June 24th, 2020


Times Quick Cryptic No 1642 by Felix


Finished in 9:23. I had hoped for something a bit faster as I've been working on improving my speed. But when the pressure's on, I seem to slow down! In any case, a tricky puzzle with some unknown words for me. Maybe half the clues went in from definition alone, so I'll be figuring out the wordplay on the fly.

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Times 27699 - something fishy here; whose fault is it?

Another pleasant Wednesday workout, plenty of anagrams and fairly easy clues and a sprinkling of trickier ones to keep me interested. I liked 14d best.

1 Feast keeps old woman in compound (8)
DOPAMINE - DINE (feast) insert O (old) PAM (random woman). Dopamine is not an amine that makes you dopey; its name is a contraction of 3,4-dihydroxyphenethylamine, a hormone and neurotransmitter essential to the functioning of your brain.
5 Flower pot almost useless (6)
CROCUS - CROC(K) - pot almost; US = useless, unserviceable.
10 This, under LA, SF and Santa A, in slippage? (3,7,5)
11 Violin piece by leader in strong position (10)
BRIDGEHEAD - BRIDGE (violin piece), HEAD (leader).
13 Crone a non-starter in desire (4)
ITCH - WITCH doesn't start.
15 Key often used by news boss went in (7)
ENTERED - ENTER (key often used) ED (news boss).
17 Endless respect little man gives senior officer (7)
ADMIRAL - ADMIR(E) = endless respect, AL a little chap.
18 Soldiers taking area in French town and city (7)
ORLEANS - OR (soldiers) LENS (a town near Calais) has A for area inserted.
19 Experiment involves cat finding fish (7)
TELEOST - TEST (experiment) has LEO (a cat) inserted. Teleosts include some 96% of all bony fish species, from the Greek teleios (complete) + osteon (bone). I had seen the word before and knew it was something to do with fish, but couldn't have told you much more without Wiki's help.
21 Work found regularly in two mills (4)
TOIL - Alternate letters of T w O m I l L s.
22 Warm house and outbuilding very good inside (10)
HOSPITABLE - HO (house) STABLE (outbuilding) insert PI (very good).
25 Medicinal plant cultivated in vigneron's empire (7,8)
27 Stupid baronet plunged into river (6)
OBTUSE - BT (baronet) goes in the River Ouse.
28 Somewhere in France that's cleaner — and very French! (8)
CHARTRES - CHAR as in charwoman, or charperson perhaps now, TRES très being French for very. Two days in a row, we're in Chartres.
1 Where white queen starts, black causes damage (7)
DISABLE - On a chess board, the white queen begins the game on the square conventionally labelled as D1; SABLE = black.
2 Immobilise leg (3)
PIN - double definition.
3 Executive rage — animal unleashed (10)
4 Player, reluctant, eviscerated in classical drama (5)
NORTH - Reluctant eviscerated = RT; insert into NOH = classic drama. Player as in bridge.
6 Extensive search through ignores luggage at first (4)
RIFE - RIFLE = search through, loses its L the initial letter of luggage.
7 Pounds raised in Ulster — British in search for weapon (7,4)
CLUSTER BOMB - Take Ulster, 'raise' the L to get LUSTER; add B for British; insert it all into COMB = search for.
8 Bag male brought into class after exam (7)
SATCHEL - SAT = exam, CL for class; insert HE for male. In the UK SAT stands for Standard Attainment Tests.
9 Fall that could lead to blindness (8)
CATARACT - double definition; a waterfall, and an eye problem.
12 Smart but impoverished count supplanting duke (11)
INTELLIGENT - Take INDIGENT (impoverished) and replace the D (duke) by TELL (count).
14 Grandfather is not such an insignificant person (5-5)
SMALL-TIMER - A grandfather clock is not a 'small timer', it's a large one.
16 Drive away from one small lake in Kansas City (8)
DISLODGE - DODGE CITY is in Kansas; insert I S L (one small lake) into Dodge.
18 Busy hospital in Eton failed to operate (2,3,2)
ON THE GO - insert H into (ETON)* add GO = operate.
20 Greek hero puts article to varied uses (7)
THESEUS - THE (article) (USES)*.
23 Church under pressure to accommodate gold in hall (5)
PORCH - P (pressure) CH (church) insert OR (gold).
24 Light touch from one X represents (4)
KISS - double definition.
26 Rower in loud cry when losing lead (3)
OAR - ROAR loses its leading R.