Quick Cryptic 1174 by Del Boy

Well, well. I dread to think what any solver would make of this if they had never heard of the TV series Only Fools and Horses. For those of us based in the UK, it is more than familiar, having been repeated mercilessly for 30 years or more. I quite enjoy a good nina, but this one felt rather crowbarred in. The clues are all rather samey, and the usual wit and variety seems to have been sacrificed. The setter’s name, I assume is an alias.

Some of the references are obvious – 22ac is the main characters’ surname, 15 dn features Cassandra and Raquel, their wives, and a Reliant Robin which was their famous van. Nag’s head in 10ac was their local pub. Acrosses 1,6,8,9 and 10 are all insults commonly aimed by Del boy to Rodney. There are undoubtedly others. I see from Wikipedia that the first episode was broadcast on 8th Sept 1981, 37 years ago tomorrow.

Buried amongst it all is the odd nice clue. I liked 2dn


1 Measuring rods to bung in sauces (9)
DIPSTICKS – bung is STICK put inside DIPS
6 Songbird twists oddly (3)
TIT – alternate letters of TwIsTs
8 Idiot trading wonky electricals round Peckham initially (5)
TWERP – intial letters of the rest of the clue
9 Typographical symbol used in recording batches (7)
DINGBAT – hidden word: RecorDING BATches. Printer’s ornament
10 Plonker put my rubbish next to Nag’s Head (6)
NUMPTY – anagram (‘rubbish’) of PUT MY next to N (nag’s head)
12 A voting system one left for a month (5)
APRIL – A + PR (voting system) + I + L
13 Athlete having another drink on top of church (13)
STEEPLECHASER – STEEPLE is top of church, CHASER is another drink
17 Thoroughbred’s stark lesson not all needed (5)
ARKLE – hidden word stARK LEsson. Name of a champion racehorse from the 60’s
19 Hard worker heartless janitor’s thrown out (6)
TROJAN –  Heartless JANITOR is JANTOR. Anagram it.
22 Foot of pig, maybe, or tail of giant swine (7)
TROTTER – Tail of giant is T, swine is ROTTER
23 Bird used in falconry pastime (5)
HOBBY – double definition.
24 View sound, or larger stretch of water (3)
SEA – sounds like ‘see’
25 Having no one in control, slide errs badly (9)
RIDERLESS – anagram (‘badly’) of SLIDE ERRS

1 Daughter polished off fruit (4)
DATE – D for daughter + ATE
2 Take it before total collapse, finally (7)
PRESUME – PRE is before, SUM is total, E is the last letter of collapse.
3 Raise one’s drink, perhaps, to young setter? (3,2)
4 One holding tea or tee? (5)
CADDY – non-cryptic definition
5 Bhutan’s unusual way of getting a tan? (7)
SUNBATH – anagram (‘unusual’) of BHUTANS
6 Root plant, underground, by river (5)
TUBER – TUBE is underground, + R
7 Story about teetotaller — right gossip! (7)
TATTLER – Story is TALE, around TT for teetotaller, right is R
11 Little Terence allowed up (3)
TEL – LET beckwards
13 T-toast’s out for those obsessed with their figures! (7)
STATTOS – anagram (‘out’) of TTOASTS. Informal word for statistician, particularly someone interested in the statistics of sport.
14 Prelate reorganised cloth folder (7)
PLEATER – i.e. someone who folds cloth. anagram (‘reorganised’) of PRELATE
15 Cassandra and Raquel originally in Reliant Robin, say (3)
CAR – Initials of Cassandra And Raquel
16 Quiet walk, or unsteady one (7)
SHAMBLE – SH (quiet) + AMBLE
18 Foreign money scattered on ark (5)
KRONA – anagram (‘scattered’) of ON ARK
19 Exhausted, note, and visibly embarrassed (5)
TIRED – TI (do re me etc) + RED
20 Not the one to upset that woman (5)
OTHER – TO backwards + HER
21 Extra’s parting words (4)
BYES – Double definition. A bye is a type of extra run scored in cricket.

46 comments on “Quick Cryptic 1174 by Del Boy”

  1. Well, pace Curarist, I rather enjoyed this! Although like Jackkt I was stuck in the NW corner for what seemed like ages. FOI Tit, LOI Twerp. COD Presume.
  2. 16 minutes today so on the easier side I felt. Entertaining and clever stuff and I, like Jackkt, was cross that I didn’t see Dipsticks sooner.
  3. Club site won’t let me in to play or print it, so done on the main Times site instead.
    Theme was pretty clear from the start, although don’t think it helped or hindered particularly, in what was a pretty straightforward quickie. Unlike the 15×15 which is anything but!

