Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Quiptic 630 / Hectence

Posted by Big Dave on December 12th, 2011

Big Dave.

Today’s puzzle from Hectence had a good balance of clues and was easy to solve.  Those new to cryptic crosswords might have struggled a bit with constructs like out-fits and de-tailed, but they were reasonably straightforward to work out.

I look forward to your comments.

Most of the 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. O(ld).


1a Undercover agent caught napping? (7)
SLEEPER – this undercover agent could possibly have been caught napping!

5a Union has day to join (7)
WEDLOCK – the union forged by marriage is a charade of a day of the week and a verb meaning to join

9a Big vessel from way back docked to take on volunteers (5)
AORTA – a large blood vessel is derived by reversing ROA(D) after dropping its final letter (docked) and adding an army for volunteer soldiers

10a Illicit booze distilled by night light (9)
MOONSHINE – a double definition – illicit booze and the light of the moon

11a University teacher, old and skinny, good to start, becomes a layabout (2-7)
DO-NOTHING – a charade of a university teacher, O(ld), a word meaning skinny and the initial letter (to start) of G(ood) gives a layabout

12a Make improvement with online repair? (5)
EMEND – this verb meaning to make improvement or corrections could, if split (1-4), possibly be an online (E-lectronic) repair

13a Arrogant dropout’s hanging round university (5)
PROUD – an adjective meaning proud is created by putting an anagram (out) of DROP around U(niversity)

15a Objective of in-pub entertainment? (4,5)
DART BOARD – a cryptic definition of the target of a pub game

18a See inside Punjabi shop rich go to (9)
BISHOPRIC – this other name for a see or diocese is hidden inside three words of the clue

19a Works hard to lose gravity and floats (5)
RAFTS – take a verb meaning works hard, drop the G(ravity) and the result is these floating structures, usually made out of logs

21a Fire takes time to penetrate building blocks (3,2)
LET GO – a phrasal verb meaning to fire or dismiss is generated by putting T(ime) inside (to penetrate) some toy building blocks

23a Criticise for duff Latin translation (4,5)
FIND FAULT – this verb meaning to criticise is an anagram (translation) of DUFF LATIN

25a Get rid of hesitation about idea: act! (9)
ERADICATE – to get this verb meaning to get rid of, start with a hesitation and follow it with an anagram (about) of IDEA ACT

26a Queen breaks off in tears (5)
RENDS – R (Regina / Queen) is followed by a verb meaning breaks of to get tears or rips

27a SMS lost beginning about me being radical (7)
EXTREME – drop the initial T (lost beginning) from how an SMS is better known then add RE (about) and ME to get an adjective meaning radical

28a Castle has strange eyrie that is cut out for birds to nest in (7)
ROOKERY – start with another word for the castle in chess then add an anagram (strange) of EYR(IE) from which IE (id est / that is) has been cut out to get somewhere for birds to nest


1d Comedian on the rise? (5-2)
STAND-UP – this comedian could be on the rise

2d One user or another is incorrect (9)
ERRONEOUS – an anagram (another) of ONE USER OR gives an adjective meaning incorrect

3d Initially pony’s tail gets twisted into braid (5)
PLAIT – the initial letter of P(ony) is followed by an anagram (gets twisted) of TAIL to get braid or twine

4d Continue to be embarrassed about having rest (9)
REMAINDER – a verb meaning to continue is followed by the reversal (about) of an adjective meaning embarrassed to get the rest or residue

5d Grown out of evil (5)
WRONG – an anagram (out) of GROWN gives an evil or sin

6d Tear apart underworld associate (9)
DISMEMBER – this verb meaning to tear apart is a charade of the underworld and an associate

7d O to be Popeye’s girl! (5)
OLIVE – a charade of O and a verb meaning to be gives Miss Oyl, Popeye’s girlfriend

8d Desired, say, to be massaged (7)
KNEADED – what sounds like (say) a word meaning desired is actually a verb meaning massaged

14d Get rid of smell by flapping side door with energy (9)
DEODORISE – this verb meaning to get rid of smell is an anagram (flapping) of side door followed by E(nergy)

16d Storyteller has traitor keeping company with knight on last ride to ancient city (9)
RACONTEUR – this storyteller is derived by putting a traitor around CO(mpany) and the chess notation for a knight and then adding the final letter (last) of (rid)E and an ancient city

17d Wealth of disease in a hedge (9)
AFFLUENCE – this wealth is created by putting a disease inside A, from the clue, and a hedge

18d Second-rate prophet gets first lady to have faith (7)
BELIEVE – the letter representing second-rate is followed by a biblical prophet and the world’s first lady to get a verb meaning to have faith

20d Please express opinion about outfits (7)
SATISFY – to get this verb meaning to please put a word meaning to express an opinion around an anagram (out) of FITS

22d Raise glass when in shot (5)
TOAST – a verb meaning to raise a glass and drink to someone’s health is created by putting a word meaning when inside a small shot of drink

23d Fine artist to measure up for picture mount (5)
FRAME – start with F (fine, as a grade of pencil) then add a member of the Royal Academy (artist) and a printing measure, the last part reversed (up) to get a mount for a picture

24d Failed to remember detailed forfeit (5)
FORGO – drop the final T (detailed) from a word meaning failed to remember to get a verb meaning to forfeit

2 Responses to “Guardian Quiptic 630 / Hectence”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, Dave.

    I thought this was an excellent entry-level puzzle from Hectence. Pretty much everything clearly clued with a good variety of devices. No unusual words but a nice bit of misdirection here and there.

    Well done to the setter.

  2. Derek Lazenby says:

    Yes, a proper Quiptic, but having trawled bits of the archive, I can safely say, not the easiest but well short of being hard.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

6 − = four