Quick Cryptic 365 by Tracy

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
A straightforward offering from Tracy today, with maybe only 15D not commonplace vocabulary. 11D sucked me into a Wikipedia black hole from which I emerged hours later with an improved knowledge of both geography and rodents. Was it worth it? Only time will tell.

The puzzle can be found here if the usual channels are unavailable: http://feeds.thetimes.co.uk/timescrossword/20150803/8890/

Definitions are underlined.

1 What may prevent one seeing waterfalls? (9)
CATARACTS – double definition, with a nice surface to boot
6 Naughty child, one occupying seat next to one (3)
IMPMP (one occupying seat, i.e. Member of Parliament) next to I (one)
8 Most of army unit’s recommended diet (7)
REGIMENREGIMEN{t} (Most of army unit, i.e. “regiment” without its last letter)
9 Lowest point in Florida now receding (5)
NADIR – hidden (in) reversed (receding) in FloRIDA Now
10 At one’s office, bought bar of gold (5)
INGOTIN (At one’s office) + GOT (bought). An ingot doesn’t have to be made of gold but I would guess that most people would think of gold in that context so the definition-by-example is unlikely to cause trouble.
12 Under canvas, firmly fixed? (6)
INTENTIN TENT (Under canvas)
14 Emperor acknowledges English girl embracing empress firstly (5,8)
HAILE SELASSIEHAILS (acknowledges) + E (English) + LASSIE (girl), all around (embracing) E (empress firstly, i.e. the first letter of “empress”). I visited Addis Ababa a few years ago and remember being distinctly underwhelmed by the imperial bathroom preserved in one of Haile Selassie’s old palaces. The guy had a lion and leopard enclosure in the grounds so why stint on a cheapo toilet? Perhaps I just don’t have my priorities right to be a world leader.
16 Holy city‘s name appearing in newspapers, etc. (6)
MEDINAN (name) in MEDIA (newspapers, etc), for the burial place of Muhammad in Saudi Arabia
17 Warning a member about lake (5)
ALARMA + ARM (member) around L (lake). Wikipedia tells me that there is a Lake Lar in northern Iran, which admits a second parsing of A + M (member) around LAR (lake), however any lake with less than 10,000 Google hits is probably too obscure for the main cryptic, let alone the Quicky, so this probably wasn’t Tracy’s intended parsing.
19 Privet cut down, surprisingly revealing snake (5)
VIPER – anagram (surprisingly) of PRIVE{t} (Privet cut down, i.e. “Privet” without its last letter)
20 I caught it sitting by sick criminal (7)
ILLICITI + C (caught, as on a cricket scorecard) + IT, next to (sitting by) ILL (sick)
22 Playwright’s doctor (3)
RIG – hidden in PlaywRIGht. Here the hidden indicator is the succinct apostrophe s of possession. Such usage is not everyone’s cup of tea but I’m not averse to it, perhaps due to having seen it a number of times before – even so, I still thought initially that this was going to be a double definition, which caused a glimmer of concern as my meagre mental stock of playwrights doesn’t contain any of the three-letter variety.
23 One mostly in control in religious community (9)
MONASTERYON{e} (One mostly, i.e. “One” without its last letter) in MASTERY (control)
1 Chronic crashes on eastern coast road (8)
CORNICHE – anagram (crashes) of CHRONIC, + E (eastern)
2 Beginning to tie silver label (3)
TAGT (Beginning to tie, i.e. the first letter of “tie”) + AG (silver)
3 Send race official over (5)
REMIT – reversal (over) of TIMER (race official)
4 Conservative on team helping to gain respect (13)
CONSIDERATIONCON (Conservative) + SIDE (team) + RATION (helping). The CON part could alternatively be parsed as C (Conservative) + ON.
5 Fresh in, a star singer (7)
SINATRA – anagram (Fresh) of IN A STAR. Take your pick from Frank Sr, Frank Jr, or Nancy.
6 Individuals entering former crown colony that’s become a republic (9)
INDONESIAONES (Individuals) inside INDIA (former crown colony). India is of course also a republic but that’s not relevant here.
7 Character‘s parking technique (4)
PARTP (parking) + ART (technique), with the definition referring to (say) a part in a play
11 One used in experiment in African country by greedy person (6,3)
GUINEA PIGGUINEA (African country) + PIG (greedy person). Guinea should not be confused with the neighbouring Guinea-Bissau nor (the non-adjacent) Equatorial Guinea nor (the even more non-adjacent) Papua New Guinea, however one thing all four countries have in common is that guinea pigs (in the animal sense) are indigenous to none of them.
13 Arrangement made by George, getting me shot (8)
GEOMETRYGEO (George) + ME + TRY (shot, as in an attempt). I don’t know how common it is these days to see George shortened to Geo, but men’s grooming aficionados will be familiar with Geo. F. Trumper of Mayfair.
15 Witty remark, gem, pair in convulsions (7)
EPIGRAM – anagram (in convulsions) of GEM PAIR
17 In which you’ll find this range of mountains? (5)
ATLAS – extended definition, referring to the Atlas Mountains running through Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia
18 Port not opened or finished (4)
OVER – {D}OVER (Port not opened, i.e. “Dover” without its initial letter)
21 Prompt for actor – line heard (3)
CUE – homophone (heard) of QUEUE (line)

