Quick Cryptic 595 by Pedro

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
I found this one quite tricky, though in hindsight there’s nothing particularly complicated in it and the grid is friendly enough, with long answers on the top and left sides giving a bunch of helpful initial letters.

The puzzle can be found here if the usual channels are unavailable: http://feeds.thetimes.co.uk/puzzles/crossword/20160620/16539/

Definitions are underlined.

A couple of weeks ago, someone mentioned that it might be useful to have an archive of the Quick Cryptics. No doubt at some point the Times will implement one but, for now, you can try this rough-and-ready offering: http://mohn2.livejournal.com/3077.html You will of course need a Times login to access these puzzles.

1 Workman going to source of water makes somersault (10)
HANDSPRINGHAND (Workman) + SPRING (source of water). I had always thought that a somersault didn’t involve the use of the hands but the dictionaries don’t back me up. Fortunately that lifelong misunderstanding isn’t the only thing that stood between me and a career in gymnastics. I don’t know how common a word handspring is in other people’s lives, but I think I knew it mainly because it was the name of a company that made PDAs in the late ’90s/early ’00s.
8 Cry: EEC’s corrupt! Or telling no-one? (7)
SECRECY – anagram of (corrupt) CRY EEC’S. We need to read the definition as a noun. The EEC was a forerunner of the European Union.
9 Plantlife I’d eradicated from US state (5)
FLORAFLOR{id}A (I’d eradicated from US state, i.e. Florida (US state) without the “i’d”)
10 Male cut, receiving second in rugby scrimmage (4)
MAULMAL{e} (Male cut, i.e. the word “Male” without its last letter) around (receiving) U (second in rugby, i.e. the second letter of the word “rugby”)
11 Resemblance completely captured in clip before closure of channel (8)
PARALLELALL (completely) in (captured in) PARE (clip) + L (closure of channel, i.e. the last letter of the word “channel”)
13 Companion endlessly turning around in snare (6)
ENTRAP – reversal (turning around) of PARTNE{r} (Companion endlessly, i.e. the word “partner” (Companion) without its last letter)
14 Very active compound of hydrogen, carbon, iodine etc. (6)
HECTIC – anagram (compound) of H (Hydrogen) C (carbon) I (iodine) ETC. This is arguably an indirect anagram, which might not please everyone, but I think these chemical symbols are sufficiently mainstream (and guessable) that the extra step required doesn’t significantly increase the difficulty of the clue.
17 Yet to return, holding separate social function (3-5)
TEA-PARTY – reversal (to return) of YET, around (holding) APART (separate)
19 In Italian river, behold game (4)
POLOPO (Italian river) + LO (behold). The Po is Italy’s longest river and runs through (among other places) Turin.
21 Masculine waist measurement, not the first to cause amusement (5)
MIRTHM (Masculine) + {g}IRTH (waist measurement, not the first, i.e. the word “girth” (waist measurement) without its first letter)
22 Weak soccer team, one short, all but eliminated in America (7)
TENUOUSTEN (soccer team, one short, i.e. one less than eleven), + OU{t} (all but eliminated, i.e. the word “out” without its last letter) in US (America)
23 Rifle getting short measure in cowboy film, mostly (10)
WINCHESTERINCH (short measure) in WESTER{n} (cowboy film, mostly, i.e. the word “Western” (cowboy film) without its last letter). The heyday of Winchester rifles was in the second half of the 19th Century, making the surface that little bit more apposite.
2 A Conservative peer featuring in story (7)
ACCOUNTA + C (Conservative) + COUNT (peer). I think that “peer” is being used here in the general sense of a noble, as a count is not a peer in certain stricter senses of the word (e.g. members of the House of Lords).
3 Owing pound produces conflict (4)
DUELDUE (Owing) + L (pound, i.e. the abbreviation for the Latin word for pound, libra)
4 Rewarding time to give one the slip? (6)
PAYDAY – cryptic definition, referring to a payslip but hoping to make us think of eluding someone
5 One airless tyre, in end wrongly filled with air (8)
INFLATEDI (One), + FLAT (airless tyre) in anagram of (wrongly) END
6 Increase length, prompting angry sound (5)
GROWLGROW (Increase) + L (length)
7 Misleading account, with reminder of debt, included amongst collapses (10)
FALLACIOUSAC (account) + IOU (reminder of debt), in FALLS (collapses)
8 One adding sentence in Gershwin song (10)
SUMMERTIMESUMMER (One adding) + TIME (sentence, as in a prison term). “Summertime and the livin’ is easy”, etc, from Porgy and Bess.
12 Honourable to follow French revolutionary in the long run (8)
MARATHONHON (Honourable) + MARAT (French revolutionary). Marat is perhaps best known for being murdered in his bath.
15 Pair upset by most woe (7)
TWOSOME – anagram of (upset by) MOST WOE
16 Stone an irritation? An annoyance when running (6)
STITCHST (Stone) + ITCH (an irritation)
18 It indicates a line occupied by river (5)
ARROWA + ROW (line) around (occupied by) R (river)
20 Burden on you and me (4)
ONUSON + US (you and me)

