Log in

No account? Create an account

May 7th, 2018

Times 27031

Time: 45 minutes
Music: O melhor de João Gilberto

I would call this a moderate puzzle for a Monday, but it seems like I was a little slow on some of the clues.   I wasn't really in a hurry, anyway.   There are no obscure allusions or answers, so you can't really complain.   If you're looking for trouble, try Dean's Sunday offering, and you'll get all you can handle.   I found Mephisto much easier.

We have some small personnel changes in the works here at TfT, and I will probably make the official announcement in my next blog.   I would like to thank all our tireless bloggers, who manage to show up promptly at their appointed times and deliver entertaining and informative blogs.

1 Superman's girl is about to drop Italian dish (7)
5 Rubbish plant used as dessert (7)
RHUBARB - double definition
9 Large tomb, parent bagging a posh one (9)
10 Fine no longer having clean teeth (5)
FLOSS - F + LOSS.   This doesn't quite work, as the exact equivalent of 'no longer having' would be LOST.
11 Mink possibly, clothing slave? (7,6)
FASHION VICTIM - Double definition.
13 Ne'er-do-well has to settle a fight (8)
15 Several loons? (6)
DIVERS - Double defintion
17 Excellent advice corporation rejected (6)
TIPTOP - TIP + POT backwards, not TUM.
19 I issued new clasps good for mask (8)
DISGUISE - anagram of I ISSUED around G.
22 Silly Eccles thick, or a serious jerk? (8,5)
25 Head of playwright missing, commit to the ground (5)
INTER - [p]INTER, one of the few playwrights generally used in puzzles.
26 Labouring we do in the beginning? (9)
SPADEWORK - Cryptic definition.  Actually, a very clever &lit, an anagram of WE DO inside SPARK. 
27 Material that's checked poorly leaving Medway town (7)
GINGHAM - G[ill]INGHAM - a town I had never heard of, but presumed must exist.
28 Idiot with fanciful idea penning articles (7)

1 Green gunk, skimmed (4)
2 Having had a few seconds, one brushed up on geometry in the end (7)
SQUIFFY - S +_ QUIFF + [geometr]Y
3 Entire amount, repellent (5)
GROSS - double definition
4 Flag yours truly raised, with America retaining title (8)
EMERITUS - TIRE ME upside down + US
5 Male feeding horses in book (6)
6 Fun unfortunately suffering for sure (9)
7 Way to stuff a European champion (7)
8 American man crushing queen like a snake (10)
12 Flexible parts to deliver, chattering away (10)
14 Wind light — it's a scorcher? (9)
BLOWTORCH - BLOW + TORCH in different senses.
16 Lean man, legal official (8)
18 Fast approaching northern English city (7)
PRESTON - PRESTO + N, the musical direction.
20 Trying exotic Eskimo rolls, initially (7)
IRKSOME - anagram of ESKIMO R[olls]
21 Chinese food that's totally stupid? (3,3)
DIM SUM - Double definition, one factitious.
23 Heart of stone, a shade open (5)
OVERT - [st]O[ne] + VERT, a heraldic shade.
24 Slip, small, on child (4)
SKID - S + KID, one from the Quickie.

QC 1085 by Tracy

Another very quick blog from me this week as I have been away at a music festival with my son, so my head is fuddled with too much drink and noise from last night.

Plus I have just been trying to upload this and none of the hotel wifi networks seem to work. I am now doing this via my mobile phone hotspot so I hope it gets there!

Again, medium difficulty for me (just over 10 minutes). FOI was 1A just as it should be. LOI was 16A, adding I think a good 2 minutes to my time, a fact which seems inexplicable to me now that I look back on it (but then that is surely the mark of a good clue). A lot of enjoyable clues, but if I have to choose a COD it would probably be 1D. Many thanks to the setter, and also many congratulations as I am told by those who have been at this much longer than I have that this is Tracy's century puzzle. 100 not out and here's to many more! I also look down the (very short) list of blogs that I have written and I see that this is the first time I have encountered Tracy. Pleased to meet you sir (or madam?). Excuse my ignorance. The handle is ambiguous and I haven't been at this long enough to get to know anybody in real life, whatever that may be.

Definitions are underlined in italics, and everything else is explained in the plainest English I can manage.

