Quick Cryptic 805 by Flamande

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
Well here we are, 100 days into the year already, and with Middlesbrough falling slightly short of the Champions League place that I felt sure awaited them after last season’s heady promotion campaign. By contrast, a more predictable situation in Crosswordland is that I will enjoy a puzzle by Flamande and this, my second Flamande in a row to be blogged, is no exception, sharing as it does the familiar characteristics of this setter. There’s only one answer that I would consider as a slightly unusual piece of vocabulary but even for that the wordplay is helpful. So the enjoyment of the 13×13 can at least partially offset the sadness of the 115×75 – thanks, Flamande.

The puzzle can be found here if the usual sources are unavailable: http://feeds.thetimes.co.uk/puzzles/crossword/20170410/23159/

Definitions are underlined, {} = omission

7 Computer accessory needed by famous engineer (5)
MOUSE – hidden in (needed by) faMOUS Engineer
8 Potter’s unorthodox demonstration (7)
PROTEST – anagram of (unorthodox) POTTER’S
10 Kenneth longing to go inside part of house (7)
KITCHENITCH (longing) to go inside KEN (Kenneth). Ken Hom, perhaps? I have minimal interest in cookery but I remember being glued to his and Madhur Jaffrey’s shows back in the ’80s – real exotica in a predominantly meat-and-two-veg household.
11 Sat astride horse, nothing more, in Wild West show (5)
RODEORODE (Sat astride horse) + O (nothing)
12 Discourage fellow cleaner (9)
DETERGENTDETER (Discourage) + GENT (fellow)
14 Supporting member of rugby team, for the most part (3)
PROPRO{p} (member of rugby team, for the most part, i.e. the word “prop” (member of rugby team) without its last letter (for the most part))
15 Had meal in canteen regularly (3)
ATE – alternate letters of (regularly) cAnTeEn
16 Loathing of French examination process (9)
DETESTINGDE (of French, i.e. a French word for “of”) + TESTING (examination process)
18 Minister’s house fellow swore is empty (5)
MANSEMAN (fellow) + S{wor}E (swore is empty, i.e. the word “swore” without any of its internal letters). I’ve encountered this word a number of times in crosswords but I don’t think ever in real life – the wordplay here is pretty unambiguous (assuming you don’t consider the Scottish mon or dialect mun for the first part).
20 Satirise cake-making competition, with different introduction (4,3)
TAKE OFF – BAKE-OFF (cake-making competition) but replacing the B with a T (with different introduction). The competition is perhaps best known in the UK via a show called The Great British Bake Off, which defies all the usual dictionaries by using two words instead of either one or the hyphenated form. Nine of the top ten most-watched TV programmes of 2016 in the UK were episodes of this show (the other being an episode of Planet Earth II), which boggles the mind – clearly, double entendres about holding jugs and eating carpets represent peak watchability to the nation. The snow leopard is doomed.
22 When it’s Hogmanay, we yearn to go wild (3,4)
NEW YEAR – anagram of (to go wild) WE YEARN
23 Some letters from article are easily understood (5)
CLEAR – hidden in (Some letters from) artiCLE ARe
1 Man’s seldom indisposed, eating fine prepared fish (6,6)
SMOKED SALMON – anagram of (indisposed) MAN’S SELDOM, around (eating) OK (fine)
2 Fluttering bluetits, feature of foreign film? (8)
SUBTITLE – anagram of (Fluttering) BLUETITS. Good anagram and appropriate indicator though, of the usual sources, only Collins has bluetits as one word.
3 Yours truly and heads of section happily work together (4)
MESHME (Yours truly) + SH (heads of section happily, i.e. the first letters of Section Happily)
4 One consuming much alcohol and cake (6)
SPONGE – double definition
5 Half of soap boxes used by this Athenian philosopher (8)
SOCRATESSO (Half of soap, i.e. the first two letters of the word “soap”) + CRATES (boxes)
6 Not fully prepared to study (4)
READREAD{y} (Not fully prepared, i.e. all but the last letter of the word “ready” (prepared))
9 Road, though far from smooth, will lead to Far East (12)
THOROUGHFARETHO (though) + ROUGH (far from smooth) + FAR + E (East). Nice four-part charade.
13 After religious lessons, judged free of sin? (8)
REDEEMEDRE (religious lessons) + DEEMED (judged)
14 Convicted criminal lying about sources of illegal stash, right? (8)
PRISONERPRONE (lying) about IS (sources of illegal stash, i.e. the first letters of Illegal Stash) + R (right)
17 Teachers sound disapproving or start to shout (6)
TUTORSTUT (sound disapproving) + OR + S (start to shout, i.e. the initial letter of the word “shout”)
19 Creature wife caught in trap (4)
NEWTW (wife) caught in NET (trap)
21 Feature of soccer game, something thrilling (4)
KICK – double definition. In real life I never hear British people refer to soccer (only to football) unless they have no interest in the sport and/or are being derogatory, but the usage of both words in Quick Cryptics is roughly equal.

