Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,807 – Paul

Posted by Andrew on November 30th, 2012


An absolute delight from Paul today. No theme that I can see, nor even any Paulian smut, just a collection of high-quality clues. I found it quite hard, but with a few easier clues to get me started it gradually yielded up its secrets. It would be difficult and invidious to pick out a favourite clue, but 25a and 8d gave me a laugh, and the long anagrams for 16a and 17/14 are excellent. Thanks, Paul.

9. TENNIS PRO T + (PERSON IN)*, &lit.
10. AMIGO The “opposite” of “PM I stay” could be “AM I GO”.
11. COLOGNE LOG (register) in CONE (a solid figure)
12. DIDDLED DID (accomplished) + D[irector] + LED (directed), definition “Had”
13. CATER [Jimmy] CARTER less one R[uns]
19. STREAKIER R in STEAK + IE (that is) + R
22. FIREDOG I RED in FOG, a firedog being a stand to hold logs etc. (Chambers gives it as one word, as here, unlike the Wikipedia article.)
23. CRICKET Double definition, referring to test matches for the “activity that’s tested”
24. EXTRA EX (old) + TRAD (old). I think the definition could “more of which”, referring to extras in cricket
25. FOREIGNER FO[ot] (six inches?!)+ REIGNER
1. STOCK CUBES STOCK (have) + CUBES (1 and 8 are examples of cubed numbers)
4. EPEE P[erpetrator] in EEE (“ease”, we hear)
5. ROADRUNNER “Rode” + RUNNER (river). The roadrunner is an actual type of bird as well as a cartoon character.
6. CARDAMOM C + reverse of MADRA[s] + OM (Order of Merit)
7. MILLET ILL in MET[ropolitan Police]
8,3. GOLDFINGER [car]D in GOLFING ER (“queen of clubs”), definition “picture” (=film). One of my last answers in, and a big aha! (or haha!) moment.
14. SHOWING OFF S[woon] + WING (part of a bird) in HOOF (part of a stallion) + F[emale]
15. SECOND TERM SECOND (back – as seen in yesterday’s Picaroon puzzle) + THE less H (“not hard for the”) + RM (Royal Marines). Ronald Regan served two terms as president.
17,4a. GUARDIAN SOULMATES (GIRLS OUT AD NAUSEAM)* – definition “here potential lovers”), and a brilliantly apt anagram.
18. SPARKING Lift and separate: SPAR (post) + KING (type of card)
20. RARITY RIANT less AN in RAY (as in “a ray of hope”)
22,21. FREE SPIRIT REES + reverse of RIP in FIT (to suit)
23. CORK Double definition – Irish city and what you have to “stop” a bottle of wine

36 Responses to “Guardian 25,807 – Paul”

  1. muffin says:

    THanks Andrew and Paul
    I didn’t really enjoy this one. Perhaps I am in a pedantic mood, but I found a some of the defintions a bit “iffy”. For example is ANALYTIC “subject to interpretation”? It does even seem to be the correct part of speech.
    Ultra pedantic – is COLOGNE a GERMAN city? It’s the French spelling; the Germans would call it Koln (with an umlaut over the o, which I don’t know how to do).

  2. muffin says:

    Sorry – should be “doesn’t even seem….”
    We have a friend from Cologne (Koln!) whom we visited last year. She told a story about meeting an elderly ex-military Englishman. She asked him if he knew Cologne at all. His reply was “only from the air”!

  3. John Appleton says:

    Thanks Paul and Andrew. Much to amuse here. Oddly, just yesterday I want thinking that GOLDFINGER could be clued with a reference to golf, particularly as the game’s played in the film (and Bond cheats at it).

    Had no idea why FO = 6-inch, obvious now though. Thanks for explaining it.

    CRICKET had me stumped for a while (pun intended) – but after the aha moment, SPARKING and CORK went in fairly quickly to finish it.

  4. John Appleton says:

    Muffin @1 – I think Cologne is the accepted English rendering, whatever it may be in France, so to my mind it’s acceptable as a German City – much as Munich (as opposed to Munchen) would be.

  5. muffin says:

    John Appleton @ 4
    Yes, OK – I did say I was being “ultra pedantic”!

