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Times Quick Cryptic 1461 by Breadman

Hmph! For me, the 'Q' in this one stood for Quite hard and I felt lucky to come in on 14 minutes. The odd tea and haircut I could have lived with, but what was Breadman thinking by crossing a thankfully unknown ailment with a chap who was the life and soul of the party some two and a half thousand years ago?
As usual, if you know the answers it’s all plain sailing but do let me know if you’ve joined me in the grump club.
To make matters worse, I'm also having some problems with the font in the blog - let me know if you can read it.
1. Characteristic of a dog to obstruct kennel's opening (4)
BARK - to obstruct (BAR), (K)ennel.
2. Sportsperson modified heat around rental property (7)
ATHLETE - anagram (modified) of HEAT around rental property (LET).
8. 1970s novel — what Amazon has in abundance to despatch southwards (9,4)
WATERSHIP DOWN - what (the) Amazon has in abundance (WATER), to dispatch (SHIP), southwards (DOWN).
9. Teacher, on reflection, is right (3)
SIR - reflect is (SI), right (R).
10. Terribly stern European painter (5)
ERNST - anagram (terribly) of STERN, A German (European) painter.
12. Grass, spare, to mix together (7)
ESPARTO - anagram (mix together) of SPARE TO. Not your everyday back garden grass for lawns but ones that yield a fibre used to make ropes/mats.
14. Widely influential person backing business with leading American (7)
OCTOPUS - back business - co (OC), leading (TOP), American (US). Think some James Bond villain.
16. Training in casual shirt, shelter under canvas (5)
TEPEE - training (PE) in casual shirt (TEE).
17. When to expect the arrival of Greek character (3)
ETA - double definition.
20. Barrister in New York borough, no use, sadly, in case of criminal (6,7)
QUEEN'S COUNSEL - New York borough (QUEENS), anagram (sadly) of NO USE inside the case of (C)rimina(L).
21. Digestive ailment: papa is affected, without energy (7)
APEPSIA - anagram (affected) of PAPA IS outside energy (E). I knew dyspepsia so made this up.
22. Recently received information four different ways (4)
NEWS - four different ways/directions (N E W S).
1. Become aware of website broadcasting nothing (2,4,2)
BE WISE TO - anagram (broadcasting) of WEBSITE, nothing (O).
2. One who shops primarily examines price (4)
RATE - one who shops in the sense of 'tells on' (RAT), (E)xamines.
3. Source of wood and source of metal on land (6)
ASHORE - source of wood (ASH tree), source of metal (ORE).
4. New photomap is up showing large animal (12)
5. Bill recalled policeman obtaining right haircut (4,4)
ETON CROP - bill (note) recalled (ETON), policeman (COP) obtaining right (R). It’s a short mannish style hairstyle worn by women in the 1920s.
6. Leader of ecologists regularly ringed eagle (4)
ERNE - (E)cologists, (R)i(N)g(E)d.
7. Noble pen has excited old playwright (12)
ARISTOPHANES - not an anagram of noble pen has with old (O) but noble (ARISTO), anagram (excited of) PEN HAS. Old is right - during c 460 - c 380 BCE he was the most famous writer of old comedy plays - I suspect he’d have got on with Ian Hislop.
11. Mark well: wrecked boat in English river (4,4)
NOTA BENE - anagram (wrecked) of BOAT) in English river (NENE).
13. Completed everybody's workwear (8)
OVERALLS - completed (OVER), everybody's (ALL'S).
15. Variety of tea somewhat less enchanting (6)
SENCHA - somewhat les(S ENCHA)nting. A green tea made using whole leaves.
18. A landing-place without variable shade (4)
AQUA - a (A), landing-place (QUA)y - without the mathematical variable 'Y'. Apparently aqua is the same colour/shade as aquamarine.
19. Detached land mass exists outside of Lahore (4)
ISLE - exists (IS), (L)ahor)(E).


