Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Quiptic 644/Moley

Posted by Pierre on March 19th, 2012


A value for money Quiptic from Moley today, with a very full grid to keep us occupied.

I think it’s certainly an accessible puzzle, with plenty of anagrams to get beginners going.  There were a few clues where I didn’t much like the surfaces, but that could just be me.  There were also three words I’d never come across before, which is unusual for a Quiptic, but to be fair to the setter, she has clued them very clearly.


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


1 Kind of red figures that count?
A charade of the vivid red colour and NUMBERS.  I wasn’t that keen on this clue; it kind of works, but …

9 Strange thing to see in place of evening entertainment
A charade of (NIGHT)* and SPOT, with ‘strange’ as the anagrind.

10 Time in the middle of the day to get off
A synonym for ‘off’ in an insertion of T in NOON.

11 Re-let a new building that’s permanent
(RE-LET A N)* with ‘building’ as the anagrind.

12 Artist’s fiddle almost conjures up this Italian dish
A charade of RA for ‘artist’ and VIOLI[N].

13 Some of the better audio accessories for the period
Hidden in bettER Audio.

14 Poor intelligence produces unfortunate reports
A charade of BAD for ‘poor’ and NEWS for ‘intelligence’, but the clue is barely cryptic, in my opinion, because ‘unfortunate’ and ‘reports’ are close synonyms of the first two words in the clue.

17 Unending generosity by model with the greatest capacity
A charade of LARGES[SE] and T for the Model T Ford.

19 It’s about teams’ lives
A charade of RE and SIDES.

22 Leading light let off alarm …
A charade of STAR and (LET)* with ‘off’ as the anagrind.

24 … the day before in Madame Veronique
Hidden in MadamE VEronique.  As usual, the ellipses are irrelevant.

25 Head of unique stud?
A (not very) cd.  A ‘stud’ is a boss, and if it was unique it would be THE BOSS rather than A BOSS.

26 Males do, unfortunately, employ an old word for a maid
(MALES DO)* with ‘unfortunately’ as the anagrind.  It couldn’t be anything else, but it’s not a word I’d come across before: dictionaries give it as an alternative spelling of DAMSEL, which comes from the French Mademoiselle, ‘my lady/my girl’.  Interestingly, several municipalities in France have recently decided to drop this appellation, referring in correspondence to women of all ages as Madame.

28 Doesn’t gain a pound, initially, on seafood, even salmon
This is L for ‘pound’ (Libra) and the first letters of the last four words of the clue.

29 In winter I’ve organised a question and answer session

30 Top actors with lines in Old Glory
A (not very well-hidden) dd.  ‘Old Glory’ is another name for the US flag.


1 Stories told from from Pilgrims’ Progress to a place in Kent
Again, a barely hidden answer.  Bunyan’s book is actually called The Pilgrim’s Progress, but the clue is referring you to Chaucer’s work, where the pilgrims travelled from Southwark to Canterbury.  Whan that aprill with his shoures soote, The droghte of march hath perced to the roote, and all that.

2 Scoundrel’s uniform drenched in dreadful gore
An insertion of U for ‘uniform’ in the phonetic alphabet in (GORE)* with ‘dreadful’ as the anagrind.

3 Fashionable present, for example, that’s great
A charade of IN for ‘fashionable’ and TENSE, for present in the grammatical sense.

4 Phials for first of urine sample misplaced
Again, another alternative spelling.  Modern English has AMPOULES, but the SOED gives this as an alternative spelling, but marks it as ‘rare or obsolete’.  It’s (U SAMPLE)*.

5 Unaffected note
A dd.  The ‘note’ is of the musical variety, in other words not a sharp or a flat.

6 Short skirt, very short, with fur trimming
A charade of MINI and VER[Y].   ‘A kind of fur used as a trimming in ceremonial dress’ (SOED).

7 New text about traveller being sociable
An insertion of ROVER in (TEXT)* with ‘new’ as the anagrind.

8 Little time, when inn’s closed, perhaps, for a song from a show
(T WHEN INN’S CLOSED)*  ‘Perhaps’ is the anagrind.  I have always known the song from Judy Collins’ version of it, but it does indeed come from a Steven Sondheim musical.

15 Complaint about Daisy’s Personal Equity Plan
The posh word for gut-ache is (DAISY’S PEP)* with ‘about’ as the anagrind.

16 Small Scotch
A cd.

18 Worker produced article on time
A charade of AN and T.

20 Searches for water right inside but drifts off
An insertion of R inside DOWSES.

21 Sitting with one’s half-sister arranged
(ONE’S SIS)* with ‘arranged’ as the anagrind.

22 Sober son administers drugs
A charade of SEDATE for ‘sober’ and S for ‘son’.

23 Fan married unhappily

27 Spare metre put in waste container
An insertion of M in SKIP.

Many thanks to Moley.  She used to be a regular Quiptic compiler, but I don’t think we’ve seen her so much of late.

7 Responses to “Guardian Quiptic 644/Moley”

  1. andy smith says:

    Thanks Pierre for the helpful blog. Minor typo – 25a is a dd not cd?.

  2. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Pierre & Moley

    ‘Send in the Clowns’ is from Sondheim’s ‘A Little Night Music’ (1973) where it was memorably introduced on Broadway by the lovely Glynis Johns (b 1923).

    I’ve never even heard of Judy Collins. Perhaps you meant Joan Collins?

  3. Pierre says:

    Morning Andy. I guess you are right, or maybe it’s a cdcumdd thingymabob.

    Morning Bryan, haven’t heard much from you on the blog recently, so welcome back! Thanks for your link, but no, it was definitely Judy Collins (I heard her sing it live a long time ago). You can check it out here:

  4. Bryan says:

    Many thanks, Pierre, for introducing me to Judy Collins.

    She sure has a lovely voice and I certainly prefer hers to Joan Collins’.

  5. Robi says:

    About right level for a Quiptic, I think, with many anagrams.

    Thanks Pierre; I see what you mean about 14, but is this a dd also? I don’t think our colleagues North of the border would like 16, although I see it is in Chambers [‘a form regarded as incorrect by many Scots’]

  6. Rusty Bombazine says:

    WS Gilbert in Patience, I think, ‘…of damosels a score’ which is about 1877 without bothering to look it up.

  7. Derek Lazenby says:

    Yeah spot on for Quiptic despite the couple of obscurities. I’m sure I vaguely remember damosel from some thing I read as a teenager! Which time, Bryan, was just before the era of Judy Collins. At that time, if you knew Joni Mitchell then you knew Judy Collins, especially as the latter was not averse to doing covers of the former’s work. I’ve still got an album somewhere or other!

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