Times Quick Cryptic No 1303 by Izetti

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
It is always a pleasure to blog an Izetti puzzle, my last one was 17 blogs ago.  I was just outside 10 minutes for this one, but some of that time was spent worrying over a couple of possibly redundant words in the clueing (1a and 22a and 1d).  Still, this was my best time this week I think.  COD to 8a for the humour.

It is Mrs Rotter’s birthday today, when she simultaneously becomes as old as me, and the oldest woman I ever slept with! I’ve been telling her that for decades, but for some reason, recently, she finds it less amusing!  We are celebrating by going to the Don McCullin exhibition this afternoon at the Tate Britain, so responses to any of your comments may be delayed.

Thanks to Izetti.  Please do let me know how you found it.


1  Gold rush in a particular month (6)
AUGUST – AU (gold, from aurum), and GUST (rush).  AUGUST is the 8th month of the year, but whether it is ‘particular’ or not depends on your viewpoint, I imagine.
Maroon seashore (6)
STRAND – Double definition, the first to leave behind or castaway as happened to Ben Gunn in Treasure Island (“Got any cheese?”), and the second meaning shore, beach or waterfront.
8 Old fashioned underwear for artists (7)
DRAWERS – Another DD, this time referring to a close fitting undergarment for the lower body, or people who draw or sketch.
10  Small journey to see river (5)
STOUR – S{mall} and TOUR (journey to see).  There are several rivers of that name in the UK, but the one in Dorset that terminates in Christchurch and the one in the West Midlands that passes through Stourbridge are probably the best known.
11  Animal housed by eccentric Amelia (5)
CAMEL –  Hidden in {eccentri}C AMEL{ia}
12 Moves quickly in autos, always getting caught (7)
CAREERS – CARS from autos, into which is slipped (getting caught) E’ER (poetic ‘always’) .
13  Listen again to Sarah in practice (9)
REHEARSAL – RE-HEAR (listen again) and SAL (short for Sarah).
17  First woman to embrace clan reassembled in eg Lesotho (7)
ENCLAVE – EVE (first woman) surrounding (embracing) an anagram (reassembled) of [CLAN].
19  Article buried in pit somewhere in America (5)
MAINE – A (article) inside (buried in) MINE (pit), to give the name of a New England State.
20  Puddles of water around vessel (5)
SLOOP – POOLS (puddles of water) reversed (around) to give SLOOP, the single-masted cutter-rigged vessel.
21  True son in order shows sign of being a monk (7)
TONSURE – Anagram (in order) of [TRUE SON].  A TONSURE is the partly shaved head of a novice monk.  Reminds me of Friar Tuck in the old TV series Robin Hood.
22  Minister, 50, is about to get tangible awards? (6)
SILVER – REV{erend} (minister) with L (50 in Roman Numerals) and IS (is) all reversed (about) to get SILVER.  A silver medal is an award, but what is tangible doing in the clue.  SILVER can mean money, medal, cutlery or other silverware, all of which could be described as tangible benefits or awards, but tangible can also mean material, which could also describe these things.  Can anyone do better?  I think the clue would work just as well without the word tangible.
23  Troublemaker receives Religious Instruction – from me? (6)
PRIEST – PEST (troublemaker) containing (receives) RI (religious instruction).  The clue is an &lit I think, and the question mark indicates that other providers of RI are available, e.g. teachers, Rabbis, etc.


1         Notice short dictionary for obsessive crossworder? (6)

ADDICT – AD (notice, as in advertisement) and DICT{ionary} (short).  Other types of ADDICT are available, hence the question mark.  Is the word ‘crossworder’ really necessary?
2  Cool Mrs Graham runs educational establishment (7,6)
GRAMMAR SCHOOL – Anagram (runs) of [COOL MRS GRAHAM].  At the time of leaving my GRAMMAR SCHOOL, I think both the school and I would have agreed that not much education had been achieved in my particular case! 
Secrecy at hostel, somehow giving nothing away (7)
STEALTH – Anagram (somehow) of [AT HOSTEL] after dropping the O (giving nothing away).
Means to give crook a shocking experience? (5)
TASER – Cryptic definition referring to the weapon used to induce temporary paralysis in its target, used by police officers in several countries against potentially violent miscreants or crooks.  The name is said to originate from an acronym of Tom Swift’s Electric Rifle, pronounced to sound like LASER.
6  See us getting drunk with relation, taking any amount of time (2,4,7)
AT ONES LEISURE – Anagram (getting drunk) of [SEE US] with [RELATION]
Force of habit restricting you ultimately (6)
DURESS – DRESS (habit) containing (restricting) {yo}U (ultimately – last letter).
Religious ceremony that could bring about ma’s trance (9)
SACRAMENT – Anagram (could bring about) of [MA’S TRANCE]
14  Managed to turn up at end of house discussion group (7)
SEMINAR – RAN (managed) reversed (turn up) at end of SEMI (house).
15  Facility introduced by Civil Service comes to an end (6)
CEASES –  EASE (facility) inside (introduced by) C{ivil} S{ervice}.
16  Go over to the enemythere’s something wrong (6)
DEFECT – DD.  To defect is to go over to the enemy, and a defect is something wrong.
18  Fruit that’s very soft dunked in beer (5)
APPLE – PP (very soft – musical notation) inside (dunked in) ALE (beer)

