Times Quick Cryptic 1101 by Flamande

A QC not to be taken lightly – I’m not sure biffers will find much joy – and then, when you get to the parsing, there’s quite a lot to work through. At 13ac, for instance, maybe the chancellor should have come more readily but the parsing had to be pieced together. 2dn gets my vote for COD (and I suspect our setter enjoyed putting it together) over the cheeky 1ac.
Well, that was my experience – your trials or tales of speed and PBs are eagerly awaited. I took 13 minutes which is above average for me and ended up at LOI 9ac.


1. COUPLED – joined together. Collins has ‘being one of the partners in a permanent sexual relationship’. Took charge (LED) following military take-over (COUP).
5. BRASS – section of orchestra. Right (R) to interrupt male singer (BASS).
8. PASS THE PARCEL – party activity. Anagram (distributed) of LAST PAPERS HE accepting Conservative (C).
9. SINCERE – honest. Transgression (SIN) about (RE) between them, they swamp church (CE – Church of England).
10. HEDGE – border. Man had (HE’D) say pushed back – EG backwards.
11. STINGY – mean. Smart (STING), fox(Y).
13. BRANDT – former German Chancellor (Willy. 1913–92, German statesman; socialist chancellor of West Germany (1969–74); chairman of the Social Democratic party (1964–87). His policy of détente and reconciliation with E Europe brought him international acclaim. Nobel peace prize 1971). And (AND), (T)urkish are at the back of Britain (BR).
15. AKELA – cub leader. I wouldn’t have know how to spell this so fortunately the answer is in the clue (taken in by) f(AKE LA)ughter.
16. NOTEPAD – computer. Anagram (unusually) of ADEPT ON.
19. PUTTING ACROSS – communicating successfully. When casting a vote one is ‘putting a cross’.
20. RALLY – double definition. Come round – to rally from ill health. Meeting =rally.
21. TOTTERY – unsteady. Swimmer (OTTER) between (T)a(Y).


1. CAPES – cloaks. Europeans principally – (E)uropeans inside (wearing) hats (CAPS).
2. UNSENTIMENTAL – showing no emotion. Peace keepers (UN – United Nations), drove (SENT), one (I), mad (MENTAL). I tried so hard to make this an anagram!
3. LATTE – coffee. (L)iquer (A)t (T)wenty (T)o (E)leven.
4. DIETER – double definition. Male german name/someone on a diet.
5. BLATHER – nonsense. Swimmer (BATHER) crossing lake (L).
6. ACCIDENT-PRONE – likely to keep falling down. Anagram (sort) of ON CAPRI DECENT.
7. SOLVENT – keeping afloat. Five (V) in sea off Portsmouth (SOLENT).
11. SNAPPER – double definition. Person shooting (pictures/films)/a fish.
12. GRAVITY – serious. It (IT) is covered in sauce (GRAVY).
14. KNIGHT – chivalrous type. Homophone (we hear) of dark period – night.
17. TACIT – understood. I (I) could get involved in diplomacy (TACT).
18. DISHY – good looking. Detective (DI), not confident among others (SHY).

23 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 1101 by Flamande”

  1. I needed 14 minutes which again suggests this was on the hard side. LOI was (as so often for me) the hidden answer, AKELA, a word I’ve known since I was a cub scout aged about 7, which came up, also as a hidden answer, in the main puzzle as recently as 18th April!

    Edited at 2018-05-29 04:44 am (UTC)

  2. 36 minutes. Felt tough.

    Difficult ones were in the SW: Akela, snapper (made harder by initially having getting across for 19a) and the last two stingy and gravity.

    COD stingy.

  3. 28 mins, so I agree it was on the hard side, but there again it didn’t take me an hour which the really difficult ones do! I always struggles with Flamande.
  4. Just about finished in average time, but then stuck for an age trying to find the fish at 11d as I had (like flashman) carelessly put GETTING ACROSS for 19a. It took me an unsuccessful double alphabet trawl to realise I had something wrong! 10:53.

