Quick Cryptic 629 by Pedro

Morning everyone.  My first turn at blogging the Quickie, so please be gentle with me.  Let me start with a shout-out to Jackkt for lending me his time machine which enables these blogs to be posted as early as possible.  Thanks Jack.

I don’t do the Quickie very often (I will now) so I’ll leave it to others to comment on the relative difficulty of this one.  It looks like the usual range of cluing devices are in play, although I don’t see a hidden (well you wouldn’t would you?).  And there’s nothing too obscure, though I confess to not knowing exactly what lyceum meant until doing this blog.

Anyway, on with the show…..clues are reproduced in blue, with the definition underlined.  Anagram indicators are bolded and italicised.  Then there’s the answer IN BOLD, followed by the parsing of the wordplay.  Hope it makes sense.

1 A fine fellow, Raymond, in a fight (6)
AFFRAY – A + F (fine) + F (fellow) + RAY (Raymond)
4 Believe in not being overdrawn? (6)
CREDIT – Double definition.
Help me out here.  I can’t quite get the second definition to work.  Is there a sentence where “credit” could be substituted for “not being overdrawn” without changing its meaning?  Not that it matters much, the answer was fairly obvious.
8 Unexpected tourist angle about new airport facility (7,6)
10 Looking pale when encountering bird (5)
ASHEN – AS (when) + HEN (bird)
11 Umpire, about to block service hitting net, gets to ponder (7)
REFLECT – REF (umpire) + C (short for circa, about) “blocking” LET (service hitting net)
12 Shout “Stop” — is last in race to freeze? (11)
CRYSTALLISE – CRY (shout) + STALL (stop) + IS + E (last in race)
16 Come out on top, requiring clergyman to fill bucket (7)
PREVAIL – REV (clergyman) in PAIL (bucket)
17 Rush, heading off for spicy dish (5)
CURRY – {S}CURRY (rush)
Sometimes the scurrying comes after the spicy dish.
18 Ready to debate distribution of mature vintage (13)
Nice anagram.
19 Character that may be associated with reserve? (6)
NATURE – associated with reserve in the term “nature reserve”
20 Running water and heated water? That’s about right (6)
STREAM – STEAM (heated water) about R (right)
1 Like something left by meteor, not one of the stars (6)
ASTRAL – AS (like) + TRA{I}L [something left by meteor, without I (one)]
Nicely disguised definition.
2 Boxer’s achievement — and the woman’s importance (7-6)
FEATHER-WEIGHT – FEAT (achievement) + HER (the woman’s) + WEIGHT (importance)
Between a bantam-weight and a light-weight.  Seems vaguely disrespectful, maybe that’s why they want to punch people.
3 Minister going topless? It’s something criminal! (5)
ARSON – {P}ARSON (minister)
5 A lot of mud floor churned up — there’s quite a few people (7)
6 Incense driver after smashing plates, etc (6-7)
Another pleasing anagram.
7 Score only 50% in assessment of perfect vision (6)
TWENTY – 50% of twenty-twenty
9 Sailor, with ache around middle of hull, gets shipboard cover (9)
TARPAULIN – TAR (sailor) + PAIN (ache) around UL (middle of hull)
13 Prison critic? (7)
SLAMMER – Double def
The second def is slightly cryptic, as you wouldn’t normally call a critic a slammer.  But they do slam.
14 Run in country producing damage to ankle (6)
SPRAIN – R (run) in SPAIN (country)
15 College my clue represented (6)
I wondered about “represented” as an anagrind.  But of course it’s re-presented, as in “presented again” (in a different order).  Works for me.
17 Vessel caught going over simple boat (5)
CRAFT – C (caught) + RAFT (simple boat)

18 comments on “Quick Cryptic 629 by Pedro”

  1. Welcome to the fold, Galspray, and congrats on your first blog. I find it very hard to judge the level of difficulty as it will be perceived by others but for what it’s worth I thought this one was some way up the scale but by no means as difficult as it gets from time to time. I completed it just within my 10-minute target but never felt for a moment that it was certain that I would.

    I agree there seems to be something a bit odd about the second definition in 4ac as the “in” in the clue needs to go with the answer to give us the equivalent of “not being overdrawn”, and if that’s what’s intended I’m not sure it’s a valid device. But maybe we’re both missing something and there’s a context where a direct substitution would work.

    Edited at 2016-08-05 04:46 am (UTC)

  2. I could have sworn you were an old hand at the QC – congratulations on what I considered a fairly tough exemplar.

    It seemed more, like a small 15×15 as opposed to a QC.

