Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25270 Paul – Sperm Donor, Indeed

Posted by Uncle Yap on March 15th, 2011

Uncle Yap.

The God of Crosswords is kind to me, giving me Paul to blog on a day when my country is featured, days after Lee Chong Wei, our national badminton champion retained his All-England title in Birmingham.

 Paul got me rolling on the floor (is that the right expression?) with his definition for Casanova. Generous sperm donor, indeed ! Thank you, Paul for making my day.

ACROSS
1 NEWSFLASH Cha of NEW (novel) + ins of F (fine) in SLASH (cut)
6,2.21 NICE WEATHER FOR DUCKS Superb allusion to a bowler in a cricket game bowling his opponents for duck (giving zero runs and all his overs are maidens)
8 CASANOVA ‘AS in CAN (‘as preserved) -> CASAN + OVA (eggs) The def certainly cracked me up … my COD for the sheer audacious originality of the def
9 UNCORK UN (one in Gallic language) CORK (Irish port)
10 SACHET Ins of CHE (famous revolutionary with communist, red, inclination) in SAT (Saturday)
12 WARREN dd
15 ACADEMIC dd
16 MALAYSIA Cha of A LAY (place) SIAM (old name of Thailand) with M moved to the front. Malaysia lies to the south of Thailand. I once had a competition in rpc in which the winner was Dr Kamal Shah, a fellow-Malaysian with his clue Set sail, May, to a tropical paradise (8) *(sail May) + A
19 SORBET Ins of ORB (globe) in SET (jelly)
22 JIGSAW dd whereby the second is a pastime where jagged pieces are pieced together to form a picture
24 SIMIAN *(MAN IS I, one) A lovely &lit
25 SWINE FLU And pigs might fly and indeed this swine flew (sounds like FLU)
26 ONUS On us (setters)
27 YESTERDAY cf of that Paul McCartney classic

DOWN
1 NYALA ha
3 FLOAT dd
4 ANAEMIA Ins of NAEMI A(rev of I MEAN, I suggest)  in A-A (similar blood types)
5 HOURGLASS Ins of cUrRy in HOG (porker) LASS (girl)
6 NECKTIE NECK (make out or engage in love-making) TIE (football match, perhaps)
7 CORALLINE Ins of All In (knackered) in CORE (middle)
13 AMAZONIAN Ins of ZO (rev of OZ, ounce, weight) in A MANIA (a passion) + N (last letter of mutation)
14 NOSE CANDY *(any second)
17 AND PIGS MIGHT FLY Ins of MIGHT (strength) in *(dying flaps)
18 ASSISTS (B) ASSISTS, bass guitar players
20 RAGWEED Rev of River DEE + ins of G (foirst letter of greenhouse) in WAR (fighting)
22 JUICE JUSTICE (something reasonable) minus ST (street or way)
23 ALLAY Ins of A in ALLY (combine)

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

32 Responses to “Guardian 25270 Paul – Sperm Donor, Indeed”

  1. NeilW says:

    Thanks, Uncle Yap.

    It certainly made me smile when I saw MALAYSIA, knowing you would be blogging today! I spent a little while at the end looking for the ultimate Nina of some variation of your name in the puzzle but I don’t think it’s there, although there are a couple of close calls.

  2. molonglo says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap, I was hoping you’d blog this. I had the same multi-exclamation-mark reaction to 8a: other goodies were 25a and 7d whch both scored a single ! This would have been all round delightful if it hadn’t been on the easy side: 1d, 3d and 5d opened the whole thing up. As it was, it was much fun.

  3. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Uncle Yap this was a truly wonderful puzzle.

    My first entry was RAGWORT for 20d which was, of course, wrong. Thanks Paul for that: it delayed the delightful SWINE FLU.

    Otherwise, things slotted in place reasonably quickly.

  4. Dad'sLad says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap,

    A lot to enjoy if on the easier side for Paul. I ended up saving the best for last as 8a was the last in – quintessentially Paul.

  5. malc95 says:

    Bryan @3 -

    Had similar problems in SE corner, following porcine mini-theme had HOGWEED for 20d and SQUAD CAR for 25a until the pennies dropped.

  6. malc95 says:

    re 5.

    obviously not at the same time!

  7. Geoff says:

    I thought this was about the usual standard of difficulty for one of Paul’s puzzles – I have found his previous few much easier. It succumbed steadily, though.

    CORALLINE was my last in.

    Some great clues: 8, 14, 24, 25 are my favourites; plus a few weaker ones – 1d, 22a, 27. But fun as usual.

  8. tupu says:

    Thanks UY and Paul

    A very good blog of an excellent puzzle.

    Several enjoyable clues e.g. 22a and d, 23d, 24, but most fun were 8a and 25a.

    I had not come across coralline or neck = make out, but both workable out from clues.

    Re 13d, I took the final ‘n’ from ‘in’, with ‘mutation’ describing the total process, but I agree it is not the best word for this. On the other hand n = ending in mutation is not the neatest of surfaces.

  9. Median says:

    Good fun but harder than most, I thought. Needed a strong infusion of TEA to get all the answers and UY’s blog to explain 13 and 22. 8 and 14 were my favourite clues – typical Paul!

  10. Mitch says:

    Uncle Yap

    Off-topic, perhaps, but in the early 50′s my parents knew the Choong brothers. During one All-England, David dandled me on his knee alongside court as Eddie was playing. I know it was a year when they retained their doubles title, so it would have been 1952 or 1953.

  11. Stella Heath says:

    Thanks for explaining ‘coralline’, my last in because I just couldn’t see it – looking for something to do with a little finger and/or a waistline :(

    This was outrageously amusing, so thanks to Paul for an enjoyable start to the day.

