Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25073 – Paul

Posted by Uncle Yap on July 27th, 2010

Uncle Yap.

Life is good. Last week, I drew The Master and then we all had a fantastic bonanza of John/Jane wedding puzzles for the weekend and today I get to blog Paul, another one of my favourites, following so closely after yesterday’s Mudd in FT. Paul was, as usual, challenging as well as humorously entertaining.

5 WAH-WAH Rev of HAW-HAW (to guffaw, to laugh boisterously.)
6,17 PICNIC HAMPER Cha of PICNIC (piece of cake or something very easy) HAMPER (restrict)
9,25 PEANUT BUTTER Ins of E-ANUT-B (rev of ins of TUNA, fish in BE, live) in PUTTER (golf club used on the putting green)
10 UPRAISED U (university) PRAISED (applauded)
11 SLAY Sounds like SLEIGH (transport mechanism)
12 PEACE TALKS Sounds like PEAS (vegetables) STALKED (stemmed)
13 BUS TERMINUS Cha of BUSTER (dude) MINUS (surely you did not miss the minus sign as used in arithmetic?) I chuckled at this, my COD
21 DEAL Is this a record? Quadruple definition 1. hand out 2. a large quantity 3. Deal in Kent lies on the English Channel eight miles north-east of Dover and eight miles south of Ramsgate. Due to its position on the Downs, the town grew to become for a while the busiest port in England; today it enjoys the reputation of being a quiet seaside resort. 4. wood
22 CLOSE-SET Ins of SENSE (brains) minus middle letter, N in CLOT (idiot)
23 JALOPY Ins of LOP (cut) in JAY, bird
24 HARVEY WALLBANGER Ins of A + *(very) + W (wife) in HALL (vestibule) BANGER (jalopy or decrepit old car) This is a new term for me, being a cocktail made of vodka or gin and orange juice and Galliano

1 THANK YOU Ins of HANKY (square) in TOUR (trip) minus R
2 GAS TAP Ins of A ST (a way, street) in GAP (hole)
3 DISRAELI D (first letter of Danish) ISRAELI (Benjamin Disraeli, (1804–1881) was a British Prime Minister. Although his father had him baptised to Anglicanism at age 13, he was nonetheless the country’s first and thus far only Prime Minister who was born Jewish)
4 ANGINA Cha of AN GIN (indication of ruin for mother) A for angina pectoris; any inflammatory affection of the throat, such as quinsy, croup, etc.
5 WEEKLY Sounds like WEAKLY
7 CHEEKY A very tichy dd that only Paul (& Cyclops) will think of :-)
8 HUMAN RIGHTS *(thus harming) Not quite &lit but so true
14 TRANSFER Reversal of REF (Whistler) SN (South & North poles) ART (painting)
15 UNDULATE *(FRAUDULENT minus FR, French)
16 WALLAH W (first letter of Worship) ALLAH (Islamic God, this term being hotly disputed in Malaysia as exclusive to the Muslims and other religions like Christianity / Sikhism are not allowed to use)
This answer brought back sweet memories of my misspent youth when It Ain’t Half Hot Mum was a popular sit-com on British tv. The char wallah was in charge of the tea and the punka wallah, of the fan.
19 LUSTRE rha
20 RAJPUT Ins of A JP (A Justice of the Peace) in RUT (routine) a member of a race or class claiming descent from the original Hindu military and ruling caste.

Key to abbreviations
dd = double definition
dud = duplicate definition
tichy = tongue-in-cheek type
cd = cryptic definition
rev = reversed or reversal
ins = insertion
cha = charade
ha = hidden answer
*(fodder) = anagram

58 Responses to “Guardian 25073 – Paul”

  1. NeilW says:

    Well done, Uncle Yap.

    I got the parsing of 13ac eventually but spent a long time trying to find an interpretation of Dude as the name of a BUS in the States – i.e. a “TERM IN US”! I have to agree with you that this was the best clue and I found the rest not quite up to his usual sparkle.

  2. Mike says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap. Still not sure I understand 3d. I was trying to figure out who the ‘Israeli’ was in 3d and decided it must be (Menachem) Begin. Does that make sense?

