Quick Cryptic No 97 by Grumpy

A much more gentle offering than last Tuesday’s although I got a bit held up in SW. Some nice clues and a couple of answers maybe not familiar to all. Not much more to add – enjoy!
The link seems to be working but just in case: http://feeds.thetimes.co.uk/timescrossword/20140722/220/
Definitions are underlined.

1 Money we brought back for nut (6)
CASHEW – Money (CASH) we brought back (EW).
5 Step outside a large royal residence (6)
PALACE – Step (PACE) outside a large (AL).
8 Tour may gather for recreation in seaside resort (5,8)
GREAT YARMOUTH – Anagram (for re-creation) of TOUR MAY GATHER. Nice to see Norfolk getting a mention.
9 Biblical king finally lacking as leading man (4)
HERO – Biblical king (HEROd)lacking the final letter. A minor point but are all leading men heros? Maybe someone could suggest one who isn’t. If so then the clue might have needed an (?).
10 Dig near a wild flower (8)
GARDENIA – Anagram (wild) of DIG NEAR A.
11 Stick with a Scottish island (6)
STAFFA – Stick (STAFF – think Lord of the Rings) with a (A). The island of the basalt columns much admired by Mendelssohn.
13 Doctor’s first with old herb – the prescribed amount (6)
DOSAGE – Doctor’s first (D) with old (O) herb (SAGE).
15 French article about a bad-tempered game (8)
LACROSSE – French article (LE – masculine ‘the’) about a (A) bad-tempered (CROSS). Clever word play – La is also a French article which could confuse. Also some may think that Lacrosse is a bad-tempered game – but from what I hear, whilst pretty violent, in the same way as rugby, players play by the rules and respect the officials.
17 Don’t eat quickly (4)
FAST – Double definition.
19 Only politicians accept call for help in Kipling’s work (4,2,7)
JUST SO STORIES – Only (JUST) politicians (TORIES) accept call for help (SOS). If you didn’t know this one, with all the checking letters it may have been possible (but tough) to work out. Knowledge of poets, artists, chemical symbols – you name it – does help in solving these crosswords (quickly) but is not essential.
21 Withdrawing from Montenegro, Egypt’s patron saint (6)
GEORGE – This one is in the clue (from) but is backwards (withdrawing) montenEGRO EGypt’s. I sometimes wish that other countries did patron saint days as well as the Irish. Any excuse is a good one to party.
22 Fancy knight brought in to give a speech (6)
ORNATE – Knight (N) brought in to give a speech (ORATE).

2 See eye to eye in Gretna Green (5)
AGREE – Another answer in the clue (in) gretnA GREEn.
3 Set out to forestall principal on vacation (4,3)
HEAD OFF – Principal (HEAD) on vacation (OFF).
4 Route ends in New Guinea possibly (3)
WAY – Final letters (ends) in neW guineA possiblY.
5 Separate crest for game bird (9)
PARTRIDGE – Separate (PART) crest (RIDGE).
6 Unattached and promiscuous (5)
LOOSE – Double definition.
7 Sarcastic extract from a newspaper? (7)
CUTTING – Double definition.
10 Old prime minister pleased with gem (9)
GLADSTONE – Pleased (GLAD) with gem (STONE).
12 Speak badly of a duke breaking ceasefire (7)
TRADUCE – A (A) duke (D) inside (breaking) ceasefire (TRUCE). If you hadn’t heard of traduce then now you have!
14 New fans for spice (7)
SAFFRON – Anagram (new) of FANS FOR. A very expensive spice.
16 Revolving part seen going up or down (5)
ROTOR – Reads the same backwards or forwards – and, as this is a down clue, then upwards or downwards.
18 Adorable saint swallowing very little (5)
SWEET – Saint (ST) containing (swallowing) very little (WEE). A good friend of mine, when being offered a glass of malt whisky invariably enquires as to how long it has been in the barrel then remarks ‘it’s awfully wee for its age’.
20 Initially there were only a couple (3)
TWO – First letters of (initially) There Were Only.

