Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,833 – Brendan

Posted by Uncle Yap on January 1st, 2013

Uncle Yap.

Would you believe it? After the heavy night before, I woke up, thinking there will be no puzzle on New Year’s Day and therefore, no need for me to blog. This sudden realisation that the websites do carry today’s puzzles means I am uncharacteristically very late … my apologies to the early birds.

Anyway, a Brendan is a great way to start the new year. May 2013 bring health, joy and happiness to one and all.

9 GONDOLIER Propeller of boat, liner good at sea (9)
10 ADIEU 5 backed by multinational group for so long (5)
Princess (answer to 5D) ADI + EU (European Union, multinational group) for goodbye in French
11 SWEET Adorable royal I spotted in dramatic location (5)
Ins of WE (the royal I as in Queen Elizabeth’s broadcast) in SET (film or dramatic location)
12 CENTENARY Rebuilt entrance ahead of year that’s special anniversary (9)
*(ENTRANCE) + Y (Year)
13 BLANCHE Name of female Australian film star (6, say), missing last two parts (7)
Cate (sounds like Kate, answer to 6D) BLANCHETT minus TT, Australian film star
14 EPITOME The very model of it, found in English fruit (7)
Ins of IT in E (English) POME (any of the fruits of the apple family, eg apple, pear or quince)
17 COPER Dealer, one with unhappy lot, half-hearted? (5)
COPPER minus P for someone who copes (deals) Someone will surely explain why a cooper is one with unhappy lot (Please see Neilw@1)
19 GAS Today’s theme, initially — source of amusement (3)
Today’s theme is centred on Gilbert And Sullivan (GAS being the first letters). I am sure, like our erudite NeilW@1 (thanks), you will discover many references to their work here, there and everywhere.
20 PEERS Looks for some people in the other place (5)
dd members of the House of Lords (the other place)
21 SIT-DOWN Protest something you can’t stand for (3-4)
Tichy self-explanatory clue
22 PIRATES Destroyers at sea changing sides in course of exercises (7)
PILATES (course of exercise) with Right replacing Left
24 THE MIKADO Emperor and unruly kid at home (3,6)
*(KID AT HOME) for a title given by foreigners to the Emperor of Japan.
26 TRIAL Ordeal that’s terminable, oddly enough (5)
TeRmInAbLe (odd letters)
28 COCOA Hot drink found in eg Yorkshire/Lancashire area (5)
CO (Yorkshire County) CO (Lancashire County) A (area)
29 OPERETTAS Less serious works of kind poet rates poorly (9)
1 AGES In America, doing these crosswords, ultimately grows old (4)
AmericA doinG thesE crosswordS (last letters)
2 ANGELA Foreign girl’s name from strange language (6)
Answer hidden in strange language
3 MONTE CARLO End of rally in game with Irish county, say (5,5)
MONTE (game) CARLO (sounds like Carlow County) Allusion to Monte Carlo Rally, a rallying event organized by the Automobile Club de Monaco
4 MISCUE Canned music, note — result of fitting punishment for cheat? (6)
*(MUSIC E, note)
5 PRINCESS Royal person in front of crowd, surrounded by journalists (8)
Ins of IN + C (first letter of crowd) in PRESS (journalists)
6 KATE Informally, reformed character and king dined together (4)
K (king) ATE (dined)
7 PINAFORE Protective garment used by chap in a forest (8)
answer hidden in chap in a forest
8 JURY In hearing, why are you rising after judge and accused’s 20? (4)
J (judge) U (you) R (are) Y (why) last three sounding like. A jury is a panel of an accused’s peers (answer to 20A)
13 BUCKS American money for one of the county set (5)
dd Abbreviation for Buckinghamshire, a county
15 IMPURITIES Results of fouling? Umpire is mad about it (10)
Ins of IT in *(UMPIRE IS)
16 EASES Winds up ditching Conservative as leader for moderates (5)
CEASES (stops or winds up) minus C (first letter of Conservative)
18 PATIENCE Game one plays that’s said to be virtuous (8)
dd There are many listings of virtue additional to the traditional Christian virtues (faith, hope and love) in the Christian Bible. One is the “Fruit of the Holy Spirit,” found in Galatians 5:22-23: “By contrast, the fruits of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.”
19 GONFALON What’s odd on flag and on old banner (8)
*(ON FLAG ON) ensign or standard with streamers, hung from a horizontal bar, used esp in certain medieval Italian republics.
22 PROPER Suitable publicity covering most of 18, for example (6)
PR (public relations or publicity) OPERA minus A. Patience; or, Bunthorne’s Bride, is a comic opera in two acts with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert.
23 THIRTY Hit disastrously with freak try — a score and a half (6)
*(HIT TRY) 20 (score) plus half of 20 = 30
24 TACT It’s needed by diplomat, actually (4)
Lovely &lit ha diplomat, actually
25 IVAN Composer deleting first half ruler described as terrible (4)
Arthur Sullivan for Ivan IV Vasilyevich (1530 – 1584), known in English as Ivan the Terrible, the Grand Prince of Moscow from 1533 to 1547 and Tsar of All the Russias from 1547 until his death.
27 LIST Desire or inclination — that of 28, we hear, was little (4)
dd (Chambers 3) Connection with Coco?

