Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25103 – Paul

Posted by Uncle Yap on August 31st, 2010

Uncle Yap.

Hurray! On the trot, I get to blog Paul, indeed a master craftsman who did not disappoint with his unique brand of teasing and tantalising clues, ranging from the obvious to the obscure; but all very solvable though challenging in places. Very enjoyable indeed.

1 POTOMAC Cha of PO (Italian river; similarly named river in Virginia, USA) TO MAC (rev of CAM, English river) and of course POTOMAC is that famous river by Washington DC
5 CHOPPER What a lovely dd of a helicopter as well as slang for a tooth (altho we normally use the term in its plural form)
9 EVERT dd to turn inside out; to turn outwards and at the start of the US Open in Flushing Meadows, NY, we do remember Chris Evert, that famous tennis star who amassed 18 Grand Slam single titles during her heydays. I was stuck here for a while when I mistakenly inked in EXPAT, which was also not wrong, being EX (once) PAT (Cash of Australia, former Wimbledon champion) and to expatriate someone is to turn someone out of the country. Alas the crossing letters put paid to that.
10 BOLLYWOOD Cha of BOLLY (short for Bollinger, a champagne house) WOOD (golf club) Bollywood is the informal term popularly used for the Hindi-language film industry based in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
11 TOUCHSTONE dd a highly siliceous (usu black) stone or other stone for testing gold or silver by the colour of the mark each makes on it; any criterion … and of course we must not forget Touchstone, the court jester in As You Like It
14 MARSHALL PLAN MARS (ruins) ins of ALL (everything) in HP (Thanks to JS buying on hire-purchase is said to be buying on the never never) LAND minus D for the primary programme, 1947–51, of the United States for rebuilding and creating a stronger economic foundation for the countries of Europe. The initiative was named for Secretary of State George Marshall.
18 MAP REFERENCE MA (mother, parental) PREFERENCE (choice) A very tichy clue that is sure to raise a smile when you get it

21 OVID Thanks to Sidey A prima donna is a diva, so presumably a primo donno is a DIVO. Reverse that to get OVID. Brilliant, Paul! C0-COD for the Roman poet remembered for his elegiac verses on love (43 BC – AD 17)
22 BLUE CHEESE Cha of BLUE (vulgar as in blue film) CHEESE (A VIP’s known as big cheese) An excellent alliterative clue ; my COD
25 EXTENSION Another tichy clue from this master. EX (formerly as opposed to NOW) TENSION (as opposed to RELAXATION)
27,12 TURKISH BATH *(K, from kit minus it + AH BITS HURT)
28 IDEALLY Ins of E (middle letter from swEet, or sweetheart) in I dilly DALLY (don’t hurry)

3 MATCHMAKER MATCH (test as in the cricket international where one can bet on which ball bowled will be a no-ball :-) MAKER (Creator or GOD) Cupid is the Roman God of Love represented popularly by a winged figure of a young boy often carrying a bow and arrow
4 CUBIT CUB (young animal) + IT old measure, the length of the arm from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger, from 18 to 22in
And God said to Noah  . . . Make yourself an ark of gopherwood;  make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch.  And this is how you shall make it:  The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits.  You shall make a window for the ark, and you shall finish it to a cubit from above;  and set the door of the ark in its side.  You shall make it with lower, second, and third decks. ” (Genesis 6:13-16)
5 COLONNADE *(once an old)
6 ONYX Ins of NY (New York state) in OX (beefy type) agate formed of alternate flat layers of chalcedony, white or yellow and black, brown or red, used for making cameos
7 PROBABLE Ins of BAB (infant or BABY minus Y) in PROLE (proletariat,    the poorest labouring class; the wage-earning class)
8 RED-SHANK Ins of *(SHED) in RANK (line)
13 BLOCKHOUSE *(choose bulk)
15 SHELLFISH S (first letter of Strong) + ins of F (forte or strong) in HELLISH (brutal) for MUSSELS (an example of a shellfish which sounds like MUSCLES). There are two cryptic elements in this clue which lacks a definition. Now you understand why Paul is described as libertarian ? But I love the clue; don’t we all have certain seemingly perverse preferences?
16 IMMODEST Ins of MODE (fashion) in *(MIST)
17 SPLINTER Ins of N (variable indefinite number) in *(TRIPLES)
19 MENDEL Cha of MEND (to fix) EL (middle letters of penELope) Thanks to JS, Gregor Mendel the ‘father’ of genetics; here ‘Pulse’ refers to ‘Pea(s)’ – he carried out many experiments on cross-breeding of peas in his research that led to the laws of genetics. ‘Pulse tester’ a brilliant term for this very important person.
20 BETRAY Cha of BET (imagine as in guess) RAY (fish) to shop someone is to betray or inform against him to the police, etc ;
23 ENNUI Ins of NN (names) in EU (European Union) I (one)
24 ANTI ha