( 43 comments — Leave a comment )
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Oct. 15th, 2019 12:36 am (UTC)
Did a lot of biffing--ARISTOPHANES, HIPPOPOTAMUS, ETON CROP (fortunately, that had appeared in a recent 15x15), QUEENS COUNSEL. NHO SENCHA, though, and my chronic inability to spot hiddens came through again. You would think that with 4 checked letters, with 'tea' likely CHA, and with 'somewhat', I could have come up with the N; you would think so, wouldn't you? Think again.
Oct. 15th, 2019 05:36 am (UTC)
12 minutes. One on the harder side for a QC which I know will not please some but they're an established part of the mix now.

SENCHA was unknown but fortunately I spotted the hidden indicator and the 'tea/cha' element so I wrote it in with confidence. On looking it up I find we might also expect 'matcha' to come along some time - tea made from powdered green leaf whereas 'sencha' uses it whole.

APEPSIA wasn't familiar either although I knew 'dyspepsia' so it wasn't much of a leap having spotted the wordplay.

Lost time parsing 14ac thinking the second part of wordplay was somehow making use of the abbreviation POTUS.

Edited at 2019-10-15 05:37 am (UTC)
Oct. 15th, 2019 05:48 am (UTC)
'Matcha' I know; it's the tea used in the tea ceremony.
Oct. 15th, 2019 06:32 am (UTC)
I don't know where to start writing about this puzzle and I didn't know where to start when solving. ISLE was FOI. Then I struggled and realised that this was a 15x15 in disguise and I nearly stopped after 20 minutes for a rest. But I had the right GK eventually for ARISTOPHANES (not parsed as surely NOBLE was part of the anagram -very 15x15 that one) and then I thought of Watership Down,but again the tricky parsing came later. The last three were BE WISE TO, RATE and ASHORE (COD).
Very hard but thankfully all correct in 29:28. David
Oct. 15th, 2019 06:38 am (UTC)
Quickly, bring me a beaker of wine, so that I may wet my mind and say something clever! ARISTOPHANES
Blimey! Where do I begin. I count 4 unknowns ESPARTO, ETON CROP, ARISTOPHANES and SENCHA so I was very much relying on checkers and the wordplay to solve them. I came across OCTOPUS in a cryptic recently so was able to write the answer in although I couldn't see the anagram indicator for POTUS because there wasn't one. The SW corner proved very tricky and my LOI after NOTA BENE was APEPSIA. 15:46

Edited at 2019-10-15 06:44 am (UTC)
Oct. 15th, 2019 07:44 am (UTC)
You reminded me that I'd meant to say that I've never seen OCTOPUS refer to an individual, only an institution, especially a corporation.
Re: OCTOPUS - desdeeloeste - Oct. 15th, 2019 08:21 am (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 15th, 2019 07:03 am (UTC)
Took a long 15.07 today which seemed disappointing after the first theee acrosses went in. Took ages to see (and spell) ARISTOPHANES and guessed several words including ESPARTO and APEPSIA. But maybe if others found it hard then that’s not such a bad effort

Oct. 15th, 2019 07:08 am (UTC)
I had only 4 filled in after reading through the across clues, so it was already clear this wasn't going to be easy. HIPPOPOTAMUS and ARISTOPHANES got me going, though. Like others, I didn't know APEPSIA (but did know dyspepsia). SIR my LOI only because I overlooked it. I liked RATE best, I think. 6:46.
Oct. 15th, 2019 07:26 am (UTC)
Another crossword not set at the appropriate level for the target audience.

Haven't heard of aristophanes, think I had trustyphenas.

Also nene, esparto, apepsia.
Oct. 15th, 2019 07:44 am (UTC)
Courage, mes braves! I am a very middle of the road 15 - 20 minute solver, usually finish but sometimes defeated. I did finish this, without aids, in 29 minutes. The sense of achievement and progress is highly satisfying. No way would I have got near this a year ago, but thanks to the loyal devoted bloggers I have slowly improved.

