Quick Cryptic 785 by Izetti

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
Very much enjoyed this puzzle from Izetti, with a slew of good surfaces and some interesting vocab. 23A and 18D in particular made me smile in appreciation.

The puzzle can be found here if the usual channels are unavailable: http://feeds.thetimes.co.uk/puzzles/crossword/20170313/22720/

Definitions are underlined, {} = omission

1 Scoundrel is embraced by dull person with fixed views (9)
DOGMATISTDOG (Scoundrel), + IS inside (embraced by) MATT (dull)
6 Place selling drinks in Prohibition (3)
BAR – double definition, the second of which doesn’t necessarily need the initial capital but this makes the surface better
8 Merchants said to be in these wine stores (7)
CELLARS – homophone of (said to be) SELLERS (Merchants)
9 Periods that may be indicated with a cross (5)
TIMES – double definition, the second referring to the usual symbol for multiplication
10 Any car dealer gets organised for a twelve-month period (8,4)
CALENDAR YEAR – anagram of (gets organised) ANY CAR DEALER
12 The fellow’s in risky venture giving order (6)
BEHESTHES (The fellow’s) in BET (risky venture). Maybe not the first word that springs to mind meaning “order”, but the wordplay is clear.
13 Puzzle created by regulating device (6)
BAFFLE – double definition, for the second of which Chambers has: “A plate or similar device for regulating or diverting the flow of liquid, gas, sound waves, etc”. Fortunately the checkers and first definition are quite helpful for anyone whose hobbies don’t involve jet engines and/or loudspeakers.
16 Shop with decent sales I redeveloped (12)
DELICATESSEN – anagram of (redeveloped) DECENT SALES I
19 Last of the Athenian characters (5)
OMEGA – cryptic definition referring to the final letter of the Greek alphabet but with a surface reading hoping to make you think about perhaps roles in a play
20 Tramp unsettled a priest (7)
TRAIPSE – anagram of (unsettled) A PRIEST
22 Month mistaken as year, initially (3)
MAY – initial letters of (initially) Mistaken As Year
23 See who Jane married (9)
ROCHESTER – double definition, for the first of which Collins has: “the diocese of a bishop, or the place within it where his cathedral or procathedral is situated”, of which the city of Rochester in Kent is an example, and the second of which is a reference to Edward Fairfax Rochester, who weds the eponymous main protagonist of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. A good clue because the surface pretty much forces you to read “See” as a verb when you actually need to read it as a noun, though also possibly quite tough if you’re not familiar with either of the definitions. I’ve never read Jane Eyre, though years of crosswording have furnished me with enough basic knowledge to get by – “Reader, I married him” is probably the most famous line from the book.
1 A batting failure for a famous Donald (4)
DUCK – double definition, the first meaning to be out for no runs in a cricket innings, the second a reference to the anatine Disney character. The surface may make you think of the Australian cricketer Don Bradman – both Duck and Bradman are pseudonyms used by Izetti elsewhere.
2 Huge fellow I look up in biblical city (7)
GOLIATH – reversal (up) of I + LO (look), in GATH (biblical city). Pleasingly, Goliath was actually from Gath. You may also know the city from the saying “Tell it not in Gath”, which is on the lines of “Keep this to yourself”.
3 Military ruler unaffected by revolution (3)
AGA – sparse wordplay, with “unaffected by revolution” simply telling you that the answer is a palindrome, and even getting the checkers will only give you A?A, but we have had this non-oven meaning of Aga about half a dozen times in the Quicky so far so it should be quite familiar to regulars.
4 Like a prisoner as part of a team (6)
INSIDEIN SIDE (part of a team)
5 Lessons? Disapproving remark before one enters tests! (9)
TUTORIALSTUT (Disapproving remark), + I (one) inside (enters) ORALS (tests)
6 Dessert was a failure, lacking finishing touch (5)
BOMBEBOMBE{d} (was a failure, lacking finishing touch, i.e. the word “bombed” (was a failure) without its last letter). An ice-cream concoction – not to be confused with the Bletchley Park decryption device, though only one of the two is sold in Sainsbury’s.
7 Once again hand out book (7)
RESERVERE-SERVE (Once again hand out)
11 Undemanding university post where one sits back and relaxes? (4,5)
EASY CHAIREASY (Undemanding) + CHAIR (university post), to give us the comfortable item of furniture
12 Journalist gets cleaner to go round part of the house (7)
BEDROOMED (Journalist) inside (gets … to go round) BROOM (cleaner)
14 Life apt to be nasty in dingy, dirty building (7)
FLEAPIT – anagram of (to be nasty) LIFE APT
15 Electricity in stable (6)
STATIC – double definition, the first a noun, the second an adjective
17 Knowing sort of look — mystery’s ending (5)
LEERYLEER (sort of look) + {myster}Y (mystery’s ending, i.e. the last letter of the word “mystery”). I can’t say I knew this meaning of leery, but Chambers has both leery and knowing meaning cunning.
18 River Don (4)
WEAR – double definition, the first the river that runs through Durham, the second a verb meaning to be clothed in, with a slightly misleading capital. The surface reading is meaningful as there are umpteen rivers called Don around the globe, including in South Yorkshire (hence Doncaster) and Russia (hence Rostov-on-Don). This is the second Don/Donald reference in the puzzle – mere coincidence or something more sinister?
21 Star not entirely graceful (3)
ACE – hidden in (not entirely) grACEful

