Rookie Corner – 193 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Rookie Corner – 193

A Puzzle by Metatron

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Metatron returns with another one of those multi-word answers. As usual, the setter will be delighted to receive feedback from you, the solvers. I do ask that you remember that for most setters this is a new experience, so please only offer constructive criticism.

A review by Prolixic follows.

Welcome back to Metatron – up to his usual tricks with an amazingly produced anagram which does not quite live up to the rest of the crossword.  It would be good if he could rein in his penchant for producing anagrams that take up over half the grid entry and concentrate on a regular crossword where we could better see the the good ideas for wordplay and setting that are sometimes lost in the remainder of the crossword where the grid fill becomes less than helpful.


1/12/19/30A/11/23A/35/36/37/38/3 A noted author’s best-known line, if flawed, wildly assumed satisfaction’s a motive enough to put a ring on a finger (2,2,1,5,11,12,4,1,6,3,2,10,2,1,4,7,4,2,2,4,2,1,4)
IT IS A TRUTH UNIVERSALLY ACKNOWLEDGED THAT A SINGLE MAN IN POSSESSION OF A GOOD FORTUNE MUST BE IN WANT OF A WIFE – An anagram (flawed) of WILDLY ASSUMED SATISFACTIONS A MOTIVE ENOUGH TO PUT A RING ON A FINGER.  The problem with a long anagram such as this (no matter how well it is clued) if you can spot the solution, then you have solved most of the crossword – close on 60% in this case.  Having the first letter in 12a, the answer was immediately obvious.  The resulting impact of fitting in the long quote on the grid is not helpful with two clues with three unchecked letters in a row and two solutions of two letters.  Neither of these would be accepted in a daily crossword.  Whilst it is good to be ambitious when setting, it would be helpful to start off with something more standard that better displays your talents rather than becoming a one-trick pony.  The only benefit for the reviewer is the it cuts down the number of clues to review.

6 Maggot food (4)
GRUB – Double definition, the second being an informal word for food.

10 Runaway heard in Devon (7)
EXITTER – A homophone (heard) of a city in Devon.  The use of prepositional indicators as a definition is often used (though it is not universally approved of).  When you then have to get from an obliquely referenced city to a homophone to an unusual word it becomes a stretch for the solver.  Perhaps “Report of a Devon city’s runaway.” would have been fairer.

11 See 1

12 See 1

16 Setter’s intention to be sick (3)
ILL – The contractor of “I will” (the setter’s intention).

17 An even hedge, say (2)
EG – The even letters in hedge.  An even as an indicator to select the even letters does not work in the cryptic grammar.  Perhaps “Oddly cut hedge, say” would be better.  As mentioned, the use of two letters solutions is not found in daily 15 x 15 grids.

19 See 1

23 See 1

27 Roman tonic, a fifth of which gives 25 (2)
UT – The first note in the Latin names of the musical notes, the fifth note of which (in English) is the answer in 25 down.

29 Royalty rights withdrawn by record label (1,1,1)
EMI – Remove the abbreviation for right from the name of an Arab ruler (royalty).  As only one right is removed, this should be right’s removed otherwise the cryptic grammar does not make sense.

30 See 1

35 See 1

36 See 1

37 See 1

38 See 1


1 Untried hatchet-job to get in (7)
INTRUDE – An anagram (hatchet job) of UNTRIED.

2 Ancient tribe from glacial Ulster (5)
ICENI – A word meaning frozen water followed by a two letter abbreviation for the province sometimes incorrectly referred to as Ulster.  There are two issues with this clue.  Glacial means icy, not ice and secondly, Ulster is not NI (Northern Ireland), nor vice versa, but Northern Ireland is part of Ulster.

3 See 1 Across

4 Lies with appearance of work schedules (3)
ROTAS – A three letter word meaning lies or rubbish followed by a two letter word meaning with the appearance of.  A minor point, but the enumeration here is wrong.  It should be (5) not (3).

