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Times Quick Cryptic No 1353 by Oink

At 7 minutes start to finish this puzzle was close to a personal best for me, and I really can’t get through them any quicker than that sort of time – I just can’t read and think and write quickly enough to approach the sort of times that I suspect some will show for this puzzle.

Hopefully, this is an accessible puzzle for all standards.  Most of the clueing was concise and clear, and there was much to admire in the surfaces and clever wordplay, though some of the good stuff may have been missed on first reading.  Congratulations to Oink – a lovely example of the Setter’s craft.

I am returning from the wilds of western Scotland today, so may not be able to respond quickly to any questions or comments that you may post.  I’m sure that one or more of the old hands will be able to help though, in my temporary absence.

Across
Husband straying?  He might catch this! (7)
HERRING – The whole clue is the cryptic definition.  The wordplay is H for husband, and ERRING for straying. 
Very nice meal.  Only 1 p (5)
SUPER – The meal is a SUP{p}ER, and as instructed, it is spelled with only 1 p to give SUPER – very nice!
8 Killing of one donkey after another by island people (13)
ASSASSINATION – ASS is repeated to give both the first and second donkeys, followed by I{sland} and NATION (people).
Beg Parisian in hospital to abandon threat (7)
ENTREAT – EN (French (or Parisian) for ‘in’ followed by T{h}REAT (threat without the H{ospital}, or letter H removed (abandoned)).
10  Ethel regularly chewed the things in her mouth (5)
TEETH – TE (alternate letters (regularly) in {e}T{h}E{l}) followed by an anagram (chewed) of [THE].
11 Punt unsteadily, drinking old whiskey in residential area (6)
UPTOWN – Anagram (unsteadily) of [PUNT] with O{ld} and W{hiskey}.  In the USA, UPTOWN refers to the residential quarters of a town, whilst DOWNTOWN refers to the centre or core of the town or city.
13 Older Spanish gentleman touring India (6)
SENIOR – SENOR (Spanish gentleman) touring (outside) I{ndia}.
15  Reporter’s dispatched perfume (5)
SCENT – Homophone of SENT (dispatched).  Reporter’s refers to the person speaking the word, and is the soundalike indicator (soundarind?)
16  Fabric in ashes after explosion (7)
HESSIAN – Anagram (after explosion) of [IN ASHES].
19  Thracian coins misrepresented as belonging to another time (13)
ANACHRONISTIC – Anagram (misrepresented) of [THRACIAN COINS].
20  Rubbish written by Her Majesty – or King Edward (5)
TATER – TAT (rubbish) and ER (Her Majesty).  A TATER is an informal name for a potato, which is what a King Edward is!
21  Released gang without charge (3,4)
SET FREE – SET (gang) and FREE (without charge).

Down
1         Leave Henry for large Yank (5)
HEAVE – Take the word LEAVE and replace the L{arge} with an H{enry} to get a tug or yank (rather than a Yankee which is the misdirection here).
Respond to provocation, as creature of the deep may do? (4,2,3,4)
RISE TO THE BAIT – Another clue where the whole clue gives the cryptic definition.
Kids can be a problem (5)
ISSUE – Double definition.
4 Investigate  doctor in Togo (2,4)
GO INTO – Anagram (doctor) [IN TOGO]
5 Surprise the French after kick-off (7)
STARTLE – LE (‘the’ in French) after START (kick-off).
6  Prepare clergyman for the highest office? (5,8)
PRIME MINISTER – PRIME (prepare) and MINISTER (clergyman).  Whether or not the PRIME MINISTERship is indeed the highest office is questionable these days, with The Speaker and others perhaps laying claim to that title!
7  Overran Cherokees holding cowboy (7)
RANCHER – Hidden word (holding) in {over}RAN CHER{okees}.
11  Nobody put rats out (7)
UPSTART – Anagram (out) of [PUT RATS].
12 One who observes criminal a wretch (7)
WATCHER –  Anagram (criminal) of [A WRETCH]
14  Doctor overlooking procedures?  Oh dear! (6)
WHOOPS – WHO (doctor, as in the popular TV series) and OPS (procedures).
17  Penniless family thrown into street (5)
SKINT – KIN (family) inside S[tree}T.
18  Ideal position of hotel in French resort (5)
NICHE – H{otel} inside NICE (French resort)

