Quick Cryptic 615 by Teazel

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
I found this one fairly straightforward, with only 15D registering on my might-not-be-familiar-to-all radar. A selection of good surfaces today, though the only biscuits I can think of that occasionally come in blue (12A) are French-style macaroons/macarons, of which I’m not a great fan. Of course, the constraints of our world don’t exist in Crosswordland so it could well have been a blue Bourbon. Thanks, Teazel.

The puzzle can be found here if the usual channels are unavailable: http://feeds.thetimes.co.uk/puzzles/crossword/20160718/17291/

Definitions are underlined.

8 One checking food grabs old kitchen equipment (7)
TOASTERTASTER (One checking food) around (grabs) O (old)
9 Through which I see rubbish (2,3)
MY EYE – Chambers: “An interjection expressing disagreement”, with the wordplay a literal interpretation
10 Copying fastener in silver (5)
APINGPIN (fastener) in AG (silver, i.e. the chemical symbol)
11 Jumped over such a roof? (7)
VAULTED – double definition
12 Soldier eats a blue biscuit (9)
GARIBALDIGI (Soldier), around (eats) A + RIBALD (blue, i.e. indecent)
14 Father’s fizzy drink (3)
POP – double definition, the first perhaps more commonly encountered in the US
16 Sheep has damage to back (3)
RAM – reversal (to back) of MAR (damage)
18 Regular post brings publication (5,4)
DAILY MAILDAILY (Regular) + MAIL (post), a newspaper with roughly four times the circulation of The Times, and with a crossword that I believe is set by a Times setter
21 Strange policy to introduce mile in these games (7)
OLYMPIC – anagram of (Strange) POLICY around (to introduce) M (mile)
22 Around university, many in this position (5)
LOTUSLOTS (many) around U (university), to give the cross-legged yoga position that can be not so easy to get into/out of
23 Said monastic accommodation is popular to buy (5)
SELLS – homophone (Said) of CELLS (monastic accommodation). The definition is in the intransitive sense, e.g. “During hot weather, bottled water really sells”.
24 Set out to break honest administrator (7)
TRUSTEE – anagram of (out) SET, inside (to break) TRUE (honest)
1 More unusual way taken by park-keeper (8)
STRANGERST (way, i.e. street) + RANGER (park-keeper)
2 On landing stage, artillery weapon (6)
RAPIERRA (artillery, i.e. Royal Artillery) on PIER (landing stage)
3 Noble animal guns knocked over (4)
STAG – reversal of (knocked over) GATS (guns). Gat is slang for a handgun – it’s short for Gatling gun (though the original Gatling gun was hardly a handgun). I’m assuming that the “Noble” in the clue is simply a reference to stags being generally thought of as majestic. (There’s apparently a couplet from Sir Walter Scott’s Lady of the Lake that goes “The noble stag was pausing now, Upon the mountain’s southern brow”, which was a possible inspiration for Landseer’s famous painting The Monarch of the Glen, but that kind of knowledge seems more Times Literary Supplement than Quick Cryptic.)
4 Crawl from small wood and lake (6)
GROVELGROVE (small wood) + L (lake)
5 Mischievous type, one getting exemption from punishment (8)
IMPUNITYIMP (Mischievous type) + UNITY (one)
6 To be safe in car, … don’t chatter (4,2)
BELT UP – double definition, the first an informal expression meaning to put on one’s seat-belt, the second an informal expression (often in the imperative) meaning to keep quiet
7 Dispatch son before death (4)
SENDS (son) + END (death)
13 Shoot a troublemaker? Capital (8)
BUDAPESTBUD (Shoot) + A + PEST (troublemaker), for the capital of Hungary
15 Column I covered in stucco (8)
PILASTERI inside (covered in) PLASTER (stucco). Chambers: “A square column, partly built into and partly projecting from a wall”. I knew the word but not its precise meaning, hence the simple wordplay was welcome.
17 Insect can get off the ground (6)
MAYFLYMAY (can) + FLY (get off the ground)
19 Encourage to be visible to audience (6)
INCITE – homophone of (to audience) IN SIGHT (visible)
20 Quick-witted, casting statue (6)
ASTUTE – anagram of (casting) STATUE
21 Displace Jack from tournament (4)
OUST – {j}OUST (Jack from tournament, i.e. remove the J (Jack) from JOUST (tournament))
22 Yob left, excluded (4)
LOUTL (left) + OUT (excluded)

