Quick Cryptic 575 by Marty

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
Only Marty’s eighth Quicky offering by my reckoning, and I found this one quite tricky – though part of that was because I managed to put in a wrong answer for 10A that made my LOI 2D impossible. Enjoyed this, with some interesting vocab, good surfaces, and a grand total of five Zs.

The puzzle can be found here if the usual channels are unavailable: http://feeds.thetimes.co.uk/puzzles/crossword/20160523/15814/

Definitions are underlined.

Note for bloggers: I’ve written a bit of dodgy JavaScript that enables you, after solving a puzzle on the Times website, to create a skeleton blog for it from within your browser. It requires little in the way of technical knowledge and works for quick cryptics, normal cryptics, Jumbos, and Mephistos. You can find the process on my LiveJournal blog here: http://mohn2.livejournal.com/2201.html

8 High level leap, at different university (7)
PLATEAU – anagram (different) of LEAP AT, + U (university)
9 Extremist cult rarely demonstrates (5)
ULTRA – hidden in (demonstrates) cULT RArely
10 Foolish using unknown quantities in do-it-yourself (5)
DIZZYZZ (unknown quantities, where Z is a common variable in equations) in DIY (do-it-yourself). I carelessly whacked in DITZY here, even though it didn’t fit the wordplay, which caused some head scratching later over 2D.
11 Chap making ref wild (7)
WILFRED – anagram (making) of REF WILD
12 Top person in sauna? (7)
SWEATER – double definition
14 Twelve people at the very end? An awful lot fewer! (2-3)
NO-ONENOON (Twelve) + {peopl}E (people at the very end, i.e. the last letter of the word “people”)
15 Frank the musician using sound from remote control (5)
ZAPPA – homophone (using sound from) of ZAPPER (remote control). The definition is something of a giveaway in this one – when it comes to famous Franks in music, I think the well is fairly dry once you get past Sinatra and Zappa (is Frank Black famous? Discuss).
17 Hamlet’s friend’s house share not finalised (7)
HORATIOHO (house) + RATIO{n} (share not finalised, i.e. RATION (share) without its last letter). As mentioned in one of Shakespeare’s most famous lines: “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio; …”
19 Cheerful after injury is concluded (5,2)
WOUND UPUP (Cheerful) after WOUND (injury)
20 Last character following Disney to dance (5)
WALTZWALT (Disney) + Z (Last character, i.e. of the alphabet)
22 Backward about everything, it’s plain (5)
LLANO – reversal (Backward) of ON (about) + ALL (everything), for the South American steppe that has appeared in the Quicky once before (241 in February of last year) but is usually the preserve of the main cryptic
23 Dodging troubles so naive (7)
EVASION – anagram (troubles) of SO NAIVE
1 Copied flier found outside gym class (4)
APEDAD (flier, i.e. advertisement) outside PE (gym class)
2 Two sharp double bends in valley, blind (6)
DAZZLEZZ (Two sharp double bends) in DALE (valley)
3 Fed up by the end of Monday’s challenge (4)
DEFY – reversal (up) of FED, + {Monda}Y (end of Monday, i.e. the last letter of the word “Monday”)
4 Perrin shows up after disturbing person on beach a lot? (3,10)
SUN WORSHIPPER – anagram (after disturbing) of PERRIN SHOWS UP. Possibly a surface reference to Reginald Perrin?
5 Name large ship The Irishman (8)
DUBLINERDUB (Name) + LINER (large ship). Would have been nice to see the last two words italicised to complete the surface.
6 Austere office contains record player (6)
STEREO – hidden in (contains) AuSTERE Office
7 Girl to depart for city in US (3,5)
SAN DIEGOSANDIE (Girl) + GO (to depart). Where Zappa joined his first band.
12 Measure water source in place of nuclear power station (8)
SIZEWELLSIZE (Measure) + WELL (water source). Sizewell is a village in Suffolk that is home to two nuclear power stations (one currently being decommissioned) with plans for a third – I’d be surprised if its fame has spread much beyond these shores.
13 Corner, note, or entrance to roof space? (8)
TRAPDOORTRAP (Corner, as a verb) + DO (note, as in do-re-mi) + OR
16 Place on Russian mountain range in which sheep remains the same (6)
PLURALPL (Place) + URAL (Russian mountain range), with the definition a reference to sheep being the same word whether singular or plural
18 Army of volunteers like unusual sort of film (6)
TALKIETA (Army of volunteers, i.e. the Territorial Army (now the Army Reserve)) + anagram (unusual) of LIKE
20 Hit Western with bad actor (4)
WHAMW (Western) + HAM (bad actor)
21 Area of Eastern and Northern Australia looking up (4)
ZONE – reversal (looking up) of E (Eastern) + N (Northern) + OZ (Australia)

22 comments on “Quick Cryptic 575 by Marty”

  1. Slowed down at several points today, and indeed biffed 14ac without parsing it. Never heard of SIZEWELL–the only UK reactor I think I know is Whatsit, it will come to me in the watches of the night–but the checkers were kind. Like Mohn, I thought of ‘ditzy’ at first, but refrained. I wasted time trying for some reason to make ‘film’ the anagrind in 18d, and put my inability to spot a hidden to good use at 6d. A PLATEAU is level, granted; does it have to be high? 7:29.
    1. Windscale, perhaps (now part of Sellafield)? There was a leak there in the ’50s which no doubt made international news.

      Chambers has “A large level tract of elevated land” for PLATEAU, so I suppose the high part of the clue needs to be read as relative rather than Everestesque.

