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Times Quick Cryptic 1400 by Orpheus

Solving time: 10 minutes. By a quirk of fate I get to blog the milestone QCs ending with -00 and always look to see if the setter has chosen to mark the occasion in some way. There is nothing special in today's as far as I can see but we still get to enjoy an excellent workout by Orpheus, one of the original QC setters whose first offering was QC #8 and this is his 129th to date with many more to come we hope.

As usual definitions are underlined in bold italics, {deletions and substitutions are in curly brackets} and [anagrinds, containment, reversal and other indicators in square ones]

1 Assemblage of tents originally pitched by river (4)
CAMP - CAM (river - in Cambridge), P{itched] [originally]
4 Union everyone in church accepts first of all (8)
ALLIANCE - ALL (everyone), then IN contains [accepts] A{ll} [first], CE  (church)
8 Evade argument for shrubby border (8)
HEDGEROW - HEDGE (evade), ROW (argument)
9 Notes about Mike’s celebrity status (4)
FAME - FAE (notes) contain [about] M (Mike - NATO alphabet). Bunches of letters clued by musical notes, points of the compass etc are not too popular with some, but it's a standard cryptic device and many solvers here are on a learning curve so we need to be reminded of it occasionally.
10 Alert knight on board connected with conflict (4)
WARN - WAR (conflict), N (knight on board). The chess piece is generously clued by the addition of 'on board' which also enhances the surface.
11 Rustic friend entertaining old Times proprietor (8)
PASTORAL - PAL (friend) containing [entertaining] ASTOR (old Times proprietor). Despite this being a QC, it's good for solvers to be stretchd occasionally and this clue fills that particular need, and then some! John Jacob Astor was proprietor of The Times from 1922-1966. Even this oldie didn't know that, and I doubt that many under the age of about 65 would do so.
12 Oddball’s party by dam (6)
WEIRDO - WEIR (dam), DO (party)
14 Expenditure always dogging dismissed Liberal (6)
OUTLAY - OUT (dismissed), L (Liberal), AY (always). 'Dogging' here is a positional indicator in the sense of 'following' or 'tailing'. It adds to the surface and cunningly misdirects the unwary.
16 Like wasted youth, girl shut up (8)
MISSPENT - MISS (girl), PENT (shut up)
18 Animal noise originally recorded in sea inlet (4)
BRAY - R{ecorded} [originally] contained by [in] BAY (sea inlet)
19 Where one may reside even? (4)
FLAT - Two meanings
20 Power duke has over lackey (8)
DOMINION - D (duke), O (over), MINION (lackey)
22 Shabby and worn — like the setter, perhaps? (3-5)
DOG-EARED - A definition with a cryptic hint not referring to our esteemed compiler, we trust!
23 Island involved in risky enterprise (4)
SKYE - Hidden [involved] in {ri}SKY E{nterprise}. Now joined to the mainland by a bridge.
2 Mean to declare how long one has lived (7)
AVERAGE - AVER (declare), AGE (how long one has lived)
3 Heathen taking cooking vessel across Georgia (5)
PAGAN - PAN (cooking vessel) contains [across] GA (Georgia)
4 Scottish port employing lawyers regularly (3)
AYR - {l}A{w}Y{e}R{s} [regularly]
5 Most inferior of teashops initially in Suffolk resort (9)
LOWESTOFT - LOWEST (most inferior), OF, T{eashops} [initially]
6 Insult a female over appearance (7)
AFFRONT - A, F (female), FRONT (appearance)
7 Fellow graduate catching minute butterfly (5)
COMMA - CO-M.A. (fellow graduate) containing [catching] M (minute)
11 Professional salesperson’s alternative spelling for animal feed (9)
PROVENDER - PRO (professional), VENDER (salesperson’s alternative spelling). The seller is more usually spelt 'vendor'.
13 What we learn by accepting standard award (7)
ROSETTE - ROTE (what we learn by) containing [accepting] SET (standard)
15 Loving declaration of Conservative, for one? (7)
AMATORY - AM A TORY. A straight definition and a cryptic hint relying on alternative spacing.
17 Crossing head of glacier I look at old Inuit house (5)
IGLOO - I + LO (look at) + O (old) containing [crossing] G{lacier} [head]
18 Primarily bear responsibility for extra dividend (5)
BONUS - B{ear} [primarily], ONUS (responsibility)
21 Managing Director crosses union leader, getting bad name (3)
MUD - MD (Managing Director) contains [crosses] U{nion} [leader]


( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 22nd, 2019 01:38 am (UTC)
As Jack notes nowt special not even an MCD: the last non-prime number was 1,399 fyi.


LOI 22 ac DOG EARED corrected from my earlier attempt - DOG TIRED!


WOD 5dn LOWESTOFT (WWI Britain's largest submarine base)

WEIRDO again, but far easier clued than in last week's 15x15!

