Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Prize No 25,634 by Paul

Posted by bridgesong on May 19th, 2012

bridgesong.

My turn to blog these prize puzzles seems to coincide with Paul’s turn to set them; I think that this is the third in a row.  While continuing the trend for prize puzzles to be on the easy side, this was studded with gems of brilliance and invention.  My thanks to my solving partners Timon and (for the first time) my wife, Cathie.  A very pleasant way to spend an hour in the garden.

 

Across
8 One’s inclined to find woes breaking skin (8)
HILLSIDE

ILLS in HIDE.

9 Muslim leader harbouring Greek leader, English one settling abroad (6)
EMIGRE

G in EMIR, E.

10 A bird fighting vigorously (2,2)
AT IT

A TIT. I’m pleased to report that the nestbox on my allotment is currently providing a home for a new family of blue tits.

11 Contrived Latin epics that may be manipulated (10)
PLASTICINE

*(LATIN EPICS).

12 Last runner, last (6)
ENDURE

END, URE (a river, hence a “runner”).

14 See 2
15 Time the budget airline man cut back, ladies and gentlemen (7)
TOILETS

T, STELIO(s)(rev). And perhaps a reference to the supposed proposal by Michael O’Leary of Ryanair to charge passengers for use of toilets on board his company’s planes (although of course Stelios was the founder of the rival company easyJet).

17 Not entirely sincere, bravado for thinkers (7)
CEREBRA

Hidden in “sincere, bravado”. As the plural of cerebrum, this is defined as loosely referring to the whole brain, hence to thinkers.

20 Prudent to mind the step these days (5,3)
SPACE AGE

PACE in SAGE.

22 Old money put in something round (6)
PESETA

SET in PEA. We weren’t entirely convinced that “pea” can stand for “round”.

23 Sea lane’s choice of fish or meat? (4,6)
MAIN COURSE

Double definition.

24,21 Horseman sweet on golfer (4,6)
POLO PLAYER

Cryptic definition; nice to have a golfer who isn’t Ernie Els, although younger readers may not be familiar with the achievements of Gary Player.

25 Cruel cut ending in divorce (6)
SEVERE

SEVER, (divorc)E.

26 School’s head examiner turns in poor performance, ultimately (3,5)
NIT NURSE

*(TURNS IN) (performanc)E. A lovely definition: “School’s head examiner”. My clue of the day.

Down
1 Games people play in Japan to keep mean (8)
NINTENDO

INTEND in NO. No, or sometimes Noh, is a traditional Japanese drama form. I think the definition here is “games people”.

2,14 Foolishly cash lost in ’em? (4,8)
SLOT MACHINES

*(CASH LOST IN ‘EM). A beautiful anagram and an & lit.

3 Face depression with thick stick, nothing less (6)
DIMPLE

DIM P(o)LE. Another brilliant definition: “face depression”.

4 Bloody Mary cocktail for Russian troops (3,4)
RED ARMY

RED *MARY. A very easy clue to guess from the definition.

5 Ball — select it at random (8)
TESTICLE

*(SELECT IT).

6 Vindictive quality born with irritation (10)
BITCHINESS

B(orn), ITCHINESS.

7 Yucky stuff about right for ’80s music genre? (6)
GRUNGE

R in GUNGE.

13 Illegal, having nested regularly in 26’s description of a clear head? (10)
UNLICENSED

N S E (alternate letters of NESTED) in UNLICED. Another brilliant clue.

16 Source of milk the intestine’s skimmed, so drier (3,5)
TEA TOWEL

TEAT (b)OWEL.

18 Brutal, lying decapitated (8)
RUTHLESS

(t)RUTHLESS.

19 Fish finger has it for the bride? (7)
HERRING

HER RING.

21 See 24 across
22 Quickly put last of vinegar in sauce (6)
PRESTO

R in PESTO.

24 Stop to raise drink (4)
PLUG

GULP(rev).

11 Responses to “Guardian Prize No 25,634 by Paul”

  1. Biggles A says:

    Thanks bridgesong. I agree, another in quite a succession of Prize puzzles which have left me feeling somewhat unchallenged. I liked 26 too, not a term I had previously encountered but neatly done.

  2. brucew_aus says:

    Thanks Paul and bridesong

    I think that the pea refers to a round as in what would go in a pea-shooter or a pea rifle.

    Nice puzzle, although I seem to find harder ones in some of the week day offerings now. Still some lovely clues – particularly liked 19d, 15a and only Paul could get away with 5d and 16d (although these days a few of the other setters are becoming more risque).

  3. sidey says:

    “something round” seems perfectly adequate for “pea” to me.

  4. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    Like Biggles I felt unchallenged,which is particularly disappointing on a Saturday.
    I agree with Sidey that ‘something round’ = pea is perfectly reasonable although if you interpret it as ’round’ = pea (as above) then I do not think so.

  5. RCWhiting says:

    “ball = testicle”; “source of milk = teat”
    Risqué, really? These crosswords are for adult use, not 1950s schoolboys.

  6. Davy says:

    Thanks bridgesong,

    I enjoyed this immensely and didn’t find it as easy as some but there again I’m not a brilliant solver.
    I’m quite happy to get a few clues on the Saturday and then pick it up again on the Sunday. I don’t feel
    any need to complete it at one sitting. The last clue (HERRING) went in on Tuesday morning. It took me
    ages to see this although I’m quite sure it was a write-in to some.

    Favourite clues were TOILETS (COD) and TESTICLE which gave me a good chuckle. Yes I am that 1950s
    schoolboy and being an adult is over-rated anyway. Surely clues like these are to be expected from Paul
    and are an integral part of his style.

    Thanks for the fun, Paul.

  7. Robi says:

    Entertaining crossword; as others have said on the easy side for a Prize one.

    Thanks bridgesong; as above I took PEA=’something round.’ I did particularly like DIMPLE and NIT NURSE for their surfaces. It took a while to see NINTENDO.

  8. Trebor says:

    Thought this was great and testicle provoked a full blown chuckle!

  9. tupu says:

    Thanks bridgesong and Paul

    An enjoyable puzzle, reasonably difficult but not at all fiendish.

    Nicely clued as one would expect. I ticked several including 15a, 20a, 24a, 1d (though I missed bridgesong’s precise parsing of this), and 22d.

  10. Miche says:

    Thanks, bridgesong.

    I will first commend Paul on his restraint in not using a lewd definition for AT IT.

    He’s good at witty definitions, and I share your appreciation of “school’s head examiner” and “face depression”.

    I’m not sold, though, on “vindictive quality” for BITCHINESS. Vindictiveness is retributive, while bitchiness can be entirely unprovoked malice.

    I suppose we do still live in the SPACE AGE, though to me the term invokes memories of the Apollo missions and Raymond Baxter in black and white.

    13d: That which is unlicensed is not necessarily illegal, but I suppose the question mark takes care of that.

    That’s enough nit-picking. I enjoyed it, even though it wasn’t a head-scratcher. :)

  11. Trench Adviser says:

    Enjoyable stuff from Paul. I didn’t get ‘presto’ as I didn’t know it meant ‘quickly’. Is it musical notation/direction?

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