Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24390 Paul : “Cheer Up, Paul”

Posted by neildubya on May 16th, 2008



I did this in Oxford Services at 7 a.m after driving 2 hours from Manchester on my way to London and am blogging when I really should be working – so this is not even up my usual low standards.




The crossword however was a joy, even though I came to grief in the top left corner.



1 SULP-HATE – I didn’t get this one, but Eileen did << …SULP rev plus [’and’] and HATE ‘be repelled’”>>


5 FLOWER – you usually get river = “one that flows” = flower rather than the other way round

9 Omitted on purpose – simple anagram

10 HAR(e)ASS

13 BEN-JO-NS-ON : OK, a Ben is a mountain and NS are Bridge partners, and Ben Jonson is undeniably a dramatist, but I wasn’t sure of the rest until Eileen pointed out JO(b) 

14 TO(HE)LL-WITH IT : Perfect

18 C(LOSE-HARM)ONY : A Cony is an old word for rabbit (also slang for a lady’s front-bottom, incidentally) – “barbershop” is a singing style

21 SA(NAN)GE-LO(af) : Not the most famous Texas city, but clear from the wordplay

24 E.G-O(IS)M : OM = Order of Merit

26 TIDDLY WINKS : Again, perfection.

27 B-OT-SWAN-A : Shakespeare = “the swan of Avon”


1 SCREWY – like a screw as well as being quite, quite mad <<kudos is due to conradcork for saving me>>


3 HOROSCOPE  – any reference to periscopes in war movies is due to a simple case delirium on the part of this blogger. “Signs” as in “zodiac”.

4 T-ROUBLEMAKER – groan !

6 LLA-NO : “ON ALL” in reverse – a South American plain

7 WHATS THE POINT : (WHITE HOT PANTS)* – yet again, perfection.

8 Omitted on purpose – it’s hidden in the words of the clue

11 O-NE(LUM-PORT)W-O : Wonderful





20 STIG-MA : Reference to the children’s book “Stig of the Dump”

22 N.A.S.A-L


9 Responses to “Guardian 24390 Paul : “Cheer Up, Paul””

  1. Eileen says:

    I had HOROSCOPE for 3dn which gave me SULPHATE [salt]for 1ac SULP rev plus [‘and’] and HATE ‘be repelled’

    13ac I thought ‘work shortly’ must be JO[b]

  2. conradcork says:

    … and Ben is a peak.

  3. conradcork says:

    1 down. Screwy, both nuts and like other fasteners.

  4. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Conradcork. I had SCREWS, too and couldn’t explain it. Should have remembered Paul’s recent ‘apply’ [‘like fruit’]

  5. Eileen says:

    PS It was Ben Jonson who called Shakespeare the ‘Swan of Avon’, so that’s quite neat.

  6. stan says:

    Shame he took all those drugs to improve his sprinting though …

    Thanks all for the rescue … “Up Periscope” was the result of desperation, serious sleep-deprivation and early-morning motoring.

  7. Geoff says:

    Great crossword, with some lovely clues and amusing phrases as solutions.

    I also found the top left quadrant the hardest, but (as a chemist) kicked myself when I finally spotted SULPHATE. Incidentally, although this spelling is still widely used, the (British) Royal Society of Chemistry advises the spellings SULFUR, SULFATE etc. Not simply to follow American usage, but because the PH spelling is a medieval affectation – the etymology is direct from the Classical Latin for ‘brimstone’ which is usually ‘sulfur’ but occasionally ‘sulpur’ (no H).

  8. rightback says:

    SULPHATE (and before that HOROSCOPE) was (were) my last entries too, some time after the rest. I thought the clue to SULPHATE was brilliant.

  9. Ian says:

    I was completely stumped by 27A, even though I knew it had to be Botswana. But now I see “OT” = Old Testament. Doh!

    Found this page on crossword abbreviations very useful by the way.

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