Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,726 – Paul

Posted by Uncle Yap on August 28th, 2012

Uncle Yap.

What a nice start to the day to blog Paul, one of my favourite compilers. As usual, he is immaculate in his clueing style. I found this quite entertaining although somewhat disappointed that an identical device was used twice in the same puzzle. My moderator, Dr Brian Skinner used to say that although this may not be wrong, it is certainly inelegant.

Place cursor over clue number to read the clue


1 MODICUM M (first letter of morose) + ins of C (cold) in ODIUM (hate)
5 IN VITRO Ins of VI (6 in Roman numerals) in INTRO (opening bars)
9 TESTA TEST (try) + A for a seed coat or hard shell
10 SUPERSIZE *(timE RISES UP alcatraZ) fodder in upper case I totally agree with the def … on one of my early trips to California, we stopped at a cafe at the base of the San Francisco Bridge and had ice cream. I asked for two scoops and could not finish them. Neither could I finish the T-bone steak I had for dinner.
11 RAWALPINDI Cha of RAW (natural) ALP (mountain) IN DI (first and last letters of Dubai) for a city in the Punjab province of Pakistan
12 See 24
14 INDIAN SUMMER IN (home) + ins of *(SUN A) in DIMMER (darker) I always thought this term was started by the British colonialists in India who have not yet been to Melbourne in the southern summer but Chambers attributed the origin to the USA
18 RIO DE JANEIRO  RI (Rhodes Island, state) ODE (poem) JANE (girl, although the main character played by Simon Baker in The Mentalist was Patrick Jane) + BIRO (tradename of a pen, now accepted into the English slanguage) minus B for the second largest city in Brazil
21 IRON dd a golfer swings a club which can be wood or iron; hence swinger but the way I see some golfers play in my club, an equally apt def would be hackers.
25 CON DOLORE CONDO (condominium, apartment) LORE (knowledge)
26 TUTSI TUT (Tutankhamun Egyptian pharaoh, African king) + rev of IS for a member of a Bantu people mainly living in Rwanda and Burundi.
27 PINHEAD Ins of IN HE (man) in PAD (flat)
28 See 17
1 MATURE dd Victor John Mature (1913–1999) was an American stage, film and television actor.
2 DISOWN Ins of SOW (female pig like Peppa Pig, my granddaughter’s favourite character) in DIN (loud noise)
3 See 22
4 MASAI MA (mother, parent) SAID (spoke) minus D for the language of certain tribal people of the highlands of Kenya and Tanzania
5 IMPUDENCE Cha of I M (first letter of moustache) PUD (pudding, sweet) PENCE (change) minus P
6 VERB rha
7 TRILEMMA TRILBY (hat) minus BY + EMMA (eponymous heroine of book by Jane Austen). Funnily enough, I am familiar with DILEMMA but have never heard of TRILEMMA until today
8 OPEN FIRE Surely this clue does not require explanation
15 IN A SECOND Ins of NASEBY minus BY + CON (Conservative Party) in ID (extreme letters of Ireland) Pity Paul (and Hugh Stephenson, Crossword Editor) did not notice the identical device (lost by) had already been used once in 7 Down
17,28 GO DOWN IN HISTORY Another clue that does not require further explanation
19 BLOTTO B (first letter of boozer) LOTTO (game with slim chance of winning) for a slang word meaning totally drunk
20 TYPIFY TY (first and last letters of tapestry) + ins of IF in PartY (walls being used as indicator of extreme letters)
23 TEETH Acrostic, first letters of tarantulas, eating even tiny hairs 
24,12 TONE DEAF TON (a hundred) + five notes E D E A F

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

16 Responses to “Guardian 25,726 – Paul”

  1. ToniL says:

    Yes, shame about trilby and Naseby, I think it was picked up on Guardian thread too.

    Nothing else to add. Fine crossword and blog (speedy too).

    Thanks Paul and UY

  2. NeilW says:

    Thanks, UY. Some nice surfaces but, otherwise very straightforward for Paul. Apart from the very gentle 21, there wasn’t even any of the trademark smut, although I realise some would say this is a good thing.

    Aside from the double “lost by” the other debatable point is 23: “heads off” has maybe one F too many…

  3. stiofain says:

    I thought it was very disappointing.
    I used to be delighted to see Pauls name but lately his standards have went way down.
    The double use of “drop by” is unforgiveable.
    Cheer up Paul get back to your fun puzzles.
    At least there were only a few clues this time that were given away by the enumeration unlike recent efforts.

