Never knowingly undersolved.

Private Eye/Cyclops 414 – Feudal Utopia

Posted by beermagnet on April 12th, 2010


I didn’t know much about Sir Thomas More’s Utopia beyond its fame, but after finding a link for 21D and reading around I realise what a big deal this was.
Utopia from the greek ou-topos [no place] or eu-topos [good place].
In Utopia, there is communal ownership of land [Right on! Comrade …], private property does not exist [… Proudhon would be proud …], men and women are educated alike [… and Germaine …], and there is almost complete religious freedom except atheists are not tolerated [ … hmmm.]

Hang on.  This intro is far too sensible for an Eye blog.  Never mind, I’ll put a terrible joke at the end.

7 SPORT S[econd] PORT (left) Def: Tabloid. This was one of the last entered. I simply don’t equate The Sport with news at all, even tabloid news. One link (not work-safe) or another (still not work-safe)
9 SPECTACLE SPECTA[tor] C[onservative] L[ive] [wir]E The Spectator was edited by BoJo a while ago
10 UPPER HAND UPPER (Superior) H[ard] AND[y] (Ref Andy Murray)
11 GLOOM G[ordon] LOOM (spin machine) Oh dear, has Cyclops made the same error as the Big A recently: a Loom is a machine for weaving, not spinning. Not sure what “alternative” is doing in the clue:
Gordon’s chief spin machine alternative? Despondency (5)
12/13 HUNG PARLIAMENT CD/DD and first entered answer due to the obvious mental image
16 THRONE (NORTH)* AInd: awful, [newcastl]E. Def: beneath Brenda (aren’t we all?)
17 VOTIVE I’V[e] inside VOTE
20 HURLY-BURLY HURL[e]Y (Ref Liz Hurley) BURLY (on the large side). Ah! Our Elizabeth. The original fruity girl gracing the pages of the Telegraph whenever possible, especially if in that dress. (Mind you there’s significant recent competition in that department)
22 TSAR S[econd] inside TAR (sailor)
24 SUGAR DD One def. is “Darling” giving a misdirection to the chancellor, and the first is a ref. to Alan Sugar who is well known for saying “You’re fired”. A reference which did not come quickly to me – this was the last I entered:
He’d not be slow to fire Darling (5)
26 OFF COURSE OFF (dicky), C[onservative], (SOUR)* AInd: turned, E[lection]
27 LANDSLIDE DD one of which is crypticish. Can landslides be called slimy? I suppose mudslides are:
A slimy descent not in the offing for Labour this time? (9)
1 COWPUNCHER COW (that awful woman) PUNCH (drink) ER (Brenda) Another term for a cowboy
2 ESCAPADE A (one) D[ick] inside ESCAPE (fly)
3 FEUDAL FE (iron) U[niversal] (LAD[y])<
4 STAG PARTY STAG (get rich quick type), PARTY (Labour, say)
In the city a Stag is a someone who buys hoping to sell quickly at a higher price.
5 ECHO EC (City address) Ho[use]
6 TERMITE TERM (possible period of government), T[ory] inside I.E.
7 SLUSHY Another DD with one of them being a sideways crypticish def. I think. While ‘not as pure as the driven snow’ is a clear definition, ‘Less cloying than “Squidgy”‘ is not very obvious. Presumably a reference to “Squidgygate” shoe-horned into the clue
8/23 TURNCOAT TURN (stage act) COAT (film)
14 EAVESDROPS (POSER DAVE)* AInd: rubbished, S[un]. Definition: Bugger in the sense of a person who bugs (taps phones).
15 TORY PRESS (ROT)< Balls = rot, Up = reverse ind., Y[ear], PRESS (smooth out)
17 VILIFIED (IF I DIE V L)* AInd: broadcast. V from 5, L from Live
18 WHISTLE ST (good bloke) inside WHILE. Def: Penny might come first as in Penny-whistle. Favourite clue for its crude surface:
Penny might come first while being penetrated by good bloke (7)
19 ARREST (ARSE)* AInd: wobbles, around R[ight], T[ime]. Def: Bust
21 UTOPIA (I POUT)* AInd: screwed, A (one). Def. Ref. Sir Thomas More’s most famous book
25/28 GONE TO POT I’m not sure of this one – It seems to be another curious Double Def., but I cannot rationalise the purpose of overturning the Tory leadership – maybe I should re-phrase that – Aagh you know what I mean:
Over the hill half of Tory leadership overturned – a shadow of its former self (4,2,3)

Bill: “floba-loba-doba-flibdoba-flobba-dobble”
Ben: “I’ll get the round in.  You’re too drunk”

3 Responses to “Private Eye/Cyclops 414 – Feudal Utopia”

  1. Pandean says:

    I wonder if Cyclops avoids Araucaria’s ‘loom’ error at 11ac by including the word ‘alternative’ – so a ‘spin machine alternative’ is a loom as opposed to a spinning-wheel, spinning jenny or whatever?

    And at 25/28, I think it’s probably: gone + To[ry] + top (reversed), rather than a double definition.

  2. Tris says:

    25/28 Gone = Over. To P = The Hill. ot = half of Tory leadership overturned.

  3. beermagnet says:

    Thanks both.
    It is typical though, that the only clues where I express some doubts over the wordplay turn out to be OK really because I hadn’t understood them.
    Yes, ‘alternative?’ is a good way of distinguishing spinning from weaving. After all what alternatives are there, apart from tapestry and crochet and knitting and … Oh never mind

    For GONE TO POT I would suggest Cyclops intended Tris’s breakdown, but both work perfectly well, and I saw neither. Gloom indeed.

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