    Edited at 2018-05-29 08:14 am (UTC)

  5. Yes, harder than average with the rotterometer registering 18 minutes. I was another who made it more difficult than it should have been by entering ‘getting across’, and only going back to check it when 11d proved terminally obdurate.

    There are a couple of possible NINAs in the grid. Is row 2 a sub-liminal advert for Rimmel maybe, and row 6 a bit wooden?

    1. Maybe a message was in there originaly – there’s also via and eat/thin lower down. I can’t make any sense of it – maybe it’s just random.
  6. This was a toughie. I thought of several words for nonsense beginning with B and containing L, but decided none of them was likely to feature in a Times crossword! Didn’t spot the photographic connection with SNAPPER, since snap shooting is a form of shooting at targets that only appear briefly. Hence someone snap shooting could be a SNAPPER.
  7. Went over my target time by 5 seconds, held up, like JohnI and Rotter by GETTING ACROSS, and like Vinyl by trying for too long to stick a C in a word for FAKE. 10:05. Nice puzzle. Thanks Flamande and Chris.
  8. This took about twice as long as usual, with same problem as others at 19ac, seeming to make the fish at 11dn some variety of GAR.
  9. Agree that it was a hard QC. Completed in 17.11 with LOI 15ac AKELA trying to use the same common sense as vinyl1. I’m sure we were not the only ones!
  10. I had to put this down after 30 minutes with 4 outstanding -11d,18d,15a and 19a.
    Coming back to it, I needed about another 10 minutes with Akela LOI. I thought I was looking for the name of a cub leader having finally got away from the Laughter idea. As ever the hidden dawned on me very late and then I did vaguely recall Akela but would not have known what it meant.
    Nothing unfair in the puzzle:well done Flamande. David
  11. Loved this — took me three sessions (so about 40 minutes), but very satisfying. My only question is re 17A. This was my LOI; until I had all the checkers, I just didn’t see how the “could” in the clue fitted. I was trying to contract it, like “I’d”…obviously didn’t work. Wouldn’t the clue still work without it?
    1. Firstly – good work! 3 sessions and a satisfying conclusion – you’ll be 15x15ing before you know it!
      As for the ‘could’ in 17dn – the clue/sentence needed something to make it read well yet still work strictly as a clue – which is called a good surface.
      1. Ha, I had a look at the back page today and got a grand total of 3! Some days are better than others. Thanks for the explanation, Chris; I’m guilty of taking things too literally (in life as well as art…) 🙂
        1. As Jack says, today’s 15×15 was a real toughie. It took me 71:12, and I usually do them in between 25 and 45 minutes. I also had to confirm that one of my answers existed!
        2. I don’t know whether you visited the blog for today’s 15×15, Lucy, but the consensus was that it was a very hard puzzle, so don’t be disheartened if you only managed 3 answers. They’re not all as difficult as that.
  12. Another struggle for me. Getting held me up too. Stopped after 30 minutes and when I went back quickly realised it should have been putting which gave snapper. LOI Brandt. So many good clues today. Very much liked 1a and 8a but 2d was brilliant. I am afraid that I only saw how brilliant when our blogger explained it! Thank you chrisw91. MM
  13. Delayed return, thanks to (lack of) French air traffic control, and I thought I was well off the pace when doing today’s little teaser. However 40mins doesn’t seem that bad given other comments, especially as it also included the obligatory ‘getting across’ diversion. I thought 10ac was pushing it for a QC, . . .but perhaps I’m still on ‘edge. Invariant
  14. Some tough clues in here today. I was another who went down the ‘getting across route’ and I also struggled with 10a, 15a, 5d and the parsing of 13a (LOI). 2d made me laugh out loud.
  15. Well it just goes to show. We did this thinking it wasn’t as hard as the last Flamande we did and we didn’t have to look anything up at all. Not a fast time but satisfying to do it over lunch and supper. A day late but it was a busy fun-raising weekend in torrential rain so we were still doing Monday’s and Tuesday’s yesterday.

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