Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,783 / Paul

Posted by Eileen on November 2nd, 2012


A highly entertaining, characteristically Paul puzzle today, with lots of witty, clever and misleading surfaces and wordplay, so plenty of smiles and ‘aha’ moments to help the solving along.  Many thanks, Paul, for a very enjoyable end to the week.


1 Resemble King Edward, say, squeezing fake bust
TATER [potato – King Edward say] round [squeezing] anagram [bust] of FAKE – a cheeky surface, alluding to the antics of King Edward VII, maybe

6 Union strike
double definition

8 Half-baked bread out, becoming hard
anagram [half-baked] of BREAD OUT

9 Turn on a river, one that’s great?
A R [a river] + OUSE a river that’s great, i.e. the Great Ouse , a river in the East of England

10 Schmuck wearing jacket
JERK [schmuck] + IN [wearing]

11 A very wide, short, winding path for a vehicle
anagram [winding] of A VERY WID[e]

12 Rat artist’s dropped as held in trap
DEG[as] [artist] minus – has dropped – ‘as’, in BAG [trap]

15 Toms Cruise, Selleck or Courtenay, but ___ I don’t want them!
NOT [Tom] HANKS – a laugh out loud clue – and a second airing this week for Mr Cruise.

19,1down Item of furniture‘s pedal wrapped in wire
OF FEET [pedal, as an adjective – very neat] in CABLE [wire]

21 Rosary cursed then? Go on!
BEAD EVIL [rosary cursed] – a little poetic licence needed here, as a rosary is more than one bead

22 Whale‘s ear boxed by princess, briefly
LUG [ear] in [boxed by] BEA[trice] [princess briefly]

24 Mouth of Nile beside separate river
N [first letter of Nile] after SEVER [separate]

25 Misshapen genitals, funny things?
anagram [misshapen] of GENITALS: this being a Paul puzzle, I’m quite sure that I’m not the only one to have initially taken this as a cryptic definition and entered something totally different, until the down clues put me right 😉

26 Bowl over, balls knocked back
reversal [knocked back] of NUTS [balls] – and the juxtaposition of these two clues makes me think the misdirection was not simply in my head!

27 Lark about with the milkman, perhaps?
amusing cryptic definition, alluding to the sayings ‘up with the lark’ and ‘the early bird catches the worm’


2,16 A snack attack, you might say?
cryptic definition

3 A political victory as before

4 Squash tournament’s ending — turn to the next chapter?
T [last letter of tournament] + READ ON [turn to the next chapter?]

5 On a record, one C natural
RE [on] A LIST [a record] + I [one] C

6 What’s produced by injection into stuff, endless disease
HOLE [what’s produced by injection] in CRA[m] [stuff endless]

7 Björk finally launches new release
anagram [new] of K [last letter of BjörK] + LAUNCHES

13 Wonder when a former prison staff toilet’s opening
A MAZEMEN [staff of the former Maze prison] + T [first letter – opening – of Toilet]

14 Child out of venison, Grace cooking beef
anagram [cooking] of VENI[son] [child out] + GRACE

17 Forgery gets good long time for offence
DUD [forgery] + G [good] + EON [long time]

18 From which one draws solace at first under Labour leader (among other misfits)
HOLSTER [ Corrected: please see comments 5 and 7]
S [first letter – at first – of Solace] under L [first letter – leader – of Labour] in [among] an anagram [misfits – although I think there’s something slightly wrong with the cryptic grammar here] of OTHER [Please ignore this reservation: see comment 6]

20 Film director dropped in upright character
FELL [dropped] IN I [upright character]

22 Vehicle that’s diseased, you might say?
cryptic definition

23 In the end smoking grass produces strong desire
G [last letter of smokinG] + REED [grass]

31 Responses to “Guardian 25,783 / Paul”

  1. ToniL says:

    Thank-you Paul and Eileen.

    I was convinced of the wrong answer at 25, I would have looked earlier for alternatives with any other setter!!

    Other than that hold-up, no real problems and a nice (typical Paul) puzzle.

  2. Rick says:

    A very helpful blog and an excellent puzzle – many thanks to Eileen and Paul.

