Quick Cryptic No 1123 by Mara

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
Well inside my harder target of 10 minutes, this took only 8 for me again this morning afer an unofficial PB yesterday, so I doubt there will be many complaints about this puzzle being too hard.  There was no requirement for abstract general knowledge by the solver, and all the answers were fairly clued, with plenty of anagrams and part-anagrams, hiddens, homophones, substitutions and other clue-types to amuse us all.

My clue of the day (CoD) has to go to 10a for the unusual device, with LIBIDO my word of the day (WoD).

I have blogged MARA a few times before, and usually find his puzzles at the easier end of the spectrum, and all very enjoyable and fair.  Thanks MARA, for another CRACKER which I am sure will prove IMMENSEly POPULAR and easy to HANDLE for most.  My birthday today, so I appreciate being able to wrap this up before I head off to Cornwall for a friend’s wedding at the weekend.

Incidentally, 1123 is another prime number, 188th in the infinite series.

Stripper unable to find way to entertain copper (6)
LOCUST – A LOCUST is a stripper of vegetation, and came up recently clued differently.  Unable to find way gives LOST, containing (entertaining) CU (copper)
4  Crazy capital of Rajasthan, as old Indian city (7)
MADRAS – MAD (crazy) R{ajasthan} (capital of) and AS (as).  MADRAS is now called Chennai and is the capital of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
Most thin – bet son struggling to eat infinitesimal starter (7)
BONIEST – Anagram (struggling) of [BET SON] and I{nfinitesimal} (starter)
10 Number second, like two! (5)
SEVEN – S{econd} (S is a standard abbreviation for a second (unit of time)), and EVEN (like two, which is an even number, unlike SEVEN, which is not!)
11  No longer fashionable attorney bloke (5)
DATED – DA (short for District Attorney) and TED (bloke).  Something that is DATED is old-fashioned or out-of-date.
12 Much-loved tree inspiring you, ultimately (7)
POPULAR – POPLAR (tree) with {yo}U (ultimately, meaning last letter of) inside.  Inspiring as an inclusion indicator is unusual, but perfectly ok.  To inspire can mean to infuse into, or to breathe in, either of which works to indicate that we should place the U inside POPLAR.
13 Person stealing new clarinets (9)
LARCENIST – Straightforward anagram (new) of [CLARINETS]
17  Biscuit, wonderful thing (7)
CRACKER – Double definition, take a Crawford’s Cream – it’s a CRACKER!  (Note: other brands of cheese biscuit are available!)
19  Reportedly sweet animal (5)
MOOSE – Sounds like MOUSSE, ‘reportedly’ signalling the homophone
20  River rising high in northern Europe, initially (5)
RHINE – First letters (initially) of R{ising} H{igh} I{n} N{orthern} E{urope}
21  Weight putting horse in mood (7)
TONNAGE – NAG (horse) inside TONE (mood).  TONNAGE is the weight of a cargo or freight on a ship (as well as being its capacity, or a tax levied on it accordingly).
22  Deal with sound of composer (6)
HANDLE – Sounds like HANDEL, the German (and then) British composer.
23  African hugged by drunken Yank (6)
KENYAN – hidden in / hugged by {drun}KEN YAN{k}

1 Powerful urge beginning to lessen, I offer nothing (6)
LIBIDO – beginning (first letter of) L{essen} I (I) BID (offer) and O (nothing).  The force is strong with me!
Number of stars misbehaving, so I cannot tell (13)
CONSTELLATION – Anagram (misbehaving) of [SO I CANNOT TELL]
3  Mailer securing stamp finally, one using money (7)
SPENDER – A mailer is a SENDER, into which is inserted (securing) {stam}P (finally)
5 Greek author writing a page about European leader thus (5)
AESOP – A (a) and P{age} topping and tailing (about) E{uropean} (leader) and SO (thus) to give the name of the Greek fabulist and storyteller
New relationship originally developing (13)
REVOLUTIONARY – R{elationship} (originally) and EVOLUTIONARY (developing)
Guard small vestibule (6)
SENTRY – S{mall} and ENTRY (vestibule)
9  Street cop in disguise – that’s confidential (3-6)
TOP-SECRET – Anagram (in disguise) of [STREET COP]
14 Huge – a tenth of a centimetre seen differently (7)
IMMENSE – A tenth of a centimetre would be a millimetre (or I MM) followed by an anagram (differently) of [SEEN]
15 Burn disc, or char a little (6)
SCORCH – Hidden inside {di}SC OR CH[ar}, with ‘a little’ signalling the hidden.
16  Cut off, northern river (6)
SEVERN – SEVER (cut off) and N{orthern} for the name of one of the UK’s longest rivers
18  “Get down boy”, did you say? (5)
KNEEL – Sounds like NEIL, with ‘did you say?’ signalling the homophone.

