QC 1975 by Orpheus

From where I am sitting this was slightly more difficult than my last puzzle two weeks ago and quite a bit less difficult than my puzzle four weeks ago. But looking through it after the event maybe it only seemed slightly more difficult than the last one because I was distracted quite a lot by importunate pings and rings from my phone as I was trying to nail the second half. I think this is two in a row from Orpheus for me so thank you for this one which as I say felt like a slightly tougher test than the last one.

FOI was 8A and LOI 22A (I originally had GRAND-NIECE as a more likely entry but also had GREAT-NIECE in my mind for when I came to review final entries and when the crossers were there it was an obvious change to make).

COD goes to 1A not because of difficulty but because of the associative memories it brings. As many of you know I used to work in Advertising. I used to do quite a lot of work with a particular film director who had started working in the field back in the sixties. He told me that he had once worked at Grey Advertising (as I remember it) with a typographer (which is different from a typesetter but sets off the same associations in my mind) who had one day announced that he was leaving the agency to join a band. His name was Charlie Watts and looking back on it you could probably say it was a decent career move. RIP Charlie. I liked the Stones but was never what you would call a great fan (I liked a lot of their music but not obsessively and always found Jagger a bit annoying whilst acknowledging his undoubted skill at self-promotion). I was always a Charlie Watts fan though.

Funnily enough in the context of the clue in one of my later agencies the Creative Director used to bring his dog into work (back then this was quite unusual) and she used to spend many long and happy advertising lunches with us in the local pub. I don’t suppose such things happen any more. I believe even ‘brainstorming’ sessions have been outlawed as being offensive to people who have epilepsy. If I ever used that term back in the day and offended anyone then I apologise unreservedly.

Definitions are underlined and everything else is explained just as I see it as simply as I can.

1 Press employee, sort with dog in tow (10)
TYPESETTER – TYPE (sort) + SETTER (dog) ‘in tow’.
8 Irritate a small number in US city (5)
ANNOY – A + NO (small number) ‘in’ NY (US city).
9 Consume refreshments initially in the Criterion, perhaps (7)
THEATRE – EAT (consume) + R (Refreshments ‘initially’) ‘in’ THE. Criterion being the name of a theatre.
10 Vertically challenged worker’s system of writing? (9)
SHORTHAND – SHORT (vertically challenged) + HAND (worker).
12 A second husband’s remains (3)
ASH – A + S (second) + H (husband).
13 Horrify a namesake of Revere when speaking (5)
APPAL – sounds like A + PAUL. Referring to Paul Revere, the American patriot who made a famous midnight ride to warn of the advance of the British forces prior to the battles of Lexington and Concord, as immortalised in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem which I’m sure we all no from skool.
15 Person singing some forgotten oratorio (5)
TENOR – hidden word: ‘some’ forgotTEN ORatorio.
17 Film about female amphibian (3)
EFT – ET (the Extra-Terrestrial, famous Spielberg film, which is about the only one that seems to play at the cinemas in Crossworld) ‘about’ F (female). An EFT is a type of newt that sometimes inhabits the ponds of Crossworld.
18 Don’t accept note with sweet I consumed (9)
REPUDIATE – RE (note, as in Doh-Re-Mi) + PUD (sweet) + I ATE (I consumed).
20 Small talk primarily concerning manufacturer of headgear (7)
CHATTER – C (‘primarily’ Concerning) + HATTER (manufacturer of headgear).
21 Get rid of stunted vegetation (5)
SCRUB – double definition.
22 Large French resort visited by European relative (5-5)
GREAT-NIECE – GREAT (large) + NICE (French resort) ‘visited by’ E (European).
1 Openness of projectable photo? (12)
TRANSPARENCY – double definition.
2 Horse having drink by entrance to orchard? (5)
PINTO – PINT (drink) + O (‘entrance’ to Orchard).
3 Utter anarchy at first in outskirts of Sydney (3)
SAY – A (Anarchy ‘at first’) ‘in’ SY (the outskirts of SydneY).
4 He painted innocents originally gobbled up by giant (6)
TITIAN – I (Innocents ‘originally’) ‘gobbled up by’ TITAN (giant).
5 Corrected English males, old-fashioned (9)
EMENDATED – E (English) + MEN (males) + DATED (old-fashioned).
6 Way wet weather produces stress (6)
STRAIN – ST (street, way) + RAIN (wet weather).
7 What criminal offences may not be, but some batteries are? (12)
RECHARGEABLE – double definition, first one slightly cryptic although I have underlined it as I guess you could just about use the term in that context in real legal life. The clue refers to the doctrine of double jeopardy whereby a defendant cannot be charged for the same offence twice.
11 One putting up with moving to art role (9)
TOLERATOR – straight anagram (‘moving’) of TO ART ROLE.
14 Cutting tool one of two PMs reportedly observed (6)
PITSAW – PIT (sounds like PITT, so ‘one of two PMs reportedly’, the two PMs in question being Pitt the Elder and Pitt the Younger) + SAW (observed).
16 Austere city state once, not all in South Africa (6)
SPARTA – PART (not all) ‘in’ SA (South Africa).
19 In maturity some soldiers see eye to eye (5)
AGREE – RE (Royal Engineers, ‘some soldiers’) ‘in’ AGE (maturity).
21 Young relative — one that shines, we hear (3)
SON – pretty obvious: sounds like SUN.

