Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25324 – Paul

Posted by Uncle Yap on May 17th, 2011

Uncle Yap.

It is always a pleasure solving a puzzle by Paul; and blogging one is even more so. I had quite a few laughs weaving through the clues, challenging but very fair and sometimes naughty like 13Down, easily my COD.

1 BODICE B (black) O (nothing or lack of) DICE (those cubes with 1 to 6 spots used in games)
4 CORONETS Ins of O (duck) in CORNETS (ice-cream filled cones)
9 LOGGER Logarithm sounds like LOGGER-RHYTHM after John Napier of Merchiston, Edinburgh (1550-1617), Scottish mathematician and inventor of a system of logarithm.
10 FACE UP TO Ins of ACE (one) + UPT *(PUT) in FO (Foreign Office)
11 CRIMINAL RECORD Cha of CRIMINAL (deplorable) RECORD (release as in Elton John’s latest record/release is a rehash of a gospel song from the Deep South.)
13 WATERPROOF TERRAIN (ground) minus RAIN -> TER inside APRil (month) and inserted inside WOOF (sound made by a dog such as a setter) This was one of my last in due to the convoluted nature of the wordplay; but after you see it, it is so fair.
16 LIMA ha for the capital of Peru
18 RED NOSE DAY *(ENDORSED) + AY (always) Red Nose Day is the main way in which Comic Relief raises money. The first Red Nose Day (RND) was held on the 5 February 1988 and since then they have been on the second or third Friday in March. RND 2011 was on 18 March.
In Hashing, before a celebration event and usually on a Friday evening, there is a Red Dress Run when runners (male and female) dress in red women’s clothing and run though town … all proceeds go to charity.
21 HOT ON ONE’S HEELS One of those jokey and tichy cd alluding to the vulnerable spot on the heels of Achilles.
23 UNAFRAID U (first letter of Union) + *(FAIR AND)
24 MINUTE Ins of IN in MUTE (speechless)
25 DRESSAGE DRESS (arrange) AGE (time) for a horsey event with much prancing about
26 SLEEPY SLEEP (rev of PEELS, skins of say, orange) Y (last letter of dry)

1 BULL dd in darts, the bull-eye is worth 50 points
2 DOGTROT Rev of TORT (civil wrong-doing) GOD (heavenly)
3 CREAMERY Ins of REAM (paper) + E (last letter of treatise) in CRY (shout)
5 ON ALL COUNTS *(consult loan)
6 OMELET Another tichy clue from Paul with (h) OME (‘ouse) LET (little as in piglet or booklet) American spelling for the omelette
7 EXPLODE EX (former or retired) PLOD (policeman after a character by the late Dame Enid Blyton, Uncle Yap’s favourite author as a schoolboy) E (last letter of case)
8 SWORDPLAY  ‘S + WORDPLAY (Paul’s sport and very well performed, too)
12 NERVE ENDING NEVER ENDING (eternal) with R moved (taken up)
13 WOLFHOUND WOL (rev of LOW, depraved) + ins of H (last letter of bitch) in FOUND (discovered) What a superb surface with its irresistable imagery of pets on heat. My COD
15 ESPECIAL *(see a clip)
17 METHANE *(neath me) Another clue that got me laughing as I remembered
Macbeth’s introduction – what a gas! (7)
19 DELOUSE DEL (rev of LED, managed) OUSE (river)
20 INTROS IN (popular) TROS (rev of SORT, kind)
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

39 Responses to “Guardian 25324 – Paul”

  1. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks Paul and Uncle Yap. PLOD in 7d and RED NOSE DAY were new to me so thanks for the enlightenment. My COD was 9ac.


  2. caretman says:

    Thanks to Uncle Yap and ESPECIALly to Paul for the puzzle. Good fun. My favorite clue was 13a, with WOOF for ‘setter’s comment’. Paul led me down the garden path in making me think that was a reference to him. I also was unfamiliar with RED NOSE DAY but enjoyed looking it up after convincing myself it had to be the solution.

  3. TokyoColin says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap for the early blog and to Paul for another brilliant puzzle. As usual with Paul I was completely flummoxed to begin with but then the rays of light peeped through and it call came together in a rush with lots of aha’s and chuckles along the way. I particularly enjoyed 13a and WOOF as well.

