Quick Cryptic 1267 by Orpheus

I stared for an age at my LOI 22ac, as I was playing around with ‘c’ (start of concert), ‘r’ (right) and some sort of word reversal (back). And I had a mistake at 17ac after submitting (A for the first E), which will teach me to read more than the first two words of a clue. No other hiccups, so I’d say a nicely balanced quicky – thanks Orpheus.

Definitions underlined.

1 Abrasion requiring care ultimately after fight (6)
SCRAPE – last letter of (ultimately) care after SCRAP (fight).
4 Distinctive clothing right for inclusion in speaker’s gift? (4)
GARB – R (right) inside (for inclusion in) GAB (speaker’s gift).
9 Part played by civil engineer keeping mug for stew (9)
CASSEROLE – ROLE (part played) next to CE (civil engineer) containing (keeping) ASS (mug).
10 Tall grass in East Sussex resort (3)
RYE – double definition.
11 Healthy food reportedly goes for a song (12)
GREENSLEEVES – GREENS (healthy food) with a homophone of (reportedly) “leaves” (goes).
13 Masseur’s set of matches? (6)
RUBBER – double definition. I had never before heard of the second meaning, but apparently a rubber can be a contest or series of games.
15 Supernatural creature eatin’ greedily, do we hear? (6)
GOBLIN – sounds like (do we hear?) “gobbling” (eating greedily), when said with the terminal velar nasal replaced by an alveolar one (dropping the ‘g’)!
17 French girl produced wine around island (12)
MADEMOISELLE – MADE (produced) and MOSELLE (wine) around I (island).
20 Hammer possibly left out as well (3)
TOO – TOOl (hammer, possibly) missing the final letter ‘l’ (left out).
21 Get over and confer with others (9)
NEGOTIATE – double definition.
22 Frolic putting start of concert right back (4)
ROMP – PROM (concert) with its first letter (start) all the way to the end (right back).
23 Strange story about European mollusc (6)
OYSTER – anagram of (strange) STORY around E (European).

1 Splinter group’s way to take in City (4)
SECT – ST (street, way) surrounding (to take in) EC (city (of London)).
2 Part of stair in tower is eroded (5)
RISER – hidden in toweR IS ERoded.
3 Make advance decision, shaking pet with red fur (12)
PREDETERMINE – anagram of (shaking) PET and RED, followed by ERMINE (fur).
5 Appearance of a competitor, by the sound of it (7)
ARRIVAL – homophone of (by the sound of it) “a rival”.
6 Godsend, having flashy jewellery round eastern ship (8)
BLESSING – BLING (flashy jewellery) around E (eastern) and SS (ship).
7 Husky-sounding Arab, possibly (5)
HORSE – homophone of (-sounding) “hoarse” (husky).
8 Chap cultivated lonely vet in kindly way (12)
BENEVOLENTLY – BEN (chap) and an anagram of (cultivated) LONELY VET.
12 More punctual theatre employee? (8)
PROMPTER – double definition.
14 Brush seen outside top journalist’s sleeping-place (7)
BEDROOM – BROOM (brush) around (seen outside) ED (editor, top journalist).
16 Travel on horseback across grand elevation (5)
RIDGE – RIDE (travel on horseback) around (across) G (grand).
18 Endure, consuming energy to the smallest extent (5)
LEAST – LAST (endure) around (consuming) E (energy).
19 Legal successor’s manner, so to speak? (4)
HEIR – sounds like (so to speak) “air” (manner).