  6. Thomas99 says:

    Cologne is certainly the English name for the German city. It’s not a question of pedantry. I was once told that the English started saying “Beijing” instead of “Peking” because the latter carried echos of British Imperialism (attempted domination of the Chinese in the Opium War etc., presumably). Whereas “Cologne”…?

    There is also the fact that Brits who can’t speak German sound ludicrous when they try to say “Koeln”, “Muenchen” etc.

  7. NeilW says:

    Thanks, Andrew. As you say, quite a challenge but all good fun. Because it was Paul and the “Paulisms” seemed absent, I tried for a while to justify “spanking” for 11dn!

    The only clue I didn’t take to very much was 13ac, where “one” seemed superfluous and ungrammatical when it came to the parsing.

    Last in, to my embarrassment, were the two 23s.

  8. JollySwagman says:

    Very enjoyable – a bit harder than usual – and no smut – never mind – can’t have it all.

    Particularly liked 25a; 8d,3d.

    @muffin – pedantic is when there is a minor point that others would let pass. When there is no point at all and one is raised that’s – well – something else.

    The place the Germans call Köln we (British) call Cologne. The place the French call Borgogne we call Burgundy etc – they call London Londres – on it goes. In a way it’s a mark of respect for a foreign place to have a special name for it although as T99 says #6 we shy away from some from post-imperial guilt. In a UK crossword Cologne is fine – Köln would be equally fine. :-)

  9. JollySwagman says:

    @nielw #7 re 13a – according to Collins minister (as a verb) can be transitive or intransitive “to attend to the needs (of)”, so “minister one” could be “cater”.

    OTOH I’m happy to buy the idea that if “runs” can give R then “one runs” can give one R which is still R. It’s redundant but not superfluous – ie it does its work but its work generates no effect.

  10. NeilW says:

    SJ @9, I can cater a dinner party but I cater *to* someone’s needs so is “minister one” English?

  11. Andrew says:

    I’m not sure I understand the objection to “one” in 13a: I thought (as I briefly noted in the blog) that “one runs” means that only one of the Rs is to be removed from CARTER. This is rather nice, as often such things go unindicated. As for the definition, I think “cater to” is a reasonable synonym of “minister to”, whence “cater”=”minister”.

  12. John Appleton says:

    NeilW @10, my paper has “Minister, one…”. Makes sense to me. Without the comma (as per your rendering), it wouldn’t. Overall, I don’t think the “one” needs to be there, but at least it fairly indicates that only one R is to be removed.

  13. tupu says:

    Thanks Andrew

    A very clever and enjoyable puzzle with some hard clues but a nice light touch nonetheless.

    I was pleased not to be caught out again with ‘second’ = ‘back’.

    I thought 10a was fun, and liked lots of others. I think 8,3 was my favourite but 23d was also short and sweet. 17,14 was a clever anagram with a good surface as well, as was 16a.

  14. Gervase says:

    Thanks, Andrew

    Best Paul for a long time, IMHO, with some very ingenious clues. No smut, sadly, but quite a few smiles when the penny dropped, my favourite being the ‘six-inch ruler’.

    Last in for me was CORK, having tried to persuade myself that it was CURB – and like NeilW I toyed with SPANKING for18d.

    I agree with the comment at 11: the ‘one’ is necessary, to be strictly accurate, or the clue would lead to CATE.

    Re COLOGNE/Köln, German crossword convention is to write umlauted vowels as a digraph, so KOELN would be pedantically more correct. However, the city’s name derives from the Latin name of the Roman settlement – Agrippina Colonia (a ‘colonia’ was a sort of new town populated by retired soldiers; Lincoln was Lindum Colonia) – so you could argue that the French/English version is more accurate, being somewhat closer to the original!

  15. rhotician says:

    I agree with Andrew that “one” indicates the removal of a single R. Sadly there is no indication of which one. (See yesterday’s discussion re APPAL.)

  16. Median says:

    A good puzzle, well explained. Thanks Paul and Andrew. I reached a plateau and gave up when I still hadn’t got CRICKET, CORK and SPARKING.

  17. Mitz says:

    Thanks Paul and Andrew.

    I have been beaten to pretty much everything that I was going to say. Found the whole fairly tough, even though 16 fell very easy and helped me to get inroads all over the grid. 17 14 took me ages – a real forehead slapper when I got there and my COD. The new thing that I learnt today is that the pods are cardamoMs not cardamoNs – how can I have got that wrong all my life?

