Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Prize Puzzle 25,316 by Paul

Posted by PeeDee on May 14th, 2011


A pretty straightforward puzzle from Paul this week.  I especially liked 6 down, which was a new word to me, and 19 down was a fun clue too.  Apologies in advance for any typos, I seem unable to spot them myself.  I’ve yet to complete a post without errors.

Hold mouse over clue number to see clue, click a solution to see its definition.

1 SNAPPY S (rear of babies) and NAPPY (placed on rear of babies) – definition is ‘quick’.  Doesn’t quite work for me as ‘one of these’ suggests the solution to me, not a word derived from the preceding part of the clue, but I’m not going to lose any sleep over it.
4 MANTRA MAN (‘staff’ as a verb) ART (facility = ability, craft) reversed
9 SECOND-CLASS POST LASS (miss = girl) Penny inside COST (price) following SECOND (short time)
10 MALAWI LAW (code) inside (secreted by) MAId (girl losing last letter)
11 RALLYING ALLY (friend) inside RING (boxing = ‘in the ring’)
12 CARDIGAN double definition – top in the sense of ‘article of clothing’
14 ENAMEL NAME (handle) inside ELm (wood dropping last letter)
15 ABUSED A BUS (an a thing that one catches) and EDitor (journalist)
18 CANOEIST (NOTICES A)* (swimming = anagram)
21 MANEATER MA (a degree) NEATER (cleaner)
22 CYMBAL sounds like ‘symbol’ (metaphor) – musical instrument one has to ‘clash’ to play
24,3 THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING (IF THEN I PROPOSE)* (shaking = anagram) into THUDDING (smacking)
25 GYRATE GRATE (where to find ashes) containing EmburY (ultimate = last letter of)
26 WASHER WAS HER (was not him) – ‘tap washer’
1 SMETANA Mahler (head of) inside NATES (buttocks) reversed and A – composer.  Not a pleasant image first thing in the morning.
2 AROMA reversed inside marjorAM OR Aniseed
3 See 24 across
5 ABSOLVE CRACK (solve, e.g. a puzzle) following A Book
6 TIPSY CAKE cryptic definition – tipsy cake is a desert that contains alcohol so ‘the proof is in the pudding’
7 ABSENCE BEANS* (baked = anagram) Cold and platE (edge of = last letter of) – want in the sense of ‘to lack something’
8 FLORIN OR (gold colour) inside FLINt (stone cut)
13 DISTEMPER IS Time (little = abbreviated) inside PRE-MED*
16 BEAR HUG Spoonerism of ‘hair bug’
17 DETROIT anagram of MoTOwn (centre of) and TRIED – Detroit is ‘Motor City’ or ‘Motown’, home of the famous record label.
18 CARAFE bAR (topped = head removed) inside CAFE
19 NICOSIA Island COS (Greek island) Island inside North America – capital of the island of Cyprus
20 SLASHER HEALS* (anagram = wound, in the sense of ‘twisted around’) inside ScaR (hollow = middle letters missing)
23 MUNCH Double definition


16 Responses to “Guardian Prize Puzzle 25,316 by Paul”

  1. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks Paul and PeeDee. Blog looks good to me. We’ll see what the morning crew says. TIPSY CAKE was a new term for me.


  2. NeilW says:

    Thanks, PeeDee.

    Agree with grandpuzzler on both points – looks fine to me and TIPSY CAKE was the last one in!

  3. Tokyocolin says:

    Thanks Paul and PeeDee. Straightforward as you said but very enjoyable, partly for that reason. I enjoyed many of these and agree with your favourites.

    If forced to, I could point out an extraneous ‘n’ in your explanation of 15ac but that would be excessive nitpicking.

  4. molonglo says:

    Thanks PeeDee. Yes, straightforward until the last five. I guessed TIPSY CAKE and cheated on SMETANA, two unknowns. Then it was the tricky but fair little ones of 10a and 4a, and 25a which I thought was rather neat.

  5. Biggles A says:

    Thank you to both. There isn’t much more to say but I have my doubts about THUDDING as an synonym for SMACKING.

  6. Bryan says:

    Many thanks PeeDee and Paul: both the puzzle and your analysis were excellent.

    However, I wonder if any of our Politically Correct agitators will take exception to *A*E*T*R – as applied to any lady – and, surely, the blatant advertising of T*P*Y *A*E can only encourage folk to consume alcohol?

    Now I know I must try some. Cheers!

