Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25618 – Paul

Posted by Uncle Yap on April 24th, 2012

Uncle Yap.

I really enjoyed myself this morning . This has got to be one of the best Paul puzzles … there is sex, there is religion, there is intrigue and there is royalty. Did you hear about the short story contest won by a college student? The rules specified that all the above elements must be present. The winning entry “Jesus Christ! The queen is pregnant and she doesn’t know who the father is

Place cursor over clue number to read the clue

1 See 8
6 ASAP A SAP (plodding student, slow type) for the abbreviation of as soon as possible
10 OUTDO OUT (passed away) DO (cheat)
11 BRIC-A-BRAC Ins of Right in BIC (writer, one of those trademarks that has made it to the dictionary due to popular use) ABRACadabra (an incantation used by stage magicians)
12 THEREIN Ins of HERE (present) in TIN (metal)
13 TRAINEE Ins of A (first letter of applicants) + IN in TREE (plane perhaps). Nice surface to tie in with that reality tv series
14 BUDGET AIRLINE BUDGE (shift) + *(IN RETAIL) For those who need a good laugh, do go to for a taste of Fascinating Aida
17 BALL TAMPERING A tichy clue showing Paul in his elements. Anything more from me would be an anti-climax
21 SCREW UP Ins of CREW (staff) in SUP (drink) I better leave this before I get into trouble
22 ODORANT O (old) + ins of RAN (poured forth) in DOT (spot) Anyone still remember that slogan for a deodorant “Make your armpit your charmpit” ?
24 CHIPOLATA Ins of HIP (cool) in COLA (drink) TA (thank you, little appreciative word) for a small sausage
25 IDIOM I + ins of O (love) in DIM (dusky)
26 ORGY Bunga bunga is a phrase of uncertain meaning that dates from 1910 if not earlier. In 2010 the phrase had gained popularity when it was used by the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to refer to his alleged sex parties the singular of which is ORGY from the last letters of silviO poweR ebbinG awaY. BTW, bunga in Malay is flower.
27 TWEENAGER Ins of WEE NAG (small horse, foal at Ayr, Scotland) in WINTER (season) minus WIN (winless) a child who, although not yet a teenager, has already developed an interest in fashion, pop music, and exasperating his or her parents.
1 BOOB TUBE BOOB (error) TUBE (public transport) woman’s garment of stretch fabric covering the torso from midriff to armpit (see pic below; alas my attempt to include a picture failed)
2 LATTE LATTER (second) minus R for espresso coffee with frothed hot milk.
3 IN ONE FELL SWOOP IN ONE (1/O = I + NONE thanks AndrewC) FEL (FeEbLe, odd letters) + *(SLOW) OP (opus, work)
4 ROBINIA Cha of ROBIN (Batman, the Caped Crusader’s companion, thanks grandpuzzler) I (first letter of infidels) + A for any plant of the locust or false acacia genus (Robinia) of Papilionaceae.
5 SNIFTER Ins of FT (Financial Times, paper) in SNIER (rev of REINS, leads as in horses) a slang word for a wee dram (shot)
7 SERENGETI Ins of G (first letter of government) in SERENE (calm) + TI (rev of IT)
8,1A POCKET BILLIARDS Ins of ILL (ailing) in *(DIP + BACKSTROKE – King) for that popular American game. I have always understood the term to be also a slang for a “game” played by a boy with both hands in the pockets. I kid you not when I recalled the story told by none less that our Education Minister when he came to our school for Speech Day (year-end Prize Presentation)  in the early 60’s. The school examiner was about to make a visit and the class chosen for his inspection for arithmetic was warned not to use fingers to count openly. The day came and when asked what was “Five plus five”, a boy stood up, hesitated a bit and then blurted out “Eleven” Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be (sigh)
15 DEBARRING Ins of B (bishop) in DEAR (expensive) + RING (jewelry)
16 EGG TIMER EG (exempli gratia, for example) + rev of REMIT (pay) G (good)
18 TOPMAST Ins of PM (Prime Minister, Blair once) in TOAST (brown)
19 MOORAGE MOO (low as in cow) RAGE (storm)
20 PSYCHO PS (post script) Ins of CH (supposedly for cold and hot taps but actually in honour of Charles Hathaway, the Chairman of the Birmingham Guild of Plumbers who invented the modern faucet) in YO (middle letters of anYOne) Alfred Hitchcock-directed film Psycho (1960)
23 AGING ha

