QC 2005 by Wurm

An entertaining puzzle with heavy use of cryptic definitions which I greatly enjoyed, viz. 8A, 16A, 20A and 9D. Many thanks to Wurm (whom I have only met infrequently, if at all (cue stats confirmation from jackkt?)) for cheering up my start to the week considerably.

My FOI was 5A and LOI was 22A. Clearly the last part was WORKS but WAX wouldn’t come to me until I had finished everything else off and had time to look at it properly. COD for me was either 16A or 9D. Eeny, meeny, miny, mo – with 16A I’ll probably go. (Try typing that with the spellcheck switched on. It takes ages.). My final decision was swayed by my enjoyment of Wurm’s playing with an intangible noun which led me to Hamlet’s use of a similar device when playing with Polonius (see below).

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

1 Male with a cough — deadly hacker (8)
TOMAHAWK – TOM (male) + A HAWK (a cough).
5 Northerner drunk outside clubs (4)
SCOT – SOT (drunk) ‘outside’ C (clubs).
8 All-out action? (7,6)
GENERAL STRIKE – cryptic definition. ‘All out’ being the shop steward’s traditional call to down tools and go on strike, and if it really is ‘ALL out’ then that would certainly be a GENERAL STRIKE.
10 Ceremony after time becomes banal (5)
TRITE – T (time) + RITE (ceremony).
11 Self-inflicted damage to have end (3,4)
OWN GOAL – OWN (to have) + GOAL (end).
12 Blade waved about by Mike in confused situation (6)
BEDLAM – anagram of BLADE (‘waved about’) + M (Mike, phonetic alphabet).
13 Field event record set by American (6)
DISCUS – DISC (record) + US (American).
16 What poor have that rich want for? (7)
NOTHING – clever double cryptic definition. More like a riddle really. The poor have NOTHING, and the rich want for NOTHING. I think I may have seen this device before but that may well be a false memory. The intangible noun antics remind me a bit of Hamlet:
Polonius: My lord, I’ll take my leave of you now.
Hamlet: You cannot, sir, take from me any thing that I will more willingly part withal – except my life, except my life.”
God, I love that guy’s sense of humour.
18 English vehicles for Welshman? (5)
EVANS – E (English) + VANS (vehicles).
20 Family butcher’s business? (5,3,5)
FLESH AND BLOOD – cryptic definition.
21 Sentimental sports supporter keeping wicket (4)
TWEE – TEE (sports supporter (of a golf ball)) ‘keeping’ W (wicket (w being the standard abbreviation for a wicket that a scorer inserts at the appropriate place in the over instead of a dot or a numeral)).
22 Figures showing increase has desired effect (8)
WAXWORKS – WAX (increase) + WORKS (has desired effect).
1 Mean to get sloshed (5)
TIGHT – double definition.
2 People generally enthusiastic about new 20 (7)
MANKIND – MAD (enthusiastic) ‘about’ N (new) + KIN (20, referring to 20A above = family).
3 His order has changed for condiment (11)
HORSERADISH – straight anagram (‘has changed’) of HIS ORDER HAS.
4 Delight shown by wife over permit (6)
WALLOW – W (wife) ‘over’ (in this down clue) ALLOW (permit). Delight here is a verb: ‘to wallow in’ = ‘to delight in’.
6 Company imports breathable gas for city (5)
CAIRO – CO (company) ‘importing’ AIR (breathable gas).
7 Plates smashed outside hotel in mountains (3,4)
THE ALPS – anagram of PLATES (‘smashed’) ‘outside’ H (hotel).
9 Possible excuse for missing court appearance? (6,5)
TENNIS ELBOW – another cryptic definition. If you have TENNIS ELBOW you quite reasonably may not be able to play in your tennis match (court appearance).
12 Maybe Universal Credit has advantage (7)
BENEFIT – double definition. For those who don’t live in the UK Universal Credit is a type of social security benefit in this country.
14 Complaints caused by Conservative-Liberal relationship (7)
CLAMOUR – C (Conservative) + L (Liberal) + AMOUR (relationship).
15 Posh bird mentioned African country (6)
UGANDA – U (posh) + GANDA (sounds like (‘mentioned’) GANDER (bird)).
17 Musical idea Keith Emerson takes in (5)
THEME – hidden word: KeiTH EMErson ‘takes in’. Keith Emerson was the ‘E’ of ELP, the standard abbreviation of the rock band Emerson, Lake & Palmer. The late, great John Peel once described the band as a ‘waste of talent and electricity’. The band was undoubtedly talented, although I largely agree with Peel that the talent was mostly wasted, certainly on me at any rate. They had their moments though. I loved their version of Jerusalem, and Benny the Bouncer was quite a fun little ditty. And I did enjoy their mythology, the little stories that surrounded them as one of the ‘supergroups’ of the day (obviously not everybody shared Peel’s and my opinion). Emerson died in 2016, apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, thus qualifying him to appear in this puzzle. But then maybe he’s allowed anyway as he is just a vehicle in the clue and not the final entry? Could it have just as easily been Elizabeth Emerald? Or Kenneth Emery? (People I think I have just made up). Answers on a postcard please.
19 Fish carried in steamship for parties (5)
SIDES – SS (steamship) ‘carrying’ IDE (fish).

