Times Quick Cryptic No 638 by Flamande

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
A really enjoyable puzzle from Flamande. I came in around 15 mins, so maybe a bit harder than average. I came a bit of a cropper at 21ac, happily bunging in “resort” for “reorganise religious education class”. I have a good excuse, having done yesterday’s puzzle just before this, where “sort” did happen to be defined as “class”. 20ac also held me up with a nice bit of misdirection – I was groping around for a 6-letter word for a medal with an “i” that could be poked out. Other than that, lots of nice clues, and nothing too obscure. COD to 5d – a charming example of an all-in-one (or &lit) clue. Or possibly a grimly understated example, depending on where you live. If you want to read more about this type of clue, the Sunday Times has a clue writing contest, and a while ago there was a very helpful ten-part guide to the different types of clue: as useful for solving as clueing. Here’s a link to the last part of the guide, which has links to the other nine at the bottom: http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/public/article807367.ece
Definitions underlined, and many thanks to Flamande.

1 Nasty fights round quiet retail outlet
GIFT SHOP: Anagram (nasty) of FIGHTS, O (round), Sh (quiet) P (quiet).
8 English graduate cross about test
EXAM: E(nglish), reverse (“about”) MA X (graduate; cross)
9 Cut note at end of 60s’ musical
HAIRDO: DO (note, as in do-ra-me) at end of HAIR (60s’ musical)
10 Hooligan in crowd, yelling
ROWDY (noun): hidden in cROWD Yelling
11 Fool at first lacking sense of humour
WIT: TWIT (fool), lacking the first letter.
12 Non-professionals misbehaving meanly
LAYMEN: Anagram (misbehaving) of MEANLY.
14 Swear, watching important cricket match?
ATTEST: if watching an important cricket match in person, you would be “at test”.
16 Old policeman identifying stripper
PEELER: double definition, the first being named after Robert Peel.
18 Collided with small commercial vehicle
STRUCK: S (small) TRUCK (commercial vehicle)
19 I am puckish, principally
IMP: I’m (I am), P (Puckish, principally). An all-in-one clue, where the definition is the whole clue: if you were puckish, principally you would be an imp.
20 Wearing medal, one’s departing
GOING: I (one) is wearing GONG (medal).
21 Reorganise religious education class
REFORM: RE (religious education), FORM (class)
22 Young servant you’ll find in book
PAGE: double definition.
23 Several refuse to admit Conservative leaning
TENDENCY: TEN (several, somewhat loosely) DENY (refuse) admits/lets in C(onservative)

1 A tabloid perhaps probing corruption where clergyman lives
VICARAGE: A RAG (a tabloid, perhaps) going inside (probing) VICE (corruption).
2 How to deal with porridge in prison?
STIR: double definition, the first one semi-cryptic.
3 Heard ceremonial seat is hurled to the ground
THROWN: is heard the same as “throne” (Ceremonial seat).
4 Old city district in South Africa
SPARTA: PART (district) goes in S.A.
5 What could create wet areas?
SEAWATER: Another lovely all-in-one: Seawater could create, anagrammatically speaking, WET AREAS – and literally so, as well.
6 Cautious manner regimental leader’s adopted
WARY: WAY (manner) takes in (adopts) R (Regimental leader)
13 Hat maker’s factory in outskirts of Exeter
MILLINER: MILL (factory), IN, ER (outskirts of ExeteR)
15 Sports day event to fire lots of people?
SACK RACE: SACK (fire), RACE (lots of people?)
17 Some bright spark’s claims
RIGHTS: Some of the letters of bRIGHTSparks.
18 Run various trips round capital of Norway
SPRINT: anagram (various) of TRIPS, goes around N (capital of Norway)
20 Family member’s allowance cut
GRAN: grant = allowance, cut the last letter.
22 Run away, initially finding shelter
FLEE: F (initially Finding), LEE (shelter).

16 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 638 by Flamande”

    1. Thanks for the very informative blog – and especially the link to the Sunday Times.

      Sh is sometimes quiet I find, but I don’t think it can be here. S is part of the anagram of Fights. So anagram of Fights + O + P for quiet, gives Gift Shop. This one held me up for ages!

  1. A pleasant puzzle completed in 9 minutes. Ref 1ac although I think anon (above) is correct on this occasion I must have seen ‘sh’ for ‘quiet’ hundreds of times in Times cryptics.
  2. I seem to in a pattern this week of having one clue left unparsed – today’s was 24a (LOI). To me ten seems a few too many for several but maybe I’m nitpicking. Overall an enjoyable solve which I completed in 18 minutes. COD 1d but also enjoyed 20a – where I was also looking for a word I could take an i out of.
    Thanks for the blog roly – as informative as always
  3. Interestingly in 7 ac SH gives a further allusion to the answer without being the correct parsing – I like this. I am still thinking about claims = rights, but could this be that both are nouns, as in the gold rush, where one staked a claim. And Chambers has ‘claim’ as ‘a right or ground for demanding’, but am not convinced. COD 13d. 5’05” today, thanks roly and Flamande.
  4. Agree with the above. A very pleasant run out. Quiet has to be “P” in 1ac for the clue to work. Personally i always think of “P before “SH”
  5. I thought this was a doddle with only 1ac GIFT SHOP holding me up thus LOI.


    horryd Shanghai

  6. Experience does tell, then. I remember this clue – or part of it – from way back which then held me up no end. I actually recognised it this time around so it went straight in contributing to 11 minutes solve. Thanks setter/blogger.
  7. Thanks people for spotting and resolving the mistake at 7ac – will correct it now. Rob has it right about the helpful allusion – I thought of “sh” before “p” and immediately thought shop for retail outlet, with the parsing being something going round “sh”. And into the blog it snuck!
  8. My first DNF for a while. Was thrown by HAIRDO and should have seen through the wordplay, especially as hair = musical in many puzzles. Thanks for blog
  9. I found it had to get going on this one. Couldn’t get a single clue in the top half, but then found that the bottom half slipped in really easily. Eventually got there with the top half finishing in about 45 minutes.
  10. Enjoyable puzzle. Completed in about 30 mins only to find that the correct answer for 8 across is exam whereas I had ebac (e = English, ba = graduate, c = cross, with about being a filler). I see now that exam parses better. CMD
  11. It has just been brought to my attention that 1ac referred to above is actually 7ac.
  12. Rattled through this in about 30 mins including a quick trip to the garden to pick some beans. That makes it an easy QC by my benchmark. Some nice clues, though I’m not sure Hairdo includes Haircut ? I thought 1d was a classic example of biff first, parse later, but still gets my CoD for the way the clue flows. Invariant

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