Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,831 / Paul

Posted by mhl on January 5th, 2013


It’s always nice to have a crossword from Paul to post about, and I nowadays only get that chance when he occasionally gets a prize puzzle slot. We found this a satisfying solve, which didn’t present too many problems (although we’re not sure about 24d). I particularly enjoyed the linked clues 14,28; 2,1 and 27,10.

1. WARMISH WISH = “Desire” around ARM = “member”; Definition: “quite close?”, as in “you’re getting warmer…”
5. PICKAXE X = “Crossed lines” in A [and] E = “hospital department” all after PICK = “the best”; Definition: “tool”
9. RABAT R = “Cricketer’s ending” + A BAT = “an item of his”; Definition: “capital”
11. ELIMINATED (LIED INMATE)*; Definition: “murdered”
12. ORCA Hidden reversed in “[zebr]A CRO[ssing]”; Definition: “Black and white monster”
14,28. UNDERGROUND NETWORK Double definition: “Bank part of this” (Bank is a tube station) and “[RABBIT WARREN], perhaps?”
18. SPRING TIDES (DISPERSING)* around T = “time”; Definition: “Great floods”
22. BOB DIAMOND DIAMOND = “One in a suit” after BOB = “a short cut”; Definition: “a banker no more”
25. ITINERARY RARE = “Raw” + NIT = “egg” + I all reversed, followed by Y = “granny’s back”; Definition: “the plan!”
26. EX-CON Double definition: “One’s served time” and “a political defector, perhaps?” (someone who used to be a Conservative)
27,10. THE BUCK STOPS HERE BUCKS = “County” + TOP SHE = “supreme woman” in THERE; Definition: “reminder on president’s desk?” – President Harry S. Truman kept a sign saying “The Buck Stops Here” on his desk
2,1. RABBIT WARREN RABBI = “Teacher” followed by WAR = “fighting” in (RENT)*; Definition: “[THE BUCK STOPS HERE]” (a male rabbit is a buck)
3. INTRIGUING (II GRUNTING)*; Definition: “worth a look”
4. HOSEA HOSE = “Underwear” + A; Definition: “prophet”
5. PIONEERED ONE + ERE = “before” in DIP reversed; Definition: “was enterprising”
6,21. CASTAWAY If the CAST are AWAY then “No players available”; Definition: “a solitary person?”
7. AGE GROUP (GO ARGUE)* around P[edantries]; Definition: “Those of similar maturity”
8. EYE CANDY Cryptic definition: “Looker that’s sweet?”
13. PRESS AGENT SAG = “Drop” in PRESENT = “here”; Definition: “publicist”
15. DITTO MARK IT + TOM = “man” in DARK = “black”; Definition: “Same symbol”
16. ESSAYIST SAY = “for example” + IS in (SET)* (you need to split “inset”); Definition: “Writer”
17. URBANITE (I EARN BUT)*; Definition: “as a City gent”
19. HONCHO H = “hot” + ON + CHO[pin] = “composer, unpinned?”; Definition: “Boss”
20. GDANSK G = “Good” + DANK = “unpleasantly wet” around S = “small”; Definition: “port”
23. DOYEN DO = “Make” + YEN = “money”; Definition: “senior master?”
24. BEAU We think this is a homophone of “bow”, as in the front of a ship, but isn’t that pronounced to rhyme with “wow” rather than “yo”? Definition: “Lover” (The full clue is “Lover’s front talked about (4)”)

17 Responses to “Guardian 25,831 / Paul”

  1. brucew_aus says:

    Thanks Paul and mhl

    Found this one relatively straightforward for a prize Paul – but a couple of clues that took a bit of work. BOB DIAMOND was last in and had to go looking him up – whilst vaguely aware of the LIBOR scandal was not across the actual players / casualties.

    Did not know that Bank was a busy station in the London Underground, but it made the clue a very good one.

    Also had reservations on the homonym for BOW (as the front part of a boat) and couldn’t find anything better.

    Favorite was 19.

  2. nesciolatine says:

    Merci mhl,

    Only popped in as 24d was the one clue I was unsure about!!

    Glad, in a way, it’s not just me.

    (liked 22 and 19)

  3. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    All I noted was last in as ‘pickaxe’.
    It must have been pretty unremarkable.
    I had seen Bob Diamond being torn apart by the committee chair woman (the formidable Margaret Hodge I think).
    It is interesting that ‘bow’ in bowsprit is a homophone for ‘beau’.

  4. molonglo says:

    Thanks mhl. RABAT gave the NW corner at once, and with it 27,10 and 14,28. The middle section (22 and 25a) were testing but not unduly. We had EYE CANDY three times last year, once by Paul.

  5. vinyl1 says:

    I messed up my solve with ‘Vesta’ instead of ‘Hosea’, but eventually realized my error. I vaguely remembered Mr. Diamond, but had a hard time with his first name. Didn’t know the Tube station, which is not surprising in a US solver, although I do know a few.

    I found the puzzle quite challenging, although ‘the buck stops here’ gave me a nice start.

  6. Bryan says:

    Many thanks mhl and Paul: this was very enjoyable.

    I was held up for a time by entering STATION in 28a.

    However, I don’t expect a Prize Puzzle to be too easy.

  7. Robi says:

    Thanks Paul and mhl.

    Yes, there seems to be the wrong ‘bow.’ Maybe could have been remedied by replacing with ‘knot?’ BTW, would it be possible to use the software that some other bloggers use where the clue is also displayed? This would avoid changing screens to see the clues.

    I was another to put in ‘station’ initially instead of NETWORK in 28. I thought the man in 15 was MARK, which gave me a headache in trying to parse it. I did like the ORCA clue.

  8. tupu says:

    Thanks mhl and Paul

    I too was puzzled by ‘bow’. RCW’s point is interesting.

  9. John (Paul) says:

    Hi lovely bloggers – beau my mistake, and my mistake only – many apologies to those who struggled with this.

    John (Paul)

    PS a Very happy new year, and I look forward to as many as possible of you getting involved with my inaugural crossword tour around Britain, (OK England this time, but hopefully I’ll be invited to Scotland, Wales and Ireland soon!). sign up at for more details.

  10. muffin says:

    I can get Paul off the hook by pointing out that furniture (e.g. sideboards) can be “bow-fronted”.

  11. Bryan says:

    Happy New Year, John (Paul)

    Sadly, although I live in Brighton (well, Hove actually), I never read The Argus – unless there’s nothing better at the barber’s.

    I have therefore missed the opportunity to celebrate the Centenary of the Crossword on this occasion. Maybe the next one?

    I am sure you will agree that this was a Beau Geste!


  12. Mr DNA says:

    Yes, I got on the wrong train with 28a too, though I had RAILWAY rather than STATION.

  13. muffin says:

    I too had railway – it made the down clues difficult!

  14. Simon S says:

    Re 24D & muffin @ 10 – I thought it was a homophone for bow(-window), which also makes it work.

    Simon ô¿ô

  15. sheffield hatter says:

    I saw BEAU as a homophone of the bow in bow-window – this would be the front of a house and also (in its use as a word for a pot belly) the front of a man. The idea that Paul had mistaken the pronunciation of the front part of the ship never occurred to me.

  16. Morpheus says:

    Thank you for the blog mhl. You appear to have missed out the answer to 21 across – Bark – presumably the vocalisation of Man’s best friend and an alternative spelling for Barque (ship).

  17. Morpheus says:

    Whoops, wrong puzzle! Apologies to anyone who reads the above post and is rightly mistified!

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