Quick Cryptic 834 by Izetti

I commented yesterday that my solving speeds had improved as the week went on, but predictably that trend was reversed today, coming in at 10:36. I make no comment though on the relative difficulty of the puzzle, as I’ve learned that people will form their own opinions on that.

Nice variety of clues today.  Only two anagrams, which will suit (POEMS ELOPE)* more than others.  There are a few crossword favourites, such as COS (one of the favourite islands), TROT (one of the favourite lefties), CH for companion and AYR (the crossword capital of Scotland).  And the old faithful worker (ANT), learner (L), energy (E) and gym (PT).  All of these should be in the upper tray of the solver’s toolbox, as they need to be accessed regularly.

Obscurity check:  On the basis that an obscurity is “anything I don’t know” I guess I’d mention CABALISTS.  And HEPTAD wasn’t the first “group of seven” to come to mind.  But it’s probable that most of you are far better informed than I, and everything was fairly clued, so no cause for complaint as far as I can see.

So thanks for the outing Izetti.  Here’s how I resolved 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’.

1 Brief arguments in trade buildings (9)
EXCHANGES – Double definition
6 Island with crows regularly disappearing (3)
Probably the crossword setters’ favourite Greek island.
8 Strange marine life’s origin in one sort of water (7)
MINERAL – (MARINE)* + L (life’s origin)
9 Performer making some impact originally (5)
ACTOR – Hidden in (making some) impACT ORiginally
10 Knight getting on with companion, worker kept by friend in casual manner (12)
NONCHALANTLY – N (knight, in chess) + ON + CH [companion (of Honour)] + ANT (worker) “kept by” ALLY (friend)
A bit of an IKEA type of clue.  You can keep the allen key.
12 Cleans a prison in London (6)
SCRUBS – Double definition
Wormwood Scrubs is a London prison, informally known as “The Scrubs”, ‘innit?
13 Smile weakly as less sophisticated learner getting left out (6)
SIMPER – SIMPLER (less sophisticated) leaving out L (learner)
16 Confusion of more savage fellows in risky enterprise (12)
BEWILDERMENT – WILDER (more savage) + MEN (fellows) in BET (risky enterprise)
19 Keeps turning over lists (5)
ROLLS – Double definition
In a ship or aircraft, roll refers to rotation about the front-to-back axis (pitch and yaw refer to the other two axes).  So roll is another term for list (or lean), although technically in shipping terms list refers to an excessive or unintended roll.
As suggested by Rotter below, lists could also refer to the “register of names” definition of roll.  Was probably the setter’s intention now that I think about it, but either way works.
20 Greek character in row is more under the influence (7)
TIPSIER – PSI (Greek character) in TIER (row)
22 Fish deprived of oxygen out of water (3)
DRY – DORY (fish) deprived of O (oxygen)
23 One type of lamp is put back by entrance (9)
SIDELIGHT – SI (is put back) + DELIGHT (entrance)
That’s the verb “entrance”, with the emphasis on the second syllable.
1 Girl turning up in programmes (4)
EMMA – Reverse hidden (turning up ) in progrAMMEs
Took ages to see EMMA hiding in there, as I only had eyes for MARG.
2 A hundred making a roundabout trip follow this on level ground (7)
CONTOUR – C (a hundred) + ON TOUR (making a roundabout trip)
If you follow the contour you’ll stay at the same level.  Doesn’t actually mean you’re on level ground though.
3 Scottish town, some holiday resort (3)
AYR – Hidden in (some) holidAY Resort
One of about three towns in all of Scotland, according to Crosswordland.
4 Girl on track in Irish city (6)
GALWAY – GAL (girl) on WAY (track)
Been there a couple of times.  Must get back again one day.
5 Chap is into bogus Asian religion (9)
SHAMANISM – MAN (chap) + IS into SHAM (bogus)
Wasn’t sure how one religion could be more bogus than the next, but of course that’s just the wordplay.
6 Manage to reduce one type of technology (3,2)
CUT IT – CUT (reduce) + IT (one type of technology)
If you’re going to cut it in Crosswordland, you need to get these in an instant.  I didn’t.
7 Rose seen in the garden when there’s been no rain? (7)
SPRAYER – Double definition
Originally assumed that the first definition referred to a strain of roses, but no, we’re talking about a shower rose.  Second definition is a garden sprayer.
11 Certain rabbis of celebrity status entering taxis (9)
CABALISTS – ALIST (celebrity status) entering CABS (taxis)
More religion.  Google it if you want to, but it seems you’ll have more luck with Kabbalists.
12 No longer drunk? Beers do dissipate! (7)
14 Quietly coming to conclusion or remaining undecided? (7)
PENDING – P(quietly) + ENDING (coming to conclusion)
15 Group of seven in gym detained by principal (6)
HEPTAD – PT (gym) “detained by” HEAD (principal)
17 Place for Humpty, ultimately silly fool (5)
WALLY – WALL (place for Humpty) + Y (ultimately sillY)
18 Left-winger beginning to talk rubbish (4)
TROT – T (beginning to Talk) + ROT (rubbish)
21 Chum is sickly looking, without energy (3)
PAL – PALE (sickly looking) without E (energy)

