January 18th, 2021

  • jackkt

Times Quick Cryptic 1790 by Orpheus

Solving time: 10 minutes with one wrong answer. When blogging I noticed there are rather a lot of containment clues - 7 out of 14 Acrosses and 3 Downs. I don't think the puzzle would be easy for all so I look forward to reading how you all got on, especially those of you who are still finding your feet in the world of cryptic puzzles.

Our aim here is to encourage and support all solvers who wish to improve their skills, regardless of their current ability, and I'd like to thank all bloggers and commenters, new and old, who contribute to that.

Note:  04:30 GMT 19 January 2021. I have taken the rare step of disabling further comments since discussion of the crossword  puzzle has long ceased and there is argument continuing about other matters. That is not what this forum is for.

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Ulaca de Milo
  • ulaca

Times 27877 - QAnon anyone?

I have just completed the move to my retirement home (not a retirement home as such - I still have some marbles) in the picturesque island of Cheung Chau. Certainly a change of pace, but I have brought a portable oven, so I will be looking to churn out killer banana bread, carrot cake and various other delights, which I will be looking to prevail upon the local independent eateries to flog. Does that make any sense?

Not assuredly as much as this puzzle, which kept me entertained for the best part of 24 minutes. A nice mix of topics, I thought (easy on the sciency stuff, which is always a plus in my book), and some smooth surfaces. Just the thing to start the week with.


1 Company receives order beginning to march with soldier (8)
COMMANDO - OM (Order of Merit) M[arch] AND (with) in CO
5 Refuse amorous advance at university (4,2)
10 Time with dad on settee taking in English sitcom (5,2,1,7)
BIRDS OF A FEATHER - BIRD (time, as in time in jail) SOFA (settee) E in FATHER; a British TV show with 129 episodes - all of which I missed
11 Among cunning old people there’s one mathematician (10)
ARCHIMEDES - I in ARCH (cunning) MEDES (rarely seen without their mates the Persians, together they were big into legislation) for the bloke in the bath
13 Hawk comes from lake shrouded in mist (4)
FLOG - L in FOG; 'hawk' as in shift dodgy gear
15 Greed seen when fresh caviare’s presented (7)
AVARICE - anagram* of CAVIARE; never seen it spelt like this. One of a number of delicacies (also oysters and abalone) I'm happy to let others eat. Give me a cheese and marmite sandwich any day.
17 Hampshire river flow trial (4,3)
TEST RUN -TEST (river that flows through Soton) RUN (flow)
18 Botched rescue involves knight in condemnation (7)
19 Greek bread once provided by church, intervening in crisis? (7)
DRACHMA - CH in DRAMA; the insurance company's whose tagline was 'We don't make a drama out of a crisis' might baulk at the definition
21 Sloth maybe stopping halfway across garden (4)
EDEN - EDEN[tate], which literally means toothless ('a mammal of an order distinguished by the lack of incisor and canine teeth, including the anteaters, sloths, and armadillos, all of which are native to Central and South America'). Who needs teeth when you've got a tongue like that, anyway?
22 Bloomingdale's gets one out to a shopper (10)
APOSTROPHE - TO A SHOPPER*; took me a while to see this, and even then I missed the anagram
25 Collection of native gods here? (8,7)
NATIONAL GALLERY - I reckon this is a cryptic definition, with the 'collection' pointing you towards the paintings and the 'gods' directing you to the gallery, as in the cheap seats in a theatre. But, as always, I am open to offers.
27 Wayward monarch right to be seen by social worker (6)
28 Like Arctic fish that wriggles in lock (8)
TREELESS - EEL (fish that wriggles) in TRESS


1 Taxi by Welsh lake seen in esoteric lore (7)
CABBALA - CAB BALA (Bala Lake is the largest lake in Wales, I believe); secret this-and-that (together with its bedfellow, loony conspiracies) is like caviar to me. Can't be bothered with it.
2 Old woman on run causes harm (3)
3 Promising a fishy with head removed (10)
4 One who wrote in defence of editorial sent up (5)
DEFOE - reverse hidden in words 5-7
6 Sadly Liberal brought into sober group ultimately drinks (4)
ALAS - L in AA [drink]S
7 Grant for student beginning to rake in counterfeit Polish cash (11)
8 Soldier likely to drop — almost dead — reveals pattern (7)
PARAGON - PARA (soldier likely to drop) GON[e]
9 Moved camp? (8)
AFFECTED - double definition, and a rather good one
12 Fraudulent scheme placing restraint on tenant (5,6)
CHAIN LETTER - CHAIN (restraint) LETTER (tenant)
14 European detective crossing stream in canvas shoe (10)
ESPADRILLE - E RILL in SPADE (as in Sam Spade, Dashiell Hammett's fictional dick)
16 Former barrister killing time sees model (8)
EXEMPLAR - EX [t]EMPLAR; 'Templar', as in a member of the lego-judicial industry who works in one of the so-called temples in London - not Simon or the ruffians who went crusading
18 Remove sin from learner Seneca corrupted (7)
20 Animals in rainforest or at sea, understood, succeeded (3-4)
AYE-AYES - AYE-AYE (at sea, understood) S (succeeded); lemurs
23 Tease American over sweetheart (5)
SUGAR - reversal of RAG (tease) US (a country much in the news of late)
24 Might this be secured without partner given mention? (4)
LOAN - sounds like LONE (without partner given mention, i.e. sounds like)
26 Farm female uses pitcher, avoiding river (3)
EWE - EWE(r)