Quick Cryptic 797 by Tracy

Thankfully the bottom half was straightforward, as the top (and particularly the NW corner) caused a bit more head scratching. My FOI was 15ac, which conveniently alerted me to the possibility of a pangram, borne out here, and which I can only assume is more difficult to achieve in the smaller grid. Anyway, I had at least one good reason to bung in 7ac!

Definitions underlined.

3 One-piece garment bound to fit (8)
JUMPSUIT – JUMP (bound) and SUIT (to fit).
7 Nothing unloaded from heavily ornamented sailing ship (6)
BARQUE – BARoQUE (heavily ornamented) after taking away (unloading) O (nothing).
8 Posted home, the Spanish guard (8)
SENTINEL – SENT (posted), IN (home) and EL (the, in spanish).
9 Silence leader in Africa, slightly crazy (4)
GAGA – GAG (silence) and first letter of (leader in) Africa.
10 Wood stored in cloakroom (3)
OAK – hidden (stored) in clOAKroom.
11 Sink crossing turbulent weir that forms a barrier (8)
FIREWALL – FALL (sink) surrounding (crossing) anagram of (turbulent) WEIR.
13 French fellow, OK penning verse? (4)
YVES – YES (ok) surrounding (penning) V (verse).
15 Ardour shown during craze, a lot (4)
ZEAL – hidden in (shown during) craZE A Lot.
17 Choose with great care labourer with rock-breaking tool (4-4)
HAND PICK – HAND (labourer) and PICK (rock-breaking tool).
19 Bird of the poultry kind — not female bird (3)
OWL – fOWL (bird of the poultry kind) excluding (not) F (female).
22 Ready to complain once head of government’s left (4)
RIPE – gRIPE (to complain) once first letter (head) of Government’s been removed (left).
23 Beverage teenager brewed (5,3)
GREEN TEA – anagram of (brewed) TEENAGER.
24 A boy enthralled by my illness (6)
MALADY – A LAD (a boy) surrounded (enthralled) by MY.
25 Page item, tiny piece (8)
PARTICLE – P (page) and ARTICLE (item).
1 Bet on ‘A’ team reserve (3,5)
LAY ASIDE – LAY (bet) on A and SIDE (team).
2 Old-fashioned, this place in town? (6)
SQUARE – double definition.
3 Son tossed in fountain for a joke (4)
JEST – S (son) inside (tossed in) JET (fountain).
4 Chap, old, playing popular instrument (8)
MANDOLIN – MAN (chap), an anagram (playing) OLD, and IN (popular).
5 Awkward? Cane boy’s bottom (6)
STICKY – STICK (cane) and last letter (bottom) of boY.
6 Mountain goat from heart of Tibet, and last of lynx (4)
IBEX – middle letters (heart) of tIBEt, with last letter of lynX.
12 Wild cat, lithe and muscular (8)
ATHLETIC – anagram of (wild) CAT LITHE.
14 A duke boarding flight for a lark (8)
ESCAPADE – A and D (duke) inside (boarding) ESCAPE (flight).
16 Miss one ahead of time and give way to violent anger (4,2)
LOSE IT – LOSE (miss), I (one), and T (time).
18 Liberal accepted by association, up to a point (6)
PARTLY – L (liberal) inside (accepted by) PARTY (association).
20 A short cut in neighbourhood (4)
AREA – A, and all but the last letters of (short) REAp (cut).
21 Plucky in match (4)
GAME – double definition.

21 comments on “Quick Cryptic 797 by Tracy”

  1. I also found the NW the toughest, but scraped in under 10 minutes with 9:46. Steamed through most of it but then ground to a crawl. An enjoyable puzzle although I failed as usual to notice the pangram. FOI JEST, LOI LAY ASIDE, except that ESCAPADE had gone in a letter short due to finger trouble so I had to search the grid to see why the system hadn’t congratulated me. Liked FIREWALL and MANDOLIN. Thanks Tracy and William.
  2. 11 minutes. Time lost finding my first answer and also putting SET ASIDE at 1dn and wondering how “bet” came into it. When eventually I solved 7ac I realised my error. Nice puzzle.

