Quick Cryptic 2717 by Breadman – Trick and treat


Not too difficult but I became stuck at the end.

Everything except 25a entered without too much trouble in less than 9 minutes but then those two missing uncrossed letters remained out of reach for another few minutes. This wouldn’t be Breadman without something extra in the grid; there are two little goodies on show here, one of which might have helped me had I seen it sooner.

A bit of frustration never hurt anyone and even with the last clue I enjoyed this. Eventually over the line in 10:42.

Thanks to Breadman

Definitions underlined in bold, deletions indicated by strikethrough.

1 Holy man and Yankee cross legendary river (4)
STYXST (‘Holy man’) Y (‘Yankee’) X (‘cross’)
3 Mysterious European drunkard near Morecambe maybe (8)
ESOTERICE (‘European’) SOT (‘drunkard’) ERIC (‘Morecambe maybe’)

ERIC Morecambe in Morecambe and Wise. A bit of a chestnut; I’m being kind.

9 Church primate with gold hat (7)
CHAPEAUCH (‘Church’) APE (‘primate’) AU (‘gold’)
10 Solemn place of burial (5)
GRAVE – Double definition

Our first non-“assemble as directed” clue today.

11 Current sheep cause trouble (3,2)
ACT UPAC (‘Current’) TUP (‘sheep’)

A TUP is a male sheep, much beloved in crossword land.

12 Awful house with Rolls Royce inspector recalled (6)
HORRIDHO (‘House’) RR (‘Rolls Royce’) ID (‘inspector recalled’=reversal of DI)

DI for Detective Inspector, probably the commonest ‘inspector’ in crossword land

14 East wind unsettled country forecaster and artist (5,8)
EDWIN LANDSEER – Anagram (‘unsettled’) of E (‘East’) and WIND then LAND (‘country’) SEER (‘forecaster’)

Famous 19th century painter and sculptor – Monarch of the Glen etc etc. He was especially well known for his pictures of animals and his name is used to describe black and white Newfoundland dogs.

17 Learner to probe snooker equipment and complete game (6)
CLUEDOL (‘Learner’) contained in (‘to probe’) CUE (‘snooker equipment’) DO (‘complete’)

I can sort of see DO for ‘complete’: “Did you do the drive from London to Edinburgh?”, but there will be better examples.

19 Jostle with the Spanish rower that’s at front (5)
ELBOWEL (‘The Spanish’) BOW (‘rower that’s at the front’)

As opposed to a “stroke”, the rower who’s the rearmost of those rowing.

22 Stole tackle primarily on posh marine vehicle (1-4)
U-BOATBOA (‘Stole’) Tackle (‘tackle primarily) following (‘on’) U (‘posh’)
23 Huge masculine chaps getting in Pilsner regularly (7)
IMMENSEM (‘masculine’) MEN (‘chaps’) contained in (‘getting in’) PIlSnEr (‘Pilsner regularly’)
24 Dave’s outside, wild about Republican postponement (8)
DEFERRALDavE (‘Dave’s outside’) FERAL (‘wild’) containing (‘about’) R (‘Republican’)
25 Get rid of flat-bottomed boat (4)
JUNK – Double definition

I put in DUCK for a start but the first definition didn’t quite fit.

1 Philosopher’s appeal for help acquiring case (8)
SOCRATESSOS (‘Appeal for help’) containing (‘acquiring’) CRATE (‘case’)
2 Unknown bearing ingredient for bread? (5)
YEASTY (‘Unknown’) EAST (‘bearing’)

‘Bearing’ as in a heading or direction.

4 Shout frantically over woman in a state (5,8)
SOUTH CAROLINA – Anagram (‘frantically’) of SHOUT above in a down clue (‘over’) CAROL (‘woman’) IN A (‘in a’)

Misleading surface which pointed me in the direction of ‘woman in a state’ as the def. I prefer the above parsing to having CAROLINA as the ‘woman’.

5 Leader of tour on nameless African river’s a dynamic individual (5)
TIGERTour (‘Leader of tour’) NIGER  (‘nameless African river’)
6 Fully understand some cereal is expensive (7)
REALISE – Hidden in (‘some’) ceREAL IS Expensive
7 At the home of companion, meze is limitless (4)
CHEZCH (‘companion’) mEZe (‘meze is limitless’)

CH for Companion of Honour, “…a special award granted to those who have made a major contribution to the arts, science, medicine, or government lasting over a long period of time.” (From the royal.uk website). CHEZ is in Collins, marked as “French”.

