Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Quiptic 603 / Hectence

Posted by Big Dave on June 6th, 2011

Big Dave.

While I really enjoyed this puzzle, I thought that many of the constructs and indicators were a bit too difficult for a Quiptic.  As with the previous Quiptic that I reviewed from this setter there were a lot of clues involving anagrams (11 out of 26).

All definitions given are from Chambers 11th Edition. Most of the standard abbreviations used in the wordplay are shown with the unused letters in brackets e.g. R(ight).


1a Percussion made by water heater connected to taps? (11)
KETTLEDRUMS these percussion instruments are a charade of a  container for boiling water and a verb meaning taps rhythmically

9a Brie cooked in a small quantity is bitter (7)
ACERBIC – put an anagram (cooked) of BRIE inside A (from the clue) and a small metric quantity to get an adjective meaning bitter

10a Right time to squeeze college for alumni get-together (7)
REUNION – start with R(ight) and EON (time) and insert UNI (college) and the result is a get-together for alumni (former students)

11a Go off ready to go on round-trip ticket (3,6)
DAY RETURN – a charade of an anagram (go off) of READY and a word meaning a go or opportunity gives a ticket for a round-trip

12a Italian river is setting for sexy picture (5)
PHOTO – put the River PO around (is setting for) an adjective meaning sexy to get a picture taken with a camera

13a Poultry’s allegedly contaminated (4)
FOUL – what sounds like (allegedly) another word for poultry is actually an adjective meaning contaminated

14a Honours special prices for famous people? (10)
CELEBRATES – split this verb meaning honours or commemorates as (5,5) and it could mean special prices for famous people

16a Organise a giant sale of Fenland (4,6)
EAST ANGLIA – an anagram (organise) of A GIANT SALE gives the location of the Fenland

19a Fine’s overdue causing lengthy dispute (4)
FEUD – F (Fine grade of lead pencils) followed by an anagram (over) of DUE gives a lengthy dispute

20a Queen’s greeting knight bearing flower (5)
RHINE – R (Regina / Queen), HI (greeting), N (knight in chess notation) and E (East / bearing) together give this famous river (flower)

21a Having a low opinion of Princess’s patronage (9)
DISFAVOUR – a word meaning having a low opinion of could be split (2’1,6) to give Princess Diana’s patronage

23a Short letter to public school about grant (7)
NOTELET – this short letter is created by reversing (about) Crosswordland’s favourite public school and following it with a verb meaning to grant or allow

24a Between morning and last night song is composed (7)
AMONGST – to get a word meaning between or surrounded by put AM (Ante Meridiem / in the morning) and T (the last letter of nighT) around an anagram (composed) of SONG

25a Without a model Chanel cannot display calm (11)
NONCHALANCE – an anagram (display) of CHANEL CANNO(T) without the T (Model T Ford) gives a word meaning calm or compusure


1d Calm down! You don’t have to go topless! (4,4,5,2)
KEEP YOUR SHIRT ON – a phrase meaning “calm down!” could be interpreted as not having to remove an upper garment

2d Data set out includes note about lab explosion (5)
TABLE – this data set out in an orderly fashion is created by putting seventh note of the scale in sol-fa notation around an anagram (explosion) of LAB

3d Address temptation to keep jumble etc (7)
LECTURE – to get this address or speech put a temptation around an anagram (jumble) of  ETC

4d Put into confusion with grenade explosion (7)
DERANGE – this verb meaning to put into confusion is an anagram (explosion) of GRENADE

5d They seize power from moneylenders supporting president (8)
USURPERS – these people who seize power are derived by putting USURERS (moneylenders) around (supporting?) P(resident) – in a down clue supporting usually means placed after / under

6d Verbal blunder causing feelings to hot up (4,2,3,6)
SLIP OF THE TONGUE – this phrase meaning a verbal blunder is an anagram (causing) of FEELINGS TO HOT UP

7d Difficult about trial with being a bit deaf? (4-2-7)
HARD-OF-HEARING – a charade of HARD (difficult), OF (about) and HEARING (a trial) gives a word meaning being a bit deaf

8d Thoughtless in joining argument against team’s right to tea break (13)
INCONSIDERATE – an adjective meaning thoughtless is a charade of IN, an argument against, a team, R(ight) and an anagram (break) of TEA

15d Strategy is to get guys hacked in to break local area network (4,4)
GAME PLAN – the strategy here comes from ME (guys / men hacked / without the last letter) inside GAP (break) followed by L(ocal) A(rea) N(etwork)

17d Split the bill for travel from Holland (2,5)
GO DUTCH – a phrase meaning to split the bill is a charade of GO (travel) and a word meaning from Holland

18d This month everything’s put in place (7)
INSTALL – INST (instant / current month) followed by ALL (everything) gives a word meaning to put in place

22d Love short new dress (5)
ADORN – drop the final letter from to ADOR(e) and add N(ew) to get a verb meaning to dress or decorate

12 Responses to “Guardian Quiptic 603 / Hectence”

  1. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Big Dave & Hectence

    This was quite straightforward.

    Fortunately, Crux in the FT was more challenging.

  2. crypticsue says:

    I agree with BD that this was on the challenging side for a Quiptic. Quite enjoyable though, thank you Hectence.

  3. Digby says:

    Popped across from Big Dave’s blog, where I saw that he had reviewed this one. Not familiar with the usual standard, but it appears about 2* in difficulty? I don’t have the paper to check against, but is the clue for 2d complete?

  4. Bryan says:

    Digby @ 3

    Here’s the complete clue for 2d.

    Data set out includes note about lab explosion (5)

    You can see it online here:

  5. Digby says:

    Thanks Bryan – I thought it must be something like that from BD’s explanation.

  6. Stella Heath says:

    Thanks Big Dave. I agree that this was a tad complex in places for a quiptic, though as usual with Hectence some excellent surfaces.

    Talking of which, you may wish to revise 2d. you’ve left the end off.

    Thank you Hectence.

  7. Big Dave says:

    Sorry about 2d – I must remember to hold the Ctrl key down when dragging and dropping from the clue!

  8. Robi says:

    Yes, a bit complicated for a Quiptic.

    Thanks Big Dave; nerdy comment that it should be ‘these data……..are created…’ in your 2d.

  9. Big Dave says:

    @ Robi

    Chambers gives data as both a plural noun and a singular noun!

  10. crosser says:

    Thanks, Big Dave. I needed your explanation for 20a because I couldn’t understand where the E came from (“bearing”). The rest was pretty straightforward, though parsing 15d took me some time.

  11. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, Big Dave.

    I enjoyed this one from Hectence and thought that the anagram of ‘feelings to hot up’ for SLIP OF THE TONGUE was outstanding.

  12. Derek Lazenby says:

    The only thing I was baffled by was the last sentence in post 1. I thought these not being too challenging was the whole point?

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