Quick Cryptic 690 by Flamande

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
Thanks again to jackkt for agreeing to swap blogging slots with me. Just like last time I find myself crossing swords with Flamande, who has embarked on something of a world tour in this one, with half-a-dozen mentions of Europe, three visits to the Americas, a couple of dips into Africa, and a jaunt to Southeast Asia for good measure. A pleasant journey it is too, with the smooth surfaces that are the trademark of this setter. Not entirely sure about my parsing of 4A, but otherwise there doesn’t appear to be anything contentious or particularly obscure. Thanks, Flamande.

The puzzle can be found here if the usual channels are unavailable: http://feeds.thetimes.co.uk/timescrossword/20161031/19929/

Definitions are underlined.

1 Location housing a royal building (6)
PALACEPLACE (Location) around (housing) A
4 Trickster and scoundrel are in agreement (6)
CONCURCON (Trickster) + CUR (scoundrel). Con can be short for convict, and it can also be used as a modifier to indicate that some kind of swindle is going on (e.g. a con game, where the con is short for confidence), but I can’t see anything in the usual sources that supports the equivalence needed here. It’s possible we’re supposed to read the con as a modifier, so a CON CUR would be a cur who also engages in swindling – hmm.
9 Old mathematician embracing wife in Milton Keynes, perhaps (3,4)
NEW TOWNNEWTON (Old mathematician, i.e. Isaac) around (embracing) W (wife). Chambers has: “A town planned and built by the government to aid housing conditions in nearby large cities, stimulate development, etc”. Not sure how familiar this phrase will be to non-Brits, let alone Milton Keynes being an example of it, but the wordplay and checking letters aren’t unhelpful.
10 Nasty cut in garment (5)
TUNIC – anagram of (Nasty) CUT IN
11 Tract of land affording space? The reverse (4)
MOOR – reversal (The reverse) of ROOM (space), with “affording” simply a link word meaning “giving”
12 Save Italian number for male singer (8)
BARITONEBAR (Save) + IT (Italian) + ONE (number)
14 Brazil’s whereabouts, briefly? (2,1,8)
IN A NUTSHELL – double definition, the first literal and referring to a Brazil nut, the second figurative. We saw a similar clue for this in Quicky 47 by Orpheus: “Brazil’s position, to put it briefly”.
18 Gambling game permitted in a way (8)
ROULETTELET (permitted) in ROUTE (a way)
20 City of Scandinavia, large one principally (4)
OSLO – first letters (principally) of Of Scandinavia Large One, with the surface giving us some helpful extra hints about what kind of city we’re looking for and where to find it
22 Youngster I left with daughter after church (5)
CHILDI + L (left) with D (daughter), after CH (church)
23 Unexpectedly tedious in the open air (7)
OUTSIDE – anagram of (Unexpectedly) TEDIOUS
24 After party, wise person gives some medicine (6)
DOSAGEDO (party) + SAGE (wise person)
25 Overlook leading pair of generals in stronghold (6)
FORGETGE (leading pair of generals, i.e. the first two letters of the word “generals”) in FORT (stronghold)
1 Some seaman apparently raised hat (6)
PANAMA – hidden reversed (Some … raised) in seAMAN APparently, for the hat originating in Ecuador. Wikipedia says: “Straw hats woven in Ecuador, like many other 19th and early 20th century South American goods, were shipped first to the Isthmus of Panama before sailing for their destinations in Asia, the rest of the Americas and Europe, subsequently acquiring a name that reflected their point of international sale, “Panama hats”, rather than their place of domestic origin.”
2 Wretched dope (7)
LOWDOWN – double definition, with the second a synonym for information, though the usual sources seem to suggest that this non-hyphenated spelling is American English and the hyphenated spelling British English
3 Farm animal eats hot food (4)
CHOWCOW (Farm animal) around (eats) H (hot)
5 Straightforward to expose the Tories? (8)
OUTRIGHTOUT (to expose) + RIGHT (the Tories)
6 African river crossed initially on journey (5)
CONGOC (crossed initially, i.e. the first letter of the word “crossed”) + ON + GO (journey), for the world’s deepest river (well over 200 metres deep in places)
7 Seat for motorcyclist? (6)
ROCKER – double definition, the first meaning a rocking chair, the second meaning (Chambers): “(with cap) a member of a teenage faction of the 1960s who wore leather jackets, rode motorcycles, and were rivals of the Mods”
8 American Indian people accepting first of these magic words (11)
INCANTATIONINCA (American Indian) + NATION (people) around (accepting) T (first of these, i.e. the first letter of the word “these”). To me, this word immediately conjures up memories of the group of the same name who took their stonking version of panpipe classic Cacharpaya into the Top 10 in the early ’80s.
13 Likely loser grounded unexpectedly (8)
UNDERDOG – anagram of (unexpectedly) GROUNDED
15 The French scam going on for ever? (7)
LASTINGLA (The French, i.e. a word for “the” in French) + STING (scam)
16 Eventually located people within Thailand’s borders (6)
TRACEDRACE (people) within TD (Thailand’s borders, i.e. the first and last letters of the word “Thailand”)
17 Powerful river covering part of camp (6)
POTENTPO (river, flowing through Turin, Piacenza, etc) above (covering) TENT (part of camp)
19 Military groups dispersed in Tunis (5)
UNITS – anagram of (dispersed in) TUNIS
21 German chap who can be up and down (4)
OTTO – the wordplay simply tells us that the answer is a palindrome, so you can either search through your mental stock of German names for 4-letter palindromes or wait until you get the crossing letters (?T?O) and use them to fill in the gaps.

