Times Quick Cryptic 1270 by Tracy

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic

Solving time: 8 minutes. I thought this one was easy but I stand ready to be corrected.

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 Spoiled, skirt inside that’s shrunk (10)
DIMINISHED – MINI (skirt) contained by [inside] DISHED (spoiled – the chances of…)
8 Wine made from a resin, drunk round Thessaly’s capital (7)
RETSINA – Anagram [drunk] of A RESIN containing [round] T{hessaly} [‘s capital]. The whole clue could be taken as the definition here.
9 English humorist with name to memorise (5)
LEARN – LEAR (English humorist – Edward Lear), N (name)
10 False belief held by academy there (4)
MYTH – Hidden in [held by] {acade}MY TH{ere}
11 Pass ring road, sadly in a state (8)
COLORADO – COL (pass), O (ring), anagram [sadly] of ROAD
13 Hold naval commander (6)
NELSON – Two meanings, the first referring to the wrestling hold
14 Criminal blamed for state of uproar (6)
BEDLAM – Anagram [criminal] of BLAMED
17 Brief word about weird sister, keen birdwatcher (8)
TWITCHER – TER{m} (word) [brief] containing WITCH (weird sister). The witches in Shakespeare’s Scottish play are referred to as ‘the weird sisters’.
19 Reportedly talented biblical character (4)
ABEL – Sounds like [reportedly] “able” (talented)
21 Express a point of view over coniferous tree (5)
OPINE – O (over), PINE (coniferous tree)
22 Represent party, or otherwise (7)
PORTRAY – Anagram [otherwise] of PARTY OR
23 Relative in Bulgaria? (5,5)
GREAT UNCLE – Cryptic with reference to Great Uncle Bulgaria (Coburg) – the oldest and wisest of the Wombles of Wimbledon Common. One for the TLS solvers amongst us!
2 Altogether fashionable lot at broadcast (2,5)
IN TOTAL – IN  (fashionable), anagram [broadcast] of LOT AT
3 Girl is touring Rhode Island (4)
IRIS – IS containing [touring] RI (Rhode Island)
4 One after the other having an argument (2,1,3)
IN A ROW – Two meanings
5 Sacred chamber, outstanding (8)
HALLOWED – HALL (chamber), OWED (outstanding)
6 Play with tot first of all (5)
DRAMA – DRAM (tot), A{ll} [first]
7 Tell supporter, off the record (10)
INFORMALLY – INFORM (tell), ALLY (supporter)
8 Thinking of strange island state (10)
RUMINATION – RUM (strange), I (island), NATION (state)
12 Solid, head of clan on Greek island (8)
CONCRETE – C{lan} [head], ON, CRETE (Greek island)
15 Defamatory words about artist being broad-minded (7)
LIBERAL – LIBEL (defamatory words) containing [about] RA (artist)
16 Tyrant posted abroad (6)
DESPOT – Anagram [abroad] of POSTED
18 Initially it covered immensely nice gateau? (5)
ICING – First letters [initially] of I{t} C{overed} I{mmensely} N{ice} G{ateau}. I’d say this is semi &lit as to my mind the first word doesn’t really fit in with the definition
20 Smooth things out in golf club (4)
IRON – Two meanings

30 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 1270 by Tracy”

  1. Well, if you thought it was easy, I’d say it was easy. I didn’t think it was that easy, mainly because of 5d, 17ac, and 23ac. I biffed GREAT UNCLE, not knowing what the hell Bulgaria had to do with it–in retrospect, I think I did once look him, or the Wombles, up. At 3d I was stuck on HOLY for far too long. And it took ages to drag TWITCHER out of memory (not much memory; I came across the word once, in a 15×15). 5:37.
  2. Not that easy. At 18.49 it was on the slow side of acceptable. LHS went in much easier than the RHS. LOI was HALLOWED, which I only got from having all the checkers, seeing what would fit and shoving it in based on the definition. Took a long time to see BEDLAM even with checkers and being sure I was looking for a anagram. Also needed blog to parse TWITCHERS – it was a write in from the definition but I don’t recall “weird sisters” from my O level English text! Thanks Jackkt, not so easy to me, needed the blog twice to see why I had the right answer.
  3. Only HALLOWED, my LOI, held me up – like Kevin I was looking for something starting HOLY. No problem with TWITCHER as, like mendeset, Macbeth was a set text for my English Lit. ‘O’ level. COD to RUMINATION. 4:18.

    Edited at 2019-01-21 08:44 am (UTC)

  4. I’m in the tricky camp – 11:55. I eventually got 1ac but thought that was tough but continued to be stuck in the NE. Loi 5dn. Rather liked 7dn and 23ac.
  5. I thought it satisfyingly in the middle of difficulty/easiness with 12.10 not bad for me. No problem with TWITCHER being a birder. RETSINA was briefly my mother’s favourite wine in the early 70s, seen as modishly chic (she never went to Greece). LOI HALLOWED, also held up by the red herring of HOLY.
  6. Tricky it was. A quick start and then the holes emerged – slowly filled by NELSON (doh!), RUMINATION (I wasted time with ruminating, having failed to parse it properly) and OPINE (which dropped out when I corrected rumination (my COD). Last in were HALLOWED and LEARN (yes, I did kick myself). Overall, a fun start to the week but a SCC performance, just the wrong side of 20 mins. Thanks to Tracy and jackkt. John M.
  7. Nothing too tricky today but, like oldblighter, I spent time wondering how the parsing of RUMINATING was going to work until 21a cleared things up. I never knew that Bulgaria was the great uncle as I’ve always just known him as Uncle Bulgaria but the womble reference was clear and I spent a few seconds wondering if EWAGN was a word at 9a.
    An enjoyable start to the week completing in 9.56 with LOI 11a.
    Thanks for the blog.