Comments

( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
jackkt
May. 16th, 2019 05:05 am (UTC)
9 minutes, but probably lost 2 of those by returning time and again to 14dn which stubbornly refused to give up its secret until it had become my last clue standing. I've never been a fan of Doctor WHO, but he's come up enough times in crosswords over the years so he really ought to have come to mind sooner once it became obvious that none of the usual options (DR/MO/MB etc) was applicable.
kevingregg
May. 16th, 2019 05:41 am (UTC)
What Jackkt said about WHO, although I've never had a chance not to be a fan. HESSIAN took a while, also. I don't know if ASSASSIN(ATION) has appeared before in a QC, but it's far too frequent in the 15x15s. 5:25.
flashman
May. 16th, 2019 05:45 am (UTC)
Not sure about the time as I was frequently interrupted at work, but about 20 mins.

Loi set free after whoops entered.

Lots of good clues: entreat, super, teeth, and cod whoops.

Thanks.
templarredux
May. 16th, 2019 06:59 am (UTC)
Completely agree with the Rotter about what a good puzzle this was - thank you, Oink. Lots of smooth and clever surfaces. When I couldn’t get 1ac or 5ac at first I thought it was going to be tough but it all clicked for 1.75 Kevins, a Very Good Day.

I hunted in vain for a porcine reference ... did I miss it or has Oink stopped doing them? (In case people didn’t notice, by the way, Des showed up late on yesterday’s blog to tell us, since we’d failed to notice, that he’d hidden some famous Desmonds in the grid - very neat!)

FOI ASSASSINATION, LOI SKINT, COD SUPER

Thanks for the blog, Rotter.

Templar

Edited at 2019-05-16 06:59 am (UTC)
(Anonymous)
May. 16th, 2019 02:22 pm (UTC)
In my youth I frequented a pub called the Pig and Tater.
(Anonymous)
May. 16th, 2019 06:31 pm (UTC)
Interesting where and when?
I had never heard of it (tato where I come from) so I assumed it must be one of those Crosswordland only words that comes from a particular 18d of either time or geography (or both)
(Anonymous)
May. 16th, 2019 07:14 am (UTC)
11.58 but the last three spent playing the anagram at 19AC but all seems obvious now. Agree a great puzzle thanks!

NeilC
plett11
May. 16th, 2019 07:25 am (UTC)
A bit of a change of pace after the last couple of days. I thought I might be on for a PB until held up at the last by the pesky doctor. 8.08.
Thanks for the blog
oldblighter
May. 16th, 2019 07:30 am (UTC)
Another good Oink. I thought it would be a quickie but gradually slowed and spent (too much) time on my last few, especially UPTOWN and WHOOPS (LOI). I thought HEAVE was clever and HESSIAN took a while. HERRING was not a write-in and TEETH and ENTREAT were good. Still took around 4K so firmly in the SCC. Many thanks to Oink and rotter. John M.
mendesest
May. 16th, 2019 07:40 am (UTC)
Not so fast as others - held up in NW by both 1a and 1d and by 14d which I now see I didn't parse grasping World Health Organisation as justification as I spotted the word. Good puzzle, good blog, pleasant solve on paper on a train. Still some journey left for the back page.
riskyc
May. 16th, 2019 09:17 am (UTC)
Ha! I also thought World Health Organisation was sort of close enough and entered it with a shrug. 21 minutes for me which is about my best - but I’m sure I can shave some time off that soon. It took me quite a while to disentangle 19a and I still struggle with 3d.
gcook52
May. 16th, 2019 08:17 am (UTC)
I enjoyed this too - lots to enjoy - thanks. I'm never sure whether slang words are real words but tater is in my Chambers for potato. I've heard it just as often to refer to someone who is daft but the dictionary doesn't acknowledge that :)
desdeeloeste
May. 16th, 2019 09:29 am (UTC)
I'm pleased to have broken the 10 minutes target but am wondering why my last two in were 1d HEAVE and finally 1a HERRING. Perhaps I was looking for something more convoluted. I have to confess that I put in 20a TATER but didn't get the King Edward bit. I even thought that TATER was akin to pater so thank you Rotter for my doh! moment on reading the blog. 9:29

