Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Quiptic 639 Orlando

Posted by scchua on February 13th, 2012


Thanks Orlando for a staple Quiptic – cryptic definitions, double definitions, some cryptic too, and not too complex charades and anagrams.  Elegantly straightforward clues, but still enjoyable.  Definitions are underlined in the clues.  The pictures have unidentified links with the crossword – hint:  there are  5 pairs and 2 singles, though all of them have been arranged in no particular order.


1 Mate in Sydney holding large hammer (7)

CLOBBER :  COBBER(in Sydney, Australian slang for a close male friend,mate, not to be confused with one of the opposite sex) containing(holding) L(abbrev. for l­arge, as in clothing sizes)

Defn: As a verb, to beat severely,hammer

5 Horrible bra came undone (7)

MACABREAnagram of(undone) of BRA CAME

9 Hit by a vehicle — and not cared for (3,4)

RUN DOWN :  Double defn.

10 Girl’s first with simply tailored tunic (7)

GYMSLIP :  G(initial letter,first of “girl”) plus(with) anagram of(tailored) SIMPLY

Defn: The tunic that schoolgirls wear in the gym.

11 Hint: gloom transformed by this? (9)

MOONLIGHTAnagram of(transformed) HINT GLOOM

Defn: The sunlight reflected by the moon which transforms the darkness,night,gloom.  A clever WIWD (wordplay intertwined with definition) clue. 

12 Move during sword fight, taking nothing from room (5)

LUNGE :  “Lounge”(room) minus(taking…from) “o”(looks like 0,zero,nothing)

13 Tree providing shade (5)

LILAC :  Double defn: 2nd: Shade of colour that looks like, well, the colour of the flowers from the shrub,small tree of the 1st defn.

15 Capital people name ships (9)

DUBLINERS :  DUB(to name) + LINERS(ships, usually for cruises)

Defn: The people from the capital.  Also the name of a capital sounding group of singers – remember “Seven Drunken Nights”?

17 Going wrong isn’t moral! (6,3)

MORTAL SINAnagram of(going wrong) ISN’T MORAL.

Defn: Same definition expressed twice (going wrong as a nounal phrase) – therefore not a double but a 2xSingle definition.  Another clever WIWD clue

19 Container, as required by music producers (5)

TUBAS :  TUB(a container) + AS

Defn: What are required by the specific group of music producers, the tubaists or tubists (anyone, especially a tuba player, to confirm these are legit words?)

22 Tea brought back from service area (5)

ASSAMReversal of(brought back) [MASS(church service) + A(abbrev. for area)]

Defn: Tea grown in Assam, north-east India, found in the more commonly named English, Irish or Scottish Breakfast Teas.

23 Girl rings friend and mum in holiday location (3,6)

LAS PALMAS :  LASS(girl) containing(rings) [PAL(friend, not as close as a cobber perhaps) plus(and) MA(mother,mum)]

Defn: de Gran Canaria, to give its full name, the joint capital and holiday resort town in the Canary Islands.

25 Serious listener with cosy home (7)

EARNEST :  EAR(listener, or what you listen with) plus(with) NEST(a cosy home, or sometimes a home for lovers)

26 Inability to remember a name is peculiar (7)

AMNESIAAnagram of(peculiar) A NAME IS

27 Stephenson dismisses female family member (7)

STEPSON :  “Stephensonminus(dismisses) “hen”(female)

28 Doctor needs fluid for German city (7)

DRESDENAnagram of(fluid) [DR(abbrev. for “doctor”) + NEEDS]


1 Rover, for example, gets sort of meal that’s sweet (7)

CARAMEL :  CAR(an example of which,for example, is the British Rover, which company  started with motorcycles and bicycles, and since then has had a chequered history, presently extinct except for the Land Rover marque owned by Tata Motors of India) plus(gets) anagram of(sort of) MEAL

2 Personal ambition that’s a setback for the team (3,4)

OWN GOAL :  Double defn.

