Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24917 – Paul

Posted by Uncle Yap on January 26th, 2010

Uncle Yap.

A fair-to-middling kind of offering from Paul with some challenging clues as well as some that raised a smile or two especially those cheeky descriptions such as item containing white in 20D. My favourite device was call reception in 8D. Paul never fails to amuse and titillate.

ACROSS
1 MINDSET Cha of Mind (tend) Set (fixed)
5 LADETTE Ins of DET (rev of Ted, boy) in LATE (after 3am, say) a lively young woman who enjoys social behaviour of a kind associated with young men.
10 RUNNERS-UP Cha of RUNNER (river) SUP (drink)
14 FIRST LADIES Ins of S (small) & TLADI *(tidal) in FIRES (what they’d put out) and, of course, we recognise Eleanor Roosevelt and Michelle Obama, both wives of a US President
18 LADIES FIRST Ins of DIES (disappears) & FIR (evergreen tree) in LAST (the end)
21 ROUE Ins of O (love) in RUE (French for road/street)
22 TRIPARTITE Ins of I PART (one division) in TRITE (insignificant)
25 HEADLINED *(INDEED + HALf)
26,11,27,9 BEING ECONOMICAL WITH THE TRUTH *(in wait clutching mother- to-be he) a euphemism for deceitful, whether by volunteering false information (i.e., lying) or by deliberately holding back relevant facts. More literally, it describes a careful use of facts so as not to reveal too much information.
28 LEESIDE rha

DOWN
1 METIER Cha of ME + TIER (bank) one’s calling or business; that in which one is specially skilled.
2 NEURON Ins of UR (you are in SMS parlance) in NEON (element of lighting)
3 SCHOOL FEES *(choose self)
4 TARSI Rev of IS + RAT (one might tell, a traitor or a sneak)
5 LANCASTER *(as central)
6 DEER Cha of DEE (river) R (run) Remember Doe, a deer, a female deer?
7 TASMANIA Cha of TAS (rev of SAT, settled) MANIA (obsession) The Tasmanian devil is a small ferocious marsupial
8 ESPRESSO ES (first and last letters of EmptieS) Press O (in many multi-user telephone systems, pressing zero will get us the reception or the operator). Call reception really cracked me up.
13 FACTORABLE Ins of ACTOR (player) in FABLE (story)
15 REFERENCE Preference (cup of tea) minus P (skimmed)
16 CLERIHEW CL (150 in Roman numeral) + *(where I) a humorous poem that sums up the life and character of some notable person in two short couplets.
17 ADJUTANT Ins of JUT (stick out) in A DANTE (a poet) minus E for an officer specially appointed to assist a commanding officer;
19 RIMINI RI (middle letters of toRIno) MINI (small) a city and comune in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy and capital city of the Province of Rimini. It is located on the Adriatic Sea, near the coast between the rivers Marecchia (the ancient Ariminus) and Ausa (Aprusa). Coast navigation and fishing are traditional industries and, together with Riccione, it is probably the most famous seaside resort on the Adriatic Riviera.
20 REGGAE Ins of EGG (item containing white) in RAE (rev of EAR, attention) a strongly rhythmic form of music originating in Jamaica in the 1960s.
23 PEDAL Ins of D (last letter of Siegfried) in PEAL (ring)
24,12 FLAT RACE Cha of Flat (dead) Race (people)

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

36 Responses to “Guardian 24917 – Paul”

  1. mike says:

    Thank you, Uncle Yap. Great fun. I liked 7d.

  2. IanN14 says:

    Sorry, Uncle Yap,
    I have to disagree; I thought this was Paul in great form.
    3d. 6d. 8d. and the reversals in 14 & 18ac.all (not too difficult, but) very clever.

  3. Simon G says:

    Thanks, Uncle Yap,

    I got all but 20d, although not always entirely sure how… a lot of guessing and judicious use of the ‘check’ button I think… That said, I do agree with mike and IanN14 re. 7d and especially 6d – great fun.

  4. NeilW says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap. Good standard fare from Paul.

    I got held up for a while in the middle because I was sure Eleanor was Eleanor Rigby so, together with Michelle, sending me off trying to put together a solution involving the Beatles!

  5. mhl says:

    Thanks for the post, Uncle Yap. I particularly liked your definition of LADETTE :)

    I thought this was excellent – not too hard, and there were lots of fun touches, like the FIRST LADIES / LADIES FIRST combination, “Does river run?”, PRESS 0 and UR for “you are”. (Even though I wince when seeing the lattermost in real life, it does seem to be unstoppable, and I like seeing these new crossword abbreviations.)

  6. cholecyst says:

    Thanks, Uncle Yap.

    Would someone explain to me how preference = cup of tea (15dn)?

  7. benington says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap. Good reliable fare as usual from Paul.

    Re chloecyst at 6 – ‘Cup of tea’ an expression to indicate a preference for something as in “”Crosswords are just my cup of tea.” I have heard it used more commonly in the negative form such as “Sorry but football is just not my cup of tea.”