65 comments on “QC 1975 by Orpheus”

  1. I also biffed GRAND-NIECE–which is not at all nonsensical although it doesn’t really fit the clue–but I already had SPARTA, and didn’t notice what GRAND did. Once again 2 errors. 6:01 but.
  2. 6 minutes. The Criterion theatre in London is the only one one right on Piccadilly Circus, most of it being below street level. It’s stunningly beautiful inside.
  3. ….and I zipped through this before turning in just after midnight.

    TIME 3:39

  4. 25 minutes. Struggled to get a hold on the across clues, but once I had 1d and 7d, things moved in fairly quickly. Clear wordplay, as some words not in my vocabulary, like: EFT, PITSAW and EMENDATE.
    Nice start to the week.
    Thank you for the blog and the puzzle
  5. I thought this was tricky to start with, my FOI was 12A, but the down clues we’re much smoother and gave me the foothold I needed. NHO eft or pitsaw but they were clearly signposted. I liked 4D where the clue reminded me of the Goya painting of Saturn eating his children. My LOI was 1D where I needed all the crossers.
    2 annoying typos for me but all done in under 15.

  6. Wow, I went straight through that. Just saw it all. A small insight into the world of the great and the good.

    FOI TYPESETTER, LOI STRAIN, COD TITIAN, time 05:17 for 0.87K and a Red Letter Day.

    Many thanks Orpheus and Don.


  7. … as this was completed with all parsed in just 8 minutes. I was another who started with Grand-niece at 22A (unlike Vinyl1, I saw no problem with having grand for descendants, think granddaughter) which briefly held up LOI 16D Sparta until I corrected it, and 14D Pitsaw was NHO but put in from the wordplay, but otherwise no problems. A pleasant start to the week.

    Thank you Don for the blog

  8. After 54 minutes, this was a DNF for me.

    22a. I put Grand-Niece. This stopped me getting 16d which I left unanswered. 14d was also an unanswered clue.

    5d EMENDATED, I have never heard of, but I managed to work it out and so in it went. Likewise 4d. I have never heard of Titian, but it seemed the only logical answer.

    So, a disappointing start to the week, but not a disaster.

  9. I thought I might be on for a very rare sub five minute time, but a slight pause at the end over THEATRE, EMENDATED (NHO) and REPUDIATE took me over. Fortunately the other unknowns – PINTO, PITSAW – were kindly clued and I’m grateful with hindsight that GRAND NIECE never occurred to me. Finished in 5.30.
    Thanks to astartedon
  10. Gosh… only 8 comments so far, I am in early but my paper now arrives before breakfast and I completed this while eating my toast. I found it a gentle start to the week whilst I often struggle with Orpheus. I even found the tricky vocab fell out from the wordplay, so my crossword brain must be getting fitter. Don’t recall ever having come across EMENDATED (I know EMEND so it wasn’t too much of a stretch). Didn’t remember PITSAW but, having looked it up, I have come across the tool before – it just does what it says.

    I always understood that an EFT was a young newt. Must go and look it up.

    I guess it was all done in about 20 mins over toast and orange juice.

    Thanks to Orpheus for being kind and to Don for the blog.