    I knew all the references bar CORNETs but it seemed like a plausible name for an ice-cream so was not a problem. I even remembered Naperian logarithms so that was one of my first in.

    Solving time – about half of yesterday’s Quiptic.

  4. NeilW says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap.

    All good fun from Paul as usual. My favourite moment was seeing PLOD.

    I suppose for 17 you might add *(neath me).

  5. molonglo says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap. Belted through this without understanding the Napier ref in 9a or the wordplay in 13a. As always, Paul’s surfaces are marvellous and a good time is had.

  6. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Uncle Yap and Paul.

    This was very enjoyable particularly as it contained no obscure words – at least for this UK resident.

    My only doubt was with 1d – which was my last entry. I have always considered Darts to be one of the most boring games. so I was unaware of the significance of ‘fifty points’.

    I recently came across a similar clue for SWORDPLAY but I can’t remember whether or not it was Paul. Maybe he considered it too good not to re-cycle? Very eco friendly!

  7. Bryan says:

    I now find that SWORDPLAY was used by Paul on 7 July 2010 (#25056); by Everyman on 27 March 2011 (#3364); and by Gordius on 26 April 2011 (25306).

    All were different clues which rules out plagiarism.

    I thought I would mention these before Eileen wakes up.

  8. Mick H says:

    Didn’t get BULL – I convinced myself it was BULB (L in BUB) but luckily didn’t try plugging a light bulb into a power point to test the definition.
    Being picky, the product of a creamery is surely not white but, er, cream. Unless they also make skimmed milk as a by-product, before charging more for having taken out the best bit. Clever, eh.
    I liked WOOF too – good stuff.

  9. Ian says:

    Thanks UY.

    Splendid stuff from Paul.

    Witty as ever and I particularly liked 13dn and 17dn.

  10. Miche says:

    Good puzzle. Thanks for explaining 13a – I couldn’t quite figure it out. As you say, tricky wordplay, but fair.

  11. Mystogre says:

    Thank you for the explanations Uncle Yap. Having been away all day I have just got in and done the puzzle.

    Got stuck with two, both causing comment above. 1d and 13a. Got the latter but was very unsure about the former.

    Had a good chuckle at 7d though – entertaining.

  12. tupu says:

    Thanks UY and Paul

    Excellent blog of very fine puzzle

    Started off quickly with Lima but then needed quite a lot of thought. A very rewarding solve rather livelier than the recent prize puzzle.

    Wondered if 6d might be teepee! Then cracked it.

    As others found many clues very clever and amusing e.g. 1a,4a,9a, 13a!, 18a, 26a, 1d, 6d, 7d!, 12d – wow what a lot.

    It doesn’t worry me to guess and then see why (as it does some) but there were also plenty to solve from careful reading of the clue.

    4a was last to go in. After a lot of hard thought, I eventually saw it (as UY explains) as 0 = duck served (like ice cream)IN cornets (cone shaped wafers).

  13. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog, Uncle Yap. V entertaining puzzle — I solved the lower half first, took a bit longer over the top half. WOOF made me smile, too. Last in was 6dn.

    Like Mick H @8, my initial thought was that white is not cream — nit-picking, probably.

    Thanks to Bryan @7 for going to the trouble to find out when we last had a SWORDPLAY clue — I remembered that it was recently.

  14. crypticsue says:

    The usual entertaining challenge from Paul. Thanks to him and to Uncle Yap for the explanations. My favourite today was 6d.

  15. nusquam says:

    Thanks to Paul and Uncle Yap – nice puzzle, nice blog.

    A niggle: 2d GOD (heavenly being) not (heavenly)

  16. otter says:

    Thanks, Uncle Yap. Enjoyed this puzzle. Found most of it surprisingly straightforward for a Paul, with a few more difficult. A lot of clever clueing and enjoyable surfaces. Came grinding to a halt with 9a – realised it was most likely lagger, ligger, logger or lugger, but couldn’t see any reasoning. Very clever solution, and would never have got that answer. Also eventually fitted in WATERLOGGED, but again couldn’t see the reasoning, so appreciate the explanation. Very convoluted, as you say. Also enjoyed your use of Elton John as an example of one who puts out deplorable records.

  17. Geoff says:

    Thanks, UY.

