Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 23,953/Paul – What You See is What You Get

Posted by loonapick on December 19th, 2006


I thought that this puzzle was quite tough for a Tuesday morning, or maybe my brain is starting to wind down for the festive season.  As usual. Paul demonstrated some clever wordplay, but he does take some liberties with the definitions in a couple of his clues.

 Solving time – 22 minutes


1 – SUNFLOWER STATE – Kansas’s nickname and “Sunflowers” Tate may be a gallery for Van Gogh’s work.

8  – OXBOW – O(X)BOW where O=”old”.  Bow is a district in the East End of London.  An oxbow lake is a lake formed when a bend in a river becomes separated from the river by falling water levels.  I liked “where treasure found” for X.

11 – MELDREW – ME(L)DREW  Victor Meldrew, the curmudgeonly character from BBCs “One Foot in the Grave”, whose catchphrase was “I don’t believe it!”

15 – GERMICIDE – anagram of “regime” with CID infiltrating.

17  – TRIATOMIC – chemical description of water guessed at by the wordplay (anagram of “it to air” absorbing “m” at “c”)

23 – ARBITER – I suppose a savage dog would be a “biter”

26 – THROW – In cricket, a throw is an illegal delivery where the bowler bends his elbow beyond the allowed angle, also known as “chuck”

27 – PLASTIC SURGERY – loved this clue


1 – STORMY PETREL – Don’t like “what might go woof” as a definition for petrol, but a clever clue otherwise.

4 – WYSIWYG – What You See is What You Get

7 – TEST DRIVE – Another reference to cricket.  A drive is a firm shot, normally with a straight bat, and a test match is scheduled to last five days, although not all matches last that long.  And a first spin (in a car) would be a test drive.  Clever.

10 – CREEPY CRAWLY – C(REEP=peer rev.)Y CRAWLY.  CY is clued by “deserted city” indicating that there is nothing in city.  Personally, I don’t like it, but some people don’t mind stretching the imagery a bit.  CRAWLY sounds like Crawley, a town in West Sussex.

16 – INCUBATOR – IN CUBA followed by TOR (hill) – the pedant in me would prefer “Where Castro is”.

18 – MARTINI – again the pedant in me would say that a martin and swallow are similar, but not the same.  However, setters require some licence and this is an example where that licence makes the surface better.

19 – COAL GAS – ALGA = “main thing”entering COS (island).  COS is a common crossword island, along with MAN, SKYE, MULL etc, and MAIN more often than not indicates something to do with the sea, but, in my opinion, “main thing” is a weak clue for ALGA.  It is too general.

24 – THREE – is the “should” necessary?

3 Responses to “Guardian 23,953/Paul – What You See is What You Get”

  1. says:

    WYSIWYG????!!! Right, Is this the only abbreviation of a Jam song allowed, or can we have DITTSAM, ATCM etc as well?

  2. says:

    re 4d, I was unaware that WYSIWYG was a Jam song but it was a common enough acronym in computing, together with GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out) – I seem to remember a computer program that was even called WYSIWYG.

    re 1d, I’m afraid I got this because I knew the old (sick) joke of how you make a cat go woof (throw petrol over it and set it alight).

  3. says:

    This may be pedantic but The Jam didn’t bring out a song called “What You See is What You Get”, but “what you GIVE is what you get” is a lyric from “Start!”, one of their best songs.

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