Quick Cryptic 855 by Teazel

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
After a disastrous weekend during which some decidedly abnormal temperatures on Teesside gave my Dairy Milk cache a molten consistency that did not enjoy my favour, Teazel has served up a puzzle that has kept away from the brain-frying end of the difficulty spectrum. I don’t think any of the answers would qualify as obscure and there is no particularly fiendish wordplay, so you may have some spare time in which to savour the simple elegance of surfaces such as those in 22A and 19D. Hopefully a nice confidence builder – the week is likely to bring tougher challenges.

The puzzle can be found here if the usual channels are unavailable: http://feeds.thetimes.co.uk/puzzles/crossword/20170619/24328/

Definitions are underlined, {} = omission

1 Put a coat on and disappear round corner at last (7)
VARNISHVANISH (disappear) round {corne}R (corner at last, i.e. the last letter of the word “corner”)
5 A key English woman (5)
ADELEA + DEL (key, i.e. the shortened form of Delete on many computer keyboards) + E (English)
8 How fireworks are a great success? (2,4,1,4)
GO WITH A BANG – kind of an extended definition, using the literal example of fireworks to illustrate a figurative expression
10 Queen’s manner showing no extremes (4)
ANNE – {m}ANNE{r} (manner showing no extremes, i.e. the word “manner” with neither its first nor last letters). Wikipedia tells me that Anne reigned from 1702 to 1714 (first as Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland, then Queen of Great Britain and Ireland after the 1707 Acts of Union) and had 17 pregnancies.
11 Sit down to steal from church? (4,1,3)
TAKE A PEW – literal interpretation of a figurative expression
12 A dandy, too (2,4)
AS WELLA + SWELL (dandy)
14 Not moving beside others (2,4)
AT RESTAT (beside) + REST (others)
16 Divine baby one accepts responsibility for (8)
GODCHILDGOD CHILD (Divine baby). I can’t see any straight equivalence for GOD=Divine so I can only assume the interpretation is that a GOD CHILD is a child of a god, which then fits the Divine=of a god meaning.
18 Cat turning up with parent (4)
PUMA – reversal of (turning) UP, + MA (parent)
20 Dreadfully stoned again, getting annoyed (11)
ANTAGONISED – anagram of (Dreadfully) STONED AGAIN
22 Fruit with large stone (5)
PEARLPEAR (Fruit) + L (large)
23 Back to welcome tragic hero (7)
OTHELLO – reversal of (Back) TO, + HELLO (welcome)
2 Element of technical language judge avoided (5)
ARGON – {j}ARGON (technical language judge avoided, i.e. the word “jargon” (technical language) without the j (judge)), to give one of the inert gases, chemical symbol Ar. Used in some fluorescent lamps.
3 Two presents can’t be found? (7)
NOWHERE – both NOW and HERE are words for present. There was a similar clue in the Sunday Times cryptic a couple of weeks ago.
4 Group is ready (3)
SET – double definition
6 Small drink before a 23, for instance (5)
DRAMADRAM (Small drink) + A, and note that the answer to 23 is Othello, the play by Shakespeare
7 Litre, for example? Not so much drunk (7)
LEGLESSL (Litre) + EG (for example) + LESS (Not so much)
9 Tricky week in a section of hospital (7)
AWKWARDWK (week) in A + WARD (section of hospital)
11 Strangely, Gill not ringing (7)
TOLLING – anagram of (Strangely) GILL NOT
13 Sort of heater that is so great when repaired (7)
STORAGE – anagram of (when repaired) SO GREAT
15 No way hiding, ready for quick thrust (7)
RIPOSTERIPE (ready), in which O (No, in the sense of zero) + ST (way, i.e. street) is hiding. Slightly awkwardly phrased.
17 Produce food from damaged crate (5)
CATER – anagram of (damaged) CRATE
19 Daughter interrupting dinner gong (5)
MEDALD (Daughter) in (interrupting) MEAL (dinner), to give the slang word for a medal
21 Crazy person that may be going to bolt (3)
NUT – double definition, the second slightly cryptic in that it is hoping to make you think of escaping rather than being attached to a bolt

28 comments on “Quick Cryptic 855 by Teazel”

  1. I didn’t realize until I came here how many clues I’d unconsciously biffed, like LEGLESS, a word I only recently learned from a 15×15. So I was even more sluggish than I felt at the time. I thought ‘annoyed’ was a less than satisfactory definition for ANTAGONISED. 6:23.
    1. I took “getting annoyed” as a reasonable definition of antagonised . . .