28 comments on “Quick Cryptic 595 by Pedro”

  1. This struck me as a definite cut above most quickies in difficulty; anyway, I found it so, having to resort to biffing and post hoc solving with a number of the clues. DNK MAUL, but it seemed unavoidable. Some of you may not know of the widow Winchester, relict of the son of the inventor; a rather, ah, eccentric lady who spent her life (and a hefty chunk of her inheritance) on building and rebuilding and adding to an enormous mansion; Google ‘Winchester House’. 6:42.
  2. Didn’t this come up a while back with a regular cryptic? My understanding is that a count corresponds to a British earl–important to know if you’re having some nobles over for dinner.
  3. Home in 7.16 LOI PARALLEL

    I agree PEER does not equal COUNT.

    horryd Shanghai

    1. According to Debretts (as good an authority as any) the order of peerage runs Duke, Marquis, Earl/Count, Viscount and Baron/Baronet. Whilst the title Count is most uncommon in England it is not unprecedented and is thus I would suggest acceptable as an example of a peer (but not the definition of one).

      Otherwise a rather strenuous leg stretch for a Monday QC, coming home a tad over 11′. Some tricky constructions at 7d, 22a and a nice &lit at 4d.

      COD must go to 8d as I watch the rain falling!


    2. Ther are peers of France who are counts. So a legitimate clue. Would quite like some of the contributors to this blog to do a bit of research before sounding off!
      1. Yes . but none of them are peers (members of the house of lords) any more in this country
        Also an “eleven” for a soccer team? Maybe 30 years ago for a cricket team. It could still have been got away with if it didn’t then need further processing to get a “ten”.
        Last western featuring a winchester was also quite a while ago
        Heavy going and “TENUOUS” at best
        Haven’t any of the compilers had a new idea since about 1965?

        Edited at 2016-06-20 03:42 pm (UTC)

        1. The two things don’t have to be connected for the parsing to work. It adds a bit to the surface reading but otherwise is neither here nor there.
      2. Nobody was “sounding off”, at least as I interpret the expression. This is a forum for exchange of opinions on Times crosswords and it’s perfectly valid to question and discuss the merits or otherwise of clues. That way people learn even if they are wrong or have misunderstood something. It helps if this can be done in a friendly and constructive manner rather than sounding off anonymously about other contributors.

        Edited at 2016-06-20 06:27 pm (UTC)

    3. In Crosswordland, a definition is generally considered fine if it exists in some well-known reference source, be it a dictionary (Chambers, Collins, and Oxford are the usual ones cited), atlas, book of quotations, etc – for better or worse, this is the only way that disputes over meanings can be resolved given that otherwise ten different solvers are likely to have ten different definitions for the same word. For “count”, Chambers has as one of its definitions “In continental Europe, a noble equal in rank to an earl”, and for “peer” one of its definitions is “Generally, a noble”, so the “a count is a peer” equivalence is supported by Chambers.

      Of course, such an equivalence may not be correct in every single context and that inconsistency is something that many solvers find hard to swallow, especially if they only know the word in a different context to that used in the clue! In fact if you look on any crossword blog on any given day then you will find at least one comment saying that a definition is “wrong”, despite it being supported by reference sources (e.g. see the CUTPURSE comments in today’s main cryptic blog). These objections may lead to lively debate, but it’s hard to find any validity in such objections if reference sources continue to be our arbiters (and really I’m not sure there’s any alternative).

