Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,177 / Paul

Posted by Eileen on November 25th, 2010


I’m a late substitute today, so apologies for any errors or omissions. I had plenty of smiles – and some outright laughs – with this entertaining Paul puzzle. There’s just one query – my second suspected ‘misprint’ of the week!

1 DISTAFF: reversal of FAT [large] + [SID [Little]  + F[emale]: Araucaria gave this ‘comedy’ duo as a solution just a couple of weeks ago,.
DOODAH: DO + OD [reversal of DO {from left and right}] + AH [sigh]
9   TRUMPERY: RUMP [bottom] + [widdecomb]E in TRY [attempt] – topical, typical Pauline clue!
10  MILLER: double definition: Arthur Miller, husband of Marilyn Monroe and the character who told one of ‘The Canterbury Tales’.
12  LADY HAMILTON: anagram of  N [Nelson’s ultimate letter]  + ALLY HOT MAID – another saucy one but I’d better not call it & lit!
15  HORSESHOER: R[ide] S[tallions] E[very] S[teed]in HO-HOER [Father Christmas, perhaps] – this made me laugh
17  AGO: A GO [turn]
19  FIT: double definition
20  LOTUS EATER: T[ime] inside OUSE, the familiar ‘flower’, all inside LATER [some years on]
22  ORLANDO BLOOM: ORLANDO [setter – for once not I or ME or ‘dog’ but the Guardian setter, Mr Curl] + BLOOM [flowers]
26  IN A ROW: [as in ‘three years running’]: I + NAR [RAN backwards] + OW [ouch]
27  STRIDENT: reversal of DIRT [filth] in SENT [broadcast]
28 RIYADH: anagram of HARDY + I[reland]: I held myself up in this corner  this morning, doing the puzzle before I got up, without reference books and so misspelling this answer!
20  PANTHER: H[ot] inside PANTER [hot dog]!

DATE: anagram of T[o]AD + [marriag[E]
3,2 ALPHABET SOUP: anagram of PAUL HAS TO BE P[illocks] – a superb and hilarious surface
4   FORAY: with those letters, a Scrabble player would give a lot FOR A ‘Y’ – giving a total of at least 44, without any bonus points
6   OSIRIS: this is the puzzling one: OSIRIS is the deity and the parsing would seem to be O[ld] + SIRI[u]S – but SIRIUS is a star, not a stir [25 dn]. Has Paul misread his own clue [Gaufrid’s suggestion] – or has anyone any other idea?
7   DILETTANTE: I [single] + LETT [European] in DANTE [poet]
8   HER INDOORS: anagram of IN RHODES OR: another laugh out loud one: ‘The wife’ [Dutch]  as referred to by her husband to his friends – popularized by Arthur Daley in British TV series ‘Minder’
11  GATEAU: GATE + AU [gold
13  CHIFFONIER: H[osiery] in anagram of OFFICER IN  – yet another lovely surface!
14 FRITILLARY: TILL [money here] in FRIARY [place of order]
16  HOOPOE: O {duck] + OP [work] in HOE [weed]
18  DEVOTION: reversal of O [love this time] + IT in DEVON
21  UNSOLD: U [you] + NS [bridge partners]  + OLD [past it]
23  LIT UP: indirect anagram of TULIP [bulb]
24  LEAH: hidden in peopLE A H[arlot]
25  STIR: double / cryptic definition

75 Responses to “Guardian 25,177 / Paul”

  1. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Eileen
    Many thanks for standing in at short notice.

  2. tupu says:

    Thanks Eileen!! and Paul

    An enjoyable puzzle where it was sometimes easier to know ‘what’ than ‘why’.

    I too was most puzzled by 6d. It seemd that it had to be Osiris but parsing proved very hard. In the end I decided that ‘not widely’ =
    ‘no t’ and that ‘accepted as’ = ‘is’ but remained unsure about such a subjective approach to existence.

    Some excellent clues. Getting ‘doodah’ was fun and parsing ‘horseshoer’ (especially) and ‘lotus eater’ raised a smile.

