Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 23,985/Paul (Sat 27 Jan) – ‘D’ for Discrepant, expressed profanely

Posted by rightback on February 3rd, 2007

rightback.

Solving time: 10:57

When I started doing the Guardian I wasn’t so keen on Paul’s puzzles, simply because I wasn’t used to the more liberal style. Now I’m more familiar with Guardianese he’s rapidly becoming one of my favourite compilers. I thought this was a terrific puzzle, so much more better and enjoyable than last week’s Saturday crossword, with several brilliantly inventive clues mostly staying just on the right side of fair. Would have been about 9 minutes but for stupidity at 13ac.

* = anagram, “X” = ‘sounds like X’.

Across
1 PA + GOD + A – I’ve seen this word clued in this way at least twice recently.
4 A DJ + U T[h]ANT – great surface and what a brilliant name U Thant is (though ‘U’ is just equivalent to ‘Mr’ in Burmese). I don’t think the definition is correct though, an adjutant is an assistant but not a deputy in military terms.
9 GO BLIN[d] – the superfluous words ‘how to become’ made this trickier than it should have been.
10 SEA WATER; spoonerism of “WEE SORTER” – very Paul.
11 FIGURE OF SPEECH; “TWO” (= figure) – brilliant.
13 DISC + R(EP)ANT – my nightmare clue on this puzzle. I had the ‘N’, lightly wrote in ‘R’ (for RANT) in the first square (incorrectly), overwrote with a ‘D’ when I solved 13dn but when I came back to this at the end, I read ‘R’ again and wasted at least two minutes before realising. A cautionary tale and an ironic error given the clue to 12dn!
14 BOZ + O – Boz was Charles Dickens’ pseudonym, as in Sketches by Boz.
18 REAL MADRID – can ‘capitalist’ really mean ‘of a capital city’? Probably not, but I still liked this clue. Dalí was a surrealist.
21 OPERATING TABLE; (GREAT PLOT BE IN A)* – this meaning of ‘theatre’ always catches me out, though I was assisted here by a superbly misleading anagram.
23 WHAT + NO + TS (rev. of ST[reet]) – I didn’t write this in until I had all crossing letters as I didn’t understand the definition, but Collins says a ‘whatnot’ can be ‘a portable stand with shelves, used for displaying ornaments etc’.
24 RIPPER (double definition)
25 O + NET + RACK – another good surface.
Down
1 POGO; rev. of OP + GO – good clue, looked to me like a palindrome at first.
2 GUB (rev. of BUG = flaw) + BINS – slightly surprised Paul didn’t link this clue to WHATNOTS at 23ac.
3 D[ress] + A1 + QUIR[e] + I – luckily I knew this drink or I might have written ‘daiquire’, i.e. D + A1 + QUIRE[s] (‘papers having omitted the last one’).
5 DEEP FINE + LEG (= member) – a fielding position in cricket.
6 UNWEPT; (WENT UP)* – this took me forever to spot. ‘-ing’ words as standalone anagram indicators are a bit dubious, but standard fare in the Guardian so no complaints.
7 ART DECO; even letters of ‘narrated’ + (Umberto) ECO – excellent clue. ‘Evenly narrated’ read so naturally that somehow I didn’t even think ‘even letters’ and ended up solving from the four checking letters.
8 TORCHWOOD; (DOCTOR WHO)* – I didn’t know this spin-off series so was unsure of this until I had several checking letters. The anagrammatic name was deliberate, of course.
12 EUPHEMISTIC; “U for mystic” – not quite sure if this wordplay works (would ‘M for Guru’ have made more sense?) but I still liked it.
13 DOCTOR WHO; (HOW)* – wordplay in the answer. I solved this from the wordplay, unlike its counterpart at 11ac which took me a while to understand.
15 FAT + A-LIST
17 PRE-LATE
19 RELAPSE; rev. of ‘[h]E’S PALER’
20 WAG(N)ER – Richard Wagner wrote the Ring Cycle. Another slightly naughty definition, another very good clue.
22 A RUM

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