March 27th, 2020

Times Quick Cryptic No 1579 by Hurley

I took quite a bit longer than usual to complete this QC finishing in just under 7 minutes, but we've had quite a few head-scratchers already over the last 2 weeks, haven't we?  I had a few hold-ups with this, such as failing for ages to see the answer to the anagram at 3D, remembering the word for the hairstyle at 14D, and bunging in the wrong answer at first for 20A. But there are plenty of straightforward clues to get you going, making this a fair challenge, I think. I liked the pun at 1A, the 4-part charade at 17A, the misdirection at 4D and, especially,  the topical instructions on how to do our enforced home-schooling at 17A and 17D. Thank-you Hurley. Lovely job, as they say round here. How did everyone else get on?

Collapse )
verlaine

Times Cryptic Jumbo 1429: Creepy Crawly Cluey

On the easier side I thought, but not egregiously so.

My favourites this time were 26ac for the oldie-but-goodie "Harry" as anagrind; 36dn for being ridiculously hard to parse yet satisfying when I finally did; 10dn for being a really fun literary clue in a not very literary puzzle; and of course the marvelous 39ac's preposterous anagrist. I do love it when setters try to pull off such absurd feats of construction, especially when the resultant surface is so smooth. Kudos!

ACROSS
1 Unreliable old man nicks tune we added (4-7)
FAIR-WEATHER - FATHER [old man] "nicks" AIR [tune] + WE

7 Holland House fuel extract (6,5)
ORANGE JUICE - ORANGE [Holland House] + JUICE [fuel]

13 One daughter inspires tango performed on stage (5)
ACTED - ACE D "inspires" T

14 Risk grabbing Romeo's ulcer (7)
CHANCRE - CHANCE "grabbing" R

15 Dodging a very old paper ball (9)
AVOIDANCE - A V O i DANCE [a | very | old | paper | ball]

16 Scary spinner's natural bent among reserves (9)
TARANTULA - (NATURAL*) "among" TA. Fascinating fact: tarantulas do not use webs to catch their prey. But they do spin silk to e.g. make a burrow to hide in, so this clue remains kosher.

17 One large boy struggled to suppress second rash (3-7)
ILL-ADVISED - I L LAD VIED, to "suppress" S

20 Right court for controlling scrap — thanks to this (4,3)
RIOT ACT - R CT "controlling" IOTA, semi-&lit

22 Leaves after wasted meal (4,3)
HIGH TEA - TEA [leaves] after HIGH [wasted]

24 European allowed to conceal crew's hint (7)
ELEMENT - E LET to "conceal" MEN

25 Weakling must have very little money in principle (8)
RUDIMENT - RUNT must have DIME in

26 Harry Potter hurt nine, which drivers sometimes can do (5-5,4)
THREE-POINT TURN (POTTER HURT NINE*) ["harry..."]

28 What scouts do in playground before church (5)
RECCE - REC before CE

29 Trained pupil briefly to stop the old city slicker (6)
YUPPIE - (PUPI{l}*) ["trained"] to "stop" YE [the old]. I had YARDIE in here for a while for inexplicable reasons - probably indicative of the type of circles I personally move in.

30 Star Glaswegian recalled fine area around Halifax (4,6)
NOVA SCOTIA - NOVA SCOT + reversed A1

33 It helps in speech to emphasise saint (6,4)
STRESS MARK - STRESS [emphasise] + MARK [saint]

35 A sample of polar Canada's secrets (6)
ARCANA - hidden in {pol}AR CANA{da}

37 Peace advocate captivates Republican horde (5)
DROVE - DOVE "captivates" R

39 Spreading scandal, excited at telling it three times (6-8)
TITTLE-TATTLING - (AT TELLING IT T T T*) ["excited"]

41 Archipelago short of popular pineapples (8)
GRENADES - GRENAD{in}ES

44 It’s a pride issue, working with copper in library (4,3)
LION CUB - ON with CU in LIB

45 Intended fund without name ending in failure (7)
FIANCEE - FI{n}ANCE + {failur}E

46 Cutting tree I found in British Columbia (7)
ACERBIC - ACER + I found in BC

47 Like some bread with jam and seeds (10)
WHOLEGRAIN - W HOLE [jma] + GRAIN [seeds]

49 Cleaner not able initially to charge about one pound (9)
NAILBRUSH - N{ot} A{ble} + RUSH "about" I LB

53 Send out light roasted course: fabulous being back to eat it! (9)
FLUORESCE - (COURSE*) ["roasted"], "eaten" by reversed ELF

