Quick Cryptic No 412 by Teazel

Very enjoyable puzzle, with an emphasis on slightly jokey / quirky cryptic definitions rather than complex constructions and word sums (with the exception of 1ac) – a style I personally enjoy, although it does require you to be on the setter’s wavelength. Fortunately I seemed to be tuned in at the right frequency, so moved through this one relatively easily.

Particularly liked 12ac and 20ac. Thanks to Teazel for a fun offering.

As usual, definitions underlined, DD = Double Definition, anagrams indicated by *(–).

1 Make millions bringing in British editor for big title (7)
DUKEDOM – UK ED (British editor) inside DO (make – as in “do / make the toast”) + M (millions). Wordplay is a bit complex, but if you pick your way through it then it all falls into place readily enough
7 Greeting that’s lippy, not touching (3,4)
AIR KISS – A barely cryptic cryptic clue
9 Weekend nearly over, heavy rain (7)
MONSOON – Nice jokey cryptic wordplay as the alternative road to the answer – MON(day) SOON (weekend nearly over)
10 Body part extra cheap if not complete (7)
TRACHEA – Answer hidden (indicated by “if not complete”) inside exTRA CHEAp
11 Inside a larger one, fit snug retreat (4)
NEST – “Inside a larger one” points us to the idea of a NEST of tables as an additional way of arriving at the answer
12 Astronomical council is right (9)
STARBOARD – STAR BOARD (astronomical council – a witty invention rather than an authentic body!) giving the nautical “right”
14 Concerned with teaching story that can be put right (9)
REPARABLE – RE (concerned with) + PARABLE (teaching story)
16 Quantity of work by British composer (4)
BERG – B (British) + ERG (quantity of work), leading us to Alban Berg, 19th century Austrian composer. Did not know of this chap, but the wordplay was sufficiently generous that I felt pretty comfortable bunging it in anyway
17 Weapon trooped about (7)
TORPEDO – *(TROOPED) with “about” as the anagrind
20 Way to interrupt one courting Bertie (7)
WOOSTER – WOO[ST]ER – ST (street = way) ‘interrupts’ WOOER (one courting) giving us Wodehouse’s classic character. Neat clue, I thought
21 Love affair as African politicians enter European capital (7)
ROMANCE – ANC (African National Congress) ‘enter’ ROME (European capital)
22 Prayers organised for work on car (7)
RESPRAY – *(PRAYERS) with “organised” as the anagrind
1 Shower for marcher (12)
DEMONSTRATOR – DD (with the first being ‘one who shows’)
2 Cambridge college’s joint ruling position (8)
KINGSHIP – KINGS (Cambridge college’s) + HIP (joint)
3 State of mind upset, getting judgment (4)
DOOM – MOOD (state of mind) reversed (upset)
4 Chap put up paintings as aid to meditation (6)
MANTRA – MAN (chap) + ART reversed (put up paintings)
5 Introductory statement before walk (8)
PREAMBLE – Wordplay also leading to the answer is PRE (before) + AMBLE (walk)
6 Ruin what one’s cooking (4)
DISH – DD. Ruin meaning dish is rarely heard these days, but would have been very much part of Bertie Wooster’s vocabulary, I suspect
8 Regular fighters not yet knocked down? (8,4)
STANDING ARMY – Amusing secondary definition from ‘not yet knocked down’
12 Strange moves, introducing European officer (8)
SERGEANT – *(STRANGE + E), with “moves” as the anagrind and E (European) also being thrown into the mix
13 Old family member losing head jigs on peak (8)
ANCESTORdANCES (jigs ‘losing head’ – i.e. minus the first letter) + TOR (peak)
15 Old phone beginning to break down (6)
BLOWER – B (beginning to break) + LOWER (down)
18 Needing some prompting to play boisterously (4)
ROMP – Wordplay is ‘some’ of pROMPting
19 Gallery of idols? (4)
GODS – Nice cryptic definition based on The Gods being the seats up in the gallery in theatres

22 comments on “Quick Cryptic No 412 by Teazel”

  1. I lost a minute or so getting started but after that it flowed smoothly enough though I missed my 10 minute target by about 30 seconds. Not sure I have ever seen or spelt 14ac without an ‘I’
    1. Thanks Kevin. Yes, I pondered that at the time but came to the conclusion “inside another one, fit” was not quite a definition. But, on reflection I agree with you.
  2. Biffed DUKEDOM after wasting time thinking ‘British’=B. Didn’t care for 7ac; as Nick says, it’s barely cryptic. SERGEANT was nice, in that ‘strange’ could have been the anagrind rather than the anagrist. REPARABLE would be my spelling, although I wouldn’t be surprised by ‘repairable’; and after all, it’s definitely ‘irreparable’.6′.
    1. Not so. Collins and Chambers list both. COED has only ‘irreparable’ but SOED has both too.

