Quick Cryptic 699 by Hawthorn

This one from Hawthorn took me 7:45, so I’m going to guess it was just slightly on the difficult side of average.  Your mileage may vary, of course.

Enjoyable crossword with a nice variety of clues.  Nothing more for me to add, so let’s just thank the setter and get on with the parsing.

Clues are reproduced in blue, with the definition underlined.  Anagram indicators are bolded and italicised.  Then there’s the answer IN BOLD, followed by the parsing of the wordplay.  (ABC)* means ‘anagram of ABC’.

1 Way that saves time for Bob, perhaps (5,3)
SHORT CUT – Double definition
Forget the shilling, or Bob your neighbour, the second def’s referring to a hairstyle.
5 Go around on southern motorway creating air pollution (4)
SMOG – S (southern) + M (motorway) + OG (go “around”)
8 Tune librarian arranged as patriotic anthem (4,9)
10 Pasta guzzled by misshapen Neapolitan (5)
PENNE – Hidden in misshaPEN NEapolitan
11 To gripe about act of self-aggrandisement (3,4)
12 Almost all spirits and wine vessels are secured thus (6)
MOORED – MOO [almost all MOOD (spirits)] + RED (wine)
Probably my COD this one, with its nicely disguised definition.
13 Prepare to drive in comfy seat (6)
SETTEE – In golf you SET the TEE before you drive.
16 Choke, spitting out large rum (7)
STRANGE – STRANGLE (choke) without L (large)
This meaning of rum (strange, odd, queer) is another Crosswordland standard.  It actually appeared twice in Wednesday’s 15×15.
18 I regularly avoid being taken in by county council regarding citizens (5)
CIVIC – I + VI (regularly aVoId) “taken in by” CC (county council)
“Regularly” is a giveaway, indicating the alternating letters of a word or phrase.
20 Speed setting for guided missile? (6,7)
CRUISE CONTROL – Cryptic definition
Conflates the automatic speed setting in modern motor vehicles with cruise missiles which are controlled remotely.
21 Chop top off smooth and shiny vegetable (4)
LEEK – Chop the top (first letter) off SLEEK (smooth and shiny)
22 Calm broken by promo song (8)
SERENADE – SERENE (calm) “broken by” AD (promo)
1 Peel off football kit (5)
STRIP – Double definition
2 Moorland oppressively hems in US city (7)
ORLANDO – Hidden in moORLAND Oppressively
“Hems in” indicates the hidden in this case.
3 Pills protecting nine playing sport (5,6)
TABLE TENNIS – TABLETS (pills) “protecting” (NINE)*
4 University’s head of equality: ‘Vote for men and women‘ (6)
UNISEX – UNIS (University’s) + E (head of equality) + X (vote)
We have preferential voting down here, so we mark our ballots with numbers, but a quick google reveals that the UK uses an X to indicate the candidate of choice.  Presumably you already knew that, but I didn’t.  But did you also know that the Returning Officer will accept your vote even if it’s marked with a smiley face, as long as your intention is clear?
6 Mode of speech in grand house (5)
MANOR – Homophone (of speech) of MANNER (mode)
7 Wrestle with pages in large spread (7)
GRAPPLE – PP (pages) in (LARGE)*
9 Conservative featured in Panorama supporting a welfare payment for teens (11)
ADOLESCENCE – C (Conservative) in SCENE (panorama) “supporting” A + DOLE (welfare payment)
I won’t be the only one to have bunged in a semi-parsed ADOLESCENTS, thus causing a problem with 22ac.  Couldn’t make sense of it for a while, but of course “teens” here doesn’t refer to the moody, spotty individuals, it’s the stage of life in which they find themselves.
12 Cats, for example, calm us, I suspect (7)
“Suspect” works as an anagrind here in the sense of “that politician’s a bit suspect”.  Or more commonly, “a bit sus”.
14 Article regarding tax returns for Greek restaurant (7)
TAVERNA – AN (article) + RE (regarding) + VAT (tax) all reversed (returns)
15 Salvage short snooker implement and a different snooker implement (6)
RESCUE – RES{T} (“short” snooker implement) + CUE (a different snooker implement)
17 Reportedly, what’s found beneath a trunk road (5)
ROUTE – Homophone (reportedly) for ROOT (what’s found beneath a trunk)
Someone will point out that for many people, ROOT and ROUTE are not homophones.  I would respond with “so what”?  Anyway, nobody ever heard of Mick Jagger getting his kicks on rowt 66.
19 Chlorine’s not right in girl (5)
CHLOE – Remove R (right) + IN from CHLO{RIN}E
Spent too long trying to remember the chemical symbol for chlorine before seeing the glaringly obvious.

13 comments on “Quick Cryptic 699 by Hawthorn”

  1. My solving time (13 minutes) might suggest this is more difficult than most QCs of late, or perhaps I’m slowing down because I’ve only achieved my sub-10 minute target once this week, on Monday. There were two clues here that cost me time as I had to come back to them several times and only solved them once all the checkers were in place, namely 12ac MOORED and 19dn CHLOE. But on reflection they both seem perfectly straightforward.

    The lack of overnight comments here and nothing post-19:00 GMT on yesterday’s main puzzle is rather odd. I wonder if LJ has been playing up.

      1. That’s 8am Perth time Rob, or midnight London time.

        Not sure it would be possible for comments to be posted before the blog!

  2. Ah, I made the mistake of putting in adolescents for 9dn so was stumped on 22ac and eventually gave up. I’d say this was a mixture of easy to hard. Nothing toot axing, but definitely made you work for it. Gribb.
  3. Started briskly, but was then held up by 4, 9, 12 and 19, pushing me out to a disappointing 45mins. Should have been a lot quicker really. Invariant
  4. Flying today, insomnia does that for me, so 5′.

    “I loved you in the morning, your kisses sweet and warming…”.

  5. On the easier side I thought apart from 12ac which I am ashamed to say utterly defeated me, even though I had spotted that it was probably MOO,E,. So well done to the setter for throwing me totally off track.
  6. 22 minutes for me, too. Nothing too difficult, but I’m always a bit slower on the second Friday of a month, after a regular drinking session on the second Thursday!
  7. Couldn’t parse 12a so thanks for the blog! COD 22a serenade LOI 4d unisex. Found 4d really hard to unravel. Nearly plumped for settle 13a but couldn’t reconcile to it being soft. 19d Chloe is unusual name, I thought, but met two this afternoon! A nice end to the week with, over a couple of sessions, estimated at 90 minutes fun being sporadically fast and then stumped in turn.
  8. 1a and 1d went straight in; then 5a and 8a and I thought I could be on for a PB. However reality and the effects of a long lunch kicked in. In the end I could not parse Moored and Chloe so thanks to blogger. I struggled to get 4d and my LOI was 9d but at least I had all the checkers. No time recorded as fell asleep. Favourite 8a for the ingenious anagram. David
  9. I thought this was a gentle end to the week, completed in 14 minutes. Only really held up by my LOI 4d.

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