Quick Cryptic no 2667 by Teazel

I found this a challenging puzzle, and needed 12:51 to complete it – and that after a flying start with my FOI being the 10-letter anagram at 1D.  But then Teazel is a setter I often have more difficulty with.

There are a couple of all-in cryptic clues, one reverse cryptic (or “backwards clue”) and a few where I thought our setter was playing a bit loose with the definitions. I’m still not convinced I have fully understood 23A, and I’d welcome enlightenment!

I look forward to hearing how everyone got on.

Definitions underlined in bold italics, (Abc)* indicating anagram of Abc, deletions and [] other indicators.

1 Finish off Chablis just opened during meal (7)
SCUPPERC (Chablis “just opened”, ie take the first letter) inserted into (ie “during”) SUPPER (meal).
5 Our side at PT showed distress (4)
WEPTWE (our side) + PT (from the clue).
7 Fabulous bird’s music heard (3)
ROC – Sounds like Rock (music “heard”).  The roc is a legendary bird of prey seen in just two places:  Middle Eastern mythology, and Crosswordland, where it is a useful 3-letter combination for setters.
8 Returning pet I go with few words (8)
TACITURNTAC (cat, ie pet, “returning”) + I + TURN (go).
10 Regularly one is moved to take in paper (5)
OFTENOEN (anagram of one, with the anagram indicator being “is moved”) containing FT (a newspaper).  Slight doubt that Often and Regularly are close enough synonyms – I regularly have roast turkey, in fact I do every Christmas Day, but that hardly qualifies as often.
11 Lead implicitly offered by Roosevelt? (3,4)
NEW DEAL – This is what I think is called a reverse cryptic, where the clue is in the answer and the answer is in the clue.  The wordplay is “new deal”, ie an anagram of deal, and the answer this gives is Lead – which is in the surface for the clue.
13 Scottish dish is given to witch: good (6)
HAGGISHAG (witch) + G (good) + IS (from the clue).  Haggis, sometimes considered not just a Scottish dish but the National Dish of Scotland, is something of an acquired taste – I find it delicious, but I did once give it to a friend from overseas who tasted it, looked puzzled and then said “But this is not food”.  I think my mistake may have been to tell her what it was made of …
15 Sat at length after this? (6)
FRIDAY – Another clue which requires some mental gymnastics.  “Sat at length” is Saturday, which is indeed after Friday.
17 Disturbed, seeing end of libellous book (7)
GENESIS – (seeing)* + S (end, ie last letter, of libellous), with the anagram indicator being “disturbed”.  One of the best examples for some time of the need to “lift and separate” – Teazel is not categorising the Book of Genesis as a “libellous book”!
18 Swimmer over the top, I hesitate to say (5)
OTTEROTT (common abbreviation for Over the top) + ER (verbal hesitation).
20 Wife in the stand looking very warm (8)
SWEATINGW (wife) inserted into SEATING (stand, for example at a sports stadium).  The definition could be either “very warm”, or perhaps “looking very warm”.
22 Scrap  boisterous practical joke (3)
RAG – A straightforward DD.
23 Literal contribution to party politics (4)
TYPO – Hmm.  I don’t really see the definition here.  The answer is a hidden, in parTY POlitics, and I think the intended definition is “literal”, with “contribution to” indicating the hidden.  But if anyone has a better reading of the clue, do let me know in the comments.

On edit: I’m reliably informed that “Literal” is indeed the definition; it is a term used in the British printing industry and means a misplaced letter, or typo.  Things one did not know one did not know …  Many thanks to the several people who pointed this out.

24 Man concealing weapon in jacket, for example (7)
GARMENTGENT (man) containing ARM (weapon), with a jacket being an example of a garment.
1 Heavy coffins destabilised a cargo ship (10)
SARCOPHAGI – (a cargo ship)*, with the anagram indicator being “destabilised”.  For some reason I chose to start with the down clues this time, and this was my FOI – always nice to get a long anagram first off, and it opened the left hand side of the grid nicely.
2 Leaders of unions now conduct urgent talks in full (5)
UNCUT – formed from the initial letters (leaders) of Unions Now Conduct Urgent Talks.
3 Show off, broadcast succeeded (3,2,4)
PUT ON AIRSPUT ON AIR (broadcast, as in broadcast a radio programme) + S (accepted abbreviation for succeeded).  I tried at first to make something of Airs sounding like Heirs (ie one’s successors), but it does not quite come together.
4 Centre redeveloped to be modern (6)
RECENT – (centre)*, with the anagram indicator being “redeveloped”.
5 Humour with appeal (3)
WITW (with) + IT (appeal, specifically sex appeal in Crosswordland).  Not sure how often “it” is still used in this sense in real life today, and perhaps setters could gently retire it?  There are many other ways to clue IT which are slightly more current – for example this clue could have been “Humour with computers” perhaps.
6 Foretell the closure of Dover? (7)
PORTEND – Dover is a port, so its closure could be described as a port end.
9 Shakespeare, say: fun, perfect for audience (10)
PLAYWRIGHTPLAY (fun) + WRIGHT (sounds like right, ie perfect, with the homonym indicator being “for audience”).  Kind of Teazel to choose Shakespeare as his example of a playwright – there are many many more obscure ones he could have chosen!
12 Aggressive type passionate against Germany (9)
WARMONGER – WARM (passionate) + ON (against) + GER (abbreviation for Germany).

