May 24th, 2021

  • jackkt

Times Quick Cryptic 1880 by Hurley

Solving time: 12 minutes. Tricky. The long answers were a long time coming and that really slowed my progress around the grid.

As usual definitions are underlined in bold italics, {deletions and substitutions are in curly brackets} and [anagrinds, containment, reversal and other indicators in square ones]. I usually omit all reference to positional indicators unless there is a specific point that requires clarification.

1 Country set — a bit tactless unfortunately (6,6)
Anagram [unfortunately] of A BIT TACTLESS
9 Trouble envelops voting system for period (5)
AIL (trouble) contains [envelops] PR (voting system - Proportional Representation)
10 First seaside attraction to include rock, English made, at outset (7)
PIER (seaside attraction) contains [to include] R{ock} E{nglish} M{ade} [at outset]
11 Unorthodox healer, very involved in Channel port (2,5)
V (very) contained by [involved in] anagram [unorthodox] of HEALER
12 Say no more — extremely elite name brings lustre! (5)
SH (say no more!), E{lit}E [ extremely], N (name)
13 Compiler coming into money: bond (6)
ME (compiler) contained by [coming into] CENT (money)
14 Day nursery somewhat mediocre, cheap (6)
Hidden in [somewhat] {medio}CRE CHE{ap}
17 Remove answer in Gaelic language (5)
A (answer) contained  by [in] ERSE (Gaelic language)
19 In contest surpass inaccurate people (7)
OUT (inaccurate), RACE (people)
21 Popular policy retaining Conservative slant (7)
IN (popular) + LINE (policy) containing [retaining] C (Conservative)
22 Swimmer heading away from Beatrix? (5)
{p}OTTER (Beatrix) [heading away]
23 At work rather hot tea leads to conversation? (5-2-5)
Anagram [at work] of RATHER HOT TEA
2 A supporter overacting as Biblical character (7)
A, BRA (supporter), HAM (overacting)
3 Preacher on box in the Levant, not hard — member looking up is captivated! (13)
LEG (member) reversed (looking up) + IS contained [captivated] by T{h}E LEVANT [not hard]. Hard work! Anyone remember Garner Ted Armstrong? He was on radio when I became aware of him but I understand he graduated to TV later.
4 Bring up film — the girl's a nonentity (6)
PIC (film) reversed [bring up], HER (the girl's]
5 Travel after nice surprise includes certain valuable objects (8,5)
TREAT (nice surprise) contains [includes] SURE (certain), then ROVE (travel)
6 Note about kid's large family? (5)
TE (note) contains [about] RIB (kid - tease)
7 Extraordinary street where there's shooting? (7)
ST (street), RANGE (where there's shooting)
8 Welcome cold shower (4)
Two meanings. Not welcome at all, and there have been far too many such showers here this May.
13 Show great tenderness for teacher? I shall to some extent (7)
Hidden in [to some extent] {tea}CHER I SH{all}
15 Church with more suitable section of book (7)
CH (church), APTER (more suitable)
16 Pairs originally from Bolshoi lead Roman dance (6)
BO{lshoi} LE{ad} RO{man}[pairs originally from...]
18 Fancy cereal used regularly in African city (5)
{f}A{n}C{y} C{e}R{e}A{l} [used regularly]
20 Regret about old currency unit (4)
RUE (regret) reversed [about], O (old)
Ulaca de Milo
  • ulaca

Times 27985 - Humphry Clinker Rides Again!

A very pleasant Monday offering, which I managed to complete in a little under 20 minutes. Noteworthy I thought were a couple of inchoate chestnuts at 1 and 26 across, as well as an Australian island responsible for Ricky Ponting and a lot of rain. Also popping up is a town in Apulia, which sounds remarkably similar to another town on the heel of Italy - both scenes of naval battles, to boot - if you will pardon the pun. But pride of place must go to the gentleman at 5 across - once described by George Orwell as Scotland's best novelist. He favoured the epistolary kind, which an old codger like me rather enjoys (see also Clarissa, which is a hoot - if a very long one).

Afore ye go!


