Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,516 – Boatman

Posted by Uncle Yap on December 27th, 2011

Uncle Yap.

What a tour de force from Boatman today. His  device (all twelve of them) may be second; but in my book, it is the top. Bravo Boatman!

1 CUBIST Ins of S (second) in CUBIT (an old measure, the length of the arm from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger, from 18 to 22in) The first of 12 usages of the word, SECOND in this puzzle
4 MUSICAL Ins of US (American, Yankee) in *(CLAIM)
11 IRONS IRONY (ridicule) minus Y + S (first letter of store)
12 DAMASCENE DRAMA (play) SCENE (episode as in Act I Scene II) minus R (right) I spent a few minutes trying to figure out the definition but thanks to molonglo @1, The Conversion of Paul the Apostle, as depicted in the Christian Bible, refers to an event reported to have taken place in the life of Paul of Tarsus which led him to cease persecuting early Christians and to himself become a follower of Jesus; it is normally dated by researchers to AD 33–36. The phrases Pauline conversion, Damascene conversion, and road to Damascus allude to this event.
13 GLORIFY G (good) + *(FRY OIL) What an ingenious and inspired thing to use lard with honour as def !!
15 MYOPIC MY (Boatman) O (second letter in command) plus first letters of Put In Charge
17 PINKIE Ins of Indian INK in PIE (food) for the little finger
19 MATELOT MATE (senior officer) LOT (destiny) for a sailor or seaman clued as boatman
24 FIBRE Ins of B (second letter of the alphabet, also used to indicate not the best) in FIRE! (command to attack)
26 TRICE T (last letter of harvest) RICE (grain) with second here used as def
28 AINTREE A (second letter from last) IN TREE (plane, perhaps) for the venue of The Grand National
29 DEPUTY Ins of EP (extended play record) in DUTY (“England expects that every man will do his duty” was a signal sent by Admiral Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson from his flagship HMS Victory as the Battle of Trafalgar was about to commence on 21 October 1805) Second in command is the deputy

1 CLOSING C (second last letter from race) LOSING (failing)
2 BUCKO BUCK (slang for US dollar) O (love)
3 SLAPSTICK SLAPS (make-up’s) TICK (moment in time or second) for a kind of comedy derived from the harlequin’s double lath that makes a noise like a slap
4 MINIMUM MINIM (note) UM (expression of hesitation like ER or AAH)
5,10 SHOP-SOILED S (small) HOPS (what goes into beer) OILED (drunk) Before I tackled this clue, I rechecked the site to confirm the enumeration 4-6 when the physical space was 5 & 5. For this clever ruse, my COD
6 COLLEGIAL Ins of LE (French definite article) in *(LOGICAL) from COLLEGE, incorporation, company or society of persons joined together generally for a specific function or specific power such as the US Electoral College consisting of the electors appointed by each state who formally elect the President and Vice President of the United States
7 LADDER L (large) ADDER (snake) I am reminded of the first time I visited the famous Snake Temple in Penang where snakes from the nearby forest are allowed to go about without being molested. Lying innocuously against a wall was a ladder and there was no sign of any on-going work. This invited the inevitable question to the tour-guide “What’s that ladder for?” and the stock reply “So, we can play snakes and ladders” That should certainly help with the tips.
8 HARDLY Ins of L (first letter of Lord) in HARDY (Nelson’s captain of Kiss me Hardy fame)
18 ENDORSE *(RED NOSE) with second as def
19 MAN-DAY ha and I am sure one of you erudite lot will give further explanation. Now, thanks to NeilW, the hidden answer, MAN-DAY (as a unit of quantity of work) is more than person-second. Somehow, compared to the rest of the excellent clues, I find this a damp-squib
20 TUESDAY *(SEA DUTY) another use of second for a working day in the week
21 ICE TEA ha
23 THEIR *(HER IT) My only misgiving is that his or her would indicate singular whereas his and her, plural. Thanks to NeilW, I looked up THEIR in Chambers “his or her (a use unacceptable to some) ” So the clue now makes perfect sense with def = controversially his (or her)
25 BANTU A tichy clue to prohibit (BAN) the use of the informal TU (second person in French) for the people of Zanzibar and the opposite coast; one of them; loosely, their language (Kiswahili), a Bantu tongue modified by Arabic, spoken in Kenya, Tanzania and other parts of East Africa.

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
rha = reversed hidden answer
*(fodder) = anagram

21 Responses to “Guardian 25,516 – Boatman”

  1. molonglo says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap, especially for explaining why 3d had nothing to do with ‘lipstick.’ I spent too much time trying to figure that one, as well as 19d which troubled you, too. 12a, though, is surely to do with Saul, and the idea of dramatic change.

  2. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks to Boatman, Uncle Yap and molonglo for the DAMASCENE explanation. BANTU was my favorite.
    Can’t help on the MAN-DAY question.


  3. NeilW says:

    Thanks, UY.

    19 – you have to undo the punctuation and read “More than a person-second?” Answer: a MAN-DAY!

    23 – refers to the usage in English when you’re not sure of a person’s sex so use the possessive THEIR, instead of “his” or “her”.

