Quick Cryptic 945 by Teazel

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
An interesting puzzle from Teazel that tickled me with the nosy vicar at 15A and the potash-wielding masseur in the very next clue. I thought there was a good mix of vocab, with no chestnuts nor anything too far up the obscurity scale – I would guess that 4D would be the least familiar word for most solvers, though I’m not sure how much use 1A gets beyond British shores. A fun start to the week.

I forgot to mention this two weeks ago, but if any bloggers are using the blogging script to generate their blogs then they need to know that a small change was made to the script at the beginning of October – the new version, as well as updated instructions, can be found here: https://mohn2.livejournal.com/2201.html The old version will work in 99.4% of cases but it’s probably worth getting the latest one.

Definitions are underlined, {} = omission

1 Faces sport — you won’t win this! (4,4)
MUGS GAMEMUGS (Faces – an informal usage) + GAME (sport)
5 Rip off raincoats to throw back (4)
SCAM – reversal of (to throw back) MACS (raincoats)
9 After a day, water is to flow away slowly (5)
DRAIND (a day) + RAIN (water)
10 Cutter takes policeman across river (7)
CROPPERCOPPER (policeman) around (across) R (river). A nice usage of two different meanings of cutter – a boat (in the surface reading) and something that cuts (in the cryptic reading).
11 Fish, and how to pay for it? (3)
COD – double definition, the second an abbreviation for Cash On Delivery
12 Fruit — some elicit anger, inexplicably (9)
TANGERINE – hidden in (some) eliciT ANGER INExplicably
13 Releases legs to move (4,2)
LETS GO – anagram of (move) LEGS TO
15 Art thou being nosy, vicar? (6)
PRIEST – in medieval (?) English, the second person singular form of a verb can be created by adding the -est suffix, so I think the intention here is that PRIEST would be the second person singular of the verb to pry (i.e. to be nosy), with the “Art thou” indicating that you need to think in medieval English. Unfortunately my English O-Level didn’t cover such conjugations, so I don’t know if priest or pryest would be the correct form. Either way, I thought it was an amusing clue and the question mark can, if required, cover a multitude of sins.
17 Massager treats toe with potash (9)
OSTEOPATH – anagram of (treats … with) TOE POTASH
19 Bloody awful performance — heads roll (3)
BAP – initial letters of (heads) Bloody Awful Performance
20 Quiet, because sleep regularly has to be protected (7)
SILENCE – alternate letters (regularly) of sLeEp, in (to be protected) SINCE (because)
21 Gasp at old form of entertainment (5)
PANTOPANT (Gasp) + O (old)
22 Island is heaven, we’re told (4)
SKYE – homophone of (we’re told) SKY (heaven)
23 Painstaking bosses store debtor’s note (8)
STUDIOUSSTUDS (bosses) around (store) IOU (debtor’s note)
1 Award, securing one first in chemistry examination (7)
MEDICALMEDAL (Award), around (securing) I (one) + C (first in chemistry, i.e. the first letter of the word “chemistry”)
2 Finally obtaining foreign currency is splendid (5)
GRANDG (Finally obtaining, i.e. the last letter of the word “obtaining”) + RAND (foreign currency, i.e. the standard monetary unit of South Africa)
3 Kept out of sight, having left for match? (4,2,6)
GONE TO GROUND – literal interpretation, in that if you had left for (the) match then you would have GONE TO (the) GROUND. I initially put in WENT for the first word, which made 1A harder until I twigged what was going on there.
4 Chap entertains company, offering wine (5)
MACONMAN (Chap) around (entertains) CO (company), to give (Chambers): “A heavy red or white burgundy from the Mâcon district of central France”. Not to be confused with Paul Masson wine (“We will sell no wine before its time”), if that’s still going.
6 Fancy cloak worn by wealthy shortened (7)
CAPRICERIC{h} (wealthy shortened, i.e. the word “rich” (wealthy) without its last letter) in (worn by) CAPE (cloak), with the definition a noun
7 Mrs Simpson’s spread (5)
MARGE – double definition, the first being the wife of Homer and the mother of Bart/Lisa/Maggie in The Simpsons. A nod to modern culture, though not in an area with which I’m at all familiar.
8 Get in a mess, but look appropriate for Conference? (2,4-6)
GO PEAR-SHAPED – literal interpretation, as a Conference is a type of pear
14 Child friend? Absolutely (7)
TOTALLYTOT (Child) + ALLY (friend)
16 One stretches up on these, and ties top loosely (7)
TIPTOES – anagram of (loosely) TIES TOP. I immediately saw POTTIES from the anagram and could not get it out of my head until some checking letters pointed me in the right direction.
17 Rock band a welcome find in desert (5)
OASIS – double definition, the first referring to the Beatles-influenced Mancunians who gave us songs such as Live Forever and Champagne Supernova. More modern culture, this time rather more familiar.
18 Turn aside to maintain temperature (5)
AVERTAVER (to maintain, i.e. to declare or state) + T (temperature)
19 Swimming in bog? I’ve done it! (5)
BINGO – anagram of (Swimming) IN BOG. Bog snorkelling is, apparently, a thing.

