Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,887 – Crucible

Posted by Uncle Yap on March 5th, 2013

Uncle Yap.

A most delightful puzzle based on a familiar theme.

Most of us have been brought up with the fantastic stories of Gulliver’s Travels, an internationally well-known satire by Jonathan Swift, an Irish writer and clergyman.  Most would also think Gulliver only went to Lilliput and Brobdingnag. In my case, it wasn’t until I was at university that I read the full version and found out about Laputa, Balnibarbi, Luggnagg, Glubbdubdrib, Japan & Houyhnhnm.

As for the other Swift, I must confess I have never heard of him. Not cultured enough … okay, I will take some yogurt today :-)

1 WATERLAND Swift work women learnt in translation in a day (9)
W (women) + ins of TERLAN*(LEARNT) in A D (day) Waterland is a 1983 novel by Graham Swift. It is considered to be the author’s premier novel and in 1992, was made into a film.
6,9 LAST ORDERS Older stars transformed Swift work (4,6)
*(OLDER STARS) Last Orders is a 1996 Booker Prize-winning novel by British writer Graham Swift.
8 JONATHAN Swift’s working at hotel in winter time (8)
Ins of ON (working) + AT + H (hotel) in JAN (January, winter time)
10 ADVERB It qualifies grammatically, for instance (6)
Quite self-explanatory. An adverb is a word that qualifies a verb and grammatically is an example of an adverb
11 GULLIVER Swift man’s ear repelled by organ (8)
GUL (rev of LUG, slang for ear) LIVER (organ) for the eponymous travelling hero of Jonathan Swift’s (see 8) greatest work
12 HORSES Such are the Houyhnhnms, in the author’s estimation (6)
ha for one of the noble and rational race of horses in Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels
15 THE BENCH Judges new church not square in old city (3,5)
THEBES (old city) with N CH (new church) substituted for S (square)
16 SIEGE GUN Martial piece, say, tackled by wayward genius (5,3)
Ins of EG (exempli gratia, say) in *(GENIUS)
19 SATIRE Swift work met with fury (6)
Cha of SAT (met as in Parliament sat/met to resolve the crisis) IRE (anger, fury). Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels is often acknowledged as one of the greatest satires.
21 LILLIPUT Swift place laid behind plant, say (8)
LILLI (sounds like lily, plant) PUT (place) for an imaginary diminutive country described by Swift in Gulliver’s Travels, inhabited by tiny people
22 GRAHAM Swift German sheep jumps ditch? Not half (6)
G (German) + ins of HA-HA (ditch, not half) in RAM (sheep) for Graham Swift, author
24 YAHOOS Swift beasts’ house in backward Scottish isle (6)
Ins of HO (house) in YAOS (rev of SOAY, an island just off the coast of Skye, in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland). Yahoo is the name given by Swift in Gulliver’s Travels to a class of animals which are human in form but which have the understanding and passions of brutes
25 IN-FLIGHT Swift sleeps and eats thus, served from trolley? (2-6)
cd When you’re IN-FLIGHT, you are moving swiftly, often either sleeping or being served meals from a trolley. Thanks NeilW for the nudge
26 FENS Where 1’s set iron poles (4)
FE (iron from Latin, ferrum) N & S (north and south poles) for marsh or waterland (answer to 1 across)
27 SORCERERS Magicians in Glubbdubdrib, terribly cross about rulers (9)
Ins of ER + ER (Elizabeth Regina, ruler) in *(CROSS) Glubbdubdrib (also spelled Glubdubdrib or Glubbdubdribb in some editions) was
an island of sorcerers and magicians, one of the imaginary countries visited by Gulliver
1 WOOED Pressed suit with old dictionary (5)
Cha of W (with) O (old) OED (Oxford English Dictionary) … to press suit is to court or woo
2 TRAVELS Composer in back street makes journey (7)
Ins of RAVEL (Joseph-Maurice 1875–1937) a French composer) in TS (rev of ST, street)
3 REHAB He’s in pub, backsliding after this, clearly (5)
Rev of ins of HE in BAR (pub)
4 AT NIGHT Upset spirit that shuffled about in the dark (2,5)
Ins of NIG (rev of GIN, spirit) in *(THAT)
5 DROLLNESS Peer over large cape for comic effect (9)
DROL (rev of LORD, peer) L (large) NESS (headland, cape)
6 LUDDITE Opponent of progress diluted fluid (7)
*(DILUTED) one of a band of protesters against unemployment who destroyed machinery in English factories about 1812; hence, any opponent of technological innovation, etc.
7 STREETCAR Pantograph user creates squiggles round itself? Not in the morning (9)
Ins of TRAM (streetcar minus AM, morning) in *(CREATES) A PANTOGRAPH is a framework  such as for collecting a current from an overhead wire on electric locomotives, trams, etc. New to me
13 ORIGINATE Found emigration tricky after money ran out (9)
*(EMIGRATION minus M, money)
14 SIGNPOSTS Aids during 2 initial jobs (9)
SIGN (initial the authorisation form) POST (jobs) for aids during travels (answer to 2)
17 GALLOPS Cut misses out 2 swiftly (7)
Ins of LOP (cut) in GALS (girls, misses) for def travels swiftly
18 NATTIER How one looks in new change of attire? (7)
N (new) + *(ATTIRE) for a neat &lit
20 TEATIME Milk supplier that is earning millions, when China’s brought in (7)
TEAT (milk supplier) + ins of M (millions) in IE (id est, that is, that is to say) for the time of the day when tea is served and the tea set (China porcelain) is brought in
22 GAFFE Old man clipped bloomer (5)
GAFFER (old man) minus R for a mistake or bloomer
23 ASHES A man on board remains (5)
A + ins of HE (a man) in SS (ship, on board = in ship)

