Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Prize Puzzle 25,436 by Paul

Posted by PeeDee on October 1st, 2011


Not exactly a full-blown theme, but plenty of artists dotted about in here, and the now trademark smattering of smutty words in the clues.  Thanks to Paul for a varied and entertaining crossword.

Hold mouse over clue number to see clue.

1 ROEBUCK K (one thousand) CUBE (8=2x2x2) and OR reversed (roundabout) – a male Roe deer
5 SNIFFED Stink (first letter of) NIFFED (smelt) – one can sniff to smell something better
9 LUCID Cold inside fLUID (water missing the top letter, the lid) – definitionis ‘clear’
10 OVERCOMES OVER (finished) Charge (first letter of) and SOME* – definition is ‘defeats’
11 OPEN SESAME (POEM SEEN AS)* – nonesensical=anagram, definition is ‘magic words’
12 SNOB BONSai reversed (with A1=perfect)
14 HUMOURLESSLY Definition and cryptic definition – the vitreous humour is the jelly inside one’s eyes
18 HOOTENANNIES HOOTEr (beak=nose missing its end, tip) and NANNIES (nurses) – definition is parties
21 ROME MORE* – ‘Rome was not built in a day’
22 DISC CAMERA IS CC (caught cricket, twice) inside DAME (US girl) and RA (Royal Acedemian, artist) – definition is ‘old shooter’
25 BURLESQUE RUB (massage) reversed and SEQUEL*
26 TRUNK Definition and cryptic definition – a trunk is a case and an elephant has one
27 MATISSE I (1, single) SS (steam ship, vessel) inside MATE (‘china’ is Cockney slang for husband or wife ‘china plate’ is Cockney rhyming slang for ‘mate’)
28 GORMLEY ELM (tree) reversed inside GORY (bloody) – Anthony Gormley
1 ROLL-ON genitaL (bottom of) inside ROLO (confection, sweet) and regioN (final letter) – is Paul really Cyclops in disguise? Has anyone seen them both in the same place at the same tme?
2 ESCHER hootenaniES CHERubim (solutions to 18 and 16) – Maurits Escher, he of the impossible staircases fame
4 KOONS SNOOK (to cock a snook, make a rude gesture) reversed – Jeff Koons
5 STEAM IRON Joan MIRO (artist) inside (AS NET)* – something that removes creases
6 INCH fINCH (winger=bird missing first letter) – is an inch really very short?  It is in the context of a missed header, thanks to Peter O for this.
7 FEMINIST Tracy EMIN (artist) inside FIST – definition is ‘feminist’, though I must admit I can’t really see why. Someone who supports women? Someone who supports Tracy Emin?
8 DISOBEYS ID reversed (written up, not down) and BEY (Ottoman governor) in SOS (cry for help)
13 BENEFACTOR New iside BEEF (complaint) and ACTOR (player) – definition is ‘supporter’
15 ODALISQUE DALI (artist) inside mOSQUE (topless temple) – a female slave in a harem, hence definition ‘she’s enslaved’
16 CHERUBIM ER (Elizabeth Regina, ruler) inside CHUB (fish) and IM (one metre) – plural of cherub (angel). I don’t like I being used for 1 here. I is a roman numeral with value 1, but 100cm is not ancient Roman in any sense, it requires too many steps to go from ‘100cm’ to ‘one metre’ then to ‘IM’.
17 TOMMY ROT TOMMY (soldier) with ROTa (list of duties without final A) – definition is ‘bunk’
19 SEQUEL QUE (‘that’ translated into French, for example) inside SELf (incomplete personality)
20 BANKSY BANKS (relies on) mysterY (last letter of) – artist known for his striking graffiti art
23 CLEGG Good following Conservative LEG (member) – Nick Clegg is Deputy Prime Minister in the UK and leader of the Liberal Democrats, the minor party in a coalition government with the Conservative Party, hence he supports them.
24 BEDS Double definition – Bedfordshire and hospital beds


27 Responses to “Guardian Prize Puzzle 25,436 by Paul”

  1. molonglo says:

    Thanks PeeDee. especially for the two clues that I got but could never explain: 14a and 19d. Last in was 22a DISC CAMERA which I’d never heard of, and was nicely thrown by its “artist.” I’d never heard of the actual artist GORMLEY though I got him. Some good, gettable, testing clues, like 1a, 18a and 13d. A nice prize puzzle from Paul, this one.

