Quick Cryptic 872 by Flamande

One at the easier end of the spectrum today, I thought, although solvers who don’t have a nodding acquaintance with Middle Eastern currencies may have had to trust to definition and cross checkers at 8ac.

18dn kept me guessing for a while, but other than that I found it relatively plain sailing with some neat surfaces to enjoy along the way.

Thanks to Flamande for an enjoyable puzzle.

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

3 Illegal occupier of property is more stocky (8)
7 Some Europeans hurry round Northern Ireland (6)
DANISH – DASH (hurry) goes ’round’ NI (Northern Ireland)
8 Plain gold coin used in Kuwait and Yemeni capital (8)
ORDINARY – OR (gold) + DINAR (coin used in Kuwait – and in other Middle East countries for that matter) + Y (Yemeni capital)
9 Turning thin wood mostly is a piece of cake (4)
SLAB – Most (all bar the last letter) of BALS{A} (thin wood) reversed (turning)
10 Race for all to see in Navy (3)
RUN – U (for all to see – referencing the censor’s rating applied to films) ‘in’ RN (Navy)
11 A joke drowned by microphone, briefly? Great! (8)
MAJESTIC – A JEST (a joke) covered by (drowned by) MIC (microphone briefly – i.e. short form)
13 Sign to approve credit (4)
TICK – DD – the second being the usage of “getting something on tick”, a phrase that was widely used when I was growing up but which doesn’t seem to crop up that much these days
15 Still sick, accepting these? (4)
ILLS – Cryptic definition with the answer hidden inside (accepting) stILL Sick
17 Father’s prenatal exercising (8)
PATERNAL – *(PRENATAL) with “exercising” signalling the anagram
19 English bishops decline (3)
EBB – E (English) + BB (bishops – i.e. chess notation)
22 Just organised projects (4)
JUTS – *(JUST) with “organised” signposting the anagram
23 View old liner finally going through a canal in S America
PANORAMA – O (old) + R (last letter – ‘finally’ – of lineR) inside (going through) PANAMA (a canal in S America)
24 Empty metal container covered by tax (6)
VACANT – CAN (metal container) ‘covered by’ VAT (tax)
25 A. N .Other’s drunk lots of water (5,3)
NORTH SEA – *(A N OTHERS) with “drunk” indicating the anagram
1 Prime Minister receives everyone — everyone in
Westminster thoroughfare (4,4)
PALL MALL – P[ALL] M[ALL] – ALL (everyone) introduced into (received by) PM (Prime Minister) plus another ALL (everyone), giving us the street most people first come across by playing Monopoly
2 Agile medic goes into river (6)
NIMBLE – MB (medic) ‘goes into’ NILE (river)
3 Son given very warm drink (4)
SHOT – S (son) ‘given’ HOT (very warm)
4 Insufficiently sliced steak (8)
UNDERCUT – If something is ‘insufficiently sliced’, it might be said to be ‘under cut’. I wasn’t familiar with the cut of meat (although it sounded sufficiently feasible for me to write it in with a high level of confidence) – apparently it’s an alternative name for what is more widely called fillet steak.
5 Temporary accommodation receiving a new renter (6)
TENANT – TENT (temporary accommodation) ‘receiving’ A + N (a new)
6 Nobleman covered in pearls (4)
EARL – The peer is found inside (covered in) pEARLs
12 Important people drink endlessly, having money (3,5)
TOP BRASS – TOP{e} (drink endlessly) with BRASS (having money)
14 Agnostic at sea, cruising (8)
COASTING – *(AGNOSTIC) with “at sea” signalling the anagram
16 Arrange to leave (3,3)
18 Refuse to admit about a hundred in plane (6)
REJECT – RE (about) and C (a hundred) ‘in’ JET (plane). Took me a while to figure out what was going on here thanks to some neat misdirection by our setter. I spent some time thinking we were looking for something to be put inside a word meaning ‘refuse’, with ‘plane’ providing the definition.
20 Tortilla and steak cook regularly supplied (4)
TACO – Every other letter (regularly supplied) of sTeAk CoOk
21 Sparkling wine in the region of Virginia (4)
CAVA – CA (circa – in the region of) + VA (standard abbreviation of state of Virginia), giving the Spanish bubbles that are the staple sparkling option at drinks parties in our household – eminently drinkable and good value.