      1. Thanks; I think it was Sellafield I was thinking of, but in fact I actually knew both names, although I don’t think I could have said which was the leaky one.
  2. 9 minutes with a slight delay also considering “ditzy” at 10ac. I’m sure the reference to Reggie Perrin was intentional though the only time we saw him on a beach he was faking suicide rather than sun-worshipping.

    Apart from two answers today’s 15×15 is quite easy and is well worth a punt for those aspiring to move across at some point or tackle both, as I do.

    Yes, I make it 8 by Marty too. 4 in 2014, 3 in 2015 and one this year so far.

    Edited at 2016-05-23 07:59 am (UTC)

  3. One of the cleverest we have had for a while, biffed quite a few and then said “Ooooh that’s good” when I had parsed it, 14a and 16d are examples, a thorough work out after the weekend’s excesses. Thanks to blogger for explaining 7d and a round of applause to Marty, let’s have a few more.

    Edited at 2016-05-23 06:57 am (UTC)

  4. I have holidayed in Suffolk many times, Sizewell can be seen for miles along the coast. Held up by 14 ac, and thought ‘stereo’ may be inaccessible to young people. Musing about plateau/llano, can they be the same? Just under ten minutes today. It’s already been noted that today’s 15×15 would be good for QC solvers.
  5. Found this quite a challenge. Llano I had never come across, and talkie was a new one on me as well. So a disappointing DNF to start the week. Maybe I’ll try the 15 x 15.
  6. I think this is my first Marty crossword and I found it a lot of fun so hopefully the Times Crossword High Command send more of him this way.

    In terms of difficulty I would put it as average. The remote control ZAPPA clue made me chuckle. Last in was LLANO, and after inserting it I had to check on Wikipedia as it was new to me. This probably disqualifies me, but anyway.

    Separately there was an interesting article in the Saturday Times which said that mathematicians make better crossword solvers than wordsmiths. As a son of a mathematician, I have no more excuses it seams.

  7. A good challenge today, just under 30 mins after being held up in the SW.

    Interesting I thought to see three different signposts to the actual letter Z – unknown quantities, last character and sharp double bends.

    Llano is new to me so LOI, but the wordplay worked. On Chris’s point, surely it’s OK to check after completing the grid, then you only disqualify yourself if you got it wrong?

    I liked the use of different pronounciations today, eg wound in 19a, but CoD for me was 12a.

    Thanks Marty for the puzzle and mohn for the blog.

    Oh, is talkie another candidate for now archaic terms that still appear in crosswordland. It’s been some time since sound alongside the picture was worthy of comment hasn’t it?

    1. Talkie hasn’t cropped up often in Times puzzles (just once before in the Quicky and a handful of occasions in the main cryptic) but it may be undergoing a renaissance in the wider world as I see it has appeared once in the Guardian and once in the Independent already this year. However with the main cryptic having the restriction of not allowing living people in answers except the Queen, I suspect that “dead” words will also continue to be welcome!
  8. Not just lots of Zs but by my count nine lots of double letters. A record for a 13×13?
  9. Unusually today I did the 15 x 15 before turning to the QC. The latter took me almost as long as the former, so I clearly wasn’t on Marty’s wavelength. There is no reason why it should have taken me so long, all the answers were fairly clued.

    Thanks Blogger and Setter.

  10. I struggled with this and like others considered Ditzy before entering Dizzy.
    I thought I had it all correct but embarrassingly I missed the hidden answer in 6d and invented Starko. Over the 45 minutes I wrestled with this , I also looked at the main cryptic and have already solved quite a few so I will go back to that.
    A good enjoyable challenge from Marty. David
  11. 36 mins, with LLANO LOI and a guess, thought it was Welsh. I like PLURAL clue, very nice indeed. I had DENY for DEFY, so technically a DNF, but a very enjoyable puzzle. East side fell into place quickly, West side took most of the time.
  12. I struggled with this and like others considered Ditzy before entering Dizzy.
    I thought I had it all correct but embarrassingly I missed the hidden answer in 6d and invented Starko. Over the 45 minutes I wrestled with this , I also looked at the main cryptic and have already solved quite a few so I will go back to that.
    A good enjoyable challenge from Marty. David
  13. First many thanks to all the bloggers for helping us to learn the “secret” codes used by setters.
    Had many frustrating days but now enjoy the challenge. Found today’s difficult to get started but got there in the end. Llano was a guess.
    1. When you can work out the wordplay and produce, correctly, an unusual word that you don’t know, you’re doing well.
  14. Really struggled with this and eventually gave up on 22a (very frustrating when you’re just looking for 1 letter) and 14a, which was made impossible by my putting sturdy in for 6d, having missed the hidden word. However there were plenty of entertaining clues I could solve to keep me amused
  15. Being of a certain age, Sizewell and talkie didn’t cause pronlems, but we’d never heard of zappa in connection with a Frank.
    1. I knew what he looked like plus a couple of random factoids about him (e.g. one of his kids was christened Moon Unit), but to my knowledge I have never heard any of his music nor could I name you any of his songs.
  16. Finished it in just over half an hour, but I was the same as the blogger with LOI 2d being difficult with DITZY for 10a, and needed the “check” function to show me the wrong letter.

    No reason T shouldn’t be an unknown, and there are many times in maths and physics where t is the free variable you’re solving for, often representing time.

    1. Though I agree with your T comment, in Crosswordland I don’t think an unknown quantity is ever anything other than X, Y, Z, or N, which at least cuts down the options!

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