    Highly entertaining puzzle with a lot of laughs: 7d was my favourite, but 1a, 4a, 6d, 13a, 13d, 17d, 19d all raised smiles.

    17d is a trademark Paul clue – a rather clever lavatorial &lit (although METHANE is not the main, or even a universal, constituent of flatus).

    13a has an excellent construction – I saw the WOOF as soon as I had the initial letter, but the rest of the charade took a little more parsing. Only 11a disappointed; a rather weak clue in comparison with the gems surrounding it.

  18. Robi says:

    Nice torture Paul. Had to use a word search for the last few, but parsed them all except BULL and WATERPROOF. I can’t believe that I missed the dartboard reference (thought it was just a rapid points rise in a BULL market), and for some unaccountable reason I got stuck on TER for terrace rather than terrain (doh!) It took a while for the penny to clang for BODICE, and I wasn’t sure about depraved=low, which seemed a bit tenuous to me.

    Thanks UY for a good blog. I particularly liked OMELET, LOGGER and SWORDPLAY. METHANE was good too, where I think both ‘wind’ and ‘neath’ do double duty, although methane=wind is not very accurate really. That reminds me……..

    A cow cropping grass can produce 120kg of methane in a year, and, as a greenhouse gas, methane is at least 20 times more harmful to the environment than carbon dioxide (see more here and, no, it is not dated April 1st.)

  19. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all.
    Enjoyable and very straightforward except for 13a (I was sold on roof) and 23a (I was fooled into anagramisation).
    However,after a quite quick finish I was left to puzzle over 6d where the definition had successfully mislead me for a further hour.

  20. Tom Hutton says:

    I’ve played darts a lot but I’ve never scored any points. Perhaps Paul is more used to bridge. The usual charmless vulgarity doesn’t aid the enjoyment of an otherwise fine crossword.

  21. muck says:

    Thanks Paul and UY. I needed the explanations for LOGGER and WATERPROOF.

  22. RCWhiting says:

    Tom, I think your objection would be better founded if darts did use an alternative name to points. As far as I know they just use a number eg 301 up. Therefore an abstract discussion of the game would be free to call them anything including points.
    The vulgarity, humour, chuckles,risqué etc are all in the eyes of the observers on this board.

  23. FranTom Menace says:

    Ta UY, we didn’t get the reasoning behind ‘logger’. 13a was also our last in, and I think you’re spot on – a fair clue but good lord, if ever there was a solution first and parse later it was that one!

    12d was very good fun, to be honest most were! Thanks Paul.

  24. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Good puzzle as we’ve come to expect from Paul, but also one that my PinC (perhaps in an over-sensitive mood?) qualified as ‘a crossword with crude images in places’.
    Referring to 13d (for many a highlight though), the ‘dry skins dropping off’ and the windy thing in 17d.
    I must say, in a way I agree with her and also nót with tupu who thought this was better the recent prize puzzle.

    Best clues by a mile WATERPROOF(13ac), 7d (EXPLODE) and 12d (NERVE ENDING). Even though the latter cries out for its device, and probably has been done before.
    Just like, as Bryan confirmed, SWORDPLAY (8d) [which wasn’t bad though].
    Oh, and we thought 5d had a good anagrind/fodder combination.

    The first solution in today was HOT ON ONE’S HEELS (21ac), but we are still not convinced by the first part of the clue. Yes, the famous heel of Achilles, I know. But what does the clue tell us? ‘… (fire) of (Achilles) …’? What is that?
    Maybe we are missing something.
    Or is it that cryptic definition thing again?
    Who else than Eileen might be the one to enlighten us here.

    Many thanks, Uncle Yap.

  25. RCWhiting says:

    It is not ‘dry skins dropping off’,it is finally dry (ie Y); skins (peels) flipping (sleep), hence ‘sleepy’ (close to dropping off).
    If you can find a crude image there it you with a problem, not the compiler.

  26. Sil van den Hoek says:

    RCWhiting, I am not talking about the construction, which is perfectly clear (and exactly as you explained in #25).
    It is about the imagery of the clue as a whole.
    A surface, which wasn’t very appealing to us (and my PinC in particular).
    But others may think differently – no problemo.

  27. tupu says:

    Hi Sil

    I said it was ‘livelier’ (not better).

