Quick Cryptic 884 by Flamande

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
I’ve decided not to rush on blogging days, and this one came in at around 10min. As a seasoned 15×15 veteran, I am still being caught out by clues that are less complicated than I am trying to make them, which is what you might call a change of format problem. Rather like a cricket team that has finally learnt how to play the 50-over format, only to immediately forget how to play test cricket, mentioning no team with three lions on their shirts in particular.

Perhaps the most notable thing about it from a beginner’s perspective is the no-so-easy grid structure, where down solutions give you the second letter of the acrosses rather than the first, and vice versa, and also the frequency in which those letters were Es, which in a crossword might as well be blank. Other than that no great demons I think.

7 Maybe The Queen is on in sixty minutes (6)
HONOUR – ON inside HOUR, honour as in playing card.
8 First two of accused left, free of all charges (6)
9 Control shower when speaking (4)
REIN – sounds like (‘when speaking’) rain
10 Chat about old and new poetry (8)
CONVERSE – C (about) O (old) N (new) VERSE (poetry)
11 Southern Himalayan peak, most forbidding (8)
13 Drink first-class champagne ultimately (4)
TOPE – TOP (first class) + E. Tope is a verb meaning to hit the bottle.
15 Key article, first to be cut (4)
CLEF – Bunged this in straight away then spent all day trying to spot why. (Cut – Cleft? First to be – B?) The usual cause of this ailment is that it’s a follow-oner: artiCLE First
16 Heavily taxed transport in South-East, beginning in Dover (8)
STRAINED – TRAIN in SE with D. Heavily taxed in the non-fiscal sense.
18 Starting to like tango when dancing with Kit (6,2)
TAKING TO – anagram of (‘dancing with’) TANGO and KIT
20 Small number say nothing, finding food (4)
NOSH – NO (small number) SH (belt up)
21 Before entering California, you’ll get some breakfast (6)
CEREAL – ERE (before) in CAL (California). CAL is a common abbreviation for the state though not the official postal one which is CA. I tried to learn all the abbreviations once, and gave up because of all the M’s
22 European Union’s hundred miles an hour trains finish here (6)
EUSTON – EU’S + TON (slang for 100mph). TON also means a score of 100 in cricket, something I hope Alastair Cook manages later this morning.

1 Bean mole chewed: soil nutrient results (8)
BONEMEAL – anagram of (‘chewed’) BEAN MOLE. Bit naughty for the quicky this, as the definition is neither at the beginning or the end.
2 One installing part of store, we hear, who hopes to make money? (13)
COUNTERFEITER –  sounds like COUNTER FITTER. I rather like this one, fairly obvious in retrospect but had me chasing up all sorts of blind alleys
3 Check into Native American nursery (6)
CRECHE – CH (check) inside CREE. There are hundreds of different Native American tribal entities, but the only one that ever seems to make it in to crosswords is CREE.
4 Attractive piece in magazine on World Wide Web (6)
MAGNET – MAG (magazine) on NET (WWW). I though the WWW and the internet were strictly not one and the same, the former a British invention and the latter American. I guess in common usage they are equivalent though.
5 Horse-riding display misplaced in Times Square (13)
EQUESTRIANISM – anagram of (‘misplaced’) IN TIMES SQUARE. Neat
6 Inscriptions on gravestone causing tears (4)
RIPS – RIP is written on gravestones.
12 Took school exam (3)
SAT – double definiton.
14 Here you’ll see journalists hurry before fight (5-3)
PRESS-BOX – PRESS (hurry, in transitive sense “I’ll have to press you”) BOX (fight)
16 Posh girl comes in to speak wisely (6)
SAGELY – ‘posh girl’ is GEL, inside SAY
17 After port, Edward went wild (6)
RIOTED – RIO is the port, TED is Edward
19 Tree, one found near river (4)
ACER – ACE is one, R for River

29 comments on “Quick Cryptic 884 by Flamande”

