Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Quiptic 624/Moley

Posted by Pierre on October 31st, 2011


A Quiptic from Moley that was a mixture of tricks and treats …

We’ve remarked many times how hard it must be to produce an ‘easy’ puzzle.  This one was generally accessible, with some nice anagrams; but there are two or three clues that a less experienced solver might struggle with here, as well as a word, and a phrase, that I for one had never come across before.


cd  cryptic definition
dd  double definition
(xxxx)*  anagram
anagrind = anagram indicator
[x]  letter(s) removed

1 Month oil spill featured in column
(MONTH OIL)*  A nice easy Annie to get us going.  ‘Spill’ is the anagrind.

5 Scanned book about eel fad
(EEL FAD)*  And another.  ‘About’ is the anagrind here.

9 Shell carried by vehicle to top of hill
A charade of CART for ‘vehicle’ and RIDGE for ‘top of hill’.

11 Souvenir found in fissure, lichen-covered
Hidden in fissuRE LIChen.

12 Sort of line that’s dry and sanguine
A charade of BLOOD for ‘line’ (in the genealogical sense) and THIRSTY.  ‘Sanguine’ for me has the sense of ‘cheerful’ or ‘optimistic’.  The SOED does give ‘causing or delighting in bloodshed’, but marks it as ‘poetical’.

15 Look how self-esteem returns when student’s absorbed!
Moley’s asking you to reverse EGO for ‘self-esteem’ and insert L for ‘student’ or ‘learner’.

16 Rotten carcass not untouchable
(CARCASS NOT)*  Nice surface.  ‘Rotten’ is the anagrind.

18 Display support for spring article by Iris
A charade of FLY for ‘spring’ (?) THE for ‘article’ and FLAG for Iris, the flower rather than the lady.

19 Some enquired optimistically for an action replay
Hidden in enquiRED Optimistically.

21 Faith — John Bunyan’s hero gets it the first year
A charade of CHRISTIAN, IT and Y for the first letter of year.  Christian is the protagonist in Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress.

24 Bury, turning outsiders away somehow
A five-letter word for ‘bury’ starting with I?  INTER is your man.  Not this time, though.  ‘To put ashes in an urn after cremation; to bury.’  Remove the outside letters of ‘turning'; then it’s (URNIN)*, with ‘somehow’ as the anagrind.  Bit of an unusual word for a Quiptic, but nothing else much fits I?U?N.

25 Hide an animal’s family
A charade of SHEEP’S and KIN.

26 Untidy criminal in the position of having no cover at all
(UNTIDY)*  ‘Criminal’ is the anagrind.

27 Legendary island where Santa lit fluid
(SANTA LIT)*  ‘Fluid’ is the anagrind.


1 Ridicule men of cautious kind, initially
First letters of Men Of Cautious Kind.

2 Scottish man rises, claiming right to be mean
An insertion of R in MON reversed.  It’s not in the dictionary, but Moley lives in Scotland, so I’m not going to argue.  At least she’s given Ian the day off …  It’s  ‘mean’ in the mathematical sense.

3 Proud peer: Liberal unknown
A charade of LORD for ‘peer’, L for Liberal, and Y for a mathematical unknown.

4 Course of events affected by increase in marital infidelity
Don’t know what to make of this one.  It’s not a phrase I’m familiar with and it’s not in the dictionary.  ‘There is a tide in the affairs of men …’ is a quote from Julius Caesar, which obviously has nowt to do with it.  Anyway, it’s a kind of cd, I suppose.

6 One shunning realities, disposed to be the first to arrive
You need to take I for ‘one’ out of ‘realities'; then it’s (REAL[I]TIES)* with ‘disposed’ as the anagrind.

7 People toast Rex, who entertains
A charade of FOLK, SINGE for ‘toast’ and R for Rex.  Bit of a loose definition.

8 Disparage people initially getting into fancy code breaking
This is a bit of an ask.  It’s DECRY for ‘disparage’ followed by P for the first letter of ‘people’, followed by (INTO)*  ‘Fancy’ is the anagrind and ‘code breaking’ is the definition.

10 Come in before main tent collapses, causing amusement
This is more like it.  A charade of ENTER and (MAIN TENT)*  ‘Collapses’ is the anagrind.

13 Being against cooking English confit as sweet
A charade of CON for ‘against’ and (E CONFIT)*  ‘Cooking’ is the anagrind.

14 Drama base in holiday spot
A charade of PLAY and GROUND, with the definition being along the lines of ‘Monte Carlo is a playground for the rich’.

17 Test Cockney’s hunch about a horse
(TEST UNCH)*  ‘About’ is the anagrind and ‘Cockney’ is indicating that the H needs to come off ‘hunch’, because that’s what Cockneys do.  Allegedly.

20 Turn new patio into an ideal place
A charade of U for U-turn and (PATIO)*  ‘New’ is the anagrind.

22 Sketch of “The Devil’s Kitchen”
Hidden in Devil’S KITchen.

23 Burden that we shall pay for!
If we pay for it, it’s ON US.  Might have seen this one once or twice before.

Many thanks to Moley for today’s puzzle.

3 Responses to “Guardian Quiptic 624/Moley”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Pierre – and Moley for the puzzle.

    I too was surprised at the ‘bloodthirsty’ meaning of ‘sanguine’ – the SOED was the only place I could find it.

    I didn’t have any problems with ‘mon’ for ‘Scottish man’, having been married to one – but I was surprised to see it wasn’t in Chambers.

    I can’t think of an instance where ‘fly’ = ‘spring’ but I bet that, if I could be bothered to look, the answer’s buried in the nth definition of each in Chambers.

    ‘Tide of affairs': hmm – I didn’t think too deeply about this one. The ‘Julius Caesar’ quotation sprang immediately to mind but, you’re right, I haven’t come across that exact expression in everyday usage.

    8dn misled me for a few minutes: I thought I wanted a word for ‘disparage’, made up of P[eople] + an anagram [breaking] of FANCY CODE, so that was nice misdirection.

    I wasn’t so thrilled with 9ac, where ‘carried by’ seemed to indicate an insertion.

  2. Derek Lazenby says:

    Almost a good Quiptic but let down as noted above.

  3. andy smith says:

    Eileen – Re 9ac I think that ‘cartridge’ and ‘shell’ are not synonymous – a shell is contained in (carried by) a cartridge, which might make it a better clue?

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