Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,536 – Paul

Posted by manehi on January 19th, 2012


Lots of fun and clever cluing from Paul – favourites were 1dn and 6,23 and biggest groan was for 8dn.

9 A BIT STEEP =”Just too much” (pie at best)*
10 EPOCH =”Remarkable time” rev( H[ard] + COPE=”manage” )
11,19,5 GOLIATH BIRD-EATING SPIDER &lit (Big horrid giant’s ideal pet)* – anagram indicator: “hairy”
12 DOSSIER =”Brief” I[nspection] “poking” i.e. inserted into DOSSER=”bum”=someone idle
13 TUCK =”Food” and also =”one’s [a tuck is something that is] gathered”
14 HENRY FONDA =”US actor” HONDA=”Accord, perhaps”=a make of car that includes the Accord Series, around [Steph]EN + (Fry)*
16 NONSUCH =”something unique” [rejectio]N + OUCH=”that hurts” around NS=”partners”=North and South in a game of bridge
17 VEHICLE =”channel” V[ery] + (leech)*, containing I=”one”
22 STET =”that shouldn’t have been deleted” [wiki] Hidden in [Mo]ST ET[hical]
24 WILDCAT “unauthorised by the unions” In a cryptic clue, “wild cat” might suggest (cat)* => “act”
25 GNOSTIC =”Knowing” (costing)*
26 EX-CON =”For whom time’s passed” or possibly an ex-conservative “having discarded blue ribbon”
27 APRIL FOOL =”Mug” “short contrary coquette” => rev(FLIR[t]), inside A POOL=”a pond”
1 CAUGHT AND BOWLED =”Way out” AUGHT=”Anything”, “tinned” => in CAN; + D[elicious] + OWL=”bird” inside BED=”bottom”
2 BILLYCAN =”container” – a camping cooking pot BILLY CAN is an apposite contrasting conclusion to “Nanny is unable to – but ____”
3 OSCAR =”award” or “unblemished” implied by O[zero] SCAR
4 YEAH YEAH =”doubly fine” rev(HAY=grass around [hedg]E), twice
6,23 NEWS OF THE WORLD =”Publication no longer appearing” NEW=contemporary + SOFT=”easily manipulated” + HEW=hack + OLD=”shabby” around R[ight]
7 MOTION =poet (Andrew Motion, former Poet Laureate) also referring to the phrase “poetry in MOTION”
8 PHARMACEUTICALS =”the drugs” sounds like “farmer Sue tickles”
15 QUIESCENT =”Still” QUIET=silent around SCEN[e]=”view? Not entirely”
17 VINEGARY =”sharp” GARY Player the golfer, under VINE=plant
18 CITATION “Quote” CATION=”something positive” about IT
20 RELICT =”one’s survived” C[himney], inside rev(TILER)
21 TITIAN =”Artist” sounds like “optician” i.e. “seeing specialist”, but minus the “op”

25 Responses to “Guardian 25,536 – Paul”

  1. NeilW says:

    Thanks manehi. 21’s a little bit cleverer: the (op)tician is defined in the clue as a “seeing specialist!”

    Real vintage stuff from Paul, thanks!

  2. Stella Heath says:

    Thanks Manehi and Paul.

    Great fun – personally, I did literally laugh out loud at Farmer Sue’s tickling 😆

  3. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, manehi.

    When I restarted cryptics a couple of years ago, Paul was always one of the Guardian setters I struggled with. But now I can solve him more often than not (except when he does 34-letter anagrams) and I can see why he has his fans. I think it’s just a question of getting used to his somewhat individual – but certainly entertaining – style.

    Today I specially liked MOTION, and PHARMACEUTICALS made me laugh as well. Thanks to Paul.

  4. Ian W. says:

    Is “quote” now a noun? Dear me.

  5. manehi says:

    NeilW: thanks, edited now.

  6. andy smith says:

    Ian @5 – FWIW Chambers gives ‘quote’ as a noun – standing as an informal abbreviation of ‘quotation’.

  7. molonglo says:

    Thanks manehi. Loved this, though it took a good hour and a bit. Lots of exclamation marks to match the one in 8d: 12a, 1d and 21d merit them for a start. Still don’ t understand ‘cation’ in 18d. DOSSIER was last in. Good one, Paul.

  8. tupu says:

    Thanks manehi and Paul

    Entertaining and rather tricky at times. As often with clever clues, I found myself first getting the answer and then working out why. This too can be fun.

    I missed some ideas e.g. the act/cat transformation in wildcat. I first thought the answer might be ‘illicit’ and then simply looked for a fitting alternative after getting 1d. I had to checkl ‘cation’.

    Ian @4. ‘Quote’ as ‘quotation/citation’ has been a noun since at least the 1880s and as ‘quotation/marginal reference’ since the very early C17.

    I ticked 12a, 25a, 27a, 2d, and 8d (for its cheek).

