November 14th, 2019

Times Quick Cryptic No 1483 by Tracy

Well I must have been on Tracy’s wavelength today, because I completed this in 7m 4s, which is probably a PB when all parsing is included.  I expect to see some very fast times quoted as a result.  That isn’t to say that this QC is easy!  There is some sticky parsing (2 and 7d), and I think an error in 22a that may cause some hold-ups.  I’d be delighted to be proven wrong on 22a, but I can’t think of any other way to explain it.  Please let me know your thoughts and times.


One expecting Bottom here in play (6-2-2)
MOTHER-TO-BE – Anagram (in play) of [BOTTOM HERE]
Greatly delight church member (5)
CHARM – CH (church) and ARM (member)
9 Tried to, working in a US city (7)
DETROIT – Anagram (working) of [TRIED TO]
10  Later step developed a constituent of gunpowder (9)
SALTPETRE – Anagram (developed) of [LATER STEP].  I think we have had this or a similar clue a couple of times recently.
12 Appearance of couple heading off (3)
AIR – The couple with the heading (first letter) removed is a {p}AIR.
13 Cambridge blue perhaps wore pants on river (5)
ROWER – Anagram (pants) of WORE followed by R{iver}.  Oxford and Cambridge students are awarded their respective ‘blues’ (dark or light respectively) by playing sport for their colleges at the highest level in a specific sport.  Rowing is one of those sports that can lead to the award of full blues.  For more information, google ‘blue university sport’.
15 Start working with group (5)
ONSET – ON (working) and SET (group).
17  Mature and wise?  Not initially (3)
AGE – {s}AGE means wise, but the first letter is dropped (not initially).
18  Reveal love in declaration of intent (9)
MANIFESTO – To MANIFEST something is to reveal it, and this is then followed by O (love) to give the name of the published intentions of all our aspiring political parties at the moment.
20  Stretch of Devon river full of vessels (7)
EXPANSE – The Devon river is the EXE which is full of PANS (vessels).
21  Long tiring walk for vagrant (5)
TRAMP – Double definition
22  Willing retainer?  Mellows, for example (10)
GAMEKEEPER – GAME (willing) and KEEPER (retainer).  Unless I am missing something, I think this is an error in the early edition of the crossword that I solved, which may have been corrected in later versions (I’ll check in the morning).  My interpretation is that this should be referring to Oliver Mellors rather than Mellows.  Oliver Mellors was the GAMEKEEPER in D.H. Lawrence’s novel entitled “Lady Chatterley’s Lover”.  I am unaware of a literary (or otherwise) gamekeeper with the name of Mellows.


Agricultural machine marked spruce badly (12)
Follow the man leaving the bar (5)
TRAIL – T{he} (the man, i.e. HE leaving THE) and RAIL (bar).  A little convoluted this, I thought, for a QC.
Wood used by barrel maker (3)
ELM – Hidden inside {barr}EL M{aker}.
Objective of potential lover, until now? (2,4)
TO DATE – A potential lover might desire TO DATE, which also means up until now, so a double definition.
5  Gambler leaving richer (6,3)
BETTER OFF – BETTER (gambler) and OFF (leaving).
6  Gold discovered in extensive marsh (6)
MORASS – OR (gold) inside (discovered in) MASS (extensive).
Soldier’s charge account set up around start of October (5,7)
STORM TROOPER – STORM (charge) and REPORT reversed (set up) outside O{ctober} (start).
11  I pray, forlornly, about sultanate’s burning desire? (9)
PYROMANIA – Anagram (forlornly) of [I PRAY] outside OMAN (Sultanate).
14  Gives birth: wife lends a hand (6)
WHELPS – W{ife} and HELPS (lends a hand).
16  Queen cross over East wing (6)
ANNEXE – ANNE (our Queen in this clue) and X (cross) and finally (over) E{ast}.
19  Note coming from small plucked instrument (5)
SHARP – S{mall} and HARP (plucked instrument).  A SHARP is a note raised a semitone in music.
21  Draw level, right away (3)
TIE – TIE{r} – remove the R (right away) from TIER (level).
  • glheard

Times 27508 - an igi-bidgi crossword

Solving time: 11:43.

Greetings from the Altanta Hartsfield Airport, where I am waiting for a plane to somewhere warm and dry (I'm taking part in this illustrious tournament). I was very worried when I submitted this because there are four entries that went in with crossed fingers, and now I have to try to come up with some explanation. My 11:43 is a scratch slower than my normal time, and with the puzzle out for two hours, my time is sitting second on the board, so this is definitely a head-scratcher. Please check comments, as I will be getting on a plane shortly after submitting this and am unlikely to make any changes until mid-moring UK time.

