Times Quick Cryptic 1220 by Tracy

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic

My solving time was 6 minutes. I almost hesitate to suggest that I think most solvers will find this accessible and there may be few, if any, complaints about its level of difficulty.

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 Awful toothache swallowing most of cold drink (3,9)
HOT CHOCOLATE – Anagram [awful] of TOOTHACHE containing [swallowing] COL{d} [most of…]
8 Benefactor‘s name inside entrance (5)
DONOR – N (name) contained by [inside] DOOR (entrance)
9 Prejudiced against fine amusement park (7)
FUNFAIR – F (fine), UNFAIR (prejudiced). There’s a convention with Across clues that (A on B) in a clue = (BA) in the solution and here we see ‘against’ being used  as a positional indicatorin the same way as ‘on’. In Down clues of course its completely logical that (A on B) indicates that A is placed above B in the answer.
10 Primate in cloak, not cold (3)
APE – {c}APE (cloak) [not cold]
11 Problem caused by too much reading, of course, in English school (9)
EYESTRAIN – YES (of course) contained by [in] E (English) + TRAIN (school). Something of a DBE (Defintion By Example) here, as too much reading is not the only cause of EYESTRAIN.
13 Trust I placed in big hospital (5)
FAITH – I contained by [placed] in FAT (big), H (hospital)
14 Gem carved in relief arrived with ring (5)
CAMEO – CAME (arrived), O (ring)
16 Bursar, more confident following adjustment of rate (9)
TREASURER – Anagram [adjustment] of RATE, SURER (more confident)
17 First man heading off for weir? (3)
DAM – {a}DAM (first man) [heading off] . Another DBE, but this one is indicated by a question mark, so that’s all right.
19 Continuous let near resort (7)
ETERNAL – Anagram [resort] of LET NEAR
21 Material vital to many Londoners (5)
NYLON – Hidden in [vital to] {ma}NY LON{doners}. There is a theory floating about that name of this product was derived from New York and LONdon but there doesn’t appear to be anything to substantiate it.
22 Taken from album not intended for release? (3,3,6)
OFF THE RECORD – A cryptic hint precedes the actual definition
1 Gruesome Hardy monster (5)
HYDRA – Anagram [gruesome] of HARDY
2 Variety of Argentine fruit (9)
TANGERINE – Anagram [variety] of ARGENTINE
3 Bay and hazel, perhaps, on either side of box tree (5,8)
HORSE CHESTNUT – HORSE (bay) + NUT (hazel) containing [on either side of] CHEST (box)
4 Collector’s top bid for chest (6)
COFFER – C{ollector} [top], OFFER (bid)
5 Finger broken after headcase forms group of extremists (7,6)
LUNATIC FRINGE – LUNATIC (headcase), anagram [broken] of FINGER
6 Duck, left out for meal (3)
TEA – TEA{l} (duck) [left out]
7 In favour of not running quickly (6)
PRONTO – PRO (in favour of), anagram [running] of NOT
12 Creature in a stream grabbing frantic duck (9)
ARMADILLO – A + RILL (stream) containing [grabbing] MAD (frantic), 0 (duck). Cue Flanders & Swann  (Note: The Armadillo Song begins 30 seconds in. It’s among my favourites of their lesser-known songs).
13 Article acquired by remote ancestor (6)
FATHER – THE (article) contained [acquired] by FAR (remote)
15 Screen restaurant close to home (6)
GRILLE – GRILL (restaurant), {hom}E [close]
18 Dug up material coming over (5)
MINED – DENIM (material) reversed [coming over]
20 Fairy in novel (fantasy) (3)
ELF – Hidden in {nov}EL F{antasy}

34 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 1220 by Tracy”

  1. Pretty easy this one (5:36). I am going to stick my neck out and suggest that the Definition By Example will in a hundred years’ time be a curiosity found in museums, along with indirect anagrams and direct quotations from Shakespeare. ‘Dad, did people really bother about these things when you were a boy?’, a [cheeky] young cruciverbalist will ask.

    Edited at 2018-11-12 02:27 am (UTC)

  2. Not even a typo among the 32 names on the leader board as I write and some fast times so I guess it was easy but I wasn’t fast and had to think hard quite a lot along the way. LOI was GRILLE – even with all the checkers and being sure it ended in E it still took an age. Not too much on the first pass of acrosses but then fell into place. Couldn’t parse FUNFAIR – had FAIR for fine and so wasn’t at all sure prejudice could mean FUN but banged it in and hoped for the best.
  3. Having just replied to Mendesest, I noticed that you’ve got a typo, Jack: F from ‘fine’ not ‘fair’.
  4. This took me 14:08 online. No pushover in my opinion.
    My LOI was Grille which took at least two minutes to unravel at the end. Prior to that I was slow to get Lunatic Fringe.
    Quite a few where the first letter was not available and that slows me up and may well delay others.
    Some excellent clues:I liked the Cold Drink suggestion in 1a. COD to 5d.
  5. I think I remember HOT CHOCOLATE being clued as an anagram very similarly not so long ago. It got me off to a flier and I managed most of the acrosses in my first pass which gave me lots of checkers for the downs. Last 2 were FAITH and FATHER. COD to EYESTRAIN.4:26
    P.S. I checked and found HOT CHOCOLATE in the 15×15 27,125 on 24th August this year. I enjoyed the association between the drink and toothache then too.

