Quick Cryptic 1244 by Kenny

Very much a puzzzle of two halves for me – write-ins on the East side, and more tricky on the West. None of it helped by the slightly tricky grid design which means you don’t get many initial letters as checkers. 9min 30.

7 Artist seized by girl in combat (6)
KARATE – artist is RA (Royal Academy), inside KATE
8 Some sent back Melchizedek, overenthusiastically summoned (6)
EVOKED – reverse hidden word MelchizeDEK OVErenthusiastically
9 Cold, boy dressed (4)
10 ABC a kid learned initially, awfully relaxed (4-4)
LAID-BACK – anagram (‘awfully’) of ABC A KID + L for learner
11 Lots of churchgoers: capital fellows! (8)
13 Account in Financial Times is the truth (4)
FACT – AC (account) inside FT
15 Girl having wager with husband (4)
16 Appreciating commercial, note piece of jewellery (8)
ADMIRING – AD + MI (do re mi etc) + RING
18 Early 17th century banjo ace played (8)
JACOBEAN – anagram (‘played’) of BANJO ACE
20 Something in the Cherry Orchard: Turgenev, oddly (4)
TREE – alternate (odd) letters of TuRgEnEv
21 One hunted for somewhere to get stone (6)
QUARRY – double definition
22 Not far from St Malo resort (6)
ALMOST – anagram (‘resort’) of ST MALO

1 Closely follow The Three Blind Mice scandal? (8)
TAILGATE – whimsical definition. Thanks to Richard Nixon, ‘gate’ is irritatingly added to words to denote ‘scandal involving..’ as you all know.
2 Lunchtime snack to get on publicity platform (8,5)
SANDWICH BOARD – ‘Lunchtime snack’ is sandwich, ‘get on’ is board
3 The law, strangely, that can make you rich (6)
WEALTH – anagram (‘strangely’) of THE LAW
4 Negligent on subject of young girl? (6)
5 More to benefit after reforms: none too soon! (3,6,4)
NOT BEFORE TIME – anagram (‘after reforms’) of MORE TO BENEFIT
6 Posh car seen in commercial (4)
MERC – hidden word comMERCial
12 Close finishes in the Medallion Shield (3)
END – last letters of thE medallioN shielD
14 Tories with less than intelligent contract (8)
16 Rare creature? Yes, you can say that again! (3-3)
AYE-AYE – nocturnal Madagascan lemur-type thing
17 When do many set out for work? (6)
MONDAY – anagram (‘set out for work’) of DO MANY. Also an &lit of sorts.
19 Neighbour having an objection (4)
ABUT – A + But

30 comments on “Quick Cryptic 1244 by Kenny”

  1. I completed the grid, all but 3 clues just within my target 10 minutes but the remainder took me as long again – longer in fact, as I stopped the clock on 21 minutes.

    The problem answers in order of eventually solving them, were MONDAY, CONDENSE and KARATE. Admittedly I should have realised the anagram at 17ac sooner but at 14dn my excuse was thinking that ‘Tories’ was clueing CONS so I was looking for a word to fit CONSE?S? and my search was fruitless as there isn’t one. I’m still of a mind that ‘Tory’ in the clue would be a better fit for CON in the answer.

    The RA in 7a was given but the rest of it was going to be a random girl and as I hadn’t been able to biff the answer, I needed an alphabet trawl to arrive at KARATE.

    I had thought that Kenny was a brand new setter but on checking my records I see that he contributed once before in March this year.

    Edited at 2018-12-14 08:27 am (UTC)

  2. Similar experience. All done under 10 save 7ac. Not sure whether I was looking for an artist or a synonym for combat. Finally fell into place at 12.47. Liked TAILGATE.
  3. With only three left after four minutes I thought I was on for a PB, but 7a, 1d and 14d took a further nine minutes to figure out. I agree with Jack on Tories, but perhaps I was just being dense.

    Thanks for the blog.

  4. Similar experience to others: all but three after 12 minutes. I was left with Tailgate, Karate and finally Condense. I went for breakfast with one left but my total solving time went well over 20 minutes.
    I thought Tailgate very good once I’d got it. Karate did not directly suggest combat. And I thought Tories =Cons.
    Contract has a number of meanings which added to the difficulty. David
  5. I was spot on my target of 30 minutes, but this was not my favourite type of puzzle, The clues were either very easy or very hard – I prefer to have all the clues about average difficulty.
    I also think this type of grid without a 1 across shoud not be used for a QC, I dreaded them when I was beginning and I don’t think they are used in the 15×15.
  6. Interestingly, SANDWICH BOARD was also 2d in today’s Times concise crossword – Is this type of cross-format solution a ‘thing’, or just coincidence?
    1. I noticed that too. I’ve no idea if its just coincidence, but the repetition of words across different crosswords over a short period of time does seem. to me, to happen more frequently than I would expect. Are compilers playing a game as to who can come up with the best clue, I wonder? Or is this just the Baader-Meinhoff effect discussed here recently?
  7. I liked tailgate but not a fan of 14d – as others seem to have done I had Tories as Cons. Made a mistake on 7a – which was my LOI and I was getting fed up and thought damage was a good enough answer (obviously not!). 18mins but I guess really it was DNF 🙂
  8. LOsI condense and karate – the common theme, it seems. My second relatively quick time this week – 7:40. Thanks for the lovely description of 16dn – all we needed to know and no more!
  9. similar to many where 7a and 14d stumped for a little while.
    I hate random girl names too and 7a required an alphabet trawl and I was just dense trying to work out another word for less than intelligent!
    after about a year of trying to complete these crosswords, the type of clue in 17d and PITMAN a few days ago gives a lot of pleasure. I appreciate it’s a anagram really, but I just like where the whole clue is the definition. perhaps on reflection this isn’t the best example!
    COD: 17d
    LOI: 14d
    thanks to blogger, setter and all who contribute
    p.s. about 30 mins!
  10. ….and NOT BEFORE TIME, I suspect some of you are saying.

