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Times Quick Cryptic 1286 by Breadman

Just ticked over 10 minutes - held up by a 13 letter anagram of a boxer I could only dimly recall and my final crossing clues of a US filmmaker I didn’t know and, loi, a Japanese poem which sounded like something else and which was cleverly clued. Having said all that I quite enjoyed this - the clueing must have been tilted towards the QC as it all flowed pretty well. I wonder if this will be a marmite puzzle - I’m interested in hearing of your experiences.


1. HEADMISTRESS - School chief. Extremely (H)oars(E), anagram (working) of AMID, tension (STRESS).
8. ADIEU - see you (goodbye). Decline (DIE) in middle of tr(AU)ma.
9. ARCHIVE - store of historical things. A (A), Catholic (RC), producing honey (HIVE).
10. TEA - beverage. (T)aste, each (EA).
11. TEDDY BEAR - child's plaything. Edward (TEDDY), to carry (BEAR).
13. HAIKU - Japanese poem - an epigrammatic Japanese verse form in 17 syllables. The NZ rugby/Māori war chant confused me here but that is a haka. This is a homophone clue in two parts. Homophone (when read out) of elevated (high) then 'sound of bird' (coo - of a dove). The phonetic is haɪku which sounds like high coo. I suspect that for some a COD - for others, a GR.
14. AESOP - Ancient Greek storyteller. Recalled (backwards) of the main (SEA), work (OP).
16. SYNTHETIC - produced artificially. Anagram (amazingly) of TINY CHEST.
17. EYE - organ. Finally restor(E), the of olden days (YE).
19. OF A SORT - inferior. Some s(OFAS OR T)ables.
21. ALERT - sharp. Beer (ALE), (R)esiden(T) emptied.
22. CHEESEMONGER - food retailer. Cheshire perhaps (CHEESE), anagram (upset) of MEG RON.


1. HEART - centre. Listen to (HEAR) leader in (T)own.
2. AGITATION - excitement. Silver (AG), im(ITATION) - one (I) and male (M) missed off.
3. MOUNT RUSHMORE - US memorial. Increase (MOUNT), charge (RUSH), further (MORE).
4. SHANDY - (slightly) alcoholic drink. Son (S), placed conveniently (HANDY).
5. ROCKY MARCIANO - heavyweight boxer. Rocco Francis Marchegiano, best known as Rocky Marciano, was an American professional boxer who competed from 1947 to 1955. He held the world heavyweight title from 1952 to 1956, and retired undefeated as champion. It seems that this chap and Rocky Balboa inspired Sylvester Stallone in his epic saga of pugilism. Stony (ROCKY), area (A) inside an anagram (injured) of MINORCA.
6. SKI - runner on snow. Bound (SKI)p to lose power (P).
7. LET RIP - increase speed perhaps. The French (LE), on top of journey (TRIP).
12. EASTER EGG - seasonal gift. Anagram (disturbed) of TERESA, for example (EG), good (G).
13. HUSTON - late (surely redundant as only the Queen may appear if not deceased) US filmmaker. John. 1906–87, US film director. His films include The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1947), for which he won an Oscar, The African Queen (1951), The Man Who Would Be King(1975), Prizzi's Honour(1985), and The Dead (1987). Anagram (cracked) of THUS, on (ON).
15. STATUE - piece of sculpture usually. Susan (SUE) collects tasteless stuff (TAT).
18. ENTER - go into. Medical department (ENT - ears, nose, throat), hesitation (ER - which is another medical department).
20. ASH - double definition and a cryptic definition which, I suppose, makes this an &LIT. Tree remains after fire (ASH), tree (ASH), remains after fire (ASH). What a nice way to end this clever puzzle.