  8. cholecyst says:

    Grrrr! It’s so obvious. Thanks benington.

  9. Ian says:

    Thanks Uncle yap for your fulsome blog. However, I thought this was Paul on sparkling form on this one.

    The clues leading to Factorable, Reggae, Tasmania and Lee Side were top drawer.

    Cholecyst, Some people tend to use “that is my cup of tea” when stating a personal preference on a particular matter.

  10. xanthoma says:

    cholecyst, (15dn) preference = cup of tea: as in “now that’s just my cup of tea”

  11. sandra says:

    i found this one quite hard, but it certainly had some clever touches. i liked FIRST LADIES/LADIES FIRST and TASMANIA in particular. did not like factorable. it isn’t a word i have heard used , it’s in chambers, so acceptable, but it looks clumsy to me.

  12. rrc says:

    This was much better than yesterday, and I liked particularly liked 26a 14a 18a

  13. liz says:

    Thanks, Uncle Yap. I really enjoyed this. 6dn made me smile and PRESS O was a Paul classic! I also liked FIRST LADIES/LADIES FIRST.

    The last one I got was TASMANIA.

    Didn’t spot the wordplay in 15dn or the hidden (again!) in 28ac, but I still managed to get the answers.

    I was also thinking along the lines of the Beatles for 14ac.

  14. Jerb says:

    Great! My favourite was PEDAL – a perfect surface.

  15. Eileen says:

    Clerihews: the first was reputedly written by Edmund Clerihew Bentley, in a boring science lesson when he was sixteen:

    Sir Humphrey Davy
    Abominated gravy.
    He lived in the odium
    Of having discovered sodium.

    Here’s one from Spike Milligan:

    Thomas Tallis
    Bore no man any malice
    Save an organist named Ken
    Who played his music rather badly now and then.

    And re 6dn:

    Alfred, Lord Tennyson
    Lived upon venison;
    Not cheap, I fear,
    Because venison’s dear.
    (credited to Louis Untermeyer)

    My initial blunder today was LATE SHOW for ‘Dead people’s event’ but it didn’t hold me up too long. Great fun, otherwise.

  16. Tom Hutton says:

    Having fires as a thing that tidal waves might put out is, in my view, stretching things a good deal too far (not to mention ‘stopping’ as an indicator of insertion).

    I don’t think ‘my cup of tea’ indicates a preference rather than something which one simply enjoys. A preference indicates an alternative.

    I was not very happy with ear as attention though I might have been biased because I didn’t get the solution.

    Having said that, there were some really delightful clues in this and generally it was quite solvable. 5ac was very clever with its reference to the 3am girls from some popular paper or other.

  17. beermagnet says:

    Uncle Yap’s blogs
    Placate us nitpicking dogs
    Because crossies by Paul
    Please most if not all

  18. walruss says:

    I agree with Uncle Ian rather than Uncle Yap. Paul is one of the great Guardian writers I think, who always puts on a show for us. Well done Paul.

  19. mhl says:

    beermagnet: excellent :)

  20. JimboNWUK says:

    Now THAT’s more like it Paul… didn”t finish but just because of time constraints rather than lack of obscure/specialist knowledge…

    And Eileen… you set me off on Millliganostalgia….

    There are holes in the sky
    Where the rain gets in
    But the holes are small
    That’s why rain is thin

    and

    Lady Barnaby takes her ease
    Knitting overcoats for fleas
    By this act the fleas are smitten
    that’s why she *very rarely* bitten

    then there are the longer ones such as Scornflufus:

    There are many disease which strike people’s kneeses
    Scornflufus is one by name
    etc… etc….

    And to stray back slightly on topic, I remember leafing through “A book of bits or a bit of a book” in our local library at the tender age of 14 and laughing uproariously at the “Crossword for Idiots” which was a large black square with one white square in the top left corner with a 1 in it and 2 clues:
    Across
    1. First letter of alphabet
    Down
    1. Indefinite article

    Eeee them wuz the days…..

  21. sidey says:

    Jimbo, ‘There are holes etc’ was used as most of a Graun some twelve years ago. Longest anagram ever IIRC.

  22. Rob says:

    Re #20 & Sidey # 21
    I remember ‘There are holes in the sky etc’ being the answer to a Guardian cryptic clue (can’t believe it was 12 years ago!!) The clue was a fabulous anagram of the ‘poem’ which made some sort of sense as I remember and it ended with: ‘(4 by Milligan)’ and I am 99.99% sure it was set by Paul.

  23. Rob says:

    Found the original clue in Hugh Stephenson’s book:
    “Here ‘n’ there in the heavens’ watery mire are tiny slits, so the harsh weather is slight, not bulky, perhaps? (Spike Milligan) (5,3,5,2,3,3,5, 3,4,4,2,3,6,4,2,5,5,3,4,2,4)”.