    I was finally at 10.22 – sorry but what was your time?

    Once 2dn FEATHER WEIGHT and 6dn DINNER SERVICE were in place it all came together in a rush.

    re-4ac CREDIT I took it as Beleive – CREDIT – in not being overdrawn – in CREDIT. DD

    horryd Shanghai

    1. No Horryd, I’ve only blogged Jumbos up until now.

      Think my time was around 7 minutes, but I wouldn’t swear to it on a stack of Wisdens.

      And I agree with you on 4ac, I just don’t think the second def works as a direct substitution. As Jackkt says, the “in” needs to be in the answer to make it work.

      1. Welcome to blogging duties. In 4a, I thought the question mark made it OK? ….. in not being overdrawn and in credit.
  3. … so on the easy side for me. The full parsing of CRYSTALLISE took a while to untangle but the definitions were mostly generous.
    Today’s 15×15 is suprisingly gentle for a Friday and worth a go for the QC regulars.
  4. 6’55” today, so on the more challenging side. 4ac can be read as Believe (def) ‘in not being overdrawn’?, that is, IN credit means not being overdrawn. 7d, I read, is now six due to metrical conversion. I’ve always written and read FEATHERWEIGHT and similar as one word. Spent a while thinking 12ac must start cryo- , as in cryogenics. Thanks Pedro and well done galspray.
    1. Yes, “six-six” just doesn’t have the same ring to it does it?

      And I think you’ve just about got me convinced on 4ac. “Believe in this not being overdrawn” would seal the deal for me.

  5. Thanks for the blog galspray, very clear explanations and your comment about the boxers made me laugh.
    I found this to be about average difficulty and completed it in 21 minutes, with just 11a unparsed. It took my a while to parse 17a as I was thinking of hurry and couldn’t see how the c was substituted in. I agree that 4a is a bit clunky. LOI 1d.
  6. Found this hard going and definitely at the tougher end. Suspect I am a bit slow this morning!
  7. I found this a really tough challenge. 7d was a neat clue I thought, and liked “slammer” for critic. 12a was the real killer since “cry” + “freeze” had me hung up on cryogenics for a long time.
    Challenging end to the week (but not as challenging as England’s I suspect!!)
  8. Thanks for the blog. I found this quite tricky even though there was nothing obscure at all. I suppose that is a compliment to Pedro’s wordplay. My last in was ASTRAL which was very cleverly disguised.
  9. I found this fairly straightforward, showing that it’s horses for courses. Around 12 – 15 minutes for me, with another 5 minutes for 1d

    Great blog, by the way. I think you’ll fit in here!

    Last thing: 15×15 is definitely worth a look today. I’m only one away from a rare finish…

  10. I made very heavy going of this and had to come back several times to tease out another couple of answers. Having said that, there were some cracking clues and I wrote COD next to four of them, with 11ac my final winner. Like others, 1d was my LOI.
    Congratulations to our new blogger, and Pedro for some excellent clues. Invariant
  11. We found this tough going. No nice easy three word clues to give a start and while we got there eventually our brains were a little more frazzled than usual. Thanks to setter and blog. Elin and Ian.
  12. DNF for me – did not get NATURE or AFFRAY. Had a go at today’s 15 x 15 and got down to last couple of clues in about the same time. Given that the 15 x 15 is longer – the QC seemed harder than the 15 x 15 today!
  13. I managed to complete today’s QC. It took me 38 minutes, but that’s not too bad for me. However much I am told that the 15×15 is easy on any given day I can only ever fill in half a dozen answers at most. Perhaps it is psychosomatic… because it is supposed to be harder, I find it harder. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to make the leap and must satisfy myself with the QC for ever more. Not such a bad thing – I thoroughly enjoy the challenge and this blog!
  14. I found it hard to get any traction on this and then proceeded slowly. My wife borrowed the T2 mid-solve but I guess this took me about 45 minutes.
    I did manage to get it all right but without all the parsing, so thanks and welcome to our new blogger.
    My LOI was 19a where I could not get Notary out of my brain (it clearly did not fit).
    All the long answers resisted, even Transit Lounge, so I was pleased to get there finally. David
  15. I found this really hard going. Took simply ages over several sessions as my schedule permitted. In aggregate another that must have taken well over an hour and I was lucky to plumb for 1d astral as the best I could see as LOI. I was about to concede defeat but a sudden sprint got me almost to the very end. Most of the SE, and 1a and 1d were my real sticking areas despite having the long answers in place. A very helpful blog from galspray and a real teaser from Pedro. I think I will enjoy a couple of days respite until next week.

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