Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 23919/Paul – just my luck for my first post!

Posted by linxit on November 9th, 2006


According to Hugh Stephenson, the Guardian crossword editor, Paul is the toughest of all the setters on the team. This puzzle certainly suggests that he’s not fibbing! My solving time was 29:44. I finished the bottom half fairly quickly but had almost nothing in the top half and must have stared at it for 10 minutes before getting a start. As is common in the harder Guardian puzzles, a lot of clues refer to the answers to others so you almost have to solve it in a particular order.

5 Double definition, ref the Charlie Brown comic strip by Charles Schulz
11 B(LOO, D.H.)OUND – whenever you see John in a clue, think LOO or CAN
14 SCOOBY DOO – rhyming slang
19 BE(D(irty), JACK)ET
23 GU(AR(D)IA)N – Another common trick – definition is “us”
24 GARCON – Nancy referring to the French town. Also look out for similar usage of “Nice”
26 AFTERTASTE – Anagram “setter, a fat”
28 EYESORE – homophone, “vidi” = “I saw” in Latin

2 EL(E.G.)IA,C – “essayist” nearly always means Elia, “say” is just as likely for e.g.
6 END,URE – “runner” = river – also look out for “flower” or “banker”
7 NEOLITHIC – “anagram of “client I ho” (half of hope); 18 (SQUIFFY) is the anagram indicator
8 T,ANKAR(a),D – “which it is” allows the setter to use “Turkish capital” twice for the T and the ANKAR(a)
9 Anagram of “painter’s mood” minus the a, + ST
15 OD(OUR,L(ine))E,SS – using “our” the other way round from 23ac
18 SQU(ire), IFFY – one you need to get in order to solve 7dn
21 E, MOTION – Andrew Motion is the current poet laureate
22 BITTER – straightforward double definition, but you need to get it to solve a couple of other clues
25 RA(B)IN – ref Yitzhak Rabin, former Israeli PM

3 Responses to “Guardian 23919/Paul – just my luck for my first post!”

  1. says:

    I struggled a bit with this one. Got 4 or 5 in the first 5 minutes or so then nothing for 15 minutes. Spelling 2D wrong didn’t help matters but 7D got the ball rolling finally. Very much liked 26A.

  2. says:

    Fooled by ‘fool’ (1ac) for the second time in a week. Strip = Peanuts very clever but these two clues took me an age to get.

  3. says:

    Superb puzzle. Fun words like JOGGERS’ NIPPLE and inventive clues. A joy to solve. It took me about 40 minutes which is quick for me!!

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