Quick Cryptic 762 by Flamande

I thought this was a pleasant, gentle offering from Flamande at the easier end of the QC spectrum.

Probably a particularly good puzzle for newcomers to the dark art as it does make extensive use of established cluing conventions and abbreviations such as SH, PI, OP etc., and the ubiquitous Eland also enjoys an outing.

Thanks as ever to our setter.

Definitions underlined: DD = double definition: anagrams indicated by *(–): omitted letters indicated by {-}

8 To sing with percussion accompaniment is boring (7)
HUMDRUM – HUM (to sing) ‘with’ DRUM (percussion accompaniment)
9 Stranger beginning to nibble on a pork pie (5)
ALIEN – N (beginning to nibble) goes ‘on’ A LIE (a pork pie – Cockney rhyming slang)
10 Quiet colleague, friendly (5)
PALLY – P (quiet) + ALLY (colleague)
11 Free to renew property contract? (7)
RELEASE – Looks like / sounds like ‘re-lease’ – renew property contract
12 Hangs, around Ronald, unisex garments (7)
SARONGS – SAGS (hangs) goes ‘around’ RON (Ronald). Must admit I’d always thought (to the extent it ever crossed my mind – which is probably ‘never’) a sarong was a female’s garment rather than unisex, but a quick bit of Googling came up with numerous images of beefy blokes sporting said item.
14 Bouquet dispatched for the speaker (5)
SCENT – Sounds like (for the speaker) SENT (dispatched)
15 Italian fellow heads for Milan and Rome in October (5)
MARIO – First letters (heads) of Milan And Rome In October
17 I caught large antelope … in unlikely country! (7)
ICELAND – Cryptic clue on the basis an antelope would probably feel something had gone horribly wrong if it found itself in Iceland – with the wordplay being I + C (caught – cricket abbreviation) + ELAND (one of the crossword setter’s favourite beasts)
19 Unexpectedly find what’s needed for night-time reading?
20 Item of furniture fun to put together differently (5)
FUTON – *(FUN TO) with “differently” indicating we are in anagram country
22 Well-known public school rejected by duke (5)
NOTED – ETON reversed (public school rejected) with D (abbrev. duke)
23 Small bed and leash for dog (7)
SCOTTIE – S (small) + COT (bed) + TIE (leash)
1 Retail outlet quiet before work (4)
SHOP – SH (quiet) ‘before’ OP (work)
2 Walker is fitter, covering miles (6)
AMBLER – ABLER (fitter) ‘covering’ M (miles)
3 Fighting force always includes Royal Marines (4)
ARMY – AY (always – archaic / poetic as in “for ay endure”) ‘includes’ RM (royal marines)
4 One copies Manet for instance (13)
IMPRESSIONIST – DD. Rory Bremner does the chap with the impressive beard who gave us (inter alia) Dejeuner Sur L’herbe.
5 Man, perhaps, pursuing boy somewhere in Cumbria (8)
CARLISLE – ISLE (Man, perhaps) comes after (pursuing) CARL (boy)
6 Very religious old procurator of Judaea (6)
PILATE – PI (very religious) + LATE (old – as in former rather than dead). I did not know that the chap who famously asked “what is truth?” but did not stay for an answer bore this particular title, but all in all the answer really couldn’t be anything else…
7 Introduced new resident (8)
INSERTED – *(RESIDENT) with “new” indicating the anagram
12 Tasting fish topped with half portion of samphire (8)
SAMPLING – LING (fish) ‘topped’ with SAMP (half portion of SAMPhire)
13 Midday: arranged to dine, no? (8)
NOONTIDE – *(TO DINE NO) with “arranged” indicating the anagram
16 Apart from the outskirts, south coast town is fine (6)
RIGHTO – {B}RIGHTO{N} (south coast town loses its first and last letters – being the ‘outskirts’)
18 Perceptive, like trade union leaders in the eighties (6)
ASTUTE – AS (like) + TU (trade union) + T E (first letters – ‘leaders’ – in The Eighties)
20 Dandy consuming large turkey (4)
FLOP – FOP (dandy) ‘consumes’ L (large)
21 Trainee dentist’s concealing inadequacy (4)
NEED – Hidden in (concealing) traiNEE Dentist

23 comments on “Quick Cryptic 762 by Flamande”


    I came unstuck on PILATE but I’ve made up for it now by reading Anatole France’s short story – a tale of the unexpected, one might call it.

  2. Surely the QC is a but a light diversion?

    7.26 COD 9ac ALIEN WOD 12ac SARONGS

    Is 20ac FUTON furniture as such?

    Edited at 2017-02-08 02:23 am (UTC)

  3. 7 minutes for this, so each day a little easier so far this week for me after Monday’s debacle.
  4. I biffed ‘Marco’ too, and I have no idea why; and it was still there when I tried to submit. FUTON took me a while, oddly enough, but I haven’t slept in one for years; for me, a futon is in effect a duvet (the shiki-buton), which hardly counts as furniture. Your reference to Pilate’s famous question, Nick, provoked a senior moment which finally just ended, during which I was unable to recall the source (Francis Bacon) of the quote. A wonderful writer, Bacon. 4:52.
    1. I didn’t give a second thought to futon as furniture on the basis that, at some point in the early ’80s, a sofa bed was introduced into a shared house that I was living in at the time and was referred to by the rest of the gang as “the futon”.