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 25103 – Paul”

  1. JS says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap for a very detailed blog.
    After a great Saturday Prize puzzle by my favourite setter (by far) and a pretty ;-) easy Monday Rufus, I found this very challenging as is usually the case with Paul.

    If I interpret your blog correctly you are asking for clarification in a couple of places, if so:

    14ac ‘HP’ refers to Hire Purchase which used to be known as buying something on the ‘never-never’.

    19d Refers to Gregor Mendel the ‘father’ of genetics; here ‘Pulse’ refers to ‘Pea(s)’ – he carried out many experiments on cross-breeding of peas in his research that led to the laws of genetics. ‘Pulse tester’ a brilliant term for this very important person.

  2. sidey says:

    A prima donna is a diva, so presumably a primo donno is a DIVO.

  3. molonglo says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap – I always enjoy your blogs (this time, though, would welcome clarification of tichy, in your 18a and 25a). I also tried out Pat for 9a, with Rafter in mind as well. Most of Paul’s clues today were really good, and 15d was the best. Bet for imagine in 20d was a bit of a strech, as was 26’s possible = under the sun.

  4. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Uncle Yap (and others) – I really enjoyed this and, although I had opted for OVID and MENDEL, I was unable fully to comprehend the clues until now.

    Congratulations Paul this was a real cracker!

  5. Dad'sLad says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap.

    22a and 19d were excellent. More please Paul.

  6. Martin H says:

    I really like Paul as a setter – he makes an effort to entertain and offer a variety of clue-types, and he usually pulls it off with real panache. Today is typical. SHELLFISH was one of the last I got, but it’s a beauty. Many others too: BLUE CHEESE, BETRAY, MARSHALL PLAN and more.

    I didn’t understand 26 until I read molonglo’s comment, but I think it works. I wouldn’t call it a cd, though, UY, but thanks for the very thorough commentary.

  7. Ian W. says:

    Yes, what does ‘tichy’ mean? I’ve only seen it in crossword forums and always supposed it meant ‘dodgy’, but that doesn’t seem to be your sense. The only definition I’ve found online is ‘small’.

  8. tupu says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap and Paul

    I thoroughly enjoyed solving this puzzle and working out the logic of the elegant and amusing clues. I have ticked all the ones I liked and there are far too many to list separately. I particularly enjoyed 10a, 18a, 21a (so much in just 4 letters), 25a, 27 12, 15d, and 19d.

    I’ve got a feeling I’ve seen Marshall Plan before and perhaps one or two others.

    For me this is the best Guardian puzzle for some time, pitched just at the right level to test and tease and still raise lots of smiles.

  9. JS says:

    Molonglo #3 & Ian W. #7

    RE: ‘tichy':

    Take a look at the end of Uncle Yap’s blog where he has listed a ‘Key to abbreviations.’

  10. Stella says:

    ‘Mendel’ was my first :) of the day, quickly followed by ‘Ovid’ and so many others it would be a bore to enumerate them. Thank you so much, Paul, for a very pleasant start to the day!

