Quick Cryptic 729 by Tracy

Just snuck in under the 5-minute mark, 4:59 to be precise.  That would place it slightly on the easier side of average by my reckoning.

Keeping it brief today, having just looked at the list of tasks (at work and at home) that I need to complete before Christmas.  Then there’s the Christmas shopping.  Hope the rest of you are more organised and relaxed, and that you enjoy the holidays and the New Year to the full.

Thanks for the puzzle Tracy, now 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’.

1 Vessel behind heading for small Channel island (4)
SARK – ARK (vessel) behind S (heading for small)
3 Pair watch, perhaps, for unfaithful partner (3-5)
TWO-TIMER – TWO (pair) + TIMER (watch, perhaps)
9 First half of song softly managed by old singer (7)
SOPRANO – SO (first half of song) + P (abbreviation for piano, meaning softly, in musical notation) + RAN (managed) + O (old)
10 Invalidate yearbook, removing second article (5)
ANNUL – ANNUAL (yearbook) with the second A (article) removed
11 Turn out to be point ahead (3,2)
END UP – END (point) + UP (ahead)
End=point in the sense of aim or objective, I guess.
12 Good access for aristocracy (6)
GENTRY – G (good) + ENTRY (access)
14 Hate it, a late TV broadcast, but take no further action (5,2,2,4)
17 Basic piano installed in flat (6)
STAPLE – P (piano) in STALE (flat)
There’s that piano again.
19 Come back again about aggressive dog (5)
RECUR – RE (about) + CUR (aggressive dog)
22 Crime rendering rector powerless? (5)
ARSONPARSON (rector) without P (power)
23 First sign (7)
INITIAL – Double def
First = initial as an adjective, sign = initial as a verb.
24 Dance enthusiast circling with energy (8)
FANDANGO – FAN (enthusiast) “circling” AND (with) + GO (energy)
25 Supporting Democrat, unelected President (4)
FORD – FOR (supporting) + D (Democrat)
Gerald Ford.  Not just an unelected President, but an unelected Vice-President as well.  There’s nothing like Being There.
1 Kind, like a senior nurse? (8)
SISTERLY – A senior nurse being a sister.
Apparently this term is still used in the UK.  My Mum’s the only person who still uses it in Australia.
2 Quick attack trapping leader of pack (5)
RAPID – RAID (attack) “trapping” P (leader of pack)
4 Daydreaming in court, appearing before large assembly (13)
WOOLGATHERING – WOO (court) + L (large) + GATHERING (assembly)
Might be an unfamiliar word to some, but it’s a good one isn’t it?
5 Do exercises in school (5)
TRAIN – Double def
“School” being a verb in this case.
6 Rally rounding on head of state (7)
MONARCH – MARCH (rally) “rounding” ON
7 Function of list, reportedly (4)
ROLE – Homophone (reportedly) for ROLL (list)
8 Specimen supplied by son, more than enough (6)
SAMPLE – S (son) + AMPLE (more than enough)
13 Set off, went out in front, surprised (8)
STARTLED – START (set off) + LED (went out in front)
15 Skilled worker from Hobart is a natural (7)
ARTISAN – Hidden in (hobART IS A Natural)
No Tasmanian jokes please.
16 Go home and go to bed (4,2)
TURN IN – TURN (go) + IN (home)
18 Herbivore filling saucepan, daily (5)
PANDA – Hidden in (saucePAN DAily)
20 Company about to broadcast in capital (5)
CAIRO – CO (company) “about” AIR (to broadcast)
21 Homeless child would appear in front, first of all (4)
WAIF – First letters of Would Appear In Front

18 comments on “Quick Cryptic 729 by Tracy”

  1. LJ is playing up again (bad gateway error) but is back for the moment. I needed 7 minutes for this one. I had a couple of queries when solving, like can “parson” include “rector”, and is a cur aggressive? But both answers proved to be in the affirmative when I checked the books later. Like our blogger I looked twice at the wordplay for END UP and then concluded,like him, that it’s exactly what it appeared to be at first sight.

