Quick cryptic No 803 by Mara

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
An inexplicable 18 minutes again for me this morning, three minutes outside my target.  However, everything parsed nicely after yesterday’s adventures.  I really liked the long &Lit down clue, and there was plenty more to admire here, so thanks Mara for keeping me entertained.

Couple with other siblings, initially in book (7)
TWOSOME – Initial letters (initially) of W{ith} O{ther} S{iblings} inside TOME
Dye then natural, to some extent (5)
HENNA – Hidden answer in {t}HEN NA{tural}. HENNA is the reddish pigment made from the leaves of a small shrub of the same name.
10  OK splits for each card game (5)
POKER – OK inside PER, as in ‘per person’ meaning ‘for each person’
11  One quid to bag millions?  Shut up! (7)
IMPOUND – I (one) POUND (quid) with (bagging) M{illions}
12  Related to change, modified (7)
ALTERED – Anagram.  The anagrind is ‘to change’ and the anagrist is [RELATED]
14  Music writer, terribly handy (5)
HAYDN – Anagram, indicated by ‘terribly’, of [HANDY].  Franz Joseph Haydn was an Austrian classical composer, who has conveniently ‘passed on’, so his name becomes eligible for filling those awkward little combinations of crossers that arise from time-to-time when compiling crosswords for The Times.
15  Reversal of roles for band (5)
STRAP – PARTS are roles, which is reversed as directed
17  Super money (7)
CAPITAL – Double definition.  Whenever one sees a two word clue in a cryptic, it is likely to be a double definition IMHO.
19  Gran is struggling with a drink (7)
SANGRIA – Anagram of GRAN IS with A.  The anagrind this time is ‘struggling’.  SANGRIA is familiar to all of us who have vacationed in Spain as a wine punch that can have devastating effects.
20  Note that may be passed back (5)
MINIM – ‘that may be passed back’ is an indicator that the answer is a palindrome, and MINIM is a note that fits the bill.
22  Price beyond one – furious (5)
IRATE – Price is RATE which is placed after (beyond) I (one)
23  Friend getting behind member, within the law (7)
LEGALLY – The member is a LEG with ALLY (friend) getting behind.  Legitimate, which nearly fits the clue, has too many letters.

1 Prevent containers turning over (4)
STOP – The containers are POTS, which is reversed, or turned over in a down clue
Shoot up salad plant (6)
ROCKET – A straightforward double definition, the second referring to the currently trendy cruciferous salad plant
Uncultivated upland, space for climbing (4)
MOOR – Climbing is used this time to indicate a reversal in a down clue.  In this case, the space to be reversed is ROOM
He is second on it (8,5)
PERIODIC TABLE – An admirable example of an &Lit clue, where the whole clue acts as the definition.  I didn’t see this answer until after the crossing letters in the bottom half of the grid revealed TABLE as a possibility.  ‘He’ here is Helium, the second element in the table.  Very nice, and my clue of the day.
5  Two pieces of meat for fast (4,4)
CHOP CHOP – Nice cryptic clue with a little misdirection by linking food to fast (as in diet).
Break, perhaps, in panel (6)
INJURY – IN is ‘in’ and JURY is the ‘panel’, making INJURY.  A break is an example of one type of INJURY, although other types are available, hence the ‘perhaps’
Red chief (8)
CARDINAL – Another two-word clue, so look for a double definition.  In this case, CARDINAL can mean the colour red or scarlet (like a cardinal’s cassock or hat), or chief as in a cardinal sin.
12  Pair of idiots at home – one’s a killer! (8)
ASSASSIN – the pair of idiots are a couple of ASSes, with ‘at home’ providing the IN
13  Journalist on the subject of drink (8)
REPORTER – Now there’s a job I could do!  RE means on the subject of, and PORTER is the drink
16  Aren’t, strangely, left payment for accommodation (6)
RENTAL – Anagram, indicated by ‘strangely’, of AREN’T and L{eft}
18  Knot tied originally on slant (6)
TANGLE – First letter of T{ied} (originally) and ANGLE (slant)
20  Publication, one for the wise men (4)
MAGI – The publication is a MAG (short for magazine), followed by I for one.  MAGI is the plural of MAGUS, in Persia a priest, but in its plural form more often referring these days to the three wise men who allegedly bestowed gifts on an infant Jesus.
21  Dressing briefly in uniform, a Yorkshireman (4)
MAYO – Not the Irish county this time, but the abbreviation for MAYOnnaise.  Hidden answer in {uniform}M A YO{rkshireman}

