Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Cryptic N° 25,932 by Orlando

Posted by PeterO on April 26th, 2013


The puzzle may be found at

After Enigmatist’s workout on Wednesday, I was happy to get an easier puzzle to blog. The top half fell in quite smoothly, but the lower half took me a little longer.

1. Ricochets coming closer — cavalrymen run away (7)
GLANCES A charade of G (‘cominG closer’) plus LANCE[r]S (‘cavalrymen’) without the R (‘run away’).
5. Golfer’s shot home help (5,2)
PITCH IN A charade of PITCH (‘golfers shot'; according to Chambers, one in which the ball flies in a high arc and does not roll much on landing) plus IN (‘home’).
9. Explosive chap who must retire for the good of France (5)
NOBEL A reversal (‘must retire’) of LE BON (‘the good of France’). The Nobel prizes’ funding derives from Alfred Nobel’s invention of dynamite and his other businesses.
10. Deal with secret dicky bird (9)
FIRECREST A charade of FIR (‘deal’) plus ECREST, an anagram (‘dicky’) of ‘secret’.

A firecrest.

11. Trojan wife for whom Charon made trip (10)
ANDROMACHE An anagram (‘trip’) of ‘Charon made’, for Hector’s wife.
12. Evil humanoid residing in Windsor Castle (3)
ORC A hidden answer (‘residing in’) ‘WindsOR Castle’.
14. Writer describing calendar somewhere in London (6,6)
JULIAN BARNES A charade of JULIAN (‘describing calendar’) plus BARNES (‘somewhere in London’), for the contemporary author.
18. More and more grain’s nicely ground (12)
INCREASINGLY An anagram (‘ground’) of ‘grains nicely’.
21. Freudian concept, say, associated with Oedipus, originally (3)
EGO A charade of EG (exempli gratia, ‘say’) plus O (‘Oedipus, orininally’).
22. Drink from Lombardy you almost ordered (6,4)
BLOODY MARY An anagram (‘ordered’) of ‘Lombardy’ plus ‘yo[u]’ cut short (‘almost’).
25. Lady holding line for legion (9)
COUNTLESS An envelope (‘holding’) of L (‘line’) in COUNTESS (‘Lady’).
26. Titan finally falling short (5)
ATLAS AT LAS[t] (‘finally’) cut off (‘falling short’).
27. Chuck and Kitty providing frequent supper (7)
TOSSPOT A charade of TOSS (‘chuck’) plus POT (‘kitty’). ‘Supper’ as a person who drinks.
28. Jolly fish entered rough water (4,3)
TIDE RIP An envelope (‘entering’) of IDE (‘fish’) in TRIP (‘jolly'; noun, an outing, preferably at someone else’s expense).
1. Ealing production that’s good-humoured (6)
GENIAL An anagram (‘production’) of ‘ealing’.
2. A community centre did command performance of early music (6)
AUBADE A charade of ‘a’ lus U (‘commUnity centre’) plus BADE (‘did command’). An aubade is a piece of music for the dawn or morning (as opposed to a serenade, which is of the evening).
3. Old queen united with dogs coming round for talks (10)
COLLOQUIES An envelope (‘coming round’) of O (‘old’) plus Q (‘queen’) plus U (‘united’) in COLLIES (‘dogs’).
4. 1 across at first supporting very fine capital (5)
SOFIA A charade of SO (‘very’) plus F (‘fine’) plus I (‘1′) plus A (‘Across at first’), for the capital of Bulgaria.
5. Dolly’s for females inside temple (9)
PARTHENON An envelope (‘inside’) of HEN (‘for females’) in PARTON (‘Dolly’).
6. Starters for ten — university challenges kitchen to provide food (4)
TUCK First letters (‘starters’) of ‘Ten University Challenges Kitchen’.
7. Dances in show done up the pole (8)
HOEDOWNS An anagram (‘up the pole’) of ‘show done’.
8. Yuan finally extracted from curious Cantonese wallet (8)
NOTECASE An anagram (‘curious’) of ‘Ca[n]tonese’ without an N (‘yuaN finally extracted’).
13. French statesman and count protecting European currency (10)
TALLEYRAND An envelope (‘protecting’) of E (‘European’) in TALLY (‘count’); plus RAND (‘currency’).
15. Rude sign stops rude bankrupt (9)
INSOLVENT An envelope (‘stops’) of V (‘rude sign’) in INSOLENT (‘rude’).
16. Thrown cigarette end missing forest resident (5,3)
TIGER CAT An anagram (‘thrown’) of ‘cigarett[e]’ cut short (‘end missing’).
17. Poems representing 21’s clue (8)
ECLOGUES An anagram (‘representing’) of EGO’S (’21’s’) plus ‘clue’. Eclogues are short pastoral poems.
19. One required for bingo who may display ID? (6)
CALLER Double definition.
20. Heavy sleepers oversleep after vacation? Herbal medicine is the answer (6)
HYSSOP HeavY SleeperS OversleeP‘ with the interiors of the words removed (‘after vacation’).
23. Start working with gel (5)
ONSET A charade of ON (‘working’) plus SET (‘gel’).
24. Second-best place for boarding (4)
STOP A charade of S (‘second’) plus TOP (‘best’).

