Times Quick Cryptic 1296 by Teazel

Inside my target with 9:13. Some satisfying head scratch moments but still quite quick. A tip of the hat to Teazel for 18dn and 23ac.


1. PROMPTER – double definition. One feeding (lines/cues to) the actors and earlier in the sense of ‘prompter action was required’. POI (penultimate one in) as it’s taken some time to work out the second definition.
6. FATE – destiny. Obese (FAT), European (E).
8. OGEN – where a melon is from. I ‘just knew OGEN but not sure why’. A small variety of melon named after a kibbutz in Israel (OGEN) where it was first developed. No (O) information (GEN).
9. DAD’S ARMY – sitcom (and in this case the ‘com’ genuinely did mean comedy) of the Home Guard. Parent’s (DAD’S), force (ARMY).
10. PLAY DOWN – minimise. Pressure (P), got on the bed (LAY DOWN).
11. GASH (wound). Grand (G), tree (ASH).
13. AT THE SAME TIME – on the other hand. Anagram (wrong) of THE TEAMMATE IS.
16. DROP – double definition. A dog drops/releases the ball, little liquid-drop.
17. WINDMILL – child’s toy. Suspicion (WIND – get wind of), pepper-grinder (MILL).
19. CLOISTER – part of abbey. Anagram (to repair) of COSTLIER.
21. RITE – ceremony. Homophone (to speak of) proper – right.
22. BOSS – double definition.
23. RALLYING – recovering. Second (ALLY) in boxing arena (RING). This has an extra edge as seconds of someone who is taking part in a boxing match are the people who assist and encourage them – therefore their allies.


2. REGULATOR – part of watch mechanism. Anagram (worked) of OUT LARGER.
3. MANGY – shabby. Chap (MAN), (G)rump(Y).
4. TEDIOUS – boring. LOI – needed all the checkers to find the anagram (playing) of OUTSIDE.
5. RADON – gas. Artist (RA), lecturer (DON).
6. FRAUGHT – Causing distress. Father (FR) is on top of anything (AUGHT).
7. TOM – cat. Almost grave (TOM)b.
12. SIMPLETON – fool. Alien (ET) inside Alpine tunnel (dnk – SIMPLON – mountain pass in the Alps of S Switzerland: 6,589 ft (2,008 m) – a railway tunnel near this pass: 12 mi (19 km) long).
14. HIPPIES – unconventional types. Joint (HIP), baked dishes (PIES). A pub nearby has the sign ‘Serving Food – some of which are pies, the rest of which should be pies’.
15. MINERAL – inorganic material. Inside exa(MINER AL)lows.
17. WATER – drink. Oddly (W)e(A)k (T)h(e)i(R).
18. MORAY. Rather than a double definition, I think this is a twin definition. Definition 1 – (MORAY) eel. Word play – second (MO), fish (RAY). Definition 2 – in this firth – (MORAY) Firth.
20. LEO – stars. Look (LO) round eastern (E).

36 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 1296 by Teazel”

  1. A good puzzle, spoiled somewhat by Ogen. The wordplay gave the answer, but the definition was rather obscure. I did like the thought of those Hip-pies though!

    Edited at 2019-02-26 02:17 am (UTC)

  2. 9 minutes. I knew OGEN as a type of melon, but not the origin of its name. Also I met it in another puzzle within the past two weeks, not here apparently so it was probably in the Everyman (sadly these days not what it was, following recent retirement of its regular setter).

    Edited at 2019-02-26 05:54 am (UTC)

  3. I had most of this done in 13 minutes but the last few held me up. I could not recall the name of the Alpine tunnel and needed GASH which also held me up for a while. Did not think of Dad’s Army as a sit com despite it being fairly obvious. My LOI was 6d and I was diverted because ANGST fitted in the squares but did not link up with the F.
    Finally completed in 20:24. COD to Fraught. A good puzzle.
  4. Nice puzzle. I enjoyed GASH, TEDIOUS and, my COD, HIPPIES. Held up only by trying to justify PROMOTOR for 1A for a while until I saw the light. 5:40
  5. A second successive DNF for me as well. 3 errors due to not checking wordplay. Predator instead of prompter gave me dingy instead of mangy. I also had drip instead of drop. Oh well, there’s always tomorrow.
  6. Not on the wavelength this morning. SCC 19.11. Simplon used to be in forefront of mind as longest tunnel, now somewhere in the back. Mixed up mentally OGEN, and ogee so that was slow. WINDMILL, DADS ARMY, PLAY DOWN, MINERAL, REGULATOR all provided sticking blocks of one sort or another as did LOI FRAUGHT. Nonetheless, good to be stretched.
  7. A shade over 20 mins. I liked the puzzle overall – Rallying, simpleton, ogen and fraught all made me think but I got them in the end. The dripdrop thing I wasn’t so keen on though.
  8. 30 mins, went through relaxing and relaying before settling on rallying.

    Dnk ogen or the tunnel, thought moray clue was a bit weak.

    Cod rallying.

    15×15 is accessible today. I got 2 wrong, 1 which was easy in hindsight and 1 anagram with 2 letters switched.

  9. Found this tough. I did not actually like the puzzle or the clueing, but that maybe, because I found it too tough. Two so far this week not close to finishing. Let’s hope for at least one more reasonable puzzle.
  10. Drip felt better to me too but maybe its not fully the second definition??? I’ve come back to this and answered my own question 🙂 – ‘Release a little might be drip’ but then liquid isn’t a drip. ‘ A little liquid’ might be a drip but release would then have needed eg slowly.

    Edited at 2019-02-26 09:53 am (UTC)

  11. 24 minutes, so just over target but still good for a Teazel. The last three were 1D , 12D and 15D all biffed from the checkers and parsed later, apart from 15D where I missed the hidden word. I thought MORAY was a triple definition.


