Quick Cryptic 600 by Orpheus

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
The milestone QC puzzles (today is #600) fall on my watch and I am always hoping the setter may have a special treat in store for us to mark the occasion. Unfortunately that’s not so today but nevertheless this one was very enjoyable and, with the exception of 20ac, fairly straightforward. It took me 9 minutes.

 As usual definitions are underlined in bold italics, {deletions are in curly brackets} and [indicators in square ones]

1 List of terms artist brought back in shiny cover (8)
GLOSSARY – RA (artist – Royal Academician) reversed [brought back] within [in]…GLOSSY (shiny)…[cover]
5 English film of heroic type (4)
EPIC – E (English), PIC (film)
9 Work leading to convulsive movement of the eye (5)
OPTIC – OP (work), TIC (convulsive movement). We don’t often have “of” as part of a definition, but here we’ve had two in a row!
10 Humorous drawing of box containing ring (7)
CARTOON – CARTON (box) containing O (ring)
11 Indicate reason behind this steeplechase (5-2-5)
POINT-TO-POINT – POINT TO (indicate), POINT (reason)
13 Abrupt about a European member of the clergy (6)
CURATE – CURT (abrupt) contains [about] A, E (European)
15 A small seabird away to the rear (6)
ASTERN – A, S (small), TERN (seabird)
17 Aunt save a dog somehow? That’s beneficial (12)
ADVANTAGEOUS – Anagram [somehow] of AUNT SAVE A DOG
20 Sound purchase Annie reassembled for two-year periods (7)
BIENNIA – BI sounds like “buy” (purchase), anagram [reassembled] of ANNIE. Not a word I’ve ever had the need to use but I think we all know “millennia” meaning “thousand-year periods” and “bi-” meaning “two” (as in bicycle) so it’s not that big a leap to the right answer. The wordplay is quite helpful too.
21 Scot’s cry of surprise about native pigment (5)
OCHRE – OCH (Scot’s cry of surprise), RE (about). I wasn’t sure why “native” was in the definition but I found this on Wikipedia: Ochre has been used for millennia by Aboriginal people in Australia and by natives in New Zealand for body decoration.
What had I just said about “millennia”?
22 Cheese produced in retirement? (4)
EDAM – MADE (produced) reversed [in retirement]. A variation on the ancient cracker-joke “What cheese is made backwards?”
23 Starting-point of excursion after broadcasts (8)
AIRSTRIP – AIRS (broadcasts), TRIP (excursion). I think the definition here has to be semi &lit. “Starting point” on its own would be insufficient whereas “starting point of excursion” sort of covers it. But it really needs a question mark as it’s very loose.
1 Convict upset about old place of confinement (4)
GAOL – LAG (convict) reversed [upset] contains [about] O (old)
2 Surpass unelected party? (5)
OUTDO – OUT (unelected), DO (party)
3 Sister’s deputy reportedly without parallel (6,2,4)
SECOND TO NONE – A nun’s (sister’s) deputy would be “second to nun” – sounds like [reportedly] NONE
4 Declaim liturgy without notes (6)
RECITE – RITE (liturgy – church service) contains E C (notes)
6 Guarantee concert is free at last (7)
PROMISE – PROM (concert), IS, {fre}E [at last]
7 Loyal worker upholding Conservative way (8)
CONSTANT – CON (Conservative), ST (way – street), ANT (worker)
8 Utterly absurd new supporter, so excited initially (12)
PREPOSTEROUS – anagram [new] of SUPPORTER SO E{xcited} [initially]
12 Move awkwardly — to do this to the eggs? (8)
SCRAMBLE – Two defintions, th esecond vaguely cryptic
14 Rhode Island girl touring one coastal region (7)
RIVIERA – RI (Rhode Island), VERA (girl) contains [touring] I (one)
16 Partly form a law in an African country (6)
MALAWI – Hidden in [partly] {for}M A LAW I{n}
18 Ancient city adopting female doorkeeper (5)
USHER – UR (ancient city) contains [adopting] SHE (female)
19 Give assistance to male with record (4)
HELP – HE (male), LP (record)

23 comments on “Quick Cryptic 600 by Orpheus”

  1. Found this pretty easy: 12:45, possibly a personal best. Also having recently consumed a bottle of Leffe.
  2. Nothing to scare the horses, although POINT-TO-POINT wouldn’t have come to me without some well-place checkers; I only know the term at all from a couple of 15×15 puzzles. Threw in, or tried to, ‘biennial’ (‘for 2-year periods’), then stupidly gave up and moved on. 4:32.
  3. 13.10 with 20ac BIENNIA holding things up.

