Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,602 – Paul

Posted by Ciaran McNulty on January 21st, 2009

Ciaran McNulty.

Another toughie from Paul.  The theme was enjoyable for a film buff, but a few clues didn’t quite sound right for me.

The only solution I couldn’t explain was 22D, but the answer must be right.

* = anagram
dd = double definition
cd = cryptic definition
“” = homophone
< = reversed


9. AITCHBONE. T(I)HEBACON*. A ‘cut’ of meat. ‘Sandwiches’ indicates the I goes inside the anagram.
10. HOFFA. H + OFFA.  H is the shape of rugby posts, Offa was an ancient king. ‘With …’ is used throughout to clue ‘a film starring…’, which might upset some people based on past comments, but it seems clear enough to me what’s meant.
11. KIT UP. KIP with (fu)TU(re) in.
12. TOP-DRAWER. dd.
14. LIE DOWN. LIED + OWN. You can sort of see what the setter’s going for, but I can’t quite make ‘if copyright of song is yours’ mean ‘song own’ – there’s an IS or something missing.
17. IDIOM. I + DI(O)M.
20. DODGE. DO(D.)GE. A Doge is an old magistrate in Genoua.
22. DRAYAGE. (E.G. + AY + ‘ARD)<.  Drayage means ‘transport by cart’.
26. MOWED. “MODE”.  Auditor is used in the sense of ‘hearer’.
29. URBAN MYTH. UR BA(N + MY)TH.  I think ‘My!’ is used in the sense of an exclamation like ‘Well!’.


1. JACK NICHOLSON. J(AC. + INK< + C.H.)OLSON. Al Jolson was a singer, C.H. is the Companion of Honour.  I got this long after guessing a couple of the movie titles.
2. STATER. S + ‘TATER. Ancient Greek coin.
4. SORT OF. mintS OR TOFfees.
5. ZEPPELIN. Z + E. + (NILE + P.P.)<
6. CHAR. dd.
8. PARR. A young fish, and Catherine Parr was the wife of Henry VIII who survived him.
19. MISO SOUP. IM< + SO-SO + UP.
22. DANUBE. European is DANE but I can’t explain UB yet…
24. NARK. dd. Means a police informant, and ‘to annoy’.
25. OAST. (t)OAST.
27. DAHL. HAD< + L.

43 Responses to “Guardian 24,602 – Paul”

  1. Rob Lewis says:

    2d threw me for a while as stuber (s + tuber, whihc is tecnically a potato) is also an old german coin! Of course 11 ac made me see the error! 14ac ‘lied own’ seemed OK if you own a copyright then the song (Lied in german) is ‘yours’

  2. Ciaran McNulty says:

    Rob, I think it’s that the formulation of 11ac makes me think it should be an actual phrase, and ‘Lied own’ doesn’t parse as an English phrase.

  3. smutchin says:

    Some of the clues today flummoxed me even when I managed to work out the answers – notably 26a and 8d – so thanks for the explanations, Ciaran. 22d is another – can’t help with the UB, sorry.

    14a also puzzled me a bit, but if you accept lied = song (thanks for that, Rob), it makes a kind of sense.

    Favourite clue today was 4d for its nicely misleading surface.

    I had no problem with any of the themed clues nor the theme itself but I’m looking forward to some of the rants to come at YATPC (Yet Another Themed Paul Crossword).

    PS as a slight aside, I’d like to take this opportunity to brag about my gold award from Paul in his clue comp this week. Eyethankewe.

  4. brisbanegirl says:

    Thanks for the post Ciaran,

    I was able to solve most of the puzzle because I fluked one of the movies and worked backwards to gather the theme.

    A few pretty spectacular anagrams I thought.

    Some new words on me though … I’ve never heard of and aitchbone … must be some dreadful cut of meat which we aussies don’t need to eat.

  5. Andrew says:

    Hi Ciaran,
    I thought PARR was a reference to Thomas Parr, also known as Old Parr, who supposedly lived for 152 years – 1483-1635 – and so in particular lived through (“survived”) the whole of the 16th century.

    Not being much of a film buff I had to cheat a bit to Jack N and get the titles (I got A FEW GOOD MEN first and the rest followed from there), but apart from that, and the doubts about LIE DOWN, it was good fun as usual from Paul.

