Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,847 – Gordius

Posted by manehi on January 17th, 2013


Found this trickier than usual from Gordius, but very enjoyable. Favourite clues 12ac, 26ac and 1dn.

1 MONGREL =”unrefined types” hidden in “aMONG RELatively”
5 KAISER =”emperor” KA (Ford model) + IS + ER=”hesitating”
9 CHASTITY =”Virtue” HAST[e]=”endless hurry” inside CITY=”financial centre”
10 MASSIF “in Central France” MASS=”High Church service” + IF=”provided”
12 PERPETRATION =”Commission” (perpetrate=commit) PER=”for” + PET RATION=”distribution of dog food”
15 CHURCHGOER =”pious type” “Winston” CHURCH[ill], “fit” implying not ill, + GO=”move” + ER=”the queen”
17 INN “may be called the King’s Arms” sounds like “In” / Edit: or, In + n[ame]
19 INK =”Liquid” I=”one” + N[ot] K[nown]. Also contained within “undrINKable”, but not sure if this part of the clue.
20 TRADE ROUTE cryptic def
22 VANTAGE POINT “top position” VAN=”vehicle” + (get in a top)*
26 BYPLAY =”Backstage chatter” Arthur “Miller unmasked McCarthy” BY [his] PLAY The Crucible
27 HOMELESS cryptic def? The rich are HOME LESS when partying – not sure if there’s more to this clue
28 EAGLET =”Bird” (ELEGAnT), minus the n[ame]
29 RETSINA =”DRINK” RETINA=”part of the eye” around S[outh]=”direction”
1 MACE Cromwell had the Speaker’s Mace taken away 1,001 = M (roman numeral for 1,000) + ACE (or 1)
2 NEAT double def =”Organised”, and =”stock” as in cattle
3 RETRENCH =”cut expenses” R[oyal] E[ngineers] + TRENCH=”Troop cover”
4 LET UP =”relieve tension” (lute)* + P[iano]=”softly”
6 ANANAS =”Fruit” (pineapple) [b]ANANAS
7 SUSPICIOUS =”Dubious” is “like the filth” referring to the police?
8 REFINANCED =”borrowed from Peter to pay Paul” REF=”Arbitrator” + IN + (dance)*
11 ATTEND =”Listen to” (NT date)*
13 ACHIEVABLE =”It can be done” (I have Cable)*
14 SUCKING PIG cryptic def
16 GARTER =”order” [of the Garter] GARret=”Attic”, with the second half reversed
18 TRANSEPT takes one side or the other (Stern apt)*
23 ODOUR =”high” O=”nothing” + DOUR=”grim”
24 DELI =”specialist food provider” DELI[a] Smith is the TV chef
25 ASIA =”A good deal of land” AS + I=”one” + A=”article”

33 Responses to “Guardian 25,847 – Gordius”

  1. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Manehi & Gordius.

    This was very enjoyable but I failed to solve 5a: I never knew that the Ka was a Ford.

    We live and learn.

  2. Trailman says:

    Thanks Manehi and Gordius too. When I saw his name I expected a bit of relief after the strugle of the past two days, and indeed there was, but as you say it was tougher than his normal standard.

    A bit of a mixed bag, as happens with Gordius, but some good clues eg 15a, 22a. Double duty for ‘top’ though in the latter?

    At 14d I only knew SUCKLING PIG so I wondered if we had a SNICKERS(N)EE problem like yesterday but I see that the construction is in Chambers.

  3. tupu says:

    Thanks manehi and Gordius

    Some clever cluing – I particularly liked 12a and 16d. I also liked 27a which is nicely cryptic and not as heartless as it seemed at first.

  4. NeilW says:

    Thanks, manehi. I’d echo 100% Trailman’s comment on the level of difficulty.

    Isn’t 17 IN + N(ame) rather than a homophone?

  5. Mick H says:

    Hi Tupu, can you explain 27ac. I see the cryptic indication (out and about more = home less) but what’s the definition, and where do the rich come in? Is it referring to a phrase?

  6. Shirley says:

    Mick H – I took 27A as a social comment in that under David Cameron the homeless are more visible than before.

  7. DunsScotus says:

    Thanks Gordius and Manehi. One of those days when I found a number of clues very difficult to get, but once got I couldn’t see what had been so hard about them! I too was puzzled by 27A but like Shirley’s reading @ 6; thanks.

  8. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    We are having a good week.
    This was a decent struggle to get out.
    My last three all seemed very obvious after I had solved them and made me wonder where my mind had been (‘mace’, ‘byplay’and ‘garret’).
    I suppose manehi is correct that sus-laws suggest filth = police but I found it a bit dubious!
    I also found ‘homeless’ rather abstruse but acceptable.
    I liked 12ac and 13ac.

  9. Robi says:

    Rattled through some, then got stuck for a while – thanks Gordius.

    Thanks also to manehi; I tried GENERAL for 1a before the ha was spotted. After TRADE was solved in 20,I tried ‘lanes’ and ‘cycle’ before the crossers came to my rescue.

    I liked VANTAGE POINT, ODOUR and PERPETRATION, although I thought INN had a fairly weak clue unless I have missed something [even if IN/N was not intended, it was very visible.]

    BTW in case others have not seen it, there is a Paul mea culpa about yesterday’s puzzle.

  10. PaulG says:

    Sorry, don’t get 27ac, if it is a social comment it’s a bit obscure if you ask me :)

  11. harhop says:

    Hi Bryan @1 – cheer up, I’ve got a Ka outside and still failed to get the clue!

