QC 1185 by Teazel

This was medium difficulty for me, about 10 minutes, although I cannot be exact as I have just been all over the place the past couple of weeks with too much going on and not being able to find any time to sit down with a few minutes to myself. I haven’t even been able to do that many QCs and this is the first one I have looked at for days.

I don’t know about you, but for me the 15 x 15 is my therapy. It is my daily reassurance that all is right with the world. I can have any number of pressure situations going on, but if I can get some time to work happily through the 15 x 15 then somehow all the wrinkles of the universe are ironed out and serenity comes over me in the same way that it apparently does for people who contort themselves into painfully impossible shapes with yoga, or who grind themselves into the dust with gruelling road runs, or who fill the holes in their heads with multicoloured mantra stuffing. I know that if I can take on the 15 x 15 and finish it then nobody is going to be able to get to me for the rest of the day.

Well two weeks ago my serene solving bubble was punctured. On one or two days it took me a lot longer to finish than normal and overall I was struggling. It felt like I had lost the ‘knack’. Got the yips as the sportspeople like to say. I thought about giving up these silly games. What was the point?

But the phase passed, and last week normal service was resumed. I came to look upon the previous week’s endeavours as a learning experience. It hadn’t killed me; it had made me stronger. But it had definitely thrown my rhythm out and made me dispense with the QCs for the time being.

Anyway, tackling this entertaining offering from Teazel has, I feel, got me back on track. Rebooted my software so to speak. Rehabilitated me.

Not too difficult with some straightforward double definitions and anagrams forming the main structure. FOI was the obvious 9A, and LOI was 8A as I had not met the concept in that form before (see blog comment below). COD is difficult to choose as I felt some of the surfaces were a little strained but probably 5A is the most economical and pleasing. Many thanks to Teazel.

Definitions are underlined and everything else is explained just as I see it as plainly as I can manage.

1 More short argument the following day (6)
MORROW – MOR (MORe ‘short’) + ROW (argument.
5 Tax cut (6)
EXCISE – double definition.
8 Single interval in plays to demonstrate skill (4,4,5)
SHOW ONES PACES – ONE SPACE (single interval) inside SHOWS (plays). I don’t think I had met the exact phrase before but I had obviously heard of ‘putting someone through their paces’, and the cryptic leaves little room for doubt.
9 Out of custody without charge (4)
FREE – another double definition.
10 Replaced a grim, long-established flower (8)
MARIGOLD – anagram of A GRIM (‘replaced’) + OLD (long-established).
11 Scarf, new, taken by thief (6)
STOLEN – STOLE (scarf) + N (new).
13 Falsely said marine put down weapons (6)
DISARM – anagram of SAID (‘falsely’) + RM (Royal Marine)
15 Comfortable seat for such a critic? (8)
ARMCHAIR – another double definition.
17 You will scream (4)
YELL – YOU WILL contracts to YOU’LL. If you use the dialect form of YOU as in YE (although this is not indicated in the cryptic it is pretty standard to substitute YE for YOU in Crossword Land) then you get YE’LL.
19 Top technician reviewed cigarette substitute (8,5)
NICOTINE PATCH – straightforward anagram of TOP TECHNICIAN (‘reviewed’).
21 Guard southern way in (6)
SENTRY – S (southern) + ENTRY (way in).
22 Improvise to attend party (4,2)
MAKE DO – to improvise is to MAKE DO, and cryptically if you manage to get to a party you can be said to ‘MAKE’ the “DO’.
2 Different parent, not married (5)
OTHER – parent = MOTHER. Remove the M (‘not married’) and there you have it.
3 Poor bargain for untreated wood? (3,4)
RAW DEAL – RAW = untreated, DEAL is a type of wood.
4 Now from the bottom, finished first? (3)
WON – reverse NOW (‘from the bottom’ in this down clue) and you have WON!
5 Duck taking in a second year film (4,5)
EASY RIDER – EIDER (duck) ‘taking in’ A S YR (a second year) gives us this classic road movie.
6 Good to support family, sound as a bell (5)
CLANG – CLAN (family) ‘supported by’ G (good) making a sound as a bell [does].
7 Witch, perhaps, one dictating letters? (7)
SPELLER – a witch casts spells, so could cryptically be seen as a ‘SPELLER’, with the straight definition being someone who spells out the letters of a word when dictating.
10 Lying to get candy item changed (9)
MENDACITY – another straight anagram, CANDY ITEM ‘changed’.
12 So-called ant: call it eastern (7)
TERMITE – TERM (call) + IT + E (eastern) gives TERMITE, a ‘so-called’ ant. Termites are not ants, and evolutionarily are not even very closely related, although they do behave similarly and live in colonies and so on. Thus they could get called ants by people who can’t tell the difference.
14 Singer’s TV fun (7)
SKYLARK – SKY (a digital TV provider) + LARK (fun).
16 Add to committee foolish person who welcomes power (2-3)
CO-OPT – COOT (could be a foolish person as well as a type of bird) ‘welcoming’ P (power).
18 Regularly flout detectives, that’s clear (5)
LUCID – fLoUt ‘regularly’ gives LU. Add on CID (detectives) and the case is solved.
20 Wood used in pelmet (3)
ELM – hidden word: pELMet.

