Quick Cryptic 701 by Corelli

15 minutes with a wobble in the SE. The two crossing counties and the game (inexplicably) causing a hold up. 12ac was new to me and provided a lot of entertainment.

1. Skating rink – an &lit A cryptic definition to start us off. Slippers/sliders/skaters use this as a leisure area.
8. His Nibs – ironic title. Is (IS) and (N)ever inside (claimed by) Scottish football team (HIIBS).
9. Movie – picture. Doctor (MO) to compete for (VIE).
10. Eyeshadow – cosmetic. Unless I’m missing something the ‘how this is made’ appears to be deceptive filler. Watch (EYE), follow closely (SHADOW). Ah – but on reflection – eye and shadow is how the cosmetic is made up in the answer. I like it.
12. Reg. Double definition. Shortened form of both a male name and a car’s registration found on a number plate.
13. What if – theoretical question. Anagram (reorganisation) of WITH FA.
15. Cluedo – board game. This answer came almost immediately but I rejected it for too long convinced that the spelling was Cleudo. No idea why. Anagram (in disarray) of COULD and terminat(E).
17. Sir – address for teacher. Is (IS) sent back (SI) with right (R).
18. Glossiest – most highly polished. Anagram (somehow) of LOSES GIST.
20. March – double definition. Demonstration is obvious, border less so. The noun March, also called marchland, means a frontier/border often of disputed ownership.
22. Leitrim – county (of N Republic of Ireland in Connacht province, on Donegal Bay). It (IT) located inside the French (LE) and border (RIM). Dnk this county but it had to be either Leitrim or Literim and the former seemed a better bet – then backed up by the checker from the other county.
23. Nowhere near – a long way away. Anagram (moved) of REAR WHEN ONE.


1. Susie – girl. Son (S) and that is (IE) going round America (US).
2. Alighting – landing. Area (A), illumination (LIGHTING).
3. Inside – serving time. As a member of the team one is in side.
4. Gem – stone. Me (ME), somethin(G) upwards.
5. Inverse – the opposite of. Popular (IN), poetry (VERSE).
6. Keep good time – run to schedule. Carry on (KEEP), seeking pleasure (GOOD TIME) – please see Corelli’s post below.
7. Three Wise Men – followers of star. Anagram (broadcast) of MEET HERE IN SW.
11. Wiltshire – county. I apologise to any locals of that county (Moonrakers?) for taking so long to come up with the name. Loses strength (WILTS), to take on (HIRE).
14. Aircrew – pilot and assistants. Show (AIR), boasted (CREW).
16. Collie – dog. Constant (C), the companion for Stan (Laurel) was Oliver (OLLIE) Hardy.
19. Error – slip. To be found upwards in ba(R OR RE)staurant.
21. Hue – green perhaps. Good (g) escaping from monster (HUgE).

33 comments on “Quick Cryptic 701 by Corelli”

  1. I read it that EYESHADOW (‘this cosmetic’) is made by combining ‘watch’ and ‘follow closely’. ‘cosmetic’ alone wouldn’t do as a definition: ‘Watch and follow closely cosmetic’?
    1. I’ve just relaised that the verbiage is saying ‘this is how the answer is arrived at’. Thanks.
  2. This felt rather sluggish, too. I biffed HIS NIBS and assumed that there was a team called HIBS; nice to guess right for once. Fortunately I knew of CLUEDO (it’s called ‘Clue’ in the US) from 15x15s. LEITRIM only vaguely familiar, but looked right. MARCH seemed a bit 15x15ish. 8:10.
  3. I also struggled a little and eventually finished in 13 minutes. I wonder if I was alone in considering O{g}RE at 21dn eventually rejecting it because I couldn’t make the definition work. Ashamed of my lack of knowledge of Irish counties “Laitrim” was my alternative answer based on the French feminine pronoun but I chose correctly in the end.
    1. I think this was too hard.

      Finished in about 3 hours over several sessions (during work).

      Clueing not helpful. Didn’t really enjoy it.
      Oh well lets see what comes tomorrow.

    2. Yes, I slowed myself up with ORE at 21dn. I thought this puzzle was good fun, with a couple of tricky clues, but made easier by being able to biff the long answers. I was slow to get the reference to Stan at 16dn, and slow to realise that the county at 22ac might not be an English one. 🙂

      I’m from the Marches but “march”=”border” might be a bit obscure for the QC. FOI ALIGHTING LOI AIRCREW COD GEM.

  4. Far too hard today, in my opinion. Didn’t finish, as I put ORE for 21ac, thinking it was Ogre minus the “g”. As a result, I was left with M_R_O for 20ac. Guessing Hibs in 8ac will be unknown to many. Never heard of “crew” for boast, so that took a long time to get. As did 6dn and 7dn. Very, very tricky overall. Gribb.
  5. Rum things, crosswords. I really struggled yesterday, and DNF. Today, all done in 12 minutes. I was an ‘ore’ man until March fell into place. But I buffed in Collie on the basis of Stan Collimore!! So clearly I’m not nearly as clever as I would like to think.

  6. 22dn LEITRIM was my LOI – but was surprised by folks saying how hard it was – 7.38 was my best time for a couple of weeks. FOI 1dn SUSIE


  7. I’d have thought the past of crow was crowed rather than crew.

    Held up by ORE too & had rag rather than reg – despite being my Grandfather’s name.

