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Guardian 27,212 – Qaos

Posted by Andrew on June 1st, 2017


A nice puzzle from Qaos to welcome us to June.

We have a theme in the answers of SNOW WHITE and the seven dwarfs, DOC, HAPPY, SNEEZY, GRUMPY, SLEEPY, DOPEY and BASHFUL, all of whom are mentioned (sometimes in variant forms); we also have the WITCH, whose apple put Snow White to SLEEP, and her magic MIRROR, the PRINCE who woke her with a kiss, and the HUNTSMAN, who had the job of killing Snow White, but would probably have preferred to be chasing a STAG. Amazingly, he Disney film was released nearly 80 years ago, in December 1937. Thanks to Qaos (and also to Gaufrid for standing in for me last week).

7. CURRANT Fruit, now delivered (7)
Homophone of “current” (=”now”)
8. MIRRORS Copies of paper on Sunday (7)
[Daily] MIRROR + S
9. SNOW It falls slowly to begin with, at this time (4)
S[lowly] + NOW
10. ESPERANTO Out-of-shape senator takes exercise, it’s said (9)
12. WHITE Snooker player breaks with end of cue (5)
WITH* + E – Jimmy White, snooker player who, despite many successes, never won the World Championship, though he reached the final six times
13. RE-EMERGE From the east, say, royal Islamic leader to rise again (2-6)
Reverse of EG (say) + R + EMEER
15. STAG As written, all the world is 80% male? (4)
As Shakespeare wrote, “All the world’s a STAGE”, so take 80% of that…
16. HAPPY Like a beer? Nothing left for adult, mildly drunk (5)
HOPPY with O (nothing) replaced by A[dult]
17. BLUR Band of cloud (4)
Double definition
18. CHEYENNE Former VP endlessly accepts foreign money for Native Americans (8)
YEN in [Dick] CHENE[Y]
20. SLEEP Look over 50? To begin with, please rest (5)
L (50) in SEE + P[lease]
21. DOOMSAYER During exit, May’s wrangling with European alarmist (9)
22. DOPE Sports teacher’s instruction for Charlie, perhaps? (4)
The teacher tells us to DO P.E. – a Charlie is a fool
24. ACROBAT Stuntman wrestling a cobra — it’s tense! (7)
(A COBRA)* + T
25. BASHFUL Modest bachelor, somewhat shy, wants female with fabulous heart (7)
BA + SH[Y] + F + [fab]UL[ous]
1. TURN Go bird catching (4)
Homophone (“catching”) of “tern”
2. BROWNING English poet getting crisp? (8)
Double definition
3. SNEEZE Small joints allegedly lead to explosion (6)
S + homophone of “knees”
4. FIERCELY Insect eats rice crackers and earth, wildly (8)
RICE* + E in FLY
5. PRINCE Ruler is extremely popular in church (6)
P[opula]R IN CE
6. TRIO Not even 1 + 10 = 3 (4)
Odd letters of TeRn (1d) + 10
11. PERIPHERY Father rejected frippery, upset over her fringe (9)
HER in anagram of FRIPPERY less FR
12. WITCH Ask question of speller (5)
Homophone (indicated by “ask” – not too sure about that..) of “which”. The third homophone in the puzzle
14. GRUMP Good cut of meat (beef) (5)
16. HUNTSMAN Person snaring new skin of tigress? (8)
N + T[igres]S in HUMAN, &lit
17. BREADTHS Around 500 bathers swim widths (8)
19. YOOHOO Ultimate in vanity? Henry wears two pairs of glasses to call for attention (3-3)
[vanit]Y + H in OO + OO
20. SCREAM Heads of schools are worried, 20% might cry (6)
SC[hools] + ARE* + M (20% of “might”)
21. DOCK Weed at the waterfront (4)
Double definition
23. PLUG Punch — drink up (4)
Reverse of GULP

33 Responses to “Guardian 27,212 – Qaos”

  1. Blaise says:

    I had a different parsing for 12 across, with WHIT (Sunday and Monday) as breaks.

  2. Mark says:

    Thanks to Qaos for a testing start to the day, for me at least. Some mental gymnastics required to parse some of these and HUNTSMAN, whilst it had to be right, didn’t make sense until reading Andrew’s notes – for which, many thanks. And I missed the theme, as usual.

    SNEEZE made me laugh and DOOMSAYER seems particularly timely. I took DOPE to refer to illicit drugs of which Charlie (cocaine) is one. Otherwise the ‘perhaps?’ in the clue seems redundant???

  3. copmus says:

    Blaise @1-that was my reasoning but I think Andrew is more on the money to be honest.
    Nice puzzle and blog.

  4. Hovis says:

    Enjoyed this. My parsings matched Andrew’s but I think Mark has a point re 22a. Yet again I missed the theme. 25 was my LOI, which would have been easier had I spotted the Snow White references.

  5. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Andrew.

    What a lovely puzzle! Lots of different clue types and an entertaining theme, which still left room for the wittily topical clue at 21ac.

    I had the same parsings as Andrew but, like hovis, I think Mark has added another layer to 22ac, which makes it a really great clue.

    My favourites today were STAG, DOOMSAYER and SNEEZE.

    I remembered Crucible having used this theme but I had to go back an awfully long way to find it [Puzzle No. 25,115].

    Many thanks, Qaos – a super start to a sunny morning!

  6. drofle says:

    Good puzzle. The last three clues I did in the NW corner were all homophones (CURRANT, TURN, SNEEZE), which seemed rather a lot. Favourites were DOOMSAYER, BASHFUL, HUNTSMAN and PERIPHERY. Many thanks to Qaos and Andrew.

    I see my Captcha puzzle is ? x 1 = 1. Now that’s a challenge . . .

