Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,688 / Paul

Posted by mhl on July 21st, 2012


Apologies for the late post on this puzzle – as a result, I won’t waste time in saying much beyond that this was a lovely prize puzzle from Paul with lots of enjoyable clues.

1. SQUAWKS SS = “Ship” around QUA = “as” + W[rec]K = “hollow wreck”; Definition: “cries loudly”
9. ONION ON = “shining” + I = “one” + ON = “lit”; Definition: “Bulb”
10. DEXTERITY DEITY = “God” around [o]XTER = “armpit, nothing less”; Definition: “skill”
11. BUENOS DIAS SAID = “spoken” + SO = “thus” follwed by NB = “note” around EU = “France and Germany etc”, all reversed; Definition: “Greeting”
12,16. ANNE HATHAWAY This clue refers to the two most famous Anne Hathaways, the cryptic part referring to Shakespeare’s wife; Definition: “this actress?” (a timely clue, as she’s starring in The Dark Knight Returns, which has just been released)
14,19. SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE SHAKE = “Brandish” + SPEAR = ” weapon” + IE reversed = “boomerang that is” + (NOVEL)*; Definition: “film”
18. ARMOUR PLATE R = “Penultimate from [shakespeaRe]” in “[LOVE]” = AMOUR followed by PLATE = “serving”; Definition: “a means of defence”
21. HOOD A hod is a device you carry bricks with, so “Carrying no bricks?” might be O in HOD; Definition: “criminal”
22. CRAPULENCE CRAP = “Very poor ” + (CLUE)* around N = “new” follwed by E = “editor’s initial”; Definition: “boozing”
25. WHITEBAIT WHITE BIT = “Part that hasn’t caught rays” around A; Definition: “fish”
26. MOOSE MOO = “sounds like a cow” + [hor]SE = “tail of horse” Thanks to tupu for the correction: MOOS = “sounds like a cow” + [hors]E = “tail of horse”; Definition: “Animal”
27. YIELDED Double definition: “Gave” and “gave in”
28. RETREAD (DEARER)* + [admitte]D; Definition: “Reconditioned roller” – a tyre that’s reconditioned is a retread
1. SNOBBY BY = “times” under S = “second” + NOB = “peer”; Definition: “Superior”
3. WONTON SOUP NOT NOW = “perhaps later” reversed + SO = “therefore” + UP = “happy”; Definition: “Chinese food”
4. SIDED SID = “Vicious” + ED = “Balls”; Definition: “Went” (as in “sided with” / “went with”)
5. BOX CAMERA BOXER = “Dog” around CAM = “river” + A; Definition: “snapper”
6. RHEA HEAR = “catch”, but with R moved to the front (“tail first”); Definition: “Bird”
7. UNION DAY (AND YOU IN)*; Definition: “South African celebration of old”
8. HAY FEVER HAY (sounds like “Hey!”) = “Attention-seeker voiced” + FEVER = “song” (most famously sung by Peggy Lee); Definition: “play”
13. SPEED LIMIT (IMPLIED SET)*; Definition: “Driving restriction”
15. AMPERSAND My favourite clue here, with a lovely surface reading and nice definition part: AM = “Morning” + PERS[on] = “type not getting on” + AND = “with”; Definition :”loopy character?”
17. AMMONITE A MITE = “A child” around MON = “the day”; Definition: “old fossil”
20. BEHEAD To “rule” is to “be head” – I couldn’t see this, somehow, and looked at the annotated solution :( Definition: “Top” (as a verb)
23,5across,2. PETERBOROUGH UNITED A nice anagram: (NEIGHBOUR UTTER DOPE)*; Definition: “Posh” (apparently “The Posh” is the nickname of Peterborough United)
24. MEAD Hidden in: “welcome, a daiquiri”; Definition: “Drink”

15 Responses to “Guardian 25,688 / Paul”

  1. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    Agree,a good challenge for a Saturday. Paul continues his upward trend.
    ‘Posh’ 23d was a nice clue although it was rather more familiar to me than most solvers since I live quite close and have attended a few times when my own team are visiting.
    Last in were 1d and 11ac simultaneously,the latter was a good clue.
    Another favourite was 18ac.

