Crossword roundup: setters' favourite names – Eli, Cher and Erato

Photograph: David Karp/AP

In the sample clues below, the links take you to explainers from our beginners’ series. The setter’s name often links to an interview with him or her, in case you feel like getting to know these people better.

The news in clues

In April, we noted that a then brand new pro-independence party might make it easier for a solver to twig that “Scotland” in a clue may indicate ALBA in an entry, shortly before I got lost in Arabic words beginning AL. We see that solvers might now fairly be expected to know the party, too, in an FT clue from the setter known locally as Pasquale

1ac New Scottish party – at heart it’s something fishy! (8)
[definition: tuna species (“it’s something fishy!”)]
[wordplay: name of new Scottish party + synonym for “heart”]
[ALBA + CORE]

… for ALBACORE. Meanwhile, the annotated solution is now available for a prize puzzle from Paul with this grimly timely clue …

14d American change of direction requires nerve after a fight (5,4)
[definition: US-English phrase indicating change of direction]
[wordplay: synonym for “nerve” (as in effrontery), preceded by (“after”) A (“a”) & synonym for “fight”]
[FACE after A & BOUT]

… for ABOUT FACE.

Puzzling elsewhere

Here, we are savouring Mathematical Snacks (“A collection of interesting topics and ideas to fill spare moments”); I suspect you will find something to accompany the shorter evenings from the puzzling publisher Tarquin.

Latter patter

When I am stuck, especially when it is a proper noun that is elusive, I tend to recite Reginald Perrin’s complaint: “I’m stuck on the top left-hand corner. I just don’t know any Bolivian poets.”

So it is with this Times clue:

22d Relative bringing Ghanaian diplomat up (5)
[definition: relative]
[wordplay: name of Ghanaian diplomat, reversed (“bringing … up”)]

I just don’t know any Ghanaian diplomats. But, as in an American-style puzzle, the crossing letters then evoked a very familiar name I could match with that description: former UN nabob Kofi Annan, who can be flipped for NANNA.

I am surprised we don’t see ANNAN more often in puzzles, since his surname has that quality described by the American setter Merl Reagle with reference to ENEMA: “Talk about great letters!” Through the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and others, I have become more familiar than I had anticipated with the plough inventor John DEERE and the not-discussed-here novelist James AGEE. Over here, perhaps we ought to see ANNAN alongside our dear friends the priest ELI and the singer CHER.

For the subject of our next challenge, though, let’s go in the other direction. Let’s have a Muse; let’s not have ERATO: reader, how would you clue CALLIOPE?

Incidentally, whenever I think about the muse of sacred poetry, I say her name in my head with Beryl Reid’s voice. This is why.

Cluing competition

Thanks for your clues for SCOTCH BROTH and, as usual, for the conversations around the clu(((e)))ing. Catarella gets the audacity award for making the letter bank device work in “Jock’s dish contains only bits picked out of borscht”.

The runners-up are Zedible’s “Hot borscht gets cold when stirred into another soup” and Faiton77’s “Potboiler put an end to British Book Month at last”, which you can imagine having “Books Month” if you prefer; the winner, having narrowly missed the audacity for the inside-baseball “Hamish’s Soup”, is Montano, with “Whisky with starters of bread rolls on the house makes a substantial meal”. Kludos to Montano. Please leave entries for this fortnight’s competition – and your picks from the broadsheet cryptics – below.

For the latest in our collaborative playlist, Healing Music Recorded in 2020-21 to Accompany a Solve or Even Listen To, it is almost a year since we have had some Tom Jones. His taste in Bob Dylan songs is impeccable: he did What Good Am I? a decade ago and, much more recently, One More Cup of Coffee.

Paper-free

Let’s start sharing cryptics we have found outside the papers. Here is one from Conto, who says: “Alas, I failed to create a puzzle filled with one-word clues,” instead offering one featuring many of the same.

Clue of the Fortnight

Crossword setters are the kind of people who look at a word and say to themselves: “That begins and ends with the names of two former bandmates, once you have removed the first and last letters.” And that is how we end up with clues like this one, from Bluth

14d Honouring two Beatles, without coverage, outside British Library (9)
[definition: honouring]
[wordplay: names of Beatles with first and last letters removed (“without coverage”, either side of (“outside”) abbreviation for “British Library”]
[LENNON and RINGO with first & last letters removed, outside BL]

… for ENNOBLING. All that remains is to puzzle out whether “without coverage” means that the press were not tipped off, or that John had popped his trousers off again. Stay safe.

The Shipping Forecast Puzzle Book by Alan Connor, which is partly but not predominantly cryptic, can be ordered from the Guardian Bookshop.

Here is a collection of all our explainers, interviews and other helpful bits and bobs.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

The annual 2021-22 NBA preseason overreactions

It’s the preseason and you know what means? It’s also overreaction season! With opening night just days away, let’s look at some of the outlandish takes to come out of ... Read more »

Why Saudi-Iran relations are thawing — for now

© Provided by dw.com New bilateral talks might mark the end of the frozen ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia So far this year, regional arch-rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran ... Read more »

Is Hunter Biden's art project painting the president into an ethical corner?

© Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Kris Connor/WireImage It was another starry night in Hollywood. In a white-walled room at the Milk Studios art gallery, where a lone violinist played ... Read more »

Lukaku, Werner, Kante and Chelsea stars in training as Tuchel urges caution - in pictures

© Darren Walsh COBHAM, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 15: Romelu Lukaku of Chelsea a training session at Chelsea Training Ground on October 15, 2021 in Cobham, England. (Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea ... Read more »

Horse race marks Sydney's emergence from long COVID-19 lockdown

© Reuters/LOREN ELLIOTT FILE PHOTO: Attractions welcome back guests as COVID-19 lockdown orders are eased in Sydney (Reuters) – Thousands of Sydney residents flocked to a prominent horse race on ... Read more »

Entire row of cottages on Greater Manchester street up for sale for £450,000

Eight properties on a Bolton street are up for sale – and they could all be yours for £450k. The terrace of former mill cottages on Gaskell Street were originally ... Read more »

'We are in trouble', 'Oh god' - These Liverpool fans erupt as another late injury blow emerges

Some Liverpool supporters have been left fuming that Curtis Jones is out of the Premier League clash with Watford after worsening an existing injury on international duty. © Provided by ... Read more »

ISIS claims deadly mosque bombing in Taliban's heartland

© STRINGER Afghan Taliban fighters cordon off the area around a Shiite mosque in Kandahar after a suicide bombing during Friday prayers on October 15. EPA The Afghan affiliate of ... Read more »

Covid-19: New Zealand administers record number of vaccinations at 'Vaxathon'

© Provided by Khaleej Times Covid-19: New Zealand administers record number of vaccinations at ‘Vaxathon’ New Zealand health care workers administered a record number of vaccine jabs Saturday as the ... Read more »

Afghanistan: Taliban to announce secondary school for girls, says UN official

© Provided by Khaleej Times Afghanistan: Taliban to announce secondary school for girls, says UN official A senior UN official said Friday the Taliban told him they will announce “very ... Read more »

IPL 2021, RCB Team Review: An Era Ends as Underachieving Royal Challengers Bangalore Fall Short, Again

© Provided by News18 IPL 2021, RCB Team Review: An Era Ends as Underachieving Royal Challengers Bangalore Fall Short, Again Disappointment? Underachievement? What could have been? An era in Royal ... Read more »

Inspired by other school massacres: Swedish 15-year-old accused of attempted murder

A 15-year-old is charged with attempted murder and making threats after an attack involving knives and a pistol-like object at a school in Eslöv in Skåne in August. The boy ... Read more »

"He's done a fantastic job" - Exclusive: Pundit drops big Steve Bruce claim at Newcastle

Former Premier League player Dean Windass believes that Steve Bruce has done a fantastic job at Newcastle under the circumstances.  © Provided by This is Futbol Premier League – Newcastle ... Read more »

Watford vs Liverpool kick-off time, TV channel and live streams

Liverpool are busy preparing for their return to Premier League action when they face Watford on Saturday. © Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images Jurgen Klopp of Liverpool. The Reds ... Read more »

Kein Top-25-Spieler in den Halbfinals

© KEYSTONE/AP/Mark J. Terrill Beim hochdotierten Turnier in Indian Wells Masters kommt es in der Nacht zum Samstag zu einer Premiere. Bei dem seit 1990 ausgetragenen Event steht erstmals kein ... Read more »

Do you need lots of friends to be happy? Why the optimum number is less than you think

© Provided by The National Studies have shown that while we can maintain up to 150 friendships, our core ‘support clique’ is usually made up of no more than five ... Read more »

Unai Emery to Newcastle odds tumble as Klopp blasts Saudi takeover but Chelsea boss Tuchel backs it – transfer latest

STEVE BRUCE will still be in charge of Newcastle for this weekend's match against Tottenham, but for how long? Frank Lampard is edging ahead of Brendan Rodgers in the odds ... Read more »

Health ministry reports 7,509 Covid-19 cases

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today PETALING JAYA: The health ministry has reported 7,509 Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours. In a Twitter post, health director-general Dr Noor Hisham ... Read more »

Mars ‘was once like EARTH' with lakes and oceans before collapsing into hell planet, Nasa scientist reveals

NASA has released a video explaining why it thinks ancient Mars was similar to Earth. The US space agency's Dr. Becky McCauley Rench explains why she thinks Mars was once ... Read more »

The Tesla Model Y has gone on sale in the UK

The Tesla Model Y has gone on sale in the UK, bringing the firm’s model line-up to four. The crossover is now available in the Design Studio on the company’s ... Read more »

