Championship qualifier 2

Solving time 8:31

I made heavy weather of some parts of this, having to write out letters for the anagram at 10A. But there are other answers like OBLATE, ACCIDIE and INDRA where I may have got the time back. Like the first qualifier, I think it’s harder than these puzzles have often been in the past (especially going back to the initial qualifying puzzle in old-style Times champs, which was often very easy). From the point of view of preparing people for Cheltenham, this is perfectly reasonable, but I wonder whether rather easier qualifiers would encourage more people to have a go.

1 HO(THOU)SE – nice &lit.
5 O.B.,LATE – here’s the detail on what type of monk
10 MISS OTIS REGRETS – (goriest mistress)* – a song by Cole Porter
13 BIRD’S EYE – (reside by)*
18 INDRA – hidden in fIND Rain – a god of weather and war
23 SIDECAR – a cocktail
1 HO(MI=I’m<=)LY
6 BUGLOSS – a puzzlingly named plant. “bugloss” turns out to have nothing to do with bugs, meaning “ox-tongued” – and it turns out that “bewgloss” is the right pronunciation. Check out “bugle” for another ox-based word.
8 EASTERL(i,l)Y – whether a wind from the east is necessarily cold seems debatable. An easterly in British winter would be, blowing across the North Sea and possibly chilly bits of Russia. But those chilly bits of Russia can be very warm in the summer …
14 E,N.C.O.,RING
16 ALIGNMENT = A,”line meant”
17 K,IS,SABLE – jet = black = sable (heraldic colour)
19 A/C,CID,i.e. – an old word for laziness
21 ENTICE = (indece(n)t)*
22 SAWYER – 2 meanings, though the ‘carpenter’ one seems iffy if you think too hard, as a sawyer just cuts up wood rather than making stuff out of it. A bit like calling a gold-miner a jeweller …

4 comments on “Championship qualifier 2”

  1. Oh, looks as though I have been doing a different crossword – have just finished the daily no.23579, which took me 9 minutes 40 seconds. I had better not say any more about it in case it turns out to be tomorrow’s crossword as well, or something (dear old Times crossword club site)

    Thanks for showing me how to get to this site, Peter!

    1. There’ll be two postings today, Hilary – this one about the champs qualifier from last week (as the closing date was yesterday), and one about 23,579 which should be up later.
  2. I thought this was a lot easier than the first qualifier, but I should have been much faster than my 9:43, taking an unbelievable amount of time over MISS OTIS REGRETS, which I should have got immediately, and then (having been exhausted by that) making heavy weather of SWIPE, the last answer to go in.
  3. The first qualifier was an unmitigated disaster. This was a bit better, but still took 21:28 which I didn’t think was worth frittering away the entry fee on. I really don’t know why I was so slow: there were a few things I didn’t know (Miss Otis, BUGLOSS, ‘buss’ = ‘kiss’, ACCIDIE) but not enough to slow me down that much.

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