Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Quiptic 600/Orlando

Posted by Pierre on May 16th, 2011


I see Orlando’s on double duty today, having also set the Guardian Cryptic.  This was a sound puzzle, but there were a number of pieces of quite tricky wordplay which I’m guessing would have presented a challenge for less experienced solvers.

dd  double definition
cd  cryptic definition
(xxxx)*  anagram
anagrind = anagram indicator


Caveman’s grand boxing match?  On the contrary!
If you’re going to fess up to not understanding a clue, it might as well be 1 Across.  Here’s the first tricky piece of wordplay, which proved too tricky for me.  The caveman reference is from the Fingal’s Cave Overture by Mendelssohn, but I need some help with explaining how the clue works.  Edit: EB and Eileen share the gold star for parsing this for me – see comments 1 and 2.

Waffle appearing after meat
A charade of RABBIT and ON, appearing (as in ‘the band is on at eight o’clock’).

Crazy girl with a crazy song
A charade of MAD and (A GIRL)*  Crazy is a definition first time round and an anagrind the second.

10  It’s strange – not even Capone has left the country
A charade of ODD and IT[AL]Y.  ODD is not even, and AL (Capone) has to be removed from the country.

11  A cushion possibly sat on quite frequently
A charade of A, SOFTEN and (SAT ON)*  ‘Cushion’ is used as a verb here and ‘possibly’ is the anagrind.

13  Musical performance one must follow
Gigi is the musical; GIG is  performance and Orlando’s inviting you to add I for one at the end.

14  Citizen’s native ground – around the northeast
(NATIVE)* around NE.  ‘Ground’ is the anagrind.  Nice surface.

17  Orlando’s reflected – outside, another setter danced
When the setter mentions him or herself, it’s usually an indication that there’s a me or I involved somewhere.  This is the case here, but it’s complicated by the ‘reflected’ bit.  ‘Orlando’s’ translates to ‘I’m'; when that’s reflected, you’ve got IMMI.  Then you need to put SHED around that to get your answer; ‘danced’ is the definition.  Shed is another setter in the Guardian stable.  I think this clue is a bit unfair for a Quiptic since if you’re only at this level and have never attempted a Guardian Cryptic then you’ve no way of knowing that fact.

18  Part of speech originating from parrot
Hidden in speECH Originating.  ‘Parrot’ is the definition.

20  Accountants collected a recent bonus
(A RECENT BONUS)*  ‘Collected’ is the anagrind.  Orlando is stereotyping accountants rather unfairly here, I think: they do much more than just keep score; they have full and interesting lives.

Q:  What’s an accountant’s preferred form of contraception?
A:  His personality.

23  Doctor in a US hospital made to jump
An insertion of MB for doctor in A US H.  Nicely misleading use of ‘jump’.

24  I allow small number to enter in the dark
An insertion of NO in I GRANT.

25  That’s French freight for a northern railway line
It’s a great surface and clever clue, but goodness, I wouldn’t have fancied this as a beginner.  It’s an insertion of C’EST (French for ‘that’s’) in A, N for northern and RY for railway.  ‘Line’ is the definition and ‘freight’ is telling you that ANRY has to ‘carry’ C’EST.

26  Singer may be employed for this type of music – Enya’s first to be introduced
Again, this is a big ask.  You need to know that ‘Singer’ is a brand of sewing machine (our mam had one where you had to wind the wheel on the side to make it go).  SWING is a type of music and when you introduce the first letter of Enya you’ve got your answer.


My word is extremely angry!
A kind of cd/dd.  Edit: Judy gets the silver star for explaining this properly at comment no 5.

What may be potted meat’s first eaten?  That’s elementary
See my comment at 25 across.  GERANIUM is what may be potted; M is the first letter of ‘meat’.  If the first ‘eats’ the second you end up with the chemical element with atomic number 32.

Ten cohorts, say, accepted by Aslan
I must get some new specs.  I spent far too long trying to solve this with ‘Asian’ as the final word.  It’s EG (for example, ‘say’) in LION.  Aslan is the lion in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis.  Aslan is also Jesus, according to some.

Why blood is thicker than water?
A cd.  RELATIVE DENSITY is another term for specific gravity.

Chesterton’s father at home with good poet
Father Brown is a fictional character created by G K Chesterton.  No, I hadn’t either.  Add him to IN for ‘at home’ and G for ‘good’ and you’ve got Robert BROWNING, whom I had heard of.

Adherents of religion first to leave river

Treatment making hotpot easy

12  Bargee whose diet was effective?
First step the SOED to find out what a ‘bargee’ is.  ‘A bargeman.’   Next step: get a few crossing letters.  Final step: remember that LIGHTER is a type of barge and twig the cd.

15  Flipping prophet has cast out animal
A prophet is a ‘seer’.  Flip that and you’ve got REES.  ‘Cast’ is THREW.  If you put that outside REES you end up with the small Asian mammal.  He’s a handsome little fellow and can drink you under the table.

16  Glance from mixed choir, etc

19  Game theory’s first applied to town in Ireland
The first letter of theory and ENNIS, the town in County Clare.

21  Putting name to river is futile
N for name plus OUSE, the river.

22  Clergyman not beginning soon
[C]ANON.  The answer is an archaic or literary word for ‘soon’.

Thanks to Orlando for the puzzle and apologies to accountants everywhere.

18 Responses to “Guardian Quiptic 600/Orlando”

  1. EB says:

    Thanks Pierre and Orlando.

    Orlando is one of my favourite setters so doubly enjoyable today; makes a nice change from Rufus on a Monday.

