Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Genius 100 / Paul

Posted by Gaufrid on November 6th, 2011


Had I known that I was going to end up covering this puzzle I would have written the blog immediately after solving it. As it is, a month has gone by and my memory of it has become clouded due to solving a lot of other puzzles (and drinking a lot of whisky) in the meantime.

We were told that “the spelling of several well-known (but undefined) entries is incorrect, which may not be to your taste!”. As it turned out, the undefined entries were names of famous people and, before entry into the grid, part of the name had to changed to a similar sounding item of food or drink.

My first undefined entry was 13ac which gave the game away and the rest followed in quick succession, except for 28ac of whom I’d never heard. I assume that I have this one correct as I am unable to think of any other possibility but I cannot say that I am too happy with simply ‘another’ as an anagram indicator.

The typo (extravagently) in 10dn was corrected two days after the puzzle appeared on-line according to a note that has been added to the preamble.

7 LOOK INTO LOO (toilet) KIN (relatives) TO
8 ZENANA NAN (elderly woman) in ZEA[l] (fervent devotion lessened)
11 AVOCADO A VOCA[l] (noisy abbreviated) DO (function)
12 ON ORDER *(DONE OR) [containe]R
15 WOLFRAM WOLF (predator) RAM (prey)
17 CUSTODY homophone of ‘custardy’ (with egg on one’s face)
19 OKRA WINFREY OK (fine) RAW (bloody) *(FINERY)
24,9 SPAMELA ANDERSON A MELA (cultural {Hindu} festival) in SPAN (reach) *(SNORED)
25,20 MICHAEL WIENER *(AWHILE) in CE (church) in MINER (underground worker)
28 PEA DIDDY P (page) *(I ADDED) [stor]Y
1 FLOAT double def.
2,27 COCOA CHANEL O (old) COACH (vehicle) in CANE (stick) L[abels]
3,4 PITA O’TOOLE I O (love) in TAT (rubbish) in POOLE(port)
5 MEKONG ME KONG (1930s’ King of Hollywood introduces himself)
6 SACRISTY *(RACISTS) [blasphem]Y
10 GOTHIC GOT HIC (suffered from mild dose of wind)
13 PAR [s]PAR (don’t open box)
14 GLORIANA OR (gold) IAN (Scotsman) in GLA[d] (not entirely happy)
15 WOOLSACK WOO (court) [process]S in LACK (deficiency)
16 MANIAC CAIN (murderer) AM (in the morning) reversed
18 SAY SA[vv]Y (knowledgeable not very very)
21 ROMMEL M[arched] in ROME(capital) L[atvia]
22 SANDY S AND Y (sunny extremes)
23 PLAYA PLAY (toy) A
26 CODA COD (swimmer) A – ‘tail, barred’ is a cryptic definition of “a passage forming the completion of a piece, rounding it off to a satisfactory conclusion (music)” (Chambers).


10 Responses to “Guardian Genius 100 / Paul”

  1. Rishi says:


    The following site, on which I stumbled a while ago, might be of interest:

  2. bridgesong says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid, and Paul for what was for me the hardest Genius so far. It took me much longer than usual to finish, with PITA O’TOOLE being the last one to go in. It was pretty clear from the preamble that something to do with food was going to be involved, but I wasted time at first trying to find a link between the celebrities. Gaufrid, presumably it was 13 across which was your first celebrity.

  3. dunsscotus says:

    Thanks Gaufrid. You’re right about P Diddy – I believe it’s rap. Does Paul know about ‘Foodlebrities’, an extensive and humourous website entirely devoted to wordplay precisely of the type in the puzzle? (Google it if you dare.)

    I only got the ‘women’s quarters’ by reading an encyclopedia article on ‘harem’. Brilliant.

    An intriguing and quirky puzzle. Thanks to Paul.

    What’s your favourite malt, G? Mine is Old Pulteney.

  4. Gaufrid says:

    Thanks bridgesong, typo corrected.

    Hi dunsscotus
    It’s probably easier to say that the only one (so far) that I don’t like is Talisker.

  5. Mr Beaver says:

    I’m surprised Bridgesong found this ‘the hardest Genius so far’, I certainly found some recent offerings much harder. But it was true that, even when the penny had dropped re the theme, this didn’t necessarily make the others that much easier.

    But it was worth persevering with for the hilarious (well, to us, anyway) manglings of celebrity names, as well as other gems like 17a. Mrs Beaver and I enjoyed it immensely – well done, Paul!

    As an aside, re 14d, thank goodness all Scotsmen are called Ian, or where wouild crossword setters be? It must be so confusing North of the Border, though!

  6. Trebor says:

    Micheal “Winner” was my first (hastily entered) themed answer and initially I thought the theme answers were all gonna be restaurant / food critics (somewhat consistent with the preamble) however, with Okra Winfrey the penny dropped.
    Pita O’Toole was the last one in and Piethagoras was my favourite.
    Also curious to hear this described as the hardest Genius. I struggle a lot more (and have never managed to finish) the ones where answers need to be swapped around in some manner before being put in. Horses for courses I suppose.
    Anyway, Cheers Paul.

  7. Jan says:

    Thanks Gaufrid for the blog and to Paul for a bit of fun and a mind block.

    Notes on completion.

    I romped along, chuckling and chortling at the silly names; having fun with a puzzle which was not very challenging but it was enjoyable until I only needed …

    3,4 What a PITA! (I know my acronyms and someone had to say it!)

    Tina, Rita, Gina et al (12 of them), all got a try out. For a long time I struggled to justify Nina Stiome (Nina Simone) with ASTI as the tasty bit and NOME as the port. My brain had decided that the I and the O must belong together.

    On a recent Indy blog crypticsue said, …have you tried what I call ‘cogitation’. If you put the puzzle down and do something else for at least half an hour and then return, you will usually find that the cryptic grey matter has mulled it over while you aren’t consciously thinking about the puzzle, and all will soon fall into place.

    That usually works for me, too, but I put this one down for eight days to no avail. I confess, I resorted to using ?T?O?E in Chambers Word Wizard and the penny dropped.

    I can’t resist a mathematical alternative for 13a.

    Transcendental representatives at the unfinished Athens assembly place head south.

  8. Gordon says:

    Hi Gaufrid

    I just got back from a week away and was disappointed to learn that yet again I had not won the prize!

    Like everyone else it seems, Pita O’Toole was my last one in. I guessed that it was probably a foodie clue, although that was no guarantee as Paul had put ‘several’ not ‘seven’ in his instructions. [By the way what is the lowest number that is too high to be called ‘several’?. In my own mind it is 5 or 6, not 7.] I therefore guessed at Pita/Peter and then used the lovely suggestions on Google when I put in Peter AT, then Peter OT etc. Fortunately Mr. O’Toole was the first suggestion of the latter.

    My own favourite clue was OKRA Winfrey; partly because I can’t stand her.

    On another matter I am not a great fan of Talisker either; it tastes burnt to me. My two favourites are Highland Park [sublime] and Lagavulin Pedro Ximenes cask – astonishingly beautiful if you like Islay malts tinged with a sherry undertone.


  9. dunsscotus says:

    If you want an introduction to island Malt Whisky go for Bowmore – it’s relativey accessible. Leave Laphraoig for another day!

  10. Dave Dunford says:

    I liked the fact that, in true Guardian style, the “extravagently” correction itself had a typo: “The spelling…was corrected after an ‘e’ crept it.”

    OB crossword…like most others, PITA O’TOOLE was the last answer to go in.

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