42 comments on “Quick Cryptic 805 by Flamande”

  1. Nothing to scare the horses here. I didn’t know ‘prop’ in the rugby sense, but it seemed likely, and any doubts were dispelled by the checkers. Checkers made 1d rather too biffable; I had SALMON once I’d passed once through the acrosses, and the SMOKED soon after. 4:58.
  2. 23 mins so quick for me, especially after a night like a 4d on the single malt.

    Last two were 9d and 13d.

    Couldn’t parse mouse, not spotting the hidden.

    Some nice clues including 20a and 14d but COD to 9d.

  3. After last weeks debacle, a speedy (for me) 14 minutes today. Never heard of manse, but the clueing was generous. COD has to be 2dn, as my day job involves the creation of these! And for anyone who uses them and gets frustrated by the errors – it wasn’t me, guvnor! Gribb.
    1. How, exactly, does on go about creating blue tots? (Excepting to obvious intervention of Mr and Mrs Bluetit).
  4. On the easier side for me at under 15mins. Perhaps my brain works better before breakfast. Csky
  5. … seems to be of about average difficulty based on the Crossword Club leaderboard, with any problems likely to be caused by unknown words rather than any particularly devious constructions. Give it a go.

    Edited at 2017-04-10 11:39 am (UTC)

  6. As a relative newbie very pleased with myself to break below 20mins for first time……..probably the last time for a while !!
  7. 9:07 today with MOUSE biffed from checkers as I didn’t spot the hidden. Nice puzzle. Thanks Flamande and Mohn2.
  8. 8 minutes today with lots clues where the answer was clear from the checkers and then needed parsing afterwards e.g. 9d and 7a.
  9. Sub 6.0 minutes for a straightforward puzzle. Wasn’t Gordon Brown often described as ‘a son of the manse’?
    1. Maybe for you! For me, it made a nice change after all the ones I failed to finish last week (Friday was the only one I got near to finishing). Today, I had to biff quite a few and then work out the parsing, where I could. In some cases, I only found out the parsing when I came here!
      FOI 8ac, LOI 4d

      More like this please!

      BTW, I never bother to time myself as I get stuck, out it down, come back, etc, etc. A same day finish is a good one 🙂

      Edited at 2017-04-10 05:49 pm (UTC)

  10. One of those ones where everything just seemed to click and the answers just came. As a result, the majority of time was spent on checking the parsing just to make sure, although I’ll admit there were a few where I didn’t exactly get this right. Namely 9d and 14d.

    Biffed 7ac as I didn’t spot the hidden answer and 18ac I hadn’t heard of but managed to work out.

    I don’t time myself generally, but as a newbie I think that’s the quickest I’ve ever done the QC so feeling particularly pleased with myself.

    Just one question – shouldn’t 2dn be plural e.g. subtitles?


    1. I see your point, but if subtitles are a feature of foreign films, then a subtitle is a feature of a foreign film, no? Note that the clue doesn’t say ‘films’.
    2. Further to Kevin’s comment – though we would say (at least in the UK) that a foreign film has subtitles (plural), by necessity that means it contains at least one subtitle (singular).
      1. Exactly…you would never “a” subtitle in a foreign film…you would have subtitles whether it was one film or more.

        Maybe it’s just my interpretation. Anyway, not going to get hung up on it.

