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Times Quick Cryptic No 1462 by Mara


Hats off to any puzzle that makes me take 23 minutes to finish. I was well-stymied in the upper-right while trying to take care of kiddos... my head wasn't really in the game! Most of the puzzle was straightforward, but there was some lovely, deceptive wordplay in my last six or so clues.



1 Briefly look at rivet (4)
STUD - all but the last letter of (briefly) STUDY (look at)
Didn't get the wordplay until writing the blog.
4 Defect isn't [in] makeup (3,5)
WAR PAINT - WARP (defect) + AIN'T (isn't)
This one fooled me good!
8 A Romanic, twirly sort of pasta (8)
MACARONI - A ROMANIC (a Romanic) anagrammed (twirly)
9 Race around some land (4)
ACRE - RACE (race) anagrammed (around)
Also didn't see this one until late in the game, thinking it might be a reversal, and also trying to convince myself it was ASIA.
10 Opera star sending a short recording back (4)
DIVA - reversing (sending ... back) A (a) + shortened word for (short) VIDEO (recording)
11 Getting into fights, naughty child shakes (8)
VIBRATES - inside (getting into) VIES (fights) [is] BRAT (naughty child)
Got held up on this one because I assumed the naughty child was IMP.
12 Dirty child staggering around, edges away (6)
URCHIN - LURCHING (staggering around) without first and last letters (edges away)
14 Soare you sure? (6)
REALLY - double definition, the first adverbial
16 Yellow bloom, particular flower (8)
PRIMROSE - PRIM (particular) + ROSE (flower)
18 Horse / cut (4)
HACK - double definition
19 Nothing good with respect to giant (4)
OGRE - O (nothing) + G (good) + RE (with respect to)
20 Extremely confident, / jumping over (8)
VAULTING - double definition
I had EXULTANT for quite some time.
22 Group just out of the medals, we hear, began journey (3,5)
SET FORTH - SET (group) + FOURTH (just out of the medals) replaced by homophone (we hear)
(First through third place recieve medals.)
23 Weeds found in Idaho especially (4)
HOES - letters in (found in) IDAHO ESPECIALLY (Idaho especially)
Here 'weeds' is a verb.


2 More emotional row grabs attention (7)
TEARIER - TIER (row) around (grabs) EAR (attention)
3 Some spirit needed to put on a show (5)
DRAMA - DRAM (some spirit) + (needed to put on) A (a)
A 'dram' is a drink of alcohol (= spirit).
4 Court with outstanding officials, primarily (3)
WOO - WITH OUTSTANDING OFFICIALS (with outstanding officials) reduced to their first letters (primarily)
5 Compensate [for] first of redundancies, with me busier, somehow (9)
REIMBURSE - first letter of (first of) REDUNDANCIES (redundancies) + (with) ME BUSIER (me busier) anagrammed (somehow)
6 After a party, a mother [is] a state! (7)
ALABAMA - after (after) A (a) + LAB (party) [is] A (a) + MA (mother)
LAB for Labour Party, I believe.
7 Old Scandinavian feature inspiring reverence at first (5)
NORSE - NOSE (feature) around (inspiring) REVERENCE (reverence) reduced to its first letter (at first)
I kept trying to convince myself of CHI(R)N, until I finally got it from the definition.
11 North American city initially ushering in vehicle insurance (9)
VANCOUVER - first letter of (initially) USHERING (ushering) in (in) VAN (vehicle) + COVER (insurance)
This one really fooled me until I had enough crossing letters.
13 Translating Flemish, that man in the mirror? (7)
HIMSELF - anagram of (translating) FLEMISH (Flemish)
15 Allow change of scene after short story (7)
LICENSE - anagram of (change of) SCENE (scene) after (after) almost all letters of (short) LIE (story)
17 Villain, topping accent! (5)
ROGUE - removing first letter of (topping) BROGUE (accent)
18 Conspire to devise / an opening (5)
HATCH - double definition
21 Toughest part — that's horrible! (3)
UGH - TOUGHEST (toughest) contains the letters of the answer (part)


( 33 comments — Leave a comment )
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Oct. 16th, 2019 12:06 am (UTC)
11 minutes. NHO that meaning of VAULTING before. The STUD and TEARIER intersection was hard and accounted for my overrun.

Edited at 2019-10-16 12:09 am (UTC)
Oct. 16th, 2019 12:27 am (UTC)
I don't get 'extremely confident'; the only VAULTING I can think of is in the fixed phrase 'vaulting ambition', where it isn't extremely confident ambition. And PRIM seemed a bit of a stretch for 'particular'. Biffed 22ac and 17d, parsed post-submission. 6:26.
Oct. 16th, 2019 03:06 am (UTC)
As mentioned above it was news to me, but Collins has: vaulting 1. excessively confident; overreaching; exaggerated
- vaulting arrogance.

I didn't look twice at prim/particular but on reflection it would seem to require a 3-point turn, and even then it's a bit loose. On edit, Collins lists 'particular' as the second synonym for 'prim'.