I think to clue “warm” as “passionate” is a bit of a stretch – for me the more common temperature-connected association would be “hot”, if not “red hot”.  When I was courting Mrs S, I don’t think I’d have described my attitude as “warm” towards her – and if I had I expect she’d have quite quickly become cool towards me.

14 AisleClear a path! (7)
GANGWAY – A DD, with the second meaning a common shout if one is coming through a crowd and wanting people to get out of the way.
16 Demanding, like ruler (6)
ASKINGAS (like) + KING (ruler).
19 Instructed, we hear, to get sweet cake (5)
TORTE – sounds like “taught”, ie instructed, with the homonym indicator being “we hear”.
21 With energy, answer back (3)
AGOA (answer) + GO (energy, vim, oomph etc).  My LOI, as I stared at A-O for some time before deciding that yes, I was able to allow Ago and Back to be close enough synonyms.  Think of the phrase “thirty years ago / thirty years back” if still in doubt.

49 comments on “Quick Cryptic no 2667 by Teazel”

  1. I was hoping someone could explain to me TYPO, I even checked the dictionary, so I feel a little bit validated that I’m not completely useless at looking things up

    I liked the cryptic clues today (because I got them) but I wasn’t really up to today’s challenge.

    1. I thought the clue could have had a Typo in it, would have been more elegant than the obscure use of “literal”.

      Hdiden in party politics (4)

      Newspaper people think their inside terms are more widely used: see also complaints that fonts are not fonts but typefaces.

  2. ‘Literal’ is another word for ‘typo’. ODE sv ‘literal’: (noun) (printing) (Brit) a misprint of a letter

    1. Oh i looked up typo instead of literal in the dictionary

      I *am* useless at looking things up

      1. So am I! Tried very hard to find it when compiling the blog and for some reason missed it completely.

        Thank you Kevin (and several others, below) – blog amended

      2. When I became a journalist in the 1960s, the word typo was never used. Misprints were referred to as literals. I’ve never really understood why.

  3. Literal and typo are synonymous, although it’s a bit obscure.
    I was beaten by AGO, couldn’t really justify AGO or ADO so just guessed, and guessed wrong. Is it a standard construction that “with X Y” indicates “put X after Y” or does it just mean X and Y go to together in some order, or is it not a convention at all?

    1. ‘A on B’ means B, A in an across clue; but I don’t think there’s any such convention with ‘with’, so that ‘with A B’ could be either A B or B A. But that’s just what I don’t think; maybe Jackkt could respond here.

  4. 9:48. AGO, NEW DEAL, FRIDAY, and PUT ON AIRS were difficult to fully parse- thanks, Cedric. And thanks to Kevin for clearing up the TYPO mystery. WARMONGER was my COD although I realize now reading the blog that warm is a little tame for passionate. PLAYWRIGHT and PORTEND were clever too.

  5. Just over 11 1/2 minutes with only a few write-ins. It would have helped if I’d seen the SARCOPHAGI anagram earlier and I was slow to finally get PUT ON AIRS. No problems with TYPO for ‘Literal’ as a noun but I didn’t know GANGWAY as an interjection.

    Favourites were the amusing surface for HAGGIS and the tricky FRIDAY.

    Thanks to Teazel and Cedric

    1. Brits of my parents’ and grandparents’ generations would be very familiar with the 1937 film musical Gangway starring Jesse Matthews, and its title song which remained popular into my lifetime which is how I come to know of it. I’m a little surprised to find that the producers didn’t see fit to include an exclamation mark in the title (cf Oklahoma!) because as this recording demonstrates it was an interjection calling for a path to be made clear.

      Oh yes, the puzzle. I completed it in 10 minutes by the skin of my teeth.

