Quick Cryptic 789 by Hurley – Cead mile failte

Morning everyone, and a happy St Patrick’s Day to you all.  May the road rise up to meet you and all that stuff.

Now I have a question to ask.  Was this a particularly tough one, or was I just being thick?  It took me 14:49, which I think is my second-slowest time for a Quicky.  But going through the parsings, I don’t see anything too horrendous.  The four juicy anagrams are enough to get a solid foothold in the grid (though I managed to stuff one up, which didn’t help), and there are no more than a few slight obscurities.  Perhaps I was distracted by the prospect of a Guinness or two after work?

Anyway, thanks Hurley for the challenge.  I’ll be very interested to hear how others went.

Here’s how I parsed it all.  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 Different critic clear, assuming cold line on globe (6,6)
ARCTIC CIRCLE – (CRITIC CLEAR)* “assuming” C (cold)
8 Good army haunt (5)
GHOST – G (good) + HOST (army)
9 A learner leaving Oz for European country (7)
AUSTRIA – AUSTR{AL}IA (Oz), without A + L (learner)
10 Like old image of oneself (3)
EGO – EG (like) + O (old)
11 Criticize British charge being brought back for national dish? (5,4)
ROAST BEEF – ROAST (criticize) + B (British) + EEF [FEE (charge) “brought back”]
Arguably not the national dish.  Hence the question mark.
13 Place at Oxford — just the start for philosopher (5)
PLATO – PL (place) + AT + O (Oxford – just the start)
14 Article I at first rightly associated with others (5)
THEIR – THE (article) + I + R (at first rightly)
If you’re new to solving, article for “the”, “a” or “an” is a very common device.
16 Power more subdued on return? You’re speaking too soon (9)
PREMATURE – P (power) + REMAT [TAMER (more subdued) “on return”] + URE [homophone (speaking) of YOU’RE]
My COD I think.
17 Sticky substance in drinking vessel recalled (3)
GUM – MUG (drinking vessel) “recalled”
Bit of a chestnut.
19 Reportedly finally securing upper limit (7)
CEILING – Homophone (reportedly) of SEALING (finally securing)
My LOI.  Just couldn’t see it.
21 Expert, not married, made point briefly (5)
ADEPT – {M}ADE without the M (maried) + PT (point, briefly)
22 With money, we hear, thwart this singer (12)
COUNTERTENOR – COUNTER (thwart) with TENOR [homophone (we hear) of TENNER (money)]
One of my last in.  Tough one for a quicky.
1 Some local Gaelic seaweeds perhaps (5)
ALGAE – Hidden in locAL GAElic
2 Cool cheat switched drink (9)
3 Questioning rioter atoning after conversion (13)
“Interrogating” was very tempting after a quick glance at the anagrist, and I for one succumbed to the temptation.  Held me up on 22ac for some time.
4 Ignoring outer clothing, scrap tax for menswear item (6)
CRAVAT – CRA [scrap, ignoring “outer clothing” (first and last letters)] + VAT (tax)
5 Boat: is it there unexpectedly? React as intended (4,2,3,4)
6 Troll partly upset? That’s surprising! (3)
LOR – Reverse hiddden (partly upset) in tROLl
A very British exclamation of surprise or dismay.  Anyone still use it?
7 Foreman’s blunder: right (6)
GAFFER – GAFFE (blunder) + R (right)
12 Shrub, English, very short, above putting area (9)
EVERGREEN – E (English) + VER (very short) + GREEN (putting area)
That’s “putting” to rhyme with “cutting”, not “footing”.
13 Religious office quick to secure personal assistant (6)
PAPACY – PACY (quick) to “secure” PA (personal assistant)
15 Move to trap island bird (6)
BUDGIE – BUDGE (move) to “trap” I (island)
18 Friend with king’s mother at public school? (5)
MATER – MATE (friend) + R (Rex, or king)
Latin for mother.  I guess public school types are more likely to use this term.  Is Latin still associated with public schools in England?  I dunno.  In Australia it’s largely confined to public schools, which we call private schools.  These include the GPS schools, which stands for Greater Public Schools, and are the best known of the private schools.  If you’re confused, save your money.  I went to Maclean High School, and look where it got me (ok, poor example).
20 Nigerian regularly visited Bilbao (3)
IBO – Alternate letters (regularly visited) of bIlBaO
Could refer to the ethnic group or the language, both of which are more commonly spelt “igbo”.

23 comments on “Quick Cryptic 789 by Hurley – Cead mile failte”

  1. Like Jonathan I managed to solve most of this very quickly but then got bogged down taking ages over CEILING and ADEPT, my last ones in, and I ended up with 14 minutes on the clock – bad by my standards but a whole 6 minute improvement on yesterday’s shocker.

