nick_the_novice (nick_the_novice) wrote in times_xwd_times,
nick_the_novice
nick_the_novice
times_xwd_times

Quick Cryptic No 442 by Izetti

An elegant QC from Izetti that brings into play a number of old favourites from Crosswordland (see, guy, bent etc.) and provides a broad range of clue types, making this an ideal puzzle for those new to the game - whilst also providing more experienced solvers with an enjoyable solve.

Fairly straightforward, I thought, but these things are highly subjective. Either way, very nicely constructed, so thanks to our setter.

If anyone is struggling with the link, the puzzle can be found here: http://feeds.thetimes.co.uk/timescrossword/20151118/10796/

Definitions underlined; DD = double definition; anagrams indicated by *(--)

Across
1 Give about one million, returning to get control (8)
DOMINATE - DONATE (give) goes around (about) MI (one million returning - i.e. reversed)
5 A girl falling short unfortunately (4)
ALAS - A LASS (A girl) minus last letter (falling short)
9 Conservative soon to become ordained minister (5)
CANON - C (abbrev. Conservative) + ANON (soon), giving us the cleric who is in constant danger of being fired by comedians
10 Mangle with bell? (7)
WRINGER - W (abbrev. with) + RINGER (bell - the question mark indicating - I believe - that bell as a clue for ringer is somewhat cryptic). I recall my old grandmother in Devon had a mangle in her scullery when I was a small kid, which seemed to offer a far more interesting approach to washday than my mother's spin dryer.
11 Safeguarding quiet place for Native Americans (12)
PRESERVATION - P (quiet) + RESERVATION (place for Native Americans)
13 Bit of plant the lady's found by insect (6)
ANTHER - HER (the lady) is 'found by' ANT (insect). Botany is not my strong suit, and I was not familiar with this term: however, the wordplay is very generous making it eminently gettable.
15 Add on a couple of pages, then finish (6)
APPEND - A PP (a couple of pages) + END (then finish). Very elegant.
17 See one bit of farm somewhere in Derbyshire (12)
CHESTERFIELD - CHESTER (see - as in bishopric: not Ely, for a change...) + FIELD (bit of farm), giving us the town in Derbyshire renowned for its church with a crooked spire and football team with a remarkable record as giant killers in the Cup
20 Painter struggling to be relevant (7)
PERTAIN - *(PAINTER) with "struggling" as the anagrind
21 Time to have relaxation, guy! (5)
TEASE - T (abbrev. time) + EASE (relaxation). To "guy" meaning to tease is a crossword favourite - worth remembering for newcomers to this dark art
22 Maybe one has no hesitation becoming unfeeling (4)
NUMB - NUMBER (maybe one - i.e. 1 as an example of what we are looking for) without the ER (has, er, no hesitation...). Very nice.
23 Most deprived teen, after reverse, conks out inside (8)
NEEDIEST - NEET (teen 'after reverse') with DIES (conks out) 'inside'


Down
1 Cut weed (4)
DOCK - DD: what is done to lambs' tails, and the handy plant that soothes nettle stings.
2 Fellow joining soldiers in mansion (5)
MANOR - MAN (fellow) + OR (standard military abbrev. for 'other ranks' - soldiers)
3 A sonnet's line badly written? It doesn't matter (12)
NONESSENTIAL - *(A SONNETS LINE) with "badly written" as the anagrind
4 Building constructions of sort we fancy (6)
TOWERS - *(SORT WE) with "fancy" as the anagrind
6 Coal left to catch fire (7)
LIGNITE - L (abbrev. left) + IGNITE (catch fire) giving us the substance commonly referred to as brown coal
7 A daughter interrupts calm piece of music (8)
SERENADE - A D (A daughter) 'interrupts' SERENE (calm)
8 I stopped and I collapsed, downcast (12)
DISAPPOINTED - *(I STOPPED AND I) with "collapsed" as the anagrind
12 Cause pain somehow when dropping one kitchen item (8)
SAUCEPAN - *(CAUSE PAIN) with "somehow" as the anagrind. Note the "I" is removed from the anagram material - "dropping one"
14 Article with more unusual proposition (7)
THEOREM - THE (article) + *(MORE) with "unusual" as the anagrind
16 Seeing, finally, row of mountains and farmstead (6)
GRANGE - G (last letter - 'finally'- of seeinG) + RANGE (row of mountains)
18 Depart with characters from Middle Avenue (5)
LEAVE - Hidden (indicated by 'with characters from') in middLE AVEnue
19 Type of grass that is not straight (4)
BENT - Gentle cryptic clue to round off a very nice puzzle. (Bent is a type of grass that crops up on a regular basis in Crosswordland).
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