Times Quick Cryptic 1190 by Flamande

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic

I needed all of my 10-minute target to complete this but I hope the puzzle will be received as an easier example that many of our newer contributors have been waiting for following a run of quite hard ones. As an experienced solver myself it’s often hard to predict the reaction but I think most people will be familiar with the answers here, and the construction of the clues is generally straightforward with perhaps the odd exception.

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 Flower finally dies now, getting very little rain (8)
SNOWDROP – {die}S [finally], NOW, DROP (very little rain)
6 Droop, faced with a story of epic proportions (4)
SAGA – SAG (droop), A
8 Exam some scholar once rejected (4)
ORAL – Hidden [some] and reversed [rejected] in {scho}LAR O{nce}
9 Marines clashing with squadron leader — almost a catastrophe (4,4)
NEAR MISS – Anagram [clashing] of MARINES, S{quadron} [leader]
10 NB: what a money thief might do (4,4)
TAKE NOTE – A straight definition (Latin: nota bene – note well) followed by a cryptic hint
11 Time to copy recording (4)
TAPE – T (time), APE (copy – mimic)
13 Cheap tinsel is out of place in this sacred building (7,6)
SISTINE CHAPEL – Anagram [out of place] of CHEAP TINSEL IS. Perhaps one of the harder clues, but if you spotted that it’s an anagram and had a checker or two in place, that should have helped.
16 Viewed from the back, a precious stone is great (4)
MEGA – A + GEM (precious stone) reversed [viewed from the back]
17 Like religious person stoic man converted (8)
MONASTIC – Anagram [converted] of STOIC MAN. My comment at 13ac applies here too.
19 Like some tall buildings much liked by fat cats? (4-4)
HIGH-RISE – A straight definition followed by a cryptic hint. ‘Fat cats’ in the sense of wealthy and powerful people. On edit, please see my comment in the discussion below for further details if required.
21 Tract having articles about religious education (4)
AREA – A+A (articles) containing [about] RE (religious education). ‘Article’ often translates to A, AN or THE.
22 Surveyed? Not half! (4)
EYED – {surv}EYED [not half]. Semi&lit
23 Guess I’m conveyed in spacious car (8)
ESTIMATE – I’M contained by [conveyed in] ESTATE (spacious car – known elsewhere as ‘station wagon’). ‘Stretch limo’ was never going to fit!
2 Account local person presented about beheaded wife of Henry VIII (9)
NARRATIVE – NATIVE (local person) containing [presented about] {p}ARR (wife of Henry VIII) [beheaded]. A nice piece of misdirection here as Catherine Parr was not among Henry’s beheaded wives – they were Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard. I imagine many will have solved this from a combination of definition and checkers,  and then worked out the wordplay by reverse-engineering.
3 Unrestrained European writer (5)
WILDE – WILD (unrestrained), E (European). Dear Oscar.
4 Ski slope, perhaps, makes you weak and tired (3-4)
RUN-DOWN – This time the cryptic hint comes first
5 Source of timber to make aircraft (5)
PLANE – Two straight definitions
6 Terrible traumas in Indonesian island (7)
SUMATRA – Anagram [terrible] of TRAUMAS.This island seems to be very popular in puzzles at the moment.
7 Gossips principally like to talk a lot (3)
GAS –  G{ossips} [principally], AS (like)
12 I will have diamonds gift-wrapped for head of state (9)
PRESIDENT – I + D (diamonds) contained [wrapped] by PRESENT (gift)
14 Criticised intricately-woven threads (7)
TRASHED – Anagram [intricately-woven] of THREADS
15 Competition cheat put on trial (7)
CONTEST – CON (cheat), TEST (trial)
17 Crop of the month, do you say? (5)
MAIZE – Sounds like [you say) “May’s” (of the month). Of which sweetcorn is one variety.
18 Lots of people in Cornwall region acquiring weapon (5)
SWARM – SW (Cornwall region – Southwest England), ARM (weapon)
20 Climber, one going over sides of valley (3)
IVY – I, V{alle}Y [sides]

36 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 1190 by Flamande”

  1. I still don’t understand what fat cats have to do with HIGH RISE buildings

    Edited at 2018-10-01 02:38 am (UTC)

    1. The cryptic part of the definition doesn’t relate to buildings, but fat cats might enjoy having a high rise (in their pay). As it’s not a straight definition (that’s ‘like some tall buildings’) you can ignore the hyphen in the answer.

