Never knowingly undersolved.

Private Eye/Cyclops 342

Posted by beermagnet on July 2nd, 2007


The Eye Crossword normally takes every opportunity to be rude, funny, and disrespectful to authority, just like the magazine. Often there are references to in-jokes, magazine nicknames, fictitious Eye columnists etc. that mean it can be hard to finish without being an Eye reader.Sometimes there can be quite hard straight cryptic clues, but on average these seem milder than (Cyclops alter-ego) Brummie’s work for the Guardian (but watch out for the Christmas special – that can be a monster). I suspect the requirement to squeeze clues to fit the Eye’s style means they are restricted to a smaller number of possibilities, thus become easier to solve with familiarity. For my part it’s probably the Eye Crossword that has led to me being a keen solver – it is great fun and can be a real hoot! I’d rate this crossword as averagely hard for the Eye, and averagely rude, and averagely funny, so a pretty representative example with which to start the blog.

9 (HARPO)< – Does Marx ever refer to Karl in crosswords?
10 PUB(L)IC HAIR – Bush in the clue is unlikely to be the president, he would called “Dubya” or “The Rev Dubya of the Church of the Latter Day Morons” to give him his full title.
12/23/17 IN THE PUB LIC(e) INTEREST – It took a lot of crossing letters to get this – a long clue with a long definition.
13 NATURAL – DD – Luckily natural in the sense of illegitimate was mentioned here recently.
15 TELFORD (OLD FART)* replace A with E – Possibly the people’s Engineer.
16 P(REM)IER – Gordon Brown is no stranger to the Eye Crossword. This might be his first sighting as PM.
18 IC in (WHIPS)*
20 CU(RAT-O)R – Typifies Eye fare: Need a synonym for Cur – use Arse; need a synonym for Rat – use Arse again…
22 POPS-TA-R – One of the first I put in. Celebs get mentions in the Eye, but normally those that old-timers like me have heard of, like Madonna.
24 (T)ETHER – Cyclops’ clues are sometimes a bit wordy. I can’t see what “Go in for” adds to the clue.
25 BACK-BENCH – DD/CD – Took a while for the “not cabinet” penny to drop.
28 INGOT – I presume this is a CD but the attempt to mislead with “heavy metal” (presumably music) missed me and it felt like a straight def.
1 LOOSE-N UP – Erections are frequent in clues by Cyclops and they often mean UP.
3 (WITH)*-ER – In PE the Queen is Brenda, thus Brenda is E.R. It’s been like that for so long I’ve forgotten why.
4 SPARKLER – Nice smutty CD – gets my favourite clue vote.
5 O.B.-JE(C)T – Bit easy.
6 A(CHILL)E-S – Hurray! An Achilles clue without the heel. One of those where I got the answer then spent a while understanding the clue construction thinking “cold” was just C.
7 C (AIN’T SO ROT)* – Leonardo. Cartoonist. “Couldn’t see the joke meself. “Well, ‘umour changes over time, dunnit…”
8 F(R)IEND – Mate unusually used not in a sexual sense.
14 T-HE ARCHER-S – I’m not sure if there has been an Eye Crossword without our favourite ex-con/liar/brown envelope provider Jeffrey Archer getting a mention.
18 IN POCKET – CD. Snooker is one of many mediums through which Cyclops can mentions balls.
19 HI in (HOT RIO)*
20 CRECHE – CD? Like 20A I found this too near a straight definition.
21 ROB ROY – You must know a few politicians to tackle the Eye crossword. Hattersley getting a look-in still.
26/2 NO GO AREA – CD To “Go” in the PE sense is often lavatorial.

3 Responses to “Private Eye/Cyclops 342”

  1. Kevin Ward says:

    Heartily endorse beermagnet’s comments about Cyclops. Private Eye and its crossword are a fortnightly treat for me. Given the number of in-jokes I think it would be very difficult for someone who wasn’t a regular reader to complete the crossword.

  2. Colin Blackburn says:

    Two other things to add generally about the crossword: it has a substantial prize (£100 if I remember correctly) and the puzzle is available freely on the web for those of you who now want to give it a go.

  3. Colin Blackburn says:

    Whoops, I should have read Neil’s announecment first!

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