Times Quick Cryptic 1316 by Orpheus

A good QC from Orpheus. I’d have been quicker than 10 mins if I hadn’t continued my spell of messing up on a particular clue (this time LOI 8ac). Hopefully you’ll all be OK – let us know how you got on. As always, all questions are welcome.


1. CASH – money. A (A) and deacones(S) invested in church (CH).
3. FAIRISH – passably even-handed. Football administrators (FA), from Dublin perhaps (IRISH).
8. POETIC LICENCE – dispensation for writers. Anagram (engineered) of NICE POLICE ETC. LOI – for some 20ac reason, I missed the fact that this was two words. It was only at the end that I realised.
9. DON – academic. Drop off (NOD) going west – backwards.
10. ATOLL – coral reef. A (A) then large number (lot) returned – backwards (TOL), left (L).
12. EMANATE – issue. English (E), chap (MAN), at (AT), Jun(E).
14. DRESSER – theatre employee. A Welsh Dresser is a piece of furniture. I suppose anyone in the role of a theatre dresser who happens to be Welsh will be well used to this pun.
16. INTER – bury. In virg(IN TER)ritory.
17. OWL – bird. A distressed dog in East London, apparently, does not howl but ‘owl.
20. UNACCOUNTABLE – inexplicable. Lacking capacity (UNABLE) to take in report (ACCOUNT).
21. BLESSED – gave benediction. Girl (BESS) and boy (ED) crossing lake (L).
22. LENS – photographic device. A man’s (LEN’S).


1. CUPBOARD – cabinet. Trophy (CUP), poet (BARD) keeps in old (O).
2. SEED – offspring. Visit (SEE), daughter (D).
3. FELINE – cat. Splendid (FINE) contains (is the environment for) ‘the’ in Spanish (EL).
4. INCAPABILITY – shortcoming. Not something associated with Lancelot Brown who was the go-to gardener in the 18th century – known as Capability Brown.
5. IGNORANT – unenlightened. Anagram (could be) of NO RATING.
6. HEEL – double definition. Cad/heel, command to dog.
7. FIDDLESTICKS – nonsense. Violinists use them – a violin could be described as a fiddle which is played with a bow/fiddle stick.
11. OVERCAME – defeated. Across (OVER), river (CAM), fo(E).
13. EERINESS – ghostly atmosphere. Always (EER) hanging over one (I), loch (NESS).
15. ROTUND – plump. Fellow (ROD) carrying large beer cask (TUN).
18. CURB – check. Homophone (so to speak) of kerb.
19. OBOE – instrument. (O)nly (B)ands (O)r (E)nsembles.

23 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 1316 by Orpheus”

  1. NHO a Welsh dresser, but not much room for error here. I also didn’t know Capability Brown’s first name, so I had to wait for a couple of checkers. Fortunately, there was no danger of writing LICENSE at 8ac; how to spell that word was a problem in a recent Jumbo. 4:26.
  2. 8 minutes. The homophone at 18 not required on the other side of the pond I believe, where both words are spelt CURB. I learned this having recently worked my way through a series of books by an Anglophile Texan, all set in the UK and quintessentially English in character but because of this every American ‘misspelling’ grates on the eye. CURB for ‘kerb’ was one of these that kept recurring.
    1. For that matter, both words are spelled CURB. In the 19th century, just about any English novelist or playwright would have an American character marked as such by using ‘guess’, often inappropriately. I think even Anthony Powell did it with Russell Gwinnett.
  3. Return of the red square – OOERCOME, careless! All done in 18m but felt longer. Took an age to see ACCOUNTABLE – and needed the blog to parse it (thanks Chris). Lots of empty spaces after the acrosses and the downs were not noticeably easier this time. Had BOW for OWL for a while which held up INCAPABILITY and was also slow to FIDDLESTICKS. LOI ATOLL – knew they were in the sea didn’t know they were coral.
  4. After a DNF disaster yesterday (just couldn’t see DEBRIS notwithstanding having got to SIR and BED!), was reassured to squeak under 10 for the first time in a while with 9.51. Noting Vinyl’s comments yesterday on the Mephisto, am now determined to have a go. My father (who was pretty good) taught me to do cryptics as a boy, but I had only had the time and inclination to solve occasionally. Now ‘at leisure’, I’m hooked and, while still struggling with harder 15 x 15s, am definitely improving.
  5. I couldn’t remember who Lancelot Brown was until I got the checkers. POETIC LICENCE, FIDDLESTICKS and NOD/DON all familiar from recent puzzles. COD, of course, to INTER. 4:56.
  6. 13m for me this morning, so reasonably happy. OVERCAME was LOI, as when I see I’m looking for the name of an unspecified river (or flower, or plant) my inclination is to run away until all the checkers are in place. It also took a while for me to remember who Lancelot was. I have a golf buddy named Brown who has a reputation for cancelling at the last moment, and has picked up the sobriquet of Unreliability Brown amongst our group, so no real excuse for forgetting Capability.
  7. I liked this one – thanks to Orpheus. It was frustrating at first – I had to jump around the grid and began to get my teeth into it in the lower half, moving back gradually and accelerating a little as the checkers filled in. Just the right side of 15 mins in the end. LOI EMANATE. Some nice misdirection, as in FELINE and OVERCAME where the ‘gets’ steered me away from the past tense for a moment or two. I liked EERINESS and FAIRISH. Nice, economical blog from Chris, as usual. John M.