62 comments on “QC 2005 by Wurm”

  1. I spent too much time on 1ac taking ‘male’ to be M. But the real problem was 22ac: even with WORKS in, I couldn’t think of a word for ‘increase’. I had begun an alphabet trawl when fortunately WAX finally came to me. DNK Universal Credit, and waited for the checkers before committing myself. 7:20.
    Today’s 15×15 might be worth having a go at.

    Edited at 2021-11-15 01:40 am (UTC)

  2. Must remember to begin those alphabet trawls starting from Z and working backwards next time!
  3. Really good Quickie today, same hold-up at the end as Kevin.

    Have heard the NOTHING device expressed in the form of a riddle long ago, which obviously helped. Think TENNIS ELBOW was my favourite.

    Thanks Wurm and Asto.

  4. I dawdled to 13 minutes – mainly up in the north-north-west

    FOI 1dn TIGHT

    LOI 2dn MANKIND weak clue?

    COD 9dn TENNIS ELBOW — the menace of tennis

    WOD 3dn HORSERADISH lovely with cold beef; mackerel and on top of a Welsh rarebit! As a kid one of my chores was to pull, grate, and make this sauce. Makes one’s eyes water!!

    I slung in FAWN at 21ac until Keith Emerson put me right!

    1. I also bunged in FAWN. Thought it was a bit of a stretch, and was pleased when THEME proved that it was indeed not correct.
    2. I was uncharacteristically FAWNing for a while too. Despite a double alpha-trawl I couldn’t see WAXWORKS and gave up so that I could seek enlightenment from Astartedon (it’s less trouble than seeking out Buddah). COD TENNIS ELBOW.
  5. 9 minutes, delayed a little by 1ac which I thought would start with M and I needed the T-checker from TIGHT at 1dn to get that idea out of my head. The other delay was caused by the cross reference to 20 at 2dn.

    On cue I would mention this is Wurm’s 45th QC. He was a late starter, not joining the regular crew until June 2017. Don has blogged his puzzles twice before today, on 5th October 2020 and almost to the day, 16th November 2020.

  6. Stalled in the SE where nearly every clue had to be prised out. Took far to long to realise I was looking for a surname and wasn’t 100% sure an IDE was a fish, associated CLAMOUR with a din rather than a complaint and just found WAXWORKS hard (at both ends of the clue) — it more than one alphabet trawl to get there. Like Horryd I had ‘fawn’ for TWEE at first. Five on the first pass of acrosses before ending up all green in 17.
      1. Thanks both — I’ll try to get those to stick. Saw the checking D and became fixated on cod — even though the SS was pretty clear!
  7. Fails in NW (TOMAHAWK, MANKIND) and SE (WAXWORKS). The last was tough with —WARDS and —WORDS being plausible suffixes. “Wax” for increase is not common, I tried to make GASWORKS fit.

    NHO IDE (Integrated Development Environment to computer scientists)

    COD GENERAL STRIKE, with “All out”.

    Longer version of the riddle at 16a

    What does man love more than life,
    Fear more than death or mortal strife.
    What the poor have, the rich require,
    and what contented men desire.
    What the miser spends and the spendthrift saves,
    And all men carry to their graves?

    15×15 very approachable today, a new PB for me, worth a punt, and for me at least, easier than this QC

  8. All out!
    8ac The General Strike of 1926 (only 4-12 May) was remembered here but it sure changed British History – toffs driving buses etc. My COD. My time 5.54
  9. I thought this was quite tough, like others I got stuck in the NE corner & spent a long time getting waxworks.

