Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,065 (Sat 17 Jul)/Paul – Spooner module

Posted by rightback on July 24th, 2010


Solving time: 11 mins

This was really fun to solve and included six examples of Spoonerisms, where the initial sounds of a two-word phrase are switched. Most of the other clues were straightforward but three answers (DOTTED LINE, IGLOO and PROXY) had me stumped for several minutes.

Music of the day: I’ve been trying to think of a song title which gives an amusing Spoonerism but to no avail, so it’s over to the floor for suggestions.

* = anagram, Sp. = Spoonerism.

1 TUNING PEG; [avan]T G[arde] around (PENGUIN)*
6 DWEEB; D + WEE + B
9 YACHT; Y (= ‘Say why’) + ACHT (= ‘eight’ in German)
10 PUBESCENT; PUB (= ‘Local’) + [d]ESCENT
11 TRAGICOMIC; TOM around rev. of CIGAR, + I + C
20 ERSE (hidden) – outrageous
22 FRIENDSHIP; FRI ENDS + HIP (= ‘cool’)
25 CHAPLAINS; (PAL)* in CHAINS, i.e. ‘as a slave’
26 IGLOO; I (= ‘1’) + GLOO[my] – the first of my problem clues: it never crossed my mind that ‘1 down’ might need splitting.
27 WHEAT; W[omen] + HEAT (a magazine)
28 GODLESSLY; D[evi]L in GOES (= ‘travels’), + SLY (= ‘insidious’)
1 TRYST; TRY (= ‘GO’) + [minute]S + T
5 GUBBINS; rev. of BUG (= ‘listener’), + BINS – ‘listener’ = ‘lug’ led me astray here.
6 DISH (2 defs)
7 ENEMY; ENEM[y] + A – because ‘time is the enemy’, or more accurately The innocent and the beautiful/Have no enemy but time (Yeats).
13 DOTTED LINE; DO (= ‘Party’) + (ENTITLED)* – the brilliant disguised anagram of ‘entitled’ in this clue was to blame for my hiatus.
14 SACRED COW; SOW around (ACRE + D.C.)
19 BLESSED (2 defs)
23 P(R)OXY – the last of the trio that held me up. I spent a while trying to do things with ‘puny’ and ‘poky’ but eventually broke through with 13dn and solved this from the checking letters.
24,19 FLAT BATTERY; Sp. of “BAT FLATTERY” – a surreal clue which I really liked. This is a pipistrelle bat.

16 Responses to “Guardian 25,065 (Sat 17 Jul)/Paul – Spooner module”

  1. molonglo says:

    Thanks rightback. The plethora of Spoonerisms didn’t bother me: half were no trouble and half were, which is fair enough, and constituted something of a theme. Many good clues in what was all pretty enjoyable. I guessed 26a on the first pass but was thrown off track by its 1d reference: neat work. 13d, 23d and – last in – 25a were also commendable.

  2. Biggles A says:

    23 was my last too, I knew it had to be PROXY but it took a little while to see why. I’d never heard of HEAT magazine and had to consult the internet for it.

  3. Jack says:

    Thanks Rightback & Paul

    Thoroughly enjoyed this crossword ~ didn’t find it difficult and loved some of the Spoonerisms. POPCORN was great and FLAT BATTERY was brilliant.

    Not that amusing in the telling maybe but many years ago (in the 60s) I used to work in the same department as a chap named Leonard Payne, known as Lenny to all his colleagues!
    He actually worked in a different office to me, there were about 12 of us in my office, and whenever Lenny came in there would start a gentle humming & whistling of a popular song of that era.
    We thought it was hilarious at the time! Little things …..etc.

  4. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Rightback & Paul

    I groaned when I saw that there were 6 Spooners (not my favourite clues) but they all worked out fine and FLAT BATTERY and PARKING SPACE were superb.

    More of the same please Paul.

  5. tupu says:

    Thanks rightback and Paul

    Once again, I briefly wondered if I’d get started but it turned out to be a very enjoyable puzzle, full of good entertaining clues. Arguably too many spoonerisms but I mind these less than some.

    Favourites were 22, 26, 14 and 24,19, while 1, 11, 20 (usual Paul tease), 25 across all pleased along with 13 down. Least liked spoonerism was 18, 21.

