Times Quick Cryptic 1180 by Tracy

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic

This should have been straightforward for me but at 8 minutes with one answer in the SE corner outstanding I lost the plot and needed a further 6 minutes to come up with the correct solution. My feeble excuse is given below.

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]

7 Pop first of balloons using really sharp tack (5)
BURST –  B{alloons}+U{sing}+R{eally}+S{harp}+T{ack} [first of]
8 One entering popular phrase for caretaker (7)
INTERIM – IN (popular), I (one) contained by [entering] TERM (phrase). It’s an adjective as in ‘caretaker / interim government’.
10 Complains about / sudden loud noises (7)
REPORTS – Two meanings. The noise made by an explosion or a gun being fired, for example.
11 Bizarre leading couple in ballroom dance (5)
RUMBA – RUM (bizarre), BA{llroom} [leading couple]
12 Poorly during leave, go back and forth (9)
VACILLATE – ILL (poorly) contained by [during] VACATE (leave)
14 Right out of fruit and veg (3)
PEA – PEA{r} (fruit) [right out]
15 Quite a large lake (3)
ALL – A, L (large), L (lake). At the moment of writing, this blog’s not quite/all done.
16 International being dealt with humbly (3,2,4)
CAP IN HAND – CAP (international – sport), IN HAND (being dealt with). From Collins: If you go cap in hand to someone, you ask them very humbly to give you something or to do something for you.
18 Suggest just getting rid of leader (5)
IMPLY – {s}IMPLY (just) [getting rid of leader]
20 Available for one disturbed about fine (2,5)
ON OFFER – Anagram [disurbed] of FOR ONE containing [about] F (fine)
22 Recording about husband’s love (7)
NOTHING – NOTING (recording) containing [about] H (husband). Zero in tennis.
23 In favour of wearing article, protective garment (5)
APRON – PRO (in favour of) contained by [wearing] AN (article – an indefinite one)
1 Above Britain, flying for RAF, perhaps (12)
ABBREVIATION – Anagram [flying] of ABOVE BRITAIN. A definition by example as indicated by ‘perhaps’.
2 Very hot current across river (8)
TROPICAL – TOPICAL (current) contains [across] R (river)
3 Celebrity, bald almost (4)
STAR – STAR{k} (bald) [almost]
4 Feast I prepared for carnival (6)
FIESTA – Anagram [prepared] of FEAST I
5 Nurse got boiled fish (8)
STURGEON – Anagram [boiled] of NURSE GOT
6 Shorten spruce (4)
TRIM – Two meanings
9 Kart in demand, potentially a source of pleasure (4,3,5)
MEAT AND DRINK – Anagram [potentially] of KART IN DEMAND. I thought “meat and drink” was something that’s very easy because one does it so often, but there’s probably a degree of pleasure involved, and Collins confims this.
13 Duly pick off game (5,3)
LUCKY DIP – Anagram [off] of DULY PICK
14 Policy of factory rejecting new mould (8)
PLATFORM – PLA{n}T (factory) [rejecting new], FORM (mould). A public declaration of the policy of a political party,
17 Farm implement in soft bog son removed (6)
PLOUGH – P (soft), {s}LOUGH (bog) [son removed]. I had a mental block here and spent about 6 minutes on it as my LOI. Absolutely unaccountable, other than I saw the word ‘prongs’ fitted the checkers and couldn’t get it out of my mind.
19 Matter for regret in mine, last of many (4)
PITY – PIT (mine), {man}Y [last]
21 Gemstone and ring given to friend (4)
OPAL – O (ring), PAL (friend)

28 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 1180 by Tracy”

  1. I biffed CAP IN HAND, since I didn’t understand the word play; still don’t understand CAP. Fortunately remembered LUCKY DIP, not a game I’m familiar with, at least by that name. I think I confused MEAT AND DRINK with ‘meat and potatoes’; anyway, didn’t really think about the definition. The setter was careful to call RAF an abbreviation, not an acronym, since it’s not pronounced ‘raff’; I mention this because there seems to be some confusion out there. 5:14.
    1. Cap n. A special cap awarded as a sign of membership of a sporting team, esp. a national team in international competition; transf. a person awarded such a cap. L19.

      An international is a member of a country’s sports team.

      I’m not for one minute disagreeing about the distinction between abbreviations and acronyms but in view of the comment above I would mention that I was born and raised in Stanmore, Middlesex, a former village and now suburb of North London with a long history of association with the RAF, indeed it was the Headquarters of RAF Fighter Command during WWII from which the Battle of Britain was directed, and for many years afterwards. One of their sites in the village officially called RAF Stanmore Park was always referred to locally as the RAF camp (pronounced “raff”) and I can’t imagine Stanmore was unique in that respect. There must have been dozens such “raff camps’ dotted around the country.

