Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Quiptic 696/Nutmeg

Posted by Pierre on March 18th, 2013


Nutmeg has produced a fair but toughish Quiptic for us this morning, I think.  A good variety of cluing this month, with one or two that I particularly enjoyed.

After the embarrassment of February’s Nutmeg, where I failed to spot either the pangram (all 26 letters used) or the Nina (a hidden message) I have scoured the grid more carefully than usual today, but I can’t see anything.  So back to the normal Quiptic style.  I think.



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

definitions are underlined


1,24 Changing options secures sparklers
(OPTIONS SECURES)* with ‘changing’ as the anagrind.

5 Police welcoming and free from bias
An insertion of AND in CID for ‘police’.

9 Clarify second condition adopted by state, indirectly
A charade of S for ‘second’ followed by an insertion of IF for ‘condition’ in IMPLY for ‘state indirectly’.

10 Tries to secure stylist’s last suit
An insertion of T for the last letter of stylisT in HEARS for ‘tries’ in the judicial sense.

11 Unseemly ruination not oddly Guardian’s concern
The even letters of rUiNaTiOn and WARD.  The capital G in ‘Guardian’ is to throw you off the scent.

12 Guardian has this price
Plenty of product placement this morning; is Nutmeg on commission?  A dd.

14 Norfolk term for lethal weapon?
I really liked this one.  It’s a cd, and the setter is suggesting that a term from Norfolk might be a BROADS WORD.  For baffled overseas solvers, the NORFOLK BROADS (a set of inland waterways where you might pootle along in an 18dn) are a popular holiday destination.

18 Spooner’s cart put down as “specialised slow-moving transport
Never my favourite form of clue, but that’s just me.  A Spoonerism of BARROW NOTE for the canal boats typically painted with castles and roses.

22 Crowd in pursuit of old church cat
A charade of O, CE and LOT.

23 Hold instruction for treating sprain
A dd.

25 Sportsman’s shot disappointing press
A charade of OFF for ‘disappointing’ (‘she’s having an off day’) and DRIVE for ‘press’ (forward).  The answer is cricket-related; only trouble at t’mill is that I would always write it OFF DRIVE (or at least OFF-DRIVE) and all my dictionaries agree with me.  Shane Warne didn’t bowl LEGBREAKS and Swanny doesn’t bowl OFFBREAKS.

26 Part in escapades is to cease
Hidden in escapaDES IS To.

27 Mean man’s captured eventually
An insertion of HE in INTEND.


1 Cat keeled over after father let go
I got fixated on the fact that the defintion must be ‘cat’ or vomit, so was looking for PUKE UP and the like.  It’s much simpler: a reversal of PUSS after PA.

2 Hostility finally broke science college in New York
A charade of E for the last letter of brokE followed by MIT in NY.  MIT is the Massachussets Institute of Technology, although it’s clearly not in New York.

3 Principles supporting home – they come with marriage
Since this is down clue, it’s a charade of IN for ‘home’ over LAWS.

4 University prof’s garb freely available
(U PROFS GARB)* with ‘freely’ as the anagrind.

6 Something appropriate for setting might make them stay
(THEM STAY)* with ‘might make’ as the anagrind.  PRECIOUS STONES at 1ac, now this … do I scent a nina after all?

7 Shady area where negatives become positive?
I’m guessing anyone under 30 might well be going ‘what’s that?’  It is in fact the room where you shut the door, put the red light on (not that sort of red light, obviously), stick your negative in the enlarger, count ‘one-elephant, two-elephant, three-elephant’ … and then put the printing paper together with your hands into the nasty chemicals constituting the developer and fixer, and come out with a positive image of the picture you took in the first place.  Silver nitrate technology is still – just about – hanging on in there.

8 Vicious uprising takes care of swells
A reversal of SID and TENDS.  SID VICIOUS, bass player with the Sex Pistols.  Lived fast, died young.  Again, a clue for those of a certain age.

13 A bun after charity event for needy child
A charade of RAG, A and MUFFIN.  ‘Rag Week’ at university is a fund-raising event.

15 Approved nothing in Dresden, sadly
(O DRESDEN)* with ‘sadly’ as the anagrind.

16 Ours give off colour, causing harm
(OURS GIVE)* with ‘off colour’ as the anagrind.  Harm as in GBH.

17 Bandsmen entertaining old peers may wear them
An insertion of O in CORNETS.  Using the instrument to indicate the players is common: ‘she’s first violin’, ‘he’s second oboe’.

19 Gadget trouble written up in note
Another insertion, of ADO reversed in DOH for the first note of the tonic sol-fa.  Whatdyacallit, Thingummyjig, Whatsit …

20 Lusty sextet cause annoyance
A charade of VI for ‘sextet’ and RILE for ’cause annoyance’.

21 Saw having ends of blade maintained
I wanted to put DE in the answer as the last two letters of ‘blade’, but  it’s in fact the outside letters: BE plus HELD for ‘maintained’.

This was a good puzzle from Nutmeg, so thanks to her.

3 Responses to “Guardian Quiptic 696/Nutmeg”

  1. Colin says:

    Thanks to Nutmeg and Pierre.

    A very nice puzzle that was again at the harder end of the Quiptic spectrum and definitely more challenging than today’s Cryptic.

  2. Derek Lazenby says:

    So challenging in fact that the class dummy gave up with about six to go! Given that I’ve advanced to expecting to finish most of the daily puzzles, but not all, then that should be a marker that Nutmeg is doing good puzzles, jolly fine puzzles even, but not Quiptics.

  3. michelle says:

    Thanks Nutmeg and Pierre.

    I especially appreciated the explanations of how to parse 14a, 18a, 13d, 17d & 19d all of which I solved but could perhaps only half-parse.

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