    I don’t know if there are any Taskmaster fans out there but they had a similar riddle on there recently.
    What is greater than the Taskmaster, more evil than the devil, Alex has it, the Taskmaster wants it and if you eat it, you die?

    Thanks for the very detailed blog Don and the crossword Wurm.

    FOI Trite
    LOI Waxworks
    COD Nothing

  10. Tricky in places but great fun. Briefly wondered if FAWN could be an obscure meaning of sentimental, before THEME confirmed it was highly unlikely. Like others I struggled with thinking 1a would start with an ‘m’ and finished with the difficult WAXWORKS, which required an alphabet trawl. COD to NOTHING, finished in 11.51
    Thanks to astartedon
  11. I couldn’t get going on this one until a few sitters emerged on a grid trawl. A fairly sudden acceleration led to an almost complete grid but was followed by a stall. TOMAHAWK (and even HORSERADISH) took ages and, after many minutes, I lost patience and threw in the towel over WAXWORKS after ineffective alphabet trawls. I think this clue should have had a home in the ‘biggie’.
    I have never actually given up on a clue in the last 2004 QCs so this is a first. Wurm was on a different planet to me on this disappointing Monday morning. There were some good clues (and some smiles — e.g. UGANDA) so thanks to Wurm through gritted teeth. I’ll probably get more pleasure out of the puzzle now with the help of Don’s detailed blog. John M.
    Note. Stung by my inability to click with Wurm, I moved to the DT cryptic and finished in well under 20 mins. Following Kevin’s hint, I did the 15×15 in 35 mins so my brain is not totally dead, yet. It was perhaps just a wavelength thing with Wurm.

    Edited at 2021-11-15 01:52 pm (UTC)

  12. Failed on WAXWORKS, and hence CLAMOUR. Very stupid to miss TWEE which I’m sure I solved the other day.
    Must have been exhausted after solving the rest of this difficult puzzle. Fortunately biffed GENERAL STRIKE early on but it didn’t help as much as I hoped.
    Thanks to Don.
  13. Completion with two trips to Chambers for help, namely for 18a EVANS and 22a WAXWORKS.

    1d. TIGHT – I have only ever once heard tight meaning drunk, and that was in a Times QC, some weeks ago I think. I remembered it and so the answer came to me quickly.

    Like kevingregg I did spend a long time with 1a, by my insistence on starting the word with either M or MAN.

    Overall, an enjoyable crossword.

    1. A ‘sealion’ feigns ignorance and politeness, so that if the target is provoked into making an angry response, the troll can then act as the aggrieved party! Benny
  14. And then ground to a bit of a halt.

    Not helped by having FAWN instead of TWEE and FLESH AND BONES instead of BLOOD. Spotted the errors quite quickly though, which gave me BENEFIT, CLAMOUR and eventually WAXWORKS.

    I liked the cryptic defs.

    7:07, so a minute or so over target.

    Edited at 2021-11-15 09:40 am (UTC)

  15. I started with TIGHT and WALLOW. Needed more crossers to get TOMAHAWK. Made quick progress until the SE corner, where I was held up by CLAMOUR, then LOI, WAXWORKS. Liked GENERAL STRIKE and TENNIS ELBOW. 7:48. Thanks Wurm and Don.
  16. Just short of 12 minutes of entertainment thanks to Wurm. I had to return to two clues to understand the parsing (MANKIND and BENEFIT) after initially biffing them, but that is also included in the time. We live in a town house, with kitchen and lounge on the middle floor, which gives us an excellent view of the moon as it waxes and wains over the month, so no problems with WAXWORKS. I find it hard to understand how anyone doing these puzzles for more than a couple of months cannot know IDE as a fish — it is such a regular staple. Thanks all — it looks like this was a bit of a marmite puzzle, and like the black stuff, I loved it!
  17. I thought this was Wurm at his best. Lots of great testing clues with obvious answers-but only if you could think of them.
    My FOI was THEME and I was fairly quick until a number of hold-ups. TOMAHAWK took a while and WALLOW took me ages -brilliant. My last two were TENNIS ELBOW (COD to that) but even now I’m thinking LOI WAXWORKS was better. I got the Works bit and then had to alpha-trawl, starting with A of course. I nearly gave up.
    And I needed all the checkers and slowly worked out the anagram of HORSERADISH.
    20 minutes in all. Top quality stuff.
  18. … and rather too many MERs on the way there for this to be an enjoyable experience. I was another with Fawn to start with for 21A Twee before Keith Emerson (of much enjoyed memory) corrected me, and I wondered about 14A Clamour — the wordplay made the answer unavoidable but Clamour = Complaints? And then to the NW corner, where I NHO hawk for cough in 1A Tomahawk (hacking cough certainly, but hawk, either as a verb or a noun, was wholly new to me), could not get the sense of 1D Tight (tight does not mean get sloshed, it means being sloshed), and then put Tripe in for 10A Trite for my LOI — which clearly doesn’t parse but by then my enthusiasm was somewhat spent.

