Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,906 – Orlando

Posted by Andrew on March 27th, 2013


Mostly following the easy trend of the week so far, though a couple of place names may be unfamiliar to some, but as always with Orlando a quality puzzle with immaculate clueing and quiet wit.

1. IN THE SWIM Double definition – swimming with the butterfly stroke, and with it = fashionable
6. BIKE B + IKE, nickname of General (later President) Dwight Eisenhower
9. SIMNEL MILNES*, and two definitions – Lambert Simnel and Simnel cake
10. STABLE Double definition – the groom is one who looks after horses
11. ONE-PIECE ONE + PIECE (=man, as in chess etc)
12. ABSEIL AB (upper classes, in social classification) + reverse of LIES – “made up” suggests this should have been a down answer, unless “about” is the reversal indicator, but then “made up” seems superfluous
19. TABARD TA (cheers = thanks) + BARD (poet)
22. SKOPJE KOP (nick name for some stands or terraces at football grounds + J[ack] in S[om]E. Skopje is the capital of Macedonia
24. BAZAAR ZA (code for South Africa) in ARAB*
25. OVERCAST CAST (players) preceded by OVER (finished)
26. ONUS Hidden in felON USually
27. STEAK PIES TEAK (tree) in SPIES (people with intelligence)
1. INNIT INUIT with its middle letter changed to I
2. TROUBLE Double definition – to put someone out is to trouble them, and if you’re in hot water you’re in trouble
3. EXILE XI (eleven – football team) + L in E[mpir]E
4. WEED OUT WEE (insignificant) + homophone of “doubt”
6. BAMBINO IN (home) in BAMBO[o], definition “Small Italian”
13. BOATSWAIN BOA (a stole) + (I WASN’T)*
14. LLANBERIS BALLERINAS* less an A. Llanberis is a village at the base of Snowdon, and rather bizarrely the surrounding area was the site of some of the filming of ‘Carry On Up The Khyber’
17. NORMANS NORMA (opera by Bellini) + N S (poles)
18. DISROBE R[aiment] in BODIES*; “without” having the sense of “outside”
22. SPEAK S[wing] + PEAK (get high)
23. JESUS JOKES less OK (fine and dandy) + US for a college at Cambridge or Oxford

33 Responses to “Guardian 25,906 – Orlando”

  1. michelle says:

    I managed to finish this aided by quite a lot of help from the “check” button, so for me this puzzle was harder than Monday’s and Tuesday’s offerings this week.

    Plenty to enjoy in this puzzle. My favourites were BAMBINO & INNIT and I also liked TWO DOZEN, BOATSWAIN, ASCRIBES, ABSEIL, BRONCHI & STEAK PIES.

    New words for me were SIMNEL & LLANBERIS.

    Thanks for the blog, Andrew. I needed your help to parse 8a, 22a & 4d.

  2. molonglo says:

    Thanks Andrew. There were some fairly ordinary clues in this (eg NW corner) and then several beauties – 15a, and those for SKOPJE and JESUS. It just got better and better. Thanks Orlando.

  3. Miche says:

    Thanks, Andrew.

    The reversal indicator in 12a is surely “about”, with “made up stories” cluing LIES. I suppose the “made up” part is not strictly necessary, but it makes for a good surface.

  4. Ian Payn says:

    A good offering from Orlando. Not too difficult for the experienced solver (although no cakewalk), but accessible for the less experienced. Although I can see the latter group possibly taking a bit of time, there’s nothing they couldn’t get eventually.

    I also thought some of the clues a little more wily than usual for Orlando – all to the good.

    I wonder if any other solvers glanced at 6ac and thought “Blee? What on earth is a blee?”. Okay, that was just me, then…

  5. NormanLinFrance says:

    Ian Payn @4
    Not quite. More like “It can’t be Blee, so let’s leave it until we get a crosser.”

  6. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog, Andew. I found most of this quite straightforward, but got held up by a few at the top, especially IN THE SWIM.

    What surprised me most was dredging up LLANBERIS from some dim recess in my head. My geography is pretty poor usually!

