Quick Cryptic 626 by Orpheus

I seem to be on Orpheus watch – having had the pleasure of blogging one last week. There’s a lot of cleverness here as well. Look out for lots of abbreviations and a flock of birds.
I was a little surprised when the answers started flying in but came to an abrupt halt on the final 4 clues. As usual, looking at these now I’m not sure why. 13 minutes.


1. Brandy Snap – biscuit. Bishop (B), sexy photo (RANDY SNAP).
7. Tabla – percussion instrument – a musical instrument of India consisting of a pair of drums whose pitches can be varied. In Rajko(T A BLA)ck. For completeness of clue our setter has given us Rajkot – a city in west India. I hadn’t heard of the drums – or the city – but this was very gettable.
8. Regret – be sorry about. White heron (EGRET) with river (R) on the front.
10. Oaf – lout. l(OAF).
12. Tangerine – fruit. Anagram (surprisingly) of AINT GREEN.
13. Linnet – songbird. Allowed (LET) around INN.
14. Titled – having peerage perhaps. Singer (TIT), came first (LED). Why did this one take so long?
17. Spineless – lacking strength of character. A porcupine has spines.
19. Yea – indeed, at one time. COD for three quarters of a (YEA)r.
20. Thrust – forceful push. Executive board (TRUST) holding husband (H). I didn’t cotton onto trust = executive board for a while and played around with ‘shove’ for too long.
21. Giant – huge. American solider (GI), worker (ANT).
23. Flycatcher – bird. Shrewd (FLY), baseball player (CATCHER).


1. Bottomless – unfathomable. Bottom being a character in said play.
2. Alb a church vestment. A, pound (LB). Well, there’s a thought – now we’ve Brexited will the lbs be making a come back?
3. Draftee – conscript. RAFT inside DEE.
4. Shrink – reduce size of. Quiet (SH), RINK.
5. Angle – double definition.
6. Genially – in affable way. Just couldn’t see this for looking. Senior officer (GEN), (I)ntroducing, friend (ALLY).
9. Headmaster – top teacher. Anagram (involved) of SHAME and TRADE.
11. Fanlight – semicircular window. Dispute (FIGHT) around A, new (N), large (L).
15. Insight – discernment. IN SIGHT.
16. Celtic – Scottish team. Lieutenant (LT) inside church (CE) and in charge (IC).
18. Equal – match. Clever clue. (E)nglish, in the role of (QUA), (L)ear.
22. Ash – remains of. A, small (S), hospital (H).

18 comments on “Quick Cryptic 626 by Orpheus”

  1. AMND is one of my favourite plays, so multilayered I can watch any new production and see something different – just like a good crossword. COD 18d, QUA vg. Lbs predate ANGLEs, but not CELTIC. Solid today, thanks Orpheus and chris.
  2. I had THRUST problems, too, and took a long time to think of FLY even when I had the CATCHER. And I biffed EQUAL (LOI) once I had the checkers, only twigging to QUA post hoc. YEA my COD. A nice puzzle all around. 4:01.
  3. I agree this one had a sting in its tail. The FLY/EQUAL/THRUST intersection put paid to my attempt to hit my 10 minute target. 11 minutes. YEA{r} for nine months was very clever. I have seen similar but many newbies won’t have so it was a device worth using.
  4. 26:43, with a break half way through, also was obsessed with trying to shove SHOVE, in. Thanks blogger for also admitting your dead ends, gives us plodders hope. FLY=’shrewd’, not sure about that. I actually looked up to see if there was a bird called a ‘slycatcher’. Also slowed a bit by TITLED, as LOI. COD definitely ‘Yea’, and first time I’ve seen ‘qua’ in a crossword, although I am a fan of its usage, worth filing away.
  5. 6.40 for a reasonably decent QC – 6dn GENIALLY was the one that held me up (LOI).

    16dn CELTIC – note the T is not pronounced one half the City of Glasgow – the other half won’t pronounce it!

    COD 18dn EQUAL DNK 2ac ALB

    horryd Shanghai

  6. Went at a steady lick with a DNK QUA and wouldn’t know a TABLA if I tripped over it, but had heard of it. ALB I knew, I think from a Wodehouse Mulliner story but it may have been from somewhere else, Chasubles were in it I do know. Nice blog and thanks Orpheus.
  7. I haven’t reached the stage of timing myself, but I guess this was my quickest ever, perhaps 15 minutes. it is fascinating to find that the clues that caused most difficulty were those mentioned by the experts. Genially was LOI, thrust, titled and equal required some head scratching. But there were more very easy clues than usual – or am I just benefitting from daily reading of the bloggers? DM
  8. All going smoothly until the brick wall that was genially/titled/insight. In the end I had to resort to electronic aids for what should have been quite gettable clues. Invariant
  9. Please could someone explain tit meaning singer? Is it referring to the bird? Didn’t think they were very tuneful! Or is it something else entirely? Many thanks for your help. Mandy (Cheshire novice)
    1. Yes, it’s the bird. They all sing – to some extent. Unlike some humans – remember the birdie song?
      Good question Mandy – they all are. You’ll be able to sign off with just ‘Cheshire’ before you know it.
      1. Thank you very much. I was obviously being too narrow in my interpretation of song! (Canaries and nightingales etc) Think I will have my novice badge for some time yet. I have been reading your excellent blog for over a year and am still learning!
  10. At the risk of being boring and repetitive, THRUST was my LOI for no obvious reason and I loved YEA as COD very clever. Thanks for the blog.
  11. We had the same problems with previous comments. Tried eta for 19a thinking of the nine months in another sense but finally got 6d and the light dawned. A nice puzzle, thanks to setter and bloggers. We are improving slowly and dragging back to mind simple latin from over 60 years ago. Elin and Ian.
    1. I like your thinking on ETA – but hopefully the setters won’t get that devious.
  12. 23 minutes for me today with the last 10 of those spent trying to figure out what was going on in 14a – I spent most of those looking for a bird ending in ‘led’. Fortunately I finally saw the light. A few unknowns for me today (7a, 2d and 11d) but they were all clued in such a way as to make them solvable. My latin’s a bit ropey these days so wasn’t convinced about the parsing of 18d. To be different I’m going to plump for 1d as my COD, although I did enjoy 19a.
  13. As penance for not finishing today’s QC, I had a go at the 15×15, and surprised myself by getting everything except an obscure goddess/plant. Most of it was ok, with a few biffs here and there to help out. Well worth a go. Invariant
    1. Good stuff – and thanks for the tip. I haven’t had time today but will give it a go.
  14. Not sure of time today, but not quick.
    Last two were GENIALLY and finally TITLED (I had Milord for want of something better for too long).
    COD 1a.
    Enjoyed it. David

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