Quick Cryptic No 711 by Pedro

12 minutes. It seemed to me that some answers were easier to come up with than the full explanation of the word play. This made for a fun time blogging – I even have a loose end at 14dn so hope for lots of comments.
Many thanks to Jackkt for standing in last week.


1. Robust – strong. Public transport (BUS) with nonsense (ROT) around.
4. Stones – rocks. On (ON) appearing in groups (SETS) backwards – revolutionary.
8. Inexact – imprecise. I (I) subsequently (NEXT) containing bill (AC).
10. Aural – associated with sound. A (A) wall painting (mURAL) without the ‘M’ – not medium.
11. Elope – run away. English (E), staff (POLE) turning – all backwards.
12. Implode – collapse. Mischievous character (IMP), seam in mine (LODE). Lode was not at the forefront of my vocabulary banks but it emerged from somewhere.
13. Breakneck – quick. Pause (BREAK), engage in amorous activity (NECK). Going off at somewhat of a tangent – I’ve been red-necking of late in the mid-West of USA – even caught a cat fish – which apparently qualifies me for the title.
17. Stamina – staying power. Produces cartoon films (ANIMATeS) backwards (returning) without the ‘E’ – no energy.
18. Curio – antique. Copper (CU) South American city (RIO).
20. Avoid – shun. Opera singer (DIVA) backwards (comeback) with nothing (O) inside.
21. Know-all – smart alec. (K)night, no form of defence (NO WALL).
22. Dismal – sad. Duke (D), is (IS), fellow (MALe) without the last letter – endlessly.
23. Person – individual. Noblemen (PEeRS) without the middle letter – losing heart, working (ON).


2. Brecon Beacons – national park. Against (CON) inside and anagram (bad) of BACON BEERS.
3. Siamese – cat. Son (S), I (I) and an anagram (upset) of SEEM about a (A). This also works as an anagram of S, I, SEEM about A.
5. Tramp – vagrant. Male (M) in snare (TRAP).
6. Norfolk Broads – waterways. Good to see my home area cropping up – and I’m aware we have more than one other Norfolk representative in our readership. Boy (RON) upwards – upset, people (FOLK), minor routes (B ROADS).
7. Silver – metal. Silicon (SI), fan (LoVER) without the ‘O’ – dismissing introduction of Other.
9. Think-tank – people who advise. Weak (THIN), king (K), thrash (TAN) another king (K).
14. Enclose – fence. The word play is ‘the middle of which has to fail’. Fail is LOSE but I’m not certain about the ‘ENC’. I think it’s the middle of hENCe – but I don’t feel completely happy about ‘which’ or ‘which has’ being a synonym of hence. Comments appreciated as I’m probably missing something. [On edit] Well done, posters all, for spotting ENC inside fence – so the definition providing part of the word play.
15. Island – Mallorca say. I malign (I SLANDer) without the ‘er’ – hesitation.
16. Goblin – mythical creature. Lose sight (GO BLINd) with daughter (D) leaving.
18. India – nation. Revealed in the clue – pla(IN DIA)gram.

19 comments on “Quick Cryptic No 711 by Pedro”

  1. Going along nicely, until I had to deal with 2d and 6d, which to all intents and purposes were both DNKs. I got the NORFOLK, and finally the BROADS surfaced to consciousness–I didn’t spot the wordplay. With 2d I played with the letters, vaguely remembered BRECON, and crossed my fingers. 7:19.
  2. Once 2dn and 6dn BRECON BEACONS were in place it all flowed quite nicely. 8.42 mins


  3. 10 minutes with time lost getting started but the long answers were easily biffable and speeded things up (though I did check the wordplay after biffing with the clock still ticking). At 14dn you have written “h” instead of “f” twice Chris, and that may have confused the issue as your parsing of the clue is correct, except that “which” is not a synonym for anything, it’s just referring back to “fence”.

    Edited at 2016-11-29 08:48 am (UTC)

    1. Well I’m sorry to say the ‘H’s were meant. In not realising that part of the word play came from the definition I was (rather desperately) trying to find a synonym of ‘which’ which included ENC. All I could dredge up was hence but was less than happy about it.
    2. Well I’m sorry to say the ‘H’s were meant. In not realising that part of the word play came from the definition I was (rather desperately) trying to find a synonym of ‘which’ which included ENC. All I could dredge up was hence but was less than happy about it.
  4. 43 minutes.

    LOI was 7d silver, I didn’t really equate fan with lover.

    Couldn’t parse:
    12a implode as I didn’t know lode.
    9d dnk thrash for tan.
    14d I couldn’t see where the enc came from even though it now seems obvious.

    13a neck for amorous activity !

    COD 21a know all or 16d goblin.

  5. 14 minutes for the second day in a row, so my new target is proving doable at the moment. All very fair – I agree, {f}ENC{e} is the way I parsed the first part of 14d, in which case, ‘which’ is a reference back to the definition part of the clue. Incidentally, this clue was my LOI.
  6. I found this the hardest for a long time. Struggled on 4ac and 8ac (took subsequently to indicate “I”followed by something else but wasn,t sure what) and never parsed 7d. Fan = lover?
    i took the “enc” in 14d as coming from “fence” giving a rather nice circular clue.
  7. Going quite well until the last few: 13ac, 14d and 17ac. Went away for 10 minutes and then spent another 10 before 14d yielded, followed by 13ac and (finally) 17ac. Odd how some clues jump out, while others need a crowbar. Invariant
  8. Best time for about 10 days – the cluing wasn’t all straightforward, but it helps when the words used are all pretty everyday. FOI ROBUST LOI BREAKNECK COD 6/9/14/16
  9. My brain isn’t working on well in general today, and this took me 20 minutes. No real problems; I just took longer than usual on many of the clues including the fairly obvious DISMAL. Ah well. Sometimes you’re just not firing on all the cylinders. Thanks to setter, blogger and commenters, especially for the fENCing, which is of course obvious now it’s been pointed out…
  10. There is a double neatness to this clue: it parses in its own right, but there is also nothing in A VOID.


  11. Found this one quite tough, long involved clues, eg 9d. Took longer than usual. However all quite fair, thanks to setter and blogger.
  12. I thoroughly enjoyed this one with several contenders for COD, including 4a and 14d. My only struggle was parsing 7d so I resorted to the blog (thanks chrisw) – the fan/lover link completely passed me by. The rest of it went in without too many issues. Completed in 16 minutes, LOI 16d
  13. Another sub 5! A bit Brit centric with BRECON BEACONS and NORFOLK BROADS, the second of which allows much funnier clues.
  14. Held up a bit today for no good reason. 30 minutes, LOI was 16d.
    Could not parse Silver so thanks for that. David

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