5 Doughnut-like hill overlooking state (5)
TORAL – A three letter word for a hill followed by the abbreviation for Alabama (state).  Even though the word is an unusual once, it has rightly been clued more simply.

7 Hot on the campaign trail… (7)
RUNNING – Double definition, the first of which is slightly loose.

8 …after backhander’s indication it’s a mess (7)
BUNGLED – A four letter word for a backhander followed by a three letter word for an indicator light.  I don’t think that indication is the correct word to clue the light.  Perhaps “… after backhander it may indicate a mess.”

9 I turned up with my gong (4)
EMMY – Reverse a two letter word meaning colloquially “I” followed by the MY from the clue.

13 By the way (3)
VIA – A three letter word meaning by the way of.  Not the most cryptic of clues.

14 Confrontational opposition hides soldier (7)
AGONIST – Remove (hides) a three letter word for a soldier or insect from a word meaning opposition.  To give confrontational, you would need “agonistic” as the solution.  Perhaps “Opposition dismisses soldier as chief character.” 

15 £2 for a duck sandwich? That’s funny (1,1,1)
LOL – Put two L’s (pounds sterling) around the letter representing a duck.

18 Greek leader of the world (3)
GEO – The Greek prefix meaning “of the world” as in geography.

20 Audible signal to start corralling us evenly (3)
CUE – The initial letters (to start) of the final three words of clue.  Perhaps initially would work better as indicating the first letters of more than one word.

21 Echobelly’s grandiose opener (3)
EGO – The initial letters of the words in the clue.  The initial letter indicator is not give.  To understand this, the solver needs to know the title of the first album “Everyone’s Got One” of a not very well known group.  This relies on too much general knowledge and is not fair to the majority of solvers.

22 Insecure fiscal arrangement before ’99 (3)
ECU – The abbreviation for the European Currency Unit that was replaced in 1999.  This clue is more general knowledge than cryptic.

23 1930s measurement added to prime formula (7)
PREWARM – A description of the 1930’s before WWII followed by the abbreviation for metre (measurement).  I presume that formula here is formula milk for babies.

24 Sea salts (7)
SAILORS – The name of naval personnel referred to as salts.

25 Thus we hear note (3)
SOH – A homophone (we hear) of SO.

26 The end of French cinema (3)
FIN – The French for “the end” that would be shown at the end of a French film.

28 21 (3,4)
THE SELF – A direct synonym with absolutely no cryptic content for the answer to 21d.  Perhaps “21’a article on author”.  This is another clue with three unchecked letter.  Given the lack of wordplay, this was perhaps an unfair on the solver.

30 A little high-class – voila! (2-2)
TA-DA – A three letter word meaning a little followed by the letter indicating first or high class.

31 He drove women to despair (5)
ALFIE – A cryptic reference to the film named from the central character, played by Michael Caine, who was a womanising chauffeur.

32 Lennon‘s recovery team, right on (5)
AARON – The abbreviation for Automobile Association (recovery team) followed the abbreviation for right and the ON from the clue.  Although the answer here requires general knowledge of the names of footballers, the wordplay is simpler to compensate.

33 Daisy introduces class to Republicans (5)
INULA – The abbreviation for upper-class inside the abbreviation for Irish National Liberation Army (Republicans).  As only a few daisies are inures, perhaps a definition by example indicator would be helpful.

34 Deranged water fowl is welcome (5)
GREET – An anagram (deranged) of EGRET (waterfowl).  If deranged is used as an anagram indicator, this gives an indirect anagram where you have to find the synonym and then make an anagram of the letters.  This is not usually allowed in mainstream cryptic crosswords.  Here, the clue could been made fairer with “Welcome waterfowl with drooping head”

41 comments on “Rookie Corner – 193

  1. Great stuff Metatron.

    I didn’t twig the biggie straight away but coming to a standstill after getting a few others in I went back and stared at the first single letter word and of course it came. Very well known. I should have got it first up from the obvious candidates. I’ll trust you that it all works. I didn’t check all the letters – you have to sometimes if you’re not sure of maybe one word where there might be alternatives. I started out with “need” instead of “want” but soon twigged my error when that caused a hold-up.


