Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24877 – Paul

Posted by Uncle Yap on December 8th, 2009

Uncle Yap.

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

What a difference a week makes. Last week, Rover left me flat but today, I could not stop laughing from the moment I started to tackle this puzzle. From Page Three girls to AA, the BUSTy references were tastefully done but were still TITillating enough for me to remember the DD cup BOOB I made many months ago while blogging another Paul puzzle :-) What a TEAT of a puzzle, MAMMA Mia !!

1 SECESSION Ins of EC (International Vehicle Registration for Ecuador) in SESSION (meeting)
6 TREE Three (figure) minus H (hot)
8 CAMELLIA Cha of CAMEL (supposed spitter) LIA (Rev of ail, trouble)
9 WRENCH Ins of R (right, a hand) in WENCH (young girl)
10,22 SECOND COUSIN *(discussion + once minus is)
11 INFRA DIG This is my last answer (and as yet, incomplete as I do not see the wordplay clearly) Per Chambers : infra dignitatem or beneath one’s dignity; unbecoming (short form infra dig)
12 SPOT ON Of course, the Page Three girls from the Sun have no tops to cover their boobs. What a delightful clue
15 MEATHEAD Cha of MEAT (steak, perhaps) + HEAD (loaf). Chump and meathead are all slang terms for someone thick.
16 MONASTIC Ins of ON in MASTIC (gum tree)
19 HITMAN Ins of T (last letter of bullet) in HIM (chap) + AN
21 LORRAINE Ins of RAIN (water) in LORE (learning)
24 REWORK REWOR (rev of rower, member of crew) K (last letter of book)
25,7 THE WHOLE ENCHILADA *(Whitehall echoed an) US slang for everything similar to the whole shebang
26,18 FLAT-CHESTED FLAT (puncture) Ins of HE (man) + ST (street) in CED (rev of Dec, winter month in northern hemisphere). The def is simply superb, calling for AA is not dialling Alcoholic Anonymous or the Automobile Association but the cup-size for brassiere for ladies less well-endowed (definitely not Page Three material).
27 RED PEPPER Simple cha

1 SHAVE Ins of H (husband) in SAVE (husband resources)
2 CHEROOT Ins of HERO (champion) in COT (bed) What an imagery of perhaps a stud’s performance so hot that smoke is produced
3 SOLID Cha of SO (then) LID (top)
4 IMAGISM I MAG (one little publication) IS M (minute) an early 20c school of poetry aiming at concentration, clear and simple language, and freedom of form and subject.
5 NEWSFLASH NEW (latest) + ins of F (first letter of figures) in SLASH (cut)
6 THE WASH Ins of HEW (cut) in TASH (short for moustache, feature above lip)
13 PHOTOCELL *(P for page + C for 100 + Othello)
14 NITPICKER Another clue that got me smiling at pit nicker (one stealing mine)
17 AIRPORT Cha of AIR (bearing) PORT (left in nautical terms)
20 TOUCH UP dd
22 CRETE Concrete (real) minus con
23 IDLER rha What a beauty of a reversal indicator. As sloth sleeps (upside down, of course)

38 Responses to “Guardian 24877 – Paul”

  1. IanN14 says:

    …Steady on, Uncle Yap.
    Thanks for the blog.
    I liked this one too; a typical one of Paul’s better, funnier ones.
    Incidentally, he’s also available (as Punk) over at the Indy today (another good one if you know anything about the theme).
    Has that happened very often, two puzzles in one day?
    (I’m sure Araucaria and Cinephile have done it too…?).

  2. mike says:

    Thank you Uncle Yap. I enjoyed this but I hadn’t encountered the expression THE WHOLE ENCHILADA (25, 7) before. Good job I’m not parochial about such foreign expressions.

  3. IanN14 says:

    Actually, I do have a (very slight) quibble.
    Is a wench really a “young girl”?
    A young woman, yes. Or a girl.
    But young girl suggests, to me, a child, so it would seem inappropriate to use the word “wench”?
    …Just me?

  4. Lanson says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap, for 11a indig(o) around Fr a

  5. Lanson says:

    To expand on my previous post, (Fr a) written in indig(o), just defined as a Latin term, but I wonder if it is an egotistical jibe at his particular style, much enjoyed with plenty of chuckles

  6. Macca says:

    I enjoyed this puzzle a lot but one thing let it down.

