Quick Cryptic 1214 by Teazel

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
Nothing to scare the horses this morning. Started off with a long sequence of write-ins, and apart from the minor peeve at 9ac, a pleasant solve. Hard to pick a winner, perhaps 6dn for the elegant surface.


1 Tailless hatchling is elegant (4)
CHIC – hatching is CHICK, take off the end
4 Perhaps baron’s biography: look closely (4,4)
LIFE PEER – biography is LIFE, look closely is PEER
8 Like illegal broadcaster to pronounce his aitches (8)
9 Implement return of robbery proceeds (4)
TOOL – LOOT backwards. It’s not clear from the clue which was the intended answer – I had it the wrong way round for a while. There’s a name for this sort of clue that escapes me.
10 Cover up mother’s knee at first (4)
11 Again considered to be recovered (8)
REDEEMED – consider is DEEM, to do it again is REDEEM
12 Abscond from city in moist air (6)
DECAMP – city is EC (postal code of the square mile of City of London) inside DAMP
14 Criticise a sailor’s course in sound (6)
ATTACK – homophone, sounds like A TACK
16 Earn a hug, changing angry speech (8)
HARANGUE – anagram (‘changing’) of EARN A HUG
18 Sad as some music is cut short (4)
BLUE – short for BLUES
19 Time to regret being honest (4)
20 Daisy is first to kiss star (8)
ASTERISK – Daisy is ASTER, add IS + K
22 Surrealist friend conceals tough character (8)
MAGRITTE – friend is MATE, with GRIT inside
23 Aquatic bird’s back, not head (4)
TERN – STERN without the first letter

2 Valuable prisoner putting label in socks (7)
HOSTAGE – label is TAG, inside HOSE for socks
3 Caught by part of chain in prison (5)
CLINK – C + LINK. C is always caught because of what is written in a cricket scorebook, eg Lilley c Willey b Dilley: Dilley bowled it, Lilley hit it, Willey caught it and Lilley was out. Clear? Willey was fielding in the gully, but that doesn’t get written down.
4 Heartfelt request to abolish parking in meadow (3)
LEA – PLEA minus P for parking
5 Bird, poor flier — deaf (9)
FIELDFARE – anagram (‘poor’) of FLIER DEAF
6 I see doctor: obvious I must be admitted (7)
PATIENT – PATENT with I inside
7 Call up woman to receive approval (5)
EVOKE – EVE with OK inside
11 Distasteful ruling about turning up (9)
REPUGNANT – ruling is REGNANT with UP backwards inside
13 A mature eccentric, doing it for love? (7)
AMATEUR – anagram (‘eccentric’) of A MATURE
15 Warship offering free curries (7)
CRUISER – anagram (‘free’) of CURRIES
17 Volunteers to hold up a gold vessel (5)
AORTA – ‘Volunteers’ are always TA (Territorial Army), though I’ve never quite understood why because the rest of the army are volunteers too. Add A + OR on top.
18 Suddenly run right into chest (5)
BURST – BUST is chest with R inside
21 Part of body regularly stroked (3)
TOE – alternate letters of sTrOkEd

31 comments on “Quick Cryptic 1214 by Teazel”

  1. Following on from yesterday I had another 20 minute solve today which makes me wonder if I am losing my touch. I lost time getting started but once under way things progressed steadily with the odd hiccup until I was left with two answers outstanding in the SE corner with a shared first letter missing, and at that point my mind went blank. I kept thinking that inspiration would strike at any moment but when it didn’t I had to resort to alphabet trawls.

    Re the example at 3dn in the blog, where was Holding when all this was going on?

  2. I managed to finish yesterday’s 15×15 but I really struggled with this and kept going to complete in 29:55.
    It was the NE which ate up the final 10 minutes especially 4a and LOI 5d. I knew 5d had to be an anagram but I could not crack it until I had all the checkers.
    I thought there were a lot of tough clues and for many this will be a learning experience -as it was for me.
    A very good test from the setter. David
  3. Actually, ‘caught’ is always C.
    I lost at least a minute, maybe two, staring stupidly at the 18s. I’m surprised I remembered FIELDFARE, which I’ve probably only seen once, here. I repeatedly forget the term for ambiguous clues, although I don’t think 9ac is one of them, if only thanks to the ‘of’; if the clue had been “Implement returning robbery proceeds”, that would have qualified. 7:51.
  4. I made reasonable progress through this puzzle without any real hold ups. Like Kevin I thought 9a was quite clear in its direction. CHIC was my FOI and REDEEMED my last after FIELDFARE. 8:36. Thanks Teazel and Curarist.
  5. Continuing a run of trouble-free solves for me. Only the parsing of REPUGNANT and remembering the surrealist (my LOI) made me hesitate. COD to PATIENT for the nice surface from me too. 4:40.
  6. Am I the only one who couldn’t see what function “air” is performing in 12ac? Surely “damp” just means “moist”? In which case, what’s “air” doing in the clue?? Enlighten me, oh great ones. Is this some rural usage of “damp” as a noun meaning “moist air”? (I can hear it on the Archers … “How are you Joe?” “Ooo missus, oi’ve gort a terrible chest and me lumbago is roight awful in this damp”.)

