Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,123 – Paul

Posted by Andrew on September 23rd, 2010


It’s been a good Guardian week so far, and Paul continues the pattern with this entertaining puzzle. There were a few particularly easy clues to give a good start, and the rest weren’t too hard to finish off. There’s none of Paul’s characteristic mild smuttiness as far as I can see, but lots of other amusement, particularly in 1ac, 9/22 and 20/3.

1ac,1dn. I DON’T MIND IF I DO I DON’T MIND FIDO with I (one) “chained” inside
6. PAVE Hidden
8. MILIBAND I’M< + LIB + AND. I was rather surprised to see that there's only one L in the name of the two brothers competing for the Labour leadership
9,22. LONELY HEARTS H in (ETERNALLY SO)* – and sort of &lit
11. COMMANDO COMMA (the comma that appears in the clue) + DON*. Probably the most devious clue in the puzzle – it took me a while to work out.
12,10. FRENCH POLISH FRENCH + POLISH (languages), and French polish is a “finish”
15. SETTLE ON SETT (badger’s home) + LEON (Trotsky)
16. FLIMFLAM FILM* + F (= forte = strong) + LAM
19. SITTER Double definition – one who poses (e.g. for a portrait), and an easy catch in cricket
21. INFRA DIG (A D[erringer] FIRING)*
25. LA-LA LAND LA LA LA (3 notes) + N.D. “A state of being divorced from reality”, or specifically a nickname for Hollywood, says Chambers.
26. OGRE G in ORE (1/100 of a Krona in Sweden etc)
2. OPINION OP IN ION (a charged particle)
4. INDICES D in NICE, all is I’S (one’s)
5. DOLOMITES SET I + O in MOLD, all reversed
6. PINBALL Spoonerism of “Bin Paul” (throw “me” away)
7. VELODROME LOVED* + ROME. Rather a giveaway definition, especially with the initial V from the easy 6ac.
13. RELENTING LENT (fast) in REIN + G
17. MARMITE ARM in MITE. Supposedly no one has a neutral opinion of Marmite.
18. MUGGLES MUG (face) + LEGS. Name for non-wizards in the Harry Potter books. (I’ve never read any of them, nor seen the films, but even so I know this word – it’s probably just as familiar as yesterday’s “yahoo”.)
22. HELLO Hell:0, Heaven:1 would be an away win (Hell being listed first, so the home side)
23. TINGE TIN (element) + E.G.<

30 Responses to “Guardian 25,123 – Paul”

  1. muck says:

    Thanks Andrew. You blogged it before I downloaded it!

  2. don says:

    Enigmatic error 12, 21 across yesterday.

    Liverpool topside? Cobblers!

  3. molonglo says:

    Daft Don, the best clue in a long time – 11a, my last. Agree with all your points, Andrew, thanks.

  4. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Andrew

    This was a wonderful puzzle and, if it’s not too late, I propose that we now get the Pope to beatify our Saint among Setters – particularly now that he’s cleaned up his act. But would he then become Saint Paul or Saint John?

    Two minor quibbles:

    8a – ‘Only one brother can win’ – Surely the result could be a tie and there would then be a Coalition Leadership? (Remember that you heard it here first.)

    26a – Can the ORE still be described as ‘Scandinavian currency’? I thought everywhere was now degraded Euro-wise?

    More of the same please, Paul.

  5. sidey says:

    Is Norway in the Euro zone suddenly?

  6. Bryan says:

    Sidey @ 5

    You are right – as always!

  7. Dad'sLad says:

    Thanks Andrew, what a relief after yesterday’s slog. Lots to smile about here, with commando the pick of the bunch.

    8a seems a little loose given where we are with the contest. Perhaps I’ve missed withdrawls but couldn’t Burnham or Balls be brothers too and still win, theoretically?

    Arrived at the right answer for 25a thinking it was L.A. for Hollywood; I see now that was a lucky coincidence.

    Overall a quick and satisfying solve.

  8. Eileen says:

    Many thanks for the blog, Andrew.

    I agree that it’s been a good week – and what a variety of puzzles! We Guardian solvers really are very lucky to have such a range of setters.

    This was just a lot of fun – I loved it, especially 1 and 11ac, which both made me laugh out loud when I saw them.

    [I, too, ran out of squares when entering ‘MILLIBAND’, not having worked out the wordplay properly.]

  9. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog Andrew and for explaining some of the wordplay that I didn’t get — the cricket meaning of ‘dolly’ in particular. This was good fun from Paul. I loved 11ac and 22dn.

    Bryan @ 4 — re the idea of a coalition Labour leadership, I’m afraid someone in the Guardian beat you to it last week!

  10. Matt says:

    Bryan @4 – Neither Sweden nor Denmark use the Euro either.

    Great crossword today. Is it a coincidence that we have had “Abbott” and “Miliband” as answers yesterday and today? Will “Balls” and “Burnham” appear tomorrow and Saturday as answers? Does this mean the Guardian is supporting Labour again after its frankly odd decision to back the LibDems at the election?

  11. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Liz @9 and Matt @10

    I bet that Paul is now feeling very relieved.

  12. Martin H says:

    I’d say rather a mixed week, but what’s been good has been very good, and that includes today’s. A model straightforward puzzle, the only dodgy bit being ‘ill-educated Americans’ for ‘trailer trash'; firstly it’s not a comprehensive definition – ‘ill-educated’ could include many perfectly ‘respectable’ people; and secondly the term is in any case designed to offend and exclude – I shouldn’t like to see, for instance ‘scum’ clued in a similar way.

    The Miliband spelling confusion – the influence of ‘millipede’?