  28. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Yes, tupu, you’re right, but I do not want to take the discussion any further than this.
    But anyone out there able to ‘help’ us with 21ac?

  29. muck says:

    Sil: UY’s explanation of 21ac is exactly right

  30. tupu says:

    ‘but I do not want to take the discussion any further than this’.
    Me neither, thanks.

    Re Achilles – one version of his story is that his mother tried to burn away his mortality by immersing him in fire and his heel was not treated and became his weakness. Another version talks of his being held by the heel by his mother in water. Cf.

    A line in Homer mentions fire flashing on his spear as he goes after Hector.

  31. Sil van den Hoek says:

    muck @29, thanks, but UY only refers to the well-known spot as such, which the clue does too of course, but we didn’t understand the ‘fire’ bit (in connection with Achilles) and moreover the use of the word ‘of’ here.
    tupu’s explanation makes a bit more sense, but, alas my dear friends, it still doesn’t really work for us – as a cryptic crossword clue, that is [even though the solution was obvious enough and, as I said, our first entry].
    Again, no problemo – as so very often the cd-antenna failed to work properly …. :)

  32. tupu says:

    I did not offer an explanation, only a possibly relevant allusion. The clue does not work strictly logically – more by free association – as far as I can see.

  33. tupu says:

    NB the clue is in the form of a question.

  34. Eileen says:

    Hi Sil and tupu – if you’re still there [I was having a day off yesterday – and was still bearing Trojan War battle scars from last week! :-) ]

    I thought 21ac was a poor clue. ‘The fire of Achilles’ does not mean anything, unlike ‘the wrath of Achilles’, which is the theme of the Iliad. I only know the version that has his mother, Thetis, dipping him in the infernal River Styx to make him invulnerable – to my shame, I hadn’t heard tupu’s fire version, but I don’t think it adds credibility to the clue, which, I think, relies solely, as tupu says, on free association: I would bet that most people, given ‘Achilles’ in a word association test / game, would respond with ‘heel’.

    In any case, ‘the fire of Achilles’ would be ‘hot on HIS heels’.

  35. Davy says:

    Thanks UY,

    I wasn’t going to comment on this puzzle but missed the later comments due to retiring early (in many senses).
    Part of Paul’s attraction is his quirky constructions and the amusing images that he conjures up which admittedly are often on the naughty side but I would not say crude. At the end of the day, this is just a crossword and a bit of fun. No-one was hurt during its construction. So everyone, please lighten up and don’t be so straight-laced.
    Thanks to Paul for a very entertaining crossword.

  36. Robi says:

    A bit late in the day, but I’ll add a comment about 21. If you forget about the classical allusion and just concentrate on anatomy, could not the fire of (or perhaps in) your Achilles tendon cause a feeling that is ‘hot on your heels?’ I don’t know whether that was what was intended – perhaps Paul can enlighten us?

  37. nusquam says:

    @Eileen 34

    It is not quite right to say that ‘the fire of Achilles’ doesn’t mean anything. In Iliad 18 Athena raises from Achilles’ head a fire which is compared to the flames from a sacked city. Hence Patrick Shaw-Stewart: ‘Stand in your trench, Achilles, flame-capped and shout for me.’

    However, I rather doubt that the setter was expecting us to think of that, and I share the sense that it was a poor clue. I think Robi 36 is right to remind us that we all have an Achilles tendon, and maybe we have an Achilles heel too: hot on HIS heels is not required. But all the same…

  38. Huw Powell says:

    Great fun from Paul, and thanks UY for blogging it.

    If I’d bothered to use OneLook I would have found RED NOSE DAY (which I think I have heard of once…) and finished every clue. But since I got that far without “tools” I felt just fine about giving up and coming here. I was lucky to have the slightest vague memory of “cornet” for ice cream cone, so when CORONET popped into my head I was able to understand why it was correct.

    Some wonderful convoluted clues, all of which end up being strictly fair once parsed. Very nice.

    COD had to be WATERPROOF for me, too. Or maybe it was NERVE ENDING?

  39. Huw Powell says:

    Oh, and I read 21 entirely as being about the tendon, pretending that the “fire of achilles” was a common name for the suffering associated with a ruptured tendon. And the plural version is probably four times as painful!

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