Quick Cryptic 761 by Tracy

A quite swift (just under 10 minutes), saucy (see 11ac) and beautifully formed crossword with which I had some fun (see 18dn) – so a big thank you to Tracy. Three 13 letter clues may look fearsome but are really quite gentle. Several favourites from the rest – 4ac and 9ac but pipped at the post by 5dn (very appropriate in my family!).


1. Bloc – alliance. Bric really isn’t an alliance no matter how hard you try to fit it in but but a building BLOC(k) is.
4. Nose dive – plummet. Anagram (formation) of DOVES IN plus shor(E).
8. Aversion – dislike. A (A), model (VERSION).
9. Ulna – bone. Found in veg(AN LU)nch – sent backwards.
10. Grease – oil. (GR)eek, facility (EASE).
11. Relish – look forward to. There are many sauces which are relishes – tomato to name but one. In Sheffield, however, there is only one which is revered above all others (especially over Worcestershire Sauce) which is the mighty Henderson’s Relish (Hendo’s to locals) proudly brewed and consumed in Sheffield in 1885 and still going strong.
12. Grandstanding – acting ostentatiously. Still (STANDING) on piano (GRAND).
16. Steady – stable. Anagram (mixed up) of DATES plus jocke(Y).
17. Dearly – very much. Expensive (DEAR) by the banks (edges) of (L)iffe(Y).
19. Miss – a rather sad double definition which this web site is never guilty of.
20. Archives – old records. Leading (ARCH – as in rival), US composer Charles Edward (IVES).
21. Car rally – race. Everyone (ALL) in transport (CARRY).
22. Glen – valley. Information (GEN) about lake (L).


2. Lover – mistress. Left (L), on account of (OVER).
3. Curtain-raiser – preliminary event. Anagram (awfully) of ERRATIC RUINS A.
4. Sound – noise. Organ (NOSE) with (I) installed.
5. Sangria – wine punch. Anagram (drunk) of GRAN IS consuming (A).
6. Double-dealing – duplicity. Stand-in (DOUBLE), buying and selling (DEALING).
7. Venison – meat. Partly used o(VEN IS ON)ly.
10. Gag – double definition.
13. Retsina – resin flavoured wine. Anagram (what could be) of NASTIER. Certainly little could have been nastier than the very cheap Retsina which was all I could afford many years ago in Greece. Presumably there are some top notch examples but I’ve never had the inclination to seek them out.
14. Skyfall – an excellent James Bond film which pieced together much of the history of previous Bond films. Southern (S), Kentucky (KY), plus the local term there for autumn (FALL).
15. Guy – another rather sad double definition which this web site is also never guilty of.
17. Decoy – one may entice you. Deb short (DE) and shy (COY).
18. Liege – Belgian city. For example (E.G.) in piece of fiction (LIE) – as may presumably be perpetrated by a caddish 15dn if concealing a 2dn from his 17ac beloved 19ac in the hope of not having the 14dn ing in on him.

25 comments on “Quick Cryptic 761 by Tracy”

  1. Thanks. Average difficulty. Found 12ac and 15dn quite hard. I didn’t know guy=ridicule. Does anyone hereabouts actually use this verb?


  2. Started off quite slowly, sped up, and then slowed down over the last couple. Never heard of SKYFALL, but the wordplay was kind (FALL is the ‘local’ term for autumn throughout the US, although ‘autumn’ is also used). Does anyone hereabouts use GUY? Well, if you include setters in ‘hereabouts’, yes; otherwise, I’d bet no one does. 5:18.
  3. Ummm…Kevin! SKYFALL James Bond 007 film – Adele song won ‘Best Original Song’ at the Oscars 2012 – you need to get out a tad more!

    Has GUY-(UP) somehow morphed into GEE-UP?

    7.54 so quite do-able under ten mins IME.

    I love 13ac RETSINA as long as there is haloumi to hand. Only once found in Shanghai.


    Edited at 2017-02-07 03:45 am (UTC)

    1. I was going to reply, Get out more, to watch Daniel Craig? But I Googled Skyfall first, and discovered that I had actually seen the movie–or parts of it– on my very own TV. I gather Adele is some sort of pop singer?
      1. Kevin why so dismissive – pop singer – how very sixties!?

        Adele Laurie Blue Adkins MBE is an English singer-songwriter.
        Her second album had worldwide sales of 35 million.