13 comments on “Quick cryptic No 803 by Mara”

  1. This went in very smoothly, although LOI 4d took some time, and some checkers; 12ac and 17ac helped, and then the scales fell from my proverbials and I remembered He. Definitely my COD, too; 15×15 level. I did this at home on my desktop, then when I got to the office and opened it, it was a blank grid, so I tried doing it from memory out of curiosity. I’d already forgotten a couple of the solutions, but anyway it was 2:27. My legitimate time was 3:57; the comparison suggests I’m never going to get much faster. On edit: I could do without any more ASSASSIN clues for a while.

    Edited at 2017-04-06 04:30 am (UTC)

  2. This fell int0 place quite quickly for me. Recognising early on that “He” was referring to an element because I’ve seen it many times before, helped enormously by giving me all those checkers in the middle of he grid. I completed in 8 minutes, my fastest solve in a difficult week of QC puzzles.

    Edited at 2017-04-06 04:47 am (UTC)

  3. 50 minutes with about 40 spent on 17a, 20a, 4d, and 7d and most of them on 4d periodic table.

    Stopped after a while for a break and had a crack at the 15×15 and then finally saw it when I restarted.

    Had a vague recollection of minim.

    dnk CARDINAL = red.

    COD 4d.

  4. An enjoyable QC today, with lots of standard wordplay. It still took an age to finish though!
  5. I felt that this took me longer than it should have done as there was nothing particularly difficult or unknown in it. I was mainly held up by the right hand side of the grid where not seeing the COD 4d for ages deprived me of useful checkers. Eventually finished it with LOI 6d after 22 minutes.
  6. I enjoyed this one which went in mostly easily, with a few holding me up. FOI was STOP and the LOI was 4d after the penny dropped with a resounding clang and the balloon went up! 9:31.
    Thanks Mara and Rotter.
  7. Oh dear!! This took me far longer than it should have – over half an hour – even slower than yesterday! It was the NE corner that did for me. For some reason – please don’t ask – I had ‘heraldic eagle’ instead of ‘periodic table.’ And me a chemist!! Wonderful clue.
  8. A very quick (for me) 22 mins for everything apart from 4d. Another 5 mins head scratching before the inevitable doh moment. Really good clue, and at least I’ll remember it for the next time. Invariant
  9. COD was definitely PERIODIC TABLE, though I respectfully disagree with the blogger in that I think it’s a straight cryptic, not an &LIT.

    Enjoyable challenge. Thanks Mara and Rotter.

  10. Perhaps the very experienced solvers had seen all this before, but I struggled with quite a few including 4d and 7d. My last two were actually Tangle and Magi. I could not get Sage out of my mind for wise.
    Another enjoyable Mara puzzle and I think newer solvers will learn a lot. We do seem to have had a lot of assassins and sangria recently. About 30 minutes in the end for me. David
  11. Raced through modt of the puzzle until the NE. As many have said Periodic Table is a toughie unless you’ve seen this sort of thing before. I was nonplussed until I got Capital and then it dawned on me. Improvers should try today’s main puzzle as it is very gettable. Thanks Slogger.
  12. Really enjoyed this and rattled through the NW and SW fairly quickly…but 4d would not come. When I eventually saw it I realised it had to be the COD.

    Spent an age on 17ac, until I filled 4d and 6d wasn’t helped by the fact I got the Y and D of Haydn the wrong way round for some inexplicable reason.

    I saw 21d Mayo but all I could think of was the county in Ireland so wasn’t sure why it was dressing…obvious now.

    For 20ac I had a feeling it was a palindrome but got memo stuck in my head as well.

    As usual – thanks to the blogger and Mara.


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