Here lies the second part of my Guardian walk-through solve. For those of you who have just arrived, the first part of the guide can be found here - for those who have already read the first part, click read more ...
As we know, roughly 90% of clues have their definition either at the end or the beginning,
25a – After a drink, German enthusiast gets a biscuit (6,3)
G _ _ _ _ _ / _ _ _
I think I’m looking for a type of biscuit here. The reason? As we know, roughly 90% of clues have their definition either at the end or the beginning, and, as the front end of the clue ‘after’ or ‘after a drink’ doesn't seem to lend itself to anything, ‘biscuit’ looks favourable.
That gives me all the components to make GINGER NUT and leaves on ‘after’ and ‘gets’ unaccounted for. The former is a positional indicator which tells us after GER will come 'after' GIN, and ‘gets’ is a definition link which can be read as ‘this wordplay GETS this answer’.
Happy all is well in the world, I dunk me digestive and stick the answer in the grid.
11a – Obvious successor holds a broadcast (4,3,3)
O _ E _ / _ _ E / _ I _
I’ve been pretty certain of the answer for this one for a while, but have only just seen how it parses.
The reason the parse was hard was because the setter has ...
The reason the parse was hard was because the setter has run one part of the wordplay OVERT over two words in the answer: OVER THEAIR. This is a nice trick setters use to make the answer harder to see and is worth looking out for when you are solving yourself.
Happy I've been able to parse the clue, I whack it in the grid with smile of satisfaction.
A little bit of XWD insider knowledge helps me to crack this one. The main abbreviation which gives me my in is ‘spectacles’. In crossword land, spectacles can often indicate OO because they look like specs.
18d – In Florida, king’s to arrive wearing spectacles (7)
O _ _ _ N _ _
A little bit of XWD insider knowledge helps me to crack this one. The main abbreviation which gives me my in is ‘spectacles’. In crossword land, spectacles can often indicate OO because they look like specs. Having an O in the crossers, and seeing the ‘wearing’ before spectacles makes me think whatever the wordplay prior to spectacles is will be inside, or wearing, OO.
If this is right, the definition will be ‘in Florida’. In a Guardian crossword, ‘in [insert place here]’ will often define a place in the place mentioned – compare this to The Times where the definition would read something like ‘Somewhere in [insert place here]’ to see different papers styles.
Knowing this, I can take a reasonable guess the answer will be ORLANDO. This would leave ‘king’ to define R and ‘to arrive’ to define LAND, both of which are ‘wearing’, as we saw, spectacles OO.
After nipping down to the travel agents to check out some cheap flights to The Sunshine State, I bash the answer in the grid and move on.
10a – Took legal action about slur that’s lasting (9)
S _ S _ _ _ _ _ D
Pencilling in my guesswork helps me ...
S U S _ _ _ _ E D
Pencilling in my guesswork helps me look to the other end of the clue for the definition ‘lasting’. Seeing this with the crossing letters I reckon SUSTAINED will be a likely answer. The only thing left to do is see that ‘slur’ can be a STAIN which SUED is seen ‘about’.
With a terribly unEnglish long and drawn-out whoop of excitement, I stuff the answer in the grid and move onwards ever onwards.
I take a quick celebratory lap of the garden ...
9a – Sally follows English outfit (5)
E _ U _ _
And the wordplay?
The wordplay has ‘sally’ become QUIP rather than a girl, and ‘follows’ makes QUIP go after the abbreviation for ‘English’ E.
Into the grid it goes and I take a quick celebratory lap of the garden before moving on to the next clue.
3d – Understanding it makes one sick, when circulating course (10)
E _ P _ T _ E _ I _
What an odd looking select-ion of crossers!
Hmmm ... what about EMPATHETIC? It fits the crossers and means ‘understanding’, but does it match the wordplay – only one way to find out and in this case it’s to check the excellent Fifteen Squared (a hugely helpful solving blog covering many of the major UK dailies) as I can’t see how it works.
The blogger over there, Eileen, kindly informs me it is EMETIC (it makes you sick) going around (circulating) PATH (course). (EM(PATH)ETIC).
