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Times Quick Cryptic 1331 by Oink

A quick QC - coming in at just under 8 minutes. Our setter may be making a commentary on current politics at 8, 10 and 11ac but this doesn’t preclude a porcine reference or two. Loi 16ac.
I don’t foresee too many problems - but do ask if anything is unclear.


1. IN A SPOT - facing difficulty. Anagram (move) of TO SPAIN.
5. HAIRY - double definition. Hairy/dangerous moment, a wild and domesticated type of cattle, Bos grunniens, of Tibet, having long horns and long shaggy HAIR.
8. NONSENSICAL - ridiculous. Anagram (needing correction) of NONE IN CLASS.
10. HYPE - publicity. Some mout(HY PE)er.
11. CLAPTRAP - rubbish. Applaud (CLAP), role (part) reversed (TRAP).
12. ASCENT - rise. Homophone (you say) of agreement (assent). If anyone is uncertain on homophones - the indicator should be applicable to just one part of the clue. Here it’s away from rise (which is therefore the definition) and after (so therefore applying to) to agreement. If the clue had been 'rise, you say, in agreement' then it would have been uncertain which part of the clue was definition and which homophone. Any questions I’m sure the old (in experience only, I hasten to add) hands will further clarify.
14. NIPPER - double definition. Crab with claws and child.
16. MUG'S GAME - foolish activity. Attacks (MUGS), wild animals (GAME).
18. NILE - African banker (a river has banks). Snack (NI)bb(LE) from which the bishops (bb) are taken away.
20. PAINSTAKING - hard-working. Penny (P), anagram (unfortunately) of SKINT AGAIN.
22. UDDER - milk producer. Anagram (terribly) of RUDE about daughter (D).
23. SEVENTY - cardinal. A cardinal number is a number such as 1, 3, or 10 that tells you how many things there are in a group but not what order they are in. Still (EVEN) in filthy place (STY). Always get a bad press do pigs IMHO (filthy due to husbandry rather than nature) and I'm gently disappointed that our setter, of all people, should spread such porkies.


2. NINNY - halfwit. Pub (INN) inside New York (NY).
3. SINCERE - real (eg apologies). Wrongdoing (SIN) by/beside church (CE), upset Her Majesty (ER - upset so becomes RE).
4. ODE - poem. h(O)o(D)i(E).
6. ASCOT - racecourse. Chap from Glasgow? (A SCOT).
7. RELEASE - (news) announcement. About (RE), tenancy agreement (LEASE).
9. SLAINTE - cheers in Irish/Gaelic - I’ve seen many a SLAINTE bar in Scotland as well. Saint (SAINT) and Bernadett(E) crossing lake (L).
11. CUTLASS - it might wound anybody deeply but 'her' is used to improve the clue. Ignore (CUT), girl (LASS).
13. STUMPED - bemused. As a batsman may be when facing a doosra. Anyone knowledgeable in the intricacies of cricket would be advised to skip on to the next clue whilst the non-cricketing public (if they are at all interested) are invited to a quick detour through some of the many technicalities of the game. OK, so for those still with me - a doosra is a delivery, bowled by an off-spinner (a slow bowler), that turns the opposite way from an off-break (a spin given to the ball by the bowler). Doosra means "(the) second (one)", or "(the) other (one)" in Hindi or Urdu. The batsman may be stumped/confused about the direction of spin and may also leave the crease to attempt to hit the ball (being deceived by the spin) and so be stumped - bails removed with ball in hand while the batsman is out of the crease. This is one of many ways of being dismissed. Right, thanks for your patience, now back to the crossword.
15. PENSIVE - deep in thought. Dear ex(PENSIVE) with the old wife maybe - as it could be an old husband - (EX) departs.
17. SWINE - swine fever is a type of fever. Southern (S), port (WINE).
19. LEGIT - OK. To run away (LEG IT).
21. AXE - cleaver. All turning upwards - European (E), cross (X), a (A).


( 39 comments — Leave a comment )
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Apr. 16th, 2019 12:41 am (UTC)
No real problems, although I needed the checkers before getting MUGS GAME (which you've overlooked, Chris). Needless to say, I had no idea what the hell a doosra is. 5:43.
Apr. 16th, 2019 07:14 am (UTC)
Thank you.
Apr. 16th, 2019 12:54 am (UTC)
Again, I just squeaked in under 10 minutes
While the top half was a compendium of cryptic cliches, the bottom proved a little more challenging. 'Stumped' went in purely on instinct, and the 'skint again' anagram required a few checkers. A "mug's game" is a UK expression, so some US solvers might not know it.
Apr. 16th, 2019 09:41 am (UTC)
RE: Again, I just squeaked in under 10 minutes
Nice to see the dog from your avatar make an appearance at 14A.
I didn't even think of that! - vinyl1 - Apr. 16th, 2019 12:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
Lou Weed
Apr. 16th, 2019 04:02 am (UTC)
5 minutes
+2 extra minutes spent on an alphabet trawl to find SWINE...I feel like this should have been a write-in, but the setter is not shown anywhere if you're solving on your phone.
Apr. 16th, 2019 04:33 am (UTC)
11 minutes down to the delay caused by not knowning 'doosra' so I had to wait until all the checkers were in place for that answer.

