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Times Quick Cryptic No 1372 by Orpheus


DNF, as I had the wrong kind of food (and dog) at 16 Across. But it was a medium-ish sort of solve, no great difficulties, and some guesswork at the end that may have been difficult for newer solvers.



1 Straggly beard on a Scotsman, one from the Granite City (10)
ABERDONIAN - anagram of ("straggly") BEARD ("beard") + ON ("on") + IAN ("a Scotsman")
The Granite City is Aberdeen.
8 Eg boxer’s gentle progress to track leftist? (7)
DOGTROT - DOG ("to track") + TROT ("leftist?")
A boxer being a kind of dog, and a 'trot' being a follower of Trotsky, probably a leftist.
9 Portion [of] baked food served around City (5)
PIECE - PIE ("baked food") around ("served around") EC ("city", postcode for London)
10 Unscrupulous dealer people of substance rejected (4)
SPIV - VIPS ("people of substance") reversed ("rejected")
Hadn't heard of this word so I took a leap of faith at the end.
11 Bearing gifts, roughly speaking? (8)
PRESENCE - PRESENTS ("gifts") replaced by homophone ("roughly speaking")
Not exactly sure what 'roughly' is doing here.
13 Some chose the right anaesthetic (5)
ETHER - letters in ("some") CHOSE THE RIGHT ("chose the right")
14 Herb[’s] occasion for speaking? (5)
THYME - TIME ("occasion") replaced by homophone ("for speaking")
16 Dog [requiring] two portions of food? (4-4)
CHOW-CHOW - repeated ("two portions of") CHOW ("food")
17 Enthusiastic Judean king abandoning first daughter (4)
AVID - DAVID ("Judean king") without first ("abandoning first") D ("daughter")
20 Idle endlessly in 6 square (5)
PLAZA - LAZE ("idle") without its last letter ("endlessly") in ("in") PA ("6", Pennsylvania)
21 English saint, one associated with a European republic (7)
ALBANIA - ALBAN ("English saint") + I ("one") + ("associated with") A ("a")
Didn't know the saint, so I was looking for something starting with E+ST.
22 In religious house, cultivate liliaceous plant (10)
FRITILLARY - in ("in") FRIARY ("religious house"), TILL ("cultivate")
I had all the crossing letters, sussed out TILL, then guessed on FRIARY. Last one in.


1 Mountain system with little access ultimately (5)
ANDES - AND ("and") + LITTLE ACCESS ("little access") reduced to last letters ("ultimately")
2 Welsh moaning disturbed female across the border (12)
ENGLISHWOMAN - WELSH MOANING ("Welsh moaning") anagrammed ("disturbed")
Couldn't figure out what 'across the border' was doing, then realized on writing up the blog that it's part of the surface: across the border from Wales.
3 Dagger bound in the end to irritate (4)
DIRK - BOUND ("bound") reduced to last letter ("in the end") + IRK ("to irritate")
4 Legal official in particular region never without books? (6)
NOTARY - NARY ("in particular region, never") outside ("without") OT ("books", Old Testament)
Here, 'in particular region' indicates that NARY is a nonstandard form of 'never'.
5 Suitable program originally on internet location (8)
APPOSITE - APP ("program") + first letter of ("originally") ON ("on") + SITE ("internet location")
Really liked this clue.
6 State [of] planes in navy manoeuvres (12)
PENNSYLVANIA - PLANES IN NAVY ("planes in navy") anagrammed ("manoeuvres")
7 Harsh member of clergy rising in diocese (6)
SEVERE - REV ("member of clergy") reversed ("rising") in ("in") SEE ("diocese")
12 Equip professor’s position, [providing] comfortable seat (8)
ARMCHAIR - ARM ("equip") + CHAIR ("professor's position")
13 Copy key first — [and] do a runner! (6)
ESCAPE - APE ("copy"), ESC ("key") placed be
15 Element [provided by] fellow Lithuanian? (6)
COBALT - CO- ("fellow") + BALT ("Lithuanian?", for example)
I chuckled at this one!
18 Log a builder finally used in home improvements (5)
DIARY - A ("a") + BUILDER ("builder") reduced to its last letter ("finally") in ("used in") DIY ("home improvements")
19 Murder victim of some capability, so to speak (4)
ABEL - ABLE ("of some capability") replaced by homophone ("so to speak")


( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 12th, 2019 12:24 am (UTC)
Faster than I had expected in what felt like a difficult QC. No idea what the Granite City was, although checkers told me soon enough. SPIV took some time: a word I've looked up several times but can't seem to remember the meaning of. I thought FRITILLARY was a butterfly; having looked it up, I see it (also) is. I wondered about 'across the border', too; needed Jeremy to explain. I suspect that 'roughly' is in 11ac to block complaints from those who think that 'presents' is pronounced differently from 'presence' (it can be, if you try hard enough). 5:34.
Jun. 12th, 2019 02:58 am (UTC)
I thought this was rather difficult for a Quickie....
....and I suspect the SCC will grind to a halt. At least 'plaza' gave away the answer to 6, which saved a lot of time working out the anagram.

If you can't remember 'spiv', search Google images for 'spiv selling'....you will remember!
Jun. 12th, 2019 12:08 pm (UTC)
Re: I thought this was rather difficult for a Quickie....
Thanks! I think I will.
Jun. 12th, 2019 03:12 am (UTC)
Fairly straightforward offering for a leisurely 8.25

FOI 1ac ABERDONIAN a write-in

LOI 10ac SPIV - a 'Flash Harry' (Arthur English, George Cole) I think you meant 'word' not 'work'?

COD 2dn ENGLISHWOMAN A clue worthy of the 15x15

WOD 22ac FRITILLARY (the checkerboard-lily)

@ 21ac St. Albans is a fairly well-known English Town.