    At 6dn LOR ties in very nicely with MATER at 18dn, both of which I associate with the Fat Owl of the Remove, Billy Bunter of Greyfriars School (which I’ve always assumed was a public one).

    Edited at 2017-03-17 02:07 am (UTC)

  2. This was average IMHO – 7.04 so not sure why so much pain elsewhere. 21ac ADEPT was my LOI and RISE TO THE BAIT was tough.

    One’s 18dn MATER is ‘public school’ English perhaps for boys – gels use Mummy.

    1ac ARCTIC CIRCLE made for an easy start.


    Edited at 2017-03-17 02:22 am (UTC)

  3. Over lunch we managed it all with the exception of premature, ceiling and budgie.

    Divine intervention brought forth premature, to be sure.

    And ceiling was …. banged in.

    Budgie flew into mind…. 🙂 Just don’t think of Mr Abbott in his smugglers.


    Edited at 2017-03-17 05:37 am (UTC)

  4. Yes, this was hard, and a DNF on 22ac because I fell into the trap of putting “interrogating” for 3dn. Most of it went in fairly easily, but then I came stuck at 18dn and 21ac, which I think were very hard. Does anyone else think 6dn is a bit of a, well, rubbish clue? Gribb.
    1. I wasn’t too impressed with 6 down as it’s one of those words that only appear in crossword land these days. To be fair though, it’s easily gettable from the clue and checkers if you’ve got them.
      1. I biffed COO at first and only got the correct answer by accident when 1a and 9a overwrote it. I never did spot the parsing!
  5. Definitely at the hard end of the scale for me. A good Friday morning workout. I never did manage to parse PREMATURE. Yes blogger, latin is still very much part of the Public School scene, and is starting to make a comeback in State schools as well.
  6. I agree this was another toughish puzzle. We seem to have had a run of them recently. Some clues went straight in, such as 1a, 9a, 7d and 5d, but then I felt a rising sense of helplessness as I looked through the clues with no answers springing to mind. I eventually got there in 12:08. 15d, 16a, 19a and 21a all held me up for longer than they should’ve on reflection, but I guess that’s the sign of a good clue. Thanks Hurley and Galspray.
  7. 19ac is particularly difficult because checkers C.I.I.. don’t suggest the possibility of an E for second letter – I had to resort to aid after mentally going through alphabet !
  8. 21 Minutes for me, which I’m very pleased with. Never come across HOST for army, but biffed it in anyway. Wikipedia says “(Military) an archaic word for army”, so fair enough. Didn’t know LOR, but guessed it from crossers and presumed the letter had to come from tROLl. Didn’t do Latin at my school (crappy comp), but stuffed it in from “mate” + “r”, and just failed to understand the definition. In hindsight, I should have guessed from the term “Alma Mater” for old schoolmates, which I believe literally means something along the lines of nourishing mother.
    1. “Strangled by the wishes of pater
      Hoping for the arms of mater”
      (Simply Red, Holding Back the Years)
  9. Harder than most this week, not helped by messing up 15dn, convinced parrot was an anagram of ‘to trap’, which spoiled most of the south side of the puzzle. That being said, not sure I would have got 19 or 22 across. Nice puzzle though
  10. A disappointing 8.27 with a big chunk staring at all the checkers for COUNTERTENOR. My excuse is that it is late in the day and my brain is frazzled from grappling with Elgar’s Telegraph Toughie.
  11. At least I got a finish after a few DNFs, about 25 mins. LOR also reminded me of Bunter.

    COD premature.

  12. I raced through most of this and ended up needing 15d and 16a. Had to put the puzzle down whilst I watched the racing from Cheltenham. After the excitement of the Gold Cup I finally got Budgie and then Ceiling. I always tend to struggle without the first letter and for 15d I kept trying Man in the middle of the word, having seen nothing to include I. This made 19a end in A; not helpful. Anyway after the excitement of the racing I finally twigged the answers -which, of course, are not that difficult once you see them. Hats off to setter. Untimed but probably 30 minutes all in. David
  13. I had a very similar experience to yesterday and to David. I flew through the top half and struggled with the bottom, before coming to a complete halt for my last 3 in 22a, 15d and 19a respectively. Had a quick break and when I picked the puzzle back up they slotted in nicely. Completed in around 25 minutes. A good test to end the week.
  14. … to complete one that so many of you experts deem to be on the tough side. Okay, it took me 27 minutes, but a finish in that time, with everything parsed, is wonderful for a mere mortal like me. I shall award myself some 2d! My COD 16a. MM
    1. Not sure how that would parse, Anon. Although yes, of course, the “mater” in alma mater means mother, as mentioned above by grubbygrubster.
  15. Over an hour. Most went in fairly easily, then struggled for ages over 21a (adept), 20d (ibo), 15d (budgie)and especially 22a (countertenor).

    Couldn’t think of thwart that would fit _O_N_E_

    COD to 18d.

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