Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,840 / Audreus

Posted by Eileen on January 9th, 2013


We don’t see Audreus very often, so it’s always good to see her name on a puzzle. There were several smiles here, which made up for a couple of niggles, with some nice surfaces, and I enjoyed the puzzle overall. Many thanks, Audreus.

[Audreus today – so, it must follow, as the night the day …? Looking forward to it already!]


1 Blunt warning?
an amusing cryptic definition to start us off

4 First, little one’s about to tell a story of flowers
L [first letter of Little] + I’S [one’s] round LIE [to tell a story]

9 Impulse to say game should be turned round
reversal [turned round] of EG [say] + RU [Rugby Union – game]

10 Health food gets extremely dry — picture a biscuit
BRAN [healthy food] + D[r]Y [extremely dry] + SNAP [picture]

11 Quirky smile, going round the bend to start the day?
anagram [quirky] of SMILE round U [bend]
this went straight in, because MUESLI had immediately sprung to mind for ‘healthy food’ in the previous clue

12 Arrogant bird? Yes!
COCK [bird] + SURE [yes]

13 Which person’s the French girl with energy in large quantities
WHO [which person] + LE [the French] + SAL [girl] + E [energy]

15 Give credit for the pound’s demise
L [pound] + END [demise]

16 Ecstatic, when talking money
sounds like [when talking] ‘sent’ [ecstatic]
but I had to wait to get 16dn before I knew which word to enter – grrr!

17 Checks pitch at pavement’s edge
CURBS [checks] + TONE [pitch]
a more serious niggle: according to both Collins and Chambers, this is specifically a North American spelling and there ought to be an indication of this

21 Fish taken out of American hard, black conveyance
PIKE [fish] round [‘taken out of”?] + US [American] + H [hard] + B [black]

22 Carry on making space for operator to come round
reversal [to come round] of EM [space] + USER [operator]

24 Largely off course about sanctimonious little man returning with plant
ASTRA[y] [largely off course] round PI [sanctimonious] + reversal of SID [little man]

25 While entertaining reverend gentleman tots will assuredly appear
AS [while] round [entertaining] DD [Doctor of Divinity – reverend gentleman]

26 Romantic songs in silly riddle, after point for daughter
anagram [silly] of RIDELE [riddle with D [daughter] replaced by E [point]

27 Coming from abroad, am I chubby in the nude?
hidden in abroAD AM I Chubby
a new word for me but easy to guess from the derivation


1 Hawkeshead, lying in a narrow depression, is in telephone communication
H [first letter – head – of HAWK[e] in TROUGH [narrow depression]
I don’t know where the extraneous ‘e’ in the clue has come from: it’s not in the name of the village
This brought back memories of the long-distance telephone operator saying, ‘You’re through’!

2 Being 6, dispel wrinkles
double / cryptic definition:  to press is to be insistent

3 Super water colourist caught opening sketching materials
FAB [super] + RI [Member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours] + C [caught] + S [first letter of Sketching]

5 Having rashly cued in, bring it on!
anagram [rashly] of CUED IN

6 Concentrating on capturing one on board, compelling attention
INTENT [concentrating] round [capturing] I in SS [‘one on board’]

7 Marked Cliff, an ardent left-winger
SCAR [cliff] + RED [ardent left-winger]

8 Heard to put artic into reverse at some degree
sounds like [heard] ‘back a lorry at’ – ‘put artic into reverse at’
oh yes it does! – and it made me laugh out loud

14 Inlet much improved by midday?
anagram [improved] of INLET MUCH

16 Pass round peacekeepers’ quarters, offering advice
COL [pass] round UN [United Nations – peacekeepers] + SE [quarters]

18 Except for mum I would have a local job
BAR [except for] + MA [mum] + I’D [I would]

19 Typical manic do for this kind of life
anagram of MANIC DO
an ingenious anagram indicator [typical – nomadic] making an &littish clue

20 Joint I’d brought in to share
I’D in DIVE [joint]

23 Honeybunch?
cryptic definition

38 Responses to “Guardian 25,840 / Audreus”

  1. crypticsue says:

    Glad to see I wasn’t the only one niggled by the American spelling of 17a. Enjoyed the puzzle apart from that. Thanks to Audreus and Eileen.