    Most of the time when I simply don’t gel with a puzzle, the enthusiasm of others on this blog is enough to show its my fault not the setter’s. And that is probably largely the case here too — but I don’t think it was Wurm’s finest.

    Many thanks to Don for the blog and other posters for brightening my rather sour mood!

  19. I finished but spent at least three minutes on my LOI WAXWORKS. I got WORKS first and then like others performed an alphabet trawl. 12:55
  20. Too many cryptic definitions for me. I also put Flesh and Bones which caused trouble. Bad hair day here.
  21. Too tough for me this, with four clues still outstanding after 30 mins.

    DNK “a cough” is “hawk”, which meant I really struggled with 1ac. Forgot “tight” could mean drunk (I thought it might have been an odd anagram of “to get”) and didn’t get my head around the “20” reference for 2dn. Similarly, “waxworks” at 22ac passed me by.

    Liked some of the other longer cryptic clues though, such as 8ac “General Strike” and 20ac “Flesh and Blood” (always think of a mid 80’s Rutger Hauer film when I see that).

    The answer to 12dn by the way is an emphatic no for anyone who knows anyone who is on it.

    FOI — 10ac “Trite”
    LOI — dnf
    COD — 9dn “Tennis Elbow” — always gets me!

    Thanks as usual!

  22. A very similar experience to our blogger, except I’m sure that, at 14 minutes, it will have taken me a lot longer! But as a big ELP fan in the 70s, I can’t agree about the music – well, not all of it. Anyway, as John Peel’s all-time favourite song is reputed to be Teenage Kicks (a great song for sure – but best ever?), as always, we’ll just have to allow for differences in taste!
    Much as there seems to be a difference of opinion regarding this puzzle. I’m afraid I didn’t love it – it may be that I am very tired (very bad night’s sleep) and it took the best part of five minutes to get the last three – in, of course, the SE corner. There were also loads of A+B=C and A wrapped around B type clues (whatever they’re called), and all the cryptic ones were undoubtedly clever, but I prefer a bit more variety.
    FOI Scot
    LOI Waxworks
    COD Nothing, although TENNIS ELBOW came close
    All the same, thanks to Wurm, and to Don too

    Just popped back to say that I did the biggie in about 17 minutes, probably a PB here too. Even the few unknowns / trickier ones were generously clued 😊 Give it a go!

    Edited at 2021-11-15 01:17 pm (UTC)

  23. Progressed in fits and starts before coming to a halt with Clamour and Waxworks extant — why do setters regularly overlap the two hardest clues? … or farmers put the gate in the muddiest part of the field 😉. Anyway, those two clues prompted a tea break, but it still took a very tedious alphabet trawl to get Waxworks, at which point Clamour revealed itself, with a shrug from me. Probably 30mins in total, so not a good start to the week. CoD to 9d, Tennis Elbow. Invariant

    Edited at 2021-11-15 07:46 pm (UTC)

  24. An opportunity taken to complete this while waiting for the car to be MOT’d and have 4 new tyres instead of tackling at bedtime! FOI 10a Trite. LOI 1a Tomahawk. COD. 22a Waxworks. Some chewy and some straightforward. Btw poor coffee & snack at Tesco’s speciality cafe in Buckingham — beware! Off now to walk back to garage and a whopping bill. Only enlivened by Wurm, our blogger and the comments today.
  25. But took a very long time… held up by WAXWORKS and UGANDA (biffed — could someone please explain why posh = u?). Loved TENNIS ELBOW, GENERAL STRIKE and OWN GOAL. Many thanks to Wurm and Don.
      1. In 1955 Nancy Mitford referenced an academic paper “U and Non-U: An Essay in Sociological Linguistics,” 1954, published in a Finnish journal by Alan S. C. Ross, a professor at the University of Birmingham. Ross argued that England at that time was divided into three classes and that, “It is solely by its language that the upper class is clearly marked off from the others.”
        1. Sorry, but I think Mr. Merlin did cover Ross off with his Wikipedia link – without actually mentioning him! Meldrew
      2. Thanks for all your comments on this — I won’t forget ‘U’ in a hurry… I wasn’t able to reply yesterday for some reason, but could only ‘like’ what you had all said. Very interesting, R

        Correction — I can see that one of my comments made it through after all!