8 Article for number one educationalist to review critically (6)
BEDPANBED (‘educationalist’) PAN (‘to review critically’)

BEd for Bachelor of Education. As for whether another ‘number’ should be included here, I’ll leave it up to others to decide.

13 Sort of T-shirt nautical team swill (4,4)
CREW NECKCREW (‘nautical team’) NECK (‘swill’)

Neck as a verb to guzzle or ‘swill’. A round neckline without a collar, originally named after a type of top worn by rowers, Wikipedia tells me.

15 Loaded spring no longer operative (4-3)
WELL-OFFWELL (‘spring’) OFF (‘no longer operative’)
16 Relaxing novel read on motor yacht (6)
DREAMY – Anagram (‘novel’) of READ above in a down clue (‘on’) MY (‘motor yacht’)

No, I wasn’t sure of the MY abbreviation either, but it’s in… .

18 In East London, source of warmth yielding apple? (5)
EATERhEATER (‘In East London, source of warmth’)

A Cockney (‘In East London’) dropping his or her aitches. An apple for eating (an eating apple) rather than cooking.

20 Outlaw trade union language (5)
BANTUBAN (‘Outlaw’) TU (‘trade union’)

Not one language, but the term refers to about 600 languages (!) and dialects spoken by inhabitants of southern, central and eastern Africa.

21 Parisian who finally found money in England (4)
QUIDQUI (‘Parisian who’) founD (‘finally found’)

QUI for ‘who’ in French, as spoken by a ‘Parisian’

62 comments on “Quick Cryptic 2717 by Breadman – Trick and treat”

  1. I was doing so well, all but one completed in about 12 min… And I just couldn’t get BEDPAN

    I got _E_PAN and I couldn’t find a word that meant article. Little did I know I was looking for ‘article for number one’. I also didn’t think of the B.Ed.

    I remember Mr Morecambe now and that East Londoners drop their aitches etc.

    Breadman is often kind to me.

    1. me too – got the PAN – but just couldn’t get the beginning of the word 🙁
      though I couldn’t find my way to QUID either

  2. 15 minutes with the philosopher at 1dn holding out until the last moment.

    I didn’t know BOW as a rower but it made sense on thinking about it.

    Might I suggest Did you do the crossword? as a better example of ‘complete / do’?

  3. DNF after failing to see bedpan, was thinking too much about education and missed the Bachelor bit. Liked Edwin Landseer, he of the Monarch of the Glen fame amongst many others.
    Thanks setter and BR

  4. With the Tour de France on there’s really no excuse for my entering CHAtEAU with “that’s more like a castle” quietly nagging at me as I moved on. I’d had to come back to it and with CH for church, hat for HAT and AU for gold it seems to make enough sense if you’re being careless. Thought I wouldn’t have the GK as I couldn’t think of an artist called EDWIN until I concentrated on the cryptic – couldn’t name a painting though – and then CREW NECK appeared. Good one, not all green in 14.20.

  5. I really struggled here, taking 19 minutes for one of my slowest completions of the year. The SW corner was the worst – EATER, DEFERRRAL and even the (in retrospect) relatively straightforward WELL OFF all took much time, but there were hold-ups across the grid. I can’t really put my finger on why.

    I’m not sure what BR’s “two little goodies” are, but I do spot a rare Breadman pangram. He quite often has a grid with 25 of the 26 letters, but he seems to have slipped in the 26th as well this time.

    Many thanks BR for the blog. I too originally parsed 4D with Carolina as the woman’s name but I agree your alternative parsing is better.

  6. I’m another who failed at BEDPAN, so a DNF in 12. At 25ac (JUNK) I was delayed for quite a while by choosing PUNT – in Oz it’s quite a common term for expel or get rid of. Also I know punts have flat bottoms, but I’ve never looked under a junk. Are these things getting harder? I haven’t been under 7 in ages, it used to happen a lot. Thanks BR.

  7. Top quality puzzle with lots of clever disguise which provided a couple of nice PDMs – in particular for COD BEDPAN.
    Like LindsayO I initially put a confident ‘punt’ in at 25a until CREW NECK made it impossible, but the helpful ‘k’ meant that JUNK didn’t take too long to appear.
    I assumed there was a pangram but didn’t bother to go back to check the ‘minor’ letters.
    Started with STYX and finished with BEDPAN in 8.57.
    Thanks to BR

  8. 15 mins having eventually thrown my hands in the air and laughingly chucked in BEDPAN because it fitted, knowing it was wrong – I laughed again when it was correct and again when I parsed it.

