Quick Cryptic Number 387 by Mara

I got off to a good start with this (and even chucked 10ac into the grid from the wordplay alone) but slowed down in the bottom half. And I’m very glad I did – the surface readings seem effortlessly smooth, a mark of distinction that is sometimes lost when I march through the clues more systematically. My COD to 17ac: obvious once the penny drops!

Definitions underlined.

1 Divide a city in Croatia (5)
SPLIT – double defintion.
4 Mistake in large bell? (7)
CLANGER – double definition.
8 State capital in Delaware joining English and Irish county (7)
DECLARE – D (first of Delaware) with E (English) and CLARE (Irish county).
9 Far-eastern city in Nepal has appeal (5)
LHASA – hidden in NepaL HAS Appeal.
10 This setter’s material for a liqueur (10)
MARASCHINO – MARA’S (this setter’s) and CHINO (material).
14 Gentle beast beginning to dislike a character from Greece (6)
LAMBDA – LAMB (gentle beast) plus first of Dislike and A.
15 Expert pockets a hundred immediately (2,4)
AT ONCE – ACE (expert) takes in (pockets) A TON (a hundred).
17 One such as dad, mum or sis — though not bro! (10)
PALINDROME – the first three are examples, the fourth is not!
20 Prone to be telling fibs (5)
LYING – double defintion.
22 Simple, holding nothing back: that’s the mark of music! (3,4)
BAR LINE – BARE (simple) holding NIL (nothing) backwards.
23 Fine moves aplenty (7)
PENALTY – anagram of (moves) APLENTY.
24 Dark, curious thing (5)
NIGHT – anagram of (curious) THING.
1 Face team (4)
SIDE – double defintion.
2 Quick speed for lap (4)
LICK – double definition. Are licking and lapping the same?.
3 Great Dane let loose in open-air restaurant (3,6)
TEA GARDEN – anagram of (let loose) GREAT DANE.
4 Inside vehicle, the main ascendant emperor (6)
CAESAR – SEA (the main) ascending inside CAR (vehicle).
5 Every one of great stature lacks leadership (3)
ALL – tALL (of great stature) without the first letter..
6 An inclination to wither away in allotment (8)
GRADIENT – DIE (wither away) in GRANT (allotment).
7 A boy in the grass, thought logically (8)
REASONED – A SON (a boy) in REED (grass).
11 Tom, a chap going round river on a boat (9)
CATAMARAN – CAT (tom) then A MAN (a chap) going round R (river) on A.
12 Turn over a failure in footwear (4-4)
FLIP-FLOP – FLIP (turn over) and FLOP (a failure).
13 Menus designed with oil paint (8)
EMULSION – anagram of MENUS with OIL.
16 Filthy food, boy discarding nothing (6)
GRUBBY – GRUB (food) and BoY (without the o, nothing).
18 Call for some jewellery (4)
RING – double defintion.
19 By the sound of it, perfume put in the post (4)
SENT – homophone of (by the sound of it) “scent”.
21 Set stage up (3)
GEL – LEG (stage) written upwards.

12 comments on “Quick Cryptic Number 387 by Mara”

  1. Another 12-minuter for me, so it would seem this week’s Quickies are following on from last week’s run of trickier ones (apart from Orpheus’s last Thursday). LAMBDA was my last one in as it’s one of those letters I know but always manage to forget. I think there’s a clue referring to Latin American dancing waiting to be written about that one.

    Edited at 2015-09-02 05:51 am (UTC)

  2. Good puzzle. like William I only got 10a from the wordplay but it was my penultimate entry with last in GRADIENT.

    17a was excellent and particularly so with my first 2 checkers indicating it might start with PARENT…..

    Favourite DECLARE.

  3. I enjoyed this one too, especially 10a and 17a. Got fooled into trying to find anagram of ‘oil paint’ for 13d for a while. 12d my LOI. 7:36.
  4. Had Bar Time for 22ac and wondered why I couldn’t parse it properly. . . Like others 17ac was my favourite, and LOI as well. Nice clue. Invariant
  5. As a (just about) sub one hour newby, can you clever folks enlighten me on the above please?
    Once again to all you regular bloggers: many thanks!
    1. It comes from the phrase “the watery main” which on googling I discover was coined by Shakespeare: sonnet 64.

      It is a fairly frequent crossword device.


      1. Thanks very much for that information. I had not heard the phrase before. I wonder why the setters use such an obscure way to indicate “sea” when there must be many more ways not requiring slightly in-depth knowledge of the Bard’s sonnets.
        1. I only knew it because pirates seemed to be constantly on the Spanish Main…
          – Plymouthian
  6. Another excellent puzzle. But I made the same mistake as Invariant in 22a. It was my LOI and I couldn’t make head or tail of the clue so I chucked it in out of desperation.
  7. Thanks for very helpful blog that cleared up a few parsings for clues I had solved but wasn’t entirely sure how.
  8. Presumably this puzzle is by Naomi — Book of Ruth Chapter 1 Verse 20 – but I’m not bitter about it. A very fair test . 17a LOI

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