    I would have tried to make the first words of 1a etc less obvious – maybe something alluding to what it’s about.

    34d is borderline dodgy for an indirect anagram and some round here will ping you for having one at all – even though the water fowl is a very common one in crossieland. It could possibly have been processed by doing something with its head.

    28d is tricky for a one-sided clue and made worse by spanning a triple-unch (three unchecked cells in a row) on top of 21 (which it references) being tricky itself – and one-sided – or at least maybe I didn’t fully understand it. In general there were probably more one-sided clues than is normally expected – except maybe with Rufus – who I read is now retiring.

    In 33d most daisies don’t belong to that genus – even if they did it would only be an example of what’s needed in the answer – probably worth signalling when it’s tricky (some would say always). Of course common names for plants birds fish etc vary around the world so that’s often a problem.

    14d I didn’t understand the wordplay.

    Everything else really good. Not easy to squeeze reasonable words in when such a lot of the cells are taken up with pre-ordained content.

    4d I thought was a very clever clue.

    Overall real fun – that’s what matters in the end.

    Great work – do keep them coming.

  2. Is it only my online version where I can’t read the whole of ‘the’ clue? This may help someone else:

    1/12/19/30A/11/23A/3 5/36/37/38/3
    A noted author’s best- known line, if flawed, wildly assumed satisfaction’s a motive enough to put a ring on a finger
    (2,2,1,5,11,12,4,1, 6,3,2,10,2,1,4,7,4, 2,2,4,2,1,4)



  3. That was good fun – thanks Metatron! I was struggling for a bit until I had the 92-letter (if I have counted right) monster in place …

    I like the symmetry of the grid and average word length is good (and astounding if you count 1a etc to be of length 92!!). I wouldn’t rush to use two-letter words myself but see why you were cornered somewhat by 1a_etc into doing this; multiple unchecked letters in a row are to be avoided wherever you can, to be slightly kinder to solvers. Good choice of quote; and publication date to align with a suitable anniversary at the weekend was a nice touch.

    Some good clues in this!

    My notes as I went through the puzzle are attached (contains spoilers). Feel free to ignore or use :-)

    I look forward to seeing your next – thanks again!


    6a ok
    16a ok
    26a ok, nice cryptic definition
    30d seems ok; not in Chambers
    32d wordplay ok; definition is a bit of general knowledge
    15d is quite funny
    29a: is this R=rights in a subtractive clue? I think so.
    It was only now, after guessing 19a from the crossers, that I managed to get the 92-letter monster & finally got properly going!
    1d anagram indicator doesn’t quite work for me
    2d doesn’t ‘glacial’ mean ‘icy’ not ‘ice’?
    4d charade: ok. should read ‘(5)’, I assume?
    8d works I think, if “it’s” is your linkword. Is ‘indication = indicator = L.E.D., or something else?
    10a is this a word, or am I (probably!) missing something?
    5d: similarly this? Is this toric, toroidal, sthg else?
    9d ok
    16a ok, with ‘to be’ as linkwords
    7d is this running? I haven’t got your train of thought here.
    21d Everyone’s Got One.
    27a almost General Knowledge! good
    31d is this the film ‘Alfie’? I don’t recall the story of that one
    34d with the crossers this was very solvable but falls into the ‘indirect anagram’ category which editors don’t accept
    33d I can only find INULA that fits here but I never was very good at that category of items! Didn’t initially get the wordplay. (see below)
    22d & 28d A straight clue is OK, but would normally have a more deceptive/cryptic definition. Ah (after checking!), 22d is ECU not EMU – darn! I missed the Guardian-style separation of ‘in’ and ‘secure’
    24d. good deceptive/cryptic straight clue
    13d lies somewhere between them. ok-ish!
    18d why Greek leader? Is the wordplay simply meaning ‘a word beginning with G’? I’m sure I am being thick here.
    And I only had guesses that fit for 23d (PREWARM is all I can find that fits), 33d (see above) and 14d (is there a GI in this? AGONIST, maybe??)

