Quick Cryptic 566 by Orpheus.

Excellent! A good, fun start to the day. 9 minutes for me which included a couple of definitions I had to think through.
A note for iPad users – I’ve had the ‘Sunday’ subscription which includes online access for about 3 years now. When I started, the app either wasn’t part of the subscription or it just didn’t work. So for all that time I’ve been accessing the puzzle via safari which has been possible but difficult. I now found I’ve had the app access all along and it works beautifully.


1. Shooting star – cryptic/double definition. Bisley is the location of the National Shooting Centre (apparently). Meteors and someone performing well at shooting are shooting stars.
8. Forum – meeting place. FORM going around U.
9. Canasta – card game. Accountant (ACCA), rejected (backwards) AT, sickbay (SAN) = NASTA.
10. Obscene – indecent. Old boy (OB), homophone (we hear) of seen – SCENE.
11. Dumbo – Disney film. Love (O) following silent (DUMB).
12. Kansas – US state. (K)eep (A) (N)ew, army regiment (SAS).
14. Sea dog – old sailor. The south east’s (SE) fuss (ADO), concernin(G).
17. Unite – get together. (U)nveiling (N)ew (I)intuitive (T)o (E)lect.
19. Teach in – study session. Anagram (terribly) of CHEAT, during (IN).
21. Cohabit – live together. (C)ounting (O)n (H)elp, slightly (A BIT).
22. Inner – ring next to bulls eye. w(INNER).
23. Presidential – like Lincoln say. Quiet (P), RESIDENTIAL.


1. Suffolk Punch – a horse. Half of (SU)ch, fine (F), people (FOLK), hit (PUNCH).
2. Ogres – monsters. pr(OGRES)s.
3. Tempera – painting technique – Tempera (Italian: [ˈtɛmpera]), also known as egg tempera, is a permanent, fast-drying painting medium consisting of colored pigments mixed with a water-soluble binder medium. Tone down (TEMPER), A. Don’t confuse this with tempura and cook fish in it.
4. Nicker – person who steals. A nicker is also a quid or a pound sterling.
5. Synod – church council. (S)peed(Y), NOD.
6. Assumed – double definition.
7. Major General – senior officer. Anagram (confusing) of ME REAL JARGON.
13. Neither – not one thing nor the other. Anagram (distributed) of THEREIN.
15. Elation – joy. English (E), circle (O) inside LATIN.
16. Stated – announced. (S)ome (D)etails around gallery (TATE).
18. Embus – board vehicle. European (E), doctor (MB), US.
20. Hanoi – capital. Capital (first letter) of Hungary (H), (A) number one (NO I).

37 comments on “Quick Cryptic 566 by Orpheus.”

  1. Never heard of Bisley, so biffed. Didn’t get the ‘sickplay’=SAN (sickbay = hospital seemed a bit of a stretch), so biffed from CA. DNK NICKER=pound (is this an &lit? It’s not a dd.) A lot of initial letters today,no? 3:19.
      1. As a second thought – would one describe as a nicker the policeman who comes up to said nicker, says ‘you’re nicked’ and takes them off to the Nick? The English language at its best and brightest.
    1. SAN is (very) old boarding school speak for the school sickbay, the sanatorium.
      1. Thanks–twice (see below)–for the enlightenment. I remember just about the first time I ever wrote in here, 7-8 years ago, it was to ask about SAN, and I was told it was slang for ‘hospital’; so ‘sickbay’ struck me as a bit odd. And I’d never come across ‘nicker’, so assumed it was pluralized as ‘nickers’. I stand corrected on both counts.
        1. Before the advent of the streptomycin vaccination the coasts of Britain were littered with sanatoriums for the treatment of TB, both my parents suffered from it and were patients in Kelling and Mundesley, my father became a consultant at the latter which is why I was born in Norfolk and follow the Canaries. Of course by the late fifties they had virtually all gone and so this is an abbreviation that joins the IT and SA debate from yesterday.
          1. Small world indeed: I was a GP in Mundesley for many years and partly worked at Mundesley Hospital when it became a rehabilitation centre after the discovery of medical treatments for TB other than “the finest air in the kingdom” (as the advertising for the Mundesley Sanatorium said). Some older local residents still refer to the “San” even today.
  2. I don’t think I’ve used the slang “nicker ” since we went off proper paper money aaah the old ten bob note. Pretty straightforward today although having biffed MAJOR GENERAL had to double check when it gave ending letters of O and A. COD 2d or 5d.
  3. The plural of one who nicks is ‘nickers’, but the plural of nicker (= pound sterling) is ‘nicker’, as in ‘ you owe me ten nicker’, so 4d is a dd. Agree lots of ‘initially’ today. Does anyone play canasta these days? 3’53”, almost cannot write any faster.
  4. Quite a breadth of general knowledge needed today – from knowing where the National Shooting Centre is located via parts of a dartboard through to 50 year old slang for an English pound, not forgetting the horse which I used to think was just my Dad’s lawn mower. For once these were all familiar to me, my only discovery being that SAN can mean a sick bay – presumably an abbreviation of Sanitorium?
  5. There did seem to be lots of initials today.