  7. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Andrew. Fine puzzle, but a bit trickier than normal for Orlando, I thought. Got stuck in the SE corner, but as Ian says, nothing that you couldn’t get eventually.

    I liked INNIT – contemporary slang which among some young speakers (especially those from Asian communities, apparently) is becoming equivalent to the changless French question tag ‘n’est-ce pas?’. So you’ll hear ‘We’re going out tonight, innit?’ or ‘The exam was well hard, innit?’

    Quiptic on Monday, Cryptic today – Orlando will be off to the shops to stock up on Merlot this holiday weekend …

  8. William says:

    Thank you Andrew.

    All fair, if a trifle on the staid side, but I really enjoyed reading about Lambert Simnel in your link. What a cracking story? Pretender to the throne, finally unmasked, pardoned and given a job in the real King’s court as a spit-turner! Surely there’s a film here?

    Thank you Orlando.

  9. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, Andrew: you have summed up the puzzle perfectly.

    I agree with Miche re the made up stories and, like K’s D, I liked INNIT, which always makes me laugh when I hear the kids use it.

    Nothing more to add, except many thanks to Orlando for another lovely puzzle.

  10. tupu says:

    Thanks Andrew and Orlando

    Not too easy or too hard. Much agree with Andrew’s assessment. Like Araucaria, Orlando manages to combine interesting clues with often amusing answers. Surfaces smooth as usual.

    I ticked 11a, 15a, 22a, 4d, 14d, 17d and 23d.

  11. Robi says:

    Good puzzle which I found to be a bit tricky.

    Thanks Andrew; I agree with Miche @3 about the parsing of ABSEIL.

    I particularly liked WEED OUT and the misleading TWO DOZEN.

  12. NeilW says:

    Thanks, Andrew. Sorry, I’ve been busy today. I thought this was a highly entertaining puzzle and, although perhaps on the easy side for Orlando, still entirely meriting its place as a weekly puzzle, with several penny-dropping moments. I have to disagree with you when you say that this is “following the easy trend of the week so far.” This puzzle is an entirely different animal from yesterday’s.

    For all those who rounded on me so squarely on Monday, my gripe is with the editor, not the setters. I’m all for “training day” on Mondays but would much prefer it to be confined to that day alone. (Rufus once a month, Chifonie and some of the other excellent Quiptic setters on other Mondays.) Although I know I don’t pay for the puzzles so have no right to complain, I’m just speaking for the wider community, be they setters (let them in!) or solvers.

    K’s Dad @7: in 20 years of working bilingually, I have never heard the expression “n’est-ce pas” and can only imagine it’s translated as some equally defunct expression such as “is it not?” (It was, of course, common in schoolbooks, written in the fifties.)

  13. Rowland says:

    I was not bothered by your comments Neil, but expected you also to batter Chifonie, because it was so similar, and you didm’t!! Just fouind that a bit weird that’s all.

    I can agree with Michelle today that I LEARNT SOME NEW WORDS! And you can guess what they are, but a really fine puzzle to show the other more ‘spectacular’ (?) gUardian boyzngirlz the way. Great!!”


  14. NeilW says:

    Rowly, yesterday, I was reeling from the virulence of the attacks, particularly from those I respect, and so commented, @1, that I would not comment.

  15. muffin says:

    Thanks Orlando and Andrew
    I must say I found this quite tricky. I am not seeing how “in uniform” means “stable” in 10ac – can anyone help me there?
    My favourite was BOATSWAIN.

  16. Gaufrid says:

    Hi muffin @15
    The definition is simply ‘uniform’. Both uniform and stable can mean unvarying.

  17. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Hi NeilW. I’d say ‘n’est-ce pas?’ is still alive and kicking among my French-speaking friends and colleagues. It is indeed ‘is it not?’ but the point I was making is that in French it’s invariable: you can use it as a question tag at the end of any sentence, whereas in English you have to remember what the statement was in the first place.