    20:20 hindsight …
    With 23d is it PRE-WAR (that’s fine) + measurement=metre=M? I can’t quite justify ‘formula’ in the def half of the clue, though I suspect there’s a way of reading it that I have missed.
    33d ok. appears to be U (class) in INLA (weren’t they the Popular Front of Judea, or was that the other one …)
    14d still don’t get it. ON in GI in AST??? Or (prot)AGONIST?? Meanings of the first two words are a bit too close, I think. Finally got it – (ant)AGONIST, that’s good in the wordplay! Not sure the def. of ‘Confrontational’ exactly works for this, though – or is ‘opposition’ doing double-duty?.

    HTH :-)

    1. 18d. It’s just the prefix (or “leader”) from ancient Greek meaning of or referring to the world/Earth.

    2. measurement might also be M or EM, the printer’s measure. Metre would be unfair for the two step, by that logic it could be litre of gram or anything. I also think using M instead of the more usual EM is pushing the fairness.

      I also had EMU first, having missed the wordplay, but the 99 probably does not work for that.

  4. Sorry not for me – if you are going to have a really long linked solution in the Across clues, then the Down clues must be more helpful than the majority are here, especially on a very busy day like today

    I look forward to a more user-friendly crossword from you in 2018

  5. Hi Metatron
    Thanks, I really enjoyed it.
    Since I knew the long one already, I thought I’d try and do the others clues without entering the solution. I managed about 1/2 before having to get help from the quote. I think that makes this puzzle much more solvable than your first one.
    The long clue/answer is a great bit of work, and very gettable with a bit of staring.
    There were plenty of others I liked: 30d, 15d, 25d, 4d, 9d, 32 (23d!?).
    I have a few queries:
    14d maybe it’s me that’s missing the definition, but maybe it’s you
    21d Again, I could be missing something, but don’t think there’s quite enough in the clue
    33 I think you’re missing an instruction – you’re not just introducing, you’re replacing, and I think you have to say that
    27a I don’t understand ‘a fifth of which’. I think it’s probably part of an extended definition. Sometimes making your definition more precise is actually unhelpful/unfair. I think your solution is fine and most will have come across it, but adding extra words/information is a distraction.
    34d What JS said. You’re allowed (somewhat randomly) to require the solver to get a synonym and then do things with specific letters, but not to make an anagram. So, ducking its head would be OK.

  6. I got the long clue fairly early on but that didn’t help much at all with some of the down clues, many of which I thought rather strange. Not my cup of tea at all.

  7. I think one clue for half of the grid is not a good idea – particularly as it’s a quote rather than a common saying, (for example); I don’t think it could possibly be worked out from the clue either.
    31d similarly – there is no wordplay as such. The simple 9d is nice and tidy, but overall not for me I’m afraid.

    A few queries, so I look forward to proximal’s review with interest.
    Thanks for the puzzle Metatron.

  8. To be honest I gave up on this one soon after seeing the first clue – I just don’t see the point of taking up half the grid with what (I presume) is an enormous anagram, when everyone who gets the answer is going to get it from the enumeration and checkers rather than working out the anagram. Thanks Metatron – I hope for something a bit more ‘standard’ next time.

    1. My thoughts entirely, Gazza. It seems that the whole raison d’etre of the puzzle is to squeeze the longest possible quote into a 15 x 15 grid, regardless of how many two-letter words, double or triple unches that result. Not my cup of tea either.

      1. Ditto!

        I made life extra difficult for myself by getting the quote quite early but misremembering it and putting in “need” instead of “want”. I also put “do” in for 27a initially which fits the clue perfectly.

        I had quite a lot of concerns, but I won’t repeat them as others have already mentioned them.

        I can see you put a lot of effort into this Metatron but, I’m sorry to say, it wasn’t to my taste.

