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Times Quick Cryptic 1261 by Tracy

In rather a hurry today so expect typos etc. I took 14 mins which seems heavy weather having now looked back at it. Thanks Tracy - and don’t mind my GR at 23ac - bit rushed, bit grumpy! Cod 5dn.


1. HIGHLY STRUNG - very nervy. Charles Blondin crossed the 1,100 ft Niagara Gorge on a tightrope - I have no information on his motivation but one would hope it was more than just for a dare.
8. MAPLE - tree. Fictional detective Miss (MArPLE) overlooking right (R).
9. OUTCOME - result. Arrive (COME) following published (OUT).
10. SHYLOCK - usurer. Jam (LOCK - to become stuck or locked - the switch has jammed) after retiring (SHY - he was very retiring/shy).
11. RALLY - mass meeting. Everyone (ALL) inside (R)owd(Y).
12. RATING - ordinary seaman. Can (TIN) during fund raising event (RAG).
14. TEASER - tricky question. From qui(TE A SER)ies.
17. IGLOO - house (possibly an Inuit's). (I)nuit, despondency (GLOO)m missing last letter.
19. PARAPET - low wall. Section (PART) breached by clumsy type (APE).
21. HAYWIRE - crazy. Anagram (silly) of WAY splitting rent (HIRE).
22. DREAM - fantasy. Short play (DRAM)a about univers(E).
23. TOWER HAMLETS - London borough - tough, I should imagine, for non-U.K. solvers. Keeps (TOWERS) hosting Shakespeare play (HAMLET). This was my penultimate having seen hamlets from the checkers. With towers for keeps as well this was my personal Golden Raspberry but it is all fair - in love and crossword land.


1. HOME STRAIGHT - section of racecourse. In (HOME), unbending (STRAIGHT).
2. GUPPY - fish. Fellow (GUY) eating very soft (PP - musical).
3. LIE DOWN - rest. Unhappy (DOWN) supporting cock-and-bull story.
4. STOCKY - sturdy. Cattle - (STOCK), valle(Y).
5. ROTOR - what may go round and round. The word also reads the same up and downwards. Very neat.
6. NOODLES - Chinese (and Japanese - so I would have thought a 'perhaps' was due) food. New (N), bags (OODLES).
7. NEW YORK TIMES - American newspaper. Anagram (unfortunately) of ITS KEY MEN ROW.
13. TALLY-HO - sporting cry (the '?' means it’s an example of a sporting cry). Heading off w(HO) after count (TALLY).
15. EARLDOM - what Macmillan had. Anagram (nasty) of ORDEAL plus (M)ilitary.
16. SPEECH - sermon. Look (SEE) round quiet (P), church (CH).
18. OLIVE - fruit. I seem to remember a similar clue recently so not sure why this was my LOI - old (O), bad (EVIL) turning upwards.
20. PIECE - double definition - bishop (perhaps = an example of one) - newspaper article.


( 39 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jan. 8th, 2019 01:19 am (UTC)
Was on the wavelength for this one apart from my LOI, PIECE, which took a moments thought. Took me a few moments to see the parsing of MAPLE too. Liked HOME STRAIGHT. 6:08. Thanks Tracy and Chris.
Jan. 8th, 2019 01:59 am (UTC)
No particular problems. 'Fictional detective' gave me Poirot, which led to Marple. I agree about 6d; a ? would have done the job. TOWER HAMLETS not a problem; it's fairly well-known, I think. 6:38.
Jan. 8th, 2019 04:36 am (UTC)
Although others found this easy....
....I did not, and struggled even with simple answers like 'stocky'. I biffed 'highly strung' as my FOI, but didn't really think it was correct for a long time. I also had a hard time remembering 'Tower Hamlets', which will not be as tough for those living in the UK.

Time 10:28, the slowest fast solver, I suppose.
Jan. 8th, 2019 05:32 am (UTC)
Another tough day for me. The low wall was LOI and must have taken at least two of my 19 minutes - even then I got the spelling wrong (ignorance not a typo) as having got SPEECH as my SLOI I suddenly saw it, didn't parse it and shoved in PAPAPIT - I've clearly been saying it wrong my whole life. Didn't get the long clues at 1a and 1d until quite late and that held me up. Right hand side went in much quicker than the left.

Edited at 2019-01-08 05:33 am (UTC)
Jan. 8th, 2019 06:22 am (UTC)
12 minutes, also held up by STOCKY and TOWER HAMLETS.

As an oldster I had no problem with the Macmillan clue myself but thought it was a bit too tricky for a QC. He's been dead for 32 years having retired from public office 21 years before that, and although he was an MP for 39 years, serving the last 6 as Prime Minister, he didn't become an earl (Earl of Stockton) until he was 90, two years before his death in 1986.
Jan. 8th, 2019 06:55 am (UTC)
Not easy for me
I DNF. Found this very tough going but not sure why. Could not connect the clues so obviously not on tracy’s Wavelength
Jan. 8th, 2019 07:19 am (UTC)
Just over 10 mins. Biffed PIECE after belatedly solving PARAPET. Last two in were 10a SHYLOCK which required an alphabet trawl and finally 4d STOCKY which was obvious once the K checker was in place.
Jan. 8th, 2019 08:17 am (UTC)
I liked this puzzle, at least partly because I got one of my better times - 8:41. Helped by working in Tower Hamlets - that was a great clue.
Jan. 8th, 2019 08:31 am (UTC)
After rushing yesterday and failing to spot answers,I decided to read the clues properly today. It worked I think as I finished in 14:03.
There was nothing too difficult on reflection. A lot depends on what order you get the answers. My last two were Highly Strung and Lie Down. Stocky took me a while.
Jan. 8th, 2019 08:39 am (UTC)
Some return of form with 12.18. Quite liked IGLOO. Having read Merchant of Venice for O level Eng Lit, 10ac immediately leapt to mind. Funny things, brains.
Jan. 8th, 2019 03:14 pm (UTC)
Good work! I’m not convinced mine was in full working order today.
Jan. 8th, 2019 08:42 am (UTC)
I thought I was going to be slower when my FOI was 11A, but things dropped into place once I saw HOME STRAIGHT and NEW YORK TIMES. I needed most of the checkers, though, to see TOWER HAMLETS and SPEECH, my last 2 in. COD to the Inuit house. 5:19.
Jan. 8th, 2019 08:45 am (UTC)
Done in record time
More or less wrote this in, so I still have to believe that I can break the three minute barrier one day.

TIME 3:03
Jan. 8th, 2019 08:48 am (UTC)
I thought this was going to be a struggle when I could not answer any of the left hand across clues at the first look, but once I got going it all fell into place nicely with no hold ups. 12.22 in the end which is amazing for me looking at the times of some of the very experienced solvers.
Jan. 8th, 2019 09:17 am (UTC)
Goodness me!
Ain’t life strange? As a grateful member of the SCC and quite often an affiliated country member of the DNF club, I clocked a PB of 8.41. You just never can tell when setter and solver coalesce in a beautiful pas de deux. Or something. Back to reality tomorrow no doubt.

Briefless Barrister
Jan. 8th, 2019 09:39 am (UTC)
Felt tough in parts, perhaps because I did it on my phone instead of on paper, but clocked in at under 2 Kevins which makes it a Good Day - it just didn’t feel like it!

Can’t think why Chris gave a GR to TOWER HAMLETS, I rather liked it!

COD to IGLOO from me. Thanks Tracy and Chris.

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