November 12th, 2020

Times Quick Cryptic No 1743 by Tracy

I found this quite tough for a Tracy, taking longer than my 15-minute target, at 16 minutes.  There is no really hard General Knowledge needed (maybe FORFAR is a bit UK-centric), countered by GRACELAND, which is probably better known on the other side of the pond, and everything is fairly clued.  Maybe I am just a bit off the wavelength this week, I have had a few over-target solves.

FOI FAN, LOI NURSE, COD 9d (AND SO FORTH).  Thanks Tracy for a decent challenge, I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did.


1  Bad carrying on with a criminal (7)
ILLEGAL – ILL (bad) with LEG (on, as in cricket, leg / on side) and A (a) inserted (carrying).  Solving and parsing this clue requires lifting and separating A and CRIMINAL.  The definition is CRIMINAL not A CRIMINAL.
5  A route abroad (4)
AWAY – A (a) and WAY (route).
7  Article by female supporter (3)
FAN – AN (article, the indefinite article) alongside (by) F{emale}.  Maybe unusually, supporter clues FAN here, it is often used to clue BRA in Crosswordland.
8  Strange crest dividing a New York family (8)
ANCESTRY – Anagram (strange) of [CREST] inserted into (dividing) A (a) and N{ew} Y{ork}.
10  Look after harbour (5)
NURSE – Double definition (DD), the second as in to harbour or nurse a headache.
11 Training in it out at sea (7)
TUITION – Anagram (at sea) of [IN IT OUT].
13  Number picked up by remote Scottish town (6)
FORFAR – Part homophone (picked up / sounds like) FOR sounds like four (number), and FAR (remote).  FORFAR is the county town of Angus in Scotland, and always reminds me of Eric Morecambe’s tongue-twister football score announcement of “East Fife four, Forfar five”.
15  Group round bar suffering reversal in game (6)
TENNIS – SET (group) holding INN (bar) all reversed to give TENNIS.  Is TENNIS a sport or a game?  Chambers says a game, but I suspect some people will dispute that, although the differences are subtle.
17  Remainder live around university (7)
RESIDUE – RESIDE (live) around U{niversity}.
18  Man, crook (5)
STAFF – Another DD, this time obeying Rotter’s Law – two-word clues are invariably double definitions.  Here, the first definition refers to staffing / manning a department for instance, whilst the second refers to a staff like a shephard’s crook.
20  Horse: lad astride big one (8)
STALLION – SON (lad) containing (astride, i.e. on either side of) TALL (big) and I (one).
22  Standard cut reduced (3)
PAR – Both PARE and PART could mean cut, so take your pick and drop the last letter (reduced).  My vote is on PAR{e} as the better fit.
23  Joke made by judge is French (4)
JEST – J{udge} and EST (French for is).  ‘Made by’ here is a linking phrase, giving instructions on how to construct the answer.
24  Rot in heart of beech and another couple of trees (7)
EYEWASH – Heart of beech gives {be}E{ch} (the middle letter), and YEW and ASH are the other the other ‘two trees’.  EYEWASH is an informal  word meaning nonsense or rot!


Performing very well at home, showing class after penalty (2,4,4)
IN FINE FORM – IN (at home) followed by FINE (penalty) and finally FORM (class).
2  Band on river vessel (5)
LINER – LINE (band, as in stripe) and R{iver}.
3  Adorn country mansion where the “King” lived (9)
GRACELAND – GRACE (adorn) and LAND (country).  The “King” referred to is Elvis Presley, who owned and lived in GRACELAND in Memphis, Tennessee.
Find the Parisian sheltering old domestic pet (6)
LOCATE – LE (‘the’ in French, as spoken in Paris, therefore Parisian) holding (sheltering) O{ld} and CAT (domestic pet).
Wally in the role of head of state (3)
ASS – AS (in the role of) and S (first letter, or head of) S{tate}.  The origin of WALLY meaning ASS is uncertain, but may be related to the short form of WALTER.
Call to account US soldier over in Scottish isle (7)
ARRAIGN – GI (US soldier) reversed (over) inside ARRAN (Scottish isle).  To ARRAIGN is to put on trial, or to call to account.
9  Also short of rum, et cetera (3,2,5)
AND SO FORTH – AND (also) followed by an anagram (rum) of [SHORT OF].
12  Popular extract, basically (2,7)
IN ESSENCE – IN (popular) and ESSENCE (extract).
14  Originally, over in New Street finds badge (7)
ROSETTE – Anagram (new) of [STREET] containing O{ver} (originally).  Rosettes are regularly worn as badges of affiliation, e.g. during the US Presidential Election - is it over yet?.
16  Extremely furtive row of cats (6)
FELINE – F{urtiv}E (extremely, first and last letters) and LINE (row).
19  Greek character in hotel in mountain area (5)
ALPHA – ALP (mountain) and A{rea} containing H{otel}.
21  Rent part of vaudeville theatre (3)
LET – Hidden answer in {vaudevil}LE T{heater}.
  • glheard

Times 27820 - brush up on your philosophy

Time taken: 15:12, but with one silly typo in 8 down, so a pink square of doom.

