Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Prize Puzzle No 25,921 by Araucaria

Posted by bridgesong on April 20th, 2013


There are two mini=themes in this puzzle, brought together at 20,21.  One is the Shakespearean quotation, and the other is the centenary of the crossword.  I solved this one on the plane to Venice, in which fine city I have composed this blog, and where I shall be until late Saturday afternoon.  Stupidly I forgot to bring a power lead for the laptop, so it’s likely to be out of action by Saturday .  I’ll do my best to respond to comments via my ipad, wi-fi permitting.  A wide range of clue types and difficulty levels, I thought.

1 SETTERS 27 of 6s? (7)
The dogs of crosswords! Almost the last one in for me, but as the clue is entirely dependent on solving two other clues, not many solvers will have got this one on their first pass!
5 HECKLER Oath to the French king, one interrupting speech (7)
HECK, LE R. By contrast, this one went in straight away.
9 LOOSE Free love — have no success without it (5)
0 in LOSE.
10 ENVIOUSLY You snivel unpleasantly, wishing you were me? (9)
11 EPISTOLIC Put in letters for ice-breaker keeping weapon (9)
PISTOL in *ICE.  Not sure about “breaker” as an anagram indicator.
12 SPOIL Do this to cite this for 11 (5)
A compound anagram: take the letters of SPOIL and CITE and you get EPISTOLIC.  You don’t get these very often in Guardian cryptics, although I do remember blogging one before.
13 SWING Make music, including Western music (5)
W in SING.
15 BARROW BOY Coster from Furness (6,3)
The full title of the West Cumbrian town is of course Barrow-in-Furness.
18 LUSTINESS Ship’s first come into old one’s bell and pursued it with vigour (9)
S(hip) in LUTINE, SS.  A clever clue with two different (S and SS) abbreviations for ship.
19 DITCH Get rid of land on sea (5)
Double definition.  The second meaning (to land a plane on the sea) has a slightly World War II ring to it.
21 See 20
See 20
23 ENLIGHTEN Supply lamps the ginnel needed … (9)
25 LENINGRAD … needed again with heater fitted in Soviet city (9)
*GINNEL, RAD.  A clever use of the ellipsis to link two clues connected in an unusual way.
26 See 27
See 27
27,26 THE DOGS OF WAR Caesar’s bulls forged? So what? (3,4,2,3)
*(FORGED SO WHAT) with “bulls” a rather unorthodox anagram indicator.
28 PUZZLED Did the 6 — or was unable to? (7)
Slightly dubious double definition, as I don’t think that you can say that one who solves (or sets) a crossword puzzles it.
1 SOLVERS You translated poetry on the Sun (7)
VERS on SOL (both French words).  The definition is of course “you”.
2 TWO CITIES Fwightful cwimes without a subject of novel tale (3,6)
Could (just) sound like (A)TWOCITIES.  The very last one in for me; a groan when the penny dropped.
3 EVENT What happened to regular model? (5)
EVEN, T (the Model T Ford, now a bit of a crossword cliche).
4 SPELLABLE Pole, old expert with ball, keeping it up, having an easy name? (9)
S(outh) BALL(rev) in PELE.
5 HAVOC Hard part of wader’s cry to 9 “27 26″ (5)
H(ard) AVOC(et).  The full quotation from Julius Caesar is “cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war”.
6 CROSSWORD This could bar you from the Dunmow flitch (9)
Although a crossword (such as Azed) can be described as barred, I think that this is just a cryptic definition, referring to this ancient tradition.
7 LASSO Girl to love catcher? (5)
LASS, 0.
8 ROYALTY Tory shambles containing rising of the people — top people (7)
LAY(rev) in *TORY.
14 GLISSANDO Dormouse gets sulphur and oxygen on a sliding scale, perhaps (9)
16 RUSTLED UP Quickly collected red coat and organised duel quietly (7,2)
RUST, *DUEL, P(ianissimo).
17 BATH TOWEL From abbey to cathedral (almost) in Somerset — it’s drier (4,5)
18 LAY FLAT Was stretched out on the ground, fatally wounded (3,4)
20,21 HUNDRED YEARS German one of 27 brings up, without colouring, time 26 between 1s (across and down) (7,5)
HUND (German for dog) DYE in REARS, the references are to the Hundred Years’ War and to the centenary of the crossword (war between solvers and setters).
22 ANNIE Musical gunner in a pub raised a point (5)
A INN(rev), E.  A reference to Annie Oakley.
23 EURUS Wind once blowing from Europe to America? (5)
EUR(ope), US(A).
24 GROSZ German/American artist given a little Polish money (5)
He’s a German-born American artist


25 Responses to “Guardian Prize Puzzle No 25,921 by Araucaria”

  1. NeilW says:

    Thanks, bridgesong. I thought this was wonderful, a Russian doll of a puzzle.

