Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Quiptic 640/Beale

Posted by Pierre on February 20th, 2012

Pierre.

A quick check reveals that this is the first Beale I’ve had to blog, and this little baby didn’t lie down to sleep without a bit of a fight …

I think this is pretty tough for a Quiptic.  The grid is not solver-friendly; there is only one simple anagram but a number of cds; and there are some clues that while fair, are a bit of a stretch for someone who’s just starting out on their cryptic careers.  Anyway, interested to hear what others made of it.

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

Across

9 Start over with no restrictions
OPEN-ENDED
A charade of OPEN for ‘start’ and ENDED for ‘over’.

10 Available hot or cold?
ON TAP
A cd.

11 Stop me returning to pub, then depart
EMBARGO
A synonym for ‘stop’ is a three-part charade: EM (‘me’ reversed), BAR and GO.

12 Entertainer seen throwing up
JUGGLER
A cd, and a good one.

13 Sizeable first edition made one’s fortune
FATE
A charade of FAT and E for the first letter of ‘edition’.

14 Break off with a cabbalist
SABBATICAL
(A CABBALIST)*  ‘Off with’ is the anagrind.

16 Spiritual studies signalling attack of conscience
REMORSE
A charade of RE for Religious Education and MORSE as in Morse Code.

17 Check before opening
PREVENT
It’s a good surface, but I’m less keen on PRE as a fairly loose definition of ‘before’.  If you follow that with VENT for ‘opening’ then you’ve got a verb meaning ‘to check’.

19 Cooking ingredient from dud drug?
LEMON GRASS
A charade of LEMON in the sense of ‘dud’ and GRASS as a slang term for marijuana.

22 Sound system by which hospital units accept fine
HI-FI
Beale’s asking you to put F for ‘fine’ inside H for ‘hospital’ and two Is for ‘units’.

24 Fruit served with wine is fashionable
ROSEHIP
A charade of ROSE for the wine and HIP for ‘fashionable’.

25 Stylish without lead actor’s books all over the place
CHAOTIC
There’s a bit going on here.  CHIC is ‘stylish’.  ‘Without’ is an insertion indicator and the inserted material is A for the first letter of ‘actor’ and OT, Old Testament for ‘books’.

26 Criticise after inclusion of each hymn
PAEAN
An inclusion of EA for ‘each’ in PAN for ‘criticise’.

27 Dismissed, pathetic, penniless and headstrong, then exits
FIRE DOORS
Again, there’s a lot going on here in a crossword promoted as ‘for beginners’.  ‘Dismissed’ is FIRED, then OOR is [P]OOR (‘pathetic’ without P for penny, ie ‘penniless’ and S for the first letter of ‘strong’ (‘headstrong’).

Down

1 Tie up pension in advance to get return for little effort
MONEY FOR OLD ROPE
The answer was obvious once you had a few crossing letters, but I couldn’t see this for ages.  It’s a charade: ‘tie up’ is ROPE and MONEY FOR OLD is ‘pension’.

2 Precisely spoken student left with man
VERBATIM
Another one I struggled with.  The definition is ‘precisely’ and it’s VERBA[L] (‘spoken’ after L for learner or ‘student’ has left) plus TIM for ‘man’.

3 Tried diligently to grasp point
HEARD
An insertion of E for a ‘point’ of the compass in HARD in its adverbial sense (‘diligently’).  HEARD in its judicial meaning.

4 Supporter of bill gets about during election
ADVOCATE
A further rather complicated clue.  It’s a charade of AD for ‘bill’ and and insertion of CA for circa, or ‘about’ in VOTE.

5 One suffering from reduced chances secures casual work
ODD JOB
It’s a charade of ODD[S] for ‘reduced chances’ and JOB as the Biblical figure who suffered, but I’m not sure that ‘from’ is a good indicator of putting the latter after the former.

6 Neglected grotto built in marshy area
FORGOTTEN
An insertion of ORGOTT, which is (GROTTO)* in FEN.  ‘Built’ is the anagrind.

7 Typeface taken from digital icon
ITALIC
Hidden in digITAL ICon.

8 It helps one get up and about
SPIRAL STAIRCASE
A cd, but not a very good one in my opinion.

15 Cutting short attempt at charm
TRENCHANT
A word meaning ‘cutting’ (as in ‘cutting remark’) is a charade of TR[Y] for ‘short attempt’ and ENCHANT.

17 Final reminder during podcast disguised the message
POSTCARD
(R PODCAST)*  ‘Disguised’ is the anagrind.  POSTCARD for ‘message’?

18 Dispossession notice given out around six
EVICTION
(NOTICE)* around VI for ‘six’.  ‘Given out’ is the anagrind.

20 Hid damaged desk from mother
MASKED
A charade of MA and (DESK)* with ‘damaged’ as the anagrind.

21 Imitation of epitaph’s unacceptable
RIP-OFF
A charade of RIP (Requiescat in Pace) and OFF for ‘unacceptable’  (‘that’s a bit off’).  I wouldn’t say that a RIP-OFF was an ‘imitation’ though, and my Collins doesn’t give it; the SOED does however have ‘copy, plagiarise (slang)’.  And is the apostrophe s doing anything here?  For me, it’s suggesting that the answer should be RIPS OFF.

23 Fine publication
DANDY
A dd.  Everything’s fine and dandy; and the comic.  I think this is a tough ask for a five-letter solution with only two (not very helpful) crossing letters.

Many thanks to Beale.

3 Responses to “Guardian Quiptic 640/Beale”

  1. Robi says:

    Nice puzzle, but I agree that it seems pretty tough for a Quiptic.

    Thanks Pierre; I didn’t parse MONEY FOR OLD ROPE and ADVOCATE correctly. In 21, (i)s unacceptable for ‘OFF’ seems OK to me. In my opinion, the surface would have been poorer if the ‘s was left out. I also think that RIP-OFF seems alright – from Merriam-Webster: ‘a usually cheap exploitive imitation.’

  2. crosser says:

    Thanks Pierre and Beale.
    I spent ages trying to fit ‘ERE’ into 17a as I already had a couple of Es crossing.
    I agree that 5d is rather dubious.
    Yes, it was a bit hard for a Quiptic, but there were some good clues. I particularly liked ‘ADVOCATE’ and ‘FIRE DOORS’.

  3. Derek Lazenby says:

    Did this on Thursday. Araucaria was not much harder!

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