Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Quiptic 643 Hectence

Posted by scchua on March 12th, 2012


This was a fair level of difficulty for a Quiptic.  Enjoyably so, so thanks Hectance.  Definitions are underlined in the clues.  The picture sets at the bottom each has its own unidentified link to the crossword.


1 Liberal plot captures street opinion (5-6)

BROAD-MINDED :  BED(earthen plot for growing flowers, etc.) containing(captures) [ROAD(street) + MIND(opinion, as in “he’s of like mind”)]

Answer: In a general, and not the narrow political, sense.

9 For the most part, place is getting right set in (7)

LARGELY :  LAY(to place) containing(is getting…in) [R(right) + GEL(to set,become firm,solidify, as with, well, gelatine/jelly.

10 Twitter has power to upset (7)

PRATTLE :  P(abbrev. for power, especially in physics) + RATTLE(to upset,unnerve)

11 Heavenly lilac trees in trouble without a river (9)

CELESTIALAnagram of(in trouble) [LILAC TEES](“lilac treesminus(without) “r”(river)

12 God’s briefly absorbed by points of morality (5)

ETHOS :  THO(“Thor”,Scandinavian god of thunder, lightning and farming) minus its last letter,briefly contained in(absorbed by) [E & S(­east & south,points of the compass).  I’m wondering whether or not the “’s” is superfluous.

13 Show off retro dress (4)

BRAGReversal of(retro) GARB(dress in general).  Nicely misdirecting one to a retro dress like the sack.

14 Old historian, very sick by end of life, died tormented (10)

BEDEVILLED :  BEDE(Saint Bede, 7C monk who wrote the earliest history of England apparently) + V(very) + ILL(sick) plus(by) E(last letter,end oflife”) + D(died).

16 Athlete’s facing disqualification, having hidden drug in vegetable (6,4)

RUNNER BEAN :  RUNNER(athlete) plus(facing) BAN(disqualification) containing(having hidden…in) E(slang/abbrev. for the drug, ecstasy).

19 Man who fell for a woman (4)

ADAMA DAM(a woman, specifically the female parent, and especially used for domestic livestock. 

Defn. and Answer: The first man, who fell to Eve’s, first woman‘s, temptation, and hence fell from grace, in the Bible; and brought all their descendants down with them, so the story goes.  Nice surface.

20 Man reflected on partners’  stories (5)

YARNSReversal of(reflected) RAY(man’s name) plus(on) [N & S](in bridge notation, the partners occupying the north and south positions).

21 Eavesdrops on revolutionary Leninists (7,2)

LISTENS INAnagram of(revolutionary) LENINISTS

23 Dozing professor’s brought round by sound of bell (7)

NODDINGReversal of(brought round) DON(professor at a university) plus(by) DING(sound of a bell).

24 Do away with old boy by way of note (7)

OBVIATE :  OB(abbrev. for old boy) + VIA(by way of) + TE(or ti, in music, the syllable for the seventh note of the diatonic scale).

25 Brewed mild ales ’ere in Ireland (7,4)

EMERALD ISLEAnagram of(brewed, perfect indicator for the surface) MILD ALES ‘ERE

Answer: The poetic name for Ireland due to its green countryside (lots of it).


1 Writer of book on Queen has ably represented popular link (5,10)

BERYL BAINBRIDGE :  B(abbrev. for book) plus(on) ER(the Queen,Elizabeth Regina) plus(has) anagram of or reversal of(re-presented, note the hyphen) ABLY + IN(popular,fashionable) BRIDGE(link from one side to another). 

Answer: English authoress, Whitbread Award winner, and Booker Prize nominee.

2 Does as instructed by old governors (5)

OBEYS :  O(abbrev. for old) plus(by) BEYS(formerly, provincial governors of the Ottoman Empire).

3 DIY team worked in light (7)

DAYTIMEAnagram of(worked) DIY TEAM.

4 Stimulus of 50% off mink raised heart rate! (7)

IMPULSEReversal of(raised) MI(“minkminus “nk”,2 letters out of 4,50% off) + PULSE(heart rate).

5 Sugar-intolerant little girl has help with sick heart (8)

DIABETIC :  DI(little girl, Diana in full) plus(has) ABET(to help) plus(with) IC(middle letters,heart of “sick”).

6 I scheduled teams for treatment for tree blight (5,3,7)

DUTCH ELM DISEASEAnagram of(for treatment) I SCHEDULED TEAMS.  Nice surface of tree surgeons in action.

7 Gleaning fruits of smart communication? (13)

BLACKBERRYING :  Cryptic defn: Of communication with the Blackberry smartphone.

And the One Ronnie has one:

8 Doctor’s patient demeanour? (7,6)

BEDSIDE MANNER :  Cryptic defn: The demeanour,beheaviour of a doctor when attending to a patient, whether the latter is lying in bed or not – not something they teach at medical school?, judging by some of the doctors I’ve been treated by :-) 

15 Dad in Paris tears round in sweat (8)

PERSPIREReversal of(round) RIPS(tears) containing(in) PERE(French word for “father”,dad, heard in Paris).  

17 British lagoon designed for Italian city (7)

BOLOGNAAnagram of(designed) [B(abbrev. for British) + LAGOON].

18 Run away with sailors to fish round Norway (7)

ABSCOND :  ABS(plural of abbrev. for able-bodied seaman,sailors) plus(to) [COD(fish) containing(round) N(International Vehicle Registration code for Norway).

22 Conjure a vision to show the Glastonbury man (5)

EAVISHidden in(to show) conjurE A VISiion

Answer: Athelstan Joseph Michael Eavis, in full, English dairy farmer who started the Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts (in full) or the Glastonbury or Glasto held annually at his farm (though not in 2012).  No link at all to the Glastonbury Festivals of 1914-1925, of more classical performing arts.






8 Responses to “Guardian Quiptic 643 Hectence”

  1. Robi says:

    I thought this was about right in difficulty for a Quiptic.

    Thanks, scchua; I think you’ve lost the ‘ABLY’ in your 1d. I didn’t know Mr EAVIS, but the cluing led to the answer quite easily. I particularly liked the surface for RUNNER BEAN.

  2. Robi says:

    The first picture is by Man Ray, I think, linking to 20. The last pictures are Alan Rickman and Georgina Cates who appeared in Bainbridge’s (1d) ‘An Awfully Big Adventure.’ Still working on the middle one!

  3. Robi says:

    The second one is George Eliot, who wrote ‘Adam Bede,’ reference to 14.

  4. scchua says:

    Thanks Robi, typo now corrected. Well done on the quiz, I didn’t think it would be that easy, but then… Minor addition: ADAM BEDE is linked via both 14 and 19.

  5. Robi says:

    Scchua, thanks; of course, I was so excited that I missed 19.

  6. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, scchua. Hectence normally produces a good Quiptic and this was another good one. Perhaps one or two trickier clues (I found BERYL BAINBRIDGE hard to get, although I’ve read a good bit of her work).

    DUTCH ELM DISEASE was well-constructed too.

  7. StanXYZ says:

    Once again I found the Quiptic far more difficult than the Cryptic.

    13a – Surely this is not fair – the reversal indicator “retro” could apply to either “Show off” or “dress”. It’s necessary to get a checker before deciding which is correct.

  8. Derek Lazenby says:

    As mentioned before, many of the early ones I could do in about 20 mins. This was spot on. Didn’t get all the word play, but the definitions and crossing letters came to my rescue. So ta to Hectance and ta scchua for explaining the bits I missed.

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