I struggled with this, and I am a little miffed at the setter for clueing the name of a philosopher I can barely spell on a good day as a partial anagram. I had all manner of letter combinations in there before the checking letters sorted it out.  I am just back from a socially-distanced improv show, and trying to do comedy wearing a face mask and a lavolier microphone to an audience all sitting six feet apart is a really interesting experience. I am doing a second show next week, so hopefully practice makes perfect.

Away we go...

1 Like a cat, black and suffering from fleas? (6)
BITCHY - B(black), ITCHY(suffering from fleas)
4 Energy drink first, then grub cooked for one not responding to treatment (8)
SUPERBUG - E(energy) with SUP(drink) coming first, then an anagram of GRUB
9 Opposing military commander isn’t bad (7)
AGAINST - AGA(military commander), then an anagram of ISN'T
11 Stretcher brought when fashion designer clutches muscle (7)
DILATOR - Christian DIOR(fashion designer) with LAT(muscle) inside
12 Eccentric family okay occasionally (5)
KINKY - KIN(family) then alternating letters in oKaY
13 Say nothing a sort of professor holds outrageous (9)
EGREGIOUS - EG(say) then O(nothing) inside a REGIUS professor. I always associate REGIUS professor with John Henslow who recommended young Charles Darwin as a naturalist to Fitzroy on the Beagle
14 On page record name in passport for sucker (10)
PEPPERMINT -  P(page), EP(record) then N(name) in PERMIT(passport)
16 Low river in high ground (4)
MOOR - MOO(low) then R(river)
19 Get together in turn and be in large numbers (4)
TEEM - MEET(get together) reversed
20 Girl’s relative almost died alone (10)
UNASSISTED - UNA'S (girl's) then SISTER(relative) missing the last letter, D(died)
22 Final character in set troubled revolutionary philosopher (9)
NIETZSCHE -  Z(final character) in an anagram of IN,SET, then CHE(revolutionary)
23 Smacks on the wrist? (5)
CUFFS - double definition, as cuffs would be worn on the wrist
25 Sneering expression at this point on drunk (2,5)
SO THERE - HERE(at this point) with SOT(drunk)
26 Sort of knot judge has to work round (7)
TREFOIL -  REF(judge) inside TOIL(work) - a knot in heraldry
27 Ridiculous day your old dad returned (8)
DERISORY - D(day), then a reversal of YR(your), O(old), SIRE(dad)
28 Inferior male one avoids without trouble (6)
MEASLY -  M(male) then remove I(one) from EASILY(without trouble)
1 Refuses to touch vessel in dangerous position (5,4)
BLACK SPOT - BLACKS(refuses to touch, boycotts) then POT(vessel)
2 Writer’s counterpart receiving top mark (5)
TWAIN - TWIN(counterpart) containing A(top mark)
3 Don’t you get married, shortly husband will be up for something sticky (8)
HONEYDEW - Don't you get married could be WED YE NOT - remove the last letter. Then H(husband) all reversed
5 In the way as very young son announced achievement (5,4,4)
UNDER ONES FEET - very young could be UNDER ONE, then S(son) and sounds like FEAT(achievement)
6 Speech extolling a group we’ve left? (6)
EULOGY - cryptic definition
7 Halt decline: get this to moon (6,3)
BOTTOM OUT - double definition, with moom meaning drop trou
8 A convolution of brain surgery ordered without hesitation (5)
GYRUS - anagram of SURGERY minus ER(hesitation)
10 Sort of explosion shattered column in the back (13)
THERMONUCLEAR - anagram of COLUMN in THE, REAR(back)
15 I introduce quietly aggrieved person (9)
PRESENTER - P(quiety), RESENTER(aggrieved person)
17 Get back up from police in cup-tie (9)
REDISPLAY - DI'S(police) in REPLAY(cup-tie)
18 Separate set cried to be put together (8)
21 Old people as outspoken investigators (6)
AZTECS - sounds like AS TECHS(investigators)
22 Moved slowly in Lourdes, only standing up a little (5)
NOSED - hidden reversed in lourDES ONly
24 Waste silk, following damage (5)
FLOSS - F(following), LOSS(damage)

Times 27,821: Exit, Pursued By Friday The 13th

Some challenging clues in this appropriately Friday-the-thirteenth-ish puzzle which kept me busy for a full quarter hour. FOI 6ac, LOI the simply clued but NHO 21ac.