  7. gofirstmate says:

    Too much sloppy clue-writing here for this to be enjoyable. I’ll restrict myself to just three examples. In 7a an adjective is being likened homophonically to an adverb; in 10a I don’t see how one can justify defining a language – even such a loathsome artificial one as Esperanto – by “it’s said”; in 25a “somewhat shy” for “sh” is reminiscent of Araucaria at his worst – which will no doubt delight the libertarians but, to me, just smacks of laziness.

    Thanks anyway to Andrew for the blog.

  8. pex says:

    I wasn’t happy about some of the loose definitions either but enough good stuff to compensate, I thought.

  9. beery hiker says:

    Some of these were quite tricky by Qaos’s standards, but the theme became apparent fairly early and definitely helped! MIRRORS was last in, no excuses for not seeing that earlier…

    Thanks to Qaos and Andrew

  10. matrixmania says:

    Thanks to blogger and setter. I really enjoyed the puzzle but missed the theme (as usual) even though I knew Qaos normally includes them.

    Blur references two days in a row – I shall be alert to this tomorrow!

  11. drofle says:

    Theme – what theme? Oh yes . . .

  12. nevermarty says:

    Fair & fun puzzle: all solved/parsed (and theme spotted!) except for Plug – got the gulp bit but have never come across it as a synonym for punch.

  13. David says:

    22ac I read Charlie as Dope (Cocaine)

  14. Trismegistus says:

    I got the theme at the end – LOI was 23, so it didn’t help!

    For 16d I took the definition to be “Person who snares”, so a partial &lit… not sure how “new skin of tigress” adds to the definition…

    I liked 21a, probably my favourite. Also 18a – I had the H and final E in and I couldn’t get “CHEROKEE” out of my mind, which didn’t parse, so a rewarding penny drop for that one.

    Re 15a – didn’t the 16d take the heart of a stag back to the Queen instead of the heart of 9, 12a?

    A satisfying solve, thanks to Qaos and Andrew

  15. Auriga says:

    [email protected], I was surprised by plug = punch as I know it from engineering, where plug, punch and core are all names for the male half of a mould. (Certainly more familiar territory to me than children’s television!)

    Thanks to Andrew for the blog and Qaos for the challenge.

  16. John Carney says:

    Found this enjoyably challenging, but like others was frustrated by one or two examples of lazy clueing – the “it’s” right in the middle of 24A’s word play seemed particularly cruel.

  17. alan swale says:

    Gofirstmate @7:la problemo kun esperanto estas ke la mondo i?is hokita sur american english anstata?e.

  18. Trailman says:

    Enjoyable Qaos today. No idea there was a theme till I came here, so pretty much back to normal for me.

  19. michelle says:

    I found this difficult but enjoyable and fair. My favourite was STAG.

    I could not parse 12a (never heard of the snooker player).

    Thanks Qaos and Andrew.

  20. michelle says:

    Forgot to mention that I totally missed seeing the theme!

  21. Cookie says:

    Thank you Qaos and Andrew.

    This being a Qaos puzzle I looked out for a theme and entering HAPPY a little while after SNEEZE brought SLEEPY to my mind from a puzzle a few days ago (I had first wanted to enter SNEEZY instead but it would not parse), this helped a lot with solving the other related clues, especially WHITE which I thought referred to the cue ball!

  22. crimper says:

    A lot of trying too hard in this one I feel, with a bit of duplication here and there and a general struggle with the tech. But there were also some nice clues — I’m just unsure as to whether the compiler realises why they’re nice! Pick of the bunch probably DOOMSAYER with its nice Brexit feel.

  23. ACD says:

    Thanks to Qaos and Andrew. I struggled a bit here, for I did not know White the snooker player or the band BLUR and had trouble parsing DOPE and TRIO, Still, lots of fun.

  24. Cookie says:

    ACD @23, we had ‘Blur’ in Nutmeg’s puzzle yesterday, 1a Singer from Blur accepting back payment (8)…

  25. Peter Aspinwall says:

    I thought WHITE referred to the curveball,too. I’ve never heard of Jimmy of that ilk! Really don’t see the problem with ESPERANTO. Indeed, I thought it rather a good clue! And I got the theme. Not until quite late in the proceedings admittedly but that’s an improvement for me. Generally a fun puzzle. I liked PERIPHERY and TRIO.
    Thanks Qaos.

    Ps. “Aracauria at his worst” would still be pretty damn good!

  26. gofirstmate says:

    Peter Aspinwall @25: Better than either Boatman or Tramp, I’ll grant you.

  27. jeceris says:

    Andrew – the blog should say “Odd letters of TuRn” rather than “Odd letters of TeRn”.

  28. WhiteKing says:

    I’m with [email protected] in feeling that some clues were trying too hard and that distracted me from enjoying the good ones – ESPERANTO among them. I parsed 12a as Blaise but Andrew’s way now looks better. The “looseness” of some clues didn’t bother me – but then it never does as I rarely spot them. However I did spot the theme – a first I think! Thanks to Qaos and Andrew.

  29. WhiteKing says:

    By the way, does anyone know how to see the blog entry numbers when viewing on a mobile? I rely on someone saying @23 for example to work them out – provided that’s not too far apart from the one I want to refer to.

  30. BNTO says:

    White King @29 (That’s your blog number by gthe way 😉 )

    At the very bottom of the “mobile” display of the blogs under the “Comment” box and “Captcha” there is a Mobile and Desktop box. Tap on Desktop to see that format.

    “Back Arrow takes you back to Mobile Display.

  31. simonc says:

    Was I the only one who thought the sport’s teacher’s instruction (22 across) was “dope” (ie take performance enhancing drugs)?

  32. simonc says:

    Sorry about erroneous apostrophe in previous post.

  33. WhiteKing says:

    Belated thanks BNTO.

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