Times Quick Cryptic 1126 by Hawthorn

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic

I”m not sure what’s gone wrong but Chris posted another blog for yesterday’s puzzle (1125 by Orpheus) instead of today’s. He said in his intro that he is on a walking holiday and short of time so I’ve taken it upon myself to blog 1126 on the assumption that he won’t be available to write another one at this stage. This will be a very brief effort but further explanations can be added later if needs be.

Solving time: 11 minutes

As usual definitions are underlined in bold italics, {deletions and substitutions are in curly brackets} and [anagrinds, containment, reversal and other indicators in square ones]

1 Made inroads before cold gets bitter (8)
SARDONIC – Anagram [made] of INROADS, C (cold)
6 Group of aquatic creatures circling new water feature (4)
POND – POD (group of aquatic creatures) containing [circling] N (new)
8 Inflammatory complaint on The Observer’s cover (4)
STYE – A superb cryptic definition!
9 A bad smell in theatre creates disruption (8)
SABOTAGE – A + BO (bad smell) in STAGE (theatre)
10 Case of cider safe to consume — honest! (8)
CREDIBLE – C{ide}R [case of], EDIBLE (safe to consume)
11 Keen opera singer making return (4)
AVID – DIVA (opera singer) reversed [making return]
13 Cook to catch geese, stuffing with European dairy product (7,6)
COTTAGE CHEESE – Anagram [cook] of TO CATCH GEESE contains [stuffing with] E (European)
16 Previously held in detention centre (4)
ONCE – Contained by [held in] {detenti}ON CE{ntre}
17 One travelling much lighter, we hear (8)
WAYFARER – WAY (much), FARER sounds like [we hear] “fairer” (lighter)
19 Decorative item of heraldic gold: call National Trust (8)
ORNAMENT – OR (heraldic gold), NAME (call), NT (National Trust)
21 Loathe keeping promise (4)
OATH – Hidden in [keeping] {l}OATH{e}
22 Processed cereal for breakfast, perhaps (4)
MEAL – Two meanings
23 Antisocial cat comes back and I go off (8)
TACITURN – CAT (reversed) [comes back], I, TURN (go off)
2 How no-one concludes part of the day (9)
AFTERNOON – A bit convoluted this, but I think the idea is that the ending of ‘no-one (i.e. the ‘e’) comes after noon, so AFTER NOON is ‘how no-one concludes’. Perhaps someone can express this more succinctly?
3 Fear uncoiling adder (5)
DREAD – Anagram [uncoiling] of ADDER
4 Beans go rotten in food container (7)
NOSEBAG – Anagram [rotten] of BEANS GO
5 Clever to support clubs in lead (5)
CABLE – C (clubs), ABLE (clever)
6 Disillusioned vets might admit to this particular dislike (3,4)
PET HATE – A straight definition preceded by a cryptic hint
7 Horse and badger (3)
NAG – Two meanings
12 Senior police officer reformed prison etc (9)
INSPECTOR – Anagram [reformed] of PRISON ETC
14 Wrong tone to adversely affect digital growth (7)
TOENAIL – Anagram [wrong] of TONE, AIL (adversely affect)
15 Vault over most of ice that’s hidden (7)
CRYPTIC – CRYPT (vault), IC{e} [most]
17 Wife and husband scoff grain (5)
WHEAT – W (wife), H (husband), EAT (scoff)
18 A relatively short distance in train (5)
AFOOT – A, FOOT (relatively short distance)
20 Eggs run out before start of Easter (3)
ROE – RO (run out – cricket), E{aster} [start]

23 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 1126 by Hawthorn”

  1. Like Vinyl, I biffed AFTERNOON and missed the cleverness of the clue. TACITURN gave me trouble, as I recall, and especially SABOTAGE: I was sure I had STAGE, but for a long time I could only think of ‘hum’ and ‘pong’–words I’ve learned from cryptics–and they clearly weren’t going to work. 7:36. Thanks, Jack, for filling in.
  2. I found a lot to enjoy in this. That’s just how I would have described the parsing of AFTERNOON, Jack – that one made me smile. WAYFARER is a great homonym and I liked STYE too, but SABOTAGE is my favourite. NAG my LOI. 5:14.
  3. Eventually limping home (last three in being SABOTAGE, CABLE and AFOOT, which required an alphabet trawl) in 3 Kevins.

    Thanks for parsing AFTERNOON, jack – I tried for ages (after seeing what the answer must be) to understand it, but in the end shrugged and wrote it in.

    Quite a stiff challenge for a QC, I thought, with (eg) STYE and SABOTAGE and AFTERNOON being above my pay grade, but none the worse for that. I enjoyed the wrestle, thanks Hawthorn.

    (By the way, did anyone else spot that Verlaine did yesterday’s QC in 1:50? That’s one minute and 50 seconds. The guy’s unbelievable!)

