Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,667 – Paul

Posted by Andrew on June 20th, 2012


I was worried when my first pass though the clues yielded only a couple of answers, but persistence gradually paid off. The usual variety of witty clueing from Paul, though with none of his trademark “smut” as far as I can see. (On second thoughts, 19,9ac probably qualifies, as might 22ac and 5dn.)

1. BASE METAL MET (police) + A in BASEL, and copper is an example of a base (as opposed to noble) metal
6. RUBY RUGBY (public school) less [fa]G
8. TO BE SURE (EURO BEST)* , with a suitably topical surface reading
11. STOTINKA TOT in SINK (decline) + A. Rather obscure – one-hundredth of a Bulgarian Lev.
12,22dn. HAND IN GLOVE HANDING (giving) LOVE (affection)
15. SVENGALI S[teeplechaser] + LEAVING*. I don’t like “another” as an anagram indicator.
16. HELIPORT Anagram of PILOT [t]HER[e], and a brilliant &lit
19,9. SPONGE FINGER SPONGE (bum, as a verb, meaning “cadge”) + FINGER (touch)
22. GEAR UP EAR in reverse of PUG
24. ALUMNI Alternate letters of cAlLoUs MeN bIg
26. HYMN Homophone of “him”, which might describe a bass or tenor
27. EXPRESSED EX (former sweetheart) + PRESSED (crushed), definition “said”
3,21. MOUNT RUSHMORE A jockey’s whip might make his MOUNT RUSH MORE. Mount Rushmore has the faces of four American presidents carved into it – bonus points if you can name them with looking it up!
4. TRESSES STRESSES (highlights) with its “top” letter removed.
5. LEFTOVERS [romanc]E + FT (the Financial Times, printed on pink paper) in LOVERS
7. BREAK A LEG If you break A LEG you get GALE
13. ASEXUALLY X (vote) in EU in A SALLY
14. NEOLOGISE O LOG I[gor] S[travinsky] in NEE (born)
18. TREETOP TEE (support for a golf ball) in PORT (left), all reversed
20. OVARIES If all stays the same then 0 (nothing) VARIES
23,6. UP AND RUNNING Double definition

21 Responses to “Guardian 25,667 – Paul”

  1. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks Paul and Andrew. Although it was slow going for me, I enjoyed this puzzle. SPONGE FINGER was new to me. Thanks also for the bonus points, Andrew. TR is probably the one most non-Yanks wouldn’t guess.


  2. NeilW says:

    Thanks, Andrew. Not too tough for Paul but just really good fun with lots of inventive clues.

    re: 3,21 see Enigmatist 25,046: “A whip could make this a place where famous faces appear.” This was actually the theme of the puzzle, which was what brought it readily to mind.

  3. Dave Ellison says:

    Thanks Andrew.

    I didn’t find this too difficult.

    Surely 6a should be added to your list, if not at the top of it.

    26a no probs with the homophone today!

  4. Trailman says:

    That was an early post Andrew! Maybe you are working from a different time zone.
    I do like doing Pauls; says something worrying about one’s awareness of, ahem, private matters. For other setters, ‘organ’ is ear, eye, maybe liver. Not Paul. 11ac needed a google but it parses OK, otherwise none of the obscurities which marred yesterday. Shame about the grid choice, just 2d and 20d linking top and bottom, but linking clues eg 19/9 help ameliorate this.

  5. William says:

    Thanks, Andrew.

    Loved the &lit HELIPORT and also the ‘reverse clue BREAK A LEG.

    I couldn’t parse SVENGALI as I (too) don’t quite get “another” as an angrind. Is there perhaps a word missing?

    I certainly could get the 4 Presidents on Mount Rushmore “with” looking it up. I think you meant “without”. I don’t list them as it might be a spoiler for someone cleverer than me who could list them without looking them up.

    Another fine puzzle from a fine setter.

  6. liz says:

    Thanks, Andrew. Much preferred this puzzle to yesterday’s. Quite a few smiles along the way. Before I read the blog I saw 16ac as a Rufus-ish cd. Much finer clue than that!

  7. crypticsue says:

    The sun is shining, the sky is blue and Paul’s in the Graun. What more could anyone ask of a Wednesday, apart from possibly a day off. Thanks Paul for yet another very entertaining stretch of the grey matter. Thanks to Andrew too who was the lucky person to enjoy it twice over.

