Quick Cryptic 2014 by Izetti

So I came in slightly over target at 6 and a bit minutes. It’s got a whole bunch of crossword staples that you either know or you don’t, (LING, IDE, ELL) which makes me think the less experienced solvers might struggle. A couple of fiddly compound anagrams might cause trouble as well. Overall an enjoyable solve.


1 Pile of alkaline substance in Irish location (8)
LIMERICK – LIME is alkaline, RICK is a pile
5 Part of body gripped by hysterical female (4)
CALF – hidden word: hysteriCAL Female
8 Punished when discovery is broadcast (5)
FINED – sounds like ‘find’
9 Always on the retreat, Heather is moving unsteadily (7)
REELING – EER backwards + LING (heather)
11 Repeatedly on cruises at sea as an expert (11)
CONNOISSEUR – anagram (‘at sea’) of ON ON (‘on’ repeatedly) + CRUISES
13 Standards one’s needed to seal business arrangement (6)
IDEALS – DEAL inside I’S
14 Boy should go to an HE establishment? There’s agreement (6)
17 Lovers’ rendezvous in the allotment? (11)
ASSIGNATION – double definition
20 A job given to the French disciple (7)
21 Paella almost ruined part of a jacket (5)
LAPEL – anagram (‘ruined’) of PAELL (being ‘almost’ PAELLA)
22 Measure of cloth needed by a lady (4)
ELLA – ELL + A. An ell is a measure of length previously used in the textile industry, equivalent to about 45 inches. Its only remaining use is in crosswords
23 Good old Indo-European person entertaining any handsome youth (8)
GANYMEDE – G + MEDE with ANY inside. The Medes used to live in Media, roughly Azerbaijan. Ganymede was a Trojan youth who was so beautiful he was carried off to be Zeus’s cup bearer. I have the same problem. Bloody deities, always trying to get me to bear their stupid cups.
1 Port still on the table after dinner? (4)
LEFT – double definition
2 Bloke outside can upset restraining device (7)
MANACLE – MALE outside anagram (‘upset’) of CAN
3 Shiner on vessel from old part of Yorkshire land (6,5)
RIDING LIGHT – Yorkshire used to be divided in to ‘ridings’, ‘light’ as a verb means to land
4 My fellow provides a line of defence (6)
CORDON – COR (my!) DON (fellow in two different ways – a bloke’s name, also a fellow of a college e.g in Oxford)
6 Like one sort of fish apart (5)
ASIDE – AS + IDE. IDE is a fish that exists mainly in crosswords
7 Statuette incorporates fruit and water (8)
10 Silly senate needs to be reformed substantially (11)
ESSENTIALLY – anagram (‘needs to be reformed’) of SILLY SENATE
12 Minister’s house failing to accommodate a charity event (8)
VICARAGE – VICE (failing) with A RAG inside
15 Some lousy naps expected in gap between cells (7)
SYNAPSE – hidden word, denoted by the universal trigger word ‘some’: louSY NAPS Expected
16 Optical device arrived, to be given to artist (6)
CAMERA – CAME + RA (royal academician)
18 Ill-gotten gain’s turned up in seat (5)
STOOL – LOOT’S backwards
19 Pipe for smoke removal disappeared, we hear (4)
FLUE – sounds like FLEW

50 comments on “Quick Cryptic 2014 by Izetti”

  1. Knew the ‘ide’ bit of ASIDE and the ‘rick’ bit of LIMERICK thanks to their recent outings — and reminders to remember from commentators on here — but didn’t know ‘ell’ or ‘mede’. ELLA was a safe bung in but I didn’t know GANYMEDE as a handsome youth — could have done with the planet being the clue, so bunged it in and hoped. Clue of the week for FIGURINE which I wrote in then both grinned and thought ‘yuck’ as I parsed. Hadn’t heard of a RIDING LIGHT either. A bit jammy to end up all green in 14.

    Edited at 2021-11-26 08:02 am (UTC)

  2. After over a year with these QCs I usually found them reasonably approachable, only failing occasionally, mostly due to UK-related GKs/vocabularies. I was basically destroyed by today’s QC though.

    I’d NHO MEDE (probably have seen this word before but of course I don’t know what it meant), GANYMEDES or even CORDON as a line of defense. Probably never used the word VICARAGE before either but I can believe the meaning (NHO RAG as a charity event either so it went in with a question mark).

    On top of that, I misread the clue of 18D (very sneaky apostrophe to disambiguate the two words!) and put in LOOTS instead, making ASSIGNATION impossible. I bunged in ALLEGIATION which apparently is not even an English word.

    This must be a record number of pink squares for me in a QC (11), what a puzzle!

