Quick Cryptic No 446 by Mara

A good romp today with Mara – a couple, of long anagrams which always hold me up – but not as long as the LOI intersection of 5dn and 15ac. Some very enjoyable clues (COD 2dn stands out) and a hint of the coming festive season. Typos/corrections may have to wait awhile as I’m off sightseeing in HK.


1. Golden Syrup – sweet thing. Anagram (messing with) DRUGS OPENLY.
8. Hobbies – double definition.
9. Budge – shift. (G)ranite inside BUDE.
10. Mincemeat – pie filling. Cold (C) in an anagram (mixed around) of MEANTIME.
12. Cot – bed. (CO)s(T).
13. Enmity – feeling of hostility. Anagram (turbulent) of MET IN, year (Y).
15. Gallop – fast pace. Girl (GAL) has (with her) cut (LOP).
17. Sin – crime. (S)hoplifting, popular (IN).
18. Rationale – reason. Restrict the amount (RATION), beer (ALE).
20. Enter – come in. Always (EER) carrying books (NT).
22. Extract – remove. Old (EX), bit of land (TRACT).
23. Parson’s Nose – tail of fowl. Anagram (cooked) of SONS SON with PEAR.


1. Gabon – African nation. Formin(G A BON)d.
2. Leicester – English city. Homophone (it’s said) of not so much – less, to – ter.
3. Easter – Christian festival. Egg(S) inside EATER.
4. Sub – reserve. Bus upwards/backwards.
5. Radical – basic. (C)racked inside RADIAL.
6. Pretty pretty – overly ornamented. Quite (PRETTY) x2.
7. Chimney sweep – one clearing way for Father Christmas. Anagram (mulled) of WINE with MY SPEACH.
11. Tea For Two – duet for a musical. Anagram (dicky) of OFT WROTE A.
14. Monitor – lizard. Can (TIN) in ROOM all upwards.
16. Stress – emphasise. (S)ilken, hair (TRESS).
19. Amaze – to bewilder. A, confusing layout (MAZE).
21. Rio – South American Port. (RIO)t.

14 comments on “Quick Cryptic No 446 by Mara”

  1. 8 minutes after a run of 3 trickier puzzles, for me at least.

    At 11dn ‘duet for a musical’ seems a rather over-precise definition as I’d say that TEA FOR TWO has long since had a life of its own as a song, the musical that it came from originally (‘No, No, Nanette’ – 1925) being pretty much forgotten for decades. The Doris Day film derived from it and retitled ‘Tea For Two’ (1950) is also more or less consigned to oblivion these days, and even as a moderate fan of such things I’ve managed somehow never to have seen it. I didn’t know the song was conceived as a duet, though on thinking about it I suppose that figures!

    Edited at 2015-11-24 05:38 am (UTC)

  2. Enjoyed this one but it was a slow start as I got to 20a before I could answer a clue.

    Last in and favourite Parson’s Nose where it took a long time for me to realise the first word was not PARROT’S.

  3. I finished in an enjoyable 30 minutes, fast for me, and it was one of the ‘streetwalk’ type puzzles where each answer gave a checker which led to the next one. The only one un-parsed was 11D where I didn’t see ‘Dicky’ as the indicator, and I spent ages going round 4D before Sub clicked.


  4. I’ve been doing these puzzles since they started and I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I’ve been able to complete a puzzle in one sitting. I did it today and one day last week so things are certainly looking up. When I manage it in less than an hour I’ll start posting my times!
  5. Finished, which I haven’t unaided for a while. Confused my self with “two for tea” and too easily convinced that 1ac was blank sugar and 7dn was blank sheep.

    More surprisingly I also tackled the main puzzle today and nearly finished it without any help. In the end about three or four clues I needed support but I was amazed that I got that far.
    I haven’t checked the blog to see just how relatively easy it was.

    1. Yes, I put Two for Tea as well and then spent ages on the anagram for 23ac. . . Invariant
  6. Count me as another who got 11d the wrong way round and then got very stuck on 23a, but I figured it out in the end. I’m clearly being a bit dim today, 2d went in unparsed and I’m still not really sure I understand the second part of the homophone.
    1. Just in case you didn’t see this reply to a similar comment below:
      [to is pronounced ter in such phrases as the time ‘Five to Two’ . Katie Rose.]

      I know it’s not good English but ‘five-te(or ter)-two’ is so common I think it’s ‘get-able’ and so fair game for our setter.

  7. Nothing too difficult I felt. I vaguely remembered Monitor as a lizard (well signed by the clue) and did not know Hobbies were birds- again guessable.Enjoyed today’s crossword but can I repeat how good some of yesterday’s clues were especially the Chelsea one. David
  8. Wasn’t familiar with “radical” meaning “basic”. Also I got LEICESTER without quite parsing it: to me “to” is pronounced “too”, not “ter”. 38m

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