Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25133 Paul – Do The Bossa Nova

Posted by Uncle Yap on October 5th, 2010

Uncle Yap.

WOW! A follow-on from one of my favourite setters. I am indeed blessed. As to be expected, Paul combines linguistic intrigue with a generous sense of humour, making his puzzles so challenging, yet entertaining. I thoroughly enjoyed solving and blogging this one.

1 MEAT SAFE Ins of EATS (nibbles) in MAFE (Mafeking minus king, sovereign) The Siege of Mafeking was the most famous British action in the Second Boer War. It took place at the town of Mafeking (now Mafikeng) in South Africa over a period of 217 days, from October 1899 to May 1900, and turned Robert Baden-Powell, who went on to found the Scouting Movement, into a national hero. The Relief of Mafeking was a decisive victory for the British and a crushing defeat for the Boers.
5,26 MASHED POTATO *(method so a tap) The Mashed Potato is a dance move which was a popular dance craze of 1962
9 RED GIANT Ins of EDGE (fringe) minus E in RIANT (laughing)
10 PEELER dd alluding to policemen known affectionately as Peelers after Sir Robert Peel who established the Irish police (1812-18) and improved the force in Britain (1828-30)
12 HITLER YOUTH Cha of HIT (attacked) L (left) + ins of U (universal, rating of film, for all) in *(theory) When I solve this, I could almost see John Cleese as Basil Fawlty saying “Don’t mention the war!”
15 SPOOR S (last letter of richeS) POOR (opposite of being in riches)
17 HAIR SLIDE Ins of IR (Irish) S (last letter of criminalS) in HALIDE (chemical compound like fluoride, chloride, bromide & iodide)
18 AVALANCHE AVALA (rev of A LAVA, a red flower) N (last letter of turN) CHE (Ernesto “Che” Guevara 1928–1967), commonly known as El Che or simply Che, was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, intellectual, guerrilla leader, diplomat, military theorist, and major figure of the Cuban Revolution.) This superb clue describing the answer as snowdrop and lava as red flower is my COD
19 SARGE Ins of R (middle letter of MORSE) in SAGE (learned)
20 PRESSURISED I was not too sure about the wordplay until earlybird NeilW (thank you) came to the rescue with ins of ESSUR (rev of RUSSEt apple) in PRISED (forced)
24 OLIVIA (B) OLIVIA, from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night
25 LIMA BEAN Ins of BE (to live) in *(animal)
27 CENTUPLE Ins of ENT *(ten) UP L (Roman numeral for 50) in CE (first and last letters of CurvE) multiply or increase a hundred times (adding two zero’s)

1 MURPHY’S LAW Tichy way of saying the LAW (policeman or Peeler) of MURPHY (a kind of potato) If anything can go wrong, it will go wrong.
2 ADDITIONAL *(Italian odd)
3 SNIPE First of a pair of similar dd clues
4 FUNKY CHICKEN Cha of FUN (entertainment) KY (Kentucky when Colonel Sanders of KFC fame is supposed to have come from) CHICKEN (what is fried) for a dance craze, done by tucking your hands under your armpits and flapping your “chicken wings” while doing the peck and scratch …. well before my time, I hasten to add :-)
6 AMETHYSTS Ins of THY (your) ST (stone) in *(same)
7,23 HALF-PINT Ins of ALF (little boy) P (quiet) in HINT (clue) slang for a very small person aka RUNT
8 DERV ha for diesel engine fuel oil [From diesel engined road vehicle]
11 BUSINESSLIKE Ins of NESS (head) in BUS I LIKE (my preferred transport)
13 MICROSLEEP *(compiler’s E, last letter of cluE)
14 DEPENDENCE Ins of PEN (writer) DEN (study) C (chapter) in DEE (The River of Chester) Chester is a city in Cheshire, England, lying on the River Dee, close to the border with Wales
21 ROAST The second of two similar dd
22 SOAP One can call this a dd or a cd … maybe the main reason why liquid soap is becoming more popular these days

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

28 Responses to “Guardian 25133 Paul – Do The Bossa Nova”

  1. NeilW says:

    Thanks UY. Tough one from Paul today, I thought and a bit short on laughs for him. I’m spoiled I guess and it seems churlish to complain.

    The apple is RUSSE(t) inside PRISED

  2. NeilW says:

    Should have said, of course, that RUSSE(t) is reversed.