    In 4d I first tried ‘sorty’ but then realised it was wrong.

    29a , 3 2d, 14d, and 21d also amused.

  3. tupu says:

    ps re 6d. Should add no ‘t’ in stir.

  4. Thomas99 says:

    Interesting to see you are as baffled by 6d as I was. My parsing was the same as tupu’s, but I wasn’t satisfied with it. Strange. But a very good puzzle overall of course.

  5. Thomas99 says:

    Actually, I was more baffled than you, Eileen – your misreading theory is very clever. I’m almost convinced…

  6. Terry says:

    I’m often a reader but usually far too late in the day to make a contribution. So thanks for the annotations and here goes with a pitifully small point: I think the 1d ‘toad’ is standing up -‘rampant’- rather than anagrammed.

  7. Tom Hutton says:

    I think 23dn might simply be a double definition with a bulb being able to be lit up and wasted being drunk or lit up (as in the fleet). I think your suggestion of tulip is clever but not perhaps what was in the setter’s mind.

  8. beermagnet says:

    My theory is that the 6D OSIRIS Clue was forgotten when the 25D STAR clue was altered and the changed to STIR.
    As to who would do such a thing and what checking was done afterwards I couldn’t possibly comment.

  9. Eileen says:

    Hi Thomas

    I can’t claim the credit! When Gaufrid asked me to do the blog, I had to fess up that I couldn’t explain that one and, as I said, that was his suggestion, which makes perfect sense to me, ie that Paul wrote in 25dn first, then later misread it as ‘star’ – or perhaps he initially had ‘star’ as the answer and later changed the clue. Either way, it doesn’t say much for the editing! – or perhaps there is some other explanation! :-)

    Welcome, Terry – and thank you. Not pitiful at all – well spotted. [It makes a lovely picture!] I know what rampant means but I think, in my haste, i must have been thinking of ‘rampaging’!

  10. crosser says:

    Thanks Eileen. Thanks Paul. I interpreted 1d as Terry did.

  11. EB says:

    Thanks Eileen & Paul.

    Just one question ~ how did you get the ‘Scrabble’ total to be 44 without any bonus points? If you mean just the total of the ‘face’ values, I make it 25 without double/triple letter/word points. 😉

    Assuming standard Scrabble rules that is.

  12. crosser says:

    My last remark crossed with Eileen’s at 9. So we all agree.

  13. Chris says:

    A couple of points:

    1. The diminutive one in Little and Large is called “Syd” – not “Sid” – so 1 across doesn’t really work

    2. 23 across *could* be meant as an indirect anagram plus definition, but it also works perfectly well as a simpler double definition (“Bulb may be” and “wasted”). It’s possible that Paul was quite aware of both possibilities, of course.

  14. Eileen says:

    We crossed, beermagnet!

    Tom – I think you’re right; again, put it down to undue haste. I was, like you, thinking wasted = drunk = lit up but I’ve seen a similar clue with lit up / tulip and think I misled myself. [I did apologise in advance!

  15. Chris says:

    And to be very pedantic, with regards to 4 down, you would never be in possession of “JAZZIL” when playing Scrabble, as there’s only one Z!

  16. liz says:

    Thanks for stepping in Eileen and thanks for the blog. 6dn puzzled me, too, and I’m afraid I missed seeing the wordplay (and the laugh) at 15ac. 9ac made me smile and so did 4dn, 8dn and 29ac. Like you, I mispelled 28ac at first. All good fun from Paul.

    Happy Thanksgiving to those (like me) who will be celebrating this evening!

  17. liz says:

    Chris @ 15. I wondered about the two Zs too!

  18. Eileen says:

    EB: – I did make a mistake [I hastily wrote down, from the instruction book] the number of A tiles [9] instead of the value [1] and the same with L [4 instead of 1]] but according to my [quite old] Scrabble set, J=8 + A=1 + Z=10 + Z=10 + I=1 + L=1 + Y=2 = 33?

    And of course you’re right, anyway, Chris!

