Never knowingly undersolved.

Private Eye/Cyclops 406 – Double bubble

Posted by beermagnet on December 21st, 2009


As It Occurred To Me this week:  I won 2nd prize in a contest!
You’re right, it wasn’t a Beauty Contest and I wasn’t playing Monopoly.
It was a crossword contest:  The 2009 “3D Calendar puzzle” indeed.
So I have no hesitation, in best Smashy’n’Nicey “does a lotta work for chariddy” manner, in shamelessly plugging next year’s offering.
Follow these links and Buy! Buy! Buy!

Don’t forget to book a bit of time over Christmas to tackle Cyclops’s annual giant, due out soon.  That really will be a double-size challenge.

Perhaps because that monster is on the horizon this issue’s crossword wasn’t too hard.  Still, there is one I need help with: Runny Nose at 21.  Can someone please give me a tissue.

1 ORIFICE OR (gold) IF (provided) ICE (diamonds)
5 MODEST (DO)< inside M[inute] [cl]E[gg] ST (way)
9 SCAPEGOAT (GESTAPO)* AInd: Neo- Around CA (state)
11 PIG OUT PIG (reviled copper) OUT
13 GINGER BEER (GEE BRING)* AInd: out, then ER (the queen). Rhyming slang for Queer – non-PC so I suppose that’s the reason for referencing that oaf Clarkson – he doesn’t seem likely to use cockney rhyming slang, the few times I’ve seen him he sounds quite posh, if he does it must be another laddish affectation.
16/10 LAID BACK LAID (screwed) BACK (rugby player)
20 HAIRGRIP AIR (broadcast) GR (king George) inside HIP (cool) Nice Def.: lock-keeper
22 SEDATE ED (ref. Ed Balls) inside (SEAT)* AInd: revolving
24 ENNOBLING (NONE)* AInd: organised BLING (show of wealth). Reminds me of a recent “New word definition from the Uxbridge English Dictionary” on ISIHAC: Tumbling – Jewellery for a belly button.
25 LLOYD’S (DOLLY’S)* AInd: bust. Ref. the loses suffered by the “Names” at Lloyd’s of London insurance market
26 PROGENY (PREY GORDON – R,DO)* AInd: pathetic
2 ROSSINI ROSS (presenter who went too far) IN, I.
4 CHEST HE’S (the bloke’s) inside CT (court)
5 MATRIARCH (MARCH AIR T[emperature])* AInd: affected
6 DEBAG (BED)< (have sex mounted) AG (silver) Heigh Ho! Appalling image conjured by the surface reading (completely “Tonto” in my opinion) mean this clue gets the gold sheriff’s badge:
Get pants off and have sex, mounted, with Silver (5)
7 SECONDS DD Second helpings and parts of a minute
8 DOUBLE HELPINGS DD Wry reference to the cock-up 3 issues ago when Number 402 reappeared instead of 403 made this rather easy for regular solvers, and presumably left others mystified
14 RETURNERS TURNER (an artist) inside RES[idence] Last in.  I suspect mainly because I was held up thinking “an artist” delivered RA as usual
17 ARAB OIL (A LABOUR -U +I)* AInd: about
19 OCTAGON O[bama] (CANT GO)* AInd: bombing. A bit unhappy with this def “Pentagon taking sides” as it doesn’t unambiguously lead to the answer. It could mean any polygon with more than 5 sides.
21/15 RUNNY NOSE I can’t parse this one:
It’s not giving up sex and punctuation produces such a discharging organ (5,4)
22 SOBER (BOERS)* AInd: off

I just got a form where they had put me in age bracket 54-499.
I was LIV-ID !

6 Responses to “Private Eye/Cyclops 406 – Double bubble”

  1. Radler says:

    21/15 If you remove sex (it) and punctuation from “it’s not” you will be left with “snot”

  2. Craig Jones says:

    Thanks for the blog. I really enjoyed this one, even though I was unable to finish the top left-hand corner… must admit I thought the definition for 19D was very clever, although I can see why you would be unhappy with it.

  3. beermagnet says:

    Thanks Radler for showing the way with the runny nose.
    That clue seems to require a double leap from wordplay to snot to nose.

    On 19D: Re-reading my comment I was probably a bit harsh, after all there aren’t many >5 sided polygons of 7 letters.

    Thankfully the postie has just dropped the Xmas issue through my letterbox and I see that Crossword 407 is indeed a 27×27 monster – that’s worth nearly four normal 15 squared crossies – using “Dumb Britain” as the theme. Good job we have an extra week. I’ll try to get the blog up for that sometime on the last submission date: Monday 4th.

  4. bamberger says:

    I can’t find a link to download the Xmas one -I’ve got the paper copy. Am I missing something?

  5. beermagnet says:

    The No. 407 Xmas special appears at the usual link:;
    It looks exactly the same as the paper copy, so I don’t think you’re missing anything.

  6. bamberger says:

    Thanks -but there doesn’t seem to be the usual download acrosslite (or whatever it is called) and then the puzzle itself.

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