  2. tupu says:

    Thanks mhl and Paul

    As you say, a very good puzzle. I enjoyed the mini-theme. I ticked 1a, 18a, 3d, 5d, 6d, 7d, 15d (COD)!

    I think your parsing of 26 gives a close homophone but I read it more in keeping with the surface as moos + e. THis suffers from a voiced ‘s’ however.

    You have a typo in 24d – it should be daiquiri.

  3. mhl says:

    tupu: in 24d, I think that’s how I spelled it (and it appears in the puzzle) although I have to say it’s a word that I’ve got wrong on almost every occasion when I’ve had to use it :)

  4. rhotician says:

    tupu @2: You’re right that 26 should be parsed as MOOS + E, but homophones don’t come into it. Sounds like just means, in dictionary parlance, imitative.

  5. rhotician says:

    Apart from that, thanks mhl for a superb blog.

  6. Gervase says:

    Thanks, mhl.

    Much more satisfying prize puzzle for experienced solvers than many in recent months.

    Lots of amusing clues; my favourite was the dubious takeaway imagery and neat construction of 3dn, though I was pleased to see the oxter in 10a, 11a was ingenious and 23,5,2 gave me a ‘duh’ moment went I noticed that the middle word could be UNITED. I needed a bit of help with RHEA, being fixated on REED.

    I agree with rhotician’s parsing of MOOSE: ‘sounds like’ in this instance means ‘makes a sound like’.

    In 8dn, ‘song’ = FEVER is a tad vague, to say the least, but who cares?

  7. tupu says:

    Hi mhl

    I see you are right. I somehow read your text as daiquin!

  8. tupu says:

    Hi rhotician and Gervase

    Yes. I agree – I ‘overparsed’ it, not that I worry much about homophones when it comes to it.

  9. DMB says:

    Thanks for the blog mhl, and to Pual for another amusing puzzle! I live in Spain, so Buenos Dias is familiar to me. However, where to draw the line? It is not as though this is a borrowed phrase like so many additions to our language. This is my first visit to site which I enjoy enormously. My COD was 4dn

  10. DMB says:

    or Paul even

  11. molonglo says:

    Thanks mhl, and welcome to the site DMB. The Dark Knight reference is a bit sombre in view of the latest US shoot-out. I ndidn’ty know the ‘posh’ reference for P. United but fathomed it, and learned a splendid new word: oxter. Thanks Paul.

  12. molonglo says:

    Sorry, for the ‘didn’t’ typo; DMB, too, I guess re the setter

  13. Paul B says:

    Ndidn’ty = excellent: I’m sure it’s just as good as SCILENS, and by it I’m sure we’ll always be able to identify the hand of Molonglo (in e.g. works of another).

  14. brucew_aus says:

    Thanks Paul and mhl

    Found this one quite tough – and did take both days of the weekend to get it out. A lot of help needed to sort through the local knowledge with Ed Balls, the nickname of Posh and oxter which I have never heard of before.

    Good to get the correct parsing for a couple as well – for 18 I had taken the penultimate of Shakespeare in Love to be the V – and headed down the vanadium path which is used to make the alloy of ARMOUR PLATE – the blog being much more elegant of course. The correctly pointed out MOOS E was better than mine and the original blog.

    Many excellent clues and thought that 12,16 and 11 were particularly clever. Last in was the 8d and learnt about both the Coward play and the song for the first time as well.

    Thanks again Paul for helping the alternative education, even at my age !

  15. Giovanna says:

    Thanks, Paul for the weekend laughter and mhl for the blog – something which must be hard to do!

    I have just got round to the puzzle as I was toasting the bride in Prosecco last weekend.

    Lots of lol moments and red herrings. Posh suggested Beckingham Palace!

    17 down brought on a senior moment. I could see the ammonites that a lovely old man showed me in the flooring of a church in Venice recently but couldn’t remember its name!! Where’s that Prosecco?!

    Giovanna x

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