Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Quiptic 580 by Nutmeg

Posted by Pierre on December 27th, 2010

Pierre.
It might have been post-Crimbo lethargy on my part, but I found this hard going in places, with some convoluted clues and a term I’d never heard of before. However, there were some nice touches too.  Sorry the blog is a bit later than normal, but watching Ponting lose it in the Ashes had to be fitted into my morning schedule today, and being a man, I can’t multi-task.

 

dd double definition

cd cryptic definition

* anagram

Across

1 WHISTLE-STOP
A charade of WHISTLES (catcalls) and TOP (kill), defining a trip with lots of short halts. Using “politician’s” seemed a bit random to me, unless I’m missing something.

9 OILCANS
An insertion of IL (one litre) and CAN (an example of a container) in OS (outsize). I didn’t fall in love with this construction; I think it’s a bit clunky and has a lot going on for a beginner-level puzzle.

10 RELAPSE
An anagram (suffering) of (E’S PALER)*

11 TOWEL RAIL
An insertion of OWELR (LOWER)* in TAIL (behind). The anagram indicator is “rough”.

12 IDEAL
A homophone of “I deal”, which is what a trader might say or assert.

13 NUMB
“Company” is a synonym for “number” and two-thirds of that is “numb”. Hmmm.

14 PERPETUATE
An anagram (startled) of (UTTER A PEEP)*

16 BANKRUPTCY
Carey Street, I learned today, is the London thoroughfare where the bankruptcy court used to be situated. This was a new one on me.

19 STEN
A king (R) taken out of STERN.

20 ALLOW
A charade of ALL (everyone) and OW! (that hurt). Lovely surface and a fine clue.

21 EBULLIENT
An insertion (in) of BULLIE (briefly intimidated) in ENT. If you’re not already familiar with ENT as “hospital department”, now’s the time. “Ear, Nose and Throat”, and the department where doctors will give you the advice never to put anything in your ear that’s smaller than your elbow.

23 CANASTA
Hidden in AmeriCAN A STAr. It’s a card game, but I don’t know much about it.

24 DOGGONE
A cd. The setter here isn’t Nutmeg, but the four-legged variety, who if he’d sadly snuffed it, would be gone. I presume the definition is “darned”, but I’m not sure what the asterisks are all about.

25 CONNECTICUT
A charade of CONNECT (associate) I and CUT.

Down

1 WELL-WOMAN CLINIC
An anagram (being treated) of (I L CALLOW MEN IN WC)*

2 IN ALL
Finally stripped of its outside letters.

3 TO SPARE
An insertion of SPA in TORE. Rent here is the past tense of the verb to rend, to tear.

4 EAR-FLAP
An anagram (produced) of (RAF PLEA)*

5 TALK INTO
TALKING TO (a carpeting) without G for good.

6 PIPPED AT THE POST
A cd.

7 ROOT AND BRANCH
A charade of ROOT (a homophone (we’re told) of route) AND BRANCH (fork).

8 TELL ME ANOTHER
An anagram (working) of (ALLOTMENT HERE)*

15 FROWNS ON
A charade of FR (father) and OWN SON. “Supporting” works because it’s a down clue.

17 PRESAGE
An insertion (carrying) of RE (on) and S (son) in PAGE (servant). I didn’t much like this one, because for me, “threaten” is not a good definition of “presage”.

18 COULDN’T
An insertion (held) of LD (first letters of locate dissident) in COUNT.

22 LOGIC
An insertion of GI (serviceman) in LOC (reversal of COL, colonel). I wasn’t keen on “stabs” as the insertion indicator.

8 Responses to “Guardian Quiptic 580 by Nutmeg”

  1. Stella says:

    Thanks Pierre, I echo your reservations about this puzzle. I’ve no idea what a 1d is, and in Wiki Carey St. is in Maryland, so thanks for explaining that one. Hardly beginner level!

  2. Pierre says:

    Hi Stella. Yes, I had to Google Carey Street as well, but I did find fairly quickly the definition I needed. WELL-WOMAN CLINIC is a reasonably well-known phrase in the UK: it’s an initiative set up some time ago under the NHS which offers women the opportunity for regular check-ups to pick up early on any potential health problems. There is the equivalent WELL-MAN CLINIC, but as we all know, men don’t do doctors until it’s too late.

  3. Tokyo Colin says:

    Thanks Pierre. You may count me among those with reservations. I have been doing the Quiptic recently since I have a friend trying to enter into crypticland via the Quiptic, but like many of them this one doesn’t seem to address that audience. Many of the clues were obscure, convoluted or just plain clunky. Not difficult for a regular, but unsuitable as a “cryptic with training wheels” in my opinion. I think the Sunday Everyman and the usual Monday Rufus are better choices, albeit without your excellent explanations. (Although I don’t know what I solved this morning since it was untitled when it arrived on my iPhone and doesn’t match today’s Guardian blog.)

  4. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks Pierre for your blog. I vaguely recall Truman using “whistle-stop” campaigns from back of trains in late 40’s. That is probably the politician reference in 1A? I took the asterisks in 24A to indicate a minced oath (darned, damned) so went with doggone. Presage meaning threaten was new to me; thanks for the explanation.

    Happy New Year!

  5. Derek Lazenby says:

    Yes far too tough for the job spec. I’m out of fuzzy brain recovery mode now but still couldn’t quite finish it. Comments on specifics as above.

    Yes, men don’t do doctors, which is why I’ve not heard of something specifically female!

  6. PeterO says:

    This one definitely required some thought. A whistle-stop tour in the US has primarily political connotations, as grandpuzzler pointed out. It is odd that Wikipedia identifies Carey Street in Baltimore. There is a little more relevant information at Queer Street.

  7. Pierre says:

    Thanks, grandpuzzler and Peter for the explanation of WHISTLE-STOP. I never realised that was where the expression came from, although it’s certainly a pretty well known expression in British English.

  8. Robii says:

    Rather late in the day for a comment, but Christmas got in the way. Managed this, although I thought it was tough in places. Thanks Pierre, especially for the explanation of 24a – I was getting so used to setter meaning ‘me’ or ‘I’ that I missed the dog connection.

    Whistle-stop tour is a pretty common political expression, I think.

    Didn’t know anything about Carey Street until I googled it.

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