29 comments on “Quick Cryptic 834 by Izetti”

  1. 14 minutes here too, so my worst time this week. I didn’t find it particularly hard although I needed to construct CABALISTS and SHAMANISM from wordplay, but I lost at least 5 minutes at the end over 23ac having biffed SEPTET incorrectly at 15dn. I imagine there may be a few comments about the level of difficulty but we need more complex puzzles occasionally to advance those who wish to use QCs as a stepping-stone to the main puzzle.
  2. This was a tough one, all right, and I didn’t help matters by biffing ‘pentad’ (!) and ‘spotlight’ (also !). I don’t know if I’d consider shamanism a religion, nor is it specifically Asian, but. SPRAYER was unknown, and I got ‘Unlucky’ twice before finally noticing a typo elsewhere. 7:31.
  3. We took some time (too long) to nut this one out.

    I liked entrance – not the kind you walk through. Which of course is how I thought of it. So was confused.

    Nonchalantly was only filled in once all the markers were in place. And thank you blogger for explaining it.

    Shamanism, heptad, and cabalists, mmm, crosswords do come up with some great and unusual words.

    Got the cabs bit, and then rabbis? Alist… well got to store that away.

    Fun though.

  4. As a beginner I don’t bother if Izetti is the setter. Way too hard for a Quickie..
  5. I also found this quite tricky, taking 13:29. I had SEPTET at first too, which slowed things down. Didn’t know CABALISTS as Rabbis, or HEPTAD as group of 7. Did know rose as a spray nozzle. Good workout. Thanks Izetti and Galspray.
  6. I’m also a newbie (March 2017) and look forward to Izetti because if I:
    a) get some correct – I’m thrilled
    b) get some partially correct – shows I’m learning
    c) can’t get some at all – well, I shall learn
    d) I’m hooked!
    So, a thousand thanks to betters and sloggers for providing lovely challenges, erudite explanations, and lots of fun.
  7. I saw the second definition of ROLLS as a list like a roll of honour, rather than as the list of a ship, with the first being like rolling over in bed, or rolling like a ship, which are effectively the same definition. Or is that what you meant?

    In any case, I think this is the toughest QC I can remember, which is backed up by my time on the wrong side of 20 minutes.

    Thanks Izetti and Galspray

    1. Good point Rotter, that could well have been the setter’s intention.

      ODO has list and roll as synonyms for both the “register of names” meaning and the “movement of a vessel” meaning so we can both claim vindication.

      For the “keeps turning over” definition, I was thinking of rolls like a ball, which is slightly different again.

  8. Sorry, but after 30minutes I became very frustrated with this one as I knew there were some clues I would never get……cabalists, shamanists(eastern???), even sprayer and I’m a gardener!! and nonchalantly…….oh well roll on Monday!!
  9. So quite tough, but knew it would be (Izetti …) and agree we need some tougher ones to break us in for the Big Boy crossword.

    Felt a bit of a workmanlike puzzle, not much joy or sparkle. Liked SHAMANISM. Couple of poor clues, I thought, at 1ac and 2dn.


  10. More than twice yesterday’s time and only half the time it took me to do the 15 x 15.
  11. Typical Friday toughie, and a DNF because I put in SEPTET for 15dn. This left me guessing SITELIGHT for 23ac and hoping for the best. Thought 2dn was quite difficult and didn’t understand its working until coming here. Must do better. Gribb.
  12. I was working away happily with the many satisfying piece-together clues (COD nonchalantly) then came unstuck with LOI 5dn. Hadn’t heard of sCamanism (as I hadn’t heard of sprayer or cabalists) but it worked with the clue (as the others had) so I was a bit disappointed with the DNF in the end.
  13. By George that was hard work and made even harder by having Marg for 1d and Septet for 15d for a long time. After a first session of 25 minutes, I spent a further 15 unpicking my errors and finally putting in Galway (for no good reason my LOI).
    As an experienced QCer I found this quite tough; I guessed Cabalists, Heptad was an unknown, Sprayer was awkward but could not see anything else.
    Trusting the clues helped and in the end I got it all.
    Many thanks to Izetti whom I had the great pleasure to meet at The George on Tuesday. David
  14. I’ve been doing the QC since it started and probably even a few months ago I would have found this very difficult. The accumulation of the essential ‘toolkit’ tricks and abbreviations does eventually pay off though and I finished this in about 2x 20 minute sessions. So a bit longer then average for me and I did have to look up ‘Heptad’ and ‘Cabalists’ to confirm the meanings but I treat this as fair and not cheating! Pexiter.
  15. Well…I got there eventually, though technically a DNF as (even after I’d googled HEPTAD) I still didn’t get SIDELIGHT. I sell doors and that, to me, is a glazed panel by an entrance so the clue threw me good and proper!
    My mum always refers to “Bloody Dean Mayer” – I may start adding this prefix to Izetti 🙂
  16. … as my school teacher (a VERY long time ago) used to say before exams. I wasted ages trying to find a famous rabbit.

    dnf, but I got a few.

