April 4th, 2019

Times Quick Cryptic No 1323 by Orpheus

Well this proved to be a quickie for me from Orpheus, completed and parsed pretty much from top to bottom inside 8 minutes, which is close to a PB.  My COD is 21a for its neat surface, and WOD has to be APOSTATE, where at first I thought the answer might turn out to be an anagram of turncoat, but obviously it wasn’t.

Thanks again Orpheus – nicely crafted!


7  See church and northern lake (4)
LOCH – LO (see) and CH{urch} for the Scottish (northern) name for a lake or arm of the sea.
Contemplative monarch of slender build (8)
THINKING – A monarch of slender build might be a THIN KING.
9 Bumpy drive finally fenced in by a French priest (6)
UNEVEN – UN (a or one in French) and VEN{erable} (venerable is an honorific prefix to an archdeacon, hence priest) ‘fencing in’ or containing the last letter of {driv}E (finally).
10  Arrest Greek character involved in racket (6)
DETAIN – ETA (Greek character) inside (involved in) DIN (racket).
11  Fish in burn? (4)
CHAR – Double definition, the first being a fish of the salmon family, and the second being to scorch or burn. I think the question mark is to indicate that sometimes ‘charring’ is a desirable effect, rather than as when Alfred burnt those famous cakes!  When I first read this on my I-pad, I misread it as ‘Fish in bum’ which caused an MER until I read it again, properly.
12 Dubliner possibly misusing his main river at first (8)
IRISHMAN – Anagram (misusing) of [HIS MAIN R{iver}] (at first).  The ‘possibly’ is because not all Irishmen are Dubliners, nor vice versa.
15  Vocalist keeping extremely popular type of spaniel (8)
SPRINGER – The vocalist is a SINGER into which are inserted the first and last letters (extremely) of P{opula}R.  The SPRINGER spaniel is apparently a gun dog useful in copses to ‘spring’ or flush game, although also widely used these days as sniffer dogs.
17  Academic briefly in favour of opening of faculty (4)
PROF – PROF{essor] (academic briefly), and PRO (in favour of) and F{aculty} (opening)
18  Artful youth leader following boat (6)
CRAFTY – CRAFT (boat) and Y{outh} (leader).
21  Went into beginning and end of Tchaikovsky score (6)
TWENTY – WENT (went) inside T{chaikovsk}Y (beginning and end).  I am not sure, and haven’t had time to research why SCORE came to mean TWENTY, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some ancient accountants made a ‘score’ on a clay tablet each time 20 sheep passed a gate, or changed ownership, or similar.
22  Eg Ben’s horse, popular around area (8)
MOUNTAIN – MOUNT (horse) and IN (popular) surrounding (around) A{rea}.  Ben of course is Scottish and Irish for mountain peak, unless it is over 3,000 feet, when it might be a munro (but is still a ben).
23  Letter incorporated in Riot Act (4)
IOTA – The Greek letter equivalent to I, hidden (incorporated in) {r}IOT A{ct}.


1         Heavyweight vessel holding whiskey in urban area (8)
TOWNSHIP – TON (heavy weight) containing W (whiskey in the phonetic alphabet) and SHIP (vessel).
2  Some initially talk nonsense, producing razor (6)
SHAVER – S{ome} (originally) and HAVER (talk nonsense).  I was a little unsure about the equivalence of RAZOR and SHAVER.  In my mind the first is what is used in a wet shave whilst the second is more commonly applied to an electrical device, but actually, SHAVER is defined as an electric razor, so I guess it is fine.  However, HAVER has left me with a Proclaimers earworm – I would walk 500 miles… 
Putting up with not having a seat? (8)
STANDING – If one didn’t have a seat, one might be STANDING (but might not be, hence the question mark).
Benevolent type (4)
KIND – Double definition.
5 Drawing of ultimately notorious hangman (6)
SKETCH – Last letter (ultimately) of {notoriou}S and KETCH (hangman).  John (Jack) Ketch was an infamous English executioner employed by King Charles II.
6  Paint this regularly for an opponent (4)
ANTI – Alternate letters (regularly) of {p}A{i}N{t} T{h}I{s}.
13  Irish girl joins National Trust – a cause of annoyance (8)
IRRITANT – IR{ish} and RITA (girl) join N{ational} T{rust}
14  Turncoat given a job at head of enterprise (8)
APOSTATE – A (a) POST (job) AT (at) and E{nterprise} (head of).
16 Young child identified by foot-soldiers leaving railway (6)
INFANT –  Foot-soldiers are INFANT{ry} (leaving railway (RY))
17  Mine includes rising little Scottish shore bird (6)
PEEWIT – PIT (mine) ‘including’ WEE reversed (rising little Scottish).
19  Australian native beginning to fix top of house (4)
ROOF – ROO (short form of KangaROO – Australian native) and first letter (beginning to) of F{ix}.
20  Period of time that’s long?  Not altogether (4)
YEAR – YEAR{n} (long – dropping last letter – not altogether).