31 comments on “Quick Cryptic 615 by Teazel”

  1. I was home in 7.03 so a breezy start to the week and with the 15×15 being a doddle. All rookies should have go!

    Only 24ac TRUSTEE gave me any trouble


    Re – 12ac GARIBALDI

    Have any other individuals had a biscuit named in their honour?

    horryd Shanghai

    1. The great general would be surprised that this biscuit is his claim to fame : always called “squashed fly biscuits” in our house.
    2. A list on Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cookies) mentions the Abernethy (Scottish doctor John Abernethy) and the Bath Oliver (Dr William Oliver of Bath), but in both cases they were the inventors whereas the Garibaldi was named more as a tribute and it’s unlikely Giuseppe himself ever sampled one. A more generic list (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_foods_named_after_people) also mentions the Leibniz-Keks butter biscuit (mathematician Gottfried Leibniz). But yes, it’s a much rarer honour than, say, a knighthood.

      I would second your comments about the main cryptic, though there is one answer that might not be familiar to all (though the wordplay is helpful).

  2. Whizzed along nicely, only to be brought up short by the “Close, but no cigar” sign. Everything looked fine to me, until I finally realized that I’d typed IMMUNITY (well, that’s ‘exemption from punishment’ too, no?), having overlooked the obvious ‘mischievous type’=IMP. BELT UP may provide difficulty for some US solvers, since we say ‘buckle up’ for the seat belt, and don’t use the expression in the other sense. 6:17, including a minute or so of fruitless grid-scanning.
  3. I had IMMUNITY for IMPUNITY, which I maintain is a better answer to the definition ‘exemption from punishment’. Of course the word play doesn’t work, but it looked close enough, I don’t know how the speedsters can check every word play, if checkers and definition are fine, I sometimes don’t look too much harder: caught me out today.
    Also missed PILASTER, as with all checkers in, was sure it started with ‘pole’, for column.
    1. At the risk of pedantry, I can’t agree with you on this one Merlin. IMPUNITY is very specifically the ‘exemption from punishment’ whereas IMMUNITY in this sense is a more general ‘exemption from legal liability’. This can, of course, include punishment but also an exemption for being called as a witness, from prosecution, etc.
    2. Every year at the Times Crossword Championships, one or more competitors will make a mistake because they enter an answer from checkers and definition but it then turns out either there were two or more words that fitted the checkers and definition but only one was supported by the wordplay, or they picked the wrong definition (which can happen in clues that are of the form “Take a word meaning this, change a letter, and you’ll get a word meaning that”). That is the risk associated with not parsing the entire clue, and even top-drawer solvers are not immune to its siren song! Checking the parsing obviously does take more time than simply biffing, but with experience you’ll multitask the process, i.e. confirm in your head that the parsing works at the same time as you’re writing the answer into the grid, meaning as little time is “wasted” on parsing as possible.

      The Championships are all about speed, but that’s just one aspect of solving crosswords. Savouring the surface readings, or unravelling a tricky bit of parsing (even if you could biff the answer), are enjoyable and satisfying aspects that may get lost in the need for speed. Solving times are of course the easiest of way of checking whether you’re getting “better” at crosswords, but certainly in a non-competitive environment there is pleasure to be had in taking a more comprehensive, if slower, approach to solving.

      (Having said that, I’m as guilty as anyone here of biffing if I think a fast time is on the cards …)

  4. 8 minutes. I also wondered about “noble” STAG and assumed there’s some reference that’s widely known but not by me.

    Enjoyed MY EYE as an expression meaning “rubbish”. So quaint and old-fashioned, and a reminder of a maths teacher at my school who used to say it all those years ago.

