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Times Quick Cryptic No 1238 by Orpheus

I would have been close to bang on target had it not been for 1d, which I stared at for three minutes before giving up. I must confess to a bit of a mental block when it comes to food-specific birds - ray jays, ling larks, red snapper tits, herring gulls, the list is probably close to endless - but my mistake on this occasion was more a misplaced conviction of what the parsing was. A couple of other unknowns: the river at 5ac and the (thankfully uncommon) 8ac. A good share of other nice clues along the way made this all very enjoyable - many thanks to Orpheus!

Across
1 Way sweetheart goes about showing integrity (7)
HONESTY - ST (street / way) with HONEY (sweetheart) going about.
5 Young creature over in Cornish river (4)
FOAL - O(ver) in FAL (Cornish river)
7 Oarsman involved in argument? (5)
ROWER - pun on row/argument.
8 Publicise young woman’s narrow escape in flight (3,4)
AIR MISS - AIR (publicise) MISS (young woman). I'm now wondering if I've always misheard this... there is such a thing as "a near miss", isn't there? People aren't just saying "jeez, that was an air miss and a half", are they?
10 Diamonds used in specific earrings (3)
ICE - used in the letters of specifIC Earrings
11 Mostly courteous hanger-on initially obeying Communist executive (9)
POLITBURO - POLIT ("mostly" polite/courteous) BUR (hanger-on) O (initially Obeying). I'd spell BUR with two Rs, but either's fine.
13 Goods appeal regularly — it’s absolutely true, they say (6)
GOSPEL - GoOdS aPpEaL "regularly"
14 Skives in casual wear (6)
SLACKS - double definition
17 A French university in part of London? That’s not welcome (9)
UNPOPULAR - UN ("a", French) ; U(niversity) in POPLAR (part of London)
19 Court with old office at the front (3)
WOO - With Old Office "at the front"
20 Girl, one tailing bird in meadow (7)
LETITIA - I (one) tailing/coming after TIT (bird) in LEA (meadow)
22 Call British prime minister going west (5)
BLEEP - B(ritish) LEEP (Peel / PM going westward)
23 Company doctor’s crest (4)
COMB -CO. (company) MB (doctor)
24 Thin coil finally used in transmitter (7)
SLENDER - L (coiL "finally") used in SENDER (transmitter).
Down
1 Bird identified by sinful gent originally in Humberside port (7,4)
HERRING GULL - ERRING (sinful) G (Gent "originally") in HULL (Humberside port). I had Hull, and then assumed it had to be an anagram (originally) of SINFUL and G (Gent, originally). I know, I know. It took me am age just to see there wasn't an R (for 7ac Rower) in those letters, at which point I moved on to wondering how many Humberside ports are called H_RL.
2 Novelty we set up in northern loch (7)
NEWNESS - EW (we "set up") inside N(orthern) NESS (loch)
3 Repository for damaged harp and capes? (9)
SCRAPHEAP -anagram (damaged) of HARP and CAPES. A scrapheap being a repository for damaged goods.
4 Youth leader ahead of time every twelve months (6)
YEARLY - Y (Youth "leader") EARLY (ahead of time)
5 Distant agricultural area? 75% of it (3)
FAR - 75% of the letters of FARM (agricultural area)
6 Farewell from a girl attached to Brussels? (5)
ADIEU - A, DI (girl) EU (attached to Brussels)
9 Spectacular number displays formal headgear (4-7)
SHOW-STOPPER - SHOWS (displays) TOPPER (formal headgear). A number can be a thing that numbs, like a flower is a thing that flows, but here it just means song.
12 Fairish new role accepted by board (9)
TOLERABLE - anagram (new) of ROLE accepted by TABLE (board)
15 Animal minder browbeat a woman’s daughter (7)
COWHERD - to COW = to browbeat ; HER (a woman's) D(aughter). Nice use of shifting tenses of "browbeat": past tense in the surface reading; present tense in the cryptic.
16 A ballad gripping wife and son on every occasion (6)
ALWAYS - A, LAY (ballad) grips W(ife); and then S(on)
18 Pensioner carries it over paved area by house (5)
PATIO -OAP carries/holds IT, reversed/over
21 Bill cricketer picked up (3)
TAB - BAT is a metonym for batsman, or indeed batswoman.

Comments

( 29 comments — Leave a comment )
kevingregg
Dec. 6th, 2018 04:53 am (UTC)
This seems to have been a chewy one; the current top of the leaderboard took over 5 minutes. I biffed a couple, including HERRING GULL (I was sure of the ING/GULL) and PATIO. I assume that Falmouth lies on the mouth of the Fal; that's how I got FOAL, anyway. I'd forgotten what SKIVE means, if indeed I knew; the trousers got me through. I'd never come across AIR MISS; my dictionary says it's UK for 'near miss'. So your ears are OK, Roly. 8:00.
mikeosborne
Dec. 6th, 2018 07:57 am (UTC)
Even now approaching 8am, my 5.30 is still in the top 10, and I now see that the mighty Verlaine has come in at over 4 minutes so definitely on the chewy side.