32 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 1303 by Izetti”

  1. I was doing fine until the stour duress crossing which held me up for ages. Couldnt think of tour and was fixated on the U being further down in 7d.
    _ _ _ USE. So 20 mins became about 30.

    Cod priest.

  2. This was definitely on the easy side–I never notice who’s the setter, the print’s too tiny, but from what people have said here about Izetti I gather that he’s usually tougher. I wondered about ‘tangible’, and thought maybe Izetti had intended ‘rewards’–I can’t think of an award that isn’t tangible. In any case, I agree that the word is superfluous here, at best; at least, I can’t find any reason for it. 5:35.
  3. 8 minutes. Wasn’t sure whether TASER or TASAR at 5dn and as this is a QC I might have expected a little more help from wordplay for such a relatively new word.
  4. A very pleasant QC I thought. I took a while to get going and solved the RHS completely before embarking on the SW corner. LOI was DRAWERS after AUGUST. No problem with SILVER although I did have to think about it -I think the reference is to pieces of silver. 12:51.
  5. Yet another long solve from me at 23m. Having got 1a at the first time of asking for the first time in a while I thought I might be on for a good day. By the end of the acrosses I’d only filled in another one. Once again the downs were more forgiving but even so the RHS was barely started when the left was mostly complete. I’ve been to Stourhead many times, mainly as a child but quite recently too, but STOUR held me up and DURESS was my last one in and unparsed – thanks Rotter – I wasn’t on clothing for habit at all. CEASES and SILVER both held me up, as did CAREERS which I needed reassurance from Rotter for too.
  6. …or are Izetti’s puzzles becoming easier? My heart used to sink when I saw his name but more recently I’ve found his puzzles a breeze. I finished today’s puzzle in 14 minutes – fast by my standards and half as long as an Izetti would have taken me only a few months ago.
    1. It is tempting to say that you must be getting better Anon, but I do think that this was an easier example of the genre. I think I have reached a plateau and this was a quick Izetti solve for me too.
  7. Quite straight-forward for an Izetti with some lovely smooth surface readings. It is but a small journey for me to my own local River Stour, which is the one that forms most of the boundary between Suffolk and Essex and passes through some lovely countryside. Hard to pick a COD… I go for STEALTH. 4:46.
  8. Thanks to Izetti for a fair but fascinating puzzle. I thought it would be a very quick time when I whizzed through the NW. I was so immersed that the time flew by and I was surprised to find there was actually a modest 14.57 on the clock after I entered my last ones (PRIEST and DEFECT). Too many good clues to list but I liked DRAWERS, ENCLAVE, and STOUR. Many thanks to Rotter for the usual good blog – hope you and Mrs R enjoy your day. John M.

    Edited at 2019-03-07 11:11 am (UTC)

  9. After a slow start I thought I was on for a sub 10 minute solve before getting stuck on 22a, 23a and LOI 16d. I was particularly annoyed about 16 as it’s a clue that comes up fairly regularly but I couldn’t get ‘desert’ out of my head. Completed in 13.25.
    All this talk of Izetti puzzles getting easier makes me worry that we could be in for a shocker at some point soon.
    Thanks for the blog
  10. A fraction over 10 minutes – all enjoyable – even the last one spent on loi Silver. Didn’t see the ‘to get’ as the inclusion for some time so tried to get L inside minister. I saw the tangible award/reward as the silver medal around one’s neck when being on the podium (as opposed to the always unlucky 4th place).

