Quick Cryptic 605 by Rongo

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
I must confess to rather a lot of biffing in this puzzle, though obviously having to write a blog for it meant that the parsing had to be faced at some point. A couple of words from slightly off the beaten track (8A and 6D) but generally a pleasant solve involving accessible vocabulary rather than a gruelling Monday workout scouring the farthest reaches of Chambers. Thanks, Rongo.

The puzzle can be found here if the usual channels are unavailable: http://feeds.thetimes.co.uk/puzzles/crossword/20160704/17050/

Definitions are underlined.

1 Heavy book about anger, small and boring (8)
TIRESOMETOME (Heavy book), about IRE (anger) + S (small)
5 Hot gold left in takings from robbery? (4)
HAULH (Hot) + AU (gold, i.e. the chemical symbol) + L (left)
8 Honey collector arranged Asia trip (8)
APIARIST – anagram of (arranged) ASIA TRIP. I.e. a beekeeper
9 Ditch defence seen on outskirts of Montserrat (4)
MOATMO{ntserr}AT (outskirts of Montserrat, i.e. the outer letters of the word “Montserrat”). Though constructions such as “outskirts” usually refer to just the first and last letters of a word, they can also (as in this case) refer to a number of letters at the beginning and end.
11 Air transport moving the police, right? (10)
HELICOPTER – anagram of (moving) THE POLICE R (right)
14 Excitement until going round sides of helter-skelter (6)
THRILLTILL (until) around H{elter-skelte}R (sides of helter-skelter, i.e. the first and last letters of the word “helter-skelter”)
15 Encourage female to replace head of staff list (6)
FOSTER – ROSTER (staff list), with F (female) replacing the first letter (head)
17 Seen in Durham, bass adores diplomat (10)
AMBASSADOR – hidden (Seen) in DurhAM BASS ADORes. The surface presumably references a singer rather than a fish.
20 Brown tail of shark in aquarium (4)
TANKTAN (Brown) + {shar}K (tail of shark, i.e. the last letter of the word “shark”)
21 Height from position seeing lake for the first time (8)
ALTITUDEATTITUDE (position) but with L (lake) replacing the first T (time). I initially thought the parsing of this was some manipulation of the word “latitude”.
22 Identity of second Santa helper (4)
SELFS (second) + ELF (Santa helper)
23 One who unevenly paints nude on the run? (8)
STREAKER – double definition, the second most often seen at sporting events
1 What changed melting of ice caps, eg? (4)
THAW – anagram of (changed) WHAT
2 Control for horses and half of antlered deer (4)
REINREIN{deer} (half of antlered deer, i.e. half ot the word “reindeer”). The “deer” in the clue kind of telegraphs how to reach the answer – I wouldn’t have objected to something a bit more oblique.
3 Son adjusted semi-rural art style (10)
SURREALISMS (Son) + anagram of (adjusted) SEMIRURAL
4 Fragmented picture of Biblical patriarch (6)
MOSAIC – double definition, the second the adjective meaning (Chambers) “Of or relating to Moses”
6 Person losing faith in a job turned to food? (8)
APOSTATEA + POST (job) + ATE (turned to food?) The slightly odd way of clueing ATE is for the sake of the surface. When I was a teenager, I read and reread (many times) the fantasy works of David Eddings, in which there was a character called Zedar the Apostate, and the word has remained in my head since. Unfortunately, when I tried reading the books again a couple of years ago (i.e. in my early 40s), they had retained none of the appeal that I had enjoyed at the time – perhaps not an uncommon occurrence.
7 Suited to books read aloud, careless rubbish lacking substance? (8)
LITERARY – homophone of (read aloud) LITTER (careless rubbish) + AIRY (lacking substance)
10 Train driver’s crazy reason for acting (10)
LOCOMOTIVELOCO (crazy) + MOTIVE (reason for acting)
12 Unfinished map book isn’t distorting sunken land (8)
ATLANTISATLA{s} (Unfinished map book, i.e. the word “atlas” without its last letter) + anagram of (distorting) ISN’T
13 Court hearing about bread product (8)
TRIBUNALTRIAL (hearing) about BUN (bread product). Perhaps to provide a ruling on the age-old “Is a hot dog a sandwich?” conundrum.
16 Putting everything in gamble, it may require some fancy footwork (6)
BALLETALL (everything) in BET (gamble)
18 Initially, jeweller’s usually not keeping worthless stuff (4)
JUNK – first letters of (Initially) Jeweller’s Usually Not Keeping
19 Women’s ability for music or sport (4)
WEARW (Women’s) + EAR (ability for music), with the definition to be read as a verb

25 comments on “Quick Cryptic 605 by Rongo”

  1. I made a bit of a meal of this, taking 28:14. WEAR was my last in. Agree with blogger – a lot of bunging in and parsing later.
  2. No real problems here, although I got HELICOPTER by thinking ‘police’=cop, and biffing from there. 4:57.
  3. 15 minutes for this one. My worst time for a while. Historically, judging by my solving times, Rongo has proved to be one of the setters of more difficult puzzles with 15 of his 23 to date taking me over 10 minutes. His more recent ones have been on the easier side of things, so today marks a return to previous form. Or of course I could just have been having a bad day of it. I think the somewhat lengthy clues, particularly on the Down side may have had something to do with it, plus my being rather tired as I may have nodded off occasionally before I’d read to the end of them.

