Never knowingly undersolved.

Private Eye/Cyclops 424 – Besmear drummer

Posted by beermagnet on August 30th, 2010


Half-way through solving this I thought I was on for a record time – covering half the grid in a very few minutes. Then I slowed and then got interrupted by Real Life. Coming back to it a few hours later I finished it off with not much trouble except for 1/23 CROSSWORD SETTER which took far too long and especially the final 17D BESMEAR.

Re: The blog title: Drummers do seem to come for a pasting. My No.1 Son is a drummer. [God! this sounds like an AA meeting “My name is beermagnet and my son is a drummer”]. Anyway, the band he plays in parted company with the chap on Rhythm Guitar. But rather than find a new guitarist they found another drummer – so Son1 moved over to play the “Rhythm Axe” instead – Cue comments such as “Oh! You’ve become a musician!”. Anyway, I saw one of their gigs and can report they all enjoy playing together now – mind you, I’d rather he was still playing Rachmaninoff on the Grahnd Piahno. Instead, it’s Heavy Metal. I did get my hearing back after 3 days – next time I’ll wear earplugs – they do.

By the way have you heard about the new Indian dish, chicken tarka …

1/23 CROSSWORD SETTER CROSSWORD (Bugger, say) SETTER (Shaggy cur) Def: Cyclops. I don’t mind admitting this took a while and several crossing letters
6 ICBM I (“Eye” Eye’s report) C (Cameron’s first) BM (Brenda mishandled initially). Intercontinental Ballistic Missile. Another hangover from the 50s that is still around but people don’t talk about so much. First answer entered
9 SPIRAL (LIAR MPs – M)* AInd: Tossing
10 TENT POLE E inside TNT (Energy eating explosive) POLE (European) Def: Trouser snake formation. Referring to that unbidden condition that occurs to the male of the species typically when teenage in the most enbarrassing circs.
13 IN MY BOOK (OK I’M BONY)* AInd: Gaga
14 LARIAT (A TRAIL)* AInd: Tweaked
15 HOLD IT OLD (Senior) inside HIT (smack)
17 BEVERAGE BE[a]VER (Fanny missing a) AGE (period)
19 DRUG-PUSHING DRUG (E) PUSHING (advertising)
25 GRAND DUKE G[ood] RAND (money) DUKE (fist)
2 ROPE OR< (OR perverse) PE (exercise)
3 STROPPY DD/CD Referring to Sweeny Todd, who, as a barber, would strop his razor so that it was so sharp you wouldn’t feel a thing …
4 WALKABOUT LAW< (Statute reversed), (UK BOAT)* AInd: rocked. Attempt to mislead you to think about Radio Caroline “The Boat that Rocked”
5 RETHINK (THE)* AInd: nuts, inside RINK (Area for curling)
6 IN POWER IN (elected) P[arty] OWER (one with obligation) Def: Labour is no longer
7 BELLY LAUGH BELLY (corporation) LAUGH (break up)
8 SNOG GON[ad]S< (Balls turned up without a date)  Liked this one.
12 ANY OLD IRON (RANDILY + O)* AInd: dicky, ON (working)
14 LIVE IN SIN CD I think, unless there’s more to this:
Get knotted? No, carry on as you are (4,2,3)
16 DRUMMER [ban]D RUMMER (more wacky). I think the question mark at the end of this clue is just to improve the surface reading. If so it worked because it’s my clue of the grid:
Ringo: band’s last member to get more wacky? (7)
17 BESMEAR Hidden in stroBES: “ME A Rogue . Last answer – yet again it is a hidden that I could not see till the end.
18 RIGHTED RIGHT (just) ED (Miliband)
20/21 POOP DECK POOP (shit) DECK (dress)

… It’s like chicken tikka, but a little ‘otter

6 Responses to “Private Eye/Cyclops 424 – Besmear drummer”

  1. bamberger says:

    25a I was torn between wordplay being “grand” for good money and as you have it, g + rand. What was the “given” doing there?
    Much easier than last one -loved 17a

  2. Gazza says:

    On 16d I thought the question mark was an indication that “rummer” is not a real word (in that sense). I agree with bamberger on 17a being excellent.

  3. Beaker says:

    I really enjoyed this one, but had to ‘phone a friend’ for the top right corner, trying to force SCUD in for the long range threat somehow (EYE = C U refusing to leave my head and blinding me to all else) at the same time as getting IN POWER but not why it was right.

  4. Dozer says:

    I got ‘Crossword Setter’ and laughed, but couldn’t manage any of the other clues!

  5. John says:

    14D: Get knotted = Get married, so not a CD
    16D: Rum = strange, twisted, wacky (old usage, such as “She’s a rum un”, meaning a bit unusual in a negative sense)

    I’m probably showing my age here!

  6. beermagnet says:

    bamberger: In 25A The “Given” is there to provide the structure to the clue in a way that makes a sensible and humourous surface reading. Rewording you might get “Good money fist gives a Prince” but that doesn’t make much sense. I would agree that “Good money, fist a Prince” could work I think it is better the way it is.

    Gazza: Rummer is a word, as John says. The world would be rummer if occasional adjectives didn’t take their comparative form.

    John: Yes, I know “Get knotted” was a ref to “tieing the knot” but I can’t see how else to define the clue type except as a Cryptic Def. The clue is certainly too misleading to call it a Single Def. “Get knotted, No” might suffice for a Def. But what to do with the rest of the clue then? Can “carry on as you are” also define ‘Live in sin’, making it a DD? Am I missing something?

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