Saturday 28 April 2012

None Means No One, Nonetheless...

none …cryptic crosswords surprise you with an unexpected meaning of the word.

Here's a container clue that uses "none" in a different way.

Times Jumbo 816: Coolness of church man caught breaking into church office (11) NONCHALANCE
CH (church) ALAN (man) C (caught), in NONE (church office)

NONE = church office?

That's right. None (sometimes nones) is a church service/office held at 3pm.

Chambers lists the church service as nones only but none, singular, is in Collins.

It is usual to find none/nones in this sense represented by the word "service" on the clue's surface.

Times 24313: Excellent thing, having service in front of university church (8) NONESUCH
NONES (service) U (university) CH (church)

If you solve made-in-UK crosswords, it is useful to remember the names of the daily cycle of services: matins, lauds, terce, sext, nones, vespers and compline. You'll come across them sometime or the other in the course of solving.

Nones as Date

In the ancient Roman calendar, nones = the ninth day before the ides. Cryptic clues often define this as "date" or "date in Rome".

Times 23937: West left behind on this date? (5) NONES
W left behind => No N E S

The Controversial NONE~nun Homophone

NONE, when it means religious service, is not pronounced as "nun", as I learnt when blogging about this clue:

FT 13143 (Bradman): Broadcast of religious service at 3pm (4) NONE
homophone of nun (religious, as noun); definition: service at 3pm

Eileen's comment pointed out that the pronunciation of NONE in this sense is "known".

What's more, NONE in its regular "no one" sense isn't universally pronounced as "nun" either. Non-RP speakers pronounce "none" to rhyme with "gone", as the discussion on T4tT about the next clue suggests.

Times 24814: Prioress's assistant reportedly without equal? (6,2,4) SECOND TO NONE
sounds like SECOND TO NUN (prioress's assistant)

Solve These

Enjoy solving. Answers on Monday 30th April.

Times 25089: To hand over service, make fresh poster (2,4,8)
Times Jumbo 783: Note to service workers: take no action (3,2,4,5)
Guardian Genius (Puck): In one sense offers a service (5)

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Lakshmi Vaidyanathan said...

Guardian Genius (Puck): In one sense offers a service (5)

Lakshmi Vaidyanathan said...

How is W left behind => No N E S Suchi ? Will you please explain.

Times Jumbo 783: Note to service workers: take no action (3,2,4,5)
to+nones+hands What is the abbreviation for "note" used here? I am searching for it in the net.

Half the answer is " on ones hands". Is it correct half ans?

Lakshmi Vaidyanathan said...

Times Jumbo 783: Note to service workers: take no action (3,2,4,5)

Service = NONES+
workers = HANDS)

Nadathur Rajan said...

1) (O)(N,ONES),(DO)(ORSTEP*)
2) (SI)(T,O)(N,ONES),(HANDS)
3) NONES (T)

Nadathur Rajan said...

‘Nonesuch’ stands for something unrivalled, a paragon, or something 'like nothing else'.

The word brings to mind Sir Waldo Hawkridge, nicknamed Nonesuch, the hero of Georgette Heyer’s regency romance novel with the same title - The Nonesuch.

raju umamaheswar said...

These for cold solving will freeze my brain !! haahah

I have been at it since morning and mewife is threatening to file a separation suit, saying that she has been made to contend with a rival !!



Anonymous said...

There is a tea company at Coonoor with the name Nonsuch. Read more at

It has a cutely worded poll...

raju umamaheswar said...

SIT ON ONE"S HANDS - right? Took me some time to figure this out.

Reminds me of the old Management joke: The Standing Committee, thought on their legs, sat on its hands and decided to drop the subject. !!

No allusion to ablutions , nonethe less ?

Shuchi said...

Well solved Lakshmi, Nadathur, raju.

How is W left behind => No N E S

Of the directions north (N), east (E), south (S), west (W), no N E and S will mean that W is left behind.

@raju: I hope your domestic strife has been sorted out by now :) It isn't exactly cold-solving when you already know that the word NONE will figure in the answer, is it?

@Nadathur Rajan: I haven't read any Georgette Heyer. your comment reminds me I should. Thanks.

@Kishore: "Above all!" !