Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,360 – Paul, the Master

Posted by Uncle Yap on June 28th, 2011

Uncle Yap.

It has been a laugh a minute this morning when I unravelled Paul’s latest offering. In many cases, I first hazarded a likely answer and then worked backwards to justify the word-play and what a good time I had. Paul, you are hereby elevated to being another Master in my book.

1,9 BUILT TO SCALE What a tichy way to start off proceeding. Of course, prison walls are meant to keep inmates in and not for them to scale.
5 DOODLES D (billiard or snooker fans will know that a D is a marking on the table covered with baize, a coarse woollen cloth) OODLES (plenty) and of course doodles are casual designs done idly
10 INSPECTOR Sounds like INN (hotel) SPECTRE (ghost) with a misleading def that is so fair
11 CRIMEAN WAR Ins of R (right) I MEAN (let me explain) W (wife) in CAR (estate possibly)
14 APHRODISIAC How would one pronounce Afro dizzy yak? (black bovine with vertigo) This one got me laughing aloud and is easily my COD
18 PYJAMA PARTY The easiest clue is sometimes the hardest to find. What a gorgeous ha
21 CUBA Sounds like CUBE (higher power after square) & A
25 FEUDALISM F (female) + Ins of Salvador DALI (1904-1989, artist) in *(MUSE)
26 TONTO a humble ha made extra spicy by another creative def, once screened this brave (An American Indian once portrayed in film)
27 CRICKET BALL Cricket (insects have six legs) Ball (dance) with hard bouncer disguised as a heavy at the entrance to a party
28 ACETATE ACE (expert) TATE (gallery in London where paintings hang)

1 BISECT Ins of SEC (not sweet in French vino lingo) in BIT (segment)
2 ITALIC I (one) + ins of I in TALC (powder)
3 THE RED ARMY Ins of R (first letter of Russian) in *(THEY’RE MAD)
4 ONION On Io (orbiting satellite or moon of Jupiter, aka John Henderson in the FT) N (new)
5 DISFAVOUR Ins of V (volts) in *(SAUDI FOR)
7 LOTHARIO LOT (fate) HA (middle letters of tHAt) RIO (where a huge statue of Christ The Redeemer stands) I was momentarily lost here until my good friend, Dr Gurmukh came to my rescue to remind me about this famous landmark in Brazil. Thanks, Doc
8 SURPLICE Ins of PLIC (ins of Line in PICture image) in SURE (certain) In the same vein as this delightful puzzle, go and read this joke
13 CITY CENTRE What a cheeky clue… of course I&T are the middle letters of CITY
15 HYPNOTIST *(THIS Particular TONY) by any chance, Blair?
16 SPECIFIC S (small) PACIFIC ocean with second letter changed from A to E
17 DJIBOUTI Ins of JIB (boom in sailing terminology) OUT (blossoming) in DIP (decline) minus P (endless)
19 CORNEA Oh dear, another one even more corny with a lovely def
20 ASHORE A + ins of R (Rex, king) in SHOE (mule) I wonder anybody here knows that song that plays on pronouciation of “A soldier would I be. For curiosity. I fight for my country. With a pistol on my knee … ” I would like to know its origin since we sing this quite often in our boisterous Hash circles.
23 SIMBA Ins of B (book) in rev of Kingsley AMIS for a lion character and the protagonist of Disney’s most successful animated feature film, The Lion King
24,6 WALKOVER Ins of L (first letter of Lennox) KO (knock-out or boxing victory) in WAVER (hesitate … Finally, to wrap up a glorious morning, did you hear about the mountain climber who came to Nepal to scale Everest and wanted to hire a sherpa? The village headman told him he could employed anyone except Hezzy. When asked why, the headman said “Don’t you know that he who Hezzy takes is lost?” Boom! Boom! Don’t kill me, I just tell them as I heard this on the Noel Edmund show one Sunday morning in the 70’s)

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 25,360 – Paul, the Master”

  1. molonglo says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap. Like you, I found the answers soon enough (some like 1d and 13d too fast, really) and worked out the clever stuff later. I missed the yak in 14a, but enjoyed the dizzy afro before moving on. Last in, and for me the best, was 1,9 – but the main laugh was in the outrageous surface of 15a, on which I stuck for a moment before diving in.

