Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Quiptic 602 Don Putnam

Posted by scchua on May 30th, 2011


This was on the easy side, even for a Quiptic.  Some, like the first and last clues, where the answers practically identified themselves, to make up the Quick half of the hybrid, and the other half, cryptic, but not by much.  Thanks Don (perhaps you were reaching out to really new beginners).  (Definitions are underlined in the clues.)

PS. Thanks to BigDave for swapping spots with me this/next week. 


7 Strongest beer unfinished at short fiesta (8)

BEEFIESTBEEr minus last letter(unfinished) +(at) FIESTa without last letter(short). 

9 Protection of a Royal Marine belonging to us (6)

ARMOURA RM(Royal Marine) + OUR(belonging to us). 

10 Drink noisily (not quietly) and speak unclearly (4)

SLUR :  SLURp(drink noisily) minus(not) P(piano: a direction, in music, to perform softly,quietly). 

11 Mrs Mopp has one plan, which is kind (10)

CHARITABLE :  CHAR(Mrs Mopp: personification of a charlady,char) +(has) I(one) TABLE(plan).  Defn:  Adjective, kind as in a generous way. 

12 Spiritual knowledge is breaking into song making a comeback (6)

GNOSIS :  Reversal(making a comeback) of {IS in(breaking into) SONG}. 

14 What makes tripe run blue? (8)

PRURIENT :  Anagram(what makes) of TRIPE RUN.  Defn:  Inciting or encouraging lustfulness, erotic, hence blue movies/pictures, another term for pornography.  From the surface I wonder if there is anyone out there with a tripe fetish.  Closest I guess is the fictional Portnoy and raw liver (which became part of his family’s dinner).

15 Credit (very large) by a crooner? (6)

CROSBY :  CR(credit) OS(very large,outsize) BY.  Defn:  Bing (1903-1977), one of the most successful crooners of the century.  His rendition of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas is a perennial favourite.


With Grace Kelly.

17 Duty of a king in a squabble (6)

TARIFF :  A R(king) in TIFF(squabble,a petty quarrel).

20 An insect gets released inside but this one is missing (8)

ABSENTEE :  SENT(released) in(gets…inside) A BEE(an insect). 

22 This springtime festival is a cry for help (6)

MAYDAY :  MAY DAY(1st day of May, traditionally (since 13C) a festival,celebration of the coming of spring (northern hemisphere of course), but in 20C replaced by celebrations in honour of workers, hence the alternate Labour Day.  Defn:  International radio communications distress signal used by ships and aircraft.  From shortening of the French “venez m’aider”: “come help me!” 


23 Footballers’ hairstyle might take the cake (7,3)

CHELSEA BUN :  CHELSEA(footballers from the London team) BUN(hairstyle where hair is tied into a coil or knot.

      Chelsea Buns Recipe

24 Composer who’s near collapse (4)

ARNE :  Anagram(collapse) of NEAR.  Defn:  Thomas Augustine, English composer, famously of “Rule, Britannia!”. 

25 Cricket stroke? Take a look! (6)

GLANCE :  Double defn:  1st:  Where the cricket ball bounces off the bat at an oblique angle.  2nd:  A brief look

26 Boy there inside, ready for a shave (8)

LATHEREDTHERE in(inside) LAD(boy). 


1 Greek torment, not exactly nice (8)

HELLENIC :  HELL(torment) + anagram(not exactly) of NICE

2 A collection of animals, no tail in view, in the distance (4)

AFARA FARm(collection of animals) minus last letter(no tail).

3 Receivers should not be sat on too long (6)

FENCES :  Double Defn:  1st:  Receivers of stolen goods, with intent to sell the same.  2nd:  Cryptic reference to “sitting on the fence”, ie. being indecisive.

4 Roman emperor, not altogether calm, getting one Gaul destroyed (8)

CALIGULACALm minus last letter(not altogether) +(getting) I(one) + anagram(destroyed) of GAUL.

5 French friend has the talent to show cordiality (10)

AMIABILITY :  AMI(French word for friend) +(has) ABILITY(talent).

