Times Quick Cryptic 1297 by Aureliano

A new setter, and some new vocabulary for me at 16dn. I found the bottom half harder than the top, and had to think a bit to untangle some of the wordplay, but still managed an average time. There are more than usual (fairly indicated) definitions by example (DBE), and an otherwise good mix of devices, so I hope that everyone managed to get a foothold somewhere. I especially enjoyed the long charade at 3dn (far more than the long charade to which it refers)!

There’s a Nina too, the exposition of which I have hidden below in case you’d like to see if you can spot it first!

Welcome to the fold, Aureliano.

Definitions underlined.

The 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th rows of unches (unchecked squares) read Cien Años de Soledad. Well, almost – there’s an extra letter ‘a’ that I can’t explain. One Hundred Years of Solitude is a novel by Gabriel García Márquez, about the Buendía family from Macondo all of which feature in the clues. The characters include José (which appears as an answer), Amaranto (also in the clues), and Aureliano (the nom de plume of our setter).

7 Spaniard perhaps turning in late, so jaded (4)
JOSE – hidden backwards in (turning in) latE SO Jaded
8 Fair representation of Buendias (8)
UNBIASED – anagram (representation) of BUENDIAS
9 Hour on and off to go round on quiet Japanese island (6)
HONSHU – alternate letters from (on and off) HoUr surrounding (to go round) ON and SH (quiet).
10 Worked hard to initially install light (6)
TOILED – TO, the first letter of (initially) Install, then LED (light emitting diode, light)
11 Small infant’s bed for bairn? (4)
SCOT – S (small) and COT (infant’s bed). A bairn (a Scottish child) is a Scot, and the question mark takes care of the definition by example.
12 Safely secured fixing eg in bath (2,3,3)
IN THE BAG – anagram of (fixing) EG IN BATH.
15 Put at risk, cease to be annoyed? (8)
ENDANGER – END ANGER (cease to be annoyed).
17 Spurs? We can have them for breakfast! (4)
EGGS – Cryptic definition. The straight definition (spurs=eggs) from the sense of egging on/encouraging.
18 Show: a seaside attraction from what we are told (6)
APPEAR – sounds like (from what we are told) “a pier” (a seaside attraction).
21 Garcia Marquez, for one, nevertheless bathed in aura endlessly (6)
AUTHOR – THO’ (though, nevertheless) surrounded by (bathed in) the first three letters of (endlessly) AURa.
22 Soldier married in Macondo originally (8)
COMMANDO – M (married) inside an anagram of (originally) MACONDO.
23 Getting warmer Thursday: not half warm, on reflection (4)
THAW – TH (thursday) and a reversal of (on reflection) the first half of (not half) WArm. I’m not sure about thaw/thawing, but I can see that ‘get warmer Thursday’ would make for a less satisfactory surface.

1 Male raccoon originally from part of N Africa (8)
MOROCCAN – M (male) and an anagram of (originally) RACCOON.
2 Small county? Italian finds room to live in (6)
BEDSIT – BEDS (abbreviation for (small) Bedfordshire (county)) and IT (Italian).
3 Question, one holding EU up repeatedly: no good waiting patiently? (8)
QUEUEING – Q (question) and I (one) surrounding (holding) a reversal of (up) EU EU (repeatedly), then N (no) and G (good). Phew!
4 Cockney’s custom? To an extent (1,3)
A BIT – how a Cockney might say ‘habit’ (custom), by dropping the ‘h’.
5 Engineers to drink a French wine, gorge (6)
RAVINE – RE (Royal Engineers) surrounding (to drink) A and VIN (French wine).
6 Yours truly twice passed on cultural motif (4)
MEME – ME (yours truly) repeated (twice).
13 With intention of studying, or becoming bullfighter (8)
TOREADOR – TO READ (with intention of studying), as in ‘I went to the library…’, then OR.
14 Virtually the same, morally? (2,4,2)
AS GOOD AS – cryptic definition.
16 Sam Dee, flustered, cancels (6)
ADEEMS – anagram of (flustered) SAM DEE.
17 Lands in bottom of hole, say (6)
ESTATE – last letter (bottom) of holE then STATE (say).
19 Storyline’s particular lack of theme, first of all (4)
PLOT – first letters from (first of all) Particular Lack Of Theme.
20 Violent diatribe coming from Amaranta (4)
RANT – hidden in (coming from) amaRANTa.