15 comments on “Quick Cryptic No 1123 by Mara”

  1. I think I did what Vinyl said, and took ‘new’ for something it wasn’t, like an anagram indicator; in any case, it took me a while to twig to what should have been an easy clue. 5:31.
  2. Only a few seconds under my 10-minute target today, but if I can do as well tomorrow I shall have achieved two consecutive weeks of solves within target – something that’s happened only once before.

    Mostly straightforward but I lost time at 7dn wondering whether vestibule = ENTRY was valid (it is, but my first thought was that surely it would be ‘entrance’). Also at 23dn where the fact that the answer was hidden eluded me for a little too long.

    Edited at 2018-06-28 05:04 am (UTC)

  3. Many happy returns to the Rotter, and appreciation for a fine exposition. Does the note about 1123 indicate a particularly arcane knowledge base, or a nifty bit of looking up?
    6.52 for this, with the same hesitation as Kevin over the not-anagram-then 6d.
  4. A cracking entry level QC with enough gimmes to get newbies under way but, at the same time, no shoo-in. I thought REVOLUTIONARY was clever and LARCENIST sufficiency archaic (at least in English law where it lost out in the Theft Act of 1968) to need some thinking.
    Thanks as always to setter and blogger and my long-standing PB has fallen after over three years.
  5. I seem to be on a bit of a good run this week. 7:11 today (knocking a whole second off Tuesday’s) which books highly respectable against some of our faster solvers. 10ac for the device and 20ac for the surface get my cod votes today.
    Happy Rotterday to you!
  6. An enjoyable puzzle which kept me on my toes for 7:13, starting with LOCUST and finishing with SEVERN. I didn’t bother to parse REVOLUTIONARY, apart from noting that it couldn’t be an anagram, but I had enough crossers to biff it confidently. Thanks Mara and Rotter, and birthday felicitations!
  7. PB for me (I think), although at 15 mins pales into insignificance compared to some of the times above. A thought for therotter, but I believe that until Riemann’s Hypothesis is proved we cannot be mathematically certain that the series of prime numbers is infinite. Although I believe the largest so far found has 13m digits.
    1. You don’t need Riemann to prove there are infinitely many primes – Euclid did it by thinking about the number you get by multiplying all the known primes together and adding 1 – either it has factors not on the list or it is a new prime.

      Edited at 2018-06-28 11:01 am (UTC)

  8. Enjoyed this one from Mara, with only the SW holding things up until I spotted the hidden Scorch. Loi 18d should have been obvious as well, but I needed the initial k before the penny dropped. 23 mins in total, with 14d my favourite. Happy birthday, Rotter, and many more of them. Invariant
  9. Another fast finish today in 8:05, marginally slower than the PB I achieved yesterday. LOI was 19ac MOOSE as I was fixated on confectionery rather than dessert. Also held up with the cleverly clued 1dn LIBIDO.
  10. Sorry, in my enthusiasm to boast about my QC achievement I forgot to say happy birthday to therotter. As always, many thanks for the blog. Enjoy your downtime in Cornwall.

    Edited at 2018-06-28 01:37 pm (UTC)

  11. I thought I was going to lower my PB for the third time in two weeks but I froze momentarily on CRACKER, before hitting the stop button three seconds adrift on 4:11. I will have to settle for the consolation prize of a three quarter Kevin!

    Edited at 2018-06-28 04:16 pm (UTC)

  12. I was a bit tired after a hot round of golf but I managed to finish this in 15 minutes. Started with Madras (sounds like an Indian meal) and made good progress with the NW last to fall. Last three were 1d, 8a and finally 11a which I had wanted to start OUT.
    An enjoyable puzzle. David

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