    I had to check doofus and solved dweeb from the clear clue.

    7d enema is reminiscent of a recent Puck puzzle

  6. Davy says:

    Thanks rightback,

    A great puzzle from Paul with many laughs along the way. Spoonerisms quite often don’t work but there were some great ones here with NITPICKING, POPCORN and especially FLAT BATTERY.
    There were some great standard clues as well such as 1a although using FUNKY as an anagrind was a bit of a stretch. 25a was clever although this was the only one where I didn’t understand the wordplay. Seeing the explanation it’s so so obvious but stll clever.

    So, thanks to Paul for a very entertaining puzzle which was an absolute joy to solve.

  7. Dave Ellison says:

    I enjoyed this, too, and quite liked most of the Spoonerisms.

    On the basis of your 11′ time, you should finish today’s Alphabetic Araucaria in 6 minutes – it’s another delight.

  8. Stella Heath says:

    Davy @6, I disagree, as I rather liked the idea of a funky penguin, and got the answer easily.

    Bat flattery was beautiful, once I saw it :)

    Thanks, Paul, for a fun puzzle, and to RB for explaining 23d and 26a.

    Jack @3, :lol:

  9. Carrots says:

    A clever, fun and intriguing puzzle, for which thanks and congratulations to Paul.

    For no reason I can easily define, I do find Spoonerisms a bit tedious after a while and much prefer Malapropisms which can prompt some fiendish, unfettered clue-ing. Our former cleaner used a wealth of them (e.g. “Emergency Heater” for “Immersion Heater”, which, as we were oil-fired, is exactly what it was!)

    I do remember, dimly, a puzzle (Auracaria?) eons ago which themed them, and great fun it was too! Maybe one of our clever setters will have a go at another one again soon. I think I already hear the chorus of “FOUL!” welling up from the ranks of our more pernickety solvers!

  10. Martin H says:

    1 and 2 fell quickly and I was just thinking, ‘this is going to be a fast fun solve’ when out of the corner of my eye I saw Spooner….Spooner….. Oh no! As it turned out, I enjoyed getting into that frame of mind – even started coming up with things like ‘Boo, peasant’ and ‘Lap chains’ (or rather lap chins as this device depends on pronunciation) – particularly with, as pointed out already, so many good ones. The only really weak one was Flutter-by, but just because that’s what we always called them as children. Of the rest, ERSE and IGLOO were excellent.

  11. Richard says:

    I really enjoyed this one. I do spike Loonerisms.
    Much better than today’s Araucaria………

  12. rrc says:

    Do not like spoonerisms because I reckon they are contrived, therefore didnt warm to this crossword. However I thought most of these were well constructed , the only one I wasnt struck on was sparking pace. I liked the anagram in 1a, along with a number of other clues, although faild miserably on 27a. which I still not keen on even after seeing the answer

  13. Paul B says:

    ‘Spoonerism’ is an anagram of ‘no promises’ (or ‘pro nomises’, of course).

    Bravo, other Paul.

  14. tupu says:

    Martin H
    Re Flutter-by. You are right – there is in fact an interesting if ultimately ill-informed debate about this, and I have heard (and even wrongly believed) that this was the original word. So the anwer was perhaps too obvious, though appropriately lightheartedly amusing.

  15. Roger says:

    Could the captured crew of Odysseus’ ship be the ‘Misters of Circe’ by any chance ?
    (With apologies to Leonard Cohen).

  16. otter says:

    Thanks, Rightback. I enjoyed this hugely. I don’t mind Spoonerisms, as long as they are in well constructed clues. They usually unleash a playful side of the setters, which is often a good thing.

    I found most of this quite straightforward and quick to complete, although like you I was stuck for quite a while on DOTTED LINE (sure I was looking for a political party), IGLOO (spent ages analysing 1d) and POXY (fixated on ‘puny’ for ages). I also needlessly tripped myself up in PARKING SPACE by convincing myself that the first part of the Spoonerism was ‘starting’. I knew it was going to be something that is a premium in London, and thought immediately of parking, but my mind said ‘parking spot’, ‘parking permit’ and all sorts of things like that, except ‘parking space’.

    Paul has been on cracking form over the past 6 months or so, and long may it continue.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

8 × one =