Times Quick Cryptic 1780 by Breadman

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic

Solving time: 9 minutes. I think this is all accessible to newbies, but I have got that wrong many times in the past.

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]. I usually omit all reference to positional indicators unless there is a specific point that requires clarification.

6 Old man cracked nut (6)
ALMOND : Anagram [cracked] of OLD MAN
7 English politician with passion for supreme dominion (6)
EMPIRE : E (English), MP (politician), IRE (passion)
9 Check   stalk of plant (4)
STEM : Two meanings
10 Huge tailless rodent follows one around river (8)
ENORMOUS : ONE (reversed) [around] , R (river), MOUS{e} (rodent) [tailless].
11 Carthaginian leader beheaded man-eater on horse (8)
HANNIBAL : {c}ANNIBAL (man-eater) [beheaded] is put on H (horse), remembering the rule in Across clues that ‘A on B’  = ‘BA’
13 Two marks found in each novel (4)
EMMA : MM (two marks) contained by [found in] EA (each). Another word that needs to be retired for a while, I think.
15 I was in charge of revolutionary food shop (4)
DELI : I LED (I was in charge of) reversed [revolutionary]
16 Sticky stuff covering poor Arnie’s flower (8)
GERANIUM : GUM (sticky stuff) containing [covering] anagram [poor] of ARNIE
18 Golf equipment also carried by gentleman working (4,4)
SAND IRON : AND (also) contained [carried] by SIR (gentleman), ON (working)
20 Quote Italian in Church (4)
CITE : IT (Italian) contained by [in] CE (Church – of England)
21 Way of cooking meat in France, on vacation (6)
FLAMBE : LAMB (meat) contained by [in] F{ranc}E [on vacation – emptied]
22 Soon perspire regularly in full-body garment (6)
ONESIE : {s}O{o}N {p}E{r}S{p}I{r}E [regularly]
1 Companion in apartment lifeless, getting Mike worried (8)
FLATMATE : FLAT (lifeless), M (Mike – NATO alphabet), ATE (worried – what’s eating you?)
2 Old comedian‘s French knowledge (6,6)
NORMAN WISDOM : NORMAN (French), WISDOM (knowledge). His toe-curlingly awful films, usually playing a character called Norman Pitkin, brought him enormous fame both here and abroad especially in Albania. It’s a shame that this is what he’s mostly remembered for because he had started out as a very talented and versatile performer.
3 Notice vicar rejected key part of speech (6)
ADVERB : AD (notice – advertisement), REV (vicar) reversed [rejected] B (key)
4 Stagger back from park with painting (6)
RECOIL : REC (park – recreation ground), OIL (painting)
5 Language used by neighbour dubious (4)
URDU : Hidden in [used by] {neighbo}UR DU{bious}
8 Grill, with hesitation, US dough bread (12)
PUMPERNICKEL : PUMP (grill – interrogate), ER (hesitation), NICKEL (US dough – money). I’d rather eat cardboard!
12 Beer starts to affect lad excessively (3)
ALEA{ffect} + L{ad} + E{xcessively} [starts]
14 Horse, near Aintree’s front three, fell maybe (8)
MOUNTAIN : MOUNT (horse), AIN{tree} [front three – letters]. I lost time here thinking ‘mare’ for the horse. Aintree is the home of the Grand National.
16 Grand complex surrounds European area of cultivation (6)
GARDEN : Anagram [complex] of GRAND contains [surrounds] E (European)
17 Irregular money in South Africa doctor raised (6)
RANDOM : RAND ( money in South Africa), MO (doctor) reversed [raised]
19 Supporter runs away from mass meeting (4)
ALLY : {r}ALLY (mass meeting) [runs away]

67 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 1780 by Breadman”

  1. Rather sluggish going today. I biffed ENORMOUS and RECOIL, parsing post-submission, and demi-biffed PUMPERNICKEL (PUMP was enough). I don’t think I’ve ever come across SAND IRON, which is, I assume, what I’d call a sand wedge. What really slowed me down was stupidly flinging in ARCH at 19d, eliminating the initial M while leaving the R; only noticed the problem after struggling to solve 21ac. NORMAN WISDOM also took time; I barely knew the name, only from a cryptic. I also raised my eyebrow a bit at ‘knowledge’ defining wisdom. 7:50.
    Today’s 15×15 is worth having a go at.