  3. Mike says:

    Oh sorry I forgot to mention that Angina Pectoris (4d) is not an infection of the throat. In fact it’s not a disease at all, its a symptom of disease. The term refers to the severe chest pains that are caused by Ischemia (restricted blood supply) of the heart muscle and usually symptomatic of coronary heart disease. rgds

  4. NeilW says:

    Mike, I had the same reaction as you to ANGINA at first but, if you look it up in Chambers, you’ll find it defined as disease. Nowadays, in common parlance, I agree that it tends to refer to the symptom rather than the cause. The meaning of severe pain was originally applied as much to the throat as the chest.

  5. Mike says:

    NeilW – sorry to sound nitpicky – I was referring specifically to Angina Pectoris. There are other forms of Angina that are diseases, an example being Angina Tonsillaris (tonsillitis).

  6. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks, Uncle Yap, for the explanations of 13A and 4D which I got but didn’t understand why. Agree with Mike #2 that beginning of 3A clue refers to Menachem Begin.

  7. molonglo says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap. This was a picnic but needed a pause now and then to work out why the answer that came quickly had to be right, notably 9,25 and 13a, and to rule out lap top for 2d. Numerous neat clues like 14d and last of all 4d.

  8. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Uncle Yap for explaining several clues that eluded me even after I’d seen the solutions.

    Paul can be very very good but on days like today …

  9. Ian says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap. Terrific blog.

    I found this hugely entertaining. Finished early in a record time for a Paul.

    Too many easy connectors. That, and I’m now ‘reading’ Paul’s wordplay better than ever.

  10. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, UY.

    As molonglo says, some answers came from intuition but then provided some fun in the working out, notably 13ac [I like this kind of clue!] and 24,18 [and the ellipse was relevant!]

    I agree with Mike and grandpuzzler at #2 and #6 re Monachem Begin – brilliant misdirection.

    I liked the ‘square pocketed’ HANKY in 1dn.

    In 12ac, the homophone is PEA STALKS [on which vegetables stemmed]

  11. Judy says:

    Thanks for the blog, but I think you missed the use of “present” in 11ac. The sleigh traditionally brings presents – made it a good, rather than ordinary clue for me. Very enjoyable puzzle, with a variety of clue types.

  12. Budsom says:

    I thought that Begin in 4d was a reference to Menachim Begin, former Israeli PM.

  13. Scarpia says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap.
    I really enjoyed this one.Noytoo difficult but plenty of smiles.Some quite brilliant misdirections e.g 13 across and 3 down and just a little of Paul’s trademark smut!
    Like Eileen I thought HANKY in 1 down was very clever.I also agree with Judy,”present” greatly enhanced the clue(11 across).

  14. Eileen says:

    Oops, we seem to have a variety of spellings for Mr Begin [mine was a slip :-( ] but at least we seem to agree he’s the man!

  15. Matt says:

    First time commenting on this site, but managed to parse 19 down as S (sultan) in Lut (there is a Lut desert in Iran apparently) then “bringing up” being “re” as in “re your last conversation” Completely missed the patently obvious correct parsing.

    Thought I’d share as I love this site – I now complete most of the Guardian crosswords from learning the knack from here (and a helpful app). Thank you.

  16. Eileen says:

    Welcome, Matt! [Oh, sorry, completely accidental – you must have heard that before! :-)]

    Hope to hear from you again.

  17. liz says:

    Thanks for a great blog, Uncle Yap. This fell out quite quickly for me, and considering it was a Paul, but I didn’t get the wordplay at 13ac and really wish I had!

    The quadruple def at 21ac was impressive!

  18. Stella Heath says:

    Thanks, Uncle Yap, for explaining 13a, and to Eileen and Judy for parsing what I thought were superfluous words in 11a and 1d.

    Though I don’t time my solving, I found this quite a fast one, especially for a Paul, and extremely enjoyable. I’m getting better at working out unknown words just from the wordplay, ‘rajput’ being one of the first answers I entered. Thanks Paul for some excellent surfaces, which brought quite a few chuckles, and perfect wordplay when necessary.

  19. tupu says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap and Paul.

    Exactly as UY says ‘challenging and entertaining’.

    Re Disraeli, I think this is D(anish) plus Iraeli(te). Israeli is a citizen of Israel. ‘Begin’ relates to the shortening, and the ‘was’ his original religion. I missed the ‘Begin’ misdirection.