Away we go...

1 Energetic person wants motor racing to update for new image (9)
FIREBRAND - Motor racing is F1, then REBRAND(update for new image)
6 Put under joint ownership? A rejected suggestion (5)
SHRED - put under joint ownership is SHARED - remove A
9 Adult taking short journey into America or European country (7)
AUSTRIA - A(adult) then TRIP(journey) missing the last letter inside USA(a part of America)
10 Obvious gain for Tory PM (7)
BALDWIN - BALD(obvious), WIN(gain)
11 Maiden goes off, retreating in rage (5)
STORM - M(maiden) and ROTS(goes off) all reversed
12 Got rid of money and identity before getting caught (9)
CASHIERED - CASH(money) and ID(identity) containing ERE(before)
14 One using ultrasound for detecting speed (3)
BAT - double definition, though I don't think I have ever used BAT = speed, it is in the dictionaries
15 Maybe they have shaken north's pride (5,6)
17 Orders yours truly's presented to workers without love (11)
IMPERATIVES - I'M(yours truly's), then OPERATIVES(workers) missing O(love)
19 Vehicle has problem with no engineers available (3)
BUS - This was one of my question marks - the first definition is obvious. I think the wordplay is REBUS(puzzle, problem) missing RE(Royal Engineers)
20 Is prayer held by theologian to be badly out of favour? (9)
DISGRACED - IS, GRACE(prayer) inside DD(theologian)
22 Silver currently making comeback, making dosh (5)
WONGA - AG(silver) and NOW(currently) all reversed
24 “Yes, I am competent” is answer to this? That's pleasing (7)
AMIABLE - "Yes, I am competent"  could be a reply to AM I ABLE?
26 Performance involving Roman couple in which female is greatly exalted (7)
DEIFIED - DEED(performance) containing I,I(roman couple of ones), containing F(female)
27 Bird in sorrow hiding head (5)
EGRET - REGRET(sorrow) missing the first letter
28 Boxer you observed during air journey cuddling wife (9)
FLYWEIGHT - another double container - YE(you) inside FLIGHT(air journey) with W(wife) inside

1 Notes accommodation units — area likely to be flooded? (5)
FLATS - triple definition
2 Roar after game and escape quickly (4,3)
RUSH OUT - SHOUT(roar) after RU(game)
3 Cockney in smashing deal? It shows the pressure one's under (9)
BAROMETER - 'OME(Cockney in) inside BARTER(deal)
4 Irish can act riotously, wanting no form of government (11)
5 Pal to arise, becoming knight (3)
DUB - BUD(pal) reversed... I DUB thee...
6 Maestro in GB possibly (5)
SOLTI - this was my next question mark, but I think I have it... the definition is obvious, Georg SOLTI. Bear with me - the C major scale in tonic sol-fa would have the notes C(do), D(re), E(mi), F(fa), G(SOL), A(lah), B(TI) and then back to C(do).  So the G and B spell SOLTI.
7 Socialists admitting fighting to get payments deserved? (7)
REWARDS - REDS(socialists) containing WAR(fighting)
8 Fights — what can stop them for a while? (4-5)
DING-DONGS - the wordplay is because a bell would sound to end and start a round of a fight
13 March beginning to provide opportunity for celebration (2,6,3)
ST DAVID'S DAY - this was the third of the question marks, but now I look it up, ST DAVID'S DAY is on March 1st so it is the beginning of March. I only pieced this together with all the checking letters, it was my last in
14 After short moment of hesitation two daughters had opportunity for romance (5,4)
BLIND DATE - BLINK(moment of hesitation) missing the last letter, then D, D (two daughters), ATE(had)
16 Former Welsh rite given a new twist (9)
18 Runner bumping into rival — what could be more annoying? (7)
PESKIER - SKI(runner) inside PEER(rival)
19 Baby with absent father flags maybe (7)
BUNTING - the first part of the clue is a reference to "bye baby BUNTING, daddy's gone a-hunting"
21 Cheat needing form of therapy — one is devoid of feelings (5)
ROBOT - ROB(cheat) then OT(occupational therapy)
23 Look at account that's initially given after a 1965 crisis (5)
AUDIT - I've sorted out three of the four, and this was the last one. Took a little googlemachining, but I think I have it. Another one where the definition is obvious. The rest is the first letter of That, following A, UDI(Universal Declaration of Independence, a crisis that led to Rhodesia breaking from the UK in 1965). Phew...
25 Trouble-maker turning up in row I avoided (3)
ELF - reversal of FILE(row) missing I

Times 27,509: You May Take Our Lives, But You'll Never Take Our 3 Down!