    Isn’t 6 a double definition with the second cryptic, the first being “This”?

    I see what you mean about DITCH being a bit like “prang” – although it felt horribly modern here in Indonesia when, the same day as the puzzle’s publication, Lion Air managed to miss the runway and land in the sea off Bali (thankfully with no serious injuries or fatalities)!

  2. Phil Page says:

    I really enjoyed this puzzle. But I don’t understand why ‘bulls’ is an anagram indicator.

  3. michelle says:

    I really enjoyed this puzzle although I got 1d wrong and I failed to solve 9a.


    I parsed 5a as HECK + LE + R = king. I realise ‘roi’ is French for ‘king’ but I thought that in this case R = king was sufficient for the parsing, with the definition being ‘one interrupting speech’. Can someone explain why we need to use R(oi) for the parsing here.

    Thanks for the blog, bridgesong. I needed your help to parse 5d, 9a, 18, 25a. I parsed 20/21 differently but got the right answer! For 22d I thought of the musical ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ which is based on the life of ‘Annie Oakley’ (I just couldn’t remember her surname).

    I still don’t understand the parsing of 25a. Is ‘rad’ an abbreviation for ‘radiator’ = ‘heater’?

  4. molonglo says:

    Thanks bridgesong. Soon recalled the 27,26 quote: though it weirdly alluded to bulls, it nevertheless let slip a number of other answers. Similar success with 1a&d: gettable answer, mysterious connection (in 20,21d) to the 100 years war – which you have now resolved. Well after getting LENINGRAD did the 23-25A ellipsis and the twice-worked ‘ginnel’ reveal themselves. Aids only needed for the final two letters: in the unheard-of GROSZ.

  5. Donald says:

    I found this a tricky but really fun puzzle. Thanks bridgesong for the blog as I now discover that although I filled the grid, I’d got the wrong end of the stick in a few places.

    Two Cities was also a late one for me: I arrived at it with believing the parsing was TWOCies around IT which doesn’t quite work but made me really laugh at thought. (“He has been sent down for a few TWOCies over the years…”)

    I also had 5a as HECK + LE + R.

    Being ignorant of the quote, I had ‘THE GODS OF WAR’. This makes SETTERS = GODS which seemed appropriate.

    Very happy to learn about the Dunmow Flitch, Grosz and the Lutine Bell.

  6. bridgesong says:

    Neil @1, you are as always spot on – I agree that 6 is a double def.

    Phil @2, because he’s Araucaria?

    Michelle @3 I agree with you about HECKLER and will edit the blog. Rad is an abbreviation for radiator, and a radiator is a form of heater (eg in a central heating system).

  7. brucew_aus says:

    Thanks Araucaria and bridesong

    Really enjoyable prize puzzle for mine which I didn’t start until Wednesday and just chipped away at it from the bottom up as it turned out until it finished with a rush in the early hours of this morning.

    My first in was ENLIGHTENED but curiously LENINGRAD came much later. Agree with Neil@1 that the definition is ‘this’ and the rest of the clue tells how a CROSS WORD would certainly bar you from participating in the Flinch Trial at Great Dunmow (which brought a smile to a thrice married when I’d looked it up!)

    Had forgotten about the centenary of the cryptic, so that theme passed me by and had 20,21 referring to the 100 years war. I wonder whether there was a reference to the Barrow Boys Grammar School (now known as Furness Academy) in 15. In 16 I had LUTINE’S bell with just the single S for ship used both references – but can see that the SS is a better view.

    Many clues to like including 2d, 12 (my last in) and both 1’s (when the penny dropped very late in the piece).

  8. tupu says:

    Thanks bridgesong and Araucaria

    Another good puzzle. I particularly liked 19a and 2d.