    4’11 pretty much top to bottom left to right

  4. Once again heading for a solve well within my 10-minute target I hit a wall with four clues outstanding in the NW corner and finished eventually in 17 minutes. Given the undisguised theme of today’s puzzle I really should have seen DIPSTICKS much sooner than I did. There’s a ‘fools’ and ‘horses’ NINA in the Acrosses too.



    Edited at 2018-09-07 07:32 am (UTC)

  5. So of course livejournal won’t let me log in …

    Hey ho. I have heard of OFAH, of course, but I have watched a single episode and so almost all the references passed me by. Your verdict seems a little harsh to me, curarist, but then I am in no position to judge the crowbarring!

    Just treating it as a puzzle I found it fairly straightforward and as the first commenter I suppose I have to leave a time, which was 10 mins (estimate 2 Kevins).

    I liked 4dn especially, which gets my COD – very neat.


  6. You were both lucky to be able to access this. I couldn’t. I could only get the 404 Message when I tried to open it and checking back on the Club Site I see it’s disappeared altogether. Never mind, today’s outstanding Slow Cryptic more than made up for the disappointment.
  7. Bonnet de douche! This was a bit different but grwat fun. Raced through most but held up by the NW corner. 19 mins in the end. John M.
  8. 9.43, with a slow start prompted by DIPSTICKS. Despite being alerted to the NINA by Verlaine’s commentary on Big Bruv, the only bit I actually spotted Was the use of Cassandra, Raquel and the Reliant, which I ticked as being mildly clever. “Fools” in the top half, “horses” in the bottom just didn’t register, though I’d have been cheerfully impressed if they had.
  9. Well, this was a bit of a rotter for me. I’ve never watched so much as a single episode of OFAH so the references were pretty obscure and frankly irritating like when someone tells a joke and your mates fall about laughing and you feel a dope because you just don’t get it. My ill humour corrupted my brain, too, so that clues I really should have got eluded me. I was convinced, for instance, that 3 down was “pop up” as in a raised fizzy drink and that 10 across was “Dumpty” having conflated “dumb” (“plonker ” ) and “dump” (“put my rubbish “). DNK “stattos” so, even though it HAD to be that, I simply decided I’d misread the clue. Going to have a stiff cup of coffee and a lie down now… Thanks, setter and blogger.
  10. Club site seems to have sorted itself out and I’m quite enjoying being in second place on the leaderboard (I’m usually nearer 100). I saw the setters name so recognised the obvious signs of the nina as I was solving but missed the top/bottom split.
    Enjoyed 1a and 4d, completed in 12.42
    P.S. There was only one other person on the leaderboard at the time of posting!!
  11. I know the series but never watched it consistently – and I completed this in a steady 30 minutes – and enjoyed so many clues – and yet I didn’t spot any connections until reading the blog and comments!! So very dense of me – just trying to solve what was in front of me! But was very pleased with lots of this – 3d 4d 23a – there was a hobby flying around the moor near me.
    Never heard of Stattos or Pleater and Tattler was a bit obscure – although, thinking about it was that what Tattler magazine was about??
    Good old Peckham.
    Thanks to setter and blogger and jackkt (as usual)
    What is a NINA? (Sorry still dense)
    John George
    1. See here for an explanation. The word comes from Al Hirschfeld (1903-2003), American caricaturist, who was famous for hiding his daughter’s name “Nina” into his drawings. In a crossword context, a Nina is a special feature of the crossword grid: a word, words or phrase hidden within a pattern of cells in the completed grid.

      Edited at 2018-09-07 11:53 am (UTC)

  12. Never liked the program I’m afraid. Completed this in just under 10 mins. I didn’t spot the setter’s name but OFAH soon sprang to mind. Looked for a hidden nina but completely failed to spot the (beautifully crafted) across clues. Thanks all
  13. Popped in here to see what was going on with the club site and the very odd puzzle, figured there had to be a theme, but I only saw the show once and didn’t bother giving it a second look. Thanks for the enlightenment
  14. Well that was a jolly wheeze. Thanks jackkt for pointing out the complete message in the acrosses. Not a programme I ever watched so some of the references passed me by. I had to solve on the Times site as it wasn’t available on the club site when I tried to access it there. About 7 minutes.
  15. Thanks for the blog, but I feel you’ve been a little uncharitable as I very much enjoyed this. I missed the setter’s name and the theme (as I always do) but twigged something was going on. 12’36, my slowest by a mile this week. I also see from today’s Snitch that this week’s 15×15 holiday is also over, so I will tackle that this evening with due trepidation.

    Congratulations to the setter, long may you keep ignoring the editor’s supposed injunction on themes, NINAs etc!

