Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Quiptic 597/Nutmeg

Posted by Pierre on April 25th, 2011

Pierre.

Called off the bench by Gaufrid as substitute blogger.  I suspect the difficulty is that the Guardian website is still showing last week’s puzzle.  Anyway, if anyone does access the crossword, then this is my (very quick, since I’m trying to multi-task) take on what I thought was a good Quiptic, with only one or two trickier clues.

I enjoyed this, and am sorry that I couldn’t give it full attention.  I need to devote myself to the second task for the next hour or so, but will be back later to tidy up any queries (including those of my own which I’ve indicated below).

Across

DECAMP
An insertion of M for minute in DECAP, which is PACED backwards.

ECLIPSES
It’s CLIPS, cuts, in a reversal of diocese, SEE.

MANILA
It’s the capital of somewhere I haven’t time to look up, and it’s MAN plus a reversal of ALI.

10  FORGET IT!
A charade of TIT (bird) following FORGE (fashion).  Liked this one.

11  BEETLE CRUSHERS
A homophone (sound of) those who would want to put down the Fab Four, The Beatles.  I presume BEETLE CRUSHERS are footwear, but I’m too young to remember and too rushed to look it up.

13 FILL THE GAP
An anagram of (HALF PIGLET)*

14  DELI
A reversal of I LED (light emitting diode).

16  RAKE
A double definition.

18  FLATFISHES
An insertion of TFI (reversal of one foot) in FLASHES.  Great clue, where Nutmeg is making use of the fact that the plural of members of the fish family is often the same as the singular.

21 HUNGER STRIKERS
A very clever clue, exploiting the two versions of the word ‘fast’.

23  IN DETAIL
It’s hidden (to some extent) in a reversal of humiLIATED NIxon.

24  ARDOUR
Because folk from the East End of London allegedly say ‘arder for harder.  But it’s a good surface.

26  ODDEST
The definition’s ‘most rum’, but beyond that, I’m going to ask the audience.

Down

DIME
A charade of DIM and E for English.

CONGEAL
An insertion of (GONE)* in CAL for California.

MILITATE
This is phone a friend time, since I’ve used up ask the audience.

CHOIRMASTER
(RICH MAESTRO’S)*  Nice almost &lit.

INGEST
Clever.  A homophone of  IN JEST.

SO THERE!
A charade of SOT (the regular letters of ‘escort’) and HERE, in attendance.

SATISFIES
An anagram of (IF TEA IS)* inside SS, ‘on board’ a ship.

12  EVERLASTING
A charade of TING, the sound of a bell after (SEVERAL)*

13  FORTHWITH
A kind of double definition: the famous bridge over the River Forth has a reputation for needing constant repainting.

15  BICKERED
Tough for a Quiptic: it’s C (the leader in Cheerleader, inserted into BIKE and then followed by RED for traffic light.

17  KINGDOM
Again, very cleverly done: it’s (DOING)* inside K and M as the two abbreviations for ‘thousands’.  Great surface.

19  HORMONE
An insertion of MO for doctor in HORN (cape) with the addition of E (last of ‘male’).

20 BEAT UP
Nutmeg is asking you to transfer the first two letters of UPBEAT to the end.

22 GRIT
A charade of GR for King George (in Latin) and IT.

9 Responses to “Quiptic 597/Nutmeg”

  1. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Pierre
    Many thanks for volunteering to cover this puzzle. I only hope your ‘second task’ wasn’t spoilt.

  2. Bryan says:

    Many thanks, Pierre, I really enjoyed this.

    My take on:

    9a Philippines
    26a (M)ODEST = Demure + D for Daughter
    3d Militate = Count

  3. Gaufrid says:

    To fill in the blanks:
    9ac Manila is the capital of the Philippines.
    11ac Beetle crushers were the thick soled, suede topped shoes worn by teddy boys back in the ’50s and it is also a slang term for heavy work or army boots.
    26ac is D (daughter) in (drunk) [m]ODIST (losing head demure).
    2dn is I LIT (I turned on) in MATE (last move {chess}).

  4. Eileen says:

    Many thanks, Pierre.

    Pipped by Bryan and Gaufrid for the explanations but just wanted to say that I enjoyed this – loved FORGET IT!

    And also, re MILITATE: on the [BBC!!]lunchtime news:

    But Brig Dennis said high tempo and “unrelentingly demanding” Afghan operations were combining to “mitigate against special forces recruitment”.

    Oh dear!

  5. caretman says:

    Also pipped by the others on explanations, but I thought this was a good, challenging quiptic, rather more difficult than standard but definitely enjoyable. I particularly liked 18 ac for precisely the reason that Pierre gave, the realisation that skate needed to be read as the plural for it to work. On the other hand, I thought 21 ac was not a particularly cryptic definition, but that may have just been a clue that I sussed immediately.

  6. Pierre says:

    Many thanks for the explanations. I should have seen ODDEST even though I was in a rush, but MILITATE is a tricky one, I must say. I did enjoy solving this one though.

    The Grauniad site is STILL showing last week’s puzzle.

  7. Robi says:

    Nice puzzle, although a bit too tricky, I think, for a Quiptic.

    Thanks Pierre for a good blog. I did manage to parse MILITATE as above.

    Eileen @4; my Oxford Thesaurus says that: ‘mitigate and militate are frequently confused on account of their similarity in form….’ so perhaps we shouldn’t be too hard on the Brig. :)

    BEETLE CRUSHERS were also known as brothel creepers – I think I had a pair once.

  8. Bryan says:

    The Quiptic has finally arrived on the Main Grauniad site …

    But now it claims to have been posted since yesterday at 00.00 GMT!

  9. Eileen says:

    Hi Robi @7

    I know they are! That was my point: if a Brigadier is doing it – and on the BBC …

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nine + = 17