Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 26,052 – Orlando

Posted by Andrew on September 13th, 2013


As we’ve come to expect from Orlando, nothing flash, just a solid collection of high-quality clues with his understated but distinctive wit. I particularly liked the two “hidden” clues for their elegant surface readings. Thanks Orlando.

7. TEETOTAL (O[ld] T[ory] ATTLEE)*, definition “dry”. This took me much longer than it should have, as I was determined to get CLEM in there somewhere
9. RARELY Double definition – “hardly ever” is obvious, and Chambers gives “remarkably well” as one definition , though I think the two meanings are rather close
10. AGED AG (chemical symbol for Silver, from Latin argentum) + [min]E [foun]D
11. ARROWHEADS HARROW (school) + HEADS (masters) less the first H
12. BASSET B[askerville] + ASSET (a plus)
15. CORINTH Hidden in adriatiC OR IN THessaly. Easy but elegant
17. MALAISE Homophone of “Malays”
20. FORTIETH TIE (lace, as in to lace/tie your shoes) in FORTH (out, as in “go forth/out”)
22. PALTRY POULTRY (poussins, say) with OU (French “where”) replaced by A[rea]
24. LICK [f]LICK
25. PERNOD E R[oyal] N[avy] in POD
26. SCOFFING Double definition – mocking or eating
1. BELGRANO L + G[eorgius] R[ex] in BEANO. The name of one of Argentina’s founding fathers, though probably better known here as the battleship sunk by the British navy during the Falklands war
2. STUD STUDIOUS (scholarly) less IOUS (debts)
3. STRAIT Homophone of “straight”
4. BROWNSEA [bryso]N in BROWSE A. Brownsea Island is in Poole harbour; the surface reading refers to the writer Bill Bryson, and his (excellent) book Notes from a Small Island
5. FREE-FOR-ALL OR (other ranks, soldiers) in FREE-FALL (a sky-diver’s “down to eath approach” – very nice)
6. PLEDGE Double definition
8. LAREDO LARKIN less KIN (folks) + reverse of ODE
13. SAINT-SAENS SAINTS (nickname of Southampton Football Club) + E N in AS (when). The composer Camille Saint-Saëns is perhaps best known (though he wouldn’t be pleased about this, as he didn’t consider it a serious work) for The Carnival of the Animals
16. THE BIRDS Reverse of BE in THIRDS. I recently read the Daphne du Maurier short story that the Hitchcock film is based on, and was surprised (as perhaps I shouldn’t have been) to find that the background to the story is completely different.
18. SARACENS RACE in SANS. The Saracen is an armoured vehicle that used to be much in evidence during the Northern Ireland Troubles.
19. CHAIRS CH[urch] AIRS
21. ONAGER Reverse [o]REGANO for the Asiatic wild ass
22. POM-POM Double definition – a gun or, without the hyphen, a fluffy ball
24. LOFT Another nicely-crafted Hidden; it’s “boxed” in fulL OF Tuck

13 Responses to “Guardian 26,052 – Orlando”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, Andrew.

    Orlando is one of my favourite setters and he didn’t disappoint today. I had ticks for 7, 11, 22ac and 4, 8, 13, 22, for their surfaces and / or construction.

    Lots of Orlando’s quiet wit scattered throughout – many thanks to him for ending the week so nicely.

    [Andrew, you’ve left out a bit of the wordplay in 20ac.]

  2. Andrew says:

    (thanks Eileen, 20ac now corrected)

  3. chas says:

    Thanks to Andrew for the blog. You explained several cases where I was scratching my head over why the answer I had was correct.

    I also tried hard to squeeze Clem into 7a :(

    The extra bit of info in 4d passed me by completely: I had never heard of Bill Bryson.

    18d had me fooled completely even though I remember, moderately well, the Seven Ages of Man finishing with “Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything”

  4. George Clements says:

    Another very enjoyable puzzle to satisfy a sensitive old grump like me.

  5. Blaise says:

    With the second crosser in place for 21d, I thought someone had finally managed to squeeze a quagga into a grid, and spent ages trying to find a herb that would justify it.

  6. Eileen says:

    Hi Chas @3

    ‘Notes from a small island’ highly recommended – as Andrew says, an excellent book!

  7. muffin says:

    Thanks Orlando and Andrew
    I found the SE much harder than the rest of the crossword (not helped by finding the hidden word GEAR for 24dn.)
    I was another Clem attempter!

  8. sidey says:

    ‘Notes from a small island’ highly recommended – as Andrew says, an excellent book!

    It’s a shame he doesn’t know the difference between felis and felix though.

  9. Derek Lazenby says:

    Did 2/3, got stuck, had a kip, still stuck, had a kip, finally saw the light. It must be my age!

    To me Saint-Saens is most famous for the organ symphony. The allegedly famous piece hasn’t really crossed my mind since those exerpts that made it onto Children’s Favourites, which is rather a long time ago!

  10. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    I enjoyed this but also was a ‘clem’ seeker.I didn’t like 3d.

  11. Andy B says:

    I thought this was an excellent puzzle. I agree with muffin@7 that the SE was more difficult than the rest of the puzzle, and I also initially toyed with “gear” at 24dn before I saw the excellently hidden LOFT, my LOI, once I had the checkers. The SE only really opened up for me when I solved the very good PALTRY, and then the MALAISE/SARACENS crossers.

  12. Billyk says:

    Thanks Andrew and Orlando,

    Surprised myself by getting so much of this one done considering it’s Friday.

    I thought 9a’s “very well” was a cryptic referral to cookery as in the opposite of “very well” is “rare”

  13. michelle says:

    I needed quite a lot of help from Wikipedia and dictionary to confirm the existence of words that were new to me such as POM-POM cannon, BEANO = party, the Southampton Saints F.C., ONAGER, SARACEN armoured personnel carrier, BROWNSEA island, LAREDO.

    I particularly liked 2d, 20a, 21d, 19d, 22a and my favourites were 17 MALAISE & 5d FREE-FOR-ALL

    Thanks Orlando and Andrew.

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