    Thanks Breadman for what I think is a brilliant puzzle. Thanks BR for a great blog too. I see the pangram. What else am I missing?

  9. 9:52 so just scraped in inside the 10 minute mark
    LOI for me was CREW NECK, which I‘ve never heard of
    Before that, JUNK (I was mulling over PUNT for a while)
    Missed to see the pangram, I’ll have to go back and look now!
    Thanks setter and blogger

  10. A fine puzzle from Breadman, where I smiled my way through to the last clue in around 4 minutes – and then ground to a halt for almost half as long again while alpha-trawling my LOI twice, and then applauding Breadman when the truth dawned.

    TIME 5:46

  11. Having congratulated myself on working out EDWIN LANDSEER from the wordplay I then failed to finish on _E_PAN. Gave up after two alphabet trawls.

  12. 14:18 here, with many clues enjoyed. My last two in were particularly satisfying: EDWIN LANDSEER and WELL-OFF.

    The game called “Cluedo” in the UK is just “Clue” in the US, so that may be tricky for our American solvers.

  13. 15:20 (Field of the Cloth of Gold)

    Like several others, I originally had PUNT for 25a, until CREW NECK showed that to be wrong. I then took a while to see JUNK.
    LOI was BEDPAN.
    1d was a write in, thanks to Monty Python. A lovely little thinker but..

    Thanks BR and Breadman

  14. Realised I needed a J to begin 25A as I think some Breadman’s puzzles have J, Q, X & Z in the middle of the grid, but here there was one at the beginning or end of the four letter words. Plus a pangram – clever. Could not parse U-BOAT as I always forget the other meaning of stole. Think something must be missing in the clue for 16D to indicate the MY for motor yacht. Thanks BR for excellent blog.

    1. In crosswordland, MY is as Motor Yacht pretty much as SS is ship, and can skip the abbreviation indicator.

  15. Just popped in to opine that a second number is omitted from the BEDPAN clue so that it remains an excellent clue and not a cr*p one.

  16. All done in 4 mins except one clue. 2:41 later the penny dropped. One of those clues where I think B?D?A? might have been easier than the checkers we were given. Very good clue I thought, though probably an escapee from the main puzzle.

    I didn’t know LANDSEER’s first name, so I was pleased for the wordplay.


  17. BEDPAN worth the price of entry alone. What a cracking clue.

    A satisfying solve with a great deal to enjoy. Took me a while to see LOI JUNK, having like others put “punt” on first pass through the acrosses and not knowing that junks have flat bottoms.

    All done in 08:59 for a Decent Day.

    Many thanks Breaders and Bletchers.

  18. I would have been just a little over my ten minute target if I’d been able to solve BEDPAN relatively quickly. It took well over three minutes for the penny to drop (I’m sure there’s a pun in there somewhere), by which time the clock had stopped at 13.57. I was further delayed by biffing PUNT for 25 ac, which in turn made CREW NECK unsolvable. Got there in the end though, bloodied but unbowed.

  19. 12 minutes for me with a similar story to others. Needed some time to work out BEDPAN; and I had to force myself to find something better than PUNT which had been sitting there from the off. Trying to learn from SOFTBALL. JUNK came from an alpha trawl.
    Very good puzzle.
    A nomination for CHEZ as COD.

  20. 8:28

    Just turned to 7’ with one to go: BEDPAN of course.

    Lovely puzzle, thanks Breadman and BR.

  21. 12:48
    LOI EATER, uneasy about parsing, but had to be. I thought source of Warmth was W, so assumed there was an area of East London called Weater.

    BEDPAN, brilliant.

    EDWIN LANDSEER pretty obscure.
    CID and FOI STYX.

    Went for ILE for the nameless African river first, for TILER?

  22. Over 12 minutes

    Struggled with BEDPAN and CLUEDO also held me up but a combination of completely failing to think of CREW NECK plus having PUNT is what pushed my time out. No complaints though – good crossword.

  23. Took time to get started, but then things flowed – until the end: failed BEDPAN (just too difficult) and DREAMY (NHO motor yacht = MY – does anyone know the context for that?).
    CNP CREW NECK either; NHO swill = NECK, but it had to be. Always forget TUP (indeed it’s rejected by this computer which inserts a wiggly line under it!), but that one too was biffed.

    1. I have a dim memory that Brittania was RMY Brittania. I think that’s what guided me on that one but I have no certainty.