    Eileen is right as usual re ‘square pocketed’ in 1d. and 12a (because of the unvoiced s)

    I knew Harvey Wallbanger but had to check what it/he was.

    9,25 and 13 took time to parse. I first thought 9,25 might be garlic butter because of the ‘gar’ but of course it won’t parse, then got stuck on butt as a kind of fish, before the penny dropped. Both very clever clues.

    I missed Deal = Port because I was misled at first into thinking L = left (port) and then forgot about it and just saw it as a triple def – careless!

    Lots of others pleased inc 12, 23, 4 and 15.

  20. Martin H says:

    I enjoyed this a lot, and can’t agree that it wasn’t up to Paul’s usual standard. Plenty of witty and ingeniously misleading, well-constructed clues.

    The human rights &lit doesn’t quite work, but a nice anagram all the same.
    I also wondered what the scientists were doing with the gas-tap. Somebody has to be there to make ‘turn-on’ work – cooks, maybe, chefs, welders, barmen/maids perhaps, even science teachers, but even granting that some scientists do sometimes use gas-taps, they seem an odd choice. Plughole or plug hole?

  21. Matt says:

    Thank you Eileen. You probably get people telling you to “come on” in a similar vein.

    I don’t usually have much to add to the other posts here – it’s always illuminating to find out how ignorant I am of the classics… I did get quite excited a few months back about the maths based one though.

  22. Eileen says:

    Hi again, Matt

    Indeed yes – more than once on this site! :-)

    I just came back to say that, in view of your comment, I think you would find Virgilius’ puzzle in today’s Indy right up your street.

  23. FumbleFingers says:

    Many thanks Uncle Yap. I’d been frustrated by knowing BUS TERMINUS was the answer, but I just couldn’t parse the clue on my own.

    @Martin H – my first contact of scientists was at school, where they turned on the bunsen burners.

  24. Tokyo Colin says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap. I enjoyed this immensely. As with most Paul puzzles I started slowly and managed very few of the acrosses on first pass but then got onto the right wavelength and finished in 20 mins or so with no help. SLAY, PEACE TALKS, BUS TERMINUS and THANK YOU all brought smiles.

    I once spent 6 months or so doing all the Paul puzzles in the Guardian archive, like a chocaholic gorging on Belgian truffles. But it didn’t even begin to dull the pleasure I gain from Paul’s offerings. Long may he continue.

  25. Paul says:

    Tokyo Colin – hi.

    Thank you for making my day.

    And many thanks to all of you for all your comments, positive and otherwise – I get a real feel about what works and what doesn’t, and consequently I learn a lot.

    Do forgive me if I don’t respond to queries or niggles – from a totally selfish point of view, I’d probably be here all day! But thank you once again.

    Very best wishes,


  26. Aloysius Donald says:

    I really appreciate this web site. Thanks everyone for maintaining a JOYOUS tone in your comments. As for today’s “Paul”. Fairly quick time (by my standards) but that minus sign was the killer for me. I’d intuited the correct answer but I just couldn’t get full resolution. You’ve got to laugh.

  27. tupu says:

    Hi all!
    Help please. I have been vainly ( :) dd) hoping for some response re my comment (@19) on Disraeli. My point was that Israeli does not equal Jew or Jewish whereas Israelite does. Disraeli was originally an ‘Israelite’ but never an Israeli (citizen of the modern state of Chambers).
    Also the gloss as Israeli does not make full use of the ‘begin’ (ie beginning part of Israelite as well as misleading).
    The silence makes me think I may have missed something glaringly obvious, as one easily does? Is that the case?

  28. monica says:

    i know that this has already been said, but this was a super-quick solve compared with most of Paul’s puzzles – i wondered if i was on extra-strong coffee or something! in my opinion, Paul is the master, both in terms of wit, and misdirection.

  29. monica says:

    tupu – the ‘begin’ was a reference to previous Israel PM Menachim Begin. See my comment above about misdirection!

  30. tupu says:

    Hi Monica

    Many thanks, but.. This ignores the fact that Israeli as such has nothing to do with Disraeli. The begin as I see it is serving a double role. Please see Chambers.

