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Quick Cryptic No. 71 by Tracy

As usual on a Monday the button's not working, so here's the url of today's Quickie: http://feeds.thetimes.co.uk/timescrossword/20140616/178/

Tracy's two most recent puzzles were very easy but this one has a little more depth to it and took me 13 minutes. I've kept the blog fairly sparse but if there are any queries please don't hesitate to ask as I shall be around to deal with supplementaries.

1 Not completely   how steeples are built? (2,2,1,5)
UP TO A POINT - Double definition, one of them cryptic
8 Unnerve leader in rainforest, pointing to snake (7)
RATTLER - RATTLE (unnerve), Rainforest
9 Dance beat good orchestra originally provides (5)
TANGO - TAN (beat), Good + Orchestra
10 A strange plant with arrow-shaped leaves (4)
ARUM - A, RUM (strange)
11 Buzzer on low woodland flower (8)
BLUEBELL - BLUE (low), BELL (buzzer). I'm not entirely convinced about bell/buzzer and it's not really supported in any of the usual sources, but SOED has buzzer as "an electric bell", so I suppose that makes it okay.
13 Married girl in spite (6)
MALICE - M (married), ALICE (girl)
14 Contrivance used in ground-breaking   public school (6)
HARROW - Double definition as the farming implement and what used to be my school up the road, aka the Dump on the Lump
17 Activity outside called mad (8)
DERANGED - DEED (activity) 'outside' RANG (called)
19 Girl teen idol embraces (4)
ENID - Hidden inside teEN IDol
21 Suffer at home, remedy falling short (5)
INCUR - IN (at home), CURe (remedy)
22 Squad also included in scheme (7)
PLATOON - TOO (also) 'included in' PLAN (scheme)
23 Booty found by harbour brings misery (10)
SPOILSPORT - SPOILS (booty), PORT (harbour). This word turned up only last Tuesday in the 15x15 clued as "Plunder left misery" and gave me some difficulty, but it went straight in today.

2 Terrier mine? Nonsense (3,4)
PIT BULL - PIT (mine), BULL (nonsense)
3 Just over 50 in New York (4)
ONLY - O (over - cricket) then L (50) inside NY (New York)
4 Conditional release initially playing a part (6)
PAROLE - Playing, A, ROLE (part)
5 Certain hat being used (2,3,3)
IN THE BAG - Anagram [used] of HAT BEING
6 Under emotional strain in past, perhaps (5)
TENSE - Double definition
7 Understand English teacher at university left later for the same place (8,2)
FOLLOWED ON - FOLLOW (understand), E (English), DON (teacher at university)
8 Footballers here, very very enthusiastic, deliver (4,6)
REAL MADRID - REAL MAD (very, very enthusiastic), RID (deliver)
12 So, Racine changed storyline (8)
SCENARIO - Anagram [changed] of SO RACINE
15 Managed to risk incurring endless bitterness (7)
RANCOUR - RAN (managed), COURt (risk incurring)
16 Friendly foreign correspondent, maybe (3,3)
PEN PAL - Cryptic definition
18 Darts run by experts (5)
RACES - R (run - cricket), ACES (experts)
20 Stinging insect was on piano (4)
WASP - WAS, P (piano)


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 16th, 2014 01:49 am (UTC)
This Monday thing is getting to be annoying; thanks as always to Jackkt for the URL. I think this took me about 8:30, but that's not counting the time the grid disappeared and I had to retrieve it; at least, unlike the Club puzzles, I don't get an empty grid then. I put in a number of these without parsing, e.g. REAL MADRID and IN THE BAG. I've become so used to Eton being the school or college that it took me a while to recall HARROW. 18ac: 'ace(s)' and 'pro' for 'experts', worth making a mental note of, as you'll see them again.
Jun. 16th, 2014 12:53 pm (UTC)
One minute forty seven seconds. Quite tough this morning.Got held up by eight or nine seconds by 16 Down. I should remember not to complete the main crossword at the same time as this as multi-tasking is not my thing.
Jun. 16th, 2014 01:07 pm (UTC)
I'm somewhat distressed to find only 2 comments 14 hours after posting the blog. Is the Times trying to kill off interest by making its new baby inaccessible or too difficult like some last week perhaps, or is it my blogging style that people are avoiding? Paranoid? Moi?

Edited at 2014-06-16 01:08 pm (UTC)
Jun. 16th, 2014 01:41 pm (UTC)
Quite difficult for me - about 25 minutes with a guess for ARUM. My particular hold-ups were with HARROW (got it from checkers but spent too long trying to find some complex wordplay), and SPOILSPORT (having seen the port bit early on, it just wouldn't click - my favourite clue in the end).

Generally, I'm really pleased with the level of challenge. I still have very little hope of completing the main cryptic every day, but I wouldn't want this smaller one to be a push-over either. Learning how to channel the frustration, and forcing yourself to change your mind when something isn't becoming clear is all part of the training, isn't it?

Very clear, helpful blog, as always. I'm sure the comments will come flooding in once everyone overcomes the attempts of The Times to hide the best part of their publication, and gets a chance to have a second look at some of the trickier clues.

Thanks jackkt.
Jun. 16th, 2014 01:50 pm (UTC)
Best ever for me
Did all but 3 today - amazed that I can now tackle cryptics and how I am improving thanks to blogs.
Jun. 16th, 2014 02:02 pm (UTC)
Re: Best ever for me
Well done! But do 'join the gang' and give yourself a name and an image!

Edited at 2014-06-16 02:03 pm (UTC)
Jun. 16th, 2014 02:07 pm (UTC)
I think the Quickies are getting harder, in general, as jackkt intimates. 1ac was fun and took me a little while to get. Thanks, Jack, for the clear blog. I thought Tracy provided a good range of examples of what devices one will find in the main cryptic. 13mins also.
Jun. 16th, 2014 06:55 pm (UTC)
I notice you were probably doing the puzzle at lunchtime in the Test , Martin. I nearly gave up watching . What a finish!
Jun. 16th, 2014 07:08 pm (UTC)
Alas, I don't have Sky, John!
Jun. 16th, 2014 02:15 pm (UTC)
A real struggle today
Took me nearly 30 seconds.
Less fulfilling when you get the answer before the clue.
Especially like 1 and 2.
Andy Borrows
Jun. 16th, 2014 02:19 pm (UTC)
6 mins. I'm also of the opinion that this was trickier than some, especially for a Monday, but it was still an enjoyable solve. It took me a while to see IN THE BAG because it didn't seem like an anagram clue, and it also took me a while to get SPOILSPORT, my LOI, because I had been thinking of a different definition of "misery".
Jun. 16th, 2014 02:46 pm (UTC)
13 minutes. All very straightforward and a good level for the quickie, I think.
Jun. 16th, 2014 04:21 pm (UTC)
Very pleased with myself today. I am starting to get the hang of where to look so please don't make them too obscure yet!
Jun. 16th, 2014 08:18 pm (UTC)
Well done anonymous person!
I'm pleased with myself too, particularly because I was going to give up having got really bogged down in the sw corner. But I stuck with it - admittedly to avoid biting my nails as I watched the Test Match - and got there in the end.

Do get yourself a screen name and do keep up the good work!
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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