What a great puzzle – Bonxie usually daunts me, with his obscure words and misleading traps and didn’t start this one until Sunday. It took a few sittings and there were less unusual words than normal – BEESTINGS and KNISH were only new words for me.

    He still nearly tripped me up with TRANSIT (had TRISTAN as my entry point) and SUEDE (in which I had SIEVE at first for some reason – and only found in my final parsing pass).

    Found a lot of the clues with intricate and clever parsing which provided as much fun as the solving. Last in was SOUWESTER after finally cracking MR BEAN (had not heard of MR only MRI) and favourite was 9a.

    Thanks again

  32. brucew_aus says:

    Thanks Bonxie and PeterO
    What a great puzzle – Bonxie usually daunts me, with his obscure words and misleading traps and didn’t start this one until Sunday. It took a few sittings and there were less unusual words than normal – BEESTINGS and KNISH were only new words for me.

    He still nearly tripped me up with TRANSIT (had TRISTAN as my entry point) and SUEDE (in which I had SIEVE at first for some reason – and only found in my final parsing pass).

    Found a lot of the clues with intricate and clever parsing which provided as much fun as the solving. Last in was SOUWESTER after finally cracking MR BEAN (had not heard of MR only MRI) and favourite was 9a.

    Thanks again and glad that you got through Sandy Peter

  33. brucew_aus says:

    Oops … sorry !

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