Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24047/Paul – come to think of it

Posted by ilancaron on April 10th, 2007

ilancaron.

Solving time: 35’

I stared at this for a long time post-solving convinced there was a theme (after all, the competition in The Independent is Virgilius) but I can’t tease anything to the surface. Rather proud of myself for recognizing the John PRESCOTT dig though.

Across

5 [in]COME [in]COME – clever wordplay, almost too clever really since the surface ends up suffering: basically, remove “in” for “home” (homeless!) from (two=doubled) incomes.
10 T,HIRST – defining Damien HIRST as just a “pickler” might be grounds for libel… oh, he probably won’t mind – someone told me yesterday that he’s worth $160M or pounds.
11 MOUNTAINEERS – (cryptic) def is “they’re inclined to explore” but the wordplay I’m leaving as exercise for the reader: ”They’re inclined to explore county without borders in state west of queen’s”.
17 A,BUD,HABI[t] – Not Oman for change.
18,2 GREY AREA – double/cryptic def (“where the elderly congregate?”)
20 NOR(T)H DAKOTAN – T in (Koran to hand)* but cryptically defining “statesman” as NORTH DAKOTAN deserves a question-mark.
23 PLEDGE – hidden in “staPLED GErund” but rather Araucarian surface frankly.
24 FULL STOP – def is “point” and very clever surface for what we all ought to do about halfway through each meal.
25 PRESCOTT – (protects)*. John PRESCOTT is an old-style Labour politician in New Labour clothing.

Down

3 D(REAM,L)AND[y] – awkward surface with complex wordplay leading to a cryptic def of DREAMLAND: “where sleeping”. Not my favourite clue. Hard work without a payoff.
5 COME TO, THIN,KOFI,T – A Paulian charade tour de force. In fact, the definition is just “in fact”. KOFI Annan is our “man of peace”.
6,22 METRICAL FOOT – I loved this antonymical clue which bears repeating: ”An oxymoronic measure of lines?
8 MIST,RUSTED – “damaged chassis, for instance” I suppose is a way to define RUSTED.
12 BAM,BOOZ(L)ER – not sure about BAM and “earthquake-damaged” assuming that BOOZER is “pub”.
15,7 ORGANISED CRIME – clever: wordplay in the answer since Merci* is CRIME. “Surete” is needed in order to be consistent with merci.
16 SAN DIE,GO – Ref. SANDIE Shaw (OK, I’m almost as proud of getting this ref as the Prescott ref).

5 Responses to “Guardian 24047/Paul – come to think of it”

  1. says:

    12D – The Iranian city of Bam suffered a major earthquake in 2003. So earthquake-damaged pub = BAM BOOZER? Rather obscure in my opinion

  2. says:

    I thought this was Paul at his most enjoyable – Shaw giving Sandie, man of peace for Kofi, pickler for Hirst, forward thinker for cerebrum… A great range of references in which few things were as first expected and several clues produced a laugh of recognition when solved – though I will own some of the surfaces were a tad abrasive to the touch.

  3. says:

    11ac – if I remember correctly, the clue ends “Queen’s”, not “Queen”, giving [c]OUNT[y] in MAINE + ER’S.

  4. vynbos says:

    Why not give all the solutions? Just because it seems too obvious to bother to you, doesn’t mean others aren’t struggling. 19D “Pen striking last letter of passion, which was on the record” STYLUS. I don’t get it. “striking last letter of passion” gives LUS(t), but what gives “STY”?

  5. ilan caron says:

    STY=pen (think pigs)

    –ilan

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