23 comments on “Quick Cryptic No 97 by Grumpy”

  1. This has to be my fastest, at 3:55. I was pretty sure there was a GREAT YARMOUTH somewhere in England, although I didn’t know where, and the clue felt anagrammy, so wotthehell. The only Kipling works I could think of offhand were ‘Kim’ and ‘If’, and they didn’t seem too likely; but a checker or two jogged my memory.

    Edited at 2014-07-22 06:13 am (UTC)

  2. 11 minutes for this one with no hold-ups other than routine parsing as I solved. I was pleased to find the link was working.
  3. My fastest so far also. Finished by 4am in the morning. Two of my easiest were Just So Stories and Great Yarmouth. George was my hardest as I searched for St Negroe!
  4. My record too – 11 minutes. Had to check Staffa was a Scottish island but otherwise fairly straightforward. Just So Stories are a favourite in our household so saw that one straightaway (but couldn’t parse it till I came here).
  5. Started it early and finished in under an hour, before I got out of bed! Had to Google the works of Kipling, LOI George. The day can only go downhill from here.
  6. A nice puzzle timed at 25 minutes with a few interruptions, also including parsing. So amongst my quickest to date…


  7. It’s really encouraging to get a relatively easy puzzle. Makes me think I am getting the hang of it. Finished in record time and got nearly all the wordplay too. JC.
  8. Roughly 3.45 and that’s probably as quick as I’m ever going to get for a QC. ROTOR was my LOI, but only because it was the last clue I read. JUST SO STORIES didn’t immediately spring to mind when I saw Kipling in the clue, although once I had enough checkers it fell into place. It was actually a nice clue although I’d be surprised if that construction hasn’t been used before.
  9. 21 ….. patron saint of Egypt stopped me from completing the quick cryptic for the first time ever. For me this is great, despite seeing those of you who managed it in a matter of minutes!
  10. My first ever completed – and at the dentist! It has only taken me 101 Sessions to get one out!
  11. Well done to those who finished or got close for the first time and also to the “persomal besters”. I reckon this was my fastest too at 3:36.

    12a is a great illustration of why cryptic puzzles can be easier to complete than definition only puzzles. If you’d asked me to define TRADUCE I’m not sure I’d have been able to oblige and faced with T?A?U?E clued only by “Speak badly of” I may have made a lucky correct guess. But with the additional “way in” provided by the crptic part I was able to enter the answer with complete confidence.

  12. My first complete as well – took a while as I was looking for the patron saint of Egypt – a real beginners error I see now – but a real delight after yesterday, when I was about to give up!
  13. Well done to all those, anonymous or otherwise, who have stuck with it and are now getting the hang of cryptic crosswords. My favourite today was Great Yarmouth; a nicely disguised anagram. At 7mins, that was a PB for me.
  14. I also thrilled to do all but George and disappointed to find negroe not a saint! Slightly deflated when my 92 year old mum said it must have been an easy one when I was crowing! – Sarah
  15. My second completely solved in 3 months and within the hour too. Lately I have been despairing of completing more than 50% (if that sometimes. I was beginning to give up! Although the TQC is tough, I am beginning to parse more and to understand the clues better. Thanks to the bloggers who take the time and patience to explain. Much appreciated.

    The Hat Lady

    1. Welcome, and thanks for your comments about the blog. Hope you will stick around and contribute regularly.
  16. I enjoyed this and as a newbie was very encouraged. I failed at traduce. Have learnt a lot from the experienced punters. Thanks.
    1. Welcome, anon. Glad you find the blog useful. It would be nice if you put a name in your comments, or better still, sign up for a free Live Journal user ID.

  17. Got there in the end! 21a George only by deduction. Great to be able to find out here how clues like that should be read and resolved. Grateful for that coaching.

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