Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 23,999, Paul: ‘Goodbye!’

Posted by michod on February 13th, 2007


Apologies for late posting – I’ve been for lunch with the ‘gruntlings’, a group of contestants in the Azed monthly clue-writing comp who meet the week after to compare notes, or just eat, drink and talk. We were also celebrating the 80th birthday of Roy Dean, who sets for the Times.

This was an enjoyable puzzle from Paul, with some very nice touches, and two long thematically linked clues that might have been hard to get without each other.


1. TH(E WE A KEST(re)L)INK. Anne Robinson’s baby – ‘bird not getting on’ for kestrel without RE is pretty tough – I would have expected the omission to be at the end.

 8. (h)EIGHT. Self-referential clue – I briefly put EXACT, thinking climax might be ‘sex act’. (Sorry, of course I realise they’re not synonymous!)

9. NU, M(ER)ARY. The last one I got, not being strong on Greek letters.

11. THE(R)MAL(l). S(po)tran just didn’t make as much sense.

12. S(OYB)EAN. Boy’s name with BOY* in it, but the gap between anagram indicator and fodder makes this clue feel quite exposed.

17. HEARTBEAT. BREATHE* AT. Good surface, excellent clue.

20. R(AD)IO. A cheeky little number – AD IN RIO = Brazilian commercial, which you might hear on the radio.

21. L(ACT)ATE. Obvious once you get it – apart from mashing bananas, how else do you make baby food?

23. ORIG(AM)I(n). Hmm, this word turned up in today’s Indy too. PM’s predecessor for AM is good.

26. (t)HA(t) YES. Apologies to Hayesians, but a lot of Londoners have probably never heard of it, never mind those from elsewhere.

27. MA(N AN)D SUPERMAN. Clark Kent after nan in mad. Nice, except I’m not sure about ‘against’ for after.


1. THE OTHER HALF. As in ‘a bit of the other’ and a half pint, but with disturbing overtones.

2. EAGLE. Ref golf, Tiger Woods. Are eagles rare as birds, or as golf shots?

4. KIND LED. Was in the van = led is good, but brand = kind seems weakish.

5. S IMP’S ON. Ref King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson.

7. NUR SEM(A)I D. Climbing ladder = RUN<. I like it.

10. AN NERO BINS ON. Good wordplay, but hard to see how you’d get it from the definition without getting 1ac first.

14. FRANCE SCA. As in Sca Fell in the lake District. Great tight clue.

16. GARNISHEE. Gains here*. Totally new one on me – Chambers says ‘a person warned not to pay money owed to another, because the latter is indebted to the garnisher who gives the warning. Hmm, close enough I guess!

19. THOREAU. ‘Basic stuff as some understand it’ = water in another language. Quoi?

24. ABYSM. Hidden. Are we sure this isn’t just a typo in the dictionary for ‘abyss’?

One Response to “Guardian 23,999, Paul: ‘Goodbye!’”

  1. says:

    A thoroughly enjoyable puzzle from the consistently excellent Paul – I liked 20, 23 and 23a particularly.

    Re 24d, it is no typo – I remember looking it up a long time ago when I came across the quotation “What seest thou else, In the dark backward and abysm of time?” in “The Tempest”.

    Re 2d, an eagle (2 shots under par for the hole) would be quite rare for Tiger Woods and probably extinct for the rest of us.

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