Quick Cryptic 842 by Howzat

An enjoyable puzzle from Howzat (with, ironically, not a cricket reference in sight) featuring a nice variety of clue types. Not too tricky, but not a pushover either – “just about right”, I suspect.

Thanks very much to our setter.

Definitions underlined: DD = double definition: anagrams indicated by *(–): omitted letters indicated by {-}.

4 Irregular dates happily in the end becoming a regular one?
STEADY – Cryptic clue, with the wordplay being *(DATES) – with “irregular” indicating the anagram – + Y (final letter – ‘in the end’ – of happilY)
7 Portrait of Somalian vandalised (4,4)
MONA LISA – *(SOMALIAN) with “vandalised” signposting the anagram
8 Countless millions taken by milk producer rejected (6)
MYRIAD – M (millions) is added to (taken by) DAIRY reversed (milk producer rejected)
9 Intimate change and say nothing (5,3)
ALTER EGO – ALTER (change) + EG (say) + O (nothing)
10 Mean singing voice heard (4)
BASE – Sounds like BASS (singing voice heard)
12 Pork cut in box served with processed brie (5,3)
SPARE RIB – SPAR (box) + *(BRIE) with “processed” pointing to the anagram
15 Quiet craftsman is prejudiced (8)
PARTISAN – P (quiet) + ARTISAN (craftsman)
18 Quits flat (4)
EVEN – DD, with the first maybe less obvious as in “we’re quits” / “we’re even”
20 Sergeant in mess put out of favour (8)
ESTRANGE – *(SERGEANT) with “in mess” signalling the anagram
22 Sounding cold, it’s hot (6)
CHILLI – Sounds like “chilly” (sounding cold)
23 Good on imposing French city! (8)
GRENOBLE – G (good) + RE (on) + NOBLE (imposing)
24 Cockney wife having lost capital is after credit support (6)
CRUTCH – {D}UTCH (cockney wife – as in “my old Dutch”) minus its first letter (having lost capital) comes after CR (credit)
1 Dimwit who is also sweet (4)
FOOL – Straightforward DD
2 Sort of artist in a way associated with flags (8)
PAVEMENT – The supporting cryptic wordplay is based on a “flags” (or flagstones) being the component parts of pavements. My LOI as, despite all the checkers, it took me an age for the penny to drop here. Nice clue with cunning misdirection.
3 US soldier hires out padded jackets (6)
GILETS – GI (US soldier) + LETS (hires out). The garment in question was unknown to me, but the wordplay was sufficiently generous that the answer really couldn’t have been anything else.
4 Greek island associated with a savoury snack (6)
SAMOSA – SAMOS (Greek island) + A (associated with A)
5 Rehearsals in part for organs (4)
EARS – Hidden in (in part) rehEARSals
6 Due date that’s not welcomed by caller? (8)
DEADLINE – DD, the second being mildly cryptic and referring us back to the days when calls generally went over physical phone lines…
11 Secure a time with TV presenter (2,6)
AT ANCHOR – A T (a time) with ANCHOR (TV presenter)
13 Highest point almost for pulse (3)
PEA – PEA{K} – ‘highest point almost’
14 One way of getting to the top in say, Washington (8)
ELEVATOR – Cryptic based on the American habit of referring to lifts as ‘elevators’
16 Seasonal transport is murder, one’s heard (6)
SLEIGH – Sounds like SLAY (murder, one’s heard)
17 Madman from northern state (6)
NUTTER – N (northern) + UTTER (state)
19 Scheduled time for opening (4)
SLOT – Straightforward DD
21 Misses prodigal son? Not entirely (4)
GALS – Hidden in (not entirely) prodiGAL Son

22 comments on “Quick Cryptic 842 by Howzat”

  1. I have a feeling there’ll be more solvers agreeing with Vinyl than with Nick on this one, as I thought it was a bit un-Quicky-like in places. The PAVEMENT, ALTER EGO, GILETS crossing could be a challenge for some.

    Also CRUTCH might not be a write-in for those that haven’t seen “cockney wife = dutch” in previous crosswords. Then again, I’m hopeless at judging these things, so we’ll see.

    Amazing coincidence(?) between one of the clues and a clue in today’s 15×15. Won’t say which one, but it’ll be obvious to anyone who attempts both puzzles.

    Anyway, thanks ‘ZAT!!!, and nice blog Nick.

  2. Like Vinyl, I was helped yesterday’s PAVEMENT, even though I had carelessly tossed in ‘bass’ instead of BASE. (I find the definition a bit clumsy: a pavement artist is a sort of artist; pavement is neither a sort of artist nor a sort of art.) The ELEVATOR/lift thing didn’t even register with me. (Otis being an American, Nick, I think one might better speak of the English habit of referring to elevators as lifts!) GILETS was new to me, too, but it took me a lot longer than it evidently did Nick to twig. 6:21.
  3. This one took me 10:16, so not easy, but not a beast. The NW held me up most, but MONA LISA eventually gave me the way in. FOI STEADY, LOI PAVEMENT, despite yesterday’s reminder. Thanks Howzat and Nick.
  4. 10 minutes here, so within target for the first time this week. GILET(S) dredged up from the depths, but it has come up a couple of times before. Helped by at least two clues overlapping with very recent ones.
  5. So with Jack on this one – MOR with nothing nasty in the woodshed.

