Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 23929/Paul — 24ac?

Posted by Colin Blackburn on November 21st, 2006

Colin Blackburn.

Solving time : 20-60 minutes (see below).

I spent a lot of time looking at this on the bus but at the end of a 40 minute journey I had just a few answers 15, 23 and 25. I picked the puzzle up again at lunchtime and rattled it off within 20 minutes. So, I’m discounting those first 40 minutes!

The puzzle is a classic Paul affair but with no long anagrams or cross-references, and no obvious theme. There are some groan-inducing clues and some clues which are delights.

1 HI+JACK — could the inscription in the card have been, “Hello John”?
9 CABLE TELEVISION — it is neither the radio nor is it wireless.
I got this answer some way into the puzzle and filled in television. I briefly considered STEAM TELEVISION as a slang term for radio amongst tellyphobes and radiophiles, sadly it is not in the dictionary but neither does it fit the clue.
10 O(KAY)ED — dictionary always suggests OED as a possibility.
Here Funny Peter is Peter Kay, the northern English comic, originator of Phoenix Nights.
11,26 PRINTING ERRORS — of course the boobs (ERRORS) could be on any page but the cryptic definition here refers to the photograph of a topless model found on page 3 of some tabloid newspapers.
18 D+OLOROSO — heading for drink is D, a drink is OLOROSO (a sherry). The definition here is that little word at the end, sadly. Musical directions such as LARGO, LENTO, PRESTO and, of course, P, PP, F and FF, are usual in fodder but here the direction is the answer.
22 GALAXY — axes isn’t a verb but the plural of axis, X and Y are both axes. They sometimes occur, along with Z, as unknowns.
25 SWEATY — anag of WET SAY, what joggers might so horribly get. Very nice clue, especially as a sweaty runner myself.
1 H(E+ARK)EN — not a word I’ve come across before but the word play is straightforward enough once you realise that a layer is something that lays (eggs.)
7 T+R+OUNCE — excellent surface alluding to the imminent Ashes contest. Oz = OUNCE rather than the Aussies.
13 UNDERT+ONE — Where are teeth filed? Not at the dentist’s but UNDER T (think filing cabinets.)
16 A(LUM)NUS — a LUM is a chimney (new to me) and as such it blows smoke. The hole is ANUS, making this rather a tits and bums crossword!
18 H(SIN)AD (rev) — Mussolini was hanged (or was it hung) upside down, as was the wordplay here.
20 SEXLESS — this is my mystery clue. ‘still a virgin’ is at least part of one definition. Is the word play, S(on) + EX (first relationship) + LESS (but) or is there something else going on?

See below: ‘in first relationship’ = EXLESS (Doh!)

23 LLANO — hidden in reverse. Simple enough but it is worth remembering this classic crossword word, a type of plain.

7 Responses to “Guardian 23929/Paul — 24ac?”

  1. says:

    20dn – I took “in first realtionship” to be “EXLESS” (ie having no exes).

  2. says:

    Exless = not having any exes and therefore in first relationship

  3. says:

    Thanks to both of you. It is amazing how the obvious can sail right past sometimes. Of course this being Paul exless is now groaningly obvious, though I daresay I’ll miss it again.

  4. says:

    OK — i’ll chime in and say that I read this is as: S(on)+EX(“my ex” as in “my first wife”) and LESS (is a kind of mathematical relationship). Oh well…

    as for

  5. says:

    I particularly enjoyed ‘exless’, and also the use of ‘axes’ for x and y. Not sure about ‘it’s plain to see’ to define ‘llano’ – surely ‘it’s plain’ is enough, the rest is padding.

  6. says:

    My solving experience on this one was the reverse of Colin’s – I cantered through 90% of the clues in about 15 minutes and then got stuck for the same amount of time on the last few. This happens to me quite a lot and it’s annoying as I would like to get my solving times down.

  7. says:

    Cracking puzzle. I never realised Mussolini was hanged upside down. Very clever.

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