40 Responses to “Guardian Cryptic N° 25,932 by Orlando”

  1. molonglo says:

    Thanks Peter. I thought 5d’s plural females was wrong but you seem to have explained it. Some quite well hidden anagrams here. Last two in were 28 and 20: I quite liked HYSSOP

  2. sidey says:

    I enjoyed this, well, apart from the ‘somewhere in London’ bit. I get a bit annoyed by the assumption that the whole population is familiar with one of our capitals.

  3. michelle says:

    Thanks for the blog, PeterO. I needed your help to parse 9a & 10a. I still can’t find ‘fir’ = ‘deal’ in any of my dictionaries. (I must be looking the wrong place). Can someone give me a sample phrase or sentence that would illustrate the use of those two words interchangeably.

    My favourites were 17d, 20d, 13d, 14a, 15d and 1a (last in).

    TOSSPOT was a new word for me today.

  4. michelle says:

    Sorry all, please ignore my comment@3 regarding ‘fir’ = ‘deal’. I have found it in Collins dictionary now.

  5. NeilW says:

    Thanks, PeterO.

    I do admire Orlando for the way he manages to come up with novel constructions (or at least they seem novel to me): today’s was “coming closer” which made me grin.

  6. muffin says:

    Thanks Orlando and PeterO
    I needed your parsing of SOFIA, which had completely eluded me. I also tried “chips in” until I realised it didn’t fit – “pitch in” is better anyway, as the shot is singular.
    Some delightfully misleading definitions – “frequent supper” and “early music” for example.
    I too particularly liked HYSSOP.

  7. tupu says:

    Thanks PeterO and Orlando

    One of my favourite setters. Elegant surfaces and clever misdirections and a beautiful lightness of touch all round.

    Just the right difficulty for today with lots of other things to do.

    I particularly liked 1a, 27a, 7d, 15d and 24d.

  8. Eileen says:

    Thanks, PeterO, for the blog.

    One of my favourite setters, too, and I concur with tupu’s aptly expressed remarks.

    My ticks today were for 21ac, and thence 17dn, and 20dn.

    Many thanks, as ever, Orlando, for the end-of-week treat.

  9. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog PeterO. And thanks Orlando for a very enjoyable puzzle.

    Nothing too tortuous but lots of smooth, well-made clues with good surfaces and misdirections. I smiled at ‘frequent supper’. But my COD was HYSSOP –neatly done!

    I’m very glad of the variety the Guardian setters provide in their clueing styles.

  10. dunsscotus says:

    Thanks Orlando and PeterO, for an enjoyable end to an enjoyable week. Lots of nice things noted above, but I particularly liked the use of ‘vacation’.

    My first thought when I see ‘deal’ is pine wood. Do we think, then that any evergreen can come out of the sawmill as ‘deal’? Possibly something to do with being a quick-growing plant?

  11. muffin says:

    When I did woodwork (a long time ago), “deal” was used generically for any softwood, from conifers. It was relatively cheap, so it didn’t matter too much if incompetent 13-year-olds wasted it.
    I think both the cheapness and the softness are related to speed of growth.

  12. Gervase says:

    Thanks, PeterO

    Very pleasant solve from Orlando, with his usual mixture of straightforward and more intricate clues, all well crafted.

    5d was one of my last entries, as I was trying to insert ‘shes’ into the answer. It was quite a while before I realised that ‘hen’ = ‘for females’ in expressions such as ‘hen party’ (though I can’t bring to mind many other instances).

    Favourites were 1a (‘coming closer’!), 27a, 2d, 17d.

    dunsscotus @10: ‘Deal’, though most frequently pine, can be any sort of timber from a coniferous (more strictly gymnosperm) tree – otherwise termed ‘softwood’ (remembering that yew is technically a softwood, whereas balsa, being angiosperm, is a hardwood).

  13. Gervase says:

    Hi muffin – we crossed here!

  14. Robi says:

    Good crossword with excellent cluing, although a bit heavy on general knowledge for my taste.

