Quick Cryptic 614 by Mara

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
Some tricky, but fun, clues here. I had 11a as my LOI, not because the word play was hard, but because I had in my mind the ‘doing well’ meaning of flourish rather than the ‘waving around’ meaning. Guessed 5d without thinking, then puzzled a while over parsing it for the blog; also liked 6d with its use of a linking word as the anagram fodder.
Thank you Mara.

I think my time is up as blogger here. If anyone would like to take over the Friday quick crossword, please reply here.

7 Tread on fruit: SQUASH
Double definition
8 Sound German songs for first violinist: LEADER
Homophone (sound) of German songs = LIEDER
9 European pub boarding capital in fact: FINN
Capital in F(act), next to pub = INN
10 Heading for library: repeat, able to read: LITERATE
Heading for L(ibrary), repeat = ITERATE
11 Cereal husks and peach flourish: BRANDISH
Cereal husks = BRAN, peach = DISH ie someone who’s dishy
13 Crackers, or what you need them for?: NUTS
Semi&lit, I think, in that the definition is part of the clue, as usual, and the whole clue also leads to the answer. If this isn’t right. I’m sure I will be corrected!
15 Rubbish bin leaking at home, initially: BLAH
First letters (initially) clue
16 Catastrophe in England is as terrible: DISASTER
Hidden word
18 Influential villain ending in tears, leaving broken: SVENGALI
Anagram (broken) of (ending in tear)S LEAVING; seen Svengali in another crossword recently, so already in my mind
20 State rejecting cap on undergraduates at first: UTAH
U(ndergraduates at first), followed by (on) reversal of cap = HAT
21 Briton behind mum, lucky thing: MASCOT
Mum = MA, Briton = SCOT
22 Insect then, or fishy: HORNET
Anagram (fishy) of THEN OR

1 Hide a rodent: SQUIRREL
Double definition
2 Result of whiplash, crashing bore: PAIN IN THE NECK
Double definition, one slightly cryptic
3 Hot stuff cold, it’s said: CHILLI
Homophone (it’s said) of cold = CHILLY
4 Hold some eggs: CLUTCH
Double definition
5 Honestly, nation into craze, old-fashioned: FAIR-AND-SQUARE
Nation = IRAN, into craze= FAD, old-fashioned = SQUARE
6 Amphibian went for a spin: NEWT
Anagram (for a spin) of WENT
12 Run down a mountain with short leap: SKI
Short leap = SKI(p)
14 Youth spilling green tea: TEENAGER
Anagram (spilling) of GREEN TEA
16 Lack put right in the end: DEARTH
Right = R, in the end = DEATH
17 Negligible snub: SLIGHT
Double definition
19 Meat – some deserve a lot: VEAL
Hidden word

25 comments on “Quick Cryptic 614 by Mara”

  1. The easiest this week, but I tend to be on the same wavelength as Mara. Following on from yesterday’s discussion I was held up with 16d and 22a for no proper reason except brain fuzz, so I was not particularly quick, but nearly all the rest were parsed either on the first read or once a checker or two was in place. I rate this therefore as easy, only SVENGALI and HORNET were biffs then parsed as soon as I had entered them. While time is obviously an indicator of difficulty it isn’t the be all and end all. Today’s could have been tricky with the lack of starting letters in the NW corner.
    Thanks emu66 for some entertaining blogs and thanks Mara
  2. A nice puzzle with a few tricky spots. 9 minutes.

    I’m sorry you will be leaving us, emu66, and I have posted a message to your LJ account.

  3. A steady 28:57, although should have been sub 20, but 22a cost me. “Fishy” is anagrind no. 567 on the list, and a new one for me. I liked 5 d which I got from wordplay first. 13a – who puts nuts on crackers? Don’t they keep falling off.
    A week of two halves. 2 DNFs followed by 3 less than 30 mins.
    1. I think the crackers are the pliers you open the nuts with, rather than biscuits….
      1. Ah, you are right. I’ve spend all day trying to put walnuts on Jacobs…..
  4. A fairly straightforward one, although 7ac took a while because I don’t usually think of squash as a fruit (I don’t usually think of squash, for that matter). 16d a lovely clue. 4:18.
    Sorry to see you go, emu; thanks for all the blogs.
    1. Kevin, intending to be helpful I just looked up the “if it has seeds it’s a fruit” rule I’d read here recently (28th June), but then I found it came from you in the first place! But maybe the point at issue was whether or not squash have seeds, so I looked that up too, and they do.