  9. Davy says:

    Thanks Bridgesong,

    I enjoyed this immensely and did half the puzzle reasonably quickly before coming to a complete stop where I remained for a long time.
    My breakthrough finally came with THE DOGS OF WAR although I wasn’t happy with ‘bulls’ being the anagram indicator. I also thought the
    enumeration for 6d should have been 5,4 and not 9. I particularly liked TWO CITIES and LAY FLAT for the very smooth ‘fatally wounded’.
    Thanks Arry.

  10. sheffield hatter says:

    I very seldom laugh out loud at a crossword clue, but ATWOCITIES really tickled my funny bone. Thanks to Araucaria for that.

  11. chas says:

    Thanks to bridgesong for the blog. You explained 12 where I was scratching my head over several possibilities without being able to pick one with confidence.

    I also missed the centenary of the crossword :(

  12. Rod Coates says:

    The Dunmow Flitch was awarded to a couple that didn’t have a ‘cross word’ between them during the previous year..hence a ‘crossword’ would have barred them

  13. Keeper says:

    I found this quite enjoyable despite a few references (Furness/barrow boy, Lutine Bell) that were too obscure for this Yank. It brought back a fond memory of a high school quiz bowl tournament in which my side was trailing with time running out in the championship match. When asked what two words precede “and let slip the dogs of war” in Antony’s famous speech, I was first to buzz in with “Cry havoc!” It served as a rallying cry for my team: We answered the next 4 questions to secure the come-from-behind victory.

  14. drofle says:

    I enjoyed this a lot, but don’t understand the parsing of GROSZ – can someone please explain? I presume the Z is for zloty, but where does the GROS fit in?

  15. Gaufrid says:

    Hi drofle
    24d is effectively a double def. As well as the name of a painter, a grosz is a Polish monetary unit equal to 1/100 of a zloty.

  16. Muffyword says:

    A GROSZ or Groszy is a 100th of a Zloty, so I guess it’s a double definition – who knew?

  17. Robi says:

    Another good one from A., although I think THE GODS OF WAR is just as valid as it is a novel following the life of Julius Caesar. SETTERS could also be deemed the ‘gods’ of crosswords perhaps?

    Thanks Bridgesong, especially for the parsing of HUNDRED YEARS – I thought ‘the German one’ was Hun, so after that I ditched, crashed and burned.

    I thought the clue for TWO CITIES was typically Araucarian and absolutely hilarious. The other one I particularly liked was BATH TOWEL.

  18. bridgesong says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid for covering for me while I was out of wifi range (as I shall be again soon)

  19. PeeDee says:

    I don’t think bulls is an anagram indicator. Most of Julias Caesar’s legions had a bull as their emblem, hence Caesar’s bulls are his ‘dogs of war’, maybe a nod to bulldogs here too. Either there is no anagram indicator or it is ‘forged’ or ‘unleash’.

  20. Robi says:

    Hi PeeDee @19; unless the paper version is different, there is no ‘unleash’ in the clue for THE DOGS OF WAR.

  21. PeeDee says:

    Hi Robi, I know that, but I think that Aracaria omitted an explicit anagram indicator so the clue would not be too obvious. Instead we get two hints, one embedded in the anagram itself and one in the containing phrase.

  22. g larsen says:

    I’ve only just got to this, but if it’s not too late can I suggest that bridgesong’s comment that the double definition at 28 is ‘slightly dubious’ is unfair. You may not be able to puzzle a crossword, but you can certainly commit the act of puzzling when tackling one. Chambers has this intransitive use of ‘puzzle': ‘to work hard at solving something’.

    Thanks to Araucaria for another enjoyable Saturday test.

  23. bridgesong says:

    G Larsen @22: yes, “puzzle” can be used intransitively, but “did the 6″ is unambiguously transitive. If the clue had read “worked hard at 6…..” my comment would then certainly have been unfair.

    On reflection, I agree with PeeDee’s interpretation of “bulls”.

  24. MaryEllen says:

    1d SOLVERS
    SOL and VERS are Latin, not French.
    (French would be SOLEIL and POESIE, n’est-ce-pas?)

  25. bridgesong says:

    MaryEllen: mais non, en France on parle egalement du sol et du vers; sol is perhaps an abbreviation, but vers is a word in its own right. Anyway the annotated solution says it’s French (although of course both words do have a Latin origin).

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