      Edited at 2018-10-01 05:49 am (UTC)

      1. I actually thought of pay rise, but that’s not very satisfactory either; for one thing, fat cats aren’t likely to be wage-earners, and who wouldn’t want a high rise?
        1. Kevin, see my comment below. If I recall correctly from your past comments, you’re in the US? Fat cat has a different meaning over here.
          1. In Japan, but from the US. Yours below noted, with thanks; that changes things, indeed. Still, I didn’t care for the clue; as I said to Jack, all of us (would) like high rises.
      2. Okay ‘high rise in their income’ rather than ‘high rise in their pay’. It’s a cryptic hint or ‘tongue-in-cheek’ definition (as Uncle Yap calls it) and not intended to be analysed and taken literally down to the last detail. It’s simply a nudge in the direction of the literal answer as defined in the first part of the clue.
      3. I entered HIGH-LIFE at 19ac, which seemed to me an equally satisfactory answer, serving both as a cryptic definition of what residence in tall buildings offers and as a description of the sort of lifestyle enjoyed by fat cats. Any takers?
      4. I don’t think the answer is high rise and I put high life. That is what fat cats like. After many very hard puzzles this one was definitely on the easier side
      5. I don’t think the answer is high rise and I put high life. That is what fat cats like. After many very hard puzzles this one was definitely on the easier side
  2. What Lou said. I put in HIGH-RISE from definition and enumeration, and decided not to bother with the fat cats. I biffed NARRATIVE, after thinking of and dropping Anne Boleyn, saw the NATIVE, and forgot to do the rest; a nice clue. CHAPEL came very quickly, SISTINE took a bit of time, as I do QC anagrams in my head. ESTATE may be unfamiliar to some American solvers; we don’t use the term. 5:43.
    1. Nor do we any more, my 30+ year old children would think an estate was a stately home and would never think of a car. I thought QC was going to attract new solvers? Not more geriatrics like me.
      Challenge for setters – use only words in clues and answers that have been in Times editorial in last 12 months or are in the GCSE syllabus, then you really will be dragged kicking and screaming into 21st century and will attract some younger solvers.
  3. Nice gentle crossword after the last two challenging weeks -which I enjoyed. COD to Sistine Chapel (PS I think you have a typo in the blog – the anagrist should be ‘cheap tinsel is’. Thanks for the blog as always – and thanks to Flamande.
  4. a PB for me … c. 18 mins after approx. 14 months!
    tip for beginners (I still consider myself one), keep trying and don’t give up.
  5. I shaved over a minute off my PB and did this one in 5:35. Given that I rarely beat your time Jack, I think this was as much down to me being on song as it being a fairly easy puzzle.

    I didn’t see a problem with 19a as “fat cat” usually means someone on a very large salary, who invariably gets a much higher (percentage as well as absolute) rise than their staff. Wikipedia suggests the term may have a different meaning in the US.

    COD 22a – a semi&lit semi?

    Thanks for the blog.

