Never knowingly undersolved.

Private Eye/Cyclops 451 – Prison ambience

Posted by beermagnet on September 12th, 2011


I expect newcomers to the Eye Crossword would find this tricky but to us long time Eye solvers this was a classic of its type.

Cracking surfaces as usual, with the typical sexual and topical/political references .

Two silkworms had a race. What was the result ? …

1/19 SHADOW CABINET Miliband & co. ban “the sad cow” converting to embrace independence (6,7)
(BAN THE SAD COW I[ndependence])*  AInd: converting
5 PRIORITY Essential sex in the abbey? (8)
IT (sex) inside PRIORY (abbey)
9 CODSWALLOP Doc’s brewed beer balls (10)
(DOC’S)* AInd: brewed WALLOP (beer) Def: balls
10/13/12 THE HERE AND NOW Throne: new head? “Foolhardy” at present time (3,4,3,3)
(THRONE NEW HEAD)* AInd: Foolhardy
11 FAKING IT Able to accept what Prince Charles would be is not really coming (6,2)
A KING (what Prince Charles would be) inside FIT(able)
14 CATALYST Pussy at last, roughly squeezing tip of willy – it makes a change (8)
CAT (Pussy) (LAST)* AInd: roughly, around [will]Y.  Def refers to the way catalysts act to aid a chemical transition while themselves remaining unchanged
17 FESTIVAL Fair vista ruined during Iron Lady’s debut (8)
(VISTA)* AInd: ruined, inside FE (iron) L[ady]
19 CROP Whip produces ultimate in fear in Nick (4)
[fea]R inside COP (nick)
21 PRISON “Pro’s in trouble” — not unfamiliar to Jeffrey Archer (6)
(PRO’S IN)* AInd: trouble. One can’t help feeling that our favourite right wing mendicant now looks back on his time in choky with nostalgia.
23 AMBIENCE I became pissed, getting shafted by new character (8)
(I BECAME N[ew])* AInd: pissed
24 BIG Whacking bishop, or bending back private’s equivalent (3)
B[ishop] GI< (private’s equivalent). Def: Whacking.
I rate this as the top clue of the puzzle. Great surface – conforming to the Eye style guide. Misleading wordplay – took me a long time to spot the correct definition, this was the penultimate entry. Just goes to show that sometimes the small ones are the hardest.
Which reminds me of the Barry Cryer joke about the man who was prescribed liquid viagra but who in the dark accidently drank tippex instead – it gave him a massive correction.
25 GREEN PARTY Brown’s predecessor in pocket fronting function for a political group? (5,5)
GREEN (Brown’s predecessor in pocket – This refers to the order of pocketing the colours in snooker)  PARTY (Function)
26 LECTURER Speaker, etc. crudely ‘gobbled’ by siren (8)
(ETC)* AInd: crudely, inside LURER (siren)
27 TAKERS End of garter tucked into Kate’s kinky, topless knickers (6)
[garte]R inside (KATES)* AInd: kinky. Def: Nickers, as in thiefs (Wordplay [k]NICKERS – topless knickers).
Last in as I was soundly misled by wordplay being used to derive the definition. I spent some time thinking Takers was a term for pants, or maybe a brand, which I didn’t know, until wondering what “topless” was doing in the clue
2 HOOKAH Pipe of fictional captain with a hard on (6)
HOOK (fictional captain – from Peter Pan) A H[ard]
3 DISSIDENT Is Diana’s “ascent” welcomed by Mark? I object! (9)
IS DIS< inside DENT (Mark) Def: I object
4 WRANGLE “Rupert’s no.1 in fix” squabble (7)
R[upert] inside WANGLE
5 POLITICAL CAREER What Gordon Brown once had: Act II wrecked in vote, then a headlong descent (9,6)
(ACT II)* AInd: wrecked, inside POLL (vote) CAREER (a headlong descent)
6 IMPLANT “My name is Robert (the rock star)” – the making of a big tit? (7)
“I’M PLANT” is what Rock star Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin might say. (Led Zepp II was the first record I bought all those years ago just after persuading my parents to buy a record player)
An implant might be used in bust enhancing surgery.
7 RATED Right wants a familiar ex-PM judged (5)
R[ight] A TED (Ref. ex-PM Ted Heath, familiar indicates Ted rather than Edward)
8 THE HOUSE Hacking exposé sources get Murdoch finally stepping in to exploit MPs collectively (3,5)
H[acking] E[xpose] [murdoc]H all inside (stepping in) TO, then USE (exploit) Def: MPs collectively
15 LOOSE TALK Speaker’s indiscretion: stuffing peer with filthy tales (5,4)
(TALES)* AInd: filthy, inside LOOK (peer)
16 TERRIBLE Pisspoor, wishy-washy Lib in foreign land (8)
(LIB)* AInd: pisspoor, inside TERRE (French – i.e. foreign – for land)
18 VINEGAR Creepy thing on tabloid brought up acidic stuff (7)
VINE (Creepy thing) RAG<
20 SCOTER Sean Connery, say, mounting Brenda’s sea duck (6)
SCOT (Sean Connery – is an example of a scot) ER
22 SIGHT Pissed with change of leader? That makes sense (5)
TIGHT (pissed) with a change of 1st letter to give a sense

… a tie

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