Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,027 / Paul

Posted by mhl on June 3rd, 2010


It’s always a pleasure to do a post here about one of Paul’s puzzles. Some excellent clues here, my favourites are hopefully obvious from the post below. I didn’t find this too difficult – the toughest for me was 1d.

8. CONFETTI Excellent clue: (OFTEN)* + I[ndiscretions] in CT = “court”; the definition is “Paper over couple”
10. SWAY YAWS = “twists” reversed; the definition is “power” as in “to have power/sway over something”
11. OCTANGULAR (COAGULANT)* + R[eminiscent]; an unusual word, but quite guessable from the anagram
12. CIRCLE CIRCE = “bad speller” (“speller” as in “one who casts spells”) around L
14. RABBITED Brilliant: RABBI rather than “Father” TED, referring to the excellent sitcom
15. PENALTY T = “time” + LANE = “way” reversed in P[art]Y
17. BLUE TIT BLUE = “unhappy” + TIT = “useless person” (rather rude slang)
20. ROUSSEAU (OUR)* around US = “American” + SEA = “waters”
22. BANTAM MAT = “something on the floor” + NAB = “nail” all reversed
23. HALF-WITTED HALTED = “Stopped” around FIT = “suit” around [colesla]W
25. AGREED A + GREED = “need to feed and feed”
1. BOBWHITE BOB = “duck” + (WITH)* + [dov]E; it took me a long time to see the anagram of WITH in this clue..
3. STRODE (DORSET)*; “out of” as in “made out of” for the anagram indicator
4. BITTERN BITTER = “drink” + N = “pole”
5. CANNIBAL NIB = “Point of writer” (remembering that “writer” is often a pen in crosswords) in CANAL = “passage”; another entertaining defintion: “might he put you away?”
7. PHRASE Sounds like “frays”
13. CLASSIFIED Outrageous but entertaining: C[hap] + LASSIFIED = “given sex change, might you say?” (i.e. “turned into a lass”)
16,9,24across. THE BIRDS AND THE BEES The “other six” are the “Creatures” in 17, 22, 1, 4, 22a and 22d, all birds beginning with Bs (bees); “the birds and the bees” is a euphemism for sex and reproduction, perhaps “for discussion?”, since this is often used to refer to awkward discussions that parents have to have with their children. Thanks to Gaufrid for a better reading of this: “I read ‘the other’ in 16,9,24 as the definition (ie sex) with the wordplay starting at ’six …..’.”
18. I DARESAY (YEAR SAID)*; a nice definition (“it seems likely”), but perhaps a slightly awkard surface reading
19. BUSTARD BUD = “Friend” around STAR = “principal”
21. ORANGE A nice &lit: O = “round” + RANG = “called” + TANGERIN[e]
22. BUDGIE I = “one” in BUDGE = “shift”
24. BACK Double definition: “the end/back of something” and “to finance/back something”

21 Responses to “Guardian 25,027 / Paul”

  1. Ian says:

    Thanks mhl and also Paul for a cracker today.

    No question about the superb clues here:-

    14ac ‘Rabbi Ted’ Brilliant wordplay for a description of ‘Went On’

    26ac ‘Raincoat’ A splendid anagram that many would have not immediately stumbled on.

    13dn ‘C-lassified’ Trademark Paul – brilliant!

    8ac ‘Confetti’ Tremendously well clued. Paul at his impeccable best.


  2. Eileen says:

    Many thanks for a great blog, mhl. Plenty of smiles and ahas today!

    I didn’t get the ‘bees’ bit at first, so was struggling to work out the wordplay for VULTURE in 19dn! :-)

  3. rrc says:

    Agreed plenty of smiles and aha moments today.

  4. Gaufrid says:

    Hi mhl
    I read ‘the other’ in 16,9,24 as the definition (ie sex) with the wordplay starting at ‘six …..’.

  5. mhl says:

    Gaufrid: thanks, I’ve updated the post. That sense of “the other” is relatively new to me, and I’m sure I’ve missed it before….

  6. TokyoColin says:

    Wonderful fun and an excellent blog. Thanks mhl.

    I think you are correct on the role of ‘subject for discussion’ in 16,9,24. But I agree with Gaufrid that ‘the other’ is the definition. Clever, and typical Paul.

  7. Dave Ellison says:

    Enjoyable, and thanks for the blog. I failed on 1d and hence on 10a. I thought it was POMARINE, but couldn’t make sense of it. If only I had realised they all began with B :(

    I got 16d essentially from the I in HALF WITTED and the enumeration.

  8. Bill Taylor says:

    Excellent, quirky theme, beautifully executed.5d was nice, 13d was even nicer. Some big smiles from this one and, yes, I think that’s an important part of a good crossword.