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

32 Responses to “Guardian 25,887 – Crucible”

  1. NeilW says:

    Thanks, UY.

    I enjoyed this despite, given my limited knowledge of both authors, it being a bit of a Googlefest to confirm solutions but they were all clearly clued so no complaints!

  2. rhotician says:

    I think Swift in 25ac is a reference to the most aerial of birds.

  3. molonglo says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap. I blanched at first seeing all the Swift references, then managed it googlessly (adverb). The first two works, across, were familiar though I’d no idea who their author was. And I got STREETCAR with nil knowledge of pantographs: the word fitted. It was all quite fun really: thanks Crucible.

  4. Dave Ellison says:

    Thanks, UY.

    I also managed without google, though didn’t realise that there was such an author as Graham Swift.

    I feared at first it would boil down to googling (Jonathon) Swift, but there was a good variety of swifts.

    rhotician’s explanation makes sense.

  5. NeilW says:

    rhotician @2, gosh, yes you’re right: apparently they do roost IN-FLIGHT!

  6. michelle says:

    Like Dave Ellison @ 4 I enjoyed the variety of swifts in this puzzle as I am more familiar with Graham rather than Jonathan Swift.

    I needed quite a lot of help from google to confirm certain answers, and as the puzzle took me longer than expected to solve I ran out of time to parse many of the clues in detail. I was happy to actually finish the puzzle!

    My favourites were ASHES, DROLLNESS, TEATIME and IN-FLIGHT (which I parsed in the same way as rhotician@2).

    Thanks for the blog, Uncle Yap

  7. Ian Payn says:

    Like molonglo@5 I sighed upon sight of the crossword, but it fell into place reasonably quickly. Only streetcar eluded me, as I wasn’t aware of the alternative definition of pantograph, and was hung-up on trying to find a type of person (eg surveyor), too blind to see that the letters available only really provided for one answer. Good puzzle, I thought, and after Brendan yesterday I wonder if we’re in for a good week, after a slightly patchy

    As to the two Swifts, I think that knowing that Graham Swift wrote Waterland and Last Orders comes under general knowledge, so is fair game. He’s not an obscure author, although he’s a literary one. I will concede, however, that one man’s general knowledge is another man’s trivia, and I’m far more tolerant of broadness of reference in crosswords when it comes to culture and the arts than I am of flora and fauna, about which I know bugger all squared.

  8. tupu says:

    Thanks UY and Crucible

    A pleasant solve which turned out to be less difficult than it threatened to be. For some reason, I find some of Crucible’s ‘instructions’, e.g. in 1a and 15a, hard to penetrate though it is clear what the answers are.