      Edited at 2016-07-15 09:17 am (UTC)

      1. I thought you might note this when I wrote it! But I simply meant that, like the rest of us, my idea of a fruit in everyday language excludes squashes (tomatoes, olives, …) even though I know they’re fruits, too.
  5. LOI and WOD 18ac SVENGALI – good anagram for 7.33

    It flowed NW to SE without too much hesitation, deviation or repetition.

    I think they might just make Friday’s QC more of a toughie – so beware new blogger if they do!

    COD 16 ac DISASTER

    horryd Shanghai

  6. But quite easy for Mara. Around about 15 mins, so quick for me.

    Thanks for your blogs emu, I’ve always found them absolutely pellucid, and they have helped me no end!

  7. I am surprised everyone thought this was an easy one as I had to grind my way through today. 5d very nice clue.
  8. I struggled today and found it much trickier than yesterday, possibly because I was trying to do it in the park with my 4 year old & her friends. I didn’t get squirrel until I got home and saw one eating a plum in the garden, then the top half went in easily. Commenting in response to the poster yesterday to show it’s all relative. Thanks blogger.

  9. 31 mins for me.

    16a was my favourite, I do like a hidden that runs across several words.

  10. I don’t often post although I always read and enjoy the blogs and comments and have improved no-end thanks to them. Thanks so much to everyone who contributes.I am commenting today because the relative ease and difficulty found by those doing the quickie fascinates me too, as does the differential in difficulty found between the quickie and the main. Today I found the main crossword to be about average for a Friday for me at an hour and a quarter with aids for the wine and the anaesthetic. I usually take 10 to 15 minutes on the quickie but found this one harder than average clocking in at 25 minutes largely because I stupidly misspelt chilli as chille – just carelessness. I usually find Mara quite straightforward but needed checkers for several today when, usually, I can fill in most of the grid on the first read through. Enjoyed them both.
    1. Thanks for your very interesting comments. I hope you will post regularly in future, both re the QC and the main puzzle.
    2. I wonder about this too, especially about what it is that actually makes a clue more appropriate to the quick then the main crossword. Why does it take me about 10 mins for the quick and about an hour before I start to ‘cheat’ on the main if I haven’t completed it by then? (In terms of the clues, not my ability!)
  11. The easiest of the week for me but I still made hard work of it. I solved it all apart from 5d in about 15 minutes and then drew a blank for a long time. Eventually realised I’d stuck the homophone into 8a instead of the answer. I think it was due to feeling so chuffed at remembering a word which defeated me last time it appeared that I forgot to read the clue properly. Once I’d spotted my mistake 5d became clear.
    COD 11a. No idea of my final time, but it wasn’t quick!
  12. A DNF again today. Just couldn’t parse Finn or Utah. Ah well, there’s all of next week to look forward to. Have enjoyed and learnt from your blogs Emu66 so thank you. Thx to Mara too for a lot of head-scratching fun and frustration.
  13. I found this on the trickier end at 21:58. LOI FAIR-AND-SQUARE. Not a great clue really since it’s one you have to biff and then parse afterwards as confirmation. Seems a bit much to expect people to go through all the nations of the world and come up with this construction.

    9a also a funny clue, since as written, “fact” doesn’t have a capital letter. I wonder if this was a mistake or if I’m missing something.

    1. I think it’s just a means of indicating the first letter of “fact” (i.e. the letter “f”) is to form part of the answer. One of the meanings of “capital” is “standing at the head of”.
      1. Must be, though on the times I’ve seen something similar before, it’s been something like “capital of France” to indicate F, where there is actually a capital letter.
        1. Interesting.

          Of course capital letters in the grid count for nothing, but you may be interested in this convention so far as capitals in clues are concerned. It was written by Peter Biddlecombe who founded TftT and is currently the Sunday Times crossword editor:

          Words that require capital letters in the cryptic reading must have them. However, ‘deceptive capitalisation’ is permitted. In other words, a word with a capital letter in the clue doesn’t necessarily have a wordplay meaning requiring a capital letter – so Joanna Strong’s instrument (10) could be PIANO,FORTE.

          Edited at 2016-07-16 11:01 pm (UTC)

Comments are closed.