February 19th, 2021

Quick Cryptic 1814 by Pedro

This was very pleasant, and not too difficult for the most part. I seemed to biff my way through it fairly rapidly, getting held up only on 15ac and 16dn. 8 minutes.

1 Turned up with barge: river an easy challenge (8)
PUSHOVER - PU ('up' backwards) + SHOVE + R for river
5 Gift paper maybe will revolutionise any present at the outset (4)
WRAP - Initial letters of Will Revolutionise Any Present
8 Trial episode: one’s gripped by storyline (5)
PILOT - PLOT with I inside
9 Peace in the time following admitting the French (7)
SILENCE - SINCE with LE inside
11 I will escape financial disaster in banking crisis? (3)
RUN - RUIN minus the I. A run on a bank is when everyone tries to take their money out at once.
12 Amateur’s debut in autumn fight? That’ll make you laugh (4,5)
FALL ABOUT - FALL (autumn) + BOUT (fight) with A for amateur inserted
13 Odds at this point offering a round figure (6)
SPHERE - SP (odds, starting price) + HERE
15 Direct pleasure offered by King’s mistress mostly (6)
FUNNEL - FUN (pleasure) + NEL(L) as in Gwyn, mistress of Charles II. This held me up for a bit because I failed to apply Curarist's first law, which is: when stuck, change the part of speech. 'Direct' here is cleverly presented as an adjective when it is really a verb.
18 Attack expression of humour with tons going wrong outside (9)
ONSLAUGHT - LAUGH inside an anagram ('going wrong') of TONS
19 Little point in security number? (3)
PIN - double definition
20 Marine creature in hold at sea retains power (7)
DOLPHIN - anagram ('at sea') of IN HOLD with P for power inserted.
21 Prow of boat to survive storm (5)
BLAST - B (first letter, i.e. 'prow', of 'boat') + LAST
22 Runs are hard to come by (4)
23 Chartered accountant, for example, participating in Conservative group (8)
CATEGORY - CA (chartered accountant) + EG insterted into TORY

1 Old man, unusually spry, snatching University manuscript from long ago (7)
PAPYRUS - PA + anagram ('unusually') of SPRY with U for university inserted
2 No US city’s backing artistic gathering (5)
SALON - NO LA'S backwards.
3 Panting, about to engage in towelling oneself down? (3,2,6)
OUT OF BREATH - RE (about) inserted into OUT OF BATH
4 Article is elevated in cathedral without difficulty (6)
EASILY - A (article) + SI (is 'elevated') inside the crossword setter's favourite cathedral, ELY.
6 Lacking energy and listing (3,4)
RUN DOWN - Double definition, though my dictionary has the first one with a hyphen and the second as a single word.
7 Request time to make feature of dress (5)
10 Allege beauty mostly misrepresented in sports ranking (6,5)
LEAGUE TABLE - anagram ('misrepresented') of ALLEGE BEAUT(y)
14 Swindler hurtles around (7)
HUSTLER - anagram ('around') of HURTLES
16 Extended line, English, for you in the Bible? (7)
LENGTHY - L (line) + ENG + THY ('for you' in biblical language). Not sure why I made such heavy weather of this.
17 Arab leader accepting last list of discussion items (6)
AGENDA - AGA with END inside
18 Tell British to abandon frontier (5)
ORDER - BORDER minus B for British
19 Scotsman in Post Office to get instrument (5)
PIANO - Remember that in crosswordland, all Scotsmen are called IAN. Insert into PO.
  • jerrywh

Jim Biggin

I am sorry to have to advise you all that Jim Biggin (DorsetJimbo) has died. He passed away last month, after a short battle with cancer.

his stepson Paul said: "He was pretty much out of action in his last few weeks, whilst mentally strong his body was another matter. I know he loved his blogging and his contributions to the council and residents association, he’ll be sorely missed."

Certainly I will miss him. He was an early inhabitant of TfTT, in 2008, and blogged many, many crosswords including about a decade's worth of Mephistos. He commented on most days crosswords and he was prone to call a spade a spade :-)

For interest I have copied his not uncharacteristic blogger's biog, below. RIP, Jim.

dorsetjimbo / Jim Biggin / since 2008

Born 1942 (you can do the sums). Introduced to The Telegraph cryptic
crossword by my rather Edwardian aunt when I was 12 and she caught me
kissing my cousin (those were the days). Moved on to The Times when I
was 15 and have been doing it ever since. I've never been
particularly fast (I can't read and write at the same time apart from
not having the brain power) and puzzles normally take me from 20 to
50 minutes. My all-time favourite puzzles were those set by Ximenes
in the Sunday Observer and I've still got my tie somewhere. I'm
retired now after spending most of my working life applying IT to
insurance and finance. I wrote my first computer based actuarial
valuation in 1964 using an ICL1301, which probably accounts for my
sense of humour. For 18 years my wife Maureen and I were foster
carers looking after teenagers until we retired from that in 2006,
during which that same humour kept me sane. I now devote my time to
local community affairs, golf and the Times crossword, of course.
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