    It’s fine today, isn’t it?
    We should tidy the front room today, shouldn’t we?
    You are coming over for supper tonight, aren’t you?

    In French, n’est-ce pas would work in all these cases, and that was the point I was making, that ‘innit’ has started among some young people to carry out a similar linguistic function, despite the fact that it’s grammatical pants.

    Other European languages have similar tags: nicht Wahr? in German or nietwaar? (I think, Sil will tell you) in Dutch. I’ll stick my neck out and say that Italian has a similar tag, but Giovanna is your woman to confirm that.

  18. NeilW says:

    muffin@15, “in” is just a link word and stable seems reasonable as a synonym of uniform.

  19. muffin says:

    Thanks to gaufrid @ 16 and NeilW @ 18
    I didn’t see how the “in” fitted in.

  20. NeilW says:

    K’s Dad, as I said, in 20 years of using French on a daily basis, not with “French speakers” but natives, I’ve never heard the expression and suspect that it would be greeted with a strange look.

    Sorry that it seems that I’m the new bad boy in town.

  21. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Pas du tout, Neil! Maybe my French friends are stuck in the 1950s …

  22. NeilW says:

    De rien, K’s Dad.

  23. Rowland says:

    I tjhought it was n’est que c’est pas.

  24. NeilW says:

    @23 Rowland, those 50s textbooks have much to answer for…

  25. Bertandjoyce says:

    We were not going to comment first of all but then we thought …… You’ve gotta be innit to win it! But then we realised it wasn’t a prize puzzle.

    Never mind, as far as the blog is concerned we are now innit!

    Thanks Orlando – we liked 25ac and 11ac.

    Thanks Andrew for the blog!

  26. Derek Lazenby says:

    NeilW, if you regard what might otherwise be hurtful comments as being worthless, then you find that actually, being a bad boy on the block, is far more entertaining and fun. It certainly relieves boredom!

  27. NormanLinFrance says:

    Je ne sais pas what sort of French natives you consort with and where, but in this neck of the woods, where I’ve been for the last 35 years, I can assure you that N’est-ce pas? is alive and donnant des coups de pied.

  28. jeceris says:

    Thanks for the blog Andrew.
    If I may be today’s nitpicker,
    “1. INNIT – INUIT with its middle letter changed to I” should be “changed to N”.

  29. ToniL says:

    Thank-you Orlandrew,

    Possibly the lull before the storm?

    ‘Innit’ reminds me of Lee Mack’s –

    “I’ve just seen a sign in the job-centre,
    it said ‘Do you want a career inIT’?”

    (possibly one of Tim Vine’s)

  30. Derek Lazenby says:

    Hmm. I wonder if the southern young trendies would be quite so keen on saying INNIT if they realised it derives from northern dialect.

  31. Brendan (not that one) says:

    Nice puzzle with some good clues.

    I was held up mainly by 1A & 4D

    However I felt this was on the easy side of the mean.

    KD @17 regarding ‘n’est-ce pas?’ etc. In my 10 years in Germany I don’t think I ever heard ‘nicht Wahr’ in this context. (Nice to see you used the correct spelling as opposed to somebody else on here recently)

    Very commonly sentences are ended simply with “Oder?” to give the same meaning. Perhaps this is a Southern German thing?

    Thanks to Andrew and Orlando

  32. morphiamonet says:

    Brendan (not that one) @ 31

    Yes I noticed the mis-spelling recently –
    I was almost tempted to suggest to Gervase…

    “Don’t mention it”

    …but restrained myself.

  33. brucew_aus says:

    Thanks Orlando and Andrew

    Didn’t think that this was straightforward or easy by any stretch – I stumbled on a lack of ‘local knowledge’ in a number of clues including THE KOP as a reference to soccer stands, JESUS colleges at Cambridge and Oxford and LAMBERT SIMNEL as the pretender.

    Notwithstanding, was able to get over the line eventually with some help from the blog to understand the full parsing of KOP and SIMNEL and Uncle Wiki to chase down the other.

    Enjoy this setter’s style and clever use of misdirection.

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