Never knowingly undersolved.

Private Eye/Cyclops 399 – Neutered ancestor?

Posted by beermagnet on September 14th, 2009


Am I alone in finding this not too hard this time?
I was getting a bit worried as my subscription copy did not arrive till Friday – which is at least a day late even allowing for the Bank Holiday Monday – so I didn’t see it till I returned home that night. I always make a rule to read the mag before tackling the crossword, else I feel I’m buying it just for the crossword, and where will that end! In fact I didn’t look at it till gone midnight – an unusual time of day for me, I’ve normally been visited by the sandman before then.
Then I was surprised to find myself writing in the last answer.

8 VIAGRA VIA (by way of) GR (King George) A[dvanced]
9 NEUTERED EU in side (TENDER)* AInd: falsified Very quickly seen Anagram – first entered answer
10 ANCESTOR Hidden in circumstANCES TORy Very slowly spotted Hidden – last entered answer.  Not sure why I didn’t see this earlier.  Nice surface:
In circumstances, Tory hides old family member (8)
11 TOYOTA Convoluted Anagram fodder here: (TORY TO [clim]A[x] – R)* AInd: excites
12/1 DISSOLUTION OF PARLIAMENT DD using as its first def the subject of the year – I can’t bring myself to describe this as a cryptic def
17 BADMOUTHING (BOUGH AND TIM)* AInd: off. For its conciseness and clarity this was a contender for the favourite clue medal, but the only Bough and Tim I can think of are Frank and “C’mon” Tim Henman who are surely from different generations:
Knocking off Bough and Tim (11)
19 ACCENT AC (Bill) C[linton] (TEN)* AInd: screws. Nice clue effectively using Bill Clinton in full to clue ACC
21 UNTANGLE (NUT)* AInd: out. ANGLE (view) Strange long definition part:
Not what one saying “get knotted” expects you to do
23 PROFOUND PRO (tart) FOUND (spotted)
24/14 THROWN OUT TH[e] (The endless) [b]ROWN] (blowing of top by PM) OUT (abroad)
25 KNEE-TREMBLER CD I suppose this is a CD but it is a bit obvious despite the hint that it is about the Indian Congress party. Ah heck, it gets my Top Clue award for the answer really – I’ve always found this an evocative descriptive phrase.
1 ONIONS O and O (Balls) going round (IN)< (cycling in) NS (two directions)
2 PIGHEADED DD “Babe-like” referring to the excellent children’s book by Dick King Smith: Babe, the Sheep Pig. The film was good too (though the manufactured sequel was, err, a pig)
3 REACT (ER)< (Brenda’s gone arse up) ACT (be a luvvy)
4 INNER [s]INNER (offender spurning society) Now: Would an archer really be “reasonably satisfied” with an inner?
5 MOUNT FUJI (UFO NUT JIM)* AInd: messed with. This brings to mind Hokusai’s famous “Wave” over Fuji and my first encounter with it on the cover of a Stomu Yamashta LP of the early seventies.  Later edit: I’m mistaken.  I found that LP and it wasnt that Wave or Mount Fuji at all but this by Gakutei
6 NEEDY First letters of: Nooky Every Evening Disturbed Youth
7 SEXTANT SEX (facts of life) TAN (Brown) T (end of GovernmenT)
13 SHORT FUSE SHORT (ex-minister, ref. Clare Short) F[emale] USE (exploitation)
15 IN GENERAL IN (popular) (ENLARGE)* AInd: bust
16 OBSCURE S[un] CUR (arse) inside OBE (an honour)
18 BLOWER DD One somewhat cryptic: Arthur Daley’s dog, refers to the cockney slang “Dog and Bone” = phone, of which blower is also a slang synonym
20 ELFIN (LIFE)* AInd: sad. [gordo]N A more usual spelling of this word compared to ELVIN seen recently in a crossy
21 UNDER [bo]UNDER (arse) with BO “personal problem” removed
22 TOTEM TOT (kid) ‘EM (those vulgar, i.e. “them” pronouced ’em)

6 Responses to “Private Eye/Cyclops 399 – Neutered ancestor?”

  1. Colin Blackburn says:

    I agree it was easier than normal. Similarly to you I did it last thing at night and would usually put down an unfinished puzzle before turning in. For me Mount Fuji brings to mind Atari. I always understood their logo to be the Japanese character for Mount Fuji but it is likely to be more general than that.

  2. The trafites says:

    We too couldn’t really work out 12/1 either. Strange clue.

    Nick & Lorraine

  3. Harris says:

    We did this between Clapham Junction and Basingstoke, so probably quicker than average for us. Last one in was 10 ac., brilliantly hidden with wording that suggested a container-contents clue. Enjoyed 25 ac., although Cyclops has clued this recently in a similar fashion.

  4. Craig Jones says:

    I completed the grid, but there were a few I entered without fully understanding the cryptic element of the clue at the time (16D, 21D). Funnily enough 10ac was my first entry, not sure what that says about me. I found the rest fairly tough going, although a few raised a smile once I eventually had the “aha” moment (4D, 18D).

  5. Bellers says:

    1ac was given as 12 long in the downloadable Across Lite version, rather than 2,10. Aghh!

  6. Nick says:

    Cyclops has been far too easy recently. I pick up my PE at Sainsbury’s and solve while we’re doing the weekly grocery shop.

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