Quick Cryptic 682 by Hawthorn

As ever, a delightful little number from Hawthorn characterised by elegant and witty clueing, with no obscurities but plenty to give the grey matter a bit of a work out. The whole thing was an object lesson in smooth surfaces.

Good to see the late great Joe Cocker coming into play (super clue at 17 ac), which just edges 7d as my favourite from a splendid crop. Grateful thanks to Hawthorn for a most enjoyable puzzle.

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

1 Article with two pages to conclude one Times supplement
APPENDIX – A (article) + PP (two pages) + END (to conclude) + I (one) + X (times – as in multiplied by)
5 Caterpillar food (4)
9 A photo capturing starter of strawberry jelly (5)
ASPIC – A PIC (a photo) ‘captures’ S (starter of Strawberry)
10 One breaking into jetty is adventurous type (7)
PIONEER – ONE inside (breaking into) PIER (jetty)
11 That hurts large hooter (3)
OWL – OW (that hurts) + L (abbrev. Large)
12 No. sixteen fouled in extra time (9)
EXTENSION – *(NO SIXTEEN) with “fouled” as the anagrind
13 Throw around stray alcoholic drink (6)
SHERRY – SHY (throw) ‘around’ ERR (stray)
15 Pub holds onto protein-rich food for down-and-out (6)
BEGGAR – BAR (pub) ‘holds’ EGG (protein-rich food)
17 Ecstatic sound of famous singer, Joe, and band (4-1-4)
COCK A HOOP – COCKA (sounds like Cocker, the ‘famous singer Joe’) + HOOP (band). Lovely stuff.
19 Mineral stream (3)
20 New form of lace — it’s stretchy (7)
ELASTIC – *(LACE ITS) with “new form of” as the anagrind
21 Opening portion of macaroni cheese (5)
NICHE – Hidden inside (portion of) macaroNI CHEese
22 Sacred act — it’s covered in religious education (4)
RITE – IT is ‘covered’ by RE (religious education)
23 Stop for welcome morsel (8)
PROHIBIT – PRO (for) + HI (welcome) + BIT (morsel)
1 Helpless cheers following a defeat (2,1,4)
AT A LOSS – TA (cheers) ‘following A’ + LOSS (defeat)
2 Student held back by slip-ups (5)
PUPIL – Reverse hidden in (held back by) sLIP UPs
3 Hazardous substance that could make us clean water (7,5)
NUCLEAR WASTE – *(US CLEAN WATER) with “could make” as the anagrind
4 Enter island by rickety punt (5)
INPUT – I (abbrev. Island) + *(PUNT) with “rickety” as the anagrind
6 Winding in loop, catching slippery fish (7)
REELING – RING (loop) containing (catching) EEL (slippery fish)
7 Noble — like The Wasteland being recited (5)
BARON – Sounds like BARREN (like The Wasteland being recited).
8 Hit back with clubs, breaking up truncheon (12)
COUNTERPUNCH – C (bridge abbrev. for Clubs) + *(UP TRUNCHEON) with “breaking” as the anagrind
14 Charm displayed by liking going topless (7)
ENCHANT – {P}ENCHANT (liking going topless). Took a while to spot this – my LOI
16 Once again tend to fall back (7)
RETREAT – RE-TREAT (once again tend to – as in tend / treat a wound)
17 Uncle Arthur not entirely lucid (5)
CLEAR – Hidden inside (not entirely) unCLE ARthur. Very neat.
18 Our welcoming cricket club brings spring to mind (5)
OCCUR – OUR ‘welcomes’ CC (abbrev. cricket club)
19 John’s opening a company with B Epstein, perhaps (5)
JACOB – J (John’s opening) + A CO (a company) + B giving us the celebrated sculptor Jacob Epstein. Very cunning misdirection with the B Epstein reference sending me off looking for Beatles related answers for some time.

21 comments on “Quick Cryptic 682 by Hawthorn”

  1. 11 mins, so on the easier side; only 23ac held me up at the end: “Something -bit, what -bit?” Some v nice surfaces as you say, e.g. 11ac and 22ac.
  2. Easiest of the week – 7.20

    Nick what was your time? – it would help to know!