    1. I’d echo the first poster’s suggestion to try the main puzzle today with only one possible obscurity and helpful wordplay throughout.
      1. Yes on the 15×15 almost a solve with no aids. A huge step forward for me, the QC training ground and bloggers are for sure having an impact.
        1. You should try today’s (Tuesday) too – I found it only marginally harder than yesterday’s.
  5. Middle of the road in difficulty, and contributers above have said it all for me, IMMUNITY etc.
    Stag was a write in for me as it is the only animal that I would associate with the word NOBLE.
    Thanks Teazel and blogger.
  6. Apart from “Trustee”, which for some reason held me up for a long time, I found this fairly straightforward. I was aware of the “Noble Stag” without knowing where it comes from. I always associate it with Landseer. Enjoyed “my eye”. Not heard that for many a year. Gat as slang for handgun is a new one on me.
    1. Gat is well worth remembering, as it comes up 2 or 3 times a year in the main Times cryptic (though this is its debut appearance in a Quicky, I think).
  7. a royal is a stag with 12 points on his antlers. my eye is i believe short for all my eye and betty martin, which i am sure nobody says these days. pendrov
  8. Brain in overdrive trying to parse Garibaldi, thinking ‘soldier’ was the definition, as he was one. Do try the 15×15 today! 6’32”, thanks setter and blogger.
  9. 26 minutes for me today, so about average difficulty. My LOI was 24a, which for the life of me I couldn’t parse – I figured it was an anagram but was using ‘set out’ and the ‘h’ from honest with break as the indicator. Seems obvious now. I also toyed with immunity at 5d but decided it couldn’t be the answer as mischievous and imp seem to come up fairly regularly.

    On another subject entirely has anyone else been using mohn’s excellent QC archive? The early puzzles seem a lot tougher than they are today – they feel more 15x15ish to me.

    1. Re mohn’s archive – no, wasn’t aware of it but it sounds amazing (only been tackling the QC for the last 9 months or so). Is it possible to get directions to it?



    2. I’ve recently got hold of the Quick Cryptic paperback that contains the first 80 puzzles. I’ve done the first 3 and haven’t find them any harder (or easier) than current puzzles, in terms of solving time so far.
  10. Thanks for your comments last week jackkt and as you will see I have taken them to heart. 12 mins for the quickie – very straightforward and I much enjoyed my eye – reminded me of my Gran (died 1964!) and Garibaldi biscuits which we called dead fly biscuits. Crosswords bring so much more than just the pleasure of solving the clues – all those memories evoked plus fun facts which you discover from reading other posts.
    The main took me 45 minutes so I agree it was on the easier side. I did not parse Nunc Dimittis as it leapt out from years of churchgoing in my long lost youth nor did I parse a couple of other biffers which were obviously correct so thanks to blogger for explanations.
    As I cannot get the paper delivered here, and I don’t like on-line solving, I often save the quickie for the following day’s breakfast which is why I don’t usually post – it would be too late. At the moment I have a good book for breakfast so we shall see what happens when I finish that.
    1. Thanks for your interesting comments. Is “caro” your chosen id or does it relate to something else that I’m missing?
    2. Hi Caro – welcome to the fold and please do keep commenting. One small request – solvers quite often come here first before attempting the main cryptic, so it’s best not to mention answers from the main cryptic as it can spoil the surprise. Don’t worry about posting “late”, though – the blogger receives an email notification every time a new comment is added, so they at least will see any points you’ve raised. Also, people are sometimes playing catch-up with the puzzles (e.g. if they’ve been on holiday), so they too may join in on discussions after the publication date.
  11. A pleasant start to the week, with no great problems. Thanks for the comments, we were trying to remember the name which went with my eye. Elin and Ian.
  12. Nice Monday. Only real struggle was PILASTER which was stubborn. Will take s look at 15×15
  13. Was I the only one to biff in TEG at 16a? I thought it was a hidden word indicated by back. It slowed me down for ages!
    Thank you all for the blog…. I have learnt so much from you all over the last few months.
    1. TEG is definitely a good word to know as it does crop up occasionally but the clue here would not pass muster to indicate a reverse hidden. That is the danger of biffing (of which we are all guilty from time to time …)

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