    [I think it’s time for me to go and lie down]

    Have a very happy evening, liz! :-)

  19. Eileen says:

    And, of course, everyone else for whom this is a special day!

  20. liz says:

    Thanks Eileen :-)

  21. don says:

    Can’t find Sid Little on the internet and can’t find dystaff in any of my dictionaries!

    Good fun, though.

  22. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks Eileen for blogging on short notice. My first entry in the puzzle was 10A – ARTHUR! My reasoning was that the clue used Monroe’s first name so I should enter Miller’s first. Weren’t tales written about that King? When DILLETANTE didn’t fit with ARTHUR

  23. grandpuzzler says:

    Oops, hit the submit button too early.

    …I knew it was time for a rethink.

    Cheers and Happy Thanksgiving

  24. Derek Lazenby says:

    Nearly finished apart from last few. Didn’t understand half of what I did get, but still fuzzy. Laughed more at the surfaces than the answers.

  25. molonglo says:

    Thanks Eileen for a great blog, and explaining the Father Christmas bit. I made steady progress on this with the afternoon TV on but it took a hat trick of top clues – 5a, 13d and then 8d to break the back of it. It was the Dutch in the latter that threw me – wily Paul. Whose 6d, as those above point out, shows that things can still go wrong. All very satisfying.

  26. Brian Harris says:

    Enjoyed this today.

    Share everyone’s confusion re. 6dn. And that is a bit of a blunder with Syd Little. But didn’t ruin a very agreeable puzzle.

  27. morpheus says:

    Thanks for the blog Eileen. I had a slightly different reading to yours for 23d. A bulb may be lit up, and lit up is a slang term for being wasted in a narcotic sense.

  28. Eileen says:

    Indeed, Brian Harris [and don], [if we’re right].

    Two ‘mistakes’ in a week seemed bad but two in one puzzle?

    Lovely idea, grandpuzzler – but I think they’re strictly ‘idylls’. :-)

    Hi Derek – it’s lovely to be hearing from you again. Cracking surfaces, as you say.

    And Morpheus – I think we dealt with that point in comments 7, 13 and 14.

  29. morpheus says:

    ah yes, skim read the comments with undue haste. Nice puzzle. By the way, have the puzzles been getting easier recently (after than rather hard week three weeks or so ago) or is it just me?

  30. Stella says:

    Thanks for stepping in at short notice, Eileen. I’d been waiting for the blog all day, so someone could explain 15ac . ho-ho! – and 6d. Well, you got half-way there :)

    It looks like Paul had an off day when he compiled this, but it was fun, all the same.

  31. Husky says:

    My reading of 6d:

    Old = O
    25 = STIR
    not = no T
    widely accepted = industry standard = IS

    So it’s OSTIRIS without the T.

  32. mhl says:

    Thanks for an excellent post, Eileen, and for doing it at such short notice. There were a couple of clues I couldn’t parse here, so thanks for the explanations.

    I enjoyed this – plenty of smiles, in particular from HO-HOER, but found it tricky.

    Incidentally, Paul mentioned on Twitter (!) that he was trying something special with this crossword today:!/crypticpaul/status/7335111787806720

    (Thanks to Shuchi for pointing out that Paul is now on Twitter  :)) Incidentally, I see that Mick Hodgkin has asked him via that medium if there was a stir/star typo, so maybe we’ll get an answer that way…

  33. sidey says:

    I suspect the off day wasn’t Paul’s but the Editor’s.

  34. Eileen says:

    Hi mhl

    Well, let’s hope so. I’m afraid I’m too much of an old [sic] fuddy duddy to know anything about Twitter, so I’ll leave enlightenment to others.

    Time was when Paul used to drop in here with the odd comment, but not for a long time.

    Hi Husky [I don’t recognise the name, so welcome, if you’re a new commenter].

    That’s an intriguing suggestion which does hold water. I’m not familiar with IS – we’re more familiar with widely accepted = U in Crypticland – but you could well be right.