  16. Although I’ve never watched the show, I did finish under ten minutes, though missed the Nina given by the acrosses. I thought Tel might have been a character, but apparently not. (BTW their van is a Regal, not a Robin)

    Edited at 2018-09-07 02:26 pm (UTC)

  17. Am I missing something here with 11d. TEL? I can see it is allowed up (LET) and it is also a hidden word upwards in littLE Terrence. But I am struggling to see what TEL means that refers to the clue (telephone, an ancient mound)? My understanding was that it had to be a word that made sense or have I been labouring under a misapprehension all this time.
      1. ‘Tel’ is short for Terence

        That seems very obscure for a quick cryptic. But I’m curious, do you have any examples as I failed to find any?

        1. Only one I can think of is Terry Venables the former footballer and football manager was widely known as ‘El Tel’
          1. Thanks. After some research, it seems that Eastenders (which I never watch) often shorten names and put an L on the end (as in Derek to Del, Karen to Kal, etc).

            But I do hate that obscure nicknames now seem to be fair game for crosswords (esp the Quick Cryptic). I just looked up Katherine on a certain website and it lists as its diminutives:
            Cailyn, Caleigh, Cat, Cathy, Kaelyn, Kaila, Kailee, Kailey, Kailyn, Kaleigh, Kaley, Kalie, Kalyn, Kat, Kate, Katey, Kathi, Kathie, Kathy, Katie, Katy, Kay, Kaye, Kayla, Kaylee, Kayleen, Kayleigh, Kayley, Kaylie, Kaylin, Kaylyn, Kaylynn, Keila, Kit, Kitty, Caelie, Caileigh, Cailin, Cate, Cayley, Kae, Kaelea, Kaelee, Kaety, Katee, Kayleah, Kayly, Keighley

            and that’s before it lists the variants, and names in other cultures. Aargh!

  18. I’m one I’m afraid, Mr, Mrs or Ms Anon, who turns his nose up at this sort of humour as a general rule, but it would have been hard not to be aware of this particular series, such was its cultural impact. As for the puzzle itself, easy enough, though it suffers as all themed offerings do, in that not all will get the refs. And those out of the loop usually moan much more than they have done today!
  19. So I didn’t spot the NINA although I do remember a lot of references to fools. Completed in 12:31 with LOI 4d CADDY. Penultimate solve was the hidden 9a DINGBAT which I biffed but I did see 17a ARKLE as a hidden without knowing the champion racehorse. Also I have never heard 13d STATTOS being used informally or otherwise in my accountancy profession.
  20. Interesting the number of ‘never watched it’ or ‘never liked it’ comments in reference to ‘Only Fools and Horses’. Says something about the demographic of the people who contribute here. What that something is I will leave you pondering, but I merely point out that the program was one of the most popular, well loved and critically acclaimed of its time.
  21. 3dn took ages. Thought young setter was young Del Boy. Wasn’t there a prequel? Biffed it anyhow. Cheers. John
  22. Enjoyed this very much and all the comments. We did not pick up the connection but related perhaps unconciously with words such as numpty, dipstick etc, which caused us no real problems. A fun end of the week, thanks to all. Elin & Ian.
  23. I thought this was great fun, with some good clues (PRESUME and TROJAN particularly). 1A was my last one in. I didn’t get the cricket ref at 21D; I thought of “by the bye” as an addition to a conversation…and STATTO I only knew from Baddiel and Skinner’s sidekick!
    Would like to see Del Boy again. Thanks setter and Curarist, great blog (if a little curmudgeonly 🙂 ).
  24. 14 minutes here and enjoyed every one. I had the same hold up in the NW as others but I was always on the look out for another reference. Excellent stuff QC setter/editor/blogger/jackkt.
  25. I enjoyed this and looked to see who the setter was as soon as I spotted a couple of OFAH references. I struggled with the NW at first until I saw what was going on. However, I biffed SUP UP at 3d and failed to notice it didn’t survive the entry of DIPSTICKS, so I had one error, TUP UP. 10:46. I was out golfing today so missed the problems with the site. Thanks Del Boy and Curarist.
  26. Back late after a day golfing near Chipping Norton.
    This was a fun puzzle I thought. Having seen the setter’s name and read a couple of clues, it was clear what was going on. Why today, I wonder?
    FOI was 21d and last two were 1a and 2d. I got Dipsticks because I thought it was the right sort of word for this puzzle -only then did I try parsing. LOI was 2d.
    COD to Numpty and it was good to see Twerp again after a long absence (my father liked the word).
    Under 20 minutes. David
  27. I thought it was elegantly crafted. Don’t like the show but the fools and horses refs were rather clever. Well done, Del Boy.
  28. Watched one episode of the show, but as mentioned elsewhere the impact was so wide that you Hoover up details without realising. Didn’t get the fools top/horses bottom at all until reading it here. But a finish, so hurrah. Thanks to setter and commentator.

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