Never knowingly undersolved.

Private Eye/Cyclops 381 – Pretentious? Moi?

Posted by beermagnet on January 5th, 2009


This Xmas special was worth looking forward to.  27×27 grid plus usual longish Cyclops clues must be the limit for a page in the Eye.  The special feature this year was that 12 clues with no definition gave the identities of people who had been quoted in Pseuds Corner throughout the previous year.
Despite appearances I found it not quite as tricky as previous years.  I initially thought I would need to venture into the toppling pile of old Eyes in the corner of my office and flick through the PC entries for “inspiration”.  In fact, I managed to find all the names without such recourse, and finished most of the grid quite quickly considering its size – I was enjoying it rather than looking at the time and remember being surprised when I had only a handful left.  But for those few, especially 57A FAVE, I needed a few Xmas days to mull over.
For the PC names it probably helped if you were also a Guardian reader, most PC candidates come from there.  I did think of a few names up front, but was disappointed to find no mention of Richard Williams, Laura Barton or even Will Self – maybe his writing doesn’t really count as it is clearly consciously pretentious – but was not at all surprised to quickly get AA Gill and top YBA and all round asset to Britain Tracey E.
Anyway, for the blog I have flicked through the old issues and searched out the appropriate quotes as much possible and have put links and bits and pieces at the end of the blog.  I hope they make you laugh as much as me.

