Times Quick Cryptic 1171 by Breadman

A decent time (9:23) but I didn’t find this easy. Towards the end I was faced with gaps in all four quadrants but was relieved that none of these took too long to fall, the last two being 23 and 21 ac. Maybe it was just the excitement of Sunday’s cricket, but does anyone else detect a trace of TMS (Test Match Special) about this offering? The 7ac of the final test vs India on Friday is the 8ac and it was very nearly a 6dn 9ac going into this one. Good fun – thank you Bradman – er, sorry, Breadman.


7. LOCATION – site. Big cat (LION) circles old (O) and feline (CAT).
8. OVAL – egg-shaped (also the name of a cricket ground). In the clue (to some extent) came(O VAL)uable.
9. APIECE – each. Expert (ACE) consumes pastry dish (PIE).
10. ALDER – tree. Barer – balder – with first of bark (b) removed = b(ALDER).
11. OWN – double definition.
12. STRAIN – vigorously exert oneself. Outside of short (S)hor(T), shower (RAIN). A good description of the British cricket season.
14. TRAGIC – disastrous. Time (T) with an anagram (at sea) of CRAIG.
16. GLOVES – protective wear (used by wicket keepers and when batting). (G)lamorgan (a first-class county club), very much likes (LOVES).
18. REDTOP – tabloid newspaper. Visibly embarrassed (RED), star (TOP).
19. THE – article. (THE)y.
20. NICHE – recess. Husband (H) found in French city (NICE).
21. SUNDAE – ice cream. Homophone (discussed) of time during weekend (SUNDAY).
23. SOFA – piece of furniture. Up to now unfinished (SO FA)r.
24. POLISHED – cultured. European (POLISH), newsman (ED). Bowlers spend an inordinate amount of time polishing the cricket ball.


1. HOSPITAL – medical building. Anagram (unexpectedly) of I SPOT with Harry (HAL) around.
2. MACE – staff. Mother (MA) joins church (CE).
3. PIGEON – bird (sometimes covered in radio commentary of cricket matches when play is slow). Greedy creature (PIG) on top of an anagram (unusual) of ONE.
4. INFANT – youngster. Iberian princess missing an ‘a’ (INFANT)a.
5. GOLD CARD – exclusive means of purchasing. Yellow (GOLD), vehicle (CAR) with daughter (D).
6. PAIR – couple (two ducks in a game). Father (PA) meets Irish (IR).
13. ADVOCAAT – liqueur. Champion endlessly (ADVOCAT)e containing a (A).
15. ISOLATED – standing apart (e.g. long off fielding position). One (I), behind schedule (LATE) is inside a piece of turf (SOD).
17. STEPPE – grassy plain. Record (EP) with domesticated animals (PETS) all rolling over (backwards) to give STEP PE.
18. RESOLE – repair part of platforms (shoes). Engineers (RE), only (SOLE).
20. NOON – twelve. Ducks (OO see 6dn) inside (N)ewly(N). Whilst Newlyn does have a cricket club, I’d have thought Northampton would go better here.
22. NOSH – food. Rejected (backwards) on (NO), (S)tomac(H).

19 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 1171 by Breadman”

  1. Pretty smooth sailing, although STEPPE eluded me–I could only think of Pampas and Llanos–until I got the P. I just noticed that we have two identical clues: ‘Mother joins X = Y’ and ‘Father meets X = Y’. 3:50.
  2. 11 minutes and might have achieved my target 10 if I’d written in ADVOCAAT when I first thought of it instead of waiting until I had all its checkers in place.

    Breadman first set for us in 2015 yet this is only his 7th contribution. He seems to be slowly building up a head of steam though going by his score:

    2015 x 1
    2016 x 1
    2017 x 2
    2018 x 3 (so far)

    1. Forgot to say I wasn’t sure of ‘star = top’ but then thought of ‘top billing /star billing’ for instance in a film.
  3. 12 minutes, but it felt tougher.

    Back on a desktop so solving more enjoyable.

    Last few were apiece, advocaat, and LOI isolated.
    Couldn’t see champion for advocate which held me up.

    COD nosh.

