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Times Quick Cryptic No 69 by Izetti

Solving time: Easy end of scale.

The Don is back with another user-friendly quick crossword that is straightforward to solve and shouldn't cause too much stress. Nothing caused me any difficulty; there are a couple of slightly obscure / cryptic defs, but they were covered by the other parts of the clue being clear.

7 RAGOUT - Something in cookery section, maybe = definition. RAG (paper) + OUT (published).
8 AMOUNT - A sum of money = def. A + MOUNT (horse).
9 THIS - Not this = def. TH(E) [shortened article] + IS.
10 TOGETHER - Double cryptic definition. The aim of boy pursuing girl gives a phrase (2,3,3). This phrase joined into one word means the two as one.
11 BLANDEST - To be most inoffensive = def. LAND (country) inside BEST.
13 ACHE - A pain = def. AC (abbreviation for bill, account) + HE (the man).
15 FREE - Released = def. RE (about) inside FE (iron).
16 SPACE BAR - Key = def. SPACE (room) + (at front of)BAR (PUB)
18 NESTLING SETTLING - Getting comfortable = def. NEST SETT (Beastly home OF A BADGER) + LING (type of heather).
20 TOTS - Double definition with one of them cryptic. A word that means young children and very small glasses of alcohol.
21 BEAT IT - Similar to 10 across. A phrase that means to go away, can be split differently to read an expression that means to be a small bird>
22 ROOFER - Cryptic definition - referring to a person who works on the top of a house.

1 BACHELOR - Cryptic definition. Someone who has not yet matched (i.e. got married).
2 HOUSING ESTATE - Residential area = def. An anagram (various) of GHETTOES IN USA
3 STATUE - Sculpture = def. U (upper class - top people) inside STATE (country).
4 FAGGOT - Bit of food = def. FAG (tiresome work) + GOT (obtained).
5 CONTRAVENTION - Breach = def. T R A (first letters, initially of The Regulators Are) inside CONVENTION (normal practice).
6 KNEE - Joint = def. Hidden inside "pipework needs".
12 SAP - Three definitions. To drain (the life out of), a liquid (inside a tree orr plant) or a type of trench (see Chambers).
14 HEARTIES - They sound cheerful = def. HEAR (Listen to) + TIES (couples, joins).
16 SAINTS - Types deemed very good = def. INT (international) inside S A S (specialist soldiers).
17 ANGERS - French town = def. (D)ANGERS (a word meaning perils minus the first letter).
19 EDEN - Old garden = def. E (eastern) + DEN (hideaway).

There's an edit to 18 across - see below!

Thanks to our setter for today's challenge. I'll see you next week.


( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 12th, 2014 01:14 am (UTC)
Settling also works for 18 ac - badgers home
Jun. 12th, 2014 02:01 am (UTC)
Well, I found this harder than average and imagine quite a few will find it a struggle. Having said that, it's a very fine Donesque puzzle - I especially like the "little-story" clues at 10 and 21 across. The Three S's - SPACE BAR, SAP and SAINTS - were my last in, and I managed to get one wrong, bunging in "contraception" (which almost works, and even has "breach" in the clue as a pretty effctive distractor) at 5 down, in my 12-minute solve.
Jun. 12th, 2014 02:02 am (UTC)
Not only does SETTLING also work, it's the solution (damn it); and one must allow that birds aren't beasts, although some beasts have nests, so macavity and I (and no doubt others) wuz robbed. And 'sett' is maybe a bit arcane a term for a quickie? Ironically, I was worried about finishing because of 2d and 8ac; I had to run through the alphabet until the obvious M came along for the horse, and I simply didn't notice the enumeration for 2d, so I wasted time thinking of a single long word that would fit. (I do wish they'd print the clues bigger.) I liked BEAT IT; have we had a clue of this type here before? 9:20, with the (quasi-) error.

Edited at 2014-06-12 02:03 am (UTC)
Jun. 12th, 2014 04:49 am (UTC)
Izetti writes
I am afraid that the NESTLING solution never occurred to me (nor I guess to my esteemed editor!). These things happen, and maybe in a serious Times final competition both solutions would have been allowed. However, I would defend SETTLING as the better answer -- and I think it would have been rather dull anyway to have used NEST as a component within a clue for NESTLING since the longer word derives from the shorter one -- something I would try to avoid.
Jun. 12th, 2014 06:01 am (UTC)
My second excursion to 20+ minutes territory this week (21 actually) so I agree with Ulaca that this was not a straightforward Quickie. Some of it was a write-in but there were enough clues that weren't so I found myself skimming through them picking out the easier ones and it was a while before any sort of flow was established. 5dn, 8ac (glad to see I wasn't alone on this one, Kevin) and, very strangely, 12dn pushed things well into injury time.

I'm tempted to say I didn't know the 'trench' meaning of SAP but since it must surely be the reason why Royal Engineers are called 'sappers' I assume it must be something I knew but it slipped my mind. I only thought of ANGERS as a French city because it came up in a 15x15 within the past month.

