QC 1325 by Grumpy

The blog is here but I am not. I am away celebrating a wedding and extending it into a long weekend so I am solving and posting as quickly as possible in between the festivities and the sightseeing. Necessarily brief therefore.

Just under 10 minutes for me and I think I would have been quicker in normal circumstances, so relatively straightforward. Thanks to Grumpy for an entertaining cup of tea.

FOI should have been 1A. An obvious anagram but the letters wouldn’t whirl around fast enough in my mind first time around. As it was I think it was 9A. Then for some reason I didn’t write in 8A straight away even though the definition leapt out at me so in the end it was the LOI that I came back to and tapped in last thing.

The neatest clue to my mind was 7D, so that is my COD.

Not even a twitch on the NATRAF needle.

Definitions are underlined as usual and everything else is explained just as I see it in the simplest language I can manage.

1 Associates could make it fail-safe (10)
AFFILIATES – straight anagram (‘could make’) of IT FAIL SAFE.
8 Outlaw leader revealing career in financial sector (7)
BANKING – BAN (outlaw) + KING (leader).
9 Anger about loud weapon (5)
RIFLE – RILE (anger) ‘about’ F (loud (musical annotation)).
10 Young man from the right English valley (4)
DALE – DAL = LAD reversed (young man ‘from the right’) + E (English).
11 Orange for high-ranking bureaucrat (8)
MANDARIN – double definition.
13 The solver’s breakfast finally includes good dairy product (6)
YOGURT – YOUR (the solver’s) + T (breakfasT ‘finally’) ‘including’ G (good).
14 Coming back to dry fish (6)
TURBOT – TO (to) + BRUT (dry, as in Champagne) reversed (‘coming back’) = TURBOT.
17 Switch positions from time to time (2,3,3)
ON AND OFF – double definition, the potential positions of a switch being ‘ON’ and ‘OFF’.
19 Resident in Highlands cottage? (4)
SCOT – hidden word &lit: HighlandS COTtage, and of course the whole clue is a potential definition of a Scot.
21 Not standing for mendacity (5)
LYING – double definition.
22 Bore, extremely unpopular, stopped outside (7)
ENDURED – ENDED (stopped) ‘outside’ UR (the extremes of UnpopulaR).
23 Still like clones? (3,3,4)
ALL THE SAME – double definition.
2 Cricketer feeling funny (4,3)
FINE LEG – straight anagram of FEELING (‘funny’). For the non-cricketers ‘FINE LEG’ is a fielding position at a fine angle behind the batsman’s legs, as opposed to SQUARE LEG who stands square to the batsman. This is also where the ‘Square Leg Umpire’ stands to get a good view of any potential run out at the striker’s end.
3 Flower from the Emerald Isle? Not quite! (4)
IRIS – IRISh (from the Emerald Isle, but ‘not quite’ with the end chopped off).
4 Dressed and ready to drive? (2,4)
IN GEAR – double definition.
5 Exhausted solicitor accepts rough ride (5,3)
TIRED OUT – TOUT (solicitor) ‘accepting’ IRED (anagram of RIDE (‘rough’)).
6 Fly around Finland’s capital — until now (2,3)
SO FAR – SOAR (fly) ‘around’ F, the capital letter of Finland.
7 Restraint said to be put back (10)
REINSTATED – REIN (restraint) + STATED (said).
8 Pal completely ignoring lead singer in the Fifties (5,5)
BUDDY HOLLY – BUDDY (pal) + wHOLLY (completely, ignoring the ‘lead’).
12 Extravagant lord with a pig? That’s novel (8)
PRODIGAL – straight anagram of LORD A PIG (‘novel’).
15 Two beastly males providing stiff fabric (7)
BUCKRAM – BUCK + RAM (two ‘beastly’ males). I seem to remember some stage description in Shakespeare describing “two knaves in buckram suits”.
16 Father Edward’s first in wood once more (6)
AFRESH – FR (father) + E (Edward’s first) ‘in’ ASH (wood).
18 You may hear a tidier girl (5)
ANITA – homophone: A NEATER (a tidier).
20 Missing leader conceals date in Rome (4)
IDES – hIDES ‘mising its leader’ gives the famous Roman date (as in the Ides of March).

33 comments on “QC 1325 by Grumpy”

  1. Also a really slow start until I got a few and then it was pretty fast finishing in under 20 mins.

    Loi afresh, after seeing fr, not pop, pa, dad etc.

    Liked yoghurt, turbot, tired out, and cod buddy holly.