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

42 Responses to “Guardian 25,833 – Brendan”

  1. NeilW says:

    Thanks, UY. In your rush, despite having fallen over it in your parsing of PROPER, I see you’ve missed the theme: Gilbert And Sullivan: thus GAS.

    The whole puzzle seems to be littered with references, although I’m certainly no expert. I had to Google to confirm that the princess in ADIEU is IDA, thus the reversal. Again from Google, Koko the clown in THE MIKADO has a “little LIST”.

    To answer your question about COPER: PIRATES of PENZANCE: “A Policeman’s Lot is Not a Happy One”

    For the experts: why is ANGELA a “foreign” name?

  2. molonglo says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap. Neil’s right, the G&S theme totally permeates the puzzle, from straight references to the various operettas (29a) such as PINAFORE, THE MIKADO and TRIAL by JURY to the subtleties of EPITOME = the very model (of a modern major-general) to PEERS as a reference to Iolanthe’s alternative title. The three girls’ names (one a Merkel?) are all G&S characters. Etc. Oh, and 12a is a company specialising in G&S.

  3. Dr. G says:

    Thanks UY for a good blog.
    I was a great fan of G&S in my younger days .

  4. fearsome says:

    Thanks UY
    I missed several of the G&S references

  5. Miche says:

    Thanks, Uncle Yap.

    Anyone who, like me, was mystified by the definition for MISCUE will find the answer in Act II of the Mikado:

    The billiard sharp who any one catches,
    His doom’s extremely hard–
    He’s made to dwell–
    In a dungeon cell
    On a spot that’s always barred.
    And there he plays extravagant matches
    In fitless finger-stalls
    On a cloth untrue
    With a twisted cue
    And elliptical billiard balls!

  6. muffin says:

    Thanks Brendan and Uncle Yap
    Great fun. I too was going to query the “Foreign” in 2dn. Thanks to miche @ 5 for explaining the significance of “miscue” – I was puzzled by that too.

  7. Eileen says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap.

    You’ve forgotten to parse 6dn: KATE is the informal form of Katherine, the reformed character in ‘The Taming of the Shrew’.

    I think perhaps 18dn refers to a rhyme that used to be said to me as a child:
    “Patience is a virtue, possess it if you can, seldom found in woman, never found in man.”

    Many thanks to Brendan for a very enjoyable puzzle – I loved the theme!

  8. Stella says:

    A theme close to my heart made this puzzle a reasonably quick solve, but no less enjoyable.

    I’m surprised no-one’s mentioned The GONDOLIERs

  9. crypticsue says:

    I never realise how much I know about a theme until it appears in a cryptic crossword – turns out I knew more about G&S than I thought.

