April 6th, 2020


QC 1585 by Teazel - Life During Wartime

I think this was the easiest QC I've ever done. Apart from one clue. And even that was easy but I just didn't see it. An example of being hidden in plain sight if ever I saw one. I wrote everything in straight away apart from that single clue (12A) which took me about 3 minutes. My buttocks are still smarting from the number of times I kicked myself and I will probably carry on doing so when I wake up in the morning.

There is no excuse. I am a fan. I have been to Bletchley Park and knelt in obeisance at the desk where Alan Turing worked (even though he was apparantly no good at crosswords, contrary to the impression given in The Imitation Game). I took so long going round the place that I am going to have to pay a second visit. Added to that Elgar's Variations are one of my favourite pieces of music. How on earth did I miss it? I'm sure it must have been a write-in for everybody else. The only thing I can say in my defence is that my mind was off in the world of ancient engines of war such as the petard, trebuchet and particularly the ONAGER which matched two of the checkers and had me running a merry chase for plurals or alternative spellings. Many thanks to Teazel because although my buttocks do hurt I do appreciate being stitched up like a kipper every now and again. It's great fun.

So, not much else to say except that FOI was 1A and LOI and definite COD was 12A. Definitions are underlined and everything else is explained just as I see it in the simplest language I can manage.

1 Wry expression from serious expert (7)
GRIMACE - GRIM (serious) + ACE (expert).
5 None of this affects the Rolling Stones (4)
MOSS - Cryptic definition.
8 With continuing success, have jam here? (2,1,4)
ON A ROLL - well, that is where you might put some jam isn't it?
9 Don’t take holiday (5)
LEAVE - double definition.
11 At will, any mug can be prepared for soup (12)
MULLIGATAWNY - straightforward anagram ('can be prepared') of AT WILL ANY MUG.
12 Wartime machine with some variations? (6)
ENIGMA - cryptic definition referring to Elgar's 'Enigma' Variations.
14 November in an Italian city: go to bed (4,2)
TURN IN - N (November) 'in' TURIN (Italian city).
15 In making these profits, London maybe catches up (7,5)
CAPITAL GAINS - CAPITAL (London) GAINS (catches up).
17 Abandon rear of house completely (5)
QUITE - QUIT (abandon) + E (rear of housE).
18 Curious way leading to the mountains (7)
STRANGE - ST (street, way) + RANGE (mountains).
20 Woman in need named (4)
EDNA - hidden word: 'in' neED NAmed.
21 Unfavourable notice given to stanzas (7)
ADVERSE - AD (notice) + VERSE (stanzas).
2 No-good relative was managing (3)
RAN - gRAN (relative) with no G (good).
3 Mark exam in lesson (5)
MORAL - M (mark) + ORAL (exam).
4 Name a particular period to stop work (4,2,1,3)
CALL IT A DAY - CALL IT (name) A DAY (a prticular period).
6 Start song outside (4-3)
OPEN-AIR - OPEN (start) + AIR (song).
7 Decade with which number of dwarfs will have connections (9)
SEVENTIES - SEVEN (number of dwarfs) + TIES (connections).
10 Severely criticised cadets’ gait when marching around (10)
CASTIGATED - straight anagram ('when marching around') of CADETS GAIT.
11 So tiny, I ruminate sadly (9)
MINIATURE - straight anagram ('sadly') of I RUMINATE.
13 Shimmer of gold, initially — pay attention (7)
GLISTEN - G (Gold initially) + LISTEN (pay attention).
16 Idol from India, sorcerer (5)
IMAGE - I (India) + MAGE (sorcerer).
19 Grass regularly used as fuel (3)
GAS - GrAsS 'regularly'.
  • vinyl1

Times 27631 - Tiptoe, through the kitchen....

Time: 21 minutes
Music - Tchaikovsky - Pathetique Symphony, Abaddo/CSO

Another easy Monday today, with very little that will present much of a challenge to our regulars.   No outrageous vocabulary, no cleverly hidden literals, rather simple wordplay using stock cryptic elements - really nothing more than a jumped-up Quickie.   If I was a top solver I would have posted a sub-five-minute time, but I am no such, as most of you have probably figured out by now.

I'll be inviting all the Quickie solvers to have a go at this one, so perhaps we will see some new avatars today.   It is quite doable, if you happen to have extra time on your hands for some reason.

1 Book to go on coaches — one’s ignored deals (9)
9 Sculpture etc. around building is vandalised (7)
TRASHED - ART backwards + SHED.
10 Something highway architect might be asked to design in contract (7)
ABRIDGE - A BRIDGE, of course. I don't know why I didn't see it instantly, but I am not a top solver.
11 The old man meeting the devil, said to bring terror (5)
PANIC - PA + NIC[k].
12 Crowd terribly idle is about to be sent on march? (9)
MOBILISED -MOB + anagram of IDLE IS.
13 Nut to leave boy sated, we hear? (7)
FILBERT - sounds like FILL BERT.
15 Gang showing purpose, about to capture a female (5)
MAFIA - AIM backwards around A F.
17 Good for Scots to have English adviser? (5)
18 Detectives holding up character with bow and arrows? (5)
19 Fastener caught wedged in piece of wood (5)
20 Hearing about good person from the south (7)
23 Big beast in union, a dog barking (9)
IGUANODON - Anagram of UNION, A DOG.  A dinosaur, shows you what I know.
25 Notice written by Irish politicians gets to make sense (3,2)
ADD UP - AD + D.U.P., that crucial part of May's coalition, now forgot.
27 Stop to take in every second of big blue fish (7)
HALIBUT - HAL([b]I[g]B[l]U[e])T, which most solvers will biff.
28 Tiny fellow, almost 11, making contribution to orchestra (7)
TIMPANI -TIM + PANI[c], the most otiose cross-reference ever!
29 Transmitter never working at front of room (5,4)
1 A market set up outside university — it's shocking (6)
TRAUMA - A MART backwards around U - the standard Greek word for 'wound', which means something different in English.
2 Basic actor in difficulty with dramatic movements (10)
3 Artist gets covered in an amount of mixed chemicals (4,4)
4 Said to pick items from Pick 'n' Mix? (5)
CHEWS - Sounds like CHOOSE.
5 Refuse to give up way and go on hunger strike? (5,4)
6 Vehicle left outside gym — a bit of a bloomer (6)
CARPEL - CAR(P.E.)L, a botantical reproductive organ, not the similar word describing the wrist that you might put in if you biff the answer.
7 Brood no end? That's fine (4)
8 New cadet, due to be this? (8)
EDUCATED - Anagram of CADET, DUE, a neat &lit.
14 Old writer, expert the French regarded as not worth keeping on (10)
16 Agreeing with action on the parade ground (7,2)
FALLING IN - Double definition.
17 Pledge of bloke to suppress an outburst (8)
GUARANTY - GU(A RANT)Y, a spelling not usually used for this meaning.
18 Carpet material maybe getting female unwell in church (8)
21 Bet agent will appear before second match? (6)
REPLAY - REP + LAY,  Probably a bit of terminology from some UK sport or other.
22 Gradually introduce calm briefly, supporting home (6)
24 Employer outside hospital who shows people right place? (5)
USHER - US(H)ER, a Quickie clue for sure.
26 Women entitled to dismiss English mothers (4)