  4. Bhavan says:

    MAN-DAY is hidden in … More than a person? Second in com [man d (ay ]e aye, captain!) …

  5. Bhavan says:

    Sorry, premature submission. Wanted to ask if “in” is the ha or there is more to it.

  6. NeilW says:

    Bhavan, yes, the ha indicator is “in”. For the rest, see my comment @3.

  7. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    Another very high quality challenge from Boatman.
    I thought the “damp squib” at 19d was a brilliant clue. I always admire misleading by punctuation.
    I do not know why but my last two in were ‘pinkie’and ‘trice’.

  8. Muz says:

    Really nice puzzle and great blog, as usual.

    last in the troublesome 19d; I’m always a sucker for hidden answers.

    Re 8, there is conjecture that Nelson actually whispered “Kismet, Hardy”. Kismet, meaning fate or destiny, seems more fittingly stoic. Is this clue a vague &lit?

    As a random observation on 29, the story goes that Nelson asked to signal “England confides (i.e. has confidence) the every man will do his duty”, but confides was replaced with expects as it was quicker to semaphore.

    I obviously have too much time on my hands over the Christmas break!

  9. MikeC says:

    Thanks UY and Boatman. I got there, just, but didn’t fully understand several – merci for the explanations.

  10. Harvey Hawley says:

    A plea from someone who doesn’t like hyperbole.

    Can tour de force be banned from this site please?

    They are only crosswords. FFS.

  11. Boatman says:

    Oh, I rather liked “tour de force”, myself. I suppose I would, though.

    Did anyone spot the additional reference in 29, that “duty” was not only the last word in that signal but also Nelson’s reputed last word before dying?

    Glad to see that some of you at least have survived the festivities. A very happy new year to all.

  12. sidey says:

    Did anyone spot…

    Yes, rather good, rather good puzzle.

  13. tupu says:

    Thanks UY and Boatman (for visit as well)

    I found parts of this hard and nearly put pickle (in 17a) as my last answer.
    I also wondered at first about slapstick/lipstick. I did not much like the word order in a couple of clues though it greatly helped the surface (e.g. 5d).

    Some very clever cluing e.g. 13a, 22a, 24a, 28a, 19d.

    Less entertaining for me than some other recent puzzles but one must admire the setter’s skill.

  14. chainsawpete says:

    Man-day is a legitimate unit in project estimation. A ten man-day project might require one person ten days or ten people one day or 3 people 3 1/3 days.

  15. John says:

    Like Muz I always believed his flw were either “Kiss Me Hardy” or “Kismet, Hardy”.
    Like you, Harvey, I cringe at hyperbole, but it, not to mention excessive adulation and blandishment have long been a feature of this site. Sometimes you’d swear that Physics had been unified or a cure for cancer discovered, rather than a clever puzzle created.

  16. RCWhiting says:

    John,take care with your words, I have been sorely castigated for expressing such calumnies.

  17. Boatman says:

    In case anyone’s wondering …

    “Take care of my dear Lady Hamilton, Hardy, take care of poor Lady Hamilton …
    “Kiss me, Hardy …
    “Now I am satisfied. Thank God I have done my duty”

    … reputedly.

  18. chas says:

    Thanks to UY for the blog.

    You expressed some concern about 5,10 being described as 4,6 while fitting in to two 5-letter spaces. I note that this tactic has been used by Araucaria on quite a few occasions. I was not at all worried by it here.

  19. Andy D says:

    It’s not often that I attempt crosswords on the day of publication, so I’m usually too late to post here. (I prefer to allow time for errors to be corrected on the Guardian website!) I have a clipboard containing a selection of recent puzzles from which I pick and choose. I invariably come here though, when I’ve either completed or (occasionally) given up on a puzzle.

    However, I completed all of Boatman yesterday except for 19D. Looking in my old Chambers just after I woke, the solution, and its parsing, suddenly leapt out at me.

    The old Chambers doesn’t give a “conversion” meaning for 12, just a lot of stuff about swords, but this meaning was fairly obvious and Google helped.

    Very enjoyable puzzle, thanks Boatman, 25 probably my favourite. Unfortunately, in order for 20 to fit into the “second” theme, the definition makes the anagram almost superfluous – although I actually solved the anagram before I read the rest of the clue for the definition!

    re 5,10 – recently there was Land’s End fitting in 2 4-letter lights. I can’t remember who that was, but remembering it helped.

  20. RCWhiting says:

    I think the rule is (or ought to be) that each light should be a valid word.Shops, oiled,land and send are all OK.

  21. Huw Powell says:

    Late to the party but whatever. Yes, at 5,10 knowing that the first word and first letter of the second must be a word helped me to gradually solve it.

    As far as “tour de force”, this was certainly a tour de force of a puzzle, at any rate. How many different ways was the word “second” used? Ten? And look at the list of solution types Uncle Yap had to list in the key!

    I got rolling with a handful of “easy” anagrams, and then it felt like every clue was a new and different kind of puzzle in itself. Excellent work, Boatman, if you ever see this, and thanks for the blog, UY!

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