Edited at 2019-05-16 09:37 am (UTC)
john_dun
May. 16th, 2019 10:05 am (UTC)
A nice puzzle which I rattled through until I came to 14d. This took me well over a minute on its own and prevented me getting my first sub 5 minute solve. 6:17. Thanks Oink and Rotter.
johninterred
May. 16th, 2019 11:52 am (UTC)
A 5A puzzle from Oink today. Seeing the 4 long answers straight away helped a lot. FOI SUPER, LOI HEAVE, COD SUPER. 4:46
invariant_tft
May. 16th, 2019 12:32 pm (UTC)
Just short of 25mins, so twice as fast as yesterday for some reason... I might have been a bit quicker still, but took a long time to see Whoops, even though I've been caught out by Who for Doctor before (worth remembering that Doctor can also be an anagram indicator - especially sneaky if its a capitalised first word). Anachronistic took a fair bit of untangling as well. Invariant
(Anonymous)
May. 16th, 2019 02:00 pm (UTC)
For the first time ever I laughed out loud as the penny dropped with Whoops. A superb clue. 5ac was also clever - too clever for me to have understood the 'only 1p' parsing.
DM
davidivad1
May. 16th, 2019 02:44 pm (UTC)
Thursday
Have been out all morning and have just solved this on paper after lunch. Not timed but it did not take me too long. LOI, like others, was WHOOPS which gets my COD vote. A nice puzzle from Oink.
David


Edited at 2019-05-16 02:44 pm (UTC)
ianelin
May. 16th, 2019 03:16 pm (UTC)
Glad to be back well within our target after the last two days. Held up for a little by 14d. A very pleasant puzzle, thanks Oink.
(Anonymous)
May. 16th, 2019 04:18 pm (UTC)
Enjoyable puzzle, but although I got the wordplay for 1ac I don’t get the 'whole clue is the cryptic definition' bit. Why would a straying husband be liable to catch a herring?! Is there a phrase 'to catch a herring' meaning something relevant? I’m obviously missing something!
(Anonymous)
May. 16th, 2019 05:21 pm (UTC)
Many thanks to therotter for the blog. Thanks also to all who've commented.

@Anonymous above
In 1 across I would take just 'He might catch this!' as the definition. There are things that a straying husband might catch but a herring is probably not among them :-)

Happy solving everyone!

Oink
(Anonymous)
May. 16th, 2019 06:38 pm (UTC)
Very enjoyable
In the region of 25 minutes for me and pleased to be able to untangle everything even though many clues seemed tricky on first read. I’ve been struggling with many recently but this was a pleasure. And, with all the checkers, I even managed 19a, a word which I knew but not the meaning. So educational for me as well.
Thanks all!
John George
philjordan
May. 16th, 2019 08:06 pm (UTC)
Having been out all day....
....I was hoping for a nice easy puzzle, and this was it. I got straight on to Oink's wavelength and was only 2 seconds over my PB. I would, however, stress that me finding it easy doesn't make it a poor puzzle - it's a very good one, and I did the whole thing with a smile on my face.

FOI HERRING (a reddish one ?)
LOI WHOOPS (seeing the Doctor quicker just MIGHT have yielded a new PB)
COD TEETH (also liked SUPER and GO INTO)
TIME 2:44 (Just how fast was Verlaine ??!!)
(Anonymous)
May. 17th, 2019 10:14 am (UTC)
The erring husband might catch her ring as she flung it across the room at him.
But I don’t understand the parsing of 1d 'heave' can someone explain what indicates replacing the L with an H please?
I’m still very much a learner!
(Anonymous)
May. 17th, 2019 04:15 pm (UTC)
Sorry for the delayed response. The clue works as follows:
Yank is the definition of the answer (HEAVE)
Leave is what we are working on (the operand if you like) and is generously supplied complete.
The rest (Henry for large) is the instruction of what to do with the operand - I.e. substitute H (for Henry) into the space left if we remove L (for large) from the operand (LEAVE). LEAVE minus L and with H added gives HEAVE - et voila!

I hope this helps.

Therotter
(Anonymous)
May. 17th, 2019 08:19 pm (UTC)
This was a very suitable quick cryptic. Evidently this setter “gets it” Not a walkover but possible with a bit of effort. Well done setter and blogger
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )

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