  12. smutchin says:

    Haven’t posted here for a while, but I thought today’s 8a was worthy of comment. Made me smile on the train, which is always a sign of a good crossword. Not just for the outrageous definition but the witty wordplay too – “preserved” for “in CAN”.

    And I have to agree that 24a is a lovely &lit – a perfectly formed example of its kind.

    Several other very good clues too. Not one of Paul’s hardest but difficulty is not always the measure of how finely crafted a crossword is (as the Brendan Oscars-themed one of a couple of weeks back showed).

  13. crypticsue says:

    As others have said, not the most difficult Paul but great fun. 8a made me laugh out loud which is not a good thing in a shared office! Thanks to him and Uncle Yap.

  14. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog, Uncle Yap. 8ac was pretty audacious, but the one that really made me laugh was 25ac :-)

  15. Robi says:

    Thanks Paul for the usual enjoyable torture. I don’t think I would have got very far with just pen and paper.

    Thanks UY for the nice appropriate blog. Missed the obvious SIAM=Thailand! I thought the weather for ducks was fine, rather than nice. Considered that Pinky must have something to do with pigs. Forgot the flower=river. Yes, Paul had me running around in circles.

    I liked the simple ONUS and JUICE, as well as the sperm donor.

  16. Carrots says:

    A perfect lunchtime: Paul and Norfolk Wherry (a superb beer). I fell for the sucker-baits of RAGWORT and HOGWEED, but at least had the good sense not to put them in before RAGWEED fitted far more neatly. NOSE CANDY and CORALLINE were new to me, but gettable from the operatives. Plenty of smiles from the wicked wit of the setter. I`ll never think of CASANOVA ever again as anything other than a sperm donor.

    As I headed homeward, I noticed the daffodils bordering our country lanes were coming out to watch the council men at last filling the pot-holes from our bitter winter. For some reason this prompted thoughts of Japan and the horrors which have overwhelmed it. Maybe you are right Uncle Yap, the kindliness of the God of Crosswords can touch us all.

  17. bertandjoyce says:

    We really like Paul’s crosswords and kept waiting for today’s laugh – not just the odd wry smile. Today it came with 25A – great clue!

    Thanks Uncle Yap and Paul!

  18. norm says:

    Typically great fun from Paul – but why does Pinky = Coralline?

  19. tupu says:

    Hi norm

    I think pinky is used here as an adjective describing colour. Coralline is also an adjective (as well as a noun) and means ‘like coral’ (which is of course pinky).

  20. norm says:

    Thanks tupu. Makes perfect sense when you put it like that. I was relying too much on Google – which doesn’t do that sort of lateral interpretation.

  21. yogdaws says:

    Thank you Uncle Yap

    And Paul for his delightful porky, rabbity, simian spunky offerings.

    And tupu for yesterday’s thoughtful precision…

  22. Ian says:

    Well done to both Paul and Uncle Yap.

    Apart from the comic brilliance of both 8ac and 25ac I also greatly enjoyed 22dn and 15ac.

    2 excellent offerings on consecutive days. Time for an Enigmatist……………………

  23. Wolfie says:

    I can’t remember when I last enjoyed a crossword so much! Paul has shown once again that it isn’t necessary that a crossword be difficult for it to be a joy to solve – providing it is compiled with wit and imagination. Thanks for the blog too Uncle Yap.

  24. Derek Lazenby says:

    Didn’t get very far with this. 4d illustrates why. The enclosing letters cannot be A-A and be called similar. Similar precludes identical as it carries a conotation of there being some small difference. Rubbish clue.

  25. Martin H says:

    For the benefit of crossword lovers in non cricket-playing countries, UY, we should perhaps point out that a batsman dismissed having made no runs is said to have scored ‘a duck’ (0 like the egg). Maiden overs don’t come into it. What you describe is more like a no-hitter in baseball, and we should never give misleading information to Americans about cricket – they find it confusing enough already.

  26. Richard says:

    Make out = neck? I don’t think so!
    Also a necktie is normalwear not formalwear!

  27. John says:

    Richard: have you never had the adolescent pleasure of a necking session in the back row? If you had I believe you’d be making out.

  28. tupu says:

    Hi Richard
    I too wondered about this. I checked ‘make out’ in Chambers which loosely supports Paul here.
    OED also gives ‘slang (orig. and chiefly U.S.). To engage in sexual activity (with another person) which stops short of intercourse, esp. kissing and caressing’.

    :) Re neckties, I’m afraid life has moved on. I remember a lecture in the 1950s when the learned lecturer asked the males in the audience how many were wearing ties. All were.
    Nowadays I suspect only the odd eccentric would be doing so. Just look around you!

  29. Smutchin says:

    Derek L – Paul is using the mathematical/logical definition of similar rather than the everyday definition. Nothing wrong with the clue.

  30. Derek Lazenby says:

    I thought making out was American. According to my American friends, somewhat more than necking is implied. In fact quite a lot more, if ya know what I mean.

    Smutchin, and which definition would that be? Chapter and verse please, I did a lot of both of those in my degree. Start with triangles, if you can abuse similar to mean identicle then there would be no need to differentiate between identicle and similar triangles, you could call both similar. That is not done as the two names are clearly used in their conventional ways. Whilst one could regard identity as a special case of similarity, the fact is, in that case you use the word identity, as to do otherwise would be to lose information and therefore accuracy. Crap clue.

    BTW, thanks, ages since we had the entertainment of a disagreement, lol,

  31. Dave Ellison says:

    Smutchin and Derek: How about a philosophical definition such as Bertand Russell dicussed in “An inquiry into meaning and truth”?

  32. Derek Lazenby says:

    If that philosophical discourse leads one to the conclusion that one should adjourn to the pub, count me in.

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