Quick Cryptic No 411 by Izetti

A 20 minute head scratcher for me yet very enjoyable with plenty of ‘doh’ moments. How our more recent solvers will get on I’m not sure – but do post in and let me know.

I’d also like to know about the blog format. I’m having similar trouble to last week when (in extremis) I found that simply typing the blog in an email and copying into Livejournal seemed to work. This doesn’t come with all the HTML business so I’m worried it may be unreadable to some but did work on an iPhone.

Here are my workings out.


8. Haunter – as a ghost. The female’s (HER) containing relative (AUNT).
9. Arena – contest. Some squ(ARE NA)med.
10. My hat – double definition.
11. Alberta – province. Anagram (ground) of ARABLE around western side of (T)he.
12. Screeched – yelled. Revolutionary (CHE as in Guevara) inside long passage (SCREED).
14. Ham – bad actor. First half of (HAM)let.
16. Pit – hell. Short supply of (PIT)y.
18. Transepts – parts of the church. Saint (S) surrounded by an anagram (various) of PATTERNS.
21. Chained – restricted. At home (IN). One side of villag(E) inside African country (CHAD).
22. Pause – stop briefly. Dad (PA), employment (USE).
23. Spell – double definition.
24. Coracle – boat. Commanding officer (CO), hurry (RACE) around lake (L).


1. Thumbs up – sign of approval. Anagram (running) of BUS inside strike (THUMP).
2. Author – writer. A(A), superior (U), supreme being (THOR).
3. Stet – sign to cancel as in retain a deletion in text. Anagram (that has gone wrong) of TEST.
4. Wreath – what is laid with sorrow. Anger (WRATH) around end of battl(E).
5. Barbados – island. Ban (BAR), evil (BAD), seaman (OS – ordinary seaman).
6. Hearth – home. Soil (EARTH), husband (H) stands on top of.
7. Mama – mother. Morning (am – rising = MA) repeated =MA MA.
13. Entangle – catch. Fish (ANGLE) having got an anagram (new) of NET first.
15. Massenet – composer. Anagram unusual of TAMENESS. With the checking letters I got round to Mastenes or Massenet when I had a slight recall of the latter.
17. Teaser – problem. Moveable feast (EASTER- as it occurs on different dates) with the time (T) brought to the front. A toughie but a great doh moment.
19. Addict – nut. Some of (not completely) re(AD DICT)ionary.
20. Paunch – big stomach. Judy’s mate (PUNCH) conceals a (A).
21. Cash – money. Top of (C)upboard, wood (ASH).
22. Pare – peel. Homophone (in the auditorium) of fruit (pear).

20 comments on “Quick Cryptic No 411 by Izetti”

  1. I found this a lot easier than Tracy’s offering yesterday with its concentration of trickier clues in one quarter. 11 minutes.
  2. 26 mins for me but was pleased just to get there. Like others, took a while for 17dn penny to drop. I also tried the feast + t anagram route! Also liked 21a which had me racking my brains for African countries that begin with C!
  3. I was going like a train but hit the buffers with 17d. In case anyone is wondering there are no anagrams of FEAST with T in front!!! But in spite of that dismal failure I thought this was a very good puzzle with a rich variety of clues, some easy some really tough – for me at least.
  4. I thought this was harder than average, getting a bit stuck in the NW corner, taking ages to see THUMBS UP. And who uses the phrase MY HAT any more? 17d my favourite and I liked 21a too. 9:40.
  5. A DNF, but enjoyable.
    There were a few problems for me as a relative beginner – ‘screed’ was a new (obscure?) word. I don’t mind new words as answers such as STET and MASSENET as I can look them up once I’ve got them, but to have one as part of wordplay is a bit unfair. I also failed to spot a couple of obscure indicators – ‘in short supply’ and ‘in the auditorium’.


    Edited at 2015-10-06 02:07 pm (UTC)

  6. Couldn’t sort this out today. Yesterday’s was fine for me though. Blog comes up no problems on my iPad.
  7. Really tricky, but managed to finish. Some really good clues; only complaint is that the surfaces weren’t as elegant as they have been in recent puzzles. 17d LOI and COD.
  8. Good puzzle – got it out in just over the hour. 17d is ok if you know it’s about the only moveable feast but clever COD. I agree that 10a ‘My Hat’ is old hat, but what else could it be with the checkers. 21a and 13d LOI.
  9. I’ve not seen “in the auditorium” as a homophone indicator before – very neat.

    Did anyone else have Luther for 2d ? – writer and angel: silly me . . .


  10. Like others I couldn’t get the connection between TEASER and FEAST, being an atheist not much concerned with vagaries of EASTER. Also couldn’t quite get the ‘T’ in ALBERTA from WESTERN SIDE having rather ignored ‘the’. Otherwise of about average degree of difficulty I thought.
  11. I visited Rochester Cathedral for the first time today; had a good look round including the North Quire Transept, South Quire Transept etc. I then found a coffee shop and sat down to do today’s QC. I raced through it in about 15 minutes hugely encouraged by 18a; and I was on the right wavelength generally. Much enjoyed the puzzle and the day out. David
    1. Excellent – a relevant crossword! I drove through Rochester for the first time last weekend – good castle! I always have an old 15×15 or two about my person for entertainment should I be delayed, my wife decides to spend some time shopping or I’m waiting for anyone anywhere. My version of the Hitchikers guide towel. 😊
  12. Most of this went in without (excessive) difficulty, but 4, 11, 12 and 13 then combined to lead me up several garden paths before screeched came to mind. Even then, I had to check the non-DIY meaning of screed. Harder than usual for Izetti, and an odds-on dnf for me just a few months ago, so quite pleased to have finished. Invariant
    1. PS The prove you are human tests are getting nearly as hard as the clues ! Use any words to describe the ‘BallPark Brand’ eh? Invariant
      1. Firstly congratulations on your improvement. Secondly I’ve just done an experiment. As I have a free Livejournal ID I didn’t know there were ‘prove you’re human’ tests. I just tried to reply being logged off to prove the point. Can I suggest you sign up for an ID – it’s free and secure, you don’t have the hassle of these tests and you get an email prompt to say someone’s replied to one of your comments. This seems better all round – including for the responder – right now I don’t know if you’ll look at the blog comments again so I may have just wasted my breath … er … fingers.
        1. Chis, I have tried, believe me, but LJ claims Invariant has been used/expired/deleted and wants money to restore it as my Tag. Invariant
  13. After the first run through I thought I wasn’t going to get close to finishing this one. But perseverance paid off in the end. Count me as another trying to find an anagram in feast + t, eventually chucked in the right answer but I wasn’t even close to understanding why. 21a also held me up as I couldn’t get Congo out of my head. 22d was my LOI as I was completely thrown by auditorium as a homophone.
  14. I thought this was a top puzzle with nods to 12a, 3d and 19d.

    Massanet shares a fate with Mascagni (try getting that in a puzzle, Don!) of being known to the general musical public for just one piece. Intriguingly, both pieces are intermezzi from operas (Thaïs and Cavalleria Rusticana, in case people want to follow up – or are even still reading this!).

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