    Like many the “sparking” / “cricket” / “cork” triumvirate were last in for me, and like Gervase I spent far to long trying to mangle “curb” out of the clue for 23D. Glad I saw the light before giving up and writing it in.

    Splendid crossword.

  18. Giovanna says:

    Thanks, Paul and Andrew. Great fun, as usual from Paul and appreciated the parsing, Andrew.

    Hello all you soulmates!! Great clue and I enjoyed Cork, too.

    Like some others, I spent time looking for naughty clues.

    Giovanna x

  19. rowland says:

    Two rather good puzzles in a row, but I was a bit surprised to see the great Paul taking one for the dodgy grammar team!! I can’t remember the last time anything of his came under the microscope.

    Anyway, great stuff.


  20. rowland says:

    Re RUNS I think it is always worth discssing such things. That’s what makes clues fun!! Of course Paulk gets it dead right today, with ‘one (of the) runs’ being absolutely fair. May not say which, but tells you it’s one of them! And yesterdat the compiler failed on that score, which is why the gurus [pulled him up later in the evening.


  21. Mitz says:

    Nothing wrong with the clue for 13 per se, but IMHO deleting the comma and “one” would have left us with a slightly more elegant surface and therefore clue, without harming either definition or cryptic indicator.

  22. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    An enjoyable toughie.
    Just like Mitz et al I finished with ‘cork,’sparking’ and ‘cricket’.
    I had ‘sparking’ as favourite but it took me some time to untangle ‘postcard’. These were my favourites today.
    I also liked 25ac, 1d, 8,3d.
    Like yesterday ‘back’ in 15d was nicely misleading.
    Not a complaint but in 24ac trad is only partly traditional and tra is almost entirely trad, so tra is not almost entirely traditional!

  23. Paul B says:

    Re 13 what a lot of fuss about nothing, and, as we’re in a Grauniad thread, quelle surprise.

  24. RCWhiting says:

    Agreed Paul. I am sure that you are quite appalled.

  25. DuncT says:

    Thanks all. Lot’s of good things here, although I agree with muffin@1 on the “iffiness” of “subject to interpretation” for ANALYTIC.

    Particularly liked 25ac – made a little bit easier as I’d just read “Meet the Setter – Qaos” on the Guardian blog and had his 5,000,000,000,000 = TRIL fresh in my mind.

  26. Paul B says:

    Apaplled rather than appalled, I think you probably mean.

  27. postrophe says:

    I was born in Köln, but struggled to bring Cologne to mind!

  28. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, Andrew. and greetings from Copenhagen!

    I’m so glad – and relieved – that you got such a great puzzle today, after kindly swapping with me yesterday, when I got such a cracker.

    This kept me occupied on the train well beyond Peterborough – and I’m afraid I still hadn’t got CORK by the time I got to Stansted, which is the main reason for coming here now.

    As you say, too many super clues to pick favourites. Many thanks, Paul!

  29. Sylvia says:

    Don’t understand why gold = cubes?

  30. muffin says:

    It doesn’t refer to clue 8 – 8 is 2 cubed.

  31. Sylvia says:

    Doh! Thanks Muffin – obvious if you think straight!

  32. James G says:

    Is it all right for RIANT = laughing, without saying it’s French? Maybe it’s a word commonly used in English, but I don’t think so. Maybe in heraldry..!
    Lovely puzzle.

  33. Gaufrid says:

    James G @32
    Riant is given in Chambers as: “laughing, merry” and in Collins as: “laughing, smiling, cheerful”, both English dictionaries.

  34. rhotician says:

    Rowly @20: Yesterday the compiler failed to indicate which A to move. That was what apPauled.

  35. muck says:

    Thanks Andrew and Paul
    Failed to parse 20
    Didn’t solve the delightful 10
    And was therefore trying to make ‘Dead Ringer’ work for 8,3

  36. brucew_aus says:

    Thanks Paul and Andrew
    Am late here as I’ve had trouble printing the puzzle from the site and have got a bit of a bank up now.

    Excellent crossword as has been attested above and after finding such a thing as a SPANKING POSTCARD I did settle with SPANKING at 18 with the energetic / lively definition passing closely enough to stimulating and fitting the overall surface – not to be however and the correct answer was much more clever.

    Plenty of excellent clues and very enjoyable.

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