Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,649 – Taupi

Posted by Uncle Yap on March 17th, 2009

Uncle Yap.

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

What a glorious morning solving Taupi. Many of his devices may seem
convoluted but when you unravel the wordplay, the clues are both
challenging and amusing. Most enjoyable.

1 PATRIOT Cha of PAT (touch with affection) RIOT (tumult)
5 WELFARE Ins of ELF (magical being) in WARE (finely crafted goods)
9 DOUSE Cha of DO (perform) USE (purpose)
10 ENTERITIS I like the def “gut reaction” and the wordplay “Enter ‘it
is'” (put in ‘yes’)
11 LITERATURE Ins of ITERATE (say again or say over) minus E (last
letter of the) in LURE (enticement)
12 GRAM dd
14 MAN  ABOUT TOWN Ins of AN & A (articles) BOUT (contest) T (last
letter of contest) in MOWN (cut as in grass)
18 CONVENTIONAL *(cannot live on)
21 ABLE Took me some time to see this is the rev of ELBA (remember the
island where Napoleon once was exiled to) I’ll be back ! Grrrrrrr
22 SQUAREMEAL Another clue that got slightly morthan a chuckle from
me. T-square (as used by draughtsman) and TEA (a meal) sounds like the
letter T. Brilliant !
25 ERSTWHILE *(where list)
26 INCUR Nice wordplay and by sheer co-incidence, today’s Times 1Down
had this Become responsible for terminal and able to depart (incurable
minus able)
27 DODDERY Ins of ODD (rum) E (Ecstasy drug) in DRY (teetotal or TT)
28 TITANIC *(Cincinatti minus Cin)

1 PUDDLE Ins of DD (Doctor of Divinity or theologian) in PULE (whine)
2 TRUSTY T (time) Rusty (out of condition)
3 ICEBREAKER What a cleverly worded dd. A pick can be used as a tool
to break ice
4 TREAT Ins of R (right) in TEAT (dummy nipple to keep a baby quiet)
5 WATERPOLO *(law to rope)
6 LARD Another clue that got me laughing aloud. I googled and found
that Mulholland Drive is a road in Los Anngeles; so LA road or LA RD
7 ANTERIOR *(Near riot)
8 EASEMENT Ins of E Men (English crew) in EAST (direction) a right
attaching to a piece of land entitling its owner to exercise some
right over adjacent land owned by another person ();
13 STRATEGIST *(Artist gets)
15 ANTIQUITY Ins of “I quit” (words of resignation) in ANT (here I
must admit I do not see the word play vis-a-vis Dec) and Y (last
letter of May)
16 SCRAG-END Ins of CRAG (jagged rock) in SEND (forward a letter, say)
Another clever clue
17 ENCLOSED Ins of CLOSE (nigh) in END
19 BEACON Be a convict?
20 CLERIC ha
23 AVERT Cha of AVE (avenue or way) RT (right)
24 TWEE Tweet (bird’s note) minus last letter

34 Responses to “Guardian 24,649 – Taupi”

  1. Eileen says:

    Good morning, Uncle Yap, and thanks for the blog.

    re 15dn: you couldn’t really be expected to get the wordplay here. Ant Anthony McPartlin and Dec [Declan Donnelly] are two light entertainment TV presenters here, thus “Ant, I quit” [says Dec]. Great stuff, I thought!

  2. Eileen says:

    I’m sorry – I omitted the first set of brackets: Ant [Anthony McPartlin].

  3. Paul B says:

    Here’s one among Graun’s Gobsmackingly Good Gridsters Group who never fails (IMO) to deliver the goods. Every clue carefully considered, and a right laugh too. Gorgeous.

    These characters might be a little bit thin on the ground, but it’s great to know the art hasn’t entirely died up on Farringdon Road.

  4. Monica M says:

    Hi All,

    Thanks for the explanation of 15dn … I got as far as Uncle Yap and was stumped as to the reason for ant (There I was looking for a social worker 😉 )

    I too cracked a lot of smiles and chuckles …thanks for the post … and I’m thrilled to see Paul B so stoked.

