Quick Cryptic 879 by Izetti

Probably a puzzle that favours the experienced solver, which I guess is stating the obvious, but there are quite a few devices you’ll have seen before if you’ve been doing these things for a while.

On the other hand you might not know the mock serenade at 16ac.  I didn’t, and I also didn’t know the Kentish town, but I assume that one wasn’t a problem for UK-based solvers.

Thanks Izetti, nice way to finish the week, stumbling over the line in 4:28.  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 Others embracing US soldier, helping signing on process (12)
REGISTRATION – REST (others) “embracing” GI (US soldier) + RATION (helping)
“Helping” for ration is pretty common around here.
8 Good person goes by air for a bit of a flight (5)
STAIR – ST (Saint, good person) + AIR
When the word “flight” appears in Crosswordland, think staircase.
9 Sailor in discussion failing to finish moral story (7)
PARABLE – AB (sailor) in PARLEy (discussion, failing to finish)
10 Observe ecclesiastical division (3)
SEE – Double definition
11 His garden must be transformed and decorated (9)
13 Celebrity needs time to get going (5)
START – STAR (celebrity) + T (time)
14 Medical pioneer’s information, enthralling a learner (5)
GALEN – GEN (information) “enthralling” A + L (learner)
A surgeon back in the days of the Roman empire apparently.  Doesn’t really bear thinking about does it?
16 Vicar with hair looking ridiculous in mock serenade (9)
Wasn’t familiar with this term, but it sounds like rugby club behaviour.
17 Temptress in short uniform (3)
EVE – EVEn (uniform, short)
19 Modern Kent town’s economic policy (3,4)
NEW DEAL – NEW (modern) + DEAL (Kent town)
Didn’t know the town but I imagine everyone’s familiar with Roosevelt’s economic program.
21 Country a bit on the cold side, we hear (5)
CHILE – Homophone (we hear) for chilly (a bit on the cold side)
22 Without giving up could give sister plenty (12)
1 Schemes king or queen employs (5)
RUSES – R (king or queen) + USES (employs)
2 Strangely mute, a gala in the country (9)
3 Vivacity of Penny, on right lines boarding steam ship (13)
SPRIGHTLINESS – P (penny) + RIGHT LINES “boarding” SS (steam ship)
Unusual to see ten letters of a thirteen-letter answer presented in the clue, undisguised.  Of course that can cause you to look elsewhere and overlook the obvious.  Devilish these setters.
4 Exposition concerning what may be drunk at dinner (6)
REPORT – RE (concerning) + PORT (what may be drunk at dinner)
I tried RE MY IN-LAWS, but it didn’t fit.
5 A driver may go round in this (7,6)
TURNING CIRCLE – Cryptic definition
6 Ball that’s gold and black (3)
ORB – OR (gold) + B (black)
7 Dull study beginning with articles in French and English (6)
LEADEN – DEN (study) beginning with LE (article in French) + A (article in English)
12 Girl is into history, an expert on Greece (9)
HELLENIST – ELLEN (girl) is “into” HIST (history)
13 Nearest the leader for a short time (6)
SECOND – Double definition
15 Sarah meeting boy, turning up in American city (6)
DALLAS – SAL (Sarah) + LAD (boy) reversed (turning up)
I don’t think we use “Sal” for “Sarah” round these parts.  Not that I’ve heard anyway.
18 In revolution you must capture soldiers who will want to kill you? (5)
ENEMY – YE (you) “must capture” MEN (soldiers) reversed (in revolution)
20 One of the last characters to be heard in river (3)
WYE – Homophone for Y (one of the last characters)

14 comments on “Quick Cryptic 879 by Izetti”

  1. Got off to a good start today, getting most of the acrosses on the first pass; luckily, I knew CHARIVARI (pron. shivaree; I associate it with the southern US). I also knew DEAL, though not that it was in Kent. SECOND was my LOI, if I recall; had trouble seeing how it worked. 4:29.
  2. Not exactly straightforward but I completed in 10 minutes (just) having missed my target 10 twice so far this week, and I was grateful for that. Didn’t know GALEN so relied on wordplay, but knew CHARIVARI which is surely going to cause problems for some, and possibly HELLENIST too. I was delayed a little at 18dn by having the word ‘kill’ omitted from my print-out because I had earlier set my printer zoom to 110% and forgot to change it back again.

