Times Quick Cryptic 1151 by Teazel

16:32. This was slow going all the way through and I wondered if I’d ever complete the NW. Last two in (LTI) 8ac and then 2dn. Normally when I go through the clues in detail for the blog I wonder why I had such troubles but, even though I feel I wasn’t firing on all cyclinders, this does seem to be on the trickier side. Well crafted though – so thanks to Teazel – let me know if I was the only one who found the clues difficult to unpick.


8. PAULINE – girl. Pyrenean city (PAU), left (L), in (IN), east (E). Dnk Pau – it’s a city in southwestern France, set along the Pyrenees mountains’ northern edge approximately 85 km from the Spanish border.
9. ROUGE – cosmetic. Degenerate man (ROUE) secures good (G).
10. TENET – item of belief. That may be reversed = read backwards and forwards.
11. TOP GEAR – double definition. Best outfit – top clothes/gear and fourth or fifth – top gears in a car or bike.
12. PLASTIC – credit card. This one took forever as it’s been so long since I used the term – does it go back the ‘my flexible friend’ era? Finally (LAST) gets admission to film (PIC).
14. STAKE – interest (in something). Anagram (unusual) of KATES.
15. WAGER – bet. Comedian (WAG), queen (ER).
17. LURCHER – dog. Temptation (LURE) and run (R) around church (CH).
19. SOLOIST – individual performer. Thus (SO), is (IS) inside luck (LOT).
20. MULCH – soil improver. Left (L) inside rage quantity (MUCH).
22. ORIEL – window (NOT widow as in my first reading). A little of the clue Maj(ORIE L)oves.
23. ORPHEUS – fabulous singer. Knew of Orpheus but not the singing exploits – Orpheus is a legendary musician, poet, and prophet in ancient Greek religion and myth. Anagram (amazingly) of U POSHER. A pretty clear anagram.


1. SPOT – notice. Small (S), urn (POT).
2. GUINEA – country. Experimental sort of pig = guinea pig.
3. LIST – double definition. A boat lists – leans over. A series of items on a (shopping) list.
4. GESTICULATION – hand-waving. Anagram (storming about) of LUNATIC EGOIST.
5. PROPOSER – one opening debate. In favour of (PRO), model (POSER).
6. EUREKA – I’ve discovered something! Losing head (without the first letter) of w(AKE), French street (RUE) up – all upwards/backwards.
7. HEAR-HEAR – I approve. To try in court is to (HEAR)x2.
12. PAWNSHOP – place of uncle. Newcomers to crosswordland may be unfamiliar with this term but it’s pretty common here. I think it’s origin is from the ‘avuncular’ help given by a pawnbroker to people in times of temporary financial distress. Men on board (PAWNS), dance (HOP).
13. TORTILLA – pancake. Wrong (TORT), one (I), everyone (ALL) picked up = all upwards/backwards.
16. GALLIC – French. Resentment (GALL), I (I), (C)alm.
18. HOLMES – famous solver. Mark (M) in gaps (HOLES).
20. MOPE – feel miserable. Anagram (translating) of POEM.
21. HISS – show disapproval. Man’s (HIS), son (S).

27 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 1151 by Teazel”

  1. I also struggled, firstly to get started with many clues read before an answer jumped out at me, and later to finish off with PAULINE and GUINEA the last to go in. ‘Pyrenean city’ is a going it a bit for a QC clue! Took far too long to see STAKE as ‘interest’. 17 minutes.
  2. 23 mins with last two Pauline and guinea.
    Dnk pawnbroker/place of uncle connection.

    Don’t think much of Pauline. I suggest:
    Woman assembled a lineup.

    Woman shot up alien.

    Liked top gear and tortilla, COD to Holmes.

  3. Easily the trickiest of these I have tried, tripping past 10 minutes, if only by 1 second!
    GUINEA my last in – nothing wrong with the clue, just didn’t see it. GESTICULATION took a while to emerge from the debris of its anagram.
    Other hesitations: the LURCHER is a rarer breed of dog in these parts
    HOLMES credited rather slyly as a solver.
    ORPHEUS as a singer: apparently he was, but I think of him more as a lyre player.
    PLASTIC because I worked from the wrong end of the clue.
    TOP GEAR started as TOP DECK.
    Challenging stuff: well set.
  4. Oh, and TORTILLA as pancake. Mine’s more of an omelette when it isn’t a bready wrap.
  5. Six minutes today. I used to keep GUINEA pigs. I learned that they were either alive or dead, not much in between, so I still wonder why they are used in experiments.

    I rather liked PAWNSHOP.

    Thanks chris and Teazel.

