Quick Cryptic 869 by Hawthorn

Morning all.  No surprises from Hawthorn today, all the answers are well-known words or expressions, and I would imagine everyone’s heard of the movie.

That doesn’t guarantee that it’s easy of course, you still have to put all the bits together in the right order.  But it was fairly clued, with some nice whimsical double defs thrown in for our solving pleasure.

Here’s how I parsed 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 Temporarily remove pressure after American fills post (7)
SUSPEND – P (pressure) after US (American) “fills” SEND (post)
5 Second rate room (5)
SPACE – S (second) + PACE (rate)
8 Travelling to the record shop, perhaps, is cheap (5,3,1,4)
GOING FOR A SONG – Double definition
Record shop?  Can someone get Hawthorn a Spotify account please?
9 Perennial to grow up the French windows at rear (7)
AGELESS – AGE (grow up) + LES (‘the’ in French) + S (windowS at rear)
10 Daughter attached to playboy sailor of old (5)
DRAKE – D (daughter) + RAKE (playboy)
11 Drunken spree involving end of posh ball (6)
SPHERE – (SPREE)* “involving” H (end of posH)
One of several references to alcohol today.  Is there anything you wanted to talk about Hawthorn?
13 Had fun with Penny before awful delay (6)
PLAYED – P (penny) before (DELAY)*
15 Opening some chain letters (5)
INLET – Hidden (some) in chaIN LETters
Remember chain letters?  They don’t seem so bad now in the era of email spam.
16 Insulate round the bend without a tool (7)
19 Impractical idea for elaborate staircase? (6,2,5)
FLIGHT OF FANCY – Double definition
Probably one of the harder clues today, at least until a few checkers were in place.  Referencing a flight of stairs, obviously.
20 Torch that’s easy to carry (5)
LIGHT – Double definition
21 Magritte reversed rules in act of modernism? (7)
RENEWAL – RENE (Magritte) + WAL [LAW (rules) reversed]
1 US soldiers sent back mum’s letter from abroad (5)
SIGMA – SIG [GIS (US soldiers) reversed (sent back)] + MA (mum)
Crosswordland relies almost totally on GI’s for its defence.  With some help from the TA.
2 Scary and upsetting, clutching awfully nice husband (5-8)
SPINE-CHILLING – SPILLING (upsetting) “clutching” (NICE)* + H (husband)
3 Above a glen is where one may find it nesting (5)
EAGLE – &LIT.  Hidden (nesting) in abovE A GLEn
An &LIT clue is one where the wordplay and the definition are one and the same.
4 Sleepy, Doc and Sneezy emptied bottles o’ whiskey (6)
DROWSY – DR (Doc) + SY (sneezy “emptied”) contains (bottles) O + W (whiskey in the phonetic alphabet)
You have to lift and separate the dwarves here.
5 Flip-flop about Conservative’s disgraceful act (7)
SCANDAL – SANDAL (flip-flop) “about” C (Conservative)
Whatever happened to Tory sex scandals?  Haven’t heard a good one for a while.
6 Cop lays weapon out in war film (10,3)
I love the smell of cryptics in the morning.
7 Intellectual whose brain might be scrambled? (7)
EGGHEAD – Double definition
Fine line between a cryptic definition and a double definition.  I went with double because “intellectual” stands on its own as a definition, and I guess if someone actually had an egg for a head then their brain could be scrambled.  Not that it bears thinking about.
11 King tucked into immoral quantity of alcohol (7)
SKINFUL – K (king) “tucked into” SINFUL (immoral)
This is what did for Robert Barratheon.
12 Mechanism making the cart wobbly (7)
Ah, the ratchet spanner.  Eternal gratitude to J J Richardson of Vermont for inventing it in 1863.  Not sure how I coped before that.
14 Gossip has alcoholic drink belonging to us (6)
RUMOUR – RUM (alcoholic drink) + OUR (belonging to us)
17 Small and delicate eel lacking foremost swimming appendage (5)
ELFIN – EL (eel “lacking foremost”) + FIN (swimming appendage)
Nice word elfin.  Was always used to describe Mia Farrow back in the day.
18 Behold non-clergy turning faithful (5)
LOYAL – LO (behold) + YAL [LAY (non-clergy) reversed (turning)]

19 comments on “Quick Cryptic 869 by Hawthorn”

  1. I had thought of 19ac as a cryptic definition; a flight of fancy isn’t itself necessarily an impractical idea, after all. And Vinyl surprised me re SPINECHLLING; struck me as a perfectly cromulent word in US English as well. Galspray, don’t forget OR. 5:27.
    1. According to most sources, “impractical idea” is pretty much the exact definition Kevin.
  2. No problems with the jolly old 15×15 but I could only muster 12.28 for the QC.

