Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,839 – Pasquale

Posted by Uncle Yap on January 8th, 2013

Uncle Yap.

It is always a pleasant task to blog The Don as he is so scrupulously fair in his clueing and usually has a variety of devices to bemuse, amuse and entertain.

7 HAIRBALL Spooner’s empty room a problem for cat (8)
Spooner’s BARE HALL (empty room) for a concretion of hair in the stomach, eg in cats as a result of swallowing fur, etc during grooming.
9 See 25
See 25
10,24D RING ROAD Roundabout way conveyed by words, cryptically (4,4)
The content of WORDS is ORD, which in cryptic language can be said to be O (ring) RD (road)
11 HANDBARROW Conveyance with bishop entering public school (10)
Ins of AND (with) + B (bishop) in HARROW (public school)
12 SHOWER Farmer has hydrant installed as source of water (6)
Ins of H (hydrant) in SOWER (farmer)
14 CINNABAR A hundred in a pub — any number imbibed mineral (8)
Ins of N (any number) in C (a hundred) IN A BAR (pub) for a mineral, sulphide of mercury, called vermilion when used as a pigment.
15 DELUDE Stylish man takes in the Spanish fool (6)
Ins of EL (Spanish definite article) in DUDE (stylish man)
17 BEAKER Vessel less inviting when litre’s not provided (6)
BLEAKER (less inviting) minus L (litre)
20 ACRIMONY This person’s probing a friend’s resentment (8)
Ins of I’M (this person) in A CRONY (friend)
22 BOTTOM Mechanical base (6)
dd see PeterO@2, thanks
23 FUNEREALLY Merriment authentic in cathedral? It’s without joy! (10)
FUN (merriment) + ins of REAL (authentic) in ELY (cathedral)
24 See 2
See 2
25,9 EUGENE ONEGIN  Russian dandy in our community disappeared full of energy (not half) to have drink (6,6)
EU (European Union, our community) + ins of ENE (half of ENERGY) in GONE (disappeared) + GIN (drink)
26 TARRAGON Herb is frightfully arrogant (8)
1 RAVISHED Defiled building looked over by Indian musician (8)
RAVI (Shankar (1920–2012), Indian musician and sitar virtuoso) SHED (building)
2,24A DRAG RACE Drive with a stylishness in motor competition (4,4)
DR (drive) A GRACE (stylishness) for a motor car or motorcycle contest in acceleration, with standing start and over a quarter-mile course.
3 FATHER See the woman big on top founder (6)
FAT (big) HER (the woman) with founder as def as in  Ignatius Gispert, a Chartered Accountant was the father/founder of the hashing movement.
4 SORBONNE University circle into unfinished work of Shakespeare? (8)
Ins of ORB (circle) in Shakespeare’s SONNET for University of Paris often referred to as the Sorbonne
5 BEAR MARKET Gain endless money as of old in speculation in this financial situation? (4,6)
Ins of EARN (gain endless) MARK (old German money) in BET (speculation) for a situation when prices are falling
6 WINONA Women’s organisation soon upset one of its members? (6)
WI (Women’s Institute) + rev of ANON (soon) for name of a woman
8 LUNACY Folly of woman having upsetting article implanted (6)
Ins of NA (rev of AN, indefinite article) in LUCY (woman)
13 WELL I NEVER On friendly terms always? Fancy that! (4,1,5)
WELL IN (to the inner circle, on friendly terms) EVER (always)
16 DIOGENES Cynic denies God, endlessly exploding (8)
*(DENIES GOdDiogenes of Sinope (412–323 BC), better known as Diogenes the Cynic or simply Diogenes, philosopher
18 ROOT CROP Poor carrot not right, a misshapen ___ (4,4)
*(POOR CarROT minus R, right & A) Quite a novel way of apparently not having a def but a carrot, however the shape, is a root crop. My COD for the off-beat …
19 EYELET Small hole — it’s surrounded by water, reportedly (6)
Sounds like ISLET, a small island which, by definition, is surrounded by water
21 CAUCUS Party group in grounds briefly interrupted by copper (6)
Ins of CU (copper) in CAUSE (grounds, briefly) for a group of members of a political party formed to nominate candidates or delegates or to decide how to vote on any question in a legislative assembly
22 BUYERS Coach possibly for carrying your crude shoppers? (6)
Ins of YER (crude way of saying YOUR) in BUS (coach)
24 See 10
See 10

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

26 Responses to “Guardian 25,839 – Pasquale”

  1. Tonil says:

    Thank-you Pasquale and UY, rather enjoyable.