28 comments on “Quick Cryptic 1267 by Orpheus”

  1. Semi-biffed 3d, 8d, and 17ac, that is I sort of checked the wordplay without making sure. My understanding is that the MADEMOISELLE/Madame distinction is no longer, and that ‘Madame’ is the title for women; we should have done the same with ‘Miss’ instead of inventing the clumsy ‘Ms.’ 5:30.
  2. I had no idea greensleeves was a song, I’ve only ever heard it played falteringly by a novice pianist and even then not for about forty years. Not helped by not unravelling the clue properly and thinking healthy food was the definition and the solution was going to end with aria or similar. Turns out mademoiselle is the latest word I’ve been spelling wrong for years, the second a is an e. Should have realised from the clue of course but since I wasn’t sure moelle (or moselle as I now know thanks to the William’s blog) was a wine I was keen to press on. So, a shade of over 16 minutes but with a red square – if I’d done this on paper I’d have been satisfied but I shall have to accept defeat since my wonky letter should have been clear from the clue. LOIs? the two tiddlers on the bottom row, ROMP (also needed the blog to parse) and HEIR.
  3. A few seconds under my 10-minute target, but I was very close to exceeding it because of problems with 5dn and 11ac as my last two in. ARRIVAL is not the first synonym for ‘appearance’ that would come to my mind but eventually I got the answer from wordplay and was grateful for the strong V-checker it provided to go with the otherwise bland assortment at 11 ac (?R?E?S?E???S). With the V in place I thought immediately of the Elizabthan song.

    It’s often bruted about that Henry VIII wrote ‘Greensleeves’ but this has now been discounted and it is thought to have originated some years after his death. The words of first verse and chorus are quite well known but I doubt most people ever get further than that:

    Alas my love you do me wrong
    To cast me off discourteously;
    And I have loved you oh so long
    Delighting in your company.

    Greensleeves was my delight,
    Greensleeves my heart of gold
    Greensleeves was my heart of joy
    And who but my lady Greensleeves.

    Edited at 2019-01-16 06:32 am (UTC)

  4. I was on the wavelength today with a couple of exceptions. I got Greensleeves immediately and I knew Mademoiselle was a trap so I checked the parsing carefully.
    My problems were my last two 15a and 8d. Not having the first letters is always a problem for me and looking for a random chap is never easy. Where was Ted or Ray or Roy or Rev? Eventually Ben turned up and then I got LOI Goblin.
    19:12 in total with over 5 minutes on the last two. David
  5. 30 minutes but also with madam…

    Lots of homophones today.

    Last five took ages: prompter, romp (unparsed), negotiate, greensleeves, and riser.

    Wasnt sure about rubber, could only think of a dead rubber in sport.

    Cod greensleeves or oyster.

  6. I raced through the NW corner and thought I was going to solve this QC well within my target 10 mins. 2 clues in particular delayed me, 15a GOBLIN and LOI 8d BENEVOLENTLY. Some easy clues, some difficult clues. Very enjoyable 12:07.
  7. A bad day for me. Only had 3 or 4 clues straight in and ultimately took 35 mins to DNF. I was another with Madamoiselle and I didn’t get Greensleeves at all as I misinterpreted the clue…

    Reminds me of an old episode of Men Behaving Badly where Martin Clunes is put on hold, becomes irate about the hold music and shouts into the phone ‘Greensleeves, its always bloody Greensleeves’. I will now have that phrase ringing in my head for the rest of today.

    Thanks Orpheus and thanks to William – I couldn’t parse Romp at all.

  8. A wolf in sheep’s clothing, this one. So many easy clues to soften me up and then things got chewy. I liked ROMP and ARRIVAL but had problems with BENEVOLENTLY, NEGOTIATE and, surprisingly, GREENSLEEVES (my LOI and COD) probably because I was fixated on LEAVES and failed to see the bigger picture. Thanks to Orpheus for a great puzzle, even though I came close to 30 mins (my slowest time for many months). John M

    Edited at 2019-01-16 01:30 pm (UTC)

  9. Another DNF, this time with GREENSLEEVES. I had everything else done in 23 minutes, and if I’d only thought of ‘Green’ for ‘Healthy’ I think I would have got it.
    ‘Rubber’ is a term used in Bridge, a strange game where players spend more time arguing with their partners afterwards than they do actually playing the game.