    Thanks to Brendan for a lovely themed start to 2013.

  10. Bertandjoyce says:

    Many thanks to Uncle Yap and the various contributions from everyone else. We finished the puzzle but could not parse a couple. 4d was one of them – an electronic search provided nothing for an anagram of MUSIC and N but we then realised MISCUE would fit in without understanding why!

    Thanks to Brendan – we didn’t know that much about the theme but it didn’t stop us completing the puzzle and enjoying at as well!

  11. ToniL says:


    Koko was actually ‘The Lord High Executioner’
    (a personage of noble rank and title) not a clown.


    also ‘Patience’ or ‘Bunthorne’s Bride’

  12. NeilW says:

    Thanks, ToniL. As I said, no expert and relying on Google.

  13. crypticsue says:

    Neil and Tonil – if you are as old as me you may remember Coco the Clown from, I think, Billy Smart’s Circus – so Brendan may have had him in mind as well as the G&S Koko.

  14. tupu says:

    Thanks UY and Brendan

    An enjoyable and clever start to the year! Some of the parsing took a bit of time – I was puzzled by ‘proper’ at first because I read ‘cover’ as ‘include’ but I got there in the end. I saw most of the allusions to G and S but thanks to others for pointing out the odd one I missed. I nearly put ‘lust’ in for ‘list’ but saw the right answer just in time.

    I ticked 4d and 25d along the way more for the amusement they gave as the penny dropped than for being especially clever clues.

  15. Gervase says:

    Thanks, UY and HNY to everyone

    Got the theme very quickly, which helped a lot – particularly for PINAFORE, a well-disguised ‘hidden’ clue which I thought at first was a container type.

    PATIENCE, as ToniL remarks, is subtitled ‘Bunthorne’s Bride'; it was from this that the much-missed Bob Smithies (a G&S fan) took his crossword setting nom de plume.

  16. xjp says:

    i was convinced 3 down must be D’Oyly Carte, which held me up. Though of course I couldn’t precisely parse it. But it was close and with a number of supporting crossers. I wonder if it started out that way and was abandoned. Great xword and blog. Happy New Year.

  17. chas says:

    Thanks to UY for the blog.

    I remember that Brendan usually has a theme but initially I failed to spot it. 19a confirmed its presence but I took an age to spot it. I thought a 3-letter source of amusement was a PUN and I could find nothing fitting those letters. Then I got 19d and the rest fell into place fairly swiftly.

    Sadly I forgot “I’ve got a little list” so the connection between 27d and 28a remained a blank until I came to 15sq :(

  18. ToniL says:

    Pondering over 4d ‘Miscue’, I’ve come up with this
    which seems plausible.

    To ‘Miscue’ verb (in snooker etc) may result in
    A ‘Miscue’ noun.

    ie (in true G&S style) ‘Let the punishment fit the crime’ ?

  19. Stella says:

    Hi ToniL, I had actually checked before posting – PATIENCE is mentioned in Eileen’s comment, just before mine :-)

    @UY, please check 17ac – a policeman doesn’t make barrels!

    Happy new year to all.

  20. Paul B says:

    Thank you Gervase @ 15. I was going to mention that as well. Of all the great setters who have passed on in recent years, I think I miss Bob’s puzzles the most.

    22ac is ambiguous, leading to both PIRATES and PILATES, in this otherwise delightful puzzle. He’s good, the boy Brendan, very good.

  21. NeilW says:

    Paul B @20: that’s why he’s so good: the theme eliminates the ambiguity.

  22. Eileen says:

    Hi Paul B

    I dislike those ambiguous clues as much as anyone but, on this occasion, the theme surely left no room for doubt?

    [I do agree about Bunthorne – but I really miss Taupi, too!]

  23. Eileen says:

    Sorry, NeilW!

