Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Quiptic 631 Nutmeg

Posted by scchua on December 19th, 2011


‘Tis the time of the year, when crosswords, like other things, get Christmas-y.  This one gives a gentle start to the festivities – no hangover and no indigestion, so to speak!  Thanks Nutmeg, for the great surfaces and one super &lit.  And  a Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays to all and yours.  Definitions are underlined in the clues.  The picture set at the bottom has an unidentified connection with the crossword, and within itself (easier than the last one, I think).


7 What’ll stop you receiving advert for organ? (7)

EARPLUG :  PLUG(advertisement) placed after(for) EAR(organ of hearing)

Defn:  Device for organ that’ll stop you from receiving advert – a great &lit

8 Spooner’s tutor spotted cat (7)

CHEETAHSpoonerism of “teacher”,tutor 

9 Christmas book dropped by prize giver (4)

NOEL :  “Nobel”(Alfred – founder,giver of the Nobel Prize) minus(dropped by) B(book)

10 Well-prepared plans are formed (9)

FOREARMEDAnagram of(plans, as a verb) ARE FORMED

12 Money for tramp (5)

POUND :  Double defn.  2nd: as a verb

13 Come on portrait of listener? (4,4)

DRAW NEAR :  DRAWN EAR(a portrait of a ear,listener)

15 Uniquely how folk tales begin (4)

ONCE :  Double defn:  2nd:  Eg.  “ONCE upon a time, there lived a giant….”

16 Sacred book in case (5)

BLEST :  B(book) LEST(in case,if it should happen)

17 One unfinished match brought back Eastern visitors (4)

MAGIReversal of(brought back) [I(Roman numeral one) + GAM(“game”,match minus its last letter(unfinished)

Defn:  Famed visitors, three wise men  from the East, to the infant Jesus 

18 Tory kiss stirred old supporters of House (8)

YORKISTSAnagram of(stirred) TORY KISS

Defn:  Supporters of the Royal House of York, in the Wars of the Roses in olden England

20 Colour that’s no good in neckwear (5)

TINGE :  NG(no good) contained in(in) TIE(neckwear)

21 Fond bride straying out of bounds (9)

FORBIDDENAnagram of(straying) FOND BRIDE

22 The best toys for children (4)

TOPS :  Double defn:  1st:  The best, usually in the singular, as in Cole Porter’s You’re The TopThey don’t write lyrics like these anymore!

24 Unguents applied to playground kicks (7)

RECOILS :  OILS(unguents) placed after(applied to) REC(short for recreation ground,playground)

Defn:  The reaction that a firearm gives you when you let it off

25 Librettist making three times as much in recession (name withheld) (7)

GILBERTReversal of(in recession) [TREBLIG{“trebling”(three times as much) minus(withheld) “n”(name)}]

Defn:  Sir William, dramatist, humourist and librettist, half of the Gilbert and Sullivan team, responsible for English comic operettas


1 Aura of sanctity from prince with nothing on (4)

HALO :  HAL(prince, son of King Henry IV of England, and later to become King Henry V) plus(with…on) O(looks like 0,zero,nothing)

2 A big hand as Paul’s carried off by ape (8)

APPLAUSEAnagram of(off) PAUL’S contained in(carried…by) APE

3 Swollen, as smokers did (6)

PUFFED :  Double defn.

4 Yokel pinching bottom of coquettish bird (8)

PHEASANT :  PEASANT(yokel) containing(pinching) H(last letter,bottom in a down clue ofcoquettish”)

5 Smallholder from the old country? (6)

YEOMAN :  YE(the article “the” in old English) OMAN(country in the Middle East)

6 Oddball‘s Christmas missive? (4)

CARD :  Double defn.

11 Put right what stripper did after the act (9)

REDRESSED :  Double defn.

