February 18th, 2021

Times Quick Cryptic No 1813 by Izetti

Well, this puzzle from Izetti was quick enough, but not particularly simple.  It took me 13 minutes to complete (firmly in my place in the Middle Class, and not threatening the Top Form), but a couple of them caused me some concern, and some GK was required to complete, particularly at 16a and 5d.

2, 3 and 4d got me off to a quickish start as FOsI, but 5d was less familiar and slowed me up.  Overall, a high-quality puzzle from the Don with much to enjoy.  I imagine that the SCC may struggle a little with the novelty of some of the devices, but with 8 meaty anagrams or part anagrams, everyone should be able to make a start.

Across

Lovely cleaner of high-quality porcelain (8)
CHARMING – CHAR (cleaner) and MING (high-quality porcelain from the Ming dynasty in China).  Remember CHA / CHAR – with an R it is a cleaner or daily help (or sometimes a fish or to burn something), without an R it is tea.
6  There’s little good in lad who is a malign influence? (4)
BOGY – G{ood} inside BOY (lad).  BOGY is defined as the Devil or a goblin, as well as some more or less savoury meanings!
8 Cautious in conflict, coming to enemy finally (4)
WARY – WAR (conflict) and {enem}Y (finally).
9 Like problematic jar of marmalade? End up with one chucked! (8)
UNOPENED – Anagram (chucked) of [END UP] with [ONE].  An UNOPENED jar of marmalade can be a problem, unless one has one of those little vacuum breaker gizmos that make opening it a doddle.
10  One praising novel art aloud (8)
ADULATOR – Anagram (novel) of [ART ALOUD].  My first thought on reading the clue was IDOLATOR which was close, and then I saw the anagram.
12 Remain to offer support (4)
STAY – Double definition, the second as in the STAY of a corset.
13  Star perhaps getting a black eye (6)
SHINER – Almost a straight double definition.
16  Entertained by churchmen, delightful scientific monk (6)
MENDEL – Referring to Gregor MENDEL, scientific Augustinian friar, recognised as the founder of Genetics, and hidden inside (entertained by) {church}MEN, DEL{ightful} in this clue.
17  Everyone at the back of hotel room (4)
HALL – ALL (everyone) behind (at the back of) H{otel} (phonetic alphabet).
18  I’m so funny in fancy lace garment (8)
CAMISOLE – Anagram (funny) of [I’M SO] inside another anagram (fancy) of [LACE].  With STAYs in 12 across and CAMISOLES here, this QC is quickly becoming foundational!
21  Card some organised for colleagues (8)
COMRADES – Anagram (organised) of [CARD SOME].
22  Show contempt for hospital food (4)
DISH – DIS (show contempt for, as in the slang transitive verb) and H (hospital).  I am more used to seeing DIS spelled as DISS, but either is ok apparently.
23  Greek characters sat back after end of voyage (4)
ETAS – more than one ETA (Greek character).  SAT (reversed or back, to give TAS) after E (end of {voyag}E.
24  Tiny dame, surprisingly explosive (8)
DYNAMITE – Anagram (surprisingly) of [TINY DAME].

Down

2  Difficult to hide ring in collection (5)
HOARD – HARD (difficult) hiding / containing O (ring).
Man bringing a bit of sunshine (3)
RAY – Double definition
Native home on Scottish island son escapes from (5)
INUIT – IN (home) and UI{s}T (Scottish island after S{on} has ‘escaped’.  Part of the Outer Hebrides, UIST or The Uists is a group of 6 islands.  This clue brought a smile, remembering the old joke about the Eskimo lottery – you have to be Inuit to win it!
5  Drink stuff – stiff stuff! (7)
GROGRAM – GROG (drink – as a retired Naval Officer I remember it well!) and RAM (stuff).  GROGRAM is a stiff fabric of silk and mohair.
6  Bishop leading the French chants offers benedictions (9)
BLESSINGS – B{ishop} ahead of / leading LES (the in French) and SINGS (chants).  This took me longer than it should have.
7  Enraged drunk – one may explode (7)
GRENADE – Anagram (drunk) of [ENRAGED].
11  Letters descend on crickets’s HQ (9)
LANDLORDS – That kind of ‘letters’ again – LAND (descend) on LORDS (HQ for the game of cricket).
14  Pay absolute attention to new author taking in English (4,3)
HEAR OUT – Anagram (new) of [AUTHOR] and E{nglish}.
15  What old lawn needs to be, we hear?  It’s faded (7)
RECEDED – Sounds like (we hear) RE-SEEDED.
19  Mum’s working for a member of a secret society (5)
MASON – MA’S (Mum’s) and ON (working).  I heard on TV yesterday that a mason would claim to be a member of a society with secrets, rather than a member of a secret society!
20  Composer’s final jazz piece included in catalogue (5)
LISZT – {jaz}Z (final piece) included in LIST (catalogue).
22  End of crossword – I am needing a bit of illumination? (3)
DIM – {crossword}D (end of) and I’M (I am).
  • glheard

Times 27904 - maybe I had to go?

