Times Quick Cryptic 1250 by Teazel

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic

13 minutes with the last 3 spent on 12ac. Mostly straightforward, but as usual there are some clues that may present problems for less experieced solvers or those lacking particular items of GK. Merry Christmas to all!

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 Burrowing creature ruins the marrow (9)
EARTHWORM – Anagram [ruins] of THE MARROW
6 Polite gesture held by one fiddling (3)
BOW – A straight definition with a cryptic hint
8 Most neat bird conceals wounded side (7)
TIDIEST – TIT (bird) containing anagram [wounded] of SIDE
9 Reminder it’s grand in the altogether (5)
NUDGE – G (grand) contained by [in] NUDE (the altogether – as in the story of the Empeor’s new clothes)
10 Confused during ocean voyage (2,3)
AT SEA – Another straight definition with a cryptic hint
12 What felon does with melon (6)
RHYMES – Cryptic. I must have spent 4 minutes in total on this clue, returning to it several times during the solve and then focussing on it as my LOI.
14 In speech, rebuke soldiers and people in the country (5,8)
CZECH REPUBLIC – CZECH sounds like [in speech] “check” (rebuke), RE (soldiers), PUBLIC (people). I wasn’t sure of  ‘rebuke/check’ but it’s in some of the usual sources with one of them listing it as obsolete.
16 For business, a fine trade exhibition (6)
AFFAIR – A, F (fine), FAIR (trade exhibition)
17 A thousand due, but cut (5)
MOWED – M (a thousand), OWED (due)
19 Hear “no,” a beastly sound (5)
NEIGH – Sounds lik [hear] “nay” (no)
20 Girl badly upset in quarrel (7)
DISPUTE – DI (girl), anagram [badly] of UPSET
22 Poet? Almost (3)
POE – POE{t} [almost]. Very neat and concise.
23 Self-control, to exercise during siesta (9)
RESTRAINT – TRAIN (exercise) contained by [during] REST (siesta)
1 Fill with rapture: there may be a fee for this (8)
ENTRANCE – Two meanings
2 Embarrassed about daughter (3)
RED – RE (about), D (daughter)
3 One scavenging in hard currency area (5)
HYENA – H (hard), YEN (currency), A (area). Apparently hyenas are noted as scavengers, feeding off carrion; the ODO adds that most are also effective hunters.
4 In these islands, reburied those nuts (5,8)
5 On the other hand, look after yourself (4,3)
MIND YOU – A definition and a cryptic hint
6 Colleague’s cry of pain after some furniture collapsed (9)
BEDFELLOW – BED (furniture), FELL (collapsed), OW (cry of pain)
7 Cry, wanting small coin (4)
WEEP – WEE (small), P (coin)
11 Old maid’s existence? Her food only lasts so long (5,4)
SHELF LIFE – Two definitions, the first being a  cryptic reference to unmarried women. Expect adverse comments!
13 Crucial trial, one that may earn detective promotion? (4,4)
ACID TEST – The cryptic hint here requires alternative spacing and punctuation: A C.I.D. TEST
15 Girl: what to do if she is cold? (7)
HEATHER – The cryptic hint here requires just alternative spacing: HEAT HER
17 Endless wretchedness for Scrooge (5)
MISER – MISER{y} (wretchedness) [endless]
18 Speak harshly in simple game (4)
SNAP – Two meanings
21 College in Munich (3)
UNI – Hidden in {m}UNI{ch}

24 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 1250 by Teazel”

