Quick Crytpic 646 by Flamande

A quicker solve of the long anagram at 1ac would have helped considerably. As it was I took 16 minutes being misdirected by the many clever clues and some padding to others. So, whilst fun, here is the sorry tale of my Tuesday solvings.


1. Passionately – with great enthusiasm. Anagram (struggling) of ESTONIA PLAYS. Easy to see the anagram – harder to crack it.
8. Olive – green colour. I have (IVE) noticed on (top of which is) circle (O) line (L). Took a while to realise the definition wasn’t just ‘green’.
9. Insects – creatures. Seen in (IN) groups (SECTS) – I don’t think the ’round about’ does anything. Update – as pointed out by Mohn2 and jackkt below, groups are in fact SETS which are placed around about (C).
10. Eyesore – it’s not a pretty sight. Homophone (you say?) of I (EYE), fly high – soar (SORE).
11. Allow – admit. Liberal (L) in a depression (A LOW).
12. Trendy – cool. Shot (TRY) holds goal (END).
14. Stayed – remained. Homophone (when speaking) of sober – staid.
17. Terse – brief. ThE dReSsEr.
19. Abridge – shorten. A, BRIDGE.
21. Open out – flourish. Old (O), writing implement (PEN), no longer fashionable (OUT).
22. El Cid – first shown in the 1960s. First letters (premiers) of Epic Luxury Cinema In Dorking. On a quick trawl I couldn’t find the first location but it would be nice to think it was in Dorking.
23. It’s hard to say – double definition.


1. Protestation – objection. Decay (ROT) in gym (PE) and railway terminal (STATION). I went through all the London stations at first.
2. Swine – cads. Small (S), WINE.
3. Ice cold – far from warm. Anagram (organised) of DO CECIL.
4. Nailed – hammered. Anagram (drunk) of DANIEL.
5. Tessa – girl. The answer is ‘sandwiched’ in the clue – haTES SAlmon.
6. Locally – nearby. Colonel (COL) turns up = LOC, friend (ALLY).
7. Ash Wednesday – start of fasting period. Anagram (changed) of SWEDEN SAY HAD.
13. Earnest – pledge. Anagram (dodgy) of EASTERN. Thinking in the wrong direction – I’d virtual written in ‘E’ for eastern and was working on a word for pledge which would have given ‘dodgy’.
15. Torment – suffering. Wrong (TORT) around soldiers (MEN).
16. Taster – sample. Part (portion) of pasTAS TERrible.
18. Epoch – a long time. Manage (COPE) to mount = EPOC, horse (H). Whether the ‘it requires’ can be considered part of the definition or just padding I’m not sure.
20. Ducks – double definition.

21 comments on “Quick Crytpic 646 by Flamande”

  1. Thanks Flamande and Chris. Would agree that this was an enjoyable puzzle, with excellent clues like 1A and 5D. I didn’t know that meaning of EARNEST and I was almost tempted by SLIME for 2D, wondering if LIME was some contraction of lager and lime. 9A would have worked OK without the “round about”, but as it’s there I would guess the parsing is intended to be SETS (groups) round C (about).
  2. I found this quite difficult, especially the long anagram at 1 ac.
    I didn’t help myself by putting ‘ivory’ instead of ‘olive’ for 8 ac. and then spending the next 10 mins trying to work out where the green came in! Ivory would fit the clue without the green part!


  3. 10 minutes, but solved on-line which always costs me a minute or two. I agree with mohn2’s parsing of 9ac. Although I originally thought “in, sects” I realised my error when I drafted a blog in case I needed to cover as discussed.

    Edited at 2016-08-30 09:00 am (UTC)

    1. Thank you – for ‘around about’ and for being around and about – as in ready to stand in.
  4. A challenge today, slow with 1ac and brainfade on 2d. Fond memories of EL CID. 10’06”, thanks chris and Flamande.
  5. The four long answers around the edges were the key to this for me. I struggled a bit to get started but once I solved the 1a anagram the rest followed quite quickly. After 13 minutes I had everything bar 2d where Slime seemed an unattractive solution. So add on a couple more minutes for an alphabet trawl.
    Nice puzzle with a slightly different feel. Favourite 23a. David
  6. The film had its World Premiere at the Metropole Theatre, Victoria, London on December 6, 1961, according to Wikipedia. Why?
    1. If there had been such a place as ‘The Epic Cinema’, Dorking and El Cid had first been shown there then the clue would have been fabulous.
  7. No major problems/hold ups today and completed in 16 minutes – getting the four long answers quickly helped. Was very unconvinced by the definition in 13d until checking the dictionary post solve. My only real glitch was missing the homophone in 14a, thus enabling me to maintain my recent annoying pattern of having one clue unparsed per puzzle. LOI 14a
  8. Back to earth with a bump. After yesterday’s 20 min sprint, this took just over the hour, with 18d and 21ac responsible for a disproportionate part of that. Such is life. Invariant
  9. Well over an hour for me today. I agree with others that it would have been much quicker had 1a and 1d slotted in more quickly.
  10. 8a was not &lit as the Circle Line is yellow, (or it was the last time I travelled it) Deliberate mislead by Flamande ?
    1. True, but has anyone claimed it as &lit? You’re right about the misdirection though which I’m almost sure was intentional.
      1. Ah,Maybe I misread chris’s remark where he said he realised the def. “wasn’t just green”( when it actually was “just green”)
        1. Apologies – I seem to have caused confusion. I had thought the definition was ‘green’ so was looking for something like naive – then I realised the definition was ‘green colour’ and olive fell into place.
        2. Apologies – I seem to have caused confusion. I had thought the definition was ‘green’ so was looking for something like naive – then I realised the definition was ‘green colour’ and olive fell into place.
  11. When I first started doing the QC I found Flamande puzzles joyless. I can’t understand why.

    For me this is the perfect X-word to introduce a newcomer. Firstly, it has no obscure vocabulary or dated GK references. Secondly, and more importantly it has doable examples of every type of crossword clue I can think of; addidative, takeaway, double def, anagram, hidden word, reversals, regular letter extractions, all in one clues, sandwiches, initial letters to form words, homophones. This is definitely one to include as an example puzzle in a how to do
    cryptics book.

    Great job Flamande! And thanks Chris for the blog.

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