Times 27316 - Watch this space!

Greetings all.  In the time since writing the blog I have been informed of a few incorrect parsings that I listed in the blog, and some clues were changed in the electronic version of the puzzle. I am leaving the original clues in here and modifying things as they were changed. Amendments and additions are italicised.

I have been off at a conference for a week and have not been keeping up with the puzzles, so I have either gotten rusty very quickly, or this one is pretty difficult, and just as I hit submit with my fingers crossed, and 19:12 elapsed on the timer... I have one error, a very silly typo in 26 across.

It is also getting late here, and there are a few I'm not 100% on... so check the comments if you disagree with something you see here, I will not be able to make corrections for several hours.

Away we go...

1 Finally up late, not having had a meal (2,3,2,3)
TO CAP IT ALL - this is tricky wordplay - "up" is TO CAPITAL, then LATE, mising ATE(had a meal)
6 Old politician’s wife, elevated, not right wing (4)
WHIG - W(wife) then HIGH(elevated) missing the character on the right
10 Golf courses surrounding a camp, not for men (5)
OFLAG - anagram of GOLF containing A - "not for men" in the clue indicates this is a camp for officers
11 Flaunt wealth, ultimately, as large, developing German company (9)
LUFTHANSA - anagram of FLAUNT,(wealt)H, AS, L
This clue was changed, and L(large) was removed.  The clue now reads "Flaunt wealth, ultimately, as developing German company" since the L from large was not needed in the anagram
12 Lead way, in that there’s no team that you’d not want to inspire! (6,8)
CARBON MONOXIDE - CARBON(lead in a pencil), then MODE(way) containing NO, XI(team)
14 Appeal, instant, the solver once had, but not setter! (7)
SAMOYED - SA(sex appeal), MO(instant), YE'D(the solver once had) - I think this is referring to the Ugrian people being nomadic. It has been pointed out that this is referring to a dog that is not a setter.
15 Burst with strain, making the most sound (7)
FITTEST - FIT(burst, temper), TEST(strain)
17 Search thoroughly carried out before bed (7)
RANSACK - RAN(carried out), then SACK(bed)
19 Calm, it’s said, the colour blue (3,4)
DIE DOWN - sounds like DYE(colour), DOWN(blue, sad)
20 Director I wish to adapt European novel (5,4,5)
CIDER WITH ROSIE - anagram of DIRECTOR,I,WISH then E(European)
23 Rates showing 100% increase at some point for empties (9)
EVACUATES - EVALUATES(rates) with the L(50) becoming a C(100)
24 Fencing put out around boundary (5)
KENDO -  KO(knock out) around END(boundary)
25 Urge to proceed with Bill (4)
GOAD - GO(proceed), AD(bill)
26 Sportsperson unhindered charges across river with old president (10)
FREESTYLER - FEES(charges) surrounding R(river) with the 10th US President of the USA, John TYLER

1 One that’s from the left in revolution? (4)
TROT - double definition. OK - I was missing something here, the wordplay is TO, RT with RT indicating right all reversed
2 Drinks manager’s measure to prepare in container (9)
CELLARMAN - ELL(measure), ARM(prepare) inside CAN(container)
3 I go by parachute, flying in style overhead (7,7)
4 Touch isolated blocks with pincers (7)
TALONED - TD(touch, touchdown) containing ALONE(isolated)
Although my parsing of the wordplay works, it was pointed out, commenters pointed out that the intention was more likely TAD(touch) containing LONE(isolated)
5 Launch of abridged autobiography by aristocrat (4-3)
LIFT-OFF - LIF(e) (autobiography) with TOFF(aristocrat)
7 British poet, one to brood over king and emperor (5)
HENRI - there's two definitions and wordplay here - the wordplay is I(one) with HEN(brood) on top, surrounding R(king)
I had missed that RI is Rex Imperator, King and Emperor
8 Makes no sense to put in retro English memorial (10)
GRAVESTONE - RAVES(makes no sense), TO inside ENG reversed
9 Chuck something that has been bound to carpet? (5,3,4,2)
THROW THE BOOK AT - THROW(chuck), THE BOOK(something that has been bound), AT(to)
13 Eccentric gorges this enormous breakfast? (7-3)
It was pointed out that the anagram was missing the C.  The clue has been republished as
Large thing laid across cape, somehow goes right around it
The new wordplay is C(cape) inside an anagram of GOES,RIGHT
16 Recalled book on island — left tearful? (9)
EMOTIONAL -  reverse TOME(book) on IONA(island), L(left)
18 Purser maybe one on way to Jersey? (7)
KNITTER - two definitions, pursing ones lips, and making a jersey
19 Burst of French welcomes civil engineer (7)
DEHISCE - DE("of" in French), HI'S(welcomes), CE(civil engineer)
21 What’s shot and ending in cinema? (5)
DRAMA - DRAM(shot) and the last letter in cinemA
22 Secure way of working with gold (4)
MOOR - MO(way of working), OR(gold)

Times 27,317: I Want My Mummy!

