Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Quiptic No 601 by Moley

Posted by PeterO on May 23rd, 2011


A Quiptic setter new to me, she hits the entry level spot on, with varied clue types, and nothing too convoluted.

4. Large flag for an Egyptian god (6)
OSIRIS Charade of OS (outsize, ‘large'; strictly, extra large) + IRIS (‘flag’).
6. Inept act rendering little reward (8)
PITTANCE Anagram (‘rendering’) of ‘inept act’.
9. Large noise about injury (6)
LESION Charade of L (‘large’) + ESION, an anagram (‘about’) of ‘noise’.
10. Heavenly antics for fliers (8)
SKYLARKS At first I wrote “definition and cryptic definition”, but it is more like definiton and literal interpretation.
11. Latest count rectified for recruiting agent (6,5)
TALENT SCOUT Anagram (‘rectified’) of ‘latest count’.
15. Confess to aim for an unprofitable strike (3,4)
OWN GOAL Charade of OWN (‘confess’) + GOAL (‘aim’).
17. Knee-jerk reaction spoiled start (4-3)
KICK-OFF Charade of KICK (‘knee-jerk reaction’) + OFF (‘spoiled’).
18. Wealthy locum’s beat, turned tail (11)
SUBSTANTIAL Charade of SUBS (‘locums’) + TAN (‘beat’) + TIAL, an anagram (‘turned’) of ‘tail’.
22. Bus returning to old city, Fabians’ central residential district (8)
SUBURBIA Charade of SUB (‘bus returning’) + UR (‘old city’) + BIA (‘FaBIAns central’).
23. Caress causing a seizure (6)
STROKE Double definition.
24. Fake fuel switch is shocking (8)
SHAMEFUL Charade of SHAM (‘fake’) + EFUL, an anagram (‘switch’) of ‘fuel’.
25. Flies with alien in a fashionable group (3,3)
JET SET Charade of JETS (‘flies’) + ET (extraterrestrial, crossword’s favourite ‘alien’)
1. Reject is protected by soft feathers (6)
DISOWN Envelope (‘protected by’) of ‘is’ in DOWN (‘soft feathers’. Strictly, down is distinct from feathers in that the former lack the quill of the latter).
2. Choose bag for one of Fagin’s lot (10)
PICKPOCKET Charade of PICK (‘choose’) + POCKET (‘bag’). Fagin leads a band of junior pickpockets in Dickens’ Oliver Twist.
3. Vigorous, ethical movement takes time (8)
ATHLETIC Envelope (‘takes’) of T (‘time’) in ATHLEIC, an anagram (‘movement’) of ‘ethical’.
4. Offering absolution somehow, leaving us out (8)
OBLATION An anagram (‘somehow’) of ‘absolution’ with ‘us’ left out.
5. Impudent but fashionable channel (8)
INSOLENT Charade of IN (‘fashionable’) + SOLENT (‘channel'; the channel separating the Isle of Wight from the south coast of England).
7. Anorak expert? (4)
NERD Cryptic definition, sort of.
8. The rose-breasted ibis is found in this area (4)
EAST I am not sure how this is supposed to work; the answer is hidden in ‘rose-brEASTed’, but the clue reads back-to-front; and I cannot find reference to any such actual ibis. Am I missing something?
12. Healthy compound of Oasis, Blur and UB40, originally (10)
SALUBRIOUS An anagram (‘compound of’) of ‘oasis, blur’ + U (‘UB40, originally’).
13. Moodiness, sadly, when one son leaves the game (8)
DOMINOES An anagram (‘sadly’) of ‘moodiness’ with an s removed (‘one son leaves’).
14. Wealthy one is loud and eloquent (8)
AFFLUENT Charade of A (‘one’) + F (forte, ‘loud’) + FLUENT (‘eloquent’).
16. Person looking at a newspaper (8)
OBSERVER Double definiton.
19. Jack left the amphibian to gossip … (6)
NATTER A NATTER[jack] is a toad.
20. … that is repeated by 4 across’s wife (4)
ISIS ‘is’ ‘repeated’. Perhaps now I will remember which is the god and which the goddess.
21. Sailor-scholar in a group (4)
ABBA Charade of AB (able-bodied ‘sailor’) + BA (bachelor of arts, ‘scholar’). The hugely successful Swedish pop music group.