    Edited at 2019-03-07 10:28 am (UTC)

  11. I had a similar experience to Vinyl1 and shot through this before noticing half way through that it was an Izetti. I was also held up slightly at the end by SILVER. 6:49. Thanks Izetti and Rotter.
  12. Pleased to finish in 5’50” but, on coming here, found I’d got one wrong. I biffed DESERT at 16d without checking the full cryptic – that’ll learn me.
    Many thanks to setter and blogger.
  13. Biffed ‘census’ for CEASES. Not sure why, not even close to the clue apart from CS. Doh! I didn’t understand the need for ‘particular’ either. As for ‘tangible’, my reading of this is that it distinguishes a SILVER award (eg a cup or plate) from an intangible award such as a certificate. On balance I think I am OK with it.
    LOI CEASES – wrong
    COD DRAWERS – gave me a chuckle.
  14. …. didn’t run my GRAMMAR SCHOOL. She might have been more encouraging than my old headmaster.

    I’ve been doing Izetti’s puzzles in varying guises for over 40 years, so I’m usually on his wavelength PDQ.

    TIME 3:11

  15. Funny how crosswords can be easier for some and harder for others, if you get my drift. This was much my slowest of the week at 17.14. Some went in straight away, but TASER, DURESS, STOUR and PRIEST all proved sticky. COD to PRIEST.
  16. Not my quickest Izetti 10:33 but some of this was down to more haste, less speed.
    Wrote in 13a as REHEARSed and 20a as poOls as I was attempting the all acrosses then downs approach. I also tried and failed to find a parsing of 5d TASER and for some reason my LOI 16d DEFECT required an alphabet trawl. Thanks Izetti and Rotter.
  17. 22mins might seem slow in comparison with some of the times on here, but that’s about as quick as I can finish an Izetti. And that was with loi Ceases taking an extra couple of minutes. Only the parsing of 20ac (!) alluded me at the time for some reason – thanks Rotter for pointing out what should have been obvious. A nice puzzle. . . even without a Nina. Invariant

    Edited at 2019-03-07 01:33 pm (UTC)

  18. Like meadvale that was a fast time ruined by biffing DESERT at 16dn like a complete twerp. I knew it didn’t work.

    Otherwise great fun. I particularly liked SILVER, though I agree with Rotter that “tangible reward” would have been better. As to why “tangible” was there at all, I thought it was in contrast to the spiritual (intangible) rewards of priesthood; possibly also a nod to Acts 3:6? (But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!”)

    Thanks Izetti and Rotter.


  19. Married to a Sarah and known several others, none of whom I’ve ever heard called Sal.
    The Strand in London was once on the banks of the Thames until The Embankment was built.
    Straightforward today for me <25m. Thx to all. Johnny
  20. SILVER is definitely today’s PIC, as confirmed by the various threads.

    Agree it was a more straightforward puzzle than many previous Izettis. Enjoyed it.

  21. Just over our 30m target, but with two wrong . Carelessly had careless for 12d and desert for 16d, we were not happy with both, but failed to parse correctly. However, an enjoyable puzzle as usual from Izetti.
  22. …. So I know it must be me being dense BUT why is 23 across “priest”? I got it right from the wordplay but I don’t understand why the definition is “from me? “. Lovely puzzle, though, and super blog. Thanks very much to both setter and blogger.
    1. It’s because a priest is someone from whom someone else might receive religious instruction. As Rotter says, the question mark shows that other providers are available!

      Hope that helps.


      1. Ah! So the clue is speaking ‘in the person of’, as it were? Now I geddit!It does help – thanks so much for responding.
    2. I think it is because you have to take the whole clue as the definition as well as using it for wordplay. MM
      1. Thanks so much for replying. I do understand it now – and I was – as I suspected – being dim.
  23. Just squeaked in under my 20 minute target, mainly delayed by my LOI, DEFECT. I knew exactly the word I was looking for, but somehow my mind went blank on it – most annoying!
    FOI 1a
    COD 21a
    Thanks Izetti for another satisfying QC and thanks Rotter for the blog and explaining the EER in careers. That was the only one I couldn’t completely parse. Hope you ‘Rotters’ had a lovely day. MM
  24. Hope you both enjoyed the Tate Britain – one of my favourites, along with the NPG. Did the Don McCullin on Tuesday – brilliant exhibition but def needed the last gallery to avoid getting too overwhelmed. Also did the Roger Fenton at The Queens Gallery – another great exhibition and interesting to reflect upon content compared with DMc’s. Allow plenty of time for each! A lso while in TQG take extra time to view ‘Russia’.
  25. I am in awe of all of you who do these puzzles in a matter of minutes. I usually manage Quick Cryptics in about 2 days. This one I managed by 4.30pm today Friday with two errors. I made my own mistake with DEFECT and therefore couldn’t complete 23 across. I can however offer a reason for TANGIBLE. This is to distinguish an earthly (tangible) reward from a heavenly (intangible) reward, particularly to the point if we are talking about a minister of religion. (I do think that it would have been better for Izetti to have used ‘reward’ rather than ‘award’). JPH

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