  2. PeterO says:

    Thanks to Paul for another romp, and to PeeDee for the blog. As far as I remember, I got 25A, and then used it to solve 19D; somewhere in this process I made a typo, entering an s for the final e of burlesque. Then I wondered why I could not get 23D.
    6D: “is an inch really very short?” That depends, of course, on what you are measuring. By which I mean that if it is the distance by which a footballer misses a header, then it is. (OK a winger is more likely to deliver the cross than receive it).
    In 5D you have introduced an extra a: the anagram part is (AS NET)*.
    I think that when I did the puzzle, the original version of 16D was missing ‘more than one’, which was odd in that it gave a singular definition for a plural answer. The Grauniad seems to have corrected it on Wednesday.

  3. Biggles A says:

    Thanks PeeDee. My ignorance of modern art and artists in 2,4,5,7,20 and 28 was a handicap here but I found the answers were all realisable through the wordplay with the help of crossing letters. The SE corner held me up and I had trouble explaining 25 until 19, which I thought had probably the best clue, emerged.

    Did not Tracy Emin (7) make an appearance quite recently in a Prize Crossword?

  4. NeilW says:

    Hi Biggles A: Yes, I have commented on this blog in the past on the endemicity of Ms Emin in the Guardian crossword – she seems to make at least a monthly appearance. I suppose the letter combination is particularly attractive to setters. Her popularity ranks up there with Princess Di!

  5. Coffee says:

    Surely China Plate = mate, as in friend, not spouse? Trouble & Strife being wife of course. Didn’t get this one anyway, as I spent far too long trying to see how PICASSO would fit… PICO having nothing to do with China… gave up on that corner.

  6. Biggles A says:

    Thanks NeilW, I thought so. I gather she is regarded as a feminist herself PeeDee.

  7. Mr Beaver says:

    We found this hard, but satisfying, even though we couldn’t work out the wordplay on some (eg 2d, 19d)- so thanks for the explanations. Very much enjoyed Paul’s humour (particularly the vitreous kind, very groanworthy!).

    One minor quibble, though, isn’t CHERUBIM the plural of CHERUB, so shouldn’t the definition be ‘Angels’ ?

    I trust those who complain of the ease of recent prize crosswords are happier now ? ;)

  8. tupu says:

    Thanks Peedee and Paul

    A very accurate blog of an interesting puzzle with a good range of ideas though seemingly a lot of decapitations and de-tails.

    Enjoyed many of the clues inc. 9a, 14a, 21a, 22a, 5d,8d, 15d, 16d, 17d.

    I got 1d and realised the sweet was rolo, but am not sure I parsed it correctly at this distance, since I came back to it thinking there were two ls in the name which would have ignored the ‘l’ in ‘genital’. I may have just been keen to get on with the next clue.

    The parsing of ‘sequel’ was the hardest to see.

  9. tupu says:

    Also liked 1a

  10. r_c_a_d says:

    Thanks for the blog; and a return to form for Paul, I think.

    Really liked FEMINIST and CHERUBIM, which were “laugh out loud” moments for me.

    An excellent puzzle, especially since I initially cringed on seeing the frequency of “artist” in the clues.

  11. Davy says:

    Thanks PeeDee,

    An excellent puzzle from Paul that I somehow managed to ignore for most of the week. I finished it last night when I remembered that the blog would be published today.

    I found this tricky and quite difficult to get into. On the day of publication, I only got three clues then put it to one side till Tuesday.

    The only clue I couldn’t explain was 14a although the ‘eyes’ part should have been obvious.

    I liked the GORMLEY clue because of its NE connection. For those that don’t know, Mr Gormley is the designer of The Angel of the North, one of England’s
    best-known landmarks.

    Thanks Paul for all the fun.

  12. Roger says:

    Thanks PD. Didn’t really see a problem with 100cm = IM (16d) but did with the pleural until corrected mid-week.

    LUCID, ROME, ESCHER and (strangely enough) HUMOURLESSLY were fun. ODALISQUE was new

    Had forgotten about the DISC CAMERA (never really took off, did it ?).

    Anyone else toy with LOWER at 26a ? {lower (“case”, letters) and lower (cow, that which lows, “gigantic beast ?” … which also happens to be written in lower case !)}. Just me, then.

  13. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Nice puzzle by Paul and at last, after three easier weeks, a prize crossword that was a bit more testing.
    Thanks, PeeDee, for me 100 cm = 1 m is perfectly alright – actually, the insertion of ‘one metre’ (as mentioned in your blog) would literally be one step too far for me.
    BTW, Roger, what do you mean by “… but did with the pleural [plural, I presume?] until corrected mid-week”?