30 comments on “Quick Cryptic 785 by Izetti”

  1. I think that was the toughest quick cryptic I’ve encountered, taking me 18:05. I could just be very tired, as it took me forever to see 9a. Looking back there are a couple of unusual(to me) definitions, BAFFLE and LEERY, but nothing to scare the horses. Liked 1d which finally gave me DOGMATIST and GOLIATH. Nice work Izetti and thanks Mohn2.
  2. I came close to biffing DOGMATIST, but was expecting the scoundrel word (rat? cad?) to be enclosed; that was one reason the surface is so neat. Someone (I know, I could look it up) wrote a series of Don novels (And Quiet Flows the Don, etc.) that I never read, and probably was wise not to. COD ROCHESTER; nice to have ‘see’ not mean ‘Ely’ or ‘lo’ or ‘v’. 6:28.
    1. Please help me as a newbie to UK cryptic crosswords. How is the word DOG derived from Scoundrel? I have no references to this whatsoever. Am I missing a hidden word, part anagram or other? Thanks in advance. Best Esrjay
      1. One thing worth having in your crosswording arsenal is a copy of Collins or Chambers dictionary (or use the free online versions). In most cases, you will find the equivalence you are looking for in one or the other. In this case, Chambers has for one if its definitions of dog: “A mean scoundrel”.
  3. I’ll go with 23ac ROCHESTER (Jack Benny’s man) as COD and as Kevin notes a nice change from ELY!

    WOD FLEAPIT (my old local – the Picturedrome)

    9.23 but not as tough as John and Adrian made it.

    A time from Joe Bloggs would be useful – ‘Times for the Times! don’t you know?

    Edited at 2017-03-13 03:30 am (UTC)

    1. I’m an experienced solver and fast typist, so my solving time for Quicky puzzles is almost always no more than 2m30s. I think most people look at others’ solving times in order to determine a level of difficulty, which is just not going to be apparent from mine. Hence my preference is, on occasion, to simply say whether I think the puzzle is easy/average/hard, though the consensus has disagreed with me sufficiently often that I’m kind of loth to do that too!
      1. Understood, but why then is this blog called ‘Times for the Times’ if not all the bloggers are prepared give their Times? 90% do!

        One blogger I have criticised before doesn’t give a time as I believe he is on the slow side. Others like ‘The Rotter’ is transparent and excellent.

        Verlaine always give his fast times for the 15×15 but never owns up to anything over ten minutes.

        Might I humbly suggest that in your case you double your actual time – as most of us would still be in awe of your fine achievements!

        1. My impression is that in the blog’s early days most of the participants were experienced solvers with a competitive edge – I don’t think that represents the majority of the readership now, and certainly not on the Quicky blogs, so to my mind the blog name is just a relic of that early history.

          I feel that newer solvers need all the encouragement they can get, especially in the beginning when the learning curve is steepest, and I’m not convinced that the blogger declaring a 2- or 3-minute solving time would square with that aim. Plus there have been more complaints on here about (rapid) solving times being INcluded as opposed to EXcluded so I am inclined to continue with my current policy, with apologies to your good self.

  4. 69 minutes. Didn’t think I would finish, had 13 clues that were proving tricky, but I stuck it out and 14d was the catalyst to power on and finish with whatever is the opposite of a pb!

    Leery = knowing
    Bib city = Gath.
    Vaguely recalled Bombe, probably from a quickie.

    Couldn’t parse 1a or 21d, so thanks for the blog.
    I knew aga from previous crosswords but I still think the cluing is not helpful enough.
    I got Rochester from the ely bit and guessed it was something to do with Jane Eyre.
    18d I almost went with Dean.

    COD 5d.

    Edited at 2017-03-13 05:26 am (UTC)

  5. Almost all of my lunch hour to bang this one out.

    Good, though I biffed a couple.

    LEERY I didn’t equate with knowing.

    My LOI was RESERVE just because it was the way it worked out.

  6. Quite hard word finishing because of LEERY with one meaning I didn’t know. Not sure if everybody knows that {don}Izetti is Don Manley so those two clues are self-referential. He also sets elsewhere as Duck, Pasquale, Quixote, Bradman and Giovanni. 12 minutes.

    Edited at 2017-03-13 06:07 am (UTC)

    1. Possibly strictly so, but I think you can substitute them (e.g. when I go to the wedding I shall don/wear my new suit) and they’re close enough.