    Great blog, Uncle Yap.
    I needed your explanation for 22a, and I now know more about touchstones than I ever expect to need :D , and thanks molonglo@3 for explaining 26/2

  11. Martin H says:

    ……(takes off rose-tinted spectacles and puts on pedant’s hat): “The Italian masculine form of ‘donna’ appears to be ‘don’, so shouldn’t it be ‘primo don’?” “Of course not! The rhythm’s wrong, it’s not meant to be real Italian, and it wouldn’t aid the solver in any way”. (Boot applied to pedant’s posterior).

  12. tupu says:

    re 4d.
    In his play ‘Two Thousand Years’ Mike Leigh tells how God later ordered a second ark – this time much taller and just for fish – Ah says Noah ‘a multi storey carp ark!’.

  13. tupu says:

    Hi Martin

    :)Nice. Oddly, while ‘donna’ is originally a short form of ‘domina’, It. ‘domino’ seems to be just that (black, white and spotted)!

  14. liz says:

    Thanks for a great blog, Uncle Yap. I managed the top half of this puzzle pretty easily, then got held up in the bottom half and needed the check button to complete. Lots of nice clues — 27,12 and 10ac made me smile in particular. 21ac too convoluted for me — I guessed from the checking letters, but didn’t see the wordplay and now that’s been explained I’m not sure I really like it. A minor quibble tho, when there was so much else to enjoy!

  15. aitchgee says:

    11 ac – a touchstone can’t really be called a standard, can it? It’s a piece of test equipment, which is not the same thing at all. Wouldn’t “Testy Shakespearian character” have been more appropriate?

  16. Dave Ellison says:

    Yes, enjoyed this, and a bit stiffer than yesterday’s. I managed them all but failed to explain 21 and 25 across. I still don’t see 25a, despite UY’s explanation. Clearly EXTENSION is the something more, but what is the SO for? And why take the opposites? Is it “now that tension has gone, this gives relaxation”?

  17. Tokyo Colin says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap for another entertaining blog. Paul is my favourite setter but I managed only one answer to the across clues on first pass and could not see where the rest could possibly come from but gradually I made the transition to Paul’s wavelength and the lights came on one by one. To my surprise I finished in 25 minutes, just right for the train trip home.

    So many great clues. Big smiles from BOLLYWOOD, EXTENSION, TURKISH BATH and many others.

    aitchgee @15 – The origin of the term touchstone was a test but in modern usage it refers to a standard, at least in my circles.
    Dave @16 – I read this as “the tension’s gone, so now can relax”.

  18. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Indeed, a very nice crossword from Paul today.
    First one to go in was OVID, after which I stunned myself by rushing through the SW.
    So, an relatively easy puzzle then?
    For a Paul, I think, yes – half of the clues were either dd’s (5) or straightforward charades (9), which is quite unusual for him, and hardly any complex constructions.
    That said, there was an elegance today that felt like a 27,12. :)

    28ac (IDEALLY) caused a déja vu moment as I had seen a very similar construction in a recent FT crossword [but I am not allowed to say anything more than that, here].
    And – another déja vu – the second time of late that Paul uses Shed in one of his puzzles. A new trend?

    Not easy to choose a Clue of the Day.
    Maybe EXTENSION or OVID [I liked the cheekiness of it].
    Or the very well constructed SHELLFISH with its unusual ‘definition’, perhaps?

    And Uncle Yap, thank you again for an immaculate blog.
    Just like some others, I needed it to understand UNDER THE SUN.
    [and I do now, although I agree with molonglo (#3) that it was a bit of a stretch]

  19. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Uncle Yap.

    I’ve nothing to add to the chorus of praise for all the great clues, my top favourites being MENDEL and OVID and the lovely &lit TURKISH BATH – great story-telling!

    I initially had a quibble with 22ac, thinking that ‘cheese’ had to be preceded by ‘big’ to mean VIP, but I find that’s not the case.

    And Shed gets a mention in two consecutive Paul puzzles!

