Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Cryptic N° 25,637 by Paul

Posted by PeterO on May 16th, 2012


This shows Paul’s characteristic inventiveness in wordplay; fortunately I seem to be close to his wavelength.

1. See 15
- See 15
4. Fiddle with good seafood (6)
SCAMPI A charade of SCAM (‘fiddle’) + PI (‘good’).
9. See 15
- See 15
10. Commentary on work, as fine England football manager goes in front (4,6)
BOOK REVIEW An envelope (‘goes in’) of OK (‘fine’) + REVIE (Don, ‘England football manager’ 1974-1977) in BOW (‘front’).
11. Endless limitation for Scottish author (6)
BARRIE BARRIE[r] (‘endless limitation’). J M Barrie was the Scottish author, creator of Peter Pan.
12. Switch that is live feeding idea that’s vulgar (8)
PLEBEIAN An envelope (‘feeding’) of EBEI, a reversal (‘switch’) of IE (‘that is’) + BE (‘live’) in PLAN (‘idea’).
13. Barking, a headless dog turns with a bark (9)
ANGOSTURA An anagram (‘barking’) of ‘a’ + [d]OG (‘headless dog’) + ‘turns’ + ‘a’. I learn that Angostura bitters does not contain the medicinal angostura bark.
15,9,1. Difficult for me entering valley with deer to finish eventually in front (4,4,6)
COME FROM BEHIND An envelope (‘entering’) of MEFRO, an anagram (‘difficult’) of ‘for me’ in COMBE (I think more commonly coombe, ‘valley’) + HIND (‘deer’).
16. See 5
- See 5
17. Supreme singer remains captivating in a novel, Austen’s first (5,4)
DIANA ROSS An envelope (‘captivating’) of IAN, an anagram (‘novel’) of ‘in a’ + A (‘Austen’s first’) in DROSS (‘remains’).
21. Perhaps eight to nine American hospitals, where abroad, cutting rights (4,4)
RUSH HOUR An envelope (‘cutting’) of US (‘American’) + H H (‘hospitals’) + OU (‘where abroad’, French to be precise) in R R (‘rights’).
22,20. Chairman smothering me in fish, change for adulteress (6,6)
MADAME BOVARY A double envelope (‘smothering’) of ‘me’ in DAB (‘fish’) in MAO (‘Chairman’); + VARY (‘change’).
24. Cunning in people chasing long animal like a weasel (4,6)
PINE MARTEN A charade of PINE (‘long’) + an envelope (‘in’) of ART (‘cunning’) in MEN (‘people’).
European pine marten

European pine marten

25. Cut hydrogen by itself? (4)
GASH A charade of GAS (‘hydrogen’) + H (hydrogen again, ‘itself’).
26. Eastern s-states in the papers (6)
ESSAYS A charade of E (‘eastern’) + S-SAYS (‘s-states’).
27. Continue to write about northern flag (6)
PENNON An envelope (‘about’) of N (‘northern’) in PEN ON (‘continue to write’).
1. Pub requiring profit, say goodbye? (7)
BARGAIN A charade of BAR (‘pub’) + GAIN (‘profit’), with as “definition” the homophone (‘say’) good buy.
2,19. Devil of a poet’s on for the yellow fellow (5,7)
HOMER SIMPSON A charade of HOMERS (‘poet’s’ ‘of a poet’) + IMPS (‘devil'; I cannot see the justification for the S’ ‘devil … ‘s’) + ‘on’.
3. Most distinguished head’s taken over in case (7)
NOBLEST A charade of NOB (‘head’) + LEST (‘in case’).
5,16across. Food in a tin has been forced out (6,4)
CORNED BEEF An anagram (‘out’) of ‘been forced’.
6. Give ground feeding cow? Popcorn aficionado! (9)
MOVIEGOER An envelope (‘feeding’) of VIEG, an anagram (‘ground’) of ‘give’ in MOOER (‘cow’).
7. Repeat a passage of writer, a teacher (7)
ITERATE An answer hidden in ‘wrITER A TEacher’
8. The price for police security while you sleep, might you say, in compound? (6,7)
COPPER NITRATE A homophone (‘might you say’) of copper night rate (‘the price for police security while you sleep’)
14. See 23
- See 23
16. Gold variable in taste — here’s aluminium ore (7)
BAUXITE An envelope (‘in’) of AU (chemical symbol, ‘gold’) +X (‘variable’) in BITE (‘taste’).
18. Unable to find coal then? English candidate (7)
NOMINEE A charade of NO MINE (‘unable to find coal, then?’) + E (‘English’).
19. See 2
- See 2
20. See 22
- See 22
23,14. Be stubborn while competing at tug-of-war? (3,2,4,5)
DIG IN ONES HEELS Definition and cryptic definition.

