Quick Cryptic 737 by Tracy

Continuing the business as usual theme today, with a pleasantly gentle puzzle solved pretty much top to bottom. Lots of longer and multi-word answers certainly helped to fill the grid, and there is an abundance of anagrams too. The only exception (for me at least, I’m hoping for enlightenment in the comments) is 6dn – I just can’t see it!

Great wordplay at 21ac amongst others – thanks Tracy.

Definitions underlined.

1 After explosion, or wearing stockings, caught red-handed (4,2,6)
BANG TO RIGHTS -BANG (explosion), then OR inside (wearing) TIGHTS (stockings).
8 Note short skirt and madam’s rear (5)
MINIM – MINI (short skirt) and last letter (rear) of madaM.
9 Legislator spilt no tears (7)
SENATOR – anagram of (spilt) NO TEARS.
10 Girl, a climber (3)
IVY – double definition.
11 Denied row involved quilt (9)
EIDERDOWN – anagram of (involved) DENIED ROW.
13 Increase in catcalls by end of act (5)
BOOST – BOOS (catcalls) and last letter (end) of acT.
14 Left donkey with ring and rope (5)
LASSO – L (left), ASS (donkey), and O (ring).
16 Total published, also revealed (3-3-3)
OUT-AND-OUT – OUT (published), AND (also), OUT (revealed).
17 Wicked spirit of one Member of Parliament (3)
IMP – I (one) and MP (Member of Parliament).
19 Article associated with more complex proposition (7)
THEOREM – THE (article) and an anagram of (complex) MORE.
21 How movie ends is senseless (5)
INANE – the word movie ends “in an e”.
22 Opening remark about church people (12)
COMMENCEMENT – COMMENT (remark) around CE (Church of England) and MEN (people).
1 Film Italian children, last two missing (5)
BAMBI – BAMBIni (children in Italian) with the last two letters missing.
2 Billy’s mate, the one looking after the kids? (5,4)
NANNY GOAT – cryptic definition.
3 Bad mood: time after time an odd hissy fit (6,7)
TEMPER TANTRUM – TEMPER (bad mood), T (time) after T AN (time an), then RUM (odd).
4 Live on border (6)
RESIDE – RE (on) and SIDE (border).
5 Army officer hit in all-out action? (7,6)
GENERAL STRIKE – GENERAL (army officer) and STRIKE (hit).
6 Perfect without a small child? (3)
TOT – the definition is clear enough, but I’m not sure what I should be taking ‘a’ (or possibly ‘as’) away from…
7 Drunk on port? At once! (6)
PRONTO – anagram of (drunk) ON PORT.
12 Stubborn stain to be specially treated (9)
OBSTINATE – anagram of (specially treated) STAIN TO BE.
13 Legless, British ahead of game (6)
BLOTTO – B (British) and LOTTO (game).
15 Frequently seen as vulgar (6)
COMMON – double definition.
18 Gather organic fuel round lake (5)
PLEAT – PEAT (organic fuel) around L (lake)
20 Gregory’s self-esteem? (3)
EGO – if one equates EGO/self-esteem with the core of oneself, I can see how this would work: central letters of grEGOry. I’m not quite convinced, but perhaps I’ve missed something.

21 comments on “Quick Cryptic 737 by Tracy”

  1. Today Galspray is the sharpest knife in the drawer – and I am TOAST, with 6dn parsing all understanding.

    My time was 7.40 with 8ac MINIM FOI and 18dn PLEAT LOI.


  2. It took me a while to sort out 3d, which I’d biffed from checkers and def, but otherwise things went fairly smoothly. I don’t see a problem with EGO; it’s enough that E-G-O are inside ‘Gregory’. 4:50.
  3. A very neat puzzle with a good mix of clues. I biffed 3dn and 6dn to return to having completed the grid in 6 minutes, and that added another minute to my solving time. The device used in both IN AN E and TO A T was inventive and may not have appeared before in a QC.
  4. 20:28, after 2 DNFs this felt much easier today, some serious biffing on the long clues, so thanks blogger in providing partings. At 13a I had SHOOT, with ‘shoo’ for catcalls, and ‘shoot’ for increase. So had to back that out as I completed 13d. BAMBI was COD, and I love the expression ‘Bang to Rights’, we have so many US cop shows on TV, it’s good to hear a great British idiom.
  5. Got educated today 🙂 – was unhappy about the tense of this at first because I assumed it was ‘banged to rights’. One of those expressions one hears a lot but rarely see written down. I also struggled with tot because I couldn’t think of a word from which I could remove a or as . ‘To a t’ for perfect is clever
  6. Some really excellent things: TO a T, BLOTTO, BOOST, IN AN E, COMMENCEMENT. Thanks.
  7. Baffled by 21ac although biffed it easily enough. I like this trickle of new techniques, as used in the 15×15. It’s easy to get complacent and think one knows it all in the QC, but I do think we should be challenging ourselves to keep learning.

    I understand the argument that the QC should be a gentle introduction to Cryptics (I rarely succeed with the main puzzle), but shouldn’t the ease be in the generous clueing and vocab, rather than by limiting the techniques?

    Anyway, thanks for an elegant puzzle and blog.

    1. I think the range of clue types in the QC is pretty comprehensive, Rob, and the examples we have seen today are just as rare in the 15×15 puzzle. The difference there may be that distinguishing between definitions and wordplay is sometimes more difficult.
  8. Lovely QC. Great fun with some very original surfaces. Don’t see a problem with EGO, perfectly straightforward I thought,
  9. Sub6, back to normal. Thanks to galspray for the parsing of 6d. On a mathematical point: a THEOREM is a proven proposition, this distinguishes it from a THEORY. Thanks william and Tracy.
  10. 9 minutes for me, held up by trying to justify the parsing of 3d and 6d. I was TO(as)T too. Well spotted Galspray. Thanks Tracy and William.
  11. Back to quick cryptics; it took me 11 minutes to get all but 15d and 22a.
    22a resisted for a couple of minutes as Command and Comment fitted the front part, but led nowhere. About 13 minutes in all.
    I thought 21a very clever and, like others, could not parse 6d (which I now see was also very clever). David
  12. Definitely a lot easier than Mon and Tues. Done in an hour or so on the side of going through the back-to-work inbox. Also got 6d for the wrong reasons – tried to parse, very dubiously, as TOT(AL). WOD = EIDERDOWN.
  13. If Monday was one of the hardest, this was one of the easiest I can recall. Sub 5 minutes on my ipad, would have been even quicker with pen and paper. Crossword regression to the mean?
  14. Thanks setter – a puzzle to restore confidence just as I was about to give up QCs as beyond me.
  15. 24 mins here, which could well be my best Tracy time, even if it was at the easier end. I had 21ac as my CoD, but now that 6d has been explained, I’m not sure which is the better clue. Invariant

    PS: A good mix of hard and easy QCs (that’s definitely not the same thing as poor and good) is the best way to both encourage newbies and give slightly more experienced solvers a better chance at moving onto the 15×15. The main crossword is still a big step up.

  16. Not much to add to the comments above – a very entertaining puzzle. I completed the grid in 10 minutes and then spent a further 3 trying to parse 6d, before turning to the blog for an explanation. Too many fine clues to pick one out but I particularly enjoyed 1d, 6d, 13d and 21a

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