    I’m sure the original clue had (4 by Milligan) in brackets (minor point!) – definitely Paul.

  24. Brian Harris says:

    Great stuff today from Paul. Loved it.

  25. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thanks, Uncle Yap, for your detailed blog, but as many others we tend to choose Ian14’s side (#14).
    A grand crossword, no obscurities (even I knew CLERIHEW, but it came up not so very long ago) and no ‘obscenities’ (I mean, no loos, bums & bottoms this time).

    What a splendid doublet in 14+18ac. Misleading all those who initially thought of
    The Beatles was surely deliberate, great!
    I agree with Jerb (#14), that 23d (PEDAL) was a superb clue.
    And we especially enjoyed the cluing-with-a-smile of ‘late’ as ‘after 3am, say’, ‘press 0′ as ‘call reception perhaps’, ‘headlined’ as ‘was the star'(with or without indeed) and ‘preference’ as ‘cup of tea’. All very inventive.
    And of course, the magnificent anagram 0f 26ac (etc) in which the definition (‘Lying’) was nicely coupled with ‘in wait’ to make you think of another kind of ‘lying’.

    Not just great fun, we thought, but also a crossword with great finesse in cluing – and not a single word out of place.
    Brilliant!

  26. Gareth Rees says:

    I have to say that I don’t like long anagrams.

    The longer a piece of text, the more it tends towards the general letter-frequencies of English, and the closer it is to being an anagram of any other piece of English text of the same length. This means that the longer a phrase is, the more anagrams there are for it, the easier it is for the setter to find one, and the harder it is for the solver to find the one that’s needed.

    I don’t think I’ve ever solved a long anagram like today’s by permuting letters. I always wait until I have enough crossing letters to guess the whole phrase. (I’d be interested to hear if other solvers differ.)

    Apart from that, a very enjoyable crossword.

  27. stiofain says:

    Another fan here I thought this was great, especially “does river run”.
    Gareth I dislike long anagrams too but my main beef is that they cut down the number of clues in an xword I also rarely solve them other than by crossing letters.
    I remember the milligan clue well nice one from Rob digging that up.
    I also spent some time thinking about the Beatles Sil.
    My only complaint is the lack of Pauls usual smut , no bums, bras, bowels or bogs.

  28. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Well, Gareth (#26), normally we do but this time we did …
    Which means: normally we wait just like you (and I do agree, long anagrams can be very annoying, though some are rather good), but today we wrote out the remaining letters to see if we could complete “Bring (must of course be ‘being’, but this was what we had initially) … with the …”. We saw the solution relatively late, which slowed us down a bit because the words were spread around different parts of the grid.

  29. sidey says:

    Long anagrams, well long answers however clued are often spottable simply from the word pattern unfortunately. When the Milligan clue was used I shared the crossword with a friend, it took me about ten seconds to work it out so I didn’t tell him. He took about four hours because he didn’t know the poem.

    Azed used a long anagram in his Christmas 1998 competition. This http://www.andlit.org.uk/azed/slip.php?comp_no=1387 list some of the possibilities.

  30. Mr Beaver says:

    To go against the grain, I didn’t think much of 25a and 24,12 (mainly because we didn’t get them).
    ‘Was the star’ doesn’t define HEADLINED very well, and I don’t really see how dead = FLAT, well only very tangentially …

  31. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Hi, Mr Beaver (#30).
    Although we did like the (indeed) vague definition of 25ac, making the clue as a whole rather, um, cryptic, I can imagine that some people, like you, didn’t think too much of it.
    FLAT can be ‘dead’, when one thinks of ‘discharged’ (like a battery).

  32. Dave Ellison says:

    Gareth @ 26: I eyeballed the letters for inspiration, rather than writing them out randomly – but to no avail. THE was a good guess for the three letter word, and ING for the end of 26a, but they didn’t help. It wasn’t till I got the E from METIER of 1d (quite a hard clue) that I got ECONOMICAL (I already had all the other crossing letters), then the rest of the solution was instantaneous – I didn’t bother checking the fodder.

  33. Dave Ellison says:

    Actually, I had pencilled in THREE at 4d, giving an E for the I of ECONOMICAL which is why that word took longer than it should to spot.

  34. Neil says:

    Lovely stuff throughout! And thanks Uncle Yap for your usual clarity.

    Sorry Ian @9 but I suspect your comment to Uncle Yap might not be quite what you meant once you’ve looked up “fulsome” in your dictionary, unless, of course, you were complimenting him on his figure! But then, it is one of the most misused words, perhaps only challenged by “lunch”.

  35. Trench Adviser says:

    Neil, how is “lunch” misused?

  36. Neil says:

    Trench Adviser …

    Check out pub and restaurant ads (and even some food writers in the press). “Sunday Lunch” (even “Christmas Lunch”) is constantly used to mean a midday roast meal with all the trimmings, followed by afters. That’s a main meal so it’s “Dinner”, whatever the time of day. Ask any dictionary!

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