Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,301 (Sat 2 Feb)/Puck – Hog wash

Posted by rightback on February 9th, 2008


Solving time: 18 mins

Appropriately for the date, this puzzle (and especially its perimeter) was themed around Punxsutawney Phil, a groundhog from the borough of Punxsutawney in Pennsylvania which supposedly predicts the next six weeks’ weather on February 2nd (Groundhog Day) of each year, and which inspired the film of the same name starring Bill Murray. I didn’t know much of this, in particular the name of the borough, which made this a tricky puzzle.

Music of the day (see 21ac): I Got You Babe by Sonny & Cher.

* = anagram.

1 PENNSYLVANIA (abbreviated to PA = Public Address
8 OLYMPUS (double definition) – a Greek mountain and camera manufacturer.
9 PHIL + LIP – 10’s 26 part 1 translates as ‘Punxsutawney’s groundhog’, i.e. Phil.
11 BELIE + V + E
12 SH + AVIAN – meaning ‘to do with George Bernard Shaw’.
13 E,S + S + E,S – the plural of the letter ‘S’.
14 DUTCH + [h]E[r]L[u]M[p]S – a very Guardianesque definition (‘diseased growths’), referring to Dutch Elm Disease.
16 SOFT (= ‘Piano’) + PEDAL (= PLA[Y]ED*)
19 EMMET (hidden) – an ant.
21 NO + MARCH – if I remember correctly, the film ‘Groundhog Day’ is about a man who wakes up every morning to discover that it is still February 2nd, so never reaches March. I can’t remember exactly how this cycle ends, but I do remember that he wakes up every morning to ‘I Got You Babe’ by Sonny & Cher, hence this week’s music choice.
24 BILLETS (French for ‘letters’) – good and smutty in equal measure.
25 OCT + [b]ETTE[r]
1 PHYLLIS; PH[il] + rev. of SILLY – not just any female but Phil’s wife.
2 NIPPERS; PE in (SPRIN[g])*
3 S + U.S. + PENDED
5 ALIGARH; ALI + rev. of RAG, + H – a city in India.
6 [w]ILL WILL – ‘Bard repeatedly’ with ‘bearing’ (= W) removed.
7 GOBBLER’S KNOB – GO + B,B,L + (BONKERS)* – the wonderfully named hole from which Phil makes his prediction.
10 PUNXSUTAWNEY; (AT SUN-UP WE + X + N.Y.)* – after a couple of minutes looking for something better, I wrote this in, looked it up and was astonished to find that it was correct.
18 P.A. + R + VENU[s]
19 ERE + CT + ED – ‘Balls’ being Ed Balls MP.
22 HOSED (hidden)

2 Responses to “Guardian 24,301 (Sat 2 Feb)/Puck – Hog wash”

  1. linxit says:

    Your hyperlink to Punxsutawney Phil doesn’t work, as it goes to a page under I guess you might have intended this Wikipedia page.

    Random coincidence of the day – this evening (not 5 minutes before reading this blog entry), I was reading Stephen King’s Wolves of the Calla (Dark Tower series, vol. 5). Two pages before I stopped reading to have a browse on the computer, I read this line:

    …Mia had come out for seven minutes, had a look around, and then dived back into her hole like
    Punxsutawney Phil on Groundhog Day…

    and thought “Who the hell is Punxsutawney Phil???”

    I didn’t look at this puzzle last week, and couldn’t even have told you when Groundhog Day is.

  2. rightback says:

    Link corrected, thanks.

    I don’t think I knew that Groundhog Day really existed until a crossword alerted me to it… Ultimo (IESGRLGH) by Arsinoë from last year’s Magpie, I think, but I could be wrong.

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