  20. Eileen says:

    Sil – apologies for the overlap re Shed!

  21. Stella says:

    Hi tupu and MartinH :lol:

    It seems Paul’s offering today was too easy, or too stimulating, so you have to turn to other forms of entertainment :)

    Actually, the masculine form of ‘domina’ is ‘domine’, which the Italians still use occasionally as a form of address – correct me if I’m wrong, Eileen.

    The final ‘e’ is a weak sound, which was soon dropped to > (finally) ‘don’.

  22. Eileen says:

    Hi Stella

    Since you ask, :-) the Latin nominative is dominus; domine is the vocative.

  23. Stella says:

    Thanks Eileen, that explains why it’s used as a form of address. :D

  24. Eileen says:

    Hi Stella

    Stupidly, that only occurred as I pressed ‘submit’ – that’s really interesting.

    [In Scotland ‘dominie’ is used for a schoolmaster – which is also interesting, since the Latin for schoolmaster is not dominus but magister!]

  25. Stella says:

    Interesting. My husband was a Spanish language assistant in Paisley for 14 months, but I don’t think he was ever called ‘dominie’!

  26. muck says:

    Thanks Paul & UY: I enjoyed puzzle & blog
    I must be missing something re 26 UNDER THE SUN

  27. Dave Ellison says:

    muck, I have this picture of bottoms covered with copies of the Sun.

  28. Maure says:

    This puzzle is very educational for a L-solver like me, thanks Paul

    And thanks to you, UY, I learned quite a lot today.

    your info on ‘never never’ is an eyeopener !

  29. Stella says:

    Hi Muck@26.

    26/ refers to the expression ‘everything under the sun’, ie. anything existent or possible

  30. tupu says:

    Hi Stella

    Thanks. :)I must try to keep my penchant for childish jokes under control!
    As Eileen says, the Latin masculine is dominus and vocative domine. My point ( :)feeble as it was) was that if donna (IT) comes from Latin via domina, one might also hope to see Italian donno as per Paul or domino ( L. ‘us’ becomes ‘o’), but the first as Martin notes is not there and, as I discovered, domino is, but simply means a domino!

  31. Petero says:

    Uncle Yap
    Thank you for an excellent blog to an excellent crossword. To split hairs, I feel that 17D reads a little better with n being just ‘indefinite number’, and ‘variable’ as the anagrind, rather than the vaguer ‘proved’.
    Mononglo, is bet/imagine such a stretch? I imagine you could come up with a sentence where the two can be used interchangeably. ‘Under the sun’ is perhaps more of a reach, but it brings to mind Ecclesiates’ “There is nothing new under the sun”, which is somewhere in the right area.

  32. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Hi Petero, I think your parsing of 17d [with ‘variable’ being the anagrind and n as ‘indefinite number’] is 100% right.
    Overlooked this in the blog – but I did it the same way as you, with ‘proves’ just there to say that it ‘becomes’ an irritation.

  33. Eileen says:

    Hi Petero and Sil

    I parsed it that way, too.

  34. muck says:

    Thanks for various comments re 26/12 UNDER THE SUN
    I suppose the clue is typically Pauline
    A little naughty both in the surface and the cluing

  35. Gerry says:

    Enjoyed this a lot. I saw lots of redshanks today…nice to see one turn up in the crossword.
    I got 21ac without understanding the clue…until now.
    For ‘touchstone’ my Blackies Dictionary includes the figurative use ‘any test or criterion by which the qualities of a thing are tried’.

  36. Daniel Miller says:

    Wow! Bollywood. What a clue!! (There were many other splendid ones).

  37. Paddywack says:

    I loved this one too. I’m not a quick solver and find the Ximenean setters offer a fairer challenge for occasional cruciphiles like me.

  38. maarvarq says:

    The male equivalent of a prima donna is a primo uomo , not “primo donno”. I thought that Paul wanted the first letter of “donno” as part of the construction, but now that I know he didn’t, I can confidently say that he just got it wrong.

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