Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,682/Paul – On the run

Posted by Andrew on April 24th, 2009


A very enjoyable and typically witty puzzle from Paul, based around his participation in the London Marathon this weekend.

* = anagram
dd = double definition
< = reverse

6. CASH Anagram of first letters of Sponsor At How, with a link to Paul’s web site, where you can sponsor him in the Marathon.
8. RUNABOUT R=RUN + C=ABOUT, and a runabout is a car that is not a Rolls Royce
10. WANGLE W ANGLE – with “engineer” needing to be read as a verb.
19. TITTER T T in TIER. Frankie Howerd springs to mind..
21. SNICKERS NICKER (= thief) in SS
24. RABBIT dd – slang for talk, as in the Chas & Dave song for example
26. VEST S in VET
1,27. PAULA RADCLIFFE PAUL + CLIFF (“what’s faced”) in DARE*
4. ISTHMUS I’S + M (motorway) in THUS
5. MINOR SUIT “miner” + SUIT (fit) – diamonds and clubs are known as minor suits in Bridge
6. CAPITAL dd – the “Say” being because London is as example of a capital, not a definition.
17. SACKBUT SACK + BUT – an old type of trombone.
20. TEA LEAF TEAL + (d)EAF – rhyming slang for “thief”
22. OFFAL OFFA + L (third letter of Cole)
23,3. GRAVE STONE A very clever clue – anagram of ORANGE VEST (answers to 22ac and 26), and “quick”=”alive”. Just to nitpick, perhaps it should be “my name may be on it”ignore that – I misread the clue

27 Responses to “Guardian 24,682/Paul – On the run”

  1. Monica M says:

    Hello Andrew (and thanks etc),

    My wordy … maybe it was the 2 glasses of wine at lunch … but I had a hard time with this … and I knew that Paul was doing the marathon. But without the help of the internet I wouldn’t have stood a chance.

    8ac …. much too clever for me, so thank you for the explanation.

    20 dn …. I’m no good at Oz rhyming slang, so I’m no chance at Brit stuff. (No drama here about obscurity)

  2. IanW says:

    21: Very clever, especially without using reference to 11.

  3. Eileen says:

    Andrew, thanks for a great blog of a great puzzle – several ‘ahas’ and smiles.

    8ac was an unusual device, as was ‘walls’ as a container indicator in 16ac.

    23,3 was indeed very clever – I’m not sure I understand your reservation. Presumably Paul chose his vest to suit his puzzle!

    I think maybe 20dn was a tad unfair for Monica et al, giving no indication at all that it was rhyming slang – but a lovely surface!

  4. Andrew says:

    Well spotted, Ian: I hadn’t noticed the Snickers/Marathon connection..

  5. smutchin says:

    Didn’t like 6a (indirect anagram, albeit an easy one) or 8a (definition too vague) but apart from that, all good solid clues and plenty of typically Paul-esque (or should that be Pauline?) fun, even if it seemed slightly easier than his usual standard, helped by the fact that the theme was all but spelled out in the intro line.

  6. Andrew says:

    Eileen – looking at the clue again I withdraw my nitpick: I was thinking it was “if I’m not quick my name’s on it”, which isn’t necessarily true, but the way the clue is actually written it’s fine.

  7. smutchin says:

    Monica – re 8a, as someone commented yesterday, that’s one of those clues that seems very clever when you know the answer… Too clever by half for my liking.

    Eileen – well, we’ve had unindicated Aussie slang before, so it’s all fair game as far as I’m concerned!

    By the way, have we all seen the new-look cryptica? He mentions the orange vest there.

  8. Monica M says:

    On the online version, there was no “paul’s gonna do some fumd raising” hint. Lucky I went pdf today.

    Wiki helped me alot!!!!

  9. Andrew says:

    Ah, I just used the online version today, so I didn’t see that hint.

  10. Andrew says:

    Smutchin: I don’t think 6ac really counts as an indirect anagram, as the letters are in the clue and unambiguously indicated (once you read the clue the right way).

  11. Eileen says:

    I wonder why Paul hasn’t asked for sponsorship in his FT puzzle today? Did anyone else sponsor him in the Autumn for his trip to Brazil? I don’t think he’s been yet!

  12. Octofem says:

    Hi Eileen. Surely he did ask in 6a?????

  13. Andrew says:

    Octofem – that’s 6ac in this puzzle. Eileen means his alter ego Mudd in today’s Financial Times.

  14. mhl says:

    Thanks for the post, Andrew. Excellent fun, as usual, and it’s great to have two such strong crosswords in a row in the Guardian.

    I see that Paul’s website has had a bit of a redesign, and now has a form to ask Araucaria a question!

  15. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog. 8ac stumped me, I’m afraid, along with 4dn and 15ac.

    I thought 19ac was very neat.

    Good luck in the marathon, Paul. Sunday looks like it might be wet…

  16. smutchin says:

    Andrew #10: hmm, maybe, but the clue still feels clunky to me, like it’s been forced to fit the surface. Still, I can’t really complain given the “good cause” excuse for doing it like that.

  17. Octofem says:

    Thanks Andrew. I had done both puzzles and got confused – nothing unusual there!

  18. Eileen says:

    My fault really. Octofem, for saying ‘Paul’. :-)

  19. petebiddlecombe says:

    Good fun – as ever, the online version on the Grauniad site omitted the instructions which helped it make sense. Same fix for solvers as usual – use the PDF version.

  20. rightback says:

    8ac was my last entry but I thought it was brilliant. All the very best for Sunday, Paul.

  21. Derek Lazenby says:

    Re explanation of 21, it’s only NICKER.

  22. Andrew says:

    Thanks Derek, I’ve corrected the typo and also slightly expanded the explanation.

  23. jvh says:


    Thanks for the blog.

    Isn’t 1, 27: Paul + A + Cliff in Dare*?

  24. Ralph G says:

    Late enough for a short note on 23a quick/vivid? This pairing first sparked my interest in double cognates. Multiple cognates here, in fact.
    The IE root GWI diversifies into:
    Proto-Germanic *kwikvas > Old Saxon quik > E. quick (alive);
    Greek bios > biology etc
    Greek zoe > zoology etc
    Latin vivere..victum, vita, vitalis > Fr Vivre, E. vivid, vital, victuals.
    Multiple cognates in Germanic, Scandinavian, Slavic and Celtic langauges inc. Welsh byw.

  25. Robert says:

    Hi; I’m new to your blog, although I’ve been doing the puzzles for awhile.
    While 8ac was the last to be solved, it was my favorite clue in a long time.
    24ac: I know rabbit can mean converse; does it also mean conversation?
    2dn: How is pants an anagram indicator? It’s perhaps further confused by the ‘s.
    Thanks for the blog.

  26. Arthur says:

    Only just got round to this one, but what a treat! Also, don’t know about during the day but the instructions are definitely online now (between the title and the “click here for pdf”).

    Too many good clues to mention (although I agree that 8ac is only good once you know the answer). I loved the &lit in 6ac, and Paula Radcliffe. 2dn was very Paul too…

  27. stiofain says:

    A great puzzle i especially liked the subtlety of the SNICKERS clue. As for the Cryptica redesign it is much better but mis spelling the sites name on the home page is a bit imbarisinng.
    Robert pants is slang for rubbish so i think it works as an anagram indicator.

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