Quick Cryptic Number 577 by Izetti

Another elegant and interesting quickie from Izetti, by my reckoning slightly easier than his recent puzzles. Of course, there were a few testers – the hardest of the lot for me we’re down to my limited knowledge of geography and crocheted headgear!

There’s quite a bit of tongue-in-cheekiness about the grid too; the onomatopoeic expression took a sec on thought, and 9dn is an example of my favourite clue types. Very enjoyable.

Definitions underlined.

1 Pile not costing much about to be got rid of (4)
HEAP – cHEAP (not costing much) getting rid of c (circa, about).
4 People with aspirations: some know Anna best (8)
WANNABES – hidden in (some) knoW ANNA BESt.
8 Something soft given scope to expand rapidly (8)
MUSHROOM – MUSH (something soft) and ROOM (scope).
9 Name given to river ‘ome (4)
OUSE – if on pronounces home as ‘ome, one might also pronounce house (home) as ‘ouse.
10 Lottery is an attraction (4)
DRAW – double definition.
11 Distant object — it had a wren on it (8)
FARTHING – FAR (distant) and THING (object).
12 This writer’s angry in Indian city (6)
MYSORE – MY (this writer’s) and SORE (angry).
14 Metallic plate in church, Catholic church (6)
CHROME – CH (church) and ROME (Catholic church).
16 Nudge given to one girl being extravagant (8)
PRODIGAL – PROD (nudge) with I (one) and GAL (girl).
18 Right time to show fury (4)
RAGE – R (right) and AGE (time).
19 Sun hat: head with one (4)
TOPI – TOP (head) with I (one).
20 Having a go at activity on football field (8)
TACKLING – double definition.
22 Awkward date with punk full of booze (6,2)
TANKED UP – anagram of (awkward) DATE and PUNK.
23 Charlatan brings endless humiliation (4)
SHAM – SHAMe (humiliation) without the last letter (endless).
2 English queen to go wrong when given unknown royal attendant (7)
EQUERRY – E (English), QU (queen), ERR (to go wrong) and Y (unknown).
3 Page written on playwright that’s contemptible! (5)
PSHAW – P (page) on SHAW (playwright).
4 Court guarded by two officers (3)
WOO – hidden in (guarded by) tWO Officers.
5 Characters may be unclear and I’m confused (9)
NUMERICAL – anagram of (confused) UNCLEAR and I’M.
6 Someone else a hornet upset (7)
ANOTHER – anagram of (upset) A HORNET.
7 German city to become diminished without leader (5)
ESSEN – lESSEN (to become diminished) without first letter (leader).
11 The fridge that’s broken may be taken off in lorry (9)
FREIGHTED – anagram of (broken) THE FRIDGE.
13 Demon in ancient prison (3,4)
OLD NICK – OLD (ancient) and NICK (prison).
15 A fellow hugged by mum becomes crimson (7)
MAGENTA – A GENT (a fellow) inside (hugged by) MA (mum).
17 Wine I love to pour into fancy jar (5)
RIOJA – I and O (love, tennis) inside an anagram of (fancy) JAR.
18 Expensive car overturns (5)
ROLLS – double definition.
21 Cold work for one on the beat? (3)
COP – C (cold) and OP (work).

21 comments on “Quick Cryptic Number 577 by Izetti”

  1. I had thought that the Ouse (or Ouses; the place seems to be crawling with them) is (are) pronounced ‘ooze’; in which case this would be a play on the spelling rather than the pronunciation, no? Still works, mind you. Some nice surfaces, like 22ac, 4d, 7d. 4:35.
  2. Yes, I got through this one quickly for an Izetti offering, in 8 minutes. I thought PSHAW might give some solvers a bit of trouble and the reference to the wren at 11ac will surely be lost on most people under 60. On checking when the farthing went out of use I was surprised to find it ceased to be legal tender as late as 1960 when I would have been 13, yet I have no recollection of ever using one in a transaction. Most day-to-day purchases in my childhood would have been in the sweet shop where I remember penny chews and halfpenny chews and the like, and sweets at four-a-penny, but nothing priced at a farthing.

    William you have a typo in your intro. I think you mean 9ac.

