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Quick Cryptic 1464 by Tracy

Well, I started badly by solving yesterday's by mistake, then wondering why Therotter had already blogged it and 30+ people had already commented on it. The perils of leaving browser windows open. Anyway, this was a fun puzzle of medium difficulty, and a lot easier than yesterday's. 8 minutes for me

1 Crusade Conservative politician is entering again, sadly (8)
CAMPAIGN - C (conservative) + MP inside anagram ('sadly') of AGAIN
5 Fish, black as soot, initially (4)
BASS - B (black) + AS + S
8 Fellow's initially entering minister's house (5)
9 The main deity, a heavenly body (7)
NEPTUNE - Planet, named after the Roman sea god, hence 'main' deity. Geddit?
11 Their sister trained a dog (5,6)
IRISH SETTER - anagram ('trained') of THEIR SISTER
13 Decorative ornament: last one placed inside (6)
FINIAL - FINAL  with I inside
14 Black girl returned in a state of exhaustion (3,3)
JET LAG - JET (black) + GAL backwards
17 Accountant in bar started to lose heart earlier (4-7)
BEAN-COUNTER - Bar is COUNTER, before which we have BEGAN without its heart (i.e central letter)
20 Former partner, big enough for a model (7)
21 Item of historical interest found in barrel I collected (5)
RELIC - hidden word: barREL I Collected
22 Hold the fort? (4)
KEEP - double definition
23 Old charitable centre reveals oversight (8)

1 Strong horse circling male groom (4)
COMB - COB is a strong horse, insert M for male
2 Refer to soldiers on it abroad (7)
MENTION - MEN + anagram ('abroad') of ON IT
3 Accra is excited about me winning yachting race (8,3)
AMERICAS CUP - anagram ('excited') of ACCRA IS around ME, + UP (winning)
4 Head of government also greeting spiritual leader (6)
GANDHI - G (head of 'government') + AND + HI
6 Grown-up daughter wearing gold locket that's empty (5)
ADULT - D for daughter inside AU for gold, plus LT which is 'locket' with the insides removed
7 Pilot to decline cheapest accommodation (8)
STEERAGE - STEER + AGE, third class accommodation at the rear of a ship
10 Here members salute (7,4)
PRESENT ARMS - write-in
12 Delivery of francs on holiday (8)
OFFBREAK - OF + F + BREAK. Type of delivery by a spin bowler in cricket
15 Siren of traditional stories on the French island (7)
LORELEI - LORE (traditional stories) + LE + I. A siren who lured boatment to destruction on the Rhine, the bitch.
16 Mother accepting employment in the Ashmolean, say (6)
MUSEUM - MUM with USE inside. Ashmolean being an example right here in Oxford.
18 Shock article on Indian corn I ignored (5)
AMAZE - A + MAIZE with the I removed. I wasnt sure what the 'Indian' was doing in this clue, but 'Indian corn' is apparently a type of maize, used for making decorations rather than food.
19 Examine top of soup tin (4)


( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 18th, 2019 07:14 am (UTC)
Lovely Puzzle
This flowed nicely. Thank you Tracy.
Oct. 18th, 2019 07:50 am (UTC)
Apart from a brain melt trying to write “Poseidon” in at 9ac and discovering it didn’t fit, this went in smoothly enough for 12 mins and an estimated 2.75K [on edit - turns out to be 2K and a Good Day]. Some very smooth surfaces - I liked 11ac and 22ac in particular. If you’d asked me who LORELEI was I’d have said one of those annoying elves in Lord of the Rings, so thank you for explaining, curarist, albeit in slightly inappropriate terms!

FOI CAMPAIGN, LOI OMISSION, COD OFFBREAK (do love a cricket clue [on edit - another bonus of cricket clues is that they sometimes slow Kevin down a little]).


Edited at 2019-10-18 08:02 am (UTC)
Oct. 18th, 2019 07:52 am (UTC)
I can't remember what slowed me down, other than LOI OFFBREAK, which I'd never heard of. 6:05.
Oct. 18th, 2019 07:53 am (UTC)
indian corn
is the same as maize according to Collins.
Oct. 18th, 2019 08:14 am (UTC)
This felt more like it after yesterday's slog. I needed an alphabet trawl for my LOI FINIAL but, with hindsight, it should have been gettable from the generous word play. I thought NEPTUNE for its misdirection and KEEP for it's simplicity were particularly good. Finished in 10.23
Thanks for the blog
Oct. 18th, 2019 08:39 am (UTC)
A fairly smooth solve today, and fast for me coming in with 20:29. This was despite several things I wasn't quite sure about. I don't think I've heard of Lorilei being a siren and thought it might be spelt with an 'a' at the end instead of an 'e' which would still have fitted the wordplay. Steerage and bean counter were also unfamiliar, at least consciously, but something rang a bell so I was able to get them. LOI was Americas Cup, the name of which temporarily escaped me before I had all the checkers.
Oct. 18th, 2019 08:42 am (UTC)
Felt cheated by Tracy toady - too obscure vocabulary (finial offbreak lorelei steerage) - and whilst could write in beancounter and steerage from cross letters couldn’t understand why they fitted clue - thank heavens for the blogg - thank you to Curarist
Oct. 18th, 2019 08:43 am (UTC)
I found this more of a challenge than I expected from Tracy. Fair, but some quirky clues that kept me guessing. I ended up around 4K which is not good after a tough old week. LOI JETLAG. I liked BEAN COUNTER, LORELEI, OMISSION, FINIAL but I should have found NEPTUNE, CAMPAIGN and COMB easier than I did. I was held up by writing in COURAGE instead of COUNTER on the basis of 'heart' and the C & U crossers. Biffed STEERAGE but the age/decline thing dawned on me only slowly. I think ageing and declining describes me perfectly this week. Thanks to Tracy and Curarist. John M.

