Quick Cryptic 689 by Izetti

Today’s puzzle is brought to us by Izetti, and took me a bit over seven minutes to complete.  Would have been a minute quicker if not for a bad case of vertical dyslexia at 20dn, which persisted even after I got the “Unlucky” message.  Strange message by the way, I mean it’s not really down to luck is it?

Anyway, that makes it about average difficulty I think.  Aside from possibly the Hamlet character and the ancient land at 20dn, there aren’t too many obscurities here.  Of course that’s a reckless statement to make as it depends so much on the individual.  One man’s goanna is another man’s buckminsterfullerene, I always say.

Enough waffle, let’s just thank Izetti for the entertainment and get on with the parsing.  Clues are reproduced in blue, with the definition underlined.  Anagram indicators are bolded and italicised.  Then there’s the answer IN BOLD, followed by the parsing of the wordplay.  (ABC)* means ‘anagram of ABC’.

8 Deep regret about bit of food, almost (7)
REMORSE – RE (about) + MORSE{l} (bit of food, almost)
9 East European set about making escape with romantic intent (5)
ELOPE – E (East) + POLE (European) all reversed (set about)
10 The Spanish in time will get put off (5)
DELAY – EL (‘The’ in Spanish) in DAY (time)
11 Lear set to be disturbed Shakespearean character (7)
Ophelia’s brother in Hamlet.
12 Trouble taken to protect thunderous god’s hefty beast (9)
CARTHORSE – CARE (trouble) to ‘protect’ THORS (thunderous god’s)
Had to check to see whether THOR was from Greek or Roman mythology, but of course he’s Norse.  Nice to see them getting a turn.
14 Sheep rolling over is hurt (3)
MAR – RAM (sheep) ‘rolling over’
16 Animal stuck in grating (3)
RAT – Hidden in gRATing
I think hiddens are more satisfying when spread across multiple words, as in 22ac.
18 Managing Director embracing change had reflected deeply (9)
MEDITATED – MD (Managing Director) ’embracing’ EDIT (change) + ATE (had)
21 One’s other half may be fantastic parent, right? (7)
PARTNER – (PARENT)* + R (right)
I’d have been happier with just “other half” as the definition.  And I don’t think the surface reading would have suffered much without the “One’s”.  I have a similar (very mild) complaint at 15dn, but I’m happy for someone to spring to the setter’s defence.
22 In general, one remote type who remains aloof (5)
LONER – Hidden in generaL ONE Remote
That’s more like it.
23 Ethnic groups in competitions (5)
RACES – Double definition
24 Problem getting scene of WWI battle in order (7)
SUMMONS – SUM (problem) + MONS (scene of WW1 battle)
A sum is pretty basic as far as problems go, but very popular with crossword setters.  I guess SUM fits into most grids more easily than say PROVING THE RIEMANN HYPOTHESIS.
1 Publicity person, awfully crude creator (8)
PRODUCER – PRO (Public Relations Officer) + (CRUDE)*
2 Better getting rid of leader who proceeds slowly? (6)
AMBLER – {g}AMBLER [better, without the first letter (getting rid of leader)]
3 Sound of donkey in Berkshire village (4)
BRAY – Double definition
The barman said to the bloke next to me “What are you drinking, donkey?”
I said to the bloke “What’s that all about?”
He said “ee-yaw, ee-yaw, ‘e always calls me donkey”.
4 Trader expensive — the Parisian is taken in (6)
DEALER – DEAR (expensive) ‘taking in’ LE [French for ‘the’ (the Parisian)]
5 English chaps in temporary accommodation, part of large building? (8)
TENEMENT – E (English) + MEN (chaps) in TENT (temporary accommodation)
6 Shakespearean weaver in bed (6)
BOTTOM – Double definition, the first one referencing a character in A Midsummer Night’s Dream
7 Notice bishop upset busy groups (4)
BEES – SEE (notice) + B (bishop) all reversed (upset)
13 Fellow is participating in sound philosophical system (8)
HUMANISM – MAN (fellow) + IS in HUM (sound)
According to Wikipedia, Humanism prefers critical thinking and evidence over acceptance of dogma and superstition.  Sounds reasonable to me, though God knows why.
15 Charity gets one looking embarrassed and angry (3,5)
RED CROSS – RED (looking embarrassed) + CROSS (angry)
Slightly loose clue I thought.  The “one” is required for the surface reading but is superfluous in the wordplay.
17 The car breaking down in the country a long time ago (6)
Thrace was part of south-east Europe back in the day.  And long before that it WAS Europe.  At least that’s what they called it.  There’s your history lesson for today.
19 Most awful din curtailed repose (6)
DIREST – DI (din curtailed) + REST (repose)
20 Foremost idiot turning up is unimportant (6)
TINPOT – TOP (foremost) + NIT (idiot) all reversed (turning up)
I saw it, parsed it, solved it but proceeded to enter TINTOP.  Still couldn’t see it for ages after finishing the rest of the puzzle.
21 Left a small opening (4)
PORT – Double definition
The first definition requires you to be facing forward on a ship of course.
22 The French doctor seen as mild-mannered type (4)
LAMB – LA (French for ‘the’) + MB (doctor)
MB as in Bachelor of Medicine, quite common in Crosswordland.

