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Times Quick Cryptic No 1478 by Orpheus

Tough enough from Orpheus today - I found this on a par with Tuesday's, which I did just before, each taking close to 12 minutes. I managed six of the acrosses on a first read through (1,8,10,14,16,17), but one of those (8ac) was sufficiently un-8ac to be wrong. There was a bit of tricky-ish vocab, some of which I might have had to give more thought to had their undefined husks not lodged somewhere in the mind from crosswords past. Not an entry-level QC, despite a couple of generous, long anagrams - but hey, staring blankly at cryptic crosswords makes the non-staring blankly bits all the more fun, eh? Very nice puzzle, many thanks to Orpheus!

Across
1 Disturbing a French kid he produces a nose rag (12)
HANDKERCHIEF - anagram (disturbing) of A FRENCH KID HE
8 Secure area of the sea (5)
SOUND - double definition. I entered SHORE fairly confidently, despite both definitions needing something of a squint.
9 Buccaneer’s reportedly indelicate manner (7)
CORSAIR - CORS (reportedly indelicate = sounds like COARSE) AIR (manner)
10 Stories appearing in American anthologies (3)
ANA - "appearing" in the letters of americAN Anthologies. Stories or anecdotes about people or places of note, as in Shakespeariana. But is it Ghanana or Ghana-ana? And if you had lots of pineapple anecdotes, would that be ananana? Questions questions. Anyway, much like "ism", it can be used in its own right.
11 Beg to get church involved in ballet movement (9)
ENTRECHAT - ENTREAT (beg) to get CH(urch) involved. So not pirouette then. It's appeared a few times but not in a QC as far as I can see. If I'd seen the word without context I'd probably have guessed it was a cut of meat (hopefully not of cat).
13 High-ranking Asian woman say taken in by tramp (5)
BEGUM - E.G. (for example = say) taken in by BUM (tramp). Not sure what I'd have guessed a begum is... an animal perhaps, which I suppose isn't technically incorrect.
14 Hard man with practical skills (5)
HANDY - H(ard) ANDY (man)
16 Stupid British artist getting out more? (9)
BRAINLESS - B(ritish) R.A. (artist), and if you are "IN LESS", you are presumably getting out more.
17 Churchyard tree the solver talked of (3)
YEW - sounds like YOU (the solver). The yew is regarded as symbolic of sadness.
19 Austere knight leaves climb in Cairngorms, primarily (7)
ASCETIC - N (knight in chess) leaves ASCENT (climb), I C (In Cairngorms, "primarily")
21 Single chap from east embracing old woman (5)
NAOMI - I (single) MAN (chap) "from east" = reverse, embracing O(ld)
22 Seedy soldiers kept in subject to argument (12)
DISREPUTABLE - RE (Royal Engineers = soldiers) kept in DISPUTABLE (subject to argument). I was a while on this, thinking the definition was "argument."

Down
1 Book house overlooking ocean (5)
HOSEA - HO(use) overlooking/above SEA (ocean)
2 Rule again, suffering spasmodic pain (9)
NEURALGIA - anagram (suffering) of RULE AGAIN
3 Person teasing cleric, one leaving Worcs town (13)
KIDDERMINSTER - KIDDER (person teasing) MINISTER (cleric), with I (one) leaving
4 Deliver poem perhaps about spectacle mentioned in speech (6)
RECITE - RE (about), CITE which in speech sounds like SIGHT (spectacle)
5 Her sons cut the damaged tree (5,8)
HORSE CHESTNUT - anagram (damaged) of HER SONS CUT THE
6 One reigning over a long period (3)
ERA - ER (the Queen = one reigning) over A
7 As well-placed models presumably are when sitting? (6)
PRETTY - cryptic definition: sitting pretty = well placed, and models are presumably pretty things.
12 Fellow doctor supports beloved, a source of sweetness (9)
HONEYCOMB - CO (fellow) MB (doctor) supports/sits below HONEY (beloved)
13 Sort of lynx bishop caught in seagoing vessel (6)
BOBCAT - B(ishop) C(aught) inside BOAT (seagoing vessel)
15 Military policeman in preferred capacity (6)
REDCAP - "in" the letters of preferRED CAPacity
18 Grumble when husband gets in hock, perhaps (5)
WHINE - H(usband) goes in WINE (hock, perhaps)
20 Endlessly stylish Greek character (3)
CHI - CHIC (stylish), endlessly = dock the tail.

