Never knowingly undersolved.

Quiptic N° 621, by Hectence

Posted by PeterO on October 10th, 2011


A crossword with some wordplays surprisingly complex for a Quiptic, and, shall we say, some examples of questionable construction to educate the beginner.

1. Keep a gorilla initially captured from wild (6)
SAVAGE An envelope (‘captured’) of A G (‘A Gorilla initially) in save (‘keep’).
5. Professor Brian briefly to appeal for help describing mass of the universe (6)
COSMOS A charade of CO[x] (‘Professor Brian briefly’) + an envelope (‘describing’?) of M (‘mass’) in SOS (‘appeal for help’).
8. Everyone’s coming round the night before son’s exams (1,6)
A LEVELS An envelope (‘coming round’) of EVE (‘the night before’) in ALL (‘everyone’) + S (‘son’).
9. Saw lead cut by Blackburn player (7)
PROVERB An envelope (‘cut by’) of ROVER (‘Blackburn player‘) in PB (‘lead’, chemical symbol).
11. Party conceals Miliband’s holiday at secure accommodation (3,3,9)
BED AND BREAKFAST An envelope of ED (‘miliband‘) in BAND (‘party’) + BREAK (‘holiday’) + FAST (‘secure’).
12. Valley’s golf course is free of large birds (4)
GLEN By subtraction GLEN[eagles] (‘golf course‘ ‘free from large birds’).
13. Doing well, we rejected Catholic Church’s fuss about hell, ultimately (10)
SUCCESSFUL The answer is surely right from the definition ‘doing well’, but the only parsing of it that I can come up is both dodgy and rather convoluted: a charade of SU (US reversed ‘we rejected’?) + C (‘Catholic’) + CE (Church of England ‘Church’) + SSFU , an anagram (‘about’) of ‘fuss’ + L (‘helL ultimately’).
17. Some farmers being left without land is harsh and bizarre (10)
OUTLANDISH Another questionable clue: ‘farmers being’ seems superfluous to the wordplay. A hidden answer (‘some’) in ‘withOUT LAND IS Harsh’. OK the answer is part of the longer phrase, but it is generally regarded as inappropriate to add significant words to the part required for the hidden answer.
18. Study guide in bed (4)
CRIB Double definition. ‘in’ is connective tissue.
20. Huge applause as deputy’s to withdraw tax no-one backed (8,7)
STANDING OVATION A charade of STAND-IN (‘deputy’) + GO (‘withdraw’) + VAT (value added tax, ‘tax’) +ION, a reversal (‘backed’) of NO I (‘no’ ‘one’).
23. Longed for time to study in retreat (7)
YEARNED A charade of YEAR (‘time’) + NED, a reversal (‘in retreat’) of DEN (‘study’).
24. Toils at Herculean tasks (7)
LABOURS Double definition, although the only difference is that the second is a noun, and the first could be the corresponding verb.
25. Go for a walk with street directory (6)
STROLL A charade of ST (‘street’) + ROLL (‘directory’).
26. Adder to move shakily? (6)
TOTTER Double definition.
2. Exotic name daughter heartlessly intended to change (9)
AMENDMENT A charade of AMEN, an anagram (‘exotic’) of ‘name’ + D (‘daughter’) + ME[a]NT (‘heartlessly intended’)’. Definition: ‘change’ as a noun.
3. Silver, for example, is keeping popular with advancing years (6)
AGEING An envelope (‘is keeping’) of IN (‘popular’) in AG (‘silver’, chemical symbol) + EG (exenpli gratia, ‘for example’).
4. Orient’s committed to leaving the West behind (9)
EASTBOUND A charade of EAST (‘orient’) + BOUND (‘committed’). One of those clues that lies somewhere between a charade and a double definition or definition and cryptic definition, and which comes up frequently enough that it might be given a name of its own – perhaps DLI (definition and literal interpretation).
5. Police called to wood (5)
COPSE A homophone (‘called’) of cops (‘police’).
6. Sticks to fashion shop selling particular brand (8)
STOCKIST An anagram (‘fashion’) of ‘sticks to’.
7. Leading part in old time musical (5)
OPERA An envelope of P (‘leading Part’) in O ERA (‘old time’).
8. Junk mail bugs you vaguely (11)
AMBIGUOUSLY An anagram (‘junk’) of ‘mail bugs you’.
10. Lose nerve on slopes containing broken glass? (6,5)
BOTTLE BANKS The word ‘lose’ seems extraneous to the cryptic reading: a charade of BOTTLE (‘nerve’) + BANKS (‘slopes’). Bottle banks in many countries are large containers left in public places for the collection of glass for recycling.
14. Spirit’s key in quality French stew (9)
CASSOULET An envelope (‘in’) of SOUL E (‘spirit’ ‘key’) in CAST (‘quality’). It is a long time since I made a cassoulet, the apotheosis of baked beans, but my mouth still waters at the thought.
15. Strength of mind has fellow terribly tired out (9)
FORTITUDE A charade of F (‘fellow’) + ORTITUDE, an anagram (‘terribly’) of ‘tired out’.
16. An idiot unfortunately pursued student, then attacked (4,4)
LAID INTO A charade of L (‘student’) + (‘pursued’) AIDINTO, an anagram (‘unfortunately’) of ‘an idiot’.
19. Check up on little bunny (6)
RABBIT A charade of RAB, a reversal (‘up’ in a down clue) of BAR (‘check’) + BIT (‘little’).
21. Separated, dad got into painting (5)
APART An envelope (‘got into’) of PA (‘dad’) in ART (‘painting’).
22. Tennis player’s now top class in Holland (5)
NADAL An envelope (‘in’) of AD (Anno Domini, ‘now’) + A (‘top class’) in NL (IVR, ‘Holland’). Definition: Rafa Nadal, the tennis player who has just lost to Andy Murray.