Jun. 12th, 2019 05:23 am (UTC)
17 minutes of mostly hard work although ABERDONIAN and DIRK had gone in straightaway leading me to think for a moment there may be a Scottish theme going on, which it turned out there wasn't.

ALBAN (clued then as 'martyr') turned up as recently as April 23 in a 15x15 blogged by me, and was the subject of some discussion in which both his sainthood and the CITY named in his honour (St Albans) were mentioned more than once.

I'm not sure that we should expect a word such as FRITALLERY in a QC. It has appeared only once before as an answer in the TftT era - in a Jumbo back in 2013.

Edited at 2019-06-12 06:51 am (UTC)
Jun. 12th, 2019 06:58 am (UTC)
A DNF in 41 minutes, twice my target.
I had biffed ESTONIA from E + ST for 'saint' which didn't help, and I was left with 5 clues so I cheated on the flower as I had only a few checkers. This gave me the last few apart from ENGLISHWOMAN, I knew it was an anagram but I was solving on my phone and my brain couldn't juggle the remaining letters.
I never complain about difficult puzzles now, my main reason for doing cryptics is to exercise the brain cells and a long DNF exercises them more than PB would.


Edited at 2019-06-12 06:59 am (UTC)
Jun. 12th, 2019 07:23 am (UTC)
Like you, Brian, I biffed Estonia which threw me off course until Abel and cobalt suddenly flew into my head and the rest was straightforward.
Jun. 12th, 2019 07:11 am (UTC)
This was a stern test overall. And without the required GK close to impossible perhaps.
Fortunately I knew Aberdeen so 1a went straight in and dirk continued the Scottish theme.I was never badly held up but I wanted 15d to start DON (fellow) so I was looking for a three letter Lithuanian. And I had Seminary for part of the plant which I eventually dragged up from somewhere.
My last two were 2d ( I had no idea till the end what the clue was about) and 10a SPIV.
I was delighted and a bit surprised to finish all correct in 14:18.
COD to COBALT. David
Jun. 12th, 2019 07:16 am (UTC)
Having visited the Granite City and stayed in the Skean Dhu Hotel, 1a and 3d were write ins. COBALT made me smile. ENGLISHWOMAN was my LOI and required me to write out the crossers horizontally before I saw what was going on. A tricky clue indeed. Nice puzzle. 9:06. Thanks Orpheus and Jeremy.
Jun. 12th, 2019 07:39 am (UTC)
Oh dear. Same error on the dog as our blogger and bunged in DART for 3D which fitted and I never went back to check (anyone else do this?) Other than that it was a steady 12 mins to DNF! COD to COBALT

Jun. 12th, 2019 08:44 am (UTC)
A fast start with a tricky finish for me. Like some others I carelessly biffed ESTONIA and so came to a grinding halt with 15 & 19d and 22a left. I finally worked out the BALT bit and the rest followed soon after, although the unknown at 22a went in with fingers crossed. I particularly enjoyed DOGTROT for the lightbulb moment and 2d for the surface reading. Finished in 13.58.
Thanks for the blog
Jun. 12th, 2019 09:08 am (UTC)
About 45 mins.

Dnk dirk.
Loi the unknown flower.

Jun. 12th, 2019 09:18 am (UTC)
21 across
Very poor as Georgia also fits the clue.
Jun. 12th, 2019 09:23 am (UTC)
Re: 21 across
Not really because you'd need to dispose of the second E in George.
Jun. 12th, 2019 12:32 pm (UTC)
Re: 21 across
Is Georgia a European republic?
Jun. 12th, 2019 03:57 pm (UTC)
Re: 21 across
I hadn't considerd that when responding to our anon contributor, but it may be arguable. It's certainly a republic and it's right on the dividing line between Eastern Europe and Western Asia. Some sources describe it as Eurasian.
Diana Wainman
Jun. 12th, 2019 09:42 am (UTC)
Quite difficult today. I don’t understand the answer to 20a. Where does the 6 come in?
Jun. 12th, 2019 09:52 am (UTC)
Re: Plaza
6dn PENNSYLVANIA or PA for short.
Diana Wainman
Jun. 12th, 2019 10:15 am (UTC)
RE: Re: Plaza
Oh I see, thanks. But I’ve always disliked clues that assume you’ve solved another one as I usually haven’t!
Jun. 12th, 2019 10:31 am (UTC)
RE: Re: Plaza
I share your dislike of such clues. Fortunately we don’t see many of them in The Times.
Jun. 12th, 2019 10:59 am (UTC)
Never heard of FRITILLARY. Needed all the checkers then guessed TILL and FRIARY. Not very satisfactory. Enjoyed ENGLISHWOMAN, nice surface. Otherwise enjoyed this. Not easy and a good challenge.
Jun. 12th, 2019 03:51 pm (UTC)
Definitely more than just the odd tricky clue in today's puzzle from Orpheus. Fell for the 'E + St must be Estonia' biff trap at 21ac, and only spotted the mistake when Abel just had to be the answer for 19d. In fact the SE corner would not have looked out of place in an Izetti QC. Loi, after a good 35mins, was 8ac Dogtrot - not the most common of words. My favourite though, was 15d Cobalt, which needed an alphabet trawl to solve before parsing. Invariant
Jun. 12th, 2019 07:41 pm (UTC)
DNF. A few too subtle for me today.
Jun. 12th, 2019 09:20 pm (UTC)
I came to this late this evening and wished I hadn't bothered. Too many deliberate traps and quirky/downright weird clues for a QC. I got there in the end but got little pleasure from it. Somebody must have really rattled Orpheus's cage. John M.

Edited at 2019-06-12 09:22 pm (UTC)
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )

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