13 Responses to “Guardian Quiptic No 601 by Moley”

  1. TokyoColin says:

    Thanks PeterO for the early and excellent blog. I agree that this is finally a puzzle which merits the title of Quiptic. And an excellent one.

    A very quick solve, my last one in was 19dn. With all the crossing letters in place it had to be NATTER but I couldn’t find the amphibian connection until I came here. I tried Tarnatter and Nabatter to no avail. Never heard of the Natterjack but since its habitat is confined to Europe, that is not surprising and means that the word will not be obscure for most solvers.

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, Peter.

    Agree with you and Colin, that this was a Quiptic that does what it says on the tin: clear clueing, a good variety of clue types, no obscurities and some clever surfaces. Quiptics must be tough to set, but Moley’s done a good job with this one.

    SHAMEFUL and SKYLARKS I particularly liked today. I too am struggling to make the clue work in 8dn.

  3. Stella Heath says:

    Thanks Peter. As you say, this was spot on, and with some nice surfaces. It’s not the first Moley for me, and I’m usually pleased to see the name at the beginning.

    I would have described 10ac as a charade, with ‘heavenly’ = SKY

  4. Stella Heath says:

    Sorry, I don’t know what happened there, as I didn’t touch the ‘submit’ button.

    … and ‘antics’ = LARKS.

    For 8d, I think Moley was looking for a phrase where EAST falls exactly in the middle, and which also makes for decent surface reading. I find the bird referred to in Wiki as the rose-breasted chat, but it is among the group of ibises and spoonbills, so I think it’s Ok. Anyway, I don’t know what I’d have made of ‘chat’ as a bird, and ‘ibis’ reads better IMO.

    I’m another one who’d never heard of the natterjack, but the answer was obvious even for a beginner, and that’s one of the joys of crosswords, isn’t it, learning new words?

  5. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Peter you have been a busy bee today.

    Reportedly, Moley has been setting Quiptics since 2000!

    Many thanks Moley this was very enjoyable.

  6. Bryan says:

    And, according to The Grauniad Archive, she set Cryptic 591 which appeared on 16 May 1932:

    I refuse to speculate on her age.

  7. Robi says:

    I agree with the comments above that this was spot-on for a Quiptic.

    Thanks PeterO for a good blog – I think Stella might be right in that EAST is directly in the middle of rose-breasted ibis. I’m less convinced about the chat. Although I’m not a twitcher, it doesn’t look much like an ibis to me. There is a scarlet ibis though; maybe that is the reference (it does have a red breast)?

  8. Robi says:

    P.S. I think it might be the sacred ibis that does live in the East. It is supposed to have a white breast, but at least in this picture, it looks vaguely rose-coloured.

  9. Pelham Barton says:

    @Bryan (#6):

    You will find exactly the same crossword as Quiptic 591 which appeared (late) on 14 March 2011:

    I think we can all work out what happened there.

    I agree with others that this was just right for a Quiptic. I agree with Stella Heath (#3 and #4) about 10ac, and share people’s unease with 8dn.

  10. Robi says:

    P.P.S…….. or this one (Madagascan Sacred Ibis.)

  11. Stella Heath says:

    Hi Robi, the last one looks more like it. I googled the phrase for images and came up with a whole load, only a few of which resembled an ibis, and most were in flight, so it was hard to appreciate the colour of their breasts. I gave up. Obviously you know better where to look.

  12. Pierre says:

    Moley seems not to have much luck with her Quiptic puzzles. When I blogged her Quiptic no 584 here

    it was littered with errors.

  13. Derek Lazenby says:

    Late on parade so it’s all been said. But maybe the sheer length of 8 deserves a quick :(

    But appologies for being off air in general for a while. Bleedin’ shingles on top of evrything else! Sigh.

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