Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,678 – Paul

Posted by Uncle Yap on July 3rd, 2012

Uncle Yap.

As I awoke most mornings this past few days, bleary-eyed from staying up late to watch sporting action from  Wimbledon, I have to contend with two rascals (see picture left) from London who are visiting. They demand attention from an indulgent grandfather who is further tormented by a swivel chair that goes up and down but which does not turn (I put my foot down) while I solve and blog.

It is therefore gratifying that today’s puzzle is by Paul, one of my favourite setters. He has chosen to name-drop a lot with each one superbly clued to reflect real life. As to be expected,  this puzzle is very fairly clued and amusing … most enjoyable, even with the distractions.

Place cursor over clue number to read the clue

Across
1,14 MARTINA NAVRATILOVA *(VARIANT RIVAL TO MAN + A) There is possibly a typo by Grandiard with ‘a’ missed out. For a brief moment, I thought this might be a puzzle themed on tennis.
5 SUNBEAM Ins of NBEA (BEAN, vegetable with last letter placed in front) in SUM (problem)
9,7 CLINT EASTWOOD *(OLD WEST ACTION) Must admit I saw this first in alt.anagrams and repeated in many other similar web-sites. Nevertheless, still just as amusing. A quasi-&lit
10 ANALGESIA Ins of NALGE (ins of G, first letter of government in ELAN, dash and reversed) in ASIA (China, say)
11 ONE ANOTHER Cha of ON + BEANO (feast) + THE + Run. I will never forget the grammar lesson of old. If there are more than two, it is “look after one another”; whereas for two persons, it is “look after each other”
12 AWOL A WOLF (philanderer minus last letter, indicated by detailed in crossword language)
14 See 1
18 PARIS HILTON *(HARLOT IS IN Public) From the stories and pictures that we see of this lady, an &lit
21,26 TONY BLAIR *(TORN LIBYA) Probably true if he were still in power
22 WATCHSTRAP WATCH (focus) STRAP (beat) with a lovely def band with the time
25 ONE IN FOUR Ins of NEIN (German or European no or veto) in OF OUR (of the Guardian, the paper publishing this puzzle) My eagle-eyed friend, Dr Gurmukh spotted the NEIN first and told me so. P/S I was so pleased about the wordplay that I forgot to explain the def one in four is 25% or some
26 See 21
27 NASCENT N (first letter of nation) ASCENT (uprising)
28 TEXTILE T (time) EX (old) TILE (hat)
Down
1 MICRON Ins of C (first letter of Caravaggio) in Joan MIRó i Ferrà, a Spanish Catalan painter, sculptor, and ceramicist + Nepal.
2 RAIDER Ins of A in RIDER (cavalryman)
3 INTENTNESS IN TENT (under canvas) NESS (head)
4 AVAST A VAST (big) for a marine interjection “hold fast!” or “stop!”
5 SPARE PART SPAR (box) EP (extended play, vinyl record at 45 rpm) ART (music, perhaps)
6 NIGH Rev of H (hard) GIN (liquor)
7 See 9
8 MEAT LOAF Ins of *(ALTO) in *(FAME)
13 WITNESS BOX *(SIX + TWO + BONES) I like the def; my COD
15 VOILA TOUT Ins of OIL (fuel) in VAT (barrel) + OUT (gone) for That’s all, folks in French.
16 SPITTOON Ins of William PITT (British Prime MInister, could also be his father, another PM) in SOON (before long)
17,24 PRINCESS ANNE *(NICE SPANNERS)
19 ARMANI ha for Giorgio Armani, an Italian fashion designer
20 SPURGE S (seconds) PURGE (clear away) for any species of Euphorbia, a genus of very varied habit, with milky, generally poisonous, juice, and an inflorescence (cyathium) of flowers so reduced as to simulate a single flower.
23 CARAT CAR (vehicle) A T (ton, a unit of weight) Ooops, should be ins of A in CART (vehicle) for a unit of weight for precious thing like gold and diamond. Well done, rhotician for spotting today’s deliberate error :-)
24 See 17

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

39 Responses to “Guardian 25,678 – Paul”

  1. rhotician says:

    Thanks UY.
    Just one thing – 23 is A in CART.

