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Times Quick Cryptic No 1352 by Des


I nearly finished this puzzle in 16'30", but it took me another three minutes to puzzle out and then Google my answer for 8 Down. In any case, my longish time made sense: the puzzle was straightforward, but my seasonal allergies had me sneezing and stopping to blow my nose every 30 seconds or so. My head wasn't together enough to push hard on any one clue, so I just kept moving and was able to finish the puzzle without any real difficulties.



1 Fan [is] something you cast in river (7)
DEVOTEE - VOTE ("something you cast") in ("in") DEE ("river")

I understood this clue to mean 'something you cast' in 'river', but I was thinking more along the lines of POLE, which didn't get me anywhere. Also, there was a time I was really up to snuff on my UK rivers, but I've let them slip these days. Not solved.
7 Many held briefly, improperly, [in] Wilts RAF base (7)
LYNEHAM - MANY ("many") + HELD ("held") without its last letter ("briefly"), anagrammed ("improperly")

I got that this was an anagram of MANY+HEL(D), but no clue about the military base — I'll need checkers. Not solved.
9 Promoted in the end, you chattered idly (7)
UPRATED - the last letter of ("in the end") YOU ("you") + PRATED ("chattered idly")

I toyed around with the last letter of 'promoted' = D, then YE for 'you', but that didn't get me anywhere and I moved on. (As I said, with my allergies I had very little energy to persist and try different parsings.) Not solved.
10 Part for ukelele an orchestra [gives] girl (7)
ELEANOR - letters in ("part for") UKELELE AN ORCHESTRA ("ukelele an orchestra")

Finally, an easy starter. This was clear to be a hidden word, and it only took a few seconds to find. Solved.
11 Feline, extra large, around New York, returning (4)
LYNX - XL ("extra large") outside ("around") NY ("New York"), reversed ("returning")

This was a lovely one. With only four letters to work with, I found myself asking, how can XL and NY give me a type of cat? But then you put the pieces together as instructed and out pops a cat. Solved.
12 Move up, prior to [creating] miscellany (9)
POTPOURRI - anagram ("move") UP PRIOR TO ("up prior to")

Funny enough, I guessed from the definition immediately that this had to be POTPOURRI, but I couldn't see the anagram, as I was fully misled by 'prior to' meaning either to place two words together, or perhaps the poetic ERE, so I missed this one on the first go-around. Not solved.
14 Captivated woman, married, going with our boss at The Times? (9)
ENAMOURED - ENA ("woman") + M ("married", from genealogy charts) + ("going with") OUR ("our") ED ("boss at The Times?")

Thought the 'woman' might be DI, and forgot to check 'ENA'. But I knew we had M for 'married' and ED for newspaper boss in the mix, so I wrote in ED for the last two letters. Not solved.
16 Lay next to a character from Athens (4)
BETA - BET ("lay") + ("next to") A ("a")

Another frustrating one. In the fog of my brain I could only come up with IOTA and ZETA, which obviously weren't right. And I undoubtedly was saying in my mind, "alpha, beta, gamma, ...", and nevertheless skipped right over the answer! I put in the A, though. Not solved.
17 The issue [of] hoax comes to an end (7)
KIDDIES - KID ("hoax") + DIES ("comes to an end")

No energy to think through this one yet. Not solved.
20 Uninspiring expert thus penning article (7)
PROSAIC - PRO ("expert") + SIC ("thus") outside ("penning") A ("article")

First my mind turned to PRO for 'expert', which started triggering PROSE/PROSAIC deep in the rumblings of my brain. Of course I went first to SO for 'thus', which doesn't work, but that got me the S. All the ingredients together were enough to pull out the correct word from the definition. Solved.
21 Donor doesn’t ever, ice being broken (7)
RECEIVE - EVER ICE ("ever ice") anagrammed ("being broken")

This was a clear anagram, and therefore a sort of "inverse definition", and the answer wasn't hard to find. Solved.
22 Follows sailor, [providing] a bright night light (7)
DOGSTAR - DOGS ("follows") + TAR ("sailor")

I should have made the TAR/STAR connection right away, which probably would have allowed me to solve this one on the first pass, but I was also considering AB for 'sailor' and IF for 'providing', and didn't have the wherewithal yet to sift through and find the aptest ingredients. Not solved.