    Edited at 2017-03-29 09:40 am (UTC)

  3. Dnf
    I had put aside for 1d.
    Couldn’t get 7a, and hence 2d.

    Too hard as usual by this setter.

  4. indeed! 12.48 which about as bad as it gets.
    Much as the green frog blogger suggested. LOI 1dn LAY ASIDE


  5. Yeah, a DNF because of 7ac, 2dn and 8ac. I had also put PUT ASIDE for 1dn, which didn’t help things. I don’t see how LAY ASIDE means to reserve more than PUT ASIDE, or even SET ASIDE do. Never heard of BARQUE either. Hmm, a tough one indeed. Gribb.
  6. Five seconds inside the 10 minute barrier for a puzzle that was definitely a bit 5d. Same N Westerly problems as everyone else it would seem. Neither BAROQUE or BARQUE are everyday words, and without the initial B quite hard to dredge up.
  7. Hello, I’m new here but have been following the blog with great interest. Only started doing cryptics a few weeks ago while on sick leave – now I’m hooked! Your analysis and comments have been invaluable. I use them to check my answers and parse them when I know I’m right but can’t quite see why…
    The NW corner was my nemesis, too, today. I got barque, but gaga totally defeated me until the very end (I thought the straight clue was “silence”!).
    Took me nearly an hour but at least I finished it…getting better every day 🙂
    Thanks all!
      1. Cheers, anon. The back page X word totally defeats me still – I’m lucky to get one or two. The quicks did at first too, so definitely an improvement 🙂
  8. Another tricky one from Tracy and, at 45 mins, about the same time as yesterday’s puzzle, but without the same level of enjoyment. I was another who had set aside for 1d, until baroque came along and forced a re-think. Thank you William for parsing 20 – didn’t think of reap. Invariant
  9. Another DNF for a Tracy puzzle after a good run of solving times. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is about Tracy set puzzles, but a lot of synonyms needed just don’t come easily to mind and this makes it hard to decode some of the clues. So perhaps I have put my finger on it! Some examples- lay for bet, party for association, lose for miss, jet for fountain; all defendable but somewhat, to me anyway, a bit obscure.
  10. If you like coincidences, this from today’s Times 2

    ‘Chris Thile has performed wonders for the humble mandolin. A virtuoso who is one of life’s free spirits, he can flit from bluegrass to baroque, and his quizzical…’

  11. Slightly heartening to read some of the comments above, as I had an absolute shocker today and DNF.

    Not sure whether it was my mindset or the setter’s clues – probably a bit of both.

    FOI 10ac, then pretty much all downhill from there.

    Never heard of 7ac and struggled with 1d and 2d as a result. Gag just never jumped out at me for 9ac and I was thinking of every combo of S, Sh.

    COD for me 8ac.

    Oh well, tomorrow’s another day…

  12. Fortunately I spotted the pangram potential to this after 3 and 15a or the NW would have completely stumped me. Looking for the Q helped me to finally get 2d which then opened up 7a. I tried set and put for the first part of 1d (LOI) but neither looked right. Finally completed in 24 minutes.
  13. Spotted the potential for a pangram when at the halfway mark so that added to the fun. I agree some of the synonyms seemed vague but acceptable. Unlike some, the NW didn’t seem too hard. In fact COD 7a for me. FOI 10a. LOI 20d. I thought 13a a triumph of setting…can’t imagine how to set that for myself. Probably under an hour over three sittings. Needed the blog to understand 20d.
  14. Was out most of the day so came to this late. My first DNF for a long time.
    I could not get 7a or 2d and was also wrong with 1d- I had Set Aside which I corrected to Put Aside ( a put option could be called a bet I suppose). Lay aside never occurred to me.
    I thought the grid was very difficult as we had no first letter for two of the hardest clues.
    Well done to all who solved this- and to the setter. David

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