    Did we really need the reference to ‘molest’ as ‘touch up’ ? It just seemed a bit unsavoury in an otherwise entertaining puzzle.

  7. Bryan says:

    Many thanks, Uncle Yap, I loved it!

    I’d never heard of THE WHOLE ENCHILADA before but it was very guessable.

    I struggled with FLAT CHESTED and, until you explained the misdirection, I couldn’t see how AA fitted in.

    If there were any smut, I missed it. I guess it all depends on the Eye of the Beholder.

  8. Eileen says:


    You’re right – Araucaria and Cinephile quite often coincide and Monday frequently sees a double appearance for Mr Squires as Rufus and Dante.

    [It’s a pity there’s not a Mudd in the FT to complete the hat-trick!]

  9. IanN14 says:

    Maybe he did today’s Times, though?…

  10. Eileen says:

    I wouldn’t know about that but, even when the setter is not the same, there’s quite often some overlap in the clues. I’ve just done the FT puzzle and, having read Uncle Yap’s preamble, smiled at 29ac: ‘some tackle disposal of large bust centrally [6]’!

  11. NeilW says:

    @Lanson. I think the definition is also at the start of 11ac – “a shade off”

  12. liz says:

    Thanks, Uncle Yap. Delightfully funny puzzle from Paul. My favourite was 25,7 and hats off to those who have never heard the expression but managed to solve the clue anyway. I was caught out by 6ac — could not get the sparring sense of box out of my head, much to my dismay!

  13. Benington says:

    Misled at first by 11a into putting infra red – solving 25 and 7 put me right but I’m not sure that “A shade off-colour” is a good definition of ‘beneath one’s dignity’.

    Otherwise an excellent and funny puzzle – 26 18 had me smiling.

  14. Eileen says:

    I just can’t get 11ac at all. I can’t see the definition of INFRA DIG [surely it’s not just ‘a Latin term’? – but then again it doesn’t mean ‘a shade off colour’] and, if Lanson’s parsing is correct, where did the O go? [I’m feeling very dim!]

  15. NeilW says:

    Eileen, Chambers gives the second meaning as “unbecoming” and don’t you think that’s close enough for Paul to “a shade off colour”?

  16. NeilW says:

    Agree with you that we’re missing something in the parsing unless this is supposed to be one of those double serving clues where “a shade off colour” also means “take the O off indigo”, which I understood is what Lanson meant. All seems a bit clumsy and not like Paul, though.

  17. Eileen says:

    NeilW, well, no, I don’t. First, I can’t see how ‘beneath one’s dignity’ [literal translation] = ‘unbecoming’ – and, in any case, ‘off colour’ surely means ‘not feeling very well’ and not ‘unbecoming’. And where did the O go?

    The only way I can see to parse it is, if somehow O = ‘shade’, take that off ‘colour’ [indigo], giving INDIG, ‘writing in’ FR[ench]A – definition: ‘a Latin term’. But can O = shade?

    [This was written before your latest comment!]

  18. NeilW says:

    Eileen, I’m thinking of the sense of “off colour” as in an off colour joke i.e. a dirty joke…

  19. Eileen says:

    Oh, is it just that ‘a shade’ means ‘a little’ i.e. O? [doh! – I said I was feeling dim!] In which case, I don’t like ‘a Latin term’ as the definition!

    Yes, Neil, you could be right!

  20. NeilW says:

    Thanks, Eileen, but I hope someone else can come up with a better explanation because otherwise it seems so… disappointing somehow.

  21. Lanson says:

    11a, I took it as, ‘a shade off’ a small amount taken from indigo, ‘Latin term’ must be the definition, I don’t think there’s more going on, seems very loose, which is why I thought it may have been a private joke or ‘dig’ perhaps

  22. cholecyst says:

    11 ac. I agree with Lanson – the def must be “Latin term” – if not, what is it doing there? As has been suggested there may be a
    nod towards off-colour meaning blue as in blue joke since indigo is a bluish shade. Not one of Paul’s best.

  23. Eileen says:

    At last, I see just what you mean, Lanson – and agree!

  24. Mick H says:

    Very enjoyable, though I too failed to spot what was going on with INFRA DIG. THE WHOLE ENCHILADA was superb, and I enjoyed SPOT ON too. Once I realised it was a reversal ending with ON, I began to worry – there are quite a lot of things not allowed on page 3, after all!