    Nothing seemed come quickly and on reflection I should have been in at around 10 minutes. No time from Lord Galspray?

    LOI 14dn RUMOUR

    COD & WOD 2dn SPINE-CHILLING Vinyl/Kevin!??

    Cromulent again!?

  3. I’m another who struggled a bit on this one, taking what seemed like forever to get started with an answer half way down the grid. Then I found myself solving bottom-up, so to speak, which is seldom a good plan and I am very rarely forced into it in a QC. So at 14 minutes this was my worst time for a while. That’s two bad days for me this week after seven in a row under 10 minutes.

    I understand why the setter has put ‘act of modernism’ in 21ac but I’m not entirely convinced that it defines ‘renewal’.

    Edited at 2017-07-07 05:02 am (UTC)

    1. Yes, it needs to be “act of modernisation” doesn’t it? Not as good for the surface reading though, which as you say is why the setter has opted for “modernism”.

      Makes you think that this clue-setting business might not be as easy as it looks!

  4. Came in just outside 10 minutes at 10:47, so slightly more tricky than some. FOI was SIGMA and LOI AGELESS. No particular problems, just took a bit longer to analyse the clues. Failed to see the parsing for DROWSY even though I knew I was taking the outside letters of some words. My brain was too tired to lift and separate, so I biffed instead. Thanks Hawthorn and Galspray.

  5. Nice end to the week for me. I also biffed Drowsy and am grateful for the explanation Galspray.

    Knowing next to nothing about films, esp. war films,6d was a laborious task of crossing off the checkers as they came in. Even when i had NOW, I still had to work it out from the letters I had left! But, at least I had heard of it.

    CsOD 21a and 19a

    thanks to Hawthorn and Galspray

  6. Drowsy – I’m another needing Galspray’s expertise to explain the cryptic. Many thanks. (22.49 today)
  7. Good fun, this, but DROWSY took some doing (thought I was looking for a whiskey, or another word for dwarves!). And thanks for the blog, Galspray – you’ve made me laugh, especially with the RATCHET parsing!
  8. Thanks to Hawthorn and Galspray respectively.

    I was another needing the blog to understand DROWSY – I got the DR and the SY but was baffled by the OW. I didn’t know “bottling” as a containment indicator; my optimistic side says I’ll tuck it away in the memory bank but my realistic side says I’ll have forgotten it by Monday (as witness the fact that I forgot about the possibility of the NATO alphabet, having been reminded of it earlier in the week …).

    As for GIs and the TA being the sole means of defence, Crosswordland in fact has a magnificent array of land forces. As well as GIs and the TA, we have ORs (as keveingregg says) and also the REs and RMs, occasionally the REME and RA, often the MEN; sometimes we need the MPs to keep them in order and when they retire we still have the VETs!

    Most of the way to Charing Cross from Orpington.


  9. Another day when I was solving whilst watching the Irish Open; not the perfect background for solving quite a tricky puzzle.
    One or two easy and long clues allowed me to gain traction (8a and 6d).
    Last two were 14d and then 16a which I struggled to parse: Insulate = Line, Round for backwards, with an S and U bend thrown in … which gets close to Utensil , but not quite to a T. David
  10. Another struggle to get started – FOI 10a. LOI4d. COD 19a. Failed with 9a opting for azeleas in desperation. Now, of course, our blogger points out it was obvious… Apart from my error it otherwise flowed well, especially for a Friday which I generally consider will be a challenge. So thx too to Hawthorn.
  11. A steady solve, coming in at 22minutes. I had a return to my anagram blindness with my LOI 16a, which held me up at the end. Enjoyed the two long across clues.

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