    FOI CLAD, but was unable to get going in the NW quadrant, so quickly moved on.

    Same view as others on “Tories”, and why is the redundant word “lunchtime” in 2D ? A bacon sandwich is definitely for breakfast !

    COD TAILGATE, closely followed by MONDAY.

    I was another who had to alpha-trawl KARATE, but LOI was PARISHES which I simply failed to see.

    TIME 6:08, so only just sub-Kevin. I’ll hopefully get back into gear on Monday.

  11. Tough end to the week. Defeated by 17d, so I threw in MENIAL knowing it couldn’t be right but after battling with EVOKED – I wanted it to start EMOS – “some sent back” even though it looked like a hidden – wondered Melchizdek was known to all by me was called Ed. Not convinced that EMOSED was a word. Finally got there – the reverse did me in – and before that with KARATE I was keen to get over the line. So, ended what had been a good week both slowly and incorrectly. See you on Monday!
  12. no 1ac/dn so started in the SE corner and worked up. Went well until the NW corner which held me up. Never heard of an AYEAYE, so bifffed it. I assume “lots” is used in the meaning of ‘areas of churchgoers’ but struggled with that and still think it is a very poor definition. Thought ‘not far from’ = ‘ALMOST’ was pretty loose as well. FOI 22ac, LOI and COD TAILGATE (enjoyed that).
    1. “The parish” is used quite often to refer to the people as well as the area In my experience.

      Rhs reasonably easy , lhs DNF.


      1. I was also thrown by 11ac. I agree that ‘the parish’ may refer to a group of people (living in the parish) but surely the churchgoers are the parishioners. Am I being pedantic? L&I
  13. … as I too thought it was CONS and thus made CONDENSE my LOI by some distance. Loved TAILGATE, made me snort when I got it and so COD from me. The condensation delays resulted in 2.5 Kevins, which I can only give as an OK Day given how long it took to get the Last Man Standing.

    Thanks Kenny and curarist.


  14. I join the majority in finishing on KARATE and CONDENSE. I also assumed Tories = CONS, which wasted time. Particularly liked TAILGATE and PARISHES. I also noticed the occurrence of our lunch table in the QC and Concise. 9:09. Thanks Kenny and Curarist.
  15. I’m with the curarist on this one. I completed the east side of the grid in no time at all but the west side delayed me well past my target 10 mins. My LOI was 11a PARISHES, parishioners I’ve heard of but parishes is unfamiliar as a meaning of churchgoers. My penultimate solve was 1d TAILGATE which I biffed and I still don’t understand the parsing. 16d AYE-AYE was also a guess but I suspect I will remember the rare animal going forward. Thanks for the workout Kenny and curarist for the blog. 13:54

    Judging from the crossword club leaderboard which currently puts me at a lowly 73 out of 98 for this solve, I can only assume that some of these words have come up before in crossword land.

    OK. Ive belatedly figured out tailgate….just remembered the rhyme about the farmer’s wife. Very clever.

    Edited at 2018-12-14 01:52 pm (UTC)

  16. … or a legitimate abbreviation? I have no problem with ‘Con’ meaning Tories. The Conservative Party is often referred to as the Tories. Check out any UK election result in the media and the Conservative Party candidate’s name will be followed by (Con), never by (Cons).

    Laughed out loud (no text-speak here) at ‘tailgate’.

    Thanks as always to setter and blogger.

    1. “the Conservative Party candidate’s name will be followed by (Con)”

      That’s because it’s an abbreviation for Conservative …

      1. As in ‘representing the Conservative Party’ with its plurality of membership, ergo Tories.

        Edited at 2018-12-14 02:17 pm (UTC)

  17. Like others, KARATE my LOI, needing an alphabet trawl to unearth, but nothing else caused me much difficulty. I liked MONDAY a lot but COD to the cheeky pun at iD – TAILGATE. 5:27.
  18. Very similar to others ,I got through most of it without problems but was left with 7a, 1d and 14d, where I was also looking for a word starting CONS. I thought 7a was a poor clue a) for the random girl’s name thing and b) for a pretty ropey definition. 1d was very clever and gets COD. Completed in 19.52, with no typos!
    Thanks for the blog
  19. Loving TAILGATE but a DNF due to CONDENSE. Yes, should have seen it but still not happy.
    At one point thought less than intelligent meant taking a letter off a word. Mensa! Ah hah! Because CONSENSA is a thing, right? It even sounds vaguely correct for contract in the agreement sense. Oh well…
  20. Busy last night so a Saturday morning solve. Started well, got tailgate quite quickly on the second pass, this being my COD, but then got stuck like everyone else on Karate and Condense, both of which I got in the end but which delayed my total time to 49 minutes. (I mention this to encourage other slower solvers). If the clue had only been about a Tory, but maybe it was trying to be topical …. .
  21. Good cryptic crossword, on the harder side but doable. Have to agree about ‘parishs’, not a word I know of. Surely ‘parishioners’?
    p.s. when do we get a quick cryptic on Saturdays?
  22. I’m a late starter at crossword puzzles, but pleased that I finished all in a short train journey but 7ac, 1dn and 14dn – exactly the ones that held up the pros, and with 14dn, it was also loooking for cons…. from Tories. I liked 19dn, and appreciated 14dn, albeit that I didn’t get it.

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