6 Being bad-tempered, Eleanor needs us to retire first (6)

SULLEN :  Reversal(retire) of {NELL(variant of the name Eleanor) +(needs) US}.  Not sure if “first” is of any significance here.

8 Vagabonds: upmarket, note (6)

TRAMPS :  Reversal(up, in a down clue) of MART(market) + PS(post-script, a short note after the main message.

Chaplin with Jackie Coogan in The Kid, 1921   The Tramp as seen by Dorothea Lange in the 1930s.

13 Digging support round a run-down building (10)

SHOVELLING :  SLING(support, for a broken arm, say) round HOVEL(run-down building).

16 Fish could be very tired (8)

BATTERED :  Double defn:  1st:  Process of coating eg. fish with batter before frying.  2nd:  Looking very worn or damaged after hard usage, eg. a very tired suitcase

18 Uncle’s wife ran off outside and thus displayed emotion (8)

FLAUNTED :  FLED(ran off) around(outside) AUNT(uncle’s wife).  Defn:  Past tense of to display ostentatiously, show off, what one has, often material stuff like one’s sports car, money, physical attributes like a well-built body, and intangible things like one’s learning, upbringing, intellect, and I guess it could also apply to emotions, like one’s happiness, sorrow, lust.

19 Making any girl nearly bald, like Rosemary (6)

HERBAL :  HER(referring to any girl) + BALd minus the last letter(nearly).  Defn:  Adjective describing rosemary the herb.



21 Look! An unending hold used in bed! (6)

BEHOLDHOLd minus the last letter(unending) in BED.

22 Short time taken to find one piece of fruit in me (6)

MINUTE :  I(one piece) NUT(fruit) in ME.

24 What’s drunk when sales don’t open (4)

ALESsALES minus initial letter(don’t open).

8 Responses to “Guardian Quiptic 602 Don Putnam”

  1. Stella Heath says:

    Thanks Scchua. There was certainly no mix-up with the cryptic this week!

    At 6d, I think perhaps Mr Putnam wants to make very clear the instruction to put SU first.

    Thanks for an easy sail, after I struggled a little with Brendan’s offering

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, scchua, nice blog.

    As Stella says, there can’t be any complaints about a straightforward Quiptic this week. All pretty sound, with some nice surfaces too, so well done and thanks to the setter.

  3. scchua says:

    Hi, Stella. 6D, initially I had considered what you’ve said, but then, “retire” applies to both NELL and US, and therefore “first” is out of place if it is to apply only to US. In fact, it is redundant, as the clue works just as well without it.

  4. Stella Heath says:

    I agree, Scchua, I just thought he might consider that newcomers could do with a little extra direction.

  5. Tokyo Colin says:

    Thanks scchua for the very thorough blog.

    I found this to be uneven in difficulty and as a result it took me about as long as the cryptic (although that yielded very quickly for me today.) For example, at 7ac I was looking for abbreviated synonyms of beer and fiesta (lagefest anyone?) and it took a while to realise how simple it really was. 21 dn was the same.

    But then 12 ac required me to dredge GNOSIS from the archives of my memory, “very tired” to BATTERED is quite a stretch and I didn’t know ARNE or Mrs Mopp. So I felt whiplashed between too easy and (temporary)bewilderment. I would be interested to hear what a true beginner/Quiptic target solver thought of this.

    Re 6dn, because of the “first” in the clue, I presumed this meant SU (us reversed) replaced the first E in Ellen. But I have since discovered that Ellen, unlike the less likely Nell, is not a variant of Eleanor. So I agree with your parsing and the conclusion that “first” is redundant and confusing.

  6. Robi says:

    Thanks, Don; I thought this was about right for a Quiptic and definitely easier than the Cryptic.

    Nice pictorial blog scchua; my last in was FENCES, which I thought was a good clue.

  7. Derek Lazenby says:

    Still not doing much on the PC so this was appreciated.

  8. crosser says:

    Thanks scchua for a very clear blog. I put in FLAUNTED for 18d but felt that was pushing it a bit for “displayed emotion”.

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