13 comments on “QC 1185 by Teazel”

  1. I don’t think I’ve come across SHOW ONE’S PACES, either, but as Don said, the related phrase was enough. MENDACITY was difficult to assemble in my head. NICOTINE PATCH–a nice anagram–was somehow easier, probably because of the enumeration and some well-placed checkers. TERMITES are in fact called ‘white ants’ in various parts of the world; so the ‘so-called’ is literally true. Come to think of it, if it weren’t true, this clue wouldn’t work. 5:54.

    Edited at 2018-09-24 07:11 am (UTC)

  2. I’m also more familiar with “put through one’s paces”, but it was clear enough from wordplay and enumeration. I didn’t find this puzzle easy, but just went 1 second over my target 10 minutes. Liked NICOTINE PATCH. MORROW went in first and 8a was my LOI. Thanks Teazel and Don.
  3. 10 minutes. Another here who didn’t know ‘show one’s paces’ but the answer came readily enough. It’s not in Brewer’s but I found it in a few on-line reference sources, sometimes as an alternative to ‘show one’s mettle’ which to me is very familiar.
  4. Me too. It added more than a minute to my time at the end. EASY RIDER took a while to come to mind too. STOLEN my COD. 7:19.
  5. Anvd now we get to the first of the slowcoaches….. not far off 4 on the Kevinometer. I thought I was motoring and then came across quite a lot of hold ups. Biffed Yell without parsing properly but, at least, having the Y checker gave me Skylark. I quite liked Raw deal but had to really think about Termite and Mendacity. Clang was a doh moment but led to my LOI as Show ones paces ( I needed don’s help to confirm the parsing because the answer didn’t feel right). All in all, quite a teaze. Thanks, Teazel and don and I hope to have a sharper brain tomorrow. John M.
  6. I agree totally with the blogger that solving the QC is calming! It puts me in a good mood for the rest of the day. Unless, of course, I CAN’T finish it, which is a total downer. Anyway, today’s puzzle was not, thankfully, one of the latter. I completed it in 30 minutes with LOI being 8 across which, like many here, I’ve never heard of. “Show one’s wares” would have fitted and been easier to clue so I wonder why that, or something similar, wasn’t chosen by the setter instead. Now I’ve written that, I feel utterly presumptuous as I know I couldn’t begin to set a QC! Anyway, it was a fun puzzle today. COD for me is 7 down, which made me chuckle. Thanks, setter and blogger.
  7. Nothing too tricky today but I spent a minute or two at the end triple checking the parsing of 8a (LOI) to confirm that I had the right answer. Enjoyed 3 and 14d and completed in 11.12.
    Thanks for the blog
  8. I am not complaining but I do think the QC is getting trickier. I have had six days in a row where I have been well outside my target 10 mins. Teazel’s offering took me 16:28. Biffed 8a SHOW ONES PACES and LOI was 14d SKYLARK. I found this a strange mix of write in clues like 4d and 20d and tricky anagrams as in 10d and 19a. Thanks astartedon for the blog.
  9. About my 30 min average, after being held up by SHOW ONES PACES (LOI). I had no problem with the phrase, just took me a long time to think of space for interval. Enjoyed SPELLER (COD). Enjoyable diversion.
  10. Like others, some easy clues but some I really struggled with – 8ac and6 6d. For some reason, I couldn’t see clan for family even though I was toying with clang.

    However, it was one of the few days when I could sit down and do it in one stretch. Took me around 35 mins, so I’m pretty happy with that.

  11. 11 minutes finishing with Show One’s Paces; I agree a rather odd phrase.Nothing too taxing otherwise. David
  12. Not easy but managed to finish it. 8a is a bit forced. I agree that the qc has been getting harder and I think the editors need to keep an eye on this otherwise new solvers will be put off. To some extent it’s probably already happened as you see few comments from inexperienced solvers.

Comments are closed.