With a feeling of brotherhood for my fellow man, I thwack the answer into the grid and move on.
A double definition clue here (clues with two words only are often this type) ...
6d – Drop speed
T _ A _
With nothing to cry about, I bazooka the answer into the grid and move on.
7d – Nationalist in revolt may cause a splash (5)
R _ N _ E
The crossers come to my aid here as I see RINSE as a potential answer
After a quick ablution (and making sure I don't get me crossword wet), I finagle the answer into the grid and move on.
Crossworld has a long tradition of using cricket terms ...
28a – Exhausted when deliveries get impounded (9)
O _ _ _ S _ _ _ _
Knackered as I am from the mental work-out, I still manage to javelin the answer in the grid and move on.
23d – Player’s opening match (5)
_ _ _ _ T
Another crossword favourite in this clue – the game bridge.
After entering myself for the shot put, I go and hammer the clue in the grid.
A simple first letter subtraction in this clue.
24d – Excitement when trickster loses his head (4)
_ E _ T
I splurge the answer into the grid, but not before enrolling in a card sharks course.
26a - Nothing’s charged for fruit (5)
O _ _ _ E
Little touches like this can throw the solver off the scent even if they get the wordplay ...
Happy that all is well with the world, I Fruitella the answer into the grid and move on.
I had been thinking SKITTLE was the answer to the clue for a while
19d – Knock over sketch and get let off (7)
S _ _ _ T _ E
Without further ado, I juggle the answer into the gird and move on.
22a – Dunce’s unfortunate to say it again (10)
_ L _ I _ E _ _ _ E
Hmmm, how to tackle this one?
I L L I _ E _ _ _ E
As soon as I do this, the word ILLITERATE, rather aptly for me, pops out. The remaining wordplay ‘to say again’ matches ITERATE and the definition is ‘dunce’.
Wit wiv havin got de answer, I bungle it in the gridulator and moves ons.
Even with every crosser going, I can’t get this one. This usually means it’s a word I don't know. In this case, I think it’ll be a ‘tower’ as ‘that’s seems a wordplay link to say ‘answer that has this wordplay’.
17a – Tower that’s ostentatious on a river (9)
C _ M _ A _ I _ E
Even with every crosser going, I can’t get this one. This usually means it’s a word I don't know. In this case, I think it’ll be a ‘tower’ as ‘that’s' seems a wordplay link to say ‘answer that has this wordplay’. If I’m right, then ‘ostentatious’ will be the first part of the wordplay ‘on’ (on top of as this is a down clue) a river.
C A M P A _ I _ E
Still no idea of the word, but I’ll take a punt on ‘a river’ indicating A and NILE to give me CAMPANILE. Now all that’s required is a quick trip to dictionary corner to see what the bloody hell a CAMPANILE is. Chamber's tells me it's an Italian tower which matches the definition (camp for bell should’ve helped me there) and so, allowing myself a little ding-dong, I pepper the answer into the grid.
21d – Musical piece, where start of recapitulation’s on the tonic (5)
R _ N _ O
I fancy the definition here is 'musical piece', but even with the crossers I can't get it ...
Aha! I think I've seen this used before somewhere to indicate a note (tonic) in singing. The crossers mean DO would fit in to give me RONDO as an answer. Is that a 'musical piece'?
The man from Chambers, he says yes!
Without hesitation, I sparkle the answer into the grid and head to the cold beer department for a well-earned ten Budweisers as this Guardian walk-through comes to a close.
In the meantime, feel free to post a comment to tell me what you thought about this post, take a look at the site's solving guide, or have a go at my crosswords.
So, there it is. A walk-through of the second half of the clues found in The Guardian (16.03.15). Hopefully, going through the clues this way has provided an insight into basic solving methods, and also into a few tricks that crossword setters employ.
Next month, I'll provide a two-part 'walk-through solve' of the cryptic crossword found in The Independent, and will continue to make it a regular feature until I've covered each of the cryptics in the UK broadsheets. In the meantime, feel free to post a comment to tell me what you thought about this post, take a look at the site's solving guide, or have a go at my crosswords.
Thanks for listening and I hope to see you around the site soon.