Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Quiptic 650 / Hectence

Posted by Big Dave on April 30th, 2012

Big Dave.

One of the harder Quiptics that I have reviewed, but there are plenty of different types of clue utilised.

I look forward to your comments.

Most of the definitions given are from Chambers 11th Edition. Most of the standard abbreviations used in the wordplay are shown with the unused letters in brackets e.g. D(aughter).


1a           Posh girl’s broadcasting is stylish (8)
DEBONAIR – split as (3,2,3) this reads as a Posh girl is broadcasting but as (8) it means stylish

5a           Bosses don’t have right to make mistakes (6)
GAFFES – drop the R(ight) from some bosses to get these mistakes

9a           Leave daughters to oversee sons in finding wonderful women (9)
GODDESSES – a word meaning to leave is followed by D(aughter) + D(aughter) and then by SEE reversed (over) around S(on) + S(on)

11a         Even some casual jobs require qualifications (5)
EQUAL – a word meaning even is hidden in the clue, but “casual jobs” looks like padding solely for the benefit of the surface reading

12a         Idiotic complaint about care in Leeds cut short (6-6)
FEEBLE-MINDED – this hyphenated word meaning idiotic is built up from a complaint or moan reversed followed by a verb meaning to care inside LEED(S) without its final letter (cut short)

15a         The old record’s painful noise (4)
YELP – an old-fashioned word for “the” is followed by a Long-Playing record to get a painful noise

16a         Owner’s in favour of pier renovation with Torquay losing wharf (10)
PROPRIETOR – this owner of a business comes from a prefix meaning in favour of, anagram (renovation) of PIER and TOR(QUAY) without (losing) the quay (wharf)

18a         One CV in ten gets rewritten, saving time and trouble (10)
CONVENIENT – a very clever anagram (gets rewritten) of ONE CV IN TEN gives an adjective meaning saving time and trouble

19a         Troubles brought about by drink in America (4)
SODA – reverse (brought about) some troubles to get an American drink

21a         Race to mountain by boat in area of outstanding natural beauty (8,4)
NATIONAL PARK – a charade of a race or people, a high mountain and Noah’s boat gives an area of outstanding natural beauty

24a         Top grade’s pretty clever (5)
ACUTE – the top grade followed by an adjective meaning pretty gives a word meaning clever

25a         Inform about losing weight? (9)
ENLIGHTEN – this verb meaning to inform could possibly mean losing weight

26a         Look likely to fall for person who counts? (6)
TOTTER – a double definition – to look likely to fall over and a person who counts or adds up

27a         Form a group competent to contain rampant disorder (8)
ASSEMBLE – this verb meaning to form a group is derived by putting an adjective meaning competent around (to contain) a disorder that has been reversed (rampant, an indicator that I think would be more appropriate for a down clue)


1d,2d     Tracks unwashed smell to extremely dirty doormat (8)
DOGSBODY – a charade of a verb meaning tracks or follows, the smell associated with the unwashed and the outside letters (extremely) of D(irt)Y gives a doormat or person who is walked on

2d           See 1 down

3d           Demanded to be soundly massaged (6)
NEEDED – this verb meaning demanded or wanted sounds like it means massaged

4d           Acting subeditor, in holding back article, is defiant (13)
INSUBORDINATE – put an anagram (acting) of SUBEDITOR IN around (holding) the reversal (back) of the two-letter indefinite article to get an adjective meaning defiant or disobedient

6d           Drink before dinner’s appropriate, if Queen’s first person to tuck in (8)
APERITIF – this drink taken before dinner comes from a word meaning appropriate and IF around (to tuck in) the cypher for Elizabeth Regina and the first person subjective pronoun

7d           Discovered iodine in a large quantity of make-up (10)
FOUNDATION – a verb meaning discovered is followed by the chemical symbol for Iodine inside the A from the clue and a large quantity to get some cosmetic make-up

8d           In case arm’s hurt, boy’s given dressing (5,5)
SALAD CREAM – an anagram (hurt) of CASE ARM around a boy gives a dressing or sauce

10d         Stay in bed late with injuries after doctor gives sedatives (8,5)
SLEEPING PILLS – a phrasal verb meaning to stay in bed late (5,2) followed by some injuries which are themselves after your local doctor gives these sedatives – which might be why one stays in bed late!

13d         Direct look entirely disheartened oriental associate (3,7)
EYE CONTACT – this direct look is built up from E(ntirel)Y without its internal letters (disheartened), E (Eastern/oriental) and an associate

14d         Unquestioning confidence in sunscreen? (5,5)
BLIND TRUST – this unquestioning confidence could be that placed in the use of a sunscreen of the kind placed over a window rather than the ointment implied by the clue

17d         Engineer keen to get hold of advanced jet fuel (8)
KEROSENE – put an anagram (engineer) of KEEN around (to get hold of) a verb meaning advanced or made progress to get this jet fuel

20d         Note villain’s accent (6)
BROGUE – a charade of a musical note and a villain gives this accent

22d         Wound up crazy (4)
STAB – this verb meaning to wound is a word meaning crazy that has been reversed (up in a down clue)

23d         In times gone by love’s first noticed at church (4)
ONCE – this adverb meaning in times gone by is derived from O(love), the initial letter (first) of Noticed and the Church of England

6 Responses to “Guardian Quiptic 650 / Hectence”

  1. crypticsue says:

    Particularly hard work for a Quiptic, a nice mix of clues but I did have to think quite hard about some. Thanks to Hectence and BD.

  2. andy smith says:

    Thanks for the blog BD.

    I thought it was fresh and entertaining, but I also hesitated a bit at the hidden answer in 11a – just because it isn’t conventional to include surface padding in such a clue.

    Thanks Hectence, very good.

  3. postrophe says:

    Quite a challenging start to the week’s puzzling.

    Many thanks to Big Dave for a most entertaining commentary. “the first person subjective pronoun” made me think twice! :)

  4. Robi says:

    Enjoyable puzzle, but rather difficult for a Quiptic, I think.

    Thanks Big Dave for a good pictorial blog. I tried BLIND faith at first for 14.

    I did like FEEBLE-MINDED, although a bit complicated for this level.

  5. Derek Lazenby says:

    Yes, all the above.

    Not convinced by NEEDED=DEMANDED, needed describes a state, demanded describes one of the things you might have done about it, which is not the same thing.

  6. Sean says:

    I think NEEDED=DEMANDED works for a secondary meaning of ‘demand': e.g. “the grammar of the piece demanded some editorial attention”

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