    Edited at 2021-10-04 07:51 am (UTC)

  11. A struggle to start the week.

    I put in GRAND NIECE which ruined 16dn. Also UNCHARGEABLE for 7dn which made THEATRE impossible.

    Other than that, I couldn’t work out a few of the down clues. PITSAW, EMANDATED and PINTO (which in hindsight is obvious).

    Rest of the puzzle was enjoyable.

    Edited at 2021-10-04 07:58 am (UTC)

  12. 1819 and was pleased to break 20 with some tough vocabulary, NHO : EFT, EMANDATED, PITSAW.

    TOLERATOR looks like a made up word, can’t imagine it ever being used.

    LOI THEATRE as I thought the Criterion was a London Club.

    COD TITIAN, though we’ve had it before

    1. Agree about TOLERATOR, bit like Scourer (meaning one who searches) the other day. I wouldn’t allow Tolerator in Scrabble.🙂
      1. Tolerator is officially allowed in Scrabble. I long ago gave up playing Scrabble with a friend who wanted to disallow any word he hadn’t actually heard of!
  13. A nice puzzle which I approached in relaxed fashion over breakfast (I even had the radio on) and managed to complete and parse in a couple of minutes over target.
    Some nice clues — mainly straightforward. EMENDATED and PITSAW were unknown words to me but were clearly clued. I must confess that ANNOY and AGREE took longer than they should have done.
    Don’s excellent and fascinating blog covers the other neat clues succinctly so thanks to him and to Orpheus. John M.

    Edited at 2021-10-04 08:09 am (UTC)

  14. An enjoyable 16 mins for me, although I also initially joined the “Grand Niece” club.

    Regarding “double jeopardy”, I always thought this referred to not being able to be recharged with an offence once if you’d been cleared or found not guilty, although I guess if new evidence is found this does happen. However, I will defer to my learned friends on that.

    I also DNK 5dn “Emendated” nor 4dn”Pitsaw” but they were fairly clued.

    FOI — 3dn “Say”
    LOI — 22ac “Grand Niece”
    COD — 19ac “Agree”

    Thanks as usual!

  15. I had two left after well under 7 minutes but then I crashed and burned.
    I had GRAND NIECE, like others, having assumed the French word for Large was required. Should have paused for parsing.
    That led me to have SPARIN (I’d thought of Sparta early).
    But I also had PITMAY as an unknown cutting tool; PITSAW also unknown.
    With more care and less speed I might have got there.
    Well played Orpheus.

    I had refrained from opting for GREAT or GRAND until I had all of the checkers for my LOI.

    Thank you to astartedon and Orpheus

  17. The long clues on the south and east sides were among the first I solved, apart from falling into the Grand/GREAT trap initially. But the opposite pair, TYPESETTER and TRANSPARENCY were LOsI.
    Luckily someone mentioned EFT the other day as a Crossword word, a bit like ASH but more obscure.
    Are there still typesetters, I wonder? I somehow imagine the layout being set by a graphic designer, or even the subs. (Now checked – there are still typesetter jobs advertised)
    Thanks as ever, Don.

    Edited at 2021-10-04 01:07 pm (UTC)

  18. Fortunately we visited one of those historic farm buildings sites the other day where there was indeed a very long saw designed to be used by two men, one of whom stood in a pit.

    Edited at 2021-10-04 01:09 pm (UTC)

  19. Whizzed through today’s offering from Orpheus, who can sometimes have me in a bind.

    NHO EMENDATED, but clueing was straightforward.

    I enjoyed the pud I ate yesterday – pineapple upside down cake with a spot of cream, so REPUDIATE is my COD today – in fact I might go and get a slice for elevenses. I also liked SPARTA – the film 300 being a somewhat guilty secret favourite of mine.

    Thanks to astartedon for the interesting anecdote & excellent blog, and to Orpheus for a gentle start to the QC week.

    3:48, a smidge behind Phil again.

    Edited at 2021-10-04 09:24 am (UTC)

  20. TYPESETTER went straight in and I built from its checkers for a quick start. I assembled the not so familiar EMENDATED from the instructions after which the THEATRE dropped into place. I typed in GREAT NIECE with the thought in the back of my mind that it might just be GRAND, but it wasn’t, as SPARTA soon confirmed. My only real hold up was my LOI, PITSAW, which I hadn’t heard of. This was also complicated by my perennial inability to remember whether APPAL has 2 Ps or 2 Ls. 5:37. Thanks Orpheus and Don.
  21. Finished correctly in 45 mins.

