Never knowingly undersolved.

Cyclops 473: STAND THATCHER? I certainly can’t!

Posted by jetdoc on July 22nd, 2012


I didn’t have too many problems with most of this, but had difficulty working out the wordplay in 4d, for which I had written STRIPED without really thinking about it. A few LOL clues (and I don’t mean ‘lots of love’), with 6d possibly my favourite.

8/28 STAND EASY “Put up with gear that’s extremely lacking and extremely shitty” — that won’t hold soldiers’ attention
STAND = Put up with; EA = gEAr without its extremities; SY = extremely shitty. A drill command to troops, to stand in a more relaxed position
9 THATCHER House cover-up put in place by one ex-PM
Double definition: a thatcher puts up thatched roofs; Margaret Thatcher, whose name I cannot mention without spitting
10/20 COALITION ACADEMY Hole covered by dicey anatomical device in our classy establishment
*(O dicey anatomical) — commendable anagrammatic effort. Reference to the Private Eye feature The New Coalition Academy
11/26 COLD FEET No hot dogs, so loss of ardour?
Double definition: ‘dogs’, according to Chambers, can mean ‘feet’
12 SQUIGGLE “Short and curly thing” — she quite unkindly starts to laugh head off
SQU = first letters of ‘she quite unkindly’; [g]IGGLE = laugh without its first letter
14 BEAUTY Black was Sewell’s “pulchritude”
Referece to the novel by Anna Sewell; nothing to do with Brian Sewell
16 COMMONS MPs collectively walked over by all and sundry!
Double definition: MPs collectively; common land
18 PLONKER Rough drink put before US TV series tosser
PLONK = Rough drink; ER = US TV series, quite useful to crossword compilers
23 CELIBATE Full of bile, arsey Blanchett’s not having any of it
‘bile’ reversed, with ‘arsey’ as the reversal indicator; CATE Blanchett. Thanks to KeithW for pointing out that, strictly speaking, this is a reversal, not just an anagram.
25 AFAR Some way off being a resurrected Arafat? No thanks
Anagram (with ‘resurrected’ as the anagram indicator) of Arafat minus TA (thanks)
27 TIDAL WAVE It’s weird: leaders of Labour were actively recruited by Cameron — it’s overwhelming!
TI = *(it); LWA = leaders of ‘Labour were actively’; in DAVE = Cameron
29 CEREBRUM Brainy part of Conservative before joining City
C = Conservative; ERE = before; BRUM = City
30/21 TAKES CARE OF Deals with Kate, turning on Wills finally — a force to be dealt with
*(Kate); S = Wills finally; *(a force). I admit that I wrote the answer in before I worked out the wordplay, which I think is pretty clever.
1 HSBC Establishment revealing origins of half soaked business chiefs
First letters of ‘half soaked business chiefs’, which is quite appropriate given their reputation.
2 SATANISM As retired Brown is wanting end of LibDem and ’cult of Nick’
SA = ‘As’ retired; TAN = Brown; IS; M = end of LibDem. Definition: ’cult of Nick’
3 EDGING Rimming in bed, gingerly
Hidden in ‘in bed gingerly’. I will leave you to do your own research on the other meaning.
4 STRIPEY Undress, 2/3rds of organ revealed — barred
STRIP = Undress; EY = Private EYe. Definition: barred. Thanks to Andrew for clearing this one up.
5 CANNIBAL Boozer back in political faction — sort who’d have you for breakfast?
INN = boozer, reversed; in CABAL = political faction
6 ACACIA Bill with his spies, after the end of Monica’s bush?
AC = Bill; CIA = his spies; after A = the end of Monica. Definition: bush. Lovely clue!
7 NEIL Line dancing election loser
*(line). Reference to Neil Kinnock
13 QUOTA Queen turned out to get a slice of the cake
Q = Queen; *(out); A
15 THEFT Act of pinching pinkish organ?
Double definition: the crime; the Financial Times
17 NO FUTURE Financial leader, nut, gets involved with euro (which is nothing to look forward to)
*(F nut euro). Included in the lyrics of Anarchy in the UK
19 NEBRASKA State of underwear snatched by kinky sneak
BRA = underwear; in *(sneak)
22 EARNER Very old composer shafts Brenda — he should be paid for his efforts
Thomas ARNE; in ER = the Queen, aka Brenda
24 LOLITA Cameron’s confused text-speak when having sex with a precocious character
David Cameron famously did not know the meaning of LOL; IT = sex; A.
Reference to Lolita, the novel

A witty quip from Barry Cryer for you:
A couple are getting ready to go out for the evening. The wife has a new dress. She’s been getting ready in the bathroom, and emerges asking: “Does my bum look big in this?”. Her husband replies: “Well, to be fair, love it is quite a small bathroom.”

12 Responses to “Cyclops 473: STAND THATCHER? I certainly can’t!”

  1. Andrew says:

    Thanks Jane. I was puzzled by STRIPED too, but looking at it again I think it must be STRIPEY, with the organ being the [Private] EYE.

  2. KeithW says:

    Agree with Andrew @1 about 4d. Isn’t “arsey” in 23 an indication that BILE is reversed in CATE rather than an anagram?

  3. Andrew says:

    It occurs to me that EYE is of course also an organ in the normal sense of “body part”.

  4. jetdoc says:

    True — that occurred to me too.

  5. Will says:

    3d is not an anagram, it’s a containment: In bED GINGerly.

  6. jetdoc says:

    Of course it is, and I knew that when I solved it! Silly me — now changed

  7. SonicElder says:

    Thanks jetdoc.

    Damn and blast – I thought I’d got this one nailed but 18a caught me out – I had SLINGER. But I suppose a Singapore Sling isn’t really a rough drink, so fair enough. Not entirely happy with “tosser” equating to “plonker” though: I’ve always taken plonker to mean a harmless fool: tosser has a more proactively malignant feel to it (for me, anyway).

    Oh well, better luck next time. Still an enjoyable and entertaining puzzle, as ever.

    And now back to nervously listening to Englan’s rearguard action against South Africa…

  8. lemming says:

    Not so sure about “arsey” as indicator of reversal rather than anagram. I’ve not found any previous instances of it, but have found

    – the more explicit “arse over tip”, or “arse up”, to indicate reversal, eg:

    “Dam Scotland Yard’s arse over tip” -> STEM, in No.300
    “Char’s vice, say, is arse over tip” -> SINGE, in No.347
    “Sort of business quickly caught going arse up in disaster?” -> DOT-COM, in No.221

    – persuasively, to my mind, “arsing about” to indicate an anagram:

    “Doing, er, arsing about: that’s France’s department” -> GIRONDE, in No.146.

  9. lemming says:

    And there’s the OED online: arsey, adj 2. Chiefly Brit. Bad-tempered, uncooperative.

  10. jetdoc says:

    I have always thought of ‘arsey’ as meaning ‘bad-tempered, uncooperative’, but there is also the phrase ‘arsey-versey’ (or ‘arsy-versy‘ in Chambers) meaning ‘backside foremost, contrary’.

    A reversal is just a more specific anagram, so I don’t think it really matters which we call it.

  11. Bamberger says:

    While it had to be cold feet , I had no idea that dogs=feet.

  12. Claire Q says:

    Feet being dogs comes up in the phrase, possibly American in origin, “my dogs are barking” which means “my feet are hurting” usually from a long walk or similar. That’s how I got it, anyway!

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