Quick Cryptic No 309 by Izetti

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
I found this a curious mixture of easy clues and trickier ones, two of which needed some general knowledge or guesswork from checking letters if you didn’t know the people concerned. Oh, and a smattering of O Level chemistry for 6d.

1 LAGRANGE – LAG = loiter, RANGE = mountains, def. French mathematician. Wiki seems equivocal as to whether he was French or Italian, being born in Piedmont, and he taught or worked in Berlin for 20 years, before moving to Paris. As LAG is not an obvious synonym for loiter, you probably waited until you had all the checkers before solving this one.
5 SAID – S = son, AID = help. def. mentioned.
8 SCRAP – Double definition.
9 RESPITE – RE = in respect of, SPITE = malice, def. breathing space.
11 FAIRGROUNDS – FAIR = good, GROUNDS = justification, def. entertainment venues.
13 CHEATS – C = a hundred, HEATS = races, def. breakers of rules.
14 VERGER – VERGE = boundary, R = river, def. one who looks after church.
17 DESPERATION – (OAP RESIDENT)*, def. hopelessness, anagrind ‘suffering’.
20 ELECTRA – ELECT = choose, RA = artist, def. Greek female. Daughter of Agamemnon, main character in plays by Sophocles and Euripides.
21 CHIMP – CH = church, IMP = troublemaker, def. primate.
22 DUKE – DUE = expected, insert K for king, def. Lord.
23 MATERNAL – (MAN LATER)*, def. motherly, anagrind ‘turning out’.

1 LOSE – CLOSE = near, drops the first letter ‘out of sight’, def. fail to keep.
2 GIRAFFE – GAFFE = blunder, around IR = Ireland, def. animal.
3 APPOINTMENT – Double definition.
4 GARAGE – G (last letter of controlling), A, RAGE = temper, def. outbuilding.
6 ANION – ANON = unknown writer, anonymous, insert I = one, def. a tiny bit charged. A negatively charged ion, with more electrons than protons, as opposed to a cation, which is positively charged.
7 DRESSERS – Double definition.
10 STONE CIRCLE – (SINCERE CLOT)*, def. ancient monument, anagrind ‘wrecked’.
12 ACID HEAD – AHEAD = in the van, in the lead; insert CID = detectives; def. drug user.
15 GENTIAN – GENT = bloke, IAN = Scottish name, def. plant.
16 PANAMA – PAN = criticise, A MA = a degree, def. Central American country.
18 SLEEK – S = soil initially, LEEK = vegetable, def. glossy.
19 OPAL – O = old, PAL = chum, def. gem.

14 comments on “Quick Cryptic No 309 by Izetti”

  1. Actually 1A was my FOI – benefits of a Maths degree. Surely 6D is o level physics (which I did) not chemistry (which I didn’t do)?

    Nice puzzle, very straightforward for me, even though there was a flower name clue. LOI 13A but everything came together really nicely. Thanks for the blog.

      1. I was told that chemistry is only the physics of the outer electron shell (by a physicist of course).
        1. Well if it was, physicists would know about it, which IME they don’t. We chemists are like physicists, but with added flair (and we’re probably less good at maths).
  2. If that was the answer what would be the point of ‘writer’ in the clue? I too though immediately think of lien when I see the word charge. It’s a Pavlovian response.
  3. Whilst I see 6 down Anion is the answer could not it also be Alien , i.e. Alien ‘unknown’ Lien is a charged on a property
    1. Well it fits the space, and I see your idea, but then the words ‘writer’ and ‘tiny’ are redundant, which is not allowed. Please give a name or username if you post anon. Regards pip
    2. ‘Alien’ as an answer does not take into account ‘writer’;
      ‘Anon’ = unknown writer
      Also, ‘TINY’ bit charged is more indicative of an anion than a lien on a property.
  4. Made heavy weather of this. Didn’t know LAGRANGE, nor ACID HEAD really though it seemed likely as I knew ‘pot head’. Misread 16dn as ‘Central African’ throughout, which didn’t help matters.
  5. Enjoyed this one but held up with my last 3. For some reason took a long time to see 11a and then 2d and finally LAGRANGE went in. Last in was vaguely familiar but beauty of cryptics is that with the checkers and wordplay it could be little else.

    I think this was the only one of the week which was fully parsed. Favourite ACID HEAD.

  6. Some tricky ones as well as a dreaded plant clue, but I managed to work through them. Never heard of 1a, but once I’d figured out ‘range’ it was just a case of working through it.
    I think this is the first time I’ve managed to complete all the QCs in a week, so feeling quite chuffed.
  7. A shocking misspelling of giraffe made 11ac my last one in by a country mile, as I couldn’t think of an 11 letter word beginning with ‘a’. Apart from that blunder, I thought this was one of Izetti’s easier offerings. Invariant
  8. Adding a couple of letters to ‘gaffe’ was a fairly simple challenge but as is so often the case for me the abbreviation was without my lexicon. I even checked an acronym finder (dot com) which listed 140 ‘IE’ abbreviations including Iran, Irish and Indian Reservation but no ‘Ireland’. But I know it must be listed in all decent dictionaries as surely as I know it will be the first one to trip off all tongues but mine!
  9. Appointment just doesn’t do it for me as a double definition of job and interview. Sorry

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