Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 23990/Taupi – Racy

Posted by ilancaron on February 2nd, 2007


A couple of racy clues and American states. Unrelated. I found myself solving many of the clues from the definition and struggling to work out the wordplay while writing these notes – I didn’t manage in all cases. Quite a few sly clues that had me chuckling and surprised by the use of slang. Thanks to Loonapick some more clarity….


1 JURY RIG – Unlike my first embarrassing post, 12 actually means twelve sometimes, as in members of the jury! So to “fix 12″ means to RIG the JURY!
5 GAR(N)ISH – If you removed N[ew] you’d get GARISH meaning “loud”.
9 LATIN – hidden reversal for what was spoken by “some iN ITALy. “Retrospectively” [thanks to kjb below] indicates the hidden reversal.  When I solved this, while I searched for a hidden rev, I didn’t find it — even though it was hidden there in plain sight, and assumed a cryptic def.  Sign of a good clue!
11 PER,E,MP,TORY – straightforward charade for “urgent”.
12 ONCE – “one occasion”. Loonapick notes that the wordplay is [b]ONCE, I wasn’t familiar with bonce meaning “head”.
14 SYNCHRONISE – (shy censor in)* — be harder to find good anagram fodder if it were spelt synchronize!
18 RHODE ISLAND – one of the two states in this puzzle: Loonapick notes that Rhode=”road” and a ‘road island’ is a traffic island in the middle of the road that allows you to cross half-way, then wait for a break in the traffic to cross the remainder of the road. I can’t remember what we call them in the states, I think just traffic island in fact.
22 PERCENTAGE – (centre-page)*. Nice misdirecting slightly racy surface.
26 AVE,RT – Here’s the clue: “Turn away from right way when other way found”). So def is “turn away”. RT is “right”, AVE is “way” and “other way found” means other way round, i.e. put AVE in front of RT.Straightened out wordplay based on Loonapick. Again.
27 F(LEAP)IT – clever misleading clue and surprising definition: “dive” and FLEAPIT are slang for a disreputable joint. I liked the “jump” and FLEA connection as well.
28 EVER,TON – The other “team” from Liverpool. I’ve done enough of these puzzles to know that TON is a 100. Can’t remember why though.


1 JA(LOP)Y – Another clever clue with surprising definition: JALOPY and “banger” are slang for beaters.
3 RINGMASTER – cryptic definition for the guy in charge at the circus (big “top”).
4 GIANT – ([e]ating)*.
5 GO,NOR,RHEA – Nice clue consistent with our racy theme. Def is “Clap for American” (what do Brits call it?).
6 R.A.S.H. – acrostics can have nice misleading surfaces, as this one, since the setter gets to choose the words only constrained by first letters.
7 ILL,I,NOIS[e] – The other “state”.
8 HA(Y FE)VER– Fey* in HAVER. Wasn’t sure about the definition of HAVER since it’s Brittalk but does mean “dither”. In any event, “allergic reaction” left no doubt that HAY FEVER was the reason.
13 CON,DENS,ATE – straightforward charade and I guess “dew” is being used as a verb here which is a bit of a stretch or CONDENSATE is being used as a noun which is no less of a stretch.
16 WRITEOFF – Double meaning and another nice misleading surface that uses two slang meanings: WRITEOFF and “total” mean ‘complete wreck’.
19, 25 TAKE IT ON THE CHIN – (to heat in kitchen)*. Some people disapprove of “perhaps” as an anagrind. I don’t mind. Nice surface since the fodder alludes to being able “to take the heat in the kitchen” in a similar sense as TAKE IT ON THE CHIN.
20 BEATEN – double/cryptic definition. Presumably a successful “weightwatcher” will claim he has BEATEN the tempting “buffets”. Likewise, when given some “buffets” as in blows, you’re BEATEN.
24 HE,MP – the raciest of the lot which of course means it’s my favourite clue and I have to repeat it: “Drug giving rise to male member”. “giving rise to” is just the linkphrase that makes the surface palatable. As it were. But who knows? Perhaps it’s a &semi-lit and I just learnt something.

4 Responses to “Guardian 23990/Taupi – Racy”

  1. says:

    12ac Bonce is beheaded to give “once”

    18ac A traffic island is a bit of pavement in the middle of the road that allows you to cross half-way, then wait for a break in the traffic to cross the remainder of the road, therefore “announced” = “sounds like” road island

    26ac I think the setter wants us to put RT and AVE the other way, ie AVE before RT?

    20dn I read it as “Be a 10″ would be the weightwatcher’s slogan. Although i suppose in America a 10 is not a particularly small size.

  2. says:

    Thanks! in particular for decoding 26A for me.

    I wonder about BEATEN – perhaps it’s BE A 10 in the Bo Derek sense? (you’re right I’d think of size 10 as somewhat large in the states).

  3. says:

    Great blog, glad to have found you.

    I like the “Bo Derek” reading for 20d.

    Wasn’t sure if you were kidding about looking for a hidden reversal in 9a – it’s certainly there: ” iN ITALy”

    In 28a, I’m pretty sure “ton” is Brit slang for 100 miles per hour, as in “I was doing a ton up the M1.”

    I got 10a “Aunt Sally” and 15d “Nissen hut” but had to look up the references – that happens to me 2-3 clues per puzzle on average.

  4. says:

    good point about LATIN — I felt the hidden reversal was there but didn’t see it! so wasn’t kidding… (be nice to say that I was!)

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