  1. A quite tricky one today, and took me longer than my usual 20-30 minutes. My main cause of concern was the NW corner. 2dn took me an age to get, as did 9ac, 15ac and 1dn. Never heard of BONEMEAL, so had to take an educated guess. I, too, failed to spot the hidden CLEF and was thinking of a word for article that when cut gave a word for key. I also had PRESS ROW for 14dn, so technically a DNF for me. I suppose you could have a row of journalists at a football game, for example. Gribb.
    1. I found it tricky, too. A lack of early progress in the NW area dented my confidence. So many little wrinkles – good clues but designed to throw one off the scent. It took me 30 mins instead of my usual 10 – 20.
  2. 12 minutes today with the NW the last. I’m another wth 2dn (COD) second to last allowing clef (LOI) to be seen.
  3. CLEF was my LOI as I failed to see the hidden for ages. I had suspected it was the answer, but didn’t put it in until I’d finally cracked 2d which also took an age, at which point I did spot it tucked away. Nice puzzle which took me 9:59. HONOUR was my FOI, but from the wordplay as I’d forgotten about honour cards. Thanks Flamande and Curarist.
  4. I found this one quite tricky and at 14 minutes it was my slowest solve for a while (3 weeks to the day actually, when I also needed 14 minutes). COUNTERFEITER and HONOUR were my last ones in, and CLEF was the one I needed to return to at the end to find how it worked with ‘cut’ or ‘to be cut’ presumably intended as the not very obvious containment indicator.

    HONOUR may be a bit obscure for non-bridge-players.

    On 1dn, there’s no rule that says a definition has to be at the beginning or end of a clue so it’s probably useful to have an occasional example of a clue where it doesn’t.

    Edited at 2017-07-28 08:45 am (UTC)

  5. I was told that I was unlucky, and indeed I was: I went through the grid three times, found no typo, and my answers match curarist’s. Go figure.
  6. If one plays Bezique and other card games then 7ac HONOUR will also be known.

    This was tricky monkey – but sorted after 9.20 mins


    WOD 12dn SAT – never sat one thank the Lord!

    Mr. Curarist, I do like your Test Cricket / ODI analogy.

    Edited at 2017-07-28 11:51 am (UTC)

    1. Just for the avoidance of doubt, Bezique has passed me by as well. Invariant
      1. What a shame! Polish Bezique is the finest card game for two people IMHO!

        Edited at 2017-07-28 10:59 pm (UTC)

        1. Having looked at the rules, Fildinski is going to have to wait for another life ! Invariant
  7. Two sittings and easily my worst ever Flamande solve. Hardly anything on the first pass, and very slow progress thereafter, with just the odd coin clink every so often. LOI was 7ac, as befits a non-Bridge player. Invariant
  8. I keep getting adware on my iPhone (offering a free iPhone!) when I try to read other people’s comments. Do others have this problem?
    1. Yes, this has started happening to me, which makes it impossible to read the blog on my phone. Annoying. Gribb.
  9. I didn’t understand ‘clef’ clued as ‘key’. It’s a pitch indicator in music, not a key. But apparently it’s the word for a key in heraldry. Slightly obscure! Kom
    1. Yes, I thought this a very bad clue. ‘Clef’ is French for key but it is not the key in music as you point out. I think the setter has got it wrong – but if we’re supposed to know an obscure heraldic term in a QC then I give up.
      1. As in ‘roman a clef’?

        Must admit this clue had me stumped! Difficult, but then it’s Friday! I like being kept on my toes! Looking forward to O Têmpora! tomorrow. Enjoy the weekend everybody. JJ

  10. OED has “Holiday” “a period of rest”
    Finished in about 90 mins as I am on Holiday
    But in that time also took rubbish to dump, fixed up the swing ball, went and got forgotten groceries etc etc.
    No rest for Grandad on Holiday
    Thanks to Flamande for brief moments of calm and sanity amongst the meyhem
  11. One of Flammande’s trickier offerings. Completely stumped by my LOI 19d so had to resort to an alphabet trawl to get the answer. No exact time as it took me a number of sittings, but would estimate it at around the 35 – 40 minute mark.
  12. Gave up after getting only five answers so relieved to see thar others found this trickier than usual
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