  9. Thanks Metatron. I got the quote early on, entirely from the enumeration and not from the (very clever) anagram. The solver has to be familiar with that work, though, and although it is a popular piece, not everyone will have knowledge of it and it cannot practically be worked out just from the anagram fodder. That is why some solvers don’t like this type of mega-clue, as it could render almost half the crossword unsolvable.

    The two triple unches in the grid and the almost indirect anagram have been mentioned already, not that either gave me a problem.

    32d might not mean much to non sports fans.

    10a is not in my edition of Chambers.

    Took a while before I worked out the Republicans in 33d.

    I don’t understand the wordplay in 4d.

    Good surfaces throughout.

    Favourites were 15d and 23d.

    Well done, and I look forward to another soon.

  10. Thanks Metatron

    It’s a big achievement to fit such a large anagram into the grid. Congratulations. The grid pays a price though, with two-letter words and triple unches – you’d be unlikely to see that in published puzzles. I can’t imagine anyone actually solving the anagram – so we can admire it, yet in a peculiar way it is wasted.

    I haven’t read the book so the quote did not jump out at me, but guessing the long words made it googleable.

    Some of this requires specific GK and borders on the unfair, I think. Obviously the indirect anagram in 34d would be generally considered unfair. The constructs are interesting, but just trying that little bit too hard to make life difficult, i think.
    e.g. 16a ‘setter’s intention’ instead of ‘setter will’ is closer to clueing myaim or similar, i think, 17a the ‘an even’ is an unusual instruction which i’m not sure completely equates to taking even letters, though it has a nice ring to it.

    1d the definition doesn’t feel quite there, wouldn’t it need to be “to get in uninvited” or similar?

    2d agree with encore that glacial clues icy

    4d typo in enumeration.
    10a not in chambers?

    27a a difficult cd. I get the fifth, and I had to check the Roman – yes, the term comes from an Italian composer – was he Roman? but did involve latin i think…

    29a missing the apostrophe in right’s? else the cryptic instruction tells you to remove two R’s, if i have the parsing right

    7d i think is a dd but i don’t get the first one

    8d looks like a nounal definition for a verb form. “it’s in a mess”?

    14d I wanted to fill in ‘against’ here but that didn’t fit with the quote. i don’t think the clue is accurate. Opponent perhaps for antagonist? opposition can imply more than one person. And confrontational is an adjective with a noun as answer, and i don’t think works well as a def in terms of meaning, but i could be missing something.

    15d very cute, but the sandwiching – if this is a verb, duck needs to be the object of sandwich. if it’s a noun, we have to offer the components more clearly. £2 and a duck sandwich? the ‘for’ is nice in the surface, but to me it gets in the way cryptically, though solvable so others might not object.

    21d I think this is too reliant on too many levels of GK. Not only do you need to know the band (I didn’t), you need to know their first album and that it’s title is an acrostic, which then by allusion applies to this clue too. It would be fairer to have a first letters indicator.

    22d Completely missed the wordplay here and bunged in EMU (which i don’t think fits with 99)

    23d I’m guessing the measurement is M as in the printer’s measure – very difficult because EM is more usual took me a while twig onto the definition

    24d good, very Rufusesque in that i thought it was a dd but it is a cd, he does this 2-word cd thing a lot.

    25a bunged in SOL first. dangers of alternative spellings – i’d convinced myself it just about worked as a homophone

    28d is this cryptic? I had ONE for the first word, corrected when i got 27a. the triple unches don’t help. If you have triple unches, it is worth going for an easy clue.

    31d nice cd, but depends too much on GK i think. I wouldn’t get this without the chequers.

    32d again GK though the wordplay is clear.

    hope that is useful

    1. Oh, and i had an IC ending for 5d at first, even though i couldn’t find the state. Changed it to the answer when i got the quote, but this word does not seem to be in chambers. collins or oxford online

  11. My first three answers produced three checkers for 23a and a wild guess based on those then gave me the answer to that inordinately long across clue. I thought that might make the remainder of the puzzle fall into place relatively easily but, of course, he’d boxed himself into too many corners.