  24. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    An excellent start to the year.
    I frequently miss themes entirely until I come here but not this one.
    I did know all the G&S titles but not the text references in ‘miscue’ and ‘list’ (or the desire archaic meaning).
    This was despite a recollection of the infamous singing of Peter Lilley at a party conference.
    Crypticsue, I am not sure that there was any intended reference to Coco the Clown, but like you I am old enought to remember him. In fact, I met him in the 40/50s at a book-signing of his autobiography at our local department store. It was a very small hard-back book the contents of which had a profound effect on me as a small boy. I came from a relatively poor working class family but I was astonished at the level of abject poverty which he described during his childhood in Russia.

    Favourite was the very misleading ha in ‘pinafore’.

  25. PaulW says:

    Like xjp, initially fell into the D’oyly Carte trap.

    Did not know the reference at 27dn, and decided that lust was better than list.

  26. JohnF says:

    Re Patience, I had a different verse from my mother at bedtime: Patience is a virtue, a virtue is a grace, and Grace is a little girl who will not wash her face.

    First post after much lurking with nothing useful to say. Happy New Year to any still reading.

  27. Eileen says:

    Hi JohnF

    Welcome to 15² – please come back!

  28. Andy B says:

    Re: the “ambiguity” of Pirates/Pilates, surely it would only have been an issue if the r/l wasn’t one of the unchecked letters.

  29. Paul B says:

    Re 28, and 21 & 22, yes, there are extenuating circumstances. But I still think it’s better for compilers to write their way out of that sort of thing, i.e. it shouldn’t be an excuse that the theme, or checking letters, or whatever, can provide additional help in nudging solvers in the right direction – that the clue is ambiguous makes it faulty, at least to my of thinking.

  30. RCWhiting says:

    Eileen, that little ‘patience’ homily was something I heard almost daily as a child from both my mother and grandmother (usually accompanied, in the latter case, by knowing looks at grandad!).
    This was all in the days before ‘sexism’ had entered our vocabularies.

  31. RCWhiting says:

    You seem to like to isolate clues.
    I solved ‘pil/rates’ quickly and used the l/r to solve 15d. I suspected an anagram and noted no L in the fodder and hence opted for ‘pirates’ annd quickly solved 15d.
    It is little wrinkles like this which make CROSSwords so intriguing.
    Otherwise one might as well write a list of independent clues.

  32. Aidan says:

    Isn’t there a misprint in 27dn

    If the reference was to 24ac the solution of “list” would make a lot more sense I.e. “I’ve got a little list”

  33. Eileen says:

    Aidan @32

    No misprint: as pointed out in comments 1 and 11, the song is from ‘The Mikado'[24ac] but it’s Koko, [sounds like – ‘we hear’ in the clue – COCOA 28ac] the Lord High Executioner who sings it and has the little list.

  34. IzzysGrandad says:

    Aidan @ 32.

    In ‘The Mikado’ the list belonged
    to Koko (we hear!)

  35. IzzysGrandad says:

    Eileen @ 34


    Would have been quicker but had to find
    me calculator for the Captcha ha ha.

  36. Eileen says:

    Hi IzzysGrandad

    I know what you mean – I dread getting a sum I can’t do!
    No problem – it happens to me all the time: see comments 21/22 today. 😉

  37. Paul B says:

    Re 31, and as I kinda hinted at above, in my opinion a clue should lead unambiguously to its answer. In your world, in theory at least, you could have have ambiguities all over the grid at various intersections, rendering the crossword insoluble.

  38. rhotician says:

    RCW @31, Well said.

  39. rhotician says:

    In the last G&S collaboration, The Grand Duke, there are roles for the Prince and Princess of Monte Carlo. Not many people know that.

  40. Aztobesed says:

    When Sullivan fell ill towards the end of his life he went to Monte Carlo to recuperate, where he met an actress called Blanche who wanted to play Kate and an actress called Kate who wanted to play Blanche. Not many people know that either.

  41. Rowland says:

    I would not go to Monte Carlo to recuperate from anything.

  42. Rowland says:

    Btw I hope you re not getting confused by Cate Blanchett?

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