Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Quiptic 562 / Pan

Posted by Gaufrid on August 23rd, 2010


Welcome to the first Quiptic blog on Fifteensquared. Our intention is that clues for this puzzle series will be described in a little more detail than normal in the hope that this will be of benefit to newcomers to the world of cryptic puzzles.

My perception was that the left hand side of this puzzle, particularly the SW corner, seemed a little more difficult than the right hand side, though there was only one answer (24ac) that is not in common usage. However, the cryptic indication for this needed some thought. I spent the longest time on 9ac, not to get the answer, which was obvious from the checked letters, but to parse the wordplay.

Unless otherwise indicated, all definitions are courtesy of Chambers 11th Edition.

9 HARMONICA  a charade of HAR[p] (instrument almost) and MONICA (woman) – the definition is ‘another {instrument}’. I spent far too long trying to parse HAR from ‘almost given to woman’, thinking initially that the definition was ‘instrument’ (which it was, but only indirectly) and that ‘another’ meant two women.
10 ROUGH  a charade of RO (Romania {IVR and internet suffix}) and UGH (yuk)
11 PADDOCK  a charade of PAD (protection) and DOCK (plant) – “an enclosed field under pasture, orig near a house or stable”.
12 KINSHIP  a charade of K (king), an anagram of (awful) SIN and HIP (fruit) – ‘consanguinity’ is the “relationship by blood as opposed to affinity or relationship by marriage” or “a close relationship or connection”.
13 NOOSE  O (old) in (surrounded by) NOSE (smell {verb})
14 PLUS FOURS  an anagram of (pants) SPURS FOUL – “baggy knickerbockers or a knickerbocker suit” now rarely seen other than in crosswords, or on the golf course occasionally.
16 POLYUNSATURATED  an anagram of (doctor) PORTLY AUNT SUED A – I’m not too happy with the anagram indicator here. I’ve no problems with ‘doctor anagram fodder’ or ‘anagram fodder doctored’ but ‘anagram fodder doctor’ is grammatically incorrect and does not make sense.
19 NARRATIVE  NAIVE (green) takes in (welcomes) R (river) RAT (creature)
21 LORIS  hidden in ‘saiLOR IShmael’ – “a small primate of S Asia belonging to the genus Loris (slender loris) or Nycticebus (slow loris)”.
22 PILLAGE  LAG (former convict) in PILE (mansion) – ‘rifle’ in the sense of to plunder or ransack. Chambers defines pile as “a tall building” but Collins has “a large building or group of buildings” which better describes a ‘mansion’.
23 HANSARD  ANS (answer) in HARD (difficult) – “the printed reports of debates in parliament, from Luke Hansard (1752–1828), whose descendants continued to print them down to 1889″.
24 NONCE  a definition and cryptic indication NON-CE (to describe Presbyterian, say) – a Presbyterian is not a member of the Church of England and ‘nonce’ as an adjective means “(of a word or expression) occurring, adopted or coined for a particular occasion only”.
25 CHURCHILL  CHILL (cold) takes in (claims) URCH[in] (ragamuffin not popular) – Sir Winston Churchill

1 CHIP AND PIN  a charade of CHIP (piece of fried potato) and an anagram of (mixed) DIP NAN – “a system of payment using a credit or debit card with an integrated microchip, the card-holder entering a personal identification number to authorize the payment”.
2 CRUDE OIL  COIL (wind) taking in (trapping) RUDE (simple)
3 MOROSE  a charade of MO (doctor {medical officer}) and an anagram of (dreadfully) SORE – “sour-tempered, esp when habitually so”.
4 TICK  a double definition (moment / credit)
5 LACKLUSTRE  an anagram of (served) CLARET containing (to suppress) SULK (brood) reversed (uprising) – “dull, without brightness, sheen or vitality”.
6 TRANSFER  REFS (umpires) reversed (rejected) after R (run) in (taken by) TAN (brown)
7 PUSHTU  a charade of P (pressure) and an anagram of (unusual) HUTUS – “an official language of Afghanistan, also spoken in parts of Pakistan”. Can also be spelt: Pashto, Pushto, Pashtu, Pushtoo, Pakhto or Pakhtu.
8 WHIP  a charade of W (wife) and HIP (side of bottom)
14 PESTILENCE  PEE (pass water) round an anagram of (poorly) CLIENTS – “any deadly epidemic disease; Bubonic plague”.
15 SIDESADDLE  a charade of SIDES (teams) and ADDLE (go off)
17 UNAWARES  a charade of UNA (girl) and WARES (things to sell) – the definition is implied from ‘to catch someone unawares’.
18 TERRAPIN  P[orpoise] (porpoise’s head) in (eaten by) TERRAIN (land)
20 RELENT  a charade of RE (spiritual lesson {Religious Education}) and LENT (fast {the period before Easter})
21 LUNACY  UN (promoters of co-operation {United Nations}) in LACY (networked {having a network})
22 PUNT  a double definition (boat / bet on)
23 HAUL  a homophone of (reportedly) HALL (student accommodation)

15 Responses to “Guardian Quiptic 562 / Pan”

  1. Stella says:

    An excellent blog, Gaufrid, I’m not surprised it took you a little while to publish.

    I usually find Pan entertaining, and this puzzle was no exception. The image in 8d made me smile, though I don’t condone it! :)

    This was actually slightly more difficult than Rufus’s offering today, IMHO, and I was also led down the wrong path by 9a, so thanks for the explanation.

