Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,929 by Pasquale

Posted by Uncle Yap on April 23rd, 2013

Uncle Yap.

I cannot say I enjoyed this too much today and I am not grumpy. (Why do some people say I am grumpy whenever I point out something I do not like very much?) There are far too many homophone clues and I have found both here and at TFTTimes blog that pronunciation differ throughout the English-speaking world (e.g. last week’s wee jars and wee gees) Occasionally, homophone may make for a clever device but it can be overdone, like today

9 ELOPEMENT Work in iron? It might have taken one to a Scottish forge (9)
Ins of OP (opus, work) in ELEMENT (iron is an example) Allusion to the traditional marriage over the anvil in the mill forge at Gretna Green in Scotland aka Away match (9)
10 ICE UP Yes, drink is said to get very cold (3,2)
A homophone clue which a non-native like me would be prudent to steer clear of … probably Aye (yes) sup (drink)
11 WOLFRAM Two beasts that may get hot in the light (7)
WOLF and RAM are two beast to form tungsten, used in incandescent bulb
12,20 THE SWAN OF AVON What’s excited a fan — one TV show’s brilliant writer (3,4,2,4)
*(A FAN ONE TV SHOW) for William Shakespeare
13 RAISE Put up or knock down, might you say? (5)
Sounds like RAZE (knock down)
14 SLOGANEER Propagandist’s hard work, always penning article (9)
Ins of AN (article) in SLOG (hard work) & EER (e’er, ever, always)
16 ENGLISH HERITAGE This ginger ale he brewed for a national organisation (7,8)
*(THIS GINGER ALE HE) The English Heritage (officially the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England) is an executive non-departmental public body of the British Government
19 SWORDPLAY Solver’s beginning to face setter’s linguistic tricks in a duel? (9)
S (first letter of solver) + WORDPLAY (setter’s linguistic tricks)
21 DEMIT First hint of diddling — issue to make one resign (5)
D (first letter of diddling) EMIT (issue) for a new word to me meaning vt to dismiss; to relinquish; to resign.
22 ERASMUS Famous Dutchman’s tots are backward (7)
Rev of SUMS (tots) ARE. Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus (1466–1536), known as Erasmus, was a Dutch Renaissance humanist, Catholic priest, social critic, teacher, and theologian.
23 TEACHER Monster turning on a child with ruler? Not these days! (7)
TE (rev of ET, extraterrestrial) A CH (child) ER (Elizabeth Regina, ruler) This &littish clue is my COD for its accurate portrayal of the old school teachers, more into discipline than education
24 SPOON Stirrer by and by must keep quiet (5)
Ins of P (piano, quiet) in SOON (by and by)
25 IMPROVISE In rally is talk off the cuff? (9)
Ins of IS in IMPROVE (rally)
1 LEG WARMERS Clothes items? Girls wear ’em possibly, but not I! (3,7)
*(GIRLS WEAR ‘EM minus I)
2 LOW-LYING Mean deception in areas prone to flooding? (3-5)
Cha of LOW (mean) LYING (deception)
3 GEORGE Pilot’s life’s ending in ravine (6)
Ins of E (last letter of life) in GORGE (ravine). George is the RAF slang for auto-pilot
4 TERM Regular features of the grim academic session (4)
Alternate letters of … ThE gRiM …
5 STATIONERY Some of the stuff in W.H. Smith not shifting, reportedly (10)
Sounds like STATIONARY (not shifting)
6 LITERATI Bookish types having some wine in Boston at lunchtime? (8)
LITER (litre of wine as spelt in USA) AT I (one, lunchtime)
7 PEEWEE Little bird in water twice (6)
PEE & WEE can both mean water or urinate
8 SPAN Inhabitant of Madrid perhaps, not half cross (4)
SPANIARD minus the last half
14 SCHOLASTIC Pedagogue thus restricts little children, only one left in charge (10)
Ins of CH (little children) in SO (thus) + LAST (only one left) IC (in charge) for an adjective whereas pedagogue is n a teacher; a pedant or vt to teach. Am I a pedant to point this out? :-)
15 REEL-TO-REEL Like old recording that sounds authentic, excessively so? (4-2-4)
Ugh! Not another possibly controversial homophone clue … REAL TOO REAL?
17 IN DEMAND Trendy theologian with rising reputation bound to be sought after (2,6)
IN (trendy) + ins of EMAN (rev of NAME, reputation) in DD (Doctor of Divinity, theologian)
18 ARMCHAIR After a jolly tea I start to rest in this? (8)
A RM (jolly is slang for a Royal Marine) CHA (tea) + I + R (first letter of rest) Nice imagery for a quintessential English man
20 See 12
See 12
21 DRAGON Persist as fiery character (6)
Drag on (persist)
22 ERSE Language not all readers enjoy (4)
23 TAPE Hit — Engelbert’s first record (4)
TAP (hit) E (first letter of Engelbert)

