Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Quiptic 574 / Arachne

Posted by Big Dave on November 15th, 2010

Big Dave.

No problems with today’s offering from Arachne.  My favourite clue was 9 across.

All definitions given are from Chambers 11th Edition or the Oxford Dictionary of English. Most of the standard abbreviations used in the wordplay are shown with the unused letters in brackets e.g. R(ight).


1a MOUSETRAP – combine the Jerry of Tom & Jerry with PART reversed (recalled) to get a long-running play

6a PLONK – a double definition – to put down roughly and cheap wine

9a COSMETIC SURGERY – in this semi &Lit clue an anagram (drastically) of CORRECTS MY GUISE gives a medical procedure defined by the whole clue

10a WHAT – a word meaning that which is the initial letters of Withstands Hatred Always Triumphs

11a RUDIMENT – a an elementary or primitive form of something (basic) is a charade of R(ight) U(niversity) DIME (a bit of money) and NT (New Testament / books)

14a BOSSA NOVA – this Brazilian dance is a charade of a supremo, A and a star that suddenly increases in brightness

15a SET-TO – badgers live in a SETT; add O (love) to get a fight

16a TULSA – A SLUT (a drab / a whore) when reversed (backward) gives an American city that Gene Pitney only managed to get a day away from

18a FREE VERSE – put REEVE inside (enthralled by) an anagram (imaginative) of SERF to get poetry that does not rhyme or have a regular rhythm

20a ORCHARDS – Places where fruit is grown are a charade of OR and the edible leafstalks of a variety of white beet (vegetables)

21a OVER – a word meaning about sounds like (we hear) OVA (eggs)

25a STOCKING FILLERS – an anagram (are sadly) of FOR KING CELLISTS gives these minor diversions at Christmas

26a PUTIN – split as PUT IN this can mean to appoint, but it’s actually the name of the Russian Prime Minister and former President

27a EXONERATE – a charade of EX (former partner) ONE (I) and RATE (to judge) gives a verb meaning to free from blame


1d MACAW – drop the first and last three letters (wingless) from (fil)M A CAW(ing) to get a bird

2d UNSEATS – a word meaning throws (from a horse) is derived by putting SEA (salt) inside an anagram (processed) of NUTS

3d EVEN – 7-1 looks like betting odds, but 7 minus 1 is 6, an even number  [Thanks to Tokyocolin for pointing out that SEVEN minus one letter is (S)EVEN, making this a better clue that I first thought. ]

4d RUIN – put I inside RUN (race) to get a word meaning to cause destruction

5d POSTULATED – a word meaning claimed is an anagram (conflict) of USA PLOTTED

6d PERMISSIVE – an adjective meaning free is constructed by putting MISS (girl) and I (one) inside (imprisoned by) a PERVE (sicko)

7d OVEREAT – a word meaning to stuff yourself with food is constructed from OVER (on high) and an anagram (after exercise) of TEA

8d KEYSTROKE – KEY (secret) and STROKE (caress) give an action performed by a typist

12d BANANA SKIN – combine BANANAS (crazy) and KIN (family) to get the possible cause of one’s downfall?

13d CONFIDENCE – a secret is constructed from a CON (scam) followed by a FENCE (crook) around (hidden inside / with secret) ID(entity)

14d BOTTOMS UP – a charade of BOTTOM (last) and SUP (to drink) gives an alternative interjection to Cheers!

17d LOCK OUT – combine LOCK (rugby player) and OUT (known) to get a phrasal verb meaning to bar

19d RIVIERA – an anagram (abroad) of I ARRIVE gives a coastal area

22d ROSIE – this girl comes from IS reversed (flipping) inside(to make a sandwich) ROE (eggs)

23d AFRO – this hairstyle is hidden and reversed (seen back) inside FORFAR

24d FLEE – a verb meaning to bolt is most of FLEE(T) (fast)

7 Responses to “Guardian Quiptic 574 / Arachne”

  1. Tokyocolin says:

    Thanks Big Dave for a clear and colorful blog to an enjoyable puzzle.

    You might add that at 3dn, seven minus one (letter) also gives EVEN.

  2. Big Dave says:

    @ Tokyocolin

    I missed that. When you find an answer you don’t always look for a better explanation!

  3. Stella says:

    Thanks, Dave. Love the illustrations!

    I enjoyed this puzzle, as usual with Arachne. Great surfaces and amusing images. As well as 9ac., I laughed at 12d. 😆

  4. Pommers says:

    Hello BD and thanks for an excellent review.
    Also thanks to Arachne for a very enjoyable puzzle.
    Favourite clue has to be 12d, once the penny dropped which took a bit of time!

  5. Big Dave says:

    I had seen 12d before, which rather took the edge off!

    “Crazy family that’s dangerous when one puts one’s foot down (6,4)” Sunday Telegraph 2540 by Brian Greer (Brendan)

    “Crazy family a possible source of embarrassment (6,4)” Telegraph Toughie 196 by Messinae

    “Crazy family a possible source of embarrassment (6,4)” Telegraph Toughie 117 also by Messinae

    I only realised today that Messinae had “slipped” that one in twice.

  6. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, Dave. This is more like it for a Quiptic – well-constructed, beginner level clues with a bit of wit thrown in. Most enjoyable puzzle and a colourful blog as well – a good start to the solving week.

  7. crosser says:

    Thanks Arachne for a lovely quiptic with clever clues and thanks Big Dave for a very enjoyable blog with visual aids!

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

× five = 5