Quick Crossword 504 by Teazel

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
Some nice images conjured up in the story-telling type clues at 23a and 7d, and that ever-popular crossword meal at 22a. Checked 20a afterwards in Chambers, as I’d always thought this was ‘amend’, but turns out they are pretty much interchangeable. 5d is back to a non-anaesthetic number, just to keep us on our toes! A further hint for new solvers is to look out for references to Greek characters, such as in 14d; common letters include pi, phi and chi.
Thank you to Teazel.

1 Broke back in no time at all: SPLIT SECOND
Broke = SPLIT, back = SECOND
8 Rest, with no top, in the grass: HOLIDAY
No = O, top = LID, inside grass = HAY
9 Perfect small-scale version: MODEL
Double definition
10 Understands hearing, for one, is being reasonable: SEES SENSE
Understands = SEES, hearing, for one = SENSE
12 Writer needs waste-paper basket back: NIB
Waste-paper basket = BIN, backwards
13 Actors in crowd scene that contribute to the total: EXTRAS
Double definition
15 Senior servant: what naughty things he saw!: BUTLER
Cryptic definition
17 Disease progressed rapidly, we are told: FLU
Homophone (we are told) of progressed rapidly = FLEW
18 Dodo, maybe, for Morecambe and Wise?: DOUBLE ACT
Do = ACT, hence Do do = DOUBLE ACT
20 Head of paper brings in people to make corrections: EMEND
Head of paper = ED, bringing in people = MEN
22 Dish to stir round – and round: RISOTTO
Anagram (round) of TO STIR, with round = O
23 Put on important hat for event in fete: DONKEY DERBY
Put on = DON, important = KEY, hat = DERBY

1 Ointment left – keep hiding it: SALVE
Keep = SAVE, including left = L
2 Servant’s dismal day deteriorating: LADY’S-MAID
Anagram (deteriorating) of DISMAL DAY
3 Deciding case is vexatious: TRYING
Double definition
4 Hotel manager protects tree: ELM
Hidden word
5 Number row featured in exam: ORDINAL
Row = DIN, in exam = ORAL
6 Careful thought suggests re-enslavement?: DELIBERATION
Punning cryptic definition
7 Urge on those running around street in Derbyshire town: CHESTERFIELD
Urge on = CHEER, those running = FIELD, around street = ST
11 One levelling gun in America: EQUALISER
Double definition
14 Greek character near collapsing, one born in spring: TAUREAN
Greek character = TAU, anagram (collapsing) of NEAR
16 Rotten place, free: PUTRID
Place = PUT, free = RID
19 Time in play adjusted appropriately: APTLY
Time = T, in anagram (adjusted) of PLAY
21 Animal died, one with no name: DOE
Died = D, one with no name = O(n)E

23 comments on “Quick Crossword 504 by Teazel”

  1. We’re back to something a little trickier today, I thought, and this one took me 13 minutes. For anyone who didn’t know I might add that EXTRAS “that contribute to the total” is a cricketing term for runs scored by means other than the batsman hitting the ball.

    Ernie Wise turned up in the main puzzle on Tuesday and it became apparent that solvers outside the UK and possibly Australia / NZ may well never have heard of him or his partner.

  2. I haven’t done the quickie yet, so trying not to look at the answers here, but I have one unparsed for the 15 x 15, so was looking for today’s blog. Has anyone seen it?
    1. Don’t worry, I have parsed it myself now. I was struggling with understanding 14d, but it the penny just dropped!!
  3. Excellent puzzle, thanks setter. Not easy but steady solve with too many good clues to pick a favourite. Last in 19d.
    1. COD 22a for me – as anyone who has made the dish can testify!

      One other thing – for 21d “one with no name” obviously yields OE. But isn’t “Doe” (as in John Doe, Jane Doe) a term for an anonymous person in the US?

  4. Up to about 2 weeks ago I was making good progress, but the last two weeks have seriously beaten me and a good number of others that started the quick puzzles. If the setters do not want to completely discourage beginners they might want to think about the level. I have noticed that those making comments are mostly people who complete in 15 minutes, whereas two or three months ago it was a group of starters. I suspect many have been turned off, as I am also fast approaching that point. A challenge is great but not everyday for two weeks, that isjust depressing. Sorry about the whine, but I am getting tired of moving only one way, backwards!!
    1. I don’t know whether it’s by design or just one of those things that statistics throws up but I certainly used to notice the phenomenon when I was starting out on the 15×15 years ago that a run of 2 weeks’ (say) easy puzzles was then followed by a similar period of absolute stinkers where I got precisely nowhere. This seems to be the case with the Quickie now too.
      I would suggest you just take it as a learning opportunity for the present, using this blog as a guide. Hopefully the tide will turn again in favour of the more straightforward puzzles soon. Nil desperandum.
    2. I have posted this in the Club Forum:
      I’m not sure if Times crossword management monitor comments in TftT, but in case not I thought I’d pass on some contributions with reference to QC 504 and the perceived level of difficulty over recent days or weeks. Perhaps you would care to respond directly in TftT, or here, in which case I shall pass your comments on.