    Leitrim was only vaguely familiar. 16 mins for me so not too tricky.

  8. Like horryd found this on the easier side, having struggled for the past few days, but took a while climbing out of the ORE trap. Thought 4d one of the best surfaces I have seen for a while.
  9. I’m in the same camp as Anon above – a DNF yesterday and then just 20 mins today, with the help of a map of Irish counties. I had also put in Ore for 21d but couldn’t find anything to fit into 20a so had to revisit it.
  10. I am definitely in the hard camp today, 11’20” and crossed fingers with LEITRIM, do not like having to guess in any crossword and especially the QC. Some really excellent clueing, REG, HIS NIBS, COLLIE. In my experience, Monopoly rather than CLUEDO is likely to end in disarray. Isn’t EYE SHADOW two words? Hibernian is one of the two main Edinburgh soccer teams, the other being Hearts (Heart of Midlothian, cf Walter Scott). I know this from reading Ian Rankin’s Rebus books, and understand there is the undertone of Catholic/Protestant rivalry. Thanks chris and Corelli.
    1. OED says eyeshadow is one word. https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/eyeshadow

      I notice that people have trouble with compound words – I don’t think schools attempt to teach orthography any more. Every day I see many compound words spelled as separate words – spellcheckers aren’t designed to spot such mistakes.

      In this case I think one reason it’s a compound is that “shadow” is not meant in a literal sense: it’s not the shadow of the eye, or a shadow on the eye. But often there doesn’t seem to be much of a reason why words are compounds or not – it’s just a question of usage over time.

      1. If your spellchecker won’t identify compound words, maybe try a spell checker …?
        6’30” – definitely on the hard side
  11. I found this a curious mixture of the straightforward and the very difficult and I eventually completed it in 23 minutes. DNK the border/march link and this wasn’t made any easier by wanting to put Ore in for 21d. But my real struggle was whether the unknown (to me) Irish county should start La or Le, fortunately I guessed right in the end. LOI 12a took an age to see.
    Overall though a good and enjoyable challenge.
  12. This was the first QC for a long time which I have not completed correctly I managed to make three mistakes so, like a golfer, I hope I have got all my bad shots out of the way in one round.
    I agree with Plett11, it was a mixture of the relatively easy and rather difficult.
    I fell into the Ore trap but corrected it. My inventive answer for 4d was Gee! = Stone me. This made 9a impossible; I did have the Vie at the end. I guessed Laitrim for the county (completely unknown to me).
    I am having a drink tonight with a friend who is a very keen Hibs supporter. At least I got that clue but only after getting 1d and 7d. David
    1. Thank goodness I wasn’t the only one to plump for the (surely obvious) Gee! as the answer for 4d. Even when I was left with E- vie for 9ac, I was still looking for an obscure word that would fit, until my wife came to the rescue. Invariant
  13. A touch on the hard side for me, finishing in 23 minutes, slowed down a lot by the same issues as everyone else, by the sounds of it. Glad that LEITRIM looked more likely than “Laitrim” to my eyes, and that when MARCH finally sprang to mind it helped me get over the “ogre” and find HUE almost immediately as my last two in.

    Just read quite a lot of the Wikipedia article on Marches. Interesting stuff, with a lot of “oh, I never knew that” etymology in it.

  14. Leitrim did for me, pretty hard one that. Was only briefly delayed by ORE. COD: His Nibs. My grandpa used to always use it, and I find it almost impossible to define. Ironic Title, a good concise definition.
  15. Had difficulty getting 12a plate = reg, 20a march = border and 14d, crew is not the past tense of crow, surely it is ‘crowed’?
  16. I thought this was a puzzle of just the right level of difficulty. I must take issue over the crowing. When Peter denied Christ three times, the cock crew. St Luke chapter 22 verse 60. DM
  17. Hard but fair! Missed some anagrams but got there in the end anyway. Took ages to see how 16d worked but it had to be a Laurel & Hardy answer. 21d rejected ore very quickly as it wasn’t likely that 20a would end in an o. Biffed 13a reg. thanks to our blogger for explaining the correct approaches. But also to Corelli for giving me a puzzle I put down after 20 minutes with only 3 solutions and a few pencilled, and yet a second sitting solved completely in another 45 minutes. Great fun.
  18. A small point perhaps, but as there may be new comers or others looking for clue explanations, 1ac is just a cryptic definition, and at 6dn ‘seeking pleasure=’GOOD-TIME’ (as in ‘Good-time George’ Melly 🙂 )
    Otherwise ‘seeking’ is not used in the clue
    1. Did you intend the trap at 4d- Gee! = Stone Me?
      The clue worked perfectly until you tried the Movie clue. David
      1. No I don’t think Quick Cryptic setters are encouraged to set “traps”. The problem is that sometimes a cryptic clue can lend itself to an unintended answer, and unless someone spots it then that unintended answer will remain a possiblity.
        That said, the parsing required to get to GEE here would require it to be a rather ungainly &lit style clue – but I agree it does sort of work


  19. Just unspammed a couple of comments from Adrian Bailey. LJ doesn’t like it when non-bloggers try to add web links, sorry.

    This was probably the toughest QC I’ve come across since I started doing them regularly as a warm-up a couple of months ago. Nothing unfair, but I can see how it would be challenging for a beginner. Worth persevering with, or at least looking at again after reading the blog.

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