Times Quick Cryptic 1300 by Tracy

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic

Solving time: 9 minutes. I think this is mostly straightforward, with only one meaning of a word unknown to me, but less experienced solvers may find it takes some unravelling.

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 Immediately visiting top tourist attraction (2,5,5)
AT FIRST SIGHT – A definition followed by a slightly dodgy cryptic hint
9 Vessel from Kenya or Tanzania (5)
AORTA – Hidden in [from] {keny}A OR TA{nzania}. This blood vessel is main artery through which blood leaves the heart.
10 Learned European, insulting about Italian (7)
ERUDITE – E (European), RUDE (insulting) containing [about] IT (Italian)
11 Slyness of the salt at sea (7)
STEALTH – Anagram [at sea] of THE SALT
12 Doctor, for example, initially studying remains (5)
DREGS – DR (doctor), EG (for example), S{tudying} [initially]
13 Evidence of pressure or bias, strangely (6)
ISOBAR – Anagram [strangely] of OR BIAS. To be found on a weather chart.
14 College boy in complete agreement (6)
UNISON – UNI (college), SON (boy)
17 Musical instrument from India carried by celebrity (5)
SITAR – I (India – NATO alphabet) contained [carried] by STAR (celebrity). The wordplay is helpful here by indicating the orgin of the instrument in question, something that would be unlikely in the 15×15 puzzle where setters are inclined to try to misdirect the solver.
19 Heavily criticise attack on new pub (7)
UPBRAID – Anagram [new] of PUB, RAID (attack). ‘A on B’ in an Across clue indicates ‘BA’.
21 Put a stop to public relations incident (7)
PREVENT – PR (public relations), EVENT (incident)
22 Reference book finally reduced (5)
ATLAS – AT LAS{t} (finally) [reduced]
23 Relish not working — severe scolding results (8-4)
DRESSING-DOWN – DRESSING (relish), DOWN (not working)
2 Ray’s fuss about crooked rep (7)
TORPEDO – TO-DO (fuss) containing [about] anagram [crooked] of REP. In addition to its more usual meaning, TORPEDO can be “any of various electric rays (fish) of the genus Torpedo”.
3 With less rain final should be played, by rights (2,3,8)
4 Boil these bursting with energy (6)
SEETHE – Anagram [bursting] of THESE, E (energy)
5 Plumbing company’s directors off whom one can bounce ideas? (8,5)
SOUNDING BOARD – SOUNDING (plumbing), BOARD (company’s directors)
6 Good and ready to complain (5)
GRIPE – G (good), RIPE (ready)
7 Cause supporting activist’s last crime (7)
TREASON – {activis}T [‘s last], REASON (cause). ‘Supporting’ here is just a positional indicator in a Down clue.
8 Get through gap between peaks (4)
PASS – Two meanings
13 Trendy little drink I had in flat (7)
INSIPID – IN (trendy), SIP (little drink), I’D (I had)
15 Insincere, each person in review (7)
SHALLOW – ALL (each person) contained by [in] SHOW (review). I looked twice at this when parsing, thinking ‘all’ is ‘every person’ rather than ‘each’ but on reflection decided that the one encompasses the other. A show in theatrical terms would more likely be spelt ‘revue’ but in the sense of a display (e.g. a military parade), ‘show’ and ‘review’ can be synonymous.
16 Dog working sheep (6)
MUTTON – MUTT (dog), ON (working). It usually means the meat of a sheep but can refer to the animal itself.
18 Article on extremely mundane subject (5)
THEME – THE (article), M{undan}E [extremely]. In a Down clue ‘on’ simply means ‘on top of’.
20 Spoil attractive person (4)
DISH – Two meanings

29 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 1300 by Tracy”

  1. No problems, although PREVENT struck me as odd; if you prevent something, it doesn’t start, so there’s no stop to be put to it, and if you put a stop to something, you didn’t prevent it. 5:30.
  2. Careless start to the week with SWETHE and PAAS giving me two red squares. Don’t think I’ve heard of DISH for spoil – I did ponder DASH as in dashing – but went the right way to avoid a third red square. LOIs were the crossing ATLAS and DASH – just could see ATLAS, thought book might be OT or NT and pursued that line for too long. Wondered about TORPEDO so that for the explanation jackkt. Took me 22m, so a bit of a marathon. I seem to be in a bit of middle of period of long solves.
      1. I didn’t know that meaning of dish either, but fortunately I needed to know only one of the two definitions. Didn’t know Rays were TORPEDOS either. Held up most by the anagram at 3d. I liked SITAR and the hidden AORTA. 6:00
  3. I got completely stuck on my last two -22a and 20d. I thought 22a ended in D and even briefly considered Atlas as a reference book but did not stop to parse. DUDE presented itself for 20d. Eventually I saw ATLAS and that gave me DISH although Dash came to mind first.
    The required meaning of TORPEDO was unknown and that caused another delay.
    27:27 for me today, symmetrical but slow. David
  4. 2.5 Kevins, an OK Day. Didn’t get AT FIRST SIGHT at first sight and that slowed me down a little. Nothing to report, liked TORPEDO so that’s COD.


