Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24861 / Paul

Posted by mhl on November 19th, 2009


Many fun clues today, as you’d expect from Paul, and some interesting words. I found this much more difficult than a typical Paul crossword for some reason.

1. BANG UP PUG = “Dog” + NAB = “collar” all reversed
5. SIGNED UP (PE[r]SU[a]DING)* (That’s PERSUADING without “A” and R = “revolutionary leader”.)
9. CAROUSER CAR USER = “driver” round O = “roundabout” – I was held up here looking for “roundabout” as the definion for “carousel”
10. DERIDE RID = “clear” in DEE = “river”
14. SIKORSKY Tough clue: SI[n]K = “Drop axes name” (“axes” as a verb) + OR + SKY = “heavens”; the definition is “name on chopper”
17. CAPYBARA CAPRA = “film director Frank” around BY reversed + [camer]A
18,13. VERY WELL Double definition
20. VELOCIRAPTOR (LOVE)* followed by IR = “Irish” in CAPTOR = “kidnapper”
23. WANGLE W = “western” + ANGLE = “view”
24. ISOLATED I = “one” followed by LATE = “dead” in SOD = “ground”
25. EMINENCE MINE = “Source of gold” in [p]ENCE = “money, no capital” – one definition for EMINENCE in Chambers is a “a rising piece of ground”
26. ESKIMO SKI = “Go on the piste” in [d]EMO = “March, heading off”
2. AJAR A + JAR = “drink”
3. GOONHILLY GO ON = “Ride” + HILLY = “high”; annoyingly, I couldn’t remember this place, although there’d been a bit on it in Coast
4. POSSUM SS = “vessel” + U = “uranium” in POM = “sporting rival?”
6. GADZOOKS A lovely word :) GADS = “Wanders” about ZOO = “British home for The Lion” + K = “King”
7. EGRET Reversed hidden answer
12. SEWAGE FARM WAG = “Comedian” in FEES = “charge” reversed + ARM = “member”
15. RIVER BANK RANK = “row” about VERB
16. GALILEAN (i.e. like or of Galileo) GAL = “Girl” + I = “one” + LEAN = “not fat”
19. AT HOME A TOME = “a book” around H = “gas”; the definition is “In”
21. ORGAN [m]ORGAN; “stops” as in the stops of an organ
22. BEAM A nice cryptic definition

27 Responses to “Guardian 24861 / Paul”

  1. rob lewis says:

    Glad I wasn’t the only one to find this tougher than usual – and that carouser/carousel was also a problem in the definition. As usual with Paul I had the solution but it sometimes took a while to work out why!

  2. Ian says:

    Thanks for that mhl.

    For Paul, relatively straightforward i thought. The usual liberties taken with his witty, libertarian style.

    Excellent wordplays throughout, especially 17ac, 20ac and 3dn.

  3. Bryan says:

    Many thanks, mhl, I gave up with the puzzle only half finished and I’m glad that I did.

    I guess that the recent good run had to end some day, so I’m now hoping for a really great one tomorrow.

    Maybe a Roverian masterpiece? He’s been missing for far too long!

  4. walruss says:

    If he could go missing for just a tiny bit longer please? Not my best compiler, but I see Paul is not yours Bryan! For me however this was a very well made puzzle with some lovely invention. A few things, like the CAR USER around O with a drink-drive message, I’d seen before, but to all intents just right.

  5. John says:

    Easy enough to solve but some irritatingly unsatisfactory definitions for me.
    If both “a” and “r” are to be “abandoned” from “persuading”, then the singular “leader abandons” is loose.
    How does “regret” = VERY WELL. Someone will say that the phrase might imply a kind of reluctant agreement but it’s a stretch to make that equate to regret.
    Why is ZOO a “British” home? Could be any English speaking country.
    Chambers or no, EMINENCE isn’t a synonym for bank in my opinion.
    Pity because the rest is of the usual expected high standard.

  6. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Much too difficult for me today, but now I’ve seen the blog there’s certainly some clever clueing.

  7. liz says:

    Thanks mhl. I found this hard, too, with some quite difficult wordplay, not all of which I got. Missed GOONHILLY and spelled SIKORSKY with an ‘A’, which was just carelessness.

    Sorry you didn’t enjoy this, Bryan, but each to his own. I can’t say I’m looking forward to Rover’s return…

  8. rrc says:

    Today I gave up. Thats the first crossword Ive done that with for three months

  9. Median says:

    Definitely a tough one. Needed plenty of TEA to finish it!

  10. Dave Ellison says:

    yes, tough, also gave up with bottom left mostly empty. I agree with most of John at #5’s comments, plus wasn’t too keen on “hilly” for “high” in 3d, nor the definition? in 5d “where Aussies on the water” – criticism usually aimed at Gordius should be thrown at this one. Also, whilst I’m on a rolling rant, 25a “no capital” for P of pence is sloppy; might just work if it were a down clue.