Time taken: 13:04 but with one very very silly error where I put in one of two possible answers without checking all the wordplay, silly me! Somtimes you back yourself and I turned the oven on just before starting this thinking it would come to temperature about the time I was finished, but the temperature indicator started beeping at me when I was about two thirds of the way done.

Overall I think this is one of the more difficult puzzles, and the early times do seem to be a little longer than usual.  Better get this finished before the ice storm that is on its way kills my power.

Away we go...

Across
1 Representation of star artist appearing on Let It Be (4-2)
AMEN-RA - RA(artist) after AMEN(so let it be). The star being the sun
5 Work the crowd, introducing Yankee investigator (4,4)
MOBY DICK -  MOB(the crowd), then Y(Yankee), DICK(investigator)
9 Sharp chance? (10)
ACCIDENTAL - two definitions, the first musical
10 Puff goes from Lorraine or Nancy with exercising (4)
VAPE - VA(go in French) then PE(exercising)
11 Right hand coming in low grasped retreating American ladies (8)
WASHROOM - RH(right hand) inside MOO(low) and SAW(grasped), all reversed.  This was my downfall as I bunged in BATHROOM
12 Such a large cupboard, fashionable, going on to be stolen (4-2)
WALK-IN - IN(fashionanle) next to WALK(to be stolen)
13 Palm hence to cross with silver? The reverse! (4)
SAGO - SO(hence) outside, rather than inside AG(silver)
15 Deafening silence, perhaps, after Oscar axes dunce (8)
OXYMORON - O(Oscar) then the X and Y axes, MORON(dunce)
18 Men must follow my clear path (8)
CORRIDOR - OR(men) after COR(my), RID(clear)
19 Bomb was humming — second to be dropped (4)
TANK - STANK(was humming) missing the S(second)
21 Drive from place across moor (6)
PROPEL - PL(place) across ROPE(moor to a jetty)
23 Secure computer data that has digital application (8)
NAILFILE - NAIL(secure), FILE(computer data)
25 Loves welcoming very quiet colleague (4)
OPPO - O and O (loves) surrounding PP(very quiet)
26 After time, order mints to smother large, large cocktail (3,7)
TOM COLLINS - T(time) then OM(order of merit), COINS(mints) surrounding L and L (large, large). Fun clue, and I have everything I need to make one but I had just poured a glass of local mead before starting the crossword. Maybe tomorrow.
27 Dependant sweetheart, full of passion (6-2)
HANGER-ON - HON(sweetheart) containing ANGER(passion)
28 Initially fast, then flat out? (6)
FLYING - an all-in-one. First letter in Fast then LYING(flat out)
Down
2 Note copy artists primarily draw for tourists (5)
MECCA - ME(musical note), CC(carbon copy) and the first letter of Artists
3 Unexpectedly huge, Robin Hood’s person? (9)
NEIGHBOUR - anagram of HUGE,ROBIN
4 Being a primate is in fashion, old man reflected (6)
APEDOM -  MODE(fashion) and PA(old man) all reversed
5 A number of maidens travelling on tube, arm-in-arm (2,10,3)
MR TAMBOURINE MAN - M(maidens) then an anagram of ON,TUBE,ARM-IN-ARM
6 City rule ok — brief cheer going round (8)
BULAWAYO - LAW(rule), AY(ok) inside BUOY(cheer) missing the last letter
7 Wasn’t dying about Dickens (5)
DEVIL - LIVED(wasn't dying) reversed
8 Sign top player at last — current seed (9)
CAPRICORN - CAP(top) then the last letter in playeR, I(current), CORN(seed)
14 Some books: each had brief, overwhelming appeal (9)
APOCRYPHA - A POP(each), then HAD missing the last letter, surrounding CRY(appeal)
16 Money spent to keep old former pupil in touch (3,2,4)
OUT OF PLAY - OUTLAY(money spent) containing O(old) and FP(former pupil - an abbreviation I don't recall seeing before).  The definiton refers to rugby.
17 One who worships procrastinator’s maxim? (8)
IDOLATER - the maxim is I DO LATER
20 Alert naval officer involved in quarrel (3-3)
TIP-OFF - PO(naval officer) in TIFF(quarrel)
22 A point behind? No good! (5)
PRONG - PRO(behind, in favour of), NG(no good)
24 Somewhat Phoenixlike this old leader, were he to rise? (5)
LENIN - tricky clue, though biffable answer. Reverse LENIN to get NINE L, which is IX, L which is inside phoenIXLike
verlaine

