Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24741 / Paul

Posted by mhl on July 2nd, 2009


This was quite a tough puzzle to blog, with lots of intricate wordplay. However, as always with Paul’s excellent puzzles, this was very enteratining and inventive. I’m not quite sure about 2 down, I’m afraid…

1. MUFTI UM = “well” reversed + (FIT)*; “tight” as in “drunk” is the anagram indicator
4. BALLPARK BALL = “Function” + PARK = “to take position”
8. GLOSSY MAGAZINE LOSS = “Decrease” in GYM = “exercises” followed by Z = “Zulu” in AGAIN = “further” + E = “drug”; I like the definition, referring to “OK!” magazine
10. EDENTATE EDEN = “PM” + TATE = “man selling sugar”, as in Tate and Lyle
11. RIALTO R = “river” + I = “upright character” + ALTO = “singer”; referring to the Rialto Bridge in Venice
12. IMPETUOUS IMPET[igo] + U = “you” followed by US after O = “old”
15. ACT UP [mille]T in A CUP; the definition is “Horse around”
17. TITAN Sounds like “tighten” or “getting close”
18. SOAP OPERA POPE = “Paul, say” in SOAR = “rocket”. Having got the crossing letters O_E_A, and seeing “say, a” I was sure this was going to be a play called [something] Omega…
19. PICKED An entertaining double definition
21. DINGBATS BATS = “Sticks” after N = “POLE” in DIG = “like”
24. BROBDINGNAGIAN B = “book” in ODIN = “God” + GANG = “group” reversed, all in BRIAN = “not the Messiah” (from the wonderful Life of Brian); the definition is 22 (Titan), a reference to the giant people in Gulliver’s Travels
25. FLEXIBLY EX = “Former lover” in LIB = “party” all in FLY = “smart”
26. TITLE TILE = “Piece bearing letter” (as in Scrabble) about T = “time”
1. MAGNETIC TAPE M = “Distance” + (I CAN’T GET)* + APE = “copy”
2. FLOWERPOT The definition is “Old Bill’s residence”, as in Bill and Ben, the Flower Pot Men. I think the “predator” is WOLF and “before” is PRE but then I’m left with “shut” for “TO”, which I don’t understand… Update: thanks to IanN14, who points out that a door that is “to” is shut
3. INSET Double definition; “fashionistas” might be the “in set”
4. BUMPTIOUS BUM = “Seat” + (UP, SO IT)*
5. LEGO EGO = “I” under [wal]L
6. PIZZICATO I = “One” + C = “note” in PIZZA = “Italian favourite” + TO
7. RENAL R = “right” + LANE = “way” reversed
13. TINDERBOX TIN = “Can” followed by O = “oxygen” + BRED = “produced” reversed + X = “cross”
14. SPARINGLY PARING = “Cutting” in SLY = “arch”
20. CORAL COR = “Well I’m blowed!” + [b]AL[d]
22. GIANT The soldiers are GI and ANT
23. LIMB [c]LIMB

17 Responses to “Guardian 24741 / Paul”

  1. IanN14 says:

    Thanks mhl.

    2d. you have right. To can mean shut when it’s applied to a door, say.

  2. The trafites says:

    I haven’t seen the clues, but 24ac could also have used “he’s just a naughty boy” instead, I guess :D

  3. Monica M says:

    Thanks mhl,

    1ac. Tight=drunk is a term I only see in crosswords (not used in Oz), so I didn’t get the lateral jump to it being an anagram indicator… hence I couldn’t for the life of me understand why I got the answer. A D’oh moment.

    I must say there have been some terrific puzzles lately and I wish I’d had the time to participate in some of the recent discussions.

  4. Crypticnut says:

    Thanks for the blog mhl and for your explanation for 24a. I’d solved it mainly due to the reference to 22d and had also worked out Brian’s involvement but the rest had me stymied.
    Overall an entertaining puzzle with some clever clueing.
    It’s been a double dose of Paul for me today as the one in the Courier today was one of his also, albeit five weeks old….