Edited at 2019-10-16 03:20 am (UTC)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Oct. 16th, 2019 07:18 am (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 16th, 2019 01:30 am (UTC)
Back in the groove.....
....after a rough couple of puzzles, coming in at 9:34. Sometimes you just have to assume that there is an expression you have never heard of, and put in the obvious answer. What else could it be - 'vaunting' does not mean jumping over, so there you go. I was, however, relieved to come up all correct.
Oct. 16th, 2019 01:41 am (UTC)
I confess that with puzzles I can finish easily, I never scrutinize the definitions, especially if they have the slightest whiff of being correct.

That’s no defense of a loose definition, though. I would hope that, especially in puzzles aimed at newer solvers, they would strive for really tight clueing. Ah well.
Oct. 16th, 2019 06:50 am (UTC)
13 mins.

Last few were vaulting, rogue, primrose, and loi the guessed hack.

Cod primrose as its a flower I know!
Oct. 16th, 2019 07:12 am (UTC)
This was as hard as 1,2,3 for me. I had less than 10 minutes on the clock when I returned to the NW to finish the puzzle off. I thought normal service had been resumed after yesterday.
However 1a 2d and 3d proved almost intractable. I thought AGALA might be some spirit (elflike) but finally found DRAM. I was convinced 2d ended ... TIER;so I needed a three letter word for Attention -Oi plus one maybe. WEEPIER wouldn't go away but I was sure about the pasta.
I alphabet-trawled 1a twice and eventually got STUD and LOI was TEARIER.
24:05 on the clock. I need breakfast now.
Oct. 16th, 2019 07:17 am (UTC)
11.11 so harder side of average. I bunged in WAR WOUND at 4a from the first two checkers which stymied me on the state until I saw the error. Few others I didn’t fully parse like REALLY and ROGUE but they just had to be from checkers

Oct. 16th, 2019 07:21 am (UTC)
About 9 mins
Nothing obscure
Nothing decades out of date
A delight
Don’t know why I’ve switched to anon I used to be identified
Oct. 16th, 2019 08:12 am (UTC)
LJ occasionally signs people out. You just have to sign in again.
Oct. 16th, 2019 07:55 am (UTC)
I enjoyed this one as it challenged me just enough to keep me interested throughout, without straining the grey matter too much. The 11s held me up at the end as, like our blogger, I was convinced that IMP would be the start of 11a and once that was proved impossible by REIMBURSE I had nowhere else to go. I finally broke the impasse when I remembered Canada was also part of North America - apologies to any Canadians on here.
Finished in 14.14 with my favourite being WARPAINT.
Thanks for the blog
Oct. 16th, 2019 08:06 am (UTC)
I enjoyed that, some quite slippery tricks on display from Mara making for a fun puzzle. I found the downs a lot easier than the acrosses and almost managed a clean sweep of them (HATCH was the only hold out, finally being POI). Have you ever seen anyone write or heard anyone say the word TEARIER, by the way? A real crossword word.

FOI MACARONI, LOI HACK, COD SET FORTH for the lolz. Time 1.75K for a Very Good Day.

Thanks Mara and Jeremy.

Oct. 16th, 2019 09:14 am (UTC)
I have heard tearier used by some US acquaintances..........
RE: Tearier - philjordan - Oct. 16th, 2019 09:57 am (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 16th, 2019 08:16 am (UTC)
I found myself at 7 minutes with less than half the grid complete, but a sudden spurt saw me complete in 10:11. DRAMA and STUD were my last 2 in. The unusual definitions of PRIM and VAULTING caused me some delay. Liked SET FORTH and WAR PAINT. Thanks Mara and Jeremy.
Oct. 16th, 2019 08:24 am (UTC)
Vaulting on Wednesday
No worries with 20ac VAULTING

23ac HOES can also be a couple of nouns, under certain circumstances.




Time 8.45 mins


Oct. 16th, 2019 09:24 am (UTC)
14 minutes and a DNF of my own making as I stupidly entered LICENSE as LIsENcE and then I couldn't solve the last clue 18a Horse cut. TBH even if I had picked up on the error I don't think I would have got HACK. I also biffed VAULTING to mean jumping over. Is it me or is there a bit of a horse theme going on?
Oct. 16th, 2019 09:42 am (UTC)
You may be onto something

STUD, (war)PAINT is a colour of horse, HACK, VAULTING (other type of horse). All set by Mare - sorry, Mara!
(no subject) - philjordan - Oct. 16th, 2019 10:02 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jackkt - Oct. 16th, 2019 10:58 am (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 16th, 2019 10:00 am (UTC)
A much fairer QC today
Oct. 16th, 2019 10:07 am (UTC)
I made this harder than I needed to....
....by biffing "spot" at 1A (I was thinking of spot welding) before TEARIER immediately saved me. Then I shoved in AIDA at 10A, but fortunately realised it didn't parse almost at once.

I'm another who only considered VAULTING ambition, so I've learned something there. Finished within target.

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