Quick Cryptic 1615 by Tracy

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
Nothing to scare the horses too much here. Inspired by Templarredux’s feat from my last blogging day, I have decided to try and do all QCs as ‘clean sweeps’, i.e. do all the clues strictly in order. It’s a fun twist which forces you to think harder about each clue (the acrosses, anyway). I would recommend it to anyone who has long since got the hang of the quickies. It does play havoc with your times, though.

I very nearly succeded today, foiled only by an inability to see 20ac. Clue of the day probably 23ac.


1 Dolt? One male celeb, I suspect (8)
IMBECILE – anagram (‘suspect’) of I + M + CELEB + I
5 Father and son, second to qualify (4)
PASS – PA + S + S
9 Hoodie in area next to recreation ground (5)
PARKA – PARK + A for area
10 Generally a game may be found in auction (2,1,4)
AS A RULE – RU inside SALE with A on the front
11 Part of domain name for hostelry (3)
INN – hidden word: domaIN Name
12 Performance of editor in broadcast about foremost of newspapers (9)
RENDITION – anagram (‘broadcast’) of EDITOR IN + N
13 First-class spinner following helpful hint (6)
15 Overlook smithy, first in town (6)
17 Have something to do with act? (4,1,4)
PLAY A PART – double definition
19 Presumably contains a quantity of money (3)
SUM – hidden word preSUMably
20 Course race official (7)
STARTER – double definition
21 Furious, judge on island (5)
22 Old writer ready to entertain new ideas? (4)
23 Wife moved out of Twin Peaks, dreadfully dangerous place (8)
SNAKEPIT – anagram (‘dreadfully’) of  TWIN PEAKS minus W

1 Popular photograph published (2,5)
2 Captain of industry in public house, working (5)
3 Psychics at vicar’s, only in disguise! (12)
CLAIRVOYANTS – anagram (‘in disguise’) of AT VICARS ONLY
4 Pick up knight after king (5)
6 Funny, a reflection (7)
7 Small aquatic bird in rear of vessel (5)
8 Exaggerate the advice of one who loves lots of butter? (3,2,2,5)
LAY IT ON THICK – cryptic definition
14 A host at last in position to calm down (7)
PLACATE – A + T inside PLACE
16 Agency worker set off in violent storm (7)
TEMPEST – TEMP + anagram (‘off’) of SET
17 Ring after annoying person gives one sauce (5)
18 Expert wearing a new protective garment (5)
APRON – PRO inside A + N
19 Onset of shower affected little monkey (5)

37 comments on “Quick Cryptic 1615 by Tracy”

  1. Anything under 20 min is fast for me and got home in 18 this morning with horses spared. Thanks Curarist and Tracy.
  2. Two different puzzles on the website today, 1614 in the Crossword Club and this one on the puzzle page (also 1614 now)! I found this one the easier of the two, all done in 16m which is the fastest for a while. Delighted to get 1a in #1614 but then thin pickings and was holding out for hints to explain the cryptic for 9a, 13d and 10a and to see if others had made the same mistake as me on 20a. Finished in a shade over 20 with a pink square for 20a – but that ranked me mid-table (23 of 43 as I type) so others suffered too. #1615 by comparison was a more relaxing solve until the last two in the SE where I was bamboozled by the clue for LOI 19d and just couldn’t work out what to do with the letters for 23a, even with the K in place! Nice to get a double helping hope we get a new puzzle on Monday.

    Edited at 2020-05-15 06:58 am (UTC)

  3. FOI was PASS. This felt easier than the last two days. I did try TIN at 19a but it only produced a brief hold-up.
    I took a while to get my last two: PESTO and STARTER but still managed to finish in 10:27.
    Fun puzzle. Agree COD to SNAKEPIT. David
  4. I solved Tracy’s puzzle in 8 minutes.

    Edited at 2020-05-18 08:39 am (UTC)

  5. Golly, how confusing! I’m going to save up 1614 for the weekend, since there still isn’t a weekend QC (please, Mr Puzzles Editor, please …).

    This was fun – not too hard but hard enough to make me fail on three acrosses at first pass (FORGET (couldn’t think of a synonym for “smithy”), IRATE (thought the judge would be a J) and SNAKEPIT (couldn’t immediately do it in my head and moved on)). All the downs went in consecutively and I then mopped up those three for a time of 1 Jack and a Very Good Day.

    Is a PARKA a “hoodie”? I thought hoodies were those sweatshirts with a hood, beloved of Rocky and then menacing youths. A Parka is one of those big coats with a hood, surely not the same thing. Anyway, easy enough.


    Many thanks Tracy and curarist.


  6. Having completed 1614, I came here to see that 1a was not what I expected. I averted my eyes and found Jack’s blog(thanks Jack) and then went off to do the 15×15. Icame back to this puzzle on the main Times website and found it a bit easier than Mara’s puzzle. 1a was obviously my FOI, but fortunately nothing else had registered from earlier. I worked my way through finishing with RENDITION in 6:50. Thanks Tracy and Curarist.
  7. I started well but then slowed down somewhat and ended up with almost 20 minutes on the clock.
    Maybe I should change my tactic of trying to solve each clue in order as I haven’t yet “got the hang of the quickies”…
    COD – well two if I may – to SNAKEPIT and CLAIRVOYANTS.
    Thanks to Tracy and Curarist – and to Jack for sorting out the muddle today!
  8. Done on Sunday. 12 mins, only held up by LOI starter, had steward in my head.

