Quick Cryptic 503 By Tracy

A highly entertaining puzzle with excellent surfaces that made for some enjoyably surreal associations of ideas and images.  I’d put this squarely on the harder end of the scale – around 10 for me.    A couple of clues (5d and 7d) could well belong in the other cryptic, and the latter is an internally-referential one which I was surprised to see here.   Continuing the tour of my userpics – this one dates back to my youngest sister’s wedding some moons ago.  Quite a bit older now!  Definitions in italics underlined.  Answers in bold caps.

1.  Gambler, one enthralled by dancer’s lurid tale (6-6)
BODICE-RIPPER.  DICER=gambler, I=one contained in (enthralled by) BOPPER=dancer.  Lovely clue, an absolute cracker.
8.  Good to wander about in small wooded area (5)
GROVE. G=good.  ROVE=wander about.
9.  Erotic dancing by English clique (7)
COTERIE.  Anagram (dancing) of EROTIC with E=English.
10.  Politician holding a chart (3)
MAP.  MP holding A.
11.  Spontaneously, I am sharp with header for United (9)
IMPROMPTU.  I’M, PROMPT=sharp, U=United.
13.  The underworld possessed leaders in earth sciences (5)
HADES.  HAD=possessed with the first letters in E[arth] S[ciences].
14,  Alarming musical opening in York (5)
HAIRY.  We often get Evita, Gigi and Cats but this time it’s HAIR for the musical with the first letter of Y[ork].
16.  Magicians study members of panel (9)
CONJURORS.  CON=study and JURORS=members of panel.
17.  Better spinner (3)
TOP.  Double definition.  Nice and succinct.
19. Eccentric out of sorts, exhausted (7)
OFFBEAT.  OFF=out of sorts, BEAT=exhausted. I thought  “beat” with this meaning was more of an Americanism, but evidently it has crossed the Atlantic.
21,  None phoned the primate (5)
ORANG.  O=none, RANG=phoned.  I picture the lonely archbishop sitting by the silent telephone.
22.  Lengthy theatrical work creates some kind of record (8,4)
EXTENDED PLAY.  EXTENDED=lengthy, PLAY=theatrical work.  First rate clue.  At first I thought – heavens, no one under 50 would know what this is, but Google informed me that the term has survived the age of vinyl and is now also used to describe certain CDs and music downloads.  E.P. indeed.

1.  Using glue?  Now there’s a surprise (2,3)
BY GUM.   I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say this in real life but I believe it featured regularly in radio dramas, once upon a time, when a  Northern rustic character would be made to say  “Ee bah goom”.
2.  Fell at home – came round (7,2)
DROPPED IN.  DROPPED= fell, IN=at home.  Not difficult but very neat.
3.  Restrictive economic policy?  Believe press (6,7)
CREDIT SQUEEZE.  CREDIT=believe, SQUEEZE=press.  The sort of clue that makes you think  – oh no, at first glance, but really quite friendly.
4.  Cooked piece following right instructions on how to? (6)
RECIPE.  Anagram (cooked) of PIECE following R[ight].
5.  Who sorted out golf shot, at first, to execute (3,2,3,5)
PUT TO THE SWORD.  PUTT=golf shot at first, then anagram (out) of WHO SORTED.  Not so easy.  And not exactly a phrase in everyday usage.  It conjures up memories of the Latin unseens of yesteryear, not to mention Sellars & Yeatman and 1066 and All That.
6.  Get it wrong in locker room (3)
ERR.  Contained in lock[ER R]oom.
7.  Number two may have a job getting hold of 22 (6)
DEPUTY.  DUTY=job containing (getting hold of) EP=the answer to 22A.  Another not-so-easy one.  The Guardian frequently features these kind of internally referenced clues (sometimes a whole slew of them in a single puzzle) which means you often have to chase all round the grid before you can get a toehold.  Some people dislike them – I’m neutral but it took me a lot of practice to get used to them.  I don’t believe we saw them much, if at all, in the Times 15x15s until fairly recently, and they are still a rarity which is why I wondered a bit seeing one here.  What do you think?
12.  Describe round object in war game (9)
PAINTBALL.  PAINT=describe, BALL=round object.
13.  Bully boy (6)
HECTOR.  Double definition.
15.  Sent from depots abroad (6)
POSTED.  Anagram (abroad) of DEPOTS.
18,  Greedy person in middle of children’s game (5)
PIGGY.  PIGGY-in-the-middlle.
20. Hole ten provided upset (3)
FIX.  “Hole”, as in bind, jam or pickle. X=ten and  IF=provided, turned upside-down (upset).