    I didn’t see the problem with 18 down you refer to Eileen (though I may well have missed something!). “Other misfits” gives an anagram of “other” and so “XX (among other misfits)” means you put XX in an anagram of other”. Here the XX is “solace at first under Labour leader” which is LS (as you say).

  3. Manu says:

    odd balls
    what was I thinking? 😀

  4. John Appleton says:

    Nice work, Paul (and Eileen). PEDAL = OF FEET raised a grin when the penny dropped.

  5. Matt says:

    I love Paul’s puzzles. You wouldn’t want them every day necessarily, but they have a really distinctive turn. One of those setters where, in a blind taste test, you would almost certainly guess who the setter was.

    I think the last ‘S’ in misfitS is the last letter of HOLSTERS, there’s an ‘S’ missing otherwise. This would solve the grammar problem but, of course, may make the clue problematic in a different way.

  6. Eileen says:

    Hi Rick

    Re 18dn: it wasn’t the construction that was bothering me but the indicator ‘misfits’, which I felt instinctively should be ‘misfit’. After a little more thought, I think ‘misfits’ works.

  7. Eileen says:

    Oops – the last S in ‘holsters’ was my mistake. The answer is HOLSTER- sorry, Matt!

  8. Rick says:

    Eileen @6: Ah, yes, I see what you mean! I do think that (as you say) “misfits” does work.

  9. Gervase says:

    Thanks, Eileen

    More fun (of the seaside postcard/lavatorial type) than most recent Paul puzzles, with a lot of cracking clues. I slowed down in the top half, not realising for some time that 8a was an anagram (‘baked’ would have served as an anagrind for me, so I thought ‘half-baked’ had a more complex connotation).

    18d is HOLSTER, not HOLSTERS, BTW, but this can only be a typo. Either ‘misfits’ (which implies the subject is misfitting itself) or ‘misfit’ (which would be passive) would have worked as an anagrind. Paul naturally chose the one which fits the surface. Funny how one’s mind works: I immediately interpreted ‘misshapen genitals’ as an anagram…

    Many enjoyable and ingenious clues: particular favourites for me were 11a, 15a, 7d, 13d.

  10. molonglo says:

    Thanks Eileen. Oodles of fun here, though the SE corner bogged me down and could only be resolved with furtive resort to TEAS for 18d. PEDAL in 19 was inspired. Thanks Paul.

  11. crypticsue says:

    Delicious Friday fun thank you Paul and Eileen too.

  12. muffin says:

    Thanks to Paul and Eileen
    I found this hard, so all the more satisfying when I completed it. Lots of fun – particularly liked “pedal” for “of feet”.

    One thing I still don’t see, though – why is “what’s produced by injection” = “hole”? I thought this as I entered “cholera”, but Eileen’s blog hasn’t cleared it up, for me, at least. What am I missing?

  13. Rick says:

    muffin @12: When I go to the doctors and have an injection it could be said that the needle has made (produced) a hole in my arm.

    It certainly feels like that to me – but then I’m a terrible wimp when it comes to injections! )-:

  14. muffin says:

    I’m with you on injections, but surely if there was a hole, stuff (blood etc.) would leak out!

  15. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog, Eileen. This was great fun! 25ac was the first clue I solved – not sure what that says about me!

    My favourite was NO THANKS, which did make me laugh.

    Altogether very playful and lots of variety — a treat for Friday :-)

  16. Robi says:

    Amusing Paulian fare.

    Thanks Eileen; I particularly liked NO THANKS and HOLSTER. KNUCKLE SANDWICH was not half bad as well. The misshapen genitals did not provide any difficulties for me. 😉

  17. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    A rather slow start for me but it did collapse somewhat too soon afterwards.
    Nevertheless, there was some enjoyment along the way, notably 1ac, 15ac and 21ac.
    Last in was ‘jerkin’ (witty).
    I did find a surprisingly large number which I correctly part solved easily but then struggled to complete. Examples were ‘tater’ in 1ac but took ‘fake bust’ as an angram of ‘bust'; and ‘cable’ (hence table) in 19,2 but took a while to see ‘pedal’ as ‘of feet’ (excellent).
    Overall, a reasonable effort, although not as testing as some recent efforts from this compiler.