  6. All went very smoothly and was probably a PB at ~15 minutes mainly because I didn’t get delayed with any. I started to panic when I just had Wilde to get as LOI but even that popped out.
    Having decided Plane or Plain, Snowdrop for 1a came to mind and so unusually got 1a quickly.
    Thanks to all
    John George
  7. I struggled with this a bit finding it slow going throughout but in the NW in particular. Not really sure why as (with hindsight) there was nothing too obscure or complicated, although I gave up trying to parse HIGH RISE.
    Completed in 17.38 with LOI 3d and CoD to 2d.
  8. Stopped at half an hour with 2 to go. One of them, 3 down, was just me being dense, but the other one was 8 across and I was nowhere near getting that. I kept looking for some extra significance to the word “once. ” Still, I feel more confident at the beginning of this week than I felt at the end of last! Thanks so much, setter, blogger, and also other posters for insight.
    1. Watch for ‘some’, a good indication that the clue is a hidden. And hang in there!
    2. At QC 1 there was a guide to the possible answer formats (10 I think) and an inclusion, and (as that one) a reverse inclusion were amongst them. Well worth digging out and if stuck go through them one at a time
  9. This was an average solve for me in 13 mins. I biffed, without parsing, quite a few answers and was jumping around the grid a lot. I was held up for a good three minutes with my last three solves 3d WILDE, 1a SNOWDROP and LOI 2d NARRATIVE which I parsed after solving. Thank you Jack and Flamande.
  10. virtually a write-in, only one that took more than 10 seconds was the anagram in 17ac.
  11. A much needed easier offering for our less experienced members to boost their confidence. I started with SNOWDROP and finished with MAIZE in 6:43. I didn’t decode the anagrams until I had some crossers, and had to use pen and paper for MONASTIC. Fat Cats and HIGH RISE made perfect sense to me. A pleasant puzzle. Thanks Flamande and Jack.
  12. Got myself in bit of a mess by biffing NARRATION at 2d and refusing to accept that it could possibly be wrong. Limped home in just shy of 8’. Nice surface at 9a.
    Thanks as always to setter and blogger.
  13. Two Kevins and all’s well. No fat cat issues here. Loved SISTINE CHAPEL, gets COD from me. Thanks setter and blogger.


  14. About average for me. I biffed NARRATIVE and parsed it afterwards (LOI). Given that there were 6 wives and two possible meanings of “beheaded” it seems unlikely that anyone would do it any other way. Although I did toy with “(A)NNE” and “(J)ANE” for a while. Enjoyed HIGH RISE for its slightly offbeat surface (COD).
    Gentle and enjoyable challenge.
  15. I’m not so sure a fat cat would require a rise, as fat cats tend to be those very much in control of their businesses in the first place. Pretty easy puzzle for all that, and enjoyable.

    Maybe there’s something paradoxical about a flat being anything but? Just a thought!

  16. 20 mins today. So here’s a nerdy question perfect for u lot. How many of his wives died in childbirth? Easy. One. Jane Seymour. Wrong. Two. Katherine Parr, who survived him, died later in this manner following another marriage. Cheers. John
  17. This did seem easier than last week’s puzzles.
    Apart from 2d I solved the top half pretty quickly. I then slowed down a bit and had two left after 15 minutes -16a and 2d.
    MEGA has caught me out before and did so again but not for too long. Then I had to really work at 2d. I could not see where the wife of Henry fitted in with or without her head. Anyway I thought of Narrative and was finished in about 18 minutes.
    Incidentally there is another of the six wives in today’s Daily Quiz which I look at when I’m stuck (you need the newspaper to see what I mean).
    And well done to Europe’s Ryder Cup team.

  18. As a newer solver it was a pleasure to complete in a respectable time for me of 25 mins. Another solvable one tomorrow please then I’ll be ready for a toughie and learning some new techniques.
  19. Very happy to be back to normal. I nearly squeezed in under my 20 minute target, but 2d took me to 21 minutes. That feels much better though after the last two weeks where most took me way over 30 minutes and there were a couple of DNFs. Couldn’t find fault with any of the cluing or the answers…. but then I am English!
    So many to enjoy today but I especially liked 13a for its perfect surface reading. How do these amazing compilers do it? So, thanks to Flamande for keeping my spirits up and to Jackkt, for the blog. You always set it out so clearly and explain everything so well. MM

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