    I finished the 15×15 so its doable for qc ers.

    1. Hmmm…it’s a good crossword but I found it far from easy, giving up with two unsolved on the hour. Then again, given my QC performance today, who am I to judge!
      1. I’m just trying to give a heads up for those that don’t attempt it every day.

        I’ve finished it less than 10 times so when I do finish or come close I know its not a stinker.

  2. I wasted time trying to make something out of (associates) until reason prevailed. 5:50.
  3. A slow start, unable to solve the anagram at 1ac until I had some checkers. Steady progresss once I was under way and I completed the grid in 9 minutes. Not sure it proves anything about levels of difficulty but I’ve now had 6 in a row within my target 10 minutes.
  4. A steady solve completed in 11.12 with LOI 16d. I failed to parse TURBOT, where I got a bit hung up on dry being TT. I need to mentally the log brut/dry link as I imagine it’s one of those ones that comes up fairly regularly.
    Other than that no real issues and I particularly enjoyed 2d.
    Thanks for the blog
  5. I was slow to get going this morning. FOI was ALL THE SAME. Then progress was steady but there seemed to be lots of tricky clues. Is this a new setter? Good name for a Monday.
    A bottom up solve is often slower and so it was with me. I spent ages on the singer -Tommy,Billy,Barry,Perry -it didn’t help that DALE (tricky I thought) was one of my last. TO AND FRO at 17a did not help.
    Took a while to parse REINSTATED even though I was sure it was right and needed to correct ISIS to IRIS at 3d. 24:15 in the end.
    Some very good stuff in here; COD to FINE LEG. David
  6. I was well and truly stymied by 1a as I was trying to make an anagram of associates. I failed to notice that I had two “I” s in the checkers and that associates only has one. My last checker in was the F from FINE LEG (DNK) which eventually put me on the right track. I needed all the checkers for BUCKRAM and my LOI was 16d AFRESH. 11 mins.
  7. Disaster today. 23.41 slowest for ages and put ISIS for IRIS, convinced flower meant river. Just not on wavelength, perhaps.
  8. 2.5 Kevins, a Decent day, COD almost to TURBOT but instead to FINE LEG because the anagram was so neatly concealed, (well it fooled me, anyway).

    I had to have a post-solve hunt in dictionaries to understand why “bore” = ENDURED, so in case anyone else is as baffled as I was, it is “bore” as in the perfect tense of “to bear” (“he bore the delay patiently”). It’s clearly been obvious to everyone else so far but I didn’t get it!


  9. 26 minutes, but I spent the last 5 staring at my LOI 7D before seeing REINSTATED. Otherwise I thought it was an excellent puzzle with ALL THE SAME my COD.


  10. Having recently started a new teaching job (the hours of which are incompatible with finishing the QC and reading and contributing to the blog), the Easter holidays bring me both a welcome later start to my day and a chance to participate once again in this cruciverbalist’s delight! What joy! Very much enjoyed Grumpy’s puzzle today. My FOI, like the blogger’s, was 9 across but the rest followed pretty smoothly. DNK “fine leg” but it had to be the answer. CODs are 11 across and 18 down although there were lots of other chuckle-makers to choose from. Thanks so much, blogger and setter.
    1. Fellow teacher here. Nothing beats being able to go to a coffee shop and actually sit down and do the crossword. Love the holidays.
      1. Crumbs, me too! I Iove the job but oh! It’s especially pleasurable from a distance…
  11. Luckily, as a cricket fan, FINE LEG didn’t stump me ( but that’s the job of the wicket keeper anyway !)

    Apart from solving TURBOT backwards, no real difficulty here.

    TIME 3:20

  12. Lovely puzzle but quite testing, I thought. I had to jump around the grid like a demented flea before filling enough to benefit from checkers (essential for BUCKRAM in my case). LOI was ASSOCIATES. I liked TURBOT, AFRESH and BUDDY HOLLY. BIffed ENDURED – yes the past tense got me too! Many thanks to Grumpy and Don. 17.56 John M.
  13. I started off with BANKING and made laboured progress through the puzzle, although there’s nothing particularly impenetrable, looking back. AFFILIATES needed most of the crossers and I had to write the fodder down. That then gave me IRIS, for which I also considered ISIS, but then saw how it worked. ANITA took a while to surface and was my LOI. 11:17. Thanks Grumpy and Don.
  14. I didn’t find this easy at all. A lot of biffing – 14ac, 5dn, 16dn – for example, where I completely failed to see the parsing. Also 2dn where (like others) I didn’t spot the anagram.

