Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,721 – Paul

Posted by Uncle Yap on June 9th, 2009

Uncle Yap.

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

What a lovely and entertaining puzzle full of Paul’s tricks and devices, designed to titillate (see 21Across), challenge and amuse. Indeed, Paul has succeeded admirably

@Curious events are thus marked
I wonder whether anyone here ever indulged in spider-fighting, of which I was a great fan during my misspent youth. I used to go round with five boxes containing my #1 to #5 kings, challenging whoever was daft enough to share the same passion.

1 WASHBOARD WAS + ins of B (black) in HOARD (store)
6 SPED last letters of “hopes reap the reward”
10 SLANG Ins of N (noun) in SLAG (refuse)
11 ARBORETUM Ins of BORE (penetrate) in ART (craft) + UM (unsure) I had to see plane3 in Chambers to get ” any tree of the genus Platanus, esp the oriental plane (P. orientalis) and the N American plane or buttonwood (P. occidentalis), trees with palmatifid leaves shedding their bark in thin slabs; in Scotland, the great maple”
12 APLENTY *(penalty)
13 CAHOOTS Ins of HA (word of realisation) in COOTS (birds)
14 RUPERT THE BEAR RU (rugby union or game) PERT (forward) + ins of HEBE (a daughter of Zeus and Hera, cupbearer of Olympus) in TAR (Jack)
@17 CHEESE ROLLING *(he’ll recognise)
21 AREOLAR ARE + (p) OLAR I love this topless clue
22 BUGBEAR Cha of BUG (infection) BEAR (stomach)
24 INFANTILE IN (wearing) FAN (cooler) TILE (hat)
25 CARVE Ins of R (right) in CAVE (hole underground)
26 GULL dd

1 WISEACRE Ins of SEA (main) + C (chapter) in WIRE (message)
@2,20 SNAIL RACING Ins of NAIL (catch) + RAC (rev of car, vehicle up) in SING (carol)
@3 BOG SNORKELLING BOG (rev of GOB, mouth or trap) + ins of K (kilo or thousand) in *(enrol’s, answer to 23Down) + LING (fish)
4 ANALYST Ins of AL (Gore, the former Vice President of USA) in ANY ST (any way). Typically clever of Paul to disguise his definition as “thought expert”
5 DEBACLE *(bleached minus h)
7 POTPOURRI Cha of POT (amount of tea) POUR (serve tea) R I (right one) I suppose the def alluded to those containers of mixed dried flowers with a variety of scents
8 DEMISE Cha of DEMI (half, a nice change from Moore) SE (half of seen)
9 ARCHAEOLOGICAL *(a cool glacier has minus s)
15 POCKETFUL POC (rev of COP, policeman) + ins of T (time) in *(fluke) Allusion to Agatha Christie’s book, A Pocketful of Rye
16 AGGRIEVE Ins of R in GI (soldier) -> and inserted in AGE (time) + VE (WWII Victory in Europe when Berlin fell)
18 SURLIER Ins of UR (old city) + LIE (rest) in S R (southern river)
19 RUBBERY Ins of BER (the common ending of September, October, November & December) in RUBY (red)
23 ENROL Ins of N (name) in EROL (rev of LORE, learning)

36 Responses to “Guardian 24,721 – Paul”

  1. Andrew says:

    Thanks for the blog, Uncle Yap. I found this quite hard, but fun and very rewarding. I particularly liked 12ac for its elegantly-concealed wordplay and definition. A good week so far!

  2. teesween says:

    What have we done to deserve this – a week starting with Brendan and Paul? Two crackers – even though I’ve never heard of, or would even think of, bog snorkelling!

  3. Derek Lazenby says:

    Can’t have been that good, even I finished it! No, seriously, ’twas amusing as claimed above.

    Um, hyphen time again folks. Would someone check 7d in the dictionary I’m not allowed to mention please? Depending on what they say, there may be an amusing twist! Tell yer later what my “reliable source” is, but it gives POT-POURRI.

  4. Ian P says:

    I thought it had a hyphen, I must admit.

  5. chunter says:

    I was disappointed by the absence of bottle kicking!

  6. Lanson says:

    Derek, the source has it as potpourri, unhyphenated, but so do Oxford and Collins, I await your twist!

  7. Colin Blackburn says:

    I used to know (virtually) the women’s world bog snorkelling bicycle champion. She may still be the reigning world champion as there are not that many competitors in this minority offshoot of mainstream bog snorkelling. Nice clue, though no fish are harmed by bog snorkellers!

  8. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog, Uncle Yap. Enjoyable and funny puzzle. I liked INFANTILE.

  9. Eileen says:

    Yes, another real treat, follwing yesterday’s superb Brendan.

    I remember reading Agatha Christie’s ‘A pocketful of rye’ when I was at school. It’s based on the nursery rhyme,
    ‘Sing a song of sixpence
    A pocketful of rye’
    and uses a number of elements of the rhyme in the plot. [I think the maid was murdered while hanging out the washing.]