    I found this one tough and not enjoyable with obscure and vague clues.

    As John Mcenroe might have said :

    The Pitts!

  22. 5 minutes, pretty much on the nose! 0.8K, so it’s a Red Letter Day here too 😊 Back home on paper – perhaps I was just enjoying the familiarity. I thoroughly enjoyed this, lots of super surfaces and gettable clues, even if you didn’t know the words – EMENDATED was the main issue there, although I wasn’t a hundred per cent sure about PITSAW either, but as others have said, if you follow the instructions, you should get there and I did!
    I did wonder if TITIAN had ever painted a picture of Chronos or similar in his Greek works, but it would seem not – what a clue that would have been though 😅
    FOI Typesetter – like Don, this brings back memories for me, as did SHORTHAND, which I was hopeless at! In fact, I’m just about to start working on the newsletter I produce – not typesetting any more, all done on Publisher!
    LOI Scrub – just because it was
    COD Say – among many ticks, this one got a smile
    Many thanks Orpheus for the fun (and the morale boost) and Don for the blog (and memories)
    1. Congratulations! I think, after 5 minutes, I was only just solving my second clue.
      1. I’m expecting a minimum of a half hour solve or a DNF tomorrow 🤣 Thanks for all the nice comments
  23. After 20 minutes just 16d to go — I had Spartan in mind because of Grand Niece error and couldn’t see that I may have made a mistake so conceded.

    An interesting shaped grid (well the black parts!) and all in all a good crossword except for Emendated — not a word that I liked…but it had to be…

    Thanks all
    John George

      1. Yes. Well I was never a criminal lawyer except for a couple of cases I was involved in during Articles and I haven’t really kept up. But for that reason I was careful only to mention briefly what the term meant, not whether it still applied or not. But thanks for bringing me up to date!
  24. Relatively straightforward, completed and parsed in 15 mins, including breaking off to check on the existence of such a tool as a pitsaw. NHO this or the strange-sounding emendated.

    FOI – 10ac SHORTHAND
    LOI – 14dn PITSAW
    COD – 10ac SHORTHAND

    Thanks to Orpheus and Astartedon and congratulations to all who have recorded a PB.

  25. 5:01 this morning.
    A bit of Monday rustiness perhaps, with what I felt was a straightforward Monday QC. Even so, I only missed my target by entering “great niece” for 22 ac. A real “doh” moment, while trying to disentangle 16 d “Sparta”. And then I come to this site and realise I was far from the only one — fascinating!
    NHO 14 d “pitsaw”, but the wordplay was kind especially with “one of two PMs” as the homophone.
    9 ac “theatre” —in my University days, one of our locals was the Criterion Bar and that association seems to have persisted ever since, as opposed to that of a more cultural establishment! Still it didn’t hold me up for long.
    5 d “emendated” is a word I have to say I don’t think I’ve ever used but the wordplay was re-assuring.
    Thanks to Don for a fascinating blog and to Orpheus.
  26. The run of pink squares continues. Despite already having SPARTA I still whacked in GRAND NIECE to give me two errors from three pink squares. Hadn’t heard of an EFT or a PITSAW but both went in with fingers crossed. Not all green in 13 for the third puzzle in a row.
  27. Started with 1d Transparency (still got quite a few of those in the loft) and associated offspring for a straightforward left to right solve in 19mins. A slight Grand Niece induced delay along the way, before loi Theatre almost pushed me into the SCC. I see we have moved on to London theatres now (🙄), whatever next, tube stations? Invariant
    1. NHO the London one, despite being a resident for well >20 years. There is also a Criterion Theatre in the area of Coventry where I grew up, about a 10 minute walk from home, which how I got that one. I thought it was a generic(ish) term, like Odeon. It seems I was wrong!
  28. NHO EFT, PITSAW, or EMENDATED, so submitted on iPad with fingers firmly crossed. Good to learn new vocabulary, although can’t see me using emendated too often… 🤣 Unable to parse APPAL so many thanks for explanation Don. Still not recording times but very much enjoying the process. Always happy with a finish so thanks Orpheus for a doable puzzle with challenging elements.
  29. A steady work through but EFT and PITSAW unknown and help needed to find them. COD for me REPUDIATE.
  30. FOI ash. 12 on first pass. LOI pitsaw. The underdog was the person in the sawpit. Sawdust fell into his eyes and eventually he often went blind. In penal colonies. COD repudiate. Nine minutes today, so a friendly start to the week. Thanks, Don, and Orpheus.

