April 10th, 2020

Times Quick Cryptic No 1589 by Pedro

Hello everyone. I hope you are all staying safe. This is going to be a very odd Easter weekend with my elder daughter stranded alone in Portsmouth while the rest of us are at home. As for crosswords for the weekend, we're off to a good start here. I found today's a little tricky with very few answers going in at first look, finishing in 6:24, my slowest time of the week. There are lots of fine surfaces and interesting bits of wordplay to enjoy. I liked  8A, 14A and 16D but 21A was my favourite for its reference to the joys of social distancing. Thank you Pedro! How did you all get on? And what did you like (or not) among the clues? [Edit: Sorry Pedro. It appears we have GR (Golden Raspberry) nomination for 8D. I did wonder whether it would be a widely-enough known word to be considered GK for a QC].

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verlaine

O Tempora! CCXXXVI by Basil

By popular demand (of one person) - a popup bonus blog of this weekend's Latin puzzle. I found this comparatively easy but was finally defeated by having to check 20ac, so a technical DNF (Decus Non Fecit?).

This one was notable for a few bona fide fully Latinate cryptic clues at 19ac, 23ac, 16dn. In my mind this proves that Latin crosswords have reached full maturity and we should expect to see a sprinkling of Latin clues in the normal 15x15s, in much the same way that there'd be an occasional straight quotation in the clues of the Good Old Days. Let's hope so!

ACROSS
1 Old age; “cruda deo viridisque ____” in Charon’s case: Aen 6.304 (8)
SENECTUS - "But the god's old age was fresh and green". Let's hope we all age as gracefully as the grim ferryman.

5 Dea, cantatrix fortasse (4)
DIVA - another word for a goddess, that should suggest to the English-speaking solver a cantatrix or singer.

9 Column; pars exercitus potius quam templi (5)
AGMEN - as the clue says, this is a military column, not one holding up a temple roof.

10 I will call [you] out, eg ad militiam (7)
EVOCABO - first person future indicative of EVOCARE, to call out.

11 Skill; “____ Amatoria” Ovid’s controversial poem (3)
ARS - FOI. Prize for the first person to come up with the Latin for that acronym.

12 I travel, make a journey (4,5)
ITER FACIO

13 A roof, covering, even a house (6)
TECTUM

15 Stellis, sideribus (6)
ASTRIS - perhaps reached PER ARDUA?

17 These guys are very quick (9)
CELERRIMI - masculine, plural, superlative of CELER

19 Animal se celans in oleastro (3)
LEA - hidden in {o}LEA{stro}. A female LEO.

20 Ingentia, immensa, monstra (7)
IMMANIA - the only one I had to look up, just to check it wasn't a mistake and the answer was IMMENSA too. I wish the clue had contained IMMANIA and IMMENSA had been the answer.

21 Denarii, fortasse, vel asses (5)
NUMMI - tasty tasty lucre

22 Nympha Callisto ____ facta est, tum constellatio (4)
URSA - there's clearly a good story behind this that I should look up at some point.

23 Thread (gen); stand by your threats? (8)
STAMINIS - or STA MINIS [stand! | to/for/by/with/from the threats]

DOWN
1 They were standing:” [the souls] ____ orantes primi transmittere cursum” Aen 6.313 (7)
STABANT - "they stood begging to be the the first to make the crossing", continuing our Charonic theme

2 Lucus, arbores paucae (5)
NEMUS - a grove

3 They fell silent; (shortened form at) Aen 2.1 (12)
CONTICUERUNT - the shortened form will doubtless be CONTICUERE, which weaselly poets often employed for metrical reasons.

4 Use (sing. imperative): Turnus surrendering to Aeneas
“ ____ sorte tua” Aen 12.932 (5)
UTERE - which, as you can see. "Make use of your opportunity." As you can readily see, UTOR takes the ablative case.

6 Ira afficior (7)
IRASCOR - "I become akin to Mr Grumpy"

7 Rogo, precor, veneror (5)
ADORO

8 Admission, acknowledgement (acc) (12)
CONFESSIONEM

14 We till (arva) or worship (deos) (7)
COLIMUS - lovely that the word is applied to both the life-giving earth and the gods in heaven.

16 Late epic poet, he stands before justice (7)
STATIUS - STAT [he stands] before IUS [justic]

17 In a gathering, meeting, coming together; or in flagrante? (5)
COITU - an ITUS is a going, a COITUS is a going together, get your minds out of the gutter you plebeians.

18 “____ obscuri sola sub nocte” Aen 6.268: they were on the way [to Hades (5)
IBANT - they were engaged in COITUS on the way to Hades, or maybe that's just a Christian thing.

19 Lux, quae tenebras amovet; item, oculus (5)
LUMEN - light either literal or the poetical ones in your face