14 HANKY-PANKY HANKY (Material for a blow job) PAN (container) K[e]Y (hollow opener)
15/28 * CELINE DION (IN DECLINE)* AInd: screwing around, around O (love)
She recently beat the Crazy Frog to No. 1 spot in the “Most annoying Pop song” in a chart on BBC3 with the Titanic themesong thing
16 CHILL F Hill becomes C Hill
17 EXPANSIVE Expensive swap E (Exchequer’s chief) with A (one)
18 FAWN W[ife] inside FAN
20 MUFTI MUF[f] (IT)<
21 ICE AGE C inside IE then AGE (“get on”)
23 STREAKY DD Ref. Francis Bacon and a reasonably accurate description of his oeuvre
27 ARTHURIAN Ref: Arthur Scargill and Ian Paisley
30 EMBALMER (BLAME)* AInd: casting inside (REM)<
31/54 * CRAIG RAINE I[ndependent] inside CRAG (bluff) then RAIN (a fall) [lin]E
34/74 * TRACEY EMIN (ART)* AInd: orgasmic, then C (about) E[veryda]Y (MEN I)* AInd: screwed
These Pseuds Corner answers are supposed to be without definition but this clue is really an &lit given the “tent” work (“Everyone I slept with 1963-1995″) which propelled Tracey to the notice of the great unwashed. This gets my favourite clue award:
“Art’s orgasmic: about extremely everyday men I screwed” (6,4)
36/77 LOVE NEST CD referring to the speed with which people might disrobe on entering such an abode
37 FUNDS FUN (a good time) D[iva]S
38 MELON ME (my common) LON[don]
40 SATAN SAT (was an MP) A N[ame]
45 EXHORT (OR THE X)* AInd: break
47 INDIGO D[eb] inside “In I go” Whay-hay!
51 GSOH GOSH, as in golly-gosh, with OS switched
53 MACAW A[ddress] C[onservative] inside MAW
55 BRIEF BRIEF[s] flying as in flying visit
57 FAVE homophone “Five” when reputedly pronounced by the Queen (aka “Brenda”). Fave being a slangy shortened version of favourite. Last one I entered.
58 CANNON AN and [McCain]N inside CON
59 RURAL R, UR[in]AL
62 TAKE CARE TAKE CAR (To go in for auto theft) E[nergy]
63 AS IF (F ISA)<
65 LAUGHABLE (BALL[s] HAGUE)* AInd: snapped
66 BIKE B[ill] IKE (Eisenhower)
67 BROTHEL (TO BE LHR)* AInd: oriented Interesting definition (It aims to make clients come) but I’m not sure what “LHR” was supposed to be
69 SATNAV SANTA with the N shifted then V[ery] Runner-up favourite clue:
Sled operator’s direction misplaced – very (result of using this?) (6)
70 TIDAL T[ime] (LAID)* AInd: out
71 * RICHARD MADELEY (DECLAIMER)* AInd: silly around HARD, then [da]Y
78 SPLAT L[eft] inside SPAT
79/49 * LAUREN LAVERNE (UNREAL)* AInd: crunch inside LA then (NERVE)* AInd: broken
80 * GILES COREN (NIGEL)* AInd: pissed around SCORE (get laid)
1 UPKEEP P[ayments] in UK (PEE)<
2 SEMILITERATE (EMAILS TRITE)* AInd: muddled [trit]E
3 GENEVA GEN (advice) E[xcuse] V[acuous] A[dvances]
5 POLICE FORCES (POOF CLERICS)* AInd: frantically around [curat]E
6 ISOLATED [pen]IS (TO LEAD)* AInd: turned. Pen from cooler
7 METEOR METE (dispense) O (nought) R[oss]
8 VSOP [medvede]V SO (thus) P[utin]
9 ANTIVIVISECTIONISTS (OASIS ITV INSTINCTIVE)* AInd: pissed Not many crosswords where you get a 19-letter single word answer. It took an embarrassingly large number of crossing letters before I saw it.
10 BY DESIGN (IS EDGY)* AInd: liberal inside B and N of B[row]N
12/43 * EKOW ESHUN Hidden: cheEK OWES HUNdreds
14 * HANIF KUREISHI H[ot], (UKRAINE FISH)* AInd: revolting, then I (one)
20 MATES MATE (china) S[econds] Beardy-brand prophylactics
22 GROVELS (RG)< from “up right good” (SOLVE) AInd: flipping
24 * TIM LOTT M[andelson] and LOT (destiny) inside TIT (plonker)
27 * A A GILL AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) GILL (small measure)
First of the theme names I entered getting it mainly from the (1,1,4) enumeration
29 PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD PRINTED (being impressed) CIRCUIT (lap) (BROAD)* AInd: dancing The other exceeding long answer also took me an exceeding long time to get
32 ADMIRER MIRE (shit) (A RD)<
34 TENOR TEN (from No.10 “Brown’s number”) O (nothing) R[ight]
35 AD LIB AD (BIL[l])<
39 NANKEEN (AN)< [perso]N KEEN
44 SEMEN Homophone “Seamen”
46 * HOWARD HODGKIN WARD (charge) inside HO-HO[-ho], D[epth] G[ood] KIN (relations)
50 BIG TOE (I GOT)* AInd: aroused, inside BE (live)
52 SWANSEA SWAN (bird) SEA (drink)
55 BLACKBALLING B[ush] LACK (deficiency) BALLING (US-style screwing)
56 FAKIR [dic]K inside FAIR (just)
64 FINANCES [o]F (NANCIES)* AInd: buggered
65 LOVESICK LOVE (sod all) SICK (dicky)
68 EDITION DI[ana] (IT)< inside EON
71 RASCAL Hidden: archeR A SCALlywag
72 AFLOAT O (love) in A FLAT
73 EYEING EYE (Cyclops’ organ) I[nsulated] N[ylon] G[love]
75/25 MEIN KAMPF M (AI[t]KEN)* AInd: raving MP (politician) F (loud)
Those Pseuds Corner entries.
15/28 CELINE DION (Vocal Artist) Eye 1201 11-Jan-2008
Full Guardian article
“I had an image once about what is a man and what is a woman. The man is a tree. He’s big, he’s beautiful, moves the leaves, makes the shadow. We like to hug him. The roots of the tree is the woman. Without the roots he won’t survive. We feed him to make him look good, preserve him. But it takes two together to make the tree healthy. The man can take the spotlight but only with the woman behind him. For me it’s the tree of life.”
31/54 CRAIG RAINE (Writer) Eye 1205 07-Mar-2008
Full Guardian article
The section from “On the marble fireplace” through to the “Robert Mapplethorpe bath-plug” was nominated for PC but what follows is astonishing stuff too:
I own a copy of Ulysses in its own individual wooden bookcase – an ironic present from Julian Barnes at the height of his carpentry phase, guying my idolatry of Joyce.
34/74 TRACEY EMIN (Artist) Eye 1216 08-Aug-2008
Full Independent article
Last 2 Paras beginning “When an artist is good …”
Also mentioned in Eye 1213 27-Jun-2008 in an Independent Promotion:
The Independent is pleased to offer ‘21746’ (2008) by Tracey Emin exclusively for readers at the special launch price of £2,800. ‘21746’ (2008) is a white chalk pebble wrapped in a hand-embroidered cotton sheet measuring 11 x 15 x 16 cm … in an edition of 25, and comes with a certificate signed by the artist.
61/26 TANYA GOLD (Journalist) Eye 1216 08-Aug-2008
Full Guardian fashion article
Knickers are a window to the soul. They tell the world how we wish to be perceived and who we really are – good or evil.
71 RICHARD MADELEY (TV Presenter) Eye 1213 27-Jun-2008
Classic Footy pretentiousness:
So he suffers for us.
He bears our pain, in the most public way possible.
He serves a timeless human need, one that goes back long before the time of Christ.
He carries our burdens and cannot lay them down.
Perhaps this has always been Paul Gascoigne’s destiny.
79/49 LAUREN LAVERNE (DJ) Eye 1212 13-Jun-2008
Full Guardian article
What was the last green thing you did?
I try to buy recycled stuff. The other day, I bought a cushion made of vintage Chanel tweed. It’s gorgeous.
80 GILES COREN (Writer, who has never ended a piece on an unstressed syllable) Eye 1217 22-Aug-2008
If you like top class P, please read:
His letter to Times subeditors (as reported in the Guardian)
12/43 EKOW ESHUN (Creative director of the ICA) Eye 1208 18-Apr-2008
Full Guardian lifestyle article
What’s in your manbag?
Generic stuff: leather gloves, lip balm, an iPod. A book called Nigger, which is an interesting cultural study on the word. Wallet – it’s Comme des Garçons, a lovely present from my girlfriend and a great size and design. The New Yorker – it’s my favourite magazine and the only one I subscribe to. Moleskin notebook – when I am walking around or on the tube I like to write down things I am thinking about.
Where is the bag from?
It’s a Mulberry….
[and so on]
14 HANIF KUREISHI (Writer) Eye 1213 27-Jun-2008
[Hanif] Kureishi also said that when he goes to his desk each morning to commence writing, he thinks to himself: ‘Why am I doing this? Shall I commit suicide?’
Also Eye 1203 08-Feb-2008
Quote from Esquire article on Daniel Day-Lewis:
‘O dark, dark, dark, amid the blaze of noon’ it’s the same greeting whenever Daniel and I see each other. It’s a line from the Milton poem Samson Agonistes, and for some reason we have quoted it to each other for the 23 years we have been friends. Perhaps because we both recognise a similar darkness in each other.”
24 TIM LOTT (Author) Eye 1214 11-Jul-2008
Guardian article
When the Smiths emerged like a strangely attractive housefly over the sugar-coated rim of the musical cocktail that was the early 1980s – Adam Ant, Haircut 100 and Duran Duran were the primary flavours – I took to them with the enthusiasm of Christ for his cross.
27 A A GILL  (Columnist ) Eye 1205 07-Mar-2008
BREAKFAST is everything. The beginning, the first thing. It is the mouthful that is the commitment to a new day, a continuing life.
As meals change with the ages, climate and geography, move round the clock, disappear into the night, come back shrunk or instant, breakfast remains a constant, a fixed point all around the world … an unconsidered moment of global communion [continues]
46 HOWARD HODGKIN (Abstract Painter) Eye 1210 16-May-2008
From an interview in Times magazine:
‘People think I am ungrateful’ he says, his voice clotting slightly. ‘I’m not, but I always feel my best work is yet to come. When a great friend of mine had his first retorspective, he went around it, weeping very discreetly and said ‘Not enough.’ I didn’t know what he was talking about at that moment, but I do now.’
Hodgkin emits a stifled sob and then says that ‘one day’ he is sure a piece of work will be ‘good enough.’

