Quick cryptic No 943 by Tracy

Well this threw up a surprise or two, with 12a slowing me down in particular, and resulting in a time of 17 minutes for me.  Some nice succinct clues though, and a nice selection of clue types to grapple with.

Thanks to Tracy for an enjoyable romp, and it will be interesting to see whether some of you found the same difficulties where I did.  Apologies for the later than normal posting – my first attempt at posting this seemed not to work.


7  Write article about a miserable place in California (8)
PASADENA – ‘A miserable’ is A SAD (no reflection on the place referred to).  To write is to PEN, and the article is the final A, and these surround A SAD as defined earlier.
8  Primate with cross and crown (4)
APEX – APE is the primate and X the cross, and APEX in this case refers to the summit, tip or ‘crown’.
Place of worship great statesman has abandoned indisposed (9)
CHURCH – CHURCH{ill} is the ‘great statesman’ (I presume Winston is being referred to), who drops {ILL} (indisposed) to give the CHURCH or place of Christian worship.
10  One who makes bloomers? (5)
BAKER – An &Lit clue (the whole clue acts as definition), where the bloomers are neither knickers nor mistakes, but rather loaves of bread.
11  Finish off goal (3)
END – a double definition, the first being to finish off a task (END it), and the second a goal or aim (END)
12  Sensational duck, wicket given after loud cry (6)
YELLOW – The loud cry is a YELL, followed by duck (O) and wicket (W), both cricket references to give the last two letters.  For what seemed like ages, I had the clue the wrong way around, thinking that the definition was loud cry, and unable to get BELLOW out of my head.  However, I found it impossible to equate BELL to sensational, which prompted a rethink.  In the end, I put in YELLOW on the word play alone – I had never come across YELLOW as a synonym for sensational, and even now can’t quite imagine how it might work.  However, my online Chambers has it as an option, so it must be right.  Can anyone provide a use case?  On edit:  My thanks to Flashman below for pointing me in the right direction.  This from Wikipedia – ‘Yellow journalism, or the yellow press, is a US term for a type of journalism that presents little or no legitimate well-researched news and instead uses eye-catching headlines to sell more newspapers. Techniques may include exaggerations of news events, scandal-mongering or sensationalism
14  A plank on a yacht, say (6)
ABOARD – A is A and plank is BOARD.  The ‘say’ is there because one could conceivably be ABOARD another type of vessel than a yacht, or even another mode of transport such as an aircraft!
16  Looking embarrassed by vehicle in N Yorkshire resort (6)
REDCAR – RED (looking embarrassed) by CAR (vehicle).  REDCAR is the former fishing town on the seaside just inside the N Yorks border, and is home to the world’s oldest surviving lifeboat.
18  Spot politician entering imposing building (6)
PIMPLE – MP (politician) entering PILE (imposing building).
19  Tune from musical husband’s forgotten (3)
AIR – The musical is HAIR with the H (husband) dropped (forgotten)
20  Wife bought in before long, becoming faint (5)
SWOON – Before long is SOON which contains W{ife}
21  Mature turn, the first to be ignored (6)
EVOLVE – {R}EVOLVE – ignoring first letter in {r}EVOLVE (turn)
23  The old man’s second to overtake (4)
PASS – PA’S (the old man’s) and S{econd}
24  Challenging former deputy (8)
EXACTING – EX is former, and ACTING is deputy, as in ‘acting chairman’


1 Money gets plain wool (8)
CASHMERE – CASH (money) and MERE (plain).
Pretty good bazaar (5)
FAIR – Double definition, as in ‘it was a FAIR (pretty good) FAIR (bazaar).
3  Quietly, he occupies modern male relative (6)
NEPHEW – P (quietly) and HE (he) inside (occupying) NEW (modern) to give the male relative.
4  Beat bad, corrupt Greek character (5)
LAMBDA – To LAM is to beat, with an anagram (corrupt) of [BAD] to follow.
5  Support space research place (4,4)
BACK ROOM – To support is to BACK and space is ROOM.  BACK ROOM is reputedly where the ‘backroom boys’ or boffins do their research.
6  Daughter on organ, expensive (4)
DEAR – D{aughter} on EAR
13  Game lady, not half, scores freely (8)
LACROSSE – LA{dy} (not half) with an anagram (freely) of [SCORES]
15  Material the Parisian brought into heaving tavern (8)
RELEVANT – ‘The’ in Paris would be LE (or la or les) and this is inside an anagram (heaving) of [TAVERN]
17 Forestry officer in right rage (6)
RANGER – R{ight} and ANGER
18  First in print about fantastic dwelling (6)
PREFAB – First in P{rint} (about) RE (and fantastic) FAB.  PREFABs (short for pre-fabricated) are dwellings manufactured off-site in advance, usually in standard sections that can be easily shipped and assembled.
20  Card game: spades on top of pile (4)
SNAP – S{pades} and NAP (pile, as in the pile or NAP of a carpet)
22  Swear word used in set-to at hotel (4)
OATH – Hidden answer in {set-t}O AT H{otel}

19 comments on “Quick cryptic No 943 by Tracy”

  1. 35 mins but with bellow for 12a.
    Bell + o + w. Bell being bell of the ball (not belle !!)