  9. tupu says:

    Hi molongolo. As I discovered ‘cation’ is listed as a noun in my chambers. It seems to be a combination of cathode and ion.

  10. Gervase says:

    Thanks, manehi.

    Great fun from Paul, and a bit trickier than many of his recent ones – these observations are probably related.

    1d took me a long time because I had a bit of trouble with some of the across answers on the LHS. On the other hand I spotted BIRD-EATING SPIDER from the enumeration and just a few crossing letters and only had to check the fodder to work out GOLIATH. Great clue!

    I’m aghast that ‘cation’ is a unfamiliar word. Where are you now, CP Scott, when we need you? Cations are positively charged ions (anions are negatively charged), so called because they are attracted to a cathode. ‘Cathode’ is from the Greek ‘kathodos': ‘a going down’ (‘anode’ is going up, of course) – the ‘cata’ element as in catastrophe, cataclysm, catalepsy ect. Don’t ask me why cathodes should be ‘down’ and anodes ‘up’, but it must be somehow related to our convention of ‘positive’ and ,negative’ when applied to charged species, which seems equally arbitrary.

  11. Mitz says:

    Thanks, manehi.

    I agree with all of the particular clues that others have already picked out as being special, and would add ‘yeah yeah’ which was my last in – inexcusably as my eldest has just turned 14 and I should be more familiar with it! Only tiny criticism: the definition for ‘News of the World’ was uncharacteristically obvious. But talk about nit-picking. Cheers Paul: magnificently entertaining.

  12. John Appleton says:

    I have a feeling I’ve seen Paul use 6,23 before. Am I the only one who though it familiar?

  13. Gervase says:

    Re my comment at 10, I meant CP Snow, of course. Although the esteemed former editor of the Grauniad would probably have had something to say about it too…

  14. NeilW says:

    Gervase – from my schoolboy physics, I seem to remember batteries with a cathode and an anode in an electrolyte solution linked above the surface by a wire. The current flows in circular fashion down the cathode across to the anode etc.

  15. Mitz says:

    Hi NeilW,

    I’m sure that I remember a school experiment involving cathodes and anodes as well, but I swear that we covered it in chemistry, rather than physics. Of course, these days most teenagers don’t get the option but just have everything lumped together as “combined sciences”. The expression “just what do they teach the kids in school these days?” has never felt so grimly relevant.

  16. crypticsue says:

    Superb thank you Paul – the puzzle of the day for me (and yes I have done the other 5!) I loved 7d and 8d and 2d raised a smile too. Thanks to manehi too.

  17. NeilW says:

    Mitz, I fear we will feel Gaufrid’s fiery breath down our necks if we stray too far off-topic so best we say no more on the subject. :)

  18. Le Petomane says:

    Our favourite groan was 2d. A typical Paul- funny and just challenging enough.

  19. William says:

    Curious mix of difficulty here. 9ac went in so quickly that I thought it would be a romp. Quickly ran into the sand with the whopping big anagrams (which I can rarely be bothered to write out, I’m afraid).

    Loved the Honda Accord reference in 14ac and of course Farmer Sue made us chuckle.

    Thanks to GERVASE @10 for the physics revision. You saved my blushes as I couldn’t work out why cations were positive.

    COD MOTION – lovely.

    Thanks Paul, more please.

  20. yogdaws says:

    Nice one Paul…

    I hate spiders!

  21. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    Yes, a very good challenge. I got ‘Goliath…..spider’ but had to google to get bird-eating (eater?). The hairy reference made me think that the second word was ‘bare’.
    Gervase,I sympathise with you comments about that extremely obscure word ‘cation’!
    Last in was ‘motion’ which I admired (Johnny Tillotson 1960).
    Mitz,you don’t need to be 14 to recognise ‘yeah,yeah’. The wonderful Georgie Fame had a number one hit in 1964 (Yeh,Yeh).
    Those who read my recent comments on opera will realise where my musical tastes lie.

  22. Robi says:

    Good puzzle, although I was a bit held up by thinking that ‘hairy’ was part of the fodder and ‘big’ the description of the long anagram.

    Thanks manehi for the useful blog; don’t think I parsed NONSUCH correctly.

    RCW @21; forsooth, what reference to feline press wot is not known to the literati (or should that be glitteratti?) Occasionally, ordinary scientific words are used in crosswords…..

    I agree that the definition for 6,23 was fairly obvious, but then I do need some help sometimes with these pesky crosswords!

  23. RCWhiting says:

    Robi, I don’t follow that comment; is feline press = cat iron.
    My comment was full of iron!

  24. D&G says:

    Enjoyable but needed a wee bit of help, always expected on the back of a successful run
    But does anyone else suffer as we did from the lack of ability to fold the paper in half and do the crossword and see the weather above, to clear the mind?
    The fold in the paper is all wrong…

  25. Huw Powell says:

    I wouldn’t have managed MOTION in a hundred years, but everything else was wonderful and eventually fell into place. Thanks Paul, and Manehi!

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