  31. monica says:

    hi tupu

    i’m reading it as the ‘israeli’ is part of the construction, but not the definition, which is simply ‘pm’

  32. Stella Heath says:

    Hi Tupu

    After reading the Chambers definition and the Wiki entrance for Disraeli and ‘Israeli’, then re-reading the clue, I’m inclined to agree with you. The parsing otherwise wasn’t entirely satisfactory, which is unusual for Paul.

  33. Martin H says:

    Stella, tupu – ‘Begin as he (Begin) was’ (Israeli), under leadership of Danish (D), PM (definition) – unless it’s me that’s missing something.

    I also liked the (4) after the clue for DEAL.

  34. tupu says:

    Hi Stella
    Many thanks – at least I don’t seem to be completely nuts!. I ‘begin’ to see the other view (as expressed so clearly by Martin) and am more tempted to accept it via Occam’s razor, but it does involve double duty for the ‘was’ i.e. was Israeli + was PM and by implication for Disraeli and seems a bit too compact as you imply. Ah well, ‘never mind’
    as Bertrand Russell was told when asking what is matter ( and no matter as he was told when asking what is mind!)

  35. FumbleFingers says:

    I don’t claim to know whether you’re right or not re “Israeli”, but I will just say that myself & co-solver both thought it was a bit of an anachronism. On the grounds that we associate it with the modern-day state of Israel, but in Disraeli’s time one would more likely have said Israelite or “of the house of Israel”.

  36. Mike says:

    Hi tupu et al
    The Disraeli clue has been bothering me all day and to confess I am still not entirely happy with the wordplay, which for me is certainly very unusual with Paul’s offerings. In case it helps, it seems Benjamin Disraeli’s father’s name was Isaac D’Israeli (taken from Wikipedia), which translates into ‘Isaac of Israel’. Apparently the young Benjamin D’Israeli dropped the apostrophe later on. So perhaps this is relevant… Begin as he was = born ‘of Israel’ = born ‘Israeli’? I am not sure at all, and am suffering from headache disease thinking about it ;-) But as you say ‘never mind’, it was still a most enjoyable solve.
    rgds Mike

  37. Carrots says:

    A delightful puzzle from Paul, which at one point I originally thought displayed some temerity. I too, like Uncle Yap, first encountered the term “Wallah” on “It Ain`t Half Hot Mum” and have since (wrongly!) associated it with a menial, Hindu servant. It means anything but, being defined as “an eminent and responsible person”. As the film “Shakespeare Wallah” should have prompted me to recognise!

  38. Sil van den Hoek says:

    I have been a bit quiet on the Paul front recently [during which Paul seemed to recover from a temporary dip], but He’s back!
    Including a ‘buttock’ – haven’t seen thát for a while.
    [btw, luckily so, it began to work against him]

    Well, this was, as Carrots (#37) rightly said, a delightful puzzle.
    The fine &lit of HUMAN RIGHTS, the BUS TERMINAL ‘trick’ [which I knew all too well, for various reasons], the quadruple definition of DEAL, the definition for ‘sleigh’ (present transport mechanism – brilliant).

    Only the homophone [yep, again] in 12ac (PEACE TALKS) did raise our eyebrows. When it is as in your ever so detailed blog (for which I thank you, UY), it’s surely nót right.
    PEAS doesn’t sound like PEACE [I’ve learned today] – one is voiced, the other isn’t ; one has a long ‘ea’, the other a short one.
    But of course, there was Eileen.
    Saying (in #10) that it should be PEA + STALKS (#10).
    That’s significantly better, even if the clue uses ‘vegetables’ in plural.

    All this reminded me of a political clue that I had in mind about a year ago, in which I wanted to get rid of two P’s. I thought of saying “without peace talks” – luckily, I didn’t.

    And another thing that sprang to mind is this.
    We had a lot of discussion on homophones on this site, and surely most setters must be aware of their dodginess when something’s not quite right.
    In March, Alberich used FISSION for “fish ‘n'” (FT 13,311), which he clued using ‘roughly speaking’.
    That is – in my opinion – how it should be done more frequently.
    The ‘we hear’ [like in this puzzle, 12ac] could (but ultimately shouldn’t) be written as ‘we seem to hear’ or ‘we more or less hear’.
    I me myself [excusez-moi :( ] used ‘heard in the distance’ a while ago.
    There are legitimate ways to do something about it as a setter, but we [that is, I] never see it. Well, hardly ever.
    That’s a thought, isn’t it?