  2. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks Paul and Uncle Yap. Agree with you about the missing ‘a’ in 1,14ac and agree with rhotician’s parsing of CARAT. Babysitting the granddaughters this week so I feel your pain, UY.

    Cheers…

  3. rhotician says:

    Oh, also 8 is a well-crafted name drop, also.

  4. molonglo says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap. I can’t improve on your observations and praise for this puzzle. Fave was PARIS HILTON.

  5. William says:

    Thank you Nuncle. I’ve just been informed that I’m to join the ranks of the grandparents so I’m excited and a little unnerved by your comments.

    Agree on the missing A. Given the Graun’s ‘form’ for this sort of thing, I doubt if it’s Paul.

    Loved WATCHSTRAP – took me ages.

    I’ve seen OLD WEST ACTION before but can’t remember where. Eileen’s jolly good at sourcing these so hopefully she’ll advise.

    Made a dog’s dinner of MEAT LOAF by having ANALGESIC. Idiot.

    Smashing puzzle, with lots to like.

    Voila tout!

  6. William says:

    PS What a clumsy word is INTENTNESS – can’t imagine how or when I would ever use such a clunker.

  7. John Appleton says:

    Missed the typo in 1,14, but I think Paul has mentioned this anagram in one of his blogs – recognised it straight away.

  8. Uncle Yap says:

    William@5, grandparenthood is the best thing since sliced bread. I gave up a dirty habit by the sheer thought that nobody with a tobacco breath is coming near my granddaughter and that was 9 years ago after more than 30 years of smoking. It is so rewarding to see them sit up, crawl and eventually walk (then watch out, you need more energy to keep up with them). Now I read to them and get immense pleasure when they react to words. One granddaughter did me proud when she won a Spelling Bee.

    When my own 3 children were growing up, I was so immersed in making ends meets … now I luxuriate, foot loose and fancy free, in the company of my grandchildren, spoiling them rotten.

    Enjoy your grandparenthood.

  9. Conrad Cork says:

    Just to say what an achievement it is to make the 4 real people clues into quasi &lits, by having the anagram fodder describe what the people are like. The sort of thing Merlin (too long no see) is so good at.

    Thanks UY and you are right about the grandfatherly pleasures.

  10. Peter Owen says:

    The clue to 17,24 has an error since Princess Anne is tenth in line to the throne.

    The online version of the clue to 1,14 has the missing a – “Female player, sort of variant rival to a man”.

  11. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    It is good to see this compiler maintaining his recent run of consistency.
    The distinctive thing about this puzzle for me was the several solutions which I got quite early but did not enter due to lack of parsing.
    One such was last in ‘spare part’ where I carelessly took ‘duplicate record’ as the definition. Another was ‘witness box’ where the several interpretations of the cryptic kept me wrangling for some time.
    If 1,14 is an &lit does anyone else think it a little cruel.
    I particularly admired 25ac.
    A good outing.

    As I pass 70 and shrink, my grandson passes 13 and is growing rapidly. Soon we will reverse – a significant moment I think.
    My 16-year – old grandaughter is tiny, no chance that she will ever look down on her grandad!
    Whatever, as others have said, they are a blessing.

  12. Dave Ellison says:

    Are we all old farts on this site, or are there any fartlets?

    Enjoyed the Xword, by the way, thanks UY

  13. harry says:

    Thanks UY – both for the blog and the lovely mental picture conjured up by your intro.
    Dave Ellison – feel relatively sprightly at a mere 51, and looking forward to eldest child’s graduation next week.

  14. Robi says:

    Thanks Paul; I found it difficult to complete but managed to parse everything, so the cluing was good. I didn’t much like some=ONE IN FOUR though, it could have been anything [maybe could have used the various meanings of quarter?]