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 = in case anyone wants to contact me in private about some typo

23 Responses to “Guardian 25,929 by Pasquale”

  1. NeilW says:

    Thanks, UY. Apart from a little speed bump in the bottom right, I found this very straight forward for the Don. I agree with you that SCHOLASTIC does seem to require “thus” to do double duty. A couple of little points:

    The “to” homophone in REEL TO REEL is “too”.


  2. PeterO says:

    Perhaps four homophone clues is a little heavy, but it did not bother me when solving. The last, 15D, is dodgy because I think the intent is REAL TOO REAL.
    I parsed 23A as TE, a reversal (‘turning’) of ET (‘monster’) plus ‘a’ plus CH (‘child’) plus ER (‘ruler’).
    18D did not strike me as an insertion – CHA is ‘tea’ as much as with an R, and the latter can come from ‘start to Rest’.
    In 14D, SCHOLASTIC can be a noun.
    That’s quite enough nitpicking for one week, and should not detract from a fine blog. Thanks, Uncle.

    I particularly liked 1D.

  3. vinyl1 says:

    Thanks for the blog – I was a bit bothered by ‘George’, although the cryptic is clear enough. The ‘autopilot’ meaning is a bit obscure, but fair.

    As for ‘scholastic’, it can be a noun as well as an adjective, although not quite in the sense required.

  4. michelle says:

    I found this easier to solve than to parse, so by my own definition it was not so enjoyable as I could not parse 6 of the answers I solved.

    I learnt some new words today: ‘george’ = ‘automatic pilot, ‘Swan of Avon’, ‘demit’ and ‘wolfram’ = ‘tungsten’. I also had not heard of the English Heritage organisation but that was easier to solve as it was an anagram.

    My favourites were 9a, 2d, 7d, 19a, 21a.

    Thanks for the blog, Uncle Yap.

  5. Eileen says:

    Thanks, UY, for the blog.

    Unlike you, I found this more enjoyable than I sometimes find the Don’s puzzles – because there was more humour, I expect.

    As PeterO says, the inclusion of four homophones is, perhaps, a little heavy, but ‘far too many’ seems rather harsh, especially as the ‘to’ in REEL TO REEL is the only one I can see as being ‘possibly controversial’.

    I really liked the clever, misdirecting anagram for THE SWAN OF AVON, on this, Shakespeare’s birthday, and wondered if we might be going to have a theme. There is also a nod to St George’s Day in ENGLISH HERITAGE, another very clever anagram [and indicator].

    Other clues I liked were 9ac, 19ac, 22ac, 1dn, 8dn

    The only reservation I had was ET as a monster, rather than the familiar alien: I’ve met grown men who cried when he came back to life!

  6. Eileen says:

    PS Many thanks to Pasquale for a very enjoyable puzzle.

  7. muffin says:

    Thanks to Uncle Yap and Pasquale
    Although I found this almost entirely a write-in (I was unfamiliar with DEMIT) I still enjoyed it. Favourites included WOLFRAM (unusual but correct definition)and ERASMUS.
    Several bands have used variants of the “reel to reel” homophone. For instance, Marillion’s live album is called “Real to reel”

  8. muffin says:

    I did wonder if PEEWEE bird was a misremembering of the British Peewit, but apparently it’s an Australian bird – see:

  9. JollySwagman says:

    Re 14d – Collins equates scholastic as a noun to Schoolman (thus – capitalised) – a new one on me – and gives that as “a master in one of the schools or universities of the Middle Ages who was versed in scholasticism” which gives the necessary overlap of meaning.

    Thanks both – 23a fave for me.

