Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,240 Paul – “Egrets: I’ve Had a Few …”

Posted by neildubya on November 21st, 2007


A very pleasant and reasonably humane puzzle from Paul. The best strategy with his puzzles I find is to pick off the rare easy ones, hope they give you letters for the multi-word solutions he loves and then hope in turn that you then have enough letters to work out the absolute beasts. Lots of hoping involved (with me anyway).

 Didn’t get 21a or 4d  over breakfast – hope someone clever rescues me, otherwise I’ll try again at lunch.


1 SACK BUT – a distant relative of the trombone

5 BUG LOSS – some kind of plant, I hope (I don’t do “green things” very well, sorry: try wikipedia for details)

9 (R)EGRET – It’s a type of bird – the reference being to Sinatra’s “My Way”. Clues like this are the reason I’m still hooked on crosswords.

11 TENDERLOIN – (red line not)* Love the use of the word “squiggly” as an anagrind and the double meaning of “cut” which misdirected me for way too long.

14 NOT HAVE A LEG TO STAND ON – double definition (“lie” as in “not stand”)

18 CAUGHT SHORT – (audible moan) Taken= caught, Wee= Short

21 <<didn’t get it – is it “NOPE”?>>


25 HUNKY DORY – (moan big enough to stop conversation in my local cafe) Hunky = macho, Dory = sort of fish

26 EXIST – I don’t get it, I’m afraid, but I can’t see what else

27 SHORTLY – “Anon”= shortly, and “ano” is a shortened version of shortly. Unless I’ve missed something.

28 ROTATOR = Something which swivels, whichever way round you read it.


 2 COR-ON-A – “Cor” as in “Cor Anglais” – a corona is something that is trumpet-shaped

3/1 BETWEEN THE SHEETS = reference to a cocktail of that name

4 <<didn’t get it>>

5 BASTINADO – (baton said)* = flogging of the feet to extract information or for personal enjoyment. Crossword solvers have no grounds to sneer – at least our source of pleasure-and-pain can be safely enjoyed on a train.  

8 SANTIAGO – (against)* + o(ld) 


16 A- CAN-THUS – I’m sure there a “green thing” with this name

17 BUM-PINTO – a pinto being a type of horse. Highlight of my morning was typing the word “BUM” in capitals and posting it on the Internet.

19 AD-RIFT – (this was where I was asked to leave the cafe – my groaning was starting to bother the other customers) Saatchi&Saatchi is an advertising agency started by the Saatchi brothers

20 ORATOR – (Roo)< with “rat” inside

23 D(RYE)R – “Rye” being an port somewhere in England

24 CYST – Clever clue, it’s the initial letters of the words (starting from the end)

10 Responses to “Guardian 24,240 Paul – “Egrets: I’ve Had a Few …””

  1. beermagnet says:

    21A Yes it is NOPE – OPEN as in “open and honest” with its back N shifted to the front

  2. Berny says:

    4D Total – as in ‘running total’ with ‘up into’ indicating reversed hidden word in ‘cupola to theologise’


  3. Pat says:

    26A Exist – eight loses g and h, and gets six backwards.

  4. beermagnet says:

    26A I thought it was TEN losing N getting SIX, and the whole think backwards

  5. petero says:

    To get in my six cents’ worth: 26A is figure six in te(n), all reversed. For the horticulturally challenged, bugloss is a wildflower (I believe there are cultivars). The best known is the delightfully named ‘Viper’s Bugloss’; it has spikes of blue and pink flowers, rather like a small delphinium. Acanthus is an imposing thistle-like plant. Stylized representations of its elegant leaves decorate the capital of a Corinthian column.
    Oh, and Rye in Sussex is no longer a port (Paul is careful enough to refer to it as an ‘old port’). It was a Cinque Port (though not one of the original five), but changes in the coastline have left it a couple of miles inland.

  6. beermagnet says:

    2D Just to clarify, COR is simply french for horn.
    A French Horn is a very different instrument from a Cor Anglais:

  7. Stan says:

    Thanks for the rescue you lot – I actually spent lunchtime on the outrageously difficult Times crossword today. Was delighted to click across to the “Times for The Times” blog to see that even Pete Biddlecombe found it heavy going.

    Think Beermargnet’s solution for 26a is spot-on

    And petero : all I know is the little green things are “plants” and the big green things are “trees” – if I really want to get technical there are green things in between called “bushes”. Stan is not a nature boy – it’s all just stuff that gets in the way of my strimmer…

  8. ilancaron says:

    Rather liked 1A, defining SACKBUT (an archaic instrumental something other other of the blowing into or strumming variety) as “you blew it!” is very clever!

  9. ilancaron says:

    ok… clearly of “the blowing into” variety…

  10. Geoff says:

    I’m a great fan of Paul – his clueing is varied and imaginative and his crosswords are always a pleasing challenge because they are guaranteed to raise a snigger or two. I thought this was one of his more straightforward offerings, perhaps because it didn’t have a theme. Apart from a few plants, that is – and CORONA (2D) only means ‘trumpet’ in a botanical sense (the trumpet of a daffodil flower is technically a ‘corona’).

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