Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Quiptic N° 673, by Arachne

Posted by PeterO on October 8th, 2012


It is always a pleasure to see the name Arachne at the head of a crossword.

Here she is definitely wearing her Quiptic hat; for myself, I prefer her in a more unorthodox mode (sorry, Arachne, you can’t win), but this certainly fits the Quiptic rubric.

1 EEL-LIKE We sell pike, heads off and slippery (3-4)
First letters removed (‘heads off’) from [w]E [s]ELL [p]IKE.
5 ROSEBUD Pretty girl bored us terribly (7)
An anagram (‘terribly’) of ‘bored us’.
9 CLAMP Applaud locking up male for vice (5)
An envelope (‘locking up’) of M (‘male’) in CLAP (‘applaud’).
10 COCKED HAT Spooner’s pawned pet to get head wear (6,3)
A Spoonerism of HOCKED CAT (‘pawned pet’).
11 PSEUDONYMS Sly spy mused on false names (10)
An anagram (‘sly’) of ‘spy mused on’.
12 BLOC Originally boycotted lots of countries in alliance (4)
First letters (‘originally’) of ‘Boycotted Lots Of Countries.’.
14 NEW YEARS EVE Sinewy ear severed about 31 December (3,5,3)
A hidden answer (‘about’) in  ‘siNEWY EAR SEVEred’.
18 DOUBLE DUTCH Bigamy? It’s incomprehensible (6,5)
Definition and literal interpretation (dutch -> Duchess of Fife, rhyming slang for wife).
21 BRAE Two hundred sacked from Scottish bank (4)
A subtraction, BRA[c]E without (‘sacked’) C (Roman numeral, ‘hundred’).
22 NAIL-BITING Bad habit causing anxiety (4-6)
Double definition.
25 LOOK SMART Hurry to observe trams coming back (4,5)
A charade of LOOK (‘observe’) plus SMART, a reversal (‘coming back’) of ‘trams’.
26 HOIST Is getting into hot lift (5)
An envelope (‘getting into’) of IS is ‘is’ in ‘hot’.
27 SO THERE Hetero’s outrageous exclamation of defiance (2,5)
An anagram (‘outrageous’) of ‘heteros’.
28 EMPLOYS Uses heartless egotism and cunning tricks (7)
A charade of EM (‘heartless EgotisM‘) plus PLOYS (‘cunning tricks’).
1 ESCAPE Copy key before making getaway (6)
A charade of ESC (‘key’ on a computer keyboard, although it is an abbreviation for escape) plus APE (‘copy’).
2 LOADED Carrying a burden, being very rich (6)
Double definition.
3 IMPUDENTLY Idle numpty revelling pertly (10)
An anagram (‘revelling’) of ‘idle numpty’. I had come across numpty somewhere before, as meaning an idiot, but on looking it up in Chambers, I find it is a Scots word.
4 EX-CON Former Tory who used to be in prison (2-3)
Definition and literal interpretation.
5 RECUMBENT Socially acceptable doctor involved in fresh lying (9)
An envelope (‘involved in’) of U (‘socially acceptable’) plus MB (‘doctor’) in RECENT (‘fresh’).
6 SUET What I do to restrict onset of unwanted fat (4)
An envelope (‘to restrict’) of U (‘onset of Unwanted’) in SET (‘what I do'; that’s Arachne talking). I resisted an urge to put in DIET without thinking about the wordplay.
7 BEHOLDEN See teens regularly indebted (8)
A charade of BEHOLD (‘see’) plus EN (‘tEeNs regularly’).
8 DETACHED Unemotional chat about going into action (8)
An envelope (‘going into’) of TACH, an anagram (‘about’) of ‘chat’ in DEED (‘action’).
13 ARCHBISHOP Pibroch has upset primate (10)
An anagram (‘upset’) of ‘pibroch has’.
15 WIDE AWAKE Report broader trail behind boat, being very observant (4,5)
A charade of WIDE-A, a homophone (‘report’) of WIDER (‘broader’) plus WAKE (‘trail behind boat’).
16 ODDBALLS They don’t fit in, not even with the shadow Chancellor (8)
A charade of ODD (‘not even’) plus BALLS (Ed, ‘shadow Chancellor’ of the Exchequer).
17 RUNABOUT Organise an attack in small car (8)
A charade of RUN (‘organise’) plus A BOUT (‘an attack’).
19 LIBIDO Bisexual in swimming pool showing desire (6)
An envelope (‘in’) of BI (‘bisexual’) in LIDO (‘swimming pool’).
20 AGATES Semi-precious stones and silver corroded by sulphur (6)
A charade of AG (‘silver’, chemical symbol) plus ATE (‘corroded’, as a transitive verb) plus S (‘sulphur’, chemical symbol).
23 LATTE Finish off second milky coffee (5)
A subtraction, LATTE[r] (‘second’) with its last letter removed (‘finish off’).
24 ASHE Legendary tennis player has changed game, ultimately (4)
A charade of ASH, an anagram (‘changed’) of ‘has’, plus E (‘gamE, ultimately’).


9 Responses to “Guardian Quiptic N° 673, by Arachne”

  1. crypticsue says:

    I agree that it is Arachne in Quiptic mode but she certainly knows how to make a Quiptic fun and a great introduction to the world of cryptics for anyone new to the art and a nice gentle smiley start to the day for those of us old hands.

    Second crossword of the day and both of them have Double Dutch in them. I wonder if the other 4 will follow suit?

  2. crypticsue says:

    Sorry, I was very rude… thanks to Arachne and Peter too.

  3. Robi says:

    Fabulous Quiptic; the clues so well-written. Thanks Arachne.

    Thanks PeterO; one day I am going to remember keys on a computer. For 1d, I got key=E, then, unsurprisingly, got stuck on the rest of the parsing.

    Particular favourites were DOUBLE DUTCH, RECUMBENT (last in) and ODD BALLS, but many others were entertaining.

  4. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Indeed, what crypticsue said in her first paragraph.

    The surface for LIBIDO is outrageous. Good job we’re all liberal-minded Grauniad readers.

    ‘Numpty’ is in dictionaries as being of Scottish origin, but I’ve certainly heard it here in the Midlands too, which just goes to show that language has no boundaries.

    Thanks to Arachne for the puzzle and Peter for the blog.

  5. Jeff says:

    Thanks, Arachne. Thanks, Peter O. I feel certain, Peter O, that you may want to reform the text of the blog entry for 3 down. On one reading, it is very self-deprecating.

  6. PeterO says:


    Thanks for pointing out the howler in 3D. Not to have spotted that, I must be … no, let’s not go that way.

  7. Jeff says:

    De rien, PeterO.

  8. Eileen says:

    Thanks PeterO [I’m in the right place this time – I’ve just thanked you for the Guardian Cryptic blog!]

    I agree with all that’s been said about this being just right for a Quiptic, especially in demonstrating to newer solvers that crosswords are fun!

    [And we have numpties in this part of the Midlands, too.]

    Many thanks, Arachne, as ever.

  9. Arachne says:

    As I have been detained in Bremen (no, not in *that* way, although there’s still time) belated thanks to PeterO for the excellent blog and to all for kind comments. I’m still working hard at getting the Quiptic standard right. Funny how dear old ‘Dutch’ is turning up all over the place at the moment – coincidence, not conspiracy, I can assure you!

    Pip pip – time’s up!
    Love & hugs, Arachne x

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