Quick Cryptic 652 by Hawthorn

Some lovely stuff from Hawthorn (again), with smooth surfaces in abundance and some very neat clues. 9dn is an absolute gem.

Personally I found it a mix of some straightforward fare (e.g. 7ac, 15ac, 1dn and 13dn) and some that were a bit more tricky (e.g. 3dn, 6dn and 14dn). Either way, whether you found it easy or hard I hope you enjoyed its elegance and wit as much as I did.

Definitions underlined: DD = double definition: anagrams indicated by *(–): letters omitted indicated by {-}

7 Go bad, getting led astray after advert (5)
ADDLE – *(LED) – with “astray” as the anagrind – ‘after’ AD (advert)
8 Endure being in photo for modelling (7)
PLASTIC – LAST (endure) ‘in’ PIC (photo). Whilst the answer from the wordplay (and the obvious connection between plastic and modelling) went in easily enough, the definition caused me a bit of angst from a strict parsing perspective. Maybe I’m being picky or (quite likely) have missed something, but I’m struggling to see how “modelling” (as a present participle of the verb “to model”) equates to “plastic”. Minor point, but look forward to enlightenment from the crew here.
10 Caesar’s backing representative in his city (7)
EMPEROR – REP (representative) ‘in’ ROME (his – viz. Caesar’s – city) all reversed (backing)
11 Pelvis operation reversed for large mammal (5)
HIPPO – HIP (pelvis) + OP reversed
12 Start to speak pompously having consumed one drink (9)
ORIGINATE – ORATE (to speak pompously) ‘consumes’ I GIN (one drink)
14 A vacant senseless fool (3)
ASS – A + SS (SenselesS vacant)
15 Hideout in which outlaw Kelly retreats (3)
DEN – NED (outlaw Kelly) reversed (retreats)
16 Surprising Brexit nod creates explosive situation (9)
TINDERBOX – *(BREXIT NOD) with “surprising” as the anagrind
18 Some shenanigans turned silly (5)
INANE – Part (some) of shENANIgans reversed (turned)
20 What’s displayed by tips of stems and stalks breaking
into flower
? (7)
BLOSSOM – SS – ‘Tips’ (first and last letters) of both StemS and StalkS inside (breaking into) BLOOM (flower) – & LIT. Very nice clue construction.
22 Gem dealer suspiciously pockets millions (7)
EMERALD – *(DEALER) – with “suspiciously” as the anagrind – with M also thrown into the mix (“pockets millions”)
23 Goodness found in an oak seed (5)
ACORN – COR (goodness!) is indeed ‘found in’ AN
1 Arrive early: it’s what the ideal host should do (4,4,4)
MAKE GOOD TIME – Straightforward DD
2 Taking in a child — a daughter by choice (8)
ADOPTION – A D (abbrev. daughter) alongside (by) OPTION (choice)
3 Stand and deliver (4)
BEAR – DD giving a nice surface and using two less obvious meanings of BEAR – ” can’t stand / bear it” and “bearing gifts / delivering gifts”. Took me a while to spot this.
4 Military city to practise fighting with part-time soldiers (6)
SPARTA – SPAR (to practise fighting) + TA (our old friends the Territorial Army – TA). Very smooth surface.
5 Embroidered mesh in mind for expensive cloth (8)
CASHMERE – *(MESH) – with “embroidered” as the anagrind – ‘in’ CARE (mind)
6 A saucepan is switched on (4)
ATOP – A + POT reversed (saucepan is switched). And if something is ATOP of something else, it is ‘on’ it
9 Question: is sex confused with romance? (5-7)
CROSS EXAMINE – *(IS SEX ROMANCE) with “confused” as the anagrind. Wonderful clue. One of life’s recurring conundrums: answers on a postcard please…
13 Where one may find tea leaves practically secured (2,3,3)
IN THE BAG – Gentle DD
14 Hazardous material? Put a distress call around first (8)
ASBESTOS – A SOS (a distress call) goes ‘around’ BEST (first)
17 Insignificant person showing aristocrat regular letters of
goodbye (6)
NOBODY – NOB (aristocrat) + alternate (regular) letters of gOoDbYe
19 Final word is not quite correct (4)
AMEN – AMEN{D} – not quite ‘correct’. Very neat.
21 No value keeping in shape (4)
OVAL – Hidden (signalled by ‘keeping in’) in nO VALue

26 comments on “Quick Cryptic 652 by Hawthorn”

  1. Yes, I enjoyed this too.

    The adjective “plastic” means “modelable”, which I suppose can be rendered as “for modelling”. Sculpture and suchlike are called “the plastic arts”.

    1. Nowadays one thinks of the various materials as plastic (Noun), but they were called that when they were first invented in the twenties because they were materials with no name and the were plastic (Adjective)
  2. Agree with Nick that 9dn is a great clue. And nice to see Ned get a nod, didn’t realise he was known beyond these shores.

    LOI, inexplicably, was IN THE BAG.

    Thanks Hawthorn and Nick.

