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Times Quick Cryptic 1441 by Pedro

Most of this flew in very quickly with a biff here and there but I had trouble with 3 intersections which pushed me over my 10 minute target. 2dn and 10ac, 5dn and 9ac, 15ac and 16dn were the troublemakers. 18dn is worth a look.


1. Only sort of aspiring to the latest style? (5,1,7)
AFTER A FASHION - double definition.
8. I’d knocked over stringed instrument, showing reduced concentration (6)
DILUTE - I’d knocked over (DI), stringed instrument (LUTE).
9. Hostility in US Institute in Eastern US city (6)
ENMITY - US Institute (MIT - turns out to be the Massachusetts Institute of Technology which does seem a rather odd piece of GK for a QC) inside eastern (E) and US city (NY).
10. One that’s invested in munitions (4)
UNIT - inside the clue - m(UNIT)ions.
11. Speed after crashing? Most of story provides support for figure (8)
PEDESTAL - anagram (after crashing) of SPEED, most of story (TAL)e.
12. Material presented includes opening of clever comic play (5)
FARCE - material presented (FARE - food served at a restauarant), including (C)lever.
13. Hurried to consume last of sweet cake (5)
TORTE - hurried (TORE) to consume swee(T).
15. Wild party? Cold awakening (8)
CAROUSAL - cold (C), awakening (AROUSAL).
17. Wrong description of second-in-command? (4)
VICE - double definition.
19. Component of avenue, say, is seen in stone road (6)
STREET - component of avenue (TREE) inside stone (ST.
20. Immediately aware of following publicity experts (6)
PRONTO - not presto - aware of (ONTO) following publicity experts (PR).
21. What might nevertheless be made up of thin sunshine? (5,8)
BROAD DAYLIGHT - cryptic definition - which I liked enough to make a contender for COD.


2. Pretend female will get time in power after deposing Queen (5)
FEIGN - not feint - female (F), time in power r(EIGN) after deposing Queen (R).
3. Circular line converted to square (but not initially) (7)
EQUATOR - anagram (converted) of (TO) s(QUARE) - but not initially . Another COD contender.
4. Pain yielding hearts — it’s a high card (3)
ACE - pain (AC)h(E) yielding/giving up hearts (H).
5. Dance a lot, jiving, according to the stories (9)
ANECDOTAL - anagram (jiving) of DANCE A LOT.
6. Decomposing material smells badly around University (5)
HUMUS - smells badly (HUMS) around University (U). Didn’t we have this clue recently? Copied from Roly's blog last Thursday - 10. Decomposing matter emits awful smell around university (5)
7. Dismissed start of Roman era in fury (7)
OUTRAGE - dismissed (OUT), (R)oman, era (AGE).
11. What will pin down a Romeo among the reporters? (5-4)
PRESS-STUD - Romeo (STUD), reporters (PRESS) so a Romeo among/who is a reporter is a press-stud.
12. Praise insincerely, showing less depth (7)
FLATTER - double definition.
14. Start of recipe with garlic mayo encompassing very Italian dish (7)
RAVIOLI - (R)ecipe, garlic mayo (AIOLI) containing very (V).
16. Last character is nothing very big (5)
OMEGA - nothing (O), very big (MEGA).
18. Contract snag? (5)
CATCH - COD - straight definition of contract snag (a snag/problem in a contract) = catch, contract (an illness) = catch, snag (on something) = catch. So what is this? A triple definition or a double definition parsing?
20. Wages: penny a year (3)
PAY - penny (P), a (A), year (Y).


( 41 comments — Leave a comment )
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<<[1] [2] >>
Sep. 17th, 2019 12:45 am (UTC)
Well, you would think.....
....that if I was able to finish the top half in 2:30, I would beat 10 minutes, but not so. There were some easy clues in the bottom half, but the harder ones had me guessing. 'Press stud', in particular, just wouldn't come until I had all the checkers. 'Carousal', 'vice' and 'street' also proved rather difficult. Time 10:44.
Sep. 17th, 2019 02:48 am (UTC)
I had 1ac as a DD 'only sort of' and 'aspiring to the latest style' but now not so sure. I switched off the clock as I eventuallycompleted the grid at 14 minutes, but very rarely for me on a QC I still had two clues unparsed, S(TREE)T where I had failed to spot the significance of TREE, and CATCH where I had missed 'contract' as in 'contract a cold' -something I have just done and am really suffering from as I write. Now that I understand that meaning I think I'd parse the clue as a double definition.

Edited at 2019-09-17 03:01 am (UTC)
Sep. 17th, 2019 08:15 am (UTC)
Ah, I see - I was wondering why all the comments on 1ac because I agreed with them. I’ve only just realised that I messed up the underline. Correction made. Thanks all.
Sep. 17th, 2019 03:41 am (UTC)
I parsed 1c as Jack did, and in fact can't see any other way. Not only HUMUS: this is the 3d time I've seen ANECDOTAL recently. MIT features frequently in 15x15s, all too often as a 'college'--it's a university). DNK 11d, and like Vinyl I had to wait for the checkers; I wondered if it was a UK term for 'thumb tack'. 5:39.
Sep. 17th, 2019 05:19 am (UTC)
PRESS STUD aka 'snap fastener' or 'popper' is mostly used for fastening two pieces of clothing material together or sealing the bottom of a duvet cover. The UK equivalent of 'thumbtack is 'drawing pin'. Quick edit, I see you've just discovered the last bit whilst I was writing.

