Quick Cryptic 596 by Felix

Well, you live and learn. 1dn is such a learning point for me and took a lot of my 16 minute solve. Should you get 16ac in advance then 1dn shouldn’t cause too many problems.
Otherwise a steady solve to this entertaining puzzle – a good level of clue, I thought, not write-ins but challenging without going too far.
So thank you Felix – that was fun.


8. Utopian – ideal. Anagram (sorting) of OUT PAIN.
9. Upper – superior. S(UPPER).
10. Latch – that could open gate. Pul(L AT CH)ain.
11. Tax free – relieved of (excise) duty. Anagram (being upset) of EX AFTER.
12. Overshoot – go beyond. Filming is completed when the SHOOT is OVER.
14. Sip – drink. Is backwards (SI), quietly (P).
16. Nap – drop off. Raised fibres on a snooker table (NAP).
18. Half crown – old coin. CROWN is found in cap after a swift HALF (which, to date, I’ve never seen consumed at the bloggers and setters do’s – the full pint being the measure of choice).
21. Starlet – future celeb. Anagram (abuse) of RATTLES.
22. Shell – attack explosively. The woman is going to – SHE’LL.
23. Wilde – Irish writer. Homophone (when speaking) of wild.
24. Left off – renounced. The Labour Party (LEFT), not on (OFF).


1. Full moon – cryptic definition. I’d always know that the moon was ‘made of cheese’ but not that it was green. So ‘moon’ didn’t occur and I tried to imagine a cheese that I wasn’t familiar with – there are Port (left) Salut and various green coloured cheeses. I made up ‘full port’ for a while which seemed sort of reasonable as an answer but made 16ac impossible.
So, now I know the moon is ‘made of green cheese’ (the green being originally young/cream cheese) then this all makes a good and not too hard clue. If none of the moon has been ‘eaten away’ it’s a full moon.
2. Bottle – double definition. The second being a 20 bottle sized bottle.
3. Pith – substance – found under the skin of an orange. Mine (PIT), hard (H).
4. One two – combination of punches. Homophone (we hear) of landed – won (ONE), as well – too (TWO).
5. Quixotic – starry eyed. Anagram (developing) of COX I QUIT.
6. Operas – (musical) works. Penel(OPE RAS)hly.
7. Urge – drive. O(U)t(R)i(G)g(E)r.
13. St. Helier – in Channel is resort. E(STHER) holding rest (LIE).
15. Pond life – creatures in water. Anagram (for disturbing) of FIND POLE.
17. Pearly – London trader – I knew the term but not the detail: The tradition of Pearly Kings and Queens can be traced to London’s street traders. These traders used to elect representatives, known as “kings” in order to defend themselves against competitors and the police.
The tradition of bedecking themselves in pearls can be traced to a 19th century roadsweeper called Henry Croft. Nothing to do with the street trader “kings”, Croft decided to create a charity to help the poor. And in order to attract attention to himself whilst fundraising, he came up with the idea of sewing pearl buttons onto his clothes.
The traders latched onto the idea and followed suit. And it is the street trader “kings” who have since become associated with elaborate suits bedecked with pearls. An average Pearly King suit will have an amazing 35,000-odd buttons sewn on to it.
Made up from (P)ub, in good time (EARLY).
18. Let fly – attack. Permit (LET), cunning (FLY).
20. Oregon – US State. Source of metal (ORE), vanished mostly (GON)e.
21. Sawn – deal (the wood) is cut. Understood (SAW), point (N).
22. Sift – riddle. (S)phinx (I)s (F)or (T)heban.

24 comments on “Quick Cryptic 596 by Felix”

  1. Was heading for a (for me) fast time – sub 10 minutes – when 17d happened. DNK Pearly = trader. Didn’t see it from the cryptic and couldn’t think of any word that worked. So turned into a DNF.
  2. Wow, first comment. Only knew vague allusion to green cheese. HALF CROWN was a write-in as used to get that as a choirboy fee for weddings when I was eleven. The CIA Factbook describes Great Britain as ‘slightly smaller than’ 20d. 5’33”. Thanks setter and blogger.
  3. Not much to slow me down here, although I knew PEARLY only thanks to a 15×15 cryptic from some time back. Ditto for RIDDLE=sieve/sift. I naively thought that the ‘green cheese’ bit was universal among anglophones; interesting to meet an exception. I wonder if there’s anything regional to the difference. 4:50.
  4. I agree with the blogger a nice consistent level of clue throughout, one slight ? over LEFT OFF for renounced, I suppose to leave off a list is sort of renouncing but it seems a bit wishy washy, or am I missing something, won’t be the first time.
    A quick half in my golfing threeball is I buy a pint, you buy a pint and then he buys a pint, then we walk home, a “drink” is a taxi job.
    Nice blog and thanks setter. Just noticed a typo in the blog LET OFF for LEFT OFF