    Edited at 2016-07-04 05:05 am (UTC)

  4. Locomotive was my last one as was thinking it was a word for a driver of a train. Is locomotive not just a train? Not sure where the “driver” part comes in.
    1. A locomotive, for me anyway, is the lead car in the train, the one with the engine; so it is what drives the train.
      1. Agreed. “Drive” can be defined as “Cause (an object) to move by applying force to it; propel” and that’s exactly what a locomotive engine does to a train.
    2. .. is something that moves something else from one state to another, either geographically or mentally etc.
      derived from the latin. locum = place, motivus = reson, driver, imperetive (or indeed motive!)
      “Driver” is not necessarily a human being, but the motive or force that commands action.
      Big favourite of management consultants who talk about the drivers for things, they never mean people
    3. Sorry for not explaining this in the blog, and thanks to others for chipping in with the correct interpretation. When I first solved the clue, I made a mental note that it wasn’t necessarily an obvious definition (a bit like sport in 19D) but unfortunately that mental note never made it into the written blog.
  5. On the trickier side, took a while to get going then ground to a halt on 15a where I nearly biffed ROSTER then saw the light. I agree with Richard, a locomotive is not a driver. Some rather clunky clues but on the whole a good cobweb clearer on a Monday morning, thanks Rondo and blogger, I too have slight misgivings about 9a and 6d.
    1. To drive: to impel by physical force.
      By this definition a locomotive is indeed a driver, not just the person on strike who should be in the cab 😉.
      Steady 5’30”
  6. 18 minutest to get all but 19d and then a further 10 minutes figuring how wear related to sport – got there in the end though. I tried creating a new word in 1a, but even to me torageme didn’t look quite right. COD 9a for no particular reason, it just appealed to me.

    Thanks mohn, your mention of David Eddings took me back a few years – I loved those books, although for some reason I have no memory Zedar the Apostate

    1. He wasn’t one of the main characters. His background was that he was a disciple of Aldur but then changed sides to Torak, hence the Apostate. He kills Durnik at the end of the first series of books, for which Belgarath entombs him alive in stone for all eternity (which might be considered a bit harsh as Durnik is then brought back to life).

      The Eddings books were a much easier read than some of the other fantasy authors that I tried at the time, e.g. Stephen Donaldson and Julian May, which I think was one source of their appeal. Also, the first editions had some great cover art, which was inexplicably ditched for subsequent editions. My comments in the blog were actually based on rereading the second series, but I’m now thinking I should find the time to reread the first one again. It is kind of disappointing though when things that you loved as a child/teenager turn out to be not so great when re-experienced years later, so I almost wonder whether I should leave the memories undisturbed.

  7. Tough for a Monday I thought. CODs 15ac and 7d. 8’45”. Thanks blogger and setter.
  8. Quite quick, at least by my recent sluggish standards, but then stumped by 19d, so a DNF start to the week. Invariant
  9. Thanks Rongo – my fastest and best result yet but I failed to see “wear” as “sport”. No problem with “moat” – four letters for outskirts are fine!
  10. Having had a few failures recently, I was pleased to finish this. Tough work-out for a Monday morning. 23ac really appealed to me, as did several others when I finally figured them. So thanks setter, much enjoyed.
  11. This felt an oddity. A lot of simple write ins but then a few that took a terribly involved process of parsing. 10d and 19d were really tricky. 10d was obvious with the crossers but I didn’t see the driver bit….not a normal way of describing it but I suppose strictly ok.
  12. A good start to my week with some write-ins and some tricky ones too. No problem with 10d locomotive as being loco + having a motive seemed pretty clear to me. 19d wear took ages to twig wear as in ‘sporting a cravat’ or similar. COD 23a streaker brought a wry smile – also LOI. Thx to Rongo and our blogger for the more detailed explanations.
    1. Looking through the archives, it’s rare that we get any hiddens with 10 letters or more, whether in the Quicky, main cryptic, or Jumbo, but this one came up in the Sunday Telegraph a few years ago:

      Gambling device from casino near Med band itself extracted (3-5,6)

      Obviously the longer the phrase gets, the harder it is to hide it in a convincing surface, but this one isn’t too bad.

  13. Like some others, I made heavy weather of this.
    I had a quick look at the main cryptic before I started and there are some easy clues in there so I thought I was on form. But I struggled with this QC.My LOI was 10d which may illustrate my point. Having got the answers, they seemed obvious -perhaps the sign of a good puzzle?

    Needed three sessions due to interruptions -about 45 minutes in total. David

  14. nice puzzle – 17 mins, but that included catching and boarding train, finding seat showing ticket etc. Also very impressed with length of embedded ambassador, a word that makes me shudder having misspelt it with a T at the end in a spelling bee age 12 (48 years ago)
    1. Not quite the same as your story, but I remember being humiliated in class aged about 8 for spelling Derbyshire as Darbishire. Though I knew full well how to spell the county, I’d recently been reading the Jennings books (in which his best friend is called Darbishire) and my mind used that spelling instead. Funny (?) how these things can stay burned in your brain for decades!

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