    Edited at 2019-01-16 10:24 am (UTC)

  10. Casserole and loi negotiate took quite a chunk of today’s 9:21. Negotiate had to be the answer from the checkers but I couldn’t see the double def – especially the ‘get over=negotiate a hurdle’ part until coming here – thanks William.
    1. “Negotiate had to be the answer from the checkers” – unless you thought of “nightmare”! *inserts sad face icon*
  11. I’m another who found this on the difficult side. At one point I thought I was never going to get going, partly because everywhere I turned there seemed to be another homophone and the long clues were not straightforward anagrams. Once I got a grip it went in quite steadily but Greensleeves and Arrival still held me up at the end. 26 mins.
  12. I had a nightmare … because having gone quite quickly through it I was left looking at N_G_T_A_E and once “nightmare” had got into my head I went through the following stages: (a) try to make it work, (b) try again to make it work because it FITS dammit so it MUST be right, (c) get annoyed by the editor having allowed the wrong clue to get into the paper, (d) check the online edition and see that it’s the same – oh, and (e) do an alphabet trawl and have the penny finally drop …

    So ended up at 2 Kevins which is normally fine but in the circumstances is a Mildly Annoying Day!

    Thanks Orpheus and William


  13. ….as I’m now stuck with GREENSLEEVES until something else comes along. No real problems with this steady solve.

    TIME 4:02

  14. In the end this proved easier than I expected. Enjoyed ROMP once I saw the parsing explained. Lovely clue.
  15. Some easy ones, some harder ones, one great big heffalump trap.

    5’10” with a misspelled 17a.

    Many thanks to setter and w.

  16. But I DID finish it! Took me forever, though. I agree with many comments here about the range of difficulty. Half went in easily, some went in after a struggle, and a few were really (for me) hard. My LOIs all fell simultaneously : 4 and 11 across and 6 down. Definitely a fully-paid up member of the SCC today. However long it takes me, though, that’s still preferable to the dreaded DNF. Very much liked “rubber”(Bridge?), “horse” and “prompter”. Thanks so much, William, for the super blog and thanks, too, to Orpheus for tying my mind in knots (but in a nice way… ).
  17. I SCRAPEd my way through this one but ended up 2:20 over my 10 minute target with PREDETERMINED and NEGOTIATE holding me up at the end. I also dabbled with front of Concert and right back at 22a until the penny dropped. A bit of a challenge from our setter today I thought. Thanks Orpheus and William.
  18. Started quickly, but then slowed a bit in the middle (both senses) before picking up speed again to finish in just under 30mins. I spent a few minutes at the end vainly trying to parse 21 and 22ac before giving up – completely baffled. My two favourite clues were Casserole and Rubber, but my wod has to be the unknown Bruiting… Invariant
  19. Only problem today was in spotting NEGOTIATE, my LOI was a double definition. I liked BENEVOLENT but COD to GREENSLEEVES, reminding me of the version sung by the Kings Singers that goes something like this…
    I met my love in a grocery shop
    That sold peas and beans and bottles of pop
    And though I went in for asparagus tips
    I longed for the taste of her dainty lips

    But Green Shield stamps was all she gave me
    Green Shield stamps was all I took
    Green Shield stamps was all she gave
    And she stuck them all in my Green Stamp book.

    Edited at 2019-01-16 03:19 pm (UTC)

  20. DNF again but thoroughly enjoyed working through the answers with the blog. COD romp and now left with an ear worm in a rather dreary minor key.


  21. Had only Greensleeves and Benevolently left after 10 minutes but finished at 16.
    Very happy.
    Thanks all,
    John George
  22. Quite pleased with 11.45 or roughly two Kevins. Slowed by the longer answers, particularly BENEVOLENTLY which was LOI. Didn’t parse ROMP – I always find those clues requiring a move of letters tricky – and semi-biffed (to borrow a Kevinism) MADEMOISELLE.
  23. We joined the misspelling group for 17a, otherwise found this reasonably straightforward. 20m which is good for us.
  24. No problems today but still managed to have one of the dreaded pink squares pop up for a typo – a random RUBBEE at 13a, presumably that’s the person getting the massage! Struggled at the end with the 8d and the song was my LOI. Almost completed in 10.50.
    Thanks for the blog

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