    COD snakepit.

    Also I echo the request for a Saturday quickie.

  9. I feel sorry for the Monday blogga! Poor old Don!
    The 1615 arrived right on time this morning and was annoying as I impetuously shoved in CLAIRVOYANCE at 3dn! This made my LOI 22ac STARTER somewhat tricky for awee while.

    FOI 1ac IMBECILE someone pressed the wrong button.

    COD the Ikean 23ac SNAKEPIT very glad the wife moved out!

    WOD TIPTOP which was TIP-TOP in my day.

    My time was 16.15 as well!


  10. I read the 1614 blog on Friday so knew what to expect after the mix-up. The anagrams dropped out quickly and I thought I was motoring (and I enjoyed the ride) but I was surprised to be a minute or so over target today. The SW was my undoing – I was too slow to see PLACATE, STARTER (like curarist), and, surprisingly, PESTO and TIPTOP which were simple when the key crossers emerged and the pennies dropped. A fair start to the week and a good blog. I hope the correct QCs are offered for the rest of the week. Thanks to Tracy and curarist. John M.

    Edited at 2020-05-18 08:55 am (UTC)

  11. This all went in very smoothly from top to bottom finishing with STARTER. A brief pause over the parsing of IMBECILE and RENDITION due to not initially seeing the anagrams were my main hold ups. An enjoyable solve but no real standouts for COD. Finished in 7.51.
    Thanks for the blog
  12. … after the heads-up on Friday, and a very pleasant 10 minute solve. Like several others, my LOI was 20A Starter, straightforward enough once you see it but very clever clue, misleading one with course and race together!

    Did anyone else wonder if the clue to 12A, with its “foremost of newspapers”, implied that The Times would be worked in there somewhere?

    Many thanks to Curarist for the blog, and I add my vote to the call for a Saturday Quickie!


  13. I didn’t look at this blog Friday when it appeared, and had forgotten the mix up when I started it this morning as usual. 14 minutes and within target range for a nice start to the week after some difficulties with the cryptics over the weekend. Thanks Tracy and Curarist.
  14. ….until I’d done the puzzle in the paper this morning. No problems, despite the OPEN SNAKEPIT at the bottom !

    TIME 3:49

  15. Avoided this blog too. Very encouraging puzzle from Tracy in the newspaper today which I zipped straight through.
    Liked LAY IT ON THICK.

    Thanks as ever. Feel there is hope!

  16. As the blog says, nothing to scare the horses today. Nothing to see here folks, move along now, ain’t you got no ’omes to go to?
    Thank you setter and blogger.
  17. Finished bang on 20mins, but that included a remembered Imbecile (oh, the irony) from a brief glance at the blog last Friday. Even so, it might have been a more comfortable sub-20, but for some reason Lay it on Thick wouldn’t come to mind without most of the checkers in place. I also didn’t spot the anagram at 12ac until late on. Overall though, a gentle enough start to the week. Invariant
  18. Solved this on paper today having taken care to avoid the blog up to now. Started well in the NW corner and progressed mainly in an anti-clockwise direction to the NE. No hold-ups with 20ac and 23ac but I couldn’t initially see 19dn and had to come back to it at the end.
    FOI – 1ac imbecile
    LOI – 19dn scamp
    COD – 23ac snakepit
  19. As usual, when I think I’m on for a sub 15 min finish, I invariably get stuck on something at the end. Today was no exception and I got hung up on 23ac and 19dn. In the end came in around 23 mins.

    Some nice clues overall although I might be the only person who doesn’t associate hoodie with parka. They’re quite different things in my mind.

    FOI – 9ac “Parka”
    LOI – 23ac “Snakepit”
    COD – 20ac “Starter”

    Thanks as usual.

  20. I’ve been doing old quick cryptic crosswords from 2014 to help pass the time. I recognise this one as i only did it a couple of days ago. Is the Times recycling it’s crosswords??
  21. A gentle and pleasant start to the week after the shock of trying and mainly failing with Saturday’s cryptic. Any how, we really enjoyed Tracy’s challenge and completed it in 10 mins – so a fast time for us.

    FOI: in print
    LOI: as a rule
    COD: amusing

    Thanks to Curarist for the blog.


  22. Straightforward enough puzzle, but I struggle with the parsing of 14d. I can’t see what “host” is doing there, presumably meant to insert the “a” but I don’t see how.
  23. It’s [A] (“a”) and T (“hosT at last”) inside PLACE (“in position”)
  24. LOI 8D ” exaggerate the advice of one who loves lots of butter? (3,2,2,5) “
    COD 23A ” wife moved out of Twin Peaks, dreadfully dangerous place (8) “
  25. This was my type of crossword. Nothing obvious at first, and I had to go down to the SE corner for my FOI (SUM). But then a steady solve, with few write-ins, but most answers coming to mind after a little thought, and never stuck on a particular clue. Completed with LOI (SCAMP) in around 40 minutes.
    Very enjoyable, thanks.

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