10 Responses to “Quiptic N° 621, by Hectence”

  1. scchua says:

    Thanks PeterO and Hectence.

    Agree with you about the superfluity of words in both 17A OUTLANDISH and 10D BOTTLE BANKS. The parsing for 13A SUCCESSFUL is a bit long, but at least it’s a straight left to right charade – could have been worse!

    Liked 9A PROVERB – okay, it’s a soccer reference, 8D AMBIGUOUSLY, which qualifies for an &lit I think, and 22D NADAL. Quite enjoyed this.

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Peter.

    I like to do the Quiptic as a bit of a warm-up to the main event on a Monday, and I enjoyed this one. But I have to say that there were a couple of clues which I took some time to parse, and one (SUCCESSFUL) which I couldn’t parse at all. You’re right about 13ac, no doubt about that, but I agree with you that it’s a bit convoluted for a Quiptic.

    What the farmers are doing in 17ac I have no idea. I was less concerned about the ‘lose’ in 10dn, since ‘lose nerve’ is (nearly) a verbal sense of ‘bottle': ‘The Blackburn striker was one-on-one with the keeper, but bottled it’.

    Not a bad puzzle, but maybe a couple of elaborations too far for an entry-level crossword. That said, it’s been remarked many times that constructing an ‘easy’ cryptic is a tough ask for the setter. Thanks to Hectence for this one.

  3. PeterO says:

    K’s D

    Indeed you are right about bottle. I did wonder if there were a meaning of the word as a verb with which I was not familiar, but the old Chambers that was to hand did not give it, and I did not take the time to cross the room to find it in a newer edition. It is curious that the noun and verb meanings are so at odds.

  4. Tokyocolin says:

    Curious indeed, and confusing for someone who has only encountered that use for bottle in crosswordland. One wonders how the verb went one way and the noun the other.

    Thank you K’s D for confirming that meaning. I had suspected it once I realized what the answer had to be but was unable to verify.

  5. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Actually until the two of you pointed it out, I had never twigged the two opposite meanings in the same word. A bit like ‘cleave’ and one or two others that I can’t remember at the minute.

  6. Thomas99 says:

    I’m very familiar with “bottle” the verb from skiing years ago. One would often confess to having “bottled the couloir” (been too scared to go down it). I’m sure it’s just a contraction/corruption of “lose one’s bottle”. “He bottled it” is still quite common isn’t it (e.g. in K’s Dad’s example)? The noun seems slightly old-fashioned to me now. Wasn’t it in an advert about 30 years ago? “Milk’s got a lotta bottle”?

  7. Stella Heath says:

    Thanks for the blog, PeterO. I also found some of the clues a little off for a quiptic.

    I’m afraid you made a mistake at 22d, but not to do with the clue: according to your link, Rafa (as we know him) beat Murray in the semi-finals, but was himself beaten by his current nemesis, Djokovic :(

  8. Eileen says:

    Hi Stella

    No mistake: although, as you say, Rafa beat Murray in the US Open, Murray has *just*, as PeterO says, had his revenge in Japan.

  9. Derek Lazenby says:

    Phew! That was hard work, but I did get there eventually. Needed the blog to understand it all though, so thank you for that. Nothing here to complain about except the toughness, all fair clues.

    Hmm, expert posters getting a feel for what the class dummy regards as tricky? Whatever next? LOL.

  10. Stella Heath says:

    Hi Eileen,

    As my sister once texted me, OIC :D

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