1 Public transport: / alternative to a submarine? (6-6)
DOUBLE-DECKER - double definition, one referring to submarines and double-deckers as sandwiches

I had _ _ _ _ L _ - _ _ _ _ _ R, and was able to get the answer from the first definition. Solved.
2 What might grow in garden, or in cave, unusually (8)
VERONICA - OR IN CAVE ("or in cave") anagrammed ("unusually")

The anagram was clear, but with only _ _ _ _ N _ _ _ , I wasn't ready to solve or even really attempt. 'Veronica' is a lovely purple plant, by the way. Not solved.
3 Expression of disapproval at uniform skirt (4)
TUTU - TUT ("expression of disapproval") + ("at") U ("uniform")

Standard ingredients, standard clue I've seen before. Solved.
4 As likely heir, perhaps, led set astray (6)
ELDEST - LED SET ("led set") anagrammed ("astray")

Easy anagram. I didn't even need to write the letters backwards, which is rare for me. Solved.
5 Cricket side the best ever? [That’s] public knowledge (2,6)
ON RECORD - ON ("cricket side") + RECORD ("the best ever")

I remember seeing 'Cricket side', then looking to the enumeration, then letting out a horrific sneeze and solving this one at the same time. Solved.
6 Not fleshy, object when having bottom pinched (4)
THIN - THING ("object") without its last letter ("when having bottom pinched")

I had _ _ _ N, but was thinking more along the lines of 'gaunt' or 'bare' for 'not fleshy', rather than 'thin'. Finally, I followed the principle of "likelier than not, use a definition of the word which *isn't* how it's used in the surface", which led me to 'object' = THING and that was that. Solved.
8 Traditional performer: one pulling sledge after car? (6,6)
MORRIS DANCER - DANCER ("one pulling sledge", one of Santa's reindeer, that is) after ("after") MORRIS ("car?", a type of car)

As many of you UK solvers likely know, a Morris dance is a traditional pole dance. Perhaps I do know this somewhere in my brain, but I definitiely didn't last night! Also, I don't know the conveyance as a 'sledge', but rather as a 'sled'. So, nothing doing on the first pass. Not solved.
12 Mostly opposing abortion, I note, having had many children? (8)
PROLIFIC - all letters except the last of ("mostly") PRO-LIFE ("opposing abortion") + I ("I") + C ("note")

This one was easy to piece together from the wordplay. I had _ _ _ _ _ _ I _ , but that was enough to give me -IC, and then PRO-LIFE and PROLIFIC sort of appeared at the same time. Solved.
13 Concerned with permit to collect vehicle [being] suitable (8)
RELEVANT - RE ("concerned with") + LET ("permit") outside ("to collect") VAN ("vehicle")

Pieced this one together as well, starting with the standard RE for 'concerned with'. Briefly considered RE...CAR... , since CAR is likelier than VAN for vehicle, but the answer couldn't hide for long. Solved.
15 Venomous snake in scarlet made harsh sounds (6)
RASPED - ASP ("venomous snake") in ("in") RED ("scarlet")

I had _ _ _ P _ _ , which gave me ASP and its location, and in another second, the answer. Solved.
18 US detective [and] British ones upset king (4)
DICK - CID ("British ones", detectives, meaning) reversed ("upset") + K ("king")

Being in the US, 'dick' came straight to mind, which I could easily verify against the wordplay. Solved.
19 Musical note no good — alas for this? (4)
SONG - SO ("musical note") + NG ("no good")

I had _ O _ _ and then _ ONG, but then I forgot that O was part of the musical note and started trying DONG, GONG, BONG, etc, none of which really made sense. I put in the NG and moved on. Not solved.

* * *

I only missed three Down clues on the first pass! Now I went back to the clues I didn't get:

1 Across - Fan is something you cast in river (7)
I had D _ _ _ T _ E, and I believe I got the answer immediately from the definition 'fan', then saw VOTE and DEE. Solved.

7 Across - Many held briefly, improperly, in Wilts RAF base (7)
I had L _ N _ H _ _ , and the remaining anagram letters were EYAM, which could really only go in one way. Still, I wasn't at all sure LYNEHAM was right. Question mark?

12 Across - Move up, prior to creating miscellany (9)
I had P _ T _ O _ R _ _ , so now I see immediately that the answer is POTPOURRI, as I'd guessed, and the anagram indication smacks me in my snot-covered face. Solved.

14 Across - Captivated woman, married, going with our boss at The Times? (9)
I had E _ _ _ O _ RED, which becomes E _ _ _ OURED, then E _ _ MOURED, then ENAMOURED. Solved.

