Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,905 – Chifonie

Posted by Uncle Yap on March 26th, 2013

Uncle Yap.

I do hope new solvers will not get discouraged when a puzzle is described as “easy” which is a relative term. When I first started out doing cryptic crosswords as a student in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne (talk of misspent youth :-) , I could not finish the daily puzzle until my third year and found every puzzle difficult. However, I persevered and here I am.

Today’s puzzle took me less than 15 minutes to solve and a lot longer to blog; with the exception of 4A which I think NeilW will soon parse for you.

Across
1 THRUSH Songster cut the grass (6)
THe RUSH (grass)
4 STABBED Injured scholar in arrears goes west (7)
See NeilW@1
9 ANCHORAGE An unpleasant duty impounding silver in Alaska (9)
AN + Ins of AG (silver) in CHORE (unpleasant duty) for a city in Alaska
10 ADORE Love making fuss over queen (5)
ADO (fuss) RE (rev of ER, Elizabeth Regina, the Queen)
11 HORSE Husky is said to be a large creature (5)
Sounds like HOARSE (husky)
12 LATITUDES Regions where cliches start off (9)
PLATITUDES (cliches) minus P
13 PAGEANT Call for worker in show (7)
PAGE (call for) ANT (worker)
15 EARTHY Robust and hearty eccentric (6)
*(HEARTY)
17 LADDER Run from large snake (6)
L (large) ADDER (snake)
19 PIT STOP Mark’s leading at pause in racing (3,4)
PIT (mark with little hollows)’S TOP (leading)
22 FREIGHTER Note carried by plane or ship (9)
Ins of RE (note) in FIGHTER (plane) for a ship carrying freight
24 OSCAR Ring Cliff to get trophy (5)
O (ring) SCAR (cliff)
26 ELEGY See about, say, a poem (5)
Ins of EG (exempli gratia, say) in ELY (see, a cathedral city)
27 ACOUSTICS Stucco is a puzzle to science (9)
*(STUCCO IS A)
28 DIDEROT Philosopher’s daughter stupidly rioted (7)
D (daughter) + *(RIOTED) for Denis Diderot (1713–1784) a French philosopher
29 REVEAL Give away soldier’s meat (6)
RE (Royal Engineers, soldier) VEAL (meat of calf)
Down
1 TEA SHOP Endlessly torment climber in cafe (3,4)
TEASE (endlessly torment) HOP (climber, a climbing plant, used for beer-making)
2 RACER Competitor brilliant in a car (5)
Ins of ACE (brilliant) in RR (Rolls Royce, car)
3 SCORECARD Nick, the eccentric, produces course record (9)
SCORE (nick, make a mark) CARD (eccentric)
4 SCEPTRE Abnormal respect for symbol of authority (7)
*(RESPECT)
5 ADAPT Bill gets fitting from tailor (5)
AD (advertisement, bill) APT (fitting)
6 BLOODSHOT Dashing young men, lustful and inflamed (9)
BLOODS (lustful young men) + HOT (inflamed)
7 DRESSY Stylish, clean youth leader (6)
DRESS (clean as in say a chicken) Y (first letter of youth)
8 HAMLET Play in a small village (6)
dd
14 GRAPESEED Pip is longing to capture primates (9)
Ins of APES (primates) in GREED (longing)
16 RETROUSSE Turned up in badly made trousers, Earl? (9)
*(TROUSERS Earl)
18 RETRACT Withdraw touching monograph (7)
RE (touching) TRACT (monograph)
19 PERNOD Fellow salesman’s up for a drink (6)
Rev of DON (fellow, as in academic) REP (representative, salesman) for an aniseed drink, very popular in France
20 PERUSAL Reading through America’s literature, initially (7)
PER (through) USA (America) L (first letter of literature)
21 OFFEND Do wrong, having bad intention (6)
OFF (bad, as in left-over food) END (intention)
23 GAYER German philosopher’s more cheerful (5)
G (German) AYER (philosopher) Alfred Jules “Freddie” Ayer (1910–1989) was a British philosopher
25 CHIDE Lecture about skin (5)
C (circa, about) HIDE (skin)

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
yfyap88 at gmail.com = in case you wish to contact me privately, for say, to point out a typo

25 Responses to “Guardian 25,905 – Chifonie”

  1. NeilW says:

    Thanks, UY.

    I won’t comment on the easiness or the merits of denying new setters a place in the Guardian sun. As you anticipated: STABBED: BA in DEBTS all reversed (going west).

  2. molonglo says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap. Yes. Solvers, Neil?

  3. muffin says:

    Thanks Chifonie and Uncle Yap
    Straightforward, except that I was Googling the (less-)well-known German philosopher “Gayer” when one of the hits led me straight to this page (and the correct parsing).
    “HORSE LATITUDES” (reading across)are geographical regions – see:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horse_latitudes
    I wonder if that was deliberate?
    I misread 17ac and was intending to complain about rung = ladder, but it’s “run” (as in stocking), of course!

  4. William says:

    Thanks UY and Chifonie.

    14d Is greed really synonymous with longing? Close enough for us I suppose.

    Muffin above, thanks for the interesting HORSE LATITUDE link. The derivation’s a bit hard to swallow though isn’t it?