  2. John Appleton says:

    Thanks Eileen and Audreus. Decent enough antidote to the impenetrable (to me) Pasquale yesterday.

    I’d originally put KERBSTONE for 17a, not realising that it’s CURBS, not KERBS, that means “checks”. As such I thought this was unfair until I spotted my error, and I think the distinction makes up for any lack of North American indication.

    Typo alert in 16 – the quarters are SE, not NS (the N is part of UN).

  3. Chris says:

    Very slow starter, this, but I eventually managed all but the SE corner of 22, 23, 25. I did like 8’s homophone.

    By the way, the “quarters” in 16d should probably be “SE”, not “NS”.

  4. Eileen says:

    Thanks, John and Chris, for the 1ac re 16dn. Why is it always so much easier to spot other people’s typos than one’s own? 😉 Corrected now.

  5. William says:

    Thanks Eileen & Audreus.

    Is it really RI for the water coulourists? Seems insufficient.

    Loved SWARM for honeybunch and BACCALAUREATE was good fun too.

    I presume ADAMIC means of or relating to Adam but why should this link to ‘coming from abroad’?

    Good cluing generally but no pushover.

  6. Eileen says:

    Hi William @5

    RI is the recognised abbreviation for Member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours, ie, water colourist: cf the much more familiar [in crosswords] RA [Royal Academician]= arist.

    In 27ac, ‘from abroad’ is part of the wordplay: the definition is ‘in the nude’ [like Adam!].

  7. Stella says:

    I didn’t know the American spelling, and there doesn’t seem to be much logic to it, IMO, but KERB doesn’t mean check! I didn’t like this, either.

    Other than that, a good, accessible puzzle, for which I needed to come here for a couple of explanations – I agree with William that RI seems inadequate.

  8. Eileen says:

    Sorry – that should be RA = artist, of course.

  9. William says:

    Eileen re Adam; of course, many thanks.

  10. Stella says:

    We crossed, Eileen. I suppose adding a PWC doesn’t really improve it much :-)

  11. tupu says:

    Thanks Eileen and Audreus

    An enjoyable puzzle at just the right standard for me for a busy day ahead.

    I too was hesitant about 17a and first put kerbstone in. Then I corrected it when I saw 8d. My (1998) Chambers says ‘curbstone’ is a North American spelling, but re ‘kerb’ itself it says ‘or curb (esp. US)’. OED gives some English examples of curb stone as 2 words.

    2d also niggled slightly though the answer was clear enough.

    I liked 9a, 21a, 1d (I missed the point about the ‘e’, 6d, and 18d.

  12. matt says:

    Enjoyed this, although a couple of niggles.

    Including: “…opening sketching” for S. Is this enough? Don’t we need a ‘to’ or ‘for’ in there somewhere?

  13. Robi says:

    Thanks Audreus for a good and enjoyable puzzle.

    Thanks also to Eileen for the (almost) immaculate blog……. oh, no it doesn’t! The usual quibbles about homophones. I don’t think anyone says Poet Lorryat! Pronunciation here or Merriam-Webster’s gives ‘law’reate. I think this can easily be remedied by putting ‘roughly heard’ or somesuch. Despite the former comment, I did like the clue and started to put in ‘back’ at the beginning, but unfortunately ‘kocksure’ is only the Polish spelling. 😉

    I share the misgivings about CURBSTONE, especially as ‘pavement’ in the US means the road, not the sidewalk/pavement.

    I also liked PUSHBIKE, ASPIDISTRA, BARMAID and especially SWARM – excellent clue!