    Edited at 2019-03-26 09:38 am (UTC)

  8. Enjoyed this – thanks. Even managed to overcome printing issue (3 clues not fully visible). Brown featured in a quiz yesterday – made me think you shouldn’t go on national TV if you have an incapability to recognize a landscape gardener
  9. I enjoyed that puzzle so thanks very much Orpheus. I got held up by the last couple. I’d mistakenly written Poetic Lisence – so my inability to spell rendered me incapable of seeing incapability given the presence of the s….

    I’d also mistakenly put Airiness instead of Eeriness (which when I look now is almost sillier than the spelling).

    Anyway – unpicking the mistakes led to a final time of 24 minutes – 2/3 of which was solving Orpheus’ puzzle and 1/3 solving my own uniques self-created difficulties

  10. I managed to complete this one inside my target time, but was held up for a while by my LOI, OVERCAME. The river was slow to come to mind, after the Fal, The Tay, you name it! No trouble with the gardener though. Nice puzzle. 9:13. Thanks Orpheus and Chris.
    1. I completely agree. I got all but one in yesterday’s (a record!!) but there are things in this one I feel like it will take time to learn: I’ve not come across ‘could be’ as an anagram indicator in the months I’ve been at it and I guessed 21AC but couldn’t see how it was correct (I’d like to meet the last woman named Bess…if she’s still alive…probably making Yorkshire puds)…Welsh dresser etc. Tough.
  11. I was unaccountably held up by 22a LENS, 11d OVERCAME and LOI 8a POETIC LICENCE (despite knowing it was a two word anagram) which resulted in a fairish solve of 13 minutes.
  12. At one point I thought I was going to finish inside 20mins, which is a very rare event these days, but I struggled with Overcame and loi Emanate and had to be content with just north of 25. E*a*a*e isn’t the easiest word to biff, so I had to take a second long look at the cryptic before the penny dropped. Not the easiest of QCs from Orpheus, but at least it came with a generous number of footholds. Invariant
  13. ….to CURB my enthusiasm for American spellings.

    TIME 3:20

  14. I have been out and about today so I solved this mainly on the train. I needed about 12 minutes to solve all but 4d. I had just put in EMANATE and thought I’d have it all wrapped up before I got off.
    I showed complete incapability to solve the last clue until I had another long look at home.
    So all done but time not recorded – well over 20 minutes. I thought there might be an anagram of LANCELOT plus a bit.
    A good puzzle. David
  15. I thought I might be on for a PB today as it all flew in very swiftly until the gardener who, whilst not unknown, had to be dredged from the very deepest part of my mind. Still at 9.49 I squeaked in under 10 minutes for the first time in a while so I can’t complain.
    Thanks for the blog
  16. This took me just under 19 minutes (so within my target 20). Thanks Orpheus for an excellent puzzle.
    FOI 8a
    LOI 11d
    COD 12a I love the ‘piece together’ clues, though I am not always very quick with them. I saw this one straight away for a change!
    Thanks for the blog, Chris. MM

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