1 One leaves intact vessel in warehouse (8)
ENTREPOT - ENT[i]RE POT; a warehouse or, as we had it recently, a port. Hong Kong is still referred to as such - if you're brave enough to offer an opinion...
5 Maybe Smollett’s books reflected prejudice (6)
TOBIAS - OT reversed (reflected) BIAS
9 Glaring error primarily confronted by advocates generally (9)
BAREFACED - BAR (advocates generally) E[rror] FACED (confronted)
11 Scene of chaos finally disturbing Sackville-West (5)
VISTA - [chao]S in VITA; Sackville-West is best remembered now as the lover of Virginia Woolf, but she was also an author and a gardener of note
12 Game to pen an ode, oddly, or another poem (7)
RONDEAU - anagram* of AN ODE in RU (rugby union)
13 Rich man angry about drug going round university (7)
14 First barrier’s best, somehow, to minimise one’s risk (5,4,4)
HEDGE ONES BETS - HEDGE ONE'S (a whimsical, crosswordian way of referring to barrier number one) BEST*
16 Dissenting criminal class is German, not French to begin with (13)
NONCONFORMIST - NON ('not' in French) then CON FORM (whimsical way of talking about criminal class) IST ('is' in German)
20 Parting word from esteemed leader in heroic novel (7)
CHEERIO - E[steemed] in HEROIC*
21 Posh theologian visiting landed earl, originally a protester (7)
LUDDITE - U (posh, as in Nancy Mitford's universe) DD (Doctor of Divinity) LIT (landed - as in 'the bird lit on the fence') E[arl]
23 Continue to play, getting stick (5)
BATON - BAT ON - today's obligatory world's greatest game reference
24 Antipodean army chap embraced by Welsh girl (9)
TASMANIAN - TA (Territorial Army - still going strong in Crosswordland) MAN (chap) in SIAN (Welsh girl, see)
25 Cleric’s right to run round City area (6)
RECTOR - EC (City area) in R (right) TO (to) R (run - more cricket)
26 Toothless thank you note written by former PM (8)
EDENTATE - EDEN (benighted former prime minister) TA (thank you) TE (note - we have with bread and jam...);'a mammal of an order distinguished by the lack of incisor and canine teeth, including the anteaters, sloths, and armadillos'. When you have tongues like those guys, who needs teeth?


1 Board rescue vessel after English doctor (6)
EMBARK - E (English) MB (doctor) ARK (it rescued Noah and a bunch of animals, didn't it?)
2 City codebreaker briefly identified (5)
TURIN - [Alan] TURIN[g]
3 Aim to secure new life in London suburb (7)
4 Meteorological phenomenon commander took in, in leaving war zone (8,5)
OCCLUDED FRONT - OC (officer commanding) [in]CLUDED (took in minus the 'in', which leaves) FRONT (war zone); occlusion refers to the 'process by which the cold front of a rotating low-pressure system catches up the warm front, so that the warm air between them is forced upwards off the earth's surface between wedges of cold air.' I was vaguely familiar with the dental meaning (the position of the teeth when closed).
6 Old boy and girl taking over American patent (7)
7 Urgent aim to protect little sibling (9)
INSISTENT - SIS in INTENT; as in 'His first avowed intent, To be a pilgrim'
8 Most meagre spring initially spilling into others (8)
SPARSEST - SPA (spring), S (spring initially) in REST
10 Respectable regiment is escorted outside and dispersed (13)
DECENTRALISED - DECENT (respectable) RA (regiment) IS in LED ('is with the word escorted placed outside')
14 An ace involved with this medieval league (9)
HANSEATIC - AN ACE THIS*; I believe Hamburg, which I visited some years ago, was part of this grouping
15 Fire consuming nothing at first, except this eatery (5,3)
SNACK BAR - N[othing] in SACK (fire) BAR (except)
17 In the centre, zlotys were sufficient for a port (7)
OTRANTO - [zl]OT[ys] RAN TO ('our supplies ran to a pretty decent spread')
18 Self-absorbed doctor with a whiskey in pub (7)
INDRAWN - DR A W in INN; not a word I knew, but useful for Scrabble
19 Irishman caught at European spiritualists’ meeting (6)
SEANCE - SEAN C (caught) E (European) for this phooey
22 Spanish island business located in Iowa (5)
IBIZA - BIZ in IA (caucus country)