Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Quiptic 587 / Arachne

Posted by Gaufrid on February 14th, 2011


I cannot comment as to how this puzzle compares with other Quiptics with regard to degree of difficulty because I haven’t solved one since my original blog, published when we first started covering this puzzle on 15², and that was nearly six months ago (my memory doesn’t stretch back that far!).

However, to me this puzzle seemed straightforward enough, though I have a slight concern regarding part of the wordplay in 27ac and the anagram indicator in 6dn. I will leave it to regular solvers to comment in more detail regarding the level of difficulty etc.

Definitions are underlined in the clues.

1 Vicar’s mistress returned for gun (8)
  REVOLVER A charade of REV (vicar) and LOVER (mistress) reversed (returned)
5,12 Tearful Homo sapiens blows up seat of government (6,2,10)
9 She tries to help but is a pain, a crazy nut (5,4)
  AGONY AUNT A charade of AGONY (a pain) A and an anagram (crazy) of NUT
11 Penny, Ian, Oscar and Joanna (5)
  PIANO A charade of P (penny) IAN and O (Oscar)
15 Join kids surreptitiously making farmyard noise (4)
  OINK Hidden in (surreptitiously) jOIN Kids
16 In conclusion, sadly, one met end about the middle of January (10)
  DENOUEMENT An anagram of ONE MET END around (about) U (the middle of JanUary)
18 Statistics office laughs about Treasury chief’s attacks (10)
  ONSLAUGHTS A charade of ONS (statistics office) and LAUGHS around (about) T (Treasury chief {chief indicating the first letter of}) – ONS is an abbreviation for the ‘Office for National Statistics’.
19 Mate‘s quiet voice (4)
  PAIR A charade of P (quiet {piano}) and AIR (voice) – mate and pair are being used in their verbal sense.
21 Provoke Anglican rebel to get involved in controversial issue (5,7)
  CAUSE CELEBRE A charade of CAUSE (provoke) CE (Anglican {Church of England}) and an anagram (to get involved) of REBEL
24 Chap in Rio regularly left city (5)
  CAIRO The alternate letters (regularly left) of ChAp In RiO
25 Late news does not ultimately cause distress (4,5)
  STOP PRESS A charade of the last letters (ultimately) of doeS noT and OPPRESS (cause distress)
26 Starts to employ natural gas in new, exciting source of motive power (6)
  ENGINE The initial letters (starts to) of Employ Natural Gas In New Exciting
27 Rugby players accept new undergarments (8)
  KNICKERS KICKERS (rugby players) around (accept) N (new) – I am not happy with ‘kickers’ being clued by ‘rugby players’.
1 Nora Batty’s horse (4)
  ROAN An anagram (batty) of NORA
2 Old instrument for filling ravioli (4)
  VIOL Hidden in (filling) ravioli
3 Ballad’s rough refrain (3,3)
  LAY OFF A charade of LAY (ballad) and OFF (rough) – rough=off as in ‘I’m feeling a bit off/rough today’ but the more correct synonym would be ‘off colour’.
4 Experience leads us to think this cook seduced a guest (8,5)
6 No right to punish Daphne for having no parents (8)
  ORPHANED A charade of O (no) R (right) and an anagram (punish) of DAPHNE – is ‘punish’ acceptable as an anagram indicator?
7 Feline, spiteful Thai woman? (7,3)
  SIAMESE CAT A pun using SIAMESE (Thai) and CAT (spiteful woman)
8 Tale in which pint-sized violent male is taken out (5,5)
  SHORT STORY A charade of SHORT (pint-sized) and STORmY (violent with m for male taken out)
10 Urban rabbit, widely discussed (4,2,3,4)
  TALK OF THE TOWN A cryptic definition using urban=TOWN and rabbit=TALK and a straight definition
13 Travel fast, getting round in chopper? (10)
  MOTORCYCLE A charade of MOTOR (travel fast) and CYCLE (round) – a ‘chopper’ is “a type of motorcycle or bicycle with very high handlebars and a low saddle”.
14 US gunman is deceptively meek (10)
  UNASSUMING An anagram (deceptively) of US GUNMAN IS
17 Political leader hides love for country (8)
  CAMEROON [David] CAMERON (political leader) around (hides) O (love)
20 Channel Islands port turns up well north of this (6)
  TROPIC A charade of CI (Channel Islands) and PORT reversed (turns up)
22 Female came last to this place (4)
  HERE A charade of HER (female) and E (camE last)
23 Goddess lives twice (4)
  ISIS IS (lives) IS (lives)

13 Responses to “Guardian Quiptic 587 / Arachne”

  1. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Gaufrid.