  14. Robi says:

    P.S. Forgot to say that Derek will be ecstatic about Hawkeshead. :)

  15. brucew_aus says:

    Thanks Audreus and Eileen

    A bit more substance than the her last puzzle and held up slightly at the bottom. Did anyone else fall for the ‘obvious’ IDYLLS at 26 – (SILLY D) – certainly didn’t help in that corner.

    May have seen ARTIC used in crosswords before, but it didn’t stick (we call it a SEMI, as in semi-trailer, down here) so needed help with the homonym there, which is a pity because it was clever.

    Although ADAMIC was clearly the answer to 27, found it difficult to find a dictionary reference to it meaning ‘in the nude’ – closest I could get were the Adamites who worshipped in the nude apparently –
    wouldn’t want to be worshipping the winter solstice for too long !!

    THROUGH and TIP-OFF were last in.

  16. Robi says:

    Bruce @15; Chambers 11th ed: ADAMIC – ‘of or like Adam; naked.’

  17. Pete Duffin says:

    Being insistent = pressing, not press, surely? It should be “Be 6″ and resume means to start again, not to carry on according to Chambers.

  18. Eileen says:

    Hi Pete Duffin @17

    I take your point about PRESS: I managed to justify it to myself but I can’t remember quite how!

    I wondered about RESUME, too, then decided that I could imagine myself saying, after a brief rest on a walk, say, ‘Right, let’s carry on.’ I can’t find any dictionary support, admittedly, but it’ll do for me.

  19. NeilW says:

    Thanks, Eileen. When I hit “pause” on a recorder or similar, and then resume…

  20. Rowland says:

    There are a couple of things that people here were always going to find annoying, and in-deed they have been mentioned above!! But it’s actually a very good puzzle despite all that. If anything I would have complained about the indirect-ness od the NOMADIC clue, but still liked this one.

    Cheers all,

  21. brucew_aus says:

    Thanks Robi

  22. Gervase says:

    Thanks, Eileen

    I enjoyed this, which I found more of a challenge than the last few Audreus puzzles. The NW corner I found strangely recalcitrant, not helped by the watercolourists in 3d. And of course I first entered KERBSTONE, muttering about the lack of a homophone indicator, until I realised my error.

    I particularly liked 18d.

  23. muffin says:

    Thanks Audreus and Eileen
    I enjoyed this very much, despite also being in the “kerbstone” camp. TIP-OFF was my last, and so my favourite.

  24. Dave Ellison says:

    Thanks Eileen and Audreus. I enjoyed this, but the last few were a bit of a struggle (TIP OFF, PUSHBIKE, DIVIDE)

    Pete Duffin @17 and Eileen: I loosely took “Being [insistent]” as “if you are insistent” or “if you press”, but I think “Be 6″ would be better.

  25. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the reminder, Dave @24: that is, in fact how I’d justified it.

  26. chas says:

    Thanks to Eileen for the blog. I got BACC… eventually but could not see why but you explained that.

    I put in KERBSTONE and I’m another annoyed by the lack of ‘foreign’ indicator.
    I was also annoyed by the CENT/SENT mess at 16a :(

  27. Charles says:

    Thanks Audreus and Eileen. Enjoyed the puzzle and only just finished it. You learn something new every day. ADAMIC was a new word for me and I had never seen RI for water colourist before. Fun evening.

  28. phitonelly says:

    chas@26 and others

    After some discussion on the Graun website, I’ve come to the conclusion that the foreign indicator is there and has been all along. I believe Audreus is deliberately using pavement in the US sense. It still defines the position of the answer correctly (at the edge) and also provides the perfect indicator to use the US style spelling. A quite brilliant piece of misdirection!

  29. Brendan (not that one) says:

    Nice an easy as ever for Audreus.

    Like may others didn’t like the CURBSTONE spelling.

    Also I’m also not sure about the &lit device to indicate an anagram in 19d.

    It would appear that I am n a minority of one in disliking Honeybunch as a CD for SWARM!