  2. Not my best effort

    And I put in PRIM not TRIM. Not entirely convinced PRIM isn’t a better answer. At least it wasn’t a typo

    Ho hum

  3. Tough this morning, ABBREVIATION LOI, and that only after becoming fixated on ‘aviation’ as do to with flying. Liked CAP IN HAND.
    More than thirteen minutes 🙁
  4. No major hold ups, although PLOUGH, my LOI, did take some thinking about. STAR was FOI. 9:07. Thanks Tracy and Jack.
  5. I found this rather tough for a Monday. One of those puzzles that poses lots of brick walls if you pick the wrong clues to start with (most of the NW corner for me) but which gradually accelerates as one perseveres leading to a domino-like collapse of the walls as soon as enough checkers are available. Didn’t like All – it came to mind rightvp away but I only put it in after getting both checkers. Like jack, I took a while to get Plough. Thanks to Tracy for a bracing start to the week and to jack for his honest blog. John M.
  6. … and wasn’t on Friday either!

    So could be sour grapes but I mostly shrugged rather than thinking “of course” when I read the blog.

    Hoping for better things tomorrow.

  7. Like others I found this quite tough which wasn’t helped by a slowness in spotting the anagrams at 1d, 5d and 20a. I had a particular battle with my last 2 in, 20a (again) and 14d where I was looking for a word beginning with ‘plant’ for far too long. Eventually completed in 20.50.
    Thanks for the blog
  8. I found this hard going, especially for a Monday morning (not at my best). Didn’t spot the anagram in 1dn, but it had to be once I had the checkers, hence LOI. In the other services the RAF are known as “the Crabs” but that is another story. Enjoyed CAP IN HAND (myCOD).
    Good, challenging QC.
    1. My Navy friends used to refer to them as ‘Crab Air’, and said this was due to the fact that you often ended up sitting at right angles to the direction of travel, but I’m sure someone can confirm/refute that story.
      1. Ha ha! Definitely not the origin. According to all my navy/army chums, it’s this. Pubic lice are also known as crabs. Crabs were treated in the forces with Blue Unction, and Blue Unction was the same blue as RAF blue!
  9. Which is how long I spent grappling with this before I gave in. No complaints, really – apart from, perhaps 15 across, which, in my humble opinion, is not a good clue. The rest of my failures today – all FOUR of them – 10,12, and 22 across plus 1 down – are probably down to me not knowing enough yet about crosswords, or to me being dense. (although…. “reports” to mean “complains”?? Scratches head). Disappointing start to the week.
    1. If you’re on report, you’ve been complained about. Wait outside the Headmaster’s office! Or: I’m going to report you for breaking that window!

      Edited at 2018-09-17 01:27 pm (UTC)

  10. I thought this a very tricky Tracy QC for a Monday. I limped home in 17:22. Three in particular gave me considerable trouble…1d ABBREVIATION (expecting aviation to be part of the solve), 10a REPORTS (misdirected with the use of about in the clue) and LOI 14d PLATFORM (for reasons unknown). I biffed PLOUGH so thank you to Jack for the explanation.
  11. Dreadful Mondayitis, sat on the train in desperate need of espresso staring blankly at the grid … once I had failed to get 1dn after 3 minutes (I was convinced that it was an anagram of “flying for RAF”, indicated by “perhaps”) morale plummeted and I struggled home in almost SIX (count them) Kevins. Worst ever!

    I didn’t like ALL either but otherwise no complaints, just not my day.

    Well played Tracy and thanks jack.


  12. Acronyms are simply terms created from the initial letters of the constituent words. There is no consensus lexicographically or practically speaking as to whether they are spoken as a word or spelt out. NATO and IRA are both acronyms, for instance. Don’t let anyone try to convince you otherwise !
    1. Coincidentally there was a discussion in our canteen today around whether the correct article to precede an abbreviation (a or an) should be determined by the way it is spelled (a SLR) or the way it is pronounced (an {e}S{s} {e}L {a}R{rrrr}).


  13. Came to this a bit late in the day, and like others struggled a bit before crossing the line after 32mins. Tracy would never be my idea of an easy start to the week, and there was certainly enough going on to make me stop and think. Like Jackkt, my loi was 17d and only then after I half remembered that Slough had something to do with a marsh/bog. Quite liked 12ac, Vacillate, not a word that you come across everyday, though Collins indicates it was relatively popular as recently as the 1700s. . . Invariant

    Edited at 2018-09-17 05:30 pm (UTC)

  14. My wife and I drove to Sheffield and back today and I solved this in the car on the way up.
    Not easy. I was held up by 1d and 10a and my LOI was Tropical, an excellent clue which I took a while to see.
    Did not record a time due to distractions -I wasn’t driving at the time!
    High quality puzzle. David
  15. As beginners, hopefully improving, we found this demotivatingly difficult but we always learn from the fantastic blogs (thank you). However, we still cannot see how ALL comes from that clue. Can you help please?
    1. Sorry if the explanation in my blog was not clear, L&I.

      Clue: Quite a large lake (3)
      Answer ALL

      In the wordplay A is clued by ‘a’
      the first L is clued by ‘large’ (abbreviation)
      and the second L is clued by ‘lake’ (abbreviation)

      For the definition, ‘quite’ = ALL as in these sentences:

      This blog’s not quite done yet
      This blog’s not all done yet

      where ‘quite’ and ‘all’ have the same meaning.

      Edited at 2018-09-17 10:26 pm (UTC)

      1. Thank you very much and your blog is great. You have made it all clear which I suppose means quite clear but maybe that is my point!
        Who would be a setter?

Comments are closed.