Quick Cryptic 604 by Oran

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
Favourite clue 6d, with 10a a close runner up. LOI 9a for no good reason!
Thank you Oran.

1 Sensitive skin’s also something dangerously absorbent: QUICKSAND
Sensitive skin’s = QUICKS, also = AND
6 Sink made of silicon and silver: SAG
Silicon = S, silver = AG
8 Clothing of paper arranged in a line: APPAREL
Anagram (arranged) of PAPER, inside a line = A L
9 Appropriate, having sound of metal alloy: STEAL
Homophone (sound) of metal alloy = STEEL
10 The setter’s technique is a big hit!: MY WAY
Setter’s = MY, technique = WAY
12 Simpleton: one ending up in the soup NOODLE
Double definition , on e cryptic
14 Service that initially would be FAR back: Royal Air Force
reversal (back) of FAR gives the initial letters of the answer
16 A bomb explodes: then commando finally shoots?: BAMBOO
Anagram (explodes) of A BOMB, then final letter of commandO
17 Language of southern Italy recalled: LATIN
Reversed hidden word
19 Left port with heavy load: LADEN
Left = L, port = ADEN
20 Miss out end of word in old bit of puzzle: EXCLUDE
End of worD = D, old = EX, bit of puzzle = CLUE
22 Right to speak, for example: SAY
Double definition
23 Billy’s mate’s attack on nurse: NANNY GOAT
Attack on = GO AT, nurse = NANNY

1 Paper covering AGM’s awkward predicament: QUAGMIRE
Paper = QUIRE, covering AGM
2 A single politician the cause of mischief : IMP
A single = I, politician = MP
3 King and Queen visiting important Irish county: KERRY
King and Queen = RR, inside important = KEY
4 Great sea turning into a canal etc: ATLANTIC OCEAN
Anagram (turning) of INTO A CANAL ETC
5 Quickly leave a bit of Morse code out: DASH OFF
A bit of Morse = DASH, out = OFF
6 Suspect someone of desertion: SMELL A RAT
Cryptic definition
7 Bird not quite making channel: GULL
Not quite a channel = GULL(y)
11 Western lady wary when moving around erratically: WAYWARDLY
Anagram (moving around) of W(estern) LADY WARY
13 Check outlet pipe? Needless to do this to wheel: REINVENT
Check = REIN, ouet pipe = VENT
15 State prohibition handled by Trotsky: LEBANON
Prohibition = BAN, inside Trotsky = LEON
17 Fortunate and bold, but losing head: LUCKY
Bold without head = (p)LUCKY
18 A girl said I’m sorry: ALAS
Homophone (said) of a girl = A LASS
21 Mysterious item in roof unexpectedly turning up: UFO
Hidden reversed word

35 comments on “Quick Cryptic 604 by Oran”

  1. Found this a bit of a mixture, 15d particularly good. Silicon should always be Si in my book, not S, that’s sulphur, especially as Ag is used for silver. 14a a disappointing right in but balanced by 1a and others. On the whole thank you Oran and thank you blogger.
  2. Enjoyed the puzzle, but bit confused about 6a. I thought Si = Silicon, S = Sulphur
  3. 20:20 on the clock, which is a pleasing time as it can be clued: ‘Perfect Vision for cricket (6,6)’

    Agree that having ‘S’ for silicon in a clue that also has ‘Ag’ for silver is, frankly, poor. Still, other clues make up for this such as the COD 23a. My LOI was REINVENT, which was another good one, although I had ‘tap’ rather than ‘vent’ for ‘outlet pipe’.

    5 solid finishes this week, I finally think I am getting the hang of this. Thanks to all bloggers!

  4. A very nice puzzle that got me back on form after a couple of more difficult days. 7 minutes.

    Emma, I think the “I” in 2dn is clued by “a single”. I believe “I” for “A” or vice-versa is a no-no, at least in Times crosswords.

