Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,486 – Paul

Posted by Uncle Yap on November 22nd, 2011

Uncle Yap.

Another very entertaining morning, courtesy of Master Paul with his challenging but very fair clues, witty and original.

1 FLAT CAP Rev of PACT (agreement) ALF (from Alfred the Great) for a kind of headwear made from cloth, perhaps associated with northerners like the Scots or people from the erstwhile depressed region in the north-east of England
10 LOVE APPLE LOVE (nothing) + ins of PP (very soft) in ALE (bitter)
Paul has very mischievously used round here and in 28,17 as definition and tucked away in Chambers is the def “a dance in a ring, or its tune; a canon sung in unison” As for the wordplay, I have struggled in vain, so will promise a pint of Guinness Stout to the first ….. molonglo wins a pint of Guinness Stout when we next meet (Please see his excellent parsing at 1 below)
14 SAUDI ARABIAN Ins of AUDI (German car) in SARA (girl) + ins of I (one) in BAN (outlaw, as a verb)
18 QUINTESSENCE Ins of ESS (LESS minus starter) in TEN (figure) -> TESSEN which is, in turn, inserted in QUINCE (fruit)
21 IONA IO (Jupiter moon made famous by John Henderson) Not Applicable for a small island in the Inner Hebrides off the western coast of Scotland
25 RIGMAROLE Ins of G (good) in RIM (limit, bound) A ROLE (character)
26 STAGE dd
27 LONDON’S BURNING cd for that August 2011 madness which started in London and spread elsewhere and of course, as pointed out by GrandPuzzler @2 below, also a round. See
28 MICHAEL FINNEGAN Ins of *(FAILING HENCE with turning as anagrind) in MAN (person) for a schoolboy song (defined as round, see 11 above)
There once was a man named Michael Finnegan,
He grew whiskers on his chinnegan,
The wind came up and blew them in ag’in,
Poor old Michael Finnegan (begin ag’in)

1 FRISKY F (forte, loud in musical terms) RISKY (dangerous)
2 ACTION Ins of TI (rev of IT) in A CON (convict, prisoner)
3 COELACANTH Cha of Sebastian  COE   (British Olympian) LA (Louisiana State, hands up those who thought Paul made a booboo and mistook Los Angeles City as a state? :-) CAN’T (isn’t able) H (first letter of honour) for any of a group of primitive crossopterygian fishes all of which were thought to be extinct until 1938, when a living specimen of the genus Latimeria was discovered off the coast of E Africa.
4 PILAU rha and to think I spent a few minutes trying to parse I in PAUL and wondering how the L moved up
5 BIVARIATE Ins of V (verse) ARIA (song) in BITE (taste)
6 REAR dd
7 IMPLICIT IMP (demon) LICIT (proper)
13 DANCE MUSIC Cha of DAN (Dan Dare is a British science fiction comic hero, created by illustrator Frank Hampson) C (a hundred) EMUS (birds) I C (caught)
15 DISALLOWS Ins of SALLOW (pasty) in DISC (plate) minus C
16 SQUIRREL Ins of R (first letter of readies) in SQUIRE (country gentleman) + L (left)
19 ARMADA Ins of MAD (round the bend) in ARA (middle letters of sepARAted)
20 REVEAL Ins of A in REVEL (celebrate)
23 GLEAM Ins of E (bottom in stylE) in GLAM (glitzy)
24 MAYO MAY tree (the hawthorn) + O (round) for a county in Ireland

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

35 Responses to “Guardian 25,486 – Paul”

  1. molonglo says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap. For my offered Guinness, I propose KOOK (American character) followed by A BEE (hard worker) within which the anagram (‘wrongly’) of “I’m louder turns straight.” I solved the ’round’ device once I’d got FINNEGAN – I’d already (within 20 mins) worked out the Kookaburra song, but was bamboozled by the clue until then. But I confess to failing on 5d (I’d put in “late apple” for 10a) so thanks for that – and all the rest.

  2. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks Paul and Uncle Yap. LONDON’S BURNING is also a “round” is it not? Hats off to molonglo too. I got the KOOK and parsed no further. Thanks for the IONA explanation. Liked FRISKY.


  3. NeilW says:

    Thanks, UY and molonglo. Like grandpuzzler, I have to admit to not bothering to parse 11 etc.

    My take on 15 was that the chipped plate was a DISh but your DISc is quite possibly the better solution.

  4. NeilW says:

    By the way, I’m not sure how the Saudis would take to being called Asian!

  5. Uncle Yap says:

    Per Wikipedia, “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the largest state in Western Asia by land area”. In Malaysian news broadcasts, that part of the world used to be caalled Middle East until the more politically correct term, West Asia made its advent some decades ago.

  6. Alex in Oz says:

    Thanks for the blog Uncle Yap, and Paul for the crossword. Enjoyed this and think it might be one of the first of Paul’s that I’ve managed to finish without needing any help. Although couldn’t parse the long one until coming here, so thanks also to molonglo…

    In football (or soccer, depending on your location), Saudi Arabia is a member of AFC (the Asian Football Confederation) so I was happy with classifying the Saudis as Asians.

