Quick Cryptic 1184 by Mara

I rather liked this, though it took me ages to get going. Fairly straightforward in the end, but I suspect it may take a few casualties. The reason I think it might be a bit stiff is that in several clues, standard crossword tropes that beginners rather depend on at first, are subverted or avoided. Best example is 3d. ‘Knight’ normally means K, or possibly N from the chess notation. Here, it’s being used as a verb, which I think is great, but it’s rather left field.

1 Slight breaks alarming (8)
MARGINAL – anagram (‘breaks’) of ALARMING
5 God snatching gold from writer (4)
THOR – I biffed this. writer is AUTHOR, take off AU for gold. Made more confusing because OR also means gold. Nice, though perhaps a bit postgraduate for the QC
8 Leaders in every Asian state evidently drowsy, relaxed (5)
EASED – initial letters of Every Asian State Evidently Drowsy
9 Parents, those kept under wraps? (7)
MUMMIES – double definition
11 Excitement of member in cage, very amusing (3-8)
RIB-TICKLING – RIB is ‘member in cage’, TICKLING is excitement
13 Contract put away, attempt to steal it (6)
TREATY – put away is EAT, inside TRY. Spent a long time trying to insert the word IT into something.
14 Apartment in Odense gutted recently (2,4)
OF LATE – Apartment is FLAT, Odense ‘gutted’ is OE
17 Be wary of huffing and puffing, staggering (4-7)
MIND-BLOWING – Be wary of is MIND,  huffing and puffing is BLOWING
20 Excess strife, worried about university (7)
SURFEIT – anagram (‘worried’) of STRIFE with U inside
21 Some pin, or this point (5)
NORTH – Hidden word: piN OR THis
22 Eat less — stop before end of dessert! (4)
DIET – DIE is stop, end of dessert is T
23 Antipodean capital turning Serbian, alongside capital in Belgrade (8)
BRISBANE – anagram (‘turning’) of SERBIAN with B.

1 Under yours truly, every king initially submissive (4)
MEEK – ME (yours truly) + E + K
2 Book substitute (7)
RESERVE – double definition
3 Popular knight, one on list for sure (11)
INDUBITABLE – IN (popular) + DUB (knight, verb!) + I + TABLE (list). Nice
4 Revolting part, I’m hollow (6)
ARMPIT – anagram (‘revolting’) of PART I’M
6 Island nation — it is secured by endless locks (5)
HAITI – IT inside HAI(r) (‘endless locks’)
7 Useless designer stepped down (8)
RESIGNED – anagram (‘useless’) of DESIGNER. Is ‘useless’ an anagrind too far…?
10 Wandering free, man and kids become buddies (4,7)
MAKE FRIENDS – anagram (‘wandering’) of FREE MAN KIDS. Nice surface.
12 Listed site, heading off, is in sea (8)
ITEMISED – (s)ITE + IS inside MED
15 Regalia manufactured for African country (7)
ALGERIA – anagram (‘manufactured’) of REGALIA
16 River mammal going after river rat! (6)
ROTTER – River mammal is OTTER, going after R for river.
18 Feature about right for old language (5)
NORSE – NOSE outside R
19 Trainer possibly has month to improve, all concluding (4)
SHOE – last letters of haS montH tO improvE

17 comments on “Quick Cryptic 1184 by Mara”

  1. Home just under the wire in 10 minutes exactly with several clues not giving up their secrets without assistance from several checkers. I thought the MUMMIES clue was great, and it was my last one in. HAITI came up last Friday in the 15×15 which was helpful as it was mentioned in the blog that although it’s an island nation, it’s not the name of the island (that’s Hispaniola) which it shares with the Dominican Republic.
  2. There are no particularly obscure words today but it took me 43 minutes instead of my target 20 minutes. This was mainly because I missed a number of anagram indicators and one or two of the clue constructions were a little more complex than usual. Nonetheless I have no excuses really.
  3. I think you’ve got it right about a couple of clues being trickier. INDUBITABLE and MUMMIES were both RIB-TICKLING. 5:50.
  4. Found that really tough (maybe a 5am start didn’t help) – in fact a DNF because I couldn’t get past Canberra for the Antipodean capital (and when I saw Brisbane on the blog I though “That’s not a capital city!”- thanks to Wiki, I now know that Australia has 8 capital cities for Pete’s sake!).