Suggestions invited for which planet they inhabit.
Maybe we should have a vote for Top Pseud 2008.
I’m wildly impressed by Giles Coren’s explosion, but that final Howard Hodgkin passage surely must take it – it’s ‘good enough’.

8 Responses to “Private Eye/Cyclops 381 – Pretentious? Moi?”

  1. neildubya says:

    Great puzzle, and a great post too. Thanks for the Pseud’s Corner entries – Giles Coren’s is just brilliant but my personal favourite is Craig Raine’s.

  2. TwoPies says:

    Excellent blog, thank you. This one kept me occupied for most of the holiday. I spent far too long trying to make Elton John fit 61/26!

  3. Brian Harris says:

    I really enjoyed this crossword.

    Thanks so much for posting the Pseuds Corner entries for each name, as well. I remember that Giles Coren letter – fabulous stuff.

  4. Chris says:

    Yeah, great stuff – thanks a lot for that, beermagnet. I didn’t quite finish all this puzzle (slipped up with Tim Lott and had never heard of a printed circuit board, although I got the last two words – not to mention one or two embarrassing failures, now that I’ve seen the answers) but it provided terrific entertainment over the Christmas break.

  5. John King says:

    14A. And there was me thinking ‘KY’ jelly was the hollow opener, oops.

    67A. LHR – London Heathrow

    Great write-up, thanks!

  6. Baijaaners says:

    Enjoyed this puzzle very much. Didn’t quite finish it, 67ac was very cleverly hidden. Thanks for all the quotes, great stuff!

  7. Colin Blackburn says:

    Thanks for the blog, beermagnet. The extra work on the quotes is above and beyond…but it is very much appreciated. I enjoyed the Giles Coren piece the first time around so thanks for reminding me why he is such a PT.

  8. James Lyon says:

    I’ve just got into cryptic crosswords and spent an obsessive amount of time over the Christmas holidays trying to solve this one. Alas, my lack of experience of the tricks of the trade meant I only got three-quarters done before giving up. I’m particularly proud of getting ‘antivivisectionists’, though. I must have stared at that clue for hours.

    Really enjoyed your explanation of the answers as there were some I know I’d never have got. The good news, though: all that practice must have paid off, as I’ve just polished off the latest issue’s puzzle without breaking (much) of a sweat. Quite a feat for me at this point.

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