    Like Chunter, I’d like to have seen our native bottle kicking – we could have another completely themed puzzle, including the even more esoteric Wensleydale burning of the Bartle!

    I liked INFANTILE, too – and BUGBEAR.

    [Uncle Yap, there’s a wee typo in 13ac: the word of realisation is AH, not HA.]

  10. chunter says:

    21ac: an attempt to attract Sun (prop RUPERT (14ac) Murdoch) readers?

  11. Derek Lazenby says:

    Sorry for the delay, walking the dog and having lunch.

    Lenson, ty for that. Just what I hoped! My source is Chambers!

    Well, their on-line word finder actually.

    Amused me, if no-one else.

    But basically it proves the point that they get things wrong, they can’t even manage the simple act of maintaining consistency between publications.

    This is not to criticise them, the are, after all mere mortals and therefore fallible. No the point is to undermine the zealot fundamentallists who insist that that organistion is infallible. (They were always my real target).

    QED as they say.

  12. Colin Blackburn says:

    The OED has a hyphen but most of its usage examples don’t, particularly the later ones. The original French was pot pourri. When it became English a hyphen was inserted over time the hyphen has gone. It happens to a lot of compounds like this.
    All Chambers current dictionaries have it as a single word but they, along with other dictionaries, had a hyphen in older editions. The Chambers Word Wizard seems to be based on an old dataset, that used for their OSW and word list books. I.e. it’s data from a now defunct publication made freely available as a useful tool. Like other dictionaries if you want access to the latest datasets you have to pay for it.
    Incidentally, for this word pasting the output from the Wizard into the Dictionary search on the same page will confirm the current spelling.

  13. Chris says:

    Derek, you seem to have missed the point of using Chambers as the definitive reference source. It’s not because it’s the rightest thing in the world ever and can never be wrong or inconsistent. It’s because it’s useful to have one particular source that both setter and solver recognise as the arbiter. It means that, instead of having protracted debates about whether, say, “potpourri” is hyphenated, we can just look at Chambers as the recognised arbiter, and see that it is indeed an acceptable variant. The good thing about this is that whether you agree with Chambers or not on a particular issue becomes irrelevant – all that matters is that it’s the agreed arbiter, and the solver knows where to look for guidance.

  14. golgonooza says:

    Also, although Chambers is considered as the recognised arbiter for many advanced cryptics, due to its extensive reservoir of arcane and archaic words, I’m pretty sure that the Guardian uses Collins as its main arbiter for the daily crossword.

  15. mhl says:

    golgonooza: Hugh Stephenson has said in the past that a word has to appear in one of “Chambers, Collins and the newish Oxford Dictionary of English” in order to be acceptable for the Guardian crossword:,,2261802,00.html

    I’d certainly echo other commenters in saying this was very enjoyable again today – what a treat to have two of my favourite setters on consecutive days. The top left hand corner was most difficult for me – I didn’t know WISEACRE and had trouble with WASHBOARD.

    On the subject of CHEESE ROLLING, this video of the 2009 event is quite terrifying:

  16. C & J says:

    Will someone please tell us what bog snorkelling is? We got the answer from the anagram, and one of us had vaguely heard of it, but we don’t know what’s involved.

  17. Chris says:

    It’s exactly what it sounds like – it’s snorkelling (with flippers and all) – except that instead of doing it in the sea you do it in a bog.

  18. Dagnabit says:

    Thanks, Uncle Yap. Wow, two days in a row for me of getting everything in and having no quibbles with any of the clues!

  19. John says:

    Agree with everything said, but why does “wearing” = IN?

  20. Berny says:

    My intuition suggested that ‘bog snorkelling’ was a way of taking cocaine – since the landlady had the cistern boxed in to prevent the sleazies from partaking in lines of Martian Shake n’Vac. It also called to mind that rather gross scene in ‘Trainspotting’!

  21. mhl says:

    John: if, say, you arrive at an event in a suit, you’re wearing a suit…

  22. Ron says:

    Wasn’t anyone else brought up with ‘Rupert Bear’ rather than ‘Rupert the Bear’?

  23. Dave Ellison says:

    For once I agree with all the accolades for Paul, though I did find it easier than usual.

    Yes, I thought it was Rupert Bear, too.

  24. Dagnabit says:

    Ron and Dave, while checking my answers on Google earlier I came across the following tidbit:

    “One of the most memorable elements of the series was the catchy theme song, sung by Jackie Lee, which reached number 14 in the UK charts in 1971. The song included the erroneous lyric ‘Rupert the Bear,’ even though Rupert has never had the definite article in his name.”

  25. Derek Lazenby says:

    Chris, you still haven’t read my words closely enough. It is none of those things that bother me, it is the people who argue as though the thing is infallible without stopping to use their own judgement, whether that judgement be for or against.

