Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Quiptic 658 / Nutmeg

Posted by Big Dave on June 25th, 2012

Big Dave.

Nutmeg once again gives us a puzzle which is just right for the Quiptic genre. The usual variety of clues with nothing that should be beyond the newer solver.

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. R(uns).


1a           During passage, decline Italian food (7)
LASAGNE – inside (during) a passage or country road put a verb meaning to decline or droop to get this Italian food

5a           Graduate putting spy in shade (7)
MAGENTA – put the two-letter abbreviation of a higher university degree around a spy to get this shade of colour

9a           Listener’s followed instructive leaflet (5)
TRACT – what sounds like (listener’s) tracked (followed) is actually a leaflet

10a         What’s found in high degree after dance (9)
DISCOVERY – a noun for what is found following a search is derived from an adverb meaning In a high degree or extremely after a dance where the music comes from records rather than a live band

11a         Renowned cricket side’s aim: always to restrict runs (9)
LEGENDARY – this adjective meaning renowned comes from a side in cricket, sometimes called the on side, an aim or purpose and a word meaning always or ever into which is inserted (to restrict) R(uns)

12a         Sinful city of changing moods (5)
SODOM – a sinful city comes from an anagram (changing) of MOODS

13a         Demure sister admitted solid angular figure (5)
PRISM – put a word meaning demure around (admitted) S(ister) to get a solid angular figure

15a         Land with no ale unsettled everybody (3,3,3)
ONE AND ALL an anagram (unsettled) of LAND with NO ALE gives a phrase meaning everybody

18a         Squeeze round rather dilapidated mat (9)
HEARTHRUG – put a verb meaning to squeeze around an anagram (dilapidated) of RATHER to get a mat

19a         Brings in those holding the Ashes, reportedly (5)
EARNS – this verb meaning brings in or makes an income sounds like (reportedly) containers for holding the ashes of someone who has been cremated

21a         He’s in retro feature film (one never released) (5)
LIFER – hidden and reversed (retro) inside the clue is someone who is never to be released from prison

23a         New worker stopping masculine abuse (9)
MANHANDLE – put N(ew) and a manual worker inside a word meaning masculine to get a verb meaning to abuse

25a         Here many may gather right-winger’s drift (9)
CONCOURSE – a place where people gather comes from a charade of a right-wing politician and a drift or direction

26a         Golden sound, it may be admitted (5)
GUILT – what sounds like an adjective meaning golden is actually something that may be admitted.

27a         This tale not author’s first representation of Scotland (7)
THISTLE – start with THIS T(A)LE, drop  the initial letter (first) of Author and the result is a plant that is representation of Scotland

28a         Tried to distract opponent engaged in winter sport (7)
SLEDGED – a verb meaning tried to distract an opponent in the game of cricket by making offensive remarks also means engaged in a winter sport


1d           Poor first shot fielder accidentally dropped (3,4)
LET SLIP – a poor first shot in tennis is followed by a fielder in cricket to get a verb meaning accidentally dropped or revealed

2d           Half of Sri Lankans’ housing put up in earthly paradise (7,2)
SHANGRI LA – put the first half of SRI LAnkans around (housing) a verb meaning to put a picture up on a wall gives an earthly paradise

3d           Fare to board the train (3,2)
GET ON – this verb meaning to fare or succeed also means to board the train

4d           “Shot!” always heard following goal (9)
ENDEAVOUR – a shot or attempt is derived from what sounds like a word meaning always after a goal or aim – along with 10 across this name is shared by ships (and spacecraft) involved in famous voyages

5d           Sloppy setter’s keeping quiet in the East End (5)
MUSHY – an adjective meaning sloppy is constructed by putting the first person possessive pronoun (setter’s) around (keeping) a word meaning quiet without its initial H (in the East End, like a Cockney)

6d           Barking dog sees no reason (4,5)
GOOD SENSE – an anagram (barking) of DOG SEES NO gives reason or sound judgement

7d           A lot dead after gas goes up (2,3)
NO END – a phrase meaning a lot or very much is created by putting D(ead) after the reversal (goes up in a down clue) of a gaseous element

8d           Baby’s malady not entirely dire (7)
ABYSMAL – hidden inside the first two words of the clue (not entirely) is an adjective meaning dire

14d         Powered transport robot assembled in trench (5,4)
MOTOR BOAT – to get this powered transport put an anagram (assembled) of ROBOT inside a water-filled trench

16d         Troops in green deployed in El Salvador (9)
ENGINEERS – these troops come from an anagram (deployed) of IN GREEN inside the IVR code for El Salvador

17d         A botanist’s first on the move to secure good cutting (9)
ABRIDGING – A and the initial letter (first) of Botanist are followed by a verb meaning moving on horseback with G(ood) inserted gives a verb meaning cutting or shortening

18d         Man will shortly whip virago (4,3)
HELL CAT – a shortened form of “the man will” followed by a whip or scourge gives this virago

20d         Got wind of money backing Sun editor (7)
SCENTED – a verb meaning got wind of or tracked is derived from a unit of currency preceded by S(un) and followed by ED(itor)

22d         Wildebeest feeds, if turning up truffles, say (5)
FUNGI – put another name for the wildebeest inside (feeds) IF then reverse (turning up in a down clue) truffles for example (say)

23d         Policeman’s code? (5)
MORSE – this crossword-loving fictional policeman is also a signalling code – and his middle first name is the answer to 4 down

24d         Outlook for fish (5)
ANGLE – this outlook or point of view is also a verb meaning to fish

5 Responses to “Guardian Quiptic 658 / Nutmeg”

  1. Robi says:

    Thanks Big Dave and Nutmeg; I thought this was fair but a bit difficult for a Quiptic.

    I failed to parse LET in 1d as a ‘poor first shot’ (not really?) I think SHANGRI-LA is usually hyphenated. I parsed MUSHY as MY containing the East End of ‘hUSH,’ although I think your explanation is better and correct.

    I thought the clue for SCENTED (20d) was a bit vague; it seemed to me to be back-to-front i.e. the money was not backing the sun editor, but the other way around 😕

  2. Jezza says:

    20d was my last one in. A reasonably gentle puzzle, that was most pleasant to solve.

    This is the second puzzle I have seen in the last week where MORSE and ENDEAVOUR feature together.

    Thanks to Nutmeg, and to BD.

  3. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Yes, a pleasing Quiptic from Nutmeg, where my favourite clue was the simple but elegant double definition in GET ON.

    Thanks to Dave for blogging.

  4. StanXYZ says:

    Just about right for a Quiptic – a nice variety of clues. Thanks to Nutmeg and Big Dave.

    4d and 23d – I had always thought that Endeavour was Morse’s first name, not his middle name?

  5. Big Dave says:


    You are, of course, right. I must have thought that his first name was Inspector!

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