Hold mouse over clue number to read a clue.

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

37 Responses to “Guardian 25618 – Paul”

  1. AndrewC says:

    Thanks UY (and Paul) – an entertaining morning. I got 20D, but certainly needed an explanation on why it was what it is. My take on 3D was 1/0 = I none (in one) – and the rest as you have it.

  2. sidey says:

    4d Crusader’s companion ROBIN (of Loxley/Hood) overcoming infidels initially, I, with a, A, = plant.

  3. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks Paul and Uncle Yap. Tweenager, Chipolata and Robinia were new words for me. At 4d I thought the Robin was the companion of Batman who was the Caped Crusader.


  4. molonglo says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap, especially for PSYCHO which I couldn’t parse at all; ditto for the 1/0 in 3d. Some merry bits along the way, including the wee nag in 27a, and the Berlusconi one before it.

  5. Miche says:

    Thanks, UY.

    I parsed 10a slightly differently: DO (“cheat”) after (“that’s passed”) OUT (“away”), FWIW.

    Batman is the Caped Crusader, as grandpuzzler says, not Hooded.

    27a is a loathsome word, but I like the clue. 26a brilliant.

  6. Aoxomoxoa says:

    Thanks for the blog. Enjoyable crossword. Liked Paul’s typically cheeky 8,1 and 17. As Pigpen used to say “Keep your hands out of your pockets”.

  7. Ian SW3 says:

    Thanks for the blog.

    Does this “Place the cursor over the clue number to read the clue” business work for everyone else? It never does anything on my computer.

  8. John Appleton says:

    22ac – a disgustingly wonderful clue, if such a thing is possible.

  9. Blaise says:

    13 brings back memories… Way back when, I was stocking up on booze and fags at the French side of the channel tunnel. I couldn’t understand why the customers ahead of me in the queue to pay were systematically bursting into muffled giggles. All was revealed when I saw that the young lady behind the cash desk was wearing a lapel badge marked TRAINEE — which in French means SLUT !

  10. Uncle Yap says:

    Ian SW3@7, I tested this using Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer and all three browsers allowed me to see the clues in full when I placed cursor over the clue number

  11. aztobesed says:

    Abracadabra is derived from Avrah KaDabra (Aramaic) “I create as I speak”, which was an alchemical charm. Odd what sticks while reading.

  12. Paul B says:

    … while HEY PRESTO is just brilliant for anagrams, including THE OSPREY and HORSEY PET.

    Digression. Apologies.

  13. Kathryn's Dad says:

    I always used to struggle with a Paul puzzle, but I think it was just a wavelength thing. You have to keep an open mind about where he’s going with his clueing (often towards tits and bums, as it goes). I enjoyed this one a lot; favourites were the intersecting BALL TAMPERING and EGG TIMER.

    Thanks for explaining ABRACADABRA, aztobesed – always wondered where that came from.

    And thanks to setter and blogger, of course.

  14. Stella Heath says:

    Thanks for the blog, UY. I needed it to understand two or three parsings, and appreciate the added entertainment value of your anecdotes :)

    BTW, there’s an icon at the top of WordPress that allows you to include images, videos or music from your computer or from a URL.

    To IanSW3@7, I have no problem with the device, although it does require precise positioning of the cursor, and sometimes takes a second to show anything.

    Thanks to Paul for an entertaining puzzle.