  2. 8 minutes. I needed Othello before I could solve 6dn. I agree 15dn is awkward and in fact one has to do mental contortions to get it to work as the obvious reading is that “no way” is hiding “ready” rather than the other way round. I note the positioning of the comma, but even so…
  3. 16:28. LOI was Adele, was looking for a single letter for “Key” as in musical key, did not think of keyboard.

    I thought ‘divine baby’ for ‘God child’, as in a god born as a child, such as Jesus, was fine, and a good clue.


    1. Look out for ESC as it’s quite common, at least in the 15×15 puzzle though I’m not sure if has appeared in the Quickie yet. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen ALT too.

      Checking my keyboard (which is a standard one as far as I’m aware) perhaps we could also expect “key” to turn up cluing END, HOME, TAB, SHIFT or ENTER.

      Edited at 2017-06-19 10:45 am (UTC)

  4. Good Monday challenge. Just over 20 minutes, LOI was godchild.

    Pretty much done in about 10 mins and then stuck on Anne, antagonised, pearl, Othello, and riposte.

    Couldn’t parse riposte despite seeing ripe.

    COD pearl.

  5. Finished a shade under 30 mins, but had completed all bar 1ac, 10ac and 16ac after 15. I couldn’t for the life of me work out 1ac and even thought of putting in GARNISH before the penny dropped. 16ac, likewise, was a straightforward answer but quite difficult to see. Not sure 8ac sounds quite right to me. I always think of “go out with a bang”. Although that of course has a different meaning. 7dn is definitely COD. Gribb.
  6. Finished soon after Orpington.

    My COD was MEDAL, a lovely clue. Very neat deception.

    LOI was VARNISHED – I think I’m getting a psychological barrier about the 1ac clues, because I always want to start there and hardly ever get them straight away!!

    I feel mohn’s Tees-side temperature agonies – down here in the Kent Savannahs my thermometer (in the shade on a north wall) hit 32 degrees and I was too listless even to look at the Sunday puzzles!

    1. I generally look for the longest answers first, in particular those that will give the initial letters of several other answers, but I agree that there is definitely something satisfying about whacking in the answer to 1A first if you are able.
  7. Biffed my penultimate clue 15d, then went to make a cup of tea (surprising how often that’s so effective!) and the penny dropped on my last – and COD – 16a.

    Thanks to Teazel and Mohn2

  8. … is at the easier end of the spectrum, though there may be a couple of words that are familiar to old hands but not so familiar to newer solvers.
  9. Del for key is a new one on me so many thanks to Mohn for appraising me. I was very held up at the end with the juxtaposition of that issue in 5a and with 6d and 23a being linked. Ended up with 37 mins.
      1. I’ve obviously spent so much time giving people As in their performance management that a stray A has slipped in!
  10. 9:40 for me after a quick start was reined in by the NE corner, which I had to return to after completing the rest of the puzzle. I can confirm Mohn’s summary of the Teesside weather. I hardly slept a wink last night and am currently sat with the doors and windows open and the fan blasting away in the corner, trying hard not to move and generate any more heat! FOI was VARNISH and LOI DRAMA. I also struggled to make the parsing of 15d work, as it all seems to point to being the other way round. Thanks Teazel and Mohn2.
  11. 20 odd minutes so fairly straightforward for me, although didn’t spot DEL = key.
  12. A gentle start to the week with just the NW holding me up for a couple of minutes at the end, in particular 1a and 3d (my COD and LOI). Completed in 14 minutes.
    Time for a stab at the 15×15 as I got 1a and 1d standing in the queue at Tesco this morning, which offered me a rare glimmer of hope.
  13. This was my best time for some time at 6.50 minutes.

    LOI ADELE – more comuptations!

    WOD TAKE A PEW so very English!

    COD 3dm NOWHERE very neat.

    If you think Teesside is hot welcome to Shanghai with not a Dairy Milk in sight!

