Times Quick Cryptic No. 568 by Izetti

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
I don’t know about you, but I found this tough today, particularly the west side. It was a Did Not Finish, as I gave up a bit shy of the half-hour mark with one left unfilled, having been staring in a stupor for a while at 17ac. If my times have any consistency that would put it on a par with some of the more accessible main puzzles. I was ages getting the van bit in 8d, and then I got sidetracked on 17ac, with R?T?L??. I was briefly musing on a rodent-killer / killer-rodent called Ratilla, and the scope for a cartoon called Ratilla the Hun. I couldn’t get that out of my head when I returned to it after all the others had gone in. I wasn’t initially convinced by 3d, with ‘creates’ defined as ‘makes a fuss’, but it is indeed a legit colloquialism, and I’ve a vague feeling I’ve seen it (if not heard it used) before. I was also longer than I should have been getting piracy, and was similarly thrown by 8ac, with ??C?E?S, sure it had to be an anagram of schemes. Tough, but good fun, and some lovely clues – thanks to Izetti.

1 “Holy” meets “risque” in criminal act
PIRACY: Pi is holy; risque is racy.
4 Bullet finally hit someone on the run?
TRACER: Finally hi(T); someone on the run could be a racer, hence the question mark. 100 years old last year, tracer bullets, and they still look futuristic.
8 Fraudulent schemes that are also bats
RACKETS: double definition, rather than any kind of anagram.
10 Our big journey once a year?
ORBIT: cryptic definition. I like this riddle-y type of clue, as they generally provide a good “aha!” moment, and this is a lovely one of its kind. A more generalised “A” instead of “Our” would give a broader image of annual migration but might be a bit too vague.
11 Doctrine looking unchanged in retrospect
TENET: tenet is a palindrome, with a very nice surface reading here to describe it.
12 Opposing a good person pocketing profit
AGAINST: A S(ain)T pockets GAIN. Another nice surface.
13 One whose experiment is up in the air
TEST PILOT: another nice cryptic definition.
17 Snake left, having been bitten by rodent-killer
RATTLER: L(eft) goes inside RATTER. New one on me, but not exactly obscure – it’s a nice US term for the snake wot rattles. “I was moving round the room, hunched like a cowboy that hears a rattler.” (Paul Theroux, Picture Palace)
19 Big mammal was, initially, healthy
WHALE: W is “Was, initially”, and healthy is hale.
20 Stick flap back on
BATON: flap back is TAB reversed, on is on.
21 Stories by Welshman in these papers
DAILIES: stories (LIES), goes beside Welshman (DAI – short for Dafydd).
22 What libraries are doing, not starting or finishing
ENDING: libraries are lending; take off the starting letter. Possibly a comment on the sad fact that what a lot of libraries are doing is ending.
23 Load to remain, it’s said
WEIGHT: remain is WAIT, say it out loud.

1 One in political group, being equal
PARITY: one (I) goes in PARTY.
2 Broken detector units built up again from parts
RECONSTITUTED: anagram (broken) of detector units.
3 Makes a fuss, a secret being out
CREATES: anagram (being out) of A SECRET. Short for creating a fuss: “quit your creating!” – I like it. Nice surface as well.
5 Jack half knocked out after port or wine
RIOJA: Jack with half knocked out is JA, goes after RIO. I think the surface makes a bit more sense with “port and wine”.
6 Big Kent maniac working in furniture production
CABINET-MAKING: anagram (working) of BIG KENT MANIAC. Love the surface reading here!
7 Nonsense consumed is spin
ROTATE: nonsense is ROT and consumed is ATE.
9 Des, turning up to collect van, moved quickly
SCAMPERED: DES turning up is SED, in goes CAMPER (van). I couldn’t get scarpered and stampeded out of my head.
14 Disreputable person: fellow I upset
LOW LIFE: anagram (upset) of FELLOW I.
15 Huge drink for young member of church choir?
TREBLE: double definition. I hadn’t heard of a treble to mean a soprano. There’s a question mark because a treble is not necessarily young, but would be if male. I’d probably reserve the adjective “huge” for a larger drink than a treble, but then I’m not a young member of a church choir.
16 Small county — it offers basic accommodation
BEDSIT: BEDS is the abbreviation (i.e., small) for Bedfordshire; it is it (except when it’s Sex Appeal).
18 Revolutionary line has upset number
LENIN: There are two ways to get this: L is line, number NINE going up is ENIN. Alternatively, it’s an anagram (has upset) of LINE with N for number. Take your pick!