45 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 1297 by Aureliano”

  1. This one went smoothly–my disaster today was the 15×15. I got ADEEMS, although I didn’t know the word–and it’s not in ODE. Seems like an infelicitous choice for a Quickie, and I won’t be surprised if there are some murmurs of discontent. I didn’t see the Nina, although I was a bit surprised to see Garcia Marquez in a clue; well spotted, William. I think the A is simply an unavoidable flaw. 5:07. On edit: I just looked up ADEEM, and it turns out to be a back-formation from ‘ademption’, yet; this *really* doesn’t belong in a QC.

    Edited at 2019-02-27 06:02 am (UTC)

  2. 12 minutes, held up at the end and taken over my target time by the intersecting pair, AUTHOR and ESTATE. I couldn’t remember who Garcia Marquez was (assuming I ever knew) and the abreviated ‘tho’ for ‘nevertheless’ would never have occurred to me until parsing after I’d found the answer. ADEEMS, which is a legal term, was unknown to me, but it’s in Collins.

    I guessed there was something ‘Spanish’ going on here but would never have spotted it in a million years, so well done, Will!

    Edited at 2019-02-27 06:11 am (UTC)

  3. This took me a long, long time but nice to get to the end for the first time this week. Can’t really say I enjoyed it though. Top half went in more smoothly than the top. Troubles in the bottom from struggling with both AS GOOD AS and IN THE BAG. Never heard of HONSHU or come across ADEEMS and also struggled with EGGS.
  4. As others, surprised to see ADEEM which doesn’t strike me as a particularly QC-friendly word.

    Otherwise, had all the acrosses on the first pass, downs took a bit longer, just slowed down by iPad-on-a-train solving, and making sure I really had got that one right,


    Edited at 2019-02-27 07:46 am (UTC)

      1. Originally a setter of yore used to hide his daughter’s name (Nina) in the grid. Now any hidden words or themes are referred to as a nina.
  5. Not having a great week with 18.48 slowed down in particular by TOILED and ESTATE, which again required Mrs soj’s insight. I had ESTATE but couldn’t see why (“Well, say is state” – doh!) while TOILED eluded me but jumped out for Mrs soj. On reflection, this was a much better puzzle than I originally thought. I kept being misled: ESTATE, looking for a homophone or example; TOILED, thinking INITIALLY referred to TO and I had to insert LIGHT; SCOT didn’t twig that BAIRN just meant a northerner and not a child. NHO ADEEMS despite a previous existence as a lawyer (Mrs Soj ditto). Read 100 Years what seems like that amount of time ago so all references forgotten. Clever.
    1. I also struggled with Toiled and Estate although I’m not entirely sure why as neither looks difficult after the fact!
  6. A new setter today, or perhaps an existing one with a new pseudonym to back up the Nina which I missed completely.
    JOSE went in first and then I solved steadily without always seeing the parsing. I assumed Adeems must exist. My last two were EGGS and ESTATE. Some of the clueing felt a bit forced but I have to express my admiration for the Nina. COD to 17a EGGS.
    Completed in 13:36. David
  7. Thanks for the Nina, William (well – and, of course, Aureliano) – not familiar with this so would never have got it. Just over 10 minutes. 14dn went in as ‘as like as’ to start with but ‘eggs’ sorted that out. Final struggles were getting the parsing of ‘estate’ and loi ‘Honshu’ – where wanting to put in a ‘P’ didn’t help. Cod for the smile at 4dn.
  8. Chapeau for spotting the Nina, William! Well done. I never would have got that. The mis-spelling of soledad baffles me, since surely Aureliano began by writing the Nina into the unches first and then found words to fit? (Hence ADEEMS, presumably.)

    The Nina is brilliant but the puzzle was a bit of a curate’s egg IMHO. Using “originally” twice as an anagram indicator was weak; ditto having “in” as part of the anagrist for IN THE BAG. But I loved EGGS, very neat indeed, and QUEUEING. Just under 3 Kevins for me, which counts as a Decent Day since DNK HONSHU.