    1. My grandson thought the guinea pig would enjoy bouncing with him on the trampoline. When the inevitable happened, it was “look Mum, he’s still alive. When you shake him his head moves”. In my experience, family pets can be an introduction to the creation of life, but usually have a much clearer message about its fragility.
  6. I got pawnshop from the first half but the reference to an uncle as a keeper of a pawn shop is a new one on me
  7. Like jackkt PAULINE and GUINEA were my last two in. I got PAU from the girl’s name and then remembering it was in the Pyrenees. The answer to 2d got me wondering where the use of GUINEA PIG as someone to experiment on came from….
    “Biological experimentation on guinea pigs has been carried out since the 17th century. The animals were frequently used as model organisms in the 19th and 20th centuries, resulting in the common epithet “guinea pig” for a test subject, but have since been largely replaced by other rodents such as mice and rats. They are still used in research, primarily as models for human medical conditions such as juvenile diabetes, tuberculosis, scurvy, and pregnancy complications.”
    …says Wikipedia. So now i know!
    No real hold ups for me, finishing 1:20 under average. I liked GESTICULATION for the imagery conjured by the surface. Thanks Teazel and Chris.

    Edited at 2018-08-07 04:34 pm (UTC)

  8. I too struggled with Pauline and Guinea, and didn’t know the use of Uncle with reference to a pawnshop. Still somehow scraped in on target at 20 mins.
  9. Guinea and Pauline seemed easy (suspiciously – ie too – easy actually). But ‘pawnshop’ seems unnecessarily obscure in its clueing. I was working on place of uncle – perhaps Sam? Implies US or USA. This kind of secret trick is what put me off bridge – since place of uncle is not normal English useage. And ‘plastic’ for credit card took me back: it must be 30 years since I have heard it used in that sense! 20 minutes without those two, which I regard as unsolvable to those under a certain age!
  10. Don’t really know why it took 22 mins – I thought I was going really well until,the last half dozen clues.
    Oriel tripped me up (doh!) and gesticulation took a while but my last two were plastic and pawnshop. John M
  11. I think that, apart from typos, this is the first QC I’ve failed to solve. I just couldn’t see 2d and after 5 minutes of staring helplessly at _U_N_A shoved in LUANDA and got 3 pink squares. I had to come here for the answer as I still couldn’t see it after submitting. Forehead slap time now:-) I hadn’t heard of PAU either, but there didn’t seem to be an alternative woman to PAULINE. One up to Teazel! I did find the rest of it on the tricky side. 18:42 WOE. Thanks Teazel and Chris.
  12. Took a long time to get going at all, and never got better. Didn’t know that ORPHEUS was a singer. Convinced myself that ORIEL was spelt AURIOL, needed pen and paper for the long anagram, didn’t know that PAU was in the Pyrenees, didn’t know the connection between Uncle and PAWNBROKER and spent ages thinking of names of mathematicians for a famous solver. Not my day, but got there in the end.
    Good challenge Teazel, as usual.
  13. A slow solve in 23 mins. Last two in were 2d GUINEA and 18d HOLMES. I didn’t have a problem with PAULINE but 12a and 12d which I guessed began with a P held me up for quite a time. Also DNK that a roue is a debauched man but I do now.
  14. Towards the upper edge of my target window, but still well inside of the Rotterometer’s range at 13 minutes.

    PAU was unknown, but getable from the checkers, and uncle as a pawnbroker is old hat. It took me a while to get the long anagram and to spot the hidden in 22, but otherwise I thought it all fair and above board.

    Apart from anything else, ORPHEUS is a setter here at the QC. Maybe he will return the favour in his next crossword and refer to TEAZEL?

    Edited at 2018-08-07 10:44 am (UTC)

  15. Whole of westside went in with only one in the east. Hard but a steady solve until just two left. But carelessly finished 4d with ING not ION, so 23a had to start with N – so it couldn’t be an anagram and couldn’t see why it would be NEPHEWS – annoying! 2nd LOI was MULCH – just couldn’t see it – also annoying.
    Have now turned off Caps Lock.
    Struggled to get Oriel and Pawnshop- I vaguely remembered the Uncle link from a previous puzzle. It came down to Pauline -which I got in spite of having been to Pau a few times, it’s not in the Pyrenees -and then I got stuck on 2d and never thought of Guinea -which is obvious now. Well done setter for that,definitely COD. David
  17. It seems like nobody got the 2/8 combo at first glance. Me neither and GUINEA at the end added a big chunk to my 5:58.
  18. Growing up in post-war South London, I was quite familiar with neighbours saying: ‘I had to take my wedding ring to uncle,’ so pawnshop was a write-in for me. COD 16D
  19. Like others 8a and 2d proved obdurate at the end along with HOLMES for some reason. Almost gave up on 2d before a final run through of country names provided the answer.
    Good puzzle which I completed in 21.05
  20. Teazel confounded me today…2d stumped me completely, even tho it was clear enough; 8a was beyond me with Pau a new place/name for me. None of this was helped by writing in the answer for 1d in 3d….heat fatigue is my only excuse (there’s no reason!). I knew the 12d pawnbroker-uncle connection but failed to recall it, and having the W was fixated with a supposed anagram of crew rather than seeing pawns. Also missed out on 12a – should have got that too. So a clear ‘win’ for Teazel as I finally abdicated. I accept it isn’t really a win for our setter as the objective is to set a testing but solvable puzzle, not create a contest, but…it felt like a contest! Without such a helpful blog, I’d be none the wiser for next time, so thanks there too!
  21. Far too difficult for a “quick cryptic” A newbie attempting this would be forever put off!

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