Lots of great clues but special mention to the concision of 28ac, "piece by queen", the well-hidden-by-the-surface definition part of 24dn, and possibly my favourite of all, just for the Spooner mislead, 27ac. All good stuff, fine work by the setter.

Are you all going to come to Angus's latest Lockdown Quiz on Sunday? 7pm UK time, and the perfect warmup exercise for online crossword championship fun the following weekend. I'm sure he'll tell you all about in the comments if you want to know more...

1 Scottish girl out to lunch with graduate in Asian city (9)
ISLAMABAD - ISLA [Scottish girl] + MAD [out to lunch] with B.A. [graduate] in

6 Cool Italian banker’s thick-skinned customer (5)
HIPPO - HIP PO [cool | Italian banker (= thing with banks = river)]

9 Pink slate (5)
KNOCK - double def: as in, engine detonation sound, and criticise, respectively

10 Survived the heat, presumably weakened (9)
QUALIFIED - double def: if you survive the heat you should qualify for the main event

11 Informally, offering crowd view, after stripping (7)
PRESSIE - PRESS [crowd] + {v}IE{w}

12 Heavy weight transported by our trains once (7)
BOUNCER - OUNCE "transported by" B(ritish) R(ail)

13 Play being about fashion, time to bury old hat! (3,7,4)
THE WINTER'S TALE - T INTER STALE [time | to bury | old hat], "about" HEW [fashion]

17 Battered beef so dodgy — after this? (4-6,4)

21 Waves approaching one’s teachers, meeting each (4,3)

23 System which pays out with interest, that’s handy for shoppers? (4,3)
TOTE BAG - TOTE [system which pays out] + BAG [interest, as in "not really my bag"]

25 Battle alone to cross Ireland, pursuing female (9)
SOLFERINO - SOLO, to "cross" ERIN pursuing F. 1859 battle in the Second Italian War of Independence

26 Beach where maiden wears nothing, I see! (5)
OMAHA - M(aiden) "wears" O AHA [nothing | I see!]

27 Spooner’s requirement held aloft, reflecting needs (5)
LADLE - hidden reversed in {h}ELD AL{oft}

28 Excessively particular lover of old ham sandwiches (9)
OVEREXACT - EX [lover of old] "sandwiched" by OVERACT [ham (it up)]

1 Dark blotches most likely stop skin developing (8)

2 Lavatory, not for all, in use — then free (5)
LOOSE - LOO + {u}SE. U = "for all (to see)", in the cinema

3 Work as seamstress, maybe, for a time (9)
MAKESHIFT - or MAKE SHIFT like a seamstress might

4 Live target? We might pass on that! (7)
BEQUEST - BE [live] + QUEST [target]. A bequest is something one might pass on

5 Duke not prepared to stop building tower (7)
DRAWBAR - D RAW BAR [duke | not prepared | to stop] - these parts "build" something that tows.

6 One piece by queen in drag, failing to finish lines (5)
HAIKU - I + K [= king = piece by queen], in HAU{l}

7 Girl, not the first, French teacher quietly upset (9)
PRISCILLA - reverse all of {g}ALLIC SIR P [French | teacher | quietly]

8 Companies sometimes marching, sometimes standing (6)

14 Stared at and, yes, cried aloud (9)
EYEBALLED - homophone of AYE, BAWLED

15 Score, and I will secure this game (6-3)
TWENTY-ONE - TWENTY is a score and I is ONE.

16 Pepper for one’s cooking gran set close to stove (8)
SERGEANT - (GRAN SET {stov}E*). As in Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

18 Maxine wandering round out of her mind (2,5)
EX ANIMO - (MAXINE*) + O [round]

19 Issue uniform in Officer Training Corps Cockney’s in (7)
OUTCOME - U in O.T.C. + 'OME

20 Carve letters in Greek and English one spelled out (6)
CHISEL - CHIS [letters in Greek] and EL [English letter (L) spelled out]

22 Smooth kid, maybe summoned to court lassie ultimately (5)
SUEDE - SUED [summoned to court] + {lassi}E

24 Virginia with endless high fibre food that’s good for her (5)
BRAVA - VA with BRA{n}. Good for her!