Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,936 / Paul

Posted by Eileen on May 1st, 2013


Another very entertaining puzzle [squeaky-clean today!] from Paul, with some clever clues, as usual, providing a number of smiles along the way. Many thanks for the fun, Paul – I really enjoyed it


8,17,21 Seasonal air producing Bacchanalian fisticuffs among the Gods?
a DING-DONG is a fisticuffs and a Bacchanalian one would be fought ‘MERRILY’! + ON HIGH [among the gods]
here is the air – not so  seasonal for May Day!

9 President has introduced his country to harm
ABE [Abraham Lincoln] [American president] round [has introduced] US [America – his country]

10 Don’t go for support
double definition

11 This is my recommend­ation, so drink would be drunk, say?
IF ‘I’ were ‘U’ [say] drInk would become drUnk – nice one!

12 Man on a Scottish isle
STAFF [man – verb] + A

14 Fit patient in bag
SUIT [fit] + CASE [patient]

15 Trudge past Ireland, land not visible in a storm
anagram [in a storm] of PAST IRE[land] [land not visible]

20 Caring but malevolent at first, contrasting case of lady
M [first letter of Malevolent] + OTHER [contrasting] + LY [‘case’ of L{ad}Y]

22 Realigned (right to left) 22 down for expression
anagram [realigned] of SARONG [answer to 22dn] with R changed to L

23 Ahab hooking fishy sole trader
WHALER [Captain Ahab in ‘Moby Dick’] round [hooking] anagram [fishy] of SOLE – nice containment and anagram indicators

24 Brownish-yellow shine
double definition

26 Stop a bird (tail first) that’s 13
BUNG [stop] + A + LOW [OWL – bird – with its last letter moved to the front – tail first]
a bungalow has no stairs, so it’s FLIGHTLESS [13dn] – one of my favourites
‘Imperious Caesar, dead and turn’d to clay,
Might stop a hole to keep the wind away’ [Hamlet]


1 By the sound of it Richard has overcome King Edward the Tyrant
DIC [Dick – Richard – by the sound of it] above [has overcome, in a down clue] TATOR [sounds like ‘tater’ – potato, which might be a King Edward] – another favourite

2 Margaret discards top resembling a souffle
[p]EGGY is a diminutive of Margaret

3 Keen old granny’s first up to become ancient streaker
reversal [up] of AVID [keen] + O [old] + G [Granny’s first letter] – lovely surface and definition for Coventry’s Lady Godiva

4 Another time, second time on
AGAIN [another time] + S [second] + T [time]
Collins’ example of ‘on = AGAINST': ‘they marched on the city at dawn’

5 Sweet woman originally enjoyed Asian food?
W [first letter – originally – of Woman] + ATE [enjoyed] + RICE [Asian food]

6 Procure gas at sea for crew member
&littish anagram [at sea] of PROCURE GAS for ‘a person in a ship placed in charge of the cargo and supervising all commercial transactions of the voyage’ [Chambers] – a new word for me

7 Beauty squeezing nothing from a vessel
VENUS [beauty] round [squeezing] O [nothing]

13 Loud and dark always on the ground
F [loud] + LIGHTLESS [dark!]

16 Upside-down cakes, perhaps, upset
reversal [upside-down] of DESSERTS [cakes]

18 African style boxing punch initially breaking limb — child’s play?
AFRO [African style] round [boxing] P [Punch initially] inside [breaking] LEG [limb] – a very neat surface

19 One bloody series only starting up a number of programmes
reversal [up] of I BALLY [one bloody] + S [first letter – only starting – of Series] Chambers: ‘bally: a euphemism for bloody, but almost meaningless’

22 Number wrapping bare middle in skirt-like garment
SONG [number] round [wrapping] AR [middle letters of bARe]

24,25 Animal biting ’umongous elephant’s head in adventure story
BEAST [animal] round [biting] [h]UGE [‘umongous]  + E [first letter – head – of Elephant] for this adventure story

24 Responses to “Guardian 25,936 / Paul”

  1. crypticsue says:

    Ditto what lucky Eileen says in her introduction. Thanks to her and Paul too.

  2. PJ says:

    Thanks, Eileen, for the blog. Couldn’t parse 26A at all. Seems so simple when you know how (ie someone else explains it for you).

    I enjoyed the puzzle, so thanks, Paul. 11A and 26A were very elegantly clued, I thought.

  3. Ian SW3 says:

    Thanks, Eileen and Paul.

    This was just right. I usually find Paul on the easy side, but entertaining, but not only did it last for a whole mug of coffee, I was too happily diverted to pour a second before it got cold.

  4. molonglo says:

    Thanks Eileen. Top left went in quick smart, bottom left a bit later: last and toughest was the top right. Some tricky stuff, including STAFFA (I toyed with ‘steff’ and ‘stiff’) and BUNGALOW which Paul had, very differently, in March. Had to give up on 7d, so thanks for that.

  5. HKColin says:

    Thanks Eileen. This was a little different to a typical Paul solving experience for me. I usually take a while to get going but once I am in the right mindset with a few crossing letters manage to finish off quickly. Today I had half the grid very quickly and then slowed down. The Scottish island didn’t help since I was fixated on A.

    My last in was 26A. I could see that BUNGALOW would fit but could not connect with “flightless” and so hesitated until finally I suspected and verified that bungalow has a different connotation in your part of the world. I lived once in a 2-storey bungalow in Kuala Lumpur (which had stairs, I should add). I suppose the flipside is that same experience made 22D a write-in.

  6. michelle says:

    Thanks for the blog, Eileen. I needed your help to parse 11a & 1d (I only got as far as homophone of Richard = Dick = DIC + TATOR?) & 19d.

