Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25097 – Paul

Posted by Uncle Yap on August 24th, 2010

Uncle Yap.

What a treat! For the second week running, I got to blog another master ( a reverential term of respect and admiration which really shouldn’t upset anyone). As expected, Paul served up many different and tricky devices to challenge and entertain us … and well, he did

9 ALEXANDER Ins of X (cross) in A LEANDER (the boat club that is heavily involved with sailing, rowing etc; hence crew) and 24Down is POPE (1688 – 1744) an eighteenth-century English poet, best known for his satirical verse and for his translation of Homer. He is the third most frequently quoted writer in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, after Shakespeare and Tennyson.
10 PAPAL MASS Ins of PALMA (Santa Cruz de La Palma, the capital of the island of La Palma, Spain) in PASS (visa)
11 SISAL Rev of (ins of I, single in LASS, maiden)
12 EXISTENCE E (English) X (Roman numeral for ten) IS  TEN (two figures for 10 face to face) CE (Church of England) Thanks, Stephen
13 BONFIRE Ins of FIR (wood) in funny BONE
14 SOLOIST Ins of LOIS (Lois Lane of Superman fame) in SOT (drunk)
17 SOLDI &lit ha for a former Italian coin, one-twentieth of a lira
19 SET dd
20 RIGHT dd

21 LASAGNA Ins of SAG (drop) in FLAN (dish) minus F & A Thanks, Jack

22 STENTOR ha from liSTEN TO Reason (answer  to 18,2)
24 PREVAILER *(reprieval)
26 CORES = HEARTS and sounds like CAUSE (reason, answer to 18,2 being a reversed homophone clue)
29 STILLLIFE Ins of LLIF (rev of FILL, stock) in STILE (entrance to field)

3 NAIL-BITING What an excellent dd
4 ADHERE *(HEAD) RE (on)
6 SPIT dd
8 BLUE PETER Cha of BLUE (down) PETER (fade) blue flag with a white rectangle, hoisted when a ship is about to sail
13 BASAL BASALT (rock) minus T
15 LARGE-SCALE *(clears gale)
16 TATER TASTER (sample) minus S for slang for potato
18 LISTEN TO REASON *(or not essential)
19 SMALLISH Ins of I (individual) in SMALLS (slang for underwear) & H (hot)
22 SARNIE Cha of S (small) ARNIE (Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger (born 1947) is an Austrian-American bodybuilder, actor, model, businessman, and politician, who is currently serving as the 38th Governor of California) “slightly stale beefcake“?
23 TURGID Rev of DIG (bore) RUT (dull routine)
24 POPE Ins of P (first letter of POE) in POE (Edgar Allan Poe (1809 – 1849) an American writer, poet, editor and literary critic)
25 AIRY Cha of AI (a major road in the UK) RY (rail) Thanks Grandpuzzler
27 SHED dd and of course, we all recognise that Shed is also a regular Guardian setter

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

38 Responses to “Guardian 25097 – Paul”

  1. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks, Uncle Yap, for the blog. 25D – I thought AI might refer to a road in UK? 22D – Sarnie was new to me; thanks for your explanation. Couldn’t get 19D because I had Lasagne at 21A. Thought sag was inside (p)lane for no good reason. Love doing these puzzles. Learned that turgid can mean pompous!

  2. Jack says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap & Paul.

    Your explanation of 21ac works fine if somewhat tenuous ;-), but I read it as:

    LA (SAG) N – A where the LAN is FLAN minus the F; I think this is what was meant by ‘open’ dish. Having said that, this was one of those answers I got because of the checking letters and then ‘worked out’ the wordplay (possibly incorrectly!)

  3. NeilW says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap. One small quibble: 25dn is AI (road) above RY. I seem to remember a previous blog of yours with a long discussion over whether the A1 was a road or a motorway….

  4. NeilW says:

    Sorry to grandpuzzler… just noticed you were there before me!

  5. molonglo says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap. I rejoice when I see Paul, but although I got all these didn’t think a lot of 11a (spinner’s maiden = ssal), 21a, 3d (filthy?), 16d (seconds = s) or 19d (pretty?). Good marks for 9, 10, 13 and 14a.