    Not my sort of puzzle, I’m sorry to say – I do hope that Metatron will now get over this compulsion to produce the longest ever crossword answer and showcase some other talents next time.

    Thank you for the hard work, Metatron, but I’m sure your puzzles would benefit from fewer self-imposed restrictions.

  12. I thought this was overly contrived. The long answer to 1ac etc (which I got at once from the enumeration of the first three words) was so long that it forced the grid into having lots of short words to maintain linkage. An answer of that length would be more suited to a jumbo (27 x 27) crossword. In a standard 15 x 15 the overall effect was that the grid was a bit scrappy, or weird, even.

    Nevertheless, I thought there were some good clues: 1dn, 2 and 8 for example. On the other hand some seemed a bit odd; it was difficult to see the definition in 14, and ‘formula’ seemed redundant in 23dn as I took the definition to be ‘prime’ (as a verb).

    ‘Toral’ as the answer to 5dn is a bit obscure: it’s not in Chambers or Collins and I eventually found it in the online Merriam-Webster. But the clue as a charade of ‘tor’ and ‘Al’ (Alabama) follows the dictum of ‘easy clues for obscure words, more difficult clues for easy words’ so that’s good.

      1. Not willingly, I assure you – I spent five happy years there when I was a kid, and hated it when we moved to the home counties. (Not that that has anything to do with this crossword.)

  13. Being a bit of a Philistine, I only know about two quotes from novels – one is from A Tale of Two Cities and the other is your quote, so half the grid was full before I’d even read all of the first clue. After that things filled in very quickly until the last few which I didn’t really understand, so left the puzzle unfinished.
    So, all-in-all, probably the most unusual experience I can remember from a 15 x 15. Obviously that was a tremendous feat to fit the quote in, so bravo for that, and some of the shorter clues were really nifty, showing great promise of things to come… I wonder how you’ll amaze us next time?

  14. Came across this serendipitously in the middle of the night and couldn’t resist putting off sleep just a bit longer to try it, especially as I had the drop on the biggie from the preview on the Guardian blog. That clue was obscured on my android phone too, but it didn’t matter in the circs.

    I got too sleepy to finish it and today my browser had dropped what I had already filled and rather than fill it all in again I skipped to the blog.

    I agree an anagram that size needs more breathing space and it created difficulties for the grid. I would agree with many of the remarks above about the overall construction, without wishing to rub it in by repeating them.

    I put “do”, not “ut”, too and thought I was being very clever knowing enough music theory to work that out while actually being too stupid to take “Roman” into consideration.

    Biffed GREET without ever needing to call the particular fowl to mind.

    ECU was clever — too clever for me, unfortunately.

    Some of the little words were fun. I liked TADA a lot for some reason. I imagine it’s what Metatron cried on coming up with the anagram.

    Thanks, Metatron. Looking forward to a more balanced puzzle next time.

    PS A granma gets upset like this? (7)

  15. Many thanks for the review, Prolixic – which answered all my question marks!
    I do hope that Metatron takes heed of your excellent advice – it would be nice to see what he can achieve without those self-imposed restraints.

    As an aside – many thanks for the photo of Mr Squires, it’s so nice to actually ‘see’ what our setters look like.

  16. I think we have all been remiss in failing to congratulate Metatron for setting (I think) a world record for longest ever anagram in a British style 15 x 15 crossword puzzle – 82 letters long!

    Please do correct me if I’m wrong (on letter count or on record setting).

    1. I think that must be the case – especially if we add “published” and define that to include “freely available on the internet”.

      Araucaria and Bunthorne made an art-form of this of course but never got anywhere near 82 letters. I believe Bunthorne’s longest one (which holds the UK daily record) was:

      “ie what oil-shiek said cheekily unto girl in gin-palace?”

      which gave:

      “What is a nice girl like you doing in a place like this eh”

      I can also recall (from Bunthorne):

      “All our operators are busy please hold”

      and some Araucaria classics: Grantchester, Greenline bus etc

      but none came anywhere near 82 letters.

