Quick Cryptic 736 by Teazel

After yesterday’s it is a bit of a relief that today’s qualifies for the ‘Q’ of QC without being an easy write-in. There is some interesting vocabulary (which headed me off into some diversions) but, in true QC style, easy word play backs up difficult terms. 12 minutes in total which included too long trying to find a homophone in 17ac.


1. Passive – lethargic. Exam success (PASS), I’ve (IVE).
5. Hang – execute. Witch (HAG) around noon (N).
8. Obverse – where head is seen (the side of a coin that bears the main design or device). Pretty simple word play – old boy (OB), part of hymn (VERSE).
9. Forth – river – as in the Firth of Forth. Again, if you’re not up with the rivers of Scotland, then the word play is kind – height (H) behind stronghold (FORT).
11. Marx Brothers – comedians. Karl MARX – a well know communist plus family (BROTHERS).
12. Drivel – rubbish. Left (L) on road to house (DRIVE).
14. Corpus – body of knowledge – a collection or body of writings, especially by a single author. (C)reator, anagram (out) of POURS.
15. Desert Island – the well known Radio Four program invites celebrities to Desert Island Discs. Abandon (DESERT), one’s (IS), country (LAND).
17. Sound – double definition without a homophone in sight (or even in ear shot).
18. Romance – love affair. Roman (Catholic), church (CE) – two different religions living harmoniously together in a single clue.
20. Emmy – statuette. Me back (EM), my (MY).
21. Pending – outstanding. Quiet (P), finish (ENDING).


2. Alb – vestment – a long white linen vestment with sleeves worn by priests and others. A (A), pound (LB).
3. Steer – double definition.
4. Visibility – a cryptic definition. The shipping forecast got a mention in last week’s blog – it also includes visibility where moderate means between 2 and 5 nautical miles.
6. Another – someone else. Anagram (prepared) of A THRONE.
7. Get around – go visiting. Buy the drinks (GET A ROUND).
10. Touchstone – a criterion or standard by which judgement is made. Anagram (somehow) of THOSE COUNT. An interesting second definition of touchstone is a hard dark siliceous stone, such as basalt or jasper, that is used to test the quality of gold and silver from the colour of the streak they produce on it. Hmm – the things you learn in crossword land.
11. Morse code – messaging system referencing our old friend Inspector Morse who used to solve the Times 15×15 by starting in the bottom right hand corner. Morse code was actually developed (or co developed – there seems to be some debate) by Samuel Morse in the 1830s.
13. Vietnam – country. Partly so(VIET NAM)e.
16. Award – prize e.g. 20ac. A (A), minor maybe (WARD).
19. Can – container. Without opening study s(CAN).

20 comments on “Quick Cryptic 736 by Teazel”

  1. Perhaps my quickest ever. I think my mental acuity has been heightened by watching documentaries about and by John Berger in the wake of his death. A good puzzle; as Chris says, satisfying despite its simplicity.
  2. Definitely a relief after yesterday’s. I started off badly, not getting more than a couple on my first pass through the acrosses, but fairly steady after that. TOUCHSTONE was nice; I was happy to finally get it without writing the letters down. 6:01.
  3. Normal service resumed on the QC with TEAZEL and RR due for a lie-in. I bet Izetti celebrated last night!

    This one bothered me for 8.50 with LOI 15ac DESERT ISLAND – happy memories of Roy Plomley and the wonderful Eric Coates’ redolent ‘By The Sleepy Lagoon’.

    WOD VIETNAM (lovely place for vacation and cuisine.)

  4. After yesterday’s confidence killer I had a few problems here too but finished, like our blogger, in 12 minutes. The intersecting TOUCHSTONE and CORPUS were my last two in.
  5. My first pass was far from encouraging, but once a few checkers were in it flowed quite well. So I finished around average. I think all communist families are comedians, so COD = MARX BROTHERS.
      1. I understand both points of view. Today’s level seems to match the QC well, yesterday’s were hard but of high quality.
  6. Much more accessible today, thank you. If I had not spent time trying to make up an act named the Reds Brothers who ought to have been the communist version of the Blues Brothers I would have been approaching a PB.
  7. Definitely normal service resumed, without being all write-ins. Forgot to time this one, but around the 10 to 15 minute mark. Liked MARX BROTHERS and DESERT ISLAND. Thanks setter and Chris.
  8. This seemed easy at first(top half) but I ran into delays particularly in the SW. It took me a while to get Morse Code and eventually I was left with 12a. Being a bit short of time I put in an unconfident Gravel, thinking of the gravel drive to the house. Close but no cigar from Groucho. 25-30 minutes today.
    A final word on the Izetti puzzle yesterday -I thought it was fine. David
  9. Surprised no one else struggled with 8ac (I’ve never heard of it), and this along with STEER were the two I didn’t get. Easier than yesterday for sure, but I’m finding I’m not always completing them recently. Gribb.
  10. It’s one of the facts that you should’ve come across in your 25 (?) years on the planet, Gribb: the two sides of a coin are the obverse (with the queen’s head on it) and the reverse (with the value and other symbols).
  11. My first complete QC. It took me 39 minutes but I was very happy to finish. I liked PENDING, OBVERSE and many others. Last two were PASSIVE and AWARD.
  12. Still haven’t finished yesterday’s – glad to hear it’s a stinker…This one fairly easy with at 45 minutes for me.

    FOI 11a LOI 21a COD 11d

  13. A nice change of pace today and I completed this enjoyable puzzle in 12 minutes. As our blogger mentioned the unknown (to me) words in 2d and 8a were very kindly clued so didn’t cause much of a hold up. COD 17a, LOI 10d.

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