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April 18th, 2018

Quick Cryptic 1072 by Teazel


Breezed through most of this enjoyable puzzle from Teazel until I was left with the 18a / 19d pairing at the end, which took me an age to work out. (Well, once 18a was finally cracked then 19d really couldn't be anything else - but the obscurity of 19d contributed to my troubles in resolving 18a).

Not sure why 19a was so elusive - having eventually got it, I kicked myself for making such a meal of it. Maybe it's because I tend to think of said currency in terms of notes rather than coins, or maybe the 'initially' referring to the following - as opposed to previous - word threw me, or maybe I was just having a bad hair day. Who knows. Anyway, that's how it was for me.

Some good stuff in here, most notably (as I see it) the ambitious and very well disguised hidden at 13d, which gets my COD.

Look forward to seeing how you all got on. I'm locked away in an all day 'head down bum up' event today so may not be able to field comments until late evening, so apologies for that.

Thanks to Teazel for a very nice puzzle.

Definitions underlined: DD = double definition: anagrams indicated by *(--): omitted letters indicated by {-}

Across
1 Thus swallow one’s pride? (3,6,3)
EAT HUMBLE PIE - Cryptic definition, with 'swallow' pointing us to a phrase that might have something to do with ingesting
9 Month with alien group (5)
OCTET - OCT (month) + ET (alien)
10 Machine controller wrongly alerted (7)
TREADLE - *(ALERTED) with "wrongly" signalling the anagram
11 Irritable-sounding carpenter (7)
CHIPPIE - Sounds like "chippy".  i think 'chippy' for 'irritable' is in pretty wide usage, but I'm not sure - we shall see...
12 Second drink for pig (5)
SWINE - S (second) + WINE (drink)
14 But a grey also may be so unfancied a runner (4,5)
DARK HORSE - Cryptic definition based on the fact that a dark horse does not actually have to be, well, dark
18 Angry about receiving initially unusable coins (5)
EUROS - SORE reversed (angry about) with U (initially Unusable) inserted (receiving)
20 Biographer’s book’s half excellent, Americans say (7)
BOSWELL - BO[ok} (book's half) + SWELL (excellent, Americans say).  I invite our USA correspondents to tell us whether Americans do actually still say "swell" - or is it a bit like stating that the English say "top hole"?
21 Country where actor fails — rival oddly failing to
follow (7)
CROATIA - *(ACTOR) - with "fails" signposting the anagram - and IA (rIvAl oddly failing - i.e. every other letter missing)
23 Pressure on public transport, so have long walk (5)
TRAMP - P (pressure) goes 'on' TRAM (public transport)
24 Critical what biography covers (4-3-5)
LIFE-AND-DEATH - If something is critical then it can be said to be a matter of life and death.  'What biography covers' is also intended to give us a steer towards the answer, although sticklers for precision might point out that there are an awful lot of biographies of living people out there which (unless they are engaging in morbid prrescience) do not deal with death as such.  But hey, this is crosswordland so let it pass...