  3. molonglo says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap, esp for the parsing of 9a. 11a for some reason was the last one in; best, as you say, was 18a.

  4. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Uncle Yap

    This was far too tough for me and, even though I had considered PRESSURISED, I couldn’t work it out.

    FUNKY CHICKEN and MASHED POTATO were new to me. I would never have guessed these in a million years. Paul must have dug really deep to find them. Wherever will he go next?

  5. Stella Heath says:

    I must be older than you, Bryan, because I remember the songs for both dances – though I never got to dance them, fortunately :)

    This was tough, and I needed the parsing of 18ac., 29ac. and 4d. Thanks UY, and NeilW.

  6. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog, Uncle Yap. I found this tough, too, and not as much fun as I would expect from Paul, but maybe that’s me not the puzzle. I’m also old enough to remember the dances :-)

  7. tupu says:

    Thanks UY and Paul

    Like NeilW I found this hard and not as amusing as some past offerings from this clever setter.

    I got mashed potato but thought 4d was funny chicken (NY instead of Kentucky). I did not know either of them were dances.

    1a, 12a and esp. 18a were my favourites. I did not properly understand the parsing of 17a and I thought that in 9a rant referred to laughing (not very obviously) and cut fringe was edgi(ng).

  8. Eileen says:

    This is the only funky dance I remember:

    I agree that this wasn’t quite such fun as usual but I liked 18ac and the surface of 19ac, with its reference to Lewis.

  9. Dave Ellison says:

    Curiously, in contrast to many above, I found this easier than the usual Paul; I agree about the mirth level, though I enjoyed 18a.

    3d was the last in, preceded by 4d. I thought I knew this because it was a Goodies’ song, but I now think I mistook that for FUNKY GIBBON.

  10. Dave Ellison says:

    Sorry, Eileen, I hadn’t checked your link till just now

  11. Scarpia says:

    Thanks UY.
    Super puzzle(as usual) from Paul.
    For the dances see – for the Funky Chicken a hit in the late sixties/early seventies(he also recorded the funky Penguin).

    Mashed potato I remember from Wilson Pickett’s “Land of a 1,000 Dances”

  12. sam says:

    Tanks for the post!

    I’m far too young to know the dances first hand, but did know of them – they’re both mentioned in ‘Shake your tailfeather’ (from the original Blues Brothers movie, and probably elsewhere).

  13. FumbleFingers says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap – good puzzle, good blog.

    Several words I wasn’t actually familiar with – RIANT (9a), MICROSLEEP, CENTUPLE… Also even now I don’t really get DEPENDENCE = “faith”, but the clues were all fair.

    Everyone else seems to be bemoaning the lack of “fun” in this one. I was kinda expecting more “smut” from Paul – but then I’d only be complaining about that if it was there.

  14. Stella Heath says:

    Hi Eileen @8. I’ve actually got a Goodies album, but I don’t think the Funky Gibbon is on it.

  15. Eileen says:

    Hi Stella

    I have rather ‘poignant’ memories of that song / dance: it was the custom for the leaving sixth formers at the school where I taught to put on a revue on the last day of the year. They ‘invited’ the staff [there was no getting out of it] to come up on stage to share in that one! :-)

  16. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap and congrats to all who completed this puzzle. Meat safe, hair slide, derv and microsleep were new to me. On the plus side, I did the Mashed Potato in college in the 60’s. Do I get extra credit?


  17. tupu says:

    Oh dear! This puzzle leaves me with a powerful reinforcement of my sense of loss as one who was that bit too old to enjoy the 1960s. Not only did I suffer from all the hang-ups of the 1950s and miss the sexual freedom, the drug scene,and the hippy revolution, I now realise that I also missed the ‘mashed potato’ and the ‘funky chicken’! Ah well, it’s just one of those days. But it’s not all bad, I broke a tooth last night and the dentist kindly glued it back again! Be thankful tupu for small mercies!

  18. stiofain says:

    Great xword poor Paul everyone expecting a bit of smut I thought AVALANCHE was a fantastic clue a standout among many other greats. Eileen you have painted a mental picture worthy of Rufus or indeed Paul I think I will be hearing the funky gibbon in future when I read your posts.

  19. Eileen says:

    Hi stiofain

    It was long, long before YouTube videos so I’m sorry [?] I can’t supply one. You’ll just have to use your imagination.