Thought I was in for a long ride when only about 5 acrosses fell on the first pass. But then, as usual for some reason, the downs flew in (even the unchecked ones). Maybe I should just start with downs and be done with it?
jackkt
Dec. 6th, 2018 06:06 am (UTC)
8 minutes. Another here who has never heard of AIR MISS. 'Near miss' is the expression I know although whenever it is used I can't help but think that 'near hit' might describe the incident better.

Edited at 2018-12-06 06:07 am (UTC)
templec
Dec. 6th, 2018 06:50 am (UTC)
27 mins and thoroughly enjoyed.
typical orpheus puzzle imo.
COD: 1d
LOI: 22a
thanks to blogger, setter and all who contribute
Carl
sonofjim
Dec. 6th, 2018 08:26 am (UTC)
Another who agrees with chewiness, air miss and down clues. 16.56 with two forays into sub 10 territory last week quickly seeming to have been outliers.
albrecht1959
Dec. 6th, 2018 08:27 am (UTC)
Some excellent clues. Completed in just over 14 minutes. Never heard of air miss. Thought the westwards Peel a bit obscure, but I guess in crosswordland he’s an obvious PM (I briefly wrote in Blair). Even for someone in advancing middle age like me, slacks are not the most natural thing to spring to mind for casual dress.
templarredux
Dec. 6th, 2018 09:02 am (UTC)
I didn’t find that chewy at all, which just goes to show how unpredictable these things are; in fact at 1.125 Kevins it’s my best time for ages.

I would have been even closer to the great man had it not been for AIR MISS - seriously? Never heard of it, Collins or not. (Love jack’s “near hit” suggestion!) And I didn’t know you could spell “burr” with one “R”.

FOI HONESTY, LOI SLENDER, COD UNPOPULAR. Thanks Orpheus and roly.

Templar

gcook52
Dec. 6th, 2018 09:43 am (UTC)
Tricky but pleasing. I'm with you on 'air miss' though. The media always talk about a near miss
flashman
Dec. 6th, 2018 09:49 am (UTC)
17 minutes, started slowly but finished quickly avoiding too many bleeps.

Last one showstopper.
Was going to say dnk river Fal but like Kevin Falmouth gives it away. Also put a question mark for call = bleep.

Cod politburo but scrapheap a near miss.
plett11
Dec. 6th, 2018 09:49 am (UTC)
I thought this was relatively straightforward completing it in 12.15, but I was fortunate that 1d went in quickly which opened things up nicely. At 5a, my COD, I tried inventing the River FALC thinking that it was a reversal clue but 6d put paid to that.
I have no idea what AIR MISS is doing - it sounds more like something I do on the golf course, but other than that I thought this was an excellent puzzle. LOI 3d
Thanks for the blog
desdeeloeste
Dec. 6th, 2018 10:42 am (UTC)
I completed this in less than 10 mins but was lucky in that once I solved 8a AIR MISS (overthinking it again) I was able to complete the remaining unsolved clues from the S checker at 9d i.e. SHOW STOPPER, BLEEP, COWHERD and SLACKS in quick succession. 1a and 1d were both late solves, I guessed the river FAL from the town FALMOUTH and I failed to parse 21d TAB thinking that picked up indicated a homophone. Thanks for the blog. Quite a chewy QC. 9:46
louisajaney
Dec. 6th, 2018 10:46 am (UTC)
Challenging but fun
An enjoyable puzzle today. I had heard of "air miss" - it's when 2 airplanes just manage to avoid crashing into each other. Eek. My LOI by a country mile was 22 across, mainly because I had got it into my head that it should end in "mp". Duh. COD is hard to choose - there are lots of contenders - but I think 20 across just pips it. Thanks so much, blogger and setter
chrisw91
Dec. 6th, 2018 10:48 am (UTC)
Bleep
I found 1dn herring gull hardest to work out but ended fininishing on 9dn showstopper and loi 22ac bleep. Not fully sure about bleep=call, I’d be happier with alert or summon, as I’d say a call involved speaking with someone. Still, all highly enjoyable - 9:25.
kevingregg
Dec. 6th, 2018 11:17 am (UTC)
Re: Bleep
I'd never heard of BLEEP meaning 'call'; where I come from (and, I gather, in the UK as well) it means to censor by replacing the undesired word or phrase with a, well, bleep.
john_dun
Dec. 6th, 2018 12:30 pm (UTC)
Re: Bleep
We used to call it being bleeped when our pagers went off to call us to a job. some people referred to the pagers as bleepers.