    Thanks PeterO; I was thoroughly misled by ‘thrown’ in 16d, looking for synonyms and deleting an ‘e.’ :( I, too, liked the touches like ‘after vacation,’ ‘getting closer’ etc.

    It’s interesting that Chambers says about TOSSPOT that it is probably confused with tosser – I thought the former was just an insult.

  15. Gervase says:

    Robi @14: Chambers isn’t explicit about the derivation of ‘tosser’ as a generalised insult. I’ve always assumed it referred to masturbatory rather than alcoholic excess.

  16. Jeff Cumberbatch says:

    A brilliant effort by Orlando although, living in Barbados, had I not been aware of Julian Barnes as a writer, I never would have guessed Barnes as part of London. As a matter of interest, might I enquire as to where in London?

  17. muffin says:

    You might have heard of Barnes if you have ever watched the Boat Race – Barnes Bridge is one of the landmarks passed. West London, on the Thames, then.

  18. muffin says:

    Jeff Cumberbatch @ 16
    btw, Julian Barnes won the Booker Prize in 2011 – see:

  19. chas says:

    Thanks to PeterO for the blog. I was totally fooled by 5d: I had the answer but wanted to put hens (or similar) into it and equally failed to spot Dolly Parton :(

  20. Rowland says:

    Good to see the tight clues in the Gee today along with the other two blogged here. It can be done well wherever, in my view.

    CoD: TALLEYRAND. See how this is NOT an anagram!!!?


  21. John Appleton says:

    Sidey@2: Understandable; I had to guess the Barnes part.

    Most of it went in fairly quick, given how much Orlando’s puzzles usually, er, puzzle me. But there were some excellent words that I was unfamiliar with to tease the brain: TALLEYRAND, AUBADE, HYSSOP and the lovely COLLOQIUES. All very well clued, too.

  22. NeilW says:

    To be honest, sidey @2 and John @21, having lived in South East Asia now for far too long, I share your frustrations but don’t agree: Araucaria is particularly annoying with his predilection for little known villages but, at the end of the day, it’s a British crossword and, if I can dredge these names up from the depths after 23 years away, why not you?

  23. Trailman says:

    TIGER CAT last in. I had earlier discarded it as being a tautology until the penny dropped.

  24. michelle says:

    Sidey@2, Jeff@16, John@21, NeilW@22
    I agree with you that Julian Barnes the writer is much better known internationally than Barnes as a London suburb. As a non-Brit I realise that if I do a British cryptic crossword, I will have to rely on internet aids to work out all the Brit-centric clues as I do not have the advantage of “dredging these names up from the depths” as they were never there in the first place! Luckily many of those Brit-centric clues are often anagrams anyway, so we are always in with a chance.

  25. Mitz says:

    Thanks Orlando and PeterO.

    I breezed through most of this but came to a shuddering halt in the SE corner. I had completely forgotten IDE = fish and didn’t spot the elegant construction of HYSSOP for far too long. A moral victory for Orlando as although I did get there in the end it was without properly parsing TIDE RIP – left me feeling like a right 27 after too many 22s.

    As a Londoner I had no problem with 14, but I can understand (sort of) why others might be a bit disgruntled. Having said that, JB is a pretty famous writer, as muffin points out at #18.

  26. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Peter. Pleasing puzzle as always from Orlando, but a bit more fiendish than normal, I thought. I was pleased to get two solutions for words unfamiliar to me from the surface: TALLEYRAND and AUBADE. Then I realised that the latter is derived from the French word for ‘dawn’, l’aube. So I shall remember that one now.

    I think JULIAN BARNES is fair enough, since once you’ve got the calendar bit, then the author is pretty well known.

    I liked HYSSOP too.

  27. matt says:

    Jeff @ 16,

    It’s down in Southwest London somewhere, next to the river. The only thing that really rings a bell for me is that it’s near where the boat race finishes.

  28. PJ says:

    A lovely puzzle and blog, so thanks from me.

    Barnes is better known, I would have thought, as the place where Marc Bolan died having driven his car into a tree in Barnes Common. One doesn’t have to live in London to have heard of T-Rex (or the Boat Race) and I think there are other, far more obscure, answers in the solution for anyone desperate for a bit of a moan!

  29. Flashling says:

    Completed fine albeit two guesses in aubade and talleyrand. Anagram overload maybe but lovely stuff.