    Like rhotician, I assumed a reference to swifts eating and sleeping on the wing.

    I particularly liked 16a, 25a, 1d (my COD), 6d and 14d.

  9. dunsscotus says:

    Thanks Crucible and UY. I didn’t spot the possible connection to the high-flying little bird. Nice one, rhotician.

    As an adopted son of Suffolk, I can heartily recommmend Waterland; he gets the feel of the fens very nicely and the landscape almost functions as another character. Last Orders was a good read, turned into a good film, I thought, with the help of some of our more mature male actors.

  10. J-Boh says:

    Can someone explain the “BARB” bit of 28A? Is it supposed to refer to the “protuberance beneath the tongue in horses and cattle”? If so, it’s pretty obscure.

  11. J-Boh says:

    OOPS! Wrong crossword, sorry.

  12. John Appleton says:

    I gave up after about managing three-quarters of it, not being to familiar with the theme. That said, some of it I found accessible enough – FENS was first in, being fairly obvious; LAST ORDERS and WATERLAND were constructed well enough to not require knowledge of the theme. HORSES, perhaps not so.

  13. Robi says:

    Finished eventually with a lot of help from Mrs Google and word searches.

    Thanks UY; you seem to have missed an ‘s’ in your fodder for STREETCAR, but thanks for parsing it for me. I also failed on GALLOPS, which now you have explained seems to have a very good clue.

    I would recommend the film LAST ORDERS as dunsscotus @9 – don’t forget it had Helen Mirren as well!

  14. Trailman says:

    Feeling very chuffed after a speedy Google-free solve; makes up for all the times I don’t finish something that others have breezed through. Not that I knew everything, but clues to the bits which I didn’t were fair – eg WATERLAND, aided by the FENS link.

    Agree with Robi about LAST ORDERS, wonderful film, and book too. It ends with the disposal of ASHES into the sea off Margate (or was it Ramsgate), so there’s another link.

  15. michelle says:

    Re 6/9
    Graham Swift is a great British author.
    As an antipodean, I would like to remind you that the movie of LAST ORDERS was directed by one our very best film directors, Fred Schepisi. (I did read the book before seeing the film).

  16. SeanDimly says:

    Thanks to Uncle Yap for the blog and to Crucible for an enjoyable and scrupulously fair crossword.
    Was held up for a bit on 24a by thinking, “Scottish isle, four letters, beginning with ‘S’? That’ll be Skye, then.”
    Afraid I’m more yahoo than houyhnhnm.
    The Soay might be the one in St Kilda rather than the one near Skye, if there’s a nice little link with the sheep in my COD, 22a.

  17. Giovanna says:

    Thanks to Crucible and Uncle Yap.

    The theme drove me back to my Children’s Classics edition of Gulliver’s Travels, which I appreciate far more now than as a young child!

    7d had me thinking of railway locomotives as users of the pantograph but it was clearly street and therefore STREETCAR.

    After all the recommendations, I shall have to read Waterland.

    With rhotician on 25a. Swifts also remind me of impressive and noisy aerial displays in Dubrovnik, which has been one of my favourite cities ever since hitch-hiking there three times in the sixties.

    Giovanna x

  18. george says:

    I found this tough going this morning; despite spotting the theme, my solving was the complete opposite of swift!

    I didn’t pick up the reference to the bird in 25a IN-FLIGHT (knowing more than bugger all squared about fauna I should have) and solved it via the trolley instead.

    I remembered most of GULLIVER’S TRAVELS, which I did read a very long while ago, but I am not familiar with Graham Swift’s work. The comments from several of you above have prompted me to add WATERLAND and LAST ORDERS to my ‘to be read’ list.

  19. David Mop says:

    I managed to finish without Googling, even not having heard of Graham Swift. However I wonder about money = m in 13d. Is this a recognised abbreviation which I (and don’t know about, or is ‘money’ just a random word beginning with ‘m’?

  20. Rowland says:

    I don’t know about scrupulously fair, but it is very entertaining with an ‘open’ theme.


