Quick Cryptic 850 by Izetti

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
Considering that I have been blogging QCs since #1 in March 2014 and Izetti is one of the original regular setters, he has appeared on my scheduled blogging day on remarkably few occasions – indeed this is only the 5th time – although I blogged another two of his puzzles when covering for someone else. This one is enjoyable and well up to his usual standard, and I completed it in exactly 10 minutes. It’s a pangram.

As usual definitions are underlined in bold italics, {deletions are in curly brackets} and [anagrinds, containment, reversal and other indicators in square ones]

7 Boozer opening — nothing inside (4)
ZERO – Hidden [inside] {boo}ZER O{pening}
8 Favoured travel abroad in break (8)
INTERVAL – IN (favoured), anagram [abroad] of TRAVEL
9 A king in control? Not after 1066! (6)
HAROLD – A + R (king) contained by [in] HOLD (control)
10 Old sailors had a meal — fancy! (6)
ORNATE – O (old), RN (sailors – Royal Navy), ATE (had a meal)
11 Junior’s first monkey trick (4)
JAPE – J{unior’s} [first], APE (monkey)
12 One to observe pupils very closely (8)
OPTICIAN – Cryptic definition
15 A fellow into cannabis lost strength (8)
WEAKENED – A + KEN (fellow) contained by [into] WEED (cannabis)
17 Chump expected to keep quiet (4)
DUPE – DUE (expected) contains [to keep] P (quiet)
18 Models misshapen? Not often (6)
SELDOM – Anagram [misshapen] of MODELS
21 No good having strong drink in small cup (6)
NOGGIN – NO, G (good), GIN (strong drink). It can be the drinking vessel or the alcholic content.
22 A servant working in restaurants (8)
TAVERNAS – Anagram [working] of A SERVANT
23 Refuse to take notice of cakes brought around (4)
SNUB – BUNS (cakes) reversed [brought around]
1 Somewhere in America Derek gets clued up (8)
DELAWARE – DEL (Derek), AWARE (clued up). I’m not sure if  DEL as a short form of Derek existed before Del Boy, the character in Only Fools and Horses. Elsewhere it appears to be short for Delbert.
2 Dour old male knocked over wine (6)
MOROSE – O (old) + M (male) reversed [knocked over], ROSE (wine)
3 Gale not so bad? Reduce operations (4,4)
WIND DOWN – A cryptic hint and  and a straight defintion
4 Name of German unaffected by revolution (4)
OTTO –  “Unaffected by revolution” tells us we’re looking for a palindrome
5 Mocking one “Reagan” in charge (6)
IRONIC – I (one), RON (Reagan), IC (in charge)
6 Female to behave insincerely in truth (4)
FACT – F (female), ACT (behave insincerely)
13 No disorder, doctor insisted (8)
TIDINESS – Anagram [doctor] of INSISTED
14 Fancy design that could make IQ leap up? (8)
APPLIQUE – Anagram [could make] IQ LEAP UP. The SOED defines this as a piece of ornamental work cut out from one material and affixed to the surface of another.
16 Child has ache rising in part of the body (6)
KIDNEY – KID (child), YEN (ache) reversed [rising]
17 Summary of archaeological activity is in French (6)
DIGEST – DIG (archaeological activity), EST (is, in French)
19 Service revolving around a biblical man (4)
ESAU – USE (service) reversed [revolving] containing [around] A. Those of a certain vintage may remember the song “I saw Esau sitting on a see-saw” based, I think, on a traditional tongue-twister.
20 Fellow, unknown, from offshore island (4)
MANX – MAN (fellow), X (unknown). The Isle of Man, or IOM as it sometimes appears in crosswords.

26 comments on “Quick Cryptic 850 by Izetti”

  1. After five minutes I had one remaining, then stared hopelessly at the flood of vowels in 1dn before the penny dropped. Not helped by never having heard of “Del” for Derek, despite Derek being the name of one of my closest friends.

    Nice challenge. Thanks Izetti and Jack.

    1. I only saw it after writing the crossing letters horizontally, even though I was quite aware of DEL for Derek. It just didn’t spring to mind.
  2. Gave up on 1d, never having heard of Del=Derek, or Del Boy, or Fools and Horses.
  3. Nice puzzle, all done in 20 mins but gave up on the biblical 19d, sticking in erac, care = service (revolving around), surely there was an erac in the revelations somewhere? Although I guessed it was more likely to be service turned about around “a”.

    I get service for use but I wish the bible clues were clued more generously.

    Really liked 9a Harold and 13d tidiness.

    Edited at 2017-06-12 06:54 am (UTC)

  4. Never heard of ESAU.

    The rest were pretty much okay. And as an “Only Fools and Horses” watcher Del wasn’t a problem.

    So now I know of Esau. Probably another one of those crossword chestnuts beyond my ken?