Along with SWINE and STY, the SPOT at 1ac could be a reference to Old Spots, a breed of pig associated with Gloucestershire.

Edited at 2019-04-16 04:34 am (UTC)
Apr. 16th, 2019 06:31 am (UTC)
Thought I had cracked the QC, but this got it's revenge on my hubris, struggled mightily to crawl home in just under 35 minutes.
Apr. 16th, 2019 07:09 pm (UTC)
RE: 34:33
Apr. 16th, 2019 06:57 am (UTC)
Maybe I should stop doing QC when I have just woken up. Another one suffering hubris here with 19.25 and the wrong ASSENT. Also found bottom half much trickier, though not to say unenjoyable. MUGS GAME LOI. Liked PENSIVE, LEGIT, NILE and STUMPED (for yorking our non-cricketing solvers!).
Apr. 16th, 2019 07:15 am (UTC)
And 16 across?
Apr. 16th, 2019 07:15 am (UTC)
It’s in now - spotted by Kevin above.
Apr. 16th, 2019 07:29 am (UTC)
Another neat QC from Oink. I loved PAINSTAKING and LEGIT. 4:33.
Apr. 16th, 2019 08:07 am (UTC)
Am I the only one who has never encountered SLAINTE before? That and doosra in the same puzzle led to a very slow time for me.
Apr. 16th, 2019 09:36 pm (UTC)
No you are not! I have never heard the word and unfortunately failed to piece it together. I usually complete the QC so I was very disappointed. MM
Apr. 16th, 2019 08:37 am (UTC)
Another sub 10 solve today. Started off with 1a incorrectly IN A SPin but quickly noticed my error with 4d ODE. I was STUMPED for a while with 13d thinking that somehow it involved the letters of 'doosra'. 17d SWINE was a late solve which I parsed after submitting but my LOI was 5a HAIRY. Thanks Chris for the explanation of a cardinal number....I actually looked it up before coming to the blog as I recall having seen quite a few different cardinal numbers in the QCs. 8:34
Apr. 16th, 2019 08:43 am (UTC)
Couldn't find the word doosra in any dictionary but batsman helped me to think about cricket (won't repeat the joke). Also never heard of Slainte. Stupidly put legal instead of legit - it's a neat clue . thanks all
Apr. 16th, 2019 09:03 am (UTC)
A Scottish, one time, colleague of mine always uses the greeting SLAINTE when we discuss single malts, so 9d was a write in. In fact I said it to the family last night as we enjoyed the Glen Ord Singleton we acquired at the Glen Ord Distillery yesterday. As Vinyl1 mentioned, the top half went in far quicker than the bottom half, as I dodged about trying to find crossing letters to help with 16a, 20a and 23a. Another fine puzzle from Oink. 8:45. Thanks Oink and Chris.
Apr. 16th, 2019 10:22 pm (UTC)
A fine brew. I bought a bottle last year, it being my mother’s local distillery. Learnt SLAINTE from a ‘very merry’ first-footing postie many years ago.
Re: Slainte - john_dun - Apr. 16th, 2019 11:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 16th, 2019 09:04 am (UTC)
I found this tough going in places but in hindsight I'm not entirely sure why. I was vaguely aware of an Irish version of Cheers but needed all the checkers to see that it was kindly clued and 16a also took some figuring out. Completed in 16.16 with LOI SLAINTE and a tie for CoD between MUGS GAME and LEGIT as both made chuckle when the penny dropped.
Thanks for the blog
Apr. 16th, 2019 09:08 am (UTC)
I think this one was for more experienced solvers, even I have seen ASCOT before.
It was a 35 minute struggle for me with HAIRY my last one in - I just couldn"t see it. I was once told 'SLAINTE' in Irish means 'it's your round next'!

Edited at 2019-04-16 09:09 am (UTC)
Apr. 16th, 2019 09:45 am (UTC)
I had no need to be....
....PENSIVE or PAINSTAKING this morning, and returned my fastest finish of the month so far.

TIME 2:59
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