1 Thrilling ride: at first boy and I gripped frantically (3,6)
BIG DIPPER - B (at first Boy) + I + anagram (frantically) of GRIPPED.
6 Youngster in society lacking length (3)
CUB - CLUB (society) 'lacking' L (length) = CUB.
8 Legal action taken by head, a very foolish person (7)
NUTCASE - NUT (head) + CASE (legal action)
9 Seeing that Saint in church (5)
SINCE - S (saint) + IN + CE (Church of England).
10 Incensed with anger, freebooter having lost power (5)
IRATE - PIRATE (freebooter) having lost P (power) = IRATE.
12 Trip away and at home? Good (6)
OUTING - OUT (away) + IN (at home) + G (good)
14 Awfully good nurse here achieves academic success (7,6)
HONOURS DEGREE - anagram ('awfully') of GOOD NURSE HERE.
16 Critically appraises book (6)
JUDGES - double definition, Judges being a book in the Old Testament coming between Joshua and Ruth if memory serves me correctly.
17 Almost reserved object (5)
DEMUR - DEMURE (reserved) without its end (almost) = DEMUR.
19 Duke having a tea in a country house (5)
DACHA - D (duke) + A + CHA (tea) gives this Russian holiday home.
20 In mouth of count is gold tooth (7)
INCISOR - IN + C (mouth of count) + IS + OR (heraldic gold).
22 Damage sign, knocking end off (3)
MAR - MARK (sign) with its end knocked off.
23 Green seas generated enthusiasm (9)
EAGERNESS - anagram ('generated') of GREEN SEAS.
1 Fun working in large hotel beginning to throw a tea party (8)
BUNFIGHT - UNF (anagram of FUN - 'working') in BIG (large) + H (hotel) + T (beginning to Throw).
2 Understand start of gruesome film (3)
GET - G (start of Gruesome) + ET (film, the Extra-Terrestrial).
3 Silly section of refrain, an embarrassment (5)
INANE - hidden in refraIN AN Embarrassment.
4 Having round agent, attractive (13)
PREPOSSESSING - POSSESSING (having) 'round' REP (agent).
5 Prize dog not right after run out (7)
ROSETTE - RO (run out) follwed by SETTE (SETTER (dog) minus R (not right)).
6 Sister devoured by fish – odd riddle (9)
CONUNDRUM - NUN (sister) 'devoured' by COD (fish) + RUM (odd).
7 Complaint from bishop over raised charge (4)
BEEF - B (bishop) over EEF (FEE (charge) 'raised' in this down clue).
11 Newscaster: can one run broadcast? (9)
ANNOUNCER - anagram ('broadcast') of CAN ONE RUN.
13 Accept members carry weapons (4,4)
BEAR ARMS - BEAR (accept) + ARMS (members).
15 Improve ranking after winning (7)
UPGRADE - UP (winning) + GRADE (ranking).
17 Colour scheme in wide corridor (5)
DECOR - hidden in wiDE CORridor.
18 Cheese and English crackers served up (4)
EDAM - E (English) + DAM (MAD (crackers) reversed (served 'up' in this down clue)).
21 Spend time with someone in diocese (3)
SEE - double definition.
Oh you guys, I thought I was doing so well for a change - I'd checked the blog calendar and satisfied myself that I was definitely scheduled to blog CJ1320 next Saturday, which I'd solved and was busy writing up when the usual plaintive email from Vinyl plopped into my inbox asking me what the Dickens I was playing at. It honestly wasn't me, it was the calendar playing silly beggars, but I just can't win, can I?

In a way though this was good because, while 1320 is very good and all I thought this puzzle was a proper cut above, with many clues that would be standouts in a daily 15x15. There were some fine literary and pop cultural references to be had, and I was particularly impressed by the relatively large number of homophones in this puzzle none of which made me wince, an impressive feat at the best of times. Many thanks to the setter and I hope the blog isn't too late to be useful to anyone. Fourth time (or whatever it is now) lucky next month?

1 The rugby ref blowing his whistle, say? It happens further down the line (5-2,6)
KNOCK-ON EFFECT - in rugby it is a knock-on when "a player, in tackling or attempting to tackle an opponent, makes contact with the ball and the ball goes forward"; I assume this isn't legal and would provoke the aforementioned whistling, but if you wanted the finer points you chose the wrong blogger!

8 Seventh son perhaps really appreciates gentle treatment (3,6)
KID GLOVES - KID A being the first son, KID B the second, etc, KID G [seventh son] + LOVES [appreciates]

13 President rejects a calculating daughter (5)
REAGAN - RE{a}GAN [president "rejects A"]. One of the two bad daughters in King Lear.