    Thanks jackkt and Izetti

  5. Done in 45, but I have no excuses for my slowness today, failing to spot the hidden in 7ac and anagram indicator in 13dn for ages. I was also looking too much into 12ac and didn’t spot the simple cryptic. 14dn was unknown to me and had to check once put in. A poor start to the week for me. gribb.
  6. But finished well south of London Bridge, so can’t have been too bad.

    Some wonderful deceptions – ZERO so well hidden it was my penultimate one in, and I took ages to see the anagram indicator for TIDINESS. INTERVAL was also a very neatly constructed clue. Thank you Izetti! (Despite random foreign Geography at 1dn – spent a while with Derek Underwood and Derek & Clive!)

    Surprised ESAU seems to have caused difficulty, I would have thought that the mess of pottage was one of the better known Biblical stories.


    1. From memory, I think Esau’s hairiness is the main thing he’s associated with in Crosswordland.
  7. A nice start to the week and straightforward for beginners too.

    Except for LOI, 1d that is, which took me almost as long to twig as all the rest together – even with all the checkers. But I’m glad I stuck with it.
    Glad, too, that I knew NOGGIN this time.

    Thank you Izetti and Jack

    1. Argh! Please don’t use unqualified phrases like ‘straightforward for beginners’! You have no way of knowing how difficult others, especially beginners, will find a particular puzzle and it will only makes some solvers (me!) feel stupid if they did indeed find it difficult. I thought there were some quite tricky clues in this puzzle, some requiring specific general knowledge not necessarily widespread, and some using quite devious clue construction.
      1. Indeed! After two solid weeks of solving the QC in 20 mins or less, I only got half of this! Wavelength? I don’t know, but I found this very difficult. JJ.
      2. My humble apologies, Anonymous. I should have prefaced beginners with ‘we’. And I only made the comment because Izetti seemed to be following that which is demonstrated in Tim Morrey’s book… for we beginners. We all struggle and learn.

        And to JJ, having solved all of QCs in 20 mins or less in the past 2 weeks, I am just
        in awe!

      3. Hear hear! ( and this is from someone who began their cryptic journey at quick cryptic no. 1!)
        1. Thank you for your generous response.
          I’m a beginner at commenting (obv.) as well as
  8. Slow and steady today, liked 21a ! Anybody else remember Noggin the Nog or am I showing my age??
    Cheers Blogger and Izetti
  9. Didn’t get 1d – despite being ofah fan I didn’t know del boys real name was derek
    Get applique immediately my art teacher 40 odd years ago was a big fan
    Got Esau, but not easy for someone who didn’t do any biblical studies!
    Also took a while over optician, I am always weak on cryptic definitions and spend ages trying to parse them
    About 15 mins for all except 1d – not quite sure why just didn’t click this morning

    Edited at 2017-06-12 10:47 am (UTC)

  10. I saw Esau sitting on a see-saw. How many ‘S’s in that? A riddle. There are no ‘S’s in ‘THAT’!
    1. Variation on Q: “Antidisestablishmentarianism is one of the longest words in the dictionary. How many letters are there in it?” A:”two”.
  11. As usual, Izetti clues are straightforward enough if you can see the answer and fiendishly difficult if you don’t – a good mix of both today. Lost a lot of time on 7ac, where I fell for the ‘B’ opener misdirection, and 13d looking for the wrong doctor. Crawled across the line after 50 minutes. Invariant
  12. I struggled to get started with this one, but eventually got JAPE and then filled the NE, SE and SW, and then came back to the NW where 1d was my last one in. 11:25. I also thought ZERO was well hidden. Liked HAROLD. Thanks Izetti and Jack.
  13. I made hard work of this by failing to spot the anagrams at 8a, 23a, 13d and looking for a word beginning with ‘b’ at 7a. I managed to get 1d fairly quickly thanks to Del Boy. COD 17d, LOI 22a, completed in around 30 minutes with a long break in the middle so a sluggish start to the weak
  14. A very enjoyable puzzle from Izetti, particularly after wrestling with Saturday’s 15×15.
    I managed to finish in about 15 minutes. LOI was Morose but I thought 14d the hardest clue. Favourite was 13d. David
  15. Spotted the pangram fairly early and that helped towards the end with eg 23a. A slow start with 11a. No problem with 19a but took a while to parse properly. Ditto 13d where I worried until there was no alternative and then worked out why. A DNF with 17a as dope instead of dupe – a silly error I can only out down to working late in the evening and with an eye on bedtime! Overall I thought this relatively tough for a Monday taking me probably 75 minutes over two sessions separated by supper and a village meeting. FOI 11a LOI 19d COD 1d. Thx to our blogger, setter and contributors for their perspectives too.
  16. I’ve only recently found your fantastic site. I just want to say thanks to everyone who takes the time to do the setting and also those who comment; you give me hope! I’m really enjoying attempting the puzzles and learning from the different styles and the “rules” of cryptic solving after years of trying to do it without that extra knowledge… Sam, London
    1. Welcome, Sam, and thanks for your kind comments. Hope you’ll stick around. There’s usually very little activity on the blogs here after the day they appear, so if you want to join in discussions and interact with other posters it’s best done on the first day.

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