    Agree that 23ac AIRSTRIP was a little deficient on cluing.


    horryd Shanghai

  4. Agree with all the comments above except my COD is 8d. 23a is a bit weak and two of the long ones 3d and 11a were write ins, but a gentle start to the week. Thanks setter and blogger. Nice to see UR back in favour again.
  5. May I encourage any beginners who are making good progress on this Quick crossword to try the 15 x 15 today?
    1. By all means have a go but be aware that there are 3 or 4 difficult answers for which wordplay and checkers will probably be needed.
  6. Another sub-20, at 18:13. COD was ‘SECOND TO NONE’. Really not sure about BIENNIA, seems like a back-formation from Millennia. I’d be amazed at any current usage. Also I don’t like ‘notes’ in 4d for a pair of letters from A to G, which gives 49 possibilities. Liked ‘OCH’ for a Scot’s cry of surprise, haven’t seen that before.
    1. The Oxford English Dictionary has BIENNIUM as:

      1. Classical Hist. A period of two years, considered as a unit under a calendar system employing intercalation. Usages cited: earliest 1699, most recent 2009.

      2. A (fiscal) period of two years. Usages cited: earliest 1850, most recent 2006.

      BIENNIA is listed as the plural.

      Edited at 2016-06-27 05:12 pm (UTC)

  7. Hello,
    I’ve only been doing these for a few weeks and found this the easiest so far, coming in around 15 mins.

    But was a bit stuck on 23ac where I had Newstrip. Obviously it didn’t fit with 16dn.

    Thanks for the explanations, also didn’t know re for native but got it from Och.

    1. Hello, stowic and welcome! I’m not sure if I have understood your point about 21ac correctly but RE is clued by “about” (as the subject of a letter or email might be: Re something or other). “Native” is part of the definition. Best regards.
    2. Welcome, and that’s a very decent time for someone a few weeks in. Took me a few months to start posting sub 30 mins times regularly.
      1. Thank you. Not a complete novice as I used to attempt the Everyman a few years back (before children). Now that they’re a bit older, I’m trying to get my brain in working order again.
  8. I think this is &lit since for nearly all of us we get called to the plane by PA announcements. The weakness of the clue is that 1) this also applies to trains and 2) that it could equally be clued ‘end-point’; so a ? or ‘possibly’ may be appropriate. We now have a cohort of QCs! PB today 3’33”.
  9. fairly straightforward start to the week I thought. i agree with all the comments about 23ac, but having said that we all seemed to have solved it so the clue did its job.
  10. A nice straightforward start to the week, completed in 14 minutes. LOI 23a, COD 16d
  11. I agree that full &lit may be a better option. Your “possibility” is the standard alternative to my “question mark” suggestion.
  12. Agree this pretty straightforward but held by 23a airstrip as although having the ..strip, it took me ages to remember air/s for broadcast. With this hold-up it must have taken me the best part of an hour! Had a good week last week, hoping for the same this….
  13. Can anyone explain to me please why 4d is r(e,c)ite? I understand rite and notes, but why ‘without’? I thought that would mean take something away, not add it. Thanks.
    1. Without can mean “outside” as well as “lacking”. There’s an example often quoted from a popular hymn “There is a green hill far away without a city wall…”, but I doubt many people know that these days. Think of it as the opposite of “within”.
  14. My quickest time ever 26:55, might not seem fast to you experts, but I’m pleased with myself. LOI 23a really slowed me down. Thanks Orpheus
    1. Well done, Joyce, and keep up the good work. It’s not all about speed. Enjoyment comes first!

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