14 Make attempt to produce wood decoration (9)
MARQUETRY - MARQUE TRY [make | attempt]

15 Two supporters guard a man with expectations (7)
LEGATEE - LEG + TEE [two supporters] guard A. "Expectations" being an old-fashioned term for prospects of inheritance, qv a certain Dickens title.

16 Offence, and person’s inappropriate response? (12)
MANSLAUGHTER - MAN'S LAUGHTER [person's | inappropriate response (to someone being killed)]

17 The peseta and lira exchanged? That goes way above one’s head (7,3)
STEEPLE HAT - (THE PESETA + L*) ["exchanged"]. The pointy medieval women's headwear style probably only seen on Hallowe'en witches these days.

18 Meditation and gossip in women’s quarters (6)
ZENANA - ZEN [meditation] and ANA [gossip]. The area of the house reserved for women in Asian countries.

19 Monarch for a day prancing about (8)
FRISKING - FRI'S KING = monarch for a day

21 No quiet for prelate in charge of The Life of Brian, say (6)
BIOPIC - BI{sh}OP [prelate, with SH (quiet)] + IC [in charge]. A biopic is a film that tells a life story, so I guess...

24 Animal experimenter’s missing day in intense area of enterprise (10)
VIVISECTOR - VIVI{d} [intense, missing D (day)] + SECTOR [area of enterprise]

26 Man sacked, a trifle decrepit for old trading route (5,2,5)
SANTA FE TRAIL - SANTA [man sacked, i.e. with a sack] + (A TRIFLE*) ["decrepit"]. A vital commercial highway in the 19th century, apparently, connecting Santa Fe and Missouri.

29 Handle success, raking in pounds (4)
HILT - HIT [success], "raking in" L [pounds]

30 Interlude being broadcast followed on the radio (8)
ENTRACTE - homophone ("on the radio") of ON TRACKED [being broadcast | followed]

31 Itinerant player’s buggy? (8)
STROLLER - double def

34 A skill in needlework offering unrestricted choice (1,2,5)
A LA CARTE - A + ART [skill] in LACE [needlework]

35 Showing morbid interest in destroying high soul (8)
GHOULISH - (HIGH SOUL*) ["destroying..."]

36 Raise artificial embankment for audience (4)
LEVY - homophone ("for audience") of LEVEE [artificial embankment, to which one drives one's Chevy in vain]

39 To that place, departs with scheme to meet alien? (3,3,6)
THE RED PLANET - THERE [to that place] + D [departs] with PLAN [scheme] to meet ET [alien], &lit, the Red Planet being the home to Martians. Take me to your leader!

40 European cracks first goal, one for anybody to see (4,6)
OPEN LETTER - LETT [European] "cracks" OPENER [first goal]

43 Such particular interest in robes (6)
VESTED - double def

44 When machine is not working, let’s put in one small coin (4,4)
IDLE TIME - LET's put in I DIME [one | small coin]

45 Most intelligent answer divinely favoured (6)
ABLEST - A BLEST [answer | divinely favoured]

49 Having succeeded writer is on crazily huge amounts (10)
SQUILLIONS - S QUILL [succeeded | writer] + (IS ON*) ["crazily"]. My 5 year old daughter thinks the biggest number is a "fillion", for some reason.

51 Service runs through railway halt? (12)
MINISTRATION - R [runs] "through" MINI STATION [railway halt, as it were]

53 Best a private investigator casing king’s palace (7)
TOPKAPI - TOP A P.I. [best | a | private investigator] "casing" K [king]. The Topkapi Palace is a museum and former sultanic residence in Istanbul, which hopefully you dimly remembered or else you might have been tempted to put TOPRAPI?

54 Future needy time in city a swift attack always overcomes (1,5,3)
A RAINY DAY - NY [city] "overcome by" A RAID AY [a | swift attack | always]

55 Deadly Indian regiment in uniform (5)
KRAIT - RA [regiment (Royal Artillery)] in KIT [uniform]. A venomous Indian snake.

56 Not initially intelligent worker, but mainly relied on (5-4)
RIGHT-HAND - {b}RIGHT HAND ["not initially" intelligent | worker]. If someone's your right-hand man, you mainly rely on them, I expect?