  25. Ed H says:

    Can someone explain the ‘simple cha’ in 27ac, please? Can’t see it at all (assume I’m being slow).

    Agree with #3 that ‘wench’ for ‘young girl’ is a bit dubious (although don’t have a dictionary to hand so stand to be corrected), and with #6 that ‘molest’ for ‘touch up’ is awkward (modern use to me would suggest one is probably criminal, the other not?).

  26. Bryan says:

    Ed H

    Bordeaux (wine) = Red

    Shower = Pepper

  27. Richard says:

    Very enjoyable puzzle, but just one quibble as a long-time resident of Strasbourg. Alsace and Lorraine may be associated in many people’s minds but they are separate, and quite distinct, French regions that happen to border one another.

  28. MarkH says:

    Really enjoyable today, I found this easier than last weeks Paul although the top half of the grid held me up for some time, only one I didn’t get was “infra dig”. Flat chested was great.

  29. Dave Ellison says:

    Bryan 26 and Ed 25: Yes it isn’t a simple cha. I also read it as Bryan said, plus “east of” means put “pepper” to the right of “red”.

  30. BrendanPG says:

    Been following the blog for a while and really enjoying it, so after the discussion of the other day about the value of explaining the clues I thought I’d chip in and say that the explanations are much appreciated! Today’s puzzle was lovely, though “camellia” and “The Wash” were too much for me. Anyway, thanks for the blog!

  31. Mick H says:

    Good point, Richard, about Alsace and Lorraine, which struck me too. The problem is that we first learn about them in history as Alsace-Lorraine. It’s one of those definitions that works even though it’s wrong -like the association trick where you prompt someone to say lots of words rhyming with ‘yolk’ then ask “what do you call the white of an egg?”

  32. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Indeed, a really splendid crossword!

    We thought we’d finished it – then finding out that we made mistakes.
    In the tricky NE corner of the grid (of course).
    We got INFRA DIG, didn’t compeltely understand it, but so many people have said so many wise words about it that it’s hardly possible that there’s a new view on it.
    We think “a shade of colour” is doing double duty, with the Latin version of it pointing at the definition. Bit unsatisfying, but alas.
    NEWSFLASH wasn’t one of our favourites, because the ‘new’ part is clued as ‘the latest’ which is of the same kind as the NEWS part of the solution.
    In 7d we had ‘eye lash’, ‘eye’ being a hole that lets something through (just like an inlet, but not the same thing).
    But then, ‘lash’ would be part of two consecutive clues – very unlikely (in a Paul).
    Subsequently, we thought of ‘ewer’ for 6ac (being ‘hewer’ minus the H), but that was wrong as well.

    So, 4ac is TREE.
    Not only do I understand that Paul refers to a tree that’s called buxus in Latin, I think this is another of these fantastic clues of His Holy Naughtiness.
    If you know what a ‘hot box’ cán mean , you’ll see my point.

    Indeed, a really splendid crossword!

  33. Eileen says:


    It’s good to hear from you. Please keep ‘chipping in’! :-)

    Richard / Mick H

    Quite right. I knew I should research this as soon as I saw it, before Richard mentioned it [I was too hung up on INFRA DIG!]. I live in one of Strasbourg’s twin towns, so should know more about it but, I’m afraid, have only vague memories from O Level History!

  34. Eileen says:

    Sorry, Sil – crossed with you! Agree with most of what you say – e.g having been beguiled by ‘EYELASH’ for a while.

  35. FishAreBest says:

    We couldn’t spell “enchelada”, which led us to
    “infra red” for “slightly off colour”.

    in + fr(ench) + a + ???

    Apart from that, a very enjoyable one tonight.

  36. Stephen and Lucy says:

    Just finished this. Can anyone explain why ‘tree’ is ‘box’?

  37. Lanson says:

    Stephen and Lucy, box is the tree genus buxus, its wood is particually good for making boxes and so was called boxwood, the trees it came from became simply box

  38. PaulG says:

    Great puzzle! 22,18 is a brilliant clue, and typical Paul with its wit and slight smuttiness. For so many years, I’ve got the most enjoyment out of Araucaria’s puzzles but I am beginning to think that the Apprentice may be overtaking the Master. Heresy?

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