Comments

( 42 comments — Leave a comment )
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bripriuk
Nov. 7th, 2019 04:34 am (UTC)
I would describe this one as 'difficult and obscure', leading to a DNF after 30 minutes with REDCAP and ASCETIC still to go. I should really have got the lurking soldier but I DKN that meaning of ASCETIC.
Rolytoly, I'm not sure you have the right definition of ANA, the online definition anecdotes or literary gossip about a person., with something similar in Chambers seems closer, but even more obscure.
Thanks for the blog, I needed it today.

Brian
rolytoly
Nov. 7th, 2019 08:58 am (UTC)
Yes sorry that wasn't very clear: -ANA was originally a suffix meaning stories or anecdotes about people or places of note, as in Shakespeariana. In the C18 it came to be used as an independent word in its own right, as in a 1739 quote in the OED, "They were pleased to publish certain Tunbrigiana this season; but such ana!"

This seems to have followed a similar development to the suffix -ISM, which became an independent word in C17, as in a nice 1680 quote in the OED, "He was the great Hieroglyphick of Jesuitism, Puritanism, Quaquerism, and of all Isms from Schism."
kevingregg
Nov. 7th, 2019 04:50 am (UTC)
Biffed a bunch, like HANDKERCHIEF and REDCAP, inter alia. On ANA, bripriuk has a point: ODE at least distinguishes between -ANA the suffix, which is where Roly's examples fit in, and ANA the word, meaning what bripriuk says. 5:49.
jackkt
Nov. 7th, 2019 05:02 am (UTC)
8 minutes, so right up my street, but I was aware whilst solving that some of the clues would be difficult for those with less experience of cryptic puzzles. After yesterday's possibly record-breaking 9 anagrams, today we have only 3 (and all of them pure), which made a welcome change.
mendesest
Nov. 7th, 2019 06:21 am (UTC)
One of those flukey days when the guesses fall right. DNK HOSEA, ANA, ASCETIC or BEGUM. LOI was sound - I'd been too keen to get my U into NEURALGIA and that left me very close to having to bung in SPEED. First breakfast solve since my morning routine was ruined by my new job, I've certainly got rusty, this week seems to have been hard. Finished in 17m but felt a good deal longer.
flashman
Nov. 7th, 2019 06:31 am (UTC)
Lots of interruptions but 15-20 mins.

Last few were stubborn:
Entrechat (dnk), red cap (sneakily hidden), ascetic, corsair, and LOI pretty.

15x15 is worth a look today. Similar feel to the style of today's quickie so maybe set by Orpheus.

Cod red cap or whine.
davidivad1
Nov. 7th, 2019 07:58 am (UTC)
Thursday
This felt like quite a grown-up challenge and there were lots of words which I have learnt from crosswords -like ANA- which newbies will struggle with.
My grid was pretty blank for 5/6 minutes but once I had some letters it all came together.
Time was 14:07. LOI was YEW ( I'd thought the definition was Churchyard). BEGUM and REDCAP and the ballet step all quite obscure but clear clueing. A good puzzle.
David
rustybombazine
Nov. 7th, 2019 08:08 am (UTC)
Two sittings to do this, so something >30 mins. Biffed ASCETIC, thanks rolytoly for parsing that. I knew that word, and HOSEA, BEGUM and ENTRECHAT but not ANA. Is that one of those words only seen in crosswords? Have you an abbreviation for Only Seen In Crosswords?
Took a long time to see SOUND, one of those words like main that I should be on guard for in crosswordland when sea is mentioned.
rolytoly
Nov. 7th, 2019 09:07 am (UTC)
You've got a point about ANA having become a crossword-only word, but it was once a very popular word - Collins has a good "Trends" feature near the bottom of its definitions that shows the usage frequency of a word over the years: Ana started life with a bang in the early C18, made a brief recovery in the mid-C19, and has been in gradual retirement into obscurity ever since.


https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/ana_1
(no subject) - rustybombazine - Nov. 7th, 2019 10:08 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - meadvale - Nov. 7th, 2019 11:31 am (UTC) - Expand
plett11
Nov. 7th, 2019 08:29 am (UTC)
This was one of those puzzles where I had to really trust the wordplay as a number of the answers were new to me. I nearly made a complete hash of things by putting ENTREACHT (figured it might be a German(ish) word) in at 11a with CANDYCOMB coming off it, but I couldn't make 12d parse so revisited it. Finished in 11.57 with LOI BOBCAT.
Thanks for the blog
oldblighter
Nov. 7th, 2019 09:34 am (UTC)
Nice puzzle but it was a challenge in parts, once the write-ins had been entered. I found the longer answers and anagrams easy today (nice to find 1ac such a gift). I soon found I had to jump all over the grid looking for answers. I liked BRAINLESS, ACETIC, CORSAIR, ENTRECHAT and I found REDCAP to be well hidden. I only biffed my LOI ANA having got the two crossers. A little over 3K today after the false confidence of an easy start. Thanks to Orpheus and Roly for parsing a couple of biffs for me. John M.