Woof, this one felt proper Friday hard, and this coming after a week of pretty hard puzzles. To qualify that, about half of it was rather straightforward, but then you've got the explosion in a dictionary factory that are 1ac, 8ac, 25ac, 1dn, 7dn, 20dn. I am used to this kind of thing due to manfully tacking the Monthly Club Special 12 times a year but I won't be surprised if some people are completely stopped in their tracks. I got CONGERIES rather quickly due to dear old HP's memorable description of a Shoggoth as "a shapeless congeries of protoplasmic bubbles", but I took forever on the rest of the top half, not getting anywhere at all with 1ac (having no real inkling about a Lincoln being a car), biffing in a foolish placeholder TONICS for 9ac and not being able to see REAL tonic, in the unusual word at 8ac, for many tumbling thoughts of NEOTERIC, NEOGENIC, NEOLOGIC, etc etc. 2dn was my last one in, in the event, and becomes my clue of the day just because I was so well and truly suckered by the "currency" definition; without the crossing W I was convinced it had to be something like NICKELS or NICKERS or whatnot.

So well played setter, you win this round of the game and I tip my hat to you! Close to a Championship Finals level puzzle, to judge by the bruising I took...

1 Organ case of tin work one judge installed in Lincoln, perhaps (7,3)
CANOPIC JAR - CAN OP I [tin | work | one] + J [judge] "installed" in CAR [Lincoln, perhaps]

6 Water-carrier — originally plain Aquarius in Latin (4)
PAIL - P{lain} A{quarius} I{n} L{atin}

8 Recent spirit raiser using scientific principles (8)
NEWTONIC - NEW TONIC [recent | spirit raiser]

9 Musical sounds mostly performed by skaters in seconds? (6)
SONICS - ON IC{e} ["mostly", performed by skaters] in S S [(two) seconds]

10 Former city business manager (4)
EXEC - EX EC [former | city]

11 Oddball tennis hero, one not really brilliant? (10)

12 Some slips of actors through that act (4,5)
IPSO FACTO - hidden in {sl}IPS OF ACTO{rs}

14 Michael's ascended, reportedly in confusion (3-2)
MIX-UP - homophone of MICK'S UP [Michael's | ascended]

17 Son put bracelets on, and drag, while walking (5)
SCUFF - S CUFF [son | put bracelets on]

19 Workers mature cheese out of British live collection (9)
MENAGERIE - MEN AGE {b}RIE [workers | mature | cheese, minus B = British]

22 Refuse building permission for concrete shelter (10)
BLOCKHOUSE - BLOCK HOUSE [refuse | building permission]

23 Mirror either side of small recess (4)
APSE - APE [mirror] either side of S [small]

24 Like "Samson’" English choir arranged (6)

25 Curtain's level in opening (8)
PORTIERE - TIER [level] in PORE [opening]

26 Unknown vehicle's back for service (4)
NAVY - reversed Y VAN [unknown | vehicle]

27 Excited stir after early Christian city sacrifices old religious foe (10)
ANTICHRIST - (STIR*) after ANTI{o}CH [early Christian city, minus O = old]

1 Disorderly collections of eels, that is admitted (9)
CONGERIES - CONGERS [eels] with I.E. [that is] "admitted"

2 Currency to have when splitting bill? (7)
NOWNESS - OWN [to have] when "splitting" NESS [bill, as in "Portland Bill"]

3 Auditor's part behind with payments, reportedly, shillings down (5,3)
INNER EAR - a homophone of IN ARREARS [behind with payments], minus S = shillings

4 Lords and ladies give up preaching? (4-2-3-6)
JACK-IN-THE-PULPIT - the flower, or, unhyphenated, to JACK IN [give up] THE PULPIT [preaching]

5 More wildly adventurous food (6)
RASHER - double def

6 Cut up rubbish material (9)
PINSTRIPE - reversed SNIP [cut] + TRIPE [rubbish]

7 Fish caught round north and centre of Greenland, eaten by half Inuits (7)
INCONNU - C O N {gree}N{land}, "eaten" by INU{its}

13 Dealing with smells outside of offal plant (9)
OLFACTORY - O{ffa}L + FACTORY [plant]

15 Go back into press's first books for a previous case (9)
PRECEDENT - RECEDE [go back] into P{ress} + NT [books]

16 Beer in cantina and island clubs of holiday isles (8)
BALEARIC - ALE [beer] in BAR [cantina] + I C [island | clubs]

18 A glowing hot lake across channel rises in crater (7)
CALDERA - reverse all of A RED LAC [a | glowing hot | lake across channel, ie in France]

20 Accompanying groups dancing around pier in India (7)
RIPIENI - (PIER IN I*) ["dancing around"]

21 Church starting a tea dance (3-3)
CHA-CHA - CH [church] + A CHA [a | tea]