Quick Cryptic 814 by Izetti

This one took me 10:42, so I’m going to venture that it was tough for a Quicky, not the first time that Izetti has set us a challenge.  Then again, I’m notoriously bad at assessing the difficulty of these things, so you may have cruised through it in record time.  Either way, please let us know via the comments.

And now having gone through the parsing, I’m not sure (apart from the unknown PLUTARCH) what I found so difficult, but then it always looks clearer in hindsight, doesn’t it?

I must say I appreciated the long meaty anagrams down the East and West coasts, which should have been enough to get a good foothold into the puzzle, especially with the odd “gimme” (FAN, TRIPPER) thrown in.  Maybe it just wasn’t my day, will be interested to hear how you went.  So let’s thank Izetti, and get on with how I eventually 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’.

7 Definitely not like sailor to have house by river (5)
ABHOR – AB (sailor) + HO (house) + R (river)
Nicely disguised definition.
8 Worked as a cleaner, getting blackened a bit? (7)
CHARRED – Double definition
“Char” for cleaner is standard crossword-ese.  In this instance we have the verb form.
10 One on a jaunt who falls down? (7)
TRIPPER – Double definition
11 This person in charge of getting invalid finally admitted? (5)
MEDIC – &LIT.  ME (this person) + IC (in charge) getting D (invalid finally) “admitted”
That’s the wordplay, and the whole thing constitutes the definition, and that’s what we call an &LIT.
12 Meat market’s up for redevelopment (4,5)
14 Contribution to stop another attack (3)
PAN – Hidden in (contribution to) stoP ANother
“Pan” as in “criticize severely”.
15 Enthusiast getting cooler (3)
FAN – Double definition
I’ll stick my neck out and say that they don’t come much easier than this one.
16 Harry meaning to meet a female in Paris (9)
IMPORTUNE – IMPORT (meaning) “to meet” UNE (“a” female in Paris, ie the feminine version of the indefinite article in French)
I thought importune just meant to ask, but the first definition in ODO is “harass (someone) persistently for or to do something”.  So that’s Harry sorted.
18 Uninhibited person ending in inferior state (5)
RAVER – R (ending in inferior) + AVER (state)
20 Uncontrolled tirade about a member of the House of Commons (7)
RAMPANT – RANT (tirade) “about” A + MP (member of the House of Commons)
22 Endorses inferior goods for sale (7)
SECONDS – Double definition
23 Nut without complete hope cannot (5)
PECAN – Hidden in (without complete) hoPE CANnot
1 Graduate working for a smart set (6,2,4)
Nice anagram.
2 What Prof. has, fellow who presides at meetings? (8)
CHAIRMAN – CHAIR (what Prof. has) + MAN (fellow)
3 Collapse in road held up work (4)
DROP – DR [RD (road) reversed (held up)] + OP (work)
4 Rare blemish creates exasperation initially (6)
SCARCE – SCAR (blemish) + CE (Creates Exasperation initially)
Very good surface, one of many in this puzzle.
5 A blow for one working in the field while the sun shines? (8)
HAYMAKER – Double definition
Referencing the proverb “make hay while the sun shines”.
6 Rush up for jazz (4)
TRAD – DART (rush) reversed (up)
TRAD jazz is big in crosswordland.
9 Drug agent’s not travelling around after end of year (12)
DECONGESTANT – (AGENT’S NOT)* after DEC (December, end of year)
13 Prison group agitating (8)
STIRRING – STIR (prison) + RING (group)
No wasted words in this clue.  Nice work Izetti.
14 Place around lake with bridge for old writer (8)
PLUTARCH – PUT (place) “around” L (lake) + ARCH (bridge)
According to Wikipedia, he was a biographer, essayist, philosopher, priest, ambassador and magistrate.  Wonder how much time he wasted doing crosswords?
17 Look at country’s source of energy (6)
PERUSE – PERU’S (country’s) + E (“source” of Energy)
19 Something wicked? It may be gripping (4)
VICE – Double definition
21 Horrible poem makes one look gloomy (4)

30 comments on “Quick Cryptic 814 by Izetti”

  1. Once again our times are close 10.35 so I would agree this was quite difficult for a QC. LOI 9ac DECONGESTANT making the east quite tough. I had 20ac as RAMPAGE instead of RAMPANT which didn’t help.

    14dn PLUTARCH was no problem as I suffered five years of Latin at school.


    1. Yes I put rampage in too–plus I put in pay for contribution so took forever to correct everything and get LOI decongestant.I also didn’t know blow/ haymaker definition.Im a novice still and I thought it was difficult.
      Thanks for the blog. Fiona
      1. Unspammed – LiveJournal puts any comments containing a full stop surrounded by letters (as opposed to one or more spaces) in the spam bin, because it assumes that they must be URLs intended to lead us astray.
  2. Could one of you old hands tell me what the word ‘contribution’ is doing in the clue? It strikes me that it would have been complete as ‘to stop another attack’. The inclusion of ‘contribution ‘ put me right off!
    1. I think that it Indicates that ‘PAN is included in ‘stop another’. I.e. Pan is a contribution to ‘stop another’. Without ‘contribution to’, there would be no way of knowing that pan was a hidden word. JJ
      1. And it had me foxed for a long time! Thanks to the blogger for the explanation. JJ
    2. There has to be an indicator that PAN is hidden in “stop another”. in this case “contribution”
  3. As this took me 18:32, I can endorse Galspray’s feeling that this was harder than the average Quicky! The two long anagrams didn’t give me much trouble and the NW and NE went in easily enough, but I struggled mightily in the SW and SE. PAN held me up with the unusual hidden indicator, but that eventually yielded PLUTARCH(who I don’t remember from my 5 years of Latin!). Finally, STIRRING hove into view and allowed me to polish off the SW. I’d been fixated on it starting with SET for group until I saw IMPORTUNE. A tricky puzzle indeed. Thanks Izetti and Galspray