        Edited at 2021-11-16 07:22 pm (UTC)

  26. Feelings the same as others, finished, eventually, with waxworks. Find cryptic definitions tricky.
  27. I reached the two-to-go point in less than half an hour (jolly fast for me), but the next three-quarters of an hour was definitely not a ‘jolly’ experience. From that point, it took me half an hour to get CLAMOUR (I had no idea what was going on) and a further quarter of an hour to spot WAXWORKS, which I never did parse. My eventual completion time was 77 minutes, and I don’t really know why I didn’t just give up much, much earlier. Note to self: set an upper time limit (50 minutes, say), as long periods getting nowhere ruins the enjoyment – even if successful i the end.

    Mrs Random rattled through until she also got stuck on WAXWORKS. She worked out the WORKS bit quite quickly, but then took 10 minutes or so to get WAX. So, I’m sorry to report that neither of us feels particularly well disposed towards today’s QC, even though it was caused solely by our lack of expertise.

    Many thanks to Wurm and astartedon.

  28. Was on for a good time for me, having only spent 14 minutes to get down to two to go – 14d and 22a. I managed to get CLAMOUR fairly soon after despite never having seen in writing or heard in any context, other than perhaps in a crossword, amour used to mean relationship. Did the R help with 22a? It did not. I puzzled over it for nearly 15 minutes and then gave up. Definitely a clue more suited to the 15×15 I think. Anyway, thanks Astartedon and Wurm.
  29. Found this hard, struggling with WAXWORKS and UGANDA and guessing SIDES, having forgotten about IDE = FISH. A tough start for me, but pleased to finish – eventually!
  30. The clock was already past the 30 minute mark when I put earworms. I knew it was wrong, but it had the merit of fitting and I simply couldn’t see waxworks.
  31. and in Wiki it’s a fish, and _D_ has to be a fish, then Ide is a fish. But not in any immediate dictionary I have found, nor in any QC over five years I can remember. Like Erne though I shall try to remember it. A learner does find it hard when a solve crashes like this. Blog and Comments a huge help as always, kind thanks.
    1. And remember it you must, Ide say. I’vce found it the most common fish in crosswordland, though like so much only in crosswordland.
      1. Don’t forget GAR either — another useful fish no-one’s really heard of outside Crosswordland!
  32. My ignorance of ELP and laziness to look up made this clue easy for me, and, as WAX also came very quickly, this puzzle was a quick solve for me, only about thrice Kevin’s time! Having read comments above I’m looking forward to trying the main puzzle.

    FOI 1d TIGHT as I’ve been accused of being both.
    LOI 2d MANKIND having waited for 20
    COD 4d WALLOW the cheekiest of so many witty and clever clues.

    Thanks, setter and blogger

  33. Very nice puzzle — much prefer word play clues.
    About 45 mins till stuck in the SE but eventually biffed WAXWORKS before realising wax is the opposite of wane.
    TOMAHAWK very good
  34. I enjoyed this puzzle a lot, but resorted to a dictionary to speed up my LOI WAXWORKS. Most went in easily, except that I was another FLESH AND BONES, which meant CLAMOUR wouldn’t fit and I shuddered to a halt in the SE. I almost gave up at this point, but then realised everything would work if BONES become BLOOD, and I could use the now-familar crossword fish IDE instead of trying to think of a three-letter fish _S_. But even though I sort of knew what was going on with _A_WORKS being some sort of statue or drawing, my imagination failed. As mentioned above, great clues are obvious afterwards, but infuriatingly difficult before.
  35. We’re running behind this week so have only just got to this (it’s Wednesday). So, for the sake of completion, we came in at 20 minutes. We found it on the tough side.

    COD: just loved NOTHING

    Thanks Wurm and Astartedon.

Comments are closed.