November 9th, 2020

  • jackkt

Times Quick Cryptic by 1740 by Oink

Solving time: 6 minutes. At the moment I seem to be regularly out of step with other opinions about the difficulty of puzzles, but dare I suggest this is all reasonably straightforward? 6 minutes is my fastest regular time, achieved so far on 36 puzzles or 2% of the total 1741. My times always include parsing so I feel I am unlikely to beat the 5 minute barrier very often and so far that measure of my success stands at only 4 puzzles or 0.23%.

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Ulaca de Milo
  • ulaca

Times 27817 - Round the Horn

What a protracted election! Maybe they should double the number of polling stations and consider e-ballots. Certainly works well with the clubs I am a member of, and after all the USA is famed for its technological innovation. Congratulations to Mr Biden, well known in these parts for the interests his family has here. I watched the election results coming in on CNN, and needed a cold shower to recover my equilibrium afterwards. And they say Fox is biased! At least we'll be spared all the sniping against Mr Trump now. Hopefully.

Crossword-wise, this was a smidgen harder than your average Monday. I navigated a few unknowns quite skillfully, I thought, before coming a cropper on the dinosaur, where I transposed the R and the T. And I'm meant to be a Classicist!

For those who have been asking me about a possible sequel to my first Joy book, it is now out and flying off the shelves on Kindle.

ACROSS

1 Reptilian, one providing extra publicity? (4,5).
PUFF ADDER - mm; if you are a PR type (who isn't, these days?), you might be called an adder of puff, albeit n\by someone who isn't really cut out for the job
6 Found leading tennis match? (3,2)
SET UP - double definition (DD)
9 Light Muscat or Chablis bottles (5)
TORCH - hidden in the wines
10 Free show on Five (9)
VINDICATE - INDICATE on V
11 Gamble where the loser has a shot? (7,8)
RUSSIAN ROULETTE - Christopher Walken, bandanas and all that
13 Old fighter added old weapon (8)
CLAYMORE - (Cassius) CLAY MORE
14 Floating marketing division (6)
ADRIFT - AD RIFT
16 Lord perhaps having a way to open port (6)
ARISTO - A ST in RIO
18 Bullying bear, supposedly, in heartless Tory (8)
THUGGERY - HUGGER in T[or]Y
21 Awfully unimportant: a UK leader in crisis — stop perhaps? (11,4)
PUNCTUATION MARK - anagram* of UNIMPORTANT AUK C[risis]
23 Vanish, as will setter taking exercise? (2,7)
GO WALKIES - DD; nice - hints of Barbara Woodhouse, PG's girl
25 A trotter for cooking? (5)
AFOOT - A FOOT; nice definition (What's afoot? What's cooking?)
26 In good time, like a nobleman quite possibly? (5)
EARLY - Imagine Baldrick describing an earl - if he can take his mind off his turnip
27 Calf in a state? (3,6)
NEW JERSEY - New Joisey to those in the know

DOWN

1 Parent cut up about teenager, primarily (5)
PATER - REAP reversed around T[eenager]
2 Warning from drivers: stop growth of planes etc (11)
FORESTATION - FORE! (Spiro Agnew's motto) STATION
3 Lack of belief in time has dissipated (7)
ATHEISM - TIME HAS*
4 An opening in flat in Northamptonshire town (8)
DAVENTRY - A VENT in DRY; faceless town in, well, that place
5 Publish that US writer (6)
RUNYON - RUN YON; some author I've never heard of
6 Item worn by biker slipped round youth (4,3)
SKID LID - KID in LID; gotta be a crash helmet; not need to wear them in much of SE Asia, which appeals to the libertarian in me
7 When picked up, character leaves (3)
TEA - sounds like TE/TI (follows LA if you're Julie Andrews)
8 Soon begrudge going into work (9)
PRESENTLY - RESENT in PRY
12 Treat a critter with surgical procedures, old herbivore (11)
TRICERATOPS - A CRITTER* OPS
13 Alcoholic drink: that can't really hurt, did you say? (9)
CHAMPAGNE - sounds like SHAM PAIN; moving on...
15 Secure gnome — feller? (8)
CHAINSAW - CHAIN SAW (saying)
17 Dead giant in play (7)
TOTALLY - TALL in TOY
19 Part of ship first of all in urgent need, wrecked in storm (7)
GUNWALE - initial letters of U[regent}] n[EED] W[recked] in GALE
20 Country gent, oddly evil (6)
MALIGN - MALI G[e]N[t]
22 Mog kept rhino? (5)
KITTY - DD
24 Action English novelist mentioned (3)
WAR - sounds like a WAUGH of your choice; son is meant to be better, but dad is more famous