Never knowingly undersolved.

Private Eye/Cyclops 410 – Berlusconi blunder

Posted by beermagnet on February 15th, 2010


Blunder on my part that is as I find that yet again my pen writes the letters for down answers in the wrong order. May be it’s the ink that can’t spell.

3D reminds me of a story I heard recently:
On a friend’s son’s twenty-something birthday he went out for a drink with his friends. Next day he reappeared, wrecked. His Mum asked him if he’d he a good time ‘Oh yes, but I fell head-first into a bush’. Quick as a flash she asked ‘privet or pubic?’

Q. How many mice does it take to screw in a light bulb?

1 CHIPPY C[ameron] HIPPY (free spirit)
5 PASSER-BY B (second rate) inside (PESSARY)* AInd: Adjusted. First answer entered – I thought the anagram a bit easy since the fodder and the answer both started with P and ended in Y
9 CAT-BURGLAR CAT (pussy) (RUB)< GLAR[e]
10/25 DARK AGES DARK (Sun quite lacking) AGES (Times)
11 COSET C[onservative] (TOES)* AInd: wriggling. Definition: Mathematician’s group. That’s getting a bit technical.
12 HINDU HIND [yo]U Due to the Berlesconi blunder (see 8D) I spent far too long wondering if a Hinde was a ‘devoted follower’.
14 ORDAIN (RADIO)* AInd: broadcast [Camero]N
16 CURRENCY CUR (arse) (NE)< (new drug rearward) inside (CRY)* AInd: out
18 OVERKILL OVER (balls) KILL (to top)
19 EXTEND (NEXT)* AInd: disgraceful; inside E[xpenses] D[ebacle]. Nice inclusion indicator “welcoming”, and smooth and topical surface reading. Top clue:
Leading characters in expenses debacle welcoming next disgraceful increase (6)
20 LIBYA [yoke]L I BY A[nimals]
22 NINJA Hidden in “BrowN IN JAm” Hidden indicator: covering up
26 COMIC STRIP COMICS (wits) TRIP (drug experience) I thought I’d seen this answer and wordplay split recently but can’t think where.
27 ESPOUSAL (POSE)* AInd: questionable, USA, [Pa]L[in]
28 EUREKA CD relating to Archimedes in his bath
3 PUBIC HAIR PUB (local) I[ndependent] CHAIR (execution device) Nicely misleading definition “Bush”
4 YPRES YES (old pop group) around (grabs) PR (publicity)
5 POLITICAL ANIMAL CD Needed crossing letters to see this. I had Political early on then had a pleasurable head-slapping when I finally got Animal:
Enthusiastically involved MP apt to get his nose in the trough? (9,6)
6 SURCHARGE (US)< (ARCHER G[ood])* AInd: novel
7 END-ON END (climax) ON (performing)
8 BERLUSCONI (C R EU LISBON)* AInd: fiasco And a solving fiasco when I misspelled the answer and didn’t notice for ages leading to 12A trouble
13 PRIVILEGES PRIV[Y/I] (closet) LEG (member) E[xpenses and benefit]S. The final “Expenses and benefits” doing double duty as the definition
15 NUISANCES IS inside (wearing) NUANCES (shades) I don’t understand why there is a colon in the clue. It works fine without it and has a great surface. Looks like a misprunt to me:
Is wearing shades: cause of pains in the arse (9)
17 EXTRACTOR (T.REX)* AInd: screwed, ACTOR (player)
21 BISTO (BITS)* AInd: naughty , O (ball) “Ah!”
23 NICHE H[ard] inside NICE (appetising) Nice def. too: nooky kind of thing
24/2 DICKHEAD DICK (Private Eye) HEAD (chief)

Mice: Just two of course, but it’s very tricky to get them in the light bulb.

4 Responses to “Private Eye/Cyclops 410 – Berlusconi blunder”

  1. Frank O'Sullivan says:

    Thanks beermagnet!
    Re 16 across – Is there any significance to the use of the word “drug” in the solution (NE)? Does “injection of” just indicate it is a chunk of new drug?

    I also didn’t find the solution to 15 down as I had convinced myself that the solution must be a medical term for some botty related ailment re:”pain in the arse”.

  2. beermagnet says:

    Frank, I was more shorthand than usual on 16A.
    NE is “new drug” thus: N from New as usual, E is the drug Ecstasy and has proved useful to more compilers than Cyclops when looking for the odd E. “Injection of” is the inclusion indicator in that clue.

    15D took me a while but was a great clue. Would’ve been my favourite clue except for that pesky colon. I still don’t understand why it’s there.

  3. Frank O'Sullivan says:

    Thanks beermagnet, all is now clear. I didn’t know about New = N. I have seen E used a lot before (in crosswords that is) and should have worked this one out.

  4. sidey says:

    Oh dear, for some reason I’ve managed to do this twice! I thought it was a bit familiar today. I also discovered I’d sent in the solution with cat burblar in it, hey ho.

    Nice blog beermagnet. That colon in 15d seems to be replacing an ‘a’. Shame. There are some excellent clues, laughed out loud at Bisto and niche. Incidentally, niche is pronounced nitch in the building trade, I like to use that to irritate people.

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