therotter (therotter) wrote in times_xwd_times,

Times Quick Cryptic No 1703 by Pedro

It is about 6 months since I blogged a Pedro QC, and it is nice to see him back on my bailiwick as I managed to solve this, just, inside my 15 minute target.  Some lovely clues and devices here, with 19 and 21 across vying with 7 and 15 down for my COD.  However, there also appears to be a bit of a gaffe in 17 across, which I have been unable to explain satisfactorily.  I would be grateful if someone can provide a better explanation for this anomaly.


1  Striking religious group in which cricket team is arranged (7,5)
BATTING ORDER – BATTING (striking) and ORDER (religious group).  The BATTING ORDER is the list of players in a cricket team, organised in the order in which they will generally come out to bat.
Spirit shown by good party organiser (5)
GHOST – G{ood} and HOST (party organiser).
9  Doctor very engaged in genuine excision (7)
REMOVAL – MO (doctor) and V{ery} inside (engaged in) REAL (genuine).
10  Old man backed intention to put in post (7)
APPOINT – PA (old man) reversed (backed) to give AP and then POINT (intention).
11  Permitted to be heard (5)
ALOUD – Homophone, sounds like allowed, where ‘to be heard’ does double duty as both the definition and the homophone indicator.
12  Development of green factory’s latest power supply (6)
ENERGY – Anagram (development) of [GREEN] and {factor}Y (latest, i.e. last letter).
14  Snooty person rejected excellent little plant (6)
BONSAI – The snooty person is a SNOB, reversed (rejected) to give BONS and then AI (excellent, as in A1).
17  Pub in Pimlico - calm (5)
LOCAL – I’m not sure what has happened here.  This looks like it is intended to be a hidden answer, maybe the setter wrote it as ‘Pub in Buffalo – calm’ initially, and the editor replaced Buffalo with the more familiar (to us Brits anyway) Pimlico, not realising that the edit had lost the spirit of the clue.  This is just supposition on my part – I can’t see how the clue works otherwise, but someone will almost certainly educate me if there is an alternative explanation.
19  Monastery residents without sin? (7)
NOVICES – NOVICES without sin would have NO VICES.
21  I’ve reached “P for Paint”? (7)
IMPASTO – If I have reached the letter P in reciting the alphabet, then I’M PAST O.  IMPASTO is paint laid on thickly.
22  Back a theatre group initially over stage work (5)
OPERA – A (a) REP (theatre group, repertory) and O{ver} (initially) all reversed (back).
23  Criticise losing a carton opener? (4-3,5)
TEAR-OFF STRIP – If one criticised someone or something, one could be said to TEAR-OFF {a} STRIP.  Lose the a for a common method of opening a carton.


1  A big gal came running across entrance to Gatwick arrivals area (7,5)
BAGGAGE CLAIM – Anagram (running) of [A BIG GAL CAME] and G{atwick} (entrance to Gatwick).
Group of soldiers left upset about nothing (5)
TROOP – PORT (left) reversed (upset) and including O (about nothing).
3  Hinting, awfully trendy item (2-5)
IN-THING – Anagram (awfully) of [HINTING].
Spin jar filled with last of recovery (6)
GYRATE – GRATE (jar, as in a jarring sound) containing {recover}Y (last of).
5  Alcohol given to graduate for dance (5)
RUMBA – RUM (alcohol) given to BA (graduate), to form the lively Afro-Cuban dance.  We must be approaching the Strictly silly season!
6  Vino Sue ordered, leaving you resentful (7)
ENVIOUS – Anagram (ordered) of [VINO SUE].
Supplier of spirit generated by rubber? (8,4)
ALADDIN’S LAMP – Cryptic &Lit clue referring to a famous Pantomime device (as we get closer to Strictly silly season, we also approach Panto season!)
13  European notice about top fugitive (7)
ESCAPEE – E{uropean} SEE (notice) containing (about) CAP (top).  Will we still be allowed to use E{uropean} to clue E once we are finally out of Europe?
15  Not seeing line I erased – that’s clear (7)
OBVIOUS – OB{li}VIOUS (not seeing) after L{ine} and I have been erased.
16  Unique energy incorporated in switch settings? (3-3)
ONE-OFF – E{nergy} inside ON-OFF (switch settings).  Some switches are not dichotomous, hence the question mark.
18  Light starts to leave all stars, every rotation (5)
LASER – Initial letters (starts) of L{eave} A{ll} S{tars}, E{very} R{otation}.
20  Get over fence, perhaps, without faults? (5)
CLEAR – Double definition, referring to show-jumping, where if all fences are CLEARed, the competitor may achieve a CLEAR round.
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