Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Cryptic N° 25,914 by Brummie

Posted by PeterO on April 5th, 2013


The crossword may be found at

A puzzle with a rather thoroughgoing theme of the various stages in a lunar landing. This makes for a daunting array of cross-referenced clues, but it all works out.

8. Setting off, I move north, capturing Charlie One (8)
IGNITION An envelope (‘capturing’) of NIT (‘Charlie’, a simpleton) plus I (‘one’) in ‘I’ plus GO (‘move’) plus N (‘north’).
9. Noble matter (5)
COUNT Double definition.
10. South African leader has no end of blue material (4)
SMUT Jan SMUT[s] (‘South African leader'; he was Prme Minister 1919-1924 and 1939-1948) cut short (‘has no end’).
11. Cycling in a seaport the next phase after 9 + 26 down, 8 and 2-15? (10)
SEPARATION An anagram (‘cycling’) of ‘in a seaport'; the definition is a part of the thematic lunar mission.
12. Reckless Dawn, according to Mr Ross, goes topless? (6)
UNWISE My first thought was of some detail of a spat between Dawn French and Jonathan Ross; the latter does figure, but it is Wossy’s difficulty  with the letter r that is featured here: [s]UNRISE (‘dawn’), as he might pronounce it, without the first letter (‘goes topless’).
14. Tyres may be so aerated, having to go over a regular route (5-3)
CROSS-PLY A charade of CROSS (‘to go over’) plus PLY (‘a regular route’). I am not sure what ‘aerated’ is doing here, so I have lumped it with the definition.
16. Fish nets with stairs section (7)
LANDING An envelope (‘nets’) of AND (‘with’) in LING (‘fish’).
18. Respected person‘s euphemistic expletive limit: one (7)
EFFENDI A charade of EFF (‘euphemistic expletive’) plus END (‘limit’) plus I (‘one’).
21. Revered ring for ace is sunken (8)
HOLLOWED HALLOWED (‘revered’) with the A (‘ace’) replaced by O (‘ring’).
23,26down. Band secures place with “Blue”, the main climax on return from 28, say (10)
SPLASHDOWN An envelope (‘secures’) of PL (‘place’) in SASH (‘band’); plus DOWN (‘blue’).
24. Law-abiding bores vexed former secretary of state (10)
OBSERVANCE A charade of OBSER, an anagram (‘vexed’) of ‘bores’ plus VANCE (Cyrus, US Secretary of State under Jimmy Carter).
26. See 17
See 17
27. Prudence, cherishing independence, understood (5)
TACIT An envelope (‘cherishing’) of I (‘independence’) in TACT (‘prudence’).
28. Smooth moves, the highlight after … 11, 22 and 16? (8)
MOONWALK Double definition.
1. Oboe’s entrance in Enigma Variations — one’s feeling one’s all that matters (8)
EGOMANIA An anagram (‘variations’) of O (‘Oboe’s entrance’) plus ‘enigma’ plus A (‘one’).
2,15. Start to rise and flit, crossword setter style (4-3)
LIFT-OFF A reverse clue (‘crossword setter style’): ‘flit’ is an anagram (OFF) of LIFT.
3. See 5
See 5
4. Small creature captures heart of support vet (7)
INSPECT An envelope (‘captures’) of P (‘heart of supPort’) in INSECT (‘small creature’).
5,3. Aftermath of surgery‘s video link affair? (4,6)
SCAR TISSUE A charade of SCART (‘video link'; an AV cable standard, now rendered obsolete by the rise of digital and HD equipment, for which HDMI is the prime standard) plus ISSUE (‘affair’).
6. Fair since spring, which is fortunate (4,2,4)
JUST AS WELL Definition and literal interpretation.
7. Constitutional Senate leader’s an ugly thing (6)
STROLL A charade of S (‘Senate’s leader’) plus TROLL (‘an ugly thing’).
13. Clue ending with “shift”, a luxury one’s allowed (10)
INDULGENCE An anagram (‘shift’) of ‘clue ending’.
15. See 2
See 2
17,26across. Roosevelt’s policy not used by Wood (3,4)
NEW DEAL A charade of NEW (‘not used’) plus DEAL (‘wood’), for FDR’s route out of the Depression.
19. Old PM ousted finally by the like of Netanyahu? (8)
DISRAELI A charade of D (‘ousteD finally’) plus ISRAELI (‘the like of Netanyahu’).Dizzy seems popular with crossword setters recently.
20. Benign tumour has you rising in a mad frenzy (7)
ADENOMA An envelope (‘in’) of ENO, a reversal (‘rising’ in a down light) of ONE (‘you’), in ADMA, an anagram (‘frenzy’) of ‘a mad’.
22. Fields of influence in Bristol: not large but diverse (6)
ORBITS An anagram (‘diverse’) of ‘Bristo[l]’ with the L removed (‘not large’).
23. “I’m off”, as poker player might seek to end a round? (3,3)
SEE YOU Douible definition.
25. Second and last switch in Poll’s bar (4)
VETO VOTE (‘poll’) with O na d E, the second and last letters, switched.
26. See 23 across
See 23 across

