Never knowingly undersolved.

Cyclops 496: Pseudonymous

Posted by jetdoc on June 10th, 2013


Sorry about the late posting — I did the puzzle a while ago and had plans to complete the blog yesterday, but a migraine rather inconveniently intervened.

Another fairly quick solve for me, with nothing that help me up for long. I think I will go for 3d as top clue, because the wordplay is rather clever.

7 OFFICER Force, if forced to yield up one of its members?
*(force if), with ‘forced’ as the anagram indicator
8 HOSIERY House is backing, er, the ultimate in Tory members’ cover up
HO = house; IS, reversed; ER; Y = the ultimate in Tory. Definition: members’ cover up
10 ROYAL MAIL One like our Brian, said to be a carrier
Sounds like (‘said’) ‘royal male’, which Prince Charles (Brian) is
12/11 BRIDAL GOWN Union outfit laid out a lot of money to skewer unpopular PM
*(laid); G = a lot of money (£1000 or $100); in (‘to skewer’) BROWN = unpopular PM, Gordon Brown
14 THE TROTS Definitive revolutionaries’ movements out of control
Double definition — definitive revolutionaries (the Trots); movements out of control
16 PSEUDO NAMES Feature wince-makingly referenced by Sue, Don Aymes?
Sounds (a bit) like ‘Sue, Don Aymes’. Feature in the Private Eye letters section
19 BALLYHOO Fuss when bloody old-fashioned mobster drops dead
BALLY = bloody; HOO[d] = old-fashioned mobster, minus D (dead)
20 EUROPE Adieu, ropey housing which Cameron’s uncomfortable with?
Hidden in (housed by) ‘Adieu, ropey’
21 OPEC Oily group making love with “muscle”
O = love; PEC = muscle (pectoralis major)
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries
22 DARK BROWN ‘Tone’, threatening, ineffective PM
DARK = threatening; BROWN = ineffective PM (see above; getting rather a hard time in this puzzle). Definition: tone (with an implied reference to Tony Blair)
24 CLUED UP What you have before you: Dave’s first high — ready to take questions?
CLUE = what you have before you; D = Dave’s first; UP = high. Definition: ready to take questions
25 ITALICS Independent: ’Clegg’s Launch into A-list Unlikely’ (being in these)
I = Independent; C = Clegg’s Launch; in *(A list), with ‘unlikely’ as the anagram indicator. Nothing in the clue is actually in italics; I think I’d have expected ‘these’ to be, and Independent really should be, consistent with the surface reading of this as a newspaper headline.
1 A FAR CRY With Ray screwing around, endless entertainment — something else!
*(ray), with ‘screwing’ as the anagram indicator; around FARC[e] = endless entertainment
2 CITY Gucci type nursing football team?
Hidden in ‘Gucci type’
3 BELLY LAUGH Loud reaction to funny sight of Thatcher advisor? Lay off, that’s nasty
BELL = Sir Tim Bell, advisor to Margaret Thatcher; *(lay); UGH = “that’s nasty!”
5 GINGER BEER “Terrible being penetrated by short guy with erection” — queen, non-PC gay
REG (short form of man’s name), reversed (‘with erection’, in a down clue); in *(being); ER = queen. Rather old-fashioned rhyming slang for ‘queer’
6 DRAWN TO Pulled a third of Cameron’s lot, feeling an attraction
DRAWN = Pulled; TO[ries] = a third of Cameron’s lot
9 LAST HONOURS Misled Labour’s shot, having name for Brown’s chief sad service
Anagram of ‘Labour’s shot’, with N = name, replacing B = Brown’s chief. Funeral rites, especially when it’s a state funeral.
13 DESELECTED Rejected Ed Balls finally voted in — then politically rejected!
DE = rejected Ed; S = Balls finally; ELECTED = voted in
15 EXACERBATE Expert in crappy beer tax (compound)
ACE = expert; in *(beer tax), with ‘crappy’ as the anagram indicator. Definition: compound, as a verb
17 WALPOLE Legislation set up a rod for Tory-baited PM?
LAW, reversed (legislation set up); POLE = rod
Sir Robert Walpole, generally regarded as the first Prime Minister of Great Britain. The Tories gave him a particularly hard time, trying to ruin and discredit him.
18 SPINACH What might be applied to balls: Merkel’s oh so leafy vegetable
SPIN = what might be applied to balls, in cricket, tennis etc; ACH = German for something like ‘oh’, or even ‘oh so’, though I think the ‘so’ is really there to smooth the surface reading.
22/4 DRUM ROLL Booze during funny banged out introduction
RUM = booze; in DROLL = funny
23 OSLO City big in clothes has slob’s guts
OS = big (outsize) in clothes; LO = slob’s guts (central letters)


I’m a bit short of jokes this week, so instead I share with you this lovely image of orchids, from the Facebook page I fucking love science:


They are: Dracula simia (the monkey orchid), Orchis Italica (the naked man orchid), Habenaria radiata (the white egret orchid) and Caleana major (the flying duck orchid).

5 Responses to “Cyclops 496: Pseudonymous”

  1. Andy says:

    Thanjs jetdoc. Quick typo 7a is OFFICER. I know HM queen is often ‘Brenda’ but hadn’t come across ‘Brian’ before. How did these names come about. Any more out of interest?

  2. Tom B says:

    It was a documentary at the end of the 60s that attempted to portray the royals as a normal family (Barbecues at Balmoral etc…). The Eye decided to give The Queen and Prince of Wales “normal” names ie Brenda & Brian…

  3. Tom B says:

    the full list is here:

  4. Andy says:

    Thanks Tom!

  5. lemming says:

    I’ve a more ambitious parsing of 25ac. No doubt about the “unlikely” as anagram indicator. But I think it’s also doubling, implicitly, as part of the definition. The parenthetic “(being in these)” functions as “unlikely being in these”, and refers to the whole of the (or any) headline. It’s quite an adventurous clue, but it works for me.

    I was less happy about “dark brown” (22ac). I think “threatening”=>”dark” is pushing it a bit, if it’s relying solely on the association with dark storm clouds. Have I missed something?

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