12 Quiptic setter’s taken to Christmas show (5)

PANTO :  PAN(one of the setters for the Quiptic crossword) plus(taken) TO

14 Reason particular guest’s content (5)

ARGUEHidden in(…’s content) particulAR GUEst

16 Pour fat over wretched French jail (8)

BASTILLE :  BASTE(noun for liquid used to moisten and flavour meat during cooking, eg. drippings, butter, fatto digress: Christmas, dinner in particular, reminds me that this word has never been the same for me since someone told me of her friend who had a novel use for a turkey baster – for a DIY AI :-) ) containing(pour…over) ILL(adjective, wretched)

17 Boatman and I capsized in Canadian lake (8)

MANITOBAAnagram of(capsized) BOATMAN plus(and) I

19 Chess champion announcing lack of fish on menu? (6)

KARPOVHomophone of(announcing) “carp”(fish) “off”(lacking from,not on the menu for now)

Defn:  Anatoly, world chess champion 1975-1985, and 1993-1999.  Not to be confused with Garry Kasparov who defeated him in the intervening period, and then broke away from the chess governing body, FIDE in 1993  Karpov held the title until 1999 when he himself resigned from FIDE.  (And you thought that chess was just a board-game)


20 Raising bar in fixed game (6)

TENNISReversal of(raising) [INN(where one can quench one’s thirst,bar) contained in(in) SET(fixed, as in “the date’s been set”)]

21 Lavish payment rector’s accepted (4)

FREE :  FEE(payment) containing(…‘s accepted,is accepted) R(rector)

Defn:  Ready or generous in giving,liberal,lavish

23 Late enquiry about queen’s hairdo (4)

PERM :  PM(post-mortem,an enquiry into the death of a person, the late so-and-so) containing(about) ER(Elizabeth Regina,queen)

Defn:  Short for permanent wave, so-called because the chemicals used caused the hair to curl permanently, sort of.



 1st pic:  here ; 2nd and 3rd pics:  please see jan@5;; 4th pic:  here

8 Responses to “Guardian Quiptic 631 Nutmeg”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, scchua.

    A pretty good Quiptic, with only two or three more intricate clues. I liked NOEL for its clever surface, and GILBERT was also clever. I was less keen on CHEETAH, but then I’m always less keen on Spooner-related clues.

    Thank you to Nutmeg.

  2. Wanderer says:

    I don’t remember seeing a Quiptic with a perimeter Nina before, so thank you to Nutmeg for the kind thought, and to scchua for the blog.

  3. scchua says:

    Thanks Wanderer for spotting it, and thanks again Nutmeg and apologies for not doing it justice. I must remember to tell myself: “Expect the unexpected”! Missed a Nina yet again!

  4. Kathryn's Dad says:

    You weren’t the only one to miss it, scchua! In the time the Quiptic has been blogged here, I can’t ever remember a Nina, so well done and thank you to Nutmeg.

  5. Jan says:

    Thanks, scchua, and it was really lovely to meet you in Derby.

    It was a delightful crossword, thanks Nutmeg.

    I only recognise Harold Wilson – is that Debbie Harry? – are you relating to the Prince Hal clue? I have no idea who the young lawman is or what the bits and bobs are.

  6. scchua says:

    Hello again Jan, and nice to hear from you again.

    You’re right with the clue connection, and it is Debbie from Blondie. There’s a name for the bits and bobs (Clue: “Hello Dave…”), given in the link that I’ve now added below the picture set. The lawman is a certain strong personality not a million miles from where I am, who got his degree from Cambridge (cf. the other link)

  7. Derek Lazenby says:

    Hmm yes, a few intricate ones, but getable in the end.

    You really do have to wonder, given that creating a grid is non-trivial, just how hard it is to create a grid that fits a Nina like that. Thanks for that Nutmeg.

  8. Nutmeg says:

    Thank you all for kind comments. As for accommodating Nina in grid, you have to choose the right grid (all fairly short words in this one), it’s fun to do and well worth the effort so long as somebody spots it!
    Happy Christmas

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>

+ four = 8