14 comments on “Quick Cryptic 503 By Tracy”

  1. Just snuck in under my target 10 minutes (by about 5 seconds) which reflects the fact that I had to revisit several clues several times before they gave up their secrets.

    I’m also neutral about internally referenced clues so long as they don’t feature every day or dominate the proceedings. The QC is a training ground for cryptics so that seems as good a reason as any to include the occasional example.

    Edited at 2016-02-11 06:03 am (UTC)

  2. This was the trickiest of the week for me – and it’s only a K off being the second pangram in a row.
    I just wonder when “Hair” was last put on? When I saw it in 1972 it seemed dated even then.
    Possibly not a puzzle for the younger ones amongst us.
  3. Never thought of “beat” = exhausted as an americanism, although it is now dated over here. As a result of which it beat me today (sorry!!). Otherwise found this a pretty straightforward offering. Loved 1ac, haven’t heard of Bodice Rippers (or EPs come to that) for more years than I care to admit to.
  4. I haven’t done the Guardian for a number of years but I clearly remember instances of ten or more clues all referencing to the answer to yet another, often an author or composer. Charles Dickens was one and Iris Murdoch another (I still have nightmares about that one!) Another ruses of theirs were the self-referencing pairs, e.g. 1a See 1 down; 1d See 1 across, and that was all you got!!!
  5. I found this really tough (I can’t actually remember the last time that wasn’t the case) and thought I’d finally completed it. However on checking the blog I see I got 20d (my LOI) incorrect by putting in Fox – admittedly it was a guess as by this point my brain was hurting from the 15 minutes spent trying to figure out 19a. I couldn’t parse 7d. I thought there were some cracking clues today but COD goes to 1a.
  6. Like yesterday this required some hard work but I managed to do it,just,in one sitting. I was held up by 12d;there seemed to be a lot of options for Describe/Round and Object so I needed all the checkers.Last three were 13d, 19a and 20d. I was sure 19a ended in Spent (= exhausted) which gave me a first letter of S for 20d. Once I thought of Hector the other two went in quickly.
    No problem with 7d or that style of clue-occasionally. David
  7. Very hard and needed to revisit several times. Completely missed the required meaning of provided in 20d and it was a toss up between FIX and FOX but went with my first (unparsed) thought of FIX.

    Last in DEPUTY which I did parse unlike 5d which I got fairly early from the enumeration and a few checkers. Another whose favourite was 1a.

  8. May I commend Olivia’s beautiful and balanced blog.
    Looking at her picture may I also ask how many besotted photographers jumped off cliffs after sessions with her?
    To novices may I mention that setters have “styles”; today in the QC and Main you will read that in my humble opinion the Crosswords are in the wrong Newspapers.
  9. Didn’t find it difficult (DEPUTY was pretty obvious to me with the checkers) and was sailing through until I got to the bottom left, whereupon I got stuck and didn’t get HECTOR, OFFBEAT, and FIX. Gave up after 40 mins since life is short.

    Edited at 2016-02-11 04:14 pm (UTC)

  10. Another tricky one from Tracy, but I got there in the end around the hour mark. Didn’t know con could mean study, which made the SE corner interesting.
    As to cross references, my gripe is that I’m never sure whether the clue or the number is intended – spent quite some time wondering what two cricket teams had to do with 7d 😒 Invariant
  11. Many thanks to all for the comments. Yes, Anonymous, THAT Iris Murdoch Guardian puzzle, and if it’s the same one I recall – oh my. Even if you don’t want to get a TFTT ID, you could just sign your name (or sobriquet) at the end of your posts – some people do it that way and it’s good.

    The other cryptic certainly caused some comment today here and on the Club Forum – it has a rather non-Timesian hybrid quality. I liked it but others emphatically did not.

    I do remember that particular photographer Sawbill and he most assuredly leapt off no cliffs on my account. His name was Tom Hustler (what a moniker) and he must have cost my parents a packet in the 70s. I had a very different sort of wedding and he wasn’t there!

  12. Lots of unparsed entries today but ran out of steam with 19a offbeat and 20d fix. Having got 1d and ripper, it had to be bodice for 1a but struggled with why! One = bod+i didn’t help! Must be out of sorts as this week has been a struggle throughout. Thx Bloggers!
  13. I’m reasonably new to cryptics and thought I was getting better until this week!!
    Maybe I wasn’t on the right wavelength
    I’ll keep trying though

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