Quick Cryptic Number 537 by Izetti

The hardest for a while in my book. Although the first few went in quickly, the majority required concentrated effort, and I was finally held up for several minutes by Bible Corner (16dn, 19dn, 22ac), not helped by what I suspect is a typo in the clue for 19dn. Also was not expecting the unusual abbreviation for the monarch.

Going back through to write the blog, even those clues with which I struggled for longest appear (at least, much more) obvious, and this is my acid test for fun cryptic cluing. Thanks Izetti – I’ve learnt a lot today already!

Definitions underlined.

7 First sign of weariness shown by worker in need (4)
WANT – first letter (first sign) of Weariness by ANT (worker).
8 One of the family, what completes our happiness (8)
RELATION – last letter of (what completes) ouR, and ELATION (happiness).
9 Thelma playing Shakespearean role (6)
HAMLET – anagram of (playing) THELMA.
10 Bishop facing additional worry (6)
BOTHER – B (bishop) and OTHER (additional).
11 In Paris I must hug a new girl (4)
JANE – JE (“I” in Paris) to surround (hug) A and N (new).
12 Queen needs a form of transport, something poetic (8)
QUATRAIN – QU (queen), with A and TRAIN (form of transport). A stanza of four lines.
15 Type met by head gets consideration (8)
KINDNESS – KIND (type) and NESS (head, or promontory).
17 Look gloomy, as Maureen before gym (4)
MOPE – MO (nickname for Maureen) before PE (physical education, gym).
18 Volunteers repeated musical phrase as a duty (6)
TARIFF – TA (volunteers) and RIFF (repeated musical phrase).
21 Eager African’s first to escape from country (6)
HUNGRY – first letter of African leaves HUNGaRY (country).
22 Agreement in a set of books written by witches (8)
COVENANT – A NT (New Testament, set of books) next to COVEN (collective noun for witches).
23 Bank offers relief — pounds I lost (4)
REEF – L (pounds) and I lost from REliEF.
1 Ask again about city devastated by war (8)
NAGASAKI – anagram of (about) ASK AGAIN.
2 A dry fish served up for ex-PM (6)
ATTLEE – A, TT (tee-total, dry) and EEL (fish) reversed (served up).
3 Assessment of King Charles I, quite awful (8)
CRITIQUE – CR I (Charles Rex I) and an anagram of (awful) QUITE.
4 Card that is carried by player at St Andrews (4)
CLUB – double definition.
5 Old coin, say? Right (6)
STATER – STATE (say) and R (right). An ancient Greek coin.
6 It’s almost twelve — have a sleep (4)
DOZE – missing last letter from (almost) DOZEn (twelve).
13 Arty type eats with thee in strange fashion (8)
AESTHETE – anagram of (in strange fashion) EATS with THEE.
14 One bringing goods in from exotic trip — Rome? (8)
IMPORTER – anagram of (exotic) TRIP ROME.
16 Excursions made by rich man around Russia’s capital (6)
DRIVES – DIVES (rich man, see Lazarus and Dives – Luke 16).
17 Mucky stuff fellow found on northern river (6)
MANURE – MAN (fellow) on URE (river of Yorkshire).
19 A maiden sitting on usually large book (4)
AMOS – A and M (maiden) on OS (oversized, unusually large). A book of the Hebrew Bible.
20 Fine, loose plant (4)
FLAX – F (fine) and LAX (loose).

21 comments on “Quick Cryptic Number 537 by Izetti”

  1. A very fine puzzle and very difficult. 21 minutes. It’s a pangram, btw. I read 19ac as ‘unusually’ – what I expected instead of what was actually printed – so the error didn’t divert me in solving that clue, but elsewhere I started to wonder if I might exceed the 28 minutes I needed for the main puzzle today.

    William, you have a stray N in your answer at 6dn.