    Edited at 2019-02-26 09:33 am (UTC)

    1. I was writing triple definition in the blog when I realised that ‘second fish’ wasn’t a definition but was MO, RAY.
      1. Yes, you’re correct. Its a bit of a sandwich clue with a definition at either end and wordplay in the moddle!


        1. A rarely-occurring construction though, as far as I am aware. Nothing wrong with it, and all’s fair in love and war. But not necessarily in crosswords!
  12. I couldn’t believe I managed to complete a Teazel in 14.27. I must have been closer to the correct wavelength than usual. Nice puzzle. The top half went in quickly but I slowed a little lower down the grid. Liked HIPPIES, FRAUGHT, SIMPLETON, RALLYING, and LOI & COD MORAY. Thanks, both. John M.

    Edited at 2019-02-26 09:56 am (UTC)

  13. Interesting mix of comments. I was miles off kilter at 21 minutes, my slowest QC time in a long while. I just couldn’t see 1 ac, thinking ‘eater’ had to be in there somewhere. I thought this puzzle required a bit of lateral thinking rather than the usual QC autopilot so overall I was pleased by the challenge.

    Not sure about going into the 15×15 this evening. Jackkt’s intro points to a stinker, but Flashman reckons it’s not too bad. Mind, he said that about yesterday’s and I didn’t find that a stroll, so perhaps he’s just moving up in the crossword world? – Rupert

    PS what’s happened to Kevin? This blog isn’t the same without the pace-setter.

  14. I remembered OGEN from a 15×15; I have no idea how familiar they are in Britain, but I’d never heard of them, and would have struggled with this clue if I hadn’t had the previous encounter. 5:58. On edit: Sorry, anon: I’ve been in Tokyo for a couple of days, no access to the internet. And I may have had a DNF or two before that for all I remember.

    Edited at 2019-02-26 10:50 am (UTC)

  15. SCC for me at 20 mins [on edit – now that Kevin has reappeared (welcome back Kevin) I see that that was well over 3 on the Kevinometer. A Bad Day]. Hold ups were FRAUGHT, OGEN (bunged in from wordplay!), DADS ARMY and LOI PROMPTER. Hard yards today!

    Loved 4dn, which gets COD from me. Lovely surface. Minor quibbles – cloisters aren’t restricted to abbeys but appear in lots of buildings, so I wasn’t sure that the definition “part of abbey” was quite fair in 19 ac, and is the comparative form of “prompt” “prompter”? I know it’s a one syllable adjective but it still doesn’t feel quite right, though I can’t make my mind up! I also thought it was a bit weak for 13ac to have “the” both as part of the solution and part of the anagrist – not much transposition required there!

    Thanks Teazel and Chris.


    Edited at 2019-02-26 11:08 am (UTC)

  16. Found this one quite tricky. PROMPTER needed all the checkers, as did FRAUGHT. Never heard of OGEN but wordplay was generous. I thought MORAY was over elaborate, drop any of the three parts of the clue and it works just as well.
    My thanks as always to setter and blogger.
  17. I found this one quite tough, finally finished in 10:24. Some quite chewy clues, with very few write ins. COD/LOI to Prompter, a great clue. Thanks to setter and blogger.


  18. Didn’t know the melon and was only very vaguely aware of the tunnel(couldn’t have named it), but the wordplay was generous when taken with the crossers. Liked HIPPIES and DAD’S ARMY. 9:50. Thanks Teazel and Chris.
  19. ….OGEN. This one seems to have divided opinions, but I simply breezed through it with no problems, and found it hard to nominate my COD as a result.

    COD MORAY (” when an eel bites your knee as you swim in the sea – that’s a MORAY !”)
    TIME 3:02

  20. FOI 6a FATE and LOI the never heard of 8a OGEN. The GEN came quickly enough from the wordplay but I had to resort to an alphabet trawl for the first letter resulting in a toss up between A and O. So glad I plumped for O. Seemingly Agen in SW France is the ‘capital of the prune’. I also biffed SIMPLETON as DNK SIMPLON and MINERAL as a hidden eluded me. 9 mins.
  21. It felt like heavy going today and when I finally completed it there was a pink square. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who plumped for DRIP.
    Most of my problems were in the NW where 1a, 2d and the melon proved tough to crack. I also not heard of the tunnel but the definition was kind. Particularly enjoyed HIPPIES.
    Thanks for the blog
  22. Leo = Stars? Very imprecise. Tut tut.

    Wind = Suspicion? Equally questionable. Try swapping the two words in any sentence you care to think of…simply doesn’t work.

    The rest was OK , eventually. Definitely at the tougher end of the QC spectrum. 🙂

  23. Really difficult puzzle and not keen on many of the clues. Worst example being 17d ‘windmill’. To get wind of -does not have the same meaning as suspicion and when did a windmill become a child’s toy? 6d not much better. Sorry but didn’t enjoy this one having finished Hurley yesterday.
    1. Windmill, one of those four pieces of fabric folded back to a central point on a stick things, you blow and it revolves. I thought the toy element fine, but I’m with you on the suspicion aspect.
      Good puzzle, slightly startled to finish though I erupted out of bed late on with one clue outstanding and fumbled for the light switch crying “Fraught! Fraught!”
  24. Tough puzzle I thought. 13a doesn’t really work nor does 17a. Surprised by this as this setter is usually of a good standard.
    1. Well, sorry you didn’t like it but I think those clues do work. I could not be seen to be weak, but at the same time (on the other hand) I could not give signs of hostility. There are many windmills – one is a child’s toy – on the top of a sandcastle maybe?

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