      Edited at 2017-03-13 08:18 am (UTC)

    2. You know, I didn’t actually check this equivalence because I had assumed that the two meanings (initially putting on, versus continuing to have on) would inevitably have merged over the years, however there’s little in the dictionaries to confirm that assumption. As jackkt says, they’re close, and certainly pass the substitution test in his example, but the substitution test can gloss over (subtle) differences so I’m now a little less happy with the clue than I was several hours ago. I shall ruminate upon this during my imminent shopping trip to Redcar.
      1. Actually–and I’m writing this because I have 5 minutes before I go for the bus–I’m not sure even Jack’s example works; you can substitute the two words, of course, but not while preserving meaning. ‘don’ here still means ‘put on’, i.e. before I go, ‘wear’ means ‘when I’ve gone’. Similarly, Are you wearing/donning your new suit? I hate to wear/don a suit in this weather, Why did you wear/don that suit?, yatta yatta.
  7. Yes, like Flashman mentioned, I made the mistake of putting dean for 18dn and therefore was a DNF with 23 left. I had it in my head it was Jane from Tarzan for some reason. Biffed in dogmatist, but couldn’t for the life of me see the reasoning for it. Guessed dog meant scoundrel but then didn’t realise “is” itself was actually part of the wordplay. Thought “matist” must mean dull! A tough one today, I thought. Gribb.
  8. 37 minutes today so definitely harder than usual but not impossible either. I thought there was a lot of unusual vocabulary today but some very clever clues too. I’m glad I was not alone in taking a while working out how 9a worked and then having a light bulb moment.
  9. …in 9.33, a very slow time for me these days. BOMBE was very slow to rise to the surface. I took an age too over LEERY because I didn’t (and still don’t) like the ‘knowing’ definition. Is this not one of those thesaurus leaps too far where it’s assumed that if A=B and B=C then A must equal C? I also share the don/wear reservation, although it did not slow me down.
  10. DNF : I did not ‘see’ Rochester.

    COD : Wear, I’m sure old-timers have seen it before, but a nice, tight clue.

  11. 42 mins today, which is OK for Izetti. A strange mix of write-ins for some of the ‘difficult’ clues, eg 1, 19 and 23, and a frustrating slowness in the ‘easy’ NE corner. Very enjoyable overall though. Invariant
  12. Around 10 minutes for this but it was anything but a top-down affair for me. Once I had the long anagram the rest fell readily. COD 1a a beautiful clue. Thanks Slogger.
  13. 16 minutes for me today, so definitely on the harder side IMHO. Good puzzle though, and all fair. I don’t agree with the quibbling over DON / WEAR, and really liked the clue, although ROCHESTER gets my vote for CoD.

    In answer to Kevin above (I should reply to his post, but I’m here now), the ‘Quiet flows the Don’ novels were by Sholokhov (of the Mickey Alex variety) and are well worth the effort. My wife read them first, and was so enthusiastic I had to pick them up to stop her going on about them. I’m glad I did. There was also a rather smutty Russian film that went on for hours telling the same story.

    Thanks Izetti and Mohn.

  14. 15 enjoyable minutes to finish this. I was not sure about Baffle’s other meaning but it seemed OK. For 18d hesitated over Wear. Favourite 12d.
    I now visit Rochester regularly. It has a very old castle and cathedral; an interesting museum with a hulk and Dickens section; and a brand new railway station. David
  15. Not a bad time of 23 minutes, for me. However, there were several biffs. Rochester, Leery, Aga.
  16. Excellent puzzle with most of the unknown vocabulary (Gath, Baffle) being kindly clued. Completed all bar 23a in 17 minutes. I missed both definitions in 23a and thought I was going to record another DNF. However coming back to it several hours later I twigged it from the checkers and assumed it must have something to do with Jane Eyre (not Tarzan).
    COD: too many to choose from but mentions to 18d, 1a and 2d.
  17. A DNF as failed utterly on 23a – this novelist not to my taste, so failed to grasp either the See or character. Missed some of the clues but got lucky eg 9a. Saw the long answers pretty easily. Over three sittings I suppose I spent about 90 minutes before conceding on 23a. FOI 10a COD amusing 11d LOI other than 23a was 18d. BTW the Bombes were not in BP but at the outstations where Gayhurst House was the largest with >20 and the the only one to be operational to the end, the others being consolidated late on. The site eventually became a school gym but is now part of my garden…
  18. A DNF as failed utterly on 23a – this novelist not to my taste, so failed to grasp either the See or character. Missed some of the clues but got lucky eg 9a. Saw the long answers pretty easily. Over three sittings I suppose I spent about 90 minutes before conceding on 23a. FOI 10a COD amusing 11d LOI other than 23a was 18d. BTW the Bombes were not in BP but at the outstations where Gayhurst House was the largest with >20 and the the only one to be operational to the end, the others being consolidated late on. The site eventually became a school gym but is now part of my garden…

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