Never knowingly undersolved.

Private Eye/Cyclops 462 – The Odd Couple

Posted by beermagnet on February 20th, 2012


Which Odd couple is Cyclops alluding to I wonder: Cameron and Idi Amin? Al Capone and Robin Hood?

There’s an odd couple of bits of wordplay that are not pinned down to my satisfaction.
16D gave me most trouble and held me up more than anything at the end of solving,
and 26A.


7 MISHIT UK security service crap – was way off target (6)
M.I. (Military Intelligence – that famous oxymoron) SHIT (crap)
9 AL CAPONE Crown squeezed by one single mobster (2,6)
CAP (crown) inside A LONE (one single)
10 TEAR-ARSE Drop behind a human dynamo (4-4)
TEAR (drop) REAR (behind) – Most used as a verb in my experience when I was a nipper by my parents who were always telling me to stop tear-arsing around
11 SPLASH Piss, holding pint – get it everywhere (6)
P inside SLASH
12/14 ROBIN HOOD TAX Archer’s duty: extraction of a bigger share of income from wealthy types (5,4,3)
ROBIN HOOD (Archer) TAX (duty)
15 PSYCHIC Dealer in spirits? Three parts pissed but elegant with it (7)
[ti]PSY (pissed) CHIC (elegant) Last answer entered – clear once the C or Cheating appeared
17 G-STRING Fanny just wouldn’t be seen wearing one (1-6)
Cryptic – barely – in both senses
20/21 THE ODD COUPLE The Broadway play, film, and TV series, showing an occasional shag? (3,3,6)
THE ODD (an occasional) COUPLE (shag)  The excellent Neil Simon play

23 NANTES French place that’s the end of Cameron? “— ‘e ‘asn’t adapted” (6)
[camero]N (‘E ‘ASN’T)* AInd: Adapted.  I did a double take on this when I considered Nantes but then thought “but it hasn’t got an ‘H’ in it”
25 A BIT MUCH “Queer”, “butch” am I? That’s uncalled-for (1,3,4)
(BUTCH AM I)* AInd: Queer
26 SHANGHAI During bonk, name something that tops head almost – port (8)
Wordplay seems to start clearly enough: N[ame] inside SHAG (bonk)
But then how does HAI derive from the rest? (something that tops head almost)?
27 MULISH Stubborn as the Democrats, symbolically (6)
The symbol for the American Democratic party is a donkey and although a donkey isn’t a mule it is mule-ish.

The donkey was first associated with Andrew Jackson’s 1828 presidential campaign. His opponents called him a jackass, and Jackson decided to use the image of the strong-willed animal for his campaign.

1 FINE ARTS Drops one outside entrance of Institute North East for a bit of culture (4,4)
I[nstitute] N[orth] E[ast] inside FARTS (Drops one)
2 CHERUB Sweet innocent thing, Blair (excluding that is reduced unemployment benefit) (6)
CHER[ie] U[nemployment] B[enefit] That blair- another oxymoron?
3 CAMERON Leader who’s climaxed, one lacking in metal (7)
CAME (climaxed) [i]RON
4 ACTS Things agreed informally: removing head of penis does something (4)
[p]ACTS I’m sure there can be formal pacts too
5 EPILATOR Brewed IP Ale, rot – it won’t put hairs on your chest (8)
(IP ALE ROT)* AInd: Brewed.

 Don’t let one of these things anywhere near me!

6 UNISEX Naff Sun squeezing one divorcee of no particular gender (6)
I (one) inside (SUN)* AInd: Naff. EX (divorcee)
8 TARANTINO In whose films the actors swear sailor ain’t no Rocky (9)
TAR (sailor) (AINT SO)* AInd: rocky
13 DESPOTISM Badly missed squeezing belly and Stalin’s thing (9)
POT (belly) inside (MISSED)* AInd: badly
16 CHEATING Screwing around with male, Tina’s good (8)
I’m not sure where the C comes from here, or for that matter the anagrind. C(?) HE (male) (TINA)* AInd: ?? G[ood]
18 NO EXCUSE Not a justification for ordering sex on cue (2,6)
(SEX ON CUE)* AInd: ordering
19 IDI AMIN Cyclops would have one in the morning with popular murderous buffoon (3,4)
I’D (Cyclops would) 1 A.M. (one in the morning) IN (popular)
20 TRASHY Pisspoor attempt to outflank anti-smokers (6)
A.S.H. (anti-smokers) inside TRY (attempt) Action on Smoking and Health is a campaigning charity for something or another
22 PIMPLE Spot member stuck into mound (6)
MP (member) inside PILE (mound)
24 SOHO House after smarmy Osborne starts is a seedy place? (4)
S[marmy] O[sborne] HO[use] Not such a seedy place as a few decades ago.

The Celebrity Big Brother house has been burgled – victims are yet to be identified.


9 Responses to “Private Eye/Cyclops 462 – The Odd Couple”

  1. lemming says:

    I suspect the C in 16d is old friend circa.

    A very little head scratching found some residual HAI(r) for 26a.

  2. sidey says:

    Thanks beery.

    I have a feeling the C in 16d is supposed to be short for ‘cum’ rather than ‘circa’. I seem to remember seeing it used with ‘r’ for recipe in old prescriptions. It’s not in in any dictionary I’ve looked at though so that falls a bit flat.

  3. beermagnet says:

    Of course lemming HAI[r] for the end of 26A.
    I was completely misled by ‘tops’ being used so often in the Anne Boleyn sense.

    As for 16D. If the C comes from ‘around’ then it seems to me that clue word is doing triple duty, as part of the def. (cheating is surely ‘screwing around’ rather than just ‘screwing’), anagram indicator (what else is there in that clue) and the C. So I am tempted by sidey’s suggestion that the ‘with’ = cum = C. I’m not fully convinced either way.

  4. sidey says:

    Unless the definition is simply ‘screwing’ in the sense of extortion. In which case I think ‘circa’ works as a bit of an &lit.

  5. rrc says:

    10a and 3d were the last two – not so many smiles and ahs moments on this crossword.

  6. Dave miller says:

    11 across – splash. This exact same clue appeared in a cyclops a few months back. Is that normal???

  7. lemming says:

    Heavens, yes: No 455, 19ac: Piss while holding pint – get it everywhere.

    I’ve also found “splash” as a solution in No.213 (July 2002), though no idea what the clue was that time.

  8. dave miller says:

    ‘scuse my ignorance, but do you mean heavens yes that is normal?

  9. lemming says:

    Heavens to Betsy, no, at least not ime. And apologies for overlooking the ambiguity. Classic human error. I’d totally discounted the likelihood of that second possibility, and made the faulty default assumption that anyone else would too. Just as well we’re not running a nuclear power station or flying a website.

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