Quick Cryptic 677 by Rongo

A pleasant, gentle offering from Rongo today. Nothing too tricky and no obscurities. Thanks to our setter.

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

1 Conventional argument in place of financial trading (5,8)
STOCK EXCHANGE – STOCK (conventional) + EXCHANGE (argument), giving us the thing defined by Warren Buffet as “a mechanism for transferring wealth from the impatient to the patient”. Day traders might disagree…
8 Fix theatre company broadcast (6)
REPAIR – REP (theatre company) + AIR (broadcast)
9 Fool playing up-tempo endlessly (6)
MUPPET – *(UPTEMP{O}) – without the last letter (endlessly) – with “playing” as the anagrind
10 Satirical piece needing small equipment (4)
SKIT – S (small) + KIT (equipment)
11 Cheese melted near Spam (8)
PARMESAN – *(NEAR SPAM) with “melted” as the anagrind
12 Termite maybe carried by rook (5)
BORER – BORE (carried) + R (Rook – chess notation)
13 Unmarried, not having pound to burn (5)
SINGE – SING{L}E – ‘not having’ the L (pound)
15 Short of time, enter within ash-coloured foliage (8)
GREENERY – EN{T}ER (minus its T – “short of time”) ‘within’ GREY (ash-coloured)
17 Add nothing for form of wrestling (4)
SUMO – SUM (add) + O (nothing)
19 Opening of Moulin Rouge adapted room for bodies (6)
MORGUE – *(ROUGE) – with M (opening of Moulin) also in the mix – with “adapted” as the anagrind
20 Quite attractive (6)
21 See how things stand to be a successful photographer?
GET THE PICTURE – DD, the second definition being slightly cryptic
2 Slightly adjust weight in hard timber (5)
TWEAK – W (weight) ‘in’ TEAK (hard timber)
3 Burn partially surrounding private part of book? (7)
CHAPTER – CHAR (burn partially) goes around PTE (military abbrev. ‘private’)
4 Expression of doubt about origin of “Rongo” — “go wrong”?
ERR – ER (expression of doubt) goes round (about) R (origin of Rongo)
5 Arrived with excess haste, ultimately tetchy and averse to
being filmed
CAMERA SHY – CAME (arrived) + RASH (excess haste) + Y (ultimately tetchY)
6 Large specimen with top cut off (5)
AMPLE – {S}AMPLE (specimen with top cut off)
7 Small device to blow up raised part of sedan ergonomically
GRENADE – Reversed (raised) hidden (part of) in sEDAN ERGonomically
11 Continue in the face of difficulty, for every Spartan (9)
PERSEVERE – PER (for every) + SEVERE (Spartan)
12 Apart from start of couplet, poem is something designed to
BAR CODE – BAR (apart from) + C (start of Couplet) + ODE (poem)
14 Beginning to develop northern way up mountain (7)
NASCENT – N (abbrev. northern) + ASCENT (way up mountain)
16 A number dined while speaking? (5)
EIGHT – Sounds like (while speaking) ATE (dined)
18 Measuring device encountered resistance with input of
energy (5)
METER – MET (encountered) + R (abbrev. resistance) with E (abbrev. energy) inserted (input)
20 Greek character’s fractured hip (3)
PHI – *(HIP) with “fractured” as the anagrind

24 comments on “Quick Cryptic 677 by Rongo”

  1. Some nice surfaces. Not quite on the wavelength to begin with but sped up towards the end – opposite of usual crossword experience! Cheers, A
  2. The grid looked a bit challenging with 1ac and 21ac as 13-letter words and all the LH answers starting with unchecked letters, but I sailed through this one exactly on schedule to meet my 10 minute target. Fluked 6dn by thinking {ex}ample and only coming up with {s}ample after the event.

    Edited at 2016-10-12 03:25 am (UTC)

  3. Very enjoyable, finished in 28.12 so faster than recent ones.

    Last few I struggled over were: 7d grenade (I seem to struggle to spot hidden clues), 16d eight (obvious once I got it), 8a fix (thrown by broadcast and looking for a homophone) and 9a fool.