  3. 10 minutes, so just on target. I knew GANYMEDE as a handsome youth but not the MEDE bit. NHO RIDING LIGHT which Collins informs is cross-pond speak for ‘anchor light’ which at least I’m vaguely familiar with, but the wordplay was helpful.

    Edited at 2021-11-26 08:51 am (UTC)

  4. I found this tricky in places but the sign of a good clue is that the answer becomes obvious with hindsight – which was the case for me with LIMERICK, GANYMEDE and the unknown RIDING LIGHT. Fortunately my proofreading picked up a spelling mistake in CONNOISSEUR, where I’d put swapped the I and the second S around.
    A good end to the week, completed over target in 11.45
    Thanks to Curarist
  5. as I have to drop my daughter swimming at 7:30 on a Friday, and I have nothing better to do than come and sit at my laptop.

    A step up in difficulty again from yesterday, but very neat and fair. Lots to like — FIGURINE, ESSENTIALLY, GANYMEDE, LIMERICK, and my POI and LOI VICARAGE and IDEALS respectively. Reading back over the clues, I liked this puzzle a lot in fact. Thank you Izetti, and thanks to Curarist, though today was one of those puzzles where I had to parse it all as I went along.


  6. Okay, this is the second time in a row that this odd thing has happened: I actually enjoyed an Izetti QC. I liked (also DNF) his previous one. This one I enjoyed, although two answers eluded me leading to a DNF:

    3d RIDING LIGHT – I kicked myself over this one, being an ex-matelot.

    6d. ASIDE – At first I had ALONE (fish = sole (as in “lone”)), but as other crossing letters dropped in, I realised I was incorrect. When I came here I wanted to kick myself again. I have heard of IDE being fish before.

    I loved 7d (FIG+URINE) – very clever.

    4d. CORDON took a while. I mostly hear cordon applying to a police cordon, as in the Police cordoned off the crime scene.

    So, yes, didn’t think I’d hear myself say this once, let alone twice – but I enjoyed this offering from Izetti.

    Edited at 2021-11-26 09:09 am (UTC)

  7. As Curarist points out, there were a number of words that seem to be found only in crosswords. As my daily struggle with the QC has built up my knowledge of these, I found it a very satisfying crossword, though I will never be able to see a fig-urine again without smiling. Thanks to Izetti and Curarist. Finished in just under 15 minutes, which is about average for me.

  8. Definitely chewy …
    … and I needed aids to complete the NE corner. Though as so often with Izetti’s puzzles, once one sees the answer the cluing is very clear. 16 minutes in all.

    The double ON in the anagrist for 11A Connoisseur was a new device for me — very pleased to have worked that out (and even more pleased to spell Connoisseur right first time — one of the more difficult word to spell correctly I find!)

    23A Ganymede — I have heard of the Medes only from the Bible (where they tend to accompany the Persians), and know nothing else about them at all, so a bit of a punt that they were Indo-European. And I had NHO Ganymede except as a moon of Jupiter — but most of Jupiter’s moons are named after people in classical myths so it seemed plausible.

    Many thanks to Curarist for the blog and a good weekend to all.

    1. FOI 1ac LIMERICK

      LOI 23ac GANYMEDE

      COD 12dn VICARAGE — Rag Week

      WOD 3dn RIDING LIGHT and not REDCAR

      When giving a urine sample I have never experienced a grins/smiles from the medical staff.

      Edited at 2021-11-26 09:51 am (UTC)

  9. A good puzzle with some nice twists and some unknown crosswordese such as ELL (to add to the known LING and IDE). LIMERICK went straight in and began a smooth solve. I finished just a few seconds over target having biffed GANYMEDE (because I knew the youth but not the MEDE) and RIDING LIGHT which just had to be. I liked VICARAGE but my COD is CONNOISSEUR (for the construction) which I spelled correctly first time. I wanted to write ACOLYTE for 20A but I couldn’t parse it and, thankfully, I quickly moved on to APOSTLE. LOI was ELLA.
    Many thanks to Izetti for a nice workout and to curarist for his usual, focussed, blog. John M.

    Edited at 2021-11-26 09:40 am (UTC)

  10. Bished easy one, APOSTLE, putting Acolyte not noticing it didn’t fit with RIDING LIGHT solved earlier. More coffee needed. Managed CONNOISSEUR and GANYMEDE (sorry you are having problems with deities, Curarist – try and cancel them)
    A difficult one but enjoyed it.
    LOI ELLA, with some hesitation. FOI LEFT.
    Luckily we’ve had Ide recently and I know Ling is heather. In fact GK OK today.
    Thanks again.
  11. I had no idea what HE was, until I got UNISON. Also DNK RIDING LIGHT. I have a ! at GANYMEDE; Indo-European is an odd definition. 6:35.
    1. As you worked out, it’s Higher Education, but it can also be High Explosive, or His Excellency for an ambassador
  12. Only one QC completed this week, perhaps time to give them a rest. The crossword-only vocabulary of LING, IDE, ELL is getting to me. And expressions such as my=cor.

