Quick Cryptic 472 by Flamande

A puzzle at the easier end of the spectrum, I thought, but with some neat clues (particularly liked 8a and 23a). Last in was 19dn, which took me an age to see even with the cross checkers

Thanks to Flamande, and a very Happy New Year to all.

Definitions underlined; DD = double definition; anagrams indicated by *(–)

Anyone having access issues can find the puzzle at http://feeds.thetimes.co.uk/puzzles/crossword/20151230/12129/

1 Adam’s disturbed about article that’s seen on front of Times? (8)
MASTHEAD – *(ADAMS) – with “disturbed” as the anagrind – goes round THE (article)
5 Boast from British newspaper (4)
BRAG – B (abbrev. British) + RAG (newspaper)
8 Haggard traveller? (5)
RIDER – DD, with the first referring to H. Rider Haggard, author of King Solomon’s Mines etc. Neat clue, I thought
9 Do crossword again, showing determination (7)
RESOLVE – Re-solve
11 She supplies eggs and ham every night, for starters (3)
HEN – First letters (starters) of Ham Every Night
12 Almost guarantee fellow is rebellious type (9)
INSURGENT – INSURe (almost guarantee) + GENT (fellow)
13 Where motel not entirely off the beaten track (6)
REMOTE – Hidden (indicated by ‘not entirely’) in wheRE MOTEl
15 Pious type’s eating tiny candies (6)
SWEETS – STS (pious type’s – i.e. Saint’s) ‘eating’ WEE (tiny)
18 Conman in fuss, always (9)
RACKETEER – RACKET (fuss) + EER (e’er – archaism meaning ever / always)
19 Flag Salvation Army placed near front of graveyard (3)
SAG – SA (Salvation Army) + G (front of Graveyard)
20 A boy appearing with daughter in pantomime (7)
ALADDIN – A LAD (a boy) + D (daughter) + IN
21 Poetry volume seer translated (5)
VERSE – *(SEER) – with “translated” as the anagrind – and with V (volume) also thrown into the mix
22 It is used in postnatal care (4)
TALC – Hidden in postnaTAL Care) – & Lit
23 Not a socialist to be seen, OK? (3,5)
ALL RIGHT – All those present are to the right of the political spectrum…
1 Protester showing some hesitation after a month (7)
MARCHER – ER (some hesitation) comes after MARCH (month)
2 American looking up little Daniel in African state (5)
SUDAN – US reversed (American looking up) + DAN (little Daniel)
3 Wear this red crumpled fabric (6,5)
HARRIS TWEED – *(WEAR THIS RED) with “crumpled” as the anagrind. Investigation reveals there is a Harris Tweed Act of 1993 – how many other fabrics have their own dedicated statute to preserve their integrity?
4 Apprehend a wrongdoer at last, then relax (6)
ARREST – A + R (wrongdoeR at last) + REST (relax)
6 Take over from sappers wanting time off, say (7)
RELIEVE – RE (sappers – our old friends from Crosswordland the Royal Engineers) plus a homophone of LEAVE (time off, say)
7 Fantastic Greek nosh (5)
GREAT – GR (Greek) + EAT (nosh)
10 Cocktail shared at first with group of workers and chauffeur (11)
SCREWDRIVER – S (first letter of Shared) + CREW (group of workers) + DRIVER (chauffeur) – a vodka and orange juice
14 Claim he changed name (7)
MICHAEL – *(CLAIM HE) with “changed” as the anagrind
16 FBI officers appearing in set piece (7)
SEGMENT – G MEN (FBI officers) ‘appear’ in SET
17 Sailors in part of ship, the centre (6)
KERNEL – RN (sailors – abbrev. Royal Navy) in KEEL (part of ship)
18 Trace different answer in response (5)
REACT – *(TRACE) with “different” as the anagrind
19 In early season, there’s no new growth of holly? (5)
SPRIG – SPRING (early season) loses its N (no new)

9 comments on “Quick Cryptic 472 by Flamande”

  1. I don’t recall any hold-ups but this still took me 10 minutes, the same as yesterday’s more difficult puzzle. Remembering FBI = G-MEN discovered some years ago in the main puzzle, helped a lot so I’d advise newbies to make a mental note of it for the future.
  2. I expect it’s a lot of extra work but I really like having the full clues shown with the parsing to follow. Great help for bears with little brain!