25 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No. 568 by Izetti”

  1. I agree with the blogger I found this the toughest for a while, and agree about ORBIT, “Our” does not make much sense. Spent ages trying to get reconstructed for 2d. Went from SE to NW LOI 1a. Nice blog especially 15d, and thanks Izetti for setting a hard one on the only day this week I am pushed for time.

    Edited at 2016-05-12 07:23 am (UTC)

  2. I not only couldn’t get ‘stampeded’ out of my mind, it took me a while to get it out of the grid; RATTLER finally did the trick. Didn’t even see the anagrammatic possibility of 18d; very nice. On ORBIT: I’d say ‘our’ is needed; the moon orbits the Earth, say, but not once a year. Your comment on libraries reminds me that, unlike the budget-cutting of the Reagan era, during the Great Depression not one public library in the US was shut down. 6:40.

    Edited at 2016-05-12 07:31 am (UTC)

    1. That’s very interesting about the diminishing importance of libraries(perceived or actual). Quite a lot of different factors going on there – I’m sure there’s been a thesis or two written about it! My logic re Orbit was that the question mark would make our year-long orbit an example of one, but I agree it might be asking too much said question mark.
  3. I actually found this one more straightforward than of late. Must have just been on the same wave length as Izetti today as I can’t believe I am actually getting as good as most of you bloggers!!
  4. Having just retired, and being a chorister, RATTLER, TREBLE and CREATES went straight in. The snake was always turning up in Western films, comics and those wonderful short novels by Zane Gray and J.T.Edson. Adult females in choirs are sopranos, child male choristers with unbroken voices are usually trebles (rather than altos) and child female choristers are also trebles – trebles sing the Soprano part in SATB. My mother would often say “stop creating” to one of the other of us five siblings. 5’20” today, may think about acquiring a camper van….
    1. Aah, is that it – thanks for the clarification. That does sound like a nice bit of same wavelength operating today.
  5. I thought I’d finished this in 45 minutes but I’d put ‘Diaries’ for 21A so a DNF, but still good for me with an Izetti.
    LOIs were 1A and 3D as I didn’t know ‘Pi’ for holy and I missed the anagram in 3.
    I’d like to thank Izetti not only for another great puzzle but for increasing my religious vocabulary over the last year!
    1. Also didn’t understand PI for holy. I thought holy was ST in crossword land. Is it some abbreviation for Pope, or Pious?
  6. 12 minutes, so not my worst time of the week – that was yesterday at 14. My problem here was getting started as with Quickie’s my technique is to scan through the clues until an answer leaps out of me, and nothing did today for ages. Once I had gained a foothold it came together steadily.
  7. This one definitely induced some head scratching, but I eventually completed it in about 35 minutes – although some were unparsed, 10a, 1a and I wasn’t sure how creates related to makes a fuss, so thanks for the clarification Roly. I was very tempted to put scarpered in for 9d but it just didn’t feel right. COD 10a, now I understand it.
  8. 45 mins for the third day running, but given my last 3 Izetti QCs were all DNFs, this one was very satisfying. Some very nice clues along the way, and a five minute ponder over loi 17ac. Invariant
  9. I also solved this East to West. Nearly came a cropper with Scarpered before I realised that I couldn’t resolve the ‘per’ bit. A lovely variety of clues by Izetti. Filled with confidence I went on to solve the main puzzle also, which QCers should find approachable. Thanks blogger.
    1. Agreed on the approachability of today’s main puzzle – it’s a nice one today, only taking me a couple of minutes longer than the QC.
  10. I looked at this for a few minutes in the dentist’s waiting room this morning as he was running a bit late. I didn’t have a pen but I’d got 1a and 1d and a couple of others before I was called.
    Returning home I got it done in 20 minutes writing a question mark next to 9d; I put in Scarpered but it did not seem right (and it wasn’t!) .
    I liked this crossword, a good challenge but not too hard. Pi has been extensively discussed in this blog recently. Many good clues in particular 10a Orbit -original and amusing. The easy anagram at 6d opened up the puzzle and similarly at 2d. David
  11. This would have stumped me a few months ago, so definitely getting better.
  12. This was the hardest for me in ages.

