Quick Cryptic 769 by Marty

Morning all.  A brief and possibly mistake-ridden blog today.  I’m travelling with my family in Japan (wonderful place, by the way), and it’s hard to find some quiet time to put the blog together.  Was expecting to write it in Japanese, but the only words I’ve learned so far are Asahi and Shinkansen.  Which is why, when I finish writing this, I’ll have no choice but to enjoy a beer on the bullet train.  Arigatou gozaimasu.

As for the puzzle, a bit of a challenge from Marty I thought.  There were a number of cryptic and whimsical double definition type clues, as opposed to those where the answer can be assembled piece by piece from the wordplay.  And not many of the clues had single-word definitions, so the puzzle had a slightly different feel to it today.  None of which is meant as a criticism, in fact I thoroughly enjoyed it, and as usual our thanks go out to the setter.  My time was 6:35.

Here’s how I parsed it.  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 Could she be unsettled in among Welsh? (12)
A semi-&LIT clue, where the definition depends in part upon the wordplay.  I have no idea why an Englishwoman would be unsettled by the Welsh, unless she was in the crowd at Principality Stadium on Saturday.
8 Approach race in a cheerful mood (3-2)
RUN-UP – RUN (race) + UP (in a cheerful mood)
9 Healthy food — or chips an alternative (7)
Was healthy for Popeye at least. Or was it?
10 Prisoner who’s been released, having a function in gym (7)
PAROLEE – A + ROLE (function) in PE (gym)
11 Nonsense that’s over the setter’s head! (2,3)
MY HAT – Double def, the second one whimsical
Not sure how many people still use this expression.
12 One new loaf, you might say is natural (6)
INBRED – I (one) + N (new) + BRED [homophone (you might say) of BREAD (loaf)]
14 Source of light twist that hurt! (6)
WINDOW – WIND (twist) + OW (that hurt!)
That’s wind rhyming with bind, not wind rhyming with binned.  And let’s not get bogged down on whether a window is actually a source of light.
17 Flower lit up rocks (5)
Nice economical clue.
19 Observe father with daughter’s small computer (7)
NOTEPAD – NOTE (observe) + PA (father) + D (daughter)
21 Welsh composer’s new look (7)
NOVELLO – NOVEL (new) + LO (look)
The composer is Ivor Novello, who appears to have had a theatre named after him.
22 Places for development in computer imagery (5)
UTERI – Hidden in compUTER Imagery
Love the definition.  Nice one setter.
23 Hangover cure deposited on kennel floor? (4,2,3,3)
HAIR OF THE DOG – Double def, the second one more a suggestion than a definition
Not so much a hangover a cure as an attempt to defer the inevitable.
1 What the corn mill is doing perhaps is very loud (3-9)
EAR-SPLITTING – Double def, the first one referencing ears of corn
2 Move close, dislodging a person beyond help (5)
GONER – GO NE{A}R (move close), “dislodging” A
A word you don’t hear as much these days, which is a shame.
3 Drive miles up to resort (7)
The anagrind is to resort, as in re-sort.
4 The Spanish crowd heads for somewhere to stay (6)
HOSTEL – HOST (crowd) + EL (“the” in Spanish)
5 Drug is used mainly at first after surgery (5)
OPIUM – IUM [first letters (at first) of Is Used Mainly] after OP (surgery)
6 Ace hit hard makes you embarrassed (7)
ABASHED – A (ace) + BASHED (hit hard)
7 No colour match? (5,7)
WHITE WEDDING – Cryptic definition
White being an absence of colour, a wedding being a match.  As opposed to a marriage, which can be a shouting match.
13 I pitch up to the north, by way of S American country (7)
BOLIVIA – BOLI [I + LOB (pitch up)] reversed (to the north) + VIA (by way of)
15 Communicating off the field of play (2,5)
IN TOUCH – Double def
Straight double definition this time.  A number of sports including rugby refer to the area beyond the field of play as “in touch”.  Having known that all my life, it’s just occurred to me to wonder why.  Anyone know?
16 Unique event I discounted? (3-3)
ONE-OFF – ONE (I) + OFF (discounted)
As in bananas 50% off (I’ll have the other 50% then thanks!)
18 Directly opposed: in general, opening up (5)
POLAR – reverse hidden in geneRAL OPening
The “up” at the end indicates the reversal, this being a down clue.
20 Beg quietly to be given a major part (5)
PLEAD – P (piano, or quietly) + LEAD (major part)
P for softly or quietly is the most commonly-occurring musical notation in Crosswordland, but it pays to know a few of the others as well.