    I thought SPRIGHTLINESS was rather good as a sort of variation on a hidden answer since we didn’t have the customary one elsewhere today. Hiding in full view.

  3. I sprinted over the line in 8.45! I also note than Kevin stumbled in just a second later!!

    I have always known 16ac CHARIVARI as ‘a cats’ chorus’ – pronounced shar-i-vari in UK – thus a discordance. My WOD.

    COD 3dn SPRIGHTLINESS – in plain sight.

    12dn HELLENIST was a write-in.

    Cave novitiates! Today’s 15×15 is the veritable ‘DAILY BEAST’!! I guess Verlaine stumbled over the line in 5.40.
    And Jason pipped him wth 4.45!

    Edited at 2017-07-21 02:46 am (UTC)

  4. The editorial of the first edition of the (now defunct) satirical magazine “Punch, or the London Charivari”, founded in 1841, says: “Our title, at first glance, may have misled you into a belief that we have no other intention than the amusement of a thoughtless crowd….” and then goes on to justify it’s choice of monicker.x


  5. Like most here probably, I was held up by 16ac. Never heard of CHARIVARI before. My LOI was actually 5dn. TURNING CIRCLE? I don’t quite get what is going on here. Any explanation would be greatly welcomed. Some of the clueing seemed a bit sloppt today. Namely offerring nearly all the letetrs in 3dn, “air” in 8ac. Gribb.
    1. ‘Turning circle’ is the ability of a car to turn round using a single lock of the steering wheel. I disagree that 3dn is sloppy, for the reasons mentioned in my comment above. Nobody complains that all the letters of a hidden answer are in order in the clue, so what’s the difference? I wouldn’t say that 8ac is sloppy either, just easy to solve and we are constantly being reminded that this is supposed to be a quick puzzle with easier clues.

      Edited at 2017-07-21 08:12 am (UTC)

  6. Some nicely chewy words in this one – GALEN, CHARIVARI, HELLENIST. Another solver here who knew CHARIVARI from Punch magazine. Interestingly (?), WYE is the actual spelling of the letter Y (at least in Chambers), so it didn’t necessarily have to be clued via a homophone.
  7. I set off at a cracking pace before being held up by HELLENIST, which took some time to drop, and CHARIVARI which I had vaguely heard of without knowing what it meant. Fortunately with all the checkers it fell into place.
  8. 7.30 with my brain still hurting from the pummelling it received from Big Brother. Should probably have done them the other way round…
    For the record I thought 3d a good clue too, needing two extra steps to solve over the conventional hidden.
  9. I felt this was generally one of Izetti’s more gentle offerings, and finished in a below average time. CHARAVARI and GALEN were both DNKs for me, but I’m clearly not alone there.
  10. Didn’t know GALEN or CHARIVARI, but managed to get the missing letters in the correct order once I had the checkers. Started with RUSES and finished with CHARIVARI. 7:53. Nice puzzle. Thanks Izetti and Galspray.
  11. 3dn and 8ac were my last two in, which must prove something…

    13dn was clever too. Cleverer than 21ac!

  12. Missed the 10 minute mark by 21 seconds – these taken with placing the remaining letters into charivari in an order which seemed reasonable. Good fun.
  13. I got horribly stuck in the SE, but finally spotting the anagram in 22a seemed to resolve the blockage. Had to guess the order of the remaining letters in 16a, which I felt made it a very tough clue. LOI 17a and no time today but I would guess around 35 – 40 minutes.

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