Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,710/Paul

Posted by Andrew on May 27th, 2009


A great one from Paul with a theme of drinks, mostly but not all alcoholic. Nothing too difficult in retrospect, but some of the double definitions took a while to work out until I had enough crossing letters to guess them. Cheers!

* = anagram
dd = double definition
< = reverse

1. SQUASH dd – starting off with probably the only weak clue in the puizzle: “crush” is almost synonymous with “squash” as a fruit drink.
4. SHOWS UP SHOW + SUP. I caused myself some trouble by putting TURNS UP here at first
10. INCUR A despicable quality might be found “in (a) cur”
11. ELITE E = ecstasy, and “lite” is sometimes used for low-calorie versions of foods
12. TABLE WINE BLEW IN in (“cutting”) TEA*
17. UNREAL (LUNAR (cycl)E)*
22. IGNORAMUS N (NYET less YET) in IGOR (Russian) + (c)AMUS (un-begun author)
26. PLUTO dd – Pluto is now classified as a dwarf planet, as well as being Mickey Mouse’s dog. Naturally I spent ages trying to fit GRUMPY, HAPPY et al in here.
27. ANIMALISM (SLAIN I AM)* + M(artini)
28. REAL ALE (LA-LA ER)< + E
1. SEGMENT G in SEMEN + T, with “bit” as the well-concealed definition
2. UTERI Hidden in roUTE Riverside. I will quickly pass over the connection with the wordplay in the previous clue.
5. OXIDE (E + DIXON less N)< – the old copper being Dixon of Dock Green
7. PORTER dd
8. BITTER dd
18. LIMEADE MEAD (another drink) in LIE
19. CASSIS (S SAC)< + IS
20. SCRUMPY SC (=scilicet = namely) + RUMPY(-pumpy)
21. KIPPER dd
23. RIOJA RIO (port) + JA (German “yes”)
25. REIGN “Rain”

22 Responses to “Guardian 24,710/Paul”

  1. Eileen says:

    Hi Andrew, thanks for the blog. This was a lot of fun, especially SCRUMPY!

    I was with you in putting in TURNS UP, which seemed perfectly valid, so did cause something of a hold-up.

    I liked IGNORAMUS, too.

  2. don says:

    “… especially SCRUMPY!”

    Especially if you know Latin, Eileen!

    It made me grumpy. I’ve never seen sc = namely before and hence I failed to get ‘error’ as well.

    Thanks Andrew for explaining 23 across and 5 down (what else could they be given the crossing letters and definitions). Dixon of Dock Green is a bit before my time, but as a complete ‘ignoramus’ I’m not into obscure Algerian authors and had to search the internet to find Camus. I spent ages over N (Nyet not yet) + IN (accepted) + COM (communist = Russian) … but then I’m a nincompoo – and can’t spell.

  3. mhl says:

    Thanks for the post, Andrew, and it was good to meet you last week. I found this crossword excellent fun, getting a bit held up by TISANE and LIMEADE – I liked the clues for both, though…

    don: I know it’s one of those that you either know of you don’t, but I hardly think Camus is obscure – L’Etranger and La Peste are widely read in translation. Also, he’s part of one of my favourite sets of trivial information: literary figures who also kept goal. (That set also includes Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who was goalkeeper for Portsmouth.)

  4. Dave Ellison says:

    I was pleased to finish this in reasonable time. I ground to a halt on the bottom half, but when I had a chance to look up Botswanan money, I was away again.

  5. Dave Ellison says:

    I had thought for a while that 14d might be Panhandle at a pinch, but, of course, couldn’t rationalise it

  6. Chris says:

    Camus is anything but obscure, I’d say. He’s one of the greats of 20th century literature.

  7. Eileen says:

    And he did win a Nobel Prize.

    don, I’m surprised you haven’t seen ‘sc.’ in crosswords before. It crops up quite often – worth filing away.

  8. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog, Andrew. SNAKEBITE was the one that caught me out. I didn’t see the wordplay for IGNORAMUS, although I solved it from the checking letters — and would agree with the others that Camus is hardly obscure.

    SCRUMPY was lovely! I didn’t know the abbreviation ‘sc.’ but will watch out for it in future.