    COD 11ac OWL

    1. I never actually look at timing for puzzles as, to be honest, the time taken is of no interest to me. I just enjoy the mental tussle and the fun. Also, particularly when I am on blogging duty, I fully parse everything and type notes as I go so that by the time I have completed the solve, the blog itself is around 80% written (just the way I prefer to work, otherwise I often forget how I arrived at an answer if I don’t write down the explanation immediately!)

      I also often wander off and make a cup of coffee / chat with ‘er indoors / stop and listen to something on the radio etc. as I am doing the puzzle. So my times offer little or no guidance on relative difficulty – which is why I generally just make a comment on whether I found a puzzle to be at the harder or easier end of the spectrum. And even then, my experience is that people often seem to have completely different perceptions as to a puzzle’s relative degree of difficulty so I’m not too sure what value that adds.

      1. To be honest, your excuses are hardly acceptable.
        Verlaine’s easy isn’t most solver’s easy by several minutes. It’s all comparative I hear you say but give us a clue or buy a chess clock!

        All other bloggers invariably attempt give their times. Why do they do it? – in order to help others who follow their blog. Galspray, Jack, Hugh, Vinyl, The Rotter, et al.

        I presume you cannot be present at the week-end as wandering off, radios and coffee aren’t allowed.

        Please state about ten minutes or fifteen minutes or whatever – it’s not that difficult!

        It adds value I assure you!

        1. As has been mentioned here many times before, bloggers are free to blog in whichever style suits them and this may or may not include their solving times.

          To say what you’d like to see is fair comment if done in a friendly and constructive manner, but not so when it’s demanding and abrasive like some of the comments above, and appears to be continuing a personal campaign against a particular contributor that is spoiling your input to the forum.

          Edited at 2016-10-20 06:16 am (UTC)

  3. As Nick says, lots of smooth surfaces. My last two in, 16d and 23ac, slowed me down. 5:21.
  4. Enjoyable and straightforward, though a couple of clues held me up briefly in the parsing. 8 minutes in all.
  5. Very enjoyable but my times remain frustratingly slow. 53.27.

    Held up for ages by 23a prohibit, 14d enchant, and especially 8d counterpunch as I didn’t spot the anagram.

    1. The main thing is to start *finishing*. After that – and lots of practice – the times start looking after themselves.
  6. An absolutely fantastic crossword and a pleasure to do. Like the people above, my LOI was 23ac and took ages over it. Had “bit” at the end and was thinking of a stop, as in a stop for a door or something similar. Gribb.
  7. One second slower than Kevin, and needed all the checkers to get PROHIBIT.

    Thanks Hawthorn and Nick.

  8. Put me down as another one held up at the end by 23ac, though 14d was a bit of a teaser as well. A very fair QC with some enjoyable build-up clues, taking me 30mins for a full house. Invariant
  9. Enjoyable and straightforward I thought. Enjoyed Joe “Cocka” Unlike some others above I found 23ac straight forward. “pro” and “bit” were pretty obvious. I know cheers = ta (or vice versa) is a common ploy, but I have never liked it and still don’t.
  10. Very good. Lots of Laugh Out Louds (LOLOLs?), my personal rating criterion.

    (I don’t bother with how long it is. Leave it aside and keep coming back, I say. Better to savour slowly.)


  11. I don’t know what it says about me but when I hear the words Joe Cocker I always think Jennifer Warnes.
  12. With 4-1-4, I bunged in COCK-A-HOOP, then justified COCK as the famous singer (as in cock-crow).

    Wrong, but it made me smile.


  13. Agree not so hard but the SE was a challenge. 23a was hard to spot even with all the checkers in place. Didn’t feel confident with 19d until I had all the others. So took about an hour after a great start working easily from the NW. Now I can go back to yesterday and see if I can anywhere beyond the two I managed in a bitty sort of day.
  14. We found this quite challenging, never heard of joe cocker, perhaps age related? Slow in sorting out anagram for 3d, but eventually the penny dropped so the answer to 17a became obvious. An enyoyable puzzle that stretched us, thanks to setter and blogger. Elin and Ian.
  15. With 4-1-4, I bunged in COCK-A-HOOP, then justified COCK as the famous singer (as in cock-crow).

    Wrong, but it made me smile.


  16. As others have said this was a very enjoyable puzzle which I completed in 15 minutes. I had never heard of this Mr Epstein before but the cluing made it solvable. LOI 23a and COD 17a.

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