Fifteensquared

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Guardian Quiptic N° 617 by Nutmeg

Posted by PeterO on September 12th, 2011

PeterO.

I have blogged a couple of Quiptics by Nutmeg before, and they each have their own character. In this one, I think she has hit the Quiptic target squarely, with clues going for concision rather than elaborate storytelling, seamless surfaces, and a wide variety of cryptic devices.

You need to come up with a couple of (clearly indicated) Scottish islands, and there are a few more elaborate constructions to stretch the novice.

Across
1. Corrupt idle talk — it cost lives in wartime (6,3)
POISON GAS A charade of POISON (‘corrupt’, verb) + GAS (‘idle talk’).
6. Keep messy little dog (4)
PEKE An anagram (‘messy’) of ‘keep’.
10. Person with prejudice hasn’t begun to live (5)
EXIST [s]EXIST (‘person with prejudice’) missing its initial letter (‘hasnt begun’).
11. They drive most Tories wild but not with ecstasy (9)
MOTORISTS An anagram (‘wild’) of ‘most Tori[e]s’ with the e removed (‘not with ecstasy’).
12. Emotional time leading to much gossip (7)
TEARFUL A charade of T (‘time’) + (‘leading to’) EARFUL (‘much gossip’).
13. Where to keep sisters in order? (7)
NUNNERY Cryptic definition.
14. Paparazzi hope to understand (3,3,7)
GET THE PICTURE Double definition. Paparazzo as a photojournalist who tries to get candid pictures of celebrities comes from a character of that name and profession in Fellini’s La Dolce Vita.
17. Worker has more maturity after David’s terrible losses (13)
DISADVANTAGES A charade of DISADV, an anagram (‘terrible’) of ‘Davids’ + ANT (‘worker’) + AGES (‘has more maturity’. Has? The uses I can think of are more like “gains more maturity”)
21. Rapidly expand benefit to include everyone (7)
BALLOON Envelope (‘to include’) of ALL (‘everyone’) in BOON (‘benefit’).
22. Choirboy gulps first mouthful of milk shake (7)
TREMBLE Envelope (‘gulps’) of M (‘first mouthful of Milk’) in TREBLE (‘choirboy’).
24. Decoration from commodore’s last uniform in range of colours (9)
EPAULETTE A charade of E (‘commodorEs last’) + an envelope (‘in’) of U (‘uniform'; not an abbreviation given in Chambers) in PALETTE (‘range of colours’).
25. Earl shuns one queen to embrace another peer (5)
EQUAL An envelope (‘to embrace’) of QU (‘another’ i.e. ‘queen’) in ‘ea[r]l’ with the R (‘queen’) removed (‘shuns’).
26. Plane — possibly one leaving Hebridean island (4)
TREE T[i]REE, the outermost island in the Inner Hebrides, with the I removed (‘one leaving’). Of the various meanings of ‘plane’, one is the tree, and ‘possibly’ denotes indication by example rather than definition.
27. They’re fleeing wastelands, retreating troops admitted (9)
DESERTERS An envelope (‘admitted’) of ER, a reversal (‘retreating’) of RE (Royal Engineers, ‘troops’) in DESERTS (‘wastelands’).
Down
1. Honour soldier standing in support of the others during drill (8)
PRESTIGE An envelope (‘during’) of REST (‘the others’) + (‘in support of’) IG, a reversal (‘standing’, in a down clue) of GI (‘soldier’) in PE (physical education, ‘drill’). A relatively complex variation on the envelope.
2. Good location for holiday business in Iowa (5)
IBIZA An envelope (‘in’) 0f BIZ (‘business’) in IA (the USPS standard abbreviation for ‘Iowa’).
3. Wizard having blasted off? (3,2,4,5)
OUT OF THIS WORLD Double definition.
4. Knocking back beer behind stadium may be a schoolgirl’s habit (7)
GYMSLIP A charade of GYM (‘stadium’) + SLIP, a reversal (‘knocking back’) of PILS (‘beer’). ‘habit’ in the sense of dress. My COD for its amusing surface.
5. Malevolent function CIA’s covering up (7)
SATANIC An envelope (‘covering’) of TAN (tangent, ‘function’) in SAIC , a reversal (‘up’ in a down clue) of ‘CIAs’.
7. What’s laid traditionally for hunters following fast? (6,3)
EASTER EGG Cryptic definition, since Easter follows the fast of Lent.
8. Makes attempts at games, say, seldom taking part (6)
ESSAYS Hidden answer (‘taking part’) in ‘gamES SAY Seldom’.
9. Phone specifically placed in pub to occupy last position (5,2,3,4)
BRING UP THE REAR An envelope (‘in’) of RING UP (‘phone’) + THERE (‘specifically placed’) in BAR (‘pub’).
15. Worker’s initial live data corrupted by surge of current (5,4)
TIDAL WAVE An anagram of W (‘Workers initial’) with ‘live data’.
16. Sea walls demolished, too (2,4,2)
AS WELL AS An anagram (‘demolished’) of ‘sea walls’.
18. Handed over old hat on coming in (7)
DONATED An envelope (‘coming in’) of ‘on’ in DATED (‘old hat’).
19. Portion of dessert cafe’s served up for player (7)
ACTRESS Hidden (‘portion’) reverse (‘served up’) answer in ‘deSSERT CAfe’.
20. Target area for old base (6)
ABJECT OBJECT (‘target’) with the O (‘old’) replaced by (‘for’) A (‘area’).
23. Scottish island housing region’s top monster (5)
BRUTE An envelope (‘housing’) of R (‘Regions top’) in BUTE (‘Scottish island’).

3 Responses to “Guardian Quiptic N° 617 by Nutmeg”

  1. Robi says:

    Thanks Nutmeg and PeterO for an entertaining Quiptic.

    I’ve only just got the ‘hunters’ in 7 as in the traditional Easter Egg hunts. I thought of chorister for choirboy but eventually found the treble. I didn’t quite get the EQUAL parsed correctly; thanks for that. A clever clue.

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks Peter. I thought this was a lovely puzzle, just right for a Quiptic but with some inventive clues: I liked EQUAL, EASTER EGG and TREE in particular.

    Btw, I noticed the other week that the Quiptic blurb no longer describes it as ‘part-cryptic, part plain’ It now publicises itself as ‘A web-only cryptic puzzle for beginners and those in a hurry’, which is a much better description.

  3. Derek Lazenby says:

    In a hurry? Then Rufus was better for that today! The odd clue was just a bit on the tricky side for one of these.

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