Quick Cryptic No 451 by Pedro

An enjoyable puzzle with some twists and turns in the wordplay and the occasional less than usual word. I was going well and heading for a 10 minute solve until I got back up to the NW. I couldn’t get 1dn without 1ac and I couldn’t get this as I’d biffed 2dn wrongly. Still, it was a good brain workout sorting out the mess.

The new format is something of a challenge on iPad as only half the puzzle is viewable along with one set of clues – and no option of zoom view as mentioned by jackkt yesterday. At least the keyboard works – for which we are grateful but bring on the print option.


1. Biped – man, say. BID around PE.
4. Florist – rose supplier. Fine (F), catalogue (LIST) around gold (OR).
8. Ricotta – cheese. Anagram (cooked) of TART around one (I) and company (CO).
9. Laser – source of light. R after (LA)p(SE).
10. Procession – train. Anagram (changes in) of PRICES SOON.
14. Hermit – reclusive type. If you blinked and missed HERM the channel island – I’m not surprised. It’s only 1.5 miles (2.4 km) long and under 0.5 miles (0.80 km) wide. Add IT.
15. Winced – showed discomfort. WIND around church (CE).
17. Stagecraft – great theatrical skill. Male (STAG), comedy (FARCE) backwards, grea(T).
20. Climb – head for higher things. (C)lub, member (LIMB).
22. Spinach – vegetable. Anagram (crinkly) of CHIPS around AN backwards.
23. Let-down – a disappointing experience. Helping someone abseil would be to let them down the face.
24. Try-on – an audacious attempt. Rugby score (TRY), feasible (ON).


1. Bird – prison time. DRIB (as in dribs and drabs) upwards.
2. PACK – double definition. I laid ‘deck’ which shuffled the pack in the NW.
3. Determine – resolve. DETER above the writer’s (MINE).
4. Fiasco – disaster. IF upwards, A, second (S), senior officer (CO).
5. Owl – bird of prey. c(OWL).
6. Instinct – Crytic definition. To follow one’s instinct doesn’t take much thinking about.
7. Threnody – sad song. (THRE)e, show agreement (NOD), generall(Y).
11. Skinflint – miser. Family (KIN) inside (S)o(F)t, fabric (LINT).
12. Physical – actual. Anagram (at sea) of SHIP LAY around Mar(C)h.
13. Organist – musician. Anagram (confused) of AIR and SONG before concer(T).
16. Prison – stir. Alternative voting system (PR), IS, ready to go (ON).
18. Racy – of a risqué nature. RAY around clubs (C).
19. Chin – facial feature. (CHIN)e. A chine is a deep fissure in the wall of a cliff.
21. Boo – disapproving comment. (BOO)k.

16 comments on “Quick Cryptic No 451 by Pedro”

  1. Chewier than some but I still got there in 10 minutes. THRENODY seems hard for a Quickie but wordplay and checkers should have enabled most to arrive there if they have the confidence to trust to it. 17ac was hard to parse and strictly speaking comedy and farce are not interchangeable as theatrical forms.

    I’ve viewed many variations on the new format depending on browser and device – and possibly what plug-ins are installed. On my PC and using Firefox I’ve found I can view the puzzles exactly as before the changes by right-clicking the grid, selecting ‘This Frame’ and then ‘This Frame Only’. It may not work for others, but I pass it on in case it helps someone.

    Edited at 2015-12-01 09:39 am (UTC)

  2. This continues the recent run of chewier than usual Quickies. More like 15 mins for me. I liked SKINFLINT and STAGECRAFT (I don’t feel inclined to quibble over the difference between “farce” and “comedy”, the former being a type of the latter).

  3. Felt tricker than average today. Finished in 20mins. Spent at least 5 on 1d and put in bird but without parsing. Didn’t have the confidence to trust in Threnody and googled it to check it was a word.
  4. This was hard compared with yesterday when I took up the challenge to do the harder crossword and nearly solved it all. I did not recognise threnody as a lament even after I had looked it up and i put in Sheepskin for 11d as in (Uriah) Heap’s kin but then I realised that he was miserable rather than close.
  5. A clue here and a clue there and you get going. I guess there were one or two trickier clues than usual for the quickie today – I only parsed 1d after solving, but I knew THRENODY and nothing held me up much. 6:48.
  6. Harder than yesterday but no great hold ups. 1d went straight in but did not know THRENODY but got it from the wordplay. Remembered HERM from a previous puzzle. Last in PHYSICAL and favourite SKINFLINT.

    After yesterday’s success in completing the main cryptic without aids I had a go today. Back to earth with about half done when I resorted to aids.

  7. A DNF for me today. Defeated by Threnody – I could see what the setter was after and got the last 4 letters but forgot to look for alternative words to trio. But a good workout and another word to add to my vocabulary. COD 17a.
  8. Took over an hour, and DNF due to THRENODY. I don’t think TRIO is synonymous with THREE. I’ve never heard the word before.

    HERM seems rather obscure – I mean, from the clue and biffing the answer, I could guess that there’s such an island, but I like to do the puzzle without using an encyclopaedia or dictionary.

    Couldn’t fully parse LASER, PHYSICAL, CHIN, so thanks for the help. Also to jackkt for the tip about selecting the frame.

    1. Herm was new to me, but get-able – so I looked it up for the blog. I think trio being three is OK though?
      1. TRIO is a noun meaning a group (of three things), and THREE is an adjective of number… they are different parts of speech, and I can’t think of any situation where you could substitute one for the other. This is why I couldn’t link the words in my mind – but as someone new to this game, I will assume it’s me being over-pedantic rather than a fault with the clue.
  9. This was definitely one of the trickier puzzles. The two of us have been finishing in around the 35 min mark. This was nearer 55 mins and had to look up threnody.

    My daughter says “I may be a hermit but I’d rather go to prison than listen to a biped sing a threnody”.

    I wonder about her sometimes!

    1. Congratulations on your POD (post of the day! 😄). Please pass my appreciation on to your daughter.
  10. Struggled to finish this but got there in the end.
    I seem to remember that you can see Herm from Guernsey. David
    1. It’s a synonym – there are plenty. Chokey, porridge, slammer. Funny load language is English!

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