    1. Yes, quite a lot of people struggle to spot hiddens (it is an acknowledged dent in the armoury of at least two of the regular senior pros who comment on the 15×15 blog most days!) For some reason, I generally seem to be able to spot them – but there are other clue types I always struggle with but which other solvers seem to take in their stride(e.g. those requiring you to move a letter within a word to create a new word). I guess it’s just the way different peoples’ brains are wired.

      The only tip I can offer is (particularly with shorter answers – e.g. six letters or less) if you are struggling to work out what is going on with a particular clue (as opposed to the – all too frequent in my case! – situation where you are fairly sure you have identified what clue type it is but you just can’t spot the answer) then always consider the possibility of a “hidden” and look for occurrences of any known cross checkers within the wording of the clue itself.

  4. Think that’s a PB for me, so it must have been a gentle one as Nick says.

    We seem to have had a variety of difficulty in the Quicky of late, wonder if that’s intentional. Anyway, it’s a good thing IMHO.

    Thanks Rongo and Nick.

    Edited at 2016-10-12 07:32 am (UTC)

  5. I forgot to say above that I wondered if solvers of the main puzzle have an extra advantage today because the termite BORER (at 12ac) came up there only last week. It wasn’t known to all commenters so perhaps it’ll prove tricky to newer solvers here.

    Edited at 2016-10-12 07:56 am (UTC)

  6. Easiest for some time for me, didn’t time it but would guess at 15 mins. LOI Borer which i had to check was a termite.

    I feel like I’m pretty proficient on the QC now but struggle to get more than 5 or so clues on the 15×15.

    Any advice on how to transition? Or just keep slogging away?

    1. My advice would be to persevere (and read the blog every day to appreciate the mechanisms used by setters). If you are OK with the QC and can do 5 of the 15×15 you are well on the way. It takes time to become proficient – I began when I was 14 at school. Good luck and don’t be put off by a ‘bad day’.
  7. I think borer was possibly the most difficult clue here. Makes sense when you get it, but not the immediate definition you think of with termite. 1ac took me a while, for some reason. Gribb
  8. I set off at a cracking pace then ground to a halt in the SW corner. However, once I realised a termite is a borer and ash is grey the rest fell into place (being colour-blind I am never good on colours).
  9. This turned out about average, though for some reason I couldn’t parse 11d. Like Jackkt, 6d came via example, and I did wonder at the time why Borer was at the front of my mind. . . The 12/15 combination were my last pair, and pushed me north of 30 mins. Invariant
  10. No particular problems today as I finished in 11 minutes – could be a personal best.
    My last two were 12d and finally 12a. I had not seen Borer before but the clue was generous. Favourites 1a and 12d. David
    1. 62

      My school holiday job was as a batman. We used to pin the ‘good’ cryptic dailies on the wall to pass the time while polishing boots.

      Edited at 2016-10-12 01:39 pm (UTC)

  11. Couldn’t get borer or bar code. Once I’d looked up borer (here), bar code fell out and, like many things if you know the answer, was easy.
  12. No particular problems today as I finished in 11 minutes – could be a personal best.
    My last two were 12d and finally 12a. I had not seen Borer before but the clue was generous. Favourites 1a and 12d. David
  13. 9 minutes here so pretty swift and enjoyable. A minor hold up was trying to fit ‘oak’ into 2dn.
  14. My record, by miles – 11.04. Thx to blogger, I am getting there, having started clueless (sorry) 18 months ago. Now an addict!
  15. No problems today as Rongo seemed to be in a generous mood. My only hold up was 12a, LOI, which took me a while to figure out. Completed in 11 mins (probably a pb). COD 12d.
  16. As a late comer to the world of cryptic crosswords, this is the first one I’ve actually finished. And in half an hour. At last! Somewhat chuffed!
  17. This must have been the easiest for some months…at least so it seems to me. Started at the top and just worked through to the end without a pause – I wish, just for once, that I’d timed it! No harm in relishing the experience as it’s very rare! again, I’m sure we’ve seen 14d nascent and 4d err not so long ago. Thanks to Rongo for the ego boost, and to Mick for illustrating some of the subtleness I missed.

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