    Also took ages and ages to get MARGINAL (durr), RESERVE and TREATY. Not my finest day and well beaten by Mara. I liked THOR though. Bring on the weekend!


  5. Finished in 15 minutes with LOI MARGINAL which I worked out was an anagram but still needed all the checkers. Even though I am not a seasoned solver 3d INDUBITABLE was not a problem for me and is my COD. Thanks curarist and Mara.
  6. My thinking cap nearly caught fire on this one! Got there, though, if slightly singed, in 35 minutes. LIO was 1 across where, goodness knows why, I was determined to create a synonym for “alarming ” or for “snub”. I, too, kept trying to put “it” in the middle of 13 across and I also spent a few minutes reversing and scooping out the middle of various elements of 4 down! Some super clues here, including 11 and 17 across, my especial favourites. Thank you so much, setter and blogger
  7. I thought my 36 mins was on the slow side but, having seen a few of the early comments, perhaps it’s not so bad. Getting 12d early on helped with the bottom half of the grid, but having a stab at Indomitable for 3d made the top half tricky. It was only when 11ac just had to be Rib Tickling that I finally saw what was going on. Quite a few contenders for CoD, but my vote goes to 14ac – a classic wrong end of the clue answer.

    Edited at 2018-09-21 10:36 am (UTC)

  8. Back on paper today, this took me about 21 minutes and LOI was Marginal, a very clever hidden (to me) anagram.
    After a few easy clues I realised this was quite tricky ; Mummies,Treaty and Armpit held me up. COD to 3d which I took quite a while to work out. David
  9. Very slow start plus a phone interruption but I gradually made progress. 15 mins in the end so my least unacceptable time of the week. I especially liked Indubitable, Rib-tickling and Mind-blowing. I must admit I biffed a few so there was a sound of pennies dropping when I got the parsing of Shoe. Many thanks to Mara and to curarist for an excellent blog. Indubitably, my COD was Thor. John M.
  10. Had to come here to parse my LOI: RIB-TICKLING. Much to be admired here and a definite step forward for the less experienced solver. Great surface in my COD: INDUBITABLE.

    Thanks as always to setter and blogger. 7’15”

  11. With 6d and 7d in place I biffed PASTIES(Pas are parents, you keep Ties with people, pasties are a wrap) at 9a which delayed me slightly, until I noticed ARMPITS had made it MASTIES. Definitely some subtle cluing in this puzzle. I didn’t see the parsing for RIB TICKLING until coming here. MEEK was my FOI and ITEMISED went in last. 11:00. Thanks Mara and Curarist.
  12. Really enjoyed this one. It was definitely more challenging I thought. As the blogger pointed out I was slowed by 5a) OR/gold; 3d Knight / dub. Also very slow to unscramble the anagram in 4d. Total time was about 21mins but took a break in the middle for a phone call so solving time c.15 mins?
  13. This was slow going but my problems came in the SW and in particular with 12d and 13a. With 12 I got the ‘mised’ bit but spent an age trying to work out synonyms of site which I could Knock the first letter off. Talk about being blind to what’s right in front of you. Once that fell TREATY resolved itself quickly. I also spent some time with INDOUBTABLE in but it didn’t feel right so revisited it.
    Completed in 20.42 with 11a unparsed.
    Thanks for the blog
  14. I made up a new word – INDEBATABLE
    Therefore a DNF which is disappointing as I found it very difficult and it took me over an hour! Thanks to both Mara and Blog.

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