21 Responses to “Guardian Cryptic N° 25,914 by Brummie”

  1. Muffyword says:

    Re 14:

    Aerated can mean angry, or CROSS.

  2. michelle says:

    I found the lunar landing theme helpful, perhaps even a bit too helpful at times.


    I was pleased to solve UNWISE as I managed to remember that Jonathan Ross has a lisp, something I have learnt from crosswords as I have never seen his TV programme.

    New words for me today were ADENOMA, EFFENDI & ‘charlie’ = ‘fool, nit’.

    Thanks for the blog, PeterO. I needed your help to understand the parsing of 5/3, 17/26 & 10.

    For the parsing of 1d, is the definition ‘ feeling one’s all that matters’? I used the first “one’s” to be the final A in solution. Can someone explain to me, please.

  3. molonglo says:

    Thanks Peter. Pretty straightforward. Last one was UNWISE because like michelle I’ve never clapped eyes (or ears) on this JR: then I remembered Qaos’s offering in late January alluding to him.

  4. muffin says:

    Thanks PeterO and Brummie
    It was quite late on when I spotted how complete the theme was, so it wasn’t much help to me in solving the puzzle – indeed LIFT OFF was my last in.
    I didn’t like MOONWALK very much – both of the “double definitions” were rather loose, I thought.

  5. Rick says:

    Many thanks for the blog PeterO; excellent as always and helped me with a couple which I had difficulty parsing.

    I enjoyed the crossword though the clues relating to the theme (which I spotted fairly early) were solved pretty quickly (which made the whole puzzle one of the less difficult ones – not complaining!). Thanks Brummie!

    I believe that people who fish use pieces of equipment called “landing nets”; given that I took 16 across to be a double definition (though I think your parsing is better and the more likely intention).

  6. Dave Ellison says:

    Thanks PeterO.

    I found this reasonably straightforward (40′), a steady progression with UNWISE and ADENOMA the last two in.

    Like Muffyword @1. I thought the “areated” was CROSS with “to go over a regular route” the definition for PLY

  7. Dave Ellison says:

    oops: “aerated”, of course. And I agree with Rick’s comment about LANDING; the AND in LING is much better.

  8. tupu says:

    Thanks PeterO and Brummie

    A pleasant enough 7d through the world of space travel – it also seems to have been the 30th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s first ‘moonwalk’ (smooth moves) late last month.

    I read 14a as Muffywood and Dave Ellison.

    I ticked 16a, 5,3, and 6d and quiteliked several others.

  9. Trailman says:

    Worked out the theme around half way through (so quite late then) and it was a pretty quick solve thereafter; his Cyclops in the current Private Eye will take me longer I think.

    ADENOMA was today’s new word to me. UNWISE came in early, having watched many of Wossy’s early shows, but few recently as it’s all about the man, not the guest.

