Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,035 (Sat 12 June) / Paul

Posted by Gaufrid on June 19th, 2010

Gaufrid.

I don’t know what has happened to rightback this week unless he has been drowning his sorrows due to the recent England performances (though England have just beaten the Wallabies :) ).

A themed Paul involving many well-known film directors. They must be well-known because I had heard of them all despite having only paid one visit to the cinema in the last 45 years and having no interest whatsoever in the subject.

Had I been writing this post last Saturday, when the puzzle was fresh in my mind, I would have been able to add some comments but many more puzzles have been completed since then and much of this one has consequently faded from memory so here is just a simple analysis of the clues.

Across
1 BALLAST  AL (Gore) in BLAST (explosion)
5 WHO’S WHO  cd
10 LEAN  dd – Sir David Lean
11 NATURAL GAS  NATURAL (note) SAG (drop) reversed
12 LICHEE  CHE (red) in LIE (story)
13 POLANSKI  POLAN[d] (nation’s not finished) SKI (runner) – Roman Polanski
14 TARANTINO  TAR (sailor) ANT (soldier) IN O (love) – Quentin Tarantino
16 STONE  dd – Oliver Stone
17 CAPRA  CAP (top) RA (artist) – Frank Capra
19 HITCHCOCK  HITCH (problem) COCK (raise) – Alfred Hitchcock
24 YEOMAN  YE (solvers) OMAN (country)
27 EISENSTEIN  S[cen]E in EINSTEIN (great mind) – Sergei Eisenstein
27,23 FILM DIRECTOR  FILM (mist) DI (princess) RECTOR (minister)
28 NEATEST  EAT (put away) in NEST (home)
29 FELLINI  FELL IN (made a splash) I (Italy) – Frederico Fellini

Down
2 AMERICA  ER in A MICA (rocky compound)
3 LYNCH  dd – David Lynch
4 SENNETT  NET (web) in SENT (posted) – Mack Sennett
6 HAROLD  A R (king) in HOLD (conduct)
7 SPLENETIC  SP (price at the start) [trad]E in *(CLIENT)
8 HEARKEN  HEAR (try) KEN (know)
9 STIPENDIARIES  ITS reversed PEN DIARIES (make daily notes)
15 AGREEMENT  RE (on) E (English) M (maiden) in AGENT (spy)
18 ASININE  AS (like) I (one) NINE (square {of three})
20 CAYENNE  homophone of K N (the 11th and 14th letters of the alphabet)
21 CHAPLIN  LP (record) reversed in CHAIN (series) – Sir Charles Spenser Chaplin
22 STASIS  STASI (old police) S[ergeant]
25 OFFAL  OFFA (old king) [roya]L

21 Responses to “Guardian 25,035 (Sat 12 June) / Paul”

  1. Richard says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid.

    I made the mistake of putting STONE (Oliver) for 3dn instead of LYNCH, and was consequently severely hampered for some time!

  2. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid, for stepping in
    [like you, I initially thought our blogger had fled the country because of England’s lamentable performance (as was Holland’s, btw) :) (or :( of course)]

    Two days ago [commenting on Paul’s weekday puzzle] I wrote “Recently the sparkle is missing”. And here’s another example.
    Of course, these crosswords could have been submitted months ago, but in any case Paul seemed or seems to have (had) a temporary lack of inspiration.

    The crossword is so full of charades and insertions, that it feels like a Chifonie.
    Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t bad – but Paul’s fingerprints aren’t all clearly visible.
    Some nice clues, like AGREEMENT (15d) or SPLENETIC (7d), but many others just that bit too straightforward.

    The theme was cracked very quickly (via CHAPLIN + 27,23), which made it rather easy, especially as all the film directors were so very well-known.
    [we thought POLANSKI was the best because of the non-link ‘Roman nation’ ]

    Last one to go in was WHO’S WHO, but I can’t say it’s brilliant [although I am a fan of Paul’s crosswords, I think cd’s are not his major strength].

    CAYENNE (20ac) was the other clue with a slightly different device, and what a coincidence that Puck did this just days ago in a similar way.

    So, an OK crossword but a bit bland.

    After being somewhat critical so far, it might seem inappropriate to now make a case for my own first ever 15^2 cryptic crossword, but I do like to take the opportunity to inform those who are interested that my brainchild can be found on Alberich’s site, my pseudonym being Dalibor.
    http://www.alberichcrosswords.com/pages/guestpuzpage3.html
    (don’t worry Gaufrid, I won’t do this every day … :))

  3. Stella Heath says:

    I seem to remember enjoying this puzzle, though, like you, Gaufrid, the memory is not fresh. I went back to it to check before reading your blog, and found much of the surface reading quite smile-provoking – eg. 19a :-)

    Is anyone else having trouble accessing this week’s Prize? When I finally got the grid, the clues don’t appear alongside :-(

  4. tupu says:

    Not my favourite theme – but like Gaufrid I somehow managed to pick them all off without extra help.

    Generally OK if not very exciting. 11a, 13a, 19a (sounded risque but wasn’t), 7d, 18d, 19d and 25d all had slightly surprising features and elements which helped lift the overall level.

