Quick Cryptic 1794 by Tracy

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
Hmm, a bit chewy I thought. Some of the wordplay is a little stiff for the QC, and some of the answers seemed somewhat unsatisfying, lacking the thunderbolt of certainty that a good clue gives. 5dn probably my favourite. 8 and a bit minutes.


1 Mail written copy as an afterthought (10)
POSTSCRIPT – POST (mail) + SCRIPT (written copy)
7 Start assault (5)
ONSET – double definition
8 Huge insect on mother, beginning to move (7)
MAMMOTH – MA (mother) + M (beginning of ‘move’) + MOTH (insect)
10 Character cutting could be a gambler who cheats (9)
CARDSHARP – CARD (character) + SHARP (cutting). Not necessarily a cheat – interesting discussion of the etymology here
12 Friend knocking drink back (3)
PAL – PAL backwards
13 Keep check, receiving thanks (6)
RETAIN – REIN (check) with TA inside
15 Lid for jars, ornate (6)
FLORID – anagram (‘jars’) of LID FOR
16 Reserve needed by Celtic eleven (3)
ICE – hidden word: CeltIC Eleven
17 I’d recalled minister’s residence in catalogue (9)
DIRECTORY – DI (I’d backwards) + RECTORY
20 Fruit, mostly tropical, canned (7)
APRICOT – anagram (‘canned’) of TROPICAL minus the L. This stumped me for a bit. Never seen ‘canned’ as an anagrind before. (‘Anagrind’ = the word that tells you its an anagram. The words being mixed up are the ‘Anagrist’)
22 Fielder from Durham, ultimately, I assume (3-2)
MID-ON – M (last letter of Durham) + I + DON (assume). Jimmy Anderson, who is currently taking wickets for fun in Sri Lanka, often (mis)fields at mid-on. He’s from Burnely, not Durham, though.
23 Presumption about Republican’s indiscretion (10)
IMPRUDENCE – IMPUDENCE (presumption) with R for republican inside.
1 Difficult question from model, right? (5)
POSER – POSE (model) + R
2 Rested on side, if abnormally happy (9)
SATISFIED – SAT (rested) + anagram (‘abnormally’) of SIDE IF
3 Dance salsas and mambos — big ask, initially (5)
SAMBA – first letters of Salsas And Mambos Big Ask
4 Drink drop of malt after game (3)
RUM – RU (game – rugby union) + M (first letter of Malt). Clues in the style of ‘a little bit of [word]’ are seen occasionally, and usually mean the first letter. Not sure I’ve seen it in the QC
5 Right about source of sonic boom (7)
PROSPER – PROPER with S inside
6 Fold up show in area (10)
9 Leave, on bar, picture (7,3)
HOLIDAY INN – Fairly self-explanatory. ‘Picture’ means the 1942 film with Messrs Crosby and Astaire.
11 Cop — male cop in complex (9)
POLICEMAN – anagram (‘complex’) of MALE COP IN
14 Proposition made by Greek boy concerning end of term? (7)
THEOREM – THEO (greek boy) + RE + M (last letter of ‘term’)
18 Fee daughter considered (5)
19 Song from the past, covered by Scaffold, I enjoyed (5)
OLDIE – Hidden word ScaffOLD I Enjoyed
21 Caution one finally leaving vehicle (3)
CAR – CARE minus E (‘one finally’)

80 comments on “Quick Cryptic 1794 by Tracy”


    Error – typo APRICCT

    Thank you, curarist and Tracy.

  2. Not easy but I made things harder for myself by not having my glasses on at the start so I read 1a as MALL not MAIL!! Eyesight sorted out I made steady progress until the SW proved tricky and ICE, APRICOT, THEOREM and LOI IMPRUDENCE had to be eked out. HOLIDAY INN was the obvious answer to 9d but I had no idea how it related to the definition – I hadn’t considered the possibility of a random old film, so it went in with a shrug. Finished in 10.43.
    Thanks to curarist
  3. Only one on the first pass then just 5 downs and only 9 by 10m. Then the wavelength was found and I was all done in 17m. I’ve failed to get Theo from Greek before and had to write it out on paper to see THEOREM and then despite clear clueing making the end the easy bit somehow managed to type ‘theorum’ in the grid, so the week ends with a pink square.

