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Quick Cryptic No. 68 by Rongo

I enjoyed this puzzle, a mix of simple and moderately tricky clues, including (as usual) a few where the likely answer springs to mind before the derivation is worked out.



Across
1 MUSIC - MC ushers in US (you and me) I (one), M(US I)C, def. 'notes for pleasure'.
4 CUT-OFFS - CU (copper) TOFFS (nobs), def. 'frayed shorts'. Remember Daisy Dukes?
8 BRIGAND - BAND (group) seizes RIG (equipment) B(RIG)AND, def. 'member of gang'.
9 PARKA - PARK (public land) A (area) def. 'it should be waterproof'. Well, cold-proof would be more accurate. The word derives from the Nenets language in the Aleutian Islands, apparently.
10 TRANSYLVANIA - (VALIANT YARNS)*, indicated by misrepresented, def. 'SE European region'. A bit of Romania today, once (1711 - 1867) the Principality of Transylvania, and famous for its associations with Dracula.
12 RIDGED - BRIDGED = spanned, cut off the B (head). Def. 'with raised lines'.
13 ODDS-ON - ODD (eccentric) then SON (lad), def. 'likely'.
16 HOUSE OF CARDS - An amusing cryptic definition. Flat pack, get it?
18 OWING - O (old) WING (part of building, e.g the West WING), def. 'outstanding', as in unpaid.
20 FLOUNCE - Alternative to fluid oz = Fl. ounce, def. 'action that exaggerates'.
21 ASHAMED - A SHAM (counterfeit) ED (edition), def. 'not proud of'.
22 SMELT - Double def., smelt are various kinds of small fish.

Down
1 MOBSTER - M (beginning to munch) (L)OBSTER. Def 'Mafioso'.
2 SPIT AND POLISH - SPIT (skewer) AND (along with) POLISH (Eastern European), def. 'soldier's cleaning'.
3 CLASSLESS - CLASS (students) LESS (LESSON with the ON leaving), def. 'with social equality'.
4 CUDDLY - Leave out the even letters, ChUm DiD pLaY, def. 'like stuffed toys'.
5 TIP - Double def., an easier clue.
6 FIRE INSURANCE - A trickier clue to parse, if not to guess. An anagram of (FURNACE I)* with REINS (checks) inserted inside, FI (REINS) URANCE, def. 'cover for damage...'.
7 SHAW - SAW (observed) with H (heroin) inside. George Bernard Shaw, Irish writer, founder of the LSE, and only chap so far to win both a Nobel prize in Literature and an Oscar.
11 AUDACIOUS - Def. 'bold'. Put AC (account) into AUDIO (recorded sound) and add US (American). AUD(AC)IO US.
14 NO SWEAT - Anagram of (WATSON E), indicated by mistakenly, def. 'it's easy'.
15 HOOFED - Deer are indeed hoofed. The first letters of Horny On Ones Feet Eg Deer, indicated by for starters.
17 COMA - CO (company) MA (mother), def. 'unresponsive state'. A political undertone here?
19 GUM - Double definition, it's that simple.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
kevingregg
Jun. 11th, 2014 08:23 am (UTC)
I always like it when I can spot and solve an anagram without writing the letters down, although the V and Y in 'valiant yarns' certainly helped. 20ac misled me into looking for a metric measure ('alternative'). As with Pip, a few of these came to me before (or without) parsing, like AUDACIOUS and FIRE INSURANCE. Somehow I managed to miss the initial-letter indicator at 15d, making it my LOI, I think. 5:25.
jackkt
Jun. 11th, 2014 08:44 am (UTC)
13 minutes including time spent parsing 6dn long after I'd written the answer in, and time wasted at 19 wondering about teeth embedded in CUD!
Andy Borrows
Jun. 11th, 2014 08:47 am (UTC)
4 mins. I found this much more straightforward than the last couple, but still enjoyable even though I didn't bother to parse 6dn. FLOUNCE was my LOI.
nick_the_novice
Jun. 11th, 2014 09:32 am (UTC)
Echo Pip's sentiments - good mix of clues. Hopefully some of our newer colleagues who have been struggling of late will have found this one more approachable.

HOUSE OF CARDS was excellent, I thought, and "notes for pleasure" as a definition of music was very elegant.

RIDGED was LOI - took me some time, as I was going for "cutting" as the definition.

Thanks to Rongo for an enjoyable puzzle and Pip, as ever, a very nice blog.

Edited at 2014-06-11 09:33 am (UTC)
martinp1
Jun. 11th, 2014 12:02 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Pip. My comments echo yours! Also, like Nick, I thought House of Cards was very good. LOI was Hoofed. I too missed the first indicator in 15d. 17mins.
(Anonymous)
Jun. 11th, 2014 01:07 pm (UTC)
No 68
As a beginner/improver I thought this was a good level and more fun to do than the brain torture of other recents. FIRE INSURANCE was an obvious fit but I added the "in" to "furnace" anagram and so was left with SRE instead of REINS. More of similar level please.
docbee6
Jun. 11th, 2014 07:38 pm (UTC)
A good one for me
Couldn't agree more with Anonymous above about the brain torture of recent days. This one was perfect for me and I finished it in odd moments snatched throughout a busy day. All in all, it probably took about an hour and a half. More of the same, please setters...
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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