July 22nd, 2019

  • jackkt

Times Quick Cryptic 1400 by Orpheus

Solving time: 10 minutes. By a quirk of fate I get to blog the milestone QCs ending with -00 and always look to see if the setter has chosen to mark the occasion in some way. There is nothing special in today's as far as I can see but we still get to enjoy an excellent workout by Orpheus, one of the original QC setters whose first offering was QC #8 and this is his 129th to date with many more to come we hope.

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  • ulaca

Times 27409 - A Typical Friday Puzzle?

Yes, this was pretty straightforward - the type of puzzle to have our esteemed Friday blogger working hard to keep his emotions in check after completing the thing in a paltry four minutes or so. One or two definitions seemed a bit loose as I solved, but, since, frequently, the looseness is more in my interpretation than in the setter's intention, we will see how that particular battle pans out. The picture is the view from the terrace over dinner in Naxos - in case anyone was wondering. And my music? Bach Cantata BWV 21 by Bach Collegium Japan (Masaaki Suzuki). Though they'll have moved onto the next one on the playlist by the time I finish writing this up, no doubt. A Suzuki doesn't hang around, you know. 17 minutes.


1 Jam producer needing place to sleep on All Fools’ Day? (7)
5 Nags wife, grabbing a sharp tool (7)
HACKSAW - A in HACKS (nags as in horses/hacks) W
9 Where turtle may be found heading for the rocks? (2,3,4)
IN THE SOUP - Actually, mock turtle soup is better known than the original stuff; if you are 'in the soup' you are in trouble, i.e. headings for the rocks
10 Maugham, oddly neglected, fashionable once more (5)
AGAIN - [m]A[u]G[h]A[m] IN
11 Pilsner beer he brewed? It’s very bad (13)
13 Idiot that tells you oil is running out? (8)
DIPSTICK - tongue in cheek, slightly naughty by Times standards double definition (DD)
15 Chance to secure release of son in exchange for diamonds (6)
RANDOM - RANSOM with the S dropped in favour of D
17 One looks radiant, finding such supporters (1-5)
I-BEAMS - I (one) BEAMS giving the architectural element, also known as H-beam, w-beam, universal beam, rolled steel joist, or double-T. There's a Monty Python sketch there somewhere
19 Mum entertaining an English woman of voracious appetite (3-5)
MAN-EATER - AN E in MATER for this slightly nudge-nudge-wink-wink, SAY. NO. MORE clue
22 Rather unattractive, unlike the Mona Lisa? (2,3,8)
NO OIL PAINTING - John Inverdale once described Marion Bartoli as not 'a looker', which I have always transcribed as 'no oil painting'
25 Hate old allegations coming back to bite one (5)
ODIUM - O I in MUD (allegations) reversed
26 Stupidly deal in LSD? It’s a disaster (9)
27 Doleful daughter departs, made redundant (7)
EJECTED - [d]EJECTED; not quite sure if 'eject' has the same sense as 'make redundant', but either way, as the Don would say, 'YOU'RE FIRED!'
28 Son getting out more? That’s good (7)
SINLESS - if your nerdy son (S) went out more, he would be IN LESS!! Moving straight on...


1 Muslim boy’s expression of disbelief? (2,2)
AS IF - my last; AS IF is the expression of disbelief, while ASIF is a relatively common name among Muslims. For me, it will forever be associated with the floppy-hatted, open-stanced, pigeon-toed Kent all-rounder
2 Gin some sailor knocked over (3-4)
RAT-TRAP - PART TAR reversed
3 Dictator’s vulgar tweet (5)
CHEEP - sounds like CHEAP. Does Kim Jong-un perchance have a Twitter account?
4 Town regularly unlocked church for a small sum (8)
5 American painter with only one good leg? (6)
HOPPER - Edward Hopper was a realist painter and printmaker; this clue will perhaps cause a smile to crease some lips
6 Charlie supported by female assistant, a chum from school (9)
7 Posh girl hits back, being wounded (7)
8 Men weirder somehow here in Lake District (10)
WINDERMERE - MEN WEIRDER* for the largest lake by surface area in the Lakes
12 Diarist is a mad loner, I suspect (6,4)
14 Item revised and bound, making deadline (4,5)
16 Revenue wants head dismissed (8)
EARNINGS - [y]EARNINGS (first letter - 'head' - removed)
18 Controversial book upset half of Hove, including yours truly (7)
EMOTIVE - I in TOME reversed [ho]VE; while something emotive can be controversial, it needn't be. Although I suppose there's always someone out there who likes to give things a good stir whenever the opportunity arises.
20 Game children play on train, ending in a joke (3,4)
TAG LINE - TAG (children's game) LINE ('train', in the sense of a series or perhaps a line of gunpowder). Perhaps this is more common hyphenated, but then many multi-word phrases are.
21 Everyone asleep, perhaps, curled up (6)
BALLED - ALL in BED. Geddit?! One can 'ball' wool, for example, if one is so inclined. Moving swiftly on...
23 Dramatist whiNES BIography is holding him up (5)
IBSEN - reverse hidden
24 What cat does in the street? (4)
MEWS - more or less a DD, methinks