    SAN = sickbay was a new one for me and didn’t know embus, but clear enough with checkers in.

    Thanks for the explanation of 12a – The ‘specialist’ in the clue had me seeing the first 5 letters of Kansas in the initials and stopped me seeing SAS.

    I’m reminded today of my favourite ever crossword – a 5×5 grid with no black squares:

    1a – Folded Magazine …1d – Vegetables
    2a – Sturdy Horse………..2d – Sheep
    3a – Alcoholic Drink…….3d – Headless Chickens
    4a – Engineering Tool….4d – Oceans
    5a – Puppet………………….5d – Often Dropped.

    Answers on a postcard……

  6. Finished in a new record time for me- just under 9mins! Is it a crossword for “oldies” today do you think? If so I certainly qualify!


  7. I have never come across “teach-in” before, supposedly meaning “study session”?
  8. Bloomin’ heck. I did it in 10 mins 28 secs and my previous PB was 18 mins. I suppose I used to teach in a boarding school and so the San was just second nature to me.
  9. A sub-5 PB today. I am reminded of an old schoolboy joke: “Why can’t a lady with one leg change a pound note?” “Because she only got half a (k)nicker”.


  10. I don’t know what today’s posters have been on, but I’d like a glass as well !
    Having written 1ac and 1d straight in, I was disappointed with a final time of nearly 40 mins. Tied myself in ‘knots’ with sea dog, and didn’t see the anagram in 7d until late on. I did enjoy 23ac though. Invariant
  11. Enjoyable and quick by my standards. Unfortunately half of my time was spent figuring tempera which was new to me.


  12. Thanks for blog Chris. Small niggle is that CA = chartered accountant. I don’t think rejected can do double duty for accountant and “at san”. Am I being thick?

    Main puzzle defo worth a go today.

    1. As you say, CA is “chartered accountant”. “At sickbay” = AT+SAN which only needs one reversal indicator.

      Edited at 2016-05-10 01:02 pm (UTC)

  13. The ring next to the bulls eye is the outer.

    The bull intself is the inner

  14. I usually try to do the Quick Cryptic in my head over breakfast (so I don’t have to stop eating whilst I write them in!) This is the first time I have succeeded apart from EMBUS which was totally new to me but which I guessed.
  15. The Bulls-eye IS the inner ring (usually red) scores 50

    The one next to the bulls-eye is the outer (usually green), scores 25

    Which stopped me completing (in a humble 30 mins) even though I suspected Hanoi.

    John H

  16. Re various comments above, I think that 22A is referring to archery rather than darts.
  17. Like others I found this fairly straightforward and finished in 10 minutes for the second day in a row. Fortunately I knew about Bisley and san so didn’t get held up there. The only short hold up was the second word of 1d as my knowledge of horses is limited.
  18. Thought I was going for a PB at 13 min but TEMPERA was unknown, was looking for a five letter word followed by ‘da’ for ‘down a’. So another DNF, and another disappointment. Not thrilled about ’embus’, seems worse than ‘deplane’: as ancient as ‘San’. COD 20d.
  19. Thanks for the Blog, I’ve finally caught up having been about a week behind for several months! I enjoyed today and took 45 mins…. Still amazed by the 7 minutes some people manage…. Took forever to get obscene – not at all sure why!
  20. I knew the required GK today, guessed Embus and Tempera ( LOI ) and managed to finish in 11 minutes.
    It wasn’t that easy ; for example, whilst I can remember Nicker being commonly used for pounds, I haven’t heard it or seen it for years. David
  21. Another nice puzzle and probably at age easier end of the spectrum. LOI 4d nicker. Still must have taken me nearly an hour! Agree 22a is more likely to be archery rather than darts. In 18d I see our friend MB is with us again.
  22. I’m late to the party, but this was a new record for me, at 11:06.
  23. We whizzed through this in about an hour and a half! Canasta was an easy one (although I didn’t have a clue why it was right!). Poppy did most of the hard work as usual, whilst I went off to make the dinner….
  24. My first Times Quick and for a senior citizen some references that had me smiling. It’s not often I get to complete a cryptic, so perhaps this was just good luck?

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