23 comments on “Quick Cryptic 690 by Flamande”

  1. The other great Ecuadorian export was balsa wood – essential during WWII for the building of ‘The Mosquito’.

    I never knew The Congo ran so deep!


  2. Five minutes for this one. Enjoyed IN A NUTSHELL and INCANTATION.

    Anyone who’s interested in making the step up to the 15×15 should have a look at today’s offering, which is definitely on the easier side.

    Thanks Flamande and Mohn.

    Edited at 2016-10-31 01:39 am (UTC)

  3. Almost squeezed in under the 4′ mark, but the last two (CONCUR and ROCKER, if memory serves) slowed me down just enough. CONCUR went in quickly once I had the O and C checkers, and I confess I didn’t feel any qualms about the definition at the time; I supposed that CON was also used nominally, short for ‘con man’. 4:12.
  4. 7 minutes for this one. Generally I try to parse everything mentally as I solve, and I think it’s doing this that prevents me cracking the 5 minute barrier when, like today, there’s an easier puzzle on offer. Not that speed is everything, or necessarily anything, as it’s the enjoyment factor that’s the main thing. Each to their own.

    I didn’t hesitate for a second over CONCUR, but on checking since the subject was mentioned I find that SOED has CON as an elliptical version of “confidence trickster” which would appear to cover what’s required here.

  5. 34 minutes.

    Thought I would struggle for longer with 8d, my LOI because of the American Indian theme, but incantation was used a few weeks ago I think in another crossword.

    I don’t really get the parsing for 12a bar=save, or 2d dope=lowdown.

    Will have a go at the 15×15 so thanks for the heads up.

    1. bar as in ‘all over bar the shouting’ =except=save
      lowdown 1=contemptible=wretched 2=the (inside?) information=dope
  6. Took about 25 mins on this. My stumbling blocks were 7dn and, surprisingly, 5dn, which was my LOI. I’d definitely echo the above in saying today’s 15×15 is worth a go. I barely get more than 5 or 6 but today managed to get all bar two (3ac and 8dn), although really should have got 3ac. I’d be interested to see how others get on. Gribb.
  7. I will echo the above comments that today’s main cryptic is easier than usual. There are a couple of tricky clues but in general it’s not a toughie.
  8. All pretty straightforward I thought.ROGKER brings back memories of the newsreels of the punchups on Brighton seafront in the 50s.
  9. Thanks for the reminder about the music at 8d. I remember the early-1980s BBC series about the Andes which included similar music from another group – Inti Illimani. I’ve still got the LP somewhere. As for the crossword – a pleasant and non-too-taxing start to the week. 4:43.
  10. This would have been a respectable (for me) 30 min solve, apart from the minor fact that my LOI, 17d, took nearly as long as all the others put together. Took ages to see what should have been obvious. It’s probably an old chestnut 😊, but 14ac was very enjoyable. Invariant
  11. Most of this went in quite quickly but then spent forever on 4a and 7d. I took a break and nearly completed the 15×15 (an almost unheard of event) and when I came back the final two went in ok. Favourites today were 8d and 14a. I lost track of time but would estimate this took me around 40 minutes.
    1. You might like to try Saturday’s prize cryptic as well – I found it the easiest for a while and just might suit you. (because it’s a prize crossword doesn’t necessarily mean it’s more difficult than normal)
      1. Sunday’s, right? I thought Saturday’s was pretty hard and there’s hardly anyone under 10m on the leaderboard, but Sunday’s was the easiest for quite some time.
        1. That as well, though strangely I thought Saturday’s was the easier of the two – it took me some time to get going with Sunday’s. Perhaps there’s a few of Saturday clues that could cause pause for thought but generally I found it pretty straightforward. But then what do I know…
      2. Hey deezzaa. Easiest for a while? You must have been in the zone! Over 38 minutes for me, which is about twice as long as counts as easy, and 50% over par for me. Maybe my form deserted me at the weekend. Today’s 15×15 though… yes I concur with others – well worth a try by those who are looking to step up.

        Edited at 2016-10-31 05:03 pm (UTC)

  12. Two hours and a blind follow-the-cryptic guess later (for 9ac), I can indeed confirm that today’s 15×15 is solvable. Blue moon time again. Invariant
  13. Got stuck on top right corner so had to cheat on 5d (outright), after that all went in fairly easily.
  14. I enjoyed this- a good standard and many good clues- favourites were 23a and 13d.
    It took me 16 minutes to get all but 8d, my LOI. Even with all the checkers I needed another 4 minutes. Thanks to Flamande -and, as always, to the blogger.
    I took the hint about today’s main cryptic and have filled in all the squares. I’m now going to see if my small number of guesses were correct. David

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