Posted by Eileen on April 7th, 2010
If there had been no name on this puzzle, I think it would not have taken regular solvers long to supply one. All the Pauline hallmarks are here: cheeky surfaces and / or wordplay; some audacious cluing; great wit, with real laugh-out-loud moments. There are just a couple of clues I’m not entirely happy with.
1 ROAD SIGN: this took a few minutes to work out, after solving. I like this kind of clue but I know not everyone does. ‘Horseboxes’ needs to be separated and ‘boxes’ and ‘hogs’ are both container indicators: it’s [lane]S in DIG [like] all inside ROAN [horse].
5 SCORCH: SCOR[e] [nearly 20] + CH[urch]
9 CRAB MEAT: B[ass] in CRAM [stuff] + EAT [consume]
12 BRAINWASHED: IN + WAS HE [could he have been?] in BRAD [Pitt - Angelina's man]
15 TITHE: TIT [fool? - surely Paul's thinking of 'twit'? Collins has, for 'tit', 'a despicable or unpleasant person and Chambers 'a contemptible person'] + HE
17 NERVELESS: [winte]R in reversal of ELEVEN [figure] + S[mall] S[mall] – hilarious!
18 OBSTETRIC: anagram of BIT + CORSET – another laugh-out-loud one
19 SKIER: E[nglish] in SKIR [mini = short skirt]
20 PROCREATION: anagram of EROTIC PORN A, ‘bum’ being the indicator – priceless!
24 CRAVAT: CR + A VAT [a load of wine]: I’m not so keen on ‘necked’ as the definition: surely it’s rather the neck that’s cravated?
25 TUPPENCE: PEN [pound] in TUE [short day], leaving P [one copper] to be inserted, which is just a little awkward: it’s really ‘one copper [is] among…’ but it’s a bit of a struggle to make it work. [Edit: it's PEN [pound] in PC [one copper] – thanks Gaufrid]
26 BYE BYE: homophone of buy, buy, in the sense of believe [swallow]
27 STEEPEST: [dentis]T in SEE [identify] + PEST [pain]
1 ROCK BOTTOM: I didn’t know ‘booty’ for bottom. Chambers [but not Collins] says it’s an Americanism.
2 ANABAPTIST: anagram of STAIN BA[by] + TAP: another chuckle-raising surface: Anapabaptists do not believe in infant baptism so they’re not baby-wetters!
3,10 SIMON COWELL: ‘I’M ON COW’ [observation of mating bull!] in SELL [market]
4 GRAHAM NORTON: HAM [amateur actor] in GRAN [relative] + ORTON [Joe, playwright]
6 CLOUDLESS: C [middle note] + LOUDLESS [forte = loud]. I think only Paul or Araucaria would do this – again, my kind of clue.
7 RHEA: hidden in cylindeR HEAd. A rhea, being a flightless bird, can’t take off – lovely!
11 SHORT CIRCUIT: cryptic definition: REVOLUTIO[n]: again, not everyone’s cup of tea but I like it!
13 RESILIENCE: anagram of EELS IN RICE: I loved the misdirection of give = resilience but was less happy with ‘jellied’ as an anagram indicator. Then I found it in Chambers as meaning ‘under the influence of Temazepam’, so I think it works.
14 ASTRINGENT: A STRING [cord] + anagram of NET
16 EXEMPLARY: EXE [river] + P[eople] L[owering] in MARY [bloody woman]: various references: Mary Tudor, Queen of England [1553-58], who burned numerous Protestants at the stake; the betel nut-chewin’ character in ‘South Pacific’ and the vodka / tomato juice cocktail, to name but three.
21 APPLE: P [pea, say] in [m]APLE
22 SCAB: double definition – but a scab is surely one who declines to strike, not to earn?
23,8 CAKEHOLE: CAKE [bar - as in soap] + HOLE [opening] : cakehole and trap both slang for mouth – nice succinct surface.