    Edited at 2019-01-21 09:50 am (UTC)

  8. Inside 15 mins, which means it was on the easier side as far as I’m concerned…

    Nothing unfamiliar, briefly slowed down by having IN CROWD at 2 down. Also I always forget col for pass.

    Thanks for the blog.

      1. Col is a mountain pass as in the Col de Tourmalet – an iconic mountain pass in the Tour de France (cycle race).
  9. 16 minutes for me, so definitely not that easy Jack. 1a held me up as I couldn’t equate spoiled with dished, and wondered whether the skirt was a mini or a midi, even though I always enjoyed the mini most. I liked the well hidden anagram for BEDLAM, which was my CoD. Thanks Tracy and Jacckt.
  10. I thought it was a little on the tricky side but nothing too bad. the keen birdwatcher was enough for me to think about Twitcher but I couldn’t understand ‘ter’. Now you’ve explained it (for which thanks) I still don’t like it 🙁 I took part in a production of Terry Pratchett’s Wyrd Sisters so that helped, but like others I didn’t remember it from my study of Macbeth. Incidentally myths are by definition without factual foundation but it’s a myth that they are always untrue 🙂
  11. ….when I wasn’t behind the times. As was Uncle BULGARIA in Mike Batt’s “Wombling Song”. Never read the books, or saw the TV show, so ony now do I learn that he’s a great uncle.

    Nothing else to give me pause for thought in this tidy and accessible puzzle, other than having a “da capo” finish on the only clue that I initially bypassed.

    COD NELSON – I’m waiting for someone to clue “son” using “half-nelson” !
    TIME 3:15

  12. I thought this was quite tricky in places. Needed the blog for the parsing of 1a and 17a. My time was 9:14, so within target. Thanks to Tracy and Jack.


  13. It took me 24 mins vs target/average of 20 but looking back I’m disappointed with that as it took me longer to get going than it probably should have.

    I liked the Uncle Bulgaria clue as it’s nice to have one’s name in the paper! So that’s my COD.

  14. Left staring blankly at LOI 5d with just 3’45” on the clock. Like others, I couldn’t break the ‘holy’ fixation. Penny dropped and clock stopped at 5’20”.
    My thanks to setter and blogger.
  15. … at three Kevins this has to go down as a Tricky Day, since I was hopelessly slow in cracking at the two most useful clues (1ac, 8dn), neither falling till I had almost all crossers. And I too wanted 5dn to start with Holy. Grr.

    Like the Rotter, COD to BEDLAM from me.

    A really trainspotterish question on the parsing on 11ac, jack, which is about which “o” in COLORADO “ring” refers to . You have it as COL = pass, O = ring, RADO = “road sadly”, whole thing = “in a state”. But to me that leaves “in a” rather hanging in limbo, so I had it as COL…O = “pass ring”, and ORAD = “road, sadly in” (ie inside COL…O), so that the definition = “state” not “in a state”. It was the only way I could make sense of “in a”.

    No, it doesn’t matter. Yes, I could be wrong. Yes, I need to get out more.


    PS (on edit) – forgot to thank Tracy for the puzzle or jack for a very clear blog. Sorry!

    Edited at 2019-01-21 12:33 pm (UTC)

    1. Thanks to your valid input, templar, I can now see three options for the parsing. All too much for a QC. Just bung in the obvious answer and move on, say I!
  16. Raced (it’s a subjective term) through most of this in 22mins, but then took another 6 to get my last three, 1ac, 5d and 11ac. I think Dished for spoiled is more than a little obscure, as was Witch for weird sister, though both answers became obvious enough with the checkers in place. Like others, my CoD is the well hidden anagram at 14ac. Invariant
  17. I agree with jackkt. It was easy and if it hadn’t been for my LOI 11a COLORADO I would have scored a PB. As it was I eventually biffed it correctly. I did not know that COL = pass although now I think back it has been in a QC before. In Mallorca, my second home, COL is short for colina which means hill (alternative meaning for col is cabbage). Still very pleased with my 7:25. Thanks Tracy and jackkt.
  18. I saw MINI quickly enough, but it took a while for me to see DISHED for spoiled. Like others I was diverted by HOLY at 5d, but got there eventually. Otherwise, no problems and finished at 8:08. Thanks Tracy and Jack.
  19. Managed to solve my first cryptic without cheats so I guess that makes it an easier one from my point of view. Thanks to the bloggers for helping me learn. LOI Nelson – didn’t know the hold reference.


  20. About 20 mins, last 2 were diminished and hallowed.
    Wasn’t sure about dished for spoiled.

    Couldn’t parse twitcher.

    Cod iris.


  21. Not so quick for us, slow start but then wombled along quite well until NE corner. Same as Invarient, with problems with 1a, 5d, and 11a. Not sure why. Over our target today. Thanh to setter and blog.
  22. Solved this on a train this morning in about 10 minutes. No particular hold-ups either for the puzzle or the train for once.
    My first thought for 3d was Siri -how modern.
    LOI was Rumination which did not require yet another American state.
  23. Finished in about 40 minutes which is par for me if I am able to finish. A very satisfying puzzle which got the brain working overtime – especially 5d 7d and 11a. I only needed the blog for 8d to explain the answer so thank you.
  24. Not so quick for us, slow start but then wombled along quite well until NE corner. Same as Invarient, with problems with 1a, 5d, and 11a. Not sure why. Over our target today. Thanh to setter and blog.

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