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Times Quick Cryptic No 1479 by Teazel

A delightful Friday puzzle from Teazel today with some elegant surfaces, witty wordplay and a modicum of trickiness in places, and great fun to blog. It helps if you know your Gilbert & Sullivan operettas, British Prime Ministers and 19th century artists, but nothing too tricky, I hope. I liked the smooth surfaces of 22A, 3D, 4D and 13D, among others, and the cryptic 21A and 10D - my COD for the unusual device. The helpful checkers should assist those who are puzzled by it. At just under 5 minutes, this was below average time for me. Thank-you Teazel! How did everyone else get on?

Definitions underlined in bold italics, (Abc)* indicating anagram of Abc, deletions and [] other indicators.

1 Notice troubled situation (4)
SPOT - Double definition.
4 After brawl, dismiss one that may be on your back (8)
RUCKSACK - RUCK (brawl) SACK (dismiss), with a mildly cryptic definition.
8 Fear will collapse, getting security software (8)
FIREWALL - (Fear will)* [collapse]. A firewall can also be a hardware device on a network. It is a basic component of cybersecurity. If you have a broadband router to connect to the internet, it will be running firewall software to protect your home network from attack. Is there much of this attacking about about? You bet! Have a look at this, for example. Sorry. I digress.
9 Number returning to a centre of revolution (4)
AXIS - SIX (number) A [returning] -> A XIS. A MER (Minor eyebrow raise) at this. I would expect the wordplay to mean "Reverse a number and add A". "A number returning to centre of revolution" instead would have averted the twitching. For a cracking 15x15 clue for this word see 16A  here, and the explanation in the comments as to why it is so clever.
10 Look into corpse covered in gore (6)
BLOODY - LO (look) inside [into] BODY (corpse). Nice surface but no thanks. I'm no pathologist.
11 Wrongly blamed for uproar (6)
BEDLAM - [Wrongly] (blamed)*.
12 Decent PM’s opening words? (4,9)
GOOD AFTERNOON - Another nice surface with a cryptic definition. It's nothing to do with the start of a speech in parliament, of course. GOOD (decent) AFTERNOON (PM).
16 Head lost in fight with English PM (6)
ATTLEE - Second PM clue in a row, but this is the other meaning. bATTLE (fight) without the first letter [head lost] E (English). Clement Attlee was Prime Minister from 1945-1951.
17 Snobbish name received by glove puppet (6)
SNOOTY - N (name) inside [received by] SOOTY (glove puppet). Sooty first appeared on TV well before I was born, and is still going!
19 Very long sentence in biography (4)
LIFE - Double definition.
20 Got rid of a sitting member, a horror of mine (8)
FIREDAMP - FIRED (got rid of) A MP (sitting member). Firedamp is a generic name for flammable gasses found in mines.
21 Artist you would get a peep out of? (8)
WHISTLER - Cryptic definition. The artist being James Whistler.
22 Speaking, go over and over part (4)
ROLE - Sounds like [speaking] ROLL (go over and over). A lovely surface. The best way to learn one's lines, methinks, although it's many years since I had to.
2 Greek character has a large medicine bottle (5)
PHIAL - PHI (Greek character) A L (large).
3 Operetta delights one, or otherwise (3,10)
THE GONDOLIERS - (delights one or)* [otherwise]. Another lovely surface. The operetta, as I'm sure you know, is by Gilbert and Sullivan. Whether it delights one or not depends on whether one is a G&S fan, I guess.
4 Prepared to study history at last (5)
READY - READ (study) historY [at last]. I liked this too.
5 Liberal in concern, showing quality of character (7)
CALIBRE - LIB (Liberal) [in] CARE (concern).
6 On one’s feet with regularity giving instruction to bank (8,5)
STANDING ORDER - STANDING (On one's feet) with ORDER (regularity). Order for "with regularity" seems a bit of a stretch, but the answer is clear from the definition and first part. I checked and the dictionary does have "a regular or suitable arrangement" as a definition, so I guess that's OK. I see I parsed it wrong initially. Thanks Kevin.
7 Smart travel round a city (7)
CHICAGO - CHIC (smart) GO (travel) [round] A.
10 This shot an important person (3)
BIG - The sort of shot -> BIG SHOT. An unusual clue type these days, fill in the blank, with the blank being replaced by "This".
13 Big bird cost Richard — quite a lot (7)
OSTRICH - Hidden [quite a lot] in cOST RICHard. Nicely disguised.
14 Anxious as part of guitar not quite complete (7)
FRETFUL - FRET (part of guitar) FULl [not quite] (complete).
15 No sound from horse heard (3)
NAY - Sounds like NEIGH (sound from horse) [heard]. We had the reverse of this just last week!
17 More certain resistance stops one taking legal action (5)
SURER - R (resistance) inside [stops] SUER (one taking legal action).
18 Asian team finally breaks through the last batsmen (5)
TAMIL - teaM [finally] inside [breaks through] TAIL (the last batsmen).


( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 8th, 2019 03:19 am (UTC)
I'd say it's 'on one's feet'=STANDING, with 'regularity'=ORDER. 'with' is just with.
Nov. 8th, 2019 06:41 am (UTC)
So it is. Doh. Thanks. Blog amended.
Nov. 8th, 2019 03:27 am (UTC)
No problem with AXIS; it's SIX returning to A. DNK the hand puppet. Fortunately the wordplay of 5d forced me to revise my spelling of CALIBER. I thought of THE GONDOLIERS immediately, but had to take a hard look at the anagrist. 5:38.

Edited at 2019-11-08 05:49 am (UTC)
Nov. 8th, 2019 04:10 am (UTC)
At just a little over 10 minutes....
....I thought this was a bit harder than usual, primarily due to the lack of chestnuts and cliches. Even 'big' had me wondering - is it really that obvious? Am I missing something?
Nov. 8th, 2019 05:44 am (UTC)
11 minutes, so once more into the amber zone, once more...

Time was lost because my first thought at 9ac was AXLE, and when I couldn't parse that I wondered if AXEL was an alternative spelling - it isn't, as that spelling means something else, and it still wouldn't parse anyway.

10dn just had to be BIG, even when I only had the G in place, but I still hate 'fill in the blank' clues even when the blank is replaced with 'this'.

Finally I took a few extra seconds to make absolutely sure of ROLE rather than 'roll' at 22ac.
Nov. 8th, 2019 06:09 am (UTC)
A slow start but a quick finish for me at least until LOI FIREDAMP after mistyping FRETFUL (I was initially looking for Fretted and did not correct my spelling properly).
But finished correctly in 12:35, which is quite quick for me.
A good puzzle I thought. Nice to be reminded about Sooty. I took my daughter to see him "live" some years ago. Thanks for the picture,John.
COD to Bloody for the smooth surface.
Nov. 8th, 2019 06:37 am (UTC)
Wrote NEY not NAY, what was I thinking! Not even close enough on the keyboard to claim a typo. Great puzzle today. Only three on the first pass of acrosses: FIREWALL, SNOOTY, LIFE but downs a little more forgiving. Finished in 16:50, after having to write out the letters before seeing the operetta - not certain I could hum any of it - and finally getting to CHICAGO, doubt that was anyone else's LOI. A reasonable time ruined by an avoidable pink square. Good end to a difficult week. Cobwebs hopefully blown away. See you Monday via the Telegraph prize puzzle - could this be my week?
Nov. 8th, 2019 11:26 am (UTC)
Ney not NAY
You obviously didn't "marshal" your thoughts. I'll get my coat.....
Nov. 8th, 2019 07:25 am (UTC)
Just over 10 mins at 10.22. I rather liked 12ac today and had to guess FIREDAMP and WHISTLER but did so correctly. Nice end to the week

Nov. 8th, 2019 07:42 am (UTC)
Quiet, calm deliberation disentangles every knot
38:03 and a struggle with, admittedly, one eye on the cricket, and thought for a while it was going to be a DNF. Thank you for THE GONDOLIERS, which is close to my heart, and with prime ministers on my mind I was delightfully misled by 12a.
Thank you for the blog - needed a couple of those that I biffed explained.
Nov. 8th, 2019 08:17 am (UTC)
I’m going to have to stop calling myself a beginner at some point having been attempting these QCs for eighteen months or so from a standing start.
I really enjoyed this one, quite possibly because I worked through it systematically (but slowly compared to you speedy gondoliers) and managed to finish in just over 40 minutes. Quite a record for me.
I really liked 12 across - very clever.
I didn’t have a problem with 9 across- perhaps because I’m not so aware of what the conventions should be. And though I didn’t know the word Firedamp I managed to work it out.
So a big thank you to Teazel. And a big thank you too, to all the bloggers from whom I’ve learned so much
Nov. 8th, 2019 08:43 am (UTC)
Most of this went in with barely a pause before I got inexplicably stuck in the NE, where I couldn't think of the city despite having C_I_ _ _ O. When that finally clicked I realised that 11a was an anagram which then gave me LOI CALIBRE.
A fun, if slightly frustrating end to the week. Finished in 11.57 with my favourite being 12a for the 'aha' moment when I saw the parsing.
Thanks for the blog
Nov. 8th, 2019 09:56 am (UTC)
Well, I started well and then tripped and stumbled over too many answers which were so obvious when the pennies dropped - a sign of a clever puzzle. Deep into the SCC today but it was an enjoyable outing. I liked AXIS, SNOOTY, ATTLEE, CHICAGO, FRETFUL, FIREDAMP but took too long to be sure of the simple ones like BIG, NAY, 12a, and the nicely-hidden OSTRICH (doh!). Thanks to Teazel and John. Role on Monday....(!) John M.