  35. Roger says:

    Thanks Eileen. Here was a good old cheery puzzle, just right for a cold grey day like this.
    ‘Trouble in Rhodes …..’ for 8d might perhaps have opened the clue up a bit by introducing a little uncertainty as to the intended anagrind. Just a thought.

  36. tupu says:

    Hi Eileen

    I’ve been out and have only just come back to this.

    re 6d. I think the case for a mistake is a reasonable one. A key point not explicitly mentioned (as far as I have noticed after a quick scan), is that the ‘u’ out of S means ‘accepted’ (at least by the ‘upper’ classes. I did not take this on board when I first saw your comment.

    I like the ‘no t’ idea but it leaves us with ‘accepted as’ as a bit of problem. Thomas99 and I (@2 and 3) both worried about this and Husky tries again with it.

    But Sidey’s suggestion that it is editorial is a little hard to see since the whole clue 25a as well as the answer would have to have been changed – unless the editor missed a crucial email?

    It will be inteersting to see if anything comes out of twitter as mhl suggests.

  37. tupu says:

    Sorry Eileen we crossed again. :) And sorry Husky, I missed your point first time. So maybe we are there eventually between us?

  38. Husky says:

    Thanks Eileen. I’m not an entirely new commenter, but I’m very infrequent. I don’t have a computer at work, so by the time I get here there’s not much to add.

    I have to admit IS is a new one on me as well. I put in OSIRIS like everyone else, because it fits. I figured out the rest of the wordplay and then looked up IS in an acronym dictionary. Industry Standard was one of the many, many options. Not the most obvious way to represent a familiar combination of letters, but then obvious has never been the Paul way, has it?

  39. mhl says:

    Eileen: I don’t think it’s a question of fuddy-duddiness (?) in the slightest – Twitter is really very irritating to use, and I couldn’t honestly recommend it…

    Anyway, to attempt to get myself vaguely back on topic – I’m intereseted in what it is that people think Paul might mean by “trying something a bit different” – I was looking out for a Nina or a theme as a result, but nothing jupmed out at me.

  40. Eileen says:

    Hi again mhl

    Indeed! As I implied, it would be really nice if Paul would communicate with us solvers in the old-fashioned way, as he used to!

    [I’m not sure that I remember him as being a Nina specialist but I’m willing to be corrected.]

  41. tupu says:

    HI Eileen

    Has the type of process that would be involved in ‘not widely’ = no ‘t’ been used before?

  42. EB says:

    Eileen #18 – thanks for the reply.

    I only asked the question in the first place to see if anyone would spot the double Z ‘trap’ but as a couple of people have pointed out there is only one Z in a standard Scrabble set.
    To make JAZZILY you would need to use a ‘blank’ tile as one Z; then scores are J-8, A-1, Z-10, blank-0; I-1, L-1 & Y-4(not 2) making 25.
    I’ve only played Scrabble a few times in my life but found out about the Z many years ago when taking part in a quiz team in a quiz to raise funds for my son’s school. One question was “How many points would you get for the word QUIZZES in Scrabble?” – we answered 34 as did some others, no one answered 24; we were all surprised when the question master mentioned the 1 Z/use a blank for the other part. :-)

  43. tupu says:

    Also I am puzzled that ‘u’ has to mean ‘widely accepte’ in the mistake idea. It derives from ‘upper’ and means narrowly accepted by an elite class.

  44. Orson says:

    re the 6 down mystery – it works if Paul did indeed mean ‘star’ rather than ‘stir’, and ‘not widely accepted’ indicates that one loses the letter U (as in U and non-U).

  45. tupu says:

    Hi Orson
    We crossed. U does not properly mean ‘widely accepted’

  46. Orson says:

    Hi tupu – agreed, though by extension, non-U could indeed mean ‘widely accepted’ (ie commonly done by the hoi polloi), so ‘not widely accepted’ could – at a pinch – still mean ‘drop the letter U’. But we’re bending over backwards!

  47. Eileen says:

    Hi EB

    I concede utterly. I was wrong even to attempt the score – especially with limited time – which led to my making a big mistake. The clue stands up on its own merits – apart from the double Z, but that’s all part of the fun. I’m sorry that I may have unintentionally spoiled this clue with too much information – I thought it was great!