    Thanks to Paul for a good puzzle, and to PeeDee for the blo [old chestnut: detailed blog … :)].

  14. PeeDee says:

    Hi Sil,

    As you say 100cm = 1m is alright, I want to know why 1m = im ?

  15. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Do you have a problem with 1=I then?
    Just Roman numerals as a plain (not linked to any part of the surface) crossword device?
    And don’t we see 10 meaning IO quite often?

  16. Petrus says:

    re IM in 16 down:

    Couldn’t one read ‘I’ as the pronoun ‘one’, as in the rather old-fashioned usage still to be heard in The Queen’s English? More often than not, ‘one’ is being used as a substitute for ‘I’. A bit far-fetched perhaps.

    More simply, if 1m is written in capitals it becomes IM. Most people fill in crosswords using capitals, which is also the default for the online version.

    Thanks to Paul for the entertainment and PeeDee for the illumination.

  17. Barbara says:

    The blogger mentions a “smattering of smutty words in the clues” in the preamble.
    What sort of Victorian thinking is that? I can’t find anything naughty in any of the clues, unless he was referring to TITillation, or perhaps genital, neither of which could be construed as “smutty”. Did I miss something?

  18. PeeDee says:

    Hi Sil and Petrus, the clue is quite acceptible, there was just something about it that made me feel uneasy. I think I have figured out what it is. When constructing the solution one must either engage with the surface meaning, or else ignore it and construct the solution using wordplay alone.

    In this case one is asked to do both, engage with the surface meaning to go from 100cm to 1m, but then ignore the surface to interpret the 1 as an I (neither roman numerals nor the pronoun work in the context of the surface meaning). It is this double-think that jars with me. Quite possibly I am just being way to analytical and should try getting out more.

  19. PeeDee says:

    Hello Barbara, clearly ‘smut’ is the wrong word to have used here, I apologise.

    I’m just commenting on the level of Paul’s trademark use of bums, bottoms and general toilet references in his clues. Sometimes there are more, sometimes less, today it is just a smattering.

    I wasn’t really intending that anyone take it very seriously.

  20. sheffield hatter says:

    No one has responded to Mr Beaver @ 7, who noted at 7.46am that the definition of 16d should be “Angels” because the answer is the plural word CHERUBIM. However, PeeDee has quoted the clue as “More than one angel…”. This differs from my edition of the paper, where it reads “Angel…”. Does this signify that everyone else who has contributed to this blog did the crossword online? And why has the editor changed one version but not the other?

    When I did the crossword last Saturday, I found this lapse quite off-putting, and together with Paul’s by now slightly tedious “trademark” Tourette’s cluing made this a less enjoyable experience for me than some others clearly found it.

  21. PaulG says:

    Thanks Pee Dee and Paul.
    Mr Beaver and Sheffield Hatter – indeed, cherubim is plural. I printed the pdf from the website, where the clue was ‘Angel…’ and therefore assumed another mistake by either Paul or the editor. Shame. It seems it was corrected in the online version.

  22. PeterO says:

    PeeDee – I think I am reading you correctly that your unease with 16D is with the double step 100 cm ->1 M ->IM. If so, you have my full sympathy: I was involved in a very similar situation in the Gordius of Wednesday 21 September . There I pointed out that accepting such constructions would open the door to some bizarre clues which I think would be generally regarded as unfair. I am not certain if any of the correspondents understood my point, but I did not get any support. Of course, in both cases there is the get-out that the second step (1 -> I in your case) is so familiar to most solvers that the combination is acceptable for just that reason.

    Sheffield hatter – I addressed the number problem in 16D in my comment @2.

  23. PeeDee says:

    PeterO – you have my thinking exactly right.

  24. PeeDee says:

    Hi PeterO,

    I just read your comments in the Gordius post, you have my sympathy. Some of the replys to your post were really quite rude.

  25. digitalis says:

    hey, i really enjoyed the puzzle..and i am a crossword fanatic (especially the cryptic ones). i catch the ones in the Hindu, ET, Indian Express etc. Is there anyway to know about crossword competitions? i’ve been keeping an eye out for some… i’d love to participate.

  26. PeeDee says:

    Hello digitalis, you could try contacting shuchi via her blog site crossword unclued, she may be able to help.

  27. Bogeyman says:

    Enjoyed this!

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