therotter (therotter) wrote in times_xwd_times,

Times Quick Cryptic No 1623 by Oink

A nicely accessible puzzle from Oink, which took me 14 minutes to complete.  I had to write the anagrist down before seeing the answer at 10a, but otherwise it was all plain sailing, if slightly slow.

I thought I detected a slightly dark mood with the inclusion of setbacks, abuse, torture, cocaine, opium, tramp, scoundrel, choke, dreariest, pirate, et al in both clues and answers, but maybe I am being overly-sensitive.

Thanks Oink.  Readers, I look forwards to my fortnightly feedback on your experiences in your comments.


Dripping, a kind of fat (9)
SATURATED – Double definition, the first an extreme of wetness, the second referring to saturated fats, which like most things at the moment divide scientific opinion.  Somewhere, there will be a university research team researching to find a topic that doesn’t divide scientific opinion.  The nearest I can think of is pepper – I’ve never heard anyone with a bad word for the stuff!
6  Party hard? What an idiot I am! (3)
DOH – DO (party) and H{ard}.  I think this is an expression popularised by the Simpsons cartoon series, but I can’t be sure, as I have never seen a minute of it.
8  Choke, spitting out large rum (7)
STRANGE – STRANG[l}E (choke) with the L removed (spitting out L{arge}).
9 Start to plead: I must have name (5)
BEGIN – BEG (plead) with I and N{ame}.
10  Confirm aunt is at best confused (12)
SUBSTANTIATE – Anagram (confused) of [AUNT IS AT BEST]
12 Appear to notice favouritism, finally (4)
SEEM – SEE (notice) and {favouritis}M (finally).
13  Stern bachelor meeting cook on vacation (4)
BACK – BA (bachelor) and C{oo}K (on vacation, i.e. removing the inner letters).  Did anybody else get caught out by the typeface and read this initially as “S t e m bachelor…”?
17  Ability to reason at the heart of MI6 (12)
INTELLIGENCE – It’s what the ‘I’ stood for in the abbreviation MI6 (Military Intelligence Section 6), although now more often referred to as the SIS (Secret Intelligence Service).
20  Found black stuff in the street (5)
START – TAR (black stuff) inside ST (street).
21  High-rise accommodation for social workers (7)
ANTHILL – Cryptic clue describing ants as social workers.  I suppose if one had no checkers, one may be tempted to biff BEEHIVE, but ANTHILL better fits both the checkers and the cryptic.
23  Go on to suffer setback (3)
YAP – To YAP is to go on, whilst to suffer can be to pay (reversed – setback).
24  Extremely dull criminal I arrested (9)
DREARIEST – Anagram (criminal) of [I ARRESTED].


Cheek of son visiting famous regiment (4)
SASS – S{on} inside SAS (Special Air Service – famous regiment).
2  Tutor upset about abuse (7)
TORTURE – Anagram (upset) of [TUTOR] followed by RE (about).
Scarper, arguing occasionally (3)
RUN – Alternate letters (occasionally) from {a}R{g}U{i}N{g}.
4  Article on drinking den for barristers? (3,3)
THE BAR – THE (the definite article) and BAR (drinking den).  THE BAR is a term for the legal profession generally, but is also a collective noun for Barristers.
5  Posh girl acquiring top-class place to eat?  That’s a matter of opinion (9)
DEBATABLE – DEB (posh girl – debutante) with A (top-class) and TABLE (place to eat).
6  Follow only half of Marx’s doctrine (5)
DOGMA – DOG (follow) and half of MA{rx}.
Composer’s name announced  (6)
HANDEL – Homophone, sounds like (announced) HANDLE (name) as in my HANDLE / name on this blog is ‘therotter’.
11  Pretend to be excited, wasting time (9)
SIMULATED – S{t}IMULATED (excited) losing / wasting T{ime}
14 Illegal substance CIA once concocted (7)
COCAINE – Anagram (concocted) of [CIA ONCE].
15  Untidy room from which Oink might emerge? (6)
PIGSTY – Here we have Oink’s usual self-referential trademark in a cryptic definition.
16  Nick dangerous chap in the main (6)
PIRATE – double definition, as in to nick something might be to PIRATE it, and a PIRATE is a dangerous chap to meet at sea (in the main!).
18  Loose woman putting last of opium in gin (5)
TRAMP – TRAP (gin, as in a gin trap) containing last of {opiu}M.
19  Charlie leaping initially into bed (4)
CLOT – L{eaping} (initially) inside / into COT (bed).
22  Sailor putting scoundrel up (3)
TAR – RAT (scoundrel) reversed (putting up).

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