    Edited at 2021-01-22 09:32 am (UTC)

  4. Is it me or has this been a particularly tough week? DNF again, 3rd or 4th this week, and abig DNF.
  5. Wasn’t on Tracy’s wavelength for this, even failing to see ICE as the hidden at first pass. IMPRUDENCE needed all the checkers. FOI MAMMOTH, LOI HOLIDAY INN. COD to APRICOT. 6:38.
  6. 8 minutes. The inclusion of HOLIDAY INN defined with reference to the film rather than the hotel chain will do little to allay the fears of those who complain that Times crosswords are stuck in the past. It doesn’t bother me, but then I’m an oldie and I like being reminded of stuff from a bygone era. The film turns up on TV occasionally though it’s largely forgotten other than for its score by Irving Berlin which introduced to the world the songs ‘White Christmas’, ‘Easter Parade’ and ‘Happy Holiday’ amongst others. The first two became title songs in their own right later, in films shot in glorious technicolour unlike ‘Holiday Inn’ which was in black and white.
  7. I don’t suppose it matters, as I still got to the right answer, but I parsed ‘made by Greek’ in THEOREM as part of the main definition – it is a Greek word after all – leaving just ‘boy’ to define THEO.


  8. Date: Fri, 22 Jan 21

    FOI: 3d SAMBA

    Time to Complete: DNF

    Clues Answered without aids: 5 (12a, 1d, 3s, 11d, 19d)

    Clues Answered with Aids (3 lives): 1a, 17a, 2d

    Clues Unanswered: 16

    Aids Used: Chambers

    Total Answered: 8/24

    What a week! Started off bad. Ended badly. Yesterday was my best attempt with a completion but classed as a DNF due to an incorrect answer). Today’s puzzle was a tough one for me. I quickly got my FOI, but then nothing more for another ten minutes. I resorted to my first aid early on to try and give me a bit of a boosted, but not much came of it.

    1. You and me both – re this week. This QC had some unusual indicators, such as ‘needed’ for a hidden, ‘jars’ as an anagrind – I’m sure there was another but I can’t remember it.

      Also struggled with a couple of stretchy definitions – eg ‘bar’ for ‘inn’. Surely, inns contain bars, they’re not synonyms – no doubt someone will prove me wrong with Collins, etc!!!!

      Definitely chewy. I’m trying not to get too down hearted. Next week will be better. 🤞

  9. IMPRUDENCE and CONCERTINA remained out of reach.

    HOLIDAY INN makes no sense to me. How on earth can a 1942 film be referenced rather than the ubiquitous hotel chain.
    Also failed with ICE as the “hidden” indicator of “needed by” still makes no sense. An unsatisfactory puzzle for me, I don’t mind tough clues, but these two didn’t lead to the usual forehead pounding when I read the blog, just head scratching.


    Edited at 2021-01-22 09:53 am (UTC)

    1. It’s a noun, not a verb, isn’t it? All usual sources have it as a noun, anyway. Totally agree with you about the film!
    2. HOLIDAY INN as hotel chain is a trade name so technically not allowed, though that never bothers setters when it suits them. I agree it might have been better to use it in this case as the film is pretty obscure to anyone under about 70.
      1. I don’t think age necessarily comes into it. I am a decade under 70 and not exactly a film buff, but it gave me no problem whatsoever. In my opinion it is still quite well known for various reasons. It was prominent in the news a few years ago after Theresa May cited it as her favourite Christmas film, which prompted controversy due to the black and white minstrels scene it features – another thing it is well known for. Also, “Which movie did the song ‘White Christmas’ first appear in?” is a common gotcha quiz question.


    3. The idea is that the letters ICE are needed to spell CELTIC ELEVEN.

      I think that’s perfectly fair, but requires a little more thought than more common hidden word indicators.

  10. Well, the quickest of the week for me but still a minute over target. Lots of answers slipped in easily but I had trouble with CONCERTINA and IMPRUDENCE (both good clues, though). Lots of biffs followed by superficial parsing along the way. I only got my LOI HOLIDAY INN because I couldn’t think of any other 3-letter word with N in the middle that came close to fitting but I think it is a poor clue (joining ICE and ONSET). Still, thanks to Tracy for a more enjoyable start to Friday and to Curarist for his blog ( which I will now check to see if my parsing stands up). Roll on next week for a few more actual QC puzzles. John M.

