Quick Cryptic 687 by Marty

A real mixture of difficulties here; plenty went in without a scratch of the head, whilst others required significantly more thought (at least in parsing). For me, examples of the latter include 4ac, 9ac, 22ac, and 7dn. Lots to enjoy too, of course, with a refreshing mixture of clue styles and some familiar friends (french, tennis, chemical symbols and classic abbreviations).

Definitions underlined.

1 Single day after middle of June (5)
UNWED – WED (wednesday, single day) after middle letters of jUNe.
4 Plant needing air after feeding with double nitrogen (6)
FENNEL – FEEL (air) with NN (double nitrogen) inside (after feeding with).
9 Ma’s top I replaced, putting on thick coat (7)
IMPASTO – anagram of (replaced) MA’S TOP I.
10 Tom, perhaps, shared fund (5)
KITTY – double definition.
11 Scottish resort where Ray’s gone off (3)
AYR – anagram of (gone off) RAY.
12 Popular drinks, we hear, for those in the know (8)
INSIDERS – IN (popular) and a homophone of (we hear) “ciders” (drinks).
15 From Turkey to Iran, maybe, represented by me in capitals? (6,7)
MIDDLE EASTERN – represented by ME (me, in capitals).
17 Strong coffee and tablets journalists love (8)
ESPRESSO – ES (plural of E, tablets), PRESS (journalists) and O (love, tennis).
18 A US lawyer’s high-level language (3)
ADA – A and DA (district attorney, US lawyer). A computer language.
20 Consume last of open port (5)
HAVEN – HAVE (consume) and last letter of opeN.
22 Operetta’s ending: it got a fresh musical direction (7)
AGITATO – last letter (ending) of operettA, and an anagram of (fresh) IT GOT A.
23 Too springlike? (2,4)
AS WELL – like a spring, as a well.
24 Skinflint’s unhappiness never-ending (5)
MISER – MISERy (unhappiness) without last letter (never ending).
1 Like protesters, well versed on weaponry? (2,2,4)
UP IN ARMS – double definition? Or UP IN (well versed on) and ARMS (weaponry).
2 Cleaner more prudent after change of heart (5)
WIPER – WIsER (more prudent), with a substitution of the middle letter (change of heart).
3 Girl calmer — one’s producing a whisky? (9)
DISTILLER – DI (girl) and STILLER (calmer),
5 Deer trapped in park leapt up (3)
ELK – hidden (trapped) in a reversal of (up) parK LEapt.
6 Rue tent disturbing this in the garden? (3-4)
NUT-TREE – anagram of (disturbing) RUE TENT.
7 Places to lounge about, reportedly (4)
LAYS – homophone of (reportedly) “laze” (to loung about).
8 Boast stereo: fantastic thing for child in car (7,4)
BOOSTER SEAT – anagram of (fantastic) BOAST STEREO.
13 Tyranny of the French Petty Officer: it upset sergeant major (9)
DESPOTISM – DES (of the, in French), PO (petty officer), reversal of (upset) IT, and SM (sergeant major).
14 For one new, an act of goodwill (2,6)
IN FAVOUR – I (one), N (new) and FAVOUR (an act of goodwill).
16 Deny Ovid was needing translation (7)
DISAVOW – anagram of (needing translation) OVID WAS.
18 Gather confession from fool? (5)
AMASS – AM ASS (‘I am an ass’, confession from fool).
19 From TV doctor, a directive to slow down (4)
WHOA – WHO (TV doctor) and A.
21 Not quite enough river for a duck (3)
NIL – almost all of (not quite enough) NILe (river).

20 comments on “Quick Cryptic 687 by Marty”

  1. Slightly harder than the last couple of days, so I was pleased that I was still inside 12 minutes. LOI IN FAVOUR (not spotting that “for” was the meaning). Some v nice clues, e.g. for UNWED, NIL, WHOA, LAYS, and COD 23ac AS WELL.
  2. DNK ADA, but not much room there for error. Also DNK BOOSTER SEAT. Liked UNWED, AMASS. 5:52.
  3. Once again I only just scraped home within my target time of 10 minutes. In particular I wasn’t sure of FENNEL and spent a while looking for an alternative. Given the checkers in place the particular vegetable came to mind almost immediately but “air” = FEEL needed some thinking through before I could justify it. I also needed the middle checker at 2dn to be absolutely sure which way the substitution was going. The plural E at 17ac took a moment to register too.