      I’m out of the argument myself for the moment as I understand the need to push the level on occasions, but on the other hand I don’t want to see newbies giving up because they find the puzzle too challenging too often.


      Edited at 2016-02-12 02:09 pm (UTC)

    3. Completely agree, the past couple of weeks have been, in my opinion, much more difficult. I’m a newbie and thought I was making progress till a fortnight ago.
  5. Interesting comment about the level – a few weeks ago I was in a good run of finishing most days, but lately I’ve found it much harder.

    Having said that, I really enjoyed today, no biffing required (although I did have to check that emend was a word) and it was the first time I’ve finished in less than an hour.

    CoD for me was 18ac.

  6. Cracking solve. Really enjoyed 18ac (very neat), and 6dn (clever wordplay).
    I too have noticed a perceptible increase in difficulty recently but after floundering several times I am getting back into the groove again. On the plus side my performance on the 15×15 has improved noticeably.
  7. I needed a couple of goes at this. The NW corner was my problem.After session one I needed 1a,1d,2d, 3d and 8a. I was sure 1a ended with Record and World Record fitted -but didn’t quite work. Having seen Second (back) I thought of Milli Second (signs of solving despair). Anyway all done -under an hour just.
    I could not parse 8a so thank you blogger. And a recent train trip to Sheffield helped -good view of Chesterfield’s wonky spire from train. And I liked the Morecambe and Wise clue -took a while to see it. David
  8. Yes, don’t know if Jane Doe ever appeared with Julie Andrews, and both crossed my mind, but I suppose the cryptic = one minus ‘n’ is where we turn our crossword thoughts. I also have imagined the puzzles getting harder, though I can’t say how you measure this, timing isn’t all, freshness feeling god luck etc all play a part. A small idea, the level should perhaps stay constant, so learners can keep learning and improvers can keep improving. Is this sensible??
  9. As an old newbie, I thought puzzle 504 was an excellent challenge and enjoyable (as one or two commentators mentioned). All the clues seemed clear with hindsight and the answers did not contain exotic plants or antelopes (which I find a bit contrived).
    I have got better at the QC by daily practice and reading this blog.I find it more satisfying and enjoyable to have a testing puzzle and I don’t mind being defeated from time to time.
    I now try the 15×15 occasionally and am getting better very slowly (got about 4 clues today).For someone starting out, there will be good and bad days.
  10. It can be problematic for solvers who’ve been at it a long time to judge the degree of difficulty except by their own experience of a particular puzzle. And that’s completely subjective. This one took me half the time of yesterday’s, but that may just have been because I was on blog duty then. The previous crossword editor, Richard Browne, said that after years on the job he was usually completely unable to gauge the level of difficulty. I’m glad Jack raised this with the powers-that-be. They do read the General comments on the Forum, and everyone wants to give the newer solvers the friendliest welcome.
  11. I think Teazel is my favourite setter but today he defeated me. I had an unparsed edits in for 20a and therefore couldn’t make 14d or 21d work – although I’m not sure I’d I’ve got 14 even with the correct checkers. COD 18a
    On the subject of levels it has definitely been tougher for the last couple of weeks but I don’t mind that as a rule as it’s a good way to learn. However the odd slightly easier one wouldn’t go amiss from time to time.
  12. Been doing these for a while now and have moved from getting two or three clues to almost always finishing although with very variable times and sometimes going away and coming back later. I thought this one was fairly standard in difficulty although I had no idea where the dodo came in to it in 18 across. That’s why this blog is so helpful. I almost always learn something. Sallykin
  13. Took a little longer today but stumped finally by 14down. Who was Taurean? Apart from not being a Greek scholar, I found 504 just a little harder than usual, but rewarding. John
    1. Tau is a letter in Greek alphabet and Taurus is a zodiacal sign important in late April – late May do people born under that sign are taurean. No, I had to look that up too!!
  14. Thanks Andrew. I knew the taurus bit but not tau. I shall have to get to grips with the Greek alphabet! John
  15. No Valentine’s Day date, so I solved this in 47 mins. Was looking like a DNF but somehow hit some inspiration, and finished the last 5 or so in as many minutes. Good puzzle. 2 or 3 clues not fully parsed.

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