  6. I found this a tricky Teazel, at least in parts, and probably took about 14 with a couple of interruptions. Liked NEW DEAL and FRIDAY, they were clever clues. Took a long time to get the coffin and PUT ON AIRS also took a while. FOsI ROC and TACITURN, LOI AGO. Thank you Cedric, an informative and entertaining blog. For those who have never worked in hot-metal newspaper publishing and similar fields, expressions like typo/literal, em and en dash, nut, pica, stet etc etc must seem like a foreign language. Well, I suppose stet is.

  7. Well this was going ok until I came up against FRIDAY, which I guessed in the end, and AGO, for which I wrongly biffed ADO. So I scraped in in under 20 minutes with just the one pinkie. This gives me a 99.66% accuracy rate for the week so I’m happy with that.
    I think my favourite clue was PORTEND.
    No parkrun for me today as I’ve rashly agreed to run a 15k event this morning in the New Forest to support a friend. (It didn’t seem too bad an idea at the time but now the day has dawned I’m feeling distinctly unenthusiastic.)
    Enjoy your BH weekend all.

  8. Normally I struggle with puzzles by Teazel but by my standards breezed through this in 10.25. However, WARMONGER went in unparsed. Knew the NEW DEAL but thought it a little obscure for a QC and TYPO went in with a shrug.


    Thanks Teazel and Cedric

  9. I seem to have bucked the trend in finding this fairly gentle (for a Teazel), starting with SARCOPHAGI and finishing with AGO in 7.23. Particularly enjoyed HAGGIS (I’ve never said that before), NEW DEAL and FRIDAY.
    Thanks to Cedric

  10. Typical Teazel for us. Slow to get started, annoyingly getting sarcophagi then failing miserable to get any of the acrosses it opened.

    With a lot of darting around we came in at a nice palindromic 25.52 with LOI Friday only appearing after the PdM with Warmonger.

    COD to sarcophagi great surface.

    Thanks Teazel and Cedric for informative blog, we too needed the help parsing ago.

  11. Parksolve time: 34:21.

    Yes this one was a bit of a teaser from Teazel, enjoyed the challenge. COD to sarcophagi, mainly because it’s such a nice word.

    Excellent blog as always Cedric.

  12. 4:55. Held up a the end by AGO which I was slow to work out. I liked the reverse cryptic NEW DEAL. Thanks Teazel and Cedric.

  13. An enjoyably tricky puzzle. Fortunately, Mrs Scribbler used to be a subeditor, so I knew that literal = typo. (If anyone is interested, an exclamation mark is known as a screamer.)

    I was held up for quite a long time by putting in SUNDAY instead of FRIDAY, thinking that “after this” in the clue referred to Saturday, but all done in 18:50.

    Many thanks to Teazel for the puzzle and to Cedric for such an excellent blog.

  14. 24 mins but had to check spelling of Sarcophagi, even with many checkers in place. Found this hard and many of the clues didn’t read right, even when getting the answer correct.

    Thanks Cedric for explaining them. But they still feel wrong.

  15. Revealed NEW DEAL and read the blog but still didn’t understand this clue. Cedric’s explanation of the cryptic made sense but I’d never heard of the series of projects enacted by Roosevelt (I do now) 😆 Otherwise fairly plain sailing. COD to FRIDAY for making me think long and hard. Great puzzle from Teazel as ever. Thanks very much Cedric.

  16. Oh, biffed ADO, sadly. I knew Literal, from my youth in publishing/printing.
    Slow with many inc PUT ON AIRS, ASKING, TORTE, GENESIS, NEW DEAL. Quite a tricky one.
    Among FOsI 1a 1d
    GANG WAY sounds Scottish. Go away!
    Thanks for great blog, Cedric.

    1. I’m no longer even remotely surprised at the breadth of knowledge in the TfTT community, but the number of people here who have worked in publishing or printing, or know someone who did, is truly remarkable.

      1. Little did I know in those days how useful these words would be. I do often use ‘en’ and ‘em’ in Scrabble, much to the annoyance of the opposition.

  17. Errored out with PORTENT leading to a plausible PRETTY for “sat at length”.

    Much prefer Cedric’s Humour with computers (3) . When the letters IT need to be clued I am repeatedly amazed that setters choose an archaic PG Wodehouse term for sex, or an abbreviation for a 1930s cocktail, rather than the term that is used everyday by most working people.

    I liked SCUPPER/SUPPER and SWEATING/SEATING, slipping in one letter and coming up with a plausible surface.

    COD NEW DEAL (I like reverse cryptics, but only when I get ‘em)

    1. Perhaps setters feel that sex and cocktails offer opportunities for far more fun than than boring computer jargon. As do most solvers, I imagine!

