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.

Definitions are underlined.

1 Bouquet made from cloth in European country (9)
FRAGRANCE - cloth (RAG) inside European country (FRANCE).
6 Pathetic type’s small circle including a couple of daughters (5)
SADDO - small (S) and circle (O) including a (A) and couple of daughters (DD).
8 Bring up easily portable car part (4,5)
REAR LIGHT - bring up (REAR), easily portable (LIGHT).
9 Beast of burden arrived, then left (5)
CAMEL - arrived (CAME), then left (L).
10 Drive carelessly, running front of taxi into foreman (9)
OVERSTEER - running (putting) (T)axi into foreman (OVERSEER). I had a little hesitation on this definition but I suppose it stands up.
12 Edges of double bed cut down to size (6)
DEBUNK - (D)oubl(E), bed (BUNK).
13 Thus one African country identifies an inhabitant of another (6)
SOMALI - thus (SO), African country (MALI).
16 Workman excited over pieta (9)
OPERATIVE - anagram (excited) of OVER PIETA.
18 Martial art expert in town in Japan (5)
NINJA - in tow(N IN JA)pan.
19 Misguidedly ask Hector for a biscuit (9)
SHORTCAKE - anagram (misguidedly) of ASK HECTOR. I always use shortbread but shortcake is the same thing.
21 Kid taken to court by police at last (5)
SUEDE - taken to court (SUED), beside polic(E). Another hesitation on the definition - suede is usually made from lambskin but can be made from many other animals including a kid/young goat. I was also thrown by the different pronunciation but this isn't a homophone clue so no problem with that. LOI.
22 Infamous head of occupied port seized by other people? (9)
NOTORIOUS - (O)ccupied and port (RIO) seized by other people (NOT US). Loved the 'not us' bit - COD.
1 Miserable with regard to grassy area, so to speak (7)
FORLORN - with regard to (FOR), homophone (so to speak) of grassy area - lawn.
2 Moderated bad temper displayed in commercial (6)
ABATED - bad temper (BATE) inside commercial (AD). Bate is, apparently, British slang for a bad temper or rage.
3 Regrets accepting Liberal regulations (5)
RULES - regrets (RUES) accepting (inside itself) Liberal (L).
4 Horse initially noted at Goodwood (3)
NAG - (N)oted (A)t (G)oodwood.
5 Excessive tax? Not to Eire, surprisingly (12)
EXTORTIONATE - anagram (surprisingly) of TAX NOT TO EIRE.
6 Back company in engaging American relative (6,6)
SECOND COUSIN - back (SECOND), company (CO) and in (IN) engaging (taking in) American (US).
7 Hateful mother with capacity to conceal name (8)
DAMNABLE - mother (DAM) and with capacity (ABLE) concealing name (N).
11 Person who’s tested an explosive device in river (8)
EXAMINEE - an explosive device (A MINE) inside river (EXE).
14 Consistency of old Tyneside head (7)
ONENESS - old (O), Tyneside (NE - in the northeast of England), head (NESS).
15 Star sign giving protection to a shrewish woman (6)
VIRAGO - star sign (VIRGO) protecting a (A).
17 Player on stage removing agent’s head (5)
ACTOR - agent f(ACTOR) without the head/lead letter. A factor is a person who acts on another's behalf.
20 Old-fashioned books about university (3)
OUT - books (OT - Old Testament) about university (U).

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DNK BATE; ODE marks it 'dated'. 5:54.
....and took 13:14. While there are some easy answers, like suede, camel, and ninja, there is also a few more elusive ones, particularly the long anagrams, which needed all the checkers. I did not know this meaning of bate either, but abated is the only word that will fit the crossers and the literal.
I had difficulty getting started, hopping around the grid looking for easy pickings and not finding any for a while. I may consider revising my tactics and becoming prepared to spend a bit longer unravelling that first Across or Down clue before moving on to other options.

11 minutes with NOTORIOUS unparsed because I biffed it and forgot to return to it before stopping the clock.
Forgot to say I associate 'bate' meaning a fit of petulance or temper with school slang from a bygone era. Almost certainly used by Bunter and his chums.


5 months ago


5 months ago

Old Quelchy


5 months ago

FOI: CAMEL the L/H side all falling into place with the two anagrams 16 and 19ac unravelled with a few checking letters, then slowing for the R/H side with the SE corner the last to fall.


NHO of BATE for ‘bad temper’ so 2dn was BIFD.

COD to 22ac with 14dn running it close.
I forgot yesterday was Monday so this was the start of my crosswording week. Quite a challenge. Started fast but then slowed mightily to the end, especially VIRAGO where shrewish turns out to mean exactly the opposite of what I thought — lack of Shakespeare holding me up yet again, although that is how I got to the answer eventually. Thoroughly misdirected on REAR LIGHT where I had 'bring up' as a reversal instruction, which in turn gave me FORLORN and so correcting debase to DEBUNK. DAMNABLE came once I got pen and paper out and ABATED was tough and went in last. I have at least heard people say 'bate' in my lifetime, so perhaps not as dated as kerb drill, which I still seem to be grumpy about! NOTORIOUS wasn't parsed as I couldn't make the jump from 'notus' to 'not us'. Crept in under 20.
A bit of a sluggish start with FOI being CAMEL but then made good progress. My main hold ups were FRAGRANCE, where I was looking for flowers rather than smells and LOI DAMNABLE, where for some reason I decided that mother would be DAME rather than DAM which made the parsing tricky until the penny dropped.
Finished in 8.46 with CoD to NOTORIOUS.
Thanks to Chris
Another steady but slowish day for me. Like Plett11 I started out looking for flowers and failed, so had to work back once I had got a toehold. i liked NOTORIOUS where the answer was biffable but the parsing was fun.


