Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,888 / Paul

Posted by Eileen on March 6th, 2013


Lots of fun from Paul this morning with [and I don’t think this is a spoiler] some ingenious and amusing play on the words of Beatles’ song titles. These should be well enough known not to have held people up too much and I think there’s enough else going on to satisfy those who don’t like themes. I thoroughly enjoyed it [except for the one piece of parsing which has me foxed but I know someone will enlighten me very soon]. Many thanks, Paul.


8 Judge after delicate material’s cut
RATE [judge] after LACE [delicate material]

9,15 The Beatles’ 24 down?
The answer to 24dn is CIAO, ‘an informal greeting used on meeting or parting’

10 Printer’s mark, one with a long neck and a halo?
ST [saint] ET – the alien with a halo!

11 Sovereign kidnapped by our Greek revolutionary for Asian communists
HM [Her Majesty – sovereign] in [kidnapped by] anagram [revolutionary] of OUR GREEK

12 Element, caught in the old feminist style, when retreating
C [caught] + reversal [when retreating] of NO BRA [old feminist style]

14 Under discussion, case number cut short
sounds like [under discussion] trunk [case] eight [number]

20 The Beatles’ “Girl” suffering among vermin
HELL [suffering] in MICE [vermin]

22 Material exaggerated, gatecrashing party
OTT [over the top – exaggerated] in [gate-crashing] CON[servative – party]

23 Element supporting me, I’m thus not entirely unfortunate
PRO [supporting] + ME + anagram [unfortunately] of I’M THU[s]

24 Sacrifice 3 17, in full
3, 17 is BACK IN THE USSR, so the answer is a reversal [back] in union of sovieT SOCialist republics [USSR in full]

25 Pretentious type taken to court, say
sounds like ‘sued’ – taken to court

26 Describing a sex party, not half crude in house
I’m afraid I just can’t see this one


1 Find someone to play the scoundrel, old singer
CAST [find someone to play] + RAT [scoundrel] + O [old]

2 Bold 3 17, in full
the same clever device as in  24 ac: socialsT REPublics

3,17 Number of the Beatles‘ brackish tunes recollected
anagram [re-collected] of BRACKISH TUNES

4 Insect in middle of buttercup, little one
TER [middle of butTERcup] + MITE [little one]

5 Total, however, approximate
THO [however] + ROUGH [approximate]

6 Current passed through three ducks in pointless medical check
DC [current] in [passed through] OOO [three ducks] in BLUNT [pointless]

7 Not wrapping something sweet, wrapper discarded for sweet
NOT round [wrapping] sUGAr [something sweet minus first and last letters – discarding wrapping]

13 Private place black, what about odd parts of deck? Neither red nor green
B [black] + EH [what] round DeCk + AMBER [neither red nor green]

16 Novel eruditely dismissing king for the present time
anagram [novel] of E[r]UDITELY minus [dismissing] r [king] for the time for presents

18 Garden tools bound to go after opening of spectacular retail outlet
HOES [garden tools] + HOP [bound] after S [opening – first letter – of Spectacular]

19 The Beatles’ 10?
STET [10ac] literally means ‘let it stand / be’] – probably my favourite clue

21 Single sound from a cat coming up, cat finally burst in
I [single] + reversal [coming up] of PURR [sound from a cat] + T [caT finally]

22 Stick me among the money

ME in CENT [money]

24 So long coat is actually outselling tops?
first letters [tops] of Coat Is Actually Outselling

35 Responses to “Guardian 25,888 / Paul”

  1. Gaufrid says:

    Thanks Eileen
    26ac is BUNGA [bunga] (describing a sex party, not half) LOW (crude).

  2. crypticsue says:

    Trouble is Eileen you have led such a sheltered life and never been to one of Berlusconi’s Bunga Bunga parties :D So 26 is just one BUNGA (not half) followed by LOW (crude).

    Lovely puzzle thank you Paul, although I will be singing Beatles songs for the rest of the day!

    Thanks to Lucky Eileen too.

  3. EB says:

    Thanks Eileen & Paul.

    RE 26ac
    Google Silvio Berlusconi and his “parties” and all will become clear.

  4. Eileen says:

    Thanks all – I was expecting a rapid response!

    You’re quite right crypticsue! I did think it rang a distant bell [and guessed crude = low] but it hasn’t made Chambers yet. I didn’t think of googling.

  5. crypticsue says:

    I think I ought to point out that, like Eileen, I haven’t been to one of these parties either, just read about them in the paper!

  6. molonglo says:

    Thanks Eileen. Is all fell rapidly into place via e songs, first in the USSR one. Despite that the four-letter answers took a little longer, until the aha of the “in full” device. BUNGALOW was the best of all. Thanks Paul.