  6. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Uncle Yap this was too tough for me although I enjoyed those I got.

    I opted for LASAGNE (which is the UK term for the dish) never realising that The Grauniad would ever prefer or even allow the Italian version.

    Otherwise no complaints.

  7. rob-inwolves says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed this, just difficult enough to slow me up. 22d made me laugh, although I don’t think I would call Arnie stale beefcake to his face.

    By the way Molongo the definition ofr smallish in 19d is pretty small, not just pretty.

  8. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Uncle Yap

    I really enjoyed this, particularly the connections between 18, 2 and 26 and 22ac, which really made me laugh when I saw it.

    Stentor was a Greek herald in the Trojan War, who had a voice as loud as fifty men, according to Homer – and there’s a nice connection to Alexander Pope’s translation of the Iliad, which you mention.

    “The best and bravest of the Grecian band
    (A warlike circle) round Tydides stand.
    Such was their look as lions bathed in blood,
    Or foaming boars, the terror of the wood
    Heaven’s empress mingles with the mortal crowd,
    And shouts, in Stentor’s sounding voice, aloud;
    Stentor the strong, endued with brazen lungs,
    Whose throats surpass’d the force of fifty tongues.”

    There have also been several Popes called Alexander, which gives yet another dimension to 9ac. All clever stuff!

    [I took the island capital in 10,1 to be Palma, Majorca.]

  9. cholecyst says:

    Thanks, Paul,Uncle Yap. And Eileen for pointing out the other connections – and for the poetry.

    Not sure about 21 ac, though – LASAGNA certainly looks as though it ought to be the singular of lasagne but I have never seen it used. It’s certainly not in my big Italian dictionary and I don’t ever recall seeing it on Italian menus. Has anyone ever encountered a spaghetto? But I bet someone is going to tell me it’s in Chambers (lasagna, that is)!

  10. tupu says:

    Many thanks to UY and Paul

    I much enjoyed this excellent puzzle with Paul’s usual slang offerings and cleverly witty clues. I too went for flan, Palma de Mallorca, AI and pretty small. Particularly liked 26.

    I was interested, on checking spit, to see that the usage is believed to come from the idea that a person A is so like another B that B might have spat him out of his own mouth.

    At first, I slightly regretted not getting here earlier. But I am reminded of an early traveller who was ambushed in New Guinea by a group of hostile locals armed to the teeth. Asked what his immediate reaction was, he said ‘Well, I thought, at least this is one story I won’t have to write!’

  11. tupu says:

    Hi Cholecyst

    Sorry. It is,

  12. Scarpia says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap.
    Top class puzzle from Paul,plenty of smiles,clever wordplay and nice misdirections.
    I entered TWEETER for 22 across before solving 18/2 and spent a bit of time trying to work out how CARDS(for 26 across) could be clued as listen to reason.Excellent set of linked clues(18/2,22,26).
    Newcomers to the Guardian puzzle might wonder about 27 down but I think the clue is easy enough that most could solve it,even without knowing Shed was a setter.
    I remember a puzzle from a few years back which was themed around setter’s names – not sure if it was in the Guardian or the FT.

  13. Stella says:

    Hi, Cholecyst

    Given that the Spanish form is ‘lasaña’, I had no trouble with this form of the word. Besides, one is much more likely to deal with lasagne indivdually while preparing the dish, than one would be to use one ‘spaghetto’!

    Thanks for the blog, Uncle Yap. I’m inclined to agree with others, though, regards the parsing of 21a and 25d.

    I didn’t see ‘ssaL’, though, and had no idea what to make of ‘sarnie’.

    I ‘Wikied’ Leander, but looked only at the Greek character, thinking he might have something to do with Alexander. It turns out he’s best known for a poem by Christopher Marlowe, “Hero and Leander”, the former being a priestess dedicated to Venus, and Leander’s lover.

    There was an extensive disambiguation page, where I remember seeing the Leander Club, but didn’t think it pertinent. I’ll have to be more open-minded.