    1ac – G = Grand; Final = Match (eg Cup final.)
    So FIN(G)AL would be Match boxing (ie surrounding) Grand. Contrary to Grand boxing Match.

  2. Eileen says:

    Thanks for a great blog, Pierre.

    This took me longer than Orlando’s cryptic! I thought there were some cracking clues, including 1ac, which is FINAL [match] ‘boxing’ G[rand].

    The others were 9, 25 and 26ac – and I agree, all rather tricky for a less experienced solver.

  3. Eileen says:

    Foiled again!

  4. Pierre says:

    Thanks, both. I did think FINAL might be something to do with it, but couldn’t see it.

  5. Judy says:

    Thanks. I thought this was very hard for a Quiptic. I took 2 dn as IS + A(ngr)Y – extremes of angry.

  6. Pierre says:

    Of course, Judy, that’s indeed how 2dn works.

  7. Stella Heath says:

    Thanks Pierre. I missed the parsing of 1ac too, as well as that of 3d, and I agree with you re 25ac.

    Having done the cryptic first, and on seeing the second helping here, I had hoped that the former would have prepared me for this, but that was not the case :)

    Thanks for the BBC link – very interesting. I believe elephants also like a tipple, though they eat rotting windfalls, then start rolling about, so it seems tolerance is not related to size :lol:

  8. scchua says:

    Thanks Pierre and Orlando.

    Agree that this is towards the difficult end of the Quiptic spectrum. I enjoyed it, especially those moments when the penny dropped for I SAY, FINGAL, ANCESTRY, and SEWING, and BROWNING (I can recall the Father Brown stories from my younger days – one of the first encounters with the detective genre that’s still a staple in my reading diet).

  9. Bryan says:

    Merci Beaucoup Pierre and Many Thanks Orlando

    This was certainly trickier than today’s Cryptic. Maybe The Grauniad got ‘em mixed up?

    As an Accountant, I do accept your apologies because I’ve never counted Beans.

    Happily, I managed it without any help which is how I prefer to do them.

  10. Stella Heath says:

    HI sschua@8. Yes, I forgot to mention my enjoyment of the excellent “Father Brown Mysteries”, which generally put a slightly religious twist on the outcome of the murders he unravelled.

  11. Tokyocolin says:

    Thanks Pierre for an entertaining blog. The puzzle was also a pleasure to solve but it took me longer than the Saturday Prize and I will never again suggest that a newbie Cryptic solver tackle the Quiptic. If it is to be the toughest Guardian puzzle of the week it needs a new name.

  12. Matt says:

    Bryan @9 – I also wondered whether an admin error had put the Quiptic as the Cryptic and vice versa.

    Thought this was pretty hard for a Quiptic and I would go further than Quixote’s comment about defining “shed” as a fellow setter. I don’t think it’s right in the Cryptic where it smacks of “not-one-of-the-in-crowd-ism” (a well known ism), let alone in the Quiptic where I’m not sure I’ve ever even seen a Shed puzzle.

    Before I found this site, I never paid a moment’s attention to the setter’s name, let alone remembered them the next day (it simply didn’t occur to me that there might be different styles of crossword – I thought the editor would homogenise all setters with the only variation being “easy” “medium” or “hard” crosswords). I think therefore that this device is not only unfair on those who don’t do the cryptic, it’s unfair on those who don’t realise that the names are remotely of interest.

    I’ll get off the soap box now.

    Thanks for the Xword and blog though. I did enjoy the challenge (just challenging enough).

  13. caretman says:

    Well, I’m glad it wasn’t just me. This was certainly difficult for a Quiptic, much more so than the Cryptic, so I’m in the crowd that think the Grauniad mixed the two up. Thanks, Pierre, for the blog and explaining the FINGAL clue to me; I could work out the wordplay but the definition stumped me and googling didn’t help.

  14. Robi says:

    I thought that the beer at lunchtime might have affected my solving, but see that others thought this difficult – not suitable for a Quiptic and trickier than the other Orlando cryptic. Good conspiracy theory that the editor mixed them up!

    Thanks Pierre for a good blog – I liked your TREE SHREW link. That reminds me of the theory (urban myth?) that Europeans have, in general, a greater alcohol tolerance than the Japanese because the former (including children and especially the British) use to drink beer, as water was pretty polluted in the Middle Ages. The latter boiled their water to drink tea instead, thus not preserving the genes for degrading alcohol.

  15. Pierre says:

    Caretman at no 13: I’m glad it wasn’t just me too! With my definition of 1 Across and your parsing of it, we’d have made a good pair this morning (or my morning, anyway).

    Robi at no 14, one of the things I like about 225 is that you get to learn stuff. I don’t think your theory about the different tolerance to alcohol between Europeans and people from Asia is an urban myth: I’m sure I’ve read somewhere that the two populations have a different genetic make-up in that regard. Something to do with alcohol dehydrogenase, if I remember well. If one of our scientifically literate commenters (or indeed, lurkers) is still awake, perhaps they’ll fill us in.

  16. Robi says:

    Pierre – well, if you insist. I did know about the different alcohol dehydrogenases, which you can check out here. The real question, however, is whether the differences can be explained by beer consumption and the concommitant effects on the gene pool.

  17. Pierre says:

    Before the blog goes cold, Robi, I’ll just add that (in my limited experience) crossword setters, bloggers and commenters have the allele that codes for the ability to process copious amounts of alcohol without adverse consequences.

  18. stiofain says:

    Bit too tough for a quiptic I agree. Can I get genetically modified with this Japanese gene? It would save me a fortune

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