  4. molonglo says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap. Totally with you on your comments, including on Peppa Pig and TRILEMMA. Though this took only as long as the cup of tea over lunch it had ahas in rapid sequence, down to the last SUPERSIZE one, so I don’t mark Paul down one bit for this.

  5. Dave Ellison says:

    Thanks UY.

    I also thought this was not the best from Paul. I thought some clues were fine (22a, 17d) but the ones for 10a SUPERSIZE, 5d IMPUDENCE and 16d FRUIT CUP were difficult to see wood from trees. I could unravel the clues once I had the answer, but knowing where to start was bewildering.

  6. Gervase says:

    Thanks, UY

    I found this more enjoyable than some other recent Paul crosswords, with some interesting vocabulary. I didn’t get much at all on the first pass, but once I had half a dozen clues solved the rest yielded steadily. TRILEMMA was new to me also, but pretty obvious from the wordplay.

    Pity about the double use of ‘lost by’, since it is a good device. ‘In’ is also used twice as a word in the clue which needs to be inserted directly into the solution (11ac, 27ac), but this is a less egregious duplication. I ticked 8dn and 19dn, but 22,3 is splendid.

    My recent experience of American portions is that they are noticeably less SUPERSIZE than they used to be. This may be partly as a result of Morgan Spurlock’s campaigning, but more, I think, because restaurateurs are serving less food for the same price as costs rise. MASAI is a rather archaic version of what is now more usually rendered as ‘Maasai'; this is topical since the splendid performance of Davd Rudisha in the 800m a few weeks ago.

  7. tupu says:

    Thanks UY and Paul

    This got more enjoyable as it went along.

    Some very good misleading surfaces e.g.15d and 8d. I also ticked 22,3 – my COD, 25a, 5d.

  8. crypticsue says:

    An enjoyable Paul for a sunny Tuesday. Not quite as much fun as usual and reading the other comments, I don’t think that was just me. Thanks to Paul and UY

  9. Robi says:

    Entertaining, although not as playful as some of Paul’s.

    Thanks UY, I always thought that INDIAN SUMMER referred to the Raj; for an interesting discussion see here.

    TRILEMMA and TESTA were new to me. When I saw the ‘z’ and ‘j’ I thought a pangram might be on, but no. I liked SUPERSIZE, which could also be ‘As an American.’ ;) [No general offence intended!]

  10. Robi says:

    P.S. VERTICALLY CHALLENGED had a superbly written clue, I thought.

  11. Miche says:

    Thanks, UY.

    I don’t time myself, but I’m pretty sure this was a quicker solve than usual with Paul. I particularly liked “Article subedited” at 13d and the anagram at 22,3. Not so convinced by 17,28: to go down in history and to be notorious aren’t all that close in meaning. Notoriety can be as fleeting as celebrity.

  12. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    A satisfactory workout for a Tuesday.
    Having solved 7d early I actually used the thought when I came to 15d.
    Last in was ‘supersize’, I was seeking an American term for a prisoner!
    I liked 5d for its deceptive definition.

  13. Cosafina says:

    Thanks Paul and Uncle Yap. I had great difficulty with 25a – mainly because I didn’t notice that I’d spelled 23d TETHH… doh!

  14. morphiamonet says:

    Noticeable and avoidable, yes, but ‘unforgiveable’??

    Seriously folks, has anybody found a sense of proportion that appears to have gone missing.

  15. anax says:

    If my own experience is anything to go by, I think there may be something innocent behind the double use of an identical device.
    It’s quite rare that a puzzle appears with no intervening editing process – there will generally be at least one or two changes, sometimes involving a complete rewrite of a clue. That can happen a long time after the first draft of the puzzle and it’s easy to miss the fact that in rewriting a clue you repeat something that’s already been used (especially if, as in Paul’s case, you’re setting a lot of puzzles).
    It’s unfortunate when it happens, but at the editing stage it can happen very easily.

  16. William says:

    Thanks Uncle – a fine blog as usual.

    I enjoyed this puzzle a lot. Lots of different tricks and devices that are Paul’s trade mark.

    I’m with morphiamonet @14 – it’s no more than a simple slip and in no way detracts from the fun of the puzzle.

    Paul is up there with the best in my view.

    More please.

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