    Good fun from Paul as usual!

  9. smutchin says:

    Glad I’m not the only one who put TURNS UP.

  10. Neil says:

    1a: surely a triple definition? Both Chambers and Collins have “squash” as to crush, as a drink and as a fruit.

    Pretty straightforward for Paul though a few delayed me a while and there were several smiles to be had. Given this and the very easy competition one (24,701) recently, is he softening?

  11. ray says:

    Thanks for several explanations Andrew – I’d not done too well on this.

    Got totally screwed up in top right having decided the drinks theme meant 4a was PUNCH UP. Even when nothing else seemed to fit I remained convinced – it still seems a pretty good solution !

  12. Speckled Jim says:

    Don’t understand 24a in the slightest…!

    Who here knew that ‘Pula’ was the Botswanan currency? Got the answer with a shrug at the silly clue!

    Enjoyed the Real Ale clue though!

  13. Andrew says:

    Speckled Jim – “little monkey” = “naughty child” = “terror”, which when “scalped” gives ERROR. On reflection I’m unsure about the definition – if you add up some numbers erroneously then the total is “out”, but I can’t see that an error itself “is out”.

    I agree with you that many people will have either googled “Botswana currency” (as I did) or got the answer in other ways and accepted that PULA is a plausible name for it.

  14. liz says:

    Speckled Jim — re 24ac ‘a little monkey’ is a ‘terror’ (naughty child) with the top taken off, ie ‘scalped’.

  15. liz says:

    Sorry to repeat the explanation!

  16. Speckled Jim says:

    Thanks, but ouch, that is a tricky, tricky clue! I still don’t really see why “one’s out” = error. I could see that “one’s out” could be errer – i.e. one who errs, and ‘little monkey’ is two steps removed from ‘terror’ – you have to go little monkey = badly behaved child = terror, which seems a bit harsh, dare I not say unfair…

  17. Lanson says:

    I have come across Pula from reading Alexander Macall Smith’s No1 Ladies Detective Agency series

  18. muck says:

    Thanks for the blog Andrew.
    5dn OXIDE: the only one I didn’t get. I was trying for ‘azide’ which I think is a nitrogen compound, so the clue is nicely misleading.

  19. Neil says:

    Re my #10, above: on reflection, 1a could be a quadruple definition (add ‘fruit drink’)?

    And, given comments above, maybe Paul isn’t so much softening as I’m managing to tap into his wavelength a bit better.
    I did have to check, dictionarywise (having ballpointed in with confidence) whether I was right about ‘TISANE’ and ‘SC’ for ‘namely’. Well, that was a relief!

  20. Dagnabit says:

    I surrendered with most of the lower right corner unfinished (24ac, 29ac, 20d, and 25d). Thanks, Andrew, for your original and subsequent explanations of ERROR; I had the same problems with “little monkey” and “one’s out” that Speckled Jim did. I was also ignorant of *everything* in 20d: “rumpy-pumpy” is especially a new one on me, and now that I’ve learned it I hope never to hear it again. :)

    In retrospect, I should really have gotten 25d, but the other three gave me so much trouble that I could no longer muster the brain cells to see it.

  21. Arthur says:

    This was really a perfect crossword for me. Nothing too hard that I couldn’t finish without a dictionary/google, a theme that didn’t require specialist knowledge, some lovely naughty clues in the corners and I was definitely on the same wavelength as the setter, which is hardly ever the case. Special mention to 23dn which really made me laugh.

    Also, I understand that it is irritating when obscure things turn up, but e.g. with 20dn SCRUMPY as a cider and RUMPY as half of RUMPY-PUMPY are hardly obscure and with a couple of checking letters it was pretty clear to me that this had to be the answer even though I’d never seen SC for ‘namely’ before (and didn’t know its origin until I came onto this site). Part of what I like about crosswords is you always learn bits and pieces even if it takes a little while to see where everything is coming from.

  22. Bryan says:

    I loved it, mainly because I had to struggle before getting some of the clues; then because I finished it without cheating; and, ultimately, because I found all the clues satisfying.

    Many thanks, Paul, keep ’em coming!


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