    And thanks, everyone, for your indulgence. I was very pleased to step in for this one, because it was the most enjoyable Paul I’ve done in ages, I think. I just wish we could get the niggles cleared up! [I’m with sidey @33]

  48. tupu says:

    Hi Orson
    Thanks :) I’m not sure how that works however far backwards we bend!
    The whole thing is intriguing though. Mistakes are made but I usually find they don’t occur when I suspect they do!This could be a mistake, but it is not just a typo – which would be most likely as happened with Rufus. The whole 25a clue as well would have to have been changed. It’s still possible but ……?

  49. Dave Ellison says:

    Well, I couldn’t see 6d either, but taking the outer letters off (“not widely”) PRISON gives RISO, which is almost there; not convincing though.

  50. Sil van den Hoek says:

    It looks like it’s all about Mistakes at the moment.
    And yes, these two clues aren’t right.
    And yes, 1ac is Paul’s fault.
    And yes, 6d/25d is a communication mistake too [whose fault thát is, is unclear though].

    Isn’t it funny that a puzzle with two mistakes in it can still be such a joy to solve?
    Yesterday, I “associated” myself with Crucible and the likes.
    Today I have to confess once more that I really like(d) the playfulness and wit of Paul.
    I can’t be bothered too much about 1ac/6d [and Scrabble] – no one’s perfect and we all make mistakes.

    There’s so much right in this crossword that I would say: vintage Paul.
    [all right then, with a lower case v :)]

  51. Eileen says:


    “Isn’t it funny that a puzzle with two mistakes in it can still be such a joy to solve?”

    My point absolutely! :-)

  52. flashling says:

    Helped a couple in the pub finish this in dead tree version, they had stir/osiris already so don’t know if on line version was different. Getting the Santa clue was a throw the paper away and go “oh god no!” moment.

    Grauniad having mispirnts c’est its knot sew.

  53. Eileen says:

    Hi everybody, and thanks again

    I have emailed HS requesting clarification re 6dn, so let’s see what happens.

  54. fredb says:

    Rightly, or more probably wrongly, I read “stir not” as missing a letter or letters and OS as obviously “widely”. Perhaps a new puzzle to make sense of what may well be a misprint or in Grauniad decipherment, misprints?

  55. Dynamic says:

    Thanks to all. Not surprised to see so many comments. I loved the crossword and really seem to be on Paul’s wavelength w.r.t. humour etc.

    My thought for “something different today” is the use of the ‘fill-in-the-blank’ cluing, as in 4d (FOR-A-Y) and 19a (FIT) which I enjoyed.

    I wasn’t aware of the spelling of Syd Little, and while there was a Sidney Little, an architect/Civil Engineer who had some importance as “concrete king” in the town of Hastings and in the D-Day landings I can’t imagine it’s him.

    Being none-the-wiser I thoroughly enjoyed the puzzle, but was confused about 6d.

  56. Dad'sLad says:

    Thanks Eileen.

    Sorry to stir things up further, but in 4d if you got the y in Scrabble to be able to add the word ‘jazzily’ to the board – even using a blank as a z – you would get a higher score still from the 50 point bonus for using all 7 tiles……

    Time for bed.

  57. stiofain says:

    Very mysterious.
    It isnt a Grauniad style misprint and the announcement from Paul on twitter yesterday
    “Do have a go at my puzzle in tomorrow’s Guardian – I’ve tried something a little different.”
    only deepens the mystery as all other clues seem standard and I dont think the scrabble clue or the _ clues can qualify as this.
    His twitter message today was

    “Tweet me if you spot an Erato in cryptic puzzles, and we’ll get the Eratometer over 100 spots by Christmas.”
    11 hours ago

    crypticpaul John Halpern
    “I’d like today to give birth to the Eratometer. Erato appears far too often as an entry in puzzles.”
    16 hours ago

    Eileen Id advise you against joining twitter it is extremely annnoying and indeed full of twits.
    Sil I agree was a pleasant solve even with the “mistake”
    I tweeted him there (remember the recent clue?) but if cryptica is anything to go by I prob wont get a reply

  58. tupu says:

    Hi mhl and al
    :) What about a spottable and solvable deliberate mistake? Now that really would be ‘a bit different’!