    Edited at 2016-12-23 06:58 am (UTC)

  2. A straightforward one day. However, and I’ve seen this technique used many times before, in 1ac, wouldn’t “vessel behind heading for small” mean ark comes before (behind) S, so ARKS? Or does behind mean after in this case? Gribb.
    1. I can’t see the reading as anything other than: a vessel (ARK) goes behind the heading for small (S), i.e. ARK follows S to give SARK.

      Edited at 2016-12-23 10:48 am (UTC)

      1. I think I’m looking at it in a visual sense, in that the first part of the word is the front so behind would be left of this, and after to the right – if that makes sense! That’s how my brain works anyway. I think I’m just overcomplicating things. Gribb.
  3. I also found this to be at the easier end of the spectrum, with only the SW offering any resistance – not helped by my strange reluctance to spell initial correctly. Completed in 13 minutes.
  4. <6 just better than average time. I do not think there is a correlation between kindness and one’s female siblings; nor necessarily (though it would be desirable) between promotion within the nursing profession and degrees of kindness. Feeling poorly this morning.
    1. I guess it’s down to usage, as brotherly / sisterly tend to assume good relationships rather than hostility. Both Collins and Chambers mention kindness and affection in their definitions of sisterly.
  5. About average for me. I believe that in bowls one scores the number of “ENDS” won, so to be an end up would put one a point ahead. I think I have come across SISTERLY = kindly before, but I waited til I had all the checkers. Not sure if it is related to sibs or to Nuns. WOOLGATHERING a bit old hat now, but indeed a lovely word.
    A gentle end to a gentle pre-Christmas week.
    Happy Christmas to all my fellow crossword anoraks.
    1. I considered the bowls option Pompey, but I dismissed it for two reasons. One, they’re shots not points and two, you can score one or more shots on each end.
      1. You are probably right, but I just have a vague recollection of having heard the score of some game expressed in ends, and the most logical would be bowls. Would be possible, just count the number of ends won rather than the cumulative shots. But then I am not a bowler (not that sort anyway) so don’t really know.
  6. I must say that my heart sank at the thought of a Friday Tracy, but I was pleasantly surprised. In fact, if I hadn’t had a temporary mind block over 3ac, I would have come in comfortably below my 30 min par. I am still happy enough with a fully parsed half an hour for Tracy. Invariant
  7. 27:01, although a good 5 minutes of that was on WOOLGATHERING, as LOI. I fancied it starting with WRONG-, which was of course wrong. Still, a fine word, and I will be using it at the first opportunity. Did not parse FANDANGO, so thanks, blogger. COD SOPRANO, an eight-letter clue constructed out of no less than four fragments, honourable mention ARTISAN for a hidden clue across 4 words (kept trying to get ‘Tasman’ in there.
  8. Enjoyable QC, a little harder than yesterday I thought. I finished in almost exactly the same time -15 minutes- with my last two being Woolgathering (unfamiliar but not unknown) and Ford (only obvious once you get it). David
  9. Second sub-20 minute solve in a row with 18:59. I smiled at WOOLGATHERING, as I only learnt that word from a crossword a few months ago, and pleased that I’d remembered it. I’m going to use it in real life at the next available opportunity. Didn’t fully parse FANDANGO, but with all the crossers, was easy enough (LOI).
  10. Woolgathering held me up too so I finally posted 26 minutes.
    Another day with just a single anagram! It seems to be the rage at the moment but it does slow me down somewhat!
    1. Yes, I meant to mention that Ant. Like a lot of solvers (I think) I find anagram clues to be a good way to get a foothold into the puzzle.

      Are we starting to see fewer of them?

  11. Thanks for the explanations. I’ve tried various puzzles over many years and glad to have found this useful site.

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