Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,903 (Sat 9 Jan)/Paul – Kinky and quirky

Posted by rightback on January 16th, 2010

rightback.

Solving time: 10 mins

This was vintage Paul: some amazing anagrams (8ac/7ac, 15ac/22dn, 22ac/23ac), a couple of long reverse charades (13dn, 24dn/3dn) and a classic at 16dn.

Music of the Day (16dn): Set Me 2dn by The Kinks.

Across
8,7 SHERWOOD FOREST; (HOOD FORTRESS, WE)* – brilliant!
9 RAPTOR; RAP (= ‘crack’) + TOR (= ‘rock’)
12 ZIMMER; ZER[o] around IMM (= 1 millimetre)
14,11 AWAY WITH THE FAIRIES
15,22 CHARITY SHIELD; (HYSTERIA + CHILD)* – another superb anagram which I struggled with for some time before cracking. The Charity Shield is traditionally the opening match of the English football season, played between the previous season’s champions and FA Cup winners. (Actually it’s now called the Community Shield, but only in the same way that linesmen are officially assistant referees.)
17 SEVENTY; EVEN (= ‘like itself’, ie. like 70) in STY (= ‘pen’)
20 MANITOBA; NIT (= ‘idiot’) + OBAMA with MA (= ‘degree’) at the start
22,23 SILVIO BERLUSCONI; (COLOURS INVISIBLE)* – a third stunning anagram in the across clues; ‘bloody’ presumably refers to this recent incident.
24,10 SACK RACE – this is a ‘juvenile competition [hurrying along]‘ and the ‘sack’ is unemployment, although I’m not quite sure of the intended reading here (‘…hurrying along unemployment figures’).
25 BARREN; “BARON”
26 COLLIDED; rev. of DILL in CO-ED
Down
1 CHEAPISH; (HEAP IS) in CH
2 FREE; “THREE” in a Cockney accent
4 ADRENAL; A + rev. of (LANE + RD) – the exact definition is ‘from a gland’.
5 GREAT APE; EAT in GRAPE
6 SPARE WHEEL; (REP WAS)* + HEEL – ‘one getting booted’ meaning ‘something kept in the boot of a car’.
13 MARTIAL ART; rev. of (TRA-LA + I + TRAM) – I didn’t know the Portuguese word ‘capoeira’ meaning ‘a martial art and dance combination developed by African slaves in 19th century Brazil’.
16 THOUSAND; (SOUTH)* + AND – outrageous! The definition is M (= 1000 in Roman numerals), ‘Kinky’ is the anagram indicator and’ full S’ means ‘[the abbreviation] S written in full’, i.e. ‘south’. Normally I’d say this was a stretch too far but the extraordinary surface makes up for it here.
18 TWIT + CHER
19 MAJOR + C + A
21 AXEMAN; A + rev. of (NAME + X) – ‘not written down’ suggesting ‘written upwards’.
24,3 SPIN DOCTOR; rev. of (ROT + COD + NIPS)

15 Responses to “Guardian 24,903 (Sat 9 Jan)/Paul – Kinky and quirky”

  1. Max says:

    Agree 16d is totally outrageous. It was my last in: I got THOUSAND without fully understanding the wordplay.

    Re 24/10: I read ‘juenenile competition’ as the def, with a cryptic def in the second part in the sense of a race to increase the uneployment figures.

  2. Neil says:

    Well! That WAS fun.

  3. Grumpy Andrew says:

    Hated it. Got six or so then gave up.
    Thank god I wasn’t stuck on a long train journey with nothing else to do, I just binned the paper and got on with something more fulfilling.

  4. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog, Rightback.

    I agree: vintage Paul! 22,23 was a great anagram, along with yesterday’s GORDON RAMSAY — what a treat to have two in one week!

    I didn’t see the wordplay for 16dn. ‘Full S’ is a bit of a stretch for ‘south’ but well worth it for the surface.

    ‘One getting booted’ as a definition for spare wheel was also pretty outrageous, I thought, but made me smile!

  5. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Yes, very good puzzle.
    Just like Liz we didn’t see the wordplay for 16d, and if it wasn’t for the surface we probably would have criticised it.
    Rightback, we think thatin your excellent blog it should read: (SOUTH)* + AND.
    Indeed, splendid anagrams.
    8,7 is probably the best because being an &Lit.

    And the funny thing is about this crossword was, that we rushed through it at maximum speed. We thought it was an rather easy Paul, especially for a Saturday.

  6. Bryan says:

    Many thanks, Rightback, I thoroughly enjoyed this and I found it relatively easy for a Prize Puzzle.

    Of course, there were no obscure words or Gruaniad misprints and I wonder if the Editor has cracked the whip.

    Well done Paul.

  7. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Rightback.

    I agree with all the comments except 3.

    Grumpy Andrew, have you another pseudonym for commenting when you do like a puzzle? – or does that never happen? :-)

  8. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Just in case people want to reference it in the future, it was actually 24903 and not 24093 as shown in the header.

  9. Gaufrid says:

    Thanks KD. Error corrected.

  10. rightback says:

    Thanks for the corrections (Sil was, of course, quite right about the wordplay to THOUSAND: (SOUTH)* + AND, not (SOUTH AND)*) and to Gaufrid for correcting the header.

    Bryan, I’d be surprised if the Guardian editor has done any whip-cracking; Paul, like the sorely missed Taupi, always seems to produce highly entertaining crosswords without resorting to obscurities.

  11. rrc says:

    thoroughly enjoyable and took considerably less time to complete than many prize crosswords I liked many of the clues and would agree with rightback that this was vintage Paul.

  12. CGK says:

    I’m almost always happy to look up unfamiliar words, but capoeira (13dn) was gratuitously obscure when any example of a martial art would have sufficed. In any case, according to Chambers as quoted by Rightback, it is not actually a martial art, but a combination of a martial art and dance. Was the slavery connection thought irresistible in a puzzle for Guardian readers?

  13. Mr Beaver says:

    CGK – I guess capoeira was picked because of its unfamiliarity. ‘Karate’ might have been too much of a giveaway.
    I would have agreed with you about its obscurity, but for my daughter having mentioned (a week or so before the crossword) a friend who was ‘into capoeira’.
    We had to look it up then…

  14. Ian says:

    THOUSAND was outrageous!!

    Superb anagrams and thanks for the blog Rightback.

  15. Sylvia says:

    Wonderful entertainment! At least 17 of the solutions were inspired – Paul just gets better and better.

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