Times 27,905: Pursued By A Bear

I got bogged down in the top half of this puzzle, particularly the NE where Casals was a piece of GK too far for me, resulting in a long trawl of Cawalt, Casamb, Catang, Cagalo... the possibilities are almost endless if classical musicians don't have to be your forte and you have foolishly not nailed down the answer to 8d. I certainly experienced the phenomenon of the MER several times during this puzzle, but there were also some straight up brilliant clues, let me single out the unlikely-seeming containment in 14dn, the fact that 15ac so deceptively screams out "anagram", and my COD, the only actual straight-up anagram of the entire puzzle, 2dn. Very well played to the setter for serving up a proper Friday toughie, that I hope I will not discover in the morning took Mohn under 4 minutes to crack!

ACROSS
1 Iberian: what brought about a state of agitation for him? (8)
HISPANIC - in a state of agitation due to HIS PANIC

5 A short dance written by composer, primarily for cellist (6)
CASALS - A SALS{a} written by C{omposer}. Pablo, the pre-eminent cellist of the first half of the 20th century

10 No-win situation fair, on reflection, in report (9)
STALEMATE - reversed MELA [(Hindu) fair] in STATE [report]. Gotta say I thought "mela" the kind of vocabulary that would be more suited to the Monthly Club Special or Listener, but perhaps it's just me that never heard of one before...

11 Ring doughnut at last comes in for my sweet (5)
PETAL - PEAL [ring] that {doughnu}T comes into. A term of endearment

12 Very big self-obsession, Georgia (4)
MEGA - ME [self-obsession?] plus GA (the American state). Obviously "me" is a big part of "self-obsession", I wasn't necessarily convinced that they are completely substitutable for each other...

13 Chap after party lapping up cheers — some function! (9)
COTANGENT - GENT after CON(servatives) "lapping up" TA [cheers]

15 Current cycle trail, scintillating (10)
IRIDESCENT - I RIDE SCENT [current | cycle | trail] - hands up if your brain too was desperate to anagram this into "electricity"...

17 Native American doctrine unfinished (4)
CREE - CREE{d}, FOI

19 Company was gloating (4)
CREW - double def. As in the past tense of "crow", SOI

20 On having cracked puzzle, enough to demonstrate my point (3,7)
FOR EXAMPLE - RE [on], having "cracked" FOX [puzzle], + AMPLE [enough]

22 Critic: one choosing “Dumbo”, perhaps? (3-6)
NIT-PICKER - a dumbo is a twit is a nit, so if you choose it you're a nit-picker

24 Handle towards the rear on back of latch (4)
HAFT - AFT [towards the rear] on {latc}H

26 Eastern European going west? Get away! (5)
ELOPE - reversed E POLE

27 Use of weapon when body enters fray (5,4)
RIFLE SHOT - FLESH "enters" RIOT

28 Flower attached to tail of giant guinea pig (6)
TASTER - ASTER attached to {gian}T

29 Holy work restricting perversion of rites (8)
PRIESTLY - PLY "restricting" (RITES*)

DOWN
1 Crowd present (4)
HOST - double def, "present" as in "emcee", not "gift"

2 Player's brief decision targets game (5,10)
STAGE DIRECTIONS - (DECISION TARGETS*). Hats off to "game" as a surreptitious anagrind

3 Maintain senior was usually around? (8)
AVERAGED - AVER AGED [maintain | senior]. If "the temperature averaged 30", it was usually around 30...

4 Biblical character represents Adam oddly, and Charlie (5)
ISAAC - IS [represents] + A{d}A{m} + C

6 Porter maybe carrying small drink up mountain (6)
ALPINE - ALE [porter, maybe] "carrying" reversed NIP. Mountain in the adjectival sense here

7 Where boater may go down instantly? (2,3,4,2,1,3)
AT THE DROP OF A HAT - boater being a type of hat

8 Sprayed with liquid in second: dashed about? (10)
SPLATTERED - LATTER [second], with SPED [dashed] "about" that. This took ages as I got stuck on the S being the second and couldn't work out which of PLATTERED or PLUTTERED was more likely to mean "dashed"

9 Period ends this time in prison? (8)
SENTENCE - double def

14 Throw candleholder into mire (10)
DISCONCERT - SCONCE into DIRT

16 China — country gutted about Elvis, say? (8)
CROCKERY - C{ountr}Y "about" ROCKER

18 Fabric in green, pure and simple (8)
CASHMERE - CASH [green, as in folding stuff or lolly] + MERE [pure and simple]

21 Galley providing portion of lamb, I remember (6)
BIREME - hidden in {lam}B I REME{mber}

23 Direct favour initially ignored (5)
REFER - {p}REFER

25 Those last in races at sea may remain behind (4)
STAY - {race}S {a}T {se}A {ma}Y