    1. My sole visit to Shanghai was at the end of autumn about ten years ago, when it was quite pleasant temperature-wise although a bit lacking in sunshine, however I made several summer business trips to Hong Kong, which I’m guessing has a similar climate to Shanghai, and I do recall those visits as being a complete sweatfest even in business casual. You have my sympathy!

      My go-to chocolate when travelling in China was Dove, which I presume/hope is still going strong. It certainly filled a gap whenever I was struck by a chocolate craving.

  14. After a week away (near Toronto, in temperatures pushing 30deg but, fortunately, in an air conditioned house) I didn’t find today’s QC too bad. Unlike others, I didn’t have any problems with 1ac, 16ac, etc.
    However, I DNF because I just couldn’t see 22ac – obvious with hindsight. Also, I had no idea why 3dn, 15dn and 5ac were correct so thanks for the explanations.

    I took the Times QC Book 1 with me to practice while away but got totally bogged down after the first couple 🙁 – is anyone blogging that anywhere?

    Now I’m going to struggle in a different way tonight in my non-a/c house where the bedroom temp has gone off my fridge thermometer’s scale (it tops out at 30deg C).

    1. I believe that the QC books are similar in concept to other Times cryptic books, i.e. they contain a selection of puzzles that were originally published in the paper in a particular year, generally in chronological order (but obviously missing out a few puzzles). Hence they definitely will have been blogged – the only problem is that there is no obvious mapping. (Note that the mapping has been done for some books (see here) but unfortunately none of the QC ones yet.)

      My suggestion would be to pick one of the most obscure answers in the first puzzle in the book and then search this site for that word – with any luck, the blog for that puzzle will be the first Quicky entry in the results. You can do the same for subsequent puzzles in the book though, as mentioned, it’s quite likely that the puzzles will be in chronological order so you can instead use the LiveJournal calendar to click on successive days until you find the appropriate blog. Hope that makes sense!

      1. Thanks for the suggestion – I hadn’t thought of that. So far I have found that the first puzzle is QC no 1 (appropriately enough) and then it’s 97, 18, 27, 38 and 55. So not much of a pattern. The setter is credited, so that helps with searching (as long as the info is included in the blog and I found one, so far, where it isn’t)

        When I’ve worked out the complete set, I could furnish a list for the blog page you mentioned if that would be useful?

        1. Ah – having the setter’s name is helpful but not having a chronological order isn’t. There’s no standard blogging format either so a variety of searching techniques may be required.

          It would definitely be useful to have a mapping. If you have the time to make a note of the puzzle number and the blog link in a list format something like this:

          1 http://times-xwd-times.livejournal.com/1077200.html
          2 http://times-xwd-times.livejournal.com/1152012.html

          then I’m happy to turn it into HTML. Though if you have the knowledge to do that yourself then by all means go ahead.

          1. OK, will do. I can start when I have a handful and add as I go along. I can cope with html. I’d add the setter as well, if that doesn’t break any norms?

            How do I set about it – is there a guide somewhere?

            1. Unfortunately there’s no guide but it’s not too complicated. If you do a View Source (or whatever the equivalent is on your browser for showing a page’s underlying HTML) on one of the existing mapping pages then you can copy the appropriate bit of HTML and use that as a template.

              To create the page within LiveJournal, click on POST NEW ENTRY in the top right of your screen and it should show you an empty blog page with two tabs – VISUAL EDITOR (i.e. what the page will look like when viewed with a browser) and HTML (i.e. the underlying HTML). Click on the HTML tab and then paste the template HTML. You can then either delete all the mappings and start from scratch, or overwrite the blog links with your new ones. Adding in the setter as well will be fine – we don’t have that info for any of the main cryptics or Jumbos so it’s never been possible to include it.

              I don’t think you will have permissions to post the completed blog to the community so, when it’s done, just let me know and I can post it there (with a credit to yourself, of course).

              Let me know if you need a hand with any of this.

              1. Thanks, will look into it when I’ve mapped a few more to make it worthwhile.
  15. The weather was very hot today but I was cooler on the puzzle.
    Got most of it in 14 minutes then paused over 2/3 clues. I could not parse Adele -but put it in finally. 2d required a second look.
    Also 16a stumped me. I ended up with Boychild ( i.e. Mary’s boychild). I’m not entirely happy with the parsing of the answer above.
    Some nice clues otherwise. David

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