  15. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog, Uncle Yap — they are always so enjoyable to read!

    Classic Paul this morning, I thought. 26ac was hilarious — a great clue!

    My last one in was PSYCHO and I couldn’t parse it completely, like a few others in the puzzle.

  16. Gervase says:

    Thanks, UY.

    Meaty puzzle from Paul, with a lot of complex charades and plenty of seaside postcard humour. I had quite a lot of difficulty with all of the 14 letter answers apart from 9dn, which leapt out at me, and as 8,1ac was also mystifying this crossword took rather a long time to complete.

    I parsed 10ac slightly differently: Beat (definition) cheat (DO) that’s passed (i.e. after) away (OUT).

    Last in for me was 23dn, incredibly; I was looking for a container clue.

    Referring to ROBINIA as a ‘plant’, whilst obviously strictly accurate, is nevertheless somewhat misdirecting: a tree is usually called a tree (‘Plane, perhaps’…). This also held me up a tad.

  17. Dave Ellison says:

    I found this hard today, taking much longer than yesterday’s, and not as enjoyable as the usual Paul as a consequence. Pulling teeth springs to mind.

    I got 17a BALL TAMPERING, before 8d, 1a.

    Convinced for a long time that 15d must include BLING, and 10a must be TEMPO slowed me down. I also tried RICHARD at 4d: I + CHARD, but couldn’t see the R.

  18. crypticsue says:

    Very enjoyable, even if Tippex had to come into play a couple of times. Thanks to UY and Paul. Fans of Paul who can get a copy of the DT will find that his alter ego Dada has provided a Toughie puzzle that is a delight to solve too.

  19. Robi says:

    Lots of fun; Paul at his cheeky best. Nice to see me included in the puzzle, with Ian unfortunately. Perhaps the latter is the one playing pocket billiards!

    Thanks UY for your TICHY blog [especially 17.] I didn’t parse ORGY and TOPMAST correctly. The ‘C’ and ‘H’ in taps reminds me that the hot tap in France is ‘C'(=chaud.)

    Dave @17; I suspect you know better than Wiki about Robinia, but it is described there as a plant, and can apparently be grown as a shrub also.

  20. Robi says:

    ……..or even Gervase @16…………

  21. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    A decent challenge especially the topbut not as tricky as testerday’s.
    It also lacked the many really clever clues from Orlando.
    However, 20d and 26ac were smart.
    I agree with Miche on 10 ac.
    Last in was ‘latte’.
    I have often complained about too easy definitions which lead me to almost ignore the cryptic. This habit bit back today because I wrote in ‘at a fell swoop'(WS) and therefore took a long time to get 8,1.

  22. RCWhiting says:

    There are so many errors in @21 that I am almost too ashamed to correct them!
    “the top but not as tricky as yesterday’s”
    and “at one fell swoop” (definitely WS).

  23. tupu says:

    Thanks UY and Paul

    A hard puzzle that took some time to get started. But an enjoyable challenge and I was pleased after the odd miss recently to get it all sorted and, as far as I can tell, understood.

    I ticked 24a, 27a, 5d, 7d, and 20d a bit arbitrarily from a fun lot.

    I remembered eventually being puzzled by moorage before.

  24. harry says:

    Thanks UY and Paul.
    Bit of a struggle but a lot of smiles, and especially thanks UY for your 8,1ac story. It had my work colleagues wondering why i had suddenly collapsed hysterical beneath my desk.

  25. Mitch says:

    That was one of the hardest Paul crosswords I’ve ever encountered. A really enjoyable solve – lots of giggles, head-scratching and aha’s.

    Taken together with yesterday’s beauty, I’m beginning to wonder if the setters have got a tad fed up with us moaning about things being too easy and have decided to make us suffer !

    Thanks to all.