  17. Solvers are always tempted to guess and shove in answers that fit just from definitions — hence a few who fell into the (unintentional) SEPTET trap. One skill that has to be learned is that of paying attention to subsidiary indications, and another is to think how plausible an answer thereby deduced might be. In this case HEAD was fairly accessible and a knowledge of the heptathlon might have suggested that the hitherto unknown answer was reasonable. Getting to grips with vocabulary just outside their comfort zone can take solvers up to the next level, so welcome the challenge that slightly less familiar words and phrases can offer — and complain not! Thanks for the feedback. Izetti
    1. Halfway through your post I was thinking “how on earth could you claim to know whether the trap was intentional?”. But yeah, I guess you would.

      Thanks for commenting Izetti, some wise words in there.

  18. This felt tough but fair to me, although I eventually gave up on 11d. With hindsight I should have remembered A list for celebrity as it’s appeared a few times. I also fell into the septet trap even though it didn’t look right and it took some unpicking before I could get 23a.
    As a previous poster mentioned I learn a lot more from the tough puzzles than the ones I can complete in 10 – 15 minutes so the occasional one like this is welcome.
  19. I agree this was tough but eventually got… almost there. A DNF over 15d as a word I couldn’t dredge up from dim memory and that allowed 23a spotlight over sidelight as I couldn’t parse that properly. Being used to a double B in 11d was also a problem for a while. 5d I always associate with Asia as shaman means an Asian priest, so no problem with that for me. Took ages to biff 2d but then it was obvious. We need these toughies from time to time. I’ve been shadowing the 15×15 of late and getting maybe a third to a quarter of the, self-evidently, easier ones. I reckon some of today’s to be at a similar level although it appears you do need a different mindset for the 15×15 – to dissect the words of the clue in a more analytical way. Others might see it differently. Thx to Izetti for a taxing end to the week, and for joining the blog. Also to Galspray for making it so clear.
  20. I thought this was a bit of a tester for a quickie too, but there were enough easy clues to make it fair. A careless SEPTET for 15d rendered 23a impossible, and it took me a full minute to see the light. 8:26
  21. Well…I got there eventually, though technically a DNF as (even after I’d googled HEPTAD) I still didn’t get SIDELIGHT. I sell doors and that, to me, is a glazed panel by an entrance so the clue threw me good and proper!
    My mum always refers to “Bloody Dean Mayer” – I may start adding this prefix to Izetti 🙂
  22. Yes, Izetti, I fell into the SEPTET trap (should’ve known better from Heptane – 7 Carbon atoms). Like others I had both EMMA and MARG pencilled in at the side until the penny finally dropped on (CORN) EXCHANGES.
    Living and *learning*, as I said.
    Many thanks again although I hope that Mara, Joker and Flammande don’t all suddenly think they should makes their clues harder too – we beginners need to have some QCs we can finish, too.
    1. Sorry Flashman, the setter has taken time to comment on this page, which suggests he reads it, and I think your comment is unnecessarily disrespectful.

      It’s not up to you or me to dictate the level of difficulty of these puzzles, and in any case there’s always a range of opinions on just how hard a puzzle is.

      Personally I believe we’re fortunate to be served up such consistently high standard puzzles on a daily basis.

      Izetti indicates above that he welcomes feedback, but I presume he’d prefer it to be a little more constructive.

      1. I can’t edit my comment so apologies if it is disrespectful.

        However I think the quick cryptic has become too difficult. It is great for someone like me who has been doing them for about a year but not so good for people new to the puzzles.

        It was introduced with “the intention being to introduce new people to cryptic crosswords, and to encourage those solvers who’d like to have a go at the main puzzle but feel daunted by it, or who can perhaps only solve a handful of clues.”

        I don’t feel the puzzle today is in line with these aspirations.

  23. I am neither a newbie nor an expert. I finish more of these now than I used to. I enjoy Izetti’s puzzles the most. It’s Tracy I find the most challenging. But they are all good fun as far as I am concerned. If I could finish all of them in under 15 mins I’d get bored. I like doing the puzzles and reading the blog and the differing dificulties.

    The puzzles are in a part of the paper headed “Mind Games”. They are games for fun and that’s how I like to treat them.

    Thanks Izetti and Galspray and all bloggers for the enjoyment.


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