Quick Cryptic 610 by Tracy

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
When I came to blog this puzzle it seemed quite straightforward but the solving of it took me 13 minutes, 3 over my target and more like double what I really hope to achieve. The GK content is quite high for a QC but I don’t think there’s anything too obscure apart perhaps from a character from Trojan legend and an American actress who died 27 years ago who may not be familiar to some younger contributors.  Here’s my blog…

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

1 Treated as canards — her prophecies were (9)
CASSANDRA – Anagram [treated] of AS CANARDS. Although part of the clue is clearly wordplay, I think the definition has to be &lit since one needs to take the clue as a whole in order to make sense of it. A canard is a false report or a hoax, and according to legend it was Cassandra’s curse that her prophecies were treated as such.
6 Price cut for lettuce (3)
COS – COS{t} (price) [cut]
8 Running tests on hat (7)
STETSON –  Anagram [running] of TESTS ON
9 Girl in French city (5)
NANCY – Two definitions
10 Bloomer at university, interrupting endless row (5)
LUPIN – UP (at university) contained by [interrupting] LIN{e} (row) [endless]
12 Colour of biscuit — about to disappear! (6)
MAROON – MA{ca}ROON (biscuit) [ca = about, to disappear]
14 Method of solving a problem in heart of Africa — a land in panic (5,3,5)
TRIAL AND ERROR – {af}RI{ca} [heart of…] + A, LAND enclosed by [in] TERROR (panic). Apart from hiddens it’s quite unusual to have a four-letter word in the clue that’s to be lifted directly  into the answer.
16 Expedition heading for Sumatra, a distant island (6)
SAFARI – S{umatra} [heading], A, FAR (distant), I (island)
17 Groom about to be put in prison (5)
PREEN – RE (about) put in PEN (prison – penitentiary)
19 Pick up some jungle animals (5)
GLEAN – Hidden inside [some] {jun}GLE AN{imals}. Originally gleaning was to pick up ears of corn or other produce left behind by reapers in the field, but it is also used figuratively to pick up information, for example.
20 There’s nothing to get worked up about on waste ground (2,5)
NO SWEAT –  Anagram [ground] of ON WASTE
22 English bishop’s sin (3)
ERR – E (English), RR (bishop – Right Reverend – which came up only last week)
23 Limit beer in grounds (9)
RATIONALE – RATION (limit), ALE (beer)
1 Choose randomly from play’s actors, a great many (4,4)
CAST LOTS – CAST (play’s actors), LOTS (a great many)
2 Prosecute / girl (3)
SUE – Two definitions
3 Runs in a boy for fire-raising (5)
ARSON – A, R (runs), SON (boy)
4 Vermouth’s not to be referred to, not at all (4,7,2)
DON’T MENTION IT – DON’T MENTION (not to be referred to), IT (vermouth – Italian)
5 Trainee jumping racecourse (7)
AINTREE – Anagram [jumping] of TRAINEE
6 Lobby Tory over hunt (9)
CONCOURSE – CON (Tory), COURSE (hunting). “Over” places one element of the answer above the other in a Down clue.
7 Extremely stark, the old Hebridean island (4)
SKYE – S{tar}K [extremely], YE (the, old)
11 Penny had a meal on board river vessel (9)
PRIVATEER – P (penny), ATE (had a meal) enclosed by [on board] RIVER
13 Dark lady, Ms Davis, about to direct (8)
BRUNETTE – BETTE (Ms Davis) contains [about] RUN (direct). Bette Davis (1908-1989)
15 Student beginning in little job that pays (7)
LEARNER – L{ittle} [beginning], EARNER (job that pays)
17 Bother over sauce (5)
PESTO – PEST (bother), O (over). I think we have to read “bother” as a noun for this to work.
18 Monster seen in bog, recently (4)
OGRE – Hidden [seen in] {b}OG RE{cently}
21 Greek character having high tea (3)
ETA – Anagram [high] of TEA. Anagrist and anagrind rather well concealed in full view here, I thought.

