Quick Cryptic 601 by Tracy

A magic crossword at a good QC level – 10 minutes. Quite a lot of turning bits of word play and a French novelist to keep us on our toes but nothing too hard. Thanks Tracy – very enjoyable


1. Tick – double definition.
3. Armchair – piece of furniture. Church (CH) collected by member (ARM) and look (AIR – in the sense of has a look of – has an air of).
8. Knees up – lively party. Joint’s (KNEES), at an end (UP).
10. Actor – player. Agent f(ACTOR) overlooking (missing) fine (F).
11. Bitter lemon – drink. Beer (BITTER), anagram (possibly) of ON ME after pol(L).
13. Castle – keep. Left (L) in station (CASTE). Caste as defined by ‘any social class or system based on such distinctions as heredity, rank etc’ – as in station in life.
15. Scrape – tight corner. Waste (SCRAP), energy (E).
17. Money for jam – easy pickings. Anagram (excited) of ON MY FARM JOE.
20. B and B – guesthouse. Ring (BAND), bishop (B).
21. At least – if nothing else. Finally (AT LAST) consuming (E)ggs.
22. Lancelot – legendary knight. (Knight’s) weapon, item at auction (LOT).
23. I Spy – children’s game. Th(IS PY)ramid.


1. Take back – return. Accept (TAKE), support (BACK).
2. Cheat – fiddle. Talk (CHAT) around valuabl(E).
4. Ripple – little wave. Penny (P) in an anagram (at sea) of PERIL.
5. Charm school – cryptic definition.
6. Antenna – aerial. Social worker (ANT), girl (ANNE) upwards/backwards.
7. Rare – seldom seen. King (R), anagram (deformed) of EAR.
9. Spelling bee – competition. Pun on magician and spells.
12. Geometry – maths subject. For example – e.g upset (GE), anagram (badly) of TROY ME.
14. Simenon – French novelist. Is turned upside down (SI), guys (MEN), against (ON as in resting on). The novelist was only vaguely familiar to me but rose out of the memory given the clueing.
16. Dynamo – energetic type. S(O MANY D)uties – all upwards.
18. Jeans – article of clothing. Short joke (JES)t around article (AN). A 15×15 may have left out the extra ‘article’ in the clue.
19. Abel – murder victim. Lincoln (ABE), lake (L).

14 comments on “Quick Cryptic 601 by Tracy”

  1. Slow starting, as I recall. At 17ac all I could think of was ‘money for old rope’, which wouldn’t fit. 5:22.
  2. Enjoyed that. My only carp is I believe Simenon was Belgian, although I suppose he wrote in Franch, I may be wrong, and generally am. Apart from that a good middle of the road puzzle with a number of good surfaces. Thanks Tracy and blogger

    Edited at 2016-06-28 08:53 am (UTC)

    1. Simenon was certainly Belgian, and is one of the list of six famous Belgians along with Rene Magritte and… well, I can’t remember the others, which rather proves the point
  3. 27:13. Was not sure why ‘social’ was needed to additionally clue ‘worker’, which usually suffices for ‘ant’ at 6d. Never seen a (1,3,1) clue before, but after one ‘B’ it fell into place. COD was ABEL, and LOI 10a, which I did not parse. Those ‘takeaway’ clues, where you take from a synonym are tough, I really struggled with 18d, which was similar. Thanks to blogger for enlightening me on that one, I was tempted to put ‘after’ in, with the checkers of A_T_R, as F for Fine had to go somewhere.
  4. 10a, 13a, 18d pushing the limits of QC acceptability I thought. CASTE as ‘station’ particularly tough.
    1. Agree, those ‘takeaway’ clues are one level of abstraction too many for the QC.
  5. Was stuck for ages with 1a and 2d remaining, as a result of putting BARLEY LEMON for 11a. Eventually I resorted to the “check” button, and after knowing where the mistake was I was done 20 seconds later. 32:35
    1. Ah, Barley Lemon, or Lemon Barley, actually. How redolent of Wimbledon in a bygone era! Sadly the players all drink their own concoctions these days. Which reminds me I have an appointment on Centre Court in a few moments.
  6. This was a lovely puzzle which I finished dead on my 30 minute target, with only 10A un-parsed. I was held up in the NE corner, but once I got 11A (great clue) the rest fell in place.
  7. Got there in the end, but quite a struggle and needed two sittings to get the last few. Maigret fans of Rupert’s vintage will have had no trouble with 14d ! Invariant
  8. I thought this was a really good puzzle, plenty of clues that needed some thought but rewarded me with a number of light bulb moments (13a and 19d) and rueful smiles (the 2 magic clues). Eventually completed in 26 minutes with 10a, my LOI, unparsed. COD was 13a
  9. I figured ACTOR must be right as my last clue but just could not get why. So thanks Chris for the blog!

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