  6. Andrew says:

    Congrats Smutchin – and Eileen’s there too I see!

  7. Ciaran McNulty says:

    Andrew – that’s an interesting point about Thomas Parr. My mind immediately went to the ‘divorced, beheaded, died / divorced, beheaded, survived’ rhyme, but your explanation probably fits a bit better. I do wonder which the setter meant?

  8. brisbanegirl says:

    I just looked at Paul’s results,

    I thought Eileens answer should have been George W Bush … made me laugh out loud. Bravo Eileen.

    And well done Smutchin …too clever for words!!

  9. Eileen says:

    I’m still working on 22dn, too; UB is the middle of ‘tube’, which is a pipe, but…

    Re 29ac: that’s twice recently that I’ve seen UR = ‘ancient’, which I didn’t know before. [I’d only met UR as ‘ancient city’. I thought the clue was great.

    Well done, Smutchin – nice one!

    Since you mention it, if you’re wondering about my clue, which appears anything but cryptic, the enumeration and solution were published wrongly: it should be 6,4,1: George *W* Bush! [Someone else mentioned last week that his clue had been changed.]

  10. TwoPies says:

    Thanks Ciaran. I thought it was U-Bend for waste pipe.

  11. Eileen says:

    Pipped yet again! Thanks, Brisbanegirl – and well done for seeing the error!

  12. brisbanegirl says:

    I’m all overcome with cleverness, thanks …. Dreadful English, but I am a product of my generation and the use of txt and email.

    Such a timely clue.

    I’m wating for the wave of Obama clues to come.

  13. smutchin says:

    Eileen, brilliant anagram – though I admit the missing W confused me (see, I’m not all that clever, Brisbanegirl).

  14. smutchin says:

    Andrew/Ciaran – the beauty of the clue is that both explanations work! I favour the Catherine Parr explanation myself, since she is referred to explicitly as a survivor in the rhyme Ciaran mentioned.

  15. brisbanegirl says:


    We’re all clever, in our own way.

    At work, I am a bit of an anomaly, as a social worker surrounded by engineers and property valuers … sometimes I’ll say something that is social work 101 to me and they think I’m a genius … go figure…

  16. Rob Lewis says:

    I think ‘Lied own’ is actually ‘Lie Down’ or take it easy?

  17. Ciaran McNulty says:

    TwoPies – U-Bend it is, I was preoccupied with thinking of something that was either ?UB or UB? that I didn’t think of ‘end’ as being literal. Well done.

  18. brisbanegirl says:

    14qc, could work better if the solution was “lay down” as that is the idiom used in the recording industry … lay down a track. Just a thought.

  19. Geoff says:

    TwoPies has beaten me to it, I’m afraid! UB is U-B(END) – ‘End cut from waste pipe’. Tricky but clever, like many of the clues in this puzzle. As I’m much better on films than jazz classics, I found this crossword much easier than last week’s, though a few clues were rather recalcitrant – AITCHBONE (although it was an anagram), and ZEPPELIN held me up for a while.

    I agree that 14ac doesn’t parse exactly – but it’s a pretty good clue nevertheless.

  20. Eileen says:

    Re comment 9: of course, I meant ‘6,1,4’!

  21. Dave Ellison says:

    Well, I didn’t rate highly this one from Paul. Though I almost always enjoy the themed ones, I’ll have to join the YATPC set today. I got A FEW GOOD MEN, but had not heard of it, and in checking, unfortunately noticed JACK NICHOLSON, which ruined the rest for me. I had to google all of them.

    Added to this, there is a superfluous AS in 24d. In 18d, is DESCENT = FALL? Just about I suppose. 19d had to google, too.

    Otherwise some of the rest I thoroughly enjoyed!

  22. brisbanegirl says:


    I thought 8dn quite fair … both mean to go down (which could be indecent in itself …sorry). And … it was one of the few in my first run I got without any indecent thoughts …

  23. Ian Stark says:

    I loved this one from Paul. I haven’t seen Hoffa or Terms of Endearment so wouldn’t have known they were Jack Nicholson films (but I knew they were films, so was confident in writing them in, having got the theme). Still, I thought the themed clues were soluble without that knowledge and I had a great time doing so. I struggled to the end with MOWED, not remembering that ‘auditor’ can be a homophone indicator. Overall, though, I thought this was a cracker and, for me, very satisfying not to have to turn to reference works. Thanks to Paul and Ciaran.