    Thoroughly enjoyed that. I have now done a whole week of trying to solve all the acrosses and then all the downs and I must say that it’s a very satisfying method. LOI was BURST, which took an alphabet trawl. Just under two Kevins.

    COD to 15dn, which conjures up a lovely image and was a superb surface.

    Thanks to Teazel and curarist.


    1. ‘Damp”s a noun as well as an adjective, even in the city: ODE for instance gives “moisture diffused through the air or condensed on a surface, …”
      1. Well there you go. Thanks Kevin. Every day’s a school day. Chambers even has “moist air” as a definition of the noun, and there was I thinking it was just a verb and an adjective.
  7. A relatively trouble free solve today with only the slight issue being whether the bird ended in FARE or RAFE – fortunately I chose the right one. Lots of excellent surfaces today but my favourite was 14a.
    Completed in 12.42 with LOI 18d
    Thanks for the blog
  8. Interesting comments today with no one clue in particular holding anyone up. Whilst the 18s seem to have garnered a few votes, my LOI was 17d AORTA after my penultimate solve 22a MAGRITTE. I have seen FIELDFARE before but it was still slow to come to mind and only when I had all the checkers. I also bunged in asteroid without parsing at 20a but corrected shortly after. 15 mins.

    Edited at 2018-11-02 09:53 am (UTC)

  9. My reaction was similar to that of jackkt but my touch is clearly more tenuous than his. Perhaps my time (over 30 mins) will do something to balance those of the whizz kids above. I’m sure a lot of our newer solvers will bristle at some of the comments suggesting that it was all rather easy. Teazel is always a tease for me but most of the answers were fair when the pennies gradually dropped. I thought Aorta was clever – my failed attempts to make a word out of A and OR made it all the more embarrassing when the perrenial TA emerged – doh! (Blue and Burst didn’t exactly fall out for me, either). I liked Magritte, Asterisk, Harangue, Patient, Repugnant, Aspirate and Evoke. LOI Decamp. Thanks to Teazel and to Curarist who made it all sound so deceptively easy. John M.

    Edited at 2018-11-02 11:29 am (UTC)

  10. I thoroughly enjoyed today’s lovely puzzle. It took me a long time – 40 minutes – but I took pleasure in the battle. So many clever clues here that I am stuck for choice to pick my favourite but the choice would definitely include 4, 8 and 20 across. My LOI was 17 down, mainly because I thought that “gold ” indicated “Au” not “Ao”. Great clue, though: I really like this use of “vessel”. Sooper-dooper end to the week. Thanks so much, Teazel and Curarist. Have a great weekend, both, and ditto to all other contributors here.
    1. Correcting myself : I meant to write that, in 17 down, I thought “gold ” indicated “au” not “or “. I remember now – duh! – that the latter is French for “gold”.
      1. Louise
        The ”OR’ in the answer refers to the heraldic name for gold – others to watch out for are ‘sable’ for black and ‘argent’ for silver. If it was a foreign word it would have to have France in the clue.
        1. Hi, Brian. Thanks so much for this. I must say I did think wonder whether – with MY reading of “or” – there should have been a reference to French. I knew “argent” for “silver ” but have never heard of “sable ” to indicate “black “. That’s so useful.
      1. I had the same experience here one day last week. Different user-name but similar style avatar. The LJ account behind it has no info related to it so I just deleted it as a troll.
  11. I often seem to struggle with Teazel, and this was no different. I started at a great pace but then slowly ground to a halt. Took me an hour or so. Never heard of FIELDFARE and needed all the checkers for that. Don’t understand why ‘bust’ = ‘chest’ or why ‘grit’ = ‘tough character’, that seems a bit loose to me. FOI CHIC, LOI FIELDFARE. COD ?
    Enjoyed the challenge
  12. My somewhat snappy 9:07 seems to be bucking the main trend here although it felt harder than that. I also struggled with the 18s wanting 18ac to be glum (just because it fitted, I suppose). My other hold up was aorta – I’d read it as volunteers to hold (i.e. TA on the outside) a gold (A plus AU but no – too many vowels – had to be OR) upwards but that gave me TORAA – only then did I realise that TA was to hold up the rest.
  13. Only been doing the QC for six months but progressing thanks to this blog.
    Even finish it now and then.

    By the way, members of the TA have other civilian jobs and volunteer to be in the Army in their spare time. Soldiers in the Regular Army are paid by HMG.

  14. Oh dear – got nowhere today. Rarely, having read the very helpful blog, I still would not get a number of clues. I guess just not my day.
  15. Oh yes. I forgot that, as a blogger, I have the power to delete comments. But I tend not to do that unless they are blatently offensive or spambottish. [I think I may have invented a word here that others may find useful… or maybe not].
  16. First really bad DNF in ages. This morning I attempted Monday’s 15×15 as so many advised that it was qc standard. Amazingly I finished it and was feeling really good….. THEN this evening I started this one. Speedily answered several clues and thought it was going to be a doddle, but…. Struggled for ages and eventually came here to put myself out of my misery!! Definitely not on Teazel’s wavelength today. FOI CHIC and very much liked 8a. No LOI as I never got there!!!! Can only hope that my brain starts working again in time for Monday. MM

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