  18. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Eileen & Paul

    25a was the first in for me and, of course, I got it wrong.

    Inevitably, I thought ‘How like Paul’!

    Is he now deliberately using his naughty reputation to mislead us?

    I must be more careful in future.

  19. tupu says:

    Thanks Eileen and Paul

    Solved in intervals during a grandchildren’s visit.

    A very cleverly misleading and enjoyable puzzle admirably described by Eileen at the start. Like her and others I nearly messed up 25a.

    I particularly liked 1a, 15a, 19,1, 25a, and 4d.

  20. Galeraman says:

    Thanks to Eileen and Paul for a very instructive blog and a great puzzle (I won’t be saying that tomorrow about the Prize Paul). So many great, LOL clues, NO THANKS, KNUCKLE SANDWICH, STUN. I am, however, in agreement with muffin @12 that an injection really should not make a hole. Nevertheless one of the best for a long while!!

  21. hammock says:

    Doesn’t 23d also hint at the “munchies”?

  22. Paul B says:

    I’d like to know what the cryptic tense of ‘misfits’ is supposed to be, that’s for sure! And ‘Labour leader’ for L?

    I’m sorry old boy, but I’m afraid you can’t come into the club dressed like that.

  23. Dave Ellison says:

    Thanks, Eileen and Paul.

    Now why can’t Rufus write CDs like 2d?

    I also was an odd baller for 25a, at first.

  24. Galeraman says:

    Dave Ellison @ 23 “Now why can’t Rufus write CDs like 2d?”. Well, “lead the way in the present transport system” from a couple of weeks ago was not exactly shabby!!

  25. blaise says:

    Learned an interesting new term today, even though it was one of three answers I initially got wrong. If you google “clever table” you’ll see what I mean. (Well, after all, a pedal’s a kind of lever, innit?)

  26. Eileen says:

    Dave Ellison @23

    I really don’t want to open a can of worms but I would venture to say that Rufus is, surely, the master of the cryptic definition [to the chagrin of many solvers!].

    I haven’t the energy at this time of night to trawl through the myriad examples that I know I could find in the archive but Galeraman [thanks] has reminded us of the most recent example.

  27. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thanks, Eileen, for blogging this typical fun puzzle.
    We only found 27ac (EARLY BIRD) rather weak.
    But all in all a more than ‘a reasonable effort’, we thought.
    Still not sure whether ‘half-baked’ is a good anagram indicator, but I am happy to give Paul the benefit of the doubt.
    I found 7d (UNSHACKLE) particularly neat, just like 11ac (DRIVEWAY).

    While I agree with Paul B @22 about ‘misfits’, I personally find ‘Labour leader’ for L acceptable (although I know where Paul B’s coming from).
    Moreover, dear Mr B, may I cite a clue from a Neo puzzle in the FT this year?
    3 May 2012, 14down : “Italian leader having run-in with Croat about political border (4,7)” …..

  28. Brendan (not that one) says:

    Very enjoyable puzzle for me. Although I agree with RCW that it did surrender rather quickly after some initial resistance.

    I can’t agree with Paul B @22. Both “misfits” and “Labour leader” are fine. “misfit” is a verb after all. The last comment reminded me of Groucho’s famous remark.

    I imagine Paul is laughing his socks off!

    Thanks to Paul and Eileen.

  29. RCWhiting says:

    Where do you folks get your injections.
    Why does the nurse give me a chunk of cotton wool and instruct me to press it over the HOLE? How come it sometimes bleeds?

    Isn’t an oddball a person, not a thing (funny things)?

  30. rhotician says:

    Patient – I’m bleeding!
    Nurse – There, there, poor thing.

  31. Paul B says:

    Re not that Brendan, I asked about the cryptic tense, AAMOF. His remark, unfortunately, is merely an opinion and explains nothing.

    Re me doing exactly the same thing per Sil’s observation, guilty! ‘Earlier in the year’ would be crucial, however, as I don’t do it now. New fitness regime at Bringloe Towers, where stuff like that has to be unequivocal.

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