Edited at 2019-11-07 09:41 am (UTC)
john_dun
Nov. 7th, 2019 09:38 am (UTC)
A straightforward solve for me with HANDKERCHIEF first in and only BOBCAT, LOI, having to be dragged screaming from the depths. 7:37. Thanks Orpheus and Roly.
philjordan
Nov. 7th, 2019 09:56 am (UTC)
At this time of year....
....you should always keep your HANDKERCHIEF HANDY.

The REDCAPS were a Walsall band who signed for Decca in the early 60's. They never made it big, but their first single was a cover of the Isley Brothers "Shout", which Lulu would have a hit with about a year later.

I had to resist a faint urge to enter "squid" at 8A for reasons that I simply can't explain, otherwise a straightforward solve.

FOI HANDKERCHIEF
LOI SOUND
COD BRAINLESS
chrisw91
Nov. 7th, 2019 10:42 am (UTC)
Re: At this time of year....
I was also on full squid alert - ready to biff then reason tottered back.
(Anonymous)
Nov. 7th, 2019 10:03 am (UTC)
Strange how the mind works.
As one of the slower solvers, I sometimes struggle with puzzles that everyone else finds easy, but today's was almost a straight write-in for me, with only a couple of DNKs - Hosea, Ana - and these clear from the wordplay. A rare feeling to be on the same wavelength as the setter. Thanks Orpheus and rolytoly.
elizmaryh
Nov. 7th, 2019 07:31 pm (UTC)
RE: Strange how the mind works.
Similar feelings here. We finished over bread-and-cheese lunch though ana was a guess.
desdeeloeste
Nov. 7th, 2019 10:12 am (UTC)
Similar to John (dun) my FOI was HANDKERCHIEF and my LOI BOBCAT. I must have been doing cryptics for a while now because there were some words I remember from previous crosswords e.g. ENTRECHAT, REDCAP and BEGUM which in the past would have been DNKs. I wrote in the long ones KIDDERMINSTER, HORSE CHESTNUT and HONEYCOMB, parsing after submitting, which helped me secure a within target time of 9:28. NHO of ANA so that was a guess and another word to add to the QC digest.

Edited at 2019-11-07 10:12 am (UTC)
chrisw91
Nov. 7th, 2019 10:44 am (UTC)
8 minutes with the last spent on bobcat - boat now seems so obvious but I only got it by realising late that caught was a 'C' after bishop rather than a 'holding instruction'. Good satisfying puzzle - well, except ANA which went in with a shrug.

Edited at 2019-11-07 10:46 am (UTC)
crispb
Nov. 7th, 2019 10:49 am (UTC)
Another tough one for me, as they all seem to be lately. Stopped my watch on 59:44 but it was actually a DNF as I had put in 'bigum' instead of 'begum' never having heard of the real answer and thinking that a bigum might be a high ranking Asian and that an ig might just be some obscure reference to a woman (as well as the Eskimo's house without a loo of course, which is probably an unPC joke on various levels nowadays). In retrospect, clearly I should have seen that 'say' indicated 'eg', but when you're down to your last clue and the clock is ticking, your mind can justify the most ridiculous things sometimes. At least, mine can. Anyway, other sticking points were ana, entrechat and ascetic, and I was also held up by putting eon in instead of era, until I finally dredged up corsair which I remembered from a previous QC. I think redcap has come up previously too, and although I had forgotten it, Daffy Duck came to my rescue as he says in one of my favourite cartoons, "Ah, redcap, call me a cab boy and be quick about it, I'm a heavy dipper." I'd always assumed a redcap was some sort of porter, but I guess not. COD 18d.
kevingregg
Nov. 7th, 2019 11:54 am (UTC)
In the States, a redcap is (or was) a porter on a train.
(no subject) - crispb - Nov. 7th, 2019 01:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kevingregg - Nov. 7th, 2019 08:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
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