    It appears one can get away with all this when it’s such an easy and enjoyable solve.

    Thanks to Audreus and Eileen.

    Which SHED is going to turn up tomorrow? :-)

  30. Ilippu says:

    hi eileen.. 27ac..adamic is right there..abroAD AM I Chubby..yes in the nude is the defn..coming from is indicative of the answer being present there..

  31. Ilippu says: have already pointed that out.

  32. Martin P says:

    brucew_aus says:

    “…Did anyone else fall for the ‘obvious’ IDYLLS at 26 – (SILLY D)…”


    Not on this occasion, Bruce, but it always fascinates me to see just how many such perfect, alternative, and I surmise, unintended solutions arise in crosswords.

    Thanks to all.

  33. Eileen says:

    Hi phitonelly @28

    So – you’re asking us to accept an unindicated [and, to me, unknown] North American usage of a word to justify an unindicated North American spelling? That seema a step or two too far for me. If Audreus had used ‘sidewalk’, we’d all have known what she was talking about!

  34. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thanks, Eileen, I fear this time we didn’t like it all.
    Unlike on previous occasions I wasn’t on Audreus’ wavelength anyway and even my PinC (who is generally a Times ‘purist’) found it far too sloppy.

    Of course, it’s a matter of taste but “First, little” for L and “opening sketches” for S are not our cup of tea.

    We were also annoyed by some connecting words: ‘to’ in 9ac, ‘for’ in 22d (only my PinC, because I think it works as ‘given to’ (and Araucaria uses it ever so often)) and ‘on’ in 6d. I even questioned ‘have’ in 18d, but it works just about.

    As others said, the ambiguity of CENT/SENT should have been avoided. Only recently (in a Quiptic) Arachne pleaded guilty.

    In 21ac: “out of” instead of “outside of”?

    And Pete Duffin’s comment on 2d makes total sense.
    “Being 6″ is wrong.

    “Typical” in 19d an anagram indicator? In what sense? Moreover the definition alludes to the rest of the clue, but we couldn’t see how or why? Very loose.

    Haven’t even talked about Hawkeshead and Curbstone.

    Sorry to all those who enjoyed this crossword (and to Audreus).
    Best clues: 11ac, 8d and perhaps 23d too.

    ps, Rowland, I fear we are really not on each other’s wavelength. I cannot see why this crossword is ‘very good’ and Picaroon’s is ‘inconsistent’. So be it.

  35. rhotician says:

    Thanks Eileen. And Sil.

  36. Tim says:

    One question – isn’t 1a a double, rather than cryptic, definition?

  37. Charles says:

    phitonelly @28

    Can you explain at what point I should realise that pavement is the US meaning rather than the UK meaning. Apart from anything else not all US pavements have curbstones. A country road will just have verges, not curbstones.

  38. Huw Powell says:

    Nice little puzzle, although, with a few niggles, of course. Interesting that we all had different ones, though (Except Sil, who had all of them!).

    I didn’t even notice the issue at CURBSTONE being pretty thoroughly Americanized by now, and, yes, it is sloppy, not libertarian.

    At 2, “being” is wrong and the only “justifications” I can see are 1. it was easy to solve and 2. it prevents “backsolving” 6.

    SENT/CENT didn’t bother me, I already had the C. Funny how it’s ok to use a foreign word for money but not for the edge of the pavement.

    PUSHBIKE came very slowly due to “taken out of” meaning “around”.

    In general I really liked this, though. It went pretty smoothly, on the easy end for the Grauniad, and I think some of the niggles may relate to trying to introduce some difficulty.

    Almost at first glance I saw the word “artic” and thought, “oh, no, a tyop!” and marked it for later investigation. But when the answer suddenly occurred to me while staring at all the checked letters I suddenly remembered what it means in British. My COD.

    I liked this overall.

    Thanks for the puzzle, Audreus, and for an ever-wonderful blog, Eileen and the rest of you lot.

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