  7. frankmale says:

    Great crossword, perhaps Paul could have referenced the song the Continuing story of Bungalow Bill at 26ac

  8. Gervase says:

    Thanks, Eileen

    Great fun from Paul today; not tricky but full of amusing clues and links. CIAO was a write-in, which gave the game away immediately, though the ingenious ‘3,17 in full’ device took a little longer to fathom.

    Favourites were CARBON, BUNGALOW and BLOOD COUNT. Surprisingly solemn clue for 1d in a Paul puzzle.

  9. brucew_aus says:

    Thanks Paul and Eileen

    Pretty straightforward from Paul today I thought – not needing references other than checking PROMETHIUM and helping to find PSEUD which I had not heard before. Thought the clueing of CARBON was quite witty and can vaguely recall BUNGA BUNGA being used before (and after checking saw that it was Paul in April last year – 25618).

    Also liked the ‘in full’ clues when the penny dropped

  10. tupu says:

    Thanks Eileen and Paul

    A thoroughly satisfying puzzle – both amusing and stretching. I was just a few years too old to catch the Beatles craze though I remember realising how positively revolutionary they were. So I had to work out their answers with only vague memories in some cases. In this and elsewhere in the puzzle, Paul shows himself a true master of ‘cluery’. Take the trouble to read and follow the instructions and there you are!

    I ticked lots as I went along – 1a, 11a, 14a, 1d, 3,17 (plus 2d and 24a) my CODs, 5d, 13d, 16d, and 24d.

    I had no trouble with ‘bungalow’ but I misparsed ‘carbon’ getting caught up with the idea that the ‘o’ = ‘old’.

  11. george says:

    Very unusually for me I was wide awake at midnight so I thought I would glance at the crossword and allow overnight cogitation to give me a head start in the morning. The Beatles song titles gave me a way in and next thing I knew I only had 3 short ones left to do. I guessed that two of them (24ac and 2d) might be found by working backwards through USSR in full, but by that time I was too tired and fell asleep.

    This is the first time I have done a crossword before the blog was posted! I suspect it may be the last too.

    Like you Eileen I failed to parse BUNGALOW. Never had an invite to one of those parties.

    I solved PROMETHIUM and then looked it up as although I am pretty familiar with the Periodic Table the name of this element did not ring a bell and reading about it I can see why. Natural promethium is exceedingly scarce, unstable, radioactive and a sample of the metal was not made until 1963. The discoverers’ proposed name derives from Prometheus, the Titan in Greek mythology who stole fire from Mount Olympus and brought it down to humans, to symbolize “both the daring and the possible misuse of mankind’s intellect.”

  12. Robi says:

    Playful Paul as ever; good one with a trademark ‘NO BRA’ – nice clue. At last a theme with which I am familiar.

    Thanks Eileen; with all your Roman knowledge I would have thought that you would have known about BUNGA-BUNGA. ;) Rats! I looked at the back USSR clues and thought I would be lazy and come here for the pearls of wisdom instead of trying to connect a few idle neurons.

    Two elements in one puzzle; the next thing will be a scientific one!

  13. Trailman says:

    Well, I enjoyed it enough, but preferred yesterday’s Crucible. Perhaps this was because Beatles song-titles are fairly front-of-my-brain, while assorted Swift writers are not. It’s different for others I guess. Notwithstanding, I did enjoy the aha moment with BUNGALOW, and saw 5d as an approximate (ie rough) spelling of ‘though’, which makes it a very nice clue.

  14. Mitz says:

    Thanks Paul and Eileen.

    Not difficult, but highly entertaining. Funnily enough, 11 came up at breakfast this morning: my 9 year old’s teacher is going to Cambodia in the summer and so they are doing a class project about it. Until corrected, he pronounced it “keema rug”. I suggested that he should take a copy of this with him into class, but for some reason my wife didn’t think it would be a very good idea…

    Elsewhere, I enjoyed the BACK IN THE USSR stuff, forgave the Americanism in THOROUGH because of the excellent efficiency of the clue and thought YULETIDE a lovely entry into the canon of the “present time” old chestnut.

    brucew_aus @9 – you should read Private Eye (especially Pseuds Corner).

    Robi @12 – that’s the bunga-bunga party and bra-less theme, right?

  15. Mitz says:

    That’s annoying – my link didn’t work properly. I’ll try again.

  16. John Appleton says:

    The theme suited me better than the one from yesterday (no thematic link intended), so this one was a tad easier for me. The only stumbling block was STET, which I had to look up.

  17. Giovanna says:

    Thanks, Paul and lucky Eileen.

    Lots of fun today. I liked STET, too.

    BUNGALOW raised a smile. No hiding place from Bunga Bunga parties in the Italian media. Requirements seem to be an impossibly nubile body barely covered and apparent willingness to perform!

    Enjoyed The Beatles even if my favourite Penny Lane was missing. ( Such a feature of student days in Liverpool 3 )

    Missing RCW and hope you are well if you are reading this xx

    Giovanna x

  18. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog, Eileen. V entertaining and not too difficult puzzle from Paul. My frame of reference does include bunga bunga, sadly!