These could all be homes: How derelict buildings could help ease housing crisis

© Provided by Extra.ie Derelict, rotting or abandoned, vacant buildings around the country are being left to slowly decay, at a time when the need for housing is at an ... Read more »

Ram Charan and Upasana's Dussehra photo dump is all about happy family moments

© Provided by Pinkvilla Ram Charan and Upasana celebrated Dussehra with their family members. One can see in the photos, Charan and his family had a gala time together. Upasana ... Read more »

Rangers squad revealed for Hearts as Premiership's top two square off at Ibrox with Kemar Roofe in doubt

The Premiership is back and there’s a massive game to get us straight back into the action at Ibrox. Champions Rangers welcome unbeaten Hearts with just a point separating the ... Read more »

Hannah Gadsby condemns Netflix as an ‘amoral algorithm cult' amid Dave Chappelle controversy

Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby has hit out at Netflix and its co-chief executive Ted Sarandos, accusing him of dragging her name into the controversy over the company’s release of Dave ... Read more »

FBI to take over hate crime probe at Santa Fe's India Palace

Oct. 16—The Albuquerque Division of the FBI will assume the lead role in the India Palace vandalism investigation, it announced Friday. The downtown restaurant was forced to renovate after its ... Read more »

I've lost the ability to write – Sir Billy Connolly gives update on Parkinson's

Sir Billy Connolly has said losing the ability to write “breaks my heart” because he loved writing letters. The 78-year-old comedian, also known as The Big Yin, was diagnosed with ... Read more »

Plea seeks early hearing of PIL in SC on removing protesting farmers from Delhi borders

A day after a man’s body with a hand chopped off was found at the farmers‘ protest site at the Singhu border, a plea has been filed in the Supreme ... Read more »

Kementerian Kerja Raya akan serah 120 SST projek pembinaan

© Provided by Sinar Harian KOTA BHARU – Sebanyak 120 surat setuju terima (SST) bagi semua projek pembinaan yang telah diluluskan kerajaan Persekutuan akan diserahkan kepada syarikat yang terlibat dalam ... Read more »

Md Nor lepas jawatan Pengerusi TH bukan sebab tekanan politik

© Provided by Sinar Harian KOTA BHARU – Tindakan Tan Sri Md Nor Yusof pada Jumaat yang melepaskan jawatan sebagai Pengerusi Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) tidak mempunyai kaitan dengan tekanan ... Read more »

Thandi Modise says hostage takers won't get a free pass

© EWN. Defence Minister Thandi Modise, Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele and Deputy Minister of Defence Thabang Makwetla were held hostage by former liberation combatants at St George’s hotel ... Read more »

Man Utd's Wan-Bissaka sees Champions League ban reduced to one game

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Manchester United‘s defensive crisis has been eased slightly after Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s two-match suspension in the Champions League was reduced to one following a ... Read more »

'Trust me, it's happening all over the world. Everywhere I have coached'

© Laszlo Geczo INPHO Republic of Ireland WNT manager Vera Pauw at yesterday’s squad announcement. “IT’S A VERY difficult time for all. This is happening too much in women’s sport, ... Read more »

Tennis-Azarenka proud of fight in comeback win over Ostapenko

© Reuters/Orlando Ramirez Tennis: BNP Paribas Open-Day 7 (Reuters) – Former world number one said she was proud of her fighting spirit in Friday’s comeback victory against Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko ... Read more »

The Fury who won't be forgotten - 'I'm the best!'

Hughie Fury is aiming for a breakthrough performance Hughie Fury is back, just a week after his cousin’s heavyweight chaos in Las Vegas, but he won’t be overshadowed for much ... Read more »

Streaming: the best films about siblings

There are few more irritatingly prevalent errors in modern screenwriting than on-screen siblings who refer directly to each other as such: “You said it, sis.” “I’m here for you, bro.” ... Read more »

Man City trailblazer Stan Horne among 1968 league champions to finally receive medals

Stan Horne, a league champion with Manchester City, will today finally become the first black player to be awarded a First Division winner’s medal – 53 years after helping the ... Read more »

Ireland and Scotland target top table as T20 World Cup gets under way

Five and a half years since Carlos Brathwaite ended the last Twenty20 World Cup on an unforgettable high, this year’s tournament begins on Sunday with a match for which the ... Read more »

Richarlison sends Carlo Ancelotti message and compares new Everton boss Rafa Benitez

Everton forward Richarlison has said he is “grateful” to former manager Carlo Ancelotti and has credited the Italian with helping his development. Ancelotti joined the Toffees in December 2019 and ... Read more »

Ask Gareth Shaw: Will my capital gains tax bill will be so high I can't afford another property?

Question: I currently live in my property which I previously rented out for 17 years and then rebuilt. I have now owned the house for 23 years and have lived ... Read more »

King Salman appoints Al Rabiah as new Haj minister

© Provided by Khaleej Times King Salman appoints Al Rabiah as new Haj minister Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia has ... Read more »