    I’m fine with GK such as GANYMEDE, whom I didn’t know as a god, but as a moon of Jupiter.

    The fact that the Medes came from Persia allows the old line ( or “saw” as they say in crossword-speak)

    “One Man’s Mede is another man’s Persian”


  13. ….but this was Izetti at his trickiest, and I just missed my target.

    FOI CALF (I don’t know how I missed LIMERICK)
    TIME 5:16

  14. Another QC which I found quite difficult. At least the obscure fish was the recently discussed IDE. At 3d I thought of RUDDER LIGHT before the necessary correction. Not an easy clue.
    My last two were VICARAGE ( I was looking to adapt Manse, then the implausible Rectory); and finally ELLA. I remembered ELL as a measure, but not necessarily of cloth; and I failed to see the definition was just a name until rather late. 17:24 on the clock.
    A good challenging QC where some crossword knowledge was essential.
  15. Super crossword, needing all the dendrites to connect. Not quite as hard as yesterday, I finished in nineteen minutes. FOI apostle – nail-biting time. But ten on first pass raised hopes of a finish. LOI aside. Lucky, ide was in the blog of crossword-only words yesterday, otherwise a NHO for me. It’s another word for orfe, apparently. Had to check the spelling of connoisseur before rattling it in. Did not see e’er in reeling, biffed connoisseur from the expert, NHO Mede but Ganymede fit, didn’t see the can in manacle, the my in cordon or the rag in charity event. Did see the fig urine, though.
    Yuck. Liked all the clues, chestnuts included. Many thanks for the blog, Curarist, and Izetti for a good brain workout.
  16. 14 minutes today for me, slowed down slightly by initially biffing EMMA at 22a. An EM is also a measure (from printing) and EM and ELL are both known to me from Scrabble – I just chose the wrong one (and mis-spelled it emm). But it didn’t hold me up for long, and 18d quickly pointed out the error of my ways.

    Thanks to everyone who had a crack at the clue writing challenge yesterday. There were 10 entries, and all of them were very good – some excellent clues. However, the point of the challenge was to write annoying (groan-worthy) clues, sorry if I didn’t make that clear enough. So here are the results:

    Special mention and Silver Star to Mendesest who managed to squeeze in the unpopular bras = supporters into his clue…

    Also Silver Star to Pedwardine for the most concise clue…

    But Gold Star to Glheard for his cringeworthy dodgy homophone clue.

    Again, thanks to all of you who had a crack – many excellent clues were proffered.

    1. My client, Miss Muffet, will be taking this to the Appellant Court forthwith! And higher if necessary! Mr. Heard is not on the QC Electoral Roll. Pedwardine maybe a Registered Democrat and Mendesest did not sign his entry and used a ‘bad’, if not illegal, word!

      Seriously, Mr. Rotter what fun! Congrats to all. Thanks and keep it going!

    2. Yes, nice initiative Rotter. Mine was an unwieldy beast, and also didn’t really meet the criteria for judgment.

      Was fun having a go though. More respect to the setters for the consistently high standards that they maintain.

    3. Thanks Rotter and congratulations to the deserved winners. I am in training to lower my standards for next time. I have created a folder containing UR, TREE, BRA, ELL, EFT, LING ET AL ready to use.
  17. An enjoyable puzzle which kept me on my toes for 8:05. LEFT set me on my way and I finished with VICARAGE, then ELLA. Thanks Izetti and Curarist.
  18. This was quite a tough puzzle but very enjoyable nonetheless. Some excellent clues that really made us think. We finished in 17 minutes.


    Thanks Curarist and Izetti.

  19. Leaving aside the fact I couldn’t spell CONNOISSEUR (I had the I and the second S the wrong way round) I gave up on this after 40 minutes with 12d, 17a and 22a still to go. In retrospect I should have got VICARAGE, which would probably have allowed me to remember ELL, and to conclude that ASSIGNATION must be the answer to 17. In fairness, I had actually lightly written it in, but was sure it couldn’t be right because it didn’t fit either part of the clue. Clearly I need to go back to school. Also didn’t know about the Medes or RIDING LIGHTs, so thanks to Izetti for the lesson, and to Curarist.
  20. Well, I managed to finish this toughie thanks to looking up ELLA (NHO) and a variety of successful guesses – CORDON, VICARAGE, RIDING LIGHT (what is a riding light?) and GANYMEDE. IDE now seems to appear with depressing regularity.
      1. Yachting term. If you don’t show a riding light when at anchor at night — which could be either a small bulb on an electric lead hung up on the rigging of a yacht at anchor, or (my preference) a lantern with a long-lasting candle in it hung similarly — it’s considered your fault if someone on another boat bumps into you at night.

