Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,271 (Sat 29 Dec)/Paul – Backwords compatible

Posted by rightback on January 5th, 2008


Solving time: 4:42

Araucaria has had a monopoly on the prize crosswords in recent weeks, so this was a nice change and probably my quickest time for a Paul puzzle. The theme was fairly straightforward, comprising 5 clues consisting of single words backwards (“kcul?”, “ylper?”, “ytud?”, “eert?” and “tew?”), leading to solutions with ‘wordplay in the answer’. I was helped enormously by spotting the answer to the longest of these (“kcul?”) immediately, and by knowing the phrase ‘neap tide’ which I solved next.

Music of the day: Playing music backwards was pioneered by The Beatles in the 1960s, but we had a Beatles song last week so today’s pick is Don’t Stop by The Stone Roses, which is essentially Waterfall played backwards with a few tweaks and new lyrics written to fit.

* = anagram.

8 PA’S + ADEN + A – home of the Rose Bowl which hosted the final of the 1994 World Cup, a terrible game about which (apart from Baggio’s penalty miss) I honestly can’t remember a thing.
9 BRE(V)E[d]
11/15 REVERSAL OF FORTUNE (thematic: “kcul?”)
12/24 ANSWER BACK (thematic: “ylper?”)
20 MO[n]TH + BALL
22 RESORT (double definition) – ‘ultimate strategy’ as in ‘last resort’.
23 TAX RETURNS (thematic: “ytud?”)
25 UNFED; F in (NUDE)*
26 TIN + NIT + US – ‘in The Listener’ looks at first to be part of the wordplay but in fact forms part of a misleading definition.
4 HAR[d] + VEST
7 HERO(I)N – another well-crafted clue with a cunning definition (‘Horse’).
13 WIT(C)H + CRAFT – ‘withholding’ needs to be split into two parts for the wordplay.
16 NEAP TIDE; (PAINTED)* + E – luckily I spotted this from the initial N and the definition, because even then wordplay took a few seconds to see, as the anagram indication (‘Wave painted…’) reads so well.
18 SPRUCE UP (thematic: “eert?”)
19 C(LAR)ITY – ‘housed’ here goes with ‘God’, not ‘in'; a Lar was a Roman household god.
21 OPAQUE (hidden)
22/2 RISING DAMP (thematic: “tew?”) – ‘backwater’ was my first thought here. Actually I’m not convinced this clue works – the wordplay is in the answer so ‘rising’ has to describe the clue, which is (of course) written horizontally; the fact that it’s a down clue I don’t think matters.
24 B + RIM

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