Quick Cryptic 816 by Flamande

The crossings of 17ac, 3dn and 18dn caused delay in this otherwise fairly straightforward yet very entertaining puzzle. I’m currently unsure about the parsing of ‘m’ in 17ac – but hope it’ll become clear as the blog develops. 11 minutes of fun – thanks Flamande.


1. Noticing – observing. COD straight off the bat for this cryptic definition of ‘exasperated comment from one who wanted plain (un-iced) cake’.
5. Grit – resolution. Greek (GR), Italian (IT).
8. Prior – double definition.
9. Pitcher – double definition.
11. Presentable – decent looking. Gift (PRESENT), a (A), (B)e(L)t(E)r. The possibilities of an anagram for much more of this clue took some time to discard before seeing the parsing.
13. Afresh – once more. Anagram (stupidly) of FAtHERS – without (wasting) time (T).
14. Resort – somewhere to stay on holiday. Again (RE) arrange (SORT).
17. Custom in South America: eat some Scotch egg (7,4)
Sausage meat – some Scotch egg – the outer layer around the egg. Custom (USAGE) inside South America (SA) and eat (EAT). So where does the ‘M’ come from? Ah! South is (S) and America is (AM) – knew we’d get there in the end.
20. Crimean – inhabitant of Ukraine. Offence (CRIME) by (next to) an (AN).
21. Tooth – canine maybe. (H)urries after sound of whistle (TOOT).
22. Eden – prime minister once. To continue the dental theme – visiting (inside) th(E DEN)tist.
23. Secretly – under cover. Cunning (SLY) touring around outside an anagram (parts of) CRETE.


1. Nope – definitely not. Great surface. Turned on (NO – on backwards), physical exercise (PE).
2. Tripper – holiday maker. A tripper is going to fall over.
3. Carpet snake – reptile. DNK the large nonvenomous Australian snake, Morelia variegata, having a carpetlike pattern on its back.
It was clear that it was an anagram (here and there) of A TANK CREEPS but took some time to get.
4. Nephew – family member. Another good surface. One going topless – take the first letter off one (NE), wow (PHEW).
6. Rehab – treatment. Concerning (RE), heroin (H), abuse without ‘use’ = (AB)use.
7. Torments – worries. Or (OR) and (M)isgivings inside temporary accommodation (TENTS).
10. To the letter – exactly. How one would address an envelope to a landlord (LETTER) when their name was unknown.
12. Massacre – defeat. Large number (MASS) on top of a piece of land (ACRE).
15. Outpost – distant settlement. Open air (OUT – outside), job (POST).
16. Seance – meeting. Unusual definition – the people getting together constitute a meeting – whether or not they encounter any spirits. Irish fellow (SEAN), church (CE).
18. Unite – join together. A French (UN), couple (ITE)m not married (delete the ‘m’). I didn’t get the pair=item for a while.
19. Whey – dairy product. Question (WHY) about English (E).

13 comments on “Quick Cryptic 816 by Flamande”

  1. Yes, some fun clues. And we concur on COD. FOI NOPE LOI SAUSAGEMEAT

    A somewhat, ahem, political QC, not that I mind.

    Edited at 2017-04-25 12:19 am (UTC)

  2. 46 mins with half on sausage meat. Held up by custom = usage link.

    Had to go back and parse 6d & 17a.

    Some very nice clues (noticing, rehab) and COD to 4d nephew.

  3. I found this trickier than the average Flamande puzzle, mainly due to getting bogged down in the SW with 12d, 17a and LOI 16d proving particularly stubborn. Plenty of enjoyable clues, in particular 1a and 10d.
    Completed in 16 minutes.
  4. The snake and sausage combination turned a fast time into a more average one. The former was unknown but the remaining checkers couldn’t really go anywhere else.
  5. I went very quickly to begin with; lots of write-ins but nice clues.
    My last two were 17a and 13a. I got Sausage Meat without bothering unduly about the M. I needed another 3 minutes or so to get 13a -my COD.
    16 minutes in total. David
  6. Lots of distractions today, but even so I was either well off the pace or this was a lot harder than Flamande’s usual offering. Held up by 13, 17 and 19/21. 1ac was good, but my CoD was 18d, Unite. Invariant
  7. Hi Chris
    Id say the M comes from South America = SAM which is unusual usage even for the main puzzle. Held up in the same way as others and took about 15m once I had Sausage Meat. Personally I hate Scotch eggs, but nothing to do with racism. Is Crimea part of Ukraine now? Good puzzle and thanks blogger
  8. As is often the case, I had several of these answers without fully understanding why until I read this analysis.

    Thanks to Flamanade for a fun 28 minutes and to chrisw91 for explaining the answers. I was led astray by 18d as I was convinced it must be unwed.

  9. I found this relatively straightforward although I was also held up with 17ac SAUSAGE MEAT.

    Have to admit I also thought the definition of 16dn SEANCE was odd…not sure of the strict interpretation, but this didn’t come immediately to mind when thinking of meeting.

    FOI 9ac, LOI 17ac but COD for me was 23ac


  10. This one kept me busy for 12:03, so harder than usual. I was held up by several clues, including my last, CARPET SNAKE. I’m quite fond of Scotch Eggs, so that one didn’t hold me up for long once I had the crossers for MEAT. An engaging tussle though. Thanks Flamande and Chris.
  11. Held myself up by biffing “outdoor” for 15dn once I had the O and T … which then made 23ac a very peculiar looking word … eventually got 23 and thus 15.

    Must. Not. Biff.

    Thanks to setter and blogger.


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