  13. Derek Lazenby says:

    Gosh, I actually enjoyed one of these, usually they are hard work for me as never seem to be on Paul’s wavelength, but somehow I was today! Even, so there were a few I still needed the blog to fully follow, so ta for that.

    I think 22d will have confused our American solvers. They usually write the home team last. One guess is that that comes from Baseball, where the away team always bats first, and that their other sports simply tagged along. Or maybe it’s just the point of view as in, we usually say something like “x play host to y”, whereas they usually say something like “y visits x” (and would that have anything to do with the relative importance of giving or receiving hospitality?).

  14. Andrew says:

    SCUM is an answer in today’s Guardian Quick crossword, where it has raised a few hackles in the comments, as has TRAILER TRASH in the cryptic.

    Miliband – not 1/1000 of an orchestra! Incidentally, the name seems to be pretty much unique to the political family – David and Ed’s father was an interesting character.

  15. sandra says:

    thank you andrew.
    a “smiley” crossword indeed – i enjoyed this one. 1a and d and 11a in particular, but i do think trailer trash was somewhat offensive, for the reasons that martin h has already given.
    but the rest of it was fun.

  16. duncandisorderly says:

    agreed re ‘trailer trash’. I thought “commando” was clever though…. which means I didn’t get it ’til I came here!


  17. Mr. Jim says:

    Good fun from Paul today. thanks to him and to Andrew for explaining what I was too thick to get the first time.

    Is it really fair to have the definition for FRENCH POLISH as just a homophone? and in 4d, does Nice=Accurate, or do I misunderstand it?

    (These are genuine questions rather than comments — I’d be interested to hear people’s thoughts. Thoroughly enjoyed tha 50% or so of clues that I managed to get before coming here.)

  18. Uncle Yap says:

    Hello, hello, hello, that was a great clue in a great puzzle
    Thanks you, Paul and Andrew.

  19. Martin H says:

    Hello Mr Jim – I think the homophone in 12,10 was fair: it was clearly flagged and there was no ambiguity. And ‘accurate’ is a standard definition of ‘nice’.

  20. walruss says:

    Yes, trailer trash a very difficult phrase to handle with complete sensitivity, so perhaps Paul as Guardian’s ‘cheeky chappie’ was not the ideal man. But this was candy from a baby as compared with the nasty crossword in today’s Independent!! I’m afraid my brain hurts after that!

  21. Davy says:

    Thanks Andrew,

    A very entertaining puzzle from Paul with a few laughs along the way. What more could you ask for ?.
    I particularly liked the FIDO clue, PAVE, COMMANDO which I saw almost immediately and HELLO.
    It was rather easy for Paul but stll wiled away a goodly amount of time. I got TRAILER TRASH from the anagram but it’s not a phrase I am familiar with. It doesn’t sound very PC though.

    Today’s clues were all fair and well-structured unlike yesterday’s debacle.

  22. muck says:

    Thanks Paul & Andrew
    11ac COMMANDO was a wonderful clue
    22dn HELLO I guessed but not the very clever wordplay

  23. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thanks, Andrew, for a neat analysis of this enchanting puzzle.
    Not as sparkling as Boatman’s wines nor as – let’s say – demanding as yesterday’s Enigmatist [for which my comments were slightly unfair as a result of pure frustration].

    Indeed no ‘smutty’ clues (which we haven’t seen for a while, probably rightly so), but many smiles along the way.

    The amusing Spoonerism in 6d, the great surface of 1,1d and the indirect (homophone) definition of FRENCH POLISH were highlights.
    As was 22d (HELLO) – typical Paul.
    I am not sure how (or whether) to comment on 11ac (COMMANDO).
    Perhaps one or two of you [with selective memory] will understand, that I was pleased to see this clue and its device in particular – surprised too.

    Very nice ánd accurate crossword.

  24. FishAreBest says:

    Can someone explain 19a. I had poser=sitter/setter, but can’t get either of these to mean dolly. I’ll confess to knowing nothing about cricket. How does “easy catch” give setter?

  25. Kathryn's Dad says:


    I am just lurking today, not having done the puzzle, but a ‘sitter’ in cricket is an easy catch that was missed; this is also called a ‘dolly’. He missed a sitter = he dropped a dolly. The former is also heard in football circles, normally when Emile Heskey is playing for England.

  26. Mr Beaver says:

    I thought of SITTER for 19a, but didn’t enter it, not being aware of the cricketing connection – then put DELIMITED for 5d without knowing why, except that it could mean ‘Range fixed’.
    Apart from that, though, enjoyable and unusually easy for Paul. Though disappointingly clean :)

  27. icecreamman says:

    INFRA DIG ???

  28. icecreamman says:

    ok It’s Latin again isn’t it?

    Latin infra dignitatem, literally – ‘beneath (one’s) dignity’

  29. Sil van den Hoek says:

    At the risk of people finding me pedantic [but it was a tough week anyway due to Enigmatist & Nimrod], I dó want to say something about 11ac (COMMANDO) – even though I was initially reluctant to do that in my post #23.

    Well, look here:

    It might be coincidence.
    Ot two minds, one thought.
    But it makes one wonder, doesn’t it?

  30. Gordon Roy says:

    RE: Post #13. Derek is not actually correct, but Americans would still find it difficult to understand. I now live in the USA so know exactly how sports results are printed. Neither the home team nor the away team is usually given preference. It is the winner of the match that gets printed first. Where the result is a ‘tie’ [in US parlance] the home team then does get printed first. This happens only in a few sports or matches that occasionally allow ties. Nobody talks of an ‘away’ win, but of a ‘road’ win. Playing away is a road game.

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