October 15th, 2020

Times Quick Cryptic No 1723 by Corelli

An average difficulty QC on the Rotterometer, if not slightly easier than average, taking me 13 minutes to complete.  There are a couple of pieces of General Knowledge needed which may trip up any newbies (STOA and PETER for example) and some slightly unusual devices employed by our Setter, but I think today’s puzzle is a good example of the QC form.  Thanks Corelli.

My COD runner-up is 12d, but the award has to go to 3d for the lovely memories of Bill Maynard, who left us in 2018.


Shrewd copper taking tips from trainee (4)
CUTE – CU (chemical symbol for copper) and T{raine}E (tips from = first and last letters).
3  Discordant noises after start of Society meeting (7)
SESSION – Anagram (discordant) of [NOISES] and S{ociety} (start of).
8  Back in Dolgellau, Susannah’s no different from normal (2,5)
AS USUAL – Reverse hidden (back in) in {dolgel}LAU, SUSA{nnah}.  It might sound made up, but Dolgellau is actually a small town in Gwynedd, north west Wales.
9 Manuscript found on lectern in Oxford, originally (5)
FOLIO – First letters of (originally) Found On Lectern In Oxford.
10  Conclusion to clash, indeed, that’s cut and dried! (3)
HAY – {clas}H (conclusion, last letter) and AY (indeed).
11  Tiny child with a large sum (5)
TOTAL – TOT (tiny child) with A and L{arge}
13  Not entirely honest, eg grabbing savings (4-3)
NEST-EGG – Hidden inside (not entirely) {ho}NEST, EG G{rabbing}.
15  They favour youth, eg, as it’s fantastic (7)
AGEISTS – Anagram (fantastic) of [EG, AS IT’S].
17  No turning back: determined to make start (5)
ONSET – NO reversed (turning back) to give ON, and SET (determined).
18  Teams up every so often to produce large flyer?  No! (3)
EMU – Alternate letters (every so often) of {t}E{a}M{s} U{p}.  An EMU is an example of a large bird (flyer), that doesn’t fly.
21  Ghostly European appearing by lake (5)
EERIE – E{uropean} and ERIE (one of the Great Lakes).
22  Tenant going round back of house to get in again (2-5)
RE-ENTER – RENTER (tenant) containing (going round) back of {hous}E (last letter).
23  Unemployed CID officers meeting American press chief (7)
DISUSED – DIS (Detective Inspectors, CID officers) and US (American) and ED{itor} (press chief).
24  Polish end of button in blue (4)
SAND – SAD (blue) containing end of {butto}N.  To SAND as with sand-paper is to polish.


1  American spies graduate teetotaller with a long Italian loaf (8)
CIABATTA – CIA (American spies) with BA (graduate) TT (teetotaller) and A (a).
2  EU right to upset firm (4)
TRUE – EU and RT (right) all reversed (upset).  I wondered about equating TRUE with firm, but synonyms of TRUE include straight and constant, so I guess it is OK.
Man from south, newly relocated (6)
SELWYN – Anagram (relocated) of S{outh} and [NEWLY].  Made me smile in memory of SELWYN FROGGITT, ITV sitcom hero from the seventies played by the late lamented Bill Maynard – magic!
4  Peter on tree overlooking river’s very secure (4,2,6)
SAFE AS HOUSES – SAFE (Peter, it’s a slang term for a safe and one worth remembering in Crosswordland) on ASH (tree) and OUSE’S (river’s), to give SAFE AS HOUSES.
Sloth scattered linseeds (8)
IDLENESS – Anagram (scattered) of [LINSEEDS].
Twelve numbers back to back (4)
NOON – NO (number) alongside another one, reversed (back to back).
Lack of sympathy for defective state of Old Testament? (12)
RUTHLESSNESS – A defective Old Testament might lack the book of RUTH and be in a state of RUTHLESSNESS.
12  Hitchcock film in three equal parts about English bishop (3,5)
THE BIRDS – Three equal parts would be THIRDS.  Put these around E{nglish} and B{ishop} for the answer.
14  Did mass, that’s also understood (8)
GATHERED – double definition.
16  Large amount of water studied, we hear, hit the roof? (3,3)
SEE RED – Double homophone (we hear), sounds like SEA (large amount of water) and READ (studied).
19  Directed to consume whiskey?  That’s obscene! (4)
LEWD – LED (directed) ‘consuming’ W{hiskey} – phonetic alphabet)
20  Tailless furry creature seen in colonnade (4)
STOA – STOA{t} (furry creature without last letter – tailless).  A STOA is a portico or covered colonnade, and well worth remembering for crosswords.
  • glheard

Times 27796 - when you're a blogger...

Time taken: 11:46.