  21. Querulous says:

    Re m = money, it’s in Chambers.

  22. Gervase says:

    Thanks, UY.

    Came to this late today, and was expecting the usual challenge that a Crucible provides, but sailed through it. Having read all the works referenced does help. WATERLAND was my third entry, after TRAVELS and REHAB, which set me up nicely for the rest of the puzzle as Graham would not have sprung to mind as quickly as the Dean.

    I liked the use of the two meanings of pantograph and the clever construction in 7d, which is one of my favourites in this puzzle. The original sense of pantograph is the jointed device for copying diagrams; the apparatus on the top of a tram which connects with the overhead power lines is so called because it resembles the draughtsman’s device in its articulation. I suspect many solvers would only be familiar with one or other of these meanings. My other COD is the neat 1d.

  23. james g says:

    What a wonderful puzzle! My heart leaped when I saw the G Swift connection. Waterland is one of my all time favourite books. Work of pure genius. But I v much liked that all the themes clues were quite gettable without specialist knowledge.
    Thanks for a wonderful puzzle and UY esp for 7d…!

  24. crypticsue says:

    I got most of this while sitting in a woodland car park in lovely sunshine waiting for a friend. Surprising how much I knew about Jonathan Swift but didn’t know Graham.

  25. rhotician says:

    Araucaria’s latest puzzle featured Iris Murdoch but drew no recommendations here of her work. In contrast Graham Swift’s appearance today has been greeted with enthusiasm. The Sea, the Sea won the Booker prize in 1978, Last Orders in 1996. Curious.

  26. Tom Hutton says:

    @25 rhotician: Could it simply be that none of the contributing solvers had read Iris Murdoch (or perhaps, as in my case, they had but wouldn’t want to encourage anyone else to particularly)? Do Graham Swift’s works appeal to big boys who like to share their enthusiasms? Do Iris Murdoch’s works appeal to more reticent people? There are many questions. There may be many answers.

  27. Eileen says:

    I did the puzzle on the train down to London, but managed it without recourse to Google, because I knew and loved the Graham Swift books / films. Everything’s been said [including the reference to the ASHES – it was Margate, Trailman ] but I just wanted to add my twopennorth of recommendation.

    Thanks for the blog, UY – and many thanks to Crucible for another lovely puzzle.

  28. Derek Lazenby says:

    I’m constantly amazed how people seem to lack curiosity. Given all the trains in the world that use overhead wires I presume everyone has seen a pantograph, but then why would you not ask someone what is it called? Especially as a prerequisite of puzzling is the acquisition of trivia.

  29. brucew_aus says:

    Thanks Crucible and UY

    Another who enjoyed the puzzle , but having not read GT despite being given it as a boy, I had to rely on electronic help for some of the details such as the Houyhnhnhms (the likes of which would probably have deterred the reading in youth!)

    Anyway, all were gettable from clear clues – some (1, 15 and 7) a little more convoluted than others.

    The interest has also been piqued with the other Swift …

  30. Morpheus says:

    Being more familiar with the modern Swift this was a fairly tough workout. Satisfying to complete though without recourse to Google, with YAHOOS the last in (not sure we’d have managed that without the recent prize crossword examination on Scottish Islands). Shame there wasn’t any room for SARGASSO SEA* though… :)

    * Fans of Waterland only

  31. Dave Ellison says:

    Gervase@22 “I suspect many solvers would only be familiar with one or other of these meanings”

    I am familiar with both meanings; first, the copying device, one of which I owned as a boy, and I got fixated on this version for a while as regards the clue; and secondly, that on an electric train, where sparking problems give rise to cable deterioration. This I first met at a mathematical modelling group investigating the problem, and which, rather unusually, gives rise to fifth order differential equations, if my memory serves me well.

  32. Brendan (not that one) says:

    Not much to add except that like a few others I thought this was going to be a stinker until I remembered the “other” Swift whose work I have read. (Graham)

    I’m surprised nobody has complained about 27a. What is the “in Glubbdubdrib” about except some tenous , and superfluous, link to the theme. (Also is a magician necessarily a sorcerer.) Am I missing something?

    Still an enjoyable solve though.

    Thanks to UY and Crucible.

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