Times Quick Cryptic No 768 by Izetti

Very enjoyable, as always, from Izetti. There was a bit of an animal theme. The grid presented a couple of other nice ideas as well – for those adorned with excessive levels of outsize jewellery, for example, it might be time to consider a 3d-14d. We also have what “sounds” like a mounted uprising (1d, 17d) leading to a rural revolution (7d, 20d). Yes, that’s quite enough of that. Anyway, I zipped through this quite nicely, coming in decently under the 10 minute mark for a change. Lots of quality surface readings that only became apparent after the event, but overall there was a light-hearted feel to the clueing that made this particularly good fun – many thanks to Izetti.

1 Material from directors backing club maybe
CARDBOARD: BOARD (directors) backing CARD (club, maybe)
6 Big beast in Italian river
HIPPO: HIP (in/fashionable) PO (Italian river). The hippo is the deadliest large animal in Africa, I learnt in a pub quiz the other day.
8 Feeling ecstatic, I am joining hospital department
SENTIMENT: SENT (ecstatic (cropping up yet again)), I’m (I am), joining ENT (hospital department – Ear Nose Throat)
9 Supports provisions for tired workers?
RESTS: Double definition.
10 Reptile troubling a girl a lot
ALLIGATOR: anagram (troubling) of A GIRL A LOT.
12 Son with three-wheeled vehicle gets hit
STRIKE: S (son) with TRIKE (three-wheeled vehicle).
13 Food is brought back around holiday site
SCAMPI: SI (is, reversed/brought back) around CAMP (holiday site)
16 Drunk meets lion — it sits by the road
MILESTONE: Anagram (drunk) of MEETS LION.
18 Notice about military engagement getting a grant
AWARD: AD (notice) about WAR (military engagement).
19 In turn ace goes wrong, lacking confidence
UNCERTAIN: anagram (goes wrong) of IN TURN ACE.
21 Outside work agent becomes mawkish
SOPPY: outside OP (work) goes SPY (agent).
22 Former partner — one to scold or let off?
EXONERATE: EX (former partner), ONE, RATE (scold off).

1 Commanding Officer’s to get rid of member of cavalry
COSSACK: CO’s (Commanding Officer’s) SACK (get rid of).
2 Sound of row will continue to be irritating
RANKLE: row will = rank will = rank’ll, which sounds like rankle.
3 Heather goes after second-rate glitzy stuff
BLING: B (second rate) goes before LING (heather). Ling is slowly entering my crossword lexicon.
4 Animal featured in newspaper
APE: hidden/featured in newspAPEr.
5 Indeed, Myrtle worked with great resolve
6 Housemaster agitated about very small rodent
HARVEST MOUSE: anagram (agitated) of HOUSEMASTER going about V(ery).
7 History test suitable for a church minister?
PASTORAL: PAST (history) ORAL (test).
11 Feature of sci-fi novel we impart
TIME WARP: anagram (novel) of WE IMPART
14 Is inclined to enter church to get purified
CLEANSE: LEANS (is inclined) to enter C.E. (church)
15 Boy volunteers to pen a piece of music
SONATA: SON (boy) TA (volunteers) to pen A.
17 Stuff hidden by miser generally
SERGE: hidden in miSER GEnerally.
20 Sound of a dove? I’m surprised!
COO: double definition.

26 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 768 by Izetti”

  1. Ah, as I type the CARD penny drops. I play bridge too…. wood for the trees yet again.

    LOI – rankle…. which still seems a stretch to me.

    7d – I got it but parsed PASTOR for church minister and couldn’t work out the rest.

    11d. again got it but didn’t see the anagram.

    A fun way to spend my lunchtime.

  2. I lost time getting started which I did eventually with 10ac as my FOI having tried half-a-dozen other clues previously. After that it was fairly smooth progress adding interlinked answers all along the way. For some reason I wasn’t quite sure whether RESTS was correct at 9ac, possibly because I can’t be certain that I’d have thought of it from the second definition alone. I briefly wondered if something else would fit it better, however the first definition and the checkers left little room for doubt. On edit, I forgot to say 12 minutes.

    Edited at 2017-02-16 05:20 am (UTC)

  3. My frustration at your failure to give us the number of letters caused me to forget my manners because I am incredibly grateful to all on this website for the education that I have received
    1. I’m pleased that you find the site useful and also that you moderated the tone of your initial posting. This site is staffed by unpaid volunteers, many in full-time employment who generously give up some of their spare time to help keep things going. It’s not a subscription service where one might feel entitled to make demands, though of course reasonable requests expressed politely may be given consideration and possibly implemented depending on the time and resources required.

      I’m fascinated the enumeration is apparently so important to you since the clues are given and the answers follow on immediately in upper case, so if you really want to know how many letters are involved you could simply count them!