    Thanks William and welcome Aureliano.


    Edited at 2019-02-27 09:01 am (UTC)

  9. I thought this was a bit of a mixed bag. Gave up on trying to unravel Sam Dee but my Oxford solver didn’t recognize the anagram or the word itself so I would suggest that this was a little too obscure. Some good stuff though – thanks
  10. Good spot with the Nina, William. The book is mouldering on a shelf here and I read it about 20 years ago but nothing of it stuck apart from the title and the author. ADEEMS rang a vague bell but it was surprising to see it in a Quicky. Was interested to see why SCOT meant “balm” but it now appears that I actually need new glasses – that font for the puzzles has been catching me out increasingly of late.
  11. Does he play for Real Sociedad ? Come on, it’s a QC, and the new setter is trying to be way too cute for many solvers on here. Didn’t see the Nina, and it meant diddly squat to me when it was revealed.

    Enjoyable in many ways, but the majority of newbies will get little pleasure from it. Although I missed my target, I’m happy enough to have completed quite quickly in the circumstances.

    TIME 5:26

    1. Phil has said it all. Always good to welcome a new setter, but maybe trying just a little too hard to impress.
      Thanks to setter and blogger.
  12. Never heard of ADEEMS. Pretty straightforward otherwise. Great spot of book title and related items, William.
  13. 15 mins.
    Welcome new setter, I can’t see the name when completing on my phone but it seemed a different style.

    Dnk honshu or adeems but it fitted.
    Loi thaw where I struggled to see what was going on until it clicked.

    Cod to queueing as I needed the help spelling it!

  14. Spotted the ‘Cien Anos’ but that was about it for the Nina as I DNK Garcia as the author. Well done william on deciphering the rest. I solved this in an average time with some hesitant entries at 9a HONSHU and 16d ADEEMS but my LOI was 17d ESTATE. COD for me was 3d QUEUEING which I genuinely didn’t see until I followed the wordplay step by step. 13:34

    Edited at 2019-02-27 10:36 am (UTC)

  15. Well that was a struggle. I finally finished in 11:26 with several unparsed, so thanks for the blog. 16d is a little unfair for a Quicky I think. Thanks to Aureliano and William.


  16. I started off at a gallop, but slowed down as I descended the grid. NHO ADEEMS, but constructed it from the anagrist in the most likely arrangement. I agree it’s an odd choice of word for a QC, but I suppose we can give a little leeway in the cause of the clever Nina, which I didn’t spot even after William’s prompt. In the NE we use bairn for a child, so I was puzzled by the Scot definition. Knew HONSHU so no problems there. 9:13. Welcome and thanks Aureliano, and thanks William.
  17. Always good to see a new setter and new challenges. Never heard of ADEEMS, but once the checkers were in it could hardly be anything else. Never heard of GARCIA MARQUEZ either, not that it mattered. Otherwise, all fairly straightforward once I had got my head around a slightly different mindset.
    I have no problem at all with THAW = getting warmer.
    COD QUEUING – ‘waiting patiently’ – really?
  18. Just over 9 minutes, so no significant holdups. MER at ADEEMS which seemed beyond typical QC vocabulary, but was forced to satisfy Nina. (Which I didn’t get – although I’d heard of the author and the book, didn’t connect them, nor did I know original title or any characters.)
  19. I enjoyed this, tks setter and blogger.

    Dnk honshu or adeems.

    Queuing is a really wierd word, somehow. It never seems quite real to me.


  20. I don’t understand what all this talk about Nlna means. Please explain…….and try not to use “in” terms like this without explanation for us lesser mortals
  21. I second the comment directly above! This blog is a great help to newbies but it’s frustrating when people use jargon…

    This was pretty average in my opinion (I don’t time myself) but I was also stumped by the unknown “adeems” although it was the only word that fitted.

    Not sure I follow how 11ac works – it had to be Scot from the wordplay but although bairn is a child in Scots vernacular not all bairns are Scottish. Maybe I’m overthinking?

    1. Originally a setter of yore used to hide his daughter’s name (Nina) in the grid. Now any hidden words or themes are referred to as a nina.
    2. To exapand on John’s gen above, originally the term referred to the girl’s name Nina, hidden in the cartoons of Al Hirschfeld (it was his daughter’s name).