    I don’t think I’d come across BRUT for dry (in a crossword, that is) before and I’d forgotten FR for father.

    Some nice clues, though – 11ac, 20dn – for example.

    Not a good start to the week, though

    Edited at 2019-04-08 10:54 am (UTC)

  15. Not on the same wavelength as the setter today, gave up after a bit and used the blog – for which, grateful thanks.


  16. 18 minutes for me but it turned out to be a DNF. I had biffed IN GOAL at 4d and forgot to go back to see why it wasn’t – Grrrr!! Such a relatively easy clue too.
    I thought at first that I was going to achieve a PB as FOI was 1a and then most of the rest just flowed in very quickly. I came to a sticking point with 8a and 8d and was slow to see the cricket clue. (I was going to say that they always stump me but that old chestnut has been used already today!) LOI was 18d as I had NEETA there (yes, I did know someone with that name) but completing 17a made me see sense.
    COD 11a
    Thanks to Grumpy for what should have been a great start to the week… except for my stupid error… and to Don for explaining a couple that I hadn’t completely parsed (7d and 8d). MM
  17. Took a long time to get going, and never really felt on Grumpy’s wavelength, so I wasn’t surprised this took just north of 30mins. I can’t recall having seen Grumpy before (Jacktt will have the stats to hand, no doubt), so perhaps it’s just a lack of familiarity, but I really struggled in places. I agree with those who have 7d, Reinstated, as CoD – a nice smile here when that one went in. Finally, I simply can’t let “striker’s end” in today’s blog pass without comment. In cricket you can have the bowler’s end or the batsman’s end, but there is no such beast as the striker’s end. Sorry. Invariant

    Edited at 2019-04-08 05:57 pm (UTC)

    1. Although, confusingly for non-cricketers, the batsman facing the bowling is ‘on strike’!
    2. Although, confusingly for non-cricketers, the batsman facing the bowling is ‘on strike’!
    3. Thanks for your comment, invariant_tft.

      I am always looking over my shoulder when writing the blog because I know how many people there are out there with more specialist knowledge than me (well, more or less everybody in fact). So I saw your comment and thought “Oh no, there you go again, tripping over your own big feet into another well of ignorance.”

      But having played cricket (badly) at school, and read about it quite a bit, and listened to TMS quite a lot, and watched it a lot while I was supposed to be studying for Law exams, (although admittedly most of this was over 30 years ago) I thought I was on fairly safe ground here. So I was dismayed to read your comment, and will naturally bow to your superior knowledge of the game.

      I did think I would have a quick squint at The Laws however, and picking a couple at random I found 21.2: “Although it is the primary responsibility of the striker’s end umpire…” and 27.3.1: “The wicket-keeper shall remain wholly behind the wicket at the striker’s end from the moment the ball comes into play…”, and even a definition in the Appendix: “A4.3 The striker’s end is the place where the striker stands to receive a delivery from the bowler…”.

      So it seems to be a legitimate term as far as I can tell, but no doubt I am missing something. Please could you explain? I am always grateful to learn (in fact it is one of the main reasons why I do crosswords).

  18. Hi, and thanks for taking the trouble to reply and doing the checking that I should have done.

    I can’t explain because I am still recovering from the shock of seeing strikers end in the Laws of the Game. No wonder batsmen are being run out by the bowler without warning.

    My tail is very much between my fine/long/short legs.


    1. And thanks for your reply. I can only say I breathed a huge sigh of relief to realise that for once I hadn’t put my foot in it!

      No doubt you have in mind the recent ‘Mankading’ (don’t you love that verb?) of Jos Buttler. An amazing controversy that only cricket could have conjured up because it turns on that nebulous concept of the ‘Spirit of the Game’. On that topic I am just about to start reading what looks like a very interesting book about Donald Trump and the way he plays golf (Commander in Cheat). I have often thought that in the modern age of sport we shouldn’t say “that’s not cricket” any more where the rules are blatantly broken but rather “that’s not golf” because of the way in which golfers do still very much stand up and call penalties against themselves. But apparently Trump plays golf just the way you might expect he would. Instead of ‘fake news’ think ‘fake scorecard’ and you’ll get the idea.

      Love your ‘leg’ pun which conjures up some very interesting images.

      Till next time.

  19. This newbie found it a med-hard offering. Was convinced 19A involved “croft”, which wasted much time. 1A, 7D and 14A caused head scratching; thought dry of wine was sec. Thanks Grumpy and blogger – explanations greatly appreciated.

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