      1. Not forgetting Paul’s clue for the Guardian which went:

        Here ‘n’ there in the heavens’ watery mire are tiny slits, so the harsh weather is slight, not bulky, perhaps? (Spike Milligan) (5,3,5,2,3,3,5, 3,4,4,2,3,6,4,2,5,5,3,4,2,4)

        And for which the answer was:

        There are holes in the sky
        where the rain gets in
        but they’re ever so small
        that’s why rain is thin

        (77 letters)

        1. Maise, thanks for reminding us of that. I’m a fan of both Paul’s crosswords and Milligan’s comic verse. The poem is from Milligan’s Little Pot Boiler, which I bought when I was about 12. I think I remember doing the puzzle too, maybe, a long time ago. Do you have the number? It must have been a Guardian Prize Crossword. I’d like to see it to see if I recognise the rest.

          I wonder if anyone would like to try for an anagram of, from the same volume:

          “I must go down to the sea again,
          To the lonely sea and the sky.
          I left my vest and socks there,
          I wonder if they’re dry?” (89)

            1. Aha! I thought I’d seen it mentioned somewhere else. I have a copy of Secrets of the Setters which I (finally) won once when I still thought it worth the price of a stamp (26,561: ring a bell? It should.)

              Whether or not it’s a false memory, I seem to recall doing the puzzle in my Mum’s house and getting out the Little Pot Boiler which had always remained there.

              I tried a text search in fifteensquared, without result. Did Gaufrid (? — I assume) say definitely 1998? The searchable Guardian archive only goes back to 1999. Maybe Hugh Stephenson knows where it might be found?

              Thanks also for the link, which also mentioned something else I was interested to learn.

                1. Ah, yes. Thanks, Maise. Must have screwed up my 225 search.

                  I wrote to Paul to ask if he could identify the puzzle, but no luck (but of course a swift and polite reply as to all fanmail). Next stop Hugh Stephenson.

                  1. No problem. My surname is Corney, and it’s a corny joke.
                    And btw, my 225 search didn’t yield the link above, but when I put the first few words of the clue in to Google it did. No, I can’t explain it either!

                    1. Ha! Whynot is a play on my name, Tony (Collman). I have emailed Hugh and also put out an appeal for info on fifteensquared’s General Discussion page, so watch that space for furthers on this.

  17. Thanks everyone, and especially Prolixic for your valued input. Apologies for taking so long to respond, it’s been a busy and productive time (in more conventional employment).

    I ought to make clear I wouldn’t have pursued such an exaggerated anagram clue without WhyNot’s encouragement (appropriately, given his name here) and an eagerness to set a record for something, which I hear today via Radio 4’s Museum of Curiosity programme, requires only convincing Guinness to accept it. I promise not to labour that for any future effort here, though of course I’m now wondering if it’s possible to create a symmetrical 15 x 15 grid fillable by a single anagrammed quotation.

    The rest of the above obviously existed as filler – and patchy at that – but I would argue that ICE and AGONIST can serve as adjectives in their own right, such as in ice erosion and agonist literature.

    Oh, and 29 Across was intended to be derived from EMIRS (royalty, as opposed to a single royal) with RS (rights) withdrawn.

    Thanks all x


    1. Haha! Yes, go on, blame me!

      I heard the Museum of Curiosity on R4 this week, too, and if you’re happy to be enrolled along with such as “record for pogoing underwater”, then go for it! You deserve at least a Blue Peter badge!

      Good to hear it’s success elsewhere that’s kept you away from Crosswordland for a while, Chris. Perhaps we’ll soon see anotherchrismiller back on the Guardian blog?

      Btw, I still haven’t managed to track down the actual puzzle with Paul’s Milligan anagram. I noticed amongst the Rufus tributes that he holds the record for longest anagram of a single word with one for Llanfair…gogogoch, or whatever that famous Welsh place name is.

Comments are closed.