Times Quick Cryptic 1240 by Rongo

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic

I needed 16 minutes for this one, prevented from achieving my 10-minute target by delays in SE corner where the answers at 17ac, 20ac and LOI 15dn did not immediately spring to mind. I shall be interested to read how others fared.

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 Minor insult (6)
SLIGHT – Two definitions which taken together would not be out of place as one definition in a Times Two puzzle
4 Cheops constructed for long periods (6)
EPOCHS – Anagram [constructed] of CHEOPS. The sort of clue that’s designed to make solvers nervous as there are surely many like myself who have never have heard of CHEOPS (aka Khufu) who was an ancient Egyptian monarch. But there’s no need to panic as a strange-looking word in a QC puzzle is quite likely to be anagram material so one doesn’t need to know what it means in order to arrive at the correct answer
8 Adapting bicycles — it is a concern for the disabled (13)
ACCESSIBILITY – Anagram [adapting] of BICYCLES IT IS A
10 Very tall new king welcomed in ballad (5)
LANKY – N (new) + K (king), contained by [welcomed in] LAY (ballad)
11 Excessively modest plate after half-demolished dried plums (7)
PRUDISH – PRU{nes} (dried plums) [half-demolished], DISH (plate)
12 The person responsible for every domesticated rodent, alternatively (11)
PERPETRATOR – PER (for every), PET (domesticated), RAT (rodent), OR (alternatively). Four separate bits of wordplay to unravel but they just need assembling in the order as presented.
16 Military group invited to carry equipment (7)
BRIGADE – BADE (invited) containing [to carry] RIG (equipment)
17 Approve European after sergeant major fumes (5)
SMOKE – SM (sergeant major), OK (approve), E (European)
18 Strength of solution from thinking hard (13)
CONCENTRATION – Two meanings
19 Use toe waggling to show to the door (3,3)
SEE OUT – Anagram [waggling] of USE TOE
20 University and Father in sitcom brought together (6)
UNITED – UNI (University), TED (Father in sitcom). A very popular show, Father Ted, but I’ve never seen it.
1 Settled accommodation for horses (6)
STABLE – Two meanings
2 Nuisance occupying ladies, say (13)
INCONVENIENCE – IN (occupying), CONVENIENCE (ladies, say – as in ‘public convenience’)
3 Sled dog with a sore throat? (5)
HUSKY – Two meanings. Mush!
5 Bloom in Los Angeles after 11:20? (7)
PRIMULA – PRIM (11 –  prudish), U (20 – united),  LA (Los Angeles). I don’t think I have seen two references  to other clues presented as a time of day before.
6 In stir, I’m cool about bringing in good law enforcement expert (13)
CRIMINOLOGIST – Anagram [about] of IN STIR I’M COOL containing [bringing in] G (good). Collins defines ‘criminology’ as the scientific study of crime, criminal behaviour, law enforcement, etc.
7 Something used to cut chesty heaving (6)
SCYTHE – Angram [heaving] of CHESTY
9 Brat, tiny creature seizing man’s neckwear, wanting instant attention? (9)
IMPATIENT – IMP, (brat), ANT (tiny creature) containing [seizing] TIE (man’s neckwear)
13 Level area to cover with metal, gold (7)
PLATEAU – PLATE (cover with metal), AU (gold)
14 Primarily adjusting beads, apparatus Chinese use still? (6)
ABACUS – A{djusting} B{eads} A{pparatus} C{hinese} U{se} S{till} [primarily]
15 Fellow traveller raised a drink (6)
PERNOD – DON (fellow) + REP (traveller) reversed [raised]. Strictly speaking this is a brand name although according to Collins it can be spelt without a capital ‘P’. There is, or was, a convention or rule that proprietory names are not permitted, but this now seems to be falling out of fashion and I can’t say it bothers me one way or the other. As mentioned in my intro this was my last answer in.
17 Second person who’s manipulated offspring (5)
SPAWN – S (second), PAWN (person who’s manipulated). ‘Spawn of the Devil’ is an expression that comes to mind.

34 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 1240 by Rongo”

  1. This was on the tough side, and I was glad to get in under 7′. The long anagrams were a problem, as I don’t write down the anagrist in QCs. Luckily, 2d and 18ac were straightforward. The couple of bits of ‘Father Ted’ I’ve seen didn’t make me hungry for more. LOsI were SPAWN and PERNOD; I wasn’t expecting a brand name, although, like Jack, I have no particular objection to them. I had no idea what was going on with PRIMULA, but I knew the word and I had the checkers. Thanks to Jack for enlightening me. A clever clue; I hope not to see similar cluing again. 6:57.
  2. The 4 long ones round the outside all went straight in but the 2 in the middle held me up. Didn’t help myself by initially spelling 8ac accessAbility…

    Anyway. I quite like cross-reference clues when they’re done right–when the surface is actually improved, rather than ruined–and 5dn was excellent, I had no idea what was going on.

  3. 17 minutes, last few were criminologist, united, primula and LOI slight.

    I dont like cross reference clues and came here with primula unparsed.

    I do like Father Ted so united gets COD.

  4. Seemed hard today but even so I was reasonably quick so disappointed not to to have noticed typed ABACYS. PRIMULA was unparsed and even with checkers took an age – since we’re on brand names today I’d rather the clue had referenced cheese spread. Thanks for explanation, Jackkt. I don’t think I would ever have unravelled that.
  5. quite chewy for a Monday, but enjoyable.
    similar problems to the blogger for the SE corner.
    COD: 12a
    thanks to blogger, setter and all who contribute
  6. Think I must have been “on the wavelength” for this – as normal, checked the stats before starting to get an idea of what I was in for, and thought 5-6 minutes looked about par.

