Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,750 – Paul

Posted by Uncle Yap on September 25th, 2012

Uncle Yap.

What a brilliant offering from Paul, complete with some words that border on the risque but tastefully clued; so nobody ought to feel even slightly offended. I smiled from beginning to end at the witty and meticulous clueing. Thank you, Maestro!

 Place cursor over clue number to read the clue

1 BIG BANG BIG BEN (popular name for the great bell of the clock in Elizabeth Tower of the Palace of Westminster in London) with A substituted for E and G added. The Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological model that explains the early development of the Universe
5 See 9
9,5 HEAVY PETTING HEAVY PET (tamed elephant) TIN (metal) G (last letter of tag) Discovery of youth, indeed :-)
10 FLAGRANCY Ins of GRAN (old lady) + C (cold) in FLAY (strip)
11 LOCAL DERBY LOCO (mad, nuts) minus O + ALDER (tree) + BY for a keenly contested match between two neighbouring teams like United and City in Manchester
12,20 OVERWEIGHT Ins of W (wicket) in OVER EIGHT, >8 which 9 or 10 certainly is
14 DISCONCERTED DISCO (dance hall) + ins of C (Roman numeral for 100) in *(RENTED)
18 See 13
21 LUGE LUG (carry) + E (last letter of sledge) light toboggan ridden lying on one’s back.
25 PUBIC HAIR Ins of I (one) in PUB CHAIR (bar stool) Brilliantly inoffensive def for something that troubles and/or excites primary school leavers
26 SLANG Ins of N (name) in SLAG (refuse) I well remember the discovery of tantalum in tin slag dumped as waste in Penang years ago. If you had wanted your garden dug, just pass the rumour that it was covered by slag from the tin refinery. Hordes of people with spades would come at night ….
27 EGG YOLK Ins of GravY in GO (energy) -> GGYO inserted in ELK (beast)
1 BEHOLD Ins of HOLE (bottomless pit) in BED (plot)
2 GLANCE G (good) LANCE (weapon)
4 GAFFE GAFFER (old man) minus R
5 PLAY BINGO Ins of LAY (bet) + B (first letter of brilliant) in PIN (leg) +GO (try)
6 TYRE dd Tyre, a city in Lebanon and tread is the moulded ridged rubber surface of a pneumatic tyre
7 INNOVATE INN (bar) OVATE (like an egg)
13,18 GENEROUSLY PROPORTIONED Thanks to NeilW@1, GENE (one in pool) + *(POSTERIOR PROUDLY ON) and the whole clue read like an euphemistic description of an overweight person wearing swimming attire by a swimming pool
15 CUTTY SARK *(TACK RUSTY) The Cutty Sark is a Scottish clipper ship built on the Clyde in 1869
16 APPLE PIE Ins of LE (half of leek) in A PPP (p’s sounds like peas) + IE (id est, that is)
17 DOGGY BAG Ins of GaY Bishop in DO GAG (perform joke) The def is outrageously original, my COD
19 DYNAMO Ins of YNAM (rev of MANY, a bundle) in DO (fix)
20 See 12
23 PERCH dd
24 ECHO EaCh HoOp – alternate letters as pointed out by Stella Heath@11

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

56 Responses to “Guardian 25,750 – Paul”

  1. NeilW says:

    Thanks, UY. Quite a tussle this but, as you say, Paul at his most entertaining.

    I think you’ll find that he’s right in 1ac – BIG BeN is the name of the bell itself.

    Votes for 3 being &lit? ;)

    The parsing of 13,18 I read as: GENE (one in pool) + *(POSTERIOR PROUDLY)

  2. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks Paul and Uncle Yap. Enjoyed this puzzle very much. Wasn’t sure about the definition in 27ac so I looked up EGG YOLK in Chambers (2003 edition) – couldn’t find it!?! Agree with UY on DOGGY BAG.


  3. NeilW says:

    Sorry, forgot ON in the anagram fodder. :(

  4. Uncle Yap says:

    Thanks, NeilW, for pointing out generously proportioned Annie. The def for Big Ben has also been tweaked to (popular name for the great bell of the clock in Elizabeth Tower of the Palace of Westminster in London). For years, I used to hear the chimes that preceded ITV’s News At Ten. Is that news programme still on?

  5. rhotician says:

    Thanks UY. I must quibble with “border on the risque”. Chambers defines ‘risque’ as “audaciously bordering on the unseemly”. Too many borders.