  5. conradcork says:

    All I know about Ant & Dec is what Humph said once on Clue. Antwerp is twinned with Dectwerp.

    Wonderful puzzle.

  6. Shirley says:

    26 AC Surely Incur is to suffer a penalty, and dog’s food is InCur!! Brilliant.

  7. Monica M says:


    25ac another that made me smile … and your quite correct with you reasoning.

  8. liz says:

    26ac made me laugh. Struggled with the top left corner, but lots of nice clues.

    Paul B — The Guardian has moved to King’s Cross, btw

  9. smutchin says:

    Great stuff from Taupi today, lots of very clever clues.

    Being a David Lynch fan, I got 6d easily, though I wonder if Sunset Boulevard might have been a more widely accessible reference – ie more people would get it without having to look it up. Or is it maybe too obvious?

  10. Eileen says:

    Pule was a new word for me – as, indeed, was puddle, in that sense: two for the price of one!

    This puzzle gets better the more I think about it:I liked 10, 11, 18, 26 and 28ac and 13dn – all lovely surfaces. I was just writing, “Doesn’t 14ac need to be ‘cut articles on boxing contest?'” when I realised that ‘boxing’ is the insertion indicator – clever!

    [I know I’m being dense here but could someone please explain how 21 across works?]

    Conradcork; thanks for the reminder of that great comment of the late, much-lamented Humph.

  11. Monica M says:

    Naah … I got the answer and had to look it up to check … but this puzzle was a great deal of fun.

  12. smutchin says:

    Monica – that’s good. I was just trying to pre-empt the complaints of obscurity, but maybe not necessary.

    Eileen – I think it’s supposed to be a reverse homophone of “I’ll be”, but I’m not too clear on it myself.

  13. David says:

    I can’t see it, but is 21a anything to do with that famous palindrome “ABLE WAS I ERE I SAW ELBA” ?

  14. Monica M says:


    6dn … It was very clever … another that made me larf…

    Obscurity is a term I’ve used in the past … fortunately we’ve moved on …. but … there are people from all over the world on this site … so one person’s obscurity is another’s “very obvious”

  15. Eileen says:

    David: that’s what I was working on, after Uncle Yap’s comment [which I didn’t really follow!] but not getting very far.

    Smutchin: you’ve heard me on this several times but I think that really would be a ‘homophone’ too far!

  16. smutchin says:

    Yes, Eileen, you’re right but it’s the best I can come up with!

  17. Geoff Moss says:

    21a what about ‘delivery of’ = homophone of ‘I’ll’ = isle (Elba) and ‘be back’ = ‘is back’ (archaically) as the reversal indicator?

  18. Eileen says:

    Geoff: hmmm… maybe, just about – but rather a stretch…

    [I’m glad it seems it wasn’t just me, after all.]

  19. Agentzero says:

    I agree that there were many excellent clues in this puzzle. I thought INCUR and ICEBREAKER were particularly good and the exhortation BE A CON made me laugh.

    I’m afraid it bothered me, though, that 28ac only works because “Cincinnati” is misspelled…

  20. smutchin says:

    Eileen – it’s not just you. Geoff’s explanation sounds plausible but it’s a bit indirect. Actually, going back to your comment #10, yes there are some truly great clues, but the more I think about this puzzle, the more I can think of that’s wrong with it. Aside from 21a, to pick a few other examples…

    11a – “the final say over” – is this really a valid way of indicating the final letter of iterate?

    22a – where’s the definition? or is the second T doing double duty?

    23d – “that’s” is extraneous, and I don’t like RT for right.

    None of the above detracted from my enjoyment of the puzzle, and are more than compensated for by the excellent 10a and 15d, to pick my two favourites, but Paul B’s “every clue carefully considered” comment does seem somewhat over-generous on reflection (just as some of his complaints on other days can seem over-harsh).

  21. Ralph G says:

    17, 18 above 21a ELBA. Geoff, that’s brilliant.
    Eileen, would you be persuaded by reading ‘be’ as subjunctive/imperative as in the Lord’s Prayer or ‘Be that as it may’?
    And thanks for the Ant & Dec explanation at 1 above.

