Times Quick Cryptic No 714 by Izetti 2nd December 2016

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Times Quick Cryptic 714 by Izetti

Friday, 02 December 2016

A fair Friday challenge from Izetti today, with a sting at 7d and a possible shake of the head at 6d. There are several clues today in which the solver can guess the word and then work out why it is the answer, because of other allusions/references. Special mention will be made of the best alternative cluings or clueings of 5ac and 7d, so have a go.


1.Crusade in which faction gets unexpected gain (8)

CAMPAIGN – CAMP (faction) + AIGN (anagram, ‘unexpected’, of gain)

5. Growth revealed by chairman (4)

HAIR – c{HAIR}man. How about ‘Show of full-frontal nudity revealed by chairman’?

9. Dance exercises in vehicle (5)

CAPER – PE (exercises) in CAR (vehicle) Is a CAPER a dance? It’s probably the verb.

10. At home in flat, good time for supper? (7)

EVENING – definition is ‘time for supper’. ‘At home’ = IN, inside (bit clumsy this) EVEN (flat) + G (good)

11. Gesture from fellow rolling over (3)

NOD – DON (man’s name) backwards (rolling over)

12. Admit giving instruction to potential guest on hygiene? (4,5)

COME CLEAN – Brings a smile to my face this one. To admit something is to COME CLEAN. Wonder if anyone has actually said this to a potential visitor?

13. Excitement hard to capture in sound of bird (6)

THRILL – H (hard) in TRILL (sound of bird). Shouldn’t this be ‘to be captured’?

15.Stop mostly domesticated small chicken (6)

BANTAM as in BANTAM COCK or similar – a small chicken – BAN (Stop) + TAM (mostly TAME, domesticated)

17.A saint ‘assled and stupefied (9)

ASTOUNDED – Cockney makes an appearance A ST (a saint) + OUNDED, ‘hounded’ = ‘hassled’, without the h, as Cockneys are supposed to speak. I am a real Cockney, by the way.

19. Buzzer in spelling competition? (3)

BEE – double definition. Spelling competitions, which at their worst involve hothoused kids, seem to be back in vogue.

20. Anger at back of pub causing obstruction (7)

BARRAGE – RAGE = anger, at back of BAR = pub = BARRAGE, as in BARRAGE BALLOON.
21.Form of musical composition for twenty (5)

SCORE – A SCORE is written music, hence a form of musical composition, and also is an archaic word for the number twenty. Famous examples are the Biblical human life span of ‘three score and ten’ years and the Gettysburg address’s ‘Four score and seven years ago…’

22. Some trod enthusiastically or went on bikes? (4)

RODE – t{ROD E}nthusiastically.

23. Cleverest son facing ruin before exam (8)

SMARTEST- S (son) + MAR (ruin) + TEST (exam). I always found being regarded as the smartest very stressful, and had trouble throughout life thinking that I wasn’t good enough. Isn’t ‘ruin’ a bit of a strong word for MAR?


1.Clown, enthusiast that may get hit at fair (7)

COCONUT – which may get hit at a COCONUT shy, although they never seem to fall off. COCO (famous clown) + NUT (enthusiast)

2. Keeping quiet, doctor and journalist were miserable (5)

MOPED – an exemplary clutch of crossword abbreviations: MO (doctor, usually in the armed forces, stands for medical officer) + P (piano, soft, quiet, musical instruction) + ED (journalist, short for ‘editor’) = MOPED (hung around looking miserable)

3.Laura, girl cut out for farming (12)

AGRICULTURAL – obviously an anagram on first look (count the letters) but parsing not so easy. I suspect it’s the adjective, as in ‘agricultural practices’ = ‘farming practices’; but it could be that the definition is ‘for farming’ as in ‘agricultural land’. Discuss please.

4. Short game in which to see the French shine (5)

GLEAM = shine, GAM (short game) includes LE (‘the’ in French)

6. Insect collects fruit for food (7)

ALIMENT – ANT (insect) includes (collects) LIME (fruit) = ALIMENT, which is an archaic word for food. If you’ve been to France you will know that many shops announce that they sell alimentation, while a knowledge of biology means you may have heard of the ALIMENTary canal. Great word, I must throw it into conversation.

7. King’s daughter’s wild anger (5)

REGAN – Not, as I first thought, something to do with reigning (I considered if REGNA was a word), but a reference to King Lear’s daughter in the Shakespeare play. A very learned clue, this. Read it as ‘king’s daughter is wild anger’ and you get the anagram (wild) of ‘anger’ indicated. It is Regan who drives Lear out into the storm, alluded to by the second apostrophe possible being the possessive. How about ‘Jack, Thaw not Frost’?

8. Cash reminder revised for trader (12)

MERCHANDISER – an anagram (revised) of ‘cash reminder’. Long anagrams are sometimes easy, but need to be carefully parsed.

14. Terrified if dismissed, sacked, no longer working (7)

RETIRED – an anagram (sacked) of ‘terrified’ without the ‘if’ (dismissed). One year on, retirement is good, and the clue is excellent.

16. Sheepish female inside Pole’s life jacket (3,4)

MAE WEST – how many other names for life jackets do you know? EWE (sheepish female) inside MAST (pole). The enumeration (3,4) possibly makes this a gimme.

