Times Quick Cryptic 1301 by Breadman

I breezed through this one (just over 7 minutes is fast for me) so quickly that I didn’t notice some of the intricacies of the word play. Having now gone through the blog I think this is an excellent QC. Whilst some clue constructions need unravelling and there is a usual smattering of initials and anagrams, the constituent parts all seem to be generously clued. I think the term ‘accessible’ applies to this puzzle so I hope newer solvers have fun. Old hands may be reaching for their PB history records.


4. MALIBU – Californian resort. Anagram (distributed) of ALBUM around one (I).
7. ENTANGLE – intertwine. Anagram (loose) of NET and fish (ANGLE).
8. REMARK – comment. About (RE), brand (MARK).
9. CARDINAL – church dignitary. Vehicle (CAR), noise (DIN), starts to (A)nnoy (L)ocal.
10. ACER – maple tree. Recalled recreation ground – rec backwards (CER) with a (A).
12. ANNOUNCE – make a declaration. Woman (ANN) with little weight (OUNCE).
15. TRANSEPT – part of church. Anagram (unusual) of PATTERN covering southern (S).
18. IDEA – plan. Almost perfect (IDEA)l.
20. ILL-FATED – unlucky. One (I), guided (LED) round an anagram (wrong) of FLAT.
22. AVOCET – wading bird. Rejecting company – co backwards (OC) inside (protected by) an animal doctor (A VET).
23. OINTMENT – lubricant. Old (O), international (INT), homophone (to be heard) of intended – meant.
24. GLIDER – aircraft. Eye covering (LID) inside front half of (GER)man.


1. INCA – old South American. At home (IN) with accountant (CA).
2. MANDARIN – may be used in foreign exchange. Chap (MAN) with an anagram (odd) of DINAR.
3. AGENDA – business schedule. After a long time (AGE) an anagram (arranged) of DAN.
4. MERLIN – legendary magician. In sum(MER LIN)e-up.
5. LAMP – it illuminates. Large (L), electronic equipment (AMP).
6. BARBECUE – culinary gathering. Pub (BAR), worker maybe (BEE) circulating (going round) copper (CU).
11. CARNIVAL – festive occasion. Coach – eg railway (CAR), anagram (strangely) of IVAN, left (L).
13. NAP – rest. Cooking utensil – pan – upside down (NAP).
14. UP IN ARMS – angry. (U)ltras, nail (PIN), bombs perhaps (ARMS).
16. EDITOR – newspaper boss. Anagram (altered) of DIET, as an alternative (OR).
17. TALENT – special gift. Much appreciated (TA), days before Easter (LENT).
19. ICED – covered with sugar. K(I)t(C)h(E)n – at regular intervals, daughter (D).
21. ETNA – volcano. European (E), insect – ant – going up (TNA).

44 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 1301 by Breadman”

  1. Quite straightforward, although for some reason I had trouble sorting out what I knew was the anagrist to get MALIBU. For one thing, I never thought of Malibu as a resort; more a home for rich Hollywood people. ACER is a NY Times xword chestnut. 5:26.
  2. 13 mins but had untangle at 7a. Annoying as I had a question mark next to it to go back and forgot.

    Loi idea and barbecue.

    Cod iced.

  3. Fastest in a while but still only 13.23 and very very low on the leaderboard. Good to see all green after yesterday’s hiccup. Didn’t get too much joy from the acrosses at first pass but breezed through the downs and then mopped up. Held up by TRANSEPT because I’ve always thought it had a C in there too and by LOIs AVOCET and CARNIVAL. Once I had the V carnival went straight in.
  4. 9 minutes but felt I was up against the clock most of the way so was a little surprised to finish within my target. I had to go back afterwards to check the parsing of LAMP as I hadn’t considered AMP as an abbreviation for ‘amplifier’ and had been a little puzzled by its being clued as ‘equipment’.
  5. 17 minutes, so close to a PB for a very nice puzzle. I found the downs easier than the accrosses, LOIs were UP IN ARMS and IDEA. Since starting QCs I’ve learnt (mainly from Izetti) that the most common parts of a church in crosswordland are the Apse, the Transept and the Chancel.


