Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Quiptic 676/Moley

Posted by Pierre on October 29th, 2012


Moley has produced a sound enough Quiptic this morning, I think, although there were one or two bits of inelegant cluing in my opinion.  And, embarrassingly for a Quiptic, there’s one where I can’t see how it works.





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


1 Fearful, perhaps, if retired
(IF RETIRED)* with ‘perhaps’ as the anagrind.

6 Young pet fenced in for picture
An insertion (‘fenced’) of IN in PUP.

9 Hit track a potential smash
Nothing to do with the music industry: it’s COLLISION for ‘hit’ followed by COURSE for ‘track’.

10 Peg’s new adolescent
A charade of TEE and N.

11 Literary lions and I alter it around
(I ALTER IT)* with ‘around’ as the anagrind.  A bit inelegant perhaps to have essentially the same word in the clue and the answer.

14 Cold fish runs to sportsperson
A charade of ICE, SKATE and R for cricket ‘runs’.

15 Tot with a penchant for histrionics
A charade of DRAM for a ‘tot’ – of whisky perhaps – and A.

16 Extra publicity by the river
A charade of AD for ‘publicity’ and DON for the river.  Pick your flower from Yorkshire, Aberdeenshire, or Russia.

18 System for developing the quince
(THE QUINCE)* with ‘for developing’ as the anagrind.

20 Way in which pity overcomes the Queen’s severeness
Bit of an unusual word for a Quiptic, perhaps.  It’s produced from AS and an insertion of ER for ‘Queen’ in PITY, but I’m not entirely convinced that the clue works.

21 Storyteller in billiards competition
Hidden in bilLIARds.  ‘Competition’ is superfluous in the surface.

25 Fancy hoping to meet fine sovereign …
A charade of WISHFUL for ‘hoping’ and THIN KING, which is what a ‘fine sovereign’ might be.  ‘Fancy’ is the definition.

26 … even though island has these legendary creatures
A further charade of YET for ‘even though’ and IS for ‘island’.  The ellipses between the two clues, as usual, have naff all to do with anything.

27 Shed tears after gales become inhospitable
A charade of WEPT after WINDS.


1 Attic prepared? It’s taken for granted
(ATTIC)* with ‘prepared’ as the anagrind.

2 Take over duty with ease
A dd.

3 Bird in Nairobi bishop’s aviary
Hidden in NairobI BIShop’s; again, ‘aviary’ is superfluous.  This bird.

4 One in the eye for the flag
A dd cum cd, I suppose.  You have an IRIS in your eye, of course, and as a flower, it’s also known as a ‘flag’.  If you haven’t come across this usage before,  tuck it away, because it comes up often in cryptics.

5 Cavity, if staple food’s in product for oral hygiene
A charade of DENT for ‘cavity’, IF and RICE for ‘staple food’.  I got it straight away, because DENTIFRICE is French for toothpaste, but I never realised it was also in English dictionaries.  Etymologically it’s ‘tooth rub': separately, we have inherited the words in DENTIST and FRICTION.

6 Going ahead with a legal course of action
A dd.

7 Unfortunately, rain trapped vehicle in paradise
An insertion of VAN for ‘vehicle’ in (RAIN)* with ‘unfortunately’ as the anagrind.

8 Assert that I raced pet foolishly
(I RACED PET)* with ‘foolishly’ as the anagrind.

12 Hide works that hide wounds
A charade of SKIN for ‘hide’ and GRAFTS for ‘works’.  And SKIN GRAFTS hide wounds.

13 Salute Watt, the source of legislation
(SALUTE WATT)* with ‘the source of’ as the anagrind.

14 Very ill at home with an acute condition
A charade of IN for ‘at home’ A for ‘an’, BAD for ‘acute’ and WAY for ‘condition’.  Perhaps not the most cryptic clue Moley has ever written.

17 Earnest retainer
Well, I’m assuming this is a dd.  ‘Retainer’ as DEPOSIT I can see, but ‘earnest’?  There are several possibilities here:

  • I am being particularly dim, despite having an extra hour in bed this weekend
  • This is a Grauniad-style mistake
  • Neither of the above

Someone will tell us soon, I’m sure.

19 Fever drug for one of five in England
A charade of QUIN, IN and E for ‘England’.  Quinine was widely used as an anti-malarial drug; but you’ll also find it (in very small quantities) in the T bit of your G&T.

22 Correct the Conservatives
A dd.

23 Ruler kept hounds at Nantwich, originally
The first letters of Kept Hounds At Nantwich.

24 A little addition: usually involving responsibility
Hidden in additiON USually.

Thank you to Moley for this Monday’s Quiptic.

3 Responses to “Guardian Quiptic 676/Moley”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks Pierre, for the blog, and Moley for the puzzle.

    Re 17dn: Shakespeare came to my rescue yet again. I remembered Macbeth’s pondering on the witches’ prophecy, after hearing he had been made Thane of Cawdor:

    “This supernatural soliciting
    Cannot be ill, cannot be good. If ill,
    Why hath it given me earnest of success,
    Commencing in a truth?”

    Chambers: earnest² – payment given to confirm a contract, a pledge, a sign or foretaste of what is to come.

    Obviously, it’s the first definition we want here, but it sounds to me very much like a retainer!

  2. Jeff says:

    A deposit is regarded in contract law as evidencing one’s intention to complete performance, hence it is given “in earnest”.

  3. Paul B says:

    Well, okay, but is it not just the noun ‘part or portion given in advance’? So 2d, but hardly quiptic level though, I’ll agree there!

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