I might even let go of the side of the swimming pool and try the 15x15 soon. So onwards and upwards.
Oct. 15th, 2019 08:08 am (UTC)
Felicitations! Good luck in the main pool - you might take a peak at the 15x15 blog preamble before venturing in. Have a go at one described as easy first to make sure you set off in the shallow end.
A free live journal account will both identify you to others and send you an email should someone reply to you.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Oct. 15th, 2019 11:29 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Oct. 15th, 2019 12:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 15th, 2019 08:13 am (UTC)
That was tough and having worked my way through the really hard clues and trusted that the many unknowns were plausible I chucked in NOTE BENE so had a DNF. I think my brain must have been frazzled by that point. On the bright side my vocabulary has increased by 4 words/phrases.
Thanks for the blog
Oct. 15th, 2019 08:51 am (UTC)
I'm normally first to complain if the QC is a 15x15 in disguise but I actually didn't think that was too bad and finished in 12 mins. Had my fingers crossed for the SENCHA and APEPSIA crossing though! Nice to see the ERNE out and about again.

Thanks for the blog, Chris, I couldn't understand how "without" worked in 21ac and was grateful for the explanation.


Oct. 15th, 2019 08:52 am (UTC)
Too tricky for a quickie. My checker didn't recognize SENCHA even though I knew it was likely. A handful of iffy clues for tenuous answers - much more suited to 15 x15 in my view
Oct. 15th, 2019 08:53 am (UTC)
I was feeling pleased when most of the clues went in straightforwardly - especially NOTA BENE, ASHORE, and the longer anagrams. And then came my downfall - I biffed ARISOCRATIC for 'noble' without parsing and it all fell apart because it completely confused the SW corner, not least QUEENS COUNSEL ( I set aside the obvious QUEENS because it didn't fit the down crosser). I finally saw my error and I worked out APEPSIA wIthout knowing the word but had serious trouble with AQUA, OCTOPUS, SENCHA. Ah well. I did finish but ended up in serious SCC territory today. Thanks to Breadman for a really testing tease and to Chris for a concise but very helpful blog which showed me where AQUA came from! John M.

Edited at 2019-10-15 08:56 am (UTC)
Oct. 15th, 2019 09:05 am (UTC)
I was going very well at first with the first five across clues going in straight away (assuming Ernst was a painter). I then missed a few, but got news and most of the downs, so I thought I was on for a good time. The unknown haircut, grass and tea gave me pause for thought, but with the wordplay and checkers I was confident I had those right. So then I was just left with the SW corner and unteasing all that took me right up to 43 minutes. Given what others have said though, I am pleased to finish. Never heard of apepsia, but it sounded reasonable, and the same went for that meaning of octopus. Almost spelt Aristophanes and Nota Bene wrong, but the word play made me correct myself. Overall a satisfying and educating solve with CsOD going to 2 and 3d. LOI 7d.
Oct. 15th, 2019 09:28 am (UTC)
Absolutely not a QC not even a hard QC. Breadman has got this one so wrong. This is a main puzzle and had no place set as a QC. I almost never write a comment but I feel this puzzle was way off line and absolutely will discourage those new to the solving world.
My only advice to newbies, of which I am one, is don’t despair most are not as off base as this one was.
Oct. 15th, 2019 11:32 pm (UTC)
RE: Ridiculous
My sentiments entirely. So discouraging for newbies and not so newbies. I sometimes think that one or two of the setters haven't a clue -or maybe they are trying to show how clever they are.
Oct. 15th, 2019 09:32 am (UTC)
Left to myself I would've spelled ARISTOPHENES with a second A, by my cursory glance at what I assumed was the anagrist showed only one A. Drat! NHO APEPSIA or SENCHA. 11:38 WOE. Typos in both Concise puzzles so far this week. A bad start to the week. Thanks Breadman and Chris.
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