    Edited at 2018-11-12 09:00 am (UTC)

  6. I thought this a gentle start to the week but I still managed to hop about the grid a bit. I needed 12 mins to solve although this was largely due to my LOI 11a EYESTRAIN which required an alphabet trawl and Y is not near the beginning. LUNATIC FRINGE required most of the checkers before yielding. Thanks Tracy and Jack.

    On edit, after reading the blog, I biffed ARMADILLO.

    Edited at 2018-11-12 09:09 am (UTC)

  7. Super-fast from jack and others … not so for me, a regulation 3 Kevins (an OK Day). Took a couple of minutes over my LOI, GRILLE – could see how it worked but was struggling to think of enough synonyms for restaurant!

    COD to ARMADILLO from me, which also gets Blog Entry Of The Day for the link to F&S. Fantastic stuff for Monday morning.

    Thanks Jack and Tracy.


    1. So glad you enjoyed the song, Templar, so my time here is not entirely wasted! As I grow older I find Donald’s poignant settings and pianism a source of infinite delight.
  8. I’m with desdeeloeste – no big problems but I ended up taking 11 minutes. I got a bit tied up in the SE until I saw how denim worked backwards – so I should give that cod. Loi eyestrain which wouldn’t go in to start with because I wanted it to start with ‘over’ from ‘too much’.
  9. I got off to a flier with the 1s and never slowed down to record a PB of 6.45 – only the parsing of ARMADILLO briefly held me up. Thought 1a was very clever and I finished with 7d.
    I think I’ll go and try the 15×15 to bring me back to reality!
    Thanks for the blog
  10. Nice easy start to the week. 6:30. APE, HYDRA and HOT CHOCOLATE were my first entries. GRILLE went in last. Thanks Tracy and Jack.
  11. My reaction chimes with the comments by davidavid, desdeeloeste and chris. Good puzzle but not as easy as some found it. 15.58. I certainly biffed a few as the checkers emerged and parsed them later. I liked Lunatic fringe, Pronto, Mined, Funfair, Eyestrain. COD Armadillo & LOI Grille. Nice start to the week from Tracy. John M.

    Edited at 2018-11-12 10:52 am (UTC)

  12. A nice gentle intro to the week, at 3.24, which is probably better than I deserved as didn’t get started until 14a. And even then the first across pass didn’t give up too much.

    Then the downs came and it all started to come together.

  13. Right on my 30 minute target but it should have been quicker. I biffed PRESTO for 7D which meant I didnt get Eyestrain until the end and missed out on all its checkers.


  14. 11 minutes plus small change here too. Definitely on the easier end of the Rotterometer. Perhaps, after a spell of more difficult QCs the tide is turning. Thanks Setter and Jack.

    Edited at 2018-11-12 11:37 am (UTC)

  15. About my average. FOI 1ac, always a good start. Spent a long time on ARMADILLO looking for an anagram of ‘duck’ somewhere in the solution, until I realised it was the last letter. And ‘rill’ didn’t come to mind either so my COD. Needed all the checkers for LUNATIC, LOI. Enjoyed 22ac.
  16. Taken to limiting myself to half an hour which is towards the best of my abilities. This was certainly an easy one but didn’t get grille (fair enough) and also failed on eye strain which was a bit disappointing and probably my favourite clue.
    Thanks for the blog.
  17. Started with 1ac, and made reasonable progress with the LHS of the grid, but then struggled with several clues on the other side, especially the 4/9 and 11/12 combinations. Crossed the line, fully parsed, after 33 mins, which I would normally regard as OK for Tracy, but then this was one of his more straightforward ones. My CoD has to be 12d, Armadillo, especially after Jackkt’s link to the unknown but very entertaining F&S song. Invariant
  18. All done in about 15 minutes but took a further 10 unravelling Presto/Pronto and LOI Eyestrain. I remembered Lunatic Fringe from approx when I started which helped.
    Thanks for the tip Jack with reference to across cf down clue AB / BA ordering – new to me.
    Thanks all,
    John George
  19. The only clue I couldn’t get after 15 mins. Couldn’t get past Eton having had e to start and n to finish. Anyone else do the same? In crosswordland is Eton always a college and never school? Johnny
  20. I derived armadillo an alternative way – anagram of mallard (mad duck) and io for stream (computing term). Seems to work just as well to me, but then io streams were my bread and butter.
    Generally rather too many anagrams for my taste, but a nice gentle start to the week.
    1. You are not allowed to have anagrams of words that don’t appear in the clue (though you can drop a letter from or add one to a word that is clued but not specifically mentioned)…. best not give the setters any further help!
    2. Signalling an anagram of MALLARD as “frantic duck” would be an indirect anagram which you wouldn’t get in a Times puzzle.

      Moreover, if the result was “grabbed” by IO the best you’d end up with would be IRMADALLO

    3. I too got to armadillo via mallard – as a bit of a newbie I just assumed that frantic duck equalled an anagram if mallard and that I was too stupid to understand the rest of the clue!
      Enjoyed the puzzle. Definitely getting better.
      Thanks to all the bloggers from whom I’ve learnt a great deal.
  21. 30 minutes for me, probably a PB (I do pen and paper and glance at the clock). GRILLE and EYESTRAIN my last two too; have seen grill for restaurant before and really should have remembered it.
    Thanks to setter and blogger.
    PS: Is “vital” a standard pointer to a concealed answer?
  22. Well, that’s discouraging. Everyone found it easy but I really, really struggled. I have at least half a dozen, probably more, that I either biffed or used an aid for. Haven’t read the blog yet, so I await enlightenment…

Comments are closed.