  2. molonglo says:

    18a, rather – the nappy one.

  3. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks to Paul for the puzzle and Uncle Yap for the entertaining blog. Can’t help you with the derivation of the song that you requested. We definitely didn’t sing it in basic training in the 60’s. Thanks for explaining the D in 5ac. Never played snooker or billiards. My COD was 18ac – well done, Paul!


  4. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Uncle Yap and Paul

    I was unable to complete the NW corner but no complaints: BUILT TO SCALE and BISECT were excellent clues.

    I had no problems elsewhere but I failed to understand how the ONION clue worked.

    APHRODISIAC was excellent and, regarding LOTHARIO, I recalled seeing the statue of Christ in Rio even though I never went up to the top.

  5. NeilW says:

    Thanks UY. Great puzzle today – classic Paul.

    Little point – 21 is a homophone of cuber.

    I thought the decline in 17 was DI(e) but your DI(p)’s OK too.

  6. Mystogre says:

    Absolutely marvellous. Both the puzzle and the blog! There were so many chuckles in here it is hard to pick the best one.

    Like NeilW, I thought the decline was DIE, but the rest was more a struggle to unpack the clue than to get the word into the space. A number I had, but then took some time to work out exactly why. That makes it a wonderful way to pass the odd hour on a good winter’s night.

    So thanks to both blogger and bloggee for their efforts. Both are much appreciated.

  7. Stella Heath says:

    Great fun, thanks Uncle Yap, though I’m one chuckle short – unfortunately, your link to the joke yielded a blank page :(

    I did this puzzle from S to N, and from E to W, ending up with the brilliant 1/9.

    Molonglo@2, have you ever heard the song “A Policeman’s Lot” from Pirates of Penzance”? In my score (inherited from my Grandmother) the chorus line is specifically written “a policeman’s lot is not a_n’appy one” :)

  8. Brian H says:

    Chinese jokes link doesn’t work for me either – is there a better way?
    Perhaps UY could write it out for us.
    Great crit, though, to follow a great puzzle.

  9. tupu says:

    Thanks UY and Paul for excellent puzzle and blog.

    I missed a couple of points in haste to move on – the ‘it’ in city and the double take on ‘bouncer’. Both improve the clues enormously.

    I hesitated over the anagram indicator in ‘hypnotist’ – but ‘can’t be trusted’ does = ‘not to be taken at face value’.

    I particularly enjoyed 14a (my cod also), 18a, 10a, 4d and 19d!

    As a fn. to 23d Simba is also the Swahili for lion.

    Thanks again to setter and blogger.

  10. tyke says:

    I couldn’t load the page with your joke on either. If you really want that song, and others like it, go here. Warning: this is definitely NOT SAFE FOR WORK, and contains material which may will offend!

  11. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    Although widely considered ‘the king over the water’ I thought this was a very poor effort from Paul. I have no particular complaints about the clues,just that it was disappointingly too easy.
    As Mystogre says, many solutions were write-ins followed by parsing, not a good thing as Walruss (I think) said yesterday.
    Amazingly, I found this one much easier than yesterday’s Rufus, who would have thought that would ever happen.
    I think the present king, cis-the water (Huntingdon?), has nothing to fear from a pretender.

  12. Andrew says:

    Paul’s Twitter feed for today says: “Think I must’ve been in silly mood when writing today’s puzzle – it’s amazing how one’s writing mood ends up in one’s work.” Referring to the Nappy clue, perhaps, and/or the dizzy yak?

    My Quibble Of The Day is for 1,9ac – something built to scale usually isn’t “of the same dimensions” as the original.