      More info here:

      Some examples here:

      The term was adopted by crossword fans to describe a hidden pattern or theme, as explained above. The jargon is not meant to obfuscate or frustrate, by the way, and I hope that the feeling has given way to the satisfaction of learning something new (if esoteric).

  22. Knew this one. Though I’m struggling with the remaining 6,851. I guess you need at least 10 before even trying the 15×15.
  23. Found the puzzle Ok with some unusual words, but I fail to see the point of a Nina if it’s a) pretty obscure and b) spelt wrong anyway!
  24. Ninas are often obscure and not really meant necessarily to be noticed.
    Plainly this one WAS meant to be of course though.
    Why the A in SOLEDAD? It just sort of came out like that. A bit of magic realism 🙂
    Sorry about ADEEMS: I nearly took it out and probably should have done.
    MEME is another character from the book btw


    1. Thanks for dropping by, and welcome. I forgot to say earlier that MEME turned up in the 15×15 puzzle only yesterday (which I blogged myself) otherwise it would have been another word unknown to me, along with ADEEMS.
  25. I figured that there was a nina of some sort going on due to all the Spanish references, but it was way to clever for me.
    I was slowed down by the SE corner and some tricky parsing throughout the puzzle. I finished with the THAW and ESTATE in 14.51 so just inside my target time. I thought 3d was very clever.
    Thanks for the blog William and well done on unravelling the nina
  26. Nothing to add to the range of comments above. LOI ADEEMS which was the only possibility but unknown to me. Definitely a SCC performance this evening – just not on the same wavelength. Not helped by a typo in 1d which screwed up the NW corner for quite a while. John M.
  27. I think I’m getting thicker. Oh, dear. Did not know “adeems” but got it anyway because it couldn’t be anything else. Did not get, however, Jose, eggs or thaw. All 3 were just too obscurely clued for me although I have nothing but admiration for anyone who can set such a clever puzzle. Thanks as always, too, to the blogger for such careful explanations of the parsing.
  28. First of all, can I add my welcome to those of others – always a pleasure to see a new setter. As to the puzzle, I thought it was a good mix of the straightforward and the more challenging, but my loi Adeems is surely a step too far in a QC. My congratulations to William for working out the Nina – completely beyond me even with the tip-off. Invariant
  29. To spot the Nina was great. Well done! Not a bad puzzle; DNK Adeems, but I seem to be in the majority with that.
  30. An extra late comment but I was unable to finish this over my Costa and it had to wait….I had to trust the wordplay to get 9a Honshu and also 16d adeems (an unlikely looking word to me!). Was convinced the 7a Spaniard started with DON- and although I had toyed with JOSE I failed to see it as a reversed hidden word.. So 7a was my undoing as a DNF. Otherwise some lovely clues and misdirection. COD 3d for construction, FOI 8a and otherwise LOI 17d. Nice to have another setter to learn, and what a great blog revealing that NINA! …jaw tray dropped here.
  31. Newbie here.
    This is the first time I’ve finished the quick cryptic in a single (long) sitting.
    I spotted the ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ theme before solving most of the clues (I read the novel years ago, and it felt like I endured that many years of solitude to get to the end, but it was worth it!).
    I was desperate to finish the puzzle so I could get on here and look up the Nina. Again, it was worth it 🙂
    Thanks for the great puzzle Aureliano, and the clear explanations William!
    1. Good job Miki! You did better than I did; I only saw it after completing the blog, then thinking that I’d better check the grid just in case!

  32. Done a day later than everyone else, but I enjoyed the puzzle so much that I wanted to salute our new setter nonetheless. ADEEMS was the only word I didn’t know, but as my LOI it was the only real possibility. Didn’t spot the NINA and have never read the book, so despite noticing them didn’t realize where all the Spanish references were coming from. I loved the cluing, though! Lots of clever misdirection, so satisfying as the tricky clues fell one by one. Enjoyed HONSHU, QUEUEING, ESTATE, IN THE BAG, TOREADOR, EGGS and APPEAR in particular. Thank you Aureliano!

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