    Thanks Paul. Audacious without being outrageous at 9,5 and 25, and not indelicately clued.

    NeilW – sticking your neck out with 3 but you can count on my vote. I would even suggest that 13,18 is &litish.

    grandpuzzler – you should have looked up ‘yellow’.

  6. KeithW says:

    As soon as I filled in 25 I could foresee the metaphorical swooning over unshrouded victorian piano legs.

  7. yvains says:

    A lovely puzzle – I especially enjoyed 11, but there are so many excellent clues. Thanks to Paul and Uncle Yap.

  8. muffin says:

    Thanks to paul and Uncle Yap
    Great fun, even if I didn’t understand all the (fortunately, correct) answers I entered – but that’s what fifteensquared is for!
    DOGGY BAG was my last, but my favourite.

  9. NeilW says:

    KeithW @6, I think you may have got the wrong end of the stick about this group.

  10. Dave Ellison says:

    Thanks, UY. Enjoyed this, but I was held up by using POOL instead of GENE in 13, 18. I was convinced it was PROPORTIONED, but couldn’t see the extra E needed for the 4th of 13d. I didn’t have 9a at this stage, and consequently 12, 20, so didn’t know what the definition was for 13d, 18a. Why are the key clues so often amongst the last ones in, or is that just me?

    13a I took NUTS as LOCK NUTS, but probably LOCO is more correct.

  11. Stella Heath says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap, a wonderfully entertaingly puzzle from Paul!

    I agree with NeilW re 3d, as that was my first reaction – made me think of music hall.

    I think you’ll find 24d is not a ha, since the instruction is to take every other letter. I imagine others haven’t noticed this unusual slip on your part, UY, since the solution was so obvious as not to need checking :-)

  12. Stella Heath says:

    Strange word I’ve invented there! I meant “entertaining”, of course :-)

  13. Gervase says:

    Thanks, UY.

    Fun puzzle from Paul, with a fair number of smiles – good to see the humour back, as some of his recent offerings have been relatively po-faced.

    A lot of ingenious clues; my favourites were 9,5 and 25a for their definition, construction and surface, the clever 12,20 (where it also took me a while to see the GENE), and the &lit anagram at 3d.

  14. Trailman says:

    Not long back from holiday. To avoid withdrawal symptoms, I take the Guardian book of Paul puzzles, which at least helps me be on the right wavelength when I return to a gem such as this!
    Paul, you always know, is never too esoteric for his own good: hence the use of eg LOCAL DERBY and DOGGY BAG.
    But thanks Uncle Yap for the blog. I saw the TING at the end of 9,5 but hadn’t worked out the HEAVY PET till you showed me. Doh.

  15. John Appleton says:

    9,5 is very good, but took me a while. 25 also pleased me; clearly I’m one of those with the “schoolboy humour”. Only failed with Lymphocyte and Dynamo, but otherwise, quite happy with this effort from Paul.

  16. crypticsue says:

    A fine Paul – I kept saying to Mr CS ‘surely that can’t be…’ but it was! As Gervase says, great to see the Paul risque humour back. Thanks to him for providing lots of laughter in an outpatients waiting room and to UY for the explanations.

  17. Robi says:

    Playful Paul at his best.

    Thanks UY; GENE, BIG BANG and LYMPHOCYTE without classical/biblical/literature references – must have been written for non-Renaissance man, like me. ;)

    I enjoyed looking at PUBIC HAIR and the GENEROUSLY PROPORTIONED person. I was a bit DISCONCERTED with my failure to parse EGG YOLK and DYNAMO. :( I won’t prolong this shaggy dog story…….

  18. rowland says:

    I think that term ‘& lit’ is intended to be used as an adjective rather than a noun? I’m thinking a clue is ‘& lit’, not ‘an &lit’? I know someone will sort me out on THAT hot potato, NeilW!!! Even worse in cruising for that bruising, I say none of them were ‘&lit’. But they do have that sort of self-referntial quality you get sometimes, espeically with someone good like Paul.

    I really enjoyed this, so big thanks to compiler, plus ‘no small thanks’ to blogger!


  19. tupu says:

    Thanks UY and Paul

    Excellent entertainingly testing puzzle with a welcome return of the old Pauline humour.

    Lots of ticks for clues such as 11a, 25a, 16d, 17d and a big one for the puzzle as a whole.

    I was held up for a short time over 13,18 down because while the two words use up the fodder, their crossing leaves one ‘e’ out. Is their an established convention about this?

