Quick Cryptic 922 by Des

I thought this was a fairly gentle offering from Des, although for some reason it took me quite a while to spot the frequent traveller in 9d. 19d brings into play a rather unusual usage, although it should not hold people up – but it may well cause a bit of bafflement when it comes to parsing the answer.

The Welsh town at 13d might be unknown to non UK solvers (unless they are rugby fans), and the collection of letters does look rather unlikely, I guess.

Thanks to Des for an enjoyable puzzle. Please note I will be on a plane for most of Wednesday so will not be able to field comments, but I’m sure the usual crew will do so.

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

7 Wet beam placed outside home (5)
RAINY – RAY (beam) is ‘placed outside’ IN (home)
8 Late in the day to be smoothing things out? (7)
EVENING – DD, the second mildly cryptic
10 Call admissions of debt questionable (7)
DUBIOUS – DUB (call) IOUS (admissions of debt)
11 Staff, English, love equestrian event (5)
RODEO – ROD (staff) + E (English) + O (love)
12 Seriously premature, going round breeding ground (9)
EARNESTLY – EARLY (premature) ‘going around’ NEST (breeding ground)
14 So long a run (3)
BYE – DD, the second being a cricket term whereby a run is scored in circumstances where the batsman does not make contact with the ball
15 Boy king omitted from gag (3)
JOE – JO{K}E (gag) with the K (king) ‘omitted’
16 Earth-mover placing rubbish alongside sleeper (9)
BULLDOZER – BULL (rubbish) is ‘placed alongside’ DOZER (sleeper)
18 Barren ME region some have generously backed (5)
NEGEV – The Israeli desert region is hidden – and reversed (backed) – haVE GENerously
20 Fool spreading filth was cut short (7)
HALFWIT – *(FILTH WA{s}) with “spreading” signalling the anagram, and WA{s] being ‘cut short’
22 Is mail organised, writer finally corresponding? (7)
SIMILAR – *(IS MAIL) – with “organised” indicating the anagram – and R (writeR finally) also in the mix
23 Mind about start of verse getting cut (5)
CARVE – CARE (mind) goes ‘about’ V (start of Verse)
1 Diarist cross with judge in shades (7,5)
BRIDGET JONES – BRIDGE (cross) + J (judge) ‘in’ TONES (shades)
2 A robin, er, surprisingly, flying (8)
AIRBORNE – *(A ROBIN ER) with “surprisingly” signposting the anagram
3 Mistake turning up in copy, twice (4)
TYPO – Reversed (turning up) hidden in cOPY Twice
4 Kid on time, bringing some crockery (3,3)
TEA SET – TEASE (kid) ‘on’ T (time)
5 Awful bread — yet sold out (8)
BETRAYED – *(BREAD YET) with “awful” indicating the anagram
6 Prison wings are found on this (4)
BIRD – DD (bird being one of the many slang terms for porridge)
9 Traveller often bringing pig’s foot to ball (12)
GLOBETROTTER – TROTTER (pig’s foot) is added to GLOBE (ball)
13 Wave bible madly when one’s leaving Welsh town (4,4)
EBBW VALE – *(WAVE B{i}BLE) with “madly” signalling the anagram, and the I being omitted (one’s leaving), giving us the former steel and mining town – once renowned for its rugby team – but now sadly in a state of post-industrial decline
14 Is it used in a spelling bee? (4,4)
BUZZ WORD – Jokey cryptic clue
17 Learning about a hotel in Pakistan city (6)
LAHORE – LORE (learning) goes ‘about’ A H{otel}
19 Willing, but not completely able physically? (4)
GAME – DD, the second being a somewhat obscure usage meaning lame. I vaguely recalled this from a previous crossword, but I suspect the parsing will puzzle some solvers.
21 Yank missing first chance (4)
LUCK – {p}LUCK (yank missing its first letter)

22 comments on “Quick Cryptic 922 by Des”

  1. 12c took me a long time for some reason; it was my LOI. I’d never heard of the Vale, and somehow overlooked the W when juggling the letters in my head (I make a point of not writing down the anagrist in Quickies, while I almost always do write them in the 15x15s). So 6:20 with one error.
  2. 7 minutes. ‘Pig’s foot’ in the clue at 9dn made the answer a write-in for me. Fortunately the NEGEV desert gave me problems in a recent 15×15 and helped me today. I thought we might have a pangram but Q and X are missing.

    I heard the expression ‘gammy leg’ many a time in Westerns and always assumed it to be a variation on ‘game’ meaning ‘lame’.

    Edited at 2017-09-20 05:33 am (UTC)

    1. You surprise me, although my memory of Westerns is not to be relied on. I always thought it was a UK term (ODE says so); the only instance I can recall is the Python lifeboat sketch, where John Cleese proposes that the others eat him to survive. Chapman: “Eat you? Ugh! with a gammy leg?”
  3. 20:20, a little slower than usual, and needed a break.

    After my recent moans about dated clues, I liked BRIDGET JONES as the diarist (move over, Pepys)


    We had NEGEV in the QC a few weeks ago. Really struggled with the anagram at 5d which I identified straight away but did not solve and ended up LOI.

  4. 28 minutes. LOI Bridget Jones.