  3. For some reason I put in ‘in the can’ for the tea clue, and when I completed the puzzle got the ‘sorry, try again’ sign. Took me a while to spot the error, and then I compounded the error by trying to change one letter at a time, getting the ‘sorry’ again. What one should do, of course is delete the whole word and re-type. 9d definitely COD, although I also liked the elegance of ‘stand and deliver’. Nick, to pick a nit, if ‘tips’ here meant first and last, wouldn’t the result be ‘blossssom’? So either ‘stems or stalks’, or ‘tip’ here means ‘last letter’, I’d think. I agree with Adrian: the definition in 8ac is ‘for modelling’. 5′ and change.

    Edited at 2016-09-07 02:59 am (UTC)

      1. Of course, come to think of it (which I didn’t), tea leaves in a bag are ‘practically secured’, whereas those in the can aren’t.
        1. Old fashioned as I am, my first thought for where to find tea leaves was “in a caddy” and on realising it didn’t fit I went on to “can” as the nearest option that did.
  4. Yorkshireman, Tony Richardson’s film ‘Ned Kelly’ was released on 7 October 1970 in UK. (28 July Downunder) It was English singer/actor Mick Jagger behind the iron-mask/bucket!

    He even has a restaurant named after him in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong – namely ‘Ned Kelly’s Last Stand’. Good atmos absolutely dreadful food.

    We’re pretty well up on Aussie culture.

    horryd Shanghai

  5. 10 minutes but only just, as I took a while to run through the possibilities at 3dn when faced with ?E?R and decide on the best fit for both definitions.

    At 10ac, “representative” immediately had me thinking MP and this and “Caesar” as the definition immediately led me to the correct answer without being able to see the remainder of the wordplay.It was only after completion that I returned to it and understood the correct parsing.

    I am perfectly happy with Nick’s parsing at 20ac though of course Kevin’s is equally valid. Whether it’s strictly correct or not it’s quite common for “and” to stand for “or” and/or vice versa.

    Edited at 2016-09-07 05:13 am (UTC)

  6. Agree with almost all above but I do feel 20a runs a close second in the COD selling stakes.
  7. A great relief to have such a pleasing puzzle after yesterday’s struggles. 27 mins for me which is at the better end of my times. It would have been much quicker if I had got 1d quicker. The crossers I had weren’t that helpful but when the answer came to me it opened up quite a lot of other answers.
  8. A flier today, though rush of panic at 3d, still wasn’t certain when I put it in. Agree 9d as COD easily, and the def in 8ac I read as ‘for modelling’. Incidentally, in school mathematics when considering probabilities AND is an indicator for multiply, while OR is an indicator for add. Sub 5 so pleasing in the end.
    1. … and in logic AND means “as well as” so would indicate that ss is the tips of stems as well as being the tips of stalks
      1. Thanks, Graham, for articulating far more clearly than I could have done exactly what I was thinking when I wrote the blog!
  9. Thanks to Hawthorn for getting me back on track after yesterday’s bemusement and to Nick for the blog.
    An enjoyable puzzle that I completed in 19 minutes. LOI and COD, for the simplicity of the cluing, was 3d which took me 2 runs through the alphabet to figure out. 16a took a bit longer to get than it should have as I was sure it would start ‘ex’ and end with ‘tion’ but 9d helped me see the light.
  10. This proved to be about average for me, after a few struggles. Even with both checkers 3dn took a while to spot, and I found “for modelling” as the definition of “plastic” a bit tenuous. To my amazement I find that the first recorded use of the word “plastic” is 17C meaning “capable of being moulded”. I had always regarded it as a 20C word. Live and learn.


  11. I really struggled with this one after finishing yesterdays in a decent time. A DNF mainly in the left hand side, not helped by having “in the pot’ which messed up 22A and everything else.
    One of the definitions of “plastic’ in Chambers is “The art of modelling’ which would fit the clue.
  12. I was very entertained by the blog discussion of Amiens in yesterday’s 15 x 15; others may find it interesting.
    As for today’s QC, I solved it steadily ending up with 8a and 6d to finish. I was quite certain of the parsing of 8a but, as discussed here, not sure of the meaning. 6d was clever. All done in something over 20 minutes- interrupted in the middle.
    COD to 9d. David
  13. I never saw that 21dn was a hidden, parsing it as O [= No] val [= value], and just thought the setter was being rather weak with his link words. Good thing I looked here.
  14. We found this a bit of a struggle, the grid is not helpful with first letters missing on clues 1 to six, so we were slow to get 3d and 6d, also 1d until we had most of the checkers. Got there eventually with a little help. Enjoyed the comments above, thanks to all and setter. Elin and Ian.

  15. One small niggle (which came to me over a round of golf – strange the tricks the mind plays) “orate” does not imply pomposity, neither oed or chambers mentions it. Indeed some of the world’s greatest orators have been so because they were not pompous.
    1. SOED has orate as: deliver an oration; hold forth pompously or at length. Now chiefly joc. or derog. M17.

      And Collins has similar under “oration”, so the setter is covered.

      But rather interestingly, in line with your view above, the derogatory element seems to be missing under definitions of “orator” where terms such as “eloquence” seem to come into play.

      1. Thanks for the enlightenment, I stick to oed (which I have) and check with chambers on the internet, so, despite my previous comments about the crossword being a bit old fashioned, perhaps I am too.
  16. This one took a very long time (likewise, building work not going well at the moment) and only really persevered out of stubbornness. Still, a good half way house to the 15×15 (hopefully). Invariant

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