19 comments on “Quick Cryptic 610 by Tracy”

  1. I was wondering who Jack meant when referring to the actress; I biffed that one from checkers (the only Ms. Davis who came to mind, irrelevantly, was Angela, the black American militant). At 14ac, I typed in the AND and waited for some checkers to arrive. Fortunately, I’ve learned from the 15x15s that AINTREE is a racecourse, or 5d might have taken me some time. 5:57.
  2. Tough one today, with four clues missed even with extensive checkers. 12a very tough for QC, as tempted with MIRAGE for ‘about to disappear’, missed 13d, 23a and 6d also. Thanks to blogger, but doing crossword on holiday seems to impair the performance.
    1. I was being rained on in Wales last week and gave the 15×15 a go on Thurs/Fri. Very nearly finished both. So maybe by later this week you will we the benefit!
  3. Flying start, then delayed by SE. It’s worth knowing the Greek alphabet, otherwise classicists and mathematicians are at an advantage. Kim Carnes sang about ‘Bette Davis Eyes’, which is enjoyable, even if one is not familiar with the star. 6’47” today, thanks jack and Tracy.
  4. Also ‘UP’ for University is only used for Oxbridge, other universities are not treated as being so elevated. I maintain that only those similarly educated use it: everyone else uses ‘go’ to University. It reveals much about the speaker and their view on education, Times obit writers, I’m looking at you.

    Edited at 2016-07-11 09:21 am (UTC)

    1. That’s interesting, Merlin. I’ve never come across it before and the Concise Oxford notes that usage by adding “especially Oxford or Cambridge”. But colloquially, as recorded elsewhere in that entry and the other usual sources, it can also be applied more widely. However I think most people these days say “at yew-knee” anyway! More’s the pity.

      Edited at 2016-07-11 10:08 am (UTC)

      1. I went to London and it was always referred to as “Up”. Most people would also mention going up to London (nothing to do with the University)so I am not quite sure if it was referring to up to University or up to London. Those unfortunates who did not get to complete their degree for one reason or another were also refrerred to as being “sent down”, so I guess that was the reverse of up.

        Edited at 2016-07-11 05:16 pm (UTC)

        1. “Up” to London is a reference to the Victorian railway convention of the ‘up’ line being towards the capital and the ‘down’ line coming away from it. Going up to university and subsequently coming down is equally archaic and certainly more elitist and (thankfully) rarely heard these days outside CW land.
          Otherwise a sterling workout for a Monday QC that actually took me longer than the 15×15! Some sort of perverse record for me.
          11’30” v 10′ dead.
  5. That wasn’t easy. Took me about an hour (with a couple of breaks) to complete. I had to resort to running through the alphabet a couple of times to finally get my LOI 13d, not being familiar with the actress. I didn’t parse 12a – I had images of a ship disappearing off into the distance after being marooned on an island going through my head. Also had forgotten the Vermouth/it connection.
    Thanks for blog jack – it cleared up all my queries as usual
  6. At first I thought it was going to be a doddle but like others got stuck in the SE corner, trying to fit in retardant for 23ac. I knew Bette Davis from the song, I remember my mother being very dismissive about her eyes as a child. Struggled to parse 12ac and 14ac. Thanks to blogger & setter, a good challenge.
  7. Wow, tough start to the week and pleased to complete it. 12ac definitely my favourite. 11d puzzled me for a long time as I was trying to find a river that would fit rather than using the word river. Bit sneaky I thought!! similarly 14a and the use of the word land.
  8. Finished the 15×15, which does not happen often, before the QC. Held up by LOI 6d and 13d. I have to rate this as the toughest for a while, but with a number of lovely clues, 1a very clever. Thanks for the blog and thanks Tracy.
  9. Started quickly in the NW, but then hit a wall in the SE with 13, 17, 20 and 23 causing problems. This was a very tough start to the week, even by Tracy standards. Invariant
  10. I thought this was a very tricky start to the week. 14a was a very hard clue, high as an anagrist (right word?) in 21d was sneaky and I must have missed Right Reverend last week. I also spent ages trying to get ate into barge or something equivalent in 11d, and only spotted ‘up’ in Lupin at the very end to make some sense of the clue. Got there in the end but in about an hour and a half.
    1. Hi, Ant45,

      RR for bishop was in QC607 by Izetti last Wednesday.

      Since you’ve queried it in your posting, “high” is the anagram indicator in 21dn aka the “anagrind”. “Anagrist” consists of the letters to be used in the anagram, so TEA in this case.

      Hope this helps.

      Edited at 2016-07-11 07:40 pm (UTC)

  11. As normal Tracy was a tease by throwing us easy-peasy starters across the top line and then making think a bit. Only real problem was PRIVATEER that was new to me, but gettable from the clue when all the other clues were done. Thanks Tracy and Jack
  12. This didn’t seem too difficult after what I thought an exceptionally hard puzzle on Saturday.
    I did pause over Cast Lots (not a phrase I knew) and Privateer (gettable but obscure).
    1a went straight in and few hold ups. No exact time but under 20 minutes. David
  13. Some that were particularly obscure for me and it took some courage (out of desperation!) to convince myself of 10a lupine and 17a preen. COD 12d brunette.

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