Quick Cryptic 897 by Flamande

Happily completed this one with my other half. Despite not being a regular solver, she completed much of it without hesitation or complaint, and only needed my (doubtful) help to crack the SE corner. COD 6dn.

Definitions underlined.

1 Preserves link, recruiting English spy (5,4)
JAMES BOND – JAMS (preserves) and BOND (link) recruiting (containing) E (English).
6 Old boy repulsed by a snake (3)
BOA – OB (old boy) backwards (repulsed) by A.
8 Like a boy left with his dad unusually (7)
LADDISH – L (left) and an anagram of (unusually) HIS DAD.
9 Show off volume by family member (5)
VAUNT – V (volume) and AUNT (family member).
10 Angelic, sober sort, easy to spot (12)
12 Pamper group on Greek island (6)
COSSET – SET (group) on COS (Greek island).
13 Social occasions welcomed by proud ancestors (6)
DANCES – hidden in (welcomed by) prouD ANCEStors.
16 Such perfect vision two decades into this century? (6-6)
TWENTY-TWENTY – double definition.
19 One doesn’t like shifting earth (5)
HATER – anagram of (shifting) EARTH.
20 Send society girl back, now it’s late evening? (7)
BEDTIME – EMIT (send) and DEB (society girl), all reversed (back).
22 Nothing in mill, after removal of odd components (3)
NIL – even letters of (after removal of odd components) iN mIlL.
23 Insignificant man on board one evening after work? (9)
WEEKNIGHT – WEE (insignificant) and KNIGHT (man on (chess)board).
1 Girl unwell after onset of jaundice (4)
JILL – ILL (unwell) after first letter (onset) of Jaundice.
2 Finish up interrupting church service? That’s insane (7)
MADNESS – END (finish) backwards (up) inside (interrupting) MASS (church service).
3 Originally, six kilometres impossible for runner in winter (3)
SKI – first letters of (originally) Six Kilometres Impossible.
4 Mostly, one casual worker is available (2,4)
ON HAND – all but the last letter of (mostly) ONe, and HAND (casual worker).
5 Destroy borders of Delaware and Virginia, say (9)
DEVASTATE – first and last letters (borders) of DelawarE, then VA (Virginia state abbreviation) and STATE (say).
6 Obscure book? This description might help (5)
BLURB – BLUR (obscure) and B (book).
7 Recasts failing performer (7)
ACTRESS – anagram of (failing) RECASTS.
11 Defeat leader of hecklers in public spat (9)
OVERTHROW – first letter (leader) of Hecklers inside OVERT (public) and ROW (spat).
12 Understand how to become popular (5,2)
CATCH ON – double definition.
14 Press item causing offence (7)
CUTTING – double definition.
15 Secure small item of furniture (6)
STABLE – S (small) and TABLE (item of furniture).
17 Acclaim former tax reduced by one pound (5)
EXTOL – EX (former) and TOLl (tax) missing final ā€˜lā€™ (reduced by one pound).
18 Socialists abandoned side (4)
LEFT – triple definition.
21 Lecturer seen in Oxford, once (3)
DON – hidden in (seen in) oxforD ONce.

15 comments on “Quick Cryptic 897 by Flamande”

  1. This was probably my quickest time ever at 12 minutes, so for me, this was the easiest crossword I’ve faced. I can’t see anything here that would stump people, and there was a large number of anagrams to help. Slightly thrown by the Greek island (also write Kos), but other than that, a breeze! Or is it just me? Gribb.
  2. 11 minutes here. Held up by 6dn which was required to get the long anagram at 10ac – for the QC I don’t resort to paper for anagrams which stretches the time out. Then in the SE it took a while to spot the hidden at 13ac (even though the answer was my first thought – maybe I should biff more) before getting loi 14dn.
  3. 13a and 14d also held me up, resulting in a time of 19:01. I didn’t spot the hidden for ages. Otherwise I thought it was quite straightforward fare but few write ins.
  4. About 15 mins with several interruptions, 23a took a while for some completely unknown reason
  5. A straightforward top to bottom solve in 8:33 with SKI FOI and WEEKNIGHT LOI. Liked JAMES BOND. Took me a while to stop trying to put a P into a service for 2d. Enjoyable puzzle. Thanks Flamande and William.
  6. 23ac took ages to see – must remember to look at both ends of the clue – and the long anagram at 10ac also took too much time. The upshot was another 30 min solve. A nice puzzle from Flamande, with 1ac my favourite. Invariant
  7. About 25 minutes for me. Was heading for an easy PB, but got stumped by DANCES and CUTTING. For CUTTING, I spent too much time thinking that the work “item” meant “THING”, and so was trying to find a word for offence “??THING”. Then rethought it through, and got it.
  8. Cos is surely an Anglo-centric bordering on archaic spelling for what the Greeks and the rest of the world call Kos. I think it’s about time it was retired from the cruciverbal lexicon.
    Otherwise all bit of a top to bottom write-in <4 mins.
    1. But by the same logic we can’t be allowed Munich or any other Anglicised place names.This is an English puzzle in an English newspaper so one might expect Anglicised spellings.
      1. Equally hard to justify these days. Allowance has to be made, of course, for different alphabetical systems but the argument ‘English puzzle in English newspaper’ just doesn’t cut it anymore. Time to move on methinks.
  9. @1ac made for a good start – on the day Daniel Craig is back! So COD!

    Time 7.31 with only LOI 11dn OVERTHROW holding me up much.

    WOD COS!

  10. Another happy day for me. Finished in 19 minutes. Can’t believe that my loi was dances – so obvious once I saw it! I am having a good week, so they must be easier puzzles… but I am certainly NOT complaining. I am still trying to work out how anybody could go sub 4 minutes. I’m not sure I could read the clues in so little time!! COD: James Bond. MM
  11. I thought this was a very elegant puzzle and was working my way through it very efficiently until I went blank with my LOI, 13a. I had a serious doh! moment when I realised what was going on.
    Completed in 15 minutes with 1a and 5d competing for my COD.
  12. Came to this late and failed to solve 13a and 14d.
    Was sure that in 14d Item =Thing and was trying to justify Lothing or something along those lines.
    And of course I failed to see the hidden.

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