( 45 comments — Leave a comment )
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Feb. 12th, 2019 03:17 am (UTC)
This went pretty smoothly, although HEADMISTRESS & SYNTHETIC took some time, and I dithered between the two Rockys, MARCIANO and Graziano, once I remembered both. HAIKU a gimme from 'Japanese poem'; the only other word that comes to mind is 'tanka', and that's not going to show up here. HAIKU has appeared a number of times, at least in 15x15s. 4:54, first time under 5' in a long time.
Feb. 12th, 2019 03:35 am (UTC)
Under 5 minutes for me, I think for the first time ever. I remembered the boxer, once I'd realized that it wasn't the Stallone one. And living in the US, Mt Rushmore was another gimme. The rest then went straight in.
Feb. 12th, 2019 04:20 am (UTC)
Just a little behind my fellow solvers....
....at 6:48, very quick for me. There's always one or two that give trouble! This time it was the filmmaker, although it turned out I had heard of him. Otherwise, quite straightforward.
Feb. 12th, 2019 05:11 am (UTC)
9 minutes. Time lost waiting for checkers to help with 3 of the 4 long answers. 1ac was the one that went straight in.
Feb. 12th, 2019 05:14 am (UTC)
Under 10 minutes including a spell check.
Only hold up in parsing was mount for increase in 3d.

Dnk huston but it was that or husnot.

Liked archive and shandy, and cod to enter.
Feb. 12th, 2019 06:03 am (UTC)
Another sub-10 ruined by fat fingers - EETER and RUSHMOOE - even after I'd corrected the latter once when the cheese checker was wrong. Annoying but as usual I'm letting me off as I wouldn't have done it on paper. HUSTON was fairly clued but I had to look him up as I hadn't heard of him. I have heard of this films but don't think I've ever watched one.
Feb. 12th, 2019 07:37 am (UTC)
After the horrors
of yesterday's multiple dnf (first for a very long time), 10.17 and a PB today! Everything seemed to flow very smoothly from HEADMISTRESS (1st) to EYE (last). I stand in awe of the sub-5-minute times - I really don't think I could ever type that quickly with one finger on a tablet! Thank you Breadman and, of course, blogger.
Feb. 12th, 2019 03:35 pm (UTC)
RE: After the horrors
PB - congratulations!
Feb. 12th, 2019 07:38 am (UTC)
There was a lot of GK in today's puzzle and if you knew it it was straightforward. I was lucky and finished in 8:49 after agonising pauses before getting my last two: MOUNT RUSHMORE and LOI appropriately ADIEU.
Feb. 12th, 2019 08:01 am (UTC)
Slowest of the commenters so far with 12.11 but out of SCC today. Long anagrams, SYNTHETIC and HUSTON hampered progress.
Feb. 12th, 2019 08:36 am (UTC)
Inside 11 minutes, so definitely solver-friendly in my opinion. HAIKU and ROCKY dragged from memory, and AESOP appeared with the same clue quite recently I seem to remember. Nice little work out, although I don’t remember experiencing any little smiles of admiration for the clueing. Thanks setter and blogger.
Feb. 12th, 2019 08:39 am (UTC)
19:58, so under my target by 2 seconds! Perhaps the long answers were a little too biffable from a few checkers, but I'm not complaining about a rare 'easier' puzzle.

Feb. 12th, 2019 08:52 am (UTC)
11 minutes - a really enjoyable puzzle I felt with a good mix of clues in terms of style and difficulty. Hadn't heard of Huston but with the checkers it had to be that. I also didn't know that the living are banned from the crossword until I read the blog so thanks to both Breadman and Chris for a pleasing & informative start to the day.
Feb. 12th, 2019 09:25 am (UTC)
This would've been a PB for me at 4:59, BUT a fat fingered HEASMISTRESS ruined it. Despite a 20 second trawl for typos, I missed that one. Still a pretty good effort. I had the GK and everything flowed nicely. Luckily I didn't think of Rocky G. As Kevin says, if you do the 15x15, you know HAIKU. Thanks Breadman and Chris.
Feb. 12th, 2019 10:15 am (UTC)
It seems I found that tougher than most but I was pleased to get there in the end. Couldn’t parse skip for bound, didn’t know the director, couldn’t remember haiku and hadn’t heard of the boxer! So 30 minutes with no mistakes seems reasonable!
Feb. 12th, 2019 10:21 am (UTC)
Farewell is such sweet sorrow
This would have been a warp speed 12 minutes for me today had it not been for that pesky goodbye. As my penultimate LOI was 1 down, all I had available for that 8 across teeth-gnashing session was "--i-u". Once I'd got "heart", I still couldn't find "adieu" until a brisk cup of coffee came to the rescue. Got there in the end! Thanks so much, Breadman, and thanks, too, to Chris for a great blog.
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