Quick Cryptic 672 by Teazel

I’m attempting to fill Nick’s spacious shoes today, so hope there’s nothing glaringly wrong with my interpretations.

This was a bottom to top effort for me, with the NE corner taking the longest to disentangle. I was overcomplicating 8dn, took the angrist at 6dn to be an indicator, had insufficient confidence in my botany, and couldn’t see the answer for 11ac despite the workings of the clue being obvious. Oh well…

I enjoyed the economy of 7dn, 12ac, and most of all 15dn.

Definitions underlined.

1 Top bloke has reserve (6)
BODICE – BOD (bloke) and ICE (reserve).
4 Something ejected from place included in total (6)
SPUTUM – PUT (place) in SUM (total).
9 Would it make you die laughing? (7,6)
GALLOWS HUMOUR – cryptic definition. If you had this, you might be laughing in the face of impending demise. I got the ‘humour bit early on, but spent too long looking for the name of a disease, or some such thing.
10 Yank’s stomach turned over (3)
TUG – GUT (stomach) reversed (turned over).
11 I resolved to smash criminals (9)
EVILDOERS – anagram of (to smash) I RESOLVED.
12 Leave some mangetouts (3,3)
GET OUT – hidden in (some) manGETOUTs.
13 I sat shocked, receiving bill for sports grounds (6)
STADIA – anagram of (shocked) I SAT, containing AD (bill).
16 Biggest attraction is of the highest class (3-6)
TOP-DRAWER – something which draws the largest crowd could be a ‘top drawer’.
18 What makes a hole in everything, we’re told (3)
AWL – homophone of (we’re told) “all” (everything). A hand tool for making small holes.
19 Coach clergyman to become senior politician (5,8)
PRIME MINISTER – PRIME (coach) and MINISTER (clergyman).
21 Severely criticise introducing husband in party (6)
THRASH – TRASH (severely criticise) with H (husband) inside.
22 A good saxophone, for one, was in harmony (6)
AGREED – A G (good) and REED (saxophone, for one).
1 Formally ask heads for better English grades (3)
BEG – first letters of (heads for) Better English Grades.
2 Lower classes take frivolous pleasure (7)
DELIGHT – D and E (lower classes or grades) with LIGHT (frivolous).
3 Shut up barracks where there is hand-to-hand fighting (5,8)
CLOSE QUARTERS – CLOSE (shut up) and QUARTERS (barracks).
5 Heavily attack reliable currency (5,8)
POUND STERLING – POUND (heavily attack) and STERLING (reliable).
6 Time wasted over valuable find (5)
TROVE – T (time) and an anagram of (wasted) OVER.
7 Plant recycled materials (5-4)
8 Up and about in a prison (5)
ASTIR – A STIR (prison).
10 Jam leggings over stomach (5,4)
TIGHT SPOT – TIGHTS (leggings) on top of POT (stomach).
14 In river, simple craft one conscripted (7)
DRAFTEE – RAFT (simple craft) inside DEE (river).
15 One author, or two (5)
TWAIN – double definition.
17 Earlier, pair drinking port (5)
PRIOR – PR (pair) surrounding (drinking) RIO (port).
20 Free trip cut short (3)
RID – RIDe (trip) without the last letter (cut short).

25 comments on “Quick Cryptic 672 by Teazel”

  1. A good piece of work from the setter (and blogger!) but not from me – took 25 minutes. Somehow staring doesn’t seem to work as well as thinking!
  2. Nothing particularly difficult, so I made things harder by overlooking the S on ‘grounds’, thought of ‘stadium’ then rejected it. 6d was a nicely crafted clue; I can see why it could deceive William. I would have done the same, except ‘valuable find’ stuck out first, and I worked back from the definition. 5:38.
  3. 1ac again help me up initially so I was over par at 10.47.



    I don’t usually look forward to MWQC.

    horryd Shanghai

  4. DNF

    I thought today’s was too hard!