  20. NeilW says:

    Rowly, adjective or adverb? Somebody cleverer than I can probably tell you it’s a “nounal phrase” or something equally beyond me. But you’re no doubt right. Doubly so if you can tell me what is the def in 3dn?

  21. muffin says:

    I took the def. to be “composition” for “any old iron” (it’s an old Cockney song), so the &lit would be relevant if “composition” was also the anagram indicator

  22. rowland says:

    Yes, ‘composition’, but it has ‘London air’ in it as well, whiich seems to confuse thins a bit. If he’s done ‘London air composed’ &c, it might have been all right, or better? I guess thereis a reason why not.


  23. brucew_aus says:

    Thanks Paul and Uncle Yap

    Another who enjoyed the puzzle that had many smiles as clues fell out.

    Last in was LYMPHOCYTE which I had not seen before. Quite a few of the clues took a while to parse, including 11, 22, 27, 5, 13/18 and 17 – but it gave a sense of satisfaction when they did !

    Think that 12/20 would be my favourite.

  24. Stella Heath says:

    Hi Rowland and NeilW; regarding the “adjective/noun/adverb” problem, you’ll find words in English can vary their function according to the intention of the user very much more easily than in other languages, as we have lost many of the inflections which indicate function.

    Still on a grammatical theme, I was surprised to see tupu write “their” for “there”, though no doubt this is an unintentioned repetition of a word he’d just written :-)

  25. rhotician says:

    @24 – tupu’s misspelling clearly arises from the fact that ‘there’ and ‘their’ are homophones.

  26. grumpo says:

    Yet another opportunity for the swell-headed Paul to satisfy his own ego while bringing no enjoyment whatever to those he purports to set puzzles for. A compete waste of time and the last time I look at a crossword by this man. 0/10.


  27. rowland says:

    Living up to your name there, Grumpo!


  28. Gervase says:

    There, there!

    Whether an allusive clue is strictly an &lit or not always seems to cause a lot of debate, but I’m sure we all enjoy this sort of thing, whatever it is. And I’ve just used ‘&lit’ as a noun, because, as Stella @24 rightly points out, we can do this in English. The technical term is conversion and, after all, it is one of the features of this language which makes it pre-eminently suitable for cryptic crosswords

  29. Giovanna says:

    Many thanks to Paul and Uncle Yap.

    Glad to see the humour back! The Pauline clues are brilliantly conceived!

    Lighten up, grumpo!!

    Giovanna x

  30. Stella Heath says:

    And confusing for foreign students, Gervase :-D

  31. tupu says:

    Sorry about the misspelling. But can someones comment on the question that contained it?

  32. Paul B says:

    Well, what do you think, tupu?

  33. Stella Heath says:

    Sorry, tupu, I just assumed that the “e” which is necessary in the fodder becomes redundant in the crossing

  34. tupu says:

    Hi Stella

    Thanks. That is clearly what happens.

    Paul B. I am not quite sure what to think. The fact that only 21 letters of the fodder are used in the double answer niggles a little. This can’t be expressed in the numeration of the words, but I suppose it could be recognised in the number of letters provided in the fodder. You are an expert setter and clearly have a very wide knowledge of crossword conventions, so perhaps you can move helpfully beyond throwing the question back at me.

  35. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    Another step up the ranking ladder for this compiler, I think.
    I enjoyed this and found enough challenge in the clues to keep my brain active.
    Last in was ‘dynamo’ (after clearing ‘Cyrano’ from said brain).
    I liked 12,20.
    I also enjoyed 25, not intrinsically but in anticipation of what Keith @6 amusingly describes.
    Neil @9,you are so wrong.

  36. Wolfie says:

    Thank you UY for the excellent blog of a particularly entertaining puzzle, with many laugh-out-loud moments. Paul is clearly back on form.

    I am another who is mystified by the comment by Keith@6. Thirty-five comments so far and nobody seems to have been offended by Paul’s wicked sense of humour. Neil@9 – you are so right!

  37. yvains says:

    @tupu – taking your question seriously: I’m not sure about ‘established convention’, but what seems to happen, in practice, is that the clue is solved as if it were a single line of text (GENE + POSTERIOR PROUDLY ON* = GENEROUSLY PROPORTIONED) prior to any consideration as to how the words will be fitted into the grid. I agree that it would be just as logical for the whole thing to be treated as if it was a 21-letter, rather than 22-letter anagram, but I’ve never seen this done. If it were to happen one day, I wouldn’t cry foul, and I don’t think either approach is inherently ‘fairer’.