    Edited at 2021-01-22 09:52 am (UTC)

  11. Re CARDSHARP – a recent decision of the UK Supreme Court (Ivey v Genting Casinos (2017)) has an interesting analysis of the differences between (a) legitimately gaining an advantage, (b) cheating, and (c) dishonesty. Mr Ivey (a professional gambler) and his sidekick persuaded Crockfords to arrange the cards in the shoe in a particular orientation, knowing that there was a tiny printing difference along the long edges and getting the croupier unknowingly to position all the high cards with one long edge showing and all the other cards with the other edge. He won £7.7m over two days and Crockfords refused to pay. The Supreme Court held that what he had done was cheating, so Crockfords did not have to pay, but that cheating did not necessarily involve dishonesty. Sometimes acts of deception are all part of the game – eg a misleading discard in bridge, or pretending to be bad at poker in order to make opponents take risks – where they cross the invisible lines into cheating or dishonesty is impossible to define.

    Anyway, the puzzle.

    Curarist absolutely nailed it in the blog, for me: “somewhat unsatisfying, lacking the thunderbolt of certainty that a good clue gives”. Never seen “needed” (or is it “needed by”?) as an indicator for a hidden word (16ac) and still not sure how that works; didn’t know which end of tropical to remove; had no idea about the ancient film (ye Gods).

    FOI POSTSCRIPT, LOI CONCERTINA, COD anything except HOLIDAY INN which gets a GR from me, time (in the absence of Kevin) plett11 + 1 second (!) for a Pretty Good Day.

    Thanks curarist and Tracy.


    Edited at 2021-01-22 09:48 am (UTC)

  12. 7.17, with a minute spent mulling over 9dn. Nho the film (Bing who? 🙂 .. but what else could it be?

    Definitely these QCs seem to be getting harder to me. Jackkt keeps statistics, wd be interesting to know if they show that.
    Sometimes it feels a bit like a university don lecturing to a junior school class .. try as (s)he might, just not quite on the same wavelength.

    1. Jerry, I don’t keep statistics on levels of difficulty as such, only of my own solving times, and once a year based on these I produce a table of very dubious statistical value which purports to rate the level of difficulty of individual setters in a league table. The next table is due in June. Somebody else may have access to more objective stats.

      In view of the concerns expressed here about the difficulty of puzzles over the past couple of weeks I have been reporting my times as usual, but otherwise refraining from comment on the subject. But since it has come up, I’m afraid I have to report that I had a clear week last week, achieving my target (10 minutes, including parsing) every day. And this week I have missed my target only once, with Oink’s puzzle on Tuesday which stretched me to 15. So I’m generally finding them easier at the moment than last November and early December.

      1. My target is 5 minutes and this week I’ve recorded 05:20, 06:01, 05:47, 05:41, 04:40.

        So I wouldn’t disagree with anyone saying it’s been a tough week but I found today’s the most straightforward.

    2. As we know, wavelength counts for a lot. Personally, I haven’t found this week any more difficult than others and my times have been pretty typical, averaging around the 12 minute mark. Strangely, the one that gave people most trouble – Oink on Tuesday – was my best time of the week! Not sure what what says 😉 But onwards and upwards, everyone – here’s to some cracking puzzles and great times for all next week!
  13. I agree with curarist. I think the anagram indicators should be gentler for a quickie. Also I don’t think ‘onset’ means to assault – ‘set on’ maybe!. I did complete it though but wasn’t confident I could justify many. Thanks though!
    1. You’re right that ‘onset’ doesn’t mean ‘to assault’, but ‘onset’ is a noun, not a verb. Collins covers both definitions used in the clue:


      1. an attack; assault

      2. a start; beginning

      1. Thank you for taking the trouble to reply. I’m really not sure how Collins can justify that definition but heh.
        1. The Shorter Oxford has the same definition and an example of usage:


          1 (An) attack, (an) assault. E16.

          B. Jowett: His argument could not sustain the first onset of yours.

  14. Encouraging after several DNFs.

    Got HOLIDAY quite quickly and INN was the only word that fitted when I solved MID ON. Then finally in the dim recesses of my mind I remembered the movie. Other LOsI. CONCERTINA, IMPRUDENCE

    Liked DIRECTORY.
    Thanks all, as ever.