  9. liz says:

    Thanks mhl. This was great fun and quite testing, too. Needed help to get 5dn, though I really should have been able to work it out on my own. I particularly liked 8ac, 13dn and 26ac, but there were many more that made me smile.

  10. Neil says:

    Excellent stuff!
    Last two to go in were 1d BOBWHITE and 18d I DARESAY. By then I knew 1d had to start with B and had the WHITE bit (It’s my name!) but Chambers nor Collins could confirm. Google could though: the Virginia Quail. As, at 17 across I’d changed my original BLUE TIT to JAY (with dictionary confirmation of a “useless person”) as I couldn’t believe the ‘I’. It took a very careful look at the anagram to realise I’d been one.

    Thanks to Paul, mhl and all the rest of you too.

  11. muck says:

    A very entertaining puzzle which I didn’t complete so thanks for the blog, mhl.
    I thought BEES suggested 1dn ‘honeybee’ and 12ac ‘bumble’
    Like Eileen and others, I was trying to understand 19d ‘vulture’

  12. tupu says:

    A great puzzle with plenty of oomph and ahas and none of yesterday’s ‘Is that it then?’ disappointments. Best for some time. One down was the last of the set but guessed eventually and checked. Others have already said it all – especially tickled by 13 down. In haste missed the ref. of ‘the other’ (‘a bit of ….’ is the usual expression) having been pleased to understand the ‘bees’ part. The hardest for me was 6 down – I kept looking for anagrams with ‘beating’. Eventually got help from culinarily more experienced visiting daughter via ‘aduki’. All done this a.m. but family outing interrupted. Visited Nat Trust farm where they were giving tastings of various pulses inc. guess what!

  13. Rob says:

    Thanks mhl

    Agree with all comments – great crossword; loved 14ac (especially) & 13d.

    One quibble – Re: 18d – is DARESAY 1 word? Should enumeration be (1,4,3)?

  14. tupu says:

    I should have said thanks to mhl and Gaufrid. Rob @13. I also wondered but both Chambers and COD allow it as ‘daresay’.
    Neil @10. My Chambers and COD give bob-white. One only gets them by going down to bobw.

  15. nmsindy says:

    Yes, this was a very fine crossword indeed. Apart from the whole idea of the theme which was excellent, I particularly liked the clues for CONFETTI and RAINCOAT but all the clues were very good really. Nor was it an exceptionally hard puzzle either.

  16. Daniel Miller says:

    OK I found this incredibly tough – maybe my mindset is on a different wavelength as I usually complete well over half the weekday puzzles.

    I got “The Birds and The Bees” quite quickly – sensed there was a Bird connection (even without solving)

    The interpretation of the clue, I believe, is as follows:

    The other, six in this puzzle, for discussion

    The other is “The Birds and the Bees” – there are 6 Birds and all begin with B..Bobwhite, Bittern, Budgie, Blue Tit, Bantam, Bustard – Discussion about sex. Without the comma this makes it a really tough little clue.

  17. FumbleFingers says:

    Thanks for the blog, mhl.

    Re posts @4/5 et al – Paul wouldn’t be Paul without some references to ‘a bit of the other’. He always serves up something entertaining, and for me this was definitely one of the best.

    BOBWHITE was unknown to me, but I had enough faith to write it (in pencil – I wasn’t that certain!) once I twigged the WITH anagram.

    Re 17a – I’m sure TIT for ‘useless person’ turned up not so long ago. Not that I object as such, but where is this trend towards coarse slang going to end up?

  18. sidey says:

    but where is this trend towards coarse slang going to end up?

    In Paul’s case, it’s already terminated in Scunthorpe.

  19. Scarpia says:

    Thanks mhl.
    An excellent puzzle from Paul,on top form.So many fantastic clues that it is hard to choose favourites,but 13 down,1 across and 14 across are probably the pick of the bunch for me.
    Plenty of smiles and a couple of LOL moments – thingsd that lift a puzzle from good to great.
    Sidey @18 – Excellent!

  20. snigger says:

    “Re 17a – I’m sure TIT for ‘useless person’ turned up not so long ago. Not that I object as such, but where is this trend towards coarse slang going to end up?”

    Err, is the correct answer “f..k knows”??

  21. PaulG says:

    Nice puzzle but didn’t finish the NW corner because I had MOOT for 2d. MO = second. OT = NOT, topped. Uncertain = moot. I have to say I wasn’t 100% happy with MOOT, though.

    but where is this trend towards coarse slang going to end up?
    Well, it seems to be leading us to puzzles with some quirky humour and a situation where I look forward to Paul’s offerings as a slightly ‘punk’ take on the genre.

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