    Dnk the Welsh town but it seemed the most plausible once vale and the checkers were in.

    Liked betrayed but COD to earnest.

  5. Terrible performance from me today, at 19:24, let down partly by geography—not knowing how to spell LAHORE (this is one of the problems of getting one’s news from the Today programme) and having heard of neither EBBW VALE nor NEGEV—but mostly by spending five solid minutes staring at _R_D_E_ JONES and wondering if there might be a Bradley Jones I’d never heard of, or whether the answer might be something else.

    I have read Bridget Jones’s Diary, and enjoyed it, but not since 1996, so it wasn’t exactly in the forefront of my brain…

  6. I, like Nick, took a while to spot the answer to 9d, and was trying to find some possible anagram of pig’s foot before trotter clicked. 19:27 in the end.
  7. A poor start to the day, misspelling ecstasy in the Concise, and doing the same as Kevin with EBBW VALE in this one. Otherwise a pleasant offering completed in 9:03. Liked BRIDGET JONES. I’m off to meet some old work colleagues for lunch in a country pub near Malton now, so the 15×15 will have to wait until later. Thanks Des and Nick.
  8. Thoroughly enjoyed this, particularly HALFWIT and BRIDGET JONES (nice to see her here). I was very pleased with myself to get NEGEV pretty quickly – I’m definitely improving! BYE as a cricket term had me stumped (sorry), so thanks Nick for explaining it, and thanks to Des.
  9. 8:30 so from terrible yesterday to one of my best today. Familiar with ebbwvale and the v gave nagev with no problems, also knew gammey and so game was a reasonable guess.

    Edited at 2017-09-20 10:47 am (UTC)

  10. I remember this being used in reference to elderly relatives, and only much later coming across ‘game’ to mean ‘lame’ and assuming it was the origin of the expression, (Apparently no other type of lameness is so described.)
    So no holdups today, giving a time of about 6 minutes- I don’t type much faster, being careful to account for the skipping of letters entered, as that option does make typos less likely.
  11. About 20 minutes with only one clue missed. Bring on some more des as he clearly is aimed at newbies.
  12. At 6.31 this was not too bad from DES who according to Jack is the top troublemaker in these parts!

    My LOI was 6dn BIRD!(Doh!)

    COD 14dn BUZZ WORD in Beds where my twin brother lives.

    WOD 13dn EBBW VALE which is famous for iron, steel and Michael Foot. (Bernie Sanders’ bother – for our trans-Atlantic cousins!)

    I am not sure if NtN’s heart is in this presently.

    Edited at 2017-09-20 01:10 pm (UTC)

  13. That was a really fun puzzle, with lots of neat and witty clues. Many thanks to not-at-all-dismal Des (and to Nick for such a clear blog). I particularly enjoyed AIRBORNE, GAME and my COD, HALFWIT.

    Having got the W side with its J, V, W, Y and Z I became convinced that this was going to be a pangram and was desperately looking for a Q in all remaining clues .. alas.

    Done by Waterloo East.


  14. Very enjoyable run out, although I had not come across that usage of GAME before. The rest I found fairly straightforward and fitted it in nicely between watching Hampshire rolling over Essex.
  15. Bit of a slow start, but then things improved and I (finally) managed to return to sub 30 mins, though not by much. 1d was LOI – a bit too modern for me. Really enjoyed the humour in 8ac, so it gets my CoD. You were quite right about parsing 19d, Nick: no full house today. Invariant
  16. A nice straightforward one this, although I still had to pause for thought on a fair few. All done in 10:28, so a smidge over my target time of ten minutes.

    I didn’t know NEGEV but the clue left little room for doubt so I stuck it in anyway. LOI was GAME, which I never fully parsed, so thanks to NtN for the explanation.

  17. Reading some of the comments my 14:22 seems quite respectable for a change. I spotted Ebbw Vale and Negev straight away, also game. Probably from all the war comics I used to read; “I’d love to be coming with you chaps, but I’d only hold you up with my gammy leg”.

    LOI 1d which I eventually biffed (at last an apportunity to use that word) – thanks blogger for the explanation and thanks to Des.

    Mr Chumley

  18. 17 minutes today so a big improvement on yesterday and a much easier puzzle. I liked 10a amongst others. My last two were 21d and 23a which indicates a top to bottom solve. I always find looking for missing first letters rather random (21a); my cause was not helped by wanting to put Serve (Sever) for 23a.
    I am off to Wales tomorrow so Ebbw Vale is a coincidence; the road signs are in Welsh and English so I might learn the Welsh version. David
  19. Having not finished the last two I was pleased to complete this in under 20 minutes. Plenty of good clues with double meanings (beam, staff, sold out, wings, corresponding, etc.) I went to the Negev desert last year for a Europa league match so knew that one!! Thanks Des and Nick. Good fair Quickie!
  20. I came to this late in the day so was relieved that it was relatively straightforward. My only hold up was my LOI 14d, which wasn’t helped by my careless use of an s rather than a z in 16a. Once I spotted the mistake the answer became clear. Completed in 16 minutes. Enjoyed 4d and 20a.
    Thanks for the blog
  21. Finally I have broken 40 minutes, coming in at 34:08. In running terms getting close to my 10k rather than my 10 mile times I have had of late.

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