    Thanks UY; yes, now they can play at Wimbledon under the roof until 11 p.m. it would be a very late night for you!

    As well as the five ‘people’ clues, I did enjoy ONE ANOTHER.

  15. RCWhiting says:

    Dave, thanks to the young who rush out daily to earn the taxes which keep us oldies in idle luxury, we have time to spend here.
    Every day I watch them driving past my window and give silent thanks.
    Of course to keep up the tax revenue we have had to produce the grandchildren so it’s a win-win for us.

  16. Monkeypuzzler says:

    Thanks as usual to setter & blogger (perhaps not to Editor for print version of 1a?).

    I thought “some” as a definition for 25a very vague, but completely forgiven for the genius of 18a. I despise the usage of such modern horrors as LOL, but it really was for me today. (I guess this puts me firmly in the OF camp re Dave Ellison @12)

  17. JollySwagman says:

    @PO #10 – well spotted – but lower than that according to Michael Edward Abney-Hastings, 14th Earl of Loudoun (and member of the Jerilderie Shire Council, NSW) who claimed that the throne was in fact his on account of Edward IV having been illegitimate.

    Sadly, he died last Saturday.

  18. crypticsue says:

    The highlight of the cryptics today for me (I still have one to go!) Thanks to Paul for a lovely start to a horrible rainy Tuesday, I particularly liked 21,26. Thanks to UY for the blog too.

  19. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog, Uncle Yap. I needed the blog to understand the wordplay in 25ac, which has added to my enjoyment of this puzzle in retrospect. As others have said, the near &lits of people’s names were particularly pleasing.

    RCWhiting @11 — like you, I did think 1,14 was a little near the bone but then so is 18ac — and this is Paul!

    ‘Some’ was a little vague for a def at 25ac, which made me wrongly think ‘band’ was the def at 22ac.

    Was anyone expecting some ref to French at 15dn?

  20. Trailman says:

    As the celebs rolled in, I half-expected to see a clue to HELLO (magazine). To reference the grandparents debate: last week we had a classical music theme that might (alas) be expected to appeal more to older solvers; Paul is one of the few setters to regularly theme on a more contemporary basis, and much needed this is too.
    22ac was last in but nevertheless a favourite. Liked 8d alot too. Didn’t know SPURGE, had to check it; and is it fair for ‘seconds’ to lead to a single S?

  21. RCWhiting says:

    Yes, trailman. 10 s. is read as ten secondS.

  22. RCWhiting says:

    liz
    I don’t mind Paul being as dirty as he wishes (risqué, as some posters prefer) when the reference is to inanimate objects etc. When it is a named individual then one needs to be more circumspect. Of course PH doesn’t know the meaning of circumspection!

  23. rhotician says:

    Trailman @20: s in Chambers has abbrev: second(s). So that’s OK then.

  24. Trailman says:

    Thanks RCWhiting and Rhotician. After all it’s m for miles. Probably confused myself with s normally denoting a plural (not sure how that makes sense, but it did to me at the time).

  25. Derek Lazenby says:

    Sadly the correction on-line also had this

    Special instructions: Note added 3 July: the clue for 1,14 across has been changed to correct an anagram

    which was just a tad of a giveaway, not that it wasn’t obviously an anagram anyway, but that isn’t the point.

  26. Kathryn's Dad says:

    In fact, in a typically Grauniadesque kind of way, it says that the note that Derek refers to was added on 3 June. Even the corrections need correction.

    Good puzzle from Paul; struggled with the SE corner a bit, but managed it eventually and enjoyed the celeb references.

  27. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Trailman @20: “Paul is one of the few setters to regularly theme on a more contemporary basis, and much needed this is too”.