Edited at 2019-10-18 08:49 am (UTC)
Oct. 18th, 2019 08:47 am (UTC)
Tough week in qc land.

Plain sailing until the final few: bean counter, offbreak, finial (dnk), jet lag, and LOI lorelei (dnk).

Finished in 31 mins but with a dreaded pink square for a typo in Americas Cup.

Cod jet lag.

Edited at 2019-10-18 08:47 am (UTC)
Oct. 18th, 2019 08:49 am (UTC)
10 minutes, so a return to form for me to end a difficult week in which I missed my target 10 minutes on 3 out of 5 puzzles. Not that I thought this was easy with words like FILIAL, MANSE and BEAN-COUNTER in the mix, so newer solvers have my sympathy.

LORELEI is the subject of lesser-known song by the Gershwin brothers, performed here exquisitely by Sarah Walker accompanied by Roger Vignoles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L17kEOn7j88

Edited at 2019-10-18 08:51 am (UTC)
Oct. 18th, 2019 03:42 pm (UTC)
Or even
Oct. 18th, 2019 09:28 am (UTC)
Less of a brain addler today, with most going in without much difficulty, but a few OFFBREAKs to keep us on our toes. I considered LEGBREAK, but the wordplay was incontrovertible. COMB and MANSE were my first 2 in, and FINIAL, which I dredged from the depths, having come across it in 15x15 puzzles, was my last entry. I also debated whether LORELEI needed the masculine or feminine article. 7:35. Thanks Tracy and Curarist.
Oct. 18th, 2019 09:46 am (UTC)
Still found this one quite hard today - I got 26:30, but looking back I’m not really sure why.

Stared at 12 down and 14 across for ages with some checkers there. And my mind went blank trying to think of AMERICAS CUP.

Oh well.
Oct. 18th, 2019 09:47 am (UTC)
Didn’t mean to enter this anon ..
Oct. 18th, 2019 10:06 am (UTC)
Maybe somebody should start....
....a CAMPAIGN for quicker QC's. Although I was within my target, this seemed tricky for a Tracy, and I biffed CAMPAIGN and BEAN COUNTER, parsing both afterwards.

Oct. 18th, 2019 10:17 am (UTC)
After three days over 20 minutes I was waiting for a hold -up after my fast start. Putting a doubtful ABODE at 8a nearly created it but I got COMB straightaway and moved on. AMAZE caused a bit of head-scratching.
My last two were JET LAG and FINIAL which held me up as it was unknown and I had to parse it. COD to OFFBREAK.
Over the line in 08:15.
Oct. 18th, 2019 11:05 am (UTC)
Indian corn
In England 'corn' always referred to wheat, so that when maize was brought in, it was described as Indian corn- referring to its American source, not much being grown here till relatively recently.
No holdups - knew Die LORELEI from memories of a Rhine cruise when Lied was played at appropriate place, where dangerous rock has now been cleared.
Oct. 18th, 2019 11:10 am (UTC)
Better today
Much more enjoyable today. I struggled with 12d (penny didn’t drop re delivery, although I'm a regular at Worcestershire's home matches) and 17ac - which I biffed and couldn’t parse, so thanks curarist for the enlightenment.

Everything else went in eventually but some took a while to come - eg 14a. Had a bit of a mer at 5 as the answer should surely have been 'bas' - not that it would fit, of course.

Also don't like age=decline!

Must have been around 30mins in total. A good day for me.
Oct. 18th, 2019 12:54 pm (UTC)
Finished - steady but slow
This was 28 minutes with probably 5 of those trying to parse Bean Counter having got stuck with bar=ban and not seeing bar=counter...
Please to see Offbreak early which confirmed the B start.
Stupidly misspelt Ghandi and therefore took ages to get Neptune.
Manse just in range as was Finial but was trying to put in Finale for too long.
But always a pleasure to finish and some smiles along the way!
Thanks all,
John George
Oct. 18th, 2019 03:45 pm (UTC)
Half and half
The comments seem split between those who found it too hard and those who fou d it easy enough, so my guess is that Tracy pitched it just about right, thanks, Tracy.
Oct. 18th, 2019 04:35 pm (UTC)
Back to a more normal 12 minutes for me. My biggest laugh of the day was reading Curarists blog for 15d - thanks for that.
Oct. 18th, 2019 05:46 pm (UTC)
I really wasn’t on the wavelength and found this very difficult.and so aids were used! I know nothing about cricket or rugby and crossword land is full of references to both.

So a tricky end to a tricky week.

But thanks very much to all the bloggers as I’m very very slowly improving (I think!)

Oct. 18th, 2019 05:55 pm (UTC)
After last week's success rate, this week was back to normal service has been resumed! My brain has had a good work out this week though and many crossword tips have been added to my trusty notebook.
Just one query - shouldn't the cricket delivery be 2 words - off break not offbreak?

Oct. 18th, 2019 07:43 pm (UTC)
Re: Query
Good point, Newbie. Most of the usual sources have it as two words and Chambers adds a hyphen, but I can't find any support for 'offbreak'.
Oct. 18th, 2019 08:16 pm (UTC)
Frequently all one word in cricketing circles, for example: http://www.espncricinfo.com/england/content/player/20431.html
Oct. 19th, 2019 07:57 pm (UTC)
Not having it. Off break not offbreak
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )

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