Quick Crytpic 481 by Flamande

Lots to enjoy in this puzzle by Flamande – humour and well crafted word play. Hard to call a COD but think it has to go to 20ac. It’s even harder for me to call the difficulty of the puzzle – having been the only one to find last week’s on the easy side. I’ll just say I did this one in about 10 minutes.


1. Scamper – run. S, CAMPER.
5. Stave – staff. Not a usual crossword land definition of staff – this being a wooden stick which can be called a staff. Nicely worked word play and was my LOI. All backwards (bringing round), th(E), barrels (VATS).
9. On the carpet – to be censured. Anagram (rewrite) of CHAPTER ONE by (beside) novelis(T).
10. Mess – double definition.
11. Illusory – possibly not true. Anagram (change) of SIR YOULL.
12. Toledo – Spanish city. Poetry is ODE, a collection of would be a LOT – all backwards (rejected).
14. Wiring – installing electrical circuits. WI, RING.
16. Standard – normal. Bear (STAND) seen by A, RD.
18. Care – show concern. (C)h(A)i(R)m(E)n.
20. Called round – dropped by. Shouted (CALLED), drinks on me – my ROUND. Liked this one.
22. Plays – performs. Songs (LAYS) with piano (P) on top.
23. Stature – reputation. Old city (UR) inside STATE – of which Connecticut is an example.


2. Chose – selected. Cold (C), HOuSE – no U in house.
3. Matisse – French artist. Anagram (unsettled) of SEA MIST.
4. Ewe – animal. Anagram (poor) of WEE.
5. Tapas – Spanish snacks. Thanks from dads – TA, PAS.
7. Veteran – experience soldier. Check (VET), ER, AN.
9. Allowed – admitted. Everyone had debt – ALL OWED.
11. Iron Age – long period. I, worry (NAG) surrounded by deer (ROE).
13. Optical – of the eye. Old (O), friend (PAL) inside which is twitch (TIC). Another well crafted word play.
15. Recount – double definition.
17. Nelly – woman. English (E), pounds (LL) inside New York (NY).
19. Rider – traveller. The answer is well hidden in Lancashi(RE DIR)ectly upwards (heading north).
21. Rot – rubbish. List of jobs ROTa – unfinished – without the ‘a’.

16 comments on “Quick Crytpic 481 by Flamande”

  1. This flowed a bit better for me than then the last two puzzles but I didn’t think it was all that straightforward. 10 minutes.

    Amongst other joint meanings ‘stave’ and ‘staff’ are the set of 5 lines on which music is written.

    1ac appears in today’s 15×15 with a very similar clue.

    Edited at 2016-01-12 09:25 am (UTC)

  2. I might, finally, be getting the hang of Flamande’s little teasers. 40 mins today, which is good for me with this setter. Might have been a bit quicker if I hadn’t repeatedly rejected iron age for 11d because I couldn’t see the parsing. Thank you Chris for the explanation. Invariant
  3. I’m very pleased with myself, I COMPLETED IT. Needless to say I took longer than the regulars! ☺️☺️☺️
  4. Yeah, nice puzzle, with good surface reads and wordplay — e.g TAPAS.

    Easier than some recent Quickies, I thought. I had to leave the first three across clues blank on my initial run through but after that it flowed steadily. A second or two under 9 minutes for completion.

  5. I was worried when I only had two on the first pass, but everything fell into place in my target of 30 minutes. I couldnt parse ‘stave’, and as someone has said Chambers has ‘a staff (music)’ as one of the definitions although I didn’t make the connection at the time


  6. Took a while to get into this one but once I did I progressed through the clues steadily enough. Would have struggled with 23a if I hadn’t seen Ur appear a number of times before. I too couldn’t parse 5a, not entirely sure why having read the blog!
  7. I kept thinking about the barrel being made up of staves, the wooden sections and the verb stave to break out a barrel. Is this just a coincidence or can some clever blogger parse this too?
    1. I’m sure it’s all in the mix, bryan, and the associations you have highlighted add to the complexity of the wordplay and surface. It’s an excellent clue, well worthy of a 15×15 puzzle and I don’t think every last detail needs to be tied up to the nth degree. It simply works on several levels.
  8. No big problems today. Last in was 12a -a good clue. My favourite was 9d.
    Not sure about POOR as an anagram indicator but I solved the clue so perhaps it’s OK. David
  9. I wouldn’t say today’s 15×15 was a walk in the park, but there are some long anagrams that are not too hard to give you a start if anyone is interested. Invariant
  10. Struggled a lot with this but got there in the end even if I didn’t really understand e.g. 7d veteran, or 12a toledo… of course the blog makes it seem so easy! Thx for the explanations – it really does help. learning of today: poor = anagram.
  11. not a fan of obscure synonyms such as LAYS for Songs, had it a couple of weeks ago as well. Still, broke a run of DNFs with a 45m effort (par for me). Also liked CALLED ROUND as COD.
  12. “Oh, list to the lay of a poor Irish harper” is the first line of The Bard of Armagh, which crossed the Atlantic to become The Streets of Laredo. IRON AGE foxed me – as I thought that deer indicated ERA. I still don’t understand how wee indicates an anagram. Stave as a verb is also an injury, as “he staved his thumb” – indicating a compression injury, or “the car bumper was stove in” . Ur of the Chaldees is a crossword clue as old as the hills, but I missed it.
    Ian Donaldson

    1. The anagram indicator is ‘poor’. The anagram is ‘wee’ and the answer is ‘ewe’!

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