        You still need to get out more!

        horryd Shanghai

        1. By 2014, Adele was already being regarded as a British cultural icon, with young adults from abroad naming her among a group of people that they most associated with UK culture, which included William Shakespeare, Queen Elizabeth II, David Beckham, J. K. Rowling, The Beatles, Charlie Chaplin and Elton John.
  4. Very enjoyable 40 minutes today, without the aid of sangria, only coffee.

    Only struggle with the parsing was facility for ease.

    Last few in were 8a aversion, 10a grease, 2d lover and 4d noise, which put together makes an interesting scenario.

    Lots of nice clues, 13d retsina with the crafty anagram.
    Another good anagram for 4a nose dive.
    And the hidden 7d venison.

    dnk composer ives.

    Edited at 2017-02-07 05:37 am (UTC)

    1. Flash matey – if this took you all of 40 minutes, might I suggest you ditch the coffee and make a start on the jolly old sangria!
      1. Its frowned upon at work!

        Anyway 40m is pretty good for a newbie.

        The main crossword is not too bad, got everything except 2 clues with only a little cheating…

  5. 9 minutes came as something of a relief after yesterday’s stinker when I was on duty, although I must admit I had to hop around the grid quite a lot, particularly in the early stages, to get properly started and build up momentum. And neither of the 3-letter answers came to mind until I had a checker in place.

    I looked twice at “relish / look forward to” as I thought it had more to do with enjoying something than anticipating it – why else would “relish the thought of” be such a common expression? But the first dictionary I consulted told me I’m wrong, so there I go.


  6. Nothing too difficult here and I finished within half an hour. However, I had to take a leap of faith on a few. Not familiar with ease = facility, over = account of, and both “arch” and “Ives” in 20ac. As a result, 20ac was my LOI. Surely I can’t have been the only one looking for an anagram of “still on piano” at 13ac? Even though there are only 12 letters. Gribb.
  7. Q: Why did Adele cross the road?

    6′, so about average. I too was a bit dubious about ‘relish’, doesn’t it only go, in this sense, with ‘the prospect of’? Thanks chris and Tracy.

    A: To say hello from the other side.

  8. About average for me after a fairly slow start. Never heard of Ives as a composer. Guy seems to be a crossword standard of a word nobody ever uses, in that context anyway. Took me a while to work out 3dn.
    1. Charles Ives is a much-loved US composer – but not by me. I have tried and tried to understand and appreciate his work without success. I’d give him a miss if you dislike discordant music.
      I’m sure I’ve heard and/or read GUY used outside crossword-land meaning to fool, especially as the word’s usually clued as a rope instead.
      Definitely my kind of puzzle, breaking the 5′ barrier for the first time in absolutely ages.
  9. … the rougher the better, sitting in a harbour-side taverna on a near deserted Dodecanese island in 38C – my idea of heaven!
    Brain must have warmed up at the thought, bit of a write in today. Enjoyed 12a so COD
    WOD Retsina, what else?
  10. A group of students once took a summer trip in an old fire tender to Greece and brought back a bottle of retsina which we kept to celebrate the end of our course. As it was being extracted from the locker 5 years later it dropped on the floor. It smashed removing all the polish emitting noxious fumes…..unlike of course our local Hendos which can accompany almost any food you care to choose!
  11. An average 35 mins here as well, held up a bit at the end by 17 and 11 for no obvious reasons. I must be getting used to Tracy, as he used to take twice as long as the others.
    I thought 13d was appropriately clued – I did try a mouthful once, and have never (knowingly) drunk a Greek wine since. Invariant
  12. Messed this one up in 7:54 due to rushing for a doctor’s appointment. Biffed RAC Rally and stuck with BRIC instead of thinking, thus making 2d a mombled REVER. Eejit!
  13. A comfortable sub-ten minutes on this one, which presented no particular difficulties.

    I don’t have a problem with GUY. Admittedly, I first came across it in this sense via crosswordland, but I have heard it used in the real world since.

  14. A nice gentle workout today after yesterday’s horror show. Completed in 13 minutes but with my LOI, 20a, unparsed never having heard of the composer and forgetting about the leader/arch link.
  15. Sorry, but I use ‘guy’ in the sense of ‘sending up’ etc.
    ..seems to be understood. A DNF as stuck with 1a brick and had to settle for 2d rover. Should have persevered. FOI 4a LOI unsatisfactory 2d COD 12a 50 minutes, should have taken 60!
  16. 12 minutes to get to my last two: 17d and 20a. Could not see 20a at all and plumped for a provisional Dishy at 17d. 6 minutes later I finally saw Archives; I have come across Ives in other puzzles; and then Decoy. Excellent puzzle. Favourite 12a but lots of contenders. David

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