  5. With the 1ac QUICKSAND somewhat hard to enter I ended up with 10.30 on the clock. Then it was straight into the 1dn QUAGMIRE

    I tend sometimes to forget that this is cryptic unlike the usual
    smaller versions.

    COD 10 ac MY WAY with Ole Blue Eyes anthem.

    horryd shanghai

  6. Jack,

    I note that Aussie David Astle in his book ‘Puzzled – Secrets and clues in a life of words (Profile Books, 2012) uses the term ‘signpost’ for the anagram inicator. Geoffrey Rush the actor noted Astle’s book as ‘The Sergeant Pepper of cryptic crosswords.

    horryd Shanghai

    1. It is almost sad that you have such a hang up with harmless terminology…


  7. I found this very hard and took more than three hours and even then I could not parse KERRY. I think it should be RR inside KEY!!
    1. Yes, you are right! Thanks – amended. I saw the answer and didn’t think properly about the parsing. Must do better!
  8. A good challenge for a Friday. Not sure about 22ac. Also, isn’t QUICKSAND super-saturated rather than absorbent? (more science). 6’38” today, and the 15×15 well worth doing.
    1. I took “dangerously absorbent” to refer to the danger quicksand poses to life by its ability to suck people down.
    1. I pointed out the error in the Crossword forum and got this response from the Times Crossword Editor:

      Oran is a keen student of chemistry: there is no accounting sometimes for Homer’s nods!


      For those who aren’t familiar with the reference it basically means “nobody’s perfect”.

  9. Almost a complete write in today. Held up momentarily by 13d which is therefore my COD. Brain obviously still keyed in after yesterday’s somewhat brutal 15X15.
  10. I hate it when the 1ac/1d pairing doesn’t fall out quickly, so I knew today was going to be a bit of a struggle. It was certainly a good work out, with some nice surfaces (16ac), but my favourite was LOI 13d. Invariant
  11. 16:30 here. Either these puzzles are getting easier, or I’m getting better at them.
  12. About 25 mins for me, so a very achievable puzzle and I thought some excellent clues today. I particularly liked Reinvent and Dash Off.
  13. Started with 14a and solved from bottom up mainly. Some very nice clues e.g.10a.
    Kept returning to 1a and 1d and they were my last two; I got Quicksand first. 22 minutes. David
  14. Met up with a friend to do this, had trouble getting into it after sag and gull in quickly. Had all the signs of a DNF, but we finally, got on Oran’s wavelength. Still 45 mins – which we’re pleased with. Thanks Oran.
      1. I wouldn’t have sent that anonymously if I’d known how to give a name. All I was offered was Facebook, etc.
        1. You can sign up to a free LJ account at he top of this page. Alternatively you can continue to post anonymously but add a name or pseudonym at the end of the message – quite a few regulars do that. Welcome to TftT, anyway!
  15. Good challenge for me. My Way was a great clue. As soon as I saw Irish County I was about to scribble MAYO as we have not had it for a couple of weeks. But it didn’t fit.

    I try to save my last clue for my Wife from HK. Today she got NOODLE in A flash. I love her wonton soup!

  16. A difficult one to start off but turned out OK. Thx to the blog for explaining the right way to some of the answers! My vote for COD 15d Lebanon. LOI between 12d reinvent and 20a exclude. Full house this week and the quickest was about 50 minutes. Thx to Oran.
  17. I thought this was quite straightforward and an enjoyable solve, with the exception of 14a, which I think is the least satisfying clue I’ve come across in 600 odd QCs. Why the capitalisation, it’s like pointing a big red arrow at the key part of the clue.

    But whinge over I thought the 1a/1d clues were excellent, as was my LOI 13d. Completed in 13 minutes.

    1. “Why the capitalisation, it’s like pointing a big red arrow at the key part of the clue.”

      The capitalisation is there because it’s the RAF and not the raf. While case is not observed in the answers, it is in the clues. So to avoid inaccuracy, it’s either got to be “a long way back” or “far in capitals” or something similar. And that would be pushing it for difficulty in the Quick.


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