  5. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Gaufrid for stepping into the breach without any prior warning. I bet that Rightback was unable to finish the puzzle and was too embarrassed to report the fact.

    I enjoyed this and, like you, I knew all the film directors.

    Stella @3. I had no problems accessing today’s Prize which has been set by Araucaria and is also very enjoyable.

  6. liz says:

    Thanks for stepping in, Gaufrid. I tend to agree with Sil that something seems to be missing lately in Paul puzzles. I liked the theme of this one, however, and my favourite was 13ac — a nice bit of misdirection.

  7. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Stella

    When I checked a few minutes ago after seeing your comment, none of the on-line versions of any puzzles could be accessed (page not found error) so there must have been some problems with the Guardians website. However, I have just revisited and today’s Araucaria is back, complete with clues popping up alongside the grid.

    However, if these problems return the pdf version can be accessed here:

    http://static.guim.co.uk/crosswords/pdfs/gdn.cryptic.20100619.pdf

  8. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Bryan
    I very much doubt that rightback had any problems with this puzzle. However, I have now heard from him and unfortunately his pc has failed so he was unable access his blog nor this site in order to upload and post it.

  9. liz says:

    Sil — Have just printed off your crossword and am trying it now!

    (sorry Gaufrid)

  10. Davy says:

    Thanks Gaufrid,

    I must disagree with the previous commenters and say I thought this puzzle was great fun to solve.
    I even forgive Paul for his previous American football offering which was definitely outside my comfort zone and of totally no interest to me.

    The great thing about film directors was that I knew all the names without having to search the internet. It’s amazing what’s inside the bonce and it’s rewarding to finish such an entertaining puzzle. I was trying to fit Coppola into 21d before finally realising it was Chaplin.

    The last two I got were Yeoman and Cayenne, both very clever clues especially the latter. I had even underlined K and N as being the 11th and 14th letters of the alphabet
    without realising the significance of ‘say’.

    Full marks to Paul for this marvellous puzzle.

  11. rrc says:

    This was definitely an OK puzzle. Managed to get the theme fairly quickly but needed references to work out all the film directors. Beaten by 1a and 4d I enjoyed this.

  12. tupu says:

    Hi Gaufrid
    I too should have said thank you for stepping in!

  13. cholecyst says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid. 29 ac is a really clever clue, reminding us, as it does, of the famous scene in La Dolce Vita where Sylvia playfully splashes Marcello’s head with water from the Trevi fountain.

  14. liz says:

    Sil — will about your post in General Crossword Discussion — it was terrific!

  15. Ronnie says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid. 13ac is a really clever clue, reminding us, as it does, of the fact that Polanski is still ‘running’ but is still ‘not finished’.

  16. Biggles A says:

    Is it just me or are themes becoming more abstruse – or at least further outside the layman’s store of general knowledge? We’ve had English comedians, American football teams, edentata and now film directors (even if 27,23 emerged easily enough) and without extensive resort to the internet – which I would rather not have to make – I could not have finished any of them. Have more everyday themes now all been exhausted? Do we have to have them; are themes now compulsory?

  17. Carrots says:

    From what I can remember of this puzzle….and a few others of his recently….I can only conclude that Paul must be in love.

    If so, lets hope he`s spellbound, celebtrating being born on the fourth of July and enjoying a wonderful life in the limelight. It may have been just a brief encounter in four rooms in Chinatown, but it yielded 8.5 yards of blue velvet with which to strike a pose, strolling down memory lane.

    (Mished any? Gevrey Chambertin nearly all gorn. Night Night.)

  18. Huw Powell says:

    First I want to say this was probably the most elegant “themed puzzle” I have ever seen, especially for the “key” at 13A.

    This one was a blank for quite some time, but when POLANSKI dropped (and I kicked myself, as a fan I should have realized the “Roman” that was meant sooner!), FILM DIRECTOR was obvious. Ironically I already had LYNCH penciled in and SENNETT written next to the clue.

    I didn’t really get the clue for HITCHCOCK, but I just looked for nine letter 27 23s and penciled it in. Now I see the explanation, it seems less rude to me ;)

    I will also close by saying that this was perhaps the most delightful cryptic I have ever encountered. Thanks Paul for the great fun, and Gaufrid for the explanations I didn’t get.

    Oh, yeah, I missed LEAN and have PENN written in. Not quite in the same grade as these other directors, and makes no sense of the cryptic. Oh well.

  19. Huw Powell says:

    Hey Dalibor,

    Is there a printer-friendly version of your puzzle somewhere? If so, kindly email me at [email protected] with the url. (four tilde sig deleted!)

  20. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Hi Huw, thanks for your interest. Much appreciated.
    On the site [left hand side] under FAQ, you’ll find how to print off best.
    But when I’m back home tonight, I will send you a pdf.
    [Further discussion in the General Crossword Chat Room]

  21. debatable says:

    All fairly straightforward, but I blundered with 13a. I immediately thought ‘bean’ for runner and then put in ‘macabean’ – Macau being the nation. Wrong on three levels (mis-spelled, not Romans, not a nation) I know, but it held me up…

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