Quick Cryptic 645 by Orpheus

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
A crossword that I found slightly easier than average, which is not unwelcome for a Monday morning. For those with no interest in gardening, 9D may come as an unpleasant sting in the tail – if you’ve never heard of the answer then you may struggle to guess the letter ordering, with even the correct version looking a little strange. As someone whose knowledge of plants has come mainly from the contents of my parents’ garden, I was lucky that said garden contains a specimen of the answer (which is popular with the blackbirds). Thanks, Orpheus.

The puzzle can be found here if the usual channels are unavailable: http://feeds.thetimes.co.uk/puzzles/crossword/20160829/18046/

Definitions are underlined.

1 Very thin person employed to train runners? (8)
BEANPOLE – double definition, with a deceptive surface attempting to put you in mind of athletes rather than runner beans
5 Flightless birds exhibited in innumerable museums (4)
EMUS – hidden (exhibited) in innumerablE MUSeums. In Crosswordland, you rarely have to venture beyond emu or rhea if “flightless bird” is in the clue, though the surface here might make you think of (extinct) moas.
8 Does it dispense rough justice in leaps and bounds? (8,5)
KANGAROO COURT – extended definition alluding to the usual mode of locomotion of kangaroos. The exact same clue appeared in Jumbo 1149 last year and I believe Orpheus is also a Jumbo setter – hmm.
10 Relax about one’s further examination (5)
RESITREST (Relax) about I (one)
11 Aerial made by worker a girl rejected (7)
ANTENNAANT (worker) + reversal (rejected) of ANNE (a girl)
12 Sound location for fish (6)
PLAICE – homophone (Sound) of PLACE (location)
13 Woman wearing a kid’s first waterproof jacket (6)
ANORAKNORA (Woman) inside (wearing) A + K (kid’s first, i.e. the first letter of the word “kid”)
16 Mass meeting following game in the country (7)
RURALLYRALLY (Mass meeting) following RU (game, i.e. Rugby Union)
18 Park keeper loses head, displaying fury (5)
ANGER – {r}ANGER (Park keeper loses head, i.e. the word “ranger” without its first letter)
20 Girl introduces distant object, an old bike (5-8)
PENNY-FARTHINGPENNY (Girl) + FAR (distant) + THING (object), and the third of our random female names for the day. Having said that, Penny can be a man’s name, at least in the US. Further, a bit of Googling tells me that Anne is a man’s name in Frisian. Nora, however, seems to be resolutely female all over the globe.
21 Affectedly dainty sound made by small bird, mostly (4)
TWEETWEE{t} (sound made by small bird, mostly, i.e. the word “tweet” without its last letter)
22 Cheese eaten by habitual drunkard unknown for temperance (8)
SOBRIETYBRIE (Cheese) inside (eaten by) SOT (habitual drunkard) + Y (unknown, as in a mathematical equation)
1 Tradesman Charlie once followed, able to come first? (5)
BAKER – apparently some early phonetic alphabets began Able, Baker, Charlie (as opposed to the Alfa/Alpha, Bravo, Charlie encountered nowadays). Chambers indicates that phonetic letters can be either capitalised or not, so the lower-case “able” may be deceptive but not unfair.
2 Forgetfulness of men wandering in large continent (7)
AMNESIA – anagram of (wandering) MEN in ASIA (large continent)
3 In a businesslike manner, almost (11)
PRACTICALLY – double definition
4 Sponge a twerp stood up on end of bath (6)
LOOFAH – reversal (stood up) of A FOOL (twerp), + {bat}H (end of bath, i.e. the last letter of the word “bath”)
6 Early in the day for poet, say, to lament? (5)
MOURN – homophone (say) of MORN (Early in the day for poet, i.e. a poetical word for morning)
7 Determined defender’s reversal of progress (7)
SETBACKSET (Determined) + BACK (defender, as in football for example)
9 Tree on coast, possibly, or shrub? (11)
COTONEASTER – anagram (possibly) of TREE ON COAST. Perhaps a word on the rise – after appearing in a Times puzzle in 2007, COTONEASTER disappeared from view for the best part of a decade until re-emerging in May of this year in a Jumbo, and now again today. A shrub that isn’t necessarily pronounced the way you might think, its name derives from the Latin for quince. If you’ve never heard of it, then the anagram might not be the most helpful clue but at least you’ll get to enjoy a game of Guess Which Vowel Goes Where.
12 Airborne soldier standing on favourite part of fortification (7)
PARAPETPARA (Airborne soldier) + PET (favourite)
14 Period when students raise funds for music? (7)
RAGTIME – as per Chambers, rag is “Riotous festivity, esp and orig of undergraduates (now, in British universities, associated with the raising of money for charity)”, so the period when this occurs could be described as RAG TIME (though the actual expression used would probably be Rag Week)
15 Energetic person upset a lot in party (6)
DYNAMO – reversal of (upset) MANY (a lot) in DO (party)
17 Stove not initially in fashion (5)
RANGEN{ot} (not initially, i.e. the first letter of the word “not”) in RAGE (fashion, perhaps most often seen in the phrase “all the rage”)
19 Floor-covering laid on by Warwickshire school (5)
RUGBYRUG (Floor-covering, though the hyphen seems unnecessary) on BY. I couldn’t name you another school in Warwickshire but, with the checkers and wordplay, the county was arguably a superfluous bit of info anyway. One of the sports which takes its name from the school is Rugby League, which was born on this day in 1895.