  6. A whisker over 2 Kevins, a Good Day. Very well pitched QC – accessible (as Chris says) but not a walk in the park. It took me a long time to realise that MERLIN was a hidden so that’s COD from me. (Is ointment really a lubricant? I thought it was a cream/jelly applied to the skin as a healing aid.)

    Thanks Breadman and Chris.


    1. I also think of ointment as a healing aid, but lubricant is another meaning quoted in Chambers. And that reminds me… How do you treat Swine flu? With Oinkment, of course.
  7. I breezed through this too, but nearly came a cropper when I saw the checkers for 23A and wrote in ORNAMENT before I read the clue properly. More haste, less speed. I liked CARDINAL, BARBECUE and UP IN ARMS, but COD to TALENT. Nice crossword. Thanks Breadman and Chris. 4:09.
  8. 14.01 for me so definitely on the easier side of things, given that I had several interruptions to my train of thought, but nowhere near a PB.
  9. Yay, 8.52! Nearly blew it by biffing ORNAMENT. Didn’t fully parse a few in the rush. AVOCET is the emblem bird of the RSPB, a fantastic rarity of my youthful birding days, now something of a success story.
      1. Which reminds me that there’s a decent ale from the Exeter Brewery called Avocet!
        1. It would indeed – a fine establishment happily situated next to a bird reserve. A walk round the latter built up sufficient thirst to enjoy the wares of the former.
            1. Very interesting – thank you. The bird reserve is much the same, of course, Sizewell has got a golf ball where before it was just a large block and the pub has had a refurb – I ‘popped in’ last year. Pretty sure I’ve done the same route – but more often it was a slightly shorter one cutting through the bird reserve earlier.
  10. A circular solve today with my last two being REMARK and LAMP.We have an acer in the garden which helped.A bit of care needed but mostly straightforward today.COD to TALENT. 8:51.
  11. I thought this was excellent – a little tricky here and there to exercise the brain cells, but nothing obscure or outdated. Thanks from me too! Your oinkment joke johninterred reminds me of the guy who went deaf, so his doctor persuaded him to try pig ear transplants. One of them worked perfectly well but he got a bit of crackling in the other
  12. Yes, this was a QC as they used to be! Very fair, straightforward clueing. Thanks to Breadman for an accessible puzzle and to Chris for the concise blog. I liked TALENT and ILL-FATED. 10.08 but under 2 Kevins for a change. John M.

    Edited at 2019-03-05 09:54 am (UTC)

  13. I almost fell into the hefferlump trap at 7a. Saw loose and biffed ‘untangle’, clearly an anagram with intertwine as the anagrid. Something made me look closer at the cryptic and I realised my mistake. A rather clever misdirection (if it was intentional).

    Otherwise all bit of a write in.

    Many thanks to setter and blogger.

  14. ….and you’ll find ETNA. I agree with Chris that this is exactly the type of QC to encourage the newer solver, while still entertaining old hands like me.

    FOI MALIBU – I remember my second wife drinking a melon flavoured liqueur of that name.
    COD MANDARIN – the combination of “dinar” and “foreign exchange” gives a beautiful fiscal misdirection. This may be my QC Clue of the Year so far !
    TIME 3:17

  15. Very familiar with MALIBU from watching Two and a Half Men, so that went in quickly. Finished off in a CARNIVAL mood in 8:30. OINKMENT took a bit longer as I’d biffed EDITED and had to sort that out first. A crackling puzzle:-) Thanks Breadman and Chris.
  16. I thought this was a lovely puzzle, just right for a QC. I finished in 6:39, one of my better times. Thanks to Breadman and Chris.