    The two I failed to parse were PERT and COST, despite the fact that I was thinking, mmm, there doesn’t seem to be any hidden answers today :-)

  19. Gervase says:

    Further to george’s comment about PROMETHIUM @11, this element is, by a quirk of physics, one of only two elements lighter than lead which have no stable isotopes. The other is technetium, but whereas Tc has several isotopes with half-lives of hundreds of thousands to millions of years, promethium’s most stable isotope, Pm-145, has a half-life of less than 18 years. It is formed naturally in the radioactive decay of some of the heavier elements, and by nuclear fusion in old stars, but it obviously doesn’t hang about for long. However, artificially produced isotopes of Pm do have some specialised industrial applications.

    Chemically, Pm is one of the lanthanides – a marvellous group of elements, very similar in their properties, which have splendid names, ripe for inclusion in crosswords, though few seem to have made it there to date.

  20. Rowland says:

    Pretty obvious definitions I s’pose Gervase. Hard to be misleading? You know what THEY are like!!

    An enjoyable themed puzzle, but then I don’t have a problem with ‘gateway words’ and such like.


  21. Gervase says:

    Rowly @20: I suppose you’re right about the definition of elements. However, Don Manley has used the f group occasionally: there are Bradman puzzles with the words PRASEODYMIUM and YTTERBIUM (isn’t the fifteensquared archive useful?)

  22. michelle says:

    This was an enjoyable puzzle by Paul with its mini-theme of the Beatles.


    I failed to solve 25a PSEUD which was a new word for me. Other words that I learnt today were STET & PROMETHIUM.

    BUNGALOW was easy enough – one just has to watch BBC News or listen to BBC World Service radio to hear about bunga-bunga parties!

    I solved but could not parse 24a & 2d.

    Thanks for the blog, Eileen.

  23. dunsscotus says:

    Many thanks Paul, Eileen and those who explained ‘cost’ and ‘pert’ to me! Most ejoyable puzzle.

    I haven’t seen mention of Alessandro Moreschi, whose castrato voice was recorded in the early C20: just Google ‘castrato’ or similar and You Tube will provide. Interesting.

  24. Mitz says:

    Over on the Guardian boards, Thomas99 has spotted a possible Nina across the bottom. Pure coincidence or on purpose? I think it might well be an accident as there doesn’t seem to be any connection to anything else in the puzzle, but maybe Paul is a spy wishing he was 3 17 and is leaving a message for someone?

  25. snigger says:

    @8 Solemn indeed,brought tears to my eyes.

    Wonder if a few years later anybody remarked, “poor lad, that did not quite go to plan”?

  26. Robi says:

    Mitz @24; there may be something there – there are TREE TOP BUNGALOWS in Cambodia, where, of course, the KHMER ROUGE used to hold sway. No…. this will not lead on to one of my shaggy dog stories.

  27. Mitz says:

    Robi @26 – I would love it if you are right! Hope Paul drops by at some stage to confirm or deny…

  28. Lesley Ward says:

    26 across

    Remember Berlusconi’s “bunga bunga” parties? Take half to get bunga and then low for “crude”. The whole is house.

  29. John (Paul) says:

    Coincidence, yes!

  30. Otis says:

    Thanks Paul and Eileen. Very much enjoyed today’s puzzle. The theme was enjoyable and certainly more relevant to me than yesterday’s, but there were certainly still some challenges to be solved in today’s.

  31. Brendan (not that one) says:

    Enjoyable puzzle but very easy by Paul’s standards!

    (Perhaps the Beatles’ theme and my age helped!)

    I too failed to parse bungalow. I’ve never heard of Bunga Bunga as I have taken very little notice of the news over the last 10 years!

    I did see “unga” as half of ungainly but this left “blow” which I guessed was too smutty, even for Paul. :-o

    Thanks to Eileen and Paul

  32. Morpheus says:

    I am the only one here to have actually attended one of Belusconi’s Bunga Bunga parties?

    Well, let me tell you about it and in particular the moment a rather nubile young thing by the name of Alessandra came up to me and –

    [oh sorry, the doorbell has just gone. Don’t go away, I’ll come back and finish this off in a few minutes.]

  33. Alessandra says:

    Hi Morpheus
    Thanks for the compliment I hardly ever got them when I was still a man. I do miss Silvios little gatherings.
    Ciao Bella.
    btw seems Paul back on form.

  34. Steve Uglow says:

    Would it be too pedantic to say that ‘stet’ is more an editor’s or proof reader’s mark and not a printer’s? Tho, sorry, though, it didn’t spoil the fun. 12a made me laugh and I’m an avid follower of Silvio’s peccadillos.

  35. Dewey says:

    Stet can also be represented in the margin by a circle (halo) crossed by a vertical line (long neck).

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