Never knowingly undersolved.

Private Eye/Cyclops 390 – Smug opposition

Posted by beermagnet on May 11th, 2009


Nothing too onerous here – I fair whipped through this one on half a journey home – but a few clues had some fairly convoluted wordplay.

1 SHRUB (BUSH)* AInd: pissed, around [wa]R
4 TEARARSE TEAR (drop) ARSE (behind)
8 SMUG S[hit] MUG (face) WH Smug is how WH Smith are referred to in Private Eye which always seemed to me to be a particularly apt nickname. WHS used not to sell the Eye (I can’t remember why), but it is a surprise the Eye chose a moniker for them as mild as “Smug”.
9 OPPOSITION OP (work) POSITION (situation)
10 OVERSHOE OVERS (lots of [cricket] balls) HOE (garden implement) Def. “Oxford protector” refers to shoes
11 ZENITH Hidden in pint-siZE NIT Has
12 BRAZIL NUTS BRA (underwear) (LIZ)< (reversed Ms Hurley) NUTS (bollocks)
14 EURO [subprim]E (OUR)* AInd: ballsed up. Good surface reading on this clue:
Subprime finally ballsed up our money (4)
15 UGLI Homophone “Ugly” A fruit more common in crosswords than the fruitbowl though they are quite nice for a change I prefer a breakfast grapefruit.
17 REPRESSION RE (about) PRESS (Fleet Street) (NO I)< (No one’s backing)
20 GORGON GORG[e] (endless stuff) ON (working)
21 NEGATIVE (G[o/E] NATIVE)* AInd: pissed. The O is replaced by an E in the anagram fodder by the wordplay: getting drug for nothing
23 INFIGHTING (IF GIN)* AInd: drunk, then (THING)* AInd: out
25 BRETHREN BR[own] (Brown have to go) where have = own, (THREE)* AInd: pisspoor, N[orthern]
26 DRESS (RD)< (Gordon’s guts turned over) E’S (‘e’s) S[pending] start of spending Def. Habit
1 SAMOVAR Hidden jetSAM OVARies
2 ROGER DD Shag; “a jolly flier”.  I guess the question-mark is on the end of the clue because the Jolly Roger is just one example of a “flier” however well-known.  The surface reads well too as a shag is a “flier” – a bird, aka a cormorant – indeed I was watching one in the Thames one morning recently.  So this nice concise clue gets my favourite sticker:
Shag’s a jolly flier? (5)
3 BROTHEL BROTHER (one of 25 BRETHREN see above) with L for R
4 TOPPED-UP PENSION TOPPED (slang for Executed from the “lose your head” sense) UP (on a high) PENSION (holiday place abroad)
5 ASSIZES ASS (prat) around SIZE (what’s not supposed to matter)
6 ATTENDEES END (climax) and E (ecstacy) inside (STATE)* AInd: disgusting
7 SNORTER N[ame] inside SORT (Grade) and ER (Brenda)
13 ZEITGEIST (GET I.E.)* AInd: rocks, inside (ZITS)* AInd: popped Def. “That’s the spirit” Good grief. This led me to dig out and put on the ancient LP of my old school’s “Modern Music concert” where the highlight of the evening was my mate’s band “Zeitgeist” playing their hearts out in the “progressive” style of the time. Happy days. The clue strangely apt for this memory too:
Get i.e. ‘rocks’ covered with popped zits – that’s the spirit! (9)
16 GROANER (GOR[do]N ARE)* AInd: Awful DO (Party) “deserting” Gordon. One with some convoluted wordplay and the last in the grid for me. Full clue:
Party deserting Gordon “are awful,” he whimpers (7)
17 RANCHER Hidden in Also-RAN CHERie
18 ENGAGED G[ood] AGE (time) inside END (butt)
19 OBVIOUS OB[ama] V[ersus] IOUS (debts)
22 TITHE TIT HE (Boob man)

2 Responses to “Private Eye/Cyclops 390 – Smug opposition”

  1. Chris says:

    I know that WH Smith, shamefully, refused to stock the Private Eye that came out immediately after Princess Diana’s death. I have a suspicion that the spat may go back further than that, but I don’t know any details.

    And, as a professional pedant and some time birdwatcher, I feel obliged to point out that the bird you saw on the Thames was almost certainly a cormorant (or, to be more precise, a great cormorant), a species commonly found on inland waters, rather than a shag, which is almost exclusively coastal.

  2. Bellers says:

    Eddie likes tear arsing doesn’t he? This time clue was Drop behind someone in a hurry and some months ago it was Drop behind a human dynamo. Too similar to provide a challenge. And, to boot, I’ve never heard anyone use it! Hyperactive kids might be called tearaways, though.

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