    I agree there was not much to push the more experienced here but, like our Uncle, I well remember the rare delight of completing those early grids and if the odd one appears now and then and motivates others, I say jolly good.

  5. muffin says:

    William @ 4
    Yes, the derivation reads like a desperate attempt to create a “just-so” story for a phrase that no-one knows of its origin.

  6. Stella says:

    Thanks UY and Chifonie.

    Yes this was straightforward, but not without complication, in 16d, for example.

    In 6d, HOT=”lustful”; “inflamed” is the definition. Apart from that, good, precise blog, as always.

    Thanks for the interesting link, muffin.

  7. Dave Ellison says:

    Thanks UY and Chifonie.

    The RHS went in in 10′ or so, but the left took another 20 or more; don’t know why, nothing really hard there. I suppose PAGE for CALL in 13a was a bit off my usual thinking, and I thought of TEA ROOM for 1d for a while.

    muffin @ 3 I was going to look him up too; doh!

    Enjoyable Xword

  8. Robi says:

    Thanks Chifonie and UY.

    A lot of men seemed to be getting an outing today: Bill, Cliff, Mark, Nick, Pip. The latter was, I thought, bound to be some sort of literary reference, but luckily not. Not much need for Google today although I don’t know much about philosophers.

  9. John Appleton says:

    Easiness is indeed relative, I found this a quick solve, but by no means an unentertaining one. Those answers I’d not met before were easily accessed via wordplay, so just the thing for a Tuesday, really.

  10. Rowland says:

    Don’t see how this is much different from yesterday’s Rufus really, it’s cliche-ridden, too easy for most people, and dotted with Guardianisms like ‘youth leader’ for Y, and yet no-one has slagged it off, or ‘ripped into it’ which is what people did yesterdat!!!

    Cheers
    Rowlu

  11. Colin says:

    Thanks to Chifonie and Uncle Yap.

    Another very pleasant diversion. I guess we are being led gently towards a seriously challenging Easter special. I certainly hope so.

  12. Colin says:

    Rowland @10.

    To say it’s “too easy for most people” is surely the same as saying it’s below average difficulty. But what’s wrong with that? Where place is there for beginners and improvers in a crossword world full of uniformly difficult puzzles?

  13. Colin says:

    Sorry That should be what place . . .

  14. Rowland says:

    I’m not criticising ‘easy’ Colin, which as we know can be V GOOD, but just notingnthat a similar puzzzle was not rammed with a trireme!!!

    Rowly

  15. Giovanna says:

    Thanks, Chifonie and Uncle Yap as ever.

    Robi @8, I thought the same re Pip and started thinking of Great Expectations.

    PIT STOP was topical as Mark Webber was leading the race at a pit stop on Sunday.

    Giovanna x

  16. Trailman says:

    If all you want is a diet of tricky puzzles, then there are sites and publications that can assist. The whole point of the Guardian and its variety of setters is that, over time, there is a range of difficulty which can assist learning. And a good thing too.

    That said, the NE corner held me up a little, mostly by my trying to fit in an L (for scholar) into DEBITS (not DEBTS) reversed. Doesn’t work I know. So there are always elephant traps for the unwary.

  17. Rowland says:

    RCW hated Rufus didn’t he.

  18. coltrane says:

    Rowland @17 Unless you know something horrible I do not, I would prefer to ask; “RCW hates Rufus doesn’t he”? But he would not put it like that, he would only be unhappy with how easy Rufus’s puzzles are to solve.

    But RCW please come back soon and give us your true opinion!!

  19. Johnh42 says:

    Glad to some people sticking up for us less experienced solvers. I wonder sometimes why those who go on about how easy the puzzles are bother to come to this site. They obviously don’t need the help we do. Having said that, I, finished this though I couldn’t parse 4a or 5d

  20. michelle says:

    I enjoyed this puzzle by Chifonie which I thought was very clearly clued, and I was able to finish it very swiftly and almost unaided apart from needing to check on the existence of a philosopher named ( A.J.) Ayer.

    Last in was STABBED (which I could parse, by the way).

    My favourites were OSCAR, FREIGHTER, BLOODSHOT, ELEGY & CHIDE.

    The new word I learnt today was RETROUSSE.

    Thanks for the blog, Uncle Yap.

  21. Paul B says:

    They come for the pleasant company, I should imagine, or for the meticulous blogging, or for the interesting though often widely varying opinions.

    However I learned a new word: GAYER (sorry about that one, Michelle), which seemed to me (or to my general opinion about Guardian puzzles, at least) to miss some kind of opportunity.

  22. Colin says:

    Michelle, your comment seems oddly appropriate given that philosophers seem to spend so much of their time checking their own existence.

  23. Brendan (not that one) says:

    A delightful, well clued puzzle. Very enjoyable and very easy! (It is possible.)

    I managed to stretch it to 20 mins by entering CASUISTIC for 27A. (Creative annagramming/solving at its best. :0) )

    No comparison with yesterday as it was clearly clued and wasn’t loaded with dodgy DDs and CDs.

    Anyway now got time to watch to England fulfill the nation’s expecation! ;-)

  24. Paul B says:

    I think the expectation is on the Montenegrin side, Brendan.

  25. Paul B says:

    Ahh … no it’s not.

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