  7. stumped says:

    Baffled by Paul. Got the easy clues but didn’t get the meaning of ’round’ so gave up and cheated.

    Thanks for the blog Uncle Yap. I still don’t get 4d. What is the meaning of ‘rha’ in your explanation?

    Did get KOOKABURRA for the wrong reason. After the K from 1d, KOOK & A & mistakenly BURRA (hard worker = Spanish female donkey). At which point I decided it must be related to Cricket, being the name of Australian Cricket Balls.

    Oh well, back to following the West Indies vs India Test streaming online. if anyone’s interested :)

  8. Stella Heath says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap, and to Paul for a challenging puzzle. I got there in the end, and enjoyed remembering the rounds.

    Annoyingly, I saw IN THE OLD GUM TREE, but it wasn’t until I got 1d that I remembered who the inhabitant was – probably because I’d misled myself into expecting an American song.

    I had DISh for “plate” too. I think either works.

    Last in was 3d, despite having the second half of the word from the very beginning. Here I decided the first half must be a topical reference to the coming Games, so was probably a homophone of some present Olympian’s surname, and as I know none …!

    Thanks for clearing up that and other parsing doubts.

  9. Ian W. says:

    rha must mean “reverse hidden answer”

  10. liz says:

    Thanks, Uncle Yap. This took me a bit of time and a few goes with the check button. I finally got the KOOKABURRA round by guessing ‘gum tree’ and, like others, didn’t manage to parse it much further than KOOK. Was also surprised to see Saudis clued as Asian, but it seems this is perfectly acceptable. :-)

  11. Mitz says:

    Thanks Paul and Uncle Yap – entertaining as ever. Re: Kookaburra… – just like probably everyone else I got the answer long before fully parsing the clue. Enjoyed the mis-direction of ‘American’ when clearly the answer refers to an Australian.

    I wonder if Paul is worried about a copyright lawsuit from the rights owners of The Kookaburra Song. The Australian band Men at Work have had to cough up a large proportion of the royalties from their song “Down Under” (a huge hit in the early ’80s) because they lovingly used a snatch of the tune as a flute loop between verses. Disgraceful decision if you ask me…

  12. andy smith says:

    Thanks for the as ever helpful blog. One question – is ‘rear’ a synonym for ‘seat’ ?

  13. Mitz says:

    Andy @12: yes. As in ‘bottom’.

  14. PeterJohnN says:

    Re3d COELACANTH. I got it straight away because I’m sure I remember one being caught when I was a kid in the forties, though the sources (Wikipedia, and even Chambers), say it was found in 1938. I wasn’t born till 1942. Can a Greek scholar please explain why COE is pronounced “see”, and greek K is normally Angliced as C (as in cycle, ceramic, etc.)?
    Completed puzzle but didn’t parse KOOKABURRA etc.
    Re 16d For anyone who didn’t understand SQUIRREL, it’s being used as a verb meaning “to hoard”.
    Re 15d, like some others, I prefer “dish” to “disc”. “Disc” doesn’t really equate to “plate”, does it?

  15. PeterJohnN says:

    PS Thanks to Uncle Yap and Paul. Enjoyed the “round” clues, but even after getting Kookaburra, etc., didn’t spot the other two till late in the game!

  16. crypticsue says:

    I was held up for ages by quite a lot of this, not least because I was looking for something American in 11/12 etc. Thanks to Paul for the strenous workout of the grey matter and UY for the blog.

  17. tupu says:

    Thanks UY and Paul and also molongolo

    Hard but enjoyable. Like some others it took me quite a time to see ‘kook’ as ‘American character. I also saw there was an anagram lurking there but didn’t crack the whole thing and gave up. I don’t know what part of my brain I dredged up the answer from.

    Ticked several clues as I went along – 10a, 21a, 28,17, 6d, 14d, 15d (assumed it was dish but the two words are extremely closely related in any case), and 16d. Enjoyed the round idea.

  18. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    This was the best Paul for a while (especially compared to his last prize). It gave me a very satisfying work-out.
    ‘Round’ which appears in crosswords under various guises was here in its least common form and I didn’t spot it except very late in 27,5.
    I am in the dis(h) camp and I do think it is superior to dis(c).
    My favourite was 13d mostly for Dan Dare!
    I also found the American kook misleading,perhaps unfairly, since I think kook is used more widely than in the USA.

  19. Robi says:

    Good workout that I found quite difficult.

    Thanks, UY; I’m another DIS(h) person. I knew ‘KOOKy(ie),’ but not KOOK, but with a few crossing letters the song became apparent. PeterJohnN @14; I, too, remember a lot of publicity about the COELACANTH – I think it might relate to this: ‘A second specimen was captured in 1952 off the coast of the Comoros Islands off the eastern coast of Africa near Madagascar.’

    UY; I, also, tussled with PILAU for a while (as it obviously contains the ‘up’ that’s in the clue) before spotting the rha – nicely misleading clue.

