Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Quiptic 664/Beale

Posted by Pierre on August 6th, 2012


We haven’t seen Beale in the Quiptic slot for some time, and while this was on the whole a fair puzzle, it seemed to me to contain a good number of clues that might prove over-tricky for the target audience.

I’ve been a bit picky over some clues here.  One thing I noticed when writing up the blog is that there is only one full anagram here, whereas in many Quiptics you’ll get half a dozen or so; I think improving solvers appreciate these, because it’s one way to get you going. We’ve said many times before that compiling an ‘easy’ crossword must be a big ask, since it’s more or less setting with one hand tied behind your back, so if I’ve been over-critical, you’ll no doubt tell me.


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


1 Thought of place in instrumental part
An insertion of PUT for ‘place’ in REED, which would be part of an instrument like the one referred to in 12ac.  ‘He is reputed/thought to have been the best oboist of his generation.’

5 Hide private note
A charade of SECRET and E for the third note of the scale.

9 Meaning detected in written order
Hidden in writTEN ORder.

10 Right to indicate concession
It’s a concise surface, but newer solvers might (and your humble blogger did) find the definition a bit left-field.  A charade of GOOD for ‘right’ and POINT for ‘indicate’.  If you’re in a discussion with someone and you concede that he or she’s made a counter-argument, you’ll say GOOD POINT!

11 Play with racket
The answer is referring to the 1982 play by Michael Frayn, and again a concise subsidiary indication; but unless I’m missing something, I’m not sure the clue works.  I suppose it’s a kind of &lit, since NOISES OFF is a stage direction for a ‘racket’ to be heard off stage.

12 Large instruments ring out to the end
Nothing wrong with the clue; it’s clever.  But in a Quiptic?  The definition is ‘large'; Beale’s asking you to take the O (‘ring’) out of OB[O]ES and then add the last letter (‘end’) of thE.

13 Bother! The sound system won’t start

15 Generous man left to get prong for rake
Sounds like I’m being a bit critical this morning, and other folk may disagree.  This, again, is clever, but is it Quiptic?  The definition is ‘rake’.  You need to find LIBERAL as the definition for ‘generous’ and remove AL for ‘man’.  LIBER[AL] plus TINE for ‘prong’ gives you your answer.

18 Finding rocks slippery, team has to turn round
Well, the SOED says that CORKSCREW can be a verb, so it’s (ROCKS)* plus CREW, with ‘slippery’ as the anagrind.

19 Get change from purse for fine
(PURSE)* with ‘get change from’ as the anagrind.  This for me is an excellent clue for a Quiptic: lovely surface reading and clear indication of the route to the solution.

21 Mountain range is clear example, on reflection
A charade of RID for ‘clear’ and a reversal (‘on reflection’) of EG.  But surely EG means ‘for example’?

23 Routine step on road for students
A charade of TREAD for ‘step’, MI for the M1 motorway, and LL for two learners or ‘students’.

25 Go on to abandon final
A charade of LAST for ‘go on’ and DITCH for ‘abandon’.

26 Support given to fashionable intellectual
A charade of BRA for ‘support’ and IN for ‘fashionable’.

27 A refusal to deny unorthodox painkiller
A charade of A, NO and (DENY)* with ‘unorthodox’ as the anagrind.

28 In tunnel’s outer confines, animal lurches
An insertion of OTTER in TS, the first and last letters of ‘tunnel’s’.


1 Decay reported beneath the building
A charade of ROT for ‘decay’ and UNDA for a homophone (‘reported’) of UNDER.

2 Write to address occupied by single retiree
Well, once you’d got some crossing letters, it couldn’t be much else, but there’s a bit cracking off here.  You need to put PEN for ‘write’ in front of an insertion of ONE for ‘single’ in SIR for a form of address.

3 Not long retired back to Home Counties
A word meaning ‘not long’ is a charade of RET reversed (‘back’) and SE for the ‘South-East’ or ‘Home Counties’.  If you don’t like SE for ‘Home Counties’ or ‘London Area’ or ‘Kentish’, get over yourself, because setters use it all the time.

4 Restraint shown by vicar?
A cd.

5 Follow up apologetic expression with loud joke
A charade of SPOO for a reversal (‘up’) of OOPS and F for the musical ‘loud’.  ‘Joke’ is the definition.

6 Measure pieces of wood for cabinets
A charade of CUP for ‘measure’ (‘two cups of flour’) and BOARDS for ‘pieces of wood’ gives you a word whose pronunciation often prompts learners of English to want to go home to mummy for a cuddle and proper food.

7 The best of English literature came at last
A charade of E, LIT and E for the last letter of camE.

8 Top of old meter damaged
‘Top’ is the definition; it’s EX for ‘old’ and (METER)* with ‘damaged’ as the anagrind.

14 Time for a song?
Sir Paul’s composition.  A cd.

16 Old chap’s heading for depression and heart trouble
A charade of BOWL for ‘depression’ and (HEART)*  As to the definition, ‘heading’ is indicating the HAT, but is it only ‘old chaps’ who wear bowlers these days?  In fact, does anyone apart from the bankers in Mary Poppins wear bowlers these days?

17 Secretly finds home with soldier
A charade of IN and PRIVATE.

18 Fancy collar wrapped round flowery section
The bright and showy bit of a flower is (COLLAR)* around O for ’round’.  ‘Fancy’ is the anagrind and ‘wrapped’ is the insertion indicator.

20 Softens when one abandons story in tears
An insertion of L[I]E in RENTS.  It’s the verbal sense of ‘tear’ and ‘abandons’ is the indication that you need to take I out of LIE for ‘story’.

22 Dance made up of two circles
A charade of DISC and O.

23 Raise it with the amount once taxed
A charade of IT reversed (‘raise’) and THE to give you the word for an old church tax, based on a tenth of your income, if memory serves (and it doesn’t always these days …)

24 First performance of complex duet without book
An insertion (‘without’) of B in (DUET)* with ‘complex’ as the anagrind.

Many thanks to Beale for the puzzle.

3 Responses to “Guardian Quiptic 664/Beale”

  1. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks Beale and Pierre. Found this much trickier than Rufus today. It didn’t help that I was unfamiliar with Tannoy. Needed your help on parsing LIBERTINE.


  2. Andrew says:

    Thanks Pierre – I agree with you in thinking some of this is a bit tricky for a Quiptic.

    I thought 14D was a double definition (“time” and “a song”) rather than a CD.

  3. Derek Lazenby says:

    Yes quite!

    BTW, it’s a while since I’ve been, but one of the last bastions of the bowler was the stewards at horsey and/or country events. That was not so long ago.

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