    Considered yellow but dnk the American version of tabloid journalism.

    Isn’t baker just a crytic def?

    COD 18a pimple.

    Edited at 2017-10-19 08:14 am (UTC)

  2. But yeah I chucked in bellow too.

    Way too many obscure definitions:
    Sensational for yellow?
    Pile for nap?
    Building for pile?
    Bloomer for loaf?

    I did like back room

    Edited at 2017-10-19 09:10 am (UTC)

  3. My third sub 15 minute solve of the week at 12:45. I have to say that I also toyed with Bellow but thankfully plumped for Yellow, not knowing the definition. Thanks for the clarification.
  4. Oxford Dictionaries

    (Of a style of writing, especially in journalism) lurid and sensational:
    “he based his judgement on headlines and yellow journalism”

  5. Over 15 minutes again – knew yellow, but was stuck in SE for a while, trying to make EXCITING work at 24ac.
  6. I got YELLOW easily enough, knowing about ‘yellow press’ from high school days (based on ‘The Yellow Kid’, one of the first comic strips, which ran in I forget which NY rag). But I don’t think it’s a particularly fair clue, especially for a Quicky, since ‘yellow’ is not itself, to my knowledge, a term meaning ‘sensational’. Yellow press, yes, yellow journalism, sure; but not e.g. ‘a yellow report’/’a yellow account’, etc. Anyway, 5:46.
  7. The “unknown” meaning of YELLOW did for me too and ended my run of 7 consecutive sub-10 minute solves. I put “unknown” in quotations because it has come up before and indeed in October 2010 I advised our erstwhile Leader, Andy, who was on blogging duty that day, of the meaning of “yellow press” – not that I knew it of course but had consulted Chambers. Anyway it evidently didn’t stick as I was baffled by it today. The clue then was: Offensively sensational like old paper (7), a double definition that was not confused by the possibilty of “bellow”, and the checked letters were Y_L_O_ which scream the correct answer at the solver. I’d say today’s clue was a lot harder, especially for a QC.

    Edited at 2017-10-19 10:12 am (UTC)

  8. Came to the QC after being beaten up by today’s main puzzle. All ok in under 10 minutes but with the same Yellow/Bellow issue as others. Plumped for the correct option despite not understanding the definition. Thanks Rotter
  9. I was feeling quite smug at finishing in 35 mins (last 5 on 7ac), having dodged Tracy’s numerous attempts at mis-direction, only to find that my carefully (?) constructed Bellow, Be+ll+o+w was wrong! Is there no justice? I’ll put that down as an away draw. Invariant
  10. This seemed easy at first but wasn’t.
    I had the same experience as Rotter and others with 12a. Bellow did not seem quite to fit the clue and I have learnt that sticking to the clue is the right way-so in the end I went for an unknown meaning of Yellow.
    There was another trap at 18a where I had Temple in my mind for the imposing building. That held me up with 18d.
    I have never thought of Redcar as a resort!
    Anyway all correct in the end in 21 minutes. David

  11. Thanks, Tracy and The Rotter for the blog. Funnily enough I knew that meaning of YELLOW but had no idea of that meaning of BLOOMER so I just guessed BAKER – correctly as it turned out. Not too difficult overall, I thought.
  12. This took me all day (off and on) to finally finish, having come to a complete standstill in the SE with 21a, 24a and 18d proving particularly stubborn. With hindsight it’s hard to see why but there you go.
    However coming here I discovered that I opted for the wrong guess at 12a.
    Oh well, hopefully tomorrow will prove more fruitful. Thanks for the blog.
  13. Also held up by 12a being convinced LBW = wicket (taken) after loud cry…..which suggested bellow, but plumped for yellow as a happy guess as DNK. Had several short sessions st this throughout the day. FOI 10a. LOI 12a. COD 7a.
  14. Thanks to everyone who admitted to the same difficulty that I encountered with 12a. It is somehow heartening to know that I wasn’t alone, and that several other regulars (and bloggers) were also delayed. I don’t remember in my previous blogs such uniformity, with so many solvers having such difficulty with a single QC clue, but maybe we have all learned something.

    For me, it hasn’t detracted from an otherwise excellent puzzle set by Tracy. See you all in a fortnight.

  15. Late to this as I’ve been golfing at Whitley Bay. I was also defeated by the unknown meaning of Yellow and finished up with BELLOW. Glad to know I’m in good company! Thus 1 wrong in 9:09. Thanks Tracy and Rotter. And so, on to the 15 x 15, with trepidation…..

    Edited at 2017-10-19 08:15 pm (UTC)

  16. Also held up by 12a being convinced LBW = wicket (taken) after loud cry…..which suggested bellow, but plumped for yellow as a happy guess as DNK. Had several short sessions st this throughout the day. FOI 10a. LOI 12a. COD 7a.

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