Time to Complete: DNF

Clues Answered Correctly without aids: 15

Clues Answered with Aids (3 lives): 22a, 7d, 14d

Clues Unanswered: 13a, 21a, 2d, 6d, 11d,

Wrong Answers: 14d

Total Correctly Answered (incl. aids): 18/24

Aids Used: Chambers

On this Stars Wars Day – May the 4th (be with you), I was hoping for a completion, but it was not to be. I found this one particularly tricky.

22a. NOTORIOUS – Just could not get this one. First life used.

7d. DAMNABLE – Another one I just could not work out, yet on seeing the answer I realise how the clue worked. Second life used.

14d. ONENESS – Even with an aid I got this one wrong. Bah!

6d. SECOND COUSIN – No matter how much I stared at this, nothing came to me. The clue didn’t really make much sense to me until I saw the breakdown here.

Let’s hope tomorrow is kinder.

FOI: 6A SADDO and then largely completed anticlockwise.

Thank you, chrisw91 and Orpheus
Steady till the last ...
...but really struggled to see my LOI 21A Suede, which pushed a comfortable sub-10 solve out to nearly 13 minutes. I think of chamois as kid leather, rather than suede, but faced with S-E-E there was no real alternative.

Very much liked the construction in 22A Notorious, my COD. Not seen Not us clued as Other people before; very clever.

Many thanks to Chris for the blog


May 4 2021, 08:28:11 UTC 5 months ago Edited:  May 4 2021, 08:32:59 UTC

I filled in the whole of the left hand side in double-quick time but this encouraged me to move into biffing mode which is always dangerous. This slowed me down and my thoughts of a super-fast time receded. I ended up just over target after a couple of necessary back-tracks. My LOsI were SUEDE and ABATED so I am in good company. My COD was NOTORIOUS. Good puzzle and blog. Thanks to both John M.
I enjoyed this so thanks setter and blogger. One thing I sometimes think is that it can take a while for a new word to get into a dictionary, but words or meanings which have become defunct or changed can survive and cause confusion, or maybe mischief, for crossword setters and solvers. The word today is 'bate' which the blogger assumed is British slang. It says so in my OED now but in my opinion it would never be used today ( I've never heard it in my best part of 7 decades) . I've heard it used to mean to goad. For the quickie I think we should avoid the overly obscure. Maybe it's just me1
Rather than an assumption, it only became 'apparent' to me when I looked it up in Collins for the blog.
I think the term for goad is bait.


5 months ago


5 months ago


5 months ago


5 months ago


May 4 2021, 08:45:14 UTC 5 months ago Edited:  May 4 2021, 08:45:44 UTC

Steady rather than stellar here; like others I hunted for flowers at 1ac, but on the other hand I had no delays for BATE or SUEDE. Main delay was not having my anagram hat on and so having to write out the anagrist for both SHORTCAKE and EXTORTIONATE.

FOI SECOND COUSIN, LOI EXTORTIONATE, COD SUEDE, time 10:53 for 1.8K and a Decent Day.

Many thanks Chris and Orpheus.

This grid with its four black squares where 1 across should be is aesthetically ugly. Let’s start a campaign for beautiful grids. This one looks like a game of battleships.

On the solving front, Another failure, could not see SUEDE, even after trawling the alphabet for both blanks. And there I was pleased that I had ‘EXAMINEE’ not ‘examiner’.

SADDO is an obscure word, seems like 90s slang rather BATE which as noted above seems from the Bunter Age “I say, Quelch is in a bit of a bate”.

Surely: I say, you fellows....



May 4 2021, 09:04:06 UTC 5 months ago

Thought I was on for another DNF for the sake of one clue, which happened to me yesterday with Java which I'd heard of, but could not bring to mind. Today's bugbear was suede. I dithered about examiner/examinee, and decided on examinee, which left me with s-e-e. An alphabet trawl gave me sieve and suede, but I could not see how either would fit. After deciding to record a DNF and doing the drying up after breakfast first before posting, I saw sued, the end of police, and found the connection between suede and kid, which I think is tenuous. Therefore it was the LOI. So a long solve — a short solve but with a very long break in it. Did not parse notorious, abate was the only word that vaguely fitted, and had to wait for the penny to drop about the rag in France, which I enjoyed; COD to that. Thought the relative would be some kind of son for a while, but finally saw reason with cousin. FOI saddo. Did not like this clue or answer. I don't often take issue with what the setter sets, but this did not chime with me for some personal reason I can't quite fathom. Otherwise, an intriguing puzzle which I mostly enjoyed. Thanks, Chris, and Orpheus. GW.
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