16 comments on “Quick Cryptic 689 by Izetti”

  1. Now, if Trump ran the Times, it would be “Loser!” Anyway, not too much in the way of roadblocks today, other than typing in ‘warthorse’, forgetting that ‘the French’ can be LA as well as LE(S), and trying to figure out my LOI, 20d. 6:41.
  2. 22 minutes today, which serves me right for doing crosswords at 2.30 in the morning. Part of the problem was the 20/24 cross, where I couldn’t get “Somme” out of my head. The other was the Shakespeare cross in the NE, where even after I got BOTTOM I couldn’t get the anagram right, discovering after a few minutes that I had “TENRMENT” going down. Maybe I should stick to pen and paper.
  3. I agree, pen and paper does save time. Mine today 9.31.Shakespeare was no problem.

    ‘Charity makes one embarrassed and angry’ might have been a tad smoother but there may well be a better setting. ‘Embarrased and angry for charity’!?

    Re- Reimann – as far as is known all the non-trivial zeroes occur at 1/2 + bi for some b. No others have been found in a lot of searching. But are they all of that ilk? The Riemann Hypothesis suggests thety might well be – yet nobody has so far been able to establish the proof. Perhaps Verlaine would like to have a bash?


  4. 1 minute over target 10 once again, delayed by thinking of “hedonism” before HUMANISM which probably says more about me as a person than I’d care to admit to. Also a slight hesitation considering “pore” for a moment at 23dn.

    Verlaine doesn’t come here.

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

  5. Can you explain? I see no message. There’s a nice nina in the times2 today, though. TINPOT my LOI. COD to 21a. 7:25.
    1. Obviously you’ve never made a mistake then John! When you fill the grid on the Times website, if there are one or more errors you get a message saying “Unlucky. It’s not quite right yet.” From there you can click “continue” to go back and attempt your corrections.
    2. When you complete a Times puzzle on-line (on the new platform, where the Quick Cryptic is to be found) you get a message “Congratulations” or “Unlucky” as you type in the last letter, depending on whether or not you’ve put all the right answers.
      1. Ah. Thanks. Yes I do make mistakes, but the paper version doesn’t give feedback until the following day.
  6. COD to CARTHORSE, which might also have helped with the most acclaimed tricky clue in today’s 15×15, if the setter had thought of it. Was slow on LAERTES, not my favourite Shakespeare character. BOTTOM is one such, being essential to AMND’s themes of bestiality, menstruation and malevolent faeries, which somehow make a comedy. 6’20” today, thanks gal and Izetti.
  7. After struggling with the SW and NE corners all week, it made a pleasant change to be held up by the NW (2/8) and SE (20/24) versions today. . . Not to worry, as they subsequently provided my joint favourites – Ambler and Summons. With Mons taking far too long to recall (via Somme and Loos), this ran out just under the hour in total. Invariant
  8. My usual experience with Izetti. Mostly pretty straightforward and then get stumped. My last two in, 20d (my COD) and 24a, took me as long as the rest of the crossword. However, good to see a WW1 battle other than the Somme get a mention. I have a bottle of decent Claret on offer for the first setter who can manage to get Passchendaele into a clue!
  9. … for Belgian village from Izetti’s archive:

    Dan sees chapel restored in Belgian village

    If you wanted to work it inro a clue, you might use P_____ initially!


  10. This one took a bit of figuring out, not helped by a lack of Shakespearian knowledge. Like others I was sure that 24a (COD) would involve the Somme in some way, which proved a bit of a roadblock. Eventually completed in 22 minutes having biffed 6d (LOI) and completely failed to parse 13d.

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