Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Quiptic 607 Orlando

Posted by scchua on July 4th, 2011


This is one of the better Quiptics I’ve completed.  Not difficult, but a balanced mix of tricks to enjoy.  Thanks Orlando.  (Definitions underlined in clues.)


1 Cab heading off to the centre of Rome? It’s taken for granted (5)

AXIOM :  tAXI(cab, taxi without its initial letter,heading off) +(to) OM(letters in centre of the word Rome).

Defn:  A statement that is taken to be self-evident,for granted, and thus forms the basis for further arguments and conclusions. 

4 Max may be associated with this space for nuts (8)

HEADROOM :  Cryptic defn:  The ROOM,space above people’s HEADs,nuts, critical with low-ceilings or short doors.  The association with Max is from the futuristic TV series in the late 80s, Max Headroom, featuring punk rock and things cyberspace.   Max Headroom was a computer generated character derived from the brainscan of an investigative reporter, named after the last words the reporter saw before he was knocked off from his motorcycle while pursuing someone into a covered parking lot.  My clue of the day.


8 Does it teach children how to get on? (8,6)

BOARDING SCHOOL :  Cryptic defn:  Play on “how to get on”, figuratively how to advance in life, and literally how to get on,BOARD eg. a train, ship, plane, etc.

10 Attractive person concealing wickedness is diabolical (8)

DEVILISH :  DISH(attractive, in sensual/sexual context, person) around(concealing) EVIL(wickedness).

11 Virgin soldiers accepting assistance? (6)

MAIDEN :  MEN(soldiers) around(accepting) AID(help,assistance).

12 Phone box designed by European who fears foreigners? (9)

XENOPHOBE :  Anagram(designed) of PHONE BOX +(by) E(European).

15 Country beginning to suffer distress (5)

SPAIN :  S(first letter,beginning of suffer) PAIN(distress, usually emotional, but could apply to physical as well).

17 Revolvers smuggled in somewhere else (5)

REELS :  Hidden(smuggled) in somewheRE ELSe.


18 Written work takes half a month and then correspondence is incomplete (9)

NOVELETTE :  NOVE(half of the word, November,a month) +(and then) LETTE(correspondence,letter without its last letter,is incomplete).

19 No longer bound to get involved in duet (6)

UNTIED :  Anagram(get involved) of IN DUET.

21 Get away, having swallowed half of loaf or slice of meat (8)

ESCALOPE :  ESCAPE(get away) around(having swallowed) LO(half of the letters of the word loaf).

24 What may be prescribed to remedy tenant’s despair (14)

ANTIDEPRESSANT :  Anagram(remedy) of TENANT’S DESPAIR.  Another favourite today, with the definition and wordplay intertwined in sense.  (Does it really matter whether one calls it an &lit or semi-&lit, or not call it anything at all, as long as it’s intellectually enjoyable?)

25 Enterprise, perhaps, making celebs groovy (8)

STARSHIP :  STARS(celebrities) HIP(groovy,with it).

Defn:  The Star Trek spaceship, USS (United Space Ship) Enterprise.  There was a series of ships of the same name (but not registration number) as the story continues in various TV series and movies.  And no, I’m not a Trekkie.


26 Marked absence of Edward? (5)

NOTED :  NO(absence of) TED(an abbreviated nominal substitute for Edward).


1 Bad sex tour I’m organising, having no first-hand experience! (12)

AMBIDEXTROUS :  Anagram(organizing) of BAD SEX TOUR I’M.

Defn:  Descriptive of those lucky people who are equally adept at using both hands, in contrast to most of us who have a preference for using either the right or left hand.  Cryptically, the latter therefore have a “first-hand”, the preferred hand, but the former no first-hand experience.

2 Going ahead with home loan (2,7)

IN ADVANCE :  IN(home,in the house) ADVANCE(as a noun, a loan given to you in advance of repayment).

3 Award for boy brought up by Orlando (5)

MEDAL :  Reversal(brought up, in a down clue) of LAD(boy) +(by) ME(the setter of the crossword, in this case, Orlando).

4 Makes bequests with no difficulty at all (5,4)

HANDS DOWN :  Double defn:  1st:  Gives,hands assets,property,belongings,other bequests down to the younger or next generation.  2nd:  Easily, as to trounce your opponents hands down in a match.

5 Primate holding first of services in church recess (4)

APSE :  APE(primate) around(holding) S(initial letter,first of the word services).

Defn:  Semicircular recess in a church, covered with a semi-dome.  Also a semi-circular or polygonal termination of the church, covered by a flat, sloping, domed or hemispherical roof.


