Quick Cryptic 709 by Teazel

Teazel has given us a breezy puzzle today, light on anagrams but with more than a spattering of whimsy.  Took me 4:29, so I’m going to guess it was easier than average.  Wonder what you made of it?

Not totally convinced of all of my parsing, so feel free to offer your insights via the comments.  I may not respond after about 4am UK time, as I’ll be attending the Christmas lunch for our workplace.  Given that about forty of my colleagues have just been sacked, it promises to be a memorable one.

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’.

1 Cosmetic to glue on cheek (8)
LIPSTICK – STICK (glue) on LIP (cheek)
That’s “lip” and “cheek” in the sense of “insolence”, of course.
5 Insect beginning to worry snake (4)
WASP – W (beginning to worry) + ASP (snake)
8 Actor’s prize is outsize limousine? (5)
OSCAR – OS (outsize) + CAR (limousine?)
9 Give another demonstration of carpet (7)
REPROVE – To give a demonstration would be to PROVE, so….
11 Not to be approached, like an exhausted kangaroo? (3,2,6)
OUT OF BOUNDS – Double def, the second one whimsical and slightly lame
13 Despicable type who’s falling apart? (6)
ROTTER – If you’re rotting, you’re a rotter, and you’re falling apart.
I don’t know our fellow blogger The Rotter personally, but he doesn’t seem despicable at all, and is hopefully not falling apart.
14 Murdered king’s end uncanny, in part (6)
DUNCAN – Hidden in enD UNCANny
Bad move by Macbeth, as it turned out.
17 Bill to announce opera (7,4)
WILLIAM TELL – WILLIAM (bill) + TELL (announce)
Where does the Lone Ranger take his rubbish?  To da dump, to da dump, to da dump dump dump.
20 To grow, men replace us in a month (7)
AUGMENT – AUGUST (month), with MEN replacing US
21 A graceful river-bird and dam (5)
ASWAN – A + SWAN (graceful river-bird)
Nice time of year for the black swans around here.  The cygnets are up and about.  Graceful indeed.
The dam of course is the famous one across the Nile.
22 Church Captain? (4)
KIRK – Double def
The second def being a DBE referencing the Star Trek character played by William Shatner.
23 Infectious condition is awful this year (8)
Yay, an anagram!
1 Circuit of swimming-bath taken up (4)
LOOP – POOL (swimming-bath), reversed (taken up)
Note that “taken up” only works as a reversal indicator for a Down clue.
2 Tool ready for use: select from a number (4,3)
PICK OUT – PICK (tool) + OUT (ready for use)
3 Make the difference Canute couldn’t? (4,3,4)
TURN THE TIDE – Double def
The second def (more a suggestion than a definition) references the tale of King Canute.  As you know, old Canute never believed that he could turn the tide, he was just demonstrating the futility of attempting to do so.  Good on ‘im.
4 A farce, breaking glass vessel (6)
Anagram number two.
6 A grain, or fruit (5)
ACORN – A + CORN (grain)
7 Requests worker to be well-mannered (8)
PLEASANT – PLEAS (requests) + ANT (worker)
10 Prominent, intemperate speech in favour of the Underground? (11)
Must say I like this kind of clue.
12 Retreat is a disadvantage (8)
DRAWBACK – Double def
15 Superpower rivalry in the Antarctic? (4,3)
COLD WAR – Hmmmm
Ok, the Antarctic Treaty was the first arms control agreement established during the Cold War.  And yes, it’s cold in Antarctica, or so I believe.  But is there something more (or less) to this clue that I’m missing?
16 Nervous about boy turning over for metal-working (6)
SMITHY – SHY (nervous) about MIT [TIM (boy), “turning over”]
I originally had metal-working underlined as the definition, but it needs to be “for metal-working” doesn’t it?  The smithy being either the chap that works the metal, the forge used for working the metal or the workplace where the metal-working is conducted.  On edit, the chap is a smith, not a smithy.  Not that that helps much.
18 Knocked back royal beer (5)
LAGER – REGAL (royal) reversed (knocked back)
19 I can move around old empire (4)
Our third and final anagram, and barely an anagram at that.