    Edited at 2021-10-04 01:45 pm (UTC)

  31. Slowed down in sorting out sparta and the pitsaw. Also had the great or grand problem. Otherwise straightforward, but found tolarator and emendated rather odd.
  32. I found this a very tough start to the week. In fact, I was APPALled at how SPARTAn my grid looked after having wracked my brains for 20+ minutes. However, I got there in the end despite never knowingly having come across the horse (PINTO), or EMENDATED, or Mr Revere (APPAL), or the amphibian (EFT), or the cutting tool (PITSAW), or the Criterion (THEATRE). So much for my general knowledge!

    I also fell into the GRAND NIECE trap for a while, which made getting SPARTA a real struggle. So, 52 minutes for me – not good, but not a DNF (and my records still show more DNFs than completions for Orpheus QCs).

    Mrs Random has been out all day, so I can’t report on her attempt as yet. Fortunately though, before she left she alerted me to some left-over home-made apple scones which, along with a cup of tea, helped keep what’s left of my brain ticking over until the end of today’s puzzle.

    Many thanks to Orpheus and astartedon.

    Edited at 2021-10-04 03:53 pm (UTC)

    1. You finished, so that’s great 😀 That balance will realign eventually – I found Orpheus one of the hardest setters for such a long time, and it’s only recently that I seem to have got on to his wavelength at all. And apple scones sound great too – the chief scone maker in our house is Mr B, so I’m going to put him on to that idea 😋
      1. Mrs R says she followed the Mary Berry scone recipe with two apples and two teaspoons of cinnamon. They’re delicious!
  33. If there were a QC Snitch I’d be well off the pace.

    No problems with EFT and PITSAW which went straight in but 1ac and 1d are exactly the sorts of clues I struggle with and they were my LOIs after working upwards and backwards from the SW.

    Suspect I must have been a bit sluggish on some of the others as well — PINTO for example needed some effort

    Well done to everyone who had a quick time and/or close to a PB

    Thanks all

  34. Just over one course
    A pit saw goves the name top dog as opposed to the poor chap underneath

    Edited at 2021-10-04 05:10 pm (UTC)

  35. Thought this one was quite tough with the likes of EFT, PITSAW, PINTO, and EMENDATED, so was pleased to squeeze in under 20 minutes (if only I’d managed to keep doing the same with each of my 5k splits in yesterday’s marathon). Then I came on here and found most people had found it easy. Oh well. FOI SHORTHAND, LOI PITSAW, COD REPUDIATE, Time: 19:34. Thanks Orpheus and Astartedon.
  36. I can only remember two lady advertising CDs who brought thieir dogs into work. Judy Smith and Barbara Noakes, both dogs called. Daisy. At DDB where I started in 1969 no dogs were allowed. In l974 at Colletts on the Fifteenth Sam Redhead, the chef had a lovely Borzoi,
    known as ‘The raspberry, cherry!’ She only had three working legs! Jeremy Clark had a black Lab that had a bit of a name for foul behaviour. But then we all did! horryd.

    FOI 1ac TYPESETTER — Roger Baker! Len cheeseman!

    LOI 14dn PITSAW and COD


    Time seven minutes on the nose.i

    1. Funnily enough our CD’s dog’s name was Daisy also. Maybe it was an industry tradition.
          1. And there was even a DAISY CHAIN in a recent puzzle that I thought was a very neat definition…

            But a very neat definition is often just a chestnut you’ve never seen before.

  37. Technically a DNF as I had shrub, not scrub. Struggled with emendated, not a word I’m familiar with and eft, but the wordplay seemed straightforward enough.
  38. A day late, but for the record….we finished in 16 minutes.

    FOI: ASH

    Thanks Astartedon and Orpheus.

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