March 20th, 2019


Times Quick Cryptic No 1312 by Orpheus

A strange, strange solve. I finished just over 15 minutes, yet I had most of the grid filled in within 5! I filled in 1 Across and 1 Down without even reading the full clue, and on a first pass I was able to fill in many answers without even consulting the wordplay. And yet, the last five or six clues took me ten minutes!

So... after hitting 'Post', my blog was somehow posted without any of the writeups for the clues. I have to redo the whole thing, and I am not pleased. Sorry it'll be pretty terse.


1 Second sailor downed tools, overawed by celebrity (10)
STARSTRUCK - S ("second") + TAR ("sailor") + STRUCK ("downed tools")
As in, 'went on strike'.
8 Joint [obtained from] the Spanish part of London (5)
ELBOW - EL ("the [in] Spanish") + BOW ("part of London")
9 Giant, raving, hit a log (7)
GOLIATH - anagram of ("raving") HIT A LOG ("hit a log")
10 Supposed discharge, do we hear, [in] visitor’s accommodation? (5-4)
GUEST-ROOM - GUESSED ("supposed") + RHEUM ("discharge") replaced by homophones ("do we hear")
12 Atmosphere [in] racecourse, by the sound of it (3)
AIR - AYR ("racecourse") replaced by a homophone ("by the sound of it")
13 Farm worker beginning to interpret Asian language (5)
HINDI - HIND ("farm worker") + first letter of ("beginning to") INTERPRET ("interpret")
'Hind' is a British term for 'farm worker'.
15 Hibernian flag at front of hotel (5)
IRISH - IRIS ("flag") + ("at") first letter of ("front of") HOTEL ("hotel")
Flag is a kind of the flower iris.
17 Dull / piece of floor covering (3)
MAT - double definition
The first sense is the opposite of 'glossy'. Can also be spelled 'matt' or 'matte'.
18 Kind of hydrangea rhinos eat, unfortunately (9)
HORTENSIA - RHINOS EAT ("rhinos eat") anagrammed ("unfortunately")
20 English girl, about to enter African country (7)
ERITREA - E ("English") + RITA ("girl"), RE ("about") inside ("to enter")
21 Reportedly remained sedate (5)
STAID - homophone of ("reportedly") STAYED ("remained")
22 Former college girl framing directions [for] Pacific islander (10)
POLYNESIAN - POLY ("former college") + SIAN ("girl") outside ("framing") NE ("directions")


1 Heavy tool fraud used to secure shelf (12)
SLEDGEHAMMER - SHAMMER ("fraud") outside ("used to secure") LEDGE ("shelf")
2 Mosey along, initially attracting mockery by the French (5)
AMBLE - first letters of ("initially") ATTRACTING MOCKERY BY ("attracting mockery by") + LE ("the [in] French")
3 Farm animal [identified in] broadcast? (3)
SOW - double definition
4 District Officer originally involved in the rise of Niger (6)
REGION - OFFICER ("officer") reduced to its first letter ("originally") inside ("involved in") the reversal of ("the rise of") NIGER ("Niger")
5 Get together to bind top half of lush plant (9)
COLUMBINE - COMBINE ("get together") outside ("to bind") first two letters of ("top half of") LUSH ("lush")
6 Savoury dish [served by] girl with friend in Paris (6)
SALAMI - SAL ("girl") + ("with") AMI ("friend in Paris")
'Ami' is French for 'friend'.
7 Sort of pipe we crunch hard, surprisingly (12)
CHURCHWARDEN - WE CRUNCH HARD ("we crunch hard") anagrammed ("surprisingly")
11 Hotter hit played until that time (9)
THITHERTO - HOTTER HIT ("hotter hit") anagrammed ("played")
14 Some open it with a jerk! (6)
NITWIT - letters inside ("some") OPEN IT WITH ("open it with")
16 Back in outskirts of Derby? [That’s] dull (6)
DREARY - REAR ("back") inside ("in") first and last letters of ("outskirts of") DERBY ("Derby")
19 Language [of] extreme characters in SW1 (5)
SWAZI - AZ ("extreme characters") inside ("in") SWI ("SW1")
21 Prosecute union leader in Home Counties (3)
SUE - UNION ("union") reduced to its first letter ("leader") inside ("in") SE ("Home Counties")