    I liked 3d, 13d, 18d, 24d/25a, 16d & 9a and my favourites were WATER ICE & BUNGALOW.

  7. Mitz says:

    Thanks Paul and Eileen.

    Deft, inventive, amusing, fun. A 20-minuter for me, so on the easy side (and I’m at a bit of a loss for the rest of my 75 minute train journey this morning) and I just wish it could have lasted a bit longer.

    TRAIPSE, VENOUS, LEAPFROG and BUNGALOW were the pick for me once the Gods had started knocking bells out of each other. STRESSED/desserts is a bit of a chestnut, but nicely done. Had to check WATER ICE and SUPERCARGO, but they both had to be right given the precise clueing.

    I hope that after yesterday’s unpleasantness people will confine their criticisms to the clues and leave out any personal attacks on the setters. Nothing wrong with voicing opinions, good and bad, but I don’t think an octogenarian who has been entertaining Grauniad readers with his puzzles since before many here were born deserves the kind of completely unnecessary abuse that sullied this place. All I’m going to say.

  8. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog, Eileen. And to Paul for a really enjoyable puzzle.

    DING, DONG etc went in pretty quickly, along with a few others, but then I slowed right down and spent ages getting the final few. VENOUS was my last in.

    I thought 11ac was really delightful :-) A smile for me. I also liked the SARONG/SLOGAN pair. But I think my favourite has to be BUNGALOW for the nicely misleading ‘flightless’ definition.

    SUPERCARGO was a new word for me.

  9. tupu says:

    Thanks Eileen and Paul

    Seemed hard at first but all became clear in the end – with a bout of weeding in the garden in between.

    A cleverly clued puzzle. I ticked 26a, 1d, 7d, 18d, and 24,25.

    Best wishes to all in Manchester on Saturday – my home town of long ago.

  10. Robi says:

    Very entertaining crossword from Paul – no criticism this time about surfaces, most of which were great.

    Thanks Eileen; I didn’t try to parse DING DONG…. as I thought there would be something arcane, but there wasn’t. :( The ‘seasonal air’ might have been a nod to DING DONG the witch is dead, but I won’t continue to avoid giving offence to anyone.

    I particularly enjoyed DICTATOR, IF I WERE YOU and BUNGALOW, which I stared at for a long time [and even consulted Chambers to see if there were any ‘flightless owls!’] before the penny clanged enjoyably to the floor.

  11. Eileen says:

    Hi Robi

    I think you need a comma after ‘continue’. ;-)

  12. Eccles45 says:

    Mitz, why don’t you say what you really think :-)

  13. NeilW says:

    Thanks, Eileen. Good crossword. I’ll risk no more.

  14. Simon S says:

    Re 4D, I think you can also see ‘on’ in betting terms, ie odds on = odds against.

    Very much enjoyed this, thanks Paul & Eileen

    Simon ô¿ô

  15. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Simon S – I just knew there was something else! ;-)

  16. Andy B says:

    Another good Paul puzzle. I must confess that I didn’t bother to parse ‘DING DONG ……’ because it was pretty much a write-in with a couple of checkers in place. IF I WERE YOU was clever and took me longer to see than it should have done, and my last in was SUITCASE because I couldn’t get away from the idea that ‘fit’ was the definition until I got VENOUS and all the checkers were in place.

  17. DP says:

    A newcomer to the site but not the Grauniad crossword. Rather taken aback at the heat generated yesterday in generous contrast to to today’s (I felt) lack of response to the rather lax (I felt) 5d. ‘Ate’ as enjoyed? ‘Rice’ as Asian food?
    Personally I don’t mind either yesterday’s or today’s. Just puzzled by the reactions.

  18. Saran says:

    Late finish for me as this was one I had to keep coming back to. I find it takes me ages to get on Paul’s wavelength, but I get there in the end (most times) and enjoy his clever cluing. COD for me was 1d – my Irish roots recalled eating TATO crisps and gave me a laugh. Last in was 9a, once I got venous. I needed help to parse 11a (but what a super clue when you know how) and 15a, so thanks Eileen. So glad there’s no ‘cross words’ today.

  19. Dunsscotus says:

    Thanks Paul and Eileen: a very good puzzle which, sadly, I failed to finish. Loved the whaler.

    Simon@14; I don’t think odds on = odds against; rather the opposite, isn’t it?

  20. Bertandjoyce says:

    We decided to leave this one until later and amused ourselves with a puzzle from Another Place first!

    We fiund this tricky but when it was comlete, we wondered why as all the clues were fair and there were no unusual words. Perhaps we’re tired!

    Thanks Paul and Eileen!

  21. stiofain says:

    “my Irish roots recalled eating TATO crisps and gave me a laugh”
    They are called TAYTO crisps!!!
    Yet another example of rampant imperialism usurping the chosen acronyms and nomenclature of indigenous nations.
    That is meant as a joke btw just in case.
    Thanks Paul and Eileen I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

  22. Simon S says:

    Dunscotus @19

    Odds of (say) 10/1 are against you, sure, but odds of ’10/1 on’ are *really* against you!

    Simon ô¿ô

  23. brucew_aus says:

    Thanks Paul and Eileen

    Also enjoyed this … and it was only after finally cracking the carol that the puzzle started to break open. Felt like four mini puzzles to finish off – last in was STRESSED strangely enough for the chestnut it was and FLIGHTLESS which then made me fully understand BUNGALOW.

    BEAU GESTE brought back fond memories of years ago !

  24. Rolf says:

    Never knew “bally” was a euphemism for “bloody” until now. The things we learn each day.

    Thought this puzzle was bally hard, but do-able.

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