Talking of which, today's 15x15 is a very gentle affair, for those of you who wish to join the big league and 1ac is place to start.
Jul. 22nd, 2019 09:53 am (UTC)
RE: 1,400
Thanks for the tip. I enjoyed the 15squared today whilst agreeing that it was an unusually gentle offering. John M.
Jul. 22nd, 2019 03:01 am (UTC)
Biffed a bunch: PASTORAL (I certainly didn't know that about Astor), OUTLAY, AYR. My heart sinks when I see 'Xshire town' or something in a clue, as I have no idea where most of the towns I know are located; but usually, as here, it makes no difference. I'm definitely one of those Jack alludes to who could do without clues like 'notes'; but as he says, it's a setter's trick one must learn. Also note AY for 'always, ever'. 4:42.
Jul. 22nd, 2019 07:09 am (UTC)
I often find Orpheus a tricky setter and so it was today. A steady 15 minutes until I had two left -16a and 13d.
I looked at these for ages and nearly gave up but I worked out MISSPENT. Then I needed quite a bit more time to get LOI ROSETTE. 28:35 in the end.
As Horryd says, it was helpful if you recently saw WEIRDO in a puzzle. COD to MISSPENT. David
Jul. 22nd, 2019 07:10 am (UTC)
I thought there were some tricky clues in here. I had to assume that an Astor had once owned the times, the parsing of LoI ROSETTE took some working out and the penultimate letter Of PROVENDER went in with fingers crossed. I'm not a fan of 'notes' as a cluing device but I can see it must be a useful for setters and therefore we need to know it.
An enjoyable solve that took me 12.32 with my favourite being DOMINION due to the surface reading.
Thanks to Jack
Jul. 22nd, 2019 08:35 am (UTC)
A good Orpheus puzzle. I slowed towards the end with ROSETTE, MISSPENT, DOMINION and I biffed ALLIANCE and OUTLAY before slowly parsing. Provender caused a little hiccup because I wanted to include vendor. I ended up just into SCC territory. I liked DOG-EARED and LOWESTOFT. Thanks to both. John M.
Jul. 22nd, 2019 08:49 am (UTC)
FOI, PAGAN, LOI SKYE, which took a while to spot. Went down a couple of blind alleys for 1a until the P from 3d put me on track. I figured the ASTORS were into all sorts so didn't blink at 11a. WEIRDO nicely primed by last Sunday's puzzle. 7:21. Thanks Orpheus and Jack.
Jul. 22nd, 2019 08:58 am (UTC)
A QC mostly doable but tricky in parts. I biffed PASTORAL and OUTLAY. I struggled with ROSETTE as I too had DOG-tiRED for 22a. MISSPENT was my penultimate solve and my LOI was the unknown butterfly and pure guess COMMA at 7d. I think I will remember that one now. 12:44
Jul. 22nd, 2019 10:02 am (UTC)
Thought this one was really hard. Finished in 69:50 and it was actually a DNF as I got two letters wrong. First I put an O in provender as I'd never heard of animal feed being called that. I didn't know what was going on with the alternative spelling bit, but by that time I was past caring. Secondly, I put avatory down instead of the unknown amatory. I assumed that ava might be some sort of singular (for one) past tense of aver which is a word for declare that I'd never come across before I started doing crosswords. It probably goes without saying that I'd never heard of Astor, but at least that was biffable. Also hadn't come across AY meaning always, which seems a very odd abbreviation to me, and there were a few others I didn't parse properly too. I enjoy learning new stuff when I do these, but there were a few too many unknowns in this to make it enjoyable. COD 16a
Jul. 22nd, 2019 10:22 am (UTC)
It's not an abbreviation.
Jul. 22nd, 2019 10:58 am (UTC)
Re: AY
Guess that's why it seemed an odd abbreviation then. Thanks for the correction Kevin.
Jul. 26th, 2019 04:01 pm (UTC)
What is it then?
Jul. 22nd, 2019 10:31 am (UTC)
I put this down as a NOW ( Not On Wavelength), as often happens with occasional setters. I never really got involved with the clues and gave up after 30 minutes with ROSETTE, MISSPENT and AMATORY still to go.
There was nothing wrong with the clues, thanks to jackkt for explaining them.

Jul. 22nd, 2019 11:11 am (UTC)
Second sitting needed
Like others, I found this very difficult in places and nearly gave up with a very empty looking SE corner (apart from Skye.) I returned for a second sitting, and spotted Dominion strIaight away, which gave me Bonus/Bray and finally the unknown Amatory. Hard work for a Monday, so more of a relief than a pleasure to finally finish. Invariant
Jul. 22nd, 2019 11:22 am (UTC)
In June I visited....
....AYR. An absolutely delightful Wetherspoon's pub in a converted church ("The West Kirk") where one has to restrain oneself from addressing the masses whilst passing a lectern to reach the gents. A few shops with puns on the name of the town - I particular liked the musical instrument shop named "Ayr Guitar".

I didn't know of the Astor/Times connection, but the wordplay was clear.

TIME 3:47
Jul. 22nd, 2019 12:49 pm (UTC)
Re: In June I visited....
3:47!! Jordan, what a shambles. I daresay the walls were of granite and not brick, this time around!?

I failed to register my time which was about 9:30 - old age creeping on don't ye know?

Jul. 22nd, 2019 03:12 pm (UTC)
What a stinker!! DNF
I really struggled with this one. I, unusually for me, used my computer.I believe that I would have done better on paper. Having said that I don't know how much better. I really missed having some anagrams. I don't think there were any today. I messed up on Provendor, firstly because of a typo Ppovendor and, having thought I'd sorted that out, I was still 'unlucky' and discovered that I needed the e not the o. Not a good day, but I'll take the advice given here and try the 15x15... on paper though! Thanks Jack for explaining everything so clearly as always. I must improve my GK; I didn't even know that a Comma was a butterfly. MM

Jul. 22nd, 2019 05:00 pm (UTC)
No anagrams or partials
Well picked up on that, MM. I missed it!
Jul. 26th, 2019 04:05 pm (UTC)
Absolute stinker. Oh well. In future, could people explain what things are rather than what they’re not please “ it’s not an abbreviation” is not helpful! Usual thanks to setter and blogger
Jul. 26th, 2019 04:37 pm (UTC)
It's poetic speak meaning 'ever' or 'always'. Off the top of my head I'd have said it was Scottish dialect as Rabbie Burns's poems are full of it but Collins isn't that specific. Chambers however mentions Scottish / N English.
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

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