June 22nd, 2020

Cat_1
  • jackkt

Times Quick Cryptic 1640 by Mara

Solving time: 7 minutes. Solvers who enjoy anagrams will have a field day with this puzzle as it contains 8 pure anagrams and 2 partials! There's a convention that the 15x15 puzzle should have no more than 5 pure anagrams, so perhaps a QC with a 13x13 grid should have fewer, but this is well in excess of that.

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Ulaca de Milo
  • ulaca

Times 27697 - Pyrrhic Victory

I made a right old horlicks of this, coming home in 62 minutes, that's considerably slower than Friday's puzzle, which is rated 'Hard' on Starstruck's Baby (Monster?). Notwithstanding, my mishaps, I thought this was a very tidy offering and definitely not your typical Monday crossword.

A few weird words, but too easy to get for it to be The Don, methinks...

ACROSS

1 Cut back primarily on game (4)
POLO - LOP reversed O[n]
3 Instrument dismissed husband used to stab Welsh buccaneer (5,5)
MOUTH ORGAN - OUT (dismissed) H (husband) in (stabbing) MORGAN (Sir Henry - Steinbeck's first novel, Cup of Gold, is about his life, though it's no East of Eden)
10 New puppies possibly born in rubbish receptacle (6,3)
LITTER BIN - LITTER B IN
11 They help us to see tiny spots, we hear (5)
SPECS - sounds like specks
12 Composer and Arctic explorer in one (7)
ROSSINI - ROSS IN I; the Ross Sea (in the Antarctic - this fellow got around) is named after James Clark Ross, RN, 1800-1862
13 Like a type of music exam taken after church (6)
CHORAL - CH ORAL
15 Cleaning brass? It’s an illegal activity (5,10)
MONEY LAUNDERING - mm, a bit insipid, methinks: the first bit is a whimsical definition, the second a developing world phenomenon of rather large proportions
18 Crown representative up north in ravine near choppy lake (8,7)
GOVERNOR GENERAL - OVER (up; 'it's all up for you') N (north) in GORGE (ravine) anagram* of NEAR L; I took ages to get this, going down many blind alleys and inventing a few
21 One’s associated with a former politician’s excuses (6)
ALIBIS - IS after A LIB; the last Liberal PM was the Welsh windbag - aren't they all? - David Lloyd George (he resigned in 1922); strictly speaking, a 'Lib' is not a former politician, since, though the 'mainstream' parliamentary Liberal Party entered various alliances and mergers post-1981, the Liberal Party as reconstituted in 1989 continues to hold council seats and field candidates in Westminster Parliamentary elections. Who knows, one day it may win a seat, gerrymandering permitting...
23 Tower completely infested by nasty bug (7)
TUGBOAT - BUG* in TO A T (completely; completely in its perfectly/in every detail sense, 'completely divine')
26 Write someone else’s book? That’s the spirit (5)
GHOST - double definition (DD)
27 Tea and fruit taken round east of the Lizard? (9)
CHAMELEON - CHA E in MELON
28 Aim to plug old piece of furniture that can be lengthened (10)
EXTENDABLE - END in EX TABLE
29 Useless-sounding vessel (4)
VEIN - sounds like vain

DOWN

1 Sack Liberal leaving for dire crusade (10)
PILGRIMAGE - PILLAGE with one L (there's that Liberal again, rabbiting on about proportional representation) replaced by GRIM (dire)
2 Aquatic plant identified by many around university (5)
LOTUS - U in LOTS
4 Old bachelors engineered goal : it’s essential to the score (9)
OBBLIGATO - a bit that must be played - also rendable as 'obligato', in case you were wondering; O BB (GOAL IT)*
5 Do not put up with it casually at first! (5)
TONIC - DO as in 'Doe a deer' (of the female variety) NOT reversed I[t] C[asually]
6 Acceptable footwear sailor finally carried
towards land (7)
ONSHORE - ON [sailo]R in SHOE
7 Head of garrison more disposed to accept new infantryman (9)
GRENADIER - Ga[rrison] N in READIER; 'Some talk of Alexander and some of Hercules...'
8 Architect and town planner set up two hospitals (4)
NASH - H and SAN reversed
9 It cuts tax, giving rise to unbecoming jocularity (6)
LEVITY - IT in LEVY
14 Antibody ailing gut badly needs initially (10)
AGGLUTININ - AILING GUT* N[eeds]; tricky if you've never heard of it
16 Rock plant lovers mostly want cultivated (9)
NAVELWORT - LOVER[s] WANT* ('cultivated' is the anagram indicator); my last in, and even more blind alleys traversed than the other one
17 Man decapitated before autumn, when it gets dark (9)
NIGHTFALL - [k]NIGHT FALL
19 Tease lad eating core of rotting apple (7)
RIBSTON - RIB (tease) T (middle letter of [rot]T[ing]) in SON
20 Having brought up weapon, secure a lump of gold (6)
NUGGET - GUN reversed GET
22 Bones Charlie removed from southern African capital (5)
SACRA - S AC[c]RA (capital of Ghana)
24 Neat point about turnover of the old plant (5)
OXEYE - YE (the old; old form of 'the' - well, more or less) reversed in OX (neat; basically, cow) E (point)
25 A good universal cure ultimately for malarial fever (4)
AGUE - A G U [cur]E