17. Colour of gong cast into a river (5)

AMBER – The middle one on traffic lights, some drivers having no idea what it means. MBE (gong = medal) in A R (river)

18. Ambition about to be admitted by mother (5)

DREAM – RE (Latin for ‘about’, in the sense of concerning – comes up a lot in law reports) inside (to be admitted by) DAM (mother – used when referring to animals)

19. Bishop to gush, producing alcohol (5)

BOOZE – B (bishop) + OOZE (gush) = slang for alcoholic drinks. I thought at first this was unsatisfactory, since when referring to fluids ‘gush’ is a fast flow, ‘ooze’ is a sluggish one. However, consider the word ‘insincerity’ coming afterwards, and ‘gush’ and ‘ooze’ can be synonyms. (Regan and her sister Goneril act like this).

Please comment on the clues and on the blog!

17 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 714 by Izetti 2nd December 2016”

  1. The setter is referencing himself at 11ac!

    8 minutes for this one. I wonder if anyone under about 60 remembers Coco the Clown. He’s been dead for 40+ years.

    I agree with your final parsing of 3dn, Rob.

    Edited at 2016-12-02 02:17 am (UTC)

    1. I wouldn’t say I remember him exactly, but the name was certainly a lot more familiar than REGAN to this 43-year-old.
  2. I remember Coco Chanel too! ‘Mon cœur est français, mon *** est international.’ She’s been dead 45 years now. I wonder if they were perhaps related?

    I too initially put in AGRICULTURE (the bottom of the secreen not being visible) but 3dn, like Coco, was AGRICULTURAL.

    8 minutes and ten seconds. Roughly what Galspray requires in today’s 15×15 to maintain his par!


  3. I had the same qualm about OOZE, but your argument has allayed them. Whether, as Jack says, Izetti is referring to himself, ‘fellow’=don is standard in cryptics. Fortunately, the two long anagrams were transparent enough that I didn’t have to write the letters down, as I often have to when they’re long (and often enough when they’re short, for that matter). 4:26.
  4. Happy to finally break 10 minutes again. I did actually get stuck on 16dn because I couldn’t get VEST out of my head.
  5. After quite a difficult week for various reasons, I thought this was going to be another tricky solve. However most of the answers went in smoothly, with only the long anagrams holding things up – I tend to either see these straight away or really struggle. 34 minutes in total, which I think is my best time for Izetti. Invariant

    As for 5ac, what about: Definitely the leader’s favourite musical ?

  6. Easiest for a while for me. Enjoyed 12ac, the sort of suggestion I might make to my kids! Agree the second parsing of 3dn, otherwise it frankly doesn’t work. REGAN and Goneril just about sum up my total knowledge of King Lear.
    Good way to end the week
  7. 24:00, good time. Last two in were both words not known to me at all REGAN, and ALIMENT. Thanks blogger for filling me in, but reckon they were pretty exotic for a QC. COD COME CLEAN, I’m a big fan of double defs like this one. Was tempted with BARRIER at 20, somehow trying to work IRE in for anger.

    Edited at 2016-12-02 11:32 am (UTC)

  8. No problems with this one as I knew the clown and the king’s daughter. Also familiar with ALIMENT as food. Looked at the anagram fodder for 3d and wrote AGRICULTURAL straight in as there was no E, and taking “for farming” as the definition. FOI, NOD. LOI MERCHANDISER. 7 minutes. Thanks setter and Rob.
  9. This week’s pattern continues, as I spent my longest time on the 15×15 but came to the QC and managed 9:45, which may be a personal best, though I’ve not really been counting. About the only unparsed was REGAN, as I formed an allergy to Shakespeare when badly exposed to him at school.

    I agree with the “for agriculture” parsing of 3d. COD 17a.

    1. Studied “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” for O-Level, which put me off Shakespeare for life. For crosswording purposes, though, “King Lear” can be summarised by: tragedy, Regan, Goneril, Cordelia. Would be surprised if you ever needed to know anything more.
      1. Shaw supposedly objected to having his plays used as school texts, because he didn’t want to be as hated as Shakespeare. Still, being put off by MND surprises me.
        1. The play itself was just one aspect – it was perhaps more the fact that it was presented in the context of “Write 10,000 words about symbolism and imagery in AMND” rather than as a piece of entertainment. I’ve been to a couple of Shakespeare productions in my adult life but the appeal still escaped me – either the damage had already been done or it’s just not my bag.
  10. A fair test from Izetti today. 3d (easy I thought) opened up a lot of the puzzle; similarly 8d. With those in place I made steady progress; it helped I knew Regan and Coco. My last two were 16d and finally 19d which delayed me a bit.
    An enjoyable test I thought; 19 minutes.
    Good blog too. David
  11. I found this to be one of Izetti’s gentler offerings with it all going in quite quickly. I dredged 6d up from somewhere deep in my memory, probably assisted by some generous cluing. Count me as another who thought that ooze for gush was stretching things a bit. LOI 5a, solving time 13 minutes.
    Very informative blog thanks Robrolfe, although my confidence in my cryptic skills is not nearly big enough to attempt alternative cluings yet.
  12. After a patchy week, when it seemed I was either not on the right wavelength or just distracted, leading to a couple of DNF’s, I sat and concentrated to finish this in a couple of sittings. I had to break off at Costa and finish when I got home but the break gave me the needed insight to the construction of the clues 17a and then 14d that allowed the completion of the puzzle. Not too much difficulty with 7d (about backing an old horse in The Sweeney) or 5a (Sweeney clipped a hot manner) – okay, no future as a setter today, obviously need to give this some more thought! I thought 11a was a reversal of fellow = our old friend the university Don. Lots of nice clues here today and a helpful blog too so thx all round.

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