      1. Thank you – I’ve been puzzling over this one, and would like to proffer this as an inadequate challenge. If we agree that BEA = British European Airways, surely it would not be permissible to extract EA out of that and clue “european airways” as EA – would it? Similarly “motor corporation” = MC, or “states of America” = SA, and so on – this is surely not valid? What is the feeling about this?

        1. I think there are actual guidelines for things like this, but I’m not sure what they’re based on. Sometimes it seems that anything goes and the initial letter of any word is acceptable, but in the past I’ve been assured by others on this site that there are strict rules. I suspect the answer might be Chambers, that seems to cover everything…

  24. 15m
    All done pretty easily until cluedo, Edwin L, and the bedpan.
    COD cluedo, well off, dreamy, or bedpan.

  25. DNF
    Seems like I’ll have to start waking up earlier if I want to have an original comment, but all I can do today is echo the manivocal BEDPAN struggle choir. At least this word is now stored in a different part of my brain.

    1. “manivocal BEDPAN struggle choir”, excellent. I’ll have to see if I can organize one at my local hospital.

  26. A mix of easy and hard but lots of fun.
    ‘Boa’ for ‘Stole’ passed me by but the initial U was enough to solve the clue.
    Finally solved BEDPAN with a bit of help so a DNF but very clever now I see it.
    Thanks Breadman and BR.

  27. 8:34

    Nice challenge from Breadman – worked my way around the grid until there were four left – SOCRATES required extra thought, but gave ACT UP which after a great deal of thought, yielded BEDPAN (a 15×15 clue that one!) – finally in was the flat-bottomed boat where an alphatrawl soon enough alighted on J for JUNK and the game was up. I also wondered whether any on the west side of the pond would puzzle over CLUEDO.

    Thanks Breadman, and nice blog Bletch!

  28. Fairly raced through the first two-thirds of this, including to my surprise both South Carolina and Edwin Landseer, but then got completely stuck in the SE corner (plus 8d). Quid, U Boat, Eater, Cludo and Well Off were all somewhat reluctantly teased out, and even Deferral eventually conceded, but *e*p*n at 8d just wouldn’t play ball. Didn’t really understand what was going on with the clue and so bunged in a half-hearted red-pen, before coming here to find out the real answer. Hmm, enough said. Invariant

  29. ELBOW reminded me of the phrase for breaking up a relationship by giving someone “The Spanish Archer.”
    JUNK LOI after several minutes so all done in 12 minutes.

  30. Would have been under 20 mins but for my LOI (the same one as most other people’s) which occupied a good few minutes. Eventually all done in 23 mins and all parsed except U-BOAT – I always forget boa for stole.

    FOI – 1ac STYX
    LOI – 8dn BEDPAN

    Thanks to Breadman for a fine crossword and to BR for the blog, especially the parsing of U-BOAT

  31. 8.30 against a target of five minutes, so well outside my comfort zone today. Excellent puzzle though.

    COD to bedpan even though it cost me two minutes right at the end.

  32. I had much the same experience as our esteemed blogger, but three times as slow, no surprise there (29:41). Really liked this one.

    I did see there was probably going to be a pangram–FOI STYX was a bright flashing light for that– and was even vaguely aware J was still unused, and this should have quickly given me LOI JUNK for 25A. But I lost all perspective in my attachment to “punt” and tried to convince myself that those weird British people might have a different phrase for the t-shirt like “crew vest” 🙃. Also to be fair I’m aware that near-pangrams are frequent. COD and POI BEDPAN, a real forehead-slapper.

    In the continuing chronicle of my crosswordland acculturation:

    NHO: “eater” for apple, MY for motor yacht, BED for education degree

    Happy to have acquired: “neck” for drink, Eric Morecambe, tup, DI for inspector, Cluedo instead of our Clue.

    Thinking about the Morecambe chestnut, I don’t expect setters to give up an easy way to clue “eric”, but couldn’t they branch out to Eric Blair, for instance? Or is there someone else. If they are going to relax the “dead famous people” rule, there’s Eric Idle.

    Great puzzle Breadman, and thanks to Bletchley for blogging!

  33. I found that very tough indeed, despite racing into an early lead with ESOTERIC, CHAPEAU and GRAVE. I have NHO the “famous” artist, the legendary river or the language(s), all of which put me at a slight disadvantage. Another (self-inflicted) delaying factor was my initial mis-spelling of IMenNSE, which put DREAMY out of reach for a long time. I also struggled with SOCRATES, BEDPAN, ACT UP, WELL OFF, EATER, CREW NECK and JUNK. Phew!