Down
2 Achieve reversing revolutionary loss of rights (9)
ATTAINDER - ATTAIN (achieve) + RED reversed (reversing revolutionary) giving a word I dimly recollected from A level history in terms of Bills of Attainder issued by despotic monarchs (or bodies under their sway) to deprive named individuals of their legal rights, usually rersulting in a most unhappy ending for said individuals
3 Percy associated with Tottenham (7)
HOTSPUR - Sir Henry Percy, generally known by his nickname Hotspur to generations of schoolboys (and girls I'm sure) bored rigid by enforced study of Shakespeare's Henry IV.  And then there's the football team who are doing rather well these days.
4 No food in her cupboard? Do them rhubarb, stewed
(6,7)
MOTHER HUBBARD - *(DO THEM RHUBARB) with "stewed" indicating the anagram
5 City shelter — doss on the outside (5)
LEEDS - LEE (shelter) + DS (outside letters of DosS)
6 Cushion in one’s flat? (3)
PAD - Two definitions, the main one being cushion but with 'flat' also giving us a steer
7 For hearing, one that’s leaving city (6)
EXETER - Sounds like (for hearing) EXITER (one that's leaving) - depending on your pronunciation, I suppose.  But I've come across looser homophones in these here parts before now so let's not get unduly excited about this one.
8 Purse lip finally: that hurt (5)
POUCH - P (liP finally) + OUCH (that hurt)
13 Fine leg anticipates cut that’s awkward (9)
INELEGANT - Hidden in (cut) fINE LEG ANTicipates.  And a very fine hidden it is, too.
15 Prize flower over centre of pattern (7)
ROSETTE - ROSE (flower) goes 'over' (in the context of a Down clue) TTE (centre of paTTErn)
16 Page nice to edit at length for writer (6)
PENCIL - P (abbrev. page) + *(NICE) - with "to edit" suggesting the anagram - + L (length)
17 Incline to spill liquid over end of table (5)
SLOPE - SLOP (to spill liquid) goes 'over' (in the context of a Down clue) E (end of tablE)
19 Spruce, as kit is reorganised (5)
SITKA - *(AS KIT) with "is reorganised" pointing to the anagram.  This tree was totally unknown to me, but the anagram fodder was pretty obvious so with all the cross checkers in place it was unlikely to be SKTIA.
22 Old fines cancelled (3)
OFF - O (old) + FF (fines - more than one F, the abbreviation for Fine)
The first qualifier puzzle for the 2018 TCC is published today, so this puzzle from yesteryear* appears in the online section instead. (I'll blog the qualifier after the closing date for entries). I can't say I enjoyed it. Even when after a few tries I thought I had a version with all the answers correct, going on to explain each one precisely, in the way we would for a contemporary puzzle, proved even more of a headache. Certainly, in whatever year this was, solvers needed more leaps of imagination, as well as TLS type knowledge, to get through. Maybe some of you who were doing puzzles then will be more adept, I've only had the time to solve regularly since retiring from full-time work (or becoming unemployable).
Please excuse me therefore if the blog seems a little vague here and there. Definitions underlined, where they exist; CD = cryptic definition, DD = double definition.
* the puzzle number suggests it was 23 March 1965.
Across
1 Nip across for a bun (7)
POPOVER - POP OVER to see a neighbour, I suppose. Apparently a popover is a kind of pastry, I'd never had the pleasure but Mrs K knew about them, being a retired Home Economist.
5 Conversely, what did the vegetarian eat: can you beat it? (7)
PULSATE - Well, vegetarians ATE PULSE, so conversely that sounds like PULSE ATE I think.
9 Ship’s writer (5)
LINER - I presume a DD, Someone who writes lines could be a liner? There are several meanings of 'liner' in Collins, as you can imagine, and one of them is
"a person or thing that uses lines, esp in drawing or copying".
10 Associate oneself with Robbie in a cheeky appearance (9)
SIDEBURNS - I did think of our Scottish poet friend, but then thought he would have been Rabbie not Robbie (or Robert). Then guessed the answer from SIDE (with) = associate (with). And it was said poet.
11 The whale belongs to him generically speaking (6)
ORCHIS - ORC is a version of ORCA, the killer whale. HIS = belonging to him. I knew orchis was Greek for testicle and that the genus of plants, orchids, were so called because of the shape of their tubers. So is the definition just orchis as an example of a genus = generically speaking?
12 Have a fruit drop! (8)
WINDFALL - Vague cryptic definition.
14 One of the glossies? (5)
ELEMI - Another vague cryptic definition I think. I knew ELEMI was a resin from an Asian tree (Chinese olive) which has very glossy green leaves. Once I had E*E*I I wrote it in. But how one is supposed to get to that without any checking letters, in a world full of glossy things, is a mystery.
15 They make a deep impression? (9)
ENGRAVERS - Not very cryptic definition.
18 Good chap, he goes to the masthead full of fire (5,4)
SAINT ELMO - Self explanatory, if you knew about St Elmo's fire, which I did.
20 Envious rent-maker (5)
CASCA - Straightforward if you knew Casca was in there with Brutus, stabbing Caesar, and that in the Bard's play Mark Antony says "See what a rent the envious Casca made"
22 David Balfour’s beloved brought to book (8)
CATRIONA - More TLS expertise needed. David Balfour is the main character in Kidnapped and the sequel with his ongoing story is another RLS book called Catriona. Burns, RLS ... was our Setter from North of the border I wonder?
24 After all, I am in my element though wan (6)
PALLID - Insert ALL, I into PD, or Pd, palladium, an element. Why my element?
26 Single stones are wanted for these ornaments (9)
MONOLITHS - Well, monoliths are single stones erected as markers or ornaments, I suppose. Is there more to this?
27 Italian travel book? (5)
GUIDA - CD. Well, it's Italian for guide, or manual, so once the checkers are in, you can plump.
28 There’s no place for the likes of him (4,3)
ALSO RAN - Another CD. No first, second or third. Or tenth, if you were betting on the Masters and getting paid for that place.
29 "All for your ____, We are not here" (M.N.Dream) (7)
DELIGHT - K.Y.S.