  10. Eileen says:

    Doh! – re my comment 5: I’ve just seen GEORGE and DRAGON. :-( There may be more …

  11. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog, UY and to Pasquale for an enjoyable puzzle.

    I’m not a great fan of homophones but these didn’t bother me at all, even if there were more of them than usual.

    Our teacher at primary school taught us to look for the ER of papER to distinguish between stationery/stationary and I’ve never forgot it since.

    My favourite clue was 1d. I needed the blog to parse 6dn.

  12. dunsscotus says:

    Thanks Pasquale and UY. The homophones didn’t bother me too much; at least we avoided the rhotic problem.

    Thanks to JollySwagman for clearing up Scholastic-as-a-noun. I don’t suppose there are many followers of Thomas Aquinas left – maybe in a Catholic university? The last face-offs in this country might well have been a couple of radio debates between Fr Frederick Coplestone S.J. for the Thomists, and Russell and Ayer for the empiricists. Fascinating stuff.

  13. Gervase says:

    Thanks, UY

    I also found this more humorous than many other Pasquale puzzles, which I liked, together with the references to 23 April.

    Didn’t register the relatively large number of homophones, so this wasn’t obtrusive for me, although I did wince a bit at REEL TO REEL. I particularly enjoyed 1d and 9a.

    The namesake of our very own dunsscotus was a SCHOLASTIC; Pasquale is showing his haecceity by playing around with the parts of speech here.

  14. Robi says:

    Enjoyable crossword; I can’t see the problem with the homophones.

    Thanks UY; DEMIT was also new to me and I hadn’t heard of THE SWAN OF AVON, which I don’t see used in your link, so try this one instead maybe.

    I did particularly enjoy the clue surfaces for LEG WARMERS, ELOPEMENT and SWORDPLAY.

  15. tupu says:

    Thanks UY and Pasquale

    I too quite enjoyed this puzzle with its lighter touch. I missed the ‘theme’ material as often and did not mind the homophones.

    I ticked several clues – 9a, 12,20, 19a, 25a, 3d, and 21d.

  16. PJ says:

    Straightforward but good fun. Had to look up 11a as hadn’t come across its true meaning before today. I guess that explains its symbol.

    I didn’t see the problem with the homophones either and thought reel to reel was perfectly fair. Isn’t it interesting how differently we can each see things?

    Many thanks for the blog, and to Pasquale for the fun.

  17. Bryan says:

    Many thanks UY & Pasquale

    I enjoyed this while completely missing the theme.

    DEMIT was new to me, too.

  18. Rowland says:

    Well ‘brilliant writer’ is an opinion, but probably one that others share! But you know, English Heritage, George & Dragon, well, there old Pasqualey goes witj his bard-oldatry, as it is called.. I don’t thin WS ever really existed.

    Good clues.


  19. michelle says:

    Re Eileen@5:
    “The only reservation I had was ET as a monster, rather than the familiar alien: I’ve met grown men who cried when he came back to life!”

    I agree – I would never think of ET as a “monster”.

  20. brucew_aus says:

    Thanks Pasquale and UY

    Nice Tuesday level crossword that was very enjoyable – wasn’t too fussed with the homophones. It was one of those puzzles that the surface reading and misdirection of the clues was the standout of it.

    Think that the Don was probably thinking of the extra terrestrials in War of the Worlds rather than the cute Spielberg one. THE SWAN OF AVON was last in although I had vague memories of WS being referred to as that.

    Thought that ELOPEMENT was my COD – never realized that many of the Gretna Green weddings were performed by blacksmiths over the anvil. Amazing what you learn from these things.

  21. george says:

    I’m still full of cold. Well that’s my excuse for taking far longer than it should have to solve 3d and then the south east corner, including 21d took a while.

    In the first school I taught at there was just myself and the very strict and scary Head of Biology (who was great fun out of the classroom). The students must have overheard Sue addressing me informally and from then on we were apparently known as GEORGE and the DRAGON . . .

  22. chas says:

    Thanks to UY for the blog.

    I had heard of WS as The Bard of Avon so I was tempted to put that in 12,20 until I saw the anagram.
    I noted pedagogue as noun etc but did not look up scholastic to see if it might also have a noun usage.

    I prefer lEttEr is stationEry and cAr is stationAry.

  23. oedipus says:

    By and by does not mean soon where I grew up.

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