Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,507 – Paul

Posted by Uncle Yap on September 30th, 2008

Uncle Yap.

dd = double definition
cd = cryptic definition
rev = reversed or reversal
ins = insertion
cha = charade
ha = hidden answer
*(fodder) = anagram

I am so fortunate to have landed Paul today, a prized assignment. As usual, he entertained and challenged with his unique brand of wordplay which leaves one tearing off the hair and/or nodding in admiration for his fertile imagination and creativity, both in the word-play as well as some of the definitions

8,17 LEONARDO DA VINCI Leo (zodiac sign) *(candid vain or) with the definition, ‘artist’ simply written as 3
10 CROW What a cheeky indirect hidden answer clue … miCROWave
11 INFLECTION Ins of L (left) in INFECTION
12 FAUCET Sounds like ‘force it’
14 OMELETTE O (old) + ins of TT (two teas say) in MELEE (fight)
15 BEAR HUG I am aways amused by Spooner clues and this Head Bug is no exception
20 EVANESCE Ins of E (English) in EVANS (typical Welsh name) + CE (Church of England)
22 MOHAWK Cha of MO (medical officer or doctor) hawk (bird) – “a skating movement consisting of a stroke on the edge of one skate followed by a stroke in the opposite direction on the same edge of the other skate” from Chambers
23 MOTHERHOOD Ins of Other H (husband) in Mood (sulk) What makes compilers like Paul outstanding is their ability to create imaginative definitions and this one is really good as any new parents will tell you.
24 HERD Sounds like “heard”
25,26 OSAMA BIN LADEN This is a brilliant clue and so topical. Obama (Democrat candidate for the US Presidency) with “second amendment’ became OSAMA + Ins of N (northern) LA (state of Louisiana) in BIDEN (Senator Joe, running mate of Obama) to give you George W Bush’s nemesis

1 DECREASE dd to iron a shirt is to remove the creases from it i.e. to de-crease (cheeky word play)
2 KNOW “no”
3 ARTIST Ins of T in ARIST (o) Lucian Michael Freud, OM, CH (born 1922) is a British painter of German origin. Yes, he is related to the more famous Sigmund since, by definition, all Freuds must have come from a first Freud
4 HOTFOOT Simple cha
5 ALOE VERA A halo is a heavenly hat, so ‘ALO EVER (always) A. I have been told that this plant has many wonderful medicinal properties including being able to soothe a burn or an insect bite
6 CUTTLEFISH Ins of TLEF (rev of FELT or sensed) in CUTIS (skin) H (hard)
7 RESORT DD? allusing to the common term, “the last resort”
13 CORINTHIAN *(nation rich) with gymnastics as anagram indicator. There are many associations and clubs using Corinthian BUT all in plural or have I missed something? I still remember being fooled and foiled by Paul’s big breasts, Double D cups, it seems :-)
16 UPSTREAM Cha of UP (finished like your time) Stream (a group in school doing the same subjects) and once again, Paul has outdone himself with this superb definition ; thank goodness, I remembered watching an Animal Planet film on salmon breeding
18 CO-WORKER Ins of OW (middle letters of fowl) in CORKER (cracker, something wonderful)
19 REDOUBT Cha of RE (on) DOUBT (suspicion) a fieldwork enclosed on all sides; an inner last retreat.
21 VOODOO V (formation of flying geese) OO (ducks) D (died) OO (ducks)
22 MEDINA Cha of MED (Mediterranean Sea) In A. Isn’t it PC of Paul to use this word today, the eve of the Muslim festival of Idilfitri, marking the end of Ramadam to commemorate the Hegira which was the flight of Prophet Muhammad and his followers to the city of Medina in 622 CE and marking the first year of the Islamic calendar, 1 AH (anno Hegirae).
24,9 HEAD LOUSE Lead House (metal building)

17 Responses to “Guardian 24,507 – Paul”

  1. Eileen says:

    22ac: surely refers to the MOHAWK Punk haircut?

    13dn: refers, I think, to the ‘Corinthian ideal’ of amateurism in sport.

  2. Andrew says:

    I thought the same as Eileen about MOHAWK.

    15ac – maybe a typo by Uncle Yap: the spoonerism is HAIR bug, not head bug.

    I don’t approve of the “indirect hidden” in 10ac. I originally put in COVE, which is genuinely hidden; BIRD and COVE both being Bertie Woosterish words for a man.

  3. Kevin says:

    Big up to Uncle Yap, whose comprehensive and informative contributions are amongst the best on this site. Thanks!

  4. JamieC says:

    I agree with Andrew re 10ac and also put in COVE, felt rather pleased with myself and then got completely stuck.