  14. sidey says:

    Using, lasagna gets 5.76M hits, lasagne 5.76M hits, using, lasagna 5.66M, lasagne 5.72M.

    A vanilla Paul.

    By the way, anyone still annoyed by the letters/numbers clashing in the online version might consider using Opera, that produces lower-case so no clashes.

  15. Stephen says:

    Isn’t 12Ac SIX & TEN for the two figures face to face (rather than XI’S and TEN)?

  16. Eileen says:

    Hi Stephen

    I read EXISTENCE that way, too.

    Stella, I’ve never really understood why the Leander [rowing] Club was so called, since Leander was the one who swam across the Hellespont every night to see his lover, Hero. There are numerous swimming clubs so named.

  17. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog, Uncle Yap. I found this quite hard and struggled to get into it, but it did repay the effort. Liked the linked clues! Thanks to Eileen for the further information on Pope!

    Like others, I had Lasagne at 21ac until I got round to solving 19dn.

  18. Scarpia says:

    Stephen @15.
    Thanks for that,I wasn’t sure on this one. I’d read it as X is TEN,but thought Uncle Yap’s parsing was better than mine(without being completely convinced).Your reading fits the bill exactly – thought face to face must be there for a reason!

  19. Median says:

    Quite a tough one from Paul, but I eventually got there without using the cheat facility or this blog.

    Six comments before 7am! Are you folks out east, insomniacs or both?

  20. Bryan says:

    Median @ 19

    I am neither ‘out East’ nor an Insomniac, just an early riser who likes to do the Cryptic over breakfast.

  21. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Today I had no problem with the (major) lower half [that is when you draw a line from the W to the NE], but struggled with the (minor) upper part.
    No wonder – I hadn’t heard of the Leander Club [and still don’t like this for just ‘crew’], it took ages to find NAIL-BITING and PAPAL MASS [good clue, tho’ quite simple] and I thought of SISAL, but couldn’t explain it [thought ‘single’ had to be S, but alas].
    I didn’t like ‘Spinner’s maiden’ very much – I would have preferred ‘Spinning maiden’.

    Everything in which I differ from UY’s blog has already been said.
    So, ‘Palma’ being the capital of Majorca (10ac).
    ‘Six’ facing (first letters meeting each other) ‘Ten’ in 12ac.
    21ac: SAG in [f]LAN + A.
    And in 25d: A1 (road) above (superior to) RY (rail).

    I quite liked the way Paul linked 18d,2 (LISTEN TO REASON) with two other devices, the homophone in 26ac and the hidden answer of 22ac.

    On the other hand, I wasn’t very keen on the order in 16d: ‘Leaving seconds’ before ‘sample’, instead of the other way around [which wouldn’t have made sense for the surface, I know]. But for me, it felt a bit clumsy this way.
    And PREVAILER (24ac)? I had it rightaway, but I couldn’t find it as such in Chambers 11th nor OED. Which makes me wonder: does anyone use this word in real life?

    All in all, it was a tough but doable puzzle.
    Highlights for me the great surfaces of 10ac and 29ac (STILL LIFE).
    And the nice little &lit of 17ac (SOLDI) was clever too, I thought.

    But ultimately my Clue of the Day is 4d (ADHERE): concise, everything falls in the right place and the solution is not even that obvious [it could have been a word for ‘head’ plus a word for ‘stick’, leading to ‘Pickle’]

  22. Geoff says:

    Re 21a, Americans usually refer to the prepared dish as LASAGNA, whereas Brits (and Italians, generally) use the plural, LASAGNE. In modern Italian, ‘lasagna’ refers to a single sheet of pasta, but the situation is somewhat muddied by its etymology – ‘lasanum’ in Latin referred to the vessel it was cooked in (cf casserole, terrine etc), so nobody can be said to be authentically correct here.

    SOLDI were indeed old Italian coins, but the word is currently the most common term for ‘money’ in general. The Italian SOLDO is from the Latin ‘solidus’. LSD (old British money) was an abbreviation for “librae, solidi, denarii” (Roman coins), which reminds us that the original term for the mark now generally termed the ‘forward slash’ was ‘solidus’ because of its use in representing prices: 10/6 = 10 shillings and 6 pence.

