Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Quiptic nº 583, by Hectence

Posted by Stella on January 17th, 2011


A somewhat pessimistic offering from Hectence, in tune with the economic climate of recession, shortages and cuts. Most of the surfaces were good and the answers gettable, although I have one or two quibbles regarding correspondences, as expressed below. I actually cheated on 10 across, partly because I wanted to finish and get the blog written up, but also for the reason I give in my parsing.

8. ICE LOLLY 1 + CE (= the Church of England) + LOLLY, an informal word for ‘money’
9. OSIRIS The Egyptian god of the afterlife is obtained from O (‘love’ in tennis) +IS around SIR, = ‘knight’.
10. TRAP The last letter of ‘posT’ +< PAR (= ‘standard’) reversed. ‘Raising of standard’ indicating reversal is not really acceptable for an across clue.
11. PAINKILLER This word for ‘analgesic’ is indicated by PA (dad) + ILLER around ‘drINK’, with ‘Dr.’ (‘doctor’) dropped off
12. VERITY A rather old-fashioned word for truthfulness, from seVERITY, or ‘rigour’, without its two first letters (‘leaders’)
14. ALL RIGHT ALL = ‘everyone’ and the RIGHT in British politics is the Tory party, which, put together, yields a synonym for ‘Ok’
15. REJOICE The Queen is ER (Elizabeth Regina),reversed (‘coming over’),+ JOICE, which sounds the same as the surname of the author of Ulysses and The Dubliners, James Joyce. The nomophone is indicated by ‘reported’.
17. ABDOMEN wOMEN are ‘girls’here, without ‘w’ for ‘wife’, after an angram of *BAD, indicated by ‘upset’.
20. LADY GAGA The pop diva’s stage name is given by LAD for ‘boy’ + Y(oung) + GAGA meaning ‘foolish’
22. MISHAP This is an anagram (entangled) of *HIS inside MAP, or ‘plot’. There is no capital at the beginning of the clue, as the surface reading is meant to be a continuance of the previous one, which ended in … This can be misleading, as the solver could have been looking for a male pop star at 20, but it is legitimate.
23. INCOMPLETE This can mean ‘short’, and derives from INCOMe, or ‘wage’ with the final letter ‘cut’, + PETE, a boy’s name, around L, the pound symbol, ie. ‘money’.
24. BLUE A metaphoric way of saying ‘depressed’ which sounds like ‘blew’. The problem here is that in the clue, ‘squander money’ is in the present tense, which would be ‘blow’.
25. MAKE DO A quasi double definition, the primary meaning is ‘stretch resources’, with MAKE for ‘prepare’ and DO, a noun meaning ‘party’
26. CULPRITS CUTS (‘spending reductions’) around L(arge), in clothing sizes, for example, + PR (‘public relations’) + 1 for ‘unit’, to give ‘those responsible’ for a wrong.
1. SCORSESE A nice surface, with ‘the 20’s’ giving us SCORES around S, the first (letter) of ‘silents’, + E for ‘English’, though the director is, of course, American, and wasn’t born until 1942!
2. SLIP This is PILS, or ‘lager’, reversed, as indicated by ‘knock back’
3. FLOPPY This adjective meaning ‘limp’ comes from the beginning and end (extremely) of PainfullY after the odd letters of FaLl + OP, short for ‘opus’, or musical ‘work’. It’s a common device to change the function of a word: in this case, a verb in the surface reading is the definition for an adjective in the answer, taking advantage of one of the quirks of the English language, its ability to switch between functions without changing the form of a word.
4. CYNICAL A ‘disillusioned’ person, like Oscar Wilde, may well express cynicism. The wordplay is<NYC, or New York City, reversed (‘set back’,  another function change) +I and L(eft) around CA, the abbreviation for California.
5. BOOK CLUB To BOOK something can mean to ‘arrange’ an event, and a ‘driver’ is a golf CLUB
6. VILLAINOUS Literally ‘wicked’, rather than the figurative use of the surface reading. A VILLA is a ‘holiday home’, then debts are IOU’S around N for ‘number’.
7. HI-TECH Meaning ‘electronically complex’, which we get from HITCH, or ‘problem’, around (‘involving’) E(nergy)
13. IVORY TOWER IVOR is a Welsh man’s name, + Y, one of the unknowns in algebraic calculations, + TO + WE for ‘us’ + R(uns, in cricket), yielding an expression for a figurative place of retreat from worldly woriies.
16. CHAMPION The French for ‘mushroom’ is CHAMPIgnON, as I suspect is quite common knowledge, and we ‘export’ ‘g’ for ‘good’ and ‘n’ for ‘number’ to leave a prize-winner.
18. EVALUATE The definition is ‘give opinion of’, which we arrived at via and anagram of *VEAL – ‘cooked’ + U, a homophone of ‘you’ often used by texters, whence ‘noisily’ + ATE = ‘devoured’
19. CADENCE Chambers defines this as ‘modulation or intonation; rhythm’, which can be the same as ‘beat’ although is music,’cadence’ is a succession of closing chords. The wordplay is CAD (=’scourndrel’)+ Fence, or ‘guard’ without the first letter (‘heading off’)
21. ANNUAL An anagram of *A NUN, indicated by ‘breaks’ + LA, short for Los Angeles, reversed, or in ‘retreat’, produces a word meaning ‘once a year’
22. MUESLI This Swiss breakfast is an anagram of *SMILE around ( = upper class, or ‘posh’)
24. BURY A double definition to end up with: the town in Greater Manchester, and the verb meaning ‘inter’ or ‘entomb’, ‘lay to rest’