      Edited at 2015-10-07 04:52 am (UTC)

    2. ERG shows up a lot in the NY Times xwords, which is probably how I know it at all.
      1. It’s one of the few things that stuck in my brain from studying O-level physics and it turns up in several other words, some of them quite fashionable such as “ergonomics”.
  3. Although I’ve been reading the blog for over a year, I’ve only just noticed that I can post comments.
    I wanted to say that I hope I’m not the only one who takes about an hour to solve the Quick Cryptic (rather than 10 minutes). My aim is just to finish it. Success today. Hopefully I’ll one day reach the heady heights of timing myself.
    1. Good to hear from you – welcome to the community! You might also want to get yourself a “handle” so you can differentiate yourself from the other Anons.

      Solving times vary wildly depending mainly on the experience of the solvers. The Quick Cryptic is aimed at a very broad spectrum of solvers – from those who are coming new to cryptics, through to those who are grand masters of the “big” (15×15) cryptic but who also enjoy the fun of the QC. Given that spectrum, it is likely that solving times for some will be counted in minutes and, for others, in hours.

      Personally, I never time myself as I am not remotely interested in the time I take. That said, I have a rough idea of whether its taking me a long time or a short time, which can be useful in terms of trying to make some broad estimate of the degree of difficulty of the puzzle. Provided you are enjoying it, time is irrelevant!

    2. You are not alone, my usual time is an hour although I do seem to have improved recently. That is, apart from today – I’m definitely not on Teazel’s wavelength and never get very far with them. One day, perhaps.


      Edited at 2015-10-07 11:23 am (UTC)

    3. Welcome from me too.
      It doesn’t really matter how fast or slow you are (unless you are one of those Superbeings that enter the competitions) – you set your own targets, be they to finish under 10 minutes, an hour or just to finish – it’s entirely up to you.
      The other thing is to keep practicing and try to spot the devices and keywords in the clues. This is from personal experience as one who used to measure his completion time by the calendar rather than the clock.
  4. Curious puzzle. First quick pass through yielded few write ins but then once I got going clues fell like dominoes so done over morning coffee for me
  5. I thought this was a very enjoyable puzzle and I was clearly on Teazel’s wavelength today – which isn’t always the case. Didn’t see the parsing of 1a and my LOI (19d) took me a while to figure out. Other than that it was quite a trouble free solve. Several good clues but my COD was 9a.
  6. After success yesterday,I found some of this quite difficult particularly three 4 letter clues-11a, 16a and 19d.I have seen Berg before in crosswords and guessed Nest but couldn’t parse it.I did not think of Gods for gallery and thought Dols might be an art gallery somewhere. Some good clues: I particularly liked 9a and 1a. David
  7. Found this tough and frustrating today. Couldn’t finish without recourse to this blog for insight which of course is invaluable. (Though it’s extremely irritating that people seem to want to show off by post their solving times – ‘finished over morning coffee’ for example. You want a medal?).
    1. I agree rhat today’s offering by Teazel was a little more demanding than usual for the Quick Cryptic, but it’s good that the series offers a range of challenges, and past comments have highlighted how different solvers find different puzzles comparatively easy or difficult. Indeed some solvers find the puzzles of particular setters consistently a doddle while others find them intractable. You often see the term ‘wavelength’ being used, and solvers are often more on the same channel as some setters than others.
      As far as posting solving times is concerned, it is not a matter of ‘showing off’, or trying to humiliate slower solvers (who may well be gaining experience): it is just a way of showing how difficult a solver found a particular puzzle, and is often a way of pursuing a friendly rivalry by seeing how one had fared in comparison to other regular contributors. I am not a fast solver myself, but confess to an innocent frisson on the odd occasion when I manage to complete a puzzle quicker than some who normally leave me standing.
      As others have said, it is entirely an individual matter how different people choose to enjoy the pastime we mutually enjoy, and if contributors don’t want to post their solving times, no-one is likely to try to make them, but please remember, the blog site is called Times for the Times, and there is no justification in criticising those who do like sharing their solving times.
      The crossword community is, in general, a very friendly and supportive one, and I, for one, have found the superstars who can knock off puzzles correctly in double quick time very encouraging of the efforts of slowcoaches like me.

      Edited at 2015-10-07 04:28 pm (UTC)

      1. Thank you for that explanation – I’ve always thought these 8 minute solvers rather smug but I take your point. It has also been pointed out that the blog is called Times for Times.
  8. I found this one very hard and while i usually get at least within 2 of completion I was totally defeated by it. I agree a variety of difficulty is good but I cant be the only person who thinks if they are all this hard i will leave the QC to be a quicker ‘solve’ for the experts rather than the ‘introducer’ i thought it was meant to be…
  9. Definitely not on the same wavelength as Teazel and this was my worst attempt for quite a while. On the plus side, I got as far with the main cryptic, which was my best ever attempt!
    By the way, I also normally take an hour (ie my lunch break) so that feels about right for us newbies!
  10. I seldom comment on this site and prefer to remain anonymous, but I do empathise with those from the ‘not so expert’ camp. I think many of us have found a new daily challenge and, though I don’t time myself, I have got far quicker and usually finish. Today I was defeated by ‘Gods’ and ‘Air kiss’- not a phrase with which I am familiar. It didn’t help putting ‘hash’ for ‘dish’. This was a super puzzle, definitely at the more challenging end. The quickie has led me on to trying the 15 x 15 – and I have even finished it. But there are other things to life!

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