    Edited at 2021-01-22 10:18 am (UTC)

  15. Another who struggled with the second part of HOLIDAY INN which was my LOI. However, it did eventually dawn on me that there was a film of that name in the dim and distant past. POSTSCRIPT went in first. I also thought ICE was a bit of a loose clue. No particular problems otherwise. 9:19. Thanks Tracy and Curarist.
  16. However I managed very well today and only needed help with 13A. Old enough to remember Bing.
    Have to say that the two comments made about mine yesterday hardly made me feel welcome.
    As I said I’m still learning. I’m not doing it on line so don’t have an ID as I buy my paper from my local shop.
    Thank you Hurley for a good end to the week.
    1. Billie, I’m sorry you felt you were not made welcome here yesterday, as this is generally a very welcoming place. I think a couple of the responses you received were due to a misunderstanding of your request, and if you revisited the thread later you may have seen a posting from me which attempted to clear up that point. Prior to that there had been a very helpful response from duty blogger, The Rotter, who agreed with your point and said he would take it in on board in the future.

      Anyway, you’re doubly welcome now that you have provided a name to distinguish you from other anon commenters. More to follow on this shortly.

      Edited at 2021-01-22 11:08 am (UTC)

    2. Sure you’re welcome Billie.

      I think the gist of people’s comments were that it’s a bit unusual to complain about spoilers on a site that provides solutions along with an explanation of how to arrive at the solution. If you’re stuck on, say, 15 down, and come here to see it, I’m not sure how you don’t see 3 or 4 clues either side as well.

      1. Billie’s (perfectly reasonable) point was about including answers in the opening paragraph(s) to the blog.
    3. Billie, Just to clarify, solving on-line at the Times site is not connected with having a user-id here and solving in the newspaper does not preclude you from setting up a free Live Journal account to use when you comment here.

      To sign up for LiveJournal go to this link https://www.livejournal.com/create
      choose a username and fill in your details. You don’t actually have to post anything on your blog. If you log in you can post comments here and they will be tagged with your username. You will also be able to edit your posts later if you wish, until such time as somebody has replied to them.

      Edited at 2021-01-22 11:21 am (UTC)

    4. Welcome Billie – I was going to make the same point as Jackkt, but he beat me to it!

      Incidentally, you don’t need to be solving on-line to use a name and an avatar here on the blog, this site is nothing to do with the Times club site or app. You can join Live Journal separately and give yourself a user name.

      I hope to see more of you in the future.

    5. Apologies if mine was one of those comments. I misunderstood your point which I think has been well resolved.
      Hopefully we are all welcome here, it is a friendly and supportive sure.
  17. Agree that it has been a tough week, but this was at least in sight of my target at 35:22 (so just a little slower than yesterday). I assumed HOLIDAY INN was the name of some painting I hadn’t heard of, rather than a film I hadn’t heard of, but I guess it doesn’t make a difference. Is the hotel chain named after it, or the other way around? Was quite pleased to get MID-ON from the clue alone, as I would have had no idea about cricketing positions before I started doing these and they used to stump me. Sorry.
    Bit of a MER at ONSET = assault, but otherwise a fair if chewy puzzle. FOI 8a (unless you count the POST bit of 1a), LTI 6d followed immediately by 7a, COD 20a, WOD FLORID. Thanks Tracy and Curarist.
  18. Oh, dear… This was half an hour of tooth pulling. I’ve never heard of MID ON, 22 across, but put it in anyway thinking it was likely. Didn’t see “don ” as ‘assume’ until I read the blog. Realised that 9 down was HOLIDAY something or other with an N in the middle but couldn’t see what… Only the word “end” came to mind. NHO the film. I should have got it from “bar” but the problem is that, once I’ve taken 20 minutes and still have a handful left, I lose all motivation. I know that’s up to me to sort out but I make the comment anyway. My LOI was IMPRUDENCE, only achieved by an alphabet trawl.

    Are the QCs getting harder? Personally I don’t think so. In the three years I’ve been doing them, this exact same question has arisen 3 or 4 times. Maybe it goes in waves. Maybe it’s all the pandemic furniture that’s stuffing up our mental faculties. Maybe that’s enough with the philosophising….

    With many thanks to blogger and setter

    1. I started at No. 1 Louisa. My experience is that right from the beginning they seem to have come in waves, a series of straightforward solutions followed by a series of harder ones. No idea why, other than statistically it is what would be expected from a long series of random occurrences.
      1. Thanks for replying. Was that in 2014? What you say completely chimes with my – much more – limited experience of them. Consequently, it seems that, given time, they’ll get back to more of a Q-wave again soon. Fingers crossed!
  19. Wow! I found this pretty straightforward and completed it straight off, very unusually.
    Dead chuffed after a hard week.
  20. CONCERTINA (good clue, dunno why it took so long, probably letter arrangement), HOLIDAY INN (dunno why I didn’t see INN = bar, NHO the film).