    Mostly this was my own stupid fault for putting in reconstructed instead of reconstituted. So I spent ages trying to get Rattler.

    Around my way, people also tend to order triples rather than trebles, but got there eventually.

    Creates as making a fuss is new to me.

    But always comforting to see “wine” in a clue as I can just scribble in Rioja without reading the rest of the clue…

  13. 30:29 … was looking good for a sub 20 minutes time, but became stuck on BEDSIT and WEIGHT in the bottom right corner, taking over 10 mins to figure out. I too initially fell for the “reconstructed” trap in 2d.

    A lot of the clues gave me a feeling of deja vu… CREATES came up recently, as did RIOJA. At least the revolutionary wasn’t CHE for a change. Still don’t understand PI = holy.

    1. PI = short for “pious”.

      Only learnt this the other day, and only remembered in once I got the definition. Kept trying to make “A_SAINT” fit, which it didn’t.

      Edited at 2016-05-12 04:35 pm (UTC)

  14. My first finish of the week, at a decent 49:54. Also last in was BEDSIT, tried SESSEX, and then words ending in CO. Toyed with SCARPERED, and RECONDITIONED (lazily don’t always check anagrams, if they are ‘close enough’) Can someone give a usage example of PI? Must have missed the recent chat on this one. ‘Creates’ for ‘makes a fuss’ was a pure guess. Izetti is my favourite setter, just tempting enough to keep me going, but never easy.
    1. The OED has:

      Pious, devout; sanctimonious.
      1891 R. G. K. Wrench Winchester Word-bk. Pi, virtuous, sanctimonious. He’s very pi now, he mugs all day.
      1916 E. F. Benson David Blaize v. 101 Cruikshank’s awfully pi: fit to burst.
      1932 C. S. Lewis in Ess. & Stud. 17 71 She is an admirable person. The only trouble is that she is rather pi.
      1957 M. A. Jeeves St. Thomas Becket i. 13 Some of the more lugubrious sects’ offsprings from the Reformation are also responsible for the eulogizing of ‘pi’ types of people.
      1975 J. Hitchman Such Strange Lady ii. 27 ‘That were only sparrers… They aren’t good for nothing.’ ‘God made them,’ retorted the clergyman’s daughter, ‘so they must be good for something.’ All very pi’ of course.
      1990 L. Barber in Independent on Sunday 3 June (Review Suppl.) 6/4 His mother got fed up with people telling her she must be proud of her Ben, because, she said, she was equally proud of all her children—an unnecessarily pi remark in my view.

      Edited at 2016-05-12 11:03 pm (UTC)

        1. You’re welcome. You may find that you can access OED (and many other reference books) on-line at home through your local library. It’s certainly so in Central Beds where I live.
  15. Got truly bogged down today and considered 17a rattler but plumped for rattled as it looked like a past tense. This forced 9d as stampeded even if I couldn’t make sense of the ‘van’. 5d Rioja was here recently, and 19a whale was also very familiar, ditto 7d rotate. I have to nominate two COD’s: 1a piracy and 21a dailies. A good puzzle all-in-all but sorry not to have it 100% correct. A jolly long time spent on it!

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