    Edited at 2016-06-21 09:31 am (UTC)

    1. To leave off also means to refrain from. He left off eating to answer the phone.
      Thanks for the typo. Cheers! 🍻

      Edited at 2016-06-21 09:40 am (UTC)

  5. Thanks setter and blogger. 90% done, I should have got the rest. COD 2d Bottle – hahaha. BD
  6. I obviously don’t drink enough champagne as was struggling to remember the story of Nebuchadnezzar. LOI for me. Happy with my 22 mins today,


  7. “Pearly King” clued as “trader” came up in the main cryptic within the past couple of weeks and I think it’s fair to say that most TftT contributors (including myself) didn’t know the trading connection though most of us knew the characters themselves, so 17dn was a bit of a gift for me today. I romped home in 9 minutes which was welcome after two harder puzzles on Friday and Monday.
  8. I grew up with the concept of the moon being made of green cheese!
    1 down was my first one in!
  9. After the rigours of Saturday, Monday’s puzzle (solved on a train which often helps)seemed reasonably straightforward -about 15 minutes. I see some found it difficult.
    Today’s puzzle was tougher for me but I agree with most of the comments to date-it was a good consistent test. My last two were 23a (always forget he’s Irish) and 17d (didn’t know the trader bit but clearly clued).Thought 1d clever and liked 11a. 23 minutes. Davd
  10. Found this one a good deal harder than yesterday. i am one of those who was familiar with the moon being made of green cheese, so enjoyed that clue. Never associated pearly with trader, but the London connection was a clear steer. Sift = riddle? Although I blogged it I don’t see the connection.
    1. Riddle also has a meaning of ‘to put through a sieve, sift’. A gardener may put soil into a coarse metal/wood sieve and riddle it – the soil falls through, any stones are unable to pass through the the grid. Well, good gardeners may – my soil just has to get on with it – much like the plants.
  11. 17:39 Easier than yesterday for me, just held up slightly at the end with FULL MOON and LET FLY.
  12. Thanks Chris for the complete guide to Mr Croft and the Pearly Kings – good stuff!
    A half-crown was really something back in the late fifties.
    9 minutes

    horryd Shanghai

  13. I found this one quite straightforward, and was pleased to finish in 7:30. Knew the pearly reference from the recent main cryptic. Had to think hardest about our Irish scribe for some reason, making it my LOI. Went off on a slight tangent thinking about gold frankincense and myrrh, before seeing the obvious BOTTLE.

    Edited at 2016-06-21 03:56 pm (UTC)

  14. I got a bit bogged down in the SW corner today and my parsing of 21d was a bit iffy (I think it’s the 2nd time I’ve been foxed by deal being a type of wood). I didn’t help myself by biffing St Helens for 13d, thereby making the Irish author a bit tricky. Finally completed in around 35 minutes over two sittings.
  15. Thoroughly enjoyable puzzle today. Thanks Felix. Some very neat misdirections but happily I spotted ‘deal’ and on the basis we couldn’t possibly be expected to experts on the King, Nebuchadnezzar had to mean something else and so eventually I twigged that too. 11a tax-free was another sleight of hand, by I still reckon 2d bottle as my COD. I note my comments are usually the last – mainly because I generally don’t begin until my costa-break late afternoon or early evening! Still someone has to be last.
    1. Comments/questions are alerted by email to the blogger days or months later – so don’t worry about time – just enjoy crypto-verbalising!
  16. SW corner did for me today, so a DNF, with PEARLY being one I really didn’t see. At 19d I had LOW for ‘cunning’ which made that clue another empty one.
  17. Nice puzzle

    Not sure somewhere between 22 and 32 mins but interrupted by phone calls. Nice puzzle, but agree with the dissenting comments above

    Incidentally there is a fine pub in Benfleet at the bottom of a hill. It used to be called the Crown, but a run-away lorry totalled it (now there is a word a compiler could use in a clue). Now it is rebuilt it is more modestly called the Half-Crown, with a suitable sign. Well worth the visit for the wit of the name alone.

    Paerly is again a bit dated and tenuous, but as a Londoner I got it.

    Edited at 2016-06-21 11:05 pm (UTC)

  18. I know about pearly kings and queens and their link with traders but how does pearly = trader
    Thought the bottle clue was brill and liked sawn
    1. Pearly, short for pearly King is a trader who defends his patch – I copied in a section about them for interest.
  19. I know about pearly kings and queens and their link with traders but how does pearly = trader
    Thought the bottle clue was brill and liked sawn

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