  23. Stella Heath says:

    “.. and so between the {lot} of them they licked the platter clean!” :D

  24. grandpuzzler says:

    Median @ 19

    Like Brian @ 20 I am not an insomniac. It was 4PM Monday in Bellevue, Washington when Paul’s puzzle came online here. Now I’m off to have a sarnie.


  25. Brigadier Carruthers says:

    I like to sit down with a cup of tea at 4.00pm here in Liverpool,UK but recently (ie this week) either me or the alter-ego(NadiaZenith)have been doing them at midnight UK time, the moment they appear on-line.
    On balance this is a bad idea. Fatigue and an alien competitiveness (wanting to finish quickly) make for less enjoyment and appreciation. I’ll be going back to afternoons as soon as I can kick the insomnia.

  26. Jim says:

    Floored by 22dn. What has “slightly stale beefcake“ to do with Schwarzenegger?

  27. tupu says:

    Hi Jim
    I suppose he’s a former Mr Universe (or something like that) who’s past his best?

  28. jmac says:

    RE 26: SARNIE = small snack; “slightly stale” = “s”; beefcake = “Arnie”

  29. tupu says:

    Hi Eileen

    It strikes me we might add 10a ‘papal mass’ to the Pope connection! (and the coming visit??)

  30. Crucian says:

    Poe was not a novelist.

  31. Gaufrid says:

    Poe is better known for his short stories and poetry but, according to Wikipedia, he did write one complete novel, “The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket”.

  32. Carrots says:

    After completing yesterday`s Rufus in my head, I failed to complete to-day`s Paul, largely because of my own stupidity. I was convinced 7 dn was STONEING (Sting around One)and because it was a vertical clue I didn`t spot the spelling abberation. I also fell for the other traps like LASAGNE and SARNIE. I do think the latter was somewhat misleading because of “slightly stale” (I bet he doesn`t see himself this way!) and it`s a tad disrespectful. The rest comprised a pretty good puzzle…it was the solver who floundered!

  33. DodgyProf says:

    First time commenting here…this one took me a while and ended up searching on words to fit for SARNIE but liked the clue once I knew the answer!

    I was surprised that the answer to the 3 letter word was SET when a joining clue also involved the same word, i.e. TRAIN SET, also generally I’m not keen on 3 letter answers – doesn’t give much room for manoeuvre.

    I notice that the symmetrical answer to SHED was MASS – maybe it is a false memory but was MASS also a Guardian crossword setter at one time?

  34. Scarpia says:

    DodgyProf @33
    I don’t remember Mass from the Guardian but he/she does set puzzles for the Indie.

  35. Dynamic says:

    To Scarpia@12. I too remember various Guardian setter’s pseudonyms as a theme and had thought it wss by Crucible and a few months ago. After some failed search attempts, finally got it: An enjoyable Bonxie from June this year!

  36. Colin Blackburn says:

    Although in the UK we tend to use the Italian plurals even when we mean the singular: GRAFFITI, PANINI, I suspect Paul here chose LASAGNA purely for the word play options rather than any Guardian correctness. As an aside I once ordered RAVIOLI at our local pub. When the dish arrived it was definitely RAVIOLO and a not very big one at that! I did get my money back but that was more to do with the cling-film in the sauce than a quibble over Italian plurals and the trades’ description act.

  37. Richard Pennington says:

    Sarnie is the usual abbreviation for sandwich on Merseyside. I am not sure if carrots was joking, but “slightly stale” was not a comment on Herr Schwarzenegger. I got stuck as I had “DENIM” for 11 across, being an anagram of “Maiden” with “A” (single) removed.

    Never mind better luck today.

  38. Speckled Jim says:

    Very very tough.

    Thought 7d was way too ambiguous for a good cryptic clue. It could have been any number of things, including flogging and whipping. I nearly went with whipping because of the phrase whip-smart…

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