  21. … for what I am afraid I thought was a rather workmanlike puzzle with few redeeming moments.

    I share the MERs of many on two clues in particular, 9D Holiday Inn and 16A Ice. On both I entirely echo Merlin’s comment; Holiday Inn is a poor clue and referencing second tier films from nearly 80 years ago is the sort of thing that will put younger solvers right off, while the indicator “needed by” in 16A for the hidden merely leads one to ask if there is any verb which cannot be used to indicate a hidden. Certainly the range seems almost endless – and indeed much the same might be said of anagrinds, what with “canned” in the clue for 20A. Not sure I’m really convinced that canned can be read to imply “take the letters and jumble them up”.

    I shall try not to overdo the grumbling, and my comments are more shrugs than complaints. And there were some very nice clues, especially my COD 5D Prosper. But this was in the end not a puzzle that will linger long in the memory I fear.

    Many thanks to Curarist for the blog, spot on as usual in his/her assessment!

      1. Thank you Jack. I get the linkage now – that canned can mean drunk is not a meaning I was familiar with but it is very understandable, and drunk can clearly mean jumbled up and so serve as an anagrind. So canned is added to my list of anagram indicators – albeit in this case a 2-step one!

  22. 16 minutes for me, with no problem with HOLIDAY INN (I am off that age, just about, and Mrs Rotter insists on watching all the old films, especially the Christmas ones). My LOI was also IMPRUDENCE, with POSTSCRIPT FOI, quickly followed by POSER, SAMBA and RUM to give a good start. I liked DIRECTORY and THEOREM held me up longest. Thanks both.
  23. I found this very tricky, a DNF for me and no idea of time as was interspersed with Y4 division.
    I had always thought it was Cardshark rather than Cardsharp so was glad to realise that which made for more sense!

    I struggled with Concertina, Ice, Florid and Holiday Inn, which like many others I’d never heard of. I do think if you’re referencing a 50+ year old film, it should be one if the famous ones, although now I see the answer it was fairly clued. Anyway thanks to Tracy for the distraction from home school and Curarist for the explanation.

    1. Yes, I too wanted to put cardshark. That term I have heard of, but cardsharp I have not.
  24. Whilst I have managed to fully solve only around half of the QCs since I started last June, I have never suffered a 0-5 defeat in any single week, but starting today’s puzzle on 0-4 for the week so far was a concern. However, I managed to plough through in exactly 30 minutes, parsing everything along the way except 9d: HOLIDAY INN (I had NHO the film).

    I started well, getting 1a: POSTCRIPT straight away, but I couldn’t build on that momentum until my second pass through the clues. The other important clue for starting letters (6d: CONCERTINA) didn’t succumb until towards the end. My LOI was 10a: CARDSHARP.

    Whilst my confidence has been bashed this week, today’s success (in a very good time for me) will allow me to rest easy over the weekend, ready to do battle again next week. I may even hazard a go at tomorrow’s Jumbo.

    Many thanks, as usual, to curarist and Tracy.

  25. Is an inn really a synonym for a bar? Or am I missing something

    6 minutes for all bar holiday _n_ Threw in the towel after another 3 minutes. Considered Holiday Inn but it didnt make sense

    I’m a big supporter of setters but… that was a dud I’m afraid

    1. Inn, Bar, Pub etc – whilst there are differences, they are all generally regarded as the same thing for crosswords
  26. After a terrible first pass (didn’t even get the three letter hidden at 16ac), I finally managed to get a toe hold going in the SE corner. I’m of an age where I don’t know whether to be pleased or concerned that 9d came to mind with only a few checkers in place, but it helped open up the top of the grid. However it was the Concertina pdm that really changed things, and allowed a 21min finish with Imprudence my loi. Invariant
  27. A satisfying end to a generally tough week.
    Plenty of straightforward clues to have fun with.

    However, I still fail to understand how ICE means Reserve, and had never heard of a CARDSHARP ( a cardshark, yes.)
    Bit of trivia: the all-time best selling single in the world (‘White Christmas’) was first performed in ‘Holiday Inn’, that’s why I knew that one.

