Fifteensquared

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Guardian 25228 Paul …Make Your Armpit Your Charmpit

Posted by Uncle Yap on January 25th, 2011

Uncle Yap.

Today I felt quite dense and took a very long time to finish off Paul’s puzzle and even then had problems understanding some of the wordplay. Fortunately, I have the eight hour advantage and a very good friend, fellow-cruciverbalist and drinking partner, Dr Gurmukh Singh whom I consulted. He set me right in some of the parsing; Dr G, the next round of GlenMorangie is on me.

ACROSS
1 MUSCLE Ins of S (last letter of defenders) & C (first letter of clinical) in MULE (cross from a donkey and a horse)
4 CANARD Ins of AN in CARD (king, perhaps)
9,27 COLE PORTER COLE (general name for plants of the cabbage family; hence food) PORTER (drink) “Night and Day” is a popular song by Cole Porter. It was written for the 1932 musical play Gay Divorce. It is perhaps Porter’s most popular contribution to the Great American Songbook and has been recorded by dozens of artists.
10 MARASCHINO MARA, half the letters of MARATHON (a race of 26 miles and 385 yards; so half that would be around 13 miles) plus *(so inch) By a rare co-incidence, yesterday’s Times had a similar clue (but in the plural) Chairman’s getting drunk on huge liquers (11) Defintely my COD
11 PAWNEE PAW (hand) NEE (once named aka maiden name)
12 AXILLARY Cha of A X (symbol for kiss) ILL (sick) MARY (girl) minus first letter, hence topless. I wonder why Paul did not think of HILLARY and clue topless former First Lady or topless US Secretary of State? I still remember an advertisement for a deodorant from years ago – Make your armpit your charmpit ! Eileen, see, I have taken your advice, definitely no connection to any of the answers.
13,20 GESTATION PERIOD *(TO GO A PRESIDENT plus I, one)
15 ANTI-ROLL BAR AN TIROL (Austrian state although it is more commonly spelled as TYROL) LBA (alternate letters from LiByA) R (right)
16 PLUG dd
17 LEG THEORY Ins of EG (for example) THE in LORY (parrot) In cricket,  the policy of bowling short-pitched leg-side balls persistently at the batsman’s body with a large number of leg-side fielders close to the wicket
21 RYE BREAD *(DRY A BEER) I wonder why dense?
22 BROLLY Ins of ROLL (flow) in BY. Brolly is slang for umbrella
24 FLEA CIRCUS *(CC, 2×100 FAILURES)
25  ABBA father (applied to God) (); a Syriac or Coptic bishop.[Aramaic abba, retained in the Greek New Testament and its translations]
26 SOLIDI rha for the chief Roman silver coin under the Republic, divided into ten asses (about 8d); translated penny in the New Testament, hence the use of d for penny (before the introduction of decimal coinage).

DOWN
1 MOORAGE A tichy way of saying Moo Rage (madness in cows) Parking fee indeed!
2 STEIN With PHYLLIS (answer to 16Down) sounds like Philistine (barbarian)
3 LAMBERT Ins of AMBER (in a set of traffic lights. the middle one between red and green) in LT (first and last letters if light) unit of brightness, one lumen per square centimetre.
5 ASSAIL ASS (idiot) AIL (trouble)
6 ASH BLONDE *(ONE’S BALD Head) Thanks to Dr G
7 DENARII Rev of I (one) IRAN (country) ED (first letters of excavate digging)
8 BREAK ONE’S DUCK *(BACK DO SEEK RUN)
14 THUMBNAIL Ins of HUMAN (person) with B substituted for A (from A to B) in TAIL (end)
16 PHYLLIS Rev of SILLY (ridiculous) HP (popular brown sauce in the UK)
18 TABASCO Ins of S (first letter of squid) in TABAC (a store licensed to sell tobacco products in France) plus O (duck)
23 OP ART O (round) PART (component)

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

34 Responses to “Guardian 25228 Paul …Make Your Armpit Your Charmpit”

  1. Dr. Gurmukh says:

    6Down anagram of ‘ones bald’ with
    h(ead)

  2. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks Paul, Uncle Yap and Dr G! 16D – so hp is a popular brown sauce in UK. Thanks for that explanation. I was trying to make horsepower somehow equal sauce.

    Cheers…

  3. molonglo says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap and Paul, good stuff, both. THUMBNAIL was my last, and only now (from UY) do I understand why. Your Phyllis should have two els – but I never heard of this Ms Stein (is she called “steen”, if so, doesn’t work). Some lovely anagrams: applause esp for 13,20 and 24a – and for 1a while we’re about it. Boo, still to bodyline, the infamous leg theory of 17a, and Douglas Jardine.

  4. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Uncle Yap this sure was a toughie.

    ‘Night and Day’ (1946) was also a fictionalised biopic of Cole Porter which starred Cary Grant.

  5. malc95 says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap, and thanks Paul for a very witty puzzle.

    UY – 21a Rye bread does have a pretty dense consistency.

  6. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Uncle Yap, and Paul for a rather tougher [but very enjoyable] weekday workout than usual.