    Jack, thanks for stepping in because this one needed a blog as far as I was concerned! Much appreciated. One thing – in 17ac you say “way” = “much” and the homophone is that “farer” sounds like “fairer” = lighter. In my head, though, the homophone was “way” sounds like “weigh” as well, so “wayfarer” sounds like”weigh fairer” = “much lighter”. I may be offbeam though!


    1. Thanks for your kind words, Templar, and I always enjoy reading your contributions and constructive comments concerning your progress, especially when the QC of the day is perhaps a little more challenging than the norm.

      I sort of see what you mean about ‘weigh’ but having looked into it I think mine is the intended interpretation as illustrated in this entry for ‘way’ in the SOED:

      way: much, to a considerable degree. (Usu. with a compar. or superl.) Orig. US. M20. ▸ b Extremely, very. slang. L20. “He was way overdressed, for August”, “You’re way prettier than she is”.

      Edited at 2018-07-03 08:36 am (UTC)

      1. Oh yes, I see it now, thank you. So I had the right answer for the wrong reasons, Beta+ only. I’m way thicker than you!


    2. I think there are three possibilities with Verlaine.
      1) his stopwatch/computer runs really slowly.
      2) He’s developed an algorithm based on Steven Hawkin’s voice gizmo that fills the grid when he blinks at it.
      3) He really is that quick.
      There is a 4th possibility that the time was 1 hour 50 minutes, but that’s the least likely explanation.
  4. May I join the list of those thanking Jackkt for stepping in and explaining how Afternoon worked. I have to say that I have always equated taciturn with being quiet rather than antisocial but I suppose it does follow. 22 mins so pretty average for me.
  5. Thanks Jackkt for the blog. Needed it to parse quite a few biffed but correct answers. Solved in 18:23 with LOI 9ac SABOTAGE. Also needed all the checkers to get 15dn CRYPTIC.
  6. Biffed AFTERNOON. Much too subtle for me. Enjoyed STYE (evil piece of misdirection and my COD) and PET HATE. Don’t remember coming across the “case of” formulation before.
    Thanks to jackkt for a very good blog at short notice.
  7. I did this on my iphone whilst sat in the garage waiting for a diagnosis of my non operational NSF window, which turns out to be a faulty regulator mechanism. Part ordered and job will be done under warranty. After an almighty battle trying to fit my fingers to the squares and keyboard, I was held up at the end by failing to lift and separate “IN TRAIN” and spent a good 4 or 5 minutes before coming up with AFOOT, my LOI. This took me to over 17 minutes. When I arrived home, I filled it in again on the club site on my laptop, which now seems to have stopped misbehaving for no discernible reason, and it took me under 4 minutes to key it in, re-solving and parsing as I went, so I guess I’d have been under my 10 minute target under normal conditions. Nice puzzle. Thanks Hawthorne, and especially Jack for stepping in with the emergency blog.
  8. Great puzzle, this, almost completed it at breakfast and just finished it now. Please can someone explain STYE to me, though? I got it from “inflammatory complaint” but I still can’t see where The Observer’s cover fits in…I’m sure it’s rrally obvious but I just don’t get it.
    1. Inflammatory complaint on The Observer’s cover

      A STYE is an inflammatory complaint affecting the eyelid (Observer’s cover).

  9. I decided to put this down after 20 minutes or so with three outstanding: 18d, 5d and 9a.
    On my return I found AFOOT quickly(very clever clue) and then looked again at the last two. I thought of Sabotage and nearly rejected it; then I saw the parsing. So Lead had to be Cable (another clever clue with a lot of options to confuse the solver). About 25 minutes in total.
    Well done Hawthorn and thanks to Jack for the emergency blog. David
  10. Just short of 45 mins, so definitely at the tricky end of the spectrum. I’m still not sure that Hawthorn is pitching these at quite the right level: Stye (great clue, but even so. . .), Wayfarer, Tactiturn and Afoot are by no means straightforward. If you try not to Biff (and parse as you go along) this was a hard test, especially afternoon. My thanks to Jacket for stepping in and finally explaining the mystery of 2d. Invariant
  11. Just inside 14 minutes for me, with the distraction of a serious attack of gout – so quite pleased. Some clever misdirection and clueing from Hawthorn. Thanks for the ad lib blog Jacckt.
  12. Much harder today. I’ve managed a bit more than half so far.

    Time to take a break and come back later

  13. thanks for the explanation here too. this threw me alongside afternoon.
    much appreciation to all!
  14. Thanks for filling in jackkt. I found this at the harder end of the spectrum and it took me over 30 minutes to complete with a typo in 10a giving me credibie, which was annoying.
  15. Far too difficult for me I’m afraid, but then the QC long ago ceased to be aimed at beginners. Thanks as always to the bloggers though – their unraveling of the clues is very instructive.

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