    Many thanks.

    The Briefless Barrister

  3. Found this on the trickier side, though I did finish, after 51 minutes. INSURGENT caused problems, though that might have mainly been because I’d spelt RELIEVE wrong. RACKETEER and KERNEL was another tricky juncture.

    Edited at 2015-12-30 09:26 am (UTC)

  4. I finished in my new record time of 20 minutes. A big change from yesterday when I got stuck half way through after an hour!
    It might have been faster but I was looking for ‘candles’ in 15a due to mis-reading my printout, LOI was 16D when ‘gmen’ clicked.


  5. At 35 mins, a very welcome full house stroll after yesterday’s marathon. Some nice clues, with 8ac and 16d my two favourites. Invariant
  6. This was a nice gentle stroll compared to yesterdays headscratcher – completed in under 20 minutes which I think is a record for me. The only hold ups I had were trying to figure out how agents fitted into 16d before I had a flash of inspiration and not being able to parse 15a.
  7. I don’t find these very demanding(not bragging) – just because for years I have applied myself to the back page and so have had lots of practice. Can anyone tell me has this been introduced because the main puzzle has become much harder or is it just me?


    1. Here’s what the Times Crossword editor wrote on launching the Quick Cryptic in March 2014:
      The Quick Cryptic aims to introduce a new audience to cryptic crosswords and offer a step to solving the main puzzle

      Today marks the latest in a series of landmarks in the history of The Times crossword. It all started on February 1, 1930, with Times Cryptic Crossword Number One. For 40 years this was the only cryptic puzzle appearing in the paper. Then, on December 19 1970, a new and larger cousin to the main daily cryptic was born: a square puzzle aptly named the Jumbo.

      The Jumbo quickly became popular with solvers, appearing on Bank Holidays. On September 6, 1997, while the attention of the country was focused on the funeral of the Princess of Wales, the Jumbo went weekly, and has appeared on Saturdays and most Bank Holidays ever since. The Times2 crossword, a non-cryptic “concise”, first appeared in 1993 and is still going strong.

      What we are introducing today, however, is effectively the opposite of the Jumbo: the Times Quick Cryptic will be a downsized version of our famous daily cryptic (which remains unchanged).

      Appearing Monday to Friday on the puzzles pages of Times2, it will be reduced in size and hopefully in difficulty too, the intention being to introduce new people to cryptic crosswords, and to encourage those solvers who’d like to have a go at the main puzzle but feel daunted by it, or who can perhaps only solve a handful of clues.

      One other difference you will notice is that, while the other Times crosswords are, and will continue to be, anonymous, the Quick Cryptic will be only semi-anonymous. A pseudonym will appear above the puzzle, masking in most cases the identity of a regular Times crossword compiler.

      Will people come to regard Dazzler as dazzlingly witty? Joker as having a sense of humour? Grumpy not? Is Orpheus musical? Will Teazel tease?

      As with any new venture, it will be difficult to please everyone. Inevitably some may find it too Quick, but my main concern is that some will still find it too Cryptic: for Quick and Cryptic are strange bedfellows. Any cryptic crossword must necessarily carry an element of mystique and obscurity about it: the word after all comes from the Greek for hidden.

      However, I bear good tidings for anyone who feels that a cryptic crossword must be impossibly difficult: namely that nearly all cryptic clues are in many ways fairer than simple Times2 crossword-style clues: they actually give you two chances to arrive at the answer.

      I will divulge another little secret to those who feel daunted by the main Times Crossword: those puzzles do vary in difficulty. Yes, there are days when even the experts struggle to finish it before they’ve got off the train — on the journey home — but there are also days where the puzzle may be scarcely harder than the Quick Cryptic.

      To echo a point I made earlier: when you are struggling with today’s puzzle don’t forget that it is supposed to be Cryptic. And to those of you who may polish it off in a couple of minutes and say, “That was a bit disappointing: what do I do now?” I will point out the word Quick.

      Because, like the cryptic clue itself, we are offering two routes to the goal of grid completion: a path which is shorter than that offered by the Times Crossword, but also one with some more interesting obstacles along the way than the much-loved T2 Crossword.

      Either way, I hope it will bring some measure of satisfaction to all.

  8. As others have stated, this seemed much easier than yesterday. I finished it in one sitting; last in was 17d. An enjoyable puzzle. David

Comments are closed.