Quick Cryptic 489 by Dazzler

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic

A little easier than recent Friday offerings, I felt, about 7 minutes for me, and no going through the alphabet to find missing words. Fortunately had most of the checkers for 17a otherwise no chance of a correct spelling! LOI NAAFI and favourite 8d – I should be expecting that kind of number by now!

1 Demanding second book: HARDBACK
Demanding = HARD, second = BACK (as in a duel, for example)
5 Rejected wickedness as it happens: LIVE
Wickedness = EVIL, backwards (rejected)
9 Found amongst rubbish – rubber plant: SHRUB
Hidden word
10 Attractive way to be moderately victorious: WINSOME
Double definition, second one cryptic
11 Grease from food wrapper initially discarded: OIL
12 Beatles song that’s not long over: YESTERDAY
I’m going for cryptic definition
13 Freeholder in the old sultanate: YEOMAN
The old = YE, sultanate = OMAN
15 Be famished – very – in tears, distraught: STARVE
Very = V, in anagram (distraught) of TEARS
17 Philosopher’s novel combination of Zen and ethics: NIETZSCHE
Anagram (novel combination) of ZEN ETHICS
19 Crime that pays: JOB
As in the Italian Job. Is this a cryptic definition?
20 A terrible RU team that’s not professional: AMATEUR
Anagram (terrible) of A RU TEAM
21 Country to help part of UK suffering set-back: INDIA
Help = AID, part of UK = NI (Northern Ireland), all reversed (suffering setback)
22 Wild goat – one became extremely cross: IBEX
One = I, BecamE extremely, cross = X
23 Good girl, I heard, is not a real looker: GLASS EYE
Good = G, girl = LASS, homophone of I (heard) = EYE

1 A guy’s conservative past : HISTORY
A guy’s = HIS, conservative = TORY
2 Country river: one in Russia: RURAL
River = R, and a river in Russia = URAL. Use of country as in a country lane. took some convincing.
3 Copper with light that blinds strikingly-dressed chap: BOBBY-DAZZLER
Copper = BOBBY, blinding light = DAZZLER
4 Town for yachtsman is intimidating, we hear: COWES
Homophone ( we hear) of intimidating = COWS
6 Working at home by arrangement: IN ORDER
At home = IN, arrangement = ORDER
7 See about for instance a lament: ELEGY
See = ELY (a setter’s favourite diocese), about for instance = EG
8 Numbers of broken china tea-sets: ANAESTHETICS
Anagram (broken) of CHINA TEASETS
14 Make a speech covering exercise for work: OPERATE
Make a speech = ORATE, including exercise = PE
16 Upsetting me couple hug: EMBRACE
EM = me backwards (upsetting), couple = BRACE, as in a brace of pheasants, I believe
17 Primarily nosh appearing as food in canteen: NAAFI
Primarily = first letters of the next five words
18 Girl about to go round shortly: CAROL
About = CA (circa, another crossword favourite), to go round shortly = ROL(l)
19 Tryto referee: JUDGE
Double definition.

21 comments on “Quick Cryptic 489 by Dazzler”

  1. I found this really hard and needed all of 21 minutes to complete it. I think I felt intimidated by the long Downs, for both of which I needed most of the checkers before I could begin to guess at the answer.

    Even with all the checkers at 17ac I was torn between SZT and TZS and it was more by luck than judgement that I picked the correct option.

    We are a Q short of a pangram!

  2. Definitely the hardest of the week.
    I took it that 19a is mixture of a double definition and cryptic: a JOB is a crime, but having a job also pays you.
    NIETZSCHE was certainly a test of one’s spelling ability.
    LOI was 18d where I originally had CORAL. I do dislike random names, there are just too many!
    There is much in this puzzle to commend to newcomers for future reference: ELY for “see”, ANAESTHETIC for something that numbs (i.e “number”), YE for an olden “The”, BACK meaning “to second someone”, PE for exercises to name but a few.
    Well done for a good blog.
  3. Great blog, thanks. As a newby I find myself agreeing with emu66 about 2d: “rural” is an adjective and “country” is a noun – I thought clues had to be direct substitutions or maybe I’ve got that wrong. Also, I’m not having a “pop” at the setter or blogger so I hope I don’t attract any critical comments like the last time I felt confident enough to post a comment – I’m just curious.
    1. Hi, John, and welcome back. I don’t know whether country can be officially designated as an adjective but it can certainly be used adjectivally e.g. in expressions like country house, country cousins, country pursuits and country lane (as suggested by emu) in which case it seems to correspond in meaning to ‘rural’ more or less. The ultimate get-out for the setter anyway is that Collins lists ‘rural’ as one of the meanings of ‘country’.

      Edited at 2016-01-22 09:43 am (UTC)

    2. Those were exactly my initial thoughts on the adjective/noun question, but I talked myself out of it!
  4. Another who found this a toughie. Early on knew who the philosopher was but waited until I had all the checkers before attempting the spelling which I guessed correctly. 8d took an age until I twigged the required meaning of numbers.

    Last in an unparsed CAROL and favourite HARDBACK.

  5. An early solve for me today and done fairly quickly. I knew the necessary GK in most cases but was held up by the anagram at 8d. I got the answer without understanding the joke -thank you bloggers.Some very good clues today (e.g. 1a) which highlighted some weaker ones e.g the Beatles clue. David
  6. Started quickly, but 1ac, 2d and (embarrassingly) 7d conspired to extend this to nearly an hour, which is longer than average for me. Some very enjoyable clues, of which 23ac was my favourite.
    I thought our setter showed commendable willpower in waiting until today to make the obvious pun on his/her name. Invariant
  7. 8d threw me totally. Should have learnt that trick by now, but then with a maths degree the thought that numbers could be anything but ordinal, cardinal, rational, irrational, etc, never entered my brain. Got there eventually without knowing why. This one was a toughie for me. Playuppompey
  8. Hi
    Can you please explain anaesthetics for numbers
    ROL for go round shortly.
    Completely stumped!
    Thanks Jonathan
  9. 33 mins here. Just needed help parsing “number” and CAROL… didn’t find it difficult overall.
  10. Yes – very challenging and enjoyable. LOI of course Nietzsche – not helped because I thought this was going to be a pangram, so tried to fit in F, Q and P


  11. Quite tough today I thought and I seemed to struggle on the same ones as some others – the spelling of 17a and my LOI, 8d, which I couldn’t figure out the parsing of until checking the blog. COD 23a for sending me down several wrong paths and then making me smile once I’d finally figured it out.
  12. Thanks for help yesterday, and thanks to all above. Now I can count another one learned, China Tea (sets) is numbing, it’s so refreshing! Oh my, your brain can store 4.7 bn books (The Times today), can it squeeze in any more crossword clues?
    1. Can we have a “Like”button like in Facebook to respond to comments like this! Thanks for the laugh noondial. bandjo
  13. Definitely the most difficult of the week. We didn’t know Nietzsche nor could begin to guess at it. And we guessed it was Carol or Coral but couldn’t parse it to solve which. Dazzler came out from the depths of one brain, and then was obvious. Other than those, a good puzzle, COD was definitely 8D with 23A a good second. bandjo
  14. We don’t look at the blog before we finish, which is why this is rather late.
    Our deconstruction of 18 Down was that, according to Chambers dictionary, one of the meanings of “carol” is “a round dance or a song accompanying it [a Christmas carol]. I prefer the “official” deconstruction!

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