  59. Eileen says:

    Good morning all

    I’ve received this reply from the Crossword Editor:

    Sorry. I was away yesterday. Yes. A mistake got through. He was thinking “old star” ie O/SIRI(u)S.

    Will get the clue changed later today in the archive.


    [Stiofain, thanks, but I have no intention of joining Twitter but, from what you say, it sounds as if tupu’s last comment may be right – except there were two!]

  60. tupu says:

    Hi Eileen
    Many thanks. You gaufrid et al did very well to spot it and solve it! Congrats.

    It’s hard to see how it happened though. I suppose he must somehow have thought the answer to 25d was star – rather than having it there originally with a quite different clue but one never knows.

    We’ve still not heard of the innovation or have we?

    The parsing must then be o(ld) + sirius minus ‘u’ = universal.

  61. Brian Harris says:

    @ EB,

    Love the Scrabble question re “QUIZZES” – but wouldn’t you also get a 50 point bonus for playing a seven letter word?

  62. William says:

    Pitifully late to join the debate, but since our esteemed leader has waded in, couldn’t 6d easily be amended without changing 25d by simply changing one letter?

    ie “Old 25 not widely accepted is deity”.

    Then it parses O + STIR without the T with insert of IS.

    Just a thought.

  63. MikeC says:

    William @62

    Nice idea! What about the “accepted”, though? Wouldn’t it be better without that? Not ultra smooth, I admit, but it just about works.

  64. Stella says:

    As the debate seems to be continuing, I’d like to add my two cents.

    I like William’s suggestion, but I think the suerfluous word in that case would be ‘widely’

  65. William says:

    Hello MikeC & Stella @ #63 & 64.

    Thank you for your comments, but I was parsing the ‘widely’ as being directed to ‘NOT’ – as in NO T.

    In this way, it’s not redundant.

    Am I clutching at straws?

  66. Eileen says:

    Hi All

    Re my Comment 59: this amended clue is now in the Guardian crossword archive: 6 Old star not widely accepted as deity (6)

  67. Stella says:

    Hi William,

    I t could be understood that way, but NOT= no T is quite acceptable on its own, IMO.

    Hi Eileen.

    As you say in your email, not quite satisfactory :)

  68. Geoff says:

    Of course, you’d only get 50 extra points if yours was the first play of the game. Otherwise, you’d be looking for a Y already on the board in an open position, wouldn’t you?

    I just love how these blogs go off on such irrelevant topics…

  69. Huw Powell says:

    A nice puzzle, started off as a complete blank with very strange clue surfacing, one of those I solved one slog at a time – but managed to finish. Came here to answer two questions I had. The first was the obvious problem with OSIRIS, but all I missed was parsing “not” into “no T”. The “widely accepted as” = IS.

    The other one was 1A. I was surprised that wasn’t the “typo” Eileen was referring to. I also liked that I had a vague memory of the comedy duo from that earlier puzzle. I was hoping “DYSTAFF” was an alternate archaic spelling, but, sadly, no.

    Thanks Paul for the very nice puzzle – wait, did I miss it or was there no cheekiness in this one – and Eileen for the blog, and others for helping with/confirming my two minor issues.

  70. frances says:

    I hope someone’s still answering… Why does ‘Lett’=’European’?

    Ridiculously late, I know, but I was enjoying it and reluctant to give up. Thanks, Eileen, for explaining a lot of clues that I couldn’t parse.

  71. Gaufrid says:

    Hi frances
    From Chambers under ‘Lett’ – “a member of a people inhabiting Lettland (now Latvia); a native or citizen of Latvia”.

  72. frances says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid. I must get an up-to-date version. My 1998 one doesn’t give it!

  73. Gordon Roy says:

    I too loved the crossword, and have a couple of very late comments.

