Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24274/Paul – fish or fowl?

Posted by ilancaron on January 2nd, 2008


Neither fish nor fowl — can’t tell if there’s really a theme here or not: do fish and chips and grouse and chickens and pecking qualify? A couple of wordplays that I’m still struggling with… sometimes I manage to work them out as I write up my notes. If not… please have at them. Updates from comments below…


1 GR[eat],OUSE – it’s a bird and OUSE is a river but “eat from”? “Eat from river, as bird”. The river is GREAT OUSE from which “eat” is removed.
4 PA(RAF,F[og])IN – the RAF are collectively “airmen”. Good example of seeing the answer before I worked out the wordplay.
9 [e]NO,U,GAT – rev(tag=name, u, on[e]) where U=upper-class I suppose for “posh”
11 I DON’T MIND IF I DO – def is an idiom for “thanks” but wordplay? “So my resentment is not to be trusted? Thanks!” See Geoff’s interpretation below.
13 CHIC=smart,KEN,P,OX=steer – def is just the very nicely hidden “spots” with KEN starring as our “boy”.
18 IMPECCABLE=”impeckable” – Paul indicates that this isn’t really a word with the question-mark.
21 WIND RESISTANCE – (in car witnessed)*: your ability to withstand a blast (of air) would be your WIND RESISTANCE rating.
24, 17 FR(YING TON[g])IGHT – I guess the chip shop’s proprietor is back from his fishing trip. I actually recognized the Goon’s “Ying-Tong song” — which just goes to show what kind of education I received at home from my father.
25 NOT,A,T[h]ING – “BeetHoven’s fifth” is invariably H – and in this case, “love” is NOT A THING rather than NOTHING. Consensus is that it’s actually NOT [h]ATING, since love is the absence of hate presumably.


1, 7 GONE FISHING – (sign of hinge)* – good surface with apposite fodder for the fish and chips shop surface.
2 OPUS DEI – (Oedipus)* — read “The Davinci Code” recently which helped.
3 S(EA SN)AKE – somewhat unusual wordplay: a hidden string inside of a container, where EASN is hidden in: “observE AS Natural” all inside SAKE our “drink”
6 ARM,PIT – Paul reveals that he doesn’t shave nor wax his armpits.
12 MAN,U,MISSION – not an everyday word for emancipation, MAN U’s our football team.
13 CHAR,W,OMAN – CHAR’s our fish and OMAN’s our nation.
15 I(C(E) AP)RON – double containment: it’s a “wedge-shaped structure which protects a bridge pier from floating ice” and IRON’s our metal.
19 BACKING – my fav, very Paulian, clue since troppus is BACKING(support).
22 EGGY – is this anything more than a cryptic definition? “Dressed in yellow and white?”

5 Responses to “Guardian 24274/Paul – fish or fowl?”

  1. Chunter says:

    1 ac: the river is the Great Ouse.

  2. Nematocera says:

    25 Ac: I thought it was “not hating” for love

  3. Geoff says:

    Agree with Nematocera about 25ac – NOT (H)ATING

    11ac: Definition is ‘Thanks!’ For the wordplay part, you have to read I DON’T MIND IF I DO as ‘I don’t mind if I DO mind’, from which it isn’t clear whether the speaker cares or not – and therefore ‘my resentment is not to be trusted’

  4. Ali says:

    And here I was thinking that Manumission was just a club in Ibiza. I’d no idea it was actually a word!

    Another nice puzzle from Paul, who is fast becoming my favourite Guardian setter. He’s quite a fan of these new ‘backwards’ clues as well. Last Saturday’s prize puzzle was full of ‘em.

  5. muck says:

    Yes, another great Paul

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