    Azed would not approve…

  5. Tom Hutton says:

    I agree with Andrew and JamieC about 10ac. I would bet that few if any solvers put crow in before getting some cross letters to help. There were some really nice clues in this and it was solvable without recourse to encyclopaedias or dictionaries which is always good.

    One point: why does motherhood keep mum awake?

  6. Paul G says:

    To Tom:

    “One point: why does motherhood keep mum awake?”

    As the father of an 8 month old baby, its not just the mothers who are kept awake, trust me.

  7. John says:

    Yes. Mohawk is definitely the haircut.
    I don’t mind 10 ac, although I put in “crow” without knowing why.
    And one slight quibble. Aren’t Spoonerisms supposed to merely exchange first letters, keepng the rest of the two words intact? So “head louse” would be “hair bug” would be “bair hug”, not “bear hug”. Or can they merely sound the same?

  8. Paul B says:

    Metathesis, old boy, is your man, which allows for transpositions of sounds or letters in a word (or phrase, presumably). Spoonerisms are, strictly, exchanges of the first consonants or consonant pairs.

    There are no singers called Churly Bassis, for example (from Araucaria).

  9. Eileen says:

    The original Spoonerisms, uttered by Rev W A Spooner, 1844-1930] were surely involuntary and therefore not ‘supposed to’ follow any set pattern? OED definition: the accidental transposition of the initial sounds, or other parts, of two or more words.

  10. Will says:

    Well, I enjoyed it. Thought the indirect hidden word was a bit cheeky (I also mentally put in ‘cove’, and name-checked Bertie Wooster, but didn’t write it in), and really would prefer to avoid words with more than half the letters unchecked – redoubt required a thesaurus, going in last.

    Brought up on The Times, I think Paul is one who stays just the right side of the more liberal Guardian stance. I understand he sets for The Times as well, though I imagine in a purposely different style.

  11. John says:

    And there I was thinking I was such a smart feller.

  12. owenjonesuk says:

    I put in CROW based on the crossing W and the vague recollection that as well as a murder you can have a coven of crows. I think microwave is the right explanation of the clue though.

  13. Geoff says:

    CROW was my last entry, and I didn’t understand it until I read Uncle Yap’s explanation, which I’m sure is right.

    Spoonerisms are slips of the tongue in the spoken language. Nobody would ever make such a mistake in writing, but it does happen in speech – I have done it myself, and television presenters occasionally do it when reading from their autocues. Therefore a Spooner clue relies on transposed homophones.

    “Take care of the sense and the sounds will take care of themselves” said the Duchess to Alice – but unfortunately it isn’t always that simple.

  14. abu bilal says:

    Of course Spoonerisms are misspoken rather than misspelt, that’s where the humour is – weary benches-beery wenches etc.

    I have no problem with CROW being a cheeky indirect hidden. I also thought BIRD=COVE was possible, but didn’t include it immediately and ruled it out after getting the W from 2dn. But if it had been COVE then there would have been no need for the question mark… would there?

  15. abu bilal says:

    oh and Medina is a nice touch for the Eid today (in some Muslim countries or on Wednesday in others). But Uncle Yap, I think you’re reading too much into it – the Hijra to Medina would be more appropriately marked after the Eid al-Adha which follows the Hajj. that’s when the 1st day of the month of Muharram falls and the start of the Muslim lunar year, and i suppose by extension the Islamic calendar. Eid al-Iftar after Ramadan is in mid-year, at the start of the month of Shawwal. do you see what i mean?

    thanks for the fab explanations though.

  16. Paul B says:

    ‘Spoonerism’ in Collins gets ‘the transposition of the initial consonants or consonant clusters of a pair of words, often resulting in an amusing ambiguity of meaning, such as hush my brat for brush my hat’.

    Chambers, on the other hand, gives ‘the transposition of the initial sounds of spoken words’, which might not be quite the same thing, though the ambiguity is still confined to the ‘initial sounds’ (whatever they are).

    Annoyingly, SOED fights for ‘the initial sounds or other parts’, which is different again, and perilously close to the Chambers definition of ‘metathesis’ which allows for the transposition of ‘the sounds or letters of a word’ – any, presumably, and why I prefer it as (a catch-all) descriptor for the clue-type.

    Personally, I look forward to the resolution of the various opinions at a Spoonerism Conference which we might organise. Any objections to West Bank as the location?

    Shirley Bassey.

  17. Val says:

    Uncle Yap, Lucian is rather more closely related to Sigmund than just having all Freuds descended from the same original – Sigmund is Lucian’s grandfather. In fact, this is a quibble I have with the clue. Given all the famous members of the family (Sigmund, Anna, Clement, Emma and Matthew as well as Lucian) I don’t think Freud alone is sufficient definition to give ARTIST.

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