54 Star gets into bed for a smoke (7)
CHEROOT - HERO gets into COT

55 Swimmer's about to perish, heading west (5)
EIDER - RE DIE [about | to perish], read east to west

56 Enthuses, perhaps evading gym and old dishes Henry left (11)
RHAPSODISES - {pe}RHAPS + O DIS{h}ES

57 Ditch tongue, heading off for Happy Eater? (11)
TRENCHERMAN - TRENCH + {g}ERMAN

DOWN
1 Note shorter, less singular person using flannel (9)
FLATTERER - FLAT [note] + TER{s}ER

2 Job for painter inside 8 (8,10)
INTERIOR DECORATION - INTERIOR [inside] + DECORATION [award]

3 Extra new stretch (5)
WIDEN - WIDE [(cricketing) extra] N

4 Story by some about constant profession (11)
ACCOUNTANCY - ACCOUNT by ANY "about" C

5 Each had awful athlete’s foot and pain at the other end (8)
HEADACHE - (EACH HAD*) ["awful"] + {athlet}E. At the other end of the body from the foot, that is.

6 Relax here, startling boss (7,5)
ROCKING CHAIR - ROCKING [startling] + CHAIR [boss]

7 Expose what's in envelope that's given to the press (4,6)
OPEN LETTER - OPEN [expose] + LETTER [what's in envelope]

8 Place for nursing trophy (5)
AWARD - or A WARD [place for nursing]

9 I love angler somehow catching large marine creature (11)
GLOBIGERINA - (I O ANGLER*) "catching" BIG [large]. Because everyone loves super-obscure words clued by (partial) anagrams!

10 Reason obscure hero hoards brilliant books? (9)
JUDGEMENT - JUDE [(eponymously) "obscure" hero] "hoards" GEM [brilliant] + NT [books]

11 Where to find barmen of different types? (4)
INNS - be they of drinking or of Court.

12 River’s banks eroded constantly (4)
EVER - {s}EVER{n}

18 Quirky odd bureaucrat is almost silent proof of falsehood (8,2,8)
REDUCTIO AD ABSURDUM - (ODD BUREAUCRAT IS*) + DUM{b}

19 Very old joke packs theatre (5,3)
STONE AGE - ONE [as in "good one!"] "packs" STAGE

21 Idle, the writer's tucking into drink with sons (7)
AIMLESS - I'M "tucking into" ALE + S S

23 Software run at cricket ground's OK (8)
APPROVAL - APP R at OVAL

27 Impressionist, perhaps one able to lift drink (8)
APERITIF - APER + I + reversed FIT

28 Engineers resolve to move (8)
RESETTLE - RE SETTLE [engineers | resolve]

31 Measure port imbibed by conservative Anglicans (7)
CADENCE - ADEN "imbibed" by C CE

32 Sublime climb across middle of liner in river (12)
TRANSCENDENT - ASCEND "across" {li}N{er}, in TRENT

34 Broken down? Police stopped, after spending hours (11)
METABOLISED - MET ABOLIS{h}ED

36 Answer cut from article about avoiding “hippy” type of language (4-7)
AFRO-ASIATIC - A [answer] + FRO{m} + A [article] + S{c}IATIC [C = about "avoiding" a word for "pertaining to hips"]

38 150 eastern experts accepting smuggled licences (10)
CLEARANCES - CL E ACES "accepting" RAN

40 Do battle to secure instruments (4,5)
LOCK HORNS - LOCK [secure] + HORNS [instruments]

42 Cash in car interpreted as sweetener (9)
SACCHARIN - (CASH IN CAR*)

43 Head man from Krakow's supporter in plot (8)
BEANPOLE - BEAN [head] + POLE [man from Krakow]. That's a plot as in vegetable patch.

48 Fancy patrons wasting time! (5)
GUESS - GUES{t}S

50 Part of speech backed up English note (5)
BREVE - reversed VERB [part of speech] + E

51 Starts to approach from access road a long way off (4)
AFAR - A{pproach} F{rom} A{ccess} R{oad}

52 Each year involves leading intermediate stage (4)
PUPA - P.A. [each year] "involves" UP [leading]