Quick Cryptic 1277 by Marty

There’s a tongue-in-cheek tone to these clues that I enjoyed a lot while solving. The surfaces readings are witty and sensible at the same time, which is the highest acheivement for a setter in my book. I think there may me some consternation at the number of random names required, though, especially at 3dn where the name is the answer! Add a smidgen of tricky-ish wordplay (13ac – how many last letters?), some difficult vocabulary (14dn), and we have a comfortable amount of head-scratching to do today. 4dn was far from my LOI, because I guessed it from checkers, but I only worked out the sneaky wordplay on blogging.

Definitions underlined.


1 Relate to wounded bear … (8)
TOLERATE – anagram of (wounded) RELATE TO.
5 not that tears help its suffering at first (4)
THIS – first letters of (at first) Tears Help Its Suffering.
7 Comb, note, regularly chosen for musical instrument (4)
OBOE – every other letter from (regularly chosen) cOmB nOtE.
8 Young rich lend extravagantly (8)
CHILDREN – anagram of (extravagantly RICH LEND.
9 Drinking game after end of parties (8)
SWILLING – WILLING (up for, game) after last letter (end) of parties.
11 Stray, right after hesitation (3)
ERR –  R (right) after ER (hesitation).
13 One in the eye ultimately for rude girl (6)
RETINA – last letters of (ultimately) foR and rudE, then TINA (girl).
16 Purpose of French Bull, Lion or Crab, for example (6)
DESIGN – DE (‘of’ in French) and SIGN (of the zodiac, bull/lion/crab for example).
18 Two couples, speaking in favour (3)
FOR – sounds like (speaking) “four” (two couples).
19 Not feeling pressure in very close finish (4,4)
DEAD HEAT – DEAD (not feeling) and HEAT (pressure).
20 Unexpectedly, nude lad’s to get off horse (8)
UNSADDLE – anagram of (unexpectedly) NUDE LAD’S.
22 Following cross going into the goal (4)
NEXT – X (cross) surrounded by (going into) NET (goal).
23 Long sentence in biography? (4)
LIFE – double definition.
24 Some skint here, daily owing money (2,3,3)
IN THE RED – hidden in (some) skINT HERE Daily.

1 Pocket in short pants (7)
TROUSER – all but the last letter of (short) TROUSERs (pants).
2 Investigate family trapped in toilet, closed (4,4)
LOOK INTO – KIN (family) surrounded by (trapped in) LOO (toilet) and TO (closed, as in ‘pull the door to’).
3 Man, superior one, and blunt (9)
ARCHIBALD – ARCH (superior), I (one), and BALD (blunt).
4 Old priest: perhaps Miguel’s the one (3)
ELI – EL (‘the’ in spanish (perhaps Miguel’s)) and I (one).
5 Boy goes out to get cuddly toys (7)
TEDDIES – TED (boy) and DIES (goes out, as a fire would).
6 Sort of lettuce you see little of in the main (7)
ICEBERG – whimsical double definition. One can famously only see a small proportion (little) of these when they’re in the sea (main).
10 Sponsor rebuilt great pond (9)
GODPARENT – anagram of (rebuilt) GREAT POND.
12 A pint courtesy of Paddy? (4,4)
RICE BEER – cryptic definition requiring us to think of a paddy field rather than an Irish pal.
14 Having arranged fee, find an address in Turkey (7)
EFFENDI – anagram of (having arranged) FEE FIND. A title (or address) of respect or courtesy in Turkey.
15 Not when the golf club was fashionable, though (4,3)
IRON AGE – a very oblique cryptic definition. Iron was ‘fashionable’ then, but not irons (golf clubs).
17 Added comments to approving gesture when touring gallery (7)
NOTATED – NOD (approving gesture) surrounding (when touring) TATE (gallery).
21 Welshman’s daughter: excellent (3)
DAI – D (daughter) and A1 (excellent).

39 comments on “Quick Cryptic 1277 by Marty”

  1. I don’t think I ever did parse RETINA, just biffed it from the def. SWILLING was probably my LOI; I was thinking of the noun ‘game’ for too long. 5:31.
  2. Over 30 mins, had post for 22a which made 12 down impossible.
    Couldnt see past swigging for ages.

