Never knowingly undersolved.

Private Eye/Cyclops 441 – Escape kettle

Posted by beermagnet on April 25th, 2011


There’s always a bit of fun to be found in the Eye, and the crossword is the icing on the cake in the back pages. This puzzle was in the usual style and while I hesitate to say it was on the easy side, as I didn’t finish it in one session, I noted that I had 19 answers in place after the first pass which is possibly a record. Unfortunately one proved to be wrong (11/12). Nevertheless, that was most of the grid, and the last few weren’t, in retrospect, too hard, but I had a real blind spot with 28A Shares which I had to leave to reconsider another day.

1 OVERCOOK Fry excessively superior to Ramsay? (8)
DD or Charade of OVER (Superior to) COOK (Ramsay) Ref Gordon Ramsay the celeb chef with a face suitable for radio
6 ESCAPE See about getting contraceptive installed (bolt) (6)
CAP (contraceptive) in side (SEE)* AInd: about. Def. bolt.
9 SCRUFF Bum that’s located at back of neck (6)
DD The scruff of the neck is where it is acceptable to pick up puppies, children etc.
10 EYE TEETH Canines e’s holding still with the screwing around (3,5)
YET (still) inside E E (E’s), then (THE)* AInd: screwing around. Def: Canines. First answer entered
11/12 PHONE HACKING Heeding the call as a tabloid press reporter? (5,7)
CD (Is there another classification?) Once I had a few crossing letters PHONE seemed clear but I initially wrote in Phone Tapping. Luckily 7D Cheek was clear enough once seen and I realised my mistake. Besides, the ongoing Murdoch sleaze saga is normally referred to as a “Phone Hacking” scandal.
14 ANNE Royal, pissed without Diplomatic Corps (4)
[c]ANNE[d] The abbr. for the Diplomatic Corps is CD, and that is what is seen on their vehicles I believe.  Presumably a throwback to when French was “The language of Diplomacy” 
15 EMBALMMENT Procedure to stop a stiff one going to waste (10)
CD. A word that, because of its double M, looks just wrong.
18 BACKSLIDER Recidivist arse embraces Labour’s left wing then right (10)
L (Labour’s left wing) inside BACKSIDE (Arse) then R[ight] Def. Recidivist
21 LOTS Plans secretly to go topless – scores? (4)
[p]LOTS I found this tricky
22 AT LARGE USA president climaxes great abroad (2,5)
[us]A [presiden]T LARGE (great)
24 V-SIGN “Get screwed”, digitally? (1-4)
CD or is it a misleading Single Def. I had trouble after falling for the ref to “digitally” to think of computing stuff and was stuck think of E-whatsit solutions till I had the meagre crossing letters
27 ASSEMBLE Idiot: endless symbol for what certain Welsh members do? (8)
ASS (Idiot) EMBLE[m] (endless symbol). Def. refers to the devolved Welsh Assembly whose “MPs” are AMs – Assembly Members
28 SHARES Releasing back credit, Archer’s dodgy second investments (6)
(ARCHERS – RC)* Aind: dodgy, then S[econd] Def. Investments. Last answer entered due to missing the def. coupled with convoluted wordplay, plus crossing letters that could lead to many words.
29 KETTLE Round up students, say – which could boil up (6)
DD One of which refers to recent police crowd enraging techniques
30 SWASTIKA It was oddly seen in reggae style music as fascist symbol (8)
(IT WAS)* AInd: oddly, inside SKA (reggae style music)
2 VICE Gripping tool very intensely, climax everywhere – tops! (4)
V[ery] I[ntensely] C[limax] E[verywhere] Favourite clue due to cracking surface
3 ROUGHNECK Rig worker Rocky wants snog (9)
ROUGH (Rocky) NECK (snog) Spent a while trying to anagram “wants snog” and then when I got the crossing K, tried to anagram “Rig worker” – Rocky is such a clear Anagrind surely.
4 OFFENCE Mrs Whitehouse often took it as ‘unsavoury’ and ‘dirty’ topless scene (7)
OFF (unsavoury) ([s]CENE)* AInd: ‘dirty’
5/26 KNEE-JERK Unthinking blow to the balls? (4-4)
DD The classic reflex reaction metaphor, plus the classic close range incapacitation technique
6 EYEBALL Look aggressively at organ and shag American (7)
EYE (organ) BALL (Shag American) Def. Look aggressively at
7 CHEEK One half of arse’s brass (5)
DD Again: One physical, one metaphorical
8 PUT AN END TO Lay Anne, wretchedly tense in middle of act, and finish off (3,2,3,2)
PUT (lay) (ANNE)* AInd: wretchedly, T[ense] inside DO (act)
13 IN BAD TASTE Abstained, stupidly taking tip from Democrat – that’s a bit off (2,3,5)
(ABSTAINED [democra]T)* AInd: stupidly. The only question here was which tip of Democrat to take
16/25 BAD NEWS “Bonkers: bawdiness is to go!” is not what you want to hear (3,4)
(BAWDINESS – IS)* AInd: Bonkers
17 MALIGNANT It’s rank penetrating bloke with temperature – rancorous (9)
ALIGN (rank) inside MAN (bloke) T[emperature]
19 LEGIBLE Member, shilly-shallying Lib, ultimately Conservative, that’s plain (7)
LEG (Member) (LIB)* AInd: shilly-shallying, [conservativ]E
20 ROSS SEA Jonathan needs drink presenting Antarctic location (4,3)
ROSS (Jonathan) SEA (drink)
23 AGENT Representative of, say, getting an erection in embrace of TV presenter? (5)
EG< (say, getting an erection) inside ANT (TV Presenter – ref. the one on the left)