28 Responses to “Guardian Cryptic N° 25,637 by Paul”

  1. Miche says:

    Thanks, PeterO.

    2,19: Devil of a poet = Homer’s imp. So Devil of a poet’s = Homer’s imp’s.

    8d fell out of a Christmas cracker.

    A couple of clues, it seemed to me, could have done with less obvious definitions: e.g. “metal ore” or just “ore” at 16d – “aluminium ore” tells you it’s BAUXITE before you’ve considered the wordplay. Similarly, “animal like a weasel (4,6)” says PINE MARTEN straightaway.

    COD: 5, 16.

  2. Miche says:

    Rereading my comment at 1, I think “less obvious definitions” was a poor choice of words, and “less specific” would have been better. I’m not trying to say that everybody knows what bauxite is, but that a less specific definition would make the answer less obvious to people who do know, without affecting the difficulty level for those who don’t.

  3. PeterJohnN says:

    Thanks Paul and PeterO.
    Got COME FROM BEHIND straight away, and never looked back, so to speak. Finished in double quick time, but had to cheat for 13a ANGOSTURA (last in) and didn’t parse Diana Ross or Madame Bovary.
    Miche @1, your COD, CORNED BEEF, for me fell into the category of the obvious definitions you complained about!

  4. tupu says:

    Thanks PeterO and Paul

    A good puzzle (neither too hard nor too easy) to start what now becomes a busy day.

    I ticked 1d, 2d, 6d along the way

  5. mhl says:

    Thanks for the post, PeterO.

    I thought this was a good battle of wits, where Paul had a great deal, and I almost none. In the end, though, I got all but ANGOSTURA, never having heard of Angostura bark. I couldn’t see how the definition of BARGAIN worked, my brain apparently being wired never to see indirect definitions…

    My clue of the day was CORNED BEEF ;)

  6. mhl says:

    (That last emoticon was a typo – I meant it to be a normal smiley, not a winking one, in case anyone was looking for semantics that weren’t there…)

  7. Name says:

    This is very pedantic (not an apology) but…17 ac doesn’t quite scan I think. The band was called The Supremes. Yes DR was ‘a Supreme’ where ‘Supreme’ is a proper noun but the wordplay doesn’t work as an adjective: she was a Supremes singer. In my head this matters. Where can I get help?

  8. Gervase says:

    Thanks, PeterO.

    I found this very straightforward for a Paul puzzle (helped along by quite a few giveaway definitions, as Miche said) but enjoyable nevertheless.

    My favourite clue was also 5,16a: not difficult, certainly, but neat construction and surface.

    Last in was ANGOSTURA, perhaps the cleverest clue in the crossword; it was ingenious to use ‘turns’ as anagrist rather than anagrind.

  9. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    Pretty easy for the most part but I messed up and failed to complete it.
    I foolishly wrote in ‘cordon bleu’ (5d,16ac) which meant that I could never solve 12ac. I also failed to parse 1d.
    I agree with Miche about ‘bauxite’.
    Although I got 23,14 quickly I was held up because I made an error which I have made so many times in the past and from which I should have learned. I wrote ‘dig in your heels’. Does anyone else do this?

  10. orange says:

    I felt pleased to get “hone” for 25ac. Pity it was wrong and needed a rethink for “–h in one’s heels”!
    Quite a pleasant solve, but bauxite was a gift

  11. crypticsue says:

    As enjoyable as ever thank you Paul and PeterO too. Bauxite wasn’t as much of a gift to me as it was to others. Good all round diversion from that which I was supposed to be doing.

  12. Robi says:

    I found this difficult to get started with all the long clues but entertaining nonetheless. As others have said, BAUXITE was pretty obvious; one of the few ores I know.

    Thanks PeterO; I parsed 10 incorrectly as BOOK[=fine]/REVIE/W[=work]. I quite liked COPPER NITRATE, with ANGOSTURA my COD.

