November 25th, 2019

  • jackkt

Times Quick Cryptic 1490 by Orpheus

At 6 minutes this was equal to my fastest regular solving time as achieved on 30 previous occasions. I've beaten it only twice over the years, coming in at 5 minutes. For the record, I don't make a note of seconds but I round them up to the nearest minute. Only two anagrams today!

Collapse )
Ulaca de Milo
  • ulaca

Times 27517 - Absolutely spliffing!

Quite a few double definitions (DDs) and cryptic definitions (CDs) in this more difficult than usual (SNITCH allowing) Monday offering from a setter who was either in his/her most mischievous mode or had perhaps been on the wacky backy ('I adduce 20 down as evidence, M'lud'.). I sputtered home in 40 minutes, continuing my ordinary form after a purple patch early last week. How got ye on?

Forgive any careless errors, but I am still a bit groggy after staying up half the night celebrating the success of my two ‘nephews’ (the brothers Pang) in the historic local council elections here in Hong Kong. Keep up the support, O international community! And keep printing the truth about heinous regimes everywhere!


1 Fruit in small wood one end to the other (4)
HAWS - SHAW with the S postponed; I had vaguely heard of SHAW but couldn't be shaw what it meant
3 What one can see in forest or mountain is restricted by weather (10)
STORMBOUND - odd/ingenious clue this; we have STORM hidden (or STORM ‘bound’ in [fore]ST OR M[ountain]) leading to the definition ‘restricted by weather’. YMMV...
9 Bird's mum runs around endlessly (7)
MARABOU - MA R ABOU[t]; never heard of this avian
11 They can see half a dozen vessels (7)
VIEWERS - VI (half a dozen) EWERS
12 Maybe Durham employee entertains unknown American (3,6)
NEW YORKER - NE (in the North East of England) Y (unknown) in WORKER (employee); Olivia is the most famous one I know...
13 Benders observed moving back when faced with king (5)
KNEES - K SEEN reversed
14 Fellows penning choice of language offering words of ill-will (12)
18 A possible basis for laying down sentences (7,5)
WRITING PAPER - cryptic definition (CD)
21 Fish giving old men inner energy (5)
POPES - E in POPS; no, never heard of these either
22 Retreat that is concealing means of identification to the east of small island (9)
HERMITAGE - TAG in IE after HERM; one of the smaller Channel Islands. Um, never heard of this either
24 Impressive river suits someone who likes the good things of life (7)
EPICURE - EPIC (impressive) URE; a river with something of an identity crisis, not being allowed to have its dale named after it and having its name changed (to the common-or-garden Ouse, no less) before it reaches the sea
25 Maybe a conventional fifties-style fellow given symbolic representation (7)
NOTATED - NOT A TED; hah! Over to our Dorset correspondent...
26 Deviating from course, going to the other side crossing lake (10)
27 Bess's partner heading off for wild celebration (4)
ORGY - [p]ORGY; I got plenty of nuttin'...


1 Skate and skate? Oh m-my, son will go sprawling! (8)
HOMONYMS - anagram* of OH M MY SON; sort of clever but weird
2 Monster in dread, wiping out a climbing plant (8)
WEREWOLF - [a]WE FLOWER reversed; tricky wordplay. Please let me know if you needed me for this. I've been going through an insecure phase
4 Vehicle in traffic (5)
5 One river's being diverted, going back to former course? (9)
6 Critical stress on tip, it may be inferred (8,5)
BREAKING POINT - this setter certainly defies pigeon-holing! I reckon this is best described as a CD, since BREAKING POINT is the point at which something gives way under strain (or STRESS), and a tip is a POINT - which is sort of inferred by 'critical stress on tip', I reckon. Sheesh! I'm not a logician. I need a lie-down. And a new brain. As Anon points out, one making an anagram of ON TIP could be said to be ‘breaking POINT’.
7 As inconsistent as this clue? (6)
UNEVEN - If I were less charitable, I would say the setter is now taking the you-know-what. In line for the title of crypticest of all cryptic definitions, I suggest. (We are talking about a clue numbered 7, and therefore odd, AKA UNEVEN, if you are still bamboozled)
8 Stop one’s little boy going up on street (6)
DESIST - I'S ED reversed followed by ST. (ED here is a 'little boy' in the crossword sense that he is an abbreviation)
10 Brooder's pulse is abnormal — a possible cause for medical concern (5,8)
15 Happen to see fellows over time in particular area (9)
CATCHMENT - CATCH (happen to see) MEN (fellows) T (time)
16 Drop of liquid stuff initially dumped on plate (8)
17 China may be thus, or Tonga’s islands? (8)
FRIENDLY - DD; Tonga became known in the West as the 'Friendly Islands' because of the congenial reception accorded to Captain James Cook on his first visit
19 Cover food put out on table? (6)
20 Second person in court ain't put away for providing cannabis (6)
SPLIFF - S PL[aint]IFF; a 'something or other' for providing cannabis, I reckon
23 Keep racing and continue in the same line (3,2)
RUN ON - DD; the second related to printing, I think, specifically, the absence of indenting