        In my experience fewer skippers nowadays are aware of the ruling …


  21. I only picked-up this new word ESWATINI – from the terrible reports of a possible new COVID strain in Southern Africa.
    It is the old ‘SWAZILAND’ and looks a cert for Crosswordland!
  22. Tricky finish to the week. Didn’t know Ganymede as a handsome youth although I had heard of the Medes, so it didn’t hold me up for too long. Vaguely remembered riding light from somewhere but decided to wait for a few crossers before entering it. Knew all the crossword-only words such as ide, ling and ell. Made slow if steady progress and was surprised to see that 25 mins had elapsed when I finally finished. It seemed quicker – a sign of an interesting crossword I think. Never managed to parse vicarage.

    FOI – 5ac CALF
    LOI – 8ac FINED
    COD – the slightly unsavoury FIGURINE at 7dn

    Thanks to Curarist and Izetti.

  23. This was fun, especially in retrospect. As hopkinb says, it was really worth rereading the clues to appreciate them. I was happy to complete this in 12 minutes, all parsed. I too didn’t know the Medes, so where they came from wasn’t an issue! But I did know Ganymede came from the Greek myths, so that was ok. I also knew ell – like peck, cubit, bushel, chain etc. I seem to think they were in the back of some encyclopedia when I was a child. The names stuck, but that’s it – I couldn’t say what they measured!
    Difficult to choose a COD today as I liked it all, but ticks went next to CONNOISSEUR and VICARAGE. FIGURINE also made me smile / grimace.
    FOI Calf
    LOI Vicarage
    COD Essentially
    Many thanks Izetti, and to Curarist too, especially for making me laugh a lot about your problems with the gods 😂
  24. Not a chance today. A few I should have known, but quite a few I didn’t (22ac “Ella”, 23ac “Ganymede”, 9ac “Reeling”) — so another dnf after 30 mins.

    FOI — 8ac “Fined”
    LOI — dnf
    COD — 7dn “Figurine” — I think we all did a collective yuck when the penny dropped!

    Thanks as usual!

  25. I kept on going to the finish, knowing Izetti always has the answers somewhere. Not perfect, I couldn’t think of any part of the body that ends in ‘F’, even with the answer right under my nose, easy to miss these ones. At 44 min I decided on Half, it’s one part of a body after all, and I skipped some parsing, fascinating though to deconstruct it all later. Admiration all round. That’s on the scale for me at GN9, can do better!
  26. We made hard worh of 12d vicarage and 13a ideals. Slowly completed the rest, quite a tough challenge today. Ianelin. We were signed out for some unkown reason and having trouble signing back in even following the guidance.
  27. 5:12 this afternoon, having a rather busy day, partly because of the need to batten down the hatches as we appear to be close to the overnight track of the first storm of the winter.
    Up to Don’s usual standard I would say, with COD 11 ac “connoisseur” (liked the double “on”) but 1 d “left” less so.
    Thanks to Curarist for an entertaining blog and to Don.
  28. 10:12 but with guesses at ELLA, GANYMEDE, FIGURINE (I fortunately only half parsed FIG) and my LOI RIDING LIGHT.
  29. Gave up with 3 unsolved, cordon, reeling and Ella. With hindsight might have got cordon. The other 2 I chalk down to experience.
  30. Back to usual with a DNF today.

    I got RIDING LIGHT correct, despite not having heard of one. Similarly, GANYMEDE was a successful guess, despite knowing it only as a planetary moon. However, I put CONNOSSIEUR (an idiotic mis-spelling) and ELLE which, having NHO the cloth measure, I thought was a reasonable guess for a lady.

    So, a bad week: Mr Random 2-3 Setters

    Many thanks to Izetti and curarist.

  31. … but fair, and some good clues. Took ages to start. FOI LAPEL, COD ASSIGNATION, LOI , unparsed VICARAGE. NHO but guessed RIDING LIGHT. DNF as I knew but couldn’t recall ELL. Once upon a time I enjoyed Don’s puzales.
  32. Must admit I’m not a fan of puzzles that are full of old crossword code. This was like a 1960’s Daily Telegraph — full of RAG, COR, LING, ELL etc
    Did it over a couple of days but parts of it was like the Times 2 non cryptic!

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