        1. My point was that a plural something by definition consists of multiple singular somethings, hence if a film contains subtitles then it must also contain multiple instances of a subtitle. Similarly, a herd of cows contains (multiple instances of) a cow as well as cows. Apologies if this sounds like I’m harping on about it unnecessarily, but I think it’s important that beginners don’t feel as though there’s any kind of unfairness going on in the Quickies – things may be deceptive but shouldn’t be unfair. There’s plenty of that sort of thing awaiting in some of the other cryptics 🙂
  11. Pleased with myself today – 20 minutes, and nothing that totally baffled me for long (“tho” 9d took some doing). I am patting myself on the back as I type.
    By the by, do most of you use the online version? And does it tell you when your answer’s correct? I use the paper and pencil, Luddite that I am, which can cause delays (eg 14a, I put FOR as in forward, before changing it to PRO when I got PRISONER).
    1. Further to Jack’s comment, the online version also allows you to check an individual answer (or the entire grid), which can be helpful if you grind to a halt and want to see if an answer you’ve already entered is in fact incorrect.

      There are certainly pros and cons to solving on paper, the main con for me being that I don’t want to buy the newspaper and I don’t particularly want to use up ink/paper by printing the crossword from the website. However solving on paper means you can mess around with anagrams a lot more easily – plus if you have ambitions of entering the championship then improving the speed and clarity of your writing will prove useful.

      1. I do actually prefer the old-fashioned method, for exactly those reasons, mohn2. My brain seems to work better when I can scribble and doodle. I write my novel first drafts longhand then type them up – same sort of thing. Brain – hand – pencil beats brain – keyboard for me, anyway!
    2. Only ever paper for me – call me a fossil if you like
      Also do all of the across first and then all of the downs, and only then fill in the gaps
    3. Yes, when you complete the grid it congratulates or advises there’s are errors.
      1. Don’t you need a subscription to use the online version? I used to have one but no longer so I use the daily paper and pen method… Also means I can work on it over lunch…
        1. Yes, however I think (but aren’t 100% sure) that any subscription that gives you the paper will also give you online access.
          1. I have a print sub that, as far as I’m aware, no longer includes online access. It did initially but that was an error. They wrote to me and said they’d stopped it pretty quickly. I’m not sure if that’s still the case, looking at the web site now, there seems to be no discount for not taking online access.
            I must try again and see what happens.
  12. 18 minutes for me. If it wasn’t for 6d holding me up at the end, would have been sub-15 minutes and a definite PB. As it is, I think it about matches my PB. I had never heard of MANSE, but had the crossers, and the clue was clear. I think the others went in quickly. Only heard of Bake Off due to the missus, otherwise that would have been hard to parse.
  13. PB for me today 9’50”. I only started two years ago, and progress is due entirely to the patient explanation of the bloggers. I do my crossword on a tablet, which has multiple advantages, but solving anagrams is definitely easier with paper/pencil!
  14. I get the paper every day and so am often distracted by the Daily Quiz which appears above the QC. I aim to get at least one correct each day-out of 15. Very hard today-sample: What is the only country in Asia to have no divorce law?( Answer tomorrow).
    The puzzle- solved in 14 minutes, LOI 5d. A straightforward test. David
  15. I was looking forward to a nice, easy start to the week, but I was all the way down to 14ac before I wrote an answer in. I found the bottom half of the grid much easier, and when I revisited the top half I wondered why I had missed the ‘obvious’ answers the first time round. All done in 16 mins, which is about as quick as it gets for me. Invariant
  16. Seemed to go very smoothly today – maybe a very relaxing overnight break away helped the little grey cells this afternoon. Possibly a PB if I had been exact about it but approx 30 minutes. FOI 11a. LOI 3d. COD 9d. Missed parsing of 14d but had my own version that convinced me I was on the right track for a correct answer. Thx for the explanation Mohn and Flamande for a nice solve.
  17. A new PB for us at 21 minutes, I thinks it’s the first time we’ve been under 30 minutes. Most if what we’ve learnt has been from this blog – so many thanks everyone. We do it on an iPad and get the congratulations plus time taken at the end ( or not!) but how do you check an individual clue? I also read last week about a ‘reveal’ – I can’t see anything like that on my version.
    1. Firstly – congrats on your new PB!

      Secondly – I’ve never seen the iPad app but here’s what the screen looks like on a desktop:

      Screen Shot 2017-04-10 at 21.11.58.png

      1. Ah ok, many thanks for that. It’s different on the app, you don’t get all those options. Good to know though if we’re ever stuck we’ll try the website version!
  18. Congrats on the sub-20m! If you’ve done it once, you can definitely do it again.
  19. Great QC – normal vocab, straightforward clues. FOI 1dn LOI 9dn COD TAKE OFF.
  20. Found this surprisingly easy, as don’t usually finish without some assistance.

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