    Hi molonglo

    Re 2dn: the definition is ‘mug’, i.e. STEIN, the English pronunciation of which sounds like the ‘stine’ of Philistine’.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beer_stein

  7. malc95 says:

    2d, 16d – There is an art gallery named Phyllis Stein in Los Angeles. I don’t know if they specialise in 23d!

  8. jim says:

    Thanks for the detailed blog Uncle Yap, especially for the explanation of THUMBNAIL. And thanks Paul for an entertaining but scrupulously fair puzzle (unlike yesterday’s!).

  9. walruss says:

    An enjoyable puzzle but is Paul at his best in recent times? I am not sure, but I did like some of the clues here, including MARASCHINO, although the Times one is better, LEG THEORY and BREAK ONES DUCK. Still a cut above some of the Guardian stablers.

  10. tupu says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap and Paul

    A good blog. I failed to understand ‘mara’ but felt good to see the parsing of thumbnail.

    Some nice misdirection. I thought for a time that 1a and 1d must begin with P!

    My favourites were 13a, 24a, 6a, and 14a.

    Re philistine. OED gives English pronunciation of the ending as ‘t-eye-n’ and US as both ‘t-eye-n’ and ‘teen’. For stein it gives ‘sht -eye -n’. Chambers gives this and also ‘st-eye-n’ and ‘steen’. So it looks as if both are OK. For some (irrational?) reason, I have a marginal preference for Philist-eye-ns for the people but either as an adjective.

    re 11. WE seem to be getting a lot of Native Americans these days. :) My years sitting in the cinema were not totally wasted.

    An excellent puzzle altogether.

  11. Martin H says:

    Yes, good stuff. I think the ‘d’ (penny) came from denarii, not solidi, UY. Thanks for the ‘mara’ explanation – a bit of a stretch, but the rest of the wordplay made the solution readily gettable.

    Like tupu I spent time thinking 1d (and hence 1a) should begin with P. Also toyed with ‘rat-arsed’ for 21, not having much in the way of crossing letters at that stage. In fact quite a lot of intuition was called on just to get the thing going. I hope the week continues like this.

  12. Robi says:

    Thanks Paul and UY for a good blog.

    I wondered if 14 could be [Tom] THUMB (miniature person) with NAIL ‘getting from A to B in the end’ in the sense of nailing a problem?? Is that too simple? :)

    Thanks for the explanation of 1a which I couldn’t parse because I failed on ‘cross.’

    I got STEIN before 16d, but loved the clue when all was revealed.

  13. tupu says:

    Hi Robi

    Ingenious re 14d but A to Z would fit better. Dorothy Parker once cruelly commented re a 1934 performance that Katharine Hepburn ran the gamut of emotions from A to B!

    I think she also once reviewed a book saying ‘People who like this sort of thing will probably like this sort of thing’, though my favourite is someone else’s ‘This book fills a much needed gap’.

  14. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog, Uncle Yap. I found this quite tough and resorted to the check button on numerous occasions. Didn’t see the MARA wordplay, but managed to work out the rest. 24ac was my favourite.

  15. blaise says:

    A bit of trivia for non-UK residents. HP is indeed a well known brown sauce, with a picture of the Houses of Parliament on the label. Even back in the early sixties (and possibly before then) it was almost unique in being labelled in English and in French (marketing devices to appeal to more up-market consumers?)
    It was invented by a Mr. Garton, and there’s a story that the late great compiler Bunthorne’s interest in words was sparked off by realising what the label said in reverse.

  16. Robi says:

    Hi Tupu :)

    I think UY’s explanation for 14 is better than mine, but I don’t understand where ‘miniature’ fits in. Perhaps someone can explain.

  17. tupu says:

    Hi robi

    Think of the phrase ‘thumbnail sketch’ or see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thumbnail

  18. Tokyocolin says:

    Many thanks Paul and Uncle Yap for another excellent puzzle and blog. As a runner in the final stages of training for the Tokyo marathon, as soon as I saw “thirteen miles” I was looking for a word containing MARA or THON. I think it is a shame that 21K would not have been so well recognized in the Guardian heartland, but that is not my concern I suppose.

    Perhaps not Paul at his very best but still, with Mr A, well ahead of the rest of the pack to my taste.

  19. tupu says:

    Hi robi
    ps Small pictures e.g. on fobs or brooches are also called miniatures, so a ‘t..l’ is a miniature. Used as an adjective it means ‘small’.

  20. Uncle Yap says:

    Dear All
    Just came back from hashing. Today we ran in a jungle full of wild boars and leeches (they go together). Fortunately, I did not get a single bite but others were not so lucky. The hosts gave us 12-year-old Single Malt GlenFiddich in addition to the usual Tiger beer and Guinness Stout.

    TokyoColin, if you are passing KL in the near future, please give me a holler … we must run together

  21. Stella Heath says:

    Many thanks UY and DrG, not to mention Paul.