  4. I agree this was difficult, especially getting started on it as I had to hop around the grid filling in answers where I could so the solve lacked flow. TENUOUS was a complex construction for a word that probably doesn’t trip off everyone’s tongue too readily nor come to mind as the first synonym for “weak”, as it was defined. And I enjoyed the be reference at 8ac. The EEC for all its faults now seems like a model of probity by comparison with what followed it. 13 minutes.

    Congrats on your QC archive, mohn2, a very useful resource I’m sure. The earlier ones will be handy for new solvers who joined along the way and are finding themselves without QC puzzles to do at weekends.

    Edited at 2016-06-20 05:00 am (UTC)

  5. A reasonably steady solve, biffed MAUL so thanks for the parsing blogger, not much else to say really, thanks Pedro and blogger.
  6. Have received salary and notification electronically for years, so PAYDAY held me up. Harder QC for a Monday, 9′.
  7. Scrimmage in rugby? (Well, at least my team (SA) extricated itself from the mire over the weekend.) BD
    1. Chambers has scrimmage as “An untidy melee, a struggle”, which isn’t a million miles away from the definition for maul (“A struggle for the ball when it is being held above the ground (rugby)”). However note that the use of “rugby” in the clue is just a nice bonus in the surface reading to get you thinking in the right direction – for the cryptic reading, it simply provides a word whose second letter is “u”. It could equally well have been quidditch (!)
  8. This one took a bit of figuring out, so was surprised to see that I completed it in 22 minutes. Admittedly I couldn’t fully parse 11a (LOI) or 22a which was frustrating, so thank for the explanation mohn. I thought there were a lot of excellent clues today but my favourite was 14a.

    Also thank you for taking the time to put together the archive, it’s greatly appreciated and should help fill in the long weekends without a QC.

  9. I’ve only been doing these for a couple of weeks in an effort to improve my crossword prowess so the archive is much appreciated.

    It did feel a bit more difficult than some but I got most of it done in my allocated 25mins. I just couldn’t get 11ac as had put 6dn as Grown rather than growl – thought it sounded like groan but realise now I missed the l.

    It’s good to hear you pros found it a bit trickier too – am in awe of your fast solving times.


  10. Nice enjoyable challenge that was a bit harder than average. Most clues fell in place with the help of added letters from other clues. Overall quite quick but PARALLEL frustratingly added 10 mins to the end.
  11. Just under the hour due mainly to the labyrinthine parsing for some of the clues which defeated me at first sitting. Coming back after a break it fell into place more easily but still had to think hard to get the parsing for some eg 22ac. Got there in the end!
  12. 29:26 which is pretty average for me. LOI was PARALLEL, also found FALLACIOUS difficult to build up. The river Po makes another appearance, what would setters do without short river names? I always associate ‘twosome’ with Dastardly and Muttley from Wacky Races, the Gruesome Twosome.
  13. Unlike most other bloggers, I found this much more straightforward than most recent offerings including lots of clues which made me smile, so I think Pedro and I must be on a similar wavelength. 23 mins which I think is my third best time ever.
    Thanks also to Mohn for the link to archive puzzles. All of a sudden I am awash with puzzles to attempt over a weekend, as I received the QC book as a Father’s Day present and the link last week to the Everyman crosswords proved to be of a suitable level for me too. I shall save the book for when I am away on holiday and off line.
  14. I found this quite hard, taking over an hour. Not sure if that’s down to post-holiday rust, or a difficult QC. For what it’s worth, 17 and 23ac were my favourites today. Invariant
  15. Well we found it easier than all but Friday’s last week. Glad to be much on the right wavelength. We were beginning to think we were getting worse rather than better!
  16. 83 mins, but I was watching the footie, plus hubby helped with 21a 23a and 18d when I went to get a beer!!!! Enjoyed 7d, can’t understand peoples’ problem with 22a. COD 7d or 12d. Thanks Pedro
  17. 27:06 here. Was expecting an easier ride since it’s Monday…

    Thanks to the blogger for the archive of puzzles. I was wondering if they’re keeping the list offline to beef up sales for the paperback book. Anyway, bookmarked.

  18. Well we found it easier than all but Friday’s last week. Glad to be much on the right wavelength. We were beginning to think we were getting worse rather than better!
  19. Well we found it easier than all but Friday’s last week. Glad to be much on the right wavelength. We were beginning to think we were getting worse rather than better!
  20. Well we found it easier than all but Friday’s last week. Glad to be much on the right wavelength. We were beginning to think we were getting worse rather than better!

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