  30. Saran says:

    Hi everyone, I have been attempting and sometimes managing to complete the guardian cryptics for about 8 months now. I always read 225 to help with parsing, so many thanks on that front. Just wanted to say that I loved today’s as I was able to complete it (hurrah) AND able to parse all except talleyrand and parthenon. I seem to learn something new every day from the crosswords and particularly enjoyed reading Philip Larkin’s “Aubade” today. Plus my knowledge of Greek mythology is coming on too! I haven’t posted any comments so far, as I do the crossword when I get home from work and you all seem to be early birds, so was good to see some later posts tonight. Cheers all, enjoy the prize tomorrow (too hard for me!)

  31. Andy B says:

    I thought this was on the harder side of Orlando’s offerings but got through it without aids because the cluing was tight and my GK was up to the task. While I sympathise with the problems that overseas solvers can sometimes have, there’s nothing wrong with resorting to aids when you are doing an overseas crossword that requires an element of local knowledge. For the last three weeks or so I have been doing the Washington Post crossword for a change of pace, and although I have succeeded in solving a couple without recourse to aids I usually have to rely on Google to find the more obscure (to me) US-centric answers, and I don’t feel the least bit guilty about it.

  32. Mitz says:

    Welcome Saran, and thanks for de-lurking! Don’t despair of the Saturday prize – it’s not always any harder than a ‘normal’ weekday puzzle (whatever that means), and I often find that the breathing space of the weekend (ha! as if – I’ve got 4 kids!) is more conducive to a thoughtful, unravelling solve.

  33. nametab says:

    New word for me, and final entry, was ‘eclogues>'; had to look it up because the only other alternative – ‘scrotums’ – seemed unlikely to be the answer, particularly as Paul wasn’t the setter.
    Agree with several about Orlando’s deft style; light but with depth; always a treat.
    My CoD also ‘hyssop’.
    On that point – the use of beginning, ending or alternate (with English not American meaning) letters from words has become much more common, prompting perhaps more imaginative indicators such as ‘vacation’.
    Congratulations to Saran @30.
    Rowland @20: don’t understand your remark about ‘Talleyrand’ :)
    Thanks to PeterO

  34. tupu says:

    It struck me during the day that 15d is not all that far from being a clue to our 15squared motto.

  35. Stella says:

    Welcome Saran, don’t be a stranger.

    Just popped in to say, having been born and bred in Barnet didn’t help me with 14ac. Fortunately,the author’s name was familiar.

    I’m surprised nobody has mentioned the number of references to Greek mythology, though perhaps they aren’t sufficient to constitute a mini-theme.

  36. Huw Powell says:

    Nice puzzle, though had to cheat a little, not having any idea deal = fir, not having heard of the author, although in my early scratches at the clue I did think of Julian and Gregorian. Eclogues eluded me, too, since the closest I got in my scribbles was “sclogues”, having messed up the anagram fodder along the way. No complaints, and all in all a very fair puzzle.

    As far as the local cultural knowledge, as an ex-pat of 43 years living in the USA, I find it perfectly fair to have to gradually accumulate some for myself – the RAs, the MOs, the REs, the positions in cricket, and the general idioms and slang (“tuck”). It’s all part of the fun, really. If it really wasn’t, I suppose I would stick to the WSJ, Puzzlecrypt, Harvard Magazine, and the Nation (if they still run them). But then I’d be starved for amusement!

    Thanks to Orlando and PeterO, and the rest of you for explaining “deal”.

  37. Huw Powell says:

    I forgot to welcome Saran! You think you come here late, I’m always two or three days behind.

    Anybody heard from RCWhiting, by the way? I know one of the bloggers dropped him a note that we missed him…

  38. brucew_aus says:

    Thanks Orlando and PeterO

    Late again after not getting a chance to start it until Saturday and then busy rest of weekend. As others have said – a fine crossword with crisp well defined clues – last in was CALLER but did not see the clever HYSSOP parsing until coming here – can understand why it was COD for so many.

  39. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks Huw et al
    at the risk of boring everyone I will repeat my news:i had s tripple bypass hheart op which led to a(light)stroke.
    Ihave kept my speech an I am walking better each day.\sdly the aparkinson’s is makig the production of this short post quite a sreuggle.
    Of course the big concern waswhat efect it would have on my brain; ulike most folk i had a reliable means of asessing thisusing these Guardiancryptics. before the sstroke icould solve every day,maybe once ortwice a weekfind aclue to beat me. And now;my bigge enemy is constant and extreme tiredness buover the past 2/3 weeks i hve totally solved a monday puzzle (proves my oft stated point), surprisinly half an Aracne, onclue i Enigmatist and a total blank on apaul.
    Idid manage 3/4 of last friday’s orlando so ai miight be iproving.
    thanks again for your kind thoughts.

  40. Mitz says:

    So glad to hear from you RCW – hope your recovery continues apace and that you’re back on Enigmatist-vanquishing form very soon.

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