Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,792 – Paul

Posted by Uncle Yap on November 13th, 2012

Uncle Yap.

This is well worth waiting an extra hour for. Nicely and fairly clued mini-theme of pretty ladies. Thank you, Paul for the morning’s entertainment. Thank you, the other Paul (Drury aka PeeDee) for providing the template for this blog which allows the reader to also see the actual clue while reading my explanation.

For the Hindus celebrating the Festival of Lights, Happy Deepavali

Hold cursor over any clue number to read the clue.

9 ON THE NOSE Ins of *(HONEST) in ONE (figure)
10 AORTA A OR T (the first and last letters of ArgonauT) + A for the main arterial blood vessel
11 LAPWING LAP (lick) + ins of N (last letter of man) in WIG (from syrup of figs, Cockney rhyming slang) for bird of the plover family, the peewit.
12 ANTENNA AN + what sounds like a TENNER, amount of money
13 ROCK dd to pitch is to move from side to side
14 CORDILLERA Ins of I + L (left) in *(RED CORAL) for a chain of mountains, esp the chain including the Andes and the Rocky Mountains.
16,15 IF LOOKS COULD KILL Please draw your own connection between drop-dead gorgeous and fatal attraction, the mini-theme for this excellent puzzle
19 LIKELIHOOD LIK (rev of KILL minus L, murder almost backfired) + ELI (Jewish High Priest of Shiloh) HOOD (criminal)
22 AREA Sounds like AIRIER, more airy, better ventilated
24 MONIKER Sounds like MONICA of White House cigar fame.
25 DOLE OUT WOW, three homophonic clues in a row … this will surely upset the natives. I will sit this one out
26 CREEL C (abbreviation in cricket scoring for caught) + REEL (dance) for some kind of basket left under water to trap fish and other aquatic creatures
27 TEA FOR TWO T (last letter of eight) + *(FOOTWEAR) The Doris Day version can be heard at
1 DOLLAR DIPLOMACY DOLL (bimbo) + ins of O (old) + MAC (Scot) in *(RAPIDLY) for the oft-criticised US penchant for trying to buy popularity everywhere in the world
3 DEVIL D (first letter of demonic) + EVIL (wicked)
4 See 17
5 PETARD PeoplE (people’s skin) TARD (rev of DRAT, oath) for a case containing an explosive, used for blowing in doors, etc
6 CASTELLAN Ins of STELLA Artois, a beer originally brewed in Leuven, Belgium since 1926) in CAN (tinned) for the governor or keeper of a castle.
7 See 23
8 FATAL ATTRACTION cd for the 1987 American thriller movie, directed by Adrian Lyne and starring Michael Douglas, Glenn Close, and Anne Archer.
15 See 16
17,4 DROP-DEAD GORGEOUS I supposed this can be classified as a cd … so lovely with a fatal attraction
18 GARROTTE GAR (fish, swimmer) ROTTER (scoundrel) minus R for a length of wire or cord used to strangle someone (killer)
20 KINDER dd the German for children (Thanks to rhotician) The word kindergarten came from this
21 HERETO *(THERE) + O (nothing)
23,7 BLOOD ORANGE Ins of ODORANt (not entirely smelly) in BLOG (online journal) + English for a citrus fruit

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

24 Responses to “Guardian 25,792 – Paul”

  1. rhotician says:

    Thanks UY. RE 20d: KINDER is German for children (issue).

  2. NeilW says:

    Thanks, UY. A gentle Paul. Just right for a Tuesday. I wonder if 1dn is supposed to be part of the theme… 😉

  3. molonglo says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap. As you predicted, squabbles can ensue re 25a: I for one hear no overlap in ‘dough-lout’ and the answer. Nevertheless I trotted through this until the last two: 1a (though an anagram of ‘honest’ in the middle was evident, I still fail to see the sense of the answer) and 5d where ‘people’s skin’ was too good for me for ages.

  4. muffin says:

    Thanks to Paul and Uncle Yap
    I got castellan without parsing it until reading this blog – very clever. The rest was challenging but fun. I did have a question over “antenna”, thinking “a tenner” would be the way to say it, but I see that the “an” comes from the clue.

  5. catflat says:

    molonglo @3, I assume from your name you’re Australian like me, and according to comments on the Guardian website the phrase has a different meaning in the uk.

  6. Dave Ellison says:

    Thanks, UY and Paul. I enjoyed this excellent Xword. Needed WIG explaining in 11a, and PETARD at 5d.

    I put, lazily, CORDERILLA at first, which held up BLOOD ORANGE for a while.

    All homophones were fine for my ear today.

  7. William says:

    Thank you Uncle – had to wait for your blog to parse the syrup of figs/wig thing.

    I had in mind to quibble about HERETO but I now see it’s a rather clever clue.

    I really look forward to a Paul puzzle these days, thank you.

