Never knowingly undersolved.

Everyman N° 3,453 (9 December 2012)

Posted by PeterO on December 16th, 2012


A couple of things that might be unfamiliar, but mostly the usual precise clues.

1. Gas let off by a politician (8)
FIREDAMP A charade of FIRED (‘let off’) plus ‘a’ plus MP (‘politician’).
5. A plank on a yacht maybe (6)
ABOARD A charade of ‘a’ plus BOARD (‘plank’).
10. Month in America below zero (5)
MINUS A charade of M (‘month’) plus ‘in’ plus US (‘America’).
11. Poverty‘s end is seen in reform (9)
NEEDINESS An anagram (‘in reform’) of ‘end is seen’.
12. Excite them with incredible nursery rhyme (5,5,4)
THREE BLIND MICE An anagram (‘excite’) – not the most obvious – of ‘them’ plus ‘incredible’.
14. Tar at sea with sail and ropes (7)
LARIATS An anagram (‘at sea’) of ‘tar’ plus ‘sail’.
15. Quite a few cut off by a lake (7)
SEVERAL A charade of SEVER (‘cut off’) plus ‘a’ plus L (‘lake’).
17. Order to desist, so visit cancelled (4,3)
CALL OFF Definition and literal interpretation.
19. Choice of words found in short stories beginning differently (7)
DICTION [f]ICTION (‘short stories’) ‘beginning differently’. Why ‘short’? I have taken it literally, but in cryptic usage, it normally means cutting the end of a word, not its start, and if the D were indicated by ‘Differently’, ‘beginning’ would be doing double duty.
21. Fictional lawyer and policeman row pointing to boundary (5-5,4)
MASON-DIXON LINE A charade of MASON (Perry, ‘fictional lawyer’) plus DIXON (of Dock Green’ also fictional ‘policeman’) plus LINE (‘row’); for the line surveyed by the nonfictional Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, marking for much of its length the southern boundary of Pennsylvania. Its course is laid out with milestones of limestone imported from England, even though much of the bedrock is limestone. Metaphorically, it symbolises the north-south divide in the States.
24. Playing air twice (short tune), ‘Land of Hope . . .’ (9)
RURITANIA An anagram of ‘air air tun[e]’. Anthony Hope was the author of The Prisoner of Zenda and two other books set in the fictional country.
25. Stroll back, then head off (5)
AMBLE A subtraction: [g]AMBLE (‘back’) ‘head off’.
26. Notice, on inlet, a large number of ships (6)
ARMADA A charade of ARM (‘inlet’) plus AD (‘notice’) plus ‘a’.
27. Clergyman never terribly overdrawn? (8)
REVEREND A variation on the envelope: VEREN, an anagram (‘terribly’) of ‘never’ in the RED (‘overdrawn’).
1. Celebrity in stage musical (4)
FAME Double definition.
2. Hacienda owner sprinted and caught the woman (7)
RANCHER A charade of RAN (‘sprinted’) plus C (‘caught’) plus HER (‘the woman’).
3. Criminal element mostly after speed abroad (9)
DESPERADO A charade of DESPE, an angram (‘abroad’) of ‘speed’ plus RADO[n] (‘chemical ‘element mostly’).
4. Dog fends tribesman off (4,4,6)
MANS BEST FRIEND An anagram (‘off’) of ‘fends tribesman’.
6. Screen idol, at the end, crashing bore (5)
BLIND An envelope (‘crashing’) of L (‘idoL, at the end’) in BIND (‘bore'; Chambers lists it as an old slang meaning of bind).
7. A row about the Spanish studio (7)
ATELIER An envelope (‘about’) of EL (‘the Spanish’) in ‘a’ plus TIER (‘row’).
8. Send in lady to reform theme park (10)
DISNEYLAND An anagram (‘to reform’) of ‘send in lady’.
9. Son was sent up by barrister, one provoking debate (6,8)
DEVILS ADVOCATE A charade of DEVILS, a reversal (‘sent up’) of S (‘son’) plus LIVED (‘was’); plus ADVOCATE (‘barrister’).
13. Miserable girl in police van (5,5)
BLACK MARIA Definition and literal interpretation.
16. Be unsteady, unwell during leave (9)
VACILLATE An envelope (‘during’) of ILL (‘unwell’) in VACATE (‘leave’).
18. Odd having passionate desire over a period of five years (7)
LUSTRUM A charade of LUST (‘passionate desire’) plus RUM (‘odd’).
20. Soldier taken over impressive base (7)
IGNOBLE A charade of IG, a reversal (‘taken over’) of GI (‘soldier’) plus NOBLE (‘impressive’).
22. Well-known record, Donovan’s first (5)
NOTED A charade of NOTE (‘record’) plus D (‘Donovan’s first’).
23. Guide boy round centre of Amsterdam (4)
LEAD An envelope (’round’) of E (‘centre of AmstErdam’) in LAD (‘boy’).