19 comments on “Quick Cryptic 872 by Flamande”

  1. As Nick says, nothing to frighten the horses here. A pleasant romp through the clues took me 7:44, so at the easier end of the spectrum for me. My FOI was SHOT closely followed by SQUATTER. The SW was the last to fall and ILLS was my LOI. Thanks setter and Nick.
  2. I got hung up on 18d because I’d put in ‘parental’ at 17ac, which seemed fine at the time. Is Panama the name of a canal? (He sailed along Panama? It took 4 years to dig Panama?) Is the Panama Canal in South America? 4:48.
  3. 7 minutes. No holdups. I don’t have a problem with ‘Panama’ as the name of a canal in answer to a crossword clue or quiz question, whereas in another context one might favour referring to it by its fuller name.

    It seems to be well-established that Panama is technically part of the continent of North America although some sources add the rider that it may be considered by some as part of South America because it is closer culturally etc to the South. I don’t know why the setter didn’t just write Central America as there’s no doubt at all that that’s where it is.

    1. Or simply ‘canal’, for that matter; I can think offhand (and probably after a long time, too) of Panama, Erie, Suez, and Kiel, which isn’t a daunting set to search through.
  4. 14 minutes today, so that might actually be a PB. Definitely top 5 anyway. There were few I biffed without fully parsing – TICK, ORDINARY, PANORAMA. My LOI was JUTS. Didn’t spot the simple anagram indicator, and was thinking of other meaning for “projects”. Not sure why we need the “some” in 7ac. Perhaps to misled us? A great crossword all the same. gribb.
    1. I think the point of “some” is simply to indicate that we are looking for a specific sub-set of Europeans rather than Europeans at large. (On Edit: sorry, posted my response without seeing Jack’s…)

      Edited at 2017-07-12 08:05 am (UTC)

    2. Some (not all) Europeans are Danish. But it’s not essential to specify; it just makes for a better surface.
  5. mmm try Northern Tasmanian ‘champers’ knocks 21dn CAVA into a cocked hat! But you can’t beat the ‘Black Widow’

    10 minutes on the nail.

    COD 3ac SQUATTER WOD PALL MALL home to Robson Lowe

  6. 29:00 was slowed by putting SA for South America, discounting Panama which is definitely not in South America.

  7. One of the quickest I can remember, although 15ac took a while to spot (damn those 4 letter words). Very pleasant run out
  8. Started cryptically on QC1 which took hours. Today for first time ever was under 10 mins. Hurrah …. but still never finished the elder sibling version in the main paper ….
  9. Bit of a disaster today. Took ages over 11ac, and then couldn’t get past Slim for 9ac, which made me think 2d was an anagram of Medic + R. Complete gibberish of course, and I haven’t even got the excuse of a hangover. Mind you, we usually serve cake by the slice, not slab, in these parts. . . Invariant
  10. Balsa isn’t necessarily thin. It’s light, but I’ve seen quite thick bits of balsa.
  11. Because I didn’t have time to buy the paper and so had to do it on my iPhone for the first time ever!! Eeek!

    I don’t understand all you youngsters who regularly solve on your devices – I found it extraordinarily unsatisfying, with no pen to twiddle, no doodling, and above all no sense of the geography of the puzzle or how one is progressing. And then when you finish, instead of being able to read the clues back and admire the setter’s work, the whole damn thing just disappeared with a “congratulations” message!

    Back to pen and paper tomorrow!

    Fun puzzle anyway and an excellent blog, thanks both


  12. And the Mosquito aircraft of WWII – balso, Canadian birch and aluminium.
    horryd Shanghai
  13. A typically entertaining puzzle from Flammande. My only hold up was trying to figure out what was going on in my LOI, 15a.
    Thought we might be on for a pangram after the early q and j.
    Completed in 16 minutes.
  14. This QC appears in Book 4 of the collected Quick Cryptics. In that format the word ‘thin’ has been changed to ‘light’.

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