    I’m struggling to remember the last SPLASHDOWN. Shuttle and Soyuz both land on land. 70s?

  10. NeilW says:

    Thanks, PeterO. Brummie’s been very benign of late hasn’t he?

    michelle @2, I notice no one’s answered your query. Yes, you’re right about “one” = A. Strictly speaking PeterO should have left his underline off it.

  11. Colin says:

    Thanks Brummie and PeterO.

    I was hopelessly off form and made very heavy weather of this puzzle. It even took me an age to get the theme.

    4 made me laugh as it reminded me of a misprint in a newsletter at an educational establishment I used to work at where members of the “Insectorate” were warmly welcomed.

    Michelle @2 and Molonglo @3: you lucky people!

  12. Giovanna says:

    Thanks, Brummie and PeterO.

    I enjoyed the theme, which brought back happy memories of sitting up watching the lunar landing and photographing the TV screen to capture the event.

    EFFENDI reminded me of various thrillers with exotic settings.

    All good fun and everything gettable from the clueing.

    Giovanna x

  13. muffin says:

    Giovanna @ 12
    I photographed the screen too! I thought I was the only one.

  14. PeterO says:

    Muffyword @1 and Dave @6

    Thanks. I had wondered along those lines, but could not find the justification – the Urban Dictionary gives over-excited for aerated, which did not seem quite right.

    Michelle @2

    Solve Crosswords and Learn about the World – I too have neither seen nor heard Jonathan Ross. Indeed you are right about the definition of 1D; the underlining is now corrected. I put it in just before publishing the blog, at one remove from writing it up, and two from solving, so my thoughts do not always follow through.

    Giovanna @12 and muffin @13

    I’m another, You had to use a slow shutter speed to capture the whole screen.

    Trailman @9

    The whole crossword has a slightly vintage air to it – apart from the lunar missions, we have Cyrus Vance, Jan Smuts and Benjamin Disraeli.

  15. Judygs says:

    Thanks to Brummie and PeterO.

    michelle @2
    Just a note on Jonathan Ross’s tendency to pronounce ‘r’ as ‘w': it’s technically a rhotacism rather than a lisp.

  16. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Brummie & PeterO and also Judygs @ 15.

    How would Jonathan Woss mispronounce RHOTACISM?

    For those who’ve never seen him, you haven’t missed much!

  17. Simon S says:

    Re 14 (& slightly amplifying Muffyword @1), I think the parsing is

    Definition: Tyres may be so

    aerated = cross

    , having

    to go over a regular route = ply, as ships that sail from and to a series of ports do.

    Simon ô¿ô

  18. brucew_aus says:

    Thanks Brummie and PeterO

    There was certainly a lot going on in this one … with the lunar landing (which I only saw half way through), the three PMs (who conicidently – or I suspect not – all served twice in non-contiguous terms) as well as a high level of complexity/depth in the construction of the clues.

    It probably took as long going over the parsing of clues as what it did to solve them – and still missed the full parsing of 14 (didn’t know aerated = cross), 16 (was in the landing gear camp), 21 (had written hallowed but the Byron Bay lager must have stopped me seeing the A-O swap) and 2-15 (which I’d left to parse later and never did).

    Charlie= simpleton / nit was also new – but did remember Mr Ross from a previous puzzle.

    Last in was VETO and thought that MOONWALK and SEE YOU were amongst my favourite clues.

  19. Brendan (not that one) says:

    For some reason I was getting nowhere with this.

    Until I struggled to ORBITS and LANDING and saw the theme.

    Pretty much plain sailing after that.

    I’m surprised nobody has commented on 24a. Observance is a noun, law-abiding an adjective. (Or am I missing something?) Perhaps this is a double charade with a charade to the definition?

  20. Martin P says:

    Brendan (not that one) says:
    “…Observance is a noun, law-abiding an adjective…”


    S’pose it could, at a pinch, be a gerund. I think that qualifies as a noun.

  21. Paul B says:

    Just a bit of setters’ licence on ‘law-abiding’, isn’t it.

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