24 Responses to “Everyman N° 3,453 (9 December 2012)”

  1. jenny webb says:

    Good morning-is anyone up over there? where is today’s Everyman? This is not a good start to my day!

  2. jackkt says:

    I can’t see how ‘gamble’ = ‘back’ without requiring an additional word such as ‘on’.

  3. crosser says:

    Thanks, PeterO.
    Where’s today’s puzzle? I can’t start my Sunday without it!

  4. crosser says:

    …..and it’s now 9.14 here in France!

  5. Bryan says:

    Why are people complaining about the non-appearance of today’s Everyman?

    Do last week’s again!

    It’s much easier the second time around.

  6. Bamberger says:

    I failed on 18d and 21a -both unknown. I couldn’t get the parsing of armada -arm =inlet -how does that work please?

  7. Rachel says:

    Is today’s crossword going to be put up? There are people out there in cyberspace who appear to be on the verge of completing today’s everyman?
    Not a good start to the day!!

  8. Robi says:

    Fairly straightforward; I just did this as today’s is not live and I missed last week’s. There is, however, one in the printed paper today.

    Thanks PeterO; I didn’t know ‘lustrum,’ although with some crossers and the usual precise cluing it fell into place quite quickly.

  9. Trauts says:

    Still no Everyman #3454? Wake up over there!

  10. peterO says:

    Bamberger @6

    Arm is an inlet of the sea such as a narrow bay – not a common definition perhaps, but it is there.

    Jackkt @2

    I agree, but I cannot see anything closer.

    Everyone else.

    There’s not much I can do about 3454!

  11. SimonS says:

    I don’t know if the crossword has appeared online yet, but I reached the pdf at about 8:00 UK time by pasting into my browser and changing the date, so it looks as if they’ve forgotten to change the front crosswords page

    You can do the same for the daily Guardian cryptic by pasting and changing the date again, This doesn’t *always* work for the Saturday prize (does sometimes, in which case paste where nnnnnn is that day’s number. Needless to say none of the above work if they don’t put he pdf up, which happens occasionally.


    Simon ô¿ô

  12. Robi says:

    jackkt @2; I think it is: ‘to gamble’ equals ‘to back,’ and in crosswords infinitives are always ignored, as far as I know.

  13. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Peter.

    I’m a pen and paper man for Everyman on a Sunday (the only day when papers get delivered to our village), so I have had the pleasure of this week’s puzzle. But it must be frustrating when you do it online – the Everyman over a cup of Sunday morning coffee is a bit of a ritual for me too.

    I liked FIREDAMP, and also MASON-DIXON line, because Jeremiah DIXON was a canny Geordie lad.

  14. Bamberger says:

    SimonS @11 .Brilliant -how on earth did you find that out?

  15. crosser says:

    Can someone please give me the complete link for today’s puzzle in pdf form?

  16. Gaufrid says:

    Hi crosser

  17. crosser says:

    Thank you very much, Gaufrid. I was getting withdrawal symptoms!

  18. SimonS says:

    Bamberger @14

    Thanks for the compliment!

    Trial and error, really- I sussed the first one ages ago, by clocking/copying the URL that appeared in the address bar, and if it didn’t work going back and trying a different route…sometimes all fail, but not very often

    And, of course, it means you don’t have to buy the unnecessary bits of paper :-)

    Simon ô¿ô

  19. jackkt says:


    Thanks but I’m still not convinced. We need a sentence where gamble can be replaced by back to mean the same.

  20. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Gaufrid @ 16.

    On the ball again, as always!

  21. Robert says:


    I’m a newbie to cryptics and am very glad to have discovered such a great site. Sorry if this a dumb question but for 26 Across I really don’t get how ‘Notice’ gives ‘AD’. Is this just a standard abbreviation I’m not familar with or a quikry crossword one that I’m too green to know?


  22. Rennie says:

    I suppose it means advert. But I didn’t get the ARM =INLET bit.

  23. PeterO says:

    Robert @ 21

    Welcome to fifteensquared. As Rennie suggests, ‘notice’ for AD as advertisement is one you may want to salt away for future use – it pops up quite frequently.

  24. Robert says:

    Many thanks Rennie/PeterO, I’ll add it to the (rapidly) growing list of things to remember :-)

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>

× 7 = thirty five