Never knowingly undersolved.

Private Eye/Cyclops 359 – Checking letters required

Posted by beermagnet on March 3rd, 2008


For me, this was harder than usual – I ended up tackling it over three sessions.  Yet again I’m not sure everything below is correct or fully explained.  As a result I didn’t enjoy it that much – but that’s probably me panicking while staring at the wide open spaces in the unsolved 6 or 7, and wondering what the hell I was going to put in this blog for them.

7 BEHEADED First pass I wrote Beheaded or Headless by the clue – at that point I thought the crossword was going to be an easy solve – but it did set the precedent that for several answers checking letters were required before the correct answer could be confirmed
8 MONGOL MO-(LONG)* Maybe. I do not know this as a language (“tongue”). Surely Mongol is a member of the race while the language (tongue) is Mongolian? Full clue:
Short girl sporting long tongue (6)
9 DIPSO DIP-SO I was so tempted to write in “crawl” on the first pass
10 STRAPPING DD One of those Private Eye double defs
12 UTERUS (TRUE)* Us = Private Eye. One of very few I solved on the first pass
13 PATELLA Last one in – is it right? How does it work? Full clue:
Joint certain terrorists often chose for getting smashed (7)
Aha – kneecapping – Ugh
16/26 OSCAR ACCEPTANCE SPEECH CD Well timed clue
19 SESSION S from paiSley’s heart, then IS in NOISE reversed. Favourite clue:
Paisley’s heart is in rows over Assembly (7)
21 DOODAH DOO-(HAD)* Maybe. Full clue:
Dick, as you might coyly say, having to pull off ring, had breakdown(6)
Don’t understand how to get DOO from “having to pull off ring”
23 CORN DOLLY RN (sailors) and D (date) inside COOLLY
25 BEHAN EH for “didn’t catch that” inside BAN for bar. Drunken writer had me thinking of Brendan B quite quickly:
1 CHOPSTICKS STICK inside CHOPS “easy piece” I can think of better uses for two fingers – or feet:
3 CENSUS Is this supposed to be a homophone of Censors? Full clue:
Almost sounds like editors count! (6)
5 UGLI Homophone Ugly. I was unsure whether the answer should be ugli or ugly but luckily the final letter is checked. Full clue:
Hideous, being given ‘oral’treatment in the fruit store (4)
6 FLAGWAVER FLAG-WAVER One of the answers I was stuck on – not sure why now
7 BODY D inside BOY as in “Oh Boy”
11 RUPEE UR reversed then PEE. I normally expect Ur to be indicated by “ancient city” or similar rather than just “city”
14/4 LANCASHIRE HOTPOT (CASTRATION HELP HO(use))* This nice big juicy anagram was my way into the puzzle
15/22 WORST-CASE SCENARIO CD I initially wasted time on this searching for anagrams involving “A more dire”
18 TROMBONE TOM BONE with R at 2nd spot. Did you know Trombone in french also means paperclip. NALOPKT.  I’m not sure why that pleased me so when I discovered it the other day.
20 IL DUCE (CLUE DI)* When dictator is mentioned in a clue Mussolini is often found. One of very few I solved on the first pass
21 DRY ICE CD Referring to the use of solid CO2 to fog up a stage.  This can be very effective as in a Dame Edna Everage show some years ago when (s)he was taking a few curtain calls and was sneakily attached to some crane arrangement. When the fake-fog clouded up the whole auditorium suddenly there was the harpy flying through it like some demented David Bowie, flying through the air towards the circle, flinging gladioli all round. Very frightening.
22 UNDO I presume this is a cryptic def. referring to the way old reprobates such as the 13th Duke of Wybourne relieve their conquests of their togs, but I can’t see why this should particularly lead to “undo” as opposed to, say, “peel”. Again, checking letters required here. Full clue:
Start removing clothes as an old seducer would do? (4)
24 REEF Reefer with ER removed

5 Responses to “Private Eye/Cyclops 359 – Checking letters required”

  1. Matthew says:

    21A – I think that pull off=DO and ring=O

    22D – An archaic meaning of UNDO is seduce.

  2. Chris says:

    I too found this one to be much harder than usual, and didn’t get especially near finishing it. 13a is one of the few that I got fairly quickly. Or so I thought – but I wrote in “kneecap” rather than “patella”, making a tough puzzle all the tougher.

  3. Kieron says:

    A very poor puzzle, all in all, I thought. Some very obscure definitions, and far too many very tenuous clues (eg 15/27 – its wordiness was totally unnecessary and too misleading. 3d – the homophone doesn’t work. 5d – UGLI is a fruit, not a fruit store??). It annoyed me.

    Also, I had STRAPPADO at first for 10a. Obviously my extensive of S&M undid me. So to speak.

  4. Testy says:

    The definition for UGLI is probably “in the fruit store” which I guess Cyclops intended to be shorthand for “something that you would find in a fruit store”.

    I’ve seen much vaguer definitions: for example “in America” for a US geographical feature or place e.g. New York. At least with Cyclops’s clue it is only likely to be a type of fruit that you would find in a fruit store!

  5. Pogel says:

    Struggled with this one and still don’t think much off all the answers. Didn’t help that I too shoved in “crawl” for “dipso”.

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