    And tupu – aahhh! I know you don’t like to feel neglected – but I reckon I’m not very far behind you. :-)

  20. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thank you, Uncle Yap, for your fantastic blog.
    [But please, be careful – in all your enthusiasm for the puzzle – with what you say in the title. After I saw “Bossa Nova” (not having solved the crossword yet) , it was clear there would be a mini dance theme]

    Just like many others we found this a tough one.
    And indeed, it wasn’t the most sparkling of Paul’s offerings.
    However – unlike FumbleFingers – I didn’t miss the lack of ‘smut’.

    That said, there were lots of splendid clues, fully up to Paul’s reputation.
    We loved (ah well, something like that) the use ‘bus I like’ in 11d’s BUSINESSLIKE.
    And the FUNKY CHICKEN was fine too – one could almost smell the greasy KFC kitchen.
    12ac gave us a brilliant surface for the HITLER YOUTH – but these people themselves were nót that brilliant, of course.
    [and, UY, I must admit that that particular Fawlty Towers episode is not one of my favourites, even though this is Cleese in optima forma (btw, I am a huge Python fan)]
    Not many of you mention SPOOR (15ac), but we thought it is another winner.
    Top of the Bill, though, everyman’s favourite 18ac (AVALANCHE).

    MEAT SAFE (1ac) and PRESSURISED (20ac) – well, we got them without fully understanding why. We had never heard of Mafeking, and in the latter we thought it had to be ‘pressed’ around something (but ‘siru?’ didn’t lead us to an apple, not even a forbidden one).

    We didn’t like SARGE (19ac) for various reasons.
    And in 14d we found “The River of Chester” a bit contrived (see 13d) for just DEE.
    It would have been a really good clue when “T R o C” were an existing book indeed, but we couldn’t remember a title like that (my PinC is from Chester, ya know).

    Perhaps we all expect a bit more (too much?) from Paul, whatever that is – but we thought it was another very good crossword

    For all you out there, here’s another You Tube video:

    Oh, and welcome back, Scarpia!!

  21. Carrots says:

    Thanks UY and Paul. But one or two bones to pick here. SARGE is an abbreviation not indicated. SAGE is not “learned” it is a noun. MICROSLEEP is just silliness for a nap. CENTUPLE is tedious embroidery. DEPENDENCE = Faith: why? SPOOR is a marker, not necessarily a trail. All in all, a pretty disappointing offering from Paul, who is capable (as we all know) of elegant and beguiling settings. Although this puzzle was a “two pinta” (not easy) its solution left no sense of satisfaction.

  22. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Sorry, you’re disappointed, Carrots.
    Re SPOOR: Chambers gives us “A track or trail, esp that of a hunted animal”.
    The same Mrs Chambers is a bit more serious about MICROSLEEP than you are:
    “An episode lasting a few seconds during which stimuli are not perceived, associated with narcolepsy or sleep deprivation” – so, I think ‘Unconscious moment’ is OK.
    SARGE [although we didn’t like it] is in Chambers too, as an officer. Moreover, SAGE can be an adjective meaning ‘wise’.
    And to make it even worse, for DEPENDENCE at least the Chambers Thesaurus gives us ‘faith’.

  23. Thomas99 says:

    Belated thanks for this blog (I took all day to do the crossword so didn’t see it until today). But what does “tichy” mean (1d explanation)?

  24. Carrots says:

    Hi Sil….and thanks for the fruits of your researches. I often cannot be bothered as I try to solve puzzles without resources like Google, OED & Chambers. I should check possible definitions before shooting my mouth off!!

    Thomas99…..Where does “tichy” appear?

  25. Val says:

    “tichy” is an UY neologism, see Key to abbreviations under blog:

    “tichy = tongue-in-cheek type”

    It’s used in the explanation for 1dn. It also had me stumped until someone pointed out the key to me.

  26. Gerry says:

    I know the mashed potato from The Blues Brothers, I didn’t struggle with the rest, much, and didn’t really like ‘sarge’ as an officer, but I suppose an NCO is a type of officer.

  27. Carrots says:

    Val: many thanks for the enlightenment. I`d already pigeon-holed clues of this type as “Googlies” although, for the life of me, I cannot think why!

  28. maarvarq says:

    “Microsleep” should very familiar to Aussies, as we have periodic road safety campaigns that bang on about them. I suppose we do more long-distance driving that Brits do :)

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