June 22nd, 2020

  • 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...


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)
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)
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)
28 Aim to plug old piece of furniture that can be lengthened (10)
29 Useless-sounding vessel (4)
VEIN - sounds like vain


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)
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)
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)
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