  11. Dave Ellison says:

    3d again. Goonhilly is still there, so why “was”? And “out of this world” is a bit extreme as Goonhilly is mostly for nearby earth orbit satellites

  12. Ian says:

    A difficult day all round as the FT puzzle today (set by ALBERICH) is v.tough too. Struggling to finish it.

  13. mhl says:

    Dave Ellison: I think the point of the “was” is that it’s no longer in operation (since 2008) although apparently you can still do tours (on Segways, no less  :))

  14. sidey says:

    “where observation was on high” is hardly an adequate definition for Goonhilly, unless you are under the mistaken impression that it’s a radio telescope. Otherwise normal for Paul.

    I’m not sure quite why but I am becoming much less enamoured of Guardian crosswords recently.

  15. walruss says:

    Some are great, but yes, some are awful.

  16. muck says:

    Not one of Paul’s easier puzzles!
    I gave up half way through and came to the blog, for which thanks mhl

  17. JamieC says:

    @Sidey #14 – I’m with you there. The quality has been very variable recently. The best are fantastic, but there have been a lot of weak clues. I am inclined to blame the editor rather than the setters. Perhaps he is not being tough enough with his megastars?

  18. Bryan says:

    John and Sidey are evidently both CORRECT.

    John @ #4: 6d: ZOO in not just a ‘British home’ – there are zoos in San Diego and Toronto.

    Sidey @ #14: 3d GOONHILLY is not ‘where observation was out of this world’ – it was a Communications Satellite.

    No wonder I couldn’t get either of these!

  19. Geoff Anderson says:

    I think ‘Very well’ is more strongly suggestive of reluctance rather than regret. Regret comes after you’ve cleaned the sewage farm; reluctance is in your acceptance of the task beforehand: “Will you clean the sewage farm?” “Very well!”

    One can imagine the gang master asking “How did you clean the sewage farm?” and you replying, “Very well!” with a sigh that adds a layer of regret to the words, but you might just as well reply, “Okay!” or “Not bad!” with the sigh of regret. The expression ‘very well’ in itself doesn’t indicate regret, whereas it definitely does suggest reluctance – not intrinsically, maybe, but through common usage.

  20. Sil van den Hoek says:

    After a long day’s work (I thought, too long) we tried to tackle this one, meaning:
    about 4 or 5 solutions in the first half hour.
    A very tough puzzle, as many of you said before.
    In the end we missed some all around the place, like SEWAGE FARM (though we were pretty sure about the farm), SIKORSKY and GOONHILLY.

    Dear mhl (thx!), you started your blog with “many fun clues today”.
    But we thought that there weren’t that many Paulish fun clues (i.e. no bums or loos).
    We thought he tried to be clever today.

    And, overall, he probably was.
    But there was (indeed, mhl) a certain degree of sloppiness today.
    The use of “British” in 6d goes even beyond that.

    Still, there’s much to admire.
    The definition in 19ac (AT HOME) is very well hidden, we liked that.
    The combination of “dog” and “collar”, and then using “collar” in a different way, is cryptic as cryptic should be.

    There were some critical notes about the use of “bank” for EMINENCE (apart from the fact that Dave Ellison in #10 (probably rightly so) criticised the “capital” bit), but if indeed EMINENCE is “an area of higher ground” (acc. to Chambers), then “bank” for us is perfectly alright. It’s a thing like what Crucible said after his splendid rendering a while ago: “I admit, chancing my arm a bit, but the pairing was irresistible”. Linking “bank” with “gold”, “money” and “capital” is just the thing a setter wants (I guess).

    What I didn’t like ( I say I and not we, because the solution was found by me afterwards using Wikipedia) was GOONHILLY.
    Apart from all the critical posts above, I assume that the part “hilly” of the word GOONHILLY refers to a “hill” anyway (unless there was a person who gave his/her name to the thing, and that’s still possible).

  21. Paul B says:

    Well, you might not be too far off. ‘Goonughella’ may mean ‘the higher down’.

  22. Testy says:

    I think the British reference in 6D is perfectly justifiable and I think makes the cryptic reading more accurate. If it was just “home for the lion” then I think it would more reasonably indicate Africa or savanna. Making it the “British home for the lion” indicates ZOO much more definitively (there, thankfully, not being many other places in Britain where you might encounter a lion).

  23. Jobs says:

    Thanks mhl, I really struggled with this. Your post has cleared a lot up.

  24. Bryan says:

    What about Safari Parks, Testy?

  25. Testy says:

    Yes, and don’t forget those nutters with exotic pets etc., which is why I said “not…MANY other places”. But you have to admit the limited range of possible homes for British lions makes it much more specific as an indicator for ZOO than the home of the lion in general.

  26. Testy says:

    …which reminds me of this: Lions, Gold and Confusion by Bob Servant

  27. Anon says:

    Goonhilly is Cornish for “Hunting Grounds”

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>

3 × two =