  5. Enjoyable overall so again thanks. I’ve come across dish ( to spoil) before but only in cryptic crosswords. I would maintain that it isn’t ever used these days. Dish the dirt maybe ??? I had never heard of a torpedo ray but it fitted so had to be right.

    Edited at 2019-03-04 09:34 am (UTC)

  6. A very slow start for me – all over the grid until I got a couple of footholds. A bit quicker as I got into it (and I biffed a couple, given crossers) and then I gained speed at the end. Strangely unsatisfying, somehow, despite there being many clever clues. I ended up just within 20 mins so, whilst firmly in the SCC, it wasn’t quite as bad as I feared. The blog was a good read after completion – thanks to Jack. John M.
  7. A gentle start to the week with only the new (to me) meaning of TORPEDO and the second definition of DISH causing any concern. Completed in 8.47. I particularly enjoyed the anagrams at 4d and 11a.
    Thanks for the blog.

    On another matter entirely is anyone else having issues with the Crossword Club site? I keep getting error messages when trying to open it or e.g. “Bad Request
    Your browser sent a request that this server could not understand.
    Size of a request header field exceeds server limit.”
    It only seems to happen in Internet Explorer or Mircosoft Edge or whatever it’s called these days, but not in Chrome.

    1. Nothing that happens in Edge would surprise me! My advice would be to stick to using Chrome.
  8. 22 mins for me too – a common time today it would seem. I wasn’t certain what the ‘with’ was doing at the start of 3D, and was unfamiliar with plumbing = sounding as well as having the dish and torpedo issues of others.
    1. I think it links the anagrist ‘less rain’ with ‘final’, and placing it first gives us a coherent surface reading.
  9. ….and I broke anything, my Dad would tell me I’d DISHED it, specifically if it couldn’t be repaired. As a dyspraxic, I broke a lot of things. I would await the DRESSING-DOWN that followed with some trepidation.

    No problems here, once I’d stopped trying to find a boat or utensil in “Kenya or Tanzania”. At least I’d identified the “hidden” straight away !

    TIME 3:43

  10. A tad outside my target today with LOI (MUTTON) going in after 17m. There shouldn’t have been anything holding me up – I guess I was just slow. I vaguely knew or understood that the torpedo must have been named after something, and a Ray seemed a reasonable bet, but I now need to check the origin. Also wondered about the dish / spoil equivalence, but not enough to prevent my going with it. Thanks Tracy and Jack.
  11. A tricky start to the week, I thought. I crossed the line in 9:23, held up at the end by 22a and 20d. I needed the blog to explain 2d. Thanks to Tracy and Jack.


  12. No problems here, apart from not knowing RAY/TORPEDO. Finished in 8:11. Thanks Tracy and Jack.
  13. Is AT FIRST SIGHT really synonymous with ‘immediate’? I always think of it more as ‘first impression’ which is somewhat different.

    Knew the meaning of TORPEDO; indeed, the underwater weapon takes its name from the fish.

    I thought this was quite tricky at the time so surprised to complete in 5’45”.

    My thanks as always to setter and blogger.

  14. 23 mins, dish has cropped up a few times so not much time spent on dish dash.

    Foi prevent
    Loi the unknown upbraid
    Also dnk torpedo for ray.

    Liked mutton but cod upbraid.

  15. A slow 30 min solve, with significant hold-ups at 2d (never come across the Ray meaning), 13ac (just couldn’t see Isobar for ages) and especially in the SE corner (15, 20 and 22). Apart from those, I thought this was average difficulty for Tracy. Invariant
  16. I did a lot of 8d (third definition) in the first three minutes. My FOI was 4d SEETHE. I biffed 5d SOUNDING BOARD and guessed 2d TORPEDO and my LOI 19a UPBRAID from the wordplay. 10a ERUDITE was a remembered faction from ‘Divergent’ and 15d SHALLOW surprisingly easy following Lady Gaga’s recent Oscar success. I was over my target but still happy to have crossed the line in 11 mins for what seemed a less than straight forward QC. Thanks jackkt and Tracy.
  17. Biffed 3d as ,in all weathers which caused some problems, otherwise steady solve. Did not know torpedo as ray, dish known but now old fashioned? Time within our 30m target.
  18. The two long down clues took a while – for the rest it was steady progress. Finished in 12 minutes with (nearly) appropriately 22ac.
  19. Close to the 10 minute barrier with 10.26. But 1ac didn’t come easily which scuppered anything really quick.
    1. It’s to do with maritime measurement. Plumbing the depths or echo sounding are common related expressions.
      1. So pleased that this question was asked. I couldn’t ‘fathom’ it at all, although I completed the grid.
        What would I do without this blog. Thank you!
        24 minutes
        FOI AORTA
        COD TORPEDO because the word play was so clever and therefore doable despite lack of knowledge!

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