    I really enjoyed this which I considered somewhat more difficult than our usual fare.

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, Gaufrid. Is it really six months since the Quiptic blog started? Time flies (as does your new owl – a very handsome bird).

    Arachne’s been consistently good with her Quiptics in that time, I think, and I enjoyed this one. About the right level, but with some cleverly constructed clues. I too didn’t much like KICKERS for ‘rugby players'; and CYCLE for ’round’ in 13dn? I’m sure someone will come up with a sentence where you could interchange these two words, but right now I can’t.

    But they’re small niggles. I really liked ONSLAUGHTS, EDUCATED GUESS and TROPIC.

  3. Gaufrid says:

    Hi K’s D
    Having spent the best part of 2½ years sat on his perch, Mr Owl was getting a little portly so I decided after Christmas that it was time he had some exercise.

    I too initially questioned round/cycle but I could see a connection and then found that under ‘cycle’ Chambers Thesaurus gives “circle, round, rotation, oscillation,…..”.

  4. Wanderer says:

    Thanks Gaufrid for your blog of this thoroughly enjoyable puzzle. Forgive my ignorance, but I wonder if someone could explain how Joanna = Piano? The clue was simple enough but the definition defeats me. I loved Urban Rabbit, with its use of URBAN=OF THE TOWN.

  5. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Wanderer
    Joanna is a slang term for a piano. It comes from Cockney rhyming slang and rhymes because a Cockney would pronounce piano as pianner or piana.

  6. Eileen says:

    Hi K’s D and Gaufrid

    I wondered about cycle = round, too, then thought of ‘the daily round’ – Chambers’ dictionary gives, for cycle, ‘a period of time in which events happen in a certain order’ and, for ’round’, ‘a cycle [!] or recurring series of events and doings’.

    I don’t do the Quiptic every week but reckon to do Arachne’s, because I like her puzzles. I’d agree with K’s D’s assessment.

    My favourites in this one were PIANO [Cockney rhyming slang, Wanderer] and EDUCATED GUESS.

  7. Wanderer says:

    Aha. Another new one on me. Many thanks Gaufrid and Eileen.

  8. Tokyo Colin says:

    Thanks Gaufrid and Arachne

    I have been doing most of the Quiptics since the blog started and commented several times that they were absurdly difficult for newcomers. But I found this to be a Goldilocks Quiptic – just about right. Nothing too obscure or convoluted, a nice range of clue types and some humour sprinkled through so that beginners can understand why we persevere.

    Luckily for me, Cockney rhyming slang begat Australian rhyming slang. As a kid, our piano was “the goanna” so it wasn’t much of a stretch. A big ask otherwise I suppose.

  9. Robi says:

    Nice one, Arachne, and thanks to Gaufrid for his useful blog. :)

    I was familiar with ‘chopper’ as a type of bike, but hadn’t realised it was also a motorcycle.

    Re. clue 6: ‘punish’ is in the Chambers Crossword Dictionary as an anagram indicator, so I guess it must be OK.

    I thought this was OK for a Qiptic with a number of anagrams. I, too, was not particularly impressed with KICKERS for rugby players; didn’t know that KICKER is the German colloquial term for a soccer player

  10. Robi says:

    Whoops! How could I forget the choppers in easy rider 8)

  11. Stella Heath says:

    Thanks for stepping in, Gaufrid.

    I enjoyed this, as usual with Arache – more fun than today’s (Tuesday) cryptic.

    I didn’t remember ‘chopper’ for bikes, but Joanna vaguely rang a bell (or sounded a note :) )

  12. pommers says:

    Nice puzzle and perfect for a Quiptic.

    27ac – In rugby the guy who kicks conversions and penalties is usually the same one all the time and he is often referred to as the team’s ‘kicker’. IMHO the clue is fair!

    My thanks to Arachne, for a pleasant interlude over breakfast,and to Gaufrid for the review..

  13. Derek Lazenby says:

    Not the easiest, nor the most difficult. Just about right as too easy teaches nothing.

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