Jeremy (plusjeremy) wrote in times_xwd_times,

Times Quick Cryptic No 1702 by Tracy


22:09. Took longer than many 15x15 puzzles take me. I was mainly done in by the long anagrams. Not being British, I had to take bits and pieces of names of UK locales and try to piece them together to make 15-letter town names.

A bit grueling for the likes of me, but a juicy puzzle that I hope the more knowledgeable of us enjoyed.



1 Own a section of Fifth Avenue (4)
3 Sets kilt out [for] game (8)
9 Send off wine wanted by eccentric person (3-4)
RED-CARD - RED (wine) + CARD (eccentric person)
Does anyone know where this meaning of 'card' comes from? Is it 'wild card'?
10 Had in mind low time (5)
MEANT - MEAN (low) + T (time)
11 Respond concerning part of play (5)
REACT - RE (concerning) + ACT (part of play)
12 What Meg and Doug do [in] close? (6)
ENDING - END IN 'G' (what Meg and Doug do)
14 Place in Leicestershire, town memorably redeveloped (6,7)
This was of course unknown to me. I didn't have a lot of crossers, but finally the Y suggested BRAY and the rest more or less fit. MOLTEN MOWBRAY didn't sound right!
17 One's played Shakespearean heroine mostly at home (6)
VIOLIN - VIOLA (Shakespearean heroine) without the last letter (mostly) + IN (at home)
A character from Twelfth Night.
19 Amusing nobleman backed Liberal (5)
DROLL - LORD reversed + L
22 Money in this, tied up, reportedly (5)
TRUST - TRUSSED replaced by homophone
23 Moving out in it, teaching (7)
TUITION - anagram of OUT IN IT
24 Diagram that should appeal to Desperate Dan! (3,5)
PIE CHART - cryptic definition
He loved his cow pies, bless him.
25 Raise / back (4)
REAR - double definition


1 Instrument that's blown with lips [to make] glasses (4-4)
HORN-RIMS - HORN (instrument that's blown) + RIMS (lips)
My last in. I don't know why I thought we were heading for HARP, as in JAW HARP, but the simple answer HORN never came to mind.
2 Russian spirit very old duke and king admired, initially (5)
4 Striker minded playing [for] a Worcestershire town (13)
5 Lacking in confidence, not very bright Italian turned up (5)
TIMID - DIM (not very bright) + IT (Italian) reversed
6 Student [needing] job that pays after end of school (7)
LEARNER - EARNER (job that pays) after last letter of SCHOOL
7 Place to rest close to home (4)
SITE - SIT (to rest) + last letter of HOME
8 Display shabby articles also (6)
TATTOO - TAT (shabby articles) + TOO (also)
Next to last in. I got the TOO idea but wasn't seeing this meaning of TAT or TATTOO.
13 Look on ship [for] make-up item (8)
EYELINER - EYE (look) + LINER (ship)
I ignored this one for far too long, even though it wasn't that hard. The Y from EYELINER is what allowed me to finish the puzzle.
15 The French island certainly [offers] relaxation (7)
LEISURE - LE (the, French) + I (island) + SURE (certainly)
16 Involve oneself enthusiastically with one entering Red Sea port (4,2)
WADE IN - W (with) + I (one) in ADEN (Red Sea port)
The answer I'd suspected for many minutes, but I couldn't see where the W was coming from, as I'd parsed 'with' as a linking word.
18 Door fastener in confessional at church (5)
20 Love, as it happens, a stoned fruit (5)
OLIVE - O (love) + LIVE (as it happens)
21 Stage favourites returned (4)
STEP - PETS (favourites) reversed


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I was nearly done in 5 minutes, but just struggled a little with the lower left and spent 30 seconds proofreading, ending at 8:17. Yes, I live in Connecticut, but I have heard of both Kidderminster and Melton Mowbray, which turned out to be very useful.

The setter was a little pedantic, and used some unusual but correct meanings for some of the answers. For example, there are actually two words and spelled and pronounced tattoo, with different etymologies and meanings. One is from the Dutch, and refers to a military display, and the other is Tahitian, and refers to illustrated skin.

A red card, Jeremy, is exactly that, a red card that is held up by the referee who is ejecting a player.

I think you misunderstood my 'card' question. I was asking about the meaning, 'eccentric'.
I biffed KIDDERMINSTER & MELTON MOWBRAY, trusting the anagrist was all there in each case. No idea what was going on with Desperate Dan; all I know about him is his name. HORN-RIMS was my POI; like Jeremy, I didn't let go of HARP for a while. RED-CARD my LOI. 4:26.



September 16 2020, 08:39:35 UTC 4 months ago

Excuse my ignorance, but what does POI meam??