      Maybe popular usage has broadened the definition somewhat? A quick search online brings up sites such as this one which seem to present the futon as a piece of furniture… http://www.sofasworld.co.uk/p/Havana_3_Seater_Futon_with_Drawers.htm?product_id=783394&utm_source=pla&affiliate=SFW-google-shopping&gclid=CIvZiv2__9ECFRco0wodm7MPvA

      1. Clearly, the word ‘futon’ has taken off on a new path in the UK, at least; I’ve never seen objects such as these. I take it that the cushion can be detached, spread out, and lain on? In any case, I wasn’t questioning the definition: if a bed is a piece of furniture, why not a futon? Even if one folds it up every day and puts it in the closet.
  5. All done in 30 minutes apart from 5d Carlisle, which took another 30 mins.

    With the cluing I was looking for man and then (i.e. pursuing) boy.

    COD 9a alien or 16d righto.

    I couldn’t parse 17a as I had elan as the antelope!

    Im ignoring horryd and going back on the coffee tomorrow.

    Edited at 2017-02-08 07:58 am (UTC)

    1. Flash! Make sure it’s Jamaican Blue Mountain and not Nescafe!
      Bests – and well done Mr. Gribb!
  6. Finished in 13 minutes, which may be a record for me, so I’m guessing this is at the easier end. LOI was PILATE, and was more hit and hope. Didn’t know the pi= religious link. Is it a clipping of “pious”? Not quite sure of “light on” = “unexpectedly find”, however. Any care to elaborate? Thanks. Gribb.
    1. The second definition (after the Greek letter)of PI in my Chambers is ‘Obtrusively religious, sanctimonious’. Worth remembering as often used by setters.

      ‘Light on’, as in ‘I lit on the answer’, which is equivalent to ‘I stumbled on the answer’ or ‘I unexpectedly found the answer’.

  7. ‘light on’ as in ‘come across’. Am not sure about HUM for ‘sing’. Those ELANDs get everywhere. Sub5subkevin, thanks nick and Flamande.
  8. Agree with Nick that this was medium strength challenge.
    No problem with Futon although I did have Fount early on (garden furniture?).
    LOI was Pilate. Favourite Righto. 15 minutes. David
  9. First time posting, but many time reading. Many thanks to all the bloggers for your help as it has enabled me to almost always come within at least one or two of completing. There is no way that I would ever get Pilate for instance, so this site is fab.

    I started the QC to improve my vocab and never with the intention of ‘graduating’ to the main puzzle. I have found it interesting though that, as possibly an outlier amongst solvers (80s born and female), I find easy the clues that others find harder. Eg. futon came immediately to mind and Monday’s puzzle I found on the easy side. I enjoy the variety in the setters’ style and level of difficulties!

    1. Welcome CSky and thanks for your comments – always good to know the blogs are helping people! Your demographic observation is interesting; there’s probably a PhD thesis to be written on the extent to which general knowledge is “generational” (and gender-oriented?) – you’ve set me thinking!
  10. 11 minutes this morning, with no real hold-ups and everything parsed satisfactorily. Hopefully, the same tomorrow when I’m blogging, although I think we may be due a harder one.

    I used to think the same about SARONGS as Nick, until David Beckham famously wore one.

    Nice blog Nick, and nice crossword Flamande.

  11. A better result than yesterday, coming over the line in 6:53 all correct. FOI SHOP and then a top to bottom solve. I also wondered about HUM for sing. No problem with FUTON: my daughter used to have a wooden frame that you rolled a thin mattress out on that she described as such. Thanks Nick and Flamande.
  12. 29 mins for a fairly typical day with one or two holdups but nothing serious. I would have preferred Right-Ho and Alight Upon as answers but they clearly didn’t fit!
  13. …so close to PB territory and almost read and write. I liked RIGHTO which I don’t remember seeing before, although dropping the B for RIGHT ON is a bit chestnutty.
  14. This seemed slightly harder than usual for Flamande, but at 24 mins it came out as average or thereabouts for him/her. I would tend to say Alight On when coming across something unexpected, but that usage isn’t listed: you live and learn. Invariant
  15. I was sailing through this, and even decided to time it, until I had worked round from NW, via Sw to SE and then hit NE and began to struggle. 11a, 9a 14a yielded 7d. worked out 5d and sat and looked at 6d for ages. Not knowing pi was my undoing until I decided that Pilate was at least a connection to Judean procurator. Happily correct but blew the express thing to 50 minutes. 23a – I count a cot as a small bed so whether the small=s or not seems it is only needed to make the answer work. I also liked 9a for some clever misdirection.
    FOI 8a LOI 6d COD 5d. Thanks to the blog I have added to my QC-lore and thank Flamande for a fun puzzle.
  16. I thought this was quite a gentle offering from Flammande and completed it in 12 minutes. I was helped by recognising ‘chestnuts’ that have previously caused me problems e.g alien/stranger and isle/man. My last 2 in, 20a and 21d, took a bit of figuring out.
    Thanks for the blog Nick

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