Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24579 / Pasquale

Posted by mhl on December 23rd, 2008


This is the first Pasquale that I’ve done as a blogger, and sadly I have very little time to devote to it – so apologies for not including more commentary, links, etc. Anyway, this was an excellent puzzle, with marvellous surface readings and lots of enjoyable “a-ha!” moments. My one reservation is 25 across (particularly since I’m in Italy at the moment!)

1. PUSHTO PUSH + OT (Old Testament) reversed. Of the many possibilities from the crossing letters (PUSHTU, PASHTU, etc.) this is the only one that fits the subsidiary.
4. ICE SKATE ICES = “kills” + KATE = “woman”
9. LOREN Hidden answer
12. RULER Double definition
13. CHEESE-CUTTER Double definition Cryptic definition: thanks to Pasquale for explaining this (see comment 12)
17. HOT CHOCOLATE (TOOTHACHE)* around COL = “pressure region”
20. OLIVE “zero live”
23. POTBOILER Double definition? I think I’m missing something, since it doesn’t seem all that cryptic… In fact this is another nice &lit, which is explained by Andrew in comment 1
25. EXPRESSO EXPRESS = “convey” + O = “love”. Unfortunately, people using “expresso” instead of “espresso” is one of my pet hates…
1. PULL BACK Double definition
3. TENON NONET reversed
5. CALLED TO ORDER Double definition
7. APOLLO POLL O after A
8. ELYTRA ELY = “see” + ART reversed
10. PRINCE CHARLES A laugh-out-loud &lit: (SINCERE CHAP R(eal) L(uddite))*
14. STOKEHOLE Homophone of “stow coal”
15. CADILLAC CAD = “rotten fellow” + ILL = “bad” + AC = “bill”
16. RELEGATE RE = religious education, or “lessons about many faiths” + LEGATE
19. TIPTOP TIP + TOP(ERS), I think
22. CAVER CAVE = “beware” + R

15 Responses to “Guardian 24579 / Pasquale”

  1. Andrew says:

    Very good to see Pasquale back after I’d complained about his absence only last week.

    I thought 23ac was an &lit – “Work created for a return” = OP rev + B(ook) in TOILER.

    I agree with your dislike of “expresso”, but Chambers has it: “same as espresso”.

    The Prince Charles one was hilarious.

  2. Eileen says:

    I think we conjured him up, Andrew. Thanks for explaining ‘potboiler': I got as far as OP rev! An excellent clue.

    I didn’t know to ‘ice’ meant to ‘kill’ and I’d never heard of ‘elytra’ but it’s a few days since I learned a new word.

    I was surprised to see that both Chambers and Collins had ‘expresso’ as a valid alternative. I hate it, too, and always thought it was incorrect. To rub it in, today’s FT puzzle had it as an answer, too, spelled ‘correctly’.

    I wasn’t ever so happy with ‘poly’ being simply an ‘institution’ but, apart from that, I enjoyed it – a welcome return!

  3. Tom Hutton says:

    A very nice crossword. I like 12 ac being an ex wooden headed head myself.

    I had addiction for 21ac which seemed to fit well enough so I was scuppered for 16dn. I thought it was some other word like elytera of which I had never heard.

  4. Brian Harris says:

    Really liked 18down. Very elegant clue.

  5. mhl says:

    Thanks for explaining the POTBOILER clue, Andrew – very nice…

    Also, since I may not be online tomorrow, I meant to add “Merry Christmas!” to everyone here :)

  6. Andrew says:

    Eileen, I thought the definition of POLY was “institution once”, not just “institution”.

  7. Eileen says:

    Andrew, yes, I know, that is the way I took it but it struck me as vague: I’d expect ‘educational’ – which, of course, would ruin the clue! In the old non pc days, if you talked about an institution, you meant a mental one, as in the Groucho Marx joke: ‘Marriage is a wonderful institution but who wants to live in an institution?’ I’m afraid that’s what immediately sprang to mind but I realise now that I was being too picky.

  8. aferick says:


  9. don says:

    Aferick, can I just add ‘Ych y fi’.

    Heard you’d been ill, Don, hope you improve!

    Merry Christmas, anyway.

  10. Geoff says:

    Thin blog today – I presume because everyone was too busy, rather than there being nothing to say.

    Solid, highly professional puzzle from Pasquale, with several nice &lits.

    Only ‘expresso’ jars – to a modern ear. But I have a feeling this spelling was once more widely used (cf the musical and film ‘Expresso Bongo’, which date from the 1950s). This would put the usage in the same category as ‘cad’ and ‘toper’ – words amongst the charades which now sound a little quaint.

    And ‘expresso’, distasteful though we of a sensitive disposition might find it, is infinitely better than ‘paninis’ which appears daily on thousands of lunch menus.

  11. stiofain_x says:

    Great puzzle nice to see Pasquale back, loved the one about that proper charlie.
    Nollaig Shona daoibh.(Gaeilge)

  12. Pasquale says:

    Many thanks for the enthusiastic feedback. Cheese cutter had a cryptic definition, by the way (mousetrap being a cheap cheese). And yes I’m getting better, thanks — expecting to lose my gall bladder on 7 Jan.

  13. Ian says:

    Late with this as I fell asleep after too much Jameson’s.

    An excellent puzzle that took me ages due in part to two new words, Elytra and Expresso. A setback was 21a which, like Tom, i had as Addiction.

    Yes, the Prince Charles clue was an absolute corker!! Very Cyclopsian.

    Bravo Pasquale!

  14. muck says:

    Geoff: ‘paninis’ & ‘expresso'; I hate them too, but they are normal spellings for those unlucky enough not to be enjoying the sunshine here in Toscana.

  15. Richard Heald says:

    Great to see the return of Pasquale. The POTBOILER clue was indeed a cracker (if strangely familiar …!).

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