  18. Also struggled (unsuccessfully) with Ago and literal.
    Every day a school day and this blog a great source of fun learning.

  19. 10:17 (Cnut crowned King of England, and marries Emma of Normandy)

    I had the same doubts about AGO as everyone else, and was relieved that it turned out to be correct.
    FRIDAY was my LOI.

    Thanks Cedric and Teazel

  20. DNF

    Gave up at 30 minutes. Having failed to see GANGWAY and convinced myself GANTREY had an E in it I couldn’t get SWEATING nor, in turn, AGO.

  21. Struggled with AGO and worried that a ‘tolde’ might be a sort of cake. Safely navigated in the end in ten and a bit.

  22. And there I was assuming that Literal was a TYPO for Liberal and hence the reference to party politics.
    And as someone who has lived in Germany, the home of TORTE, it rhymes with Daughter not Taught.

  23. 12:12 I was very slow to get my LOI GANGWAY, like all these things obvious when I saw it!

  24. 23:47, held up like others by the mysterious AGO. Must learn GO=”energy”, which it does not in my idiolect. DNK TYPO as literal but had no choice. Did not understand NEW DEAL. My my my the things I don’t know! Enjoyed solving the puzzle and picking up scraps of irrelevant useless knowledge along the way, I think I might be a hoarder, but of facts, not of physical objects.

    Thanks to Teazel and Cedric!

    1. You never know when irrelevant , useless knowledge will come in handy(and not just for our cryptic crosswords)!

  25. 10.52 I had a MER at TYPO for literal so the comments have been helpful. NEW DEAL, FRIDAY and GANGWAY were only fully parsed after I’d finished. Thanks Cedric and Teazel.

  26. 11:55, which is considerably faster than my average, though I needed Cedric’s help to parse a few of them. Not least the reverse cryptic, which I think is the first that I’ve come across. Would have been quicker if I hadn’t spent a while trying to convince myself that a tolde might be a type of cake.

    Thank you to Cedric for the blog!

  27. 14:27 here, but with one error: I guessed ADO instead of AGO. Didn’t know the meaning of “literal” and bunged in NEW DEAL from the crossers and the Roosevelt reference. All in all, I found this the trickiest for a while. COD to PORTEND: I do like this style of clue.

    Thanks to Cedric & Teazel.

  28. 6:40

    No issues here though I wasn’t sure whether SCUPPER quite fit its definition. Felt I’d seen the TYPO = literal thing before so in it went. PORTEND and FRIDAY were my last two in.

    Thanks Cedric for the enlightenments, and to Teazel for the grid

  29. I’ve been very remiss in posting this week, but it hasn’t been too bad. I can’t remember what Monday’s time was, but I’m sure it was the slowest. Tues – 7:00, Wed – 8:38, Thurs – 6:28, Fri – 11:18, and today -8:30.
    I finished everything bar FRIDAY in 7 minutes, sat gazing blankly at it for another minute, and was prepared to throw in the towel but after a couple of hours break, came back, saw it after about 30 seconds and in it went! So is that 8:30 or 2:8:30? Anyway I liked it a lot once I realised what was going on. I also liked NEW DEAL and PORTEND very much. Getting a bit fed up with the same words appearing and being clued similarly in both crosswords this week though.
    FOI Wept LOI Friday COD Typo (sorry Merlin – an easy one for an ex-journalist!)
    Thanks Teazel for a fun puzzle and Cedric for a terrific blog
    In fact, thanks to all setters and bloggers this week – I read everything, just didn’t post!

  30. Top blog and set of comments. DNF for me – blew out on AGO of all things. Just couldn’t see it. Otherwise 6 mins.

    Thanks both.


  31. Dnf…

    17 mins, but made an error spelling 1dn “Sarcophagi” (I interchanged the “a” and “i” at the end which was annoying). Main hold ups were the 23ac “Typo” and 21dn “Ago” combo, the latter which was my last one in. As for many above, I didn’t know the print industry meaning of “literal”.

    Not sure why, but I’ve seen 8ac “Taciturn” in numerous puzzles in the last week or so.

    FOI – 1dn “Sarcophiga” (spelt wrong)
    LOI – 21dn “Ago”
    COD – 15ac “Friday”

    Thanks as usual!

  32. Too difficult to be called a QC, really. Very obscure in places and it wasn’t obvious even when I’d found the right answer, sometimes.

    All correct (finally) in 62 minutes, but my last five clues took nearly 40 minutes between them. The culprits were PUT ON AIRS, TORTE, RAG, TYPO and AGO. A crossword to forget.

    Many thanks to Cedric for his excellent blog and I’m astonished once again by how some solvers dashed it off in around five minutes.


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