Went to make my monthly offering at the sperm donation clinic last week.  It was a dismal failure.
I was late – I missed the tube and came on the bus.

4 Responses to “Private Eye/Cyclops 441 – Escape kettle”

  1. Tony Skelding says:

    Whilst I too am an avid fan of the Eye crossword and I consider that, in the event that I cannot solve it or perhaps provide an adequate explanation for some of the answers, then your web page could be useful. However I STRONGLY resent that you posted your solution before it was available in the Eye. I stumbled on your solution by accident and it effectively ruined it for me. I have just been released from hospital and consequently last night was my first opportunity to attempt it. One day later and I would not have bothered and attempted 442 instead.

    It seems to me that your only motive for posting the solution prematurely is to show that you are a smart arse.

    Bye the way, I bet you put in “phone tapping” for 11/12.

  2. beermagnet says:

    TS: If you peruse this site you will find that we maintain a very clear rule that we do not blog a prize puzzle until after its closing date. There are other sites on t’internet that provide solutions much earlier that you may have stumbled upon. Now you know this resource is here I hope you will make appropriate use of it.

    My main motive for contributing the blog is that I enjoy it. In particular I find that when I write full explanations I find interesting and illuminating nuances to clues and solutions that I had previously glossed over. However, that doesn’t detract from your perseptive analysis.

    Yes, I did say that I’d initially entered “phone tapping”, it is the usual phrase.

    By, by.

  3. bamberger says:

    TS you are having a laugh in PE style aren’t you? A la “I was so disgusted with your cartoon on p25 that I have immediately renewed my subscription.” But just in case you aren’t, I’m not sure how you can accidentally stumble on the solution anymore than certain councillors (Eyes passim) acccidently stumble on adult sites with their council laptops. But even if you did, you don’t have to read every answer. I suppose the logical conclusion is that every blogger on this site is a smart arse as they blog the solution before the next days paper.

  4. Alan says:

    TS: Pull yourself together, you buffoon. Please don’t insult us by trying to emotionally manipulate the bloggers here with details of your recent hospital stay, and please don’t insult us further by pretending that you accidentally stumbled across the site. If you’d genuinely wanted to attempt the puzzle you’d have bought the paper and attempted it without trawling the internet first.

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>

8 + = eleven