I was wondering if I was going to get to write the blog in this format - about a week ago the crossword club stopped working in my Chrome browser - I'd either get a loading screen that never turned into the puzzle, or I'd get a puzzle that wouldn't let me type any answers into it. I changed to Firefox and all seemed to be working well, except the most recent version of firefox seems to block cutting and pasting of scripts into the console panel, like the one I use to extract the clues and format the blog.

Finally I figured out if I opened the non-crossword club version of the puzzle, I could fill it in using chrome (can't submit, which is a pity, I could try being a neutrino - only took me 3:03 to enter the words again, and this time I could open the console and get the puzzle. Phew.

Long intro - I was expecting a stinker and this is a notch up in difficulty from the last few days, but not too bad. Some fun clues.

1 Philosophy old yogi developed around energy (8)
IDEOLOGY - anagram of OLD,YOGI surrounding E(energy)
5 A change in store at sea? (6)
AFLOAT - A and then FLOAT(the money put into a till so a cashier can make change)
8 Very tired to start with, one usually sloshed (3)
SOT - SO(very) and the first letter in Tired
9 Ships one by one leaving Spithead for short time (10)
FLEETINGLY - a FLEET of ships, then SINGLY(one by one) missing the first letter of Spithead
10 Bad joints reported by those writing regularly? (8)
DIARISTS - sounds like DIRE(bad), WRISTS(joints)
11 Frank does cutting-edge work ahead of time (6)
HONEST - HONES(does cutting edge work) then T(time)
12 Black separatists initially forming gang (4)
JETS - JET(black) and the first letter of Separatists - one of the gangs in West Side Story
14 Aim to get fit, being wise (10)
17 Tissue a certain Frenchman chucked into grave (4,6)
BONE MARROW - ONE(a certain), M(frenchman) inside BARROW(grave)
20 College inventor making contribution to security (4)
YALE - double definition. The inventor is Linus Yale, inventor of the Yale lock.
23 Set pulsating disc on first audio device (6)
STEREO - anagram of SET, then O(disc) with RE(on) first
24 Who'd make good sort of theatre publicist? (8)
REPAIRER - REP theatre, then AIRER(publicist)
25 Loveless coupling made in the dark (10)
UNINFORMED - remove O(love) from UNION(coupling) then FORMED(made)
26 Closely follow tailless mammoth (3)
HUG - remove the last letter from HUGE(mammoth)
27 Pious figure clothed in most suitable room? (6)
VESTRY - ST(saint, pious figure) inside VERY(most). I had this parsed incorrectly, originally, thanks for pointing it out in comments.
28 Trading hub located in centre potentially (8)
ENTREPOT - hidden in cENTRE POTentially
1 Type of crime where Jacob keeps account? (6,3)
INSIDE JOB - the account, or SIDE is IN JOB - well kinda. AC is INSIDE JOB (again thanks for the many commenters correcting my oversight)
2 What might be wide court passage (7)
EXTRACT - a wide is an EXTRA in cricket, then CT(court)
3 Radical English newspaper involved in deception (6)
LEFTIE - E(English), FT(Financial Times, newspaper), inside LIE(deception)
4 Plough through a translation from Latin (5,4)
GREAT BEAR - cryptic definition based on URSA MAJOR to GREAT BEAR to PLOUGH
5 Heard in dispute: what calls for blessing? (7)
ATISHOO - sounds like AT ISSUE
6 Famed LSD guru, smuggling in dope, died (9)
LEGENDARY - the LSD guru is Timothy LEARY, insert GEN(dope) and D(died)
7 Sailor, Yankee with girl climbing on the bed? (7)
ABYSSAL - AB(sailor), Y(yankee in the phonetic alphabet), then LASS(girl) reversed
13 Singular fruit with perfect flavour (9)
SPEARMINT - S(singluar), PEAR(fruit) and MINT(perfect)
15 Son nudges mum, seen by new representative (9)
SPOKESMAN - S(son), POKES(nudges), MA(mum), with N - loved this clue
16 Plant detective, getting smart (9)
EYEBRIGHT - the detective is a private EYE, then BRIGHT(smart)
18 Thrust forward, storming redoubt (7)
OBTRUDE - anagram of REDOUBT
19 Leading character in 21 can do what it does remotely (7)
ALOOFLY - 21 down is airship, so the first letter is A, then LOO(can), and the airship can FLY
21 Paris excited about greeting high-flier (7)
AIRSHIP - anagram of PARIS surrounding HI(greeting)
22 WW2 ace crossing loch finds God (6)
BALDER - the WW2 ace is Douglas BADER, insert L(loch) for a god I have only ever seen spelled BALDUR, but in Collins is given as BALDER.