36 comments on “Quick Cryptic 709 by Teazel”

  1. Easier today, but I managed to get stuck at the end. First I had a bit of trouble with the REPROVE/PROTUBERANT crossers, and then I spent several minutes on 13ac. What I’d done wrong was put PICK ONE for 2dn (having already changed it from PICK AXE) so getting anything sensible to fit 13ac was impossible.

    Couple of notes for our estimable blogger G:
    15ac – less. 16ac – the chap is the (black)smith.

    Edited at 2016-11-25 01:37 am (UTC)

      1. My thoughts on 15dn are below. Any chance this is a correct reading? (The idea being there’s an overlap, and ‘rivalry’ goes with both definition and clue)
  2. Vastly easier than yesterday’s. I’m not sure how to parse SMITHY; as Adrian notes, the person is a smith. A SMITHY is a place for metal-working, but it’s not metal-working, and ‘for metal-working’ doesn’t seem to qualify as a def. If the clue had read ‘…place for metal-working’, now… 4:21.
    1. Yes, thanks Adrian and Kevin, you’re right that the person is a smith. Of course in Australia anyone named Smith is called “smithy”, or more commonly “smiddy”.
  3. 15dn COLDWAR – I am sure this is fine.

    7.15 so a middling QC.


    WOD SMIFFY as it pronounced in Lunnon Tarn.

    Gal. Where does the Pink Panther hail from?

  4. Very enjoyable 39 minutes.

    Held up by 9a reprove, I thought it would be a different definition of carpet and that was clever.

    And 6d acorn even though I remember this clue from before.

    Did not know Kirk the church.

    What a pleasant end to the qc week.

  5. 22:12, much better than previous two days. Liked PROTUBERANT for COD. LOI was REPROVE, still don’t see why it’s a carpet.
    1. To reprove someone is, or could be, to call him on the carpet, and I believe carpet is (was?) used as a verb in this meaning; as I believe horryd is intimating.
  6. At 13 minutes I didn’t find this as easy as some experienced solvers who’ve posted so far, although I’m never sure whether we’re comparing like with like as, unless otherwise stated, I always include full parsing of every clue in my given time. This handicapped me a bit today as I stopped and thought about SMITHY and HYSTERIA. I also lost time trying to parse PICK AXE before realising it was impossible as it was the wrong answer.

    I think SMITHY is an unsatisfactory clue, but would mention in defence of our blogger’s original comment that SOED includes “smithy” as the person who works in one, albeit in American usage.

    1. I definitely don’t include a full parsing of each clue; if, say, I think I’ve got the anagrist for an anagram, I don’t verify that–and occasionally pay the price. And occasionally I biff.
  7. Initially raced through this, but then got held up on a few I feel were trickier than most do here. 15dn, 13ac and 21ac in particular. Yeah, I also don’t see how reprove = carpet. Held up by 9ac and 10dn crossers. Never heard of protuberant, so had to check it once I put it in. I feel the wording suggests the word for “intemperate speech” would go inside PRO TUBE, rather than after. Gribb.
    1. Carpet as a verb – as pointed out by Kevin – here is an example – “I was soundly carpeted by my boss last night for my bad behaviour at the Pony Club Dance!”


  8. Call it hubris if you like, but after finding yesterday’s reasonably straightforward, this one was a struggle: 15 minutes, only a minute less than it took me to do the 15×15 today.
    Like others, I fell for PICK AXE, followed by PICK ONE before the patently obvious struck home, but even then I was sure 13a was RAT_E_, which made life difficult.
    16a was no problem especially knowing the Longfellow poem “Under the spreading chestnut tree, the village smithy stands…”
  9. 4.56 so a very easy one today. Breaking 5 minutes is tough on the iPad keyboard so always a cause for celebration. I might have shaved some more time off but REPROVE needed a second look.
  10. … as all mathematicians know. Nonetheless a good clue, although ‘carpet’ as a verb is a bit archaic. Just missed a sub 5. Thanks gal and Teazel.
  11. Yes, much easier today. I’m pleased to confirm that I am not falling apart quite yet,

    12 minutes for me (fully parsed Jack), so comfortably inside my new target time of 15 minutes. I’ve decided to give up my vanity target of 10 mins as I was consistently failing to achieve it. Better at my age to set low expectations and then fail to achieve them!