    Edited at 2016-04-27 05:35 am (UTC)

    1. I think some things were priced at X pence and three farthings, rather like we have 99p and £1.99 today. Would explain my we seemed to end up with the odd farthing in our pockets.
  3. Your setter once found a single farthing in his pocket and persuaded the sweet shop to sell him a single chew!
  4. PSHAW was a write in as a lover of Wodehouse. What smooth clues, I do like Izetti. Nothing too troubling COD and LOI 14a. I am at odds with the blogger as 9ac together with spoonerisms are probably my least favourite clues. Thanks to setter and blogger.
  5. Thanks Izetti for a near-perfect QC, each time I was about to give up I pulled another clue out, for a final time of 54:23. Real variety of clues today, LOI was FARTHING, very good clue. Also liked OUSE, which was a very different way of clueing it. We had TOPI a few weeks ago, so that one dropped in early. WANNABES across three words was well-hidden. Lost time on ROVER for ROLLS as it is hidden in caR OVERturns.
  6. 20:53; LOIs PSHAW (new word!) and DRAW. A nice puzzle with just enough chewiness, like a well-baked meringue. I understood the farthing / wren reference, despite being under 40.
  7. Another easy one, almost time limited by the speed I could type in my answers on an ipad mini on the rattler, so a pb for me at about 7 minutes.

    Nice clues with nothing to hold me up. I even saw pshaw straight away. Farthing was no problem. Being of the ’51 vintage I distinctly remember having and using them, and the cute little wren on the back. Thanks setter and blogger.

  8. I finished in 40 minutes which is good for an Izetti (just finishing one is a result for me). LOI was 20A which held me up until I sorted the anagram in 11D. Two minor quibbles – I dont think ‘numerical’ is exactly equivalent to ‘characters’ and Magenta is purple rather thsn crimson.


  9. Lots to enjoy in this one, with 18 mins a new best for me.

    I always like answers hidden across more than 2 words, so 4a would have been my CoD on a normal day. 20a was LOI as I had Tap for 21 down, cold tap and tapping out the beat.

    I must say, however, I’m not sure Magenta and Crimson are anywhere near the same colour.

    CoD was definitely Farthing. I set a pub quiz and once did a table round where the answers were all values of old money, bob and guinea and the like. The answer to ‘Sun, Moon and Stars’ was 3 Farthings. That generated a huge groan from the audience but a chap came over afterwards and told me that if I like that sort of thing I should give cryptic crosswords a try. And here I am……

  10. Liked the anagram at 11d. Remember the wren well, as it was in the change, or maybe the junior school coin collection. MUSHROOM was in the bigger crossword the other day, different clue led to much discussion – but no mention of Lonnie Donegan in either. 8′ today.
  11. When you see the name of our abbreviated composer at the top you expect to be stretched. I thought he got this just about right. A good tease with some distant meanings in surfaces and often a bit left field. But it ugh coffee time, so good fun.
  12. An entertaining offering today. My only real hold up was my LOI 3d, although I spent a little time inventing new words for expensive at 18d e.g. rotom, thinking of words for car upside down. I was unfamiliar with the wren reference in 11d but the word play made the answer clear. COD 4a. Completed in around 25 – 30 minutes.
  13. My run of Izetti DNFs sadly continued, with the mushroom/pshaw combination not coming to mind. Good QC though, very enjoyable. Invariant
  14. A bit of a stroll after today’s 15×15

    In at 9:37 COD Farthing – hardly ever used but often given to us kids as change in sweetshops some chews were four-a-penny.

    12ac MYSORE used to make us snigger in class.

    Those were the days! or as we said then ‘These are the days!

    4ac WANNABES was an interseting ‘extraction’.

    LOI 3dn PSHAW

    horryd Shanghai

  15. About an hour for me. Pshaw was completely unknown and I seemed to take an age finding a four letter playwright ending in W. I also was unaware of Mysore as an Indian city. When I googled Topi I got an antelope so took a while thinking of other three letter words for Head which might work. Glad I googled it again!
  16. Fits and (re)starts for me today but delighted to eventually complete an ‘Izetti’. Got really stuck with 3d pshaw LOI. Thx bloggers for explaining the how and why of 17d Rioja and 4d woo, both of which I got by much more dubious routes! Fingers crossed for the rest of the week to complete a full set.

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