Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 26,045 – Shed

Posted by Andrew on September 5th, 2013


A surprisingly straightforward puzzle from Shed, with some very basic clues that wouldn’t be out of place in the Quiptic. Still, there were a couple of slightly unusual words to delay things slightly, and a smile and a snigger respectively at 18a and 2d, so overall a brief but enjoyable diversion. Thanks, Shed.

4. BISHOP HOP (bound) preceded by BIS (once more), and the Church of England might have female bishops one day
9. HOOVER O in HOVER (float)
10. AFFECTED Reverse of EFF (euphemism for a well-known obscenity) in ACTED
15. ENGRAFT FRAGMENT* less M. Perhaps a slightly obscure word, but the construction is clear
17. RELIEVE R (King) + ELI (OT priest) + EVE (“first lady”)
18. SON OF A BITCH SO NO FAB ITCH – simple but effective!
23. ROTUND T[riangle] in ROUND
24. HARD SELL (HEADS ROLL)* less O (a “halo”)
25. SEPTIC CESSPIT* less S. I wouldn’t really say that removing the middle letter of a word is “emptying” it..
1. DOG-EAR DO (act) + GEAR
2. STEFFI GRAF EFFIG[y] in reverse of FARTS
4. BEHEADED HE (reversed, though it could go either way) in BEADED
5. SHORTAGE TAG (label) “in SHORE”
7. TATA TA (child’s “thank you”) twice
8. SODA reverse of ADOS
12. ASTON VILLA SOT* in ANVIL + L[os] A[ngeles]
13. DESTRUCT REST* in DUCT. Another slightly unusual word (perhaps most familiar as part of the Mission Impossible catchphrase “This tape will self-destruct in five seconds..”), but again the construction is clear
16. ABSTRUSE STR in ABUSE – Chambers gives str=strong, but I don’t know what sort of context it could be used in
19. BROKER Double definition..
20. ARCH ..and another one
21. USER “Final bits” of walrUS and carpentER for a drug user/addict

37 Responses to “Guardian 26,045 – Shed”

  1. George Clements says:

    Managed o.k. But didn’t particularly enjoy it.

  2. Dave Ellison says:

    Thanks Andrew.

    I agree with GC @1.

    Is that all there was to 1a? I was trying to read much more into the third (?) part of the clue.

  3. ulaca says:

    Nice puzzle even if destruct is a pretty ugly word – needs to clothe itself with ‘self’ to hide its shame, one feels. Two-word ‘side’ enumerated 5,5? Has to be the Villa. For 4,4, you need to travel up the M6 to Port Vale. Next test for the setter…Crewe Alexandra.

    I’ll never be able to think of ‘the best legs in tennis’ in the same way again…

  4. Robi says:

    Good, fairly straightforward puzzle. With this grid I was looking for a NINA, but ‘BOAST’ and ‘EAR’ do not seem to be related to anything.

    Thanks Andrew; I was also looking for a theme, but failed to find one. Yes, ulaca @3 the picture of STEFFI GRAF that was painted is not very flattering (but funny all the same.) SON OF A BITCH also raised a smile.

    Female bishops – far too dangerous! They’ll be wanting to be doctors and drive trucks next. What about a female pope?

  5. michelle says:

    This was an enjoyable, quick solve. I particularly liked 9a, 8d, 1d, 18a, 3d.

    Thanks Shed and Andrew.

  6. Kathryn's Dad says:

    I’ve always struggled to finish a Shed puzzle. Wavelength thing, and the fact he doesn’t appear very often. So pleased to complete this one, although disappointed to hear that it was in fact a Shed-Lite.

    But I liked it. SON OF A BITCH will not appeal to the entirety of the Grauniad cruciverbal audience, but I thought it was funny. BISHOP also brought a smile.

    Thanks to Andrew and Shed.

  7. tupu says:

    Thanks Andrew and Shed

    Elegantly clued and relatively easy for the most part. I was a little suspicious of ‘dog-ear’ as a verb at first, thinking it must be a modern back construction from the noun and the adjective ‘dog-eared’, but it occurs in the early C19 and is used by E.B.Browning in Aurora Leigh (1856).

    I particularly liked 9a, 18a, 2d, 4d and 12d.

  8. William says:

    Many thanks both. Finished before the morning cuppa – most unusual for me with this setter. Must have been ShedLite as K’s D suggests.

    Ulaca @3 good comments. I was thinking on the same track re enumerated football clubs but went as far as Hamilton Academical, which I feel has been clued before. Anyone recall it?

    Thanks Shed.

  9. William says:

    …forgot to mention – is there really an abbr of str for strong? When would one use such a thing? Just as easy to write the word isn’t it?

  10. ulaca says:

    Yes, str. is in Chambers for both strong and straight. I’d like to see Hamilton Academicals clued by ‘Pedant rages at blah blab blah’ – no good at long anagrams. Break out in a cold sweat whenever I see one.

  11. William says:

    How about, “…surprisingly methodical and maniacal.”?

  12. chas says:

    Thanks to Andrew for the blog.

    On 25 I tried for a long time to make C[esspi]T into something and got nowhere. I think ’empty’ meaning remove the central letter is weak.

    I hated DESTRUCT: it may be a valid word in the USA but in English??

  13. Trailman says:

    Shed’s been a favourite for many years, ever since one of his led to my sole prize crossword win (so long ago they still offered book tokens). Not sure if this was one of my favourites of his though. There seemed to be a mini-theme of profanities but it wasn’t followed through (cold feet?)