    Once sorted, life was loi.
    Cod swilling.


  3. 10 minutes again, but with one wrong answer as I biffed SWIGGING at 9ac and forgot to go back to parse it.

    I never heard of RICE BEER, nor have any of the usual sources – even Wiki redirects it to ‘rice wine’ and never mentions it again. Google finds some products marketed as ‘rice ale’, which I suppose may qualify, but I thought answers were supposed to be in at least one of the usual source dictionaries, and for QC puzzles they should be in reasonably common usage. To clue it as a cryptic rather than the answer being constructable from wordplay earns it another black mark in my book.

    1. I had meant to say that I’d never heard of RICE BEER, and I’m glad to see it wasn’t just ignorance on my part. Sake, of course, is often referred to as rice wine, but never in my experience ‘rice beer’. Having said that, and granting Jack’s point about a cryptic definition, at least it was easily biffable from the enumeration and checkers (I think I had RIC_ / _E_R!).
      1. Really? It definitely isn’t in the on-line Chambers I use. I put in ‘rice beer’ and it comes up ‘no exact matches’ and displays ‘rice’ with all accompanying options ‘rice bowl’ etc. Perhaps I’m not using the best version of on-line Chambers, could you post the link please, then I can update mine? Many thanks.

        P.S. I have now confirmed it’s in the printed edition but I’d thought the idea of having the dictionary on-line was to avoid the need to heave the tome off the shelf.

        1. Sorry, my mistake. I described my edition as online, but actually I was referring to the Chambers app that I downloaded some time ago, and that updates itself. I can’t remember what it cost – a couple of quid or so – but it has been worth every penny.
          1. Thanks. £6.99 seems to be the going rate now but no apparant means of buying it once and accessing on multiple devices so it wouldn’t cover all eventualities for me. Now that I’m aware of the difference I shall make a point of checking my printed edition in future if something apparently dodgy comes up.
        2. I think the online version uses Chambers 21st Century Dictionary, which has fewer words than the printed (or app) version of the main Chambers dictionary.
  4. Horrible grid – double unches often my downfall and so it was with swigging. I knew a wigging was a telling off but I hoped it was something more playful too. Took a long time over ARCHIBALD too. EFFENDI was a guess too so at least one out of two punts paid off.
  5. A very little research on the internet reveals that many beers contain rice (including Budweiser). And it seems that Sake is not rice wine but really rice beer, on the grounds that beer is made of grains and wine is made of fruit. So I have learned something new today. Thank you Marty and blogger
      1. Not, according to German law (though FIFA agreed to make it the official one for the World Cup in Germany- money talks!)
  6. There was a different look and feel to his puzzle, I thought. The grid reminded me of the Evening Standard puzzles I used to solve on the way home from work. No problem with that.There were a lot of long gaps when trying to solve the clues but,in the event,it was fairly easy to guess the answer.
    I had never heard of Rice Beer but Paddy clued it clearly. I remembered the term Effendi from somewhere,films or comics perhaps. LOI was Swilling where I too was looking for a game.14:59 in total.
    I think Marty must be a fan of The Manic Street Preachers:
    “If you tolerate this, your children will be next…”
    1. Thanks for putting me out of my misery. I could sense some sort of Nina but couldn’t put my finger on what it was exactly.
  7. Foiled by 9ac. Brain could not see it so, after some 7 minutes running through the numerous letter combinations, I stuck in SHIPPING as best of a bad lot of options, missing both of the SW… ones. GODPARENT took ages, too. Being one, I don’t see myself as a sponsor. 20.10 with, annoyingly, one wrong.
  8. Just one second inside 13 minutes, so nicely in the middle of my target range today. All the acrosses down to and including DEAD HEAT went straight in, and I was then slowed by UNSADDLE. Leaving that I went back and most of the downs fell, but I mistakenly entered IRON OUT which further screwed up the horse clue.

    Nice puzzle and nice blog thanks.