  4. I found this quite straightforward with some very nice clues. SOFA, RESOLE and NOSH all gave me a smile, but GLOVES gets my COD as they really are a cricket opener’s protective wear – nice surface! 4:56.
  5. Liked nosh, resole, gloves, strain, isolated, apiece, alder.
    Plenty of well-worn triggers – ma, pa, RE, red, EP, CE, IR etc. Nevertheless, I stumbled on a few, extending my time to too many Kevins today. LOsI: polished and apiece.
    Thanks, Breadman for a puzzle that unbalanced me and thanks to chris fir your usual helpful blog.
  6. 10:02, as I wrote in ADVOCATE at 13d and then struggled with SOFA until I revisited and saw the correct wordplay. REDTOP gave me pause too as I thought it was 2 words or hyphenated. Thanks Breadman and Chris.
  7. And the one that foxed me today was 9 across! I kept trying to come up with a word that meant “dish” and which also contained both “pie” and, in addition, 2 letter “e”s for “each expert “. Needless to say there’s no such word. Got it in the end but it took me as long to crack that one clue as it did for the whole of the rest of the puzzle. I’m not a cricketer so didn’t get the references but still enjoyed this QC. I thought 5 and 13 down were particularly clever. Thanks, blogger and setter
  8. … think that “cultured European” indicated an anagram and then waste time starting at a sea of vowels? no? Just me then! I also lost time by trying to use “lawn” instead of “sod” …

    Anyway, good fun to have the setter make one play and miss a few times and all done in 3 Kevins. Thanks Breadman, and thanks Chris for an excellent blog.


  9. Just crept in under the half hour today (29:28) which might just be a pb or very close to it, and I’m not even a cricket fan. LOI was advocaat which I was worried I wasn’t going to get as I’ve never been a drinker, but it’s amazing what you find you’ve got lurking in the back of your mind when you do these. Still, I never realised it was spelt with a double a. Anyway, thanks to Breadman and Chris.


  10. I thought this was a really nice puzzle with many superb surfaces raising a chuckle. Completed in about 9 mins which surprised me as some were chewy for a QC. My COD to 21a for a lovely homophone. Thanks all
  11. Firstly thanks to those who recommended yesterday’s 15×15 as accessible for QCers. I managed to finish it eventually after an enjoyable tussle.
    The first clue I looked at today was 19a and I thought this might be a starter -level QC. In the end, it was anything but for me. I needed 25 minutes, and the last two were 9a and finally 4d. Many difficult clues I thought, the spelling of Advocaat included.
    The grid meant that lots of first letters were missing, which I always find a problem. David
  12. Enjoyable QC on the whole, but 2minor niggles. A mace is a club, not a staff (even a ceremonial one), and 21a is ambiguous – I guessed right but I can’t really see why it shouldn’t be a homophone of an ice cream for a time during the weekend, I.e. Sunday
    1. Queries over the meanings of words need to be referred to dictionaries, the Oxfords, Collins and Chambers being the accepted sources for Times cryptic puzzles. Anything there is fair game for setters:

      Shorter Oxford
      1 hist. A weapon consisting of a heavy staff or club, either entirely of metal or having a metal head, often spiked. Formerly also gen., a club. ME.

      1. a club, usually having a spiked metal head, used esp in the Middle Ages
      2. a ceremonial staff of office carried by certain officials

      1 a ceremonial staff carried by some public officials (eg the Speaker of the House of Commons) as a symbol of authority

      On the Sunday/sundae issue, ‘discussed time during weekend’ indicates the word that the answer sounds like. For it to be the other way round the clue would need to read something like ‘Time during weekend to discuss ice cream’.

      Edited at 2018-09-04 10:24 pm (UTC)

  13. I hope breadman’s contributions continue to become more frequent as I thoroughly enjoyed this one, with enough chewy clues to test me but without driving me to distraction. 21 and 7a were my last two in today with 7 taking an overly long time as I spent way too long looking at the wrong end of the clue for the definition.
    Completed in 14.28 with CoD going to the short but elegant 19a.
  14. Thx Chris
    On the theme of cricket you presumably have listened to 12th man.
    Canary yellow! That’s Australian Gold my friend and don’t you forget it. Expletives deleted.
    DNF. Played and missed a few today. John
    1. I have now acquainted myself with the 12th man – and would have enjoyed experiencing it had I known it existed. I fully appreciate your reference to canary yellow but have to confess myself from Norwich (UK) where the Canaries play in yellow and green (and good luck to them, as they usually need it, and of, of course to Delia).
      1. My daughter did her after degree Orthoptics placement at Norwich way back in the 90s, and I believe Dr Thud from the 15×15 blog hangs out there too….

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