18 comments on “Quick Cryptic 645 by Orpheus”

  1. About 1 hour which is about right, I started doing the quick cryptic a few months ago.

    I googled the shrub to check!
    I also struggled with 17d as I was trying to find a stove or oven with no first letter to fit fashion.

    And for 21 across I was thinking of a dainty sound, such as a tut.

    At least I finished it!

    Edited at 2016-08-29 05:54 am (UTC)

  2. I also found this on the easier side but that’s not reflected in my solving time of only one minute under my target (10) as I was disconcerted very early in the proceedings by realising I had no idea how to explain my biffed answer at 1dn. Having completed the grid I spent another 5-10 minutes looking for options and eventually noticed that the three key words in question, Able, Baker and Charlie began respectively with the letters A, B & C, and assumed that might have some bearing on the matter. So I bunged them into Google and up came the explanation given by our blogger above. If I ever knew this before I had forgotten it. Maybe it’s a bit naughty for a QC but “tradesman” and the strong checking letters probably helped most solvers to get to the correct answer.

    Edited at 2016-08-29 05:34 am (UTC)

  3. I found this quite tricky, Guessed baker after getting the “k” from kangaroo court. Didn’t get 17dn or 16ac. Was looking for an actual country for 16a and not heard “range” in relation to stove. Again, was thinking of oven, etc.
  4. On the whole I found this pretty straightforward and completed in 15 minutes, unfortunately it counts as a DNF as I had to resort to google to figure out the order of the vowels in 9d. Also couldn’t parse 1d but it was very biffable. Held up a bit by 3d having used and e instead of an a in 8a – one of those mistakes I seem to make every time I write that word down.
  5. Fortunately 9d was a write-in, and I know how to pronounce it too! As noted above, spent some time on 16ac (in fact biffed RUMANIA before remembering I’m not doing that any more). All the war comics I read in my childhood paid off at 1d. Just over five minutes today, thanks mohn and Orpheus.
  6. I found this pretty straightforward until, as the blogger suggested, I found myself playing guess where the vowels fit. Whilst it may be suitable for a 15 x 15, I thought it was expecting a bit much of us lesser QC mortals.
    I knew able, baker, charlie – it was the phonetic alphabet in use by the UK and US before the current NATO version was adopted. But again, it seemed a bit arcane to me for a QC
    Having said all that, enjoyable start to the week, so thank you setter.
  7. Having had two successive DNFs, this one fairly flew in and I was all done and dusted in 20 mins dead – a PB by a good 6 minutes. I admit I was helped by growing the plant in question, and the able part of 1d was unparsed, but I’m not complaining. I think 22ac was my favourite today, but 8ac came close. Invariant
  8. I got 9d in the end despite having missed completely that it was an anagram. Therefore that and 1d both went in without me having a clue as to what was going on in the clue. Thanks to Mohn for explaining the clue for 1d but I do feel that it is well beyond QC standard.
    29 minutes for me today and just about the standard I enjoy most,with the exception of that one clue.
  9. No problems today although I could not confidently parse 1d. Thanks to Blogger for hard work. We have a cotoneaster in the garden which helped. 13 minutes. David
  10. I finished dead on my 30 minute target after struggling to finish the last two puzzles. LOI was 1A – I spotted the deception but thought the train runners were rails or tracks. Great clue!
  11. Sometimes, if you are on the right wavelength, the answers fly in more quickly – as they did for me today. No problem with 9d as I had all the crossers by the time I got to it… and I have one in the garden (as well as runner beans). Close to a PB at just under 4’… and then I tried the 15×15… Hmm.
  12. I found this much harder than normal. Needed the blog to understand why BAKER and RANGE should be parsed.
  13. It had to be 1 Down BAKER, thanks for your help understanding the clue! Bradfords Crossword Solver doesn’t include BAKER as a tradesman, perhaps it’s too obvious. Internet crossword solver couldn’t find any matches for 22 Across _O_R_E_Y – surprising! – I tried looking for an 8 letter cheese! It had to be 17 Down RANGE, I tried to understand it by thinking that RAN (initially) is when a fashion line has come to an end.
  14. Must admit when I think of a tradesman, I think of a plumber or carpenter or something like that, but the first definition in Chambers is “A shopkeeper” and the second “A skilled worker”. I actually guessed BAKER from the crossing letters and gave a mental shrug at the definition.

    I would have thought that SOBRIETY is a sufficiently common word that it would be known by any Internet crossword solver worth its salt – which one were you using?

    Edited at 2016-09-01 11:11 am (UTC)

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