    1. I couldn’t work this out either but I think it must be as in “put on ice”, meaning to leave for later? I’m sure someone not knowledgeable will be able to clarify.

    2. Ice as a noun can mean reserve as in the reserved manner of a person.

      Feel free to check other dictionaries but my Chambers app has:
      4. Reserve, formality
      5. Coldness of manner
      as definitions for ICE as a noun.

      As an aside, card sharp (I’d have spelled it as two words) returns about twice as many Google results as card shark.

  28. After racing through the first few clues on what seemed a well-trodden path, I must have veered into a deep bog as progress abruptly slowed and my feet had to be dragged from the squelching mud one clue at a time.

    Saying that, I did finish after 35 mins and it was particularly satisfying when I did.

    As noted above, “Holiday Inn” had to be the answer for 9dn – although I hadn’t heard of the film and was wondering exactly what the ubiquitous hotel chain had to do with a picture. For quite a while I couldn’t help but think it was Holiday Snap, but obviously it wouldn’t fit.

    There were a number of clues today where I went off in completely the wrong direction. 10ac “Cardsharp”, 2dn “Satisfied” and 11dn “Policeman” come to mind. Similarly, 20ac “Apricot” had me fumbling with the use of “canned” for the anagrind whilst 22ac “Mid On” took far longer than it should.

    FOI – 1ac “Postscript”
    LOI – 9dn “Holiday Inn”
    COD – 6dn “Concertina”

    Thanks as usual.

  29. As expected, another voice added to the many. I couldn’t parse HOLIDAY INN but oNe or aNt didn’t make any sense, so after reading John Hogan’s obituary today, put it down to product placement and stopped worrying! Thanks Curarist et al. Looped the loop over sonic boom, reminded of the one overhead last week, biffed but failed to parse PROSPER, boom boom.
    Managed to finish in a couple of sessions totalling an on par 30ish minutes. Thanks Tracy
  30. Thank so much The Rotter and Jakkt. I feel much better and will use the link you gave me.
  31. I solved on paper in fits and starts as had many interruptions this morning. This seemed tough but, in the end, solvable.
    FOI was ICE then RETAIN. I liked MID ON and I liked the cleverness of the challenge.
    MY LOI was HOLIDAY INN with a long time spent on the second word. It’s a very famous film and I think was on at Christmas so fair enough. Not easy for beginners.
    15 -20 minutes I guess.
  32. 21 min, so a bit of a challenge, but easier than some recently. Very enjoyable; thanks.
  33. Well this one really challenged us. After our first pass the grid was looking pretty bare. However, after 24 minutes of sheer grit and determination we finally solved the last clue. Thanks Tracy – really enjoyed meeting your challenge!

    FOI: poser
    LOI: concertina
    COD: concertina

    Thanks for the blog Curarist.

  34. Enjoyed this puzzler.
    It was tricky but fair although I personally dislike RU for game, but once learnt….
    …..but I didn’t like 9d as many others. Was my LOI and didn’t see the inn = bar connection (nice disguise maybe), didn’t see the picture = cinema film connection, and didn’t think that a popular hotel chain would be the answer. But after 4 minutes decided it had to be.
    Fortunately cricket positions are good for me although I only came across Cow Corner for the first time this year and profess to having never heard of it – and then heard it mentioned at least half a dozen times in the two hours of commentary that followed!
    COD Concertina
    Thanks all
    John George
  35. Although I can sort of see a relationship between RESERVE and ICE, I am struggling to think of a sentence where the two words are interchangeable.
  36. I’ve had a bad week with several DNF and relying heavily on aids so it was a relief to do this steadily on my own in about half an hour. I thought jars, canned and complex were strange indicators of anagrams and I biffed quite a few but I got there. I know enough about cricket to get MID-ON but even though I’m an oldie I can’t say I’ve heard of the film Holiday Inn. ( I’m more into Cliff Richard and Summer Holiday)
    FOI mammoth
    COD prosper (when I had just the O and P I wondered if it would relate to oompah!)
    LOI cardsharp
    Thank you Tracy for some encouragement at the end of the week and to Curarist for explaining the words I biffed.
    Blue Stocking
  37. Well. What do you know. 10:15. I dared to wonder about a possible PB at one stage.

    I liked APRICOT. I thought it could not possibly start with A (since that would then have to be the final letter of the long 6dn) then realised yes it could.