6 Show trial? (9)

REHEARSAL :  Cryptic defn:  A try-out for any of various types of show – theatre, parade, etc.  Not to be confused with a kangaroo court.

7 Old and useless like an egg (5)

OVOID :  O(old) VOID(invalid,useless, most common as in “null and void”).

Defn:  Oval shaped, like an egg.

9 Running nude in street, not giving a hoot (12)

UNINTERESTED :  Anagram(running) of NUDE IN STREET

Defn:  Not giving a figurative hoot.  Another favourite, for its imagery:  nudes of course don’t give a figurative hoot when they’re running in the street, nor do they have horns to literally hoot at traffic in the street!

13 Bill has upset French king? The American ass! (9)

POSTERIOR :  POSTER(bill,a poster usually advertising some coming event, could be handed out, or pasted on to a wall or post.  I remember the irony of posters on walls, which posters said “Post No Bills”) + reversal(upset) of ROI(French word for king).

Defn:  The Commonwealth calls it arse, while the Americans ass (homophonic euphemism?).  Speaking of which, I always thought that Madras (in the verses below) rhymes with the Commonwealth version.

There was an Old Man of Madras
Who rode on a cream-coloured ass
But the length of its ears
So promoted his fears
That it killed that Old Man of Madras

– Edward Lear

There was a young girl from Madras
Who had a most beautiful ass
Not rounded and pink
As you probably think
But gray, with long ears, and ate grass

– Anon, after Lear.

14 Listen secretly, hearing of woman’s fall (9)

EAVESDROP :  Homophone(hearing) of EAVES(the woman’s,Eve’s) + DROP(fall). 

16 One setting out unto a star? (9)

ASTRONAUT :  Anagram(setting out) of UNTO A STAR.

20 Belief not affected by reversal (5)

TENET :  Cryptic defn:  The answer is palindromic,not affected by reversal.

22 Beheading a clergyman is a serious crime (5)

ARSON :  pARSON(clergyman without its initial letter,beheading). 

  Handbook and author.

23 Last pieces of Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth? Sure! (4)

YEAHLast letters,pieces of HenrY MoorE and BarbarA HepwortH.

8 Responses to “Guardian Quiptic 607 Orlando”

  1. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Scchua & Orlando

    This was very enjoyable and it was made all the more enjoyable by your images for APSE. It’s a word I’ve often encountered in puzzles but I’ve never had the faintest idea what one looked like.

    Also, I loved the limericks!

    I’ve just introduced a friend of mine to Quiptics and I am now waiting to hear his opinion.

  2. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, scchua.

    This is a gem of a Quiptic.

    Some of the clues [4 hilarious!] 12, 24ac and 1 [superb definition!] and 23dn would be by no means out of place in the best of cryptics but they’re so scrupulously fair that they are ideally suited to this type of puzzle, because they give newer solvers the delight of the aha moment that makes cryptic solving so addictive.

    I hope your friend enjoys it, Bryan: I certainly did – many thanks, Orlando.

  3. Robi says:

    Thanks Orlando and scchua for a nice pictorial blog, and for the limericks.

    Mostly OK for a Quiptic, although I got a bit stuck on the NE corner, not knowing (or remembering) Max HEADROOM – perhaps a bit esoteric for this type of puzzle.

    UNINTERESTED provided my COD.

  4. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Great puzzle, entertaining blog.

    AMBIDEXTROUS was a great clue, and I also enjoyed UNINTERESTED. As to your comment at 24ac – exactly; to me it matters not at all.

    The Max HEADROOM clue works I think without reference to the cartoon character: in the UK there are signs like the one you show everywhere warning HGV drivers of low bridges and other structures.

  5. Derek Lazenby says:

    Yeah, nice one, both, thanks.

  6. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks to Orlando and scchua. Great clues and picturesque blog. ESCALOPE was a new word for me.


  7. Stella Heath says:

    Brilliant blog to a brilliant puzzle – thanks to both of you.

    In your second limerick, the word that doesn’t rhyme with “ass”, for me, is “grass” :)

    I agree with Kathryn’s Dad re 4ac. Not knowing the cartoon reference made the realisation of the joke an amusing aha moment.

  8. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Congratulations to you, Scchua, for having the privilege to blog such a splendid Quiptic.
    Maybe the puzzle is just a tad too easy for the dailies (although, is it?), but – by Jove – what a masterpiece this was.

    Eileen mentioned already 4 of the best [YEAH is just brilliant!] and Kathryn’s Dad added one more: UNINTERESTED [which would have made the day when Paul had included it in one of his puzzles].

    A big Thanks to Orlando.
    Today (but as it is a Quiptic, this week) you showed us once more why you are one of the very best.
    This one goes into my archive!

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