    I took it that ‘U’ as in ‘widely accepted’ refers back to the old method of classifying films. A ‘U’ film was able to be seen by anyone. The alternative mentioned in the blog that ‘U’ is from being as accepted by the Upper Class is inaccurate I think as ‘U’ and ‘non U’ meant what was discussed as being ‘In fashion’ or ‘Out of fashion’ – fashion being what the ‘Sloane Rangers’ did rather than what they wore.

    Secondly re: the Scrabble clue. Another twist not noticed by anyone is that JAZZILY is NOT an accepted word in Scrabble – not in competitions anyhow. I have the ‘official’ scrabble dictionary – produced by Merriam Webster and it lists Jazz, Jazzed, Jazzer, Jazzing, Jazzes or Jazzy, but NOT Jazzily. So, if you put Jazzily down you would get 0 points and lose your turn!!

    The incorrect definition of 6D also appeared in the Guardian Weekly, which threw me for a while and is not surprising as they regularly make mistakes, most usually by failing to get the setter’s name right, put the setter in at all or miss ‘special instructions’. It all makes for making the crossword, far more difficult. The issue was dated December 3, 2010, so they had over a week to correct this before publication, but didn’t, so it is yet another Guardian ‘balls-up’

    By the way Eileen I did ask Gaufrid many months ago to pass on my thanks to you for not only doing the best blogs, but also having the most entertaining comments to other people’s blogs. I’m just repeating this here in case it didn’t get through to you.

    Hopefully in the New Year I’ll find time [here is the USA] to do the crossword each day as it appears online so you might get used to seeing more comments from me.

    Have a good Christmas or [as they irritatingly say over here] ‘Happy holidays’.

  74. Eileen says:

    Hi Gordon Roy

    As has been said before, it’s never too late to make a comment, in that at least the blogger sees it as s/he gets an email of every comment on their blog. It may very well be that no one else sees it – or, indeed that you don’t return here yourself! – but, if you do, many thanks for the personal comment. 😉

    My reading of U was the same as yours – in fact, looking back at the blog I see I didn’t even spell it out, since U in Crosswordland invariably means ‘widely accepted’.

    Re your doing the puzzles earlier next year: it seems to me that US readers have a real advantage over us here. They can download the puzzle in their early evening and have it finished long before we over here wake up! Anyway, here’s hoping to hear more from you in the New Year.

    In the meantime, Happy Christmas!

  75. Gordon Roy says:

    Hi Eileen

    Thanks for your comment; I do check to see if any of mine get responded to.

    Regarding the Scrabble info I gave. I see my new Collins does give Jazzily as a word, as does a very old Chambers that I have. I double checked the official Scrabble dictionary and it definitely doesn’t list Jazzily as a word. Perhaps if there is an official UK Scrabble dictionary that would be in. My wife entered competitions for scrabble many years ago – before she met me – and tells me that for International competitions they have rules to allow words from both the UK and the USA for example. So color and colour would both be accepted. That must mean there is an agreed UK list of accepted words, but I have never seen it.

    I find it very frustrating to play scrabble with her too as I always lose. I often put down UK spellings which she ‘challenges’ as we had not agreed to play by ‘International’ rules. Even worse is that she has memorised ALL the 2 letter words. I refuse to use any word that I don’t know the meaning of, or in my opinion is a bit iffy. To have a word such as OE being defined as the ‘local name for a whirlwind in the Faroe Islands’ is a bit much for me. Every time there is a new scrabble dictionary that comes out they brag that they have added another 5-10 2-letter words. They must scour the globe for these. Eventually every possible combination of 2-letter words will be in and that will end that little game!

    I very nearly added a comment a few months ago when the conversation was on grammar, which you were very articulate about. I can see the UK blindly following the US on horrible changes to accepted speech and written grammar. For example the adverb is virtually dead over here, adjectives being used almost always instead. It grates on me and I sincerely hope my kids back in Stockport NEVER pick up such bad habits. As both did English at University I have a chance.

    Best wishes


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