    (22 as in MSND)

  2. PeterO says:

    Thanks for the blog, Uncle Yap. I think tha in 22A we are back with A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Bottom and his fellow would-be thespians are generally known as mechanicals.

  3. molonglo says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap. Tougher than expected. The first word in 3d threw me for a while: what’s it doing there?

  4. muffin says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap
    I was really not on Pasquale’s wavelength here, and found this the least enjoyable for ages. Although the clues were “fair”, I felt that they lacked precision.
    For instance why should a “woman” be “Lucy” or “Winona” in particular? (couldn’t a more specific indication have been given?)
    Why is “this person” = “I’m” (or even ‘im possibly)?
    Wouldn’t “sphere” for “orb” rather than “circle” in “sorbonne” have been fairer – it works as well in the clue (yes I know “circle” appears in Chambers as a meaning for “orb”, but most of the meanings refer to spheres of various sorts).
    There are other similar quibbles elsewhere, but I think I’ve said enough.

  5. Pasquale says:

    By all means pick the nits, so long as you destroy the monster lice elsewhere — and I used to like muffins! Happy New Year to all!

  6. Gervase says:

    Thanks, UY – and to Pasquale for dropping by.

    I found this trickier than usual, partly because of the grid with all those unchecked initial letters, but entertaining nevertheless, with some well constructed clues.

    Like mongolo @3 I was flummoxed by ‘See’ in 3d, but I rationalised it as a cruciverbal ‘=’ inserted to help the surface. It didn’t denote ELY this time – indicated in 23a by ‘cathedral’. Pasquale used this device in another recent Guardian crossword. Pedantically, I don’t like it: Ely is a cathedral city and a diocese, but not a cathedral per se – just as Manchester is not an airport.

  7. John Appleton says:

    Yet again I’m stumped by a Pasquale. The “see” in 3d is unnecessary and only confuses matters. Pasquale is known for fair clueing but I find this device unfair.

  8. DunsScotus says:

    Thanks Pasquale and UY; a most enjoyable puzzle.

    Muffin: Surely cryptic clueing thrives on relations weaker than synonymy; if we’re to insist on necessary and sufficient conditions at all times then compiling would be much harder work and puzzles a good deal less interesting.

  9. Andrew says:

    Just to unpick one of muffin’s nits – in 20a “I’m” is defined by “this person’s” (i.e. “this person is”), not just “this person”.

    Thanks to Pasquale for a strenuous but enjoyable workout, and to Uncle Yap for the blog.

  10. Robi says:

    Good crossword with a nice variety of cluing, which I thought was going to be relatively easy [but not so] for me once the NW corner quickly fell into place

    Thanks UY; I eventually remembered the Mechanicals from MSND from another puzzle. I think the clue for 3d is fine; yes, I was enjoyably misdirected to ‘lo’ etc. but leaving out the ‘see’ would make the surface nonsensical. I think we have to cut setters some slack.

    I particularly liked RING ROAD, SORBONNE, UY’s ROOT CROP and WINONA [the rider ;)]

  11. tupu says:

    Thanks UY and Pasquale (for the puzzle and for dropping by)

    Taxing in places with some complicated clues. I got all the answers, but I confess that towards the end I began to feel a bit less interested, whereas with many hard puzzles – including some by this setter – my curiosity is sharpened rather than blunted as I work through them. A shame and possibly more ‘my fault’ than P’s.

    Although 25a is fair enough, I suspect most of us have had to see that the answer fits the spaces and then work out why it’s right. In my own case I saw that Eugene Onegin, which I only knew as the title of an opera, fitted. I then had to check that he was indeed a Russian dandy, and then worked out why he fitted the word play in the clue. I don’t think I would have been able to solve it in the reverse direction from the word play etc. This is quite common, of course, but not wholly to my taste in such complex cases.