19 comments on “Quick Cryptic 945 by Teazel”

  1. A blue Monday for me, getting one wrong here and on the 15×15. My own fault here: put in ‘chopper’ without giving proper thought to the wordplay. It would be ‘thou pryest’, not priest, but I don’t see what work ‘vicar’ would be doing in that case. I thought BAP was a nice use of initial letters, rather than the standard ‘initially’. Was I the only one who started off thinking of the Duchess of Windsor at 7d? 6:22 but.
    1. It’d be such a rare construction I haven’t found anything definitive, Kevin, but if the third person singular is ‘pries’ as confirmed in various sources is there a reason why the second person (thou) shouldn’t be ‘priest’?
      1. I didn’t have a reason at the time, I must confess; I just up and said it. But now I’ve googled a bit, and came up with “He who pryeth into every cloud may be struck with a thunderbolt” from the 17th century, and what may be a case of ‘spyest’ from Shakespeare’s Henry 6, 1. (Back in the days of thou and thee, 3d pers. sg. would be ‘pryeth (prieth)’ not ‘pries’.) The Y of course avoids the ambiguity that the setter wants. Of course no one was much concerned with consistency of spelling back in those days.
  2. 39 minutes but spent an age on caprice, pear shaped, avert, studious and especially priest which was unparsed.

    COD go pear shaped.

  3. Home just under the wire for my target 10 minutes but it seemed longer than that. I had to read too many clues too many times, often abandoning them in order to look for easier pickings and try to maintain momentum.

    Edited at 2017-10-23 05:47 am (UTC)

  4. … is not difficult from a wordplay point of view, but there is some unusual vocab that less experienced solvers may not have encountered before, plus there appears to be an error by the setter/editor where the clue leads to an answer that clashes with the checking letters in the grid, rendering the puzzle impossible to complete unless you guess correctly at what might fit (I don’t think I’ve seen such an occurrence before).
  5. 12 minutes but it seemed harder than that. Struggled with loi 8dn. I liked cod priest as it required a different thought process and any clue with a ? after it means that you have to give some license – including whether pryest or priest is grammatically correct for the word play. Wod 6dn.
  6. 22:23 today so I suspect last week’s run of sub 15 minute solves will soon become a distant memory.
    Priest went in unparsed, and now that it has been explained to me I can be sure I would have never got that from the wordplay!
  7. Perhaps I’m a bit dozy today, but it took me 15:09 to complete this one, albeit correctly. PRIEST had me thinking for a while as I’d biffed PARSON to start with, due to the nose connection. Like Jack I didn’t get into a rhythm as I kept skipping clues to look for easier ones. Nice puzzle. Thanks Teazel and Mohn.
  8. Took me an hour this morning, so quite a struggle. Maybe it was just me being even more dozy than usual. Never did parse 15ac, and don’t much like it even now. Seems a bit like straining at a gnat to me. MARGE Simpson is a total unknown to me. I have heard of Bart and that is about it. Didn’t spot the association between pear and conference either.
    All in all a pretty poor effort.
  9. A nice puzzle, although I couldn’t parse either 8d or 15a, but both answers were biffable from the checkers. Completed in 14 minutes with COD 19d and LOI 15a
  10. 31:41 which is pretty slow by my normal QC standards. I also made the mistake of putting WENT at 3d until it became clear that neither WOMB nor WIMP was likely to feature in 1a.

    I thought 15a was a great clue once the penny dropped and I think the setter deserves a bit of poetic licence.

    My only grumble was 19a as surely the correct clue would be “Bloody really entirely awful day, can’t abide killer elephants – heads roll”.

    Thanks for the blog.

    1. Sorry for the (very) late response. For bap, Chambers has: “A large, flat elliptical breakfast roll”, which certainly fits my understanding in my part of the world (NE England). May I ask why you would have preferred “Bread cake” (and also what you have against killer elephants – I think I’d be pretty cheesed off if people were constantly trying to steal my tusks)?
  11. … for me! I reckoned I’d completed the puzzle in approx. 90 mins. that’s 3 completions in the last 6 days – not bad for a newbie with just under 2 months experience.
    10a COD – I had clipper, chopper until the wordplay was shouted at me!
    15a – I didn’t parse, I couldn’t either, but it was clear once the checkers became available.
    For the inexperienced, this was fairly easy and nice start to the week! Given my last successes occurred on a Mon and a Fri, perhaps I should skip the middle of the week?
    1. Fairly easy?! Found this very difficult. Over an hour and missed 5 or 6
      Worked out Macon and caprice but didn’t really recognise them.
      Is heaven sky?
      Mixing a modern cartoon reference with a 1960s expression for margarine is pushing it for my poor brain
      Never heard of aver
      Tough for a Monday
      1. Sorry for the (very) late reply. Chambers has as one of its definitions for heaven: “The upper regions of the air”, which is pretty close to sky. Also “The vault of sky overhanging the earth (commonly in pl)”. I would say that marge is still a common expression for margarine, though the Simpsons’ reference was at the limit of my own knowledge of modern culture. Aver in the sense of to state or maintain is sufficiently common (at least in Crosswordland) that it’s well worth remembering.

        There is definitely a “wavelength” element to any puzzle – if you’re lucky you’re on it, otherwise you may feel as though the puzzle is a slog. Best to consider that on another day you’ll be the one whipping through while others struggle. The good thing about tough puzzles is that the answers you don’t get will tend to stick in your mind, so next time out they won’t stump you again.

    2. Sorry for the (very) late response. Congrats on your string of completions! I don’t have any data to say whether or not the difficulty level on any given day is greater than any other, but (as mentioned below) “wavelength” is a real concept so it’s always worthwhile ploughing through any apparently difficult puzzles as the lessons learned (even through gritted teeth) will stand you in good stead in the future.

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