Quick Cryptic 84 by Grumpy

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
At 10 minutes I found this one easier than some of late and I hope it will prove so for the newbies amongst us too. As I didn’t expect to be blogging today, speed was my priority in preparing it so I have not been able to include whole clues as I normally would. Sorry about that.


8 INFERNO – INFER (gather), NO (small number). Definition: big blaze
9 NEHRU –  Hidden and reversed [back] inside ‘favoUR HENceforth’. Definition: Indian leader
10 BROOD – Double definition: children / meditate moodily
11 NORFOLKDevoN, OR, FOLK (people). Definition: county
12 NOT HALF – Double definition, one cryptic. The literal is certainly
14 DREAD – Anagram [disturbing] of ADDER. Definition: be afraid of
15 ROACH – Hidden inside ‘ProspeRO A CHub’. Definition: fish
17 RETRAIN – RE (sappers – Royal Engineers), TRAIN (transport). Definition: acquire new skills
19 EXPRESS – Double definition: fast / say
20 DROWN – R (river) inside DOWN (NI county). Definition flood
22 ANNIE – A,N (little name), N (little name), IE (that is, id est). Definition: girl’s name
23 NOVICES – ON reversed [turned], VICES (bad habits). Definition: beginners


1 LIMB – First letters of ‘Leader In Merchant Banking’. Definition: branch
2 AFLOAT – 0 (love, as in tennis) inside A FLAT (a home). Definition: on the water
3 PRODsharP, ROD (stick). Definition: poke
4 GOING FOR A SONG – Two definitions, one of them cryptic. The literal is cheap
5 ON CREDIT – Anagram [rehabilitated] of CON TRIED. Definition: paying later
6 THRONE – Sounds like “thrown” (lost on purpose, as one might a game). Definition: seat of power
7 TUCKED IN – Double definition. ready for sleep / eaten heartily
12 NORSEMAN – NAMES (calls), RON (short man) all reversed [up]. Definition: Viking
13 ATHLETES – Anagram [trained] of THE LEAST. Definition: sporty people
16 ASPENS – AS (since), PENS (writers). Definition: trees
18 AT ONCE – TON (weight) inside [carried by] ACE (expert). Definition: without hesitation
20 DIVE – Double definition: take the plunge / disreputable place
21 NOSH – Hidden in ‘meriNO SHeep’. Definition: common food

18 comments on “Quick Cryptic 84 by Grumpy”

  1. At 7:40 this didn’t take me much time after all, but I had forebodings when I could get nothing but DREAD and ROACH on the first pass through the acrosses. I hesitated over NORSEMAN simply because ‘man’ was in the clue. NEHRU was a nice hidden, but with the checkers I didn’t bother to parse it. I also liked INFERNO for its smooth surface.
  2. Very do-able until I got stuck on NORSEMAN for the same reason as Kevin above, This then gave problems with EXPRESS and ASPENS so 13 minutes in the end.
  3. Great offering, particularly for those trying to gain an initial foothold into this mysterious business – nice range of clue types, pleasing surfaces and nothing obscure.

    ANNIE and AT ONCE both held me up before I could fully parse them. Also suffered from the NORSEMAN MAN syndrome.

    Wife and I were pleased to achieve recognition at last in 23 ac!

  4. As a “newby” I really enjoyed this crossword. I have found some recent ones quite difficult. It is good to be successful. Thank you,
    1. Well done! Hope to hear more from you in future. Why not give yourself a name? Or better still, sign up for a free Live Journal account (link at the very top of this page) and have a Userpic too.
  5. Quickest solve for some time at 15 minutes although my last one in ANNIE was unparsed. Getting 4d straight away was a great help. Favourite today NEHRU.
  6. Having really struggled over the last few days managed all but the top left corner 4 clues. Just could not get them. Took about 2 hours for the rest. Still improving and with puzzles of this level I will persevere. Almost gave up after the early week puzzles. A long way from a under 30 minute solve.
  7. 4 mins, and definitely one that the newer solvers should be happier with after the last couple of days. The DIVE/NOVICES crossers were my last ones in.
  8. 12 minutes. My fastest yet! Nice range of clue types and nothing abstruse. Perfect for newbies.
  9. After some of my recent attempts I’ve managed to answer all but four. I won’t say how long it took me though…..
  10. It’s so good to see so many new solvers getting stuck in and finding some success. As Jack says above; stick with it! My 9mins is about as close as I’ll ever get to Kevin’s time in a crossword! My favourite was GOING FOR A SONG.
  11. Hi – I am the newbie who posted as an anon a couple of days ago. Ok, it didn’t take me just 10 minutes and some were deduced rather than properly perceived, but I got there eventually. My only previous complete crossword had two errors so doesn’t count (I had a wrong four letter word – and I thought I knew them all! – and that threw out another answer). Think I might keep this as a trophy for when I can’t get any clues – probably tomorrow! Don’t care if it was an easy one today…. Going to bed happy
    1. Hello, Andrew, and welcome in your new persona. Congrats on completing your first all-correct. Hope to hear lots more from you.
  12. Completed, on paper with no cheating! A very enjoyable couple of hours on a puzzle perfectly suited to us 23a – thank you Grumpy. The SW corner was the hardest and I too had issues with NORSEMAN. Well done to my fellow successful Newbies and keep trying the rest of you.
  13. Thanks for the explanation. I had “Nelie”. Little Nel and of course the “ie”. Couldn’t see why the spelling was different to the conventional “Nellie” but felt so chuffed with myself for getting the Dickens ref that I had this as a firm answer! Just shows that we need to stay open minded!

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