  13. Kathryn's Dad says:

    This was a fantastic puzzle from Paul. I’m usually stumped if he sets a themed crossword or one with inter-linked clues, but the vanilla stuff I’m starting to manage now and I can see why he has his fans. Plenty to appreciate today, but I specially liked PYJAMA PARTY, DOODLES and APHRODISIAC.

    Also a fine, entertaining blog from UY.

  14. Roger says:

    A great puzzle with (d)oodles of fun … especially liked the haunted pub !

    Andrew @12. In 1,9 I thought aren’t was doubling up as the end of the first definition and the start of the second.

  15. tupu says:

    Hi Andrew

    re 1, 9: this worried me too, but it was almost last to go in so I was simply glad to get it. I feel sure that ‘proportions’ would have been a better word. I suppose though that – at a stretch – the substitution of inches for feet (say) in a model would lead to the substitution of the same numbers of one for the other [?? or more generally all right angled triangles are x squared + y squared = z squared where x, y, and z are dimensions ??].

  16. crypticsue says:

    Super stuff from Paul today, thank you to him and Uncle Yap too. This was definitely not the crossword to be sneakily solving in the office. I got some very odd looks while laughing out loud, particularly at my clue of the day 14a.

  17. William says:

    What a smashing crossword and blog – thanks to UY and Paul.

    LOTHARIO was my favourite cod.

    Uncle Yap, fifteensquared eyes & ears are too sensitive to reply publicly to your question about your bawdy ballad. We used to sing it in my rugby days and I’ll send you a link if you send me an email address privately – I’m assuming you can see my address?

    Thanks again.

  18. Mark says:

    Long time lurker, first time poster. I’ve really enjoyed reading these blogs each day after having a pop at the puzzle. Thanks all.

    I had a slightly different explanation for 21 across though. Sounds like Cuber (one who raises to a higher power). I could well be wrong, but that feels more like Paul to me.

  19. CynicCure says:

    Agree with NeilW @5. A cuber – one who cubes – promotes to a higher power.

  20. Mark says:

    Ah – managed to miss poster #5’s mention.

    I agree with him then.

  21. Tokyocolin says:

    I don’t usually post if I have nothing to add but I have to register my agreement with the plaudits above (bar one.) This was a marvelous puzzle. A chuckle-filled romp through a succession of cheeky, clever clues.

    And thanks once again for the blog Uncle Yap. But my advice would be to keep your hash and crossword personae separate. I doubt many members of the hash would appreciate the finesse of an Araucaria clue and vice versa.

  22. Robi says:

    Thanks Paul and UY for an illuminating blog.

    I thought 13 was a poor clue until I saw the blog. I didn’t much like ACETATE’s definition as a compound; yes, but very vague, like ‘a country’ etc. TONTO was the sidekick of the Lone Ranger for those who saw this old TV series. When I learned some Spanish, I saw the joke as TONTO=stupid in that language, although he was renamed ‘Toro’ or ‘Ponto’ in Spanish-speaking countries because of that.

  23. Carrots says:

    I`m still smarting about being stuck in a traffic jam for 40 minutes on Saturday….as my train to Brummieland (and Anax`s “do”) merrily departed (on time, for once!) without me. I hope y`all had a good day.

    Thanks, UY….your blog was as much fun as Paul`s masterly puzzle. I did share the reservations of Andrew @ 12 and Tupu @ 15 about “scale”, “ratio” “proportions” and “dimensions” nuances, but the clue was so good that to protest too bleatingly would be curmudgeonly.

    There was also a question mark in the dim recesses of my burnt-out brain about LOTHARIO. Romeo, in my mind at least, being a young lover, and a Lothario being a generic name for an ageing roue and libertine. I can`t be bothered to research the origins of this perception and can only hope that Tupu will be tempted to blow me out of the water (again).

