Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Quiptic 614 / Hectence

Posted by Big Dave on August 22nd, 2011

Big Dave.

In previous reviews of Quiptics by Hectence I have commented on the high number of anagrams.  This count is considerably reduced today.  I still think that many of the constructs and indicators were a bit too difficult for a Quiptic.

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. L(eft).


1a           Excuse for swapping notes in test exercise (6)
EXEMPT – a verb meaning to excuse is created by swapping E for A (notes in the diatonic scale) in a test and then adding Physical Training (exercise)

4a           Weak charge left in live casing (6)
FEEBLE – an adjective meaning  weak is constructed from a charge followed by L(eft) inside (casing) a two-letter word meaning to live

9a           Walk taller? (7,4,4)
STRETCH YOUR LEGS – a phrase that could suggest that if you do this you would walk taller

10a         Total endless organisation goes in to military display (6)
TATTOO – put an anagram (organisation) of TOTA(L) without the final L (endless) inside TO to get a military display

11a         They secure the locks for sharp bends (8)
HAIRPINS – these items secure locks of hair and can also be sharp bends in the road

12a         Bob turns awfully obstinate (8)
STUBBORN – an anagram (awfully) of BOB TURNS gives a word meaning obstinate

14a         Former French island has Democratic leader banished (6)
EXILED – a charade of a two-letter prefix for former, as in former partner, the French for island and the initial letter (leader) of Democratic gives a verb meaning banished

15a         Fear for fellow Tory (6)
FRIGHT – this word meaning fear is a charade of F(ellow) and a term used to describe a Tory

18a         Support most important volunteers at home (8)
MAINTAIN – a verb meaning to support is a charade of the most important, the Territorial Army (volunteers) and a word meaning you are at home

21a         Skid on Formula 1’s Hungary track (8)
FISHTAIL – a word meaning to skid from side to side is (yet another) charade of F1’S (Formula 1’s), the IVR code for Hungary and a word meaning to track

22a         Interfere with announcement of award (6)
MEDDLE – this word meaning to interfere with sounds like (announcement of) an award

24a         Celebration for us on 18th birthday? (12,3)
INDEPENDENCE DAY – a celebration in the USA is cryptically defined as what is celebrated on one’s 18th birthday

25a         Locomotive fails on elevated railroad (6)
DIESEL – this type of locomotive is a charade of a verb meaning fails and an EL(evated) railroad in the USA

26a         Sofa for solver? (6)
SETTEE – this sofa could be the solver as opposed to the setter


1d           Clipping about TT race includes times (7)
EXTRACT – a clipping is an anagram (about) of TT RACE around the mathematical symbol for times or multiply

2d           Online outlet with something going on? (5)
EVENT – a lot of online services are prefixed by E(lectronic), such as email and e-books, so E followed by an outlet gives something that is going on

3d           Photograph cool playing of flute (7)
PICCOLO – a three-letter word for a photograph followed by an anagram (playing) of COOL gives a small flute sounding an octave higher than the ordinary one

5d           Learned to quarter, top and tail raw vegetables (7)
ERUDITE – an adjective meaning learned is constructed from a quarter or cardinal point of the compass and some raw vegetables without the initial C and the final S (top and tail)

6d           Graduate takes on pupils, having aim to be writer (9)
BALLPOINT – a charade of a graduate, two L(earner)s (pupils) and an aim or purpose gives a writing implement

7d           Princess has massive lead cut coming back home in point-to-point (7)
EUGENIE – not one of the usual Princesses, but Princess Beatrice’s younger sister is created by putting a word meaning massive without the initial H (lead cut) and the reversal of a word meaning home (the same one as used in 18 across) between (the same) two points of the compass

8d           Dash of brown sauce coating young chicken (6)
HYPHEN – a dash is derived from a type of brown sauce around Y(oung) and a female chicken

13d         Whole stilton,say, for head honcho? (3,6)
BIG CHEESE – what could (say) describe a whole stilton is actually a slang word for the head honcho or the person in charge

16d         Regrouped, kicking out old gangster, then was in control (7)
REIGNED – start with a verb meaning regrouped then remove (kicking out) AL, old gangster Al Capone, to get a verb meaning was in control

17d         Catch some sleep between end of matinee and start of evening circus act (7)
TRAPEZE – a catch is followed by Z (some sleep) between the final letter (end) of matineE and the initial letter (start) of Evening to get a circus act

18d         Mummy’s boy has unknown disease (6)
MALADY – a charade of a word for mummy, a boy and an unknown quantity in algebra gives a disease

19d         Huge unregulated mines assimilate men without number (7)
IMMENSE – a word meaning huge is created by putting an anagram (unregulated) of MINES around (assimilate) ME(N) without N(umber)

20d         Reputation for being unhealthy? (3,4)
ILL FAME – a bad reputation could, at a pinch, be one for being unhealthy

23d         Lived with upcoming pornographic model (5)
DWELT – a word meaning lived is created by reversing (upcoming) a word meaning pornographic and following it with a Model T Ford

6 Responses to “Guardian Quiptic 614 / Hectence”

  1. crypticsue says:

    I agree that this was on the difficult side for a Quiptic but I think I enjoyed myself by the end. Thanks to Hectence and BD.

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, Dave.

    Yes, some trickier ones here, but probably enough easier ones to get you going and then attack the more difficult ones with some crossing letters in. I liked BALLPOINT and MALADY but didn’t help myself by putting STRETCH ONES LEGS in at 9ac.

    I guessed FISHTAIL but had never heard it before. I got it from the French: they say ‘faire une queue de poisson’ – to do a fishtail – for cutting somebody up on the road.

  3. Robi says:

    Satisfying solve, although some of the constructions were a bit difficult for a beginner.

    Thanks, Big Dave; nice pictures as always. I would always say “ill repute” rather than ILL FAME, especially ‘house of.’

  4. superkiwigirl says:

    Thanks for the blog, Big Dave, and for an enjoyable Quiptic, Hectence.

    Curious how “EL” came up again here, after the discussion about it on Saturday.

    I thought that this was going to be a pangram, but in the end the letters “J”, “K” and “Q” were missing.

    Some nice clues here, including SETTEE, ERUDITE and HYPHEN.

    Like KD I got held up by initially entering STRETCH ONES LEGS.

  5. Big Dave says:

    @ superkiwigirl

    The EL usually elicits a groan from those who haven’t seen it before and a self-satisfied smile from those that have.

    Also “one’s” or “yours” is a trap for the unwary – and I still fall into it occasionally (but not today)!

  6. Derek Lazenby says:

    As one who is only marginally above the target audience, all I can say is I didn’t finish this. I can’t really say I enjoyed much of what I did solve, felt more like doing an exam than an entertainment.

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