Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Quiptic 608/Moley

Posted by Pierre on July 11th, 2011


A clearly clued puzzle from Moley with some nice touches – just right for a Quiptic, I thought.

If anything, it’s a little anagram-heavy, but in a beginner’s puzzle, I don’t think you can criticise the setter for that, because anagrams are probably the most obvious answers once you’ve spotted them.  There’s just one clue I have a query on.


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

1 Son’s articulate animal is a decoy
A charade of S for ‘son’, TALKING and HORSE.  ‘Talking’ for ‘articulate’ is perhaps a bit of a stretch.

10 Country number 99 and its language
A charade of the country and IC for 99.  Some people insist that 99 in Roman numerals should be XCIX, but that’s not a fat lot of use to setters, is it?

11 Loud alto jittery at business launch
A charade of F for musically loud and (ALTO)*  ‘Jittery’ is the anagrind.

12 Monitor the progress of husband in vehicle
An insertion of H for ‘husband’ in CART

13 About hearing article by Curia — URL’s changed
The term referring to hearing is an anagram of (A CURIA URL)*  ‘Changed’ is the anagrind.

14 I’m on set anyway, getting damp
(I’M ON SET)*  ‘Anyway’ is the anagrind.

16 His wail broke out in an African language
(HIS WAIL)*  ‘Broke out’ is the anagrind.

18 Catches deviously sent rap
(SENT RAP)*  ‘Deviously’ is the anagrind.

20 Woman’s fringe and style as a whole
A charade of SHE and BANG for ‘fringe’.  You only ever hear this word in the phrase ‘the whole shebang’.  The origin of the word is unknown, according to my dictionary.

21 Overhear poser Veda composed
(POSER VEDA)*  ‘Composed’ is the anagrind.  Eavesdropping is ‘lug-hanging’ in my part of the world.

23 Sheets of paper, say, for the group
A homophone of ‘quire’.  ‘Say’ is the homophone indicator.

24 Coach each likely lad originally with love to become a music-maker
A charade of the first letters (‘originally’) of Coach each likely lad, and O for love.

25 After tea sailor can perhaps locate this old bus
A charade of CHAR for ‘tea’, AB for ‘sailor’ (of the able-bodied variety) and (CAN)*  ‘Perhaps’ is the anagrind.  From the French char à bancs, ‘coach with benches’.

26 Good: massive amount of food
A simple charade of G and ASTRONOMICAL.


2 Healer has article by sexual predator
A charade of THE and RAPIST.

3 Sound let out by one of the smallest significance
A homophone of ‘leased’, ‘let out'; ‘sound’ is the homophone indicator.

4 Taken under cover and reserved
A dd, but my SOED doesn’t give either of these meanings.

5 Turn over wagons and small racing cars
A charade of GO (as in ‘it’s my go/it’s my turn’) and CARTS.  ‘Over’ works because it’s a down clue.

6 Post incorporating one, a team leader, to preside at ceremony
An insertion (‘incorporating’) of I for ‘one’, A and T for ‘team leader’ in OFFICE.

7 Lash out with ring in school
(LASH O)*  ‘Out’ is the anagrind.

8 Mercuric fence put straight as boundary line
(MERCURIC FENCE)*  ‘Put straight’ is the anagrind.

9 Racing tipster managed to fix the final odds
(RACING TIPSTER)*  ‘Managed’ is the anagrind.  Don’t recall seeing this one before, but it’s a very clever anagram.

15 Delight at the travel arrangement
A dd.

17 Broadcast aria to man and his beloved
(ARIA TO MAN)*  Another clever one; ‘broadcast’ is the anagrind here.

19 Teacher on first three occasions had nothing to add about the windstorm
A slightly more tricksy one: Moley’s asking you to make a charade of SIR for ‘teacher’, OCC for the first three letters of ‘occasions’ and O for nothing.

20 Bribe Nora, perhaps, to become a singer
A charade of SOP for ‘bribe’ and (NORA)*  ‘Perhaps’ is the anagrind.

22 Some day this villain will find somewhere to live
Hidden (perhaps not very convincingly) in VILLAin.  ‘Some’ tells you to look for a hidden answer.

23 I added to surface for animal
A charade of COAT and I gives you the long-tailed member of the raccoon family.

I don’t recall seeing a Quiptic from Moley for a while, and was pleased to see him/her today.  I enjoyed this puzzle, so thank you to the setter.

7 Responses to “Guardian Quiptic 608/Moley”

  1. scchua says:

    Thanks Pierre and Moley.

    I think this suits the bill for a Quiptic. COD was 9D STARTING PRICE, for its clever surface. Agree that 22D VILLA, is a bit clunky…something like perhaps “Some villain will have here to live” would have been more streamlined, at least IMHO.

  2. PeterO says:

    Thank you, Pierre and Moley.

    In 1A, I read ‘articulate animal’ as an item, for which TALKING HORSE seems more than adequate. As for 4D, for INDRAWN Chambers gives (shock and amazement) drawn in. ‘Taken under cover’ fits that literally, whether or not there is justification for the usage. With ‘reserved in the sense of introspective, we are on firmer ground.

  3. Pierre says:

    Of course, Peter, that’s how 1ac works – thanks. As for INDRAWN, I didn’t have a problem with it, but was just a bit surprised to find a word that’s not in the SOED in a Quiptic. Only a small query in what was a good puzzle.

  4. Robi says:

    Overall a good starter puzzle, although I don’t think COATI is necessarily a word most people would be familiar with.

    Thanks Pierre. VILLA was hardly an ha – perhaps he could have used something like anvil latterly or somesuch. Contrast with Everyman’s: ‘Very sick adult in holiday home.’

    STARTING PRICE was a stunning anagram for racing tipster.

    Interesting discussion of the derivation of SHEBANG here. It might even be related to CHARABANC!

  5. Derek Lazenby says:

    I went through the clues in order and only had 6 left after one pass and finished on the second pass. I was tempted to say this was too easy even for a Quiptic, but then there are INAMORATA and COATI. Got them on the second pass, but never heard of them. It was a bit inconsistent there.

    I’m still not totally convinced by 4d either, but @2 makes me think it must be OK-ish.

    Hadn’t seen GO-CARTS before, I thought it was GO-KARTS. The C just looks wrong to me, but apparently it is used sometimes. Perhaps if I had the remotest interest in the subject? Oh well, another gap in my knowledge filled.

  6. Robi says:

    ………. sorry, gender-bender; should have been she above.

  7. Pierre says:

    Thanks, Robi, that’s a really interesting link between SHEBANG and CHARABANC. I love English. And apologies to Moley also – I should have known that she was one of the members of the exclusive female setters’ club when I made my comment at the end of the blog.

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