Edited at 2019-09-17 05:20 am (UTC)
(no subject) - kevingregg - Sep. 17th, 2019 05:30 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 17th, 2019 04:46 am (UTC)
A 'thumb tack!
How quaint. Never heard of it! Talking of MIT it is worth noting that Eton is not a 'school' but a college. (And a lorry is not a lorry when it turns into a side street.)

On first sight this appeared to me to be a 15x15 and it did have a few pot holes. Time 10 mins.


LOI 10ac UNIT (you nit for not spotting it earlier!)



Sep. 17th, 2019 05:15 am (UTC)
Re: A 'thumb tack!
Just looked it up: ODE says it's the 'North American term for 'drawing pin''.
Re: A 'thumb tack! - horryd - Sep. 17th, 2019 06:06 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: A 'thumb tack! - kevingregg - Sep. 17th, 2019 06:54 am (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: A 'thumb tack! - templarredux - Sep. 17th, 2019 07:41 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: A 'thumb tack! - jackkt - Sep. 17th, 2019 05:27 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: A 'thumb tack! - horryd - Sep. 17th, 2019 06:03 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: A 'thumb tack! - jackkt - Sep. 17th, 2019 07:25 am (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: A 'thumb tack! - templarredux - Sep. 17th, 2019 07:39 am (UTC) - Expand
Heaven Forfend! - horryd - Sep. 17th, 2019 12:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Heaven Forfend! - jackkt - Sep. 17th, 2019 01:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 17th, 2019 06:00 am (UTC)
34 minutes, so well over target, but I was pleased to finish what I thought was a difficult puzzle. After my last down clue OMEGA I still had three As left, the extra checkers gave me BROAD then STREET, my LOI was PRONTO.
I thought some of the definitions such as 1A and 21A were a bit vague, but just about valid.

Sep. 17th, 2019 06:36 am (UTC)
26 mins with typo in 15a, carousel.

3d is an anagram of to (s) quare, as not initially.

Struggled with quite a few clues: street, farce, catch, broad daylight and press stud.

Didn't help myself by biffing risotto for 14d, so vice solved once ravioli went in.

Dnk aioli, or press stud.

Cod street.

Edited at 2019-09-17 06:41 am (UTC)
Sep. 17th, 2019 07:11 am (UTC)
Thanks - not sure how that disappeared.
Sep. 17th, 2019 06:58 am (UTC)
I’m not sure I get 21a. Could someone explain the clue please...
Sep. 17th, 2019 07:05 am (UTC)
RE: 21a
Broad daylight means during the day, but broad means fat/wide.

So the clue is basically: sunshine (daylight), but maybe thin, not necessarily broad.

Edited at 2019-09-17 07:08 am (UTC)
Sep. 17th, 2019 07:03 am (UTC)
It is a play on thin = not broad. So the weather forecast might say thin sunshine, but when the sun is up it is broad daylight.

Edited at 2019-09-17 07:04 am (UTC)
Sep. 17th, 2019 07:05 am (UTC)
I thought this was difficult throughout. Struggled to start,eventually got PAY and early solves were all in the SE. There were many clues like 9a where it wasn't clear to me what I was looking for; and my Italian dish was Rigatoni to begin with but the V took it off the menu. LOI was PRESS STUD which had been Press Band and so it took me a long time to get STREET (and I thought SAY = EG) after assuming Band was wrong. I was a bit tired this morning but I think this will challenge many. Relieved to finish in 23:50 as I had very little after 10 minutes. David
Sep. 17th, 2019 07:08 am (UTC)
I don't think I was quite awake when I did this. I got barely a handful of across answers as I went through them and then I managed to miss the clue for 4D trying to fit the answer to 5D into 3 letters. My slowest for a long time. 9:56.
Sep. 17th, 2019 07:16 am (UTC)
Ah, I see. Thanks. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard the term ‘thin sunshine’ but then I’m Scottish - the weather forecast up here is likely limited in its descriptions of sunshine.
Sep. 17th, 2019 07:38 am (UTC)
Re: 21a
You just reminded me of an anecdote by I forget who, a Scotsman living in Spain: He'd come back to Edinburgh for the first time in years, found himself walking down the street on a stunningly beautiful day, ran into an acquaintance and commented on the glorious weather. To which the acquaintance replied,"Aye; we'll pay for it."
Sep. 17th, 2019 07:43 am (UTC)
I've not heard of 'thin sunshine' either: is it not normally described as 'weak' in that context?

'Contract snag' seems a straight dd, although the surface meaning refers to some actual kind of catch (in a contract), which is what's driving the idea that it might be &lit. I don't think it is.

Quite tough, this one.

Edited at 2019-09-17 07:44 am (UTC)
Sep. 17th, 2019 07:50 am (UTC)
Hard yards today, that one pushing me over the 3 Kevin mark (first time for a wee while). It didn’t help that AFTER A FASHION was my LOI, so I solved from the bottom upwards. (When I eventually got it, by the way, I construed 1ac in the same way as Kevin and Jack.)


Thanks Chris, gracias Pedro.

Sep. 17th, 2019 08:01 am (UTC)
Held up by STREET, FEIGN and the STUD = Romeo bit of 11d. Lots of mental gymnastics required, I thought. Got there eventually in 12:17. Thanks Pedro and Chris.
Sep. 17th, 2019 08:42 am (UTC)
Well, what an interesting puzzle! I got nowhere until getting a toe-hold in the SE and then things gradually took shape but slowly - I was over 3Kevins again (actually closer to 4K). Unlike many of the whizz kids, I thought this was tough with a number of excellent clues being worthy of the 15x15. This is a QC that I think will be worth revisiting via the blog. Thanks to chris and Pedro. John M.

Edited at 2019-09-17 09:51 am (UTC)
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( 41 comments — Leave a comment )

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