    Martina Navratilova, Tony Blair, Paris Hilton, Meat Loaf, Clint Eastwood, Princess Ann, Armani, Miro.
    More contemporary? Well, yes, compared to Shakespeare, Gladstone and Elgar, to name a few.
    But is it really contemporary? Perhaps, relatively.
    I remember Paul puzzles with The Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel as a theme – mwah, contemporary?
    Eimi (the Indy editor himself) building a crossword around one of the UK’s best bands, Elbow – that’s contemporary.

    But don’t get me wrong, I am only teasing.
    I did like this crossword very very much.
    And indeed, Trailman, I agree with you that MEAT LOAF (8d) was brilliant (as was TONY BLAIR – was he?).
    Also agree that these kind of crosswords are ‘much needed too’.

    And, Trailman, at the second Derby where we met, Tramp said something to me that explains why his crosswords are even more contemporary.
    Cryptic, isn’t it?

    Many thanks UY for blogging, and Paul for a really enjoyable crossword. Another one, I must say. Not everyone is probably aware of the fact what effort and talent it takes to produce such pieces of art (as I call them) week after week after week.

  28. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Princess Anne ….
    [I thought, let's join Paul leaving one letter out :)]

  29. Davy says:

    Thanks UY,

    A very good puzzle from Paul and one which I was able to complete with no great difficulty.
    It still took me a couple of hours as I’m not a brilliant solver and I got all the answers
    right too. This was a big improvement on yesterday’s Rufus which I gave up on with about
    eight clues unsolved. The difference is that Paul’s clues usually have a structure which
    leads one to the answer whereas there is no way in to Rufus’s CDs or DDs. You either come
    up with the answer or you don’t.

    In today’s puzzle I particularly liked CLINT EASTWOOD, ANALGESIA and NASCENT. Thanks Paul.

  30. Taco_Belly says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap for the blog and Paul for a highly enjoyable puzzle.

    As a younger tax-payer with two daughters still at school I came to the online version late in the day after all the corrections had been made so missed all the excitement. I would echo the mild annoyance that the Guardian’s correction gave the game away re 1,14 as an anagram – yes, it was obvious, but I felt deprived of a little smugness on spotting it for myself.

    Loved 18a! Intentness??

  31. Trailman says:

    Thanks for the tease Sil!
    Across the piece, a good series of cryptics will draw out a wide range of knowledge. I guess that’s an extra dimension to the Ximenean v Araucarian debate. I get a warm glow when I look at a solved crossword and think of the cultural awareness I’ve needed to solve it, as well as my ability to work out the clue-structure. And that awareness needs to spread well beyond the world-view of, say, Michael Gove!

  32. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Michael Gove?
    In Germany, the first person to take part in wicked love game!

  33. Trailman says:

    Please Sil enough. I can parse it but please do not make me visualise it.

  34. don says:

    Fairly clued!?

    Nid wyf yn siarad Ffrangeg neu Almaeneg. Saesneg yn unig os gwelwch yn dda mewn papur newydd Saesneg.

  35. Paulwaver says:

    Don @34

    I hope you don’t learn French and German or the Welsh road signs could end up in four languages.
    Dyna ni or perhaps VOILA TOUT.

  36. Paul says:

    I agree, folks, that ‘Intentness’ is a horrid word. I resolve here never to do it again!
    Much love, and thanks, to all.

    John (Paul)

  37. Paulwaver says:

    Paul said with much intentness.

  38. Yellow says:

    @11 I don’t any cruelty was intended to Ms Navratilova – rather, I think the surface alludes to this.

    (Excuse extreme lateness.)

  39. tahc says:

    @dave Ellison: I think I would class myself as one of the ‘fartlets’ of which you speak, being of the tender age of 31. Not that you’ll read this so far after the event anyway – I’m currently trying to teach myself the mystic ways of the cryptic crossword and am managing about two per week with a backlog (hence the late posting).

    However, am relishing the learnings that 225 provides, means I have a slight chance of keeping up with my dad the next time I go and visit and we try to complete one together! So thanks for the blog UY.

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