chrisw91 (chrisw91) wrote in times_xwd_times,

Times Quick Cryptic 1866 by Orpheus

Something of a biff-fest today, many answers seemed so straightforward that only a very causal glance at the cryptic was required. This was a good thing as there's quite a lot of moving and placing and some not quite straightforward terms in the cryptic. That was how it went until my LOI 21ac where I struggled to see what was going on. Still completed in less than 10 minutes so target hit.

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Very difficult. F(doubtful)OI = SADDO, then FRAGRANCE and NAG. Slow on EXTORTIONATE, SECOND COUSIN.
Failed on SUEDE and OVERSTEER.
DefinAtely not on the wave length. (joke spelling)

Thanks for much needed blog, Chris.
I proved to myself today that careful parsing is worth it. I had EXAMINER at 11d thinking of both mine and the river but not the missing E. So when I came to my LOI 21a after 08:30, I had a problem.
Fortunately I paused to parse 21a properly and then saw the error of my ways. So LOI and COD SUEDE.
Time 09:49. Good puzzle.
I started off with NAG and then put in the A and D for 2d. BATE had to wait until REAR LIGHT went in. It did ring a faint bell, but it's not a word I've seen used much. The rest of the puzzle went in without much trouble. VIRAGO needed the crossers before I stopped trying to fit Kate into it. Proof reading revealed that I'd biffed EXAMINER and turned my kid into SURDE, so I was pleased to catch that before submitting! 7:56. Thanks Orpheus and Chris.


May 4 2021, 10:30:12 UTC 5 months ago Edited:  May 4 2021, 10:32:30 UTC

I seemed to have fared better than most today. My FOI was FORLORN and my LOI the much discussed ABATED which required an alphabet trawl all the way to the end and back to the beginning again for the two missing letters. I did consider abased and amazed but neither worked with the definition. Looking back I didn't parse NOTORIOUS or see the hidden NINJA and like john dun and David EXAMINEr caused me a short delay with SUEDE. Similar time to john in 8:03.
Rather struggled with this for some reason

All done bar ABATED in 9.30 but it didn’t matter how many alpha trawls I did I couldn’t come up with an answer so the setter wins today. Not sure I would ever have come up with BATE but the actual answer was gettable enough of course from the definition

Thanks Orpheus and Chris
Late post today as seconded as driver for the weekly message-go-round. 14 minutes with LOI ABATED holding out at the end. I questioned OVERSTEER definition, and liked NOTORIOUS. Thanks both.
Absolutely does not work for me. If you are criticising a driver you might say (s)he is over steering - note the space - but oversteer is a handling characteristic of the car not the driver. Had the clue been 4,5 rather than 9 then all would be OK IMHO.
This certainly felt difficult, with initial no shows at 1ac/d and answers and parsings having to be teased out, and with more than just a few pdms along the way. My last two, Suede and Abated, took a fair chunk of the 27mins, especially since I had settled on Abased until a nagging doubt forced a re-think. CoD to one of the pdms, 12ac Debunk, but it was a strong field. Invariant
SUEDE. No complaints though, just couldn't see it.

I mention above, that strangely for a child of the 80's, I read plenty of the Magnet and Gem comics, so the "20's slang" of boys at an imaginary minor public school is well known to me...

I also see that I never parsed NOTORIOUS, which is a v good clue in retrospect, so thanks chris!


I found this a proper test, but came through successfully in 51 minutes. Not knowing BATE for bad temper, NESS for head, or the meaning of VIRAGO slowed me up significantly towards the end, and my LOI (SUEDE) took what seemed like an eternity. My cause was not helped by me inadvertently writing in EXAMINER at first (instead of EXAMINEE) and therefore having to work meticulously through a second alphabet trawl once I'd realised my error.

In summary, not quick for me, but definitely cryptic and fair (I think). In fact, it's now a week since I last dipped under 50 minutes, so despite very occasionally getting close to 20 minutes, I am still a fully signed up member of the SCC.

Mrs Random is visiting her parents today, so she will probably take her attempt tomorrow.

Many thanks to Orpheus (whom I invariably find hard) and chrisw91 (for explaining the finer points so concisely).
... “I’m in a bate “ was frequently heard during my childhood, and went in easily.

This was a good mix of easy and less-so, but all made sense and were doable.


Thank you, Orpheus and Chris.

Yes, me too. Some solvers seem surprisingly young to a child of the 40/50s!
DNF because I put examineR not examineE which teaches me always to reread a clue. However, I would never have got SUEDE from the clue. Guessed ABATED, but had no idea about meaning of BATE.
Found this quite hard with a number of hold-ups along the way. Didn't parse NOTORIOUS or SECOND COUSIN but loved the parsing of the former once explained (thanks Chris).

No problems with vocabulary, although bate is definitely of an age which I only dimly remember.

COD - thought 13ac SOMALI was very clever
Worked through it in about 16 minutes with out too many hold ups. DNK BATE. The pedantic part of me cannot equate ABLE with CAPACITY. But an enjoyable puzzle as always. SUEDE held me up too, but that was because I had foolishly written in EXAMINER. Examinees should always read the question properly.Thank-you blogger.
Overall this seemed to suit us with few holdups. Well within our target for a good day. We have never heard — in a bate, presume a regional saying. The crossers to 2d gave the answer. a BATE while solving this, and was pretty quick. My only complaint concerns my LOI, where I thought that "cut down to size" was a very weak definition. The only contemporary use of DEBUNK that I can find relates to theories, and generally means that they've been totally discredited. Maybe it's just me (yet again).

TIME 3:20
Collins has cut down to size as : to reduce the prestige or importance of

A totally discredited theory would have (much) less prestige or importance?
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