    Edited at 2017-04-21 10:33 am (UTC)

  4. Small error in the blog Galspray. In 18a you have said r is the ending in RAVER (which it is!), but I think you meant in inferior.
  5. I managed to finish in 24 minutes -my last three were 18a, 22a and 19d.
    I did remember Plutarch from my five years of Latin. COD to Haymaker.
    Also found 14a tricky.
    For my LOI -18a- I initially put Rover on the incorrect assumption that a wild rover was the uninhibited person described. A brief parsing corrected the error. Enjoyed this. David
  6. Limped over the line in 69 minutes but technically a dnf as with 14 (plutarch) and 17d (peruse) still outstanding, I had I _ _ _ R _ U _ E for 16a and bunged in innertube in desperation!

    Eventually persevering and getting Peru for the country,
    meaning = import and tidying the rest up.

    Good puzzle.
    COD 5d.

    Edited at 2017-04-21 01:19 pm (UTC)

  7. That was hard in places with some clues needing a lot of thought just to understand what sort of answer to think about. I surprised myself by getting the two long answers (especially 9d) quite quickly, and thought this was going to be relatively straightforward, but 14d, 16 and 17 all combined to make the SE corner a real struggle. In the end I was happy enough to finish fully parsed in just over the hour. 5d was my CoD as well. Invariant
  8. you are obviously an honest landlubber!

    AB stands for able-bodied seaman and is standard crossword fare.

    Stir is time done in prison – stir comes from the word porridge (‘cos that’s all you got to eat three times a day!) – which gave us Ronnie Barker’s marvellous TV comedy ‘Porridge’ written by very talented Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, who also penned ‘The Likely Lads’.

    Ponder these things in your heart!

    Edited at 2017-04-21 03:10 pm (UTC)

    1. Appreciate the responses…I had a feeling the AB related to that. Didn’t know Stir for Prison, although it makes sense. I do remember Porridge!


      1. In Crosswordland, “sailor” usually equates to AB, OS (Ordinary Seaman), JACK, TAR, SALT, or (occasionally) PO (Petty Officer). “Prison” and being in prison are usually one of STIR, TIME, BIRD, NICK, CAN, or JUG, but there are maybe a dozen others. I think it’s the same stir as in stir-crazy.
  9. The day I complete an Izetti puzzle will be the day that I know I have moved up a level. Alas, today was not that day…

    I just couldn’t get into this at all – even the anagrams just didn’t come.

    Could someone explain to me the following:

    AB = Sailor
    STIR = Prison

    I’m assuming they’re standard crossword abbreviations, but they just didn’t click.

    I had SWEEPER for 8ac which didn’t help my cause.

    As usual – thanks for the blog.


  10. Read and write until the SE corner when I came to a shuddering halt. PLUTARCH/IMPORTUNE the main culprits. I thought I was going to exceed 10 minutes for the first time in ages but squeezed home in 9.41.
  11. Another steady solve at under an hour and a single Costa, much helped by the easy anagram at 1d FOI and then by realising my error at 20a rampage/rampant. A DNF as I didn’t twig 14a as a hidden word and plumped for the wrong vowel. Still, a satisfying puzzle. 14d came easily despite no years of latin at school, but plenty of reading. LOI 14d (!). Had to guess 18a but, thx to the blog, now I understand. Did’t get 23a as a hidden word either… Good fun again today.
  12. Please tell me that I’m not the only (very old) one who had never heard of Haymaker = blow!

    Is that a boxing term?


    1. Philip,

      It is a boxing term and refers to a type of punch that supposedly mimics the motion of scything hay.

      It is also used as a nickname by the boxer David Haye – for obvious reasons.

      Hope this helps..


  13. Always the hardest for me along with Orpheus. Some great clues in hindsight: 5dn and 22ac, but what does ‘stir’ have to do with ‘prison’ in 13ac?!
  14. As usual with Izetti, a mix of the enjoyable (I liked “rump steak”, “rampant” and “medic” very much) and the irritating (“pan” for attack, “arch” for bridge). Hey ho, it’s the weekend and my train is nearly home!


  15. Contribution confounded us – not even in our trustworthy Chambers Crossword Dictionary as an indicator of any sort !
    1. Can’t say I’ve ever consulted a crossword dictionary, but I would commend the setter for opting for originality, rather than selecting from a list of “sanctioned” indicators. Provided of course that the indication is logical and meaningful, which this one is.
  16. This took me a while to get going, I then sped up a bit before grinding to a halt with 3 left to get 14a, 16a and 9d – a couple of sittings a fair amount of cursing later I twigged 16 and 9a and the checkers gave me an unparsed 9d. I figured it was an anagram of some sort but missed the end of year/Dec link.
    Relieved to have completed it in around 30 minutes
    Thanks galspray
  17. It was a DNF for me, which is very rare, largely due to having RAMPAGE instead of RAMPANT.

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