    Edited at 2021-01-04 01:59 am (UTC)

    1. I know what you mean but the setter is off the hook with this from SOED: wisdom – a Knowledge, esp. of an abstruse kind; enlightenment, learning, erudition. Now chiefly hist. OE. ▸ b In pl. Kinds of learning, branches of knowledge. rare. OE–M19.

      I endorse your recommendation of today’s 15×15 to QC solvers wishing to move up.

    2. 15×15 today …
      Thank you Kevin for the tip off. Very addressable and solved in just under 19 minutes – a 15×15 PB


  2. Put COMMON WISDOM. Should have thought more deeply about it! Of course when you see the pink squares it’s easy to see what the answer should have been.
  3. would be nearer the mark and fit in a 15×15! I too thought immediately of Albania, where he still rules supreme on b/w TV. My WOD at 2dn.

    FOI 9ac STEM

    LOI 21ac FLAMBE

    COD 6ac which was just so sweet, but not unsavoury!

    Must get some more 8dn! Love it.

    Indeed today’s QC awaits!

    On edit – I forgot I was on the 10.45 this morning from STEM to stern.

    Edited at 2021-01-04 02:33 pm (UTC)

  4. I struggled with NORMAN WISDOM too but the biggest issue it caused was that I wrote in “Widsom” which made me reject SAND IRON – which I’ve only ever heard called a SAND WEDGE and so wasn’t totally sure of, especially since I know things like ‘mashie niblet’ could be lurking among the clubs. Also held up by RECOIL. Seven on the first pass of acrosses which is pretty good and all green in 14 which is also pretty good. Enjoyed seeming FLAMBE emerge and realising that I did know a Carthaginian leader which I would have denied before the puzzle started.
  5. In the mid sixties, having grown up thinking Norman Wisdom’s films were poor to say the least I was taken as a reluctant teenager to see him live at the Victoria Theatre in Hanley. He was brilliant. He managed to bring a lump in the throat of a stroppy 14 year old one minute and then giving him fits of the giggles the next. Nearly as good as Tommy Trinder in panto at the Bradford Alhambra in the early seventies, mind you I had had a drink that time.

    Edited at 2021-01-04 08:34 am (UTC)

  6. Didn’t read the clue properly at 11a, but caught it on proof reading and changed CANNIBAL to HANNIBAL. FOI ADVERB. SAND WEDGE is much more commonly used for the golf club, but I have heard the term SAND IRON. I waited for crossing letters to be sure though. Took a while to see NW. He never really appealed to me either. 9:59. Thanks Breadman and Jack.
  7. 5:24. Held up at the end by SAND IRON – like others I knew of it as a wedge. COD to FLAMBE – very neat. I also recommend today’s 15×15 as being suitable for a QC solver to try.
    1. Don’t play golf and NHO sand iron or wedge. “Five iron” seemed vaguely familiar – or maybe nine iron???
  8. The highs and lows of crossword solving …
    … as I move seamlessly from a DNF last Friday to a sub-Kevin finish today in 7:40. It might just be because our paper delivery is back after the Christmas break – over the break I solved online in the Crossword Club but I do prefer pen and paper.

    A good crossword, and none of the issues earlier posters have noted caused me delay. Indeed it’s probably to my advantage that I’m not a golfer, so I didn’t think twice about 18A Sand iron – it sounded plausible enough, and whether this is the usual term or whether one should call it a sand wedge I am completely ignorant about!

    Instead I found the puzzle a great chance to reflect on what I have learnt from this blog over the last year – my first full year of doing the QC. Things like park = rec, worried = ate, what “on vacation” means in a clue. So thanks today to Jack, but more widely renewed thanks to all our regular bloggers, who have enabled me to enjoy cryptic crosswords so much more.