    I’ve become a bit bored with the cat and the dictionaries so thought I’d have a Jack photo for a change, but not one of the face I see every day in the mirror.

    Edited at 2016-10-26 05:28 am (UTC)

  4. Finished in 9.57 so par for both crosswords today.

    Jack the new pic – that’s surely Jack Benny! The Rotter has Tewwy Thomas and I hang out occassionally withRichard Wilson -so comedians and comic actors and jesters (Kevin and NtN) are popular icons.

    Might Galspray not consider adopting Norman Gunston as his avatar for his increasingly lighter moments?

    And ulaca Ernie Wise?

    I have seen the real Verlaine – slightly different from his vision. Enjoyed Saturday!


  5. About 90 minutes in a few sittings in between work.

    I was stuck for ages on 4 clues in the NE:

    4a fennel, I had the nn in the correct place but delay was twigging that feel = air.

    10a kitty, I couldn’t get cat out my head. Until it clicked.

    5d elk, Finally realised it was a hidden clue after struggling with the word play.

    And 7d lays, after thinking of as many bed, seats, etc.

    Good challenge. Think it took longer than usual as I stayed up to watch the Liverpool game and we are 3 hours ahead of UK time!

    Edited at 2016-10-26 06:45 am (UTC)

  6. Fully in agreement with the blogger, all done in less than 15 mins but DNK ADA or AGITATO but they couldn’t be much else and have only just come to terms with FEEL. COD 13d closely followed by 18d but I am sure I have seen it before.
  7. Average today, much delayed trying to justify feel = air, still not convinced. COD 19d. Thanks william and Marty.
  8. On the more difficult side for me. Never heard of ADA or AGITATO, but easy enough once the checkers were in. Enjoyed 18d and 21d, which were both rather neat I thought. AIR = FEEL, still seems a bit of a stretch. Unlikely to reach the solution from the clue. More a question of biffing the solution and getting the clue to fit (and even then I wasn’t convinced)
  9. I thought it was a little harder than usual today but I don’t have a time to confirm that as I dipped in and out. There seemed to be more clues than usual where I put a likely answer in and then parsed it, rather than where I let the wordplay lead me to the answer.
  10. Three sittings today, with the NE and SW corners putting up quite a struggle before pennies finally dropped. 14d was my favourite, closely followed by 23ac. Invariant
  11. Can someone help me out on 7d lays. I had leys. Lots of uncertainty but they worked out ok. Thx.
    1. Well this hadn’t occurred to me, but I think that had it been the intended answer, I might have queried place=ley as a bit loose. The wordplay (homophone of “laze”) works equally well in both cases.

      Ley: a piece of fallow land – is certainly a place, but the words are not synonymous.
      Lay: to place down gently – much better, so long as we recognise the definition as verb.

      Hope this helps.

      1. Thx. If my answer is not ‘the right one’ then so be it, but I reckon it is a good’un!
  12. I found this a bit of a teaser and I had doubts about several of my answers – 9a and 22a were unknown to me and my answers to 4a and 20a felt a bit iffy despite finding a way to parse them. I also thought 6d was a bit generic, or is there actually a ‘nut-tree’ as opposed to a walnut tree, for example?
    However it was a very enjoyable challenge, completed in 23 minutes. Favourites were 1a, 14d and 19d. LOI 4a.
    1. I had a little nut-tree, nothing would it bear,
      But a silver nutmeg, and a golden pear.
      The King of Spain’s daughter,
      Came to visit me,
      And all for the sake of my little nut-tree
        1. The King of Spain’s daughter was Catherine of Aragon, the Infanta de Castille, after whom, possibly, was named the Elephant and Castle area of South London.
  13. ADA is named for Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer, collaborator with Charles Babbage, and daughter of Lord Byron.

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