57 Close friends with fiery temperament, British and non-British (5,8)
BLOOD BROTHERS - BLOOD BR OTHERS [fiery temperament | British | and non-British, i.e. those not falling into the previous category]

1 Literary brothers mark a stormy sea (9)
KARAMAZOV - (MARK A*) ["stormy"] + AZOV. The Sea of Azov is a northern extension of the Black Sea, the Brothers Karamazov the final novel by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

2 Method of investigation will require domain name soon
ORGANON - ORG ANON [domain name | soon]. The Organon is an Aristotelian system of logic for finding things out through reasoning.

3 Geniality of sorts, accepting marriage certificate (10)
KINDLINESS - KINDS [sorts], "accepting" LINES [marriage certificate, colloquially]

4 When I’m busy, this manifests a halo (6)
NIMBUS - hidden in {whe}N I'M BUS{y}

5 Froth doubled if swirling in estuary (5,2,5)
FIRTH OF FORTH - (FROTH FROTH IF*) ["swirling"]. Meets the North Sea with Fife on the north coast and Lothian on the south.

6 Brandy and scent, it’s said, are rivals (3,2,3)
EAU DE VIE - homophone ("it's said") of ODOUR [scent] + VIE [are rivals]

7 Cheers at receiving two rises (2-2)
TA-TA - AT reversed twice

8 Alien material we hear of in vault this evening (10)
KRYPTONITE - homophone ("we hear of in...") CRYPT TONIGHT [vault | this evening]. Bad news for Superman in its green variety.

9 Huge stone god beheaded by people (6)
DOLMEN - {i}DOL [god "beheaded"] by MEN [people]

10 Rumpole story that is officially assumed to be true? (5,7)
LEGAL FICTION - Rumpole stories are fiction about matters legal. A legal fiction is quite complicated but "allows the court to ignore a fact that would prevent it from exercising its jurisdiction by simply assuming that the fact is different" - look it up in Wikipedia if you need examples.

11 Fodder very short — eat out (5)
VETCH - V [very, short] + ETCH [eat out]

12 Casually crept out in remarkably obvious way (13)

20 Part of old bangers’ graveyard sounded capital (8)
KHARTOUM - homophone ("sounded") of CAR TOMB [part of old bangers' graveyard). The capital of Sudan.

22 Most lustrous fruit is placed on top of table (9)
PEARLIEST - PEAR LIES [fruit | is placed] on T{able}

23 Cap that is removed in its turn (8)
SCREWTOP - cryptic definition for a cap that is removed by turning

25 Out-of-town types need six large beers (9)
VILLAGERS - VI L LAGERS [six | large | beers]

27 Attractive female, a work of art (8)
FETCHING - F ETCHING [female | a work of art]

28 Fabric caught on tree over pond (8)
CASHMERE - C [caught] on ASH [tree] over MERE [pond]

29 Nurse left, engaged by one passing through Hampstead perhaps (6,7)
HEALTH VISITOR - L [left] "engaged by" HEATH VISITOR [one passing through Hampstead perhaps]

32 Flan we will put in to cook sharpish (8,4)
BAKEWELL TART - WE'LL [we will] "put in" BAKE TART [to cook | sharpish]

33 Foolish to misinterpret splendid mime (6-6)
SIMPLE-MINDED - (SPLENDID MIME*) ["to misinterpret..."]

37 Cooperating to give back bananas? (4,2,4)
HAND IN HAND - HAND IN [to give back] bananas [HAND]

38 Have accident in bed? No joy for him (3,7)
WET BLANKET - double def of what a child might do accidentally at night, and a joyless git from e.g. the Narnia/Blyton era.

41 Keep forgetting answer; it is a problem for viewer (9)
RETINITIS - RET{a}IN [keep, "forgetting A for answer"] + IT IS

42 Very good appearance to this vegetable (8)
PIMIENTO - PI MIEN TO [very good | appearance | to]

46 Pluck end of robe on Roman judge (7)
EPILATE - {rob}E on PILATE [Roman judge, of Biblical fame]

47 Tiny chap detailed extreme values (6)
MINIMA - MINI MA{n} [tiny | chap, "de-tailed"]

48 I will do well in the long run to move you into the sun
STAYER - move YE [young] into STAR [the sun]

50 Excited, say, about new release (5)
UNPEG - UP E.G. [excited | say] about N [new]

52 Post “Inoculation saves millions” (4)
JAMB - JAB [inoculation] "saves" M [millions]