    Had to cheat a bit with the check function before I got 4a sputum and 9a gallows humour.

    Didn’t know 7d mares tail or 8d astir.

    also confused by some clues:
    1a Ice = reserve?
    21a thrash = party?
    1d beg = formally ask, why formally?

    Edited at 2016-10-05 05:35 am (UTC)

    1. ice as in an icy manner, i.e. ‘reserve’ as a noun
      thrash: I didn’t know this, but my ODE gives ‘informal; a party, especially a loud or lavish one’
      beg: I suppose as in ‘I beg your indulgence’ etc. Setters talk different from you and me, remember.
  5. 10 minutes, but again only just, the two that held me up a bit being MARE’S-TAIL and the rather unpleasant SPUTUM. Not entirely convinced by the definition criminals/evil-doers. Nice blog, William,in the Wednesday tradition!

    Edited at 2016-10-05 04:43 am (UTC)

  6. I had ICE as “put on ice” = reserve.
    I knew BASH so thought there might be a THRASH.
    Setters talk different? I beg to differ.
    Good QC I thought.
  7. Tough today I thought, held up by being convinced second word of 3d was ‘quarrels’. I share jack’s point about criminals/EVILDOERS. Also dnk POT/stomach, am still thinking about it. Thanks william and Teazel.
  8. I thought 5 down was incredibly topical given article on pages 12/13 but realise this is just happenstance.
  9. I’d got as far as to say this was even harder than yesterday’s, which seemed to cause some issues for many. Thrash for party, mares tail, astir and Sputum were either unknown to me or tricky to get. I’d throw in bodice and delight as well.
  10. This seemed very hard to me and I needed many aids to finish. Still could not parse PRIOR & THRASH.
    ? RIO for PORT which I was convinced should be L for left and I thought the meaning of 21ac was SEVERELY CRITICISErsther than PARTY
    1. RIO for “port” is an ancient chestnut in cryptic puzzles, so if not met before it’s well worth remembering.
    2. It’s RIO de Janeiro for the port, occasionally ADEN or something else. TRASH is severely criticise, THRASH is the slang word for party.
  11. A DNF with a lot of clues left today, after a near record finish for yesterday’s ‘difficult’ puzzle. I struggled with everything, I suppose it’s one of those wavelenght things.
    Could someone explain AD for BILL in 13A?
    1. This was a new one on me too. I assume it is bill as in handbill, or bill posters will be prosecuted. Remember “Bill Posters is innocent”?
  12. I really struggled with this one and was very pleased to finish at all after several goes chipping away at it. A few I hadn’t come across before: AD for BILL, DE for lower classes, and STIR for prison took some recall. Thanks setter. Very good challenge.
  13. Another difficult one for me and, like yesterday, solved bottom up. Last three were 1a, 4a and 2d. 1a held me up most; I had Delight at 2d but unparsed so many thanks to the blogger.
    About 30 minutes in all. Favourite 19a. David
  14. Teazel seems to have upped his game with his last couple of offerings and I found this slow going.
    I had all bar 1a solved in 22 minutes and then spent a further 6 minutes on that clue, desperately resisting the urge to bif ‘bedeck’ for some reason. Fortunately I got there in the end. COD 9a
  15. I struggled today but, in case Teazle is listening, I don’t mind. I like the challenge. I’m getting better and normally finish it these days but the occasional DNF is good for reminding me I’m still on the foothills.
    I’m 53 and have been doing this for 18 months or so. I hope by the time I’m 80 to be solving the main puzzle.
  16. Tripe from Teazel.
    As usual.
    By some distance the worst of the QC setters.
    Imprecise, inaccurate, flabby.
    1. Rather unfair. Being relatively new to cryptics I rarely finish. This was no exception but any failures were due to my ignorance such as not knowing stir is slang fir prison. All became clear after reading the blog.
      Being of Black County origin I was trying to use thrape ipo thrash!

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