I bustled through this in an efficient 6.5 minutes but this may have been a wavelength thing - all the right possibilities occurred to me at all the right times, but looking at the parsings now I think some of the clues might not have been so easy if you didn't "just see them".

FOI 11ac closely followed by 18ac, but the down clues were easier than the acrosses. LOI 22dn when I finally realised that it wasn't an S we were trying to contain in a word for "ring". Hard to choose a COD when economy is the watchword of most of these clues, but I drank more than a couple of whisky and sodas tonight so I'll give a shout out to the boozy clues at 12ac and 20ac. The Scottish history subtheme was also appreciated, thanks setter!

Everyone starting to feel ready for Champs I hope? Just a few weeks away now!

1 Shed, important office by the sound of it? (6)
THROWN - homophone of THRONE [important office]

4 Massive loss in the end, heavy defeat (8)
STONKING - {los}S + TONKING [heavy defeat]

10 Scottish queen ruled, perhaps, English admitted (9)
MADELEINE - MADE LINE [ruled, perhaps], "admitting" E [English]. Madeleine of Valois, the "Summer Queen" of the Scots who married James V but died before her 17th birthday in 1537.

11 Shipping lanes are visibly affected, not initially heading westward (5)
NAVAL - L{anes} A{re} V{isibly} A{ffected} N{ot}, read from east to west

12 I gasp on spilling wine, dropping one drink (9,5)
SINGAPORE SLING - (I GASP ON*) ["spilling"] + R{i}ESLING [wine, "dropping" I = one]

14 Could girl be in difficulty? (5)
ISSUE - or IS SUE [could girl be?]

16 Surrounded by rocks only? Wrong (9)
INJUSTICE - or IN JUST ICE [surrounded by | only | rocks]

18 Disaster may last centuries, following destruction (9)
CATACLYSM - (MAY LAST C C*) ["destroyed"]

20 Drink inspiring oenophiles, primarily? (5)
PINOT - PINT [drink] "inspiring" O{enophiles}, &lit

21 Extremely hungry, so food's eaten when rotten — now all seems hopeless? (3,2,5,4)
ONE OF THOSE DAYS - (H{ungr}Y SO FOOD'S EATEN*) ["rotten"]

25 More or less on (5)
ABOUT - double def

26 Time-saving preference working (9)
OPERATION - OPTION [preference] "saving" ERA [time]

27 Novel was liked — where Capote would have put his foot down? (8)
SIDEWALK - (WAS LIKED*) ["novel"]. Capote or any other resident of America.

28 Sign racket backfiring for Brezhnev, say? (6)
LEONID - LEO [sign] + reversed DIN [racket]

1 Setter's device, one casting spell on our readers? (4,6)

2 Controlled squeezes make gas (5)
RADON - RAN [controlled] "squeezes" DO [make]

3 Scottish hero in defence, brilliant (7)
WALLACE - WALL ACE [defence | brilliant]

5 Sappers present (5)

6 Puzzle always negative? (7)
NONPLUS - or NON-PLUS, i.e. never positive

7 Popular opening subject of my autobiography, touching story (9)
INVENTION - IN VENT I ON [popular | opening | subject of my autobiograpy | touching]

8 Hoodwink flapper (4)
GULL - or a flapper as in one that flaps its wings

9 Popular novice upstanding in my youth (8)
MINORITY - IN [popular] + reversed TIRO [novice] in MY

13 Black shaded binding is discarded (10)
JETTISONED - JET [black] + TONED [shaded] "binding" IS

15 Town sad, I suspect, about old tree (9)
SATINWOOD - (TOWN SAD I*) ["suspect"] "about" O [old]

17 Gathering pace finally, force trial to go ahead (8)
JAMBOREE - {pac}E, after JAM BORE [force | trial]

19 Temple erected in support of sweet native American (7)
CHOCTAW - reversed WAT [(Cambodian) temple] in support of CHOC [sweet]

20 Ecclesiastic punctual, it's implied? (7)
PRELATE - or PRE-LATE, i.e. early or on time

22 Secured by ring, second bit of fresh bait (5)
TROLL - {f}R{esh}, "secured by" TOLL [ring]

23 Flier: a through train at last (5)
AVIAN - A + VIA [through] + {trai}N

24 Deep swimmer (4)
BASS - or a swimmer as in one that swims