    Crosswords that I really like, I save to my hard disk.
    This is one of them.
    A wallbanger of a puzzle!

  39. Myrvin says:

    Late blog for me today. But I finished the puzzle fairly quickly for a Paul. Not so nasty nasty as some others. As is often the case I didn’t understand all the reasons for my answers. An em dash for MINUS eh? But once I’d clicked to BUSTER there was nowhere else to go.
    I thought 12a was doing to end with STALKS, before spotting the pun.
    Had BUTTER for ages before eventually noticing PEANUT.
    I think 12a made me smile – don’t know why.
    Had to flounder towards 8/17, 22, & 24/18.

    I am with the Menachem Begin school for DISRAELI. The fact that D was the son of a D’Israeli is weird, but it does not change my mind. Israeli can surely only refer to someone of the state of Israel – after D’s time. And there at the front of the clue is ‘Begin as he was’. Even has a capital letter.

  40. John says:

    The discussion on Disraeli’s ethnicity or otherwise, while interesting, has nothing to do with the clue. DISRAELI is the answer, definition is “PM”. The “israeli” part of the answer is derived from (Menachem) Begin, and not Disraeli.
    What I’m wondering is the Dude/Buster thing. Surely they’re not “terms” only in the US?

  41. John says:

    or, I meant to say, synonymous ….

  42. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Myrvin (#39), “An em dash for MINUS eh?”
    Is there another way to ‘write’ a minus sign?
    As you might guess, I liked it a lot, but then I am that weirdo that used “,” for COMMA in a Cryptica clue …. :) [or :( ?]

  43. Myrvin says:

    Also, I’m with Eileen on the PEA STALKS.
    Sil van den Hoek: we can say that the vegetables (peas) are stemmed on pea stalks – not peas stalks.

  44. Myrvin says:

    Sil van den Hoek: I meant that I had not seen this type of clue-part before. I know you liked it, but I find it fishy.

  45. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Myrvin, I’m with her as well – and with you.
    But we [my PinC & I] started a discussion on homophones (after evaluating 12ac), ending in how setters can really do something about it when it’s – indeed, unlike here MINUS [ :)] nót as it should be.
    And I think my thoughts about that are not that bad?

  46. Myrvin says:

    Sil van den Hoek: I thought you were still objecting to the plural vegetables. Never mind.
    We all had a fight about a pun on CRUX = CROOKS a short time ago. I really don’t think ‘heard at a distance’ or ‘seem to hear’ cuts the mustard. They suggest ‘faintly heard’ or ‘mistakenly heard.’ Not the same thing at all.
    I think I would prefer ‘some say’, to suggest that some others might not say.
    But the pun needs to be common enough for all the solvers to stand a chance. I think that was the case for CRUX – but it would have been better clued as ‘some say’ or similar.
    As for foreign speakers (ESL), it’s tough whatever you do.

  47. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Myrvin, CRUX = CROOKS is really the worst example I’ve seen recently.
    But in more reasonable situations, things like ‘roughly speaking’, ‘seem to hear’ and your ‘some say’ are the ones we like to see, if they apply.
    My point is: setters don’t use devices like this, don’t even make an effort, to indicate dubious homophones at all – while they can!

    [btw, I think we do agree – but the starting point should always be (even if – or maybe, because) I’m not British) the phonetics of Chambers & Collins et al]

  48. gnomethang says:

    Well that was an absolute belter of a puzzle!. Not an average clue to be found.
    Regarding the homophone at 12a I was going to quibble but it works very well as a phrase without breaking down the two words (A bit like Suffolk Hated).
    Many thanks to Paul and Uncle Yap for the analysis.
    Too many good clues but a favourite must be 9a for the ‘putter’ generation. If you don’t all know the Harvey Wallbanger than shame on you!

  49. Gerry says:

    I found it all a bit dry and rather ground out the answers.

  50. tupu says:

    Hi Myrvin @39, John@40 (et Al?)

    Many thanks for your comments. As noted above I am coming round to that viewpoint, i.e. Begin is dead and ‘was’ Israeli which under ‘D’ becomes Disraeli who was a PM.