    Thanks UY for explaining 10,24 which I could not parse, and PeterO for reminding me about mechanicals.

    I ticked 2,24, 15a, 23a.

  12. Rowland says:

    Uncanny to have such a lot of disagreement in a blog for one of Don’s puzzles, but there it is!! No smoke without fire? I’ll say it wasn’t one of his best, but still pretty good for a Guardian puzzle in my probably warped and Times-inflected opinion.

    Many thanks for blog and puzzle,
    cheers Rowly.

  13. Derek Lazenby says:

    Thought I wasn’t going to get anywhere near finishing this one but perseverence and gadgets did the trick eventually.

    Appologies to all Winona’s, but that was new to me. Guess it becomes obvious that I’m not too fond of films then.

  14. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    Not one of this compiler’s trickiest but enough there to keep me thinking for a while.
    Last in was ‘Sorbonne’ but only because I finally cracked ‘Eugene Onegin’.
    Like tupu I knew the opera title but had no idea who he was; plus I was looking for a drink!
    I failed to parse the quite clever ‘ring road’.
    I liked ‘root crop’ and ‘cinnabar’.

  15. William says:

    Thank you Nuncle.

    By the Don’s own very high standards I thought this a little below par.

    I made notes of all the points made by others thus far, viz; what is ‘see’ doing in 3d, circle as a synonym for ORB, etc.

    RING ROAD went in easily enough but I didn’t understand the wordplay. I now think it might be quite clever.

    Thank you Don for a tough work out.

  16. harhop says:

    Enjoyed this, but still puzzling over 17a. Surely a beaker is more inviting when a litre is not added???

  17. William says:

    Sorry, should have responded to The Don @5 – A very Happy New Year to you, too.

  18. RCWhiting says:

    Rather depends on what the litre is composed of.

  19. Dave Ellison says:

    Thanks, UY. I’m with muffin on this one. Could some one explain Pasquale’s comment @5 (not the Happy New Year bit)?

  20. RCWhiting says:

    DE @19
    I would translate it as:
    “By all means make your rather trivial criticisms of the clues in my crossword but do not fail to criticise the much greater failings in other puzzles.”
    You cannot expect a cryptic compiler to express his thoughts explicitly!

  21. Dave Ellison says:

    Yes, that’s more or less what I thought. No further comment.

  22. Aztobesed says:

    To me transgression is forgiveable but am befuddled by others sins…?

    (Mote and beam perhaps?)

  23. brucew_aus says:

    Thanks Pasquale and UY

    Like others, I found this a bit of a challenge only finishing the last couple this morning. The puzzle broke into two diagonals for me from NW to SE and finished the bottom diagonal first – with the top one feeling like a separate start.

    Did manage to parse them all eventually which was quite satisfying. Liked the two 4-letter pairs even though I initially had put in an unconvincing SIDE ROAD and only was able to fix it and parse it when the DRAG RACE came.

    Oblique in places and enjoyably cryptic all over – thanks Don.

  24. Sil van den Hoek says:

    One might quibble about 17ac (see harhop @16, perhaps rightly so), 3d (the use of ‘See’), 23ac (the use of the other ‘see’) and perhaps 6d.
    For me, it is not enough to qualify this enjoyable and in (several) places clever crossword as ‘not one of his best’ or ‘a little below par’.

    Clues like 7ac (not only a Spoonerism, but also one that reads well), 26ac (!!), 16d and 18d were just outstanding (we thought).

    Good crossword!

  25. Brendan (not that one) says:

    Finished this eventually but I must agree almost wholly with Tupu @11.

    I often don’t “get on” with “the Don” and this was a prime example. Several clues rather contrived IMHO.

    Also don’t think Russian Dandy for Eugene Onegin and University for Sorbonne are particularly apt for a midweek crossword!

  26. Giovanna says:

    Thanks, Pasquale and Uncle Yap.

    I’ve only just had time to do the puzzle and thoroughly enjoyed it – being on the Don’s wavelength.

    Always good to see the Shakespearean references, MSND being the first play that we read at a very young age.

    I liked ROOTCROP and SORBONNE and didn’t see any problem with the clueing.

    Happy New Year, Pasquale and keep them coming!

    Giovanna x

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