Edited at 2014-06-12 06:02 am (UTC)
Jun. 12th, 2014 06:24 am (UTC)
The joys of blogging at 2am!
You are all going to find that hard to believe but when I solved the puzzle, I wrote in SETTLING. As I am off to hospital for some treatment, I did the blog at ridiculous o'clock and was parsing things I didn't look at my solution and without thinking came up with NESTLING.

It does work as there are a couple of animals who have a nest as the name for their home, but it is more precise for it to be SETT.

Happy to correct it. Silly me!

Edited at 2014-06-12 06:28 am (UTC)
Jun. 12th, 2014 06:32 am (UTC)
Re: The joys of blogging at 2am!
The Poirot in me was wondering how you could do the puzzle online without clicking the 'Solution' button.

I hope the treatment is efficacious.

Edited at 2014-06-12 06:33 am (UTC)
Jun. 12th, 2014 06:35 am (UTC)
Re: The joys of blogging at 2am!
I screen print the grid and just read the clues going down.
Jun. 12th, 2014 06:40 am (UTC)
I thought I must have run across this in 'Tristram Shandy' - as Uncle Toby is obsessed with fortifications - and sure enough a quick search reveals 'batteries, saps, ditches, and palisadoes (sic)'.
Jun. 12th, 2014 09:07 am (UTC)
Thank you
I've been looking at this blog for a few weeks now and wanted to say thank you to all the authors.

Inspired by the Quick (ie easier!) crosswords I decided to try to learn how to solve the puzzles. Thanks to what I have learned from this site I can now finish the Quick Cryptic on my own most days (although struggled this morning) albeit in far less impressive times than those posted by most here - usually 30-45 minutes. I am also having a good crack at the jumbo ones at the weekend.

Thanks again, I really appreciate the effort you all make in doing this.

Jun. 12th, 2014 10:24 am (UTC)
Re: Thank you
That is excellent, well done!

Edited at 2014-06-12 10:25 am (UTC)
Andy Borrows
Jun. 12th, 2014 09:17 am (UTC)
6 mins, and count me as another who didn't think this was too easy. I'm glad I didn't think of "nestling" for 18ac because I would have been seriously torn between the two. CONTRAVENTION was my LOI.
Jun. 12th, 2014 10:31 am (UTC)
I found it tough even with a bit of Z8ery. 31mins :(

Lovely blog Macavity, do hope the treatment went well.

LOI 5d reminded me rather forcibly of the job I just resigned from.

COD TOGETHER aaw, bless!
Jun. 12th, 2014 11:06 am (UTC)
Learning quickly - but can't uncrypt "Z8ery". Tried "sitting down" (sedentary) but didn't improve my solving time.
Jun. 12th, 2014 03:03 pm (UTC)
Z8b8d8k is the partner of MunkPuzl - the assistance provided with cryptic solving is referred to here as Z8ery.
Jun. 13th, 2014 08:28 am (UTC)
Thanks Sue :)
Jun. 12th, 2014 03:21 pm (UTC)
22mins so equal longest solve for me in the Quickie. I also opted for NESTLING even though I realised that a bird is not necessarily a beast. SPACE BAR and RAGOUT were good.
Jun. 12th, 2014 08:33 pm (UTC)
I found it not at all obvious, but a good puzzle nonetheless. Count me in as another who went for NESTLING..... 30 minutes.
Jun. 12th, 2014 09:27 pm (UTC)
I'm another new addict. Have decided to try my hand at cryptic crosswords and this quick cryptic together with the blog means I'm learning loads. I managed to finish today although wasn't quite sure why some of my answers were correct. The blog really helps. Thank you
Jun. 12th, 2014 10:58 pm (UTC)
Excellent. Well done! Hope you will stick around and get yourself a Live Journal ID (it's free), or simply put a name at the end of your contributions.
Jun. 13th, 2014 07:26 am (UTC)
It was a busy day but I'd agree this puzzle wasn't entirely straightforward. Got 60% right initially and more words dropped into place when I'd cribbed two answers from the blog. Three things spring to mind.

  1. Thank heavens for this blog.
  2. Lesson learnt: don't attempt to complete the crossword online using a touchscreen laptop as it seems impossible to stop the touch keyboard popping up unnecessarily and obscuring half the screen.
  3. Lesson learnt: It's too hard to avoid the temptation of pressing the solution button whilst solving the online puzzle!
  4. Help required: is it usual to have the first three letters of a clue repeated in the solution? eg 21a "Be a little bird" answer BEAT IT. I decided it couldn't be the right answer.
Jun. 13th, 2014 10:33 am (UTC)
No 69
I agree that SETTLING is better than NESTLING and that was my answer too but the official solution given in Friday's paper is NESTLING! Grrr!
Jun. 13th, 2014 06:35 pm (UTC)
Re: No 69
The setter (above) has confirmed the answer was SETTLING and that's also visible if you click the solution button here: http://feeds.thetimes.co.uk/timescrossword/20140612/176/, so God knows what's going on in today's Times.
Jun. 14th, 2014 09:42 am (UTC)
Re: No 69
Gloom n doom! If the Quick Cryptic is meant to encourage 'newbies' to participate in solving cryptic puzzles, this isn't going to help, is it!
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )

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