    As I have agreed, this is the simplest answer and therefore probably best. Three points remain
    1. Begin ‘was’ PM so I am not quite sure if PM does deliberate (misleading) double duty here and is actually irrelevant to Begin.
    2. Disraeli ‘was’ PM so I am not quite clear if ‘was’ does deliberate (misleading) double duty here and is actually irrelevant to Disraeli.
    3. Israeli is the ‘begin’-ning of ‘Israelite’ which Disraeli ‘was’ before his baptism. This is a point which may well be misleadingly irrelevant here but which none of you addresses.

    Though now inclined to agree with you, I am temperamentally slightly surprised by your apparent certainty that this is the only sensible or even possible way to look at the clue. Also, if you are right, the clue is more complex in the multiplicity of its (intended?) misleading pointers than has been brought out.

    Also I am uncertain about how much the actual intention of the setter matters in such cases, but that is another story.

  51. FumbleFingers says:

    @tupu, et al
    Thanks for an enlightening exchange. In the end I think this is one of those rare times where tupu backed the wrong horse, but it has revealed fascinating aspects of the clue & its ramifications.

    Speaking as a post-modernist (watchword: “the text is all”) I’m not sure if it really matters what the compiler intended – there may well be multiple valid interpretations in this or other cases, but Occam’s razor must always be a major factor if you want to “rank” them.

  52. tupu says:

    FumbleFingers @51
    Many thanks for that. I suspect I am more prone to backing such losers than you kindly say. You put the Occam point extremely well.

  53. otter says:

    Sil, message 47:

    I didn’t mind CRUX = CROOKS: if pronounced in RP as if crux were an English word, the two would sound different, but if pronounced ‘properly’ as a Latin word, they are homophones (think of Lux aeterna).

    I enjoyed this puzzle, and found a lot of it reasonably straightforward, with a few I had to tease out, and then came to a complete standstill with the bottom LH corner. Try as I might I simply couldn’t get anywhere with them. Eventually phoned a friend who helped me, but I had a complete mental block with them. Not helped by the fact that I thought they two-word clue was 18,24 rather than 24,18, so I was looking for a Wallbanger Harvey…. (rtfc, otter….)

    Thanks for the blog. Not Paul’s best, but still enjoyable. No complaints other than ‘brains but not heart’ for SESE in 22a. I think clue parts like this are just too tenuous; I understand the reasoning but I think there’s one too many hurdles to jump through to get the right letters, and it means it’s next to impossible to work out the answer from the cryptics. When you’re operating on a word, it seems a bit unfair to include a (partially) synonymous word in the clue rather than the word itself, so ‘heartless sense’ would have been fine. What do others think?

  54. tupu says:

    Hi Otter
    22a took a bit of time to see but it seemed OK otherwise. The availability of helpful letters from other words is surely part of this type of puzzle.

  55. sheffieldhatter says:


    Thanks for Suffolk Hated. There’s a racehorse called Norfolk Enchants, which seems to have come from the same stable.

  56. Daniel Miller says:

    I do believe you’ve overegged the Disraeli cake. Simple – D (Danish) Israeli (Begin was) – PM (Disraeli) – maybe you were mislead by Begin to read ‘start’ of (or indeed to look for a Danish PM). Super clue – as many others were.

  57. gnomethang says:

    Back at sheffieldhatter@55

    Bless you for that! – jocular racehorse owners are always trying to put one over on people.
    I give you “Four Quenelles”

  58. Huw Powell says:

    Wow, I actually finished one for once. Granted, “REF” in “whistler” I didn’t understand, or three or four of the definitions for “DEAL”, but I penciled in the correct letters.

    DISRAELI made total sense to me when I twigged it. Begin “was” PM of Israel, and of course was an Israeli. So the def, PM, is doing mild double duty. ‘Twas my favorite clue. I had a brutal time with the two-place clues for some reason, but slowly they fell into place.

    As far as an m-dash for “minus”? Typesetting fail, I think, but I did laugh when, long after penciling in BUS TERMINAL/TERMINUS I saw Buster Minus. Should have been an n-dash.

    HARVEY WALLBANGER was fun, in that I was only half done, drawing lots of blanks, over at wikipedia’s “list of cocktails” page, with only 3-4 checked letters, and suddenly it came into my head. Then the wordplay confirmed my weird guess.

    Hey Uncle, thanks for the blog, and Paul, for what I thought was very enjoyable puzzle.

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