Never knowingly undersolved.

Private Eye/Cyclops 351 – Up or down

Posted by beermagnet on November 4th, 2007


There are occasions when the answer to a clue is a word or its reverse, and there is nothing in the clue to indicate which.  So you end up relying on crossing checking letters to confirm which to use.  Here, 5D is an example.  The construct is , and for 5D it is def 1 that is the answer and def 2 that is reversed.  If anything, the sense of the surface reading tends towards the alternate answer.  In this instance I was wise to the possibility, but on other occasions I have fallen for the trap, written in a reverse answer, and been stuck.  In the context of an entire puzzle this is probably fair, but it shows that clues taken in isolation are not necessarily fully solvable.

8 WARBLE  –  Hidden in deWAR BLEeding
9 UP IN ARMS  –  U-PIN-ARMS Member Members
10 ABUNDANCE  –  AB-UN-DANCE Un from “Vulgar one” as in “That’un”
12 BANTU  –  ANT in BU(sh) “Dubya not quiet”
13 BIG JOBS  –  BIG(g)S around JOB Ref Ronnie Biggs
15 HARD-HIT  –  Erection; Success
17 NIPPLE COUNT  –  (PENCIL NOT UP)* It is popularly supposed that tabloid circulation rises with nipple count.  I’ve no doubt someone is finishing a PhD on the subject right now
21 EARDRUM  –  Effectively hidden in hEARD RUMour – indeed, revealed when HOUR removed (time lost) which is a very nice construct.  If the definition hadn’t meant the answer was so obvious, I would’ve given this clue top marks.
23 JOHNSON  –  American loo; Issue – Ref Alan Johnson Sec. State for Health
24 LEHAR  –  King LEAR around H(ard) gives Merry Widow composer
1 SWEAR BY  –  A very convoluted clue: “Almost the end of Brown” delivers “W”, this is then put inside (ARSE)*, then B(lood)Y from “bloody heartless”
2 URDU – ex-Foreign Sec. and ex-Home Sec. Douglas Hurd is our Tory Grandee (h)URD U(nited)
3 CLODHOPPER  –  Lump; Springer
4 SPEECH  –  PEE inside SCH (abbrev. School)
5 KNOB  –  (BONK<)  I knew this was BONK or KNOB but wasn’t sure which one till I had a crossing letter.  Full clue:
Dick stands on head to screw (4)
6 BRONCHITIS  –  (IC SHIT BORN)* Hawking in the spitting sense yet again
7 ASQUITH  –  QUIT inside (HAS)* Going back in time for this ex-PM
11 NASAL  –  NASA-L I liked “US agency sending people up” for NASA
14 GONORRHOEA  –  (OOH-ER ORGAN)* I had trouble with this – the spelling I mean. Apposite anagram means it picks up my favourite clue award
16 ROUGH TRADE  –  “Difficult” “Profession”
18 CAJUN  –  JU (half a month, JUne or JUly) inside CAN (jail)
22 MOPING  –  OP (surgery) inside (MING) Party leader – Err, no more I fear, slightly out of date there Cyclops old boy
25 RILE  –  hidden in bovRIL Enema.  Oh dear, there’s an image we could do without
26 CHIT  –  C-HIT This is the clue I had most trouble with, and was reduced to an alphabet trawl on C?I? before I hit CHIT

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