  38. Paul B says:

    That’s cleared up then. Toops?

  39. tupu says:

    Thanks Yvain

    That’s helpful. I had not consciously encountered the question before. It struck me here, I think, because it seemed certain to be a long anagram and it was not immediately clear what constituted the fodder.

    Paulie Baby – yes I think that clears it up.

  40. Paul B says:

    I was being ironic there, I must admit. Have you settled on an opinion one way or the other?

  41. nametab says:

    Paul on form; imaginative and amusing; lovely end to a long day. Really liked several – 16d, 17d, 3d. Thanks to UY

  42. Dave Ellison says:

    Tupu, I was alluding to the double E count in my comment @10. The crossed letter is always counted twice in all such clues I have ever seen, and this can be a useful solving hint. This was so today, when I was left with two Os, Ls and Ps (I think) but only one E, suggesting my fodder was incorrect. This then led on to GENE.

    I think the crossed letter must be included twice, for the reason yvains @ 37 pointed out.

  43. tupu says:

    Not really. As Yvain says, one can argue the toss either way and I suspect it does not often arise in any case. But what do you think as a setter? Would you plump for ignoring the fact that the words cross?

  44. tupu says:

    Dave Ellison @42

    Thanks. My comment @41 was in response to Paul B @40.

  45. Ivah says:

    19d. I got the DO from gathering (remember “A Bit of a Do”?) but I suppose it works both ways.

  46. Paul B says:

    Well, you can argue anything any which way you like. But I digress.

    The case you describe has some quite ridiculous implications, but I don’t know how much thought, or rather thinking through, you’ve given to it.

  47. Davy says:

    Thanks UY for the blog and Paul for the fun. I failed to see ‘heavy pet’ as I was thinking of heavy metal and couldn’t understand
    where the elephant came in (through the elephant flap presumably?). Out of so many good clues, BIG BANG was a particular favourite.

    grumpo seems to be the logical successor to a guy that used to post here years ago who was always complaining but I can’t remember
    his name. He would say things like ‘I looked at the puzzle for half an hour and only got one clue so I threw it in the bin and got
    on with some gardening’. Just had a flash – was it Grumpy Andrew ?. Does anyone remember ?. Maybe grumpo is one and the same.

  48. RCWhiting says:

    Ivah @45
    I did it as do = gathering too, but I think UY’s is better.

    Wolfie @36
    Come on Wolfie, you are a regular here and know that Keith @6 is right.
    If today’s reactions are a portent of the future, then I say well done that people have finally grown up.

  49. Mrrichard says:

    Masterful, I should have gone to bed a long time ago but managed to finish all but two before cheating here – about 24 hours after the blog was written but never mind. Pubic hair raised a laugh (as it often does I suppose).

  50. rhotician says:

    RCW says “well done that people have finally grown up”. Strange grammar.

    I say “Well done, Paul”.

  51. KeithW says:

    I apologise for my previous comment. I was misled by, what I now realise were, the ironic comments about the clueing of TOY STORY in a recent puzzle.

  52. Wolfie says:

    Nice to read the retraction Keith. I hope you will now also try to refrain from recycling the hoary old myth about Victorian piano legs.

  53. RCWhiting says:

    “ironic” Wolfie,”ironic”.

  54. Wolfie says:

    I know, RCW, I know. I was being ironic about Keith’s ironic response – always a risky procedure, I know.

    I hope you weren’t too disappointed by the lack of offence generated here by Paul’s pubic hair

  55. RCWhiting says:

    Talking of hairy old myths from Victorian times, what about Ruskin?

  56. Wolfie says:

    Yes, I’m sure you’re right RCW – the story of Ruskin’s repugnance at the sight of pubic hair is probably apocryphal. The question is discussed in the Dictionary of National Biography:

    “The first night [of Ruskin’s marriage to Effie Gray] was spent at Blair Atholl. In a letter to her father in 1854, revealing the extent of the marriage’s failure, Effie said that she had been sexually ignorant and that Ruskin ‘was disgusted with my person the first evening’. This has been interpreted as meaning that Ruskin was equally innocent, especially in the matter of female pubic hair, but this seems unlikely, as he had seen erotic images belonging to fellow undergraduates at Oxford. There is also speculation that Effie’s menstrual cycle interfered with consummation (Hilton, John Ruskin: the Early Years, 119), which is plausible but not provable.”

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