    Like others, LOI was reproved which took a minute to understand.

  12. I thought I was on for a flier today when the NW went in at first glance, but I then got held up with 9a/10d and then even more held up with the SW – my lack of opera knowledge not helping. Finally completed in 27 minutes so above average difficulty for me, but easier than the last couple of days. COD 11a for the imagery it brought to mind, LOI 22a
  13. Eleven minutes for me, with no real difficulties. My allergy to Shakespeare didn’t stop me filling in DUNCAN, and luckily the ASWAN dam is one of few names I remember from childhood geography lessons.

    LOI REPROVE, even though I’ve just been re-reading one of Adam Hall’s Quiller novels; there’s quite a lot of old-school language in the early ones and people are often carpeted for their mistakes.

    COD to 22a. Beam me up, setter!

  14. Found this one easier than most. As with the blogger I like particularly the 10dn type of clue, so COD for me.
    Interesting comments here on times. For me if it ain’t parsed it ain’t finished. And using references is a strict no no. Each to their own I guess.
    1. Pompey, I half-agree. I just defer to what would happen in competition conditions. No use of references, but no requirement for full parsing either.

      Actually make that two-thirds agree, because I also think “to each his own” applies. People are obviously free to complete the puzzles and record their times in whatever way they please, but as Jack says above it’s interesting to know whether we’re comparing like with like.

      Personally if I resort to references I record a DNF. As for parsing, to be honest that part is not always totally completed until I’ve dropped in to TfTT!

  15. I am still within my first 20 cryptics, so I take much longer than others here (maybe 90 minutes…) but it’s funny how sometimes there is so little overlap between the ones I find easy or difficult and the general consensus on here.

    For example, 2dn and 10dn were among the easier ones for me, while the two I had to look up at the end were 22ac (thought briefly about German Kirche but didn’t know Kirk – badly overlooked Captain Kirk…) and 6dn.

    6dn was a problem because I had REPRISE for 9 across. Never heard ‘carpet’ used as a verb in that way, and REPRISE kind of worked for ‘Give another’, with ‘demonstration of carpet’ kind of working for ‘rep rise’, although I guess it should actually be ‘riser’, and the ‘riser’ probably isn’t the carpet itself…

  16. I meant to add that my interpretation here relied on overlap between the clue and the cryptic part. I thought maybe that was indicated by the ‘?’.

    So ‘Superpower rivalry’ as definition. And ‘rivalry in the antarctic’ as the cryptic clue?

    1. Hi anon. Yes, a similar thought crossed my mind. It seems as good an interpretation as any, although this sort of “double duty” for rivalry is a bit unusual.

      In the end I think it’s a simpler clue than we’re making it. Just “superpower rivalry” as the def, and the Antarctic reference as a bit of a cryptic hint.

  17. First one I’ve finished this week. I was worried I was going to go all week without a finish. LoI “Reprove” – never come across that meaning of carpet before.
  18. Quick for me at an est 35/40 minutes and would have been a lot quicker if I too hadn’t fallen for 2d pick one. A good range of difficulty this week
  19. Perhaps not as satisfying as Mara’s excellent puzzle yesterday, I found it just as hard. Two left (6d, 9a) after 20 minutes-and after correcting Pick One which I wasn’t sure about. Good to see The Rotter emerging.
    I knew the type of carpet I was looking for but was also stuck with Reprise.
    Was annoyed not to get Acorn quickly as I think I’ve seen a similar clue before. Anyway about 26 minutes to finish-LOI was Reprove. Favourite 11a. David

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