Down
1 Woolly finishes to tug of war? (9)
PULLOVERS - CD. One of the better clues, I thought.
2 That’s a feather in your cap, Sir! (7)
PANACHE - alternate meaning for the word, a plume in a helmet, from Latin pinna, feather.
3 How does Victor sit for the artist? (9)
VORTICIST - no anagrind that I can see, but (VICTOR SIT)* does it. Wyndham Lewis and co, a group of eleven modernists from 1913 on. I'd heard of them because I used to browse through my daughter's art degree books.
4 Just the girl for love (4)
ROSE - Well, a rose is the flower for symbolising love, as you'll remember from forking out a small fortune before 14th February.
5 Green for Pretty Polly (10)
PADDINGTON - maybe before Verlaine's music period, Harry Clifton composed a musical hall song called "Pretty Polly of Paddington Green" in 1864, maybe it was more remembered when this puzzle was first published than it is now (i.e. not at all).
6 In a divided way, Othello bedevilled the whole thing (5)
LOBED - Hidden word in (OTHEL)LO BED(EVILLED).
7 The poet loses fifty for a start but gets gold nevertheless (7)
AUREATE - LAUREATE loses L.
8 Otium provided by a supporter of art? (5)
EASEL - Otium means leisure, especially time spent being cultural, so 'at ease' I presume, and you add an L for no particular reason except to get a 'supporter of art.'
13 Military establishment (10)
WELLINGTON - I assume this refers to what is now the Defence Services Staff College, previously Wellington Military Academy, in Tamil Nadu. Not the school. Nevertheless, it's either a boring GK clue, or I've missed the point.
16 First-class port (9)
ARCHANGEL - My FOI. Archangels are first-class angels, you see. Northern Russian port on the White Sea.
17 How to endure self-denial (5,4)
STAND FAST - I think this must be referring to a New Testament passage, but I'm not going to look it up. Self-denial is not a practice I endorse, at this time of life.
19 Aims to get under canvas (7)
INTENTS - IN TENTS = under canvas. Reminds me of a rude schoolboy joke.
21 Preserving the Bequest (7)
SALTING - DD. Salting is a means of preserving, and a chap called George Salting made a Bequest of 192 jolly good paintings to the National Gallery in 1910.
22 The mark of the butterfly (5)
COMMA - Another DD, a clue we've seen recently in TfTT. A comma is a species of British butterfly.
23 Mr Sober himself (5)
IDLER - If you've read Samuel Johnson's The Idler (I haven't) you'd know that Essay no. 31 is entitled "Disguises of idleness. Sober's character."
25 Accustomed to employ copper (4)
USED - USED (TO) = accustomed to; USE - employ and a D was a copper (not a P) when this puzzle fist saw daylight. Pity it got resurrected, IMO.