Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Quiptic 686 / Nutmeg

Posted by Big Dave on January 7th, 2013

Big Dave.

A good puzzle with a good range of clue types, but perhaps a little tough for a Quiptic.

Most of the definitions given are from Chambers 11th Edition. Most of the standard abbreviations used in the wordplay are shown with the unused letters in brackets e.g. CH(urch). Definitions are underlined in the clue and only included in explanations where further information is given.



1a Goes on river feeding scraps (7)
ENDURES – a Yorkshire river inside (feeding) some left-over scraps

5a Coat ordained for use where shooting may occur (4,3)
FILM SET – a charade of a coating and a verb meaning ordained for use

9a In front of pub press short lever (7)
CROWBAR – in front of a three-letter word for a pub put a press or throng without its final letter (short)

10a Bill‘s singing well? (7)
INVOICE – split as (2,50 this means singing well

11a Inactive, making little impression during years at sea (9)
SEDENTARY – a small depression inside (during) an anagram (at sea) of YEARS

12a Corruption overturned by church firebrand (5)
TORCH – the reversal (overturned) of a three-letter word for corruption followed by CH(urch)

13a Gloomy daughter’s back (5)
DREAR – D(aughter) followed by a word meaning back

15a Hosiery put into pocket in awkward situation (5,4)
TIGHT SPOT – ladies’ hosiery followed by a verb meaning to put into pocket in snooker

17a Cynical on short trip, took a gamble (9)
JAUNDICED – most of (short) a trip followed by a verb meaning gambled

19a Recalled old fiddle in pub game (5)
DARTS – Reverse (recalled) a famous old violin (fiddle)

22a You could toss this coin and bet every result’s heads (5)
CABER – the initial letters (heads) of five words in the clue

23a Queer togs designed for a bizarre person (9)
GROTESQUE – an anagram (designed) of QUEER TOGS

25a A monk embracing bachelor state (7)
ALABAMA – the A from the clue followed by a Buddhist monk around a Bachelor of Arts

26a Most troublesome threads unravelled (7)
HARDEST – an anagram (unravelled) of THREADS

27a Senior policeman’s sound, but lacking in vision (7)
SPECTRE – this sounds like a senior policeman without (lacking) the IN from the start of the word

28a Told within the family (7)
RELATED – a double definition


1d Cut out uniform for one temporarily released (7)
EXCUSED – start with a verb meaning to cut out and insert the letter represented by Uniform in the NATO Phonetic alphabet instead of I (one)

2d Recklessly strive to finish way out ahead (2,2,3)
DO OR DIE – a verb meaning to finish or end with a way out in front (ahead)

3d,14d Poorly trained robbers getting the bird (5,9)
ROBIN REDBREAST – an anagram (poorly) of TRAINED ROBBERS

4d Actors in Indian dress caught expressing contempt (9)
SARCASTIC – a group of actors inside an Indian dress and followed by C(aught)

5d,16d Spirit apparent at baptism? (5,9)
FAIRY GODMOTHER – a cryptic definition of spirit with magical powers

6d Exotic title Dave raised on air (9)
LEVITATED – an anagram (exotic) of TITLE DAVE

7d Jockey puts his foot in it — Queen in ferment (7)
STIRRUP – put R, the Latin abbreviation for Queen, inside a phrasal verb meaning to ferment (4,2)

8d Primary drive, of course, making letters passionate (3,4)
TEE SHOT – the first drive for a hole on the golf course comes from a charade of some letters of the alphabet and an adjective meaning passionate

14d See 3 down

16d See 5 down

17d Aussie bird as embraced by sailors (7)
JACKASS – the AS from the clue inside some sailors

18d Aussie bird pinching clothes up for offence (7)
UMBRAGE – an Australian bird around (pinching) some clothes all reversed (up)

20d Engineers’ undertaking an appeal (7)
REQUEST – a charade of the Royal Engineers followed by an undertaking or task

21d Editor in pursuit of secret note, oddly fragranced (7)
SCENTED – ED(itor) following (in pursuit of) the odd letters of two words in the clue

23d Look in admiration across lake’s shining surface (5)
GLAZE – a verb meaning to look in admiration around (across) L(ake)

24d Learning’s on the rise, securing new recruit (5)
ENROL – a four-letter word meaning learning reversed (on the rise, in a down clue) around (securing) N(ew)

While it is always nice to hear from the “usual suspects”, I’d love to get comments from the Quiptic’s target audience – those who are new to cryptic crosswords.

5 Responses to “Guardian Quiptic 686 / Nutmeg”

  1. Robi says:

    Entertaining crossword, thanks Nutmeg. Good variety of clues.

    Thanks Big Dave; I particularly liked TEE SHOT, INVOICE [split as (2,50)] and SPECTRE.

  2. stanXYZ says:

    “Usual Suspects?” No-one ever seems to comment on the Quiptic!

    Once again the Quiptic is more difficult than the Monday Rufus!

  3. flashling says:

    Not a quiptic usual suspect, but I found it harder than the Rufus today, nothing too outrageous so quite suitable for the quipic. Thanks BD and Nutmeg

  4. Bryan says:

    Many thanks, Big Dave & Nutmeg

    Like others, I found it somewhat tougher than the Rufus but very enjoyable.

  5. Roald says:

    Since I’m certainly not one of the ‘usual suspects’ – and also fairly new to cryptic crosswords, I’ll
    give Dave what he asks for.

    I found this quiptic rather hard, only managing about two thirds. It didn’t help that I weren’t acquainted with the River Ure, nor with the Jackass bird (that definition of ‘jackass’ isn’t in my Chambers Dictionary either).

    That said, I enjoyed the clues in this quiptic, even the ones I couldn’t solve. Most of them made me go “oh yes, now I get it, why didn’t I see that?” when I read the solution, which is much better than “huh, is that a word?”.

    Thanks Nutmeg and Dave

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