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Diabolically Arcane

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Pick the Paul

1 June, 2012

Here’s the game. Email your votes by Friday night 9pm, telling me which four clues you suss as belonging to Paul, the naughty whiz of UK crosswords. Vote for one clue per word, filing the word and number – say RIESLING 8, or GENERAL 1 etc. You can’t vote for your own clue (derr), but let’s hope misled hordes will.

Scoring is democratic. You earn a point for every Paul you pinpoint, and two points for every other player you seduce, clue-wise. As for the lack of explanations – two reasons. One, three of you forgot, so I opted to trim in the name of anonymity. And two, the menu is more concise, and plumbing the clues is part of the joy. (Take your time, as there’s some five-star stuff here, including those of Mr Halpern himself.) Happy sifting.


  1. The sweet science of second-rate steering?
  2. Packing punches
  3. Fighting is tiresome right on the spot?
  4. Sport Times feature in spring report
  5. Drug-taking tool overshadows team spirit
  6. You must have a quick jab in this when botoxing to go out
  7. Bounce on the spot for this fitness exercise
  8. Ringside employment!?
  9. What trumpeters are doing to Peter for sport
  10. Fighting to cross over aisle seat in plane
  11. Nothing in trap? Other way round. Could be two bantams


  1. Author penned last letter after losing shirt (ie bust)
  2. Third boring report, starting to zone out
  3. Bonzer amalgam!
  4. Hebron zealot hugs statue
  5. Fossil displays rising levels of zirconium, copper and tin
  6. Statue initially bore resemblance to Louis XI?
  7. Live with Ron at last in old age!
  8. It’s an age, but it’s for less than a second
  9. In Australia, it’s excellent having raised bottom tan
  10. In beauty events, primarily below the waist, Cameron Diaz finishes third
  11. Number 3: Brazil. Number 11: France


  1. Learning English difficult? Not in Washington, for instance
  2. He has power leads for electric motors
  3. Accepted a commanding position
  4. Francisco Franco was one backing, to him, the take-back without energy?
  5. All-purpose grant
  6. It’s normal to declare negative returns incompletely
  7. Vague legend a lord starts about Elizabeth I and loveless emperor
  8. Amidst brawl a renegade raised standard
  9. Go back! Foot off! Reverse! A learner, officer
  10. Back out of deal? A reneger is vague
  11. DNA’s regular – really ordinary


  1. Drop lies? grin mischievously
  2. Memories linger imbibing wine
  3. White, single Irish, confused
  4. White wine… tries lingerie just a bit
  5. Spooner deals with this, leaving circle of dead yeast
  6. Wine and cheese bar opening west of Shanghai
  7. Wine elicited corruptly lies that broke up the band
  8. Change order to fish ‘n chips, topped off with wine
  9. White Isle lost in Tolkien’s plot devoce.
  10. Sound to change bandage. White?
  11. I nearly sign resolution banning any alcohol

Emailed votes only please, to build suspense. Also, to help at trophy time, keep track of your own clue numbers as they fell here, since I will announce the tallies and let you step forward to claim your laurel. We’ll see who’s the best sleuth, and the best con artist.

(PS – come stumps, would love your feedback about the contest’s MO. The recipe seems worth preserving, so long as we can streamline the handling.)

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