Quick Cryptic No 436 by Teazel

Let me know if anyone was on Teazel’s wavelength today – because I was a long way from it. Possibly my own fault as I’ve been walking around Brisbane all day and have an hour slot to solve/blog before going out so I’ve been rushing. It does seem a touch on the tough side.


1. Manic – over-excited. MAN, in charge (IC).
4. Shallot – vegetable. HALL inside SOT.
8. Augusta – city in America. AUGUST with A.
9. Milne – children’s author. Dig (MINE) around (L)ibrary.
10. Possessive. Double definition – unwilling to relinquish and the possessive case.
14. Eyelid – batter. Homophone of I lid = I must have = eye, helmet (LID). I liked the ‘batter’ = eyelid bit but not the ‘must have’ part of the wordplay.
15. Milord – gentleman abroad. Formerly a continental title for an English gentleman. Even tempered (MILD) welcoming soldiers (OR – ordinary other ranks).
17. Folklorist – collector of popular tales. Anagram (out) of TOOK FRILLS.
20. Ad hoc – for a particular purpose. Homophone say of ‘add hock’.
22. Braille – cryptic definition – nice clue.
23. En masse – in big group. Anagram (mad) of MEN plus (ASSE)s.
24. Eider – duck. RED and IE all backwards.


1. Mean – average. MAN holding energy (E).
2. No-go – banned area. All red (traffic) light = no go.
3. Custodial – a court sentence. Anagram (wounded) of SCOUT FACE, face (DIAL) – thank you Anon.
4. Sparse – scattered. Boxes (SPARS) over (before) garag(E).
5. Train – aim as in a gun. Morning (AM) holding I.
6. Lollipop – sweet. Relax (LOLL), one (I), fizzy drink (POP).
7. The bends – life threatening condition. Can’t get the bends straight.
11. Shipshape – neat. A humorous description of a boat (if you’re not much of a sailor).
12. Beefcake – muscle man. Main course = BEEF, sweet course = CAKE.
13. Sealyham – dog – one I’d actually heard of. Anagram (unusually) of LEASH MAY).
16. Treble – ‘young’ singer – well, yes it is, but can also be an adult female. A treble whisky would be a very stiff drink (one you may need after today’s puzzle).
18. Glad – happy. Good (G), boy (LAD).
19. Bear – double definition.
21. Cos – lettuce. Firm (CO), small (S).

25 comments on “Quick Cryptic No 436 by Teazel”

  1. You’re not alone, Chris, as I also found this very hard and required 22 minutes to complete it. I got most of the answers around the edges easily enough but had difficulties making inroads to the middle ground.

    I think 14ac is a little more straightforward than suggested with only EYE for ‘I’ as a homophone. That leaves ‘helmet’ = LID which is fine if one thinks of a type of crash helmet aka ‘skid lid’.

    Edited at 2015-11-10 08:37 am (UTC)

  2. I agree with both sentiments. This was a devil of a puzzle for a so-called “quick” crossword. It took me over 20 minutes of real struggle, and even then I invented a new dog breed: the Yealsham (poodle,setter, chow I would accept- even Dandy Dinmont, but Sealyham??).
    Some of the other vocabulary and constructs are more suited to the 15×15 and I can well imagine some of the less experienced solvers throwing in the towel early.
    On the bright side, we were at least spared the almost compulsory drug and cricket references.
  3. I’m glad it’s not just me too. Over double my target time, taking over 17 minutes. The crossing cryptics at 11d and 22a took a while for the penny to drop. I didn’t help myself by writing in AYLESHAM for the dog at 13d at first. Rather too many tricky clues for a quickie, I think. 20a made me smile.
  4. I found that harder than the daily puzzle ; usually do this as a quick warm up! Bit hard for a beginner’s puzzle.
        1. That’s the first time I’ve seen a Quickie anagram that’s a clued word, not a word in the clue.
  5. Too tough for me and fairly early on resorted to aids. On average Teazel produces the toughest puzzles for me. I do not mind the occasional difficult puzzle but this was close to being off the scale.

    Favourite THE BENDS.

  6. Just too difficult. Gave up after an hour and only managed 6 answers. This is definitely not a quick cryptic when the experts are taking 20 minutes. I don’t mind a hard puzzle but I feel teazle has not got the balance right.
  7. I expected a stinker today after yesterday! I got over half way through in my 40 minutes, so given the comments I’m quite pleased. Luckily Sealyham popped into my head from nowhere which gave me important checkers in the SW, but some of the clues such as 10A were beyond me.


    Edited at 2015-11-10 12:21 pm (UTC)

  8. Too obtuse for me today, but some very interesting clueing.

    22ac was brilliantly subtle (after I’d seen the blog . . .)


  9. A few harsh comments I think. Tough, but got there in the end. Took forever to drag sealyham from the recesses of my mind, but did enjoy shipshape although seen it before somewhere.
  10. Glad everyone struggled, makes us feel better as it took 2 brains working very hard for 40 minutes!
  11. This was a DNF for me. Almost had 15a as it had to have OR but kept getting blocked with variations of SENOR & SIGNOR. Also too hard were 10a, 22a. 7d, 11d & 19d.
  12. I was relieved to see the other comments as this left me cold. I could see them with the help of the blog but was disappointed at my efforts.
  13. This gave my grey matter a workout after a long day at work. Almost gave up on the SW corner but decided to have one last go. Once I realised 17a was an anagram, the rest became solvable, although 14a (my LOI) almost defeated me and I came up with many new breads of dog before 13d clicked.
    Particularly enjoyed 20a and 11d.
  14. With just over a year of trying these puzzles I now congratulate myself if I can manage anything under 30 minutes, but I would call this one the hardest ever. I needed too much peeping at the blog, even though my grandfather had a sealyham – it bit me in 1939, my earliest childhood memory!
  15. So did I. Had three goes at it but gave up and resorted to the blog. Sometimes just cheating on one clue, the rest falls into place. Not this time.
    Couldn’t do: 4, 10, 14, 15 across and 4, 6, 12, 13 down.
    Really kicked myself over lollipop, but the others just too obscure. 4d in particular.
  16. Much harder than usual I thought: After 17 minutes I gave up and used aids for 10ac, 14ac and 11dn. These were certainly worthy of the main crossword, on a tricky day. I’d never have got SHIPSHAPE since I didn’t know that ships were that shape.
  17. I am new to these! This was my third. Really enjoyed yesterday’s and didn’t know if I was struggling today because I’m ill or because it was hard! Now I think definitely a bit of both. I’ll keep going with them. It’s really great to see how you come to the answers, thank you.
  18. Much too difficult for a quickie. Tried for 5 days on holiday to finish and gave up this evening! Looked up on your excellent blog for 10a and then managed a few more. Did the one day before on plane in 15 minutes!!
    1. Good effort! I also keep a hard (15×15) crossword – on paper – for times when I have the time to wrestle with it. I always enjoy the struggle and am not always victorious.

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