4 months ago



4 months ago


4 months ago


September 16 2020, 05:33:24 UTC 4 months ago Edited:  September 16 2020, 05:33:49 UTC

This was my quickest in a while at under 12 even with lengthy hold ups for RED CARD where even once I had red for wine I couldn't work out from the definition - even though the only reason I know Kidderminister is from the Harriers (where I once saw Yeovil win away); and SITE which was my LOI and right to the end I wondered if 'sete' might be an alternative to 'settee' - a short alphabet trawl once I got MEANT (SLOI) saved that. Thanks to Jeremy's blog I now realise I didn't parse WADE IN correctly, 'Waden' sounded like it might be a port and that was good enough for me. I'm another who wanted HORM RIMS to start with 'harp' once my initial thought of 'half moon' was rejected.



September 16 2020, 08:17:49 UTC 4 months ago

always meant to ask, what does SLOI and even POI mean? in



4 months ago


September 16 2020, 06:09:18 UTC 4 months ago Edited:  September 16 2020, 06:13:59 UTC

6 minutes. MELTON MOWBRAY is the home of traditional English pork pies, an officially protected recipe that can only be produced in the surrounding area. It has associations with production of Stilton cheese too, also a protected 'species'.
Good mix of clues, but was slow to see ENDING after we had ENDEARING just recently. Was LOI and COD. Well done Tracy.

Knowledge of smallish Midland towns might be a bit of a stretch for some of our non-England based solvers. CARD for eccentric is certainly on my list of “hoarse chestnuts”, expressions that no-one has used in the last 50 years, try referring to someone as a “ bit of a card” in an Email today and see how that goes.

Just as well VODKA was a total write-in as I toyed with both REPLY and RELAY since they both for sure mean respond, and LAY & PLY are indubitably “part of play”
I think PLY as part of 'play' is pretty dubitable.
(Almost) accomplished during the latter part of a restless night, mingled with dozing, so no time. Did not get 7D; I am sometimes blind to the cruciverbial meanings of words such as “close”. Convinced myself that the archaic word “sith”, which could mean an instant in time, could also mean place. Many thanks to Tracy and to Jeremy.
Quick solve, for me, at under 12 minutes. For once I did not need to write down any of the anagrams.

Struggled a bit to see the definition in 7d which was my last but one with VIOLIN last and HAVE first. COD 4d for the smooth surface.

Thanks to Tracy and Jeremy.


September 16 2020, 07:38:59 UTC 4 months ago

Good puzzle which I managed in 11.26 despite being in a cafe (my phone decided this was ‘cage’ - b****y predictive text) being assaulted by loud ‘pop music’. I live in Leics and like an occasional pork pie so 14a was no problem. LOI was RED CARD because I biffed alternatives. Thanks Tracy and Jeremy. John M.
Oops. The previous entry was mine. On my phone and didn’t log in. 🙄
... and with the two long clues almost my first two in, the rest of the puzzle fell into place sweetly for a 7 minutes finish, one of my best of recent months.

LOI 17A Violin, got mainly from the checkers and trusting that somewhere in all his works Shakespeare had included a Viola. Thanks Jeremy for pointing us to where!

Many nice clues in, for me, a friendly puzzle. Thank you to Jeremy for the the blog.

But I was glad not to have to go through the anagram process in KIDDERMINSTER and MELTON MOWBRAY. Luckily, as a British person, the two long towns were guessable from a quick glance at the available letters....w, y and 2 m's for 14 across and a town beginning with K for 4 down. But tricky, I would expect, for the non Brits. I couldn't parse WADE IN so thanks, Jeremy, for that. I liked PIE CHART and ENDING, the latter being similar to a clue a fortnight ago. I also was a bit fixated by my certainty that 1 down must include harp. All in all, it was good fun. Thanks, Jeremy, for the blog. I always appreciate the honesty of your personal take on the difficulty level. I find it encouraging. I also like your chatty tone and the detail you provide. 😊. Thanks also to Tracy for an entertaining puzzle.
UK GK a help here. I knew the towns; needed the K for one.
There were some great clues here ( Leisure etc) and I enjoyed the journey. The odd hold-up: I tried to make GROTTO work at 8d and thought of CATCH at 18d before seeing the hidden.
LOI was 1d which took a number of looks and about a minute at the end. I was sure about HORN but not the rest. 11:38 on the clock.

In awe


September 16 2020, 09:05:17 UTC 4 months ago

Really seemed to get this today. Stopped the clock a fraction over 19 mins.

I’m in awe of these sub 10 solvers, let alone the sub 5!!!

Leave the crossword alone and sort out the virus and Brexit. Piece of cake!!


September 16 2020, 09:06:42 UTC 4 months ago Edited:  September 16 2020, 09:07:43 UTC

For once my GK didn't cause a problem. From English towns to a Red Sea port, a Shakespearean heroine and a comic character I managed all though not necessarily without a few checkers. My FOI was SKITTLES and then I solved clockwise with LOI HORN RIMS. Submitted in 7:47. Thanks Tracy and Jeremy.


September 16 2020, 09:28:36 UTC 4 months ago

6/7 minutes so probably a pb for me but then Melton Mowbray is only a few miles down the road (pretty town with shocking traffic system) and I've been to Kidderminster so lots of letters filled in quickly. Thanks setter and blogger
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