    DAN Dare eh; I used to like the Mekon (

  20. dunsscotus says:

    Many thanks Paul and UY; an excellent workout. I spent a few seconds looking at letter counts to see if I could find ‘Frere Jacques’ and ‘Row, row row your boat’ but to no avail. Good general knowledge tester with ‘coelacanth’ and nice to see a ‘Q’ on a crosslight.

    On dish vs disc, John Peel certainly used to spin ‘platters’ and ‘plates’ isn’t so far away. Having said that, my own solving was via ‘dish’.

  21. Dave Ellison says:

    Thanks, UY and Paul – I needed several explanations today. I found this quite hard.

    I was thinking 1d was FEISTY for a while, but when I got FRISKY, I had to use OneAcross (web site) to find something for K?O?A?U?R? (it didn’t help having misspelled COELoCANTH). Nothing sprang to mind with KOOKABURRA and googling this gave the answer in a reference to this site (15sq)! How quick Google is these days.

    I had ANTIOC at 2d, which fits the clue and there was a battle of Antioch – I thought it must be an alternative spelling.

  22. Mitz says:

    I’m not old enough to remember the events of 1952, never mind 1938. I first came across our friend the coelacanth in David Attenborough’s breakthrough series, Life On Earth, which aired in 1979 – it was described as a ‘living fossil’. Funnily enough, although a fish it featured in the episode entitled ‘The Invasion of Land’, as its short stumpy fins are seen as precursors to legs.

  23. andy smith says:

    Mitz – bugger, of course, TVM.

  24. dunsscotus says:

    Hi again: Re. coelacanth, I heartily recommend ‘A fish caught in time’ by Samantha weinberg. Well written and fascinating.

  25. PeterJohnN says:

    Thanks Robi @ 19 re 1952 sighting of coelacanth. That fits with my memory when I would have been 9 or 10. I think that as 14 years had passed since 1938, they had thought it had become extinct since then.
    Did anybody mention that Dan Dare apeared on the front page of The Eagle comic? I think I had the first edition, having graduated from the Dandy and Beano. Wish I still had it!

  26. gm4hqf says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap and Paul for what I thought was a difficult puzzle.

    Managed to complete it but needed the blog to fully explain 21a and 25a.

    Strange but COELACANTH was one of my first in.

  27. RCWhiting says:

    “Strange but COELACANTH was one of my first in.”
    Me too gm and I was born in 1942 and I remember the discovery off East Africa.

    I also had the first Eagle and read Dan Dare.

    What a dreary bout of nostalgia we are having – cheer up everyone.

  28. Giovanna says:

    Thanks, Paul and Uncle Yap for the (necessary!) parsing.

    RCW@ 27 – you can’t beat a bit of nostalgia on a dark evening! Dan Dare was pure magic and my favourite, too. Although I did like Desperate Dan and Aunt Aggie’s cow pie, complete with horns!

    The rounds were fun but I had never heard the kookaburra one before. Like Stella @ 8, I saw in the old gum tree but alas no bells rang!

    Thanks, again, Paul for a nice change of theme.

  29. Davy says:

    Thanks UY and thanks Paul for the entertaining rounds which I didn’t spot till Michael Finnegan (last round). This puzzle kept me out of mischief for a good couple of hours and like many others, I couldn’t make sense of 11a so thanks to molonglo for his excellent explanation.

  30. Brendan (not that one) says:

    Great fun.

    Terrible start due to a “Start of the Affair” ageing couple on adjacent table in the pub behaving like teenagers. (Yuk)

    Retreated to home to continue and two hours later all was complete and parsed. Third in was Kookaburra and then saw the “round” mini theme.

    My only concern is that I’m not sure “Michael Finnegan” is a round?!

    Thanks to Paul and UY for the blog.

  31. stumped says:

    Ian W @9 Thanks for the clarification regarding ‘rhs’. About that clue, anyone that thinks the dish (disc?) is ‘foreign’ food must be leading a very sheltered life indeed.

  32. Stella Heath says:

    Hi stumped – or a foreign life where Indian(?) food is still exotic; as others on this site are aware, I’ve lived in Spain for over 30 years :)

  33. stumped says:

    Stella, point taken. However it wouldn’t be a surprise if Paella was somehow connected, given that Arabs spread it around beyond Asia :) India, where it is supposed to have originated, might be the easternmost extent of rice dishes named p*l*. In many parts of Central Asia, especially Uzbekistan, it’s known as “plov”.

  34. Coffee says:

    I suppose if it’s not British origin, and the puzzle is in a British newspaper, then yes, the dish is foreign. Visiting Singapore once with an elderly aunt, we got her some fish & ships which she thought was “lovely.. I don’t like all that foreign food… like garlic”.

    As for Saudi Arabia, here in SE Asia, eyebrows were raised some years ago when Qatar was chosen to host the Asian Games…

  35. Huw Powell says:

    SAUDI ARABIAN really embarrassed me, since I had worked out …BIAN, saw that it would “fit” the letter numbers, and have driven (old) Audis for decades! I was focused on the other “end” of the continent, of course. Then a little light started flickering, dimly… hmmm, the Middle East is not in Europe, no. And it’s not in Africa. And it sure as heck is not in the Americas!

    Must be in Asia.

    Sheepishly entered solution.

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