  22. Eileen says:

    So be it, Ralph: I take your point – but it does seem so much more strained than a clue for this word need be.

    Smutchin, you’re right on all counts, I think, [except that surely RT for right is commonplace?]

    However, as you say, this was a very entertaining and enjoyable puzzle.

  23. JimboNWUK says:

    15D — first class! Nuff said

  24. ray says:

    Very enjoyable puzzle despite not getting the top left at all. Lots of humour once it twigged. I went with Geoff’s (#17) explanation for 21a.

    Did anyone else get some starnge ‘A’ characters on the end of the online printable 14a ? Kept me wondering if they really were part of the clue.

  25. JamieC says:

    Some very nice clues here, but one or two bits of nit-picking.

    I think the presence of the “‘s” in 1 ac is wrong/unfair. “touch with affection” is PAT and “tumult” is RIOT. The “‘s” isn’t doing anything and positively suggests there should be an S in there.

    In 16d, does “sticking” really indicate “put inside”? If it indicates anything, I would have thought it indicated a charade.

    And I agree with Smutchin re “that’s” in 23d

    But they’re minor points in what was otherwise a very enjoyable puzzle.

  26. Dave Ellison says:

    18 ac pie? Does that indicate an anagram?

    22ac Whilst I didn’t get this answer, is it not that a 5 by 5 would be a square 5 feet on each side, so T by T is T(ea) squared = square meal?

  27. Eileen says:

    Dave: I thought I’d seen ‘pie’ as an anagram indicator before.Chambers has ‘pie, pye or pi n. type confusedly mixed [printing]; a mixed state; confusion. Similarly, SOED: a mass of type mingled indiscriminately, such as results from the breaking down of a form of type; transf: a jumble, medley, confusion, chaos.

    Thank you for your interpretation of 22ac: it had been vaguely bothering me all day – I’m sure you’re right!

  28. ray says:

    Dave, 18a pie certainly means ‘all mixed up’ in ‘apple pie bed’, so it’s not too great a stretch ?

  29. John says:

    Mostly excellent,but since we’re nitpicking, I don’t like the “s” in 17 dn either. It is either standing for HAS, which, as has been mentioned in the past, it doesn’t very often in common or in literary parlance, or it’s an abbreviation for IS, which is ok for surface but not for wordplay, or it’s a possessive, which is nonsense.

  30. Mr Beaver says:

    Ray (#24) – yes, the A-circumflex characters on the hard-copy version puzzled me for a bit, but checking the interactive version showed they weren’t intended. Just as well, 14a took me long enough to work out as it was !

  31. Agentzero says:

    John, I wasn’t troubled by the “s” in 17dn. It apparently means “is” in the surface reading and “has” in the cryptic reading, and I think it’s OK for it to mean different things in those two readings.

  32. mark says:

    Agree with Smutchin.

    21 and 22 are ridiculous.
    19A – what has promoted got to do with it.

    I can’t believe so many of you thought it was so great and so funny. Funny ha ha…really? Are you sure? Each to his own!

  33. Uncle Yap says:

    Phew! I spent more than two hours trying to load my blog but the site or my internet speed was crawling and almost dead. I even had to resort to emailing Geoff to act as standby and post from his end.

    Thank goodness at my 5pm when I was about to leave for my weekly Hash run, I managed to upload but without the usual embellishment of bold typeface and perhaps some links to Wikipedia.

    I am glad so many agreed with me that today, Taupi was a real fun nut to crack. I am struck by an observation that this community is a world-wide one, all bound by this common love for cryptic crossword puzzles. Aren’t we masochists? :-)

  34. Ralph G says:

    32 above, Mark, 19d ‘promoting': I think the idea is that ‘BE A CON’ is a recommendation, ‘promoting’ prison as a life-style choice. {Noted more succinctly above, I think.)
    As for the puzzle as a whole, de gustibus non disputandum I reckon. This blog makes all the difference for me when the subject matter is beyond my ken eg 15d . Provided I can enter the solution from one or more of the indications I can rely on the blog to illuminate my darkness later in the day. I realise that doesn’t help if you just don’t like the clues.

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