    BISHOP seemed to obvious from the def part of the clue and so I kept looking for cleverer alternatives, which help me up in the NW for too long.

  14. Trailman says:

    too obvious

  15. PeterO says:

    Just a reminder that the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, part of the Anglican Communion, is The Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori.

  16. Max says:

    chas@12 and others – destruct (and destructor) are common words in the software community. They are the opposite of construct and constructor, though ‘construct’ is also use in the sense of a grammatical entity in a programming language.

  17. Andrew says:

    The OED has a one-off citation of “destruct[ed]” from 1658, but otherwise it says “The recent (chiefly U.S.) use in rocketry is prob. in part a back-formation from destruction”.

    Anyway, time to go and constroy my lunch.

  18. Robi says:

    ………. dictionary wars…….. My ODE gives for destruct: ’cause deliberate, terminal damage to’ without any indication that it is US usage.

  19. michelle says:

    You obviously have a talent for creating anagrams. I thought that was great fodder for “HAMILTON ACADEMICAL”.

  20. Gasman jack says:

    Can someone explain to me why “arch” = ten.

  21. Andrew says:

    The “10” is a reference to 10ac, AFFECTED, which is one of the meanings of ARCH.

  22. Gasman jack says:

    Doh! Thank you, Andrew.

  23. Derek Lazenby says:

    I take it then that there are few SF fans on this blog as every self respecting fictional spaceship for umpty decades has been equipped with a Self-Destruct button.

    Umm Max? I thought the case was that there are types of method known as “a constructor” and “a destructor”, and that the names for instances of these are usually Create and Destroy. But then, being a retired oldie, there are many modern languages I never used, so please advise. Ta.

    Umm Classicists? It doesn’t effect the clue, because if “most people thinks so” then the clue is OK, but I thought Plato described the island of Atlantis which contained a city. But did he ever specifically name the city? Please advise. Ta.

  24. g larsen says:

    Thanks Shed and Andrew. I found this pretty straightforward.

    But I thought (and Chambers agrees) that 7d should have been (2-2). The unhyphenated word suggests only the Indian steel company to me.

    I was told by my mother that ‘Hamilton Academicals’ (they were plural in those days) were among the first words I spoke. Listening to the 5 o’clock football results on a Saturday, then as now.

  25. Gervase says:

    Thanks, Andrew.

    As others have said, not the most difficult of Shed puzzles, but fun nevertheless. I enjoyed the clues for Fräulein Graf and SOB.

    I put MATERNAL in for 3d at first (‘like Dad’s mate’) but then realised it wouldn’t parse.

    Derek @23: You’re quite right that ATLANTIS was an island and not a city. I confess I didn’t notice this discrepancy as I solved the clue.

    I also find DESTRUCT a bit distasteful, but as Andrew points out at 17, this isn’t entirely logical, as ‘construct’ as a verb is quite unremarkable. And back formations have a long etymological history; many common verbs have arisen this way. (My own bête noire is ‘envision’. What’s wrong with ‘envisage’?)

  26. Flashling says:

    Having blogged yesterday I thought I’d try todays. Some moons ago I met shed in an Oxford pub when I first got into solving, doubt he’ll remember. Easier than qaos yesterday so no doubt friday or saturday will be killers. Cheers Shed and Andrew.

  27. PeeDee says:

    Thanks Andrew. Found this to be than I expected (after reading the blog intro first) though your summary is accurate.

  28. Andy B says:

    Yes, definitely on the easy side for Shed but I always enjoy his clue constructions.

    I chuckled at the SON OF A BITCH and BISHOP clues, and ABSTRUSE was my LOI. There are have been enough erroneous references to the “Lost City of Atlantis” over the years for the clue for ATLANTIS not to have bothered me, and neither did DESTRUCT.

  29. bootikins says:

    Most Guardian compilers, but not all, usually find a way to annoy me, and Shed does it today by using DESTRUCT and other weird things. But I really dig his clueing style, he’s really very good, and I always end up forgiving him. Tickled by SOB clue, nice work.

    Thanks all, blogger, compiler too.

  30. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    Sorry to go on a bit but after months of trying and failing
    to get more than 3 or 4 clues, now suddenly this week I have solved Monday to Thursday with only 9 fails in total. And this morning a completed Shed before 10am. I am so relieved, so if you sre bored with me- tough cheese!

  31. rhotician says:

    Like I said all you needed was to pull yourself together. Well done. (I’m sure you found other posts encouraging as well.)

  32. Brendan (not that one) says:

    More fun than yesterday but easiest Shed ever?

    Thanks to Andrew and Shed

  33. Paul B says:

    Good old RCW has had a very great number of posters supporting him in his comeback. It shows what a friendly place 15^2 is, and I for one look forward to his forthcoming interventions.

  34. Don says:

    Why does ‘bis’ = ‘once more’?

  35. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Don @34
    “Why does ‘bis’ = ‘once more’?”

    From Chambers under bis:

    1 Twice
    2 A direction indicating that a section is to be repeated (music)

  36. Stiofain says:

    haha RCW
    Looking forward to the recovery of the frontal lobe neurons that contain your previous views on dog-beating, women as vassals property and children as “like midgets but more annoying”

  37. rhotician says:

    Don @34
    You may be (quite) interested to know that at concerts in France they call for an encore by crying “Bis!”.

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