    This was quite a tough puzzle, not helped by the fact that my mind was elsewhere, devising ways to make interesting food for my recently operated husband. I only mention this because it brings me to the subject of 21ac., one of my first answers in precisely because of ‘dense’. Having made it on a couple of occasions, I can assure you it is very much so, as rye doesn’t contain the gluten that makes wheat flour stretch and rise.

    Thanks for explaining 2d. I just could see it, even after resorting to the ‘cheat’ button :(

  22. Stella Heath says:

    BTW, for those who don’t usually do it, today’s quickie is almost cryptic!

  23. Robi says:

    Hi Tupu; thanks, forgot the definition (doh!)

  24. gm4hqf says:

    Thanks Paul & Uncle Yap

    Enjoyed this puzzle very much although I toiled for a while with the top left corner. I originally had STORAGE for 1d & got ROOD stuck in my mind for CROSS in 1a. Once I figured out the cows connection it all fell into place. The MARA part of MARASCHINO is quite subtle.

    Don’t know much about LEG THEORY, 17a. We are more into GlenMorangie than cricket up here in Scotland!

  25. tupu says:

    Re charmpit: The motto was apparently coined in the early 1950s by Hal Blok and it seems to have cost him his job. I am reminded that around that time, it crossed my mind, less subtly, that someone might try to market a deodorant called Killsmell!

  26. Derek P says:

    Excellent stuff from Paul today I thought.

    I also got held up by the top left (e.g. hadn’t come across Lambert before). I’ve since had a look at the various SI and non-SI units used to measure light. Quite interesting – not knowing much physics I hadn’t realised that there are so many measures, and that there’s a difference between luminance and illuminance.

  27. Dynamic says:

    Really loved 14 when it dawned on me. 16 was also very nice and I completely missed the “from A to B” wordplay in 14d. I did find this tough to get going, with 17a being my first then finding it tough to break out of the SE corner.

    I enjoyed the pairing of some clues (26 shillings and 7 pence, 16d and 18 sauces, cricketing terms in 17 & 8, and ducks in 4a/8d/18d).

    Failed to get 11a and 2d took a while to dawn on me as I was using a germanic ‘sht’ sound in my head while pondering it, but I loved it when I got it.

    The explanations were very helpful, so thanks UY, DrG and Paul. I’ll give the quickie a go, thanks Stella.

  28. Geoff says:

    Trickier than most recent puzzles from this excellent setter – you weren’t having an off day, UY!

    Some great clues – why has nobody commented that 8dn is a good &lit?

    I toyed with MAIDENHEAD (ie ‘cherry’) for 10ac – it is a Paul after all – but got there in the end. ‘Around thirteen miles’ for MARA is clever (I haven’t come across it before). Pity the surface reading of the clue is completely nonsensical. Araucaria is well known for his often strange surface readings, but they always have a kind of surreal logic. This doesn’t!

  29. Carrots says:

    A bedtime post (as usual) but I was glad to get as far as I did before firing a flare to be rescued. I guessed LEG THEORY and ABBA, but was still left with MUSCLE and MOORAGE when wifey and the lifeboat arrived.

    At the risk of joining the Pit-Knickers, OP ART might just about tag on to the tail ends of Modernism (c.f. Robert Hughes and “The Shock Of The New”), but it is by no means “modern” in any real or stylistic sense.

    Paul: Many, many thanks for living upto your reputation.

    Uncle Yap: I would be delighted to supply and sup Glenmorangie with you anytime, but I would have to forego the dubious delights of bog-trotting with you through leech-infested swamps….the leeches might poison themselves.

  30. PeeDee says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap. The top left corner defeated me, you drew the short straw today!

  31. Sil van den Hoek says:

    The word “tough” does come up quite often in the posts so far.
    And my PinC couldn’t agree more.
    The funny thing was that, while she was staring for half an hour at a sparsely filled grid, I found solution after solution [and I'm by far not the quickest solver in the world].

    I thought it was a good puzzle, but my Pinc wasn’t that happy.
    We didn’t understand the MARA bit in 10ac, and to be honest I’m not sure whether I like this. It is certainly original, but ‘quite subtle’ as post #24 tells us – just don’t know. I am someone who thinks in kilometres, anyway.
    Another of those brand names in 16d (HP)?

    The “A to B” device was as such very nice, we thought, but the wording? Well, not sure. “… getting from A to B …”?

    Hardest part for us surely the NW [which, btw, is often the case in a crossword - wonder why].
    Best clues? Probably FLEA CIRCUS and the nice one at 8d (&lit, as Geoff says?).
    And what a silly, typical Paulian surface at 12ac.

  32. TokyoColin says:

    Uncle Yap, I still have property and good friends in KL and will undoubtedy be back again before long. Will take you up on the offer of a run together. Fond memories of rubber & oil plantations with laterite roads, shiggy etc.

  33. amooti says:

    Have just discovered you lot. Shall be back regularly.

    Tupu, my favourite Dorothy Parker is “This is not a book to be put aside lightly, but hurled with great force.”

    As for the crossword, Paul has emerged as the true heir of Araucaria. There is no higher praise.

  34. MadLogician says:

    Did nobody twig that ABBA is a pop group?

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