9 Responses to “Guardian Quiptic nº 583, by Hectence”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, Stella.

    Re 24ac: this word has caused discussion before. ‘To blue’ [past tense ‘blued’] means to squander.

    I agree entirely re 10ac.You seem to have omitted the wordplay for 4dn.

    [You seem to have omitted the wordplay for 4dn.]

  2. Eileen says:

    Sorry for the repetition! :-)

  3. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you Stella for a very full and informative blog.

    I found this mostly a pleasing puzzle, with – like you – one or two niggly bits mainly to do with synonyms. Does GAGA mean foolish? Is MISHAP bad luck and is a plot a map?

    Elsewhere, I fully agree with you and Eileen about 10ac. East to west or vice-versa yes; raising, no. In 23ac, there’s one of my pet dislikes: setters use ‘boy’s name’ to indicate a diminutive. Pete for Peter, Ed for Edward, and so on. Why? Big boys called Peter can also be called Pete (but don’t ever, ever, do that to me, just so everyone knows).

    Eileen’s explained BLUE, and the clue therefore works, but I was on the same train as you. For a cryptic, maybe, but possibly not here. And since it is a verb, we don’t want to get into a discussion about the present participle, do we? (It’s blueing, btw.)

    But overall, a good beginner-level puzzle imho, so thank you Hectence.

  4. Stella says:

    Thanks Eileen, for your explanation of ‘blue’ – it didn’t even occur to me to look for that :)

    The wordplay you mention got lost somehow between copying and pasting, and I’ve now recovered it.

    My dad was never a Pete either, K’s D :) Regarding ‘gaga’, I understand it as senile, or besotted. I think the latter could be taken as ‘foolish’

  5. Robi says:

    Thanks Hectence and Stella for an informative blog.

    I,also, was a bit confused by 24a. I think there might be a triple meaning here for blue, viz:
    squander, depressed and ‘blue money’ as in a film ( and a Van Morrison song ( Otherwise, I don’t see what ‘money’ is doing in the clue.

    I agree with you about 10 as I understand ‘raising’ is usually used in down clues. In 26, I took PRI as Public Relations Institute as a PR unit, but your explanation is better.

    19 and 23 were the last ones in, and I took a while to parse VERITY, although I quite like that clue.

  6. Stella says:

    Hi Robi, thanks for the links. I didn’t know of either, took ‘money’ as simply the natural object of the verb ‘squander’.

  7. Derek Lazenby says:

    Rufus was easier, and that was hard for a Rufus! Stuck on 12, 15, 23, 13, 16. Not sure why now I see the answers. Especially as my first chance for ages to volunteer on the Cholsey & Wallingford Railway after all the health crap is going to be Ivor the Engine at Easter. One might have thought that would bring Ivor closer to the front of the brain! Must be old age catching up.

  8. crosser says:

    It’s a bit late now, as I’ve only just got round to doing the quiptic, but in 22a I saw “plot” as a verb:to plot (eg a route) is to map (out).

  9. crosser says:

    My comment at 8 was for Kathryn’s Dad, by the way.

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