    WOD – I wore my (sleeveless) 3dn GILET(S)this morning so no trouble there. No need now as Shanghai becomes scorchio – but then June can be a very wet month indeed.

    COD 24ac CRUTCH.

    I also noticed Lord Galspray’s Coincidence.

    Nick you used the word ‘signposting’ as per David Astle – excellent choice.

  6. Very pleased to finish after dnf yesterday. About an hour in between pesky interruptions, but most spent on base, fool, pavement, at anchor and LOI gals.

    Didn’t twig box for spar, wife for dutch or misses for gals.
    Dnk Fool = sweet/dessert.

    I also thought 4d was a DD, the greek island Samosa!

    Isn’t the coincidence caused by it being the same setter?

    COD Mona Lisa.

    Edited at 2017-05-31 08:39 am (UTC)

    1. I didn’t realise that. But how do you know? I thought the daily 15×15 setters were anonymous?
      1. Quite often the same word is clued in the quickie and the main crossword, just more difficult in the 15×15, so I assumed the same setter is assigned a day and duplicates some clues. Just an assumption.
        1. I’m pretty sure that setters aren’t allocated a day for which they produce both main cryptic and quicky but, even if they were, the setter interviews that I’ve read have suggested that they generally try to avoid the reuse of answers/clues in close proximity. However the scheduling of the puzzles is not in their hands so it’s more down to the editor whether these seeming coincidences are allowed to occur. I feel they occur sufficiently infrequently though that it doesn’t particularly detract from my enjoyment of the puzzles.
  7. Took till Waterloo East. Couldn’t parse LOI CRUTCH, which I had biffed, and had to seek illumination from the blog – thanks pip!

    Some interesting stuff about my old Dutch here http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/my-old-dutch.html

    A good puzzle but definitely towards the harder end of the QC spectrum. Thanks to setter and blogger.

      1. Thank you! Seemed a bit harsh …

        And I meant Nick, not pip (sorry!)


        1. LiveJournal automatically consigns all comments containing URLs to the spam bin. Though this policy does delay the posting of genuine comments every now and then, it also keeps the blog free of adverts for assorted smut (and options trading websites, Louboutin boots, etc) so it’s swings and roundabouts.
  8. Well, fell for every misdirection going on first go-round (I *need* that Tim Morrey book!) but better on second.

    Re: 2d – Luckily my meagre attempts, and learning from those I don’t get, in the 15×15 pay off sometimes so the link between artist and flags(tones)/ pavement was still fresh in my mind. Don’t think I’d have got it otherwise.

    LOI CRUTCH. I always thought that the Cockney for wife was ‘trouble and strife’ but couldn’t find a way of making that work. Finally got it from checkers and def.

    A new setter for me today I think, so thank you Howzat and Nick.

    1. I agree with you – I had “trouble and strife” for wife as well…until i realised it couldn’t possibly be!


      1. Whilst trouble and strife is often heard in real life, it rarely crops up in crosswords (probably due to its enumeration). Dutch, however, crops up quite a bit and is well worth remembering.

        I used to work with an old cockney guy who always referred to his “old Dutch” – although he would sometimes refer to her (particularly if she was annoying him!) as “the ball and chain” – her name was Jane…

  9. Definitely a Goldilocks puzzle finished in 6 plus change. Most went straight in leaving a few to be mopped up at the end. MYRIAD last in as it clearly didn’t have WOC in it.
    Do have a go at the 15×15 today if you are looking to step up. It is much more Mondayish than Wednesdayish.
  10. Not easy today I thought. After 20 minutes I had seven left and five after 24 when I had a break.
    I thought 2d Pavement was tricky but my big mistake was putting a lazy Sledge at 16d. I was also trying to fit Strife into 24a.
    The break helped as I quickly saw Chilli on the resumption and then it was quickly completed – so about 30 minutes in all. COD to 9a. David
  11. DNF as I just couldn’t get 2dn and “pavement”.

    I thought this was on the more difficult side. FOI was 7ac and COD 12ac for me.

    As noted above, I biffed Crutch for 24ac but couldn’t figure out the wordplay for the life of me. Obviously dutch = wife is one of those crossword things that you just need to know!

    Thanks as usual.


  12. Real problems with this – spent an hour scratching around this morning, and still had half a grid left to tackle later. However the last few went in quite quickly, so perhaps my subconscious was doing a bit of background processing ? Either way, I thought this was tough for a QC. Invariant
  13. Big DNF for me. I was defeated by 3d which is obvious now, 9a where I thought the definition was ‘say nothing’ and 24a where I had no idea what was going on.
    Even without those three I found this tough going and I’d only completed half of it in a 20 minute first sitting.
    Oh well better luck tomorrow.

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