Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Quiptic N° 669 by Hectence

Posted by PeterO on September 10th, 2012


I made heavy weather of this one, and there are a couple of clues where I am not sure if the wordplay.

1 FACELIFT Look up plastic surgery procedure (8)
Definition and literal interpretation.
5 EQUIPS Supplies online jokes? (6)
Definition and literal interpretation E-QUIPS (‘online jokes’).
9 UPHEAVAL Paul puzzle containing coarse detail causes commotion (8)
An envelope (‘containing’) of HEAV[y] (‘coarse’?) with its last letter removed (‘detail’) in UPAL, an anagram (‘puzzle’) of ‘Paul’. I an not happy with HEAVY for ‘coarse’, but I cannot think of anything better. Very possibly the word was chosen for the surface.
10 GAUCHE Ungainly cowboy almost on horse at last (6)
A charade of GAUCH[o] (‘cowboy’) with its last letter left out (‘almost’) + E (‘HorsE at last’).
11 PASSER-BY Yard’s pursuing press about keeping a note for witness (6-2)
An envelope (‘keeping’) of ‘a’ in PSSER, an anagram (‘about’) of ‘press’ + B (‘note’) + Y (‘yard’).
12 ODDS-ON Peculiar boy becomes favourite to win (4-2)
A charade of ODD (‘peculiar’) + SON (‘boy’).
14 MYSTERIOUS Strange modus operandi involving unknown rites troubled us (10)
An envelope (‘involving’) of Y (‘unknown’) + STERI, an anagram (‘troubled’) of ‘rites’ in MO (‘modus operandi’) + ‘us’.
18 JUDGMENTAL Critical note hidden in prison food isn’t half-eaten (10)
An envelope (‘hidden in’) of D (‘note’) in JUG (‘prison’) + [supple]MENTAL (‘food isn’t half-eaten’). Again, I am not happy with the last part, but it is my best guess.
22 BRIDAL Check speech for wedding (6)
A homophone (‘speech’) of BRIDLE (‘check’).
23 AGGRIEVE Upset by a horse on short course catching fence finally (8)
A charade of A GG (‘a horse’) + an envelope (‘catching’) of E (‘fencE finally’) in RIVE[r] (‘course’) without its last letter (‘short’).
24 UNTRUE Inner core of junta regret being disloyal (6)
A charade of UNT (‘inner core of jUNTa’) + RUE (‘regret’).
25 STEP DOWN Retire from stage, depressed (4,4)
A charade of STEP (‘stage’) + DOWN (‘depressed’).
26 INDEED Really popular act (6)
A charade of IN (‘popular’) + DEED (‘act’).
27 IN UNISON Together as part of a trade union (2,6)
Definition and cryptic definition.
1 FRUMPY Fine steak’s year out of date (6)
A charade of F (‘fine’) + RUMP (‘steak’) + Y (‘year’).
2 CO-HOST One of the party-givers gets house to split the expense (2-4)
An envelope (‘to split’) of HO (‘house’) in COST (‘the expense’).
3 LOAFED Hung around as directed to catch yobbo (6)
An envelope (‘to catch’) of OAF (‘yobbo’) in LED (‘directed’).
4 FLAMBOYANT Exuberant fellow’s hit with youth worker (10)
A charade of F (‘fellow’) + LAM (‘hit’) + BOY  (‘youth’) + ANT (‘worker’).
6 QUANDARY Queen’s article on heartless milk producer causes delicate situation (8)
A charade of QU (‘queen’) + AN (‘article’) + DA[i]RY (‘milk producer’) with its middle letter removed (‘heartless’).
7 INCISION Operational cut in Civil Service housing unit no one backed (8)
An envelope (‘housing’) of I (‘unit’) in ‘in’ + CS (‘Civil Service’) + ION, a reversal (‘backed’) of NO I (‘no one’).
8 STERNEST Most serious cryptic setters assume name (8)
An envelope (‘assume’) of N (‘name’) in STEREST, an anagram (‘cryptic’) of ‘setters’.
13 STRAIGHTEN Tidy up for artist in small, tight space (10)
An envelope (‘in’) of RA (member of the Royal Academy, ‘artist’) in S (‘small’) + ‘tight’ + EN (‘space’, in printing, the size of the letter n).
15 DJIBOUTI Sail away with me after day in the country (8)
A charade of D (‘day’) + JIB (‘sail’) + OUT (‘away’) + I (‘me’).
16 ADMITTED Owned up to being mad about IT man (8)
A charade of ADM, an anagram (‘about’) of ‘mad’ + ‘IT’ + TED (‘man’).
17 IMMATURE A tired Mum organised day out with young (8)
An anagram (‘organised’) of ‘a tire[d] Mum’ without the D (‘day out’).
19 DROP IN Call doctor to work on hip (4,2)
A charade of DR (‘doctor’) + OP (‘work’) + IN (‘hip’).
20 VETOES Forbids part of family’s move to Essex (6)
A hidden answer (‘part of’) in ‘family’s moVE TO ESsex’. Some might frown at the extraneous word ‘family’s’.
21 PENNON Flag poles positioned in time to follow president (6)
An envelope (‘in’) of NN (‘poles’, even if you were expecting NS) in P (‘president’) EON (‘time’).


6 Responses to “Guardian Quiptic N° 669 by Hectence”

  1. AndrewC says:

    Thanks Peter and Hectence.

    I agree this was, in parts at least, a bit of a challenge and 9ac was a little less than convincing. My reading of 18ac was ‘note’ (D) in ‘jug meal’ with ‘nt’ inserted ( = half of ‘isn’t’ consumed).

    – AndrewC

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Peter.

    Easily the most difficult Quiptic I’ve solved for as long as I can remember. When an experienced solver and blogger like yourself admits to one or two that he doesn’t understand, then I think it’s a good indication that the trickiness level is too high.

    I was one of the frowners for 20dn.

    I think JUDGMENTAL is D in JUG, as you say, then NT for half of ‘isn’t’ inserted (‘eaten’) in MEAL. It’s clever, but it ain’t Quiptic.

    Thanks to Hectence too.

  3. stanXYZ says:

    Easily the most difficult Quiptic I’ve NOT solved for as long as I can remember.

    It might put off the people it is aimed at!

    I also frown upon 20d!

  4. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Apologies, AndrewC. I hadn’t fully read your comment at no 1, where you’d explained perfectly well the parsing of JUDGMENTAL.

  5. Derek Lazenby says:

    Gave up just after halfway :(

  6. Robi says:

    I agree that this is too difficult for a Quiptic audience.

    Thanks PeterO; I’m not that bothered about ‘family’s’ in 20d; the ha is clear enough. I couldn’t parse 18 properly, so thanks to AndrewC @1.

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