    Total time = 46 minutes, so well into the remedial section of the SCC.

    Many thanks to Breadman and BR.

  34. 16.11 Slow today. My inner eight-year-old sniggered at “article for number one” but BEDPAN was LOI when I finally realised that this was actually the definition. A nice puzzle though. Thanks BR and Breadman.

  35. Very quick and easy, I thought, as I zoomed through, and finished all but the dread BEDPAN. An unpleasant clue – obviously I can now parse but No 1 is not an expression I have ever used in this context. I would have thought lavatory humour was beneath us, as it were.
    Otherwise a very enjoyable puzzle. FOI STYX.
    I have 4 elderly apple trees – 2 produce cookers of varied quality and 1 provides good EATERs, the other inedibles but it is pretty in spring.
    Liked SOCRATES, CLUEDO, ESOTERIC, QUID, CHEZ, among others.
    Thanks vm, BR.

  36. A similar story to everyone else. I started quite quickly but slowly ground to a halt with BEDPAN, CREW NECK and JUNK still to go, so I abandoned it after 12:30 for a while. After something to eat plus a go at the biggie, I came back and did those last three in about 30 seconds. I’ll blame my rumbling tummy for the lack of concentration!
    FOI Styx LOI Junk COD Well-off, although BEDPAN did make me chuckle
    Thanks Breadman and BR

    I abandoned the 15×15 with about three to go as well, but returning didn’t help! Too hard for me today.

  37. 32 mins…

    As Breadman is my worst setter in terms of completion (previously only 13% of puzzles completed this year), the fact I finished this was a major success. However, it was touch and go with 8dn “Bedpan” – which I thought was a poor clue – talk about a random “article”.

    The rest went in fairly steadily, and whilst I didn’t know 14ac “Edwin Landseer”, it was generously clued.

    FOI – 1ac “Styx”
    LOI – 8dn “Bedpan”
    COD – 15dn “Well Off”

    Thanks as usual!

  38. Like LindsayO didn’t finish due to BEDPAN and punted instead of junked, which caused a delay andfrustration leading to giving up.

  39. Like LindsayO dnf thanksto BEDPAN and punted instead of junked, which caused a delay andfrustration leading to giving up.

  40. FOI STYX, then a mostly top to bottom solve, with BEDPAN (great clue!) and LOI DEFERRAL needing revisiting. 6:20. Thanks Breadman and BR.

  41. 22:33. Very hard, almost gave up several times. Remembered CLUEDO from a previous puzzle and got BEDPAN when I finally figured out Number one. I think as BletchleyReject hints a BEDPAN serves for Number two as well. Another who thought the flat-bottomed boat must be a punt. Favourites were EATER, TIGER, and U-BOAT.

  42. Permission to join the ‘DNF because of Bedpan’ crew. Even understood Pan as review critically. Otherwise really enjoyed this one.
    Thanks Breadman and BR to help me post-parse a few of the answers

  43. Breadman is usually the setter I have most trouble with but not today. I went pretty much straight through except, as with many others, BEDPAN. I put it in as a last resort and was pleasantly surprised coming here to find out it was right and how it parsed.
    Thanks Breadman and BR.

  44. DNF

    Didn’t see EATER and put ENTER at random giving me a pink square. This started well but ground to a halt, not helped by NHO the artist, the sheep or the rower. My vocab’s not that bad so 3 new terms in one QC is a lot.

    At least the pangram gifted me LOI JUNK.

  45. Another one undone by “Bedpan” after everything else had gone straight in. Thrown by “number one”, which I didn’t realise was part of the definition rather than the wordplay.

  46. A brilliantly clued puzzle. Lots to like today. Missed the pangram but was in a bit of a hurry to get supper started.
    FOI 1a Styx
    LOI8d Bedpan
    COD 3a Esoteric
    More please!

  47. Another awful day (so what’s new?)

    In SCC with 21 minutes. Nowhere near what I should be able to achieve.

    So depressing to see all those great times and know that I am getting progressively worse.

    76 minutes and one DNF this week, and it’s only Tuesday. I’m entitled to feel miserable. I continue to make the most idiotic mistakes that never appear to affect others.


  48. An excellent puzzle I thought, completed in 19:41, so just inside target, with WELL OFF. This might have been my COD, were it not for the wonderful BEDPAN. Thanks to Breadman and BR.


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