    Pretty much the same MERs as everyone else, especially ONSET=assault, but just sailed through them. Thanks Curarist for the blog. 5dn PROSPER was my favourite too.

  38. For the only time this week I managed to finish inside my target range of 15-20 mins. I had it all done and parsed in 16 minutes so, for me at any rate, it was considerably easier than the past 4 days. I don’t have too many complaints about the clueing, but although I have heard of the film, 9dn still held me up the longest. Thanks to Tracy and Curarist.

    COD – 5dn PROSPER

  39. I actually managed to finish this one in under an hour, which is very good for me. 43 minutes in total, though I needed aides to help with both 7A Onset and 14D Theorem. It felt tough all the way however and I was certain I would have to give in with a DNF after a promising start with 1A Postscript. LOI was Holiday Inn which I came to the blog to double check before submitting having never heard of the film. I am among those that wish there was a little less in the way of references to old films, books and so on, and more modern references!

    Now to tackle the last two which I missed. The comments suggest they were not easy!

    Thanks to Curarist and Tracy.

    Edited at 2021-01-22 03:48 pm (UTC)

  40. ….but I had to sit through “HOLIDAY INN” yet again over Christmas because my partner finds the irritating Danny Kaye extremely funny – and it still took me a while at the end to spot it.

    Wasn’t overly enamoured of this puzzle generally.

    FOI ONSET (with a MER)
    LOI HOLIDAY INN (with a groan)
    COD MID-ON (with a knowing smile for the non-cricketers)
    TIME 4:56 (only just within target)

  41. GK, like wavelength (see above) is clearly also a very personal thing! No complaints about HOLIDAY INN – like ‘It’s a Wonderful World’, it makes a regular appearance in the Christmas tv schedules. However, CONCERTINA took a long time to fall and I never parsed it properly! I did like the canned APRICOT – in fact, I prefer them to fresh😅

    FOI Postscript
    LOI Concertina
    COD Prosper
    Time 12 m

    Thanks Tracy and Curarist

    1. >’It’s a Wonderful World’, it makes a regular appearance in the Christmas tv schedules

      Almost as regular as It’s a Wonderful Life. 😉

  42. I hoped this would prove easy as 1a Postscript and then 2d 3d 4d 5d all dropped in but failed with 7A Onset and although I picked up again with 8a Mammoth I had lost my stride and was floundering to get much done elsewhere. Some breaks and lots of perseverence saw me through, eventually. I was not impressed with 7a Onset, 9d Holiday Inn (had forgotten the film but what else could it be) or 16a Ice where I feel the use the word ‘needed’ very unhelpful but plumped for Ice as we’ve seen that here before = ‘reserve’, and it was a hidden too. FOI 1a Postscript. LOI 9d Inn, on a hope. COD 6d Concertina – like the inventiveness of it. Took 22a as m – I – don (as, I dress/donned my coat…). Thanks Curarist for explaining some of the parsing and to Tracy for a (just about) achievable puzzle for the end of the week.
  43. A bit of a tricky one today, so the blog is a great help in learning how these clues work. The only one I still don’t understand is where Theo comes from to make THEOREM. Any help gratefully received.
  44. I read it as THEO being a common Greek masculine name, or part of one, at any rate! I guess one we’re all familiar with is Theodore, meaning gift of God. The classicists will be able to tell us much more 😉
  45. Inns have bars as do bars. Anyone know the etymology? I suspect in days gone by it was an unenclosed lump of wood or metal that you lent on and put your tankard on. Over time a roof and walls were added. It’s a term more commonly used in Europe in my experience. Thinking about it, I haven’t walked up to a bar since last March 😡 Johnny
    1. “Origins”, Eric Partridge, Routledge, 1990 traces BAR to Old French – French BARRE, a usually flat, long piece of wood or metal, serving as support, leverage or especially obstruction; from late Latin BARRA, of obscure origin but perhaps of Celtic origin.

      The same source says an INN comes from old English INN, a place within, I.e. a room, a house, akin to old Norse INNI, a house and also to the old English INN (INNE) within, especially indoors. This has a derivative INNUNG, a taking in, a gathering, an enclosing, hence the modern games sense.

      I hope that helps.

  46. All the woes of Crossword land are gathered here, today.

    Mr. Starstruck – anyone – a QC SNITCH please!

    FOI 1dn POSER


    COD 15ac FLORID


    Time 11.30

Comments are closed.