  12. Stella says:

    Thanks manehi and Gordius.

    I completed the puzzle, then waited avidly for the blog to explain some of the parsing. I am now enlightened with regard to, eg., 15 and 16. Unfortunately, your blog format doesn’t quite fit on my notebook screen, so that your comments in 26 and 27ac are cut short :-(

  13. William says:

    Thanks all. Another toughie, I thought

    Nice to learn words like BYPLAY – new to me.

    Failed to parse the CHURCH (ILL) thing. Not sure about the fairness of this but it was at least getable.

    Can someone kindly explain HOMELESS? Must be being thick.

  14. NeilW says:

    William @ 13, unless I’m even thicker, I think it’s just a rubbish clue, on which I have wasted too much time. I don’t understand why the editor allows this dross. I’d be delighted to be corrected but I really don’t see it.

  15. RCWhiting says:

    I wouldn’t go that far; I like a bit of unorthdoxy as long as it is gettable and this certainly was.
    It can be criticised since there is no definition of the 8-letter word. There are two cryptic (?) definitions of the two word phrase ‘home less’.

  16. Gervase says:

    Thanks manehi

    Strangely abstruse for a Gordius. His puzzles I usually find at the easier end of the spectrum; this one fits with a week of more than usually difficult crosswords.

    I put CAESAR for 5a: it means ‘emperor’ and contains the elements of CAR, but I couldn’t otherwise see why. In fact, rather a good clue.

    27a seems unnecessarily complicated – I don’t really see how ‘rich’ helps either the surface or the construction.

    My favourite was MACE: one of my last in, and a nice construction.

  17. Tom Hutton says:

    Too many nebulous clues for my taste. I feel the compilers are, in the common parlance, getting a bit up themselves. 26 and 27ac and 7 dn are examples. I feel that the setters are playing to a rather select audience of those impressed by cleverness rather than thinking of the ordinary plod in the street who has actually paid money for his or her paper and just wants a crossword to do.

    I am not asking for easy crosswords.

  18. Matthew Marcus says:

    I managed to get MICE for 1 Down. For all the Lord Protector’s manifold achievements, I should probably have realised that vermin extermination was not one of them!

  19. Robi says:

    RCW @15; I thought the definition of the HOMELESS was [those] ‘Increasingly out and about.’ ‘The rich when partying’ are HOME LESS [of the time.] That is how I parsed it anyway. The clue seemed largely OK to me.

  20. tupu says:

    Mick H et al @4 Re 27a

    I simply saw this as the ‘homeless’ are on the streets in increasing numbers while the rich are increasingly out partying and are therefore ‘home less’.

  21. tupu says:

    RCW Snap! Sorry we crossed.

  22. tupu says:

    Robi Sorry. I should have addressed 21 to you.

  23. chas says:

    Thanks to manehi for the blog. You explained why I had the right answer in CHURCHGOER.

    I am another who found this one rather more difficult than usual for a Gordius.

  24. gerardus says:

    Re 7dn. the online urban dictionary gives for ‘filth':
    British terminology for “the police” or “cops” or “police officer”, etc related to law enforcers.
    So does the definition imply that the police are always suspicious (since they are involved in crime detection), or is there some other abstruse meaning?

  25. RCWhiting says:

    tupu and robi
    But it doesn’t say THOSE increasingly out and about. Which is exactly my point.
    However, as I said @15, I quite liked it.

  26. Brendan (not that one) says:

    Quite enjoyed this though one or two clues, as mentioned by previous posters, are a little dodgy.

    Last in was HOMELESS.

    NeilW @14 You seem to be assuming that the editor actually reads these crosswords before publishing them? I’m not so sure after recent, and not so recent, events? :-)

    Thanks to Manehi & Gordius

  27. MDatta says:

    27 poor effort. Must do better, Gordius

  28. plotinus3 says:

    Perhaps Gordius should get out more. And be home less.

  29. brucew_aus says:

    Thanks Gordius and manehi

    I found this one of the best from Gordius and had no issues with any if the clues – in fact there is quite a bit of depth to them. Having said that, a lack of care on my part drew an error with MINERAL at 1a :(.

    To me HOMELESS has an implicit definition (and perhaps a social comment from the setter) in the sense explained by tupu@20 – and in that sense is one of the better clues.

    Thought the similar devices used in 15, 6d and 24d where we needed to take away letters from another word that needed to be solved were clever and quite fair. Was lucky to have a Brit colleague sitting near me to introduce DELIA SMITH to me for 24.

    Originally had AREA (are -a) in at 25 which made getting HOMELESS as my last in that bit harder.

    Liked it a lot, despite being wrong with 1a.

  30. chas says:

    Brendan @26: your point about the crossword editor reading the thing before publishing reminds me of a recent incident. Some time within the last year a grid was used which had a number of instances of two successive unchecked letters. Several years ago the then crossword editor wrote against a crossword “This is the last time we use a grid with two or more unchecked letters”

  31. brucew_aus says:

    Oops … apologies for not previewing – noisy, crowded train and an iPhone wasn’t conducive to readable English.

  32. Dewey says:

    Increasingly out and about also means you are home less. And stock means unaltered like a stock car or a “neat” cocktail.

    very nice puzzle.

  33. jackkt says:

    HOPELESS also fits 27ac defines the clue perfectly in my view.

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=""> <strike> <strong>

9 − = eight