Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Quiptic N° 641, by Pan

Posted by PeterO on February 27th, 2012


When I started solving this, it seemed for a while to be shaping up as a little tough for a Quiptic, but on writing it up, I’m not sure how it gave that impression.
Once I got a few answers, everything fell into place smoothly, with the exception of 10A, where at least the answer is clear.

1. Cereal bowl to wave about (8)
BRANDISH A charade of BRAN (‘cereal’) + DISH (‘bowl’).
5. Source of scrumptious fruit announced in talk (6)
SPEECH A charade of S (‘source of Scrumptious’) + PEECH, a homophone (‘announced’) of PEACH (‘fruit’).
9. Member with a gallon container returning for liquor (8)
ARMAGNAC A charade of ARM (‘member’) + ‘a’ + G (‘gallon’) + NAC, a reversal (‘returning’) of CAN (‘container’). Some claim that Armagnac brandy is superior to cognac (and research suggests that it may have added health benefits).
10. Spirit drunk by nan suffering from heart complaint (6)
ANGINA Am I missing something? It looks like an envelope (‘drunk by’) of GIN (‘spirit’) in ANA … which is not an anagram (‘suffering’) of ‘nan’.
11. Notices a drifting person in a boat (8)
CANOEIST An anagram (‘drifting’) of ‘notices a’.
12. Force a way through with knight, say, capturing rook (6)
PIERCE An envelope (‘capturing’) of R (‘rook’) in PIECE (‘knight, say'; indication by example – hence the ‘say’ – with both knight and rook being chess pieces).
14. Adding decoration to real man not funny! (10)
ORNAMENTAL An anagram (‘funny’) of ‘real man not’, defined by an adjectival phrase.
18. Shocked when disturbing son and his date! (10)
ASTONISHED An anagram (‘disturbing’) of ‘son’ + ‘his date’. The surface merits the exclamation point.
22. Roving queen given to extravagant speech (6)
ERRANT A charade of ER (Elizabeth Regina, ‘queen’) + RANT (‘extravagant speech’).
23. Old king entertaining novelist in women’s underwear (8)
CAMISOLE An envelope (‘entertaining’) of AMIS (‘novelist’, Kingsley or Martin, take your pick). Who exactly is wearing the knickers?
24. Mark, given tool, makes piece of playground equipment (6)
SEESAW A charade of SEE (‘mark’) + SAW (‘tool’).
25. Girl in agony surrounded by rodents (8)
MICHELLE An envelope (‘surrounded by’) of HELL (‘agony’) in MICE (‘rodents’).
26. That girl embraced by old man is frustrated (6)
DASHED An envelope (‘embraced by’) of SHE (‘that girl’) in DAD (‘old man’).
27. Attempt to follow river to find labour (8)
INDUSTRY A charade of INDUS (‘river’) + TRY (‘attempt’).
1. Subdivision of boy’s first farm (6)
BRANCH A charade of B (‘Boys first’) + RANCH (‘farm’).
2. Salmon dish contains a nut (6)
ALMOND A hidden answer (‘contains’) in ‘sALMON Dish’.
3. Decode Greek, holding university qualification (6)
DEGREE A hidden answer (‘holding’) in ‘decoDE GREEk’.
4. The limits of some morning anxiety for artisan (10)
SEAMSTRESS A charade of SE (‘the limits of SomE‘) + AM (‘morning’) + STRESS (‘anxiety’).
6. Underwear to cover large “things” found on the roof! (8)
PANTILES An envelope (‘to cover’) of L (‘large’) in PANTIES (‘underwear’). I spent a while trying to make this SHINGLES (again), or SINGLETS.
7. Leave one country and settle in another; it’s good in Kuwait, for example (8)
EMIGRATE An envelope (the second ‘in’) of G (‘good’) in EMIRATE (‘kuwait, for example’).
8. Delightful fling at the end of fall in New York (8)
HEAVENLY A charade of HEAVE (‘fling’) + NLY, an envelope (‘in’) of L (‘end of falL‘) in NY (‘New York’).
13. Cut allowance of delicate fabric? (10)
LACERATION A charade of LACE (‘delicate fabric’) + RATION (‘allowance’).
15. Cedars collapsed round Home Counties touched lovingly (8)
CARESSED An envelope (’round’) of SE (south-east of England, ‘home counties’) in CARESD, an anagram (‘collapsed’) of ‘cedars’.
16. Naked streak upset Royal Society! (8)
STARKERS A charade of STARKE, an anagram (‘upset’) of ‘streak’ + RS (‘Royal Society’).
17. Flood caused by setter and religious lady on evening out (8)
INUNDATE A charade of I (the writer referring to himself, ‘setter’) + NUN (‘religious lady’) + DATE (‘evening out’).
19. Six Huns destroyed deity (6)
VISHNU A charade if VI (Roman numeral, ‘six’) + SHNU, an anagram (‘destroyed’) of ‘huns’. Vishnu is a Hindu deity.

The third avatar of Vishnu, as Varaha, the boar

20. Miscellaneous collection of Old Testament characters (3,3)
JOB LOT A charade of JOB + LOT (‘Old Testament characters’).
21. Present extremely silly contrary opinion (6)
HERESY A charade of HERE (‘present’) + SY (‘extremely SillY‘).

6 Responses to “Guardian Quiptic N° 641, by Pan”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Peter.

    This all fell out nicely, with LACERATION my favourite clue, followed by ASTONISHED for its clever surface.

    I can’t make ANGINA work either, so my hypothesis is another Grauniad foul-up.

  2. andy smith says:


    Glad to see that I am in good company for a change re ANGINA.

    Not familiar with SEE as a synonym/meaning of MARK in 24a – can’t see it in Chamber’s at a first glance.

  3. Robi says:

    I think this was OK as a Quiptic.

    Thanks, PeterO; I guess you might want to include COLE as a potential wearer of knickers in 23. I agree that 10 must be a mistake. Not sure about 13; it seems to be back-to-front. Is the ‘of’ meant to denote second?

  4. PeterO says:

    andy @2

    SEE is not the first word that springs to my mind for ‘mark’, but Chambers does include “to regard”, or, intransitively, “to take particular notice”. Commonly, this notice is not necessarily visual (“Mark my words”), but some dictionaries, the OED for example, suggest a more visual interpretation as archaic or poetic.

    Robi @3

    I might have better expressed the wordplay of 13D; as a phrase, LACE RATION is quite OK for “ration of lace”.

  5. andy smith says:

    PeterO @4 – thanks – it was a passing comment, and there are so many interpretations of ‘SEE’ that I was sure that the setter was on firm ground, just couldn’t find one at the time.

  6. Derek Lazenby says:

    Yes, it does look easier in retrospect, but it is the solving experience that defines whether it was a good Quiptic or not. I’ve delved into the Quiptic archives and many of them I can do in 20 minutes. Those are good Quiptics. Yes I’m a very slow solver, but even so, this took nearer 2 hours. QED.

    And it wasn’t the obvious queries mentioned above that slowed me down. SEESAW was an easy guess and having guessed, something in my mind said “it’s a bit obsolete, but I’m sure I’ve heard SEE=mark somewhere or other”. Just don’t ask me where. And the brain did one of it’s usual optical illusions with ANGINA. Because NAN is all Ns and As, and the letters which aren’t GIN were also thus, hence the brain was happy with that because it neglected to count them!

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