  24. NeilW says:

    Hi Carrots

    Paul might be categorised in many ways but “ageist”, never. For him “all cats are grey in the dark.” :)

    Thanks, by the way for paying me the immense compliment a while ago of supposing I might be a general rather than a humble foot soldier…

  25. Carrots says:

    Hi NeilW: the last thing I would accuse any Grauniad setter of is ageism. True, The Rag espoused and almost invented house-husbands, Wimmin and The Psychology of Houework, and might well be casting about for another minority to champion. If it decides on ageism as a gallant cause, I`m off for a surgical face-lift.

    “Humble” foot-soldiers tend to be the ones who survive: lying doggo whilst Generals issuing orders behind them get shot to bits seems, to me, to be an eminently sensible policy.

    As for cats: What colour is Monday? (or Thursday/Sunday et. al)….a little teaser I used to use with students who were probably convinced that I was bonkers.

  26. Wolfie says:

    I enjoyed this very much – plenty of laughs and a few groans. The ‘Inn-Spectre’ gag (10ac) goes back to at least 1869 when it appeared in Lewis Carroll’s longest poem ‘Phantasmagoria’. (Sometimes the old ones are the best – though even Lewis Carroll’s narrator refers to this one as an ‘agonizing witticism’).

    Speaking of old ones, I’d like to assure Carrots @25 that, like all true Grauniad readers, I deplore ageism in all its manifestations. Good luck with the face-lift!

    And thanks also to UY for the entertaining blog.

  27. molonglo says:

    Hi Stella @ 7: Pirates is my favourite of the Savoy Operas, and I do recall well ‘notta nappy one.’

  28. Stella Heath says:

    Hi molonglo, I’m more familiar with D’Oyly Carte, but glad you appreciated the ref.

  29. Uncle Yap says:

    The joke at 8Down is as follows:

    An Italian, a Scotsman, and a Chinese fellow were hired at a construction site. The foreman pointed out a huge pile of sand and told the Italian guy, “You’re in charge of sweeping.” To the Scotsman he said, “You’re in charge of shoveling.” And to the Chinese guy, “You’re in charge of supplies.”
    He then said, “Now, I have to leave for a little while. I expect you guys to make a dent in that there pile.”
    The foreman went away for a of couple hours, and, when he returned, the pile of sand was untouched. He asked the Italian, “Why didn’t you sweep any of it?” The Italian replied, “I no hava no broom. You said to the Chinese fella that he a wasa in a charge of supplies, but he hasa disappeared and I no coulda finda him nowhere.” Then the foreman turned to the Scotsman and said, “And you, I thought I told you to shovel this pile.”
    The Scotsman replied, “Aye, ye did lad, boot ah couldnay get meself a shoovel! Ye left th’ Chinese gadgie in chairge of supplies, boot ah couldnay fin’ him either.” The foreman was really angry by now and stormed off toward the pile of sand to look for the Chinese guy.

    Just then, the Chinese guy jumped out from behind the pile of sand and yelled…


  30. molonglo says:

    Stella – SO and D’O C so very different, in this?

    Uncle Yap – I got the joke (in both senses) immediately I opened your blog, and I was the first.

  31. tupu says:

    Hi Carrots

    I respond, not in order ‘to blow you out of the water’ – heaven forbid! – but because I had a vague memory I wished to check that Lothario is or has been often preceded by the word ‘gay’. This dates of course from earlier usage of that word. This seems to be the case.

    notes that there is an old play by Rowe (1703) “Through the Rowe play, the eponym a lothario, came to mean a handsome, seductive ladies’ man. It was often prefixed with “gay”, from Rowe’s line, “haughty gallant gay Lothario”. A “gay lothario” was an amoral seducer”.

    As far as I can tell there is no inherent idea that Lothario is ‘old’ in this or other plays.

  32. Carrots says:

    Many thanks, Tupu. I had a sneaky feeling that you wouldn`t be able to resist getting to the bottom of it!

    I can now permanently erase my fanciful notion of LOTHARIO as a silver-maned lounge-lizard in correspondent`s shoes and replace it with that of a gay(sic) young blade with the libido of a rabbit.

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