Times 27,797: The Lord Giveth Letter Ms, And The Lord Taketh Away

What a great puzzle! No real hard vocabulary or obscurities, unless you're too young for Bunter and Brer Rabbit I guess, but all the cryptic dialled up into the red zone so I at least needed to keep my wits about me throughout. FOI was, sadly, an incorrect BOARD at 11ac, which never helps with a fast start, but ESCAPE KEY and HEN at least were good when they came quickly thereafter. As a special mark of a good crossword, my POI and LOI were 21dn and 1dn, and you know a setter's got you where they want you when the statutory alternate-letter clue and hidden hold out that long.

COD to 9ac with honourable mention to 19dn: two clues which are have such elegant symmetry about them that it feels like they were discovered in, rather than just hacked out of, the raw material of the English language.

Very fine work indeed setter! Making Fridays Great Again...

1 Record article you haven’t normally got a clue about (9)
CATALOGUE - A [article], with (GOT A CLUE*) ["not normally"] "about that

6 Stripper removing the last item: where it could happen, legally? (5)

9 Work out? People who do this probably won’t! (7)
DECRYPT - but if you DECRY P(hysical) T(raining), you probably won't "work out" in a different way...

10 Roll is getting dry on the outside: I’d recommend dunking (7)
BAPTIST - BAP [roll], + IS getting T(ee)T(otal) on the outside

11 Put up fare (5)
TABLE - double def

12 Diversion vital, it’s impressed on PC (6,3)
ESCAPE KEY - ESCAPE [diversion] + KEY [vital]; something you press on a Personal Computer

14 Spelling system that uses first half dozen letters (3)
HEX - double def; spelling as in "witchery", and the hex(adecimal) system that uses A-F as digits, in addition to 0-9

15 Twice a year new driver sets out for historic part of Italy (5,6)
PAPAL STATES - P(er) A(nnum) is "a year"; take that twice before L [new driver], plus STATES [sets out]

17 Close, around lunchtime, small joint (2,4,5)
AT ONE'S ELBOW - AT ONE [around lunchtime] + S(mall) + ELBOW [joint]

19 Female at the time needing to lose weight (3)
HEN - {w}HEN

20 Stick with short answer: you could be in the doghouse there? (9)
BATTERSEA - BAT with TERSE A. Location of the Battersea Dogs (& Cats) Home

22 Totter backwards, avoiding a married uncle or brother (5)
REMUS - to tot is to SUM, so a totter is a SUMMER, reverse and "avoid" one M(arried) to find the Uncle of Brer Rabbit fame or the Roman brother of Romulus

24 Spaniard maybe in East London semi, soon to move (7)
ALFONSO - 'ALF is "semi" in Cockney parts, + (SOON*)

26 Two posh male guards deliver something metallic (7)
IRIDIUM - II U M [two | posh | male] "guards" RID [deliver]

27 Is foolish to finish with Times publication (5)
DOTES - DO [to finish] with T(imes) E(ducational) S(upplement)

28 Religious congregation highly impatient after failing to be heard (9)
SYNAGOGUE - homophone jigsaw of AGOG [highly impatient] after SIN [failing]

1 Little brother wanted a cousin to show up (5)
CADET - hidden reversed in {wan}TED A C{ousin}

2 Gather fight is what Bunter was always going to? (7)
TUCKBOX - TUCK [gather] + BOX [fight]. Bunter liked his tuck, as his figure suggests

3 Play Pole out of position with English amateurs (9)
LAYPEOPLE - (PLAY POLE*) + E(nglish)

4 “Grand total to decrease?” they report sensationally (6,5)
GUTTER PRESS - G(rand) + UTTER [total] + PRESS [de-crease, with an iron]

5 Finally wave bye bye and go out (3)
EBB - {wav}E + B(ye) + B(ye)

6 Like a lavish meal, but with no starter to relish (3,2)

7 Perhaps some tests, etc, especially for handling strain (7)
CRICKET - RICK [strain], "handled by" (ETC*) ["especially"]

8 Clock and TV close to mantelpiece? Indeed possible (3,4,2)
SET EYES ON - SET [TV] + {mantelpiec)E + YES [indeed] + ON [possible]

13 Party with its share of famous guests? (11)
CELEBRATION - or CELEB RATION [famous person | share]

14 Manage to get on part of bed (9)
HEADBOARD - HEAD [manage (a department)] + BOARD [to get on (a train)]

16 Frustrating, with grant having been adjusted (9)

18 Bombed, if ordered up initially to attack (3,2,2)
OUT OF IT - O{rdered} U{p} + TO + FIT [attack]

19 Carrying an unpleasant smell, another’s banned from table tennis (7)
HUMPING - HUM [an unpleasant smell] + PING{pong} [table tennis, minus PONG, another unpleasant smell]

21 Irish town you might have been in first? Oddly, no (5)
ENNIS - {b}E{e}N {i}N {f}I{r}S{t}

23 The French department giving a few extra marks (5)
SOMME - take SOME [a few] and give it an extra dose of M(arks)

25 Passes round Kansas (3)
OKS - O [round] + KS