  13. MikeC says:

    Thanks PeterO and Paul. Good fun, as usual. My COD was 22,20, which I thought was very ingenious. ANGOSTURA was last in for me, like others.

  14. PeterO says:

    Thanks Miche @1 for the parsing of 2,19. It came to me out of nowhere as I lay in bed this morning wondering if it was time to get up.

  15. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog, PeterO. I thought this was a little on the easy side for Paul — some of the answers came quite quickly, I expect due to the defs. Still managed to make a mistake through sheer sloppiness — put MARTIN instead of MARTEN AT 24ac :-(

    ANGOSTURA was also my last.

    RCWhiting @9 — I’ve learned the hard way to leave a blank where the answer could contain either ONES or YOUR. Most of the time it turns out to be ONES.

  16. Donk says:

    Thanks to Paul and PeterO. Really fun puzzle – I would have to agree that a few of the answers went in straight from the definitions but as usual, very entertaining if slightly easier than normal. Enjoyed picking apart 8d, ‘cow’ from 6d and the construction of 21a.

  17. RCWhiting says:

    Very wise Liz, I think my problem is that in spoken language I rarely use ‘one’ since it was associated, as I grew up, with being posh.
    The power of class in our society never ceases to amaze me (often dismay me).

  18. Paul B says:

    Re Name @ 7, I see your point. But there’s a certain amount of licence that can be granted here I think: in some sense, she was a Supreme singer (one of three Supremes), and may well have been regarded in any case by many as actually being that good.

    In a related incident, a recent clue of mine had its definition changed (for the sake of those such as Miche, who prefer more of a sideways look) from ‘woman Paris loved’ to ‘Parisian woman’. And as you may know, she is not usually thought of as French.

  19. Miche says:

    RCWhiting @9 and liz @15: I always think YOU or YOUR first in such phrases, then remember that it’s probably ONE or ONE’S, then wait till I have confirmation from a crossing clue before writing it in.

    Paul B @18: I do enjoy oblique definitions (e.g. MOVIEGOER above), but I wasn’t asking for a “sideways look” on BAUXITE, and I certainly wouldn’t suggest replacing an accurate definition with an inaccurate one.

  20. Paul B says:

    Quite right too.

  21. RCWhiting says:

    I presume that refers to Helen.
    But Parisian, meaning related to Paris (the man), does not exist as a word, does it?
    I think using invented word meanings (in definitions) is going too far even for me.

  22. g larsen says:

    Made life difficult by putting in Tommy Simpson rather than Homer – Doh! No wonder the NE corner became impossible.

    But Tommy was a ‘yellow fellow’ too, as the first Englishman to wear the Tour de France yellow jersey, so I have some excuse.

    It may be pedantic, but I too don’t like describing Diana Ross as supreme when the group’s title clearly placed her outside the Supremes.

  23. RCWhiting says:

    I think she achieved separate billing only after she got together with the label boss.

  24. Paul B says:

    ‘Founding members Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson, Diana Ross, and Betty McGlown, all from the Brewster-Douglass public housing project in Detroit, formed The Primettes as the sister act to The Primes (with Paul Williams and Eddie Kendricks, who went on to form The Temptations). Barbara Martin replaced McGlown in 1960, and the group signed with Motown the following year as The Supremes. Martin left the act in early 1962, and Ross, Ballard, and Wilson carried on as a trio’. So now you know.

    Re Paris, you might like to check your -ian endings, but perhaps unsurprisingly, even in light of your own clever remarks, I don’t feel the need to defend another’s decision as it pertains to any clue of mine.

  25. Median says:

    Thanks, Paul, for BAUXITE and COPPER NITRATE. I saw these as your two penn’orth towards rectifying the arts bias that I sometimes grumble about.

  26. RCWhiting says:

    Oh Paul.You are so sensitive.
    I was agreeing with your view and opposing the ‘another’. But still you contrive to be mardy towards me.
    Perhaps you failed, on the last occasion you insulted me, to read the several other posters who disapproved of your post.
    What have I done to incite such an uncivilised response from someone so otherwise obviously intelligent?

  27. Paul B says:

    Oh, you’re just … you.

  28. Huw Powell says:

    Grump grump, 1d lacks a definition, grump grump.

    Just wasn’t on Paul’s Envelope with this one. Got a lot of it, but groaned more than smiled. Oh well.

    Keep ‘em coming!

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