17 comments on “Quick Cryptic 365 by Tracy”

  1. A typical Monday Quickie, i.e. one I couldn’t open, so I had to come here. I had the same reaction to 22ac as Mohn, and moved on for the same reason. I’m not sure what you mean by ‘extended definition’, Mohn, so it may be gratuitous to note that one would find a mountain range in an atlas. 4:30.
    1. I wasn’t entirely sure how to describe 17D as it’s one of those clues that doesn’t fit neatly into any of the usual categories, even if it’s fairly clear what’s going on. I interpreted it as being essentially a non-cryptic clue (“this range of mountains”) with a bit of extra info to assist – I don’t know if there’s a standard way to describe such a clue, but I was hoping I could get away with the nicely fuzzy “extended definition”.
  2. 10 minutes with 14ac biffed on the basis of ’emperor’, the enumeration and H as the first letter.

    Quickie solvers with ambitions to graduate to the main puzzle should have a go at today’s.

    1. Took me about 3 hours, but given that I’ve only ever finished a handful of 15×15 puzzles, that was a good call. Invariant
  3. Something odd happened with the iPad on screen keyboard making it difficult to enter into the bottom two lines. This and not twigging ‘geometry’ and ‘atlas’ for a while meant this was a bit of a struggle.
  4. All but finished in about 5 mins, but had to resort to aids to find the emperor at 14a, my LOI.

    Edited at 2015-08-03 08:00 am (UTC)

  5. I found this a strange puzzle as I whizzed through most of it and yet had a DNF. I was completely baffled by 22a and I to look up 14a after a mental blank. I knew the emperor that was being referred to and knew his first name but couldn’t get the name of a former Ethiopian distance runner out of my head (Haile Garbriselassie). Turns out I just had to knock a few letters off his name.
  6. 22A got me as well, I didn’t (and still don’t) get the indicator. I also had to resort to my checker app for GEOMETRY – I was totally misled in several directions by the surface, which is the sign of a great clue.


    1. Apologies for not explaining 22A better. If you read “Playwright’s” as “belonging to playwright”, and you interpret that as meaning any string of letters within the word “Playwright”, then you get RIG.
      1. Thanks for that, I get it now, and thanks for the blog.
        These setters are devious!
  7. As mentioned above today is a good day for trying the main cryptic crossword. I have taken to starting with the main one and then if is too difficult (like last Friday) reverting to the quickie. Today however I finished both. Thanks to the bloggers I am now making progress
  8. Like others I thought there was a playwright called Rig I have never heard of. Last in and favourite GEOMETRY.

    I also tried the main cryptic. Almost finished it but needed aids for the last couple, annoying because I was on the right lines.

  9. Struggled with the two bottom corners, but got there in the end albeit with 18/22 unparsed. Not a very comfortable start to the week. Invariant
  10. 22a – I supposed that something doctored is also something that could be said to be rigged….
    1. Yes, that’s right – perhaps I should have explicitly given that equivalence in the blog, though it seems to be the wordplay that has caused the majority of the trouble!
  11. Thanks for this – and all the other blogs which I’ve been following for a good while now.

    I’m not sure what I’ve missed but why is ‘waterfalls’ a definition of cataracts?


    1. The first definition in Chambers of cataract is “A waterfall”. It’s ultimately derived from the Greek for a portcullis or waterfall – there are various theories as to how the eye condition got its name, one being that the whitening of the lens resembles white water.

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