3 Cook one way or another, bringing in Ramsay initially (5)

BROIL :  BOIL(another way to cook) containing(bringing in) R(initial letter,initially of “Ramsay”, Gordon, that fiery – to use a euphemism – Scotsman of a cook, sorry, chef).  Another WIWD clue, referring to the TV series “Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares”, where he – culinary skills, profanities and all – was brought into the kitchens of failing restaurants to revive them – cook one way or another.

4 Turncoats messed a general up? Not completely (9)

RENEGADESHidden in(not completely) and reversal of(up, in a down clue) mesSED A GENERal

5 Power of child picked up by the ears (5)

MIGHTHomophone of(picked up by the ears) “mite”(child).  A (human) child would need mighty powerful ears to be picked up by them!

6 Illness caused by beef? (9)

COMPLAINT :  Double defn: 1st: An illness,disease,ailment; and 2nd: Gripe,beef

7 Rest that’s essential for tightrope walker (7)

BALANCE :  Double defn: 1st: The rest,what’s remaining, eg. in your bank account

8 Fast train, say (7)

EXPRESS :  Double defn:

14 Conservative leader, safe but unattractive (9)

CHARMLESS :  C(initial letter,leader of “conservative) + HARMLESS(safe). 

Defn: Having no charm(s), physical, magical or otherwise, to enchant,attract you.  Descriptive of a retired old witch on all counts.

16 Originally bison and bear feature in park (9)

BANDSTAND :  B(initial letter of,originallybison”) plus(and) STAND(bear,tolerate)

17 People not satisfied with Ransome novel (7)

MOANERSAnagram of(novel) of RANSOME

18 Book a possible substitute (7)

RESERVE :  Double defn: 1st: To book in advance, eg. for a table in a restaurant: and 2nd: Someone who sits on the bench and may be called in as a substitute during a team game.

20 Puzzled when Australian birds appear in part of garden (7)

BEMUSED :  EMUS(Austrian flightless birds, not sheilas) contained in(appear in) BED(part of the garden)

21 American turning up with dirty bear (7)

SUSTAINReversal of(turning up, in a down clue) U.S.(American) plus(with) STAIN(verb to dirty,mark with)

23 What was heard in Rome and a quarter of Paris (5)

LATIN :  Double defn: 1st: Language heard in Rome long ago; and 2nd: Latin Quarter is an area in Paris known for the number of educational institutions there, hence its student life, lively atmosphere and bistros.  Interestingly, its name comes from the language that was spoken around and in the University, since it was the language of learning in the Middle Ages.

24 Musical heroine joining Laurie in a song (5)

ANNIE :  Double defn: 1st:  Little Orphan Annie or Annie Oakley, heroines in the musicals “Annie” and “Annie Get Your Gun” respectively, take your pick; and 2nd: Together,joining with Laurie to give the title of an old Scottish song whose earliest known version, perhaps closest to the original, has these (some quaint) lyrics:

Maxwelton braes are bonnie, where early fa’s the dew
Where me and Annie Laurie made up the promise true
Made up the promise true, and ne’er forget will I
And for bonnie Annie Laurie I’d lay doun my head and die
She’s backit like the peacock, she’s breistit like the swan
She’s jimp aboot the middle, her waist ye weel may span
Her waist ye weel may span, and she has a rolling eye
And for bonnie Annie Laurie I’d lay doun my head and die.



5 Responses to “Guardian Quiptic 639 Orlando”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, scchua.

    Orlando always produces an accessible but entertaining Quiptic, and this was another of them. Didn’t help myself by stupidly putting COBBLER in at 1ac. But once that was sorted, the rest fell in nicely. LAS PALMAS was cleverly put together, and it was nice to see STEPSON clued differently from the usual STEPS ON trick.

  2. Miche says:

    Thanks, scchua.

    I think the “music producers” in 19a are the TUBAS themselves, “as required” signifying that AS must be added to TUB to get the answer.

  3. Miche says:

    No, strike that. Your reading is better.

  4. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Miche, I took your first reading to be the right parsing – TUB plus AS, with the instruments as the definition.

  5. crosser says:

    Thanks, scchua.
    I made the same mistake as K’s Dad at 1a, though I can’t think why!
    And I can’t believe that I needed your parsing to undersatand why I had put ASSAM at 22a. OK, I’m an infidel, but still….

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