    Spent a bit of time trying to find a 3 character sitcom to go with U and PA before – strangely as to me Father Ted one of the funniest things ever – the penny dropped.


  7. 7:16, which is my slowest for over 2 weeks. We have four 13 letter words today. I often find long words more difficult, but only ACCESSIBILITY took extra thought. Like Jack I was held up most by the SE corner with SPAWN and PERNOD my last two in. I liked the cleverness in PRIMULA. My COD goes to ABACUS which I think the compiler intends as an &lit.
    1. I wondered about that but wasn’t sure that ‘primarily’ fitted in with the theory – nor whether the Chinese actually still use abaci, come to that. On reflection I’m pretty sure,as you say, that’s what the setter intended, but whether it quite works as such is another matter.

      Edited at 2018-12-10 09:49 am (UTC)

  8. 12:21 today with SPAWN and PERNOD holding me up at the end.
    Also did not parse PRIMULA when solving. David
  9. Less solver-friendly than some was this. I was alerted to Father Ted by my wife who thought Father Jack (but nothing else) was hilarious. When I watched it I thought everything but the intensely annoying Father Jack was hilarious. We are like that with things.
  10. This was all going rather well until the SE – spawn, Pernod and united. When these road blocks had been slowly dismantled, I was left with 5dn – primula. This just had to be the answer – so I put it in – finishing in 12 minutes. I then spent another minute or two eventually working out why it was the answer – for which this gets my cod.
  11. I knew this was a tough one when I only got one across and two downs first time through, but still finished in 40 minutes, not helped by spelling mistakes. I must sort out my e-is from my i-es.
    LOIs were Primula and then Spawn. I spotted the parsing for Primula but I didn’t get 20A until near the end so it didn’t help.
  12. I was going for a quick time for me (around the 20 minute mark) and thinking everybody would say this was easy, but was dramatically slowed down by 16ac and by the SE corner, particularly pernod, my LOI. Stared at it for ages until I suddenly saw that “raised” probably meant something was going backwards. Eventually stopped my watch at 34:12, which is still pretty good by my standards.
    By the way, why does “rep” mean traveller? Something to do with a travelling sales rep?
    1. Spot on with your derivation of ‘rep’ as a travelling salesman. It’s a definite chestnut to experienced solvers, you see it time and again.

      Feeling surprisingly chipper today after a very heavy and considerably extended Sunday ‘lunch’ yesterday and raced through this one. Not sure many law enforcement professionals would agree with the definition of ‘criminologist’ in 6d – half-baked theoriser would be nearer the mark!

      My thanks as always to setter and blogger.

  13. Raced through this one and really enjoyed the journey… until I got stuck on 15 down. Here, I was utterly hopeless. I knew I had to reverse something but couldn’t make any kind of drink out of any of the words that came to mind for “fellow traveller “. Obvious when you read the – as always marvellous,- blog. Great clue, though, even if it DNF-ed me. Got “primula” but couldn’t parse it – again, huge thanks to Jackkt. This morning, I especially liked 14 down and 20 across as both, I think, were rather clever. In addition to my appreciation of Jackkt for his invaluable elucidations, I give my
    thanks, also, to Rongo for a super puzzle. A nice start to the week.
  14. This felt quite tricky in places and finished it in 15.33, so just outside my target time. LOI was PRIMULA where I was not helped by a typo in 8a. I worked out that it was a cross referencing clue but needed my 2LOI 11a to see how it worked. An enjoyable start to to the week.
    Thanks for the blog
  15. 16.05 in Marco Polo airport returning from Harlequins’ unsuccessful foray in Italy. Revelries after may have affected solving powers but it did seem tricky. Loved Father Ted and that clue.
  16. I was able to get the long clues quite quickly, which helped with the rest of the puzzle. Shoved PRIMULA in from the P from EPOCHS, the I from 8a and LA from the wordplay, and moved on. I may have subliminally glanced at 11a while considering 11:20 as cross references, but didn’t have 20a at that point. SLIGHT was my FOI and PERNOD my last. 6:53. Thanks Rongo and Jack.
  17. Harder than average. My LOI was SLIGHT, which took me ages to see. But also struggled with PERNOD and SPAWN. Although it is not strictly relevant I had heard of CHEOPS as the name of one off the pyramids. I think PERNOD is probably sufficiently ubiquitous to be treated as a noun in its own right. cf MARTINI for Vermouth or BIRO for ballpoint for example. COD PERNOD. Neat clue and lovely surface.
  18. ….CONCENTRATION, and I found it slightly on the chewy side. Good puzzle though.

    TIME 4:36

    Phil Jordan

  19. Started with 1d and 1ac, and I’m sure we must have had Cheops/Epochs before because that one went in straight away as well. After that, it was almost inevitable that things would slow down and my last two, 15 and 17d took ages, making this a slow 40 mins solve. That included several failed attempts along the way to parse 5d – the answer was obvious enough, but cross-referencing two clues like that is getting a bit silly. Invariant
    1. CHEOPS seems to have appeared as an answer on three occasions since TftT began but not as an anagram, always with reference to the pyramids.
  20. I had a Blackadder moment! Oh it’s a scythe!
    Series 2 I believe
    3 short today. Thx to all. Johnny
  21. Not too bad at 11:31 but with no idea how PRIMULA worked. I thought perhaps primu was a Latin term meaning almost lunchtime!

    Well done for unpicking it Jack.

  22. Rather slow today, so relieved to see that others also found it on the more difficult side. LOI 17d, which I needed the blog to parse. Thanks for the blogs, I am improving, albeit slowly!
  23. Well I completed this in a close to PB time. Unfortunately in my hurry I put in 17a as STOKE so a DNF in 7:42. Biffed PRIMULA and my LOI PERPETRATOR. Thanks for the explanation Jack.

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