  9. I’m in the ‘never heard of rice’ beer camp. It is in my dictionary but I’m not sure that’s always fair when it comes to a quickie. My mild irritation was alleviated by the clever ‘drinking’ clue. I was suckered into trying to find a game for ages. Like that one!
  10. Being of a certain age (only just in my 30s) and often frequenting what i’m told are the trendy parts of north/east london, i’m fairly familiar with hearing rice beer spoken of in some of the uber hipster beer joints we sometimes end up in. Shamefully, I usually prefer a standard lager poured from a mainstream tap. Apologies to all brewery fans 🤷‍♂️
  11. 12:25 with one unforced error and one correct guess. I accidentally typed 19a as DEAD bEAT having taken an age to solve it but was rewarded with a green light for my guess at 14d EFFENDI. I too initially had 9a as SWIggING but changed it before submitting. I did not like 3d ARCHIBALD, such an uncommon name these days (Cary Grant era), and my LOI requiring an alphabet trawl was 23a LIFE where I kept trying to justify pInE as the answer.
  12. A tricky one today, I finally crossed the line in 11:51. My LOI was 9ac which took far too long to see. Needed the blog to parse 15d. Thanks to Marty and William.


  13. RICE BEER defeated me. It seems to be used in lagers, which I do not regard as beers anyway. That is my excuse and I am sticking to it! Otherwise a fun, but never easy, solve. Enjoyed ICEBERG and IRON AGE.
  14. ….is a frustrating mess, or so Jimi Hendrix told us. A very clever puzzle, appreciated the more so after completion and coming here – I’d totally failed to notice the Manic Street Preachers references at speed.

    Had slight difficulty in breaking the NW corner, but the rest ran smoothly enough.

    COD RETINA (only parsed afterwards)
    TIME 4:21

  15. Nice puzzle with a very off-beat grid and feel. Too many intriguing clues to list but my LOI was EFFENDI. Just under 19 mins so slow but enjoyable (but I did parse everything). John M.

    Edited at 2019-01-30 02:15 pm (UTC)

  16. Most of this went in without too much trouble, but a few of Marty’s clues seemed to be stretching things a bit. Others have mentioned 12d Rice Beer already, and I didn’t really like 9ac ‘Swilling’ for drinking. I know you can swill a sandwich down with a glass of beer, (if there’s no wine on offer) but even so… Of course, my dislike of the word might have something to do with the fact that it was my loi by a country mile, and helped push me out to 25mins. Invariant
  17. I’ve never knowingly listened to the Manic Street Preachers so the clever theme completely passed me by. COD to SWILLING and it never occurred to me that RICE WINE might not be something commonly swilled. Nice puzzle. Thanks Marty and William. 4:25.
  18. Another SWIGGING here, having considered SLIMPING and SLUGGING, but not seeing WILLING for game. Drat! That was my LOI and the cogitations for it took me over my target to 10:24, but all in vain. Thanks Marty and William. As William says, some sneaky stuff here!
  19. I agree there was some sneaky, aka clever, misdirection. LOI 9a took ages to resolve. COD 15d FOI 1a. One long Costa for me at 40 mins still at the bus-stop rather than the SCC! Nice to see a less familiar setter to shake up the routine. Thx for the bloggers too!
  20. Similar to others having never heard of Rice Beer and spent the last 3 or 4 minutes resisting the temptation to chuck SWIGGING in, eventually the correct answer popped into my head. Completed in 14.20
    Thanks for the blog
  21. Enjoyably different, many thanks to Marty. Especially appreciated the more cryptic clues and those with mis-direction, such as ICEBERG, SWILLING, RETINA, FOR, IRON AGE. However, having found my way through lots of interesting and tricky clues, I came unstuck with ARCHIBALD. It was a word meaning blunt, or a man’s name, and I couldn’t see either from the checkers.
  22. Loved 12d. as I discovered the drink of a lifetime when offered rice beer, in a bamboo mug, in Sikkim in North India. RB
  23. A bit tricky and not quite on the wavelength to start but managed it in my average of about an hour and a half.
    Got rice beer – one toured the Anheuser Busch plant in St Louis – and they use rice!
    Well tolerated
  24. I detect some confusion here. It’s probable that the setter was thinking of weis beer which is made from wheat instead of barley. Rice beer does not exist. It is used as an adjunct however.

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