Quick Cryptic Number 627 by Breadman

A great little crossword, only the second from this setter, I think. Just enough uncommon vocabulary to encourage confidence in unscrambling the wordplay, and many devices that could be taken at least two different ways. Especially 11dn – my LOI – which provoked the sort of cognitive conflict that makes cryptics so enjoyable. Thanks to Breadman.

Definitions underlined.

1 Cleansing of felines concealing messy hairs (9)
CATHARSIS – CATS (felines) containing an anagram of (messy) HAIRS.
6 Predatory bird chopped fruit (3)
HAW – HAWk (predatory bird) missing last letter (chopped).
8 Fortified wine produced by one artist (7)
MADEIRA – MADE (produced), I (one), and RA (artist).
9 Long-tailed mammal, extremely lovable, with unusual back (5)
LEMUR – outside letters of (extremely) LoveablE, and RUM (unusual) backwards.
10 David’s flier regularly seen somewhere in church (5)
AISLE – even letters from (regularly) dAvId’S fLiEr.
12 Worker entering lion’s outbuilding (4-2)
LEAN-TO – ANT (worker) inside (entering) LEO (lion).
14 Unexpectedly, Tom ends fixed allowance, causing protest (13)
DEMONSTRATION – anagram of (unexpectedly) TOM ENDS, then RATION (fixed allowance).
16 Some having a tea, usually, and cake (6)
GATEAU – hidden in (some) havinG A TEA Usually.
17 In regret, go back for scamp (5)
ROGUE – reversal of (back) GO, inside RUE (regret).
19 Aggressively question cooking device (5)
GRILL – double definition.
20 Ron must, having mixed favourite medicine (7)
NOSTRUM – anagram of (having mixed) RON MUST.
22 Start to enjoy the old organ (3)
EYE – first letter of (start to) Enjoy, and YE (archaic ‘the’, the old).
23 Dirty room disturbed people sleeping here? (9)
DORMITORY – anagram of (disturbed) DIRTY ROOM.
1 Order nothing for special soldier (8)
COMMANDO – COMMAND (order) and O (nothing).
2 Initially take away drop: a small amount (3)
TAD – first letters of (initially) Take Away Drop.
3 Endure being tender in A&E (5)
ABIDE – BID (tender) inside A and E.
4 Mark allowed to take athlete’s pulse in the garden? (7,6)
SCARLET RUNNER – SCAR (mark), LET (allowed), and RUNNER (athlete).
5 Concubine’s dried fruit (7)
SULTANA – double definition.
6 Poor actor on series is handicap (9)
HAMSTRING – HAM (poor actor) on STRING (series).
7 Twist fighting power (4)
WARP – WAR (fighting) and P (power).
11 Raise mum’s unusual present, briefly (9)
SUMMARISE – anagram of (unusual) RAISE MUM’S.
13 Peace-keepers appear over fifty years in poor taste (8)
UNSEEMLY – UN (peacekeepers), SEEM (appear), over L (fifty) and Y (years).
15 Junkie’s equipment on end of road was irritating (7)
NEEDLED – NEEDLE (junkie’s equipment) on last letter (end) of roaD.
17 Swiss dish — it’s gold when turned over (5)
ROSTI – IT’S OR (gold) reversed (when turned over).
18 Monstrous figure seen in fog recently (4)
OGRE – hidden in (seen in) fOG REcently.
21 Australian native’s short space (3)
ROO – ROOm (space) without last letter (short).

17 comments on “Quick Cryptic Number 627 by Breadman”

  1. Like jack I found the first two across tricky. New meaning of SULTANA for me, apparently it can refer to any woman related to or in a relationship with a sultan. A fine demonstration of the setters’ art. Thanks Breadman and william.
  2. 42:26, a bit slow for me, due to botanic ignorance of beans and fruits. For HAW, I read ‘chopped’ as an anagrind. LOI 17a where again I misunderstood the indicators, looking for a reversal of a word for ‘scamp’, meaning regret. COD, the little 22a
  3. More from this setter please. Jack and William have said it all, I can add nothing else.
  4. I was a bit surprised by 1ac, but for me as for Jack, things got easier. I needed 4d (actually, just RUNNER; SCARLET came later) to spot the hidden GATEAU. ROSTI is one of many words I learned from doing cryptics; it might have taken me a while otherwise. 3:51.
  5. Thoroughly enjoyed this one today. A good mix so beginners like myself didn’t get disheartened.
  6. Yes, it’s a while since we had a delivery from the Breadman. He called only once previously, on 22 September 2015. The first two Acrosses, CATHARSIS and HAW both seemed a little on the tricky side so I wondered for a moment what we were in for, but it got easier as it progressed and I finished in only 7 minutes. I was grateful for the straightforward wordplay at 8ac or I’d have needed checkers to confirm the correct spelling.
  7. A gentle 15 minute solve today despite some unknown words (6a, 20a and 4d), but they were kindly clued. My only hold up was my LOI, 13d, due to the fact that I initially put ‘ing’ on the end of 14a.
  8. 1ac CATHARSIS was FOI 6ac HAW SOI

    3dn was my sticky one was thinking tender as gentle or sore not a bid!

    4dn SCARLET RUNNER COD – haven’t heard it for years.


    horryd Shanghai

  9. This puzzle got me back on track after a tricky couple of days, mainly due to continually evolving politics making work tricky to complete.

    DNK 6ac, 4dn or 20ac but got them from clues so good work Breadman. I also hadn’t come across Sultana for concubine.

  10. Nice to have a new setter (new to me at least) and to try to tune in to his wavelength. LOI was EYE. The ROGUE clue looks very familiar. I think we had it very recently in a very similar form.
  11. Very enjoyable and I agree with 11dn as COD – clever disguise. LOI 3 down out up a fight – I had the same trouble as the comment above working out the ‘tender’ bit. This pushed me on to 11 minutes in the end. It also took a while to parse 2dn.
  12. A very pleasant 30 min full house, and such a pleasure (and rarity for me) to start a QC with 1ac and 1d. I hope we see Breadman again soon. Invariant
  13. I saw the name of what I thought was a new setter and prepared for a rough ride. But I got stuck in quickly with 1a and 1d and all was done in 14 minutes.
    LOI was 13d. Good stuff -I enjoyed it.
    Thanks to Invariant for the tip-off about yesterday’s 15×15. It was just right for an experienced QCer willing to make a few guesses. Turns out I got it all correct including the dreaded plant. David
  14. Not a bad week so far but casually put 11d as summaries so couldn’t get 22a eye. I can only put this down to a loss of concentration, but it spoiled my run for the week. I had to dredge 4d out of distant memory but eventually recognised it. Thanks to the blog for explaining 14a demonstration and 17a rogue. Nice to have Breadman back even though I was thrown by not being able to judge the complexity or style as I started the puzzle.
  15. i am only JUST starting to learn cryptics and have mainly been doing the evening standard and metro. This was so hard for me. I usually will check online to see if my answers are right. but half the clues weren’t on the one I use! this took me about 3 hrs. i’ll keep going tho.
    1. I’m not kidding when I say that these crosswords used to take DAYS for me to complete! The only thing that helped me improve significantly was trying to solve every day and reading this blog.

      You’re right to try different papers too – the Times is a tough one to cut your teeth on.

      Keep trying, keep commenting, and add a name to your posts so we can follow your progress!


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