  26. Gervase says:

    Robi @19/20: Of course ROBINIA is a plant – there’s no inaccuracy there. My point was that ‘plant’ makes me think of something herbaceous, rather than a genus of woody organisms that grow to 4-25 metres. That’s my problem, not Paul’s (or indeed Wikipedia’s!)

  27. Miche says:

    RCW @21: I didn’t even notice the misquotation at 3d, despite having delivered the bad news to Macduff myself while impersonating Ross in thon play by yesterday’s birthday boy.

    Still, a cracking puzzle. And not a mollusc misidentified.

  28. MarianH says:

    Thanks UY for an amusing blog. I found this an enjoyable slog, as all the answers were gettable from the cluing, without resort to any form of reference other than a somewhat dog-eared copy of Chambers, and the schoolboy humour gave rise to a few titters ;). The only one I failed to parse was 15.

    I have to confess, however, to being held up for quite a while in the NE, having entered goon @ 6 (Go on!), which seemed a perfectly plausible answer! It was only when the down solutions began to look rather clumsy that I began to question myself :)

  29. Alan Moore says:

    This was far too difficult for me. I am impressed by all those that managed to finish it (I had to cheat to get started).
    Many thanks to Uncle Yap for the explanations.

  30. nametab says:

    Thanks UY for some answers for what I found a tough one. Whilst appreciate digressions in the blogs,Jesus Christ deserves better than to be used as an expletive.

  31. Paul B says:

    Well, you lot eat him and drink his blood. Allow us mere mortals our occasional transgressions, for, um, goodness’ sakes.

  32. nametab says:

    Just to say: appreciate the gentle wit Paul B @31(would do the smiley face, if I knew how). We’d best stick to crosswords on this site, though (although some potential wordplays in there too).

  33. Ian SW3 says:

    Belated thanks to UY @10 and Stella @14. Hovering does indeed seem to work.

  34. apple granny says:

    We didn’t complete this until today – busy all day yesterday, then too weary to cope with such a challenge. Felt quite triumphant when we finished – one of the trickiest and most challenging for ages. Last in was Latte (2d) completing the top left corner which stumped us most. But we loved the rather naughty allusions everywhere. Thanks UY for your blog – the only reference we missed was Silvio!

  35. mikewglospur says:

    Doesn’t anyone else ever take more than a day to complete one of these? Especially Paul’s puzzles (which I’m getting better at! I think it’s a matter of wavelength too, and getting used to the mindset). I eventually gave up on this last night (29th April) because I couldn’t get 10 across to fit, although I did get it as “outdo”. Discovered (thanks UY) that I’d got 2d wrong (I had “lapse”: lap = drink + se = second > lapse = a falling short (no, I didn’t like it, either!)). But I often take that long, and just persevere – I enjoyed this one hugely, precisely because it took so long! I usually set a time limit of a week. If I haven’t got it all by then, I come on this website for enlightenment. I don’t understand those who complain when a puzzle isn’t easy enough! If I wanted a quiet life I’d do a different kind of puzzle. I wonder if anyone will read this! I imagine regulars have long since left this page………

  36. paul8hours says:

    Mike @ 35 – I beat you by giving up today. My mistake was to put in learner instead of trainee. I saw lear (as in jet) for plane and didn’t try to parse the rest of it.
    I have several puzzles on the go at once, printed off the website as I am in CH. I try to put in a few answers for each every day.
    Great puzzle even if I ended 2 short.

  37. brucew_aus says:

    Thanks Paul and UY for the blog.

    Have a bit of a bank up of puzzles so only started this one on 29th and finished it off today – must admit to getting POCKET BILLIARDS on the train this morning and fellow passengers must have wondered about the big grin was about … think it would have to be one of the most unexpected and funny answers that I have solved.

    It was a true battle with the last one in being BUDGET AIRLINE (persisted with SERVICE until finding the ROBINIA shrub finally).

    And Mike@35 and Paul@36 there are always some latecomers to the finishing post!!

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