  5. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, mhl. I really enjoyed this.

    Monica, nice to hear from you again!

    Paul’s having a colossal time: it’s just a week since he clued ‘giant’ as ‘one soldier and another’, with GARGANTUAN as a linked clue.

  6. Jake says:

    A great Paul again.

    22dn I guessed as GIANT, which featured in last weeks Paul. 1dn was great ‘i cant get’ anagram plus ‘p m a e’ left over which I couldn’t figure out but managed the clue.

    19ac made me laugh a little, and all great stuff. Well done Paul.

    Cheers for the blog MHL. Nice one.

  7. liz says:

    Thanks, mhl. I enjoyed this a lot, despite not being able to finish. I loved 24ac — ‘He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!’ being a favourite quote in this house! 19ac was funny, too, and I liked 4dn and the definition of 8ac.

    Despite spending years with the stuff underfoot, LEGO escaped me. Didn’t get DINGBATS either and putting FLEXIBLE instead of FLEXIBLY meant that I got nowhere with 14dn.

  8. Derek Lazenby says:

    Monica, tight is commonly used to mean drunk over here, which is why you see it in crosswords over there! Mind you, thinking about it in between hurdles (watching jump racing), it’s not heard as much as it used to be.

  9. Dagnabit says:

    I really appreciated the blog today, mhl, as there were more than the usual complement of answers I got but couldn’t for the life of me explain, or had explained incorrectly. I’m kicking myself for missing the Python reference: I’m old enough to have had to push past a line of religious protesters in order to see the film upon its first U.S. theatrical release!

  10. Jake says:

    1ac. Comes up in Bradfords cxw dictonary as tight and drunk. I still didn’t manage the clue without help, but the book helped some what.

  11. Dave Ellison says:

    A struggle today, didn’t really get the bottom half, since I couldn’t fathom 22d, despite solving the similar clue recently.

    Also had DISK for 1d, instead of TAPE – that didn’t help either. I blame the hot weather

  12. Martin Searle says:

    Finished this yesterday after initial struggles. Good old Paul. Loved the ‘Life of Brian’ reference. Had a mental block on why it was ‘coral’. Always nice to know this site is here to find out.

  13. Kamintone says:

    One of our many stumbling blocks in this difficult but very satisfying crossword was 17ac – we thought it must be TITAN but couldn’t see the reason, since we both misread ‘overheard’ as ‘overhead’ …

  14. Neil says:

    Paul? He’sh my besht friend he ish. Until now.
    I’m not given to confession but I failed on 4a, 21ac, 2dn, 4dn, 5dn (know what you mean Liz @#7), 9dn AND 14dn – and I feel SO ashamed.

    So I’ve been “looking for loopholes” (W.C. Fields here recently; remember?).

    It’s been a very distracting time around here since yesterday, what with one thing and another, and I’ve only found some two hours interrupted time or so to look at this crossword puzzle. No. I’m not one of those speed solvers. Give me a coupla weeks and I might get there. The only excuse (or loophole) I can find concerns 14 dn: “nothing wasted” is not a proper definition of SPARINGLY. Now, is it?

    Thanks Paul (as ever), and the rest of you. I’ve let Paul down, my fellow bloggers down (I don’t even know if you’re ‘bloggers’ or ‘posters’, but you know who you are), but most of all, I’ve let my family down (by spending too much of my time looking at crossword puzzles).

    P.S. Derek (#8) – you seem to be getting ever more cryptic. What’s with ‘hurdles’ please?

  15. Derek Lazenby says:

    Neil, nothing cryptic, I was literally doing what I said, watching the racing on the TV and typing between jumps.

  16. Neil says:


  17. Olex says:

    In 18 across: could SOARA be how you “say” ROCKET (SOARER)? Is this a legitimate alternative way of reading the clue?

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=""> <strike> <strong>

six − = 1