15 comments on “Quick Cryptic 769 by Marty”

  1. However few people still use ‘MY HAT’, I’m sure they’re more numerous than those who use ‘My eye!’, which for some reason I flung in at first. That slowed me down, natch, on 6d and 7d. I didn’t notice it at the time, but as G notes, we don’t have a true double def at 23ac; wouldn’t one expect “that’s” before “deposited …”? 4:11.
  2. 9 minutes, no problems. Levels of difficulty are of course subjective but my own solving times suggest the QCs on average are no more difficult now than when they started. In the early days I struggled quite a lot – indeed the very first one took me 30 minutes, 3 times my target of 10.

    The NOVELLO theatre was renamed that in 2005 in honour of Ivor and also to commemorate that it was his home from 1913-1951 – he had a flat at the top of the building. Formerly it was the Strand theatre although it’s actually in Aldwych.

    Edited at 2017-02-17 03:35 am (UTC)

  3. Perhaps an Englishwoman who has not settled in Wales!

    As a relative newbie, I thought that this crossword was going to beat me but it all came good in 30 Minutes. I failed my quiz team last week by persuading them that a cruciverbalist was a “cross talker” !!

  4. In light physics black is the absence of light – white the mixture of all colours. But WHITE WEDDINGs are fine by me and BLACK – but I have a notion it may be against some archaic law for a woman to be married in black in England.



      1. Dear G – I didn’t wish to spoil what seemed like a splendid family outing to The Land of the Rising Sun.

        Your blog gets an A in my book – have you noticed NtN no longer uses the @-word now that he has apparently realised its other meaning (Liquid G – GHB etc). Guardian bloggers stopped using it c. 2010.

        And it’s Horry not Horrie!

        Safe flight etc.

        1. This has come up again so this time I’m going to ask to be pointed in the direction of some evidence of this purported other usage. I’ve googled it without success. (Not that it matters much if a word has more than one meaning.)


          Edited at 2017-02-17 01:34 pm (UTC)

  5. I liked today’s clues, some whimsy and a nice &lit at 1ac which took some time to see, and 7d was LOI.

    24:36 so completed by Wimbledon.

    I’m a keen hat wearer (wearing a Coker this morning), but have never used the expression MY HAT.

    COD 22a UTERI

  6. I got all the way down to 23ac for my foi, and that set the tone for the rest of the clues. Definitely a below par performance, finally staggering across the line after an hour or so. This has been an odd week, struggling with several QCs and having more success than usual with the 15×15 version. Invariant
  7. Just to prove a point, apart from 2 completely obscure words (19 and 21d), today’s main puzzle is no harder than some recent QCs, and so certainly worth a go. Invariant
  8. Like yesterday, I got the bottom half very quickly, then ran into problems at the top. It too me ages to get 1a and I’d pencilled in Flushed for 6d which proved a major distraction. All done in the end; LOI was 5d where I had considered Opium without understanding the parsing. I thought this was tough for a QC but good quality. David
  9. A crossword of two halves for me. The bottom went in nice and quickly but the top was a struggle – not helped by needing all the checkers for my LOI, 1a. Wasn’t sure about the parsing of 2d. I don’t have an accurate time as I did this around cooking dinner but I would estimate in the 30 minute region.

Comments are closed.