  17. Yes, this was fairly straightforward and would have been sub-20, but a careless Edited for 16d caused all sorts of problems with 23 and 24ac, until I realised my mistake. Didn’t know Avocet, so that took a bit of working out as well. My dad was practically TT (I’m doing my best to pull the average back) but he would have a drop of whisky each Christmas, which he always referred to as his ‘throat ointment’. Invariant
  18. Very straightforward. Enjoyed the misdirection of ‘foreign exchange’ in MANDARIN.
  19. Sub 10 mins so can’t imagine it caused any seasoned solvers any grief.
    Only problem was that I couldn’t get barman out of my head for 6dn, so spent a couple of minutes trying to convince myself that there must be a culinary gathering called a barmacun!!
    Saw sense in the end.
    Thanks setter/blogger/comments
  20. I had a PB at 13:10. After considering LP for album stuck with the anagram and therefore got Malibu as FOI. Transept known from previous crosswords otherwise that would have killed it. Good with birds so Avocet a write-in once V and T known. Delayed by starting with Edited (ed plus altered diet) before Ointment forced rethink. Barbecue took time because I wanted to spell it with a q somewhere, and also was trying to work in Barman.
    Thanks all,
    John George
  21. A very slow start but stuck at it and in the end completed with great satisfaction. Should be a benchmark for QCs. Well done setter.
  22. Similar experience to Chris. I rushed through and completed in 7:41 which is 50s outside my PB. I have to admit that I didn’t fully parse 24a GLIDER, 11d CARNIVAL and 14d UP IN ARMS in my efforts to beat the clock. LOI BARBECUE. Thanks Breadman for the accessible QC.
  23. I found this a tough one, but I can’t explain why. Finished it within 28 mins, which is within my 30 mins target, and nearly all the clues went straight in, although they just needed thinking through more and went in slowly, in contast with chrisw91. I know of AVOCET from previous crosswords. TRANSEPT was a bit of a guess from wordplay, and for a few minutes I had “edited” instead of EDITOR for reasons given by others, but they were the only two tripping points. I still just found it somehow tough…
  24. Satisfying and quick, for us, solved in 13m, so pb. Our target is 30m. Knew avocet. Thanks to setter and blog.
  25. Greetings all, when I clicked to read the comments after the blog I was confronted by “PARTNER NEWS” – lurid photos subtitled in Russian. Is this normal now? Thanks, Jeffrey
    1. Just saw that marked as a ‘suspicious comment’ by livejournal so have deleted it. Thanks. Oh, and er, no, not normal but occasional spam stuff has to be fended off by your valiant team of bloggers.
  26. Nothing too tricky today, but I was slow to spot transept and the bird took some figuring out. I loved the surface of 2d. Completed in 12.02 with LOI ICED.
    Thanks for the blog
  27. I so wish I had timed this to the second. I know it was well under 12 minutes, but not sure how close to 11. Whatever, I am cock-a-hoop, as I have been struggling to get inside 20 minutes recently. All the clues just seemed to flow in, fully parsed. I guessed that the vast majority would have found it easy but, there again, to come in close to 2 Kevins is a miracle for me!
    All the surfaces were so good that it is really hard to choose a COD. I think I’ll go for 9A.
    19A brought back memories of my daughter making peppermint creams when she was a little girl. The sweets were delicious but, oh, the kitchen floor! She thought you could mop up spilt icing sugar with damp kitchen towel!! Squelch! MM
  28. There are 3 or 4 unusual words, but the rest of today’s 15×15 should be within the reach of confident QC solvers. Invariant
  29. An excellent QC, well constructed and straightforward. Well Done Breadman!
  30. 22 across co rejected implies taken out not reversed surely ?!
    Any explanation ?
    1. Rejected – rebuffed – dismissed – sent back. It’s a common Crosswordland convention. Do think about registering for livejournal then the email you give gets a ping when someone responds to any comment you make.
  31. As a newbie I’m just relieved to get to the end, I won’t embarrass myself with today’s time!
    FOI was 8a (REMARK) and then worked clockwise, ending with 7a (ENTANGLE) which was a head-scratcher until I got the “angle” part, and 1d was my LOI.
    I particularly enjoyed 17d TALENT and 4d MERLIN.
    Thanks for the blog and comments – so useful!
  32. Well done – to complete means you’re a long way down the journey. Times add an extra interest when you complete each day when they are an indicator of the difficulty of the puzzle.

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