    Congratulations to the latest winners at Cryptica – all terrific! Do you ever compile full crosswords?

    As an aside, is anyone else struggling with making out the grid numbers in the online print version (the pdf)? Dreadful!

  24. TwoPies says:

    Ian: Yes, I am. It’s been like that for three days now. I have emailed the crossword editor but I haven’t had a reply yet.

  25. Ian Stark says:

    Yes, I just emailed as well. This morning was a real challenge (I was, er, ‘working’ late last night . . .)

  26. smutchin says:

    Ian, the clues I’ve sent in to Paul so far are my personal favourites from full puzzles I’ve set, which is something I’ve only started doing in the past few months. It’s just a hobby at the moment but the long-term aim is to get published. Really pleased to get Paul’s seal of approval but I won’t be giving up the day job just yet!

  27. Fred says:


  28. Dave Ellison says:

    YATPC – see Mutchin #3

  29. Dave Ellison says:

    Sorry, Smutchin

  30. James says:

    #22 comes from U-Bend for waste pipe with no end leaving UB

    Hope that helps!

  31. Ian Stark says:

    Smutchin, same here, just for fun. No plans to attempt being published, though!

    I’ll show you mine if you’ll show me yours.

  32. Hades says:

    Take it easy is a song by the Eagles

  33. Ian Stark says:

    . . . and ‘Lie Down’ is a song by the wonderfully named, but now disbanded, Year Of The Rabbit (but I very much doubt Paul had them in mind!)

  34. Eileen says:

    Hi Ian: no competition likely from me! That anagram came to me last week and it was topical , so I thought it was worth a try – only because several people from here had had a go. I’d no idea you were that serious, though! Best of luck with the career plan, Smutchin!

  35. Ian Stark says:

    I thought it was delightful, Eileen, and beautifully complemented by the other topical clue!

    Maybe we should start a daily fan-compiled crossword site for the wannabees and have-a-goes? A Guardian Tribute Crossword, perhaps! I’d be happy to contribute.

  36. smutchin says:

    More a pipe dream than a career plan, Eileen!

    Ian, re #31 – Oo-er! Sounds like an offer I can’t refuse! I’m going to put my efforts on a website soon – when I get round to it…

  37. Eileen says:

    Well, best of luck with that, then, Smutchin – so long as you make your website interactive! I’ve been quite disappointed that, so far, the Cryptica site has not proved to be the ‘place to meet for all fans of the cryptic crossword’, giving ’setters a chance to really meet and get to know everyone with a love of the cryptic clue’, as it was billed. For instance, I tried, without success, to get the error in my clue corrected. The only way for solvers to contribute is to submit a clue and no way for them to communicate with others. Give me Fifteensquared any day – and three cheers again for those setters who take the time to contribute.

  38. Ian Stark says:

    Smutchin . . . [giggle] click on my name above and you’ll find my earliest efforts.

  39. stiofain_x says:

    Pretty good Ian
    solving time 14mins for number 1 but I had to use letter check for 12ac.
    Some very nice surface readings I especially liked 15dn but I am maybe reading too much toilet humour into it.

    Another great puzzle from Paul today 4dn was the best hidden word clue Ive seen in a while, Im usually not a fan of these.

    Congrats on the cryptica recognition Eileen and Smutchin.


  40. Ian Stark says:

    Regretfuly, 15d was irresistable, once I had it in my head! Many thanks for giving it a whirl, Stiofain_X.

  41. Tom Hutton says:

    I think “ur” should mean original rather than ancient

  42. mark says:

    Hated it. Puzzles like this are imposible for a mere mortal like me to get anywhere near completing whilst commuting. Even with the answers I need a computer to look up the references or unusual words.

    Never seen kit up before either….kit OUT yes, gear up….

    And todays looks even harder

  43. KG says:

    A little historical note re 16thC survivors – Anne of Cleves survived Henry too, by ten years.

    And a tribute site? Get working on your pseudonyms! Would Harry Karajan be acceptable?

    The tribute bands have some excellent names like the Illegal Eagles, but my favourite is the Aussie ABBA band – Bjorn Again. So what will you call the site? In the spirit of cooperation may I suggest ‘Never A Cross Word’?

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