  8. martin says:

    Stotinka? New to me, but could be worked out reasonably easily once the other letters were in place. As ever I struggled with a homophone (26ac).

    As for Andrew’s slow start, one of the reasons I like Paul so much is that he is the only compiler that has produced what I view as a perfect crossword; that is, one where I cannot solve any of the clues on first run through, but still manage to complete it eventually by deduction and crosschecking.

  9. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    I do so agree with martin @8 and not with Andrew. Why would he be worried when he is confronted with a real challenge, isn’t that the point of the game.
    I worry when I am writing in solutions after barely reading the clues.
    I used to rate this setter as erratic but he is definitely on the up, this was the third consecutive good one he has produced for us.
    Very good definition at 16d; I also enjoyed 6ac, 15ac, 16ac 5d and 20d.
    I somehow managed to not get too giggly over bum = sponge but after all I am over 70.

  10. dunsscotus says:

    Many thanks Paul and Andrew; I too found this most enjoyable. First guess at 23,6? On the streets! It almost works??

    Does everyone know that ‘break a leg’ is thesp-speak for ‘Good luck’? Am I right in thinking that actually saying ‘good luck’ is considered bad luck by the kind of actors who won’t have real flowers on set etc etc?

  11. craggus says:

    RCW – I suspect he was worried as he had this blog to compile.

  12. Le Petomane says:

    The Bulgarian for hundred is “sto”. A stotinka(pl. stotinki) is a hundredth of a lev. Bought almost nothing in the days of the Peoples’ Republic, must be useless now. Familiarly known as “stinki”.

  13. Andrew says:

    Craggus is right – yes, my “worried” comment was not at all meant as a criticism of the puzzle, or to imply that I didn’t enjoy it. It was about thinking it would take me a long time solve it and then write up the blog (at a rather unsocial time, though as there was a May Ball going on late into the night just behind my back garden it wasn’t a day for an early night).

    I’ve heard Paul (John Halpern) say on several occasions that he thinks that (to paraphrase his words from memory) a good puzzle is one that leads the solver gradually and logically to the solution. I think this one succeeds admirably in that aim – as martin says, the progress from thinking you’re getting nowhere to finishing the puzzle can be very satisfying.

  14. Tom Hutton says:

    In spite of what Andrew says, I find the relentless suggestiveness of Paul’s crosswords rather wearing. It’s like having a child who has just learned a naughty word and insists on using it all the time in the house. Amusing the first time, tedious thereafter. A jolly good crossword though.

  15. Harv says:

    Bit of a problem with the ‘brilliant &lit’ at 16. Helicopters have wings.

  16. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Another nice Paul puzzle, not sure whether he’s ‘on the up’.
    For me, he has always been in the upper zone of Crosswordland.

    Just like others, I thought HELIPORT to be terrific.
    And just like others, I did not like ‘another’ as the anagrind in 15ac.
    But altogether, it was an enjoyable solve.

    Due to ‘circumstances’, I had to do the Guardian (and Indy) puzzles online during the last three weeks but I must say, I cannot really get used to it – I still prefer solving them on paper. Alas.

    Just one more thing about this puzzle and 27ac in particular.
    The clue reads: ‘Erstwhile sweetheart crushed, it’s said’.
    I immediately thought, isn’t ‘Had a crush on erstwhile sweetheart, it’s said’ much better?

  17. RCWhiting says:

    Tom @14
    “In spite of what Andrew says, I find the relentless suggestiveness of Paul’s crosswords rather wearing. It’s like having a child who has just learned a naughty word and insists on using it all the time in the house. Amusing the first time, tedious thereafter.”
    What I find wearing is the way so many contributors on this MB take such delight or mock horror in finding them.

  18. Tom Hutton says:

    RCWhiting @17. I don’t take delight in showing mock horror because I am not horrified. I just find it repetitive and tiresome. I am sorry that you find me wearing. I shall cease to comment lest I offend you again.

  19. RCWhiting says:

    Tom, you criticised the setter(s) for a particular habit.
    I criticised posters on this MB for a similar habit(not you).
    You carry on expressing your views, that’s what MBs are for.

  20. rhotician says:

    Tom @14 etc: Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink. Know what I mean?

  21. johnmcc says:

    I’ve held off saying this for a couple of years now because I know how badly crit of setters goes down, but am I the only regular Graun solver who finds many of Paul’s clues . . . well, strained? 5 down for instance – so prolix! Just my twopenn’orth.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

8 × two =