  7. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, PeeDee.

    This was a very enjoyable puzzle, with some amusing clues, especially, perhaps, 6dn, the only problem being that it depended on 24,3, the all-too-common nonsensical misquotation of the saying ‘The proof of the pudding is in the eating’. It took me a long time to enter that solution, because I couldn’t quite believe that Paul would do it! [It was a good anagram, though – and, Biggles A, Chambers gives ‘to beat’ as one definition of ‘thud’.

    26ac was really obvious once you saw it but ‘Tap’s partner’ kept evoking Fred and Ginger – and I had a T in it for a few minutes, while trying to justify MANET / MONET at 23dn. :-)

  8. tupu says:

    Thanks PeeDee and Paul

    I completed this but needed help from my wife for tipsy cake. I did not have a dictionary to hand and had to assume ‘nates’ meant buttocks.

    A fairly quiet puzzle fo Paul but enjoyable.

    The main anagram puzzled me. I have always thought that the saying is ‘The proof of the pudding is in the eating’ and did not recall this version.

    The extension to 6d was ‘delicious’.

    I liked the spoonerism, Nicosia, gyrate,Cardigan and several others.

  9. tupu says:

    Also liked ‘washer’.

    Thanks Eileen for your ‘crossing comment’ re pudding.

  10. Davy says:

    Thanks PeeDee,

    I always find Paul’s puzzles impenetrable initially but slowly the light filters through. I put TANTRA instead of MANTRA as mantra didn’t seem to fit the definition of sacred text. I interpreted the clue as ‘Staff facility’ both turned over so before turning you get NATART. Didn’t there used to be an organisation called NAT (national association of teachers = staff). I’m sure Eileen could put me right !.

    A very enjoyable puzzle from Paul and particular favourites were CARDIGAN (very smooth), CANOEIST (smooth again), ABSENCE, DETROIT and SLASHER. Thanks Paul.

  11. Wolfie says:

    A thoroughly enjoyable puzzle from Paul – I remember my mother making tipsy cake for us when I was a child, so that went in early. Last one in was WASHER – very neat and deceptive.

    Bryan@6 – no, I didn’t like the sexist clueing of ‘MANEATER’, though I had resolved not to mention it until I read your comment! In relation to ‘Politically Correct’ I would refer you to Brendan’s comment (@32) in this forum about his own puzzle on Wenesday this week. I rest my case.

  12. Geoff says:

    Thanks, PeeDee.

    Good fun, with some excellent surface readings – 7d and 18a stood out for me. 19d is a very Araucarian clue.

    MANTRA was my last entry – like Davy, I wouldn’t really consider this a ‘sacred text’, which flummoxed me.

    24, 3 took me a while; like Eileen, I baulked at the mangled proverb (and when I got the answer I didn’t even bother to parse the clue to check it). Perhaps this corruption happens because ‘prove’ has come to mean ‘verify’, whereas in the proverbs ‘the proof of the pudding is in the eating’ and ‘the exception that proves the rule’, as well as the expression ‘proof spirit’ which is used cleverly in 6d, ‘prove’ means ‘test’ (as ‘provare’ still does in Italian, for example). As it is impossible to verify a pudding, and completely illogical for an exception to verify a rule (rather than to test its limits), these expressions have lost their original force and are therefore prone to misquotation.

    JH seems to have an obsession with baked beans at the moment. As ‘Paul’ he served them up here in 7d, and as ‘Mudd’ in the Indy yesterday, we got BEANS ON TOAST.

  13. Roger says:

    Thanks PeeDee … a small point, NATES is reversed (lifted) at 1d. Liked the little story at 1a (been there, done that !) and the nod towards John Emburey, spin bowler, and the Ashes of course, at 25a. Thanks, Paul, this was lots of fun.

  14. Ian says:

    Thanks PeeDee and Paul.

    Excellent crossword.

    OK not too difficult but some superlative surfaces from the master.

    Terrific Spoonerism whilst 6dn and 19dn were admirable.

  15. Robi says:

    Thanks Paul for a lovely puzzle, which wasn’t too tricky.

    Good blog PeeDee. I was convinced originally that the Spoonerism was going to have NIT as the second word. I loved WASHER and the picture of Mahler’s head being squeezed between buttocks.

  16. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    I think ‘tipsy cake’is a dessert.

    I agree with Eileen re the proverb; it held me up for a long time because I couldn’t believe it could be so distorted – I was wrong.

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