  8. William says: other thing…can anyone say where “hoist by his own petard” comes from? Shakespeare perhaps?

  9. Matt says:

    Hamlet, when he’s talking about Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Hang on, I’ll find it…

  10. Matt says:

    There’s letters seal’d, and my two schoolfellows,
    Whom I will trust as I will adders fang’d—
    They bear the mandate, they must sweep my way
    And marshal me to knavery. Let it work;
    For ’tis the sport to have the enginer
    Hoist with his own petard, an’t shall go hard
    But I will delve one yard below their mines
    And blow them at the moon.

    Hamlet Act 3, scene 4, 202–209

  11. monkeypuzzler says:

    Actually old Billy S uses “petar” rather than “petard” in that verse, and it is suggested it is a joke that Paul might appreciate – refering to a fart.

    Did anyone else put in ROLL OUT for 25a?

  12. monkeypuzzler says:

    referring even.

  13. muffin says:

    I had ROLL OUT in to start with.

  14. William says:

    Thank you Matt & Monkeypuzzler for the flatulence thought.

    The verb ‘péter’ still triggers idiotic schoolboy memories…French kids used to love ringing up the French equivalent of BT (GPT) just to hear the receptionist trill “J’ai pété” -to which they would shout “phoaar, dégoûtant!!”.

  15. blaise says:

    @William (#14)
    For me, it’s an idiotic parental memory that gets triggered… Our kids grew up in France, and I suppose they were about 9 and 5 the first time we took them to a public swimming pool in England. They were extremely amused by a sign that read “No smoking. No running. No petting.”
    Really enjoyed the crossword and blog, btw.

  16. Robi says:

    Thanks Paul, nice puzzle. Once FATAL ATTRACTION was put in on the RH side, it was bound to lead to the three answers ending in ‘a.’

    Thanks also to UY; you may get into trouble for putting ‘mini-theme of pretty ladies’ in your preamble paragraph. I thought the GARROTTE was a ‘contracted killer’ until I parsed it properly. Last in was HERETO, where I failed to spot the anagram. LAPWING was typically Paulian with a clue not to read over breakfast. DOLE OUT and dough-lout are homonyms to me at least. My Cockney rhyming slang did not stretch to syrup=wig.

  17. Paul S says:

    Thanks to Paul (and to UY for the explnantion of wig which completely escaped me) for a very enjoyable puzzle. It was slow going to start with but there seemed to come a point where it all began to click into place. I liked Petard and Moniker, and The chance meeting in 19ac flowed so naturally that it was a while before I read the clue the ‘right way’ to solve it.

  18. William says:

    Blaise @15 Ha-ha! Many thanks.

  19. tupu says:

    Thanks UY and Paul

    I finished this thinking that the entertainingt mini-theme was blood and death rather than UY’s suggestion, so leaning more more towards the ‘eschatological’ than the more predictable ‘scatological’ perhaps (except for 11a which I had to check re wig/syrup). [ :) Yes I know the semantic contrast is not really right but since we are back on near ‘homophones’ I thought it worth a try].

    A clever puzzle as one expects from Paul and more difficult than some of his recent offerings, I think.

    Some good surfaces and misleading definitions.

    I’m pretty tolerant with homophones (we impose this label rather than the setter and we should perhaps expect little more than ‘sounds a bit like’) though we’ve been through all that before as UY implies. 25a works a bit less well for me, perhaps because I’ve had the mixed fortune of trying to learn Finnish and have become more conscious of divisions between syllables.
    But I did find it an amusing idea.

  20. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    A pleasant struggle for me.
    last in was 10 ac which was also my favourite.
    Like others I entered ‘roll out’ at 25ac which is a perfectly good solution but did make 17d rather tricky(!).
    It is stretching homophones too far to equate ‘dough-L out’ with ‘dole out’.

  21. Robi says:

    RCW@20; try the British pronunciation at: Sounds OK to me.

  22. Paul B says:

    It’s okay if you are either posh (not that one, silly) or Lloyd Grossman.

  23. Brendan (not that one) says:

    One of those inspired days for me. (All too seldom lately)

    First pass through the across clues gave me about 6 answers but I then “wrote in” the first 4 downs. After this the puzzle succumbed fairly rapidly.

    Last in was PETARD about 20 minutes later.

    Surely the mini theme was deadly looks rather than ladies?

    Typical Paul surface in 11A :-)

    Enjoyable puzzle. Thanks to Paul and UY.

  24. brucew_aus says:

    Thanks Paul and UY
    Found this quite enjoyable – had two starts in a busy day to get it out. Interestingly got FATAL ATTRACTION quite early but it took many crossing clues for the other two long ones to fall out.

    At her smutty best with LAPWING and a clever construction of the answer to boot. Missed the parse on the German children – having KIN and DER.

    Last in was PETARD – always for some reason think of it as dagger-like instead of bomb like.

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