16 Across - Lay next to a character from Athens (4)
I had _ E _ A, which finally allowed me to get BETA and slap my own face. Solved.

17 Across - The issue of hoax comes to an end (7)
I had K _ D _ I _ S, which immediately got me to KID _ I _ S, but I wasn't quite sure if KID came from 'issue' or 'hoax'. I sat with it for a second and then saw DIES = 'comes to an end'. Solved.

22 Across - Follows sailor, providing a bright night light (7)
I had D _ G _ T _ _ , so I put in D _ G _ TAR, then D _ GSTAR, then DOGSTAR. Of course, I haven't heard of this (it refers either to the star Sirius, or Keanu Reeves's band), so I put a Question mark?

2 Down - What might grow in garden, or in cave, unusually (8)
I had V _ _ _ N _ _ A, which with the other anagram letters ECIRO is enough to get me the answer. Solved.

9 Across - Promoted in the end, you chattered idly (7)
I realized I skipped 9 Across on the second pass. I had U _ R _ TED, which tells me the U comes from the end of 'you', and I get the answer almost immediately. Solved.

19 Down - Musical note no good — alas for this? (4)
Now I realize the O is part of the note name, so it can only be DONG or SONG, and I understand the definition: a SONG will suffer (alas!) if one of its notes is no good. Solved.

8 Down - Traditional performer: one pulling sledge after car? (6,6)
Almost gave up on this one. I had M _ R _ I _ / _ A _ C _ R. From 'performer' and my crossing letters in the second half, I write in DANCER. What about the first half? MORRIS seems vaguely right. I Google it, roll my eyes, and blow my nose. Solved, and done.


( 47 comments — Leave a comment )
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May. 14th, 2019 11:56 pm (UTC)
I found this really tricky for a QC and took 17:00 to complete. At least I had no errors! Maybe I'm very tired, but I think a lot of these clues would be very much at home in the 15x15. Liked DOUBLE DECKER and MORRIS DANCER. Thanks Des and Jeremy.
May. 15th, 2019 12:23 am (UTC)
Definitely a tough one; even Verlaine required over 4 minutes! In retrospect, though, it seems fairly straightforward; but then in retrospect things often do. NHO LYNEHAM, which was my LOI. The 'public transport' in 1d is the double-decker bus (the public usually isn't allowed on submarines!). 9:01.
May. 15th, 2019 01:34 am (UTC)
Sorry, I thought the first definition was clear and was only elucidating the ‘cheeky’ part. I should be more thorough.
(no subject) - kevingregg - May. 15th, 2019 02:40 am (UTC) - Expand
May. 15th, 2019 02:18 am (UTC)
16 minutes
A slow time - attempted the QC as the 15x15 blog is not yet up.
COD 7ac LYNEHAM (Kevin! STBO - of course you've never heard of it!!)
WOD Not solved!
May. 15th, 2019 02:39 am (UTC)
Re: 16 minutes
Never heard of STBO either.
STBO - horryd - May. 15th, 2019 05:37 am (UTC) - Expand
RE: STBO - philjordan - May. 15th, 2019 10:01 am (UTC) - Expand
May. 15th, 2019 04:54 am (UTC)
A rarish excursion into the red zone today with 16 minutes on the clock as I had to hop around the grid to get started and when I then tried to work up some momentum I kept getting stuck. Unless I'm missing something at 19dn the definition is a bit feeble and the superfluous '— alas' only makes things worse.
May. 15th, 2019 07:14 am (UTC)
I also didn’t like 19D. I plumped for SONG but thought DONG plausible too. What am I missing?

(no subject) - (Anonymous) - May. 15th, 2019 07:23 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - plusjeremy - May. 15th, 2019 11:56 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - louisajaney - May. 15th, 2019 05:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 15th, 2019 05:54 am (UTC)
Jeremy, As a newcomer and novice to cryptic crosswords I really appreciate your breakdown and analysis of your answers.many thanks
May. 15th, 2019 06:59 am (UTC)
Slow going today and it was tough to get a foothold. Once I'd accepted it wasn't going to be an SCC day I settled in and really enjoyed working my way through each clue - maybe I should do this more often.
Finished in 21.39 with 17a, but without really understanding what was going on in 1d.
Thanks for the blog.
May. 15th, 2019 07:06 am (UTC)
Another very difficult QC which took me 21:13.
I used to drive through Lyneham but it still took me a long time to remember it; very hard if you have never heard of it. Lots of tricky stuff I thought. My LOsI were Double Decker, Devotee and Uprated. FOI Lynx after looking at several clues for a way in. KIDDIES was a hold up, like many. David
May. 15th, 2019 07:15 am (UTC)
Also tough - 19 minutes here. LYNEHAM was hard and KIDDIES took a while to see.