    Edited at 2016-03-30 07:54 am (UTC)

  2. I finished in 20 minutes, but sadly with only eight answers. Much too difficult for me with an awful grid – there were far too many un-checked first and last letters.
  3. I managed to complete this and the main puzzle today. I’d say some of the Quick clues are harder than the Main. Lovely misdiection for the anagram at 1d. Held up a bit by the typo in 19d but the first two letters lead to it. Hadn’t heard ofthe Greek coin so a lucky guess. Even spotted the pangram (letter Z rings the alarm). Many thanks setter and blogger for lots of fun.
  4. Well I thoroughly enjoyed today’s challenge with several new words to my vocabulary but guessable through the wordplay and cross checkers. Just under the hour for me. Thanks Izetti and blogger.
  5. This was always going to be a difficult QC, but I managed to make it impossible by putting Jean rather than Jane for 11ac. It was only when I decided Stalin (2d) was a PM/fish too far that the penny dropped. I have to say that Dives and Stater strike me as a tad exotic for a QC, but I’ll see what others have to say. Invariant
  6. Izetti has done it again as with #507. I gave up with 7 clues solved as this was way too hard for the Quickie. What is the point of making it harder than the 15×15. If I want a hard one I’ll try that.
  7. I thought this was a great challenge, but gave up with one left (20d). Bit lazy, really.

    If the QC is to be a training ground for the main crossword, I’d argue that we need more introductions to arcane terms and abbreviations – though not too much, of course.

    Monday’s bank holiday Jumbo was a great test for this QCer. Seems to be pitched as a somewhat difficult Monday 15×15 – is this usually the case?

    Edited at 2016-03-30 01:03 pm (UTC)

  8. Managed to finish but only with resort to aids as had never heard of DIVES or STATER. Missed the pangram but should have twigged with Q which doesn’t appear very often.
  9. Strangely I didn’t find this as difficult as many of the puzzles of a few weeks ago, but then it’s all an individual matter I suppose. The occasional toughie is justified I think, if only to stretch the grey matter a wee bit.
    My problem was with a few false starts: I actually put KINDNESS in for 8a (“one of the family”=KIN) without seeing, strangely, that it was actually the proper answer for 15a. Also I had JUNE (“un” in “je”) for 11a.
    As to Rob’s comment above, there are simply far too many words and expressions found only in crosswordland – the best way is to plug away and keep visiting this site for enlightenment and wise counsel.
  10. A hard slog but fair. Did not know quatrain. However an enjoyable exercise for the brain. Elin and Ian.
  11. Too tough for me today, despite revisiting it on several occasions – hence the lateness of this post. Defeated by 5, 16 and 19d and 23a.
  12. Holy moley this was hard. Nearly finished but after over an hour and a half spread over 3 sessions, I was left with TA_I__ for 18a (unfortunately “motif”, “line”, “theme” came to mind, but “riff” didn’t, nor did this sneaky meaning of “duty”), and __A_ for 18d. I did consider FLAX, but it didn’t seem to parse. As soon as I hit reveal and saw that was what it was, it parsed immediately. Also I cheated a bit on 19d since the typo threw me off.

    Edited at 2016-03-30 09:43 pm (UTC)

  13. This is the first QC I have failed to finish for a while. There were a number of difficulties for me but I guessed correctly the unknown Stater and Dives. However I got stuck in the SW. For 19 I had Aunt, not perfect but fitted the maiden and the large book. That made 22a impossible, although I did look for alternatives meaning Agreement. I managed Inherent; which just left me with the dreaded plant: Fien fitted nicely (loose being the anagram indicator)! David
  14. Rather than a DNF from me today it was a DNS with only five clues completed in a hour. I gave up at that point. Just couldn’t get onto the right wavelength. First one for ages like that for me but it’s good to have variation in difficulty.
  15. Izetti stopped my pleasing run of 6 completes : way too hard for me, and a couple of errors (also had JEAN) stopped the fitful progress. STATER was completely unknown to me. M for maiden, what’s that about? I swear that in crossword land every English word can be abbreviated to a single letter if the setter fancies it.
    1. It certainly feels like it!

      In this case, there’s justification in the form of a bowler’s scorecard (cricket). A maiden over is recorded under a column sometimes marked M.

  16. Flummoxed by Jane – I had Mame after about two hours on and off. I
    knew it was wrong but I couldn’t give it any more time. I had managed everything else. I’m a newcomer with about 25 or so completed. For me this was the hardest so far.

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