    I liked 11a and 17d, but had never heard of 7d, which I got from the crossing letters and wordplay.

  2. Big Dave says:

    I’d like to say how pleased I am to see a crossword blogged in plain English (just like on you-know-where!).

    I wish you well in your new venture.

  3. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Gaufrid.

    I found this very enjoyable.

  4. sidey says:

    Nicely blogged Gaufrid. Mostly very good clues, I will be charitable and assume that Pan is ignorant of the secondary meaning of 24a.

  5. Stella says:

    so am I, Sidey! Please enlighten us.

  6. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Stella
    I think he means “the occasion; the moment; the time being or the particular or express purpose”. 😉

  7. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid. I’ve been enjoying the Quiptics since they were flagged up here a little while ago by Stella, and this was no exception. Although the Grauniad website describes this puzzle as ‘part cryptic, part quick’, I can’t agree – they are entirely cryptic. Undemanding for experienced cruciverbalists, certainly, but a great puzzle for beginning and improving solvers – who hopefully will become new commenters on fifteensquared.

    NARRATIVE and PILLAGE hit the spot today.

  8. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Great blog, Gaufrid [I see, you put a lot of energy in it] and in my opinion not the easiest of Quiptics to start with.
    There’s no point in comparing this with today’s Rufus [the styles are completely different – Pan’s clues are much more based on construction], in fact I think that this puzzle would be a perfectly acceptable midweek crossword.

    Just like you, I didn’t have much problems with the East.
    But, after I solved the NW, I’d even had to cheat [which I normally don’t do] to get unstuck in the SW corner.
    I remember me saying recently that ‘Quiptics are self-explanatory’ [ :(], well, I needed the blog for PADDOCK [was initially thinking of PADLOCK] and PILLAGE [didn’t associate a PILE with a ‘mansion’, but it’s OK].

    I think Pan used quite a lot non-standard definitions, like ‘Promoters of co-operation’ for UN, ‘networked’ for LACY, ‘go off’ for ADDLE, the aforementioned ‘mansion’ for PILE, for me even ‘simple’ for RUDE.

    I didn’t like UNAWARES (17d), but – on the other hand – declare WHIP (8d) and TERRAPIN (18d) to be my Clues of the Week.
    [I am apparently in a politically incorrect mood … :)]

  9. Neil says:

    Thank you very much for such a comprehensive explanation for the clues, I will definitely be returning to this blog for future advice. I am very new to the Quiptic and currently struggle with some of the more intricate clues (and often I have no idea what is actually being asked of me) This is blog will help me no end!

    Many thanks,


  10. Scarpia says:

    Thanks Gaufrid….
    …and others for leading me to the Quiptic.As K’s D says this was a true cryptic and I found it far from easy.
    Some of the clues here(9,25,5 and 21 down)would not have been out of place in puzzles by some of the ‘harder’ setters in the daily cryptic.
    I shall certainly add the Quiptic to my weekly crossword list – which makes 22(plus 5 from Araucaria’s monthly subscription magazine).
    Perhaps I should seek professional help(or maybe just get out more!) :)

  11. Peter Biddlecombe says:

    Tried this to see what it was like before looking at the report. I suspect the quiptic (presumably intended to be easy) has the opposite problem to the Telegraph’s “Toughie” puzzles – because it’s really difficult to assess and control puzzle difficulty accurately, the supposedly easy puzzle will sometimes be harder than the supposedly difficult one. Unless crossword editors recruit teams of several test solvers to try the puzzles after any editing, and then swap them based on the results (which seems impractical), this seems impossible to avoid.

    In this puzzle, I agree with Gaufrid about the ” doctor” ordering in 16A, and thought various other bits were a bit tricky for a beginners’ puzzle – I’m possibly less alert than I was just after breakfast, but this took me a minute and a half longer than today’s (admittedly much easier than usual) Times crossword. I’d also grumble mildly about “bet on” rather than “bet” for PUNT at 22D.

  12. Derek Lazenby says:

    Yee hah, it’s finally underway! And justified itself already. There were two or three I got without fully understanding why, and two or three more that required gadgetry to solve. So, no not the easiest of Quiptics. By comparison, I couldn’t sleep a few nights ago and got up and did numbers 1 to 3 at around 3 in the morning, and even in that half asleep state they only took about as long as this one by itself!

    I know I don’t normally do these till Saturday, butI got stuck about 3/4 of the way through Paul, so I wanted some light relief. Hah! That was almost a mistake :)

    I see some kind soul called Mary has given this thread a plug in the crossword’s comments. Well done and ta. Say hello sometime. Neil just did in #9

  13. odon says:

    Further thanks from another grateful novice :)
    These blogs really are incredibly helpful for people like me who have been trying to do the Guardian crossword for years but still find it quite hard work. I’m still at the stage where I feel very pleased to finish Everyman, the Monday cryptic or the quiptic puzzle (I managed this one apart from 24a) and although I rarely complete the cryptic, I have a go every day and always get something out of it. Since discovering this blog, though, I’ve improved considerably and enjoy the daily ritual more than ever.
    Thanks again!

  14. Gaufrid says:

    Hi odon
    Welcome to 15². Please continue to contribute. I’m pleased that you have found the blogs useful, that is what we are here for, to help newcomers to the world of cryptic puzzles and to help people improve their solving skills.

  15. crosser says:

    A big thank you to Gaufrid. I’ve always wished there was a blog for the quiptics as I enjoy the cryptic blog so much. Things get better and better!

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