Edited at 2019-11-08 09:58 am (UTC)
Nov. 8th, 2019 10:15 am (UTC)
I also wasted a bit of time with AXLE before the obvious came to mind. PHIAL was my FOI. I zoomed through this one with only ROLE giving pause for thought(after AXIS). My daughter appeared as Tess in Teesside G&S Society's production of the Gondoliers last month, so that was a write in! Enjoyable puzzle. 5:52. Thanks Teazel and John.
Nov. 8th, 2019 11:21 am (UTC)
Lovely puzzle, thanks Teazel. I particularly liked GOOD AFTERNOON. A whisker under 2K for a Good Day. Excellent blog as always, John, thank you.

Nov. 8th, 2019 11:35 am (UTC)
They've got the builders in across the road....
....and it's BLOODY BEDLAM. Hardly a week has passed in the three years since they moved in without some kind of tradesman appearing, and I've lost count of the number of skips they've had on the driveway. I don't understand why they bought the house if it was so far from their dream home !

I thought my time was good, so went back and redid this online, pressing submit to match my time on paper, and I find myself currently in 8th. place. Slower than Verlaine though 🙄

Nov. 8th, 2019 12:17 pm (UTC)
Izzy whizzy, let's get busy
Another Good Day! After yesterday's high point, I was anticipating trouble today, especially when I saw Teazel's name, but finished in 10:38 - chasing Templar again! People will start talking 😉

There weren't too many write-ins - I had to give a bit of thought to most clues before the PDMs. For once, I saw the hidden (at 13d) very quickly. I liked Whistler (art & lit being much more my bag than maths & science) and Snooty. The bloody bedlam row is funny (bad luck with the building neighbours Phil) but was Attlee snooty?

We also took our children to the Sooty show more than 20 years ago - it was awful but they liked it! The Chuckle Brothers (around the same sort of time) were much more entertaining.

FOI Firewall
LOI Calibre
COD Good afternoon (let's hope it will be - I'm going to tackle the big one shortly)
Nov. 8th, 2019 05:23 pm (UTC)
Not in the bag
23 minutes- LOI Firedamp (not come across before). Most areas navigated safely but 10 down did for me....entering Bag - shot as in bagged something- couldn’t see the link to important person...so Teazel caught me here.
Lovely blog.
Thanks all
John George
Nov. 8th, 2019 06:59 pm (UTC)
Beware overconfident biffing
It took me about an hour to complete this, although I wasn't 100% sure about "Firedamp" and "Whistler". Luckily I got 20ac with the wordplay and took a punt with 21ac.

However, it would have been a lot quicker if I hadn't stuck "Good Samaritan" for 12ac. I read "decent" for the first part of the clue, and had the right letters for Good (and the right number for Samaritan) and just biffed it in without reading the rest of the clue properly. Deliberate surface misdirection or just my own stupidity? More than likely the latter, as I nearly did the same thing with 17dn thinking it was "Suing".

As I do the paper version, once you've put an answer it is difficult to ignore the letters that are there, even if you know they're wrong, so it took a bit of mental unpicking to sort out the clues that ran vertically from this.

Other than that, really enjoyable.

COD = "Rucksack" - as I did this outside the pub after a walk in the Lakes.

Nov. 9th, 2019 10:13 am (UTC)
Do this until today. Slow going for me at a touch over 12 minutes. I never get on with teazel, so well done setter, and thank you for the blog.
Nov. 10th, 2019 08:54 am (UTC)
Done on Sunday in about 20 mins.

Loi the unknown firedamp.
Cod whistler.
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

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