Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24253/Paul – squeaky

Posted by ilancaron on December 6th, 2007


As always an intellectual treat to solve a Paul puzzle — and as usual he pushes the Ximenean envelope — typically from the outside, but always gratifyingly — e.g. 17D. A couple of very Brit-local refs (e.g. 11A).

1 FRACAS – my last clue and the only one I didn’t fully understand. It’s an argument but the wordplay? “Argument draining for conciliation service”.
4 KNOCK-OFF – must be a town called KNOCK in County Mayo is my bet.
9 S[outh],AT,NAV=rev(van) – haven’t checked the dictionary, I wonder if this term for GPS-based navigation devices is there?
10 [m]ET(HERE)AL – Tin is a kind of metal…
11 SQUEAKY BUM TIME – (tummies quake by)* — fortunately the anagram was well-indicated and the fodder apposite, so with some crossing letters and inspired guessing and wikipedia I worked out that Alex Ferguson invented this term to describe what end of season nerves do to one’s GI tract.
16 O,OPS – I liked this simple and elegant charade.
18 HALF-ASLEEP – a wordplay in the answer clue: half of “snoozing” is “snoo”.
21 [h]AIR CONDITIONER – clever double-definition with one half cryptic.
24 WINDOW S,EAT – quite a clever clue, ref. Microsoft WINDOWS.
25 [ag]ENCI[es],R,CLE[ver] – somewhat complex wordplay with a somewhat less than satisfying surface: “Ring agencies at the centre right, not half clever!”


1 FAST BOWLER – the requisite cricket ref.
2 AN,TIQUE=”teak”
6 CR(E)AM,[ro]Y[al]
7 O,NET,IM,E – “heading for exit” is just E.
8 FIL(T)ER TI,P – T in (fire lit)*
13 PROPA=”proper”,GATE – didn’t we have exactly this homophone in “The Guardian” last week? Note GATE the generic suffix for scandal (as in its progenitor Watergate).
15 A(STONI)SH – (sot in)* in ASH (our “tree”).
17 P(Y)R,RHIC=”rich” – Paul uses Y to represent “why” with no indicator. I think it’s fine. The def is cryptic (PYRRHIC victories tend not to be worth it).
19 EM,ENDED – simple and elegant charade.
22 SWAY – two meanings.

6 Responses to “Guardian 24253/Paul – squeaky”

  1. beermagnet says:

    1A FRACAS This was lovely and by contrast one of my first solved.
    “draining for” gives FR – “for” drained of its innards.
    “conciliation service” is ACAS which is an Arbitration Service, a quango for resolving employment disputes.
    I presume ACAS is a UK based organisation.

  2. Ron says:

    4A I believe KNOCK is in Mayo, is the site of a Catholic shrine and also has an airport, hence destination – but I’d quibble slightly with Knock Off as cancelled.

    18A I do like SNOO for half asleep – but I’m not sure what Ximenes would make of it!

    24A I’m not happy with Window for computer operator.

  3. Geoff says:

    4A ‘Mayo destination’ = KNOCK (place with shrine in Co Mayo) and ‘cancelled’ is OFF. The definition is ‘imitation’. KNOCK OFF is more usually employed as a (phrasal) verb, meaning steal or imitate, but I suppose a pirated copy could be described as a KNOCK OFF (ie using expression as a noun).

    24A ‘Computer operator’ is WINDOWS, not WINDOW – which seems a perfectly reasonable half-cryptic def as Windows is an operating system. Add EAT (‘to take in’) to produce WINDOW SEAT

    I really enjoyed this puzzle. 11A was marvellously characteristic of this setter. We haven’t had a ‘Paul’ for a while and I was beginning to pine..

  4. Stan says:

    I disagree with Ron and side with Paul – a computer operating system is very much a computer operator as its the means by which a computer is operated.

  5. Mick H says:

    “Squeaky bum time” may refer to the state of one’s innards, but I tend to think of it in terms of the noise made by someone anxiously shifting position on a hard plastic seat of the type found at football matches.
    Good stuff – I particularly liked ‘air conditioner.

  6. muck says:

    Great puzzle – more Paul please.

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