May. 15th, 2019 08:10 am (UTC)
Yes, certainly another toughie. Well over 3K today after a reasonably quick start. I had to move clockwise from the NE and then struggle with the NW and W. My last in were 1a and 1d, following on from UPRATED which I thought was clever. I rather liked ENAMOURED, KIDDIES, and DOGSTAR. Lots to chew over and a particularly interesting blog from Jeremy - thanks both. John M.
May. 15th, 2019 08:14 am (UTC)
I found that tough too (20:39, mercifully only 2.3 Kevins so still a Decent Day) but I really, really enjoyed it. It felt quirky and playful and inventive. I enjoyed all the clues, even those that caused severe pen-chewing. Thank you Des!

FOI ELEANOR, LOI KIDDIES (shades of Betjeman), COD POTPOURRI (such a well concealed anagram ... the fatal attraction of that seductive comma, a real forehead slap when the penny dropped).

NHO LYNEHAM but with the checkers it was either that or Lenyham and that didn't feel right. Also NHO either submarine or DOUBLE DECKER as meaning a sandwich so had to come on here to find out what the heck was going on in 1dn - thanks Jeremy! (Are those Americanisms?)

May. 15th, 2019 08:44 am (UTC)
Collins has 'double-decker' sandwich as an Americanism but 'submarine' sandwich as both English and American. I don't know when the submarine thing started but I only learnt of it via crosswords, and quite recently. For much of my life, say up to early 1970s, sandwiches were sandwiches (two slices of bread with filling) and rolls were just rolls, or occasionaly baps.
(no subject) - john_dun - May. 15th, 2019 08:49 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - templarredux - May. 15th, 2019 09:17 am (UTC) - Expand
May. 15th, 2019 09:32 am (UTC)
According to Dr Google, Lyneham is an army base and has been since 2015!!
May. 15th, 2019 10:05 am (UTC)
RE: Lyneham
It's actually MOD Lyneham. The Wikipedia entry is well worth reading.
May. 15th, 2019 10:03 am (UTC)
30 minutes.

Lyneham mentioned in the 15x15 blog so that was easy.

Struggled with kiddies, dick, double decker and loi song.

Liked enamoured, Cod beta.
May. 15th, 2019 10:12 am (UTC)
Since I was in Nottingham yesterday....
....looking at their ever-growing fleet of Biogas DOUBLE-DECKERS, I should have got started far more quickly ! I also took the chance to visit Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem (allegedly England's oldest pub).

"Chattered idly" suggested "prattled" rather than "prated" to me, and held me up as a result.

Definitely at the tougher end of QC difficulty, and took me almost twice as long as usual - it was almost a mini 15x15 in my opinion.

COD MORRIS DANCER or PROLIFIC - both excellent
TIME 5:57
May. 15th, 2019 10:39 am (UTC)
This was the toughest QC I've seen in a while. 1a and 1d were very late solves and I couldn't parse 1d. My penultimate solve was 17a KIDDIES and LOI 18d DICK with 23 minutes on the clock. I'm glad to see from the blog that others found it less than straight forward.
May. 15th, 2019 10:55 am (UTC)
There's a tasteless clue in the 15x15, and there's one here too. How anyone can equate 'pro-life' and 'opposed to abortion' is beyond me. 'Opposed to abortion' actually means opposed to safe, legal, abortion. Horrific things happening in Alabama and some other US states.

Did the puzzle in a little over seven minutes, thought it was hard. Dnk LYNEHAM.
May. 15th, 2019 11:19 am (UTC)
I was going to comment on that but forgot; I'm glad you did. It has always bothered me that both sides (by which I mean right and wrong) have bought into the terminology.
(no subject) - plusjeremy - May. 15th, 2019 12:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kevingregg - May. 15th, 2019 01:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - plusjeremy - May. 15th, 2019 01:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - templarredux - May. 15th, 2019 03:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kevingregg - May. 15th, 2019 09:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
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