Edited at 2018-12-06 12:30 pm (UTC)
kevingregg
Dec. 6th, 2018 12:54 pm (UTC)
Re: Bleep
Right; I phrased things badly. ODE gives the paging meaning (the one I've never come across) as UK, while not specifying the censoring meaning as dialect-specific. I didn't mean to deny the paging meaning, only to note that I (as a Murcan) didn't know it.
Graham Griggs
Dec. 6th, 2018 11:31 am (UTC)
A few I thought were a bit dodgy today. An air miss is a technical term for coming within the set distance apart. So if planes are supposed to be one mile apart and thy get to 0.99 miles apart it is logged as an air miss even if they don’t even see each other from start to finish.
Worse for me is bleep which I can’t find any connection to call for.
(Anonymous)
Dec. 6th, 2018 02:05 pm (UTC)
Bleep
As in to page someone (what I thought was caed a bleeper) I guess?
(Anonymous)
Dec. 6th, 2018 11:38 am (UTC)
Glad to find I'm not on....
....the SCRAPHEAP. The only eyebrow-raiser in the puzzle, since a repository is more of a storehouse. None of the various definitions in Chambers point to the meaning here very clearly

Had no problem with AIR MISS, and am delighted to have a rare sub-Verlaine finish time.

FOI FOAL
LOI LETITIA
COD POLITBURO
TIME 3:49 - as a "5 days only" solver, I'm hoping for my first fully sub-five minute week tomorrow.
(Anonymous)
Dec. 6th, 2018 11:41 am (UTC)
Tricky
DNF in 12 minutes. Thought there might be a Cornish river called the 'Flac'. Obviously not. - Rupert
(Anonymous)
Dec. 6th, 2018 12:07 pm (UTC)
I'm in the slow-coach corner but did much better today. Biffed a few, (never heard of lay for ballad) cheated on 12d and couldn't get bleep (I had cowshed for 15d - I had'cowed' then sort of squashed she in)
Ironically, having not solved the clue, I think bleep is as when doctors are called in hospital (they have a bleep / pager)
thanks to setter and blogger
Hannah
john_dun
Dec. 6th, 2018 12:36 pm (UTC)
I didn't find this particularly chewy, although I did have a MER at AIR MISS. I'd hear of near miss and air kiss. I just followed the word play and moved on. I didn't pause to see where ADIEU came from. Like Hannah, I automatically associate bleepers with pagers. Horrible things that drag you out of bed in the middle of the night when you're on call. I love being retired! FOI, HONESTY, LOI SCRAPHEAP. 8:22. Thanks Orpheus and Roly.
(Anonymous)
Dec. 6th, 2018 12:43 pm (UTC)
Difficult to judge as I had several interruptions, but overall seemed fairly straightforward. AIR MISS was a new one on me, even with a pilot for a son. No problem with BLEEP = call. It was common usage in the days of bleepers (before mobile phones replaced them). Doubt if it is ever used now though. Never come across BUR with one 'R'.
FOI = ROWER, LOI=SCRAPHEAP, COD = SHOW-STOPPER
PlayUpPompey
raincloud8
Dec. 6th, 2018 01:05 pm (UTC)
Just over 26 mins... 4 of them staring at POLIT___O until I gave up.

AIR MISS and SHOW STOPPER took some time too.

COD for me was 1ac for the simplicity.

R x
lucybrooke5
Dec. 6th, 2018 01:29 pm (UTC)
Definitely on the tougher side today — took me three goes, about 30 minutes in total. Great clues, plenty of fun and a good workout. Slowed down by putting in COWHAND (the diminutive of Hannah for a woman??!), so BLEEP wouldn’t fit...derrr. One thing that really gets my goat, though, is calling Hull a Humberside port. We are in the East Riding of Yorkshire! On the Humber, yes, but nobody up here says Humberside any more — it’s an ugly, outdated name that most locals detest. Anyway, rant over :) Thanks Orpheus and Roly (always enjoy your blogs btw).
invariant_tft
Dec. 6th, 2018 01:54 pm (UTC)
My FOI was 10ac, so I guessed straight away that this wasn't going to be the day for a quick time. There were certainly a few little teasers, but I ended up only a couple of minutes north of 30, which came as a pleasant surprise. I lost a few minutes at the Air Miss/Show Stopper junction, partly down to my customary wrong end of the clue foray, at 9d, into hats. I'm surprised no one has yet picked out 6d as CoD, I thought it was a really nice clue. Invariant
(Anonymous)
Dec. 6th, 2018 01:56 pm (UTC)
Big struggle today
Took 60 minutes and just couldn’t shake Polittico from my head and missed Adieu. How could I miss EU for Brussels in the current climate!!
Good fun but so many clues were hard for me with only a few write-ins.
Thanks all,
John George
phmfantom
Dec. 6th, 2018 02:07 pm (UTC)
About 10 min, but no particular delays that I recall - like Graham knew of 'air miss' as I'd worked in the aviation industry.
(Anonymous)
Dec. 7th, 2018 11:31 pm (UTC)
As an air traffic controller I am very familiar with the term air miss. It isn’t so much an expression but as the clue says a description of a narrow escape in flight i.e. two aircraft have got closer than regulations allow.
( 29 comments — Leave a comment )

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