    Let me give you 3 generic statements….

    1) The dictionary says….
    2) The dictionary says…. and I agree because ….
    3) The dictionary says…. and I disagree because ….

    I don’t care which dictionary, that is not the point. The mindless acceptance inherent in 1) is the point.

    1) would be ok for referencing just the crossword, but we are all devotees of our language and the context never stays at that narrow level for more than a nanosecond, and at that point intelligence not parroting is required.

    How can one have a sensible discussion when one side is not thinking, just repeating?

    Chambers only gets the flak as a side effect of everyone refering to it, it isn’t the issue, I’m just refering to what others refer to.

    Can I give you any more clues? Um….. I prefer free thinking to simple acceptance of what I am told and I can’t see why that shouldn’t be the norm. Any philosopher would agree, it is what they do. Did my teachers/employers find that difficult? Grin. What do you think?

  26. Gareth Rees says:

    On pot pourri vs pot-pourri vs potpourri, you can see by searching the web that all three spellings are common and current. The Chambers Dictionary only gives the third of these. (I can’t find any examples of compound nouns where multiple forms are given which suggests this follows a policy of only giving one of these three forms). The dictionary doesn’t say how they choose which form to give: maybe it’s the most common form in their source material, maybe it’s an editorial decision.

    As Colin Blackburn says above, it’s a common pattern for compound nouns in English to begin life as noun phrases, become hyphenated, and finally merge into a single noun. For example, in the 19th century you might typically find the form black board, in the early 20th century black-board and in the late 20th century blackboard.

    Hugh Stephenson wrote a brief note on the subject.

  27. muck says:

    Just to say I enjoyed both Brendan & Paul as always, and the excellent blogs and friendly comments.

  28. Mick H says:

    I think it was the TV series that turned him into Rupert The Bear, giving rise to the joke: “What do Rupert the Bear and Attila the Hun have in common?” (“Same middle name”).
    And while we’re on that tack: “Why won’t Ian Paisley allowed dried flowers in his house?”. (“We’ll have no popery here!”)

  29. Fletch says:

    I confess I spent a moment or two trying to make Winnie The Pooh work.

  30. Dagnabit says:

    Fletch – me too.

  31. Derek Lazenby says:

    Gareth and Colin, what a breath of fresh air. Reasoned arguments. That I can respect.

    Ron, well spotted. I should have too, I had the annuals! This was before The Sun existed of course chunter.

  32. Paul (not Paul) says:

    I know its late but can anyone help me with 21ac

    What’s the definition here?

    Areola is the nipple area
    Areolar is “connective tissue” (Wiki)
    Areolar is also the adjective , i.e. of the nipple area

    So, is the definition So nipple area as in “That’s just so Monday morning”.

    I had areolas which seems just as good to me.

    Only a quibble as by and large a treat of a puzzle.

  33. Neil says:

    In 1957 our group won a home town Fair Week Skiffle Competition with ‘Jesse James’. Lil Johns, middle-aged local washerwoman (hyphenate if you wish) was on washboard as she was the only person we knew who had one. She could also play the spoons. So 1a wasn’t too hard. I also looked for ‘worm charming’ which happens annually in a village not far away. Thank you fellow saddos for all you contribute. I read and much enjoy but rarely contribute. Pleased, Derek, that you seemed to have had a really good lunch! Like the rest of you, I liked this one a lot, finding it clever fun, but not too taxing. ‘Areola(s) ‘ I had soon, but not the final ‘R’, explaining the ‘so’, until ‘surlier’ gave it. And ‘arboretum’ was last to go in. “planes” = trees, of course, as they so often do. It all fell very nicely into place eventually, after the many everyday interruptions to one’s thought processes. Goodnight or good morning to anyone still reading. Where do the hyphens go – or not – in any of this?

  34. Derek Lazenby says:

    Neil, I read it! Lunch wasn’t that great, microwave quickie!

    The hyphens fit in for two reasons

    1) Lots of people get upset about apostrophes, but few care about the humble hyphen, so somebody has to speak out and it might as well be me

    2) I wasn’t actually bothered about POT(-?)POURRI as other now elderly dictionaries have it without the hyphen so that is well established. But I was rather amused that two current Chambers sources should disagree given the way some people swear by them. See rest of thread.

    Also see rest of thread to figure who amongst us are or are not skiffle fans. Those were the days.

    The first televised performance by Jimmy Page was in a skiffle group (see You Tube). On interview he said he wanted to be a scientist not a guitarist! Hmmm. So much for that plan.

  35. Anon says:

    Uncle Yap,

    18d Surlier is, I think, more correctly:

    S(outhern) river to rest = rlie inside Ur

  36. Dagnabit says:

    Paul (not Paul) – this may be a bit tortuous, but I interpreted “so nipple areas” to mean “nipple areas may be described as such.”

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

nine + = 15