      Edited at 2017-02-16 11:26 am (UTC)

  4. 42 minutes with about 12 of those on rankle, not too keen on the homophone.

    Other one that delayed me was 8a sentiment which I biffed.

    Didn’t know serge, po, or that scold = rate.
    Ling for heather or fish is engrained.

    COD to 6d.

    Edited at 2017-02-16 08:00 am (UTC)

  5. I knew this would be described as easy by the blogger after I found it so hard going haha. I found yesterday’s far easier, which a lot of people struggled fwith. I didn’t get 15dn, and feel “to pen a” is very misleading. I also struggled with 9ac, finally putting in RISES, which of course makes no sense. Some very tough ones at 16ac, 1dn and 7dn, in my opinion. I also mistakenly put in COR for 20dn, thinking “sounds like caw”. Is “coo” really surprised? Gribb.
    1. “To pen a” is a fairly standard device in 15×15 crosswords meaning ‘to write in’, i.e. to insert. I can’t recall coming across it in a QC before so one to add to your solving armoury. No great difficulties today apart from time wasted due to an inability to spell ‘determinedly’. 5mins ish
      1. Geoff, I’ve always understood it’s in the sense of putting something in a pen i.e. into an enclosure, such as that used for sheep. The expressions “penned in” and “penned in by” perhaps makes it clearer.

        Edited at 2017-02-16 11:54 am (UTC)

  6. RANKLE completely defeated me as I was trying to find something that sounded like row (eg roe or even rou). Should have spotted row = rank I suppose, but “sounds like” threw me off. SERGE = stuff? OK, but a bit weak I thought. We seem to have had a lot of LING recently. Has it become fashionable?
  7. I made heavy weather of this and looking back I don’t really see why as everything was fairly clued. 1a held me up for a while as I was determined to fit ‘clapboard’ in even though parsing it was impossible. Wanting to replace the o in 7d with a u also didn’t help. LOI, 9a, required a run through the alpahbet before I had a doh moment. COD 2d, completed in 31 minutes.
  8. This took 45 mins, which is a bit long even for Izetti. Similar problems to others, with Rankle my loi and 2 or 3 goes at spelling 5d – good job it was an anagram or I would still be there. For 15d, I read it as Son and Ta pen the letter ‘a’. Is there a name for this unusual grid layout ? Invariant
  9. 2dn RANKLE held me up – not a great homophone as previously noted but 7.36 was OK.


  10. 22:01

    LOI was RANKLE which seems a pretty week clue. Also did not understand SERGE=stuff? I like seeing newish words like BLING make an appearance, but missed the ‘heather’ connection.

    RESTS also didn’t really work for me.

    Italian river PO is the only one you need to know.

    COD the very neat PASTORAL.

        1. Well I’ve lived my crossword life without remembering either of those so I’d say they’re hardly essential!

          Edited at 2017-02-17 12:43 am (UTC)

  11. Enjoyable solve helped by the anagram at 6d. Completed in about 30min which is fairly quick for us with Izetti. Spoilt things by bunging in tocata for 15d. Thanks to setter and for comments which are always appreciated, helpful and often amusing. Eli and Ian.
  12. I had to work hard to complete this. Not helped by putting Chipboard which held me up for a while. A few too many anagrams for my taste (six?). But some lovely clues (I believe the clever people call them surfaces but I am nowhere near that stage). Thanks as always to setter and blogger.
  13. I started at the bottom of the puzzle then went like the train I was on. When I got off the train, after less than 10 minutes, I only had a few left – 1a, 1d,2d,6a,9a and 7d. As ever there was a sting in Izetti’s tail. I had to discard Chipboard-didn’t look right. And 2d was tricky. Once I got the “obvious” Cardboard it all fell into place. Last two were 7d and 9a -just couldn’t see them at first. Another good and enjoyable test. No accurate time. David
  14. I started at the bottom of the puzzle then went like the train I was on. When I got off the train, after less than 10 minutes, I only had a few left – 1a, 1d,2d,6a,9a and 7d. As ever there was a sting in Izetti’s tail. I had to discard Chipboard-didn’t look right. And 2d was tricky. Once I got the “obvious” Cardboard it all fell into place. Last two were 7d and 9a -just couldn’t see them at first. Another good and enjoyable test. No accurate time. David
  15. …I made good progress where others seem to have struggled, buoyed perhaps by a good time for the 15×15. I wrote in the rodent at 6d straight away and it all flowed from there. 6.18
  16. Finally got a moment to tackle this puzzle and took 7:55 over it. FOI APE, LOI RESTS which gave me pause while I tried to think of alternative solutions. Nice puzzle. Thanks Izetti and Roly.

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