  1. I had TEST CASE at 13D for some time until I got one that proved me wrong. It’s not quite as good as the correct answer, but it fits both halves of the clue. Otherwise no problems. 10 mins or so.
  2. A MER (has that migrated to the QCs? Minor Eyebrow Raise) over SHELF LIFE. A different sort of MER over POE; I actually passed it by the first time, thinking it surely had to be more than that. No problem with check=rebuke, although I would have said it was passé, too. 6:15.
  3. Limped over the line in 26:14 after staring at RHYMES for ages. Czech Republic took me a long time too.
    I was feeling a bit tired this morning but this did seem tricky e.g. 7d – I was looking for a word to remove S from.
    I thought 11d was very clever- a woman could be said on the shelf. But perhaps in these enlightened times we avoid such statements?
    Anyway, Merry Christmas to all.
  4. Like Paul I had TEST CASE for 13d before I spotted CZECH REPUBLIC. Otherwise no difficulties. I liked SHELF LIFE and POE but COD to HEATHER. 4:51
  5. I’m another TEST CASE victim. I found this hard today and one of my slowest times of the year at 26.46. I can’t blame all that on being disturbed by some very excited members of the household after only five minutes since my first run through of acrosses hadn’t yielded much. NEIGH was last one in, ahead of CZECH REPUBLIC, so evidence there that I was perhaps just a little off the pace today.
    Merry Christmas one and all!
  6. First DNF for ages. Stared at 1dn for 10 mins before giving in. Mrs soj still asleep so unavailable to provide final nudge. Blindingly obvious now. Good mix of clues with faves being 3 and 11dn. Christmas spirit to blame? Oh well, still plenty to aim for.
  7. I had to put my brain into gear for this one, with 12a, 16a and 11d holding me up. I’d put TIME as the second word of 11d, so that held me up until I got AFFAIR and the penny dropped. FOI RED, LOI SHELF LIFE. 9:40, so just sneaked in under my target 10 minutes. Thanks Teazel and Jack.
  8. A fairly gentle start to Christmas. A solid SCC 16.20 for me with RHYMES my LOI and COD. I liked SHELF LIFE and MIND YOU. ACID TEST only dropped out after CZECH REPUBLIC clicked. Thanks to Teazel and jackkt. John M.

    Edited at 2018-12-24 10:14 am (UTC)

  9. a little on the tricky side and c. 25 mins for me.
    I thought 8a was clever and I had TID for most neat (i.e. TIDY).
    I hadn’t come across NUDE for “the altogether” in 9a either.
    Is there a redundant “For” in 16a, it improves the surface, but required? Similarly, 17a and “but”?
    20a was clever by swapping anagram indicators?
    5d took a little while …
    11d, I’m not sure I understand “shelf” for old maid and Chambers doesn’t help here either.
    15d, clever again.
    I enjoyed this puzzle, a good mixture of clues, but not quite convinced, it’s as smooth as it could be!
    FOI: 1a
    LOI: 12a
    COD: 15d
    thanks to blogger, setter and all who contribute.
    1. A common expression describing someone who had failed to be invited to wedded bliss, was that they are “on the shelf.” A bit Non PC these days!
    2. Certainly knew and used altogether in this context but the clue begs the question as to how this originated
  10. ….as the result of a disastrous AFFAIR. Rather a 19th century concept.

    Having battled with the 15×15, this was a light relief, and enjoyable. Perhaps I might start doing the QC first after Christmas.

    TIME 4:52

    Best wishes to all on here for Christmas and the New Year.

  11. About 8 minutes for me today. I liked 1ac for the surface. LOI 12ac.

    A Merry Christmas to all!


  12. Time off the scale, owing to overindulging. Finished in the second sitting after going for a walk. Also had to clear a load of dog poo off the road right next to our door step, who lets their dog do that ?! 🤬

    Last two rhymes and the unparsed weep.

    Cod rhymes.

    Merry Christmas

  13. Slow going today, a DNF thanks to MOWED (couldn’t find where the “but” fitted…turns out it doesn’t!) and thus ACID TEST went awry too. May have something to do with my rather boozy friend coming for dinner last night — well, you can’t let people drink alone at Christmas 🙂
    Thanks to all setters and bloggers in this, my second year of cryptic solving. May all your clues be parsed in 2019 x
  14. Tricky going in places today with 12 (LOI), 14, 19a and 15d causing me an awful lot of head scratching – although with the benefit of hindsight all the clues were very fair. Too many excellent clues to pick one out and I eventually completed it in 20.56
    Thanks for the blog and happy Christmas to all.
  15. Late solve due to Christmas chores. I found the solve straight forward with the exception of 12a RHYMES – which I thought quite clever and LOI 11d SHELF LIFE which I biffed. Thanks Jack for the explanation. I’m keeping my comments on 11d to myself as they are not cheery. Seasons greetings to all.
  16. Nearly 12 minutes with the same hold up at the end as jackkt – but I really enjoyed this as COD when it clicked. Too different to pick up maybe? I also, for no apparent reason, got held up with snap/Poe – too obvious maybe? So that’s me on today’s puzzle – very Goldilocks!
  17. Hi, I’m a first time commentor but have used this blog for a good while to learn how to crack these puzzles. I thought today’s was really tough and probably took me an hour after struggling with 14a, 11d, 13d, and 12a which was LOI after staring at it for 20 minutes.

    Thank you to everyone who contributes to this blog, I’ve learnt a tremendous amount. Happy Christmas!

    1. Welcome, Darren and thanks for your kind comments about our blog. Hope to hear more from you now that you’ve broken your duck!

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