    Edited at 2021-01-04 09:06 am (UTC)

  9. Most of this went in easily enough but I assumed the first part of 2d was going to be COMMON and it took me a while to go back and revisit it after becoming completely stuck. PUMPERNICKEL is a word I was vaguely aware of but had no idea what it was so I had to resort to several alphabet trawls before it revealed itself to me. Finished in a sluggish 14.33 with my favourite being FLAMBE.
    Thanks to Jack

    Edited at 2021-01-04 10:00 am (UTC)

  10. I think Breadman is telling me I’m past it and this is reinforced by some of the times and comments above. I found this the most difficult QC in many, many months. I had to jump around the grid picking off the easy ones and then sat here scratching my head over clues like SAND IRON (NHO), RECOIL, FLAMBE (good clue), FLATMATE (all of which came slowly as crossers emerged and seemed fair when the pennies dropped). I wanted to biff ADVERB but couldn’t parse it at first so held off.
    Total disaster, although I stuck at it and parsed them all in the end. I can’t bring myself to write down my time which was deep in the SCC. Bad day? Incompetence? Marbles lost? Thanks to jackkt for confirming my (slow) parsing and to Breadman for finding more of my weaknesses than I would have thought possible. John M.

    Edited at 2021-01-04 10:08 am (UTC)

    1. You just need a coffee, John! We all have days like that (well, except Phil and Kevin). Form is temporary, class is permanent – you’ll be in the flow again soon.
      1. Thanks for that, Templar. I’ve just done the 15×15 in a pb time so maybe all is not lost.
    2. I like to think that a slow solve gives me more time to appreciate the clues… Not that I often have any option! Maybe rebrand the SCC as “savouring clues club”
      1. That is what I normally do with the 15×15 but that actually went better for me today. It was just an honest indication of my disappointment when I expect to finish the QC in 10-15mins with occasional forays into the low 20s. Tomorrow is another day for many of us who just didn’t ‘click’ with Breadman today.
  11. now with added children for additional distraction.

    Early crack at Breadman – completed in 5:50.

    Raced through to begin with, and I was thinking I was on for sub 5 mins, but the last 3 of SAND IRON, ALLY and LOI FLAMBE had me thinking, and pushed the time out a bit.

  12. Date: Mon, 4 Jan 20

    FOI: 6a ALMOND
    LOI: 19d ALLY

    Time before use of aids: 60 mins
    Aids Used: Chambers Crossword Dictionary, Bradford’s Crossword Solver’s List

    Total Answered: 16/23

    I had high hopes for this one as I started out really well, with answers just coming to me very quickly. But then things start to slow up and I eventually become stuck.

    I stupid typo (ADVERT instead of ADVERB) in 3d threw me way off the scent for 11a HANNIBAL. When I first read that clue, I immediately thought of Hannibal, but because of the T where there should have been a D, I was stumped. The annoying thing about this is that instead of thinking, “hey, perhaps I have misspelt a word running across 11a”, I just assumed HANNIBAL was not the answer I was looking for. Lesson learnt!

    18a SAND IRON. Although I did get this one right, I was totally lost as to how the word SAND was obtained. It was not until I came here for the explanation that I saw it.

    5d URDU. It took me a long time to get this simple one. My problem was that I did not see a containment clue. Usually I see the word “in” used to indicate this type of clue. I didn’t, and still do not see, how “used by” is a containment indicator.
    A head scratching DNF for me, but enjoyable.

    1. Just like anagram indicators, hidden answer indicators can be just about any word in the English language 🙁
      I missed that one too – even though I guessed the answer and am usually attuned to look for hiddens when all else fails.

      Overall, a bit of a toughie, I thought..

  13. We did the QC immediately after the 15×15 (which we very nearly finished) so maybe our little grey cells were weary. We raced through the top half and then really slowed down resulting in a completion time of 24 minutes. Thanks for the challenge Breadman.

    FOI: almond
    LOI: sand iron (didn’t know there was such a thing)
    COD: Norman Wisdom (funny clue – unlike Norman Wisdom)

    Thanks for the blog Jackkt.

  14. I agree that ithis is fairly accessible to newbies but maybe as long as they are of a certain vintage. (Norman Wisdom) When I’ve made that observation before, I’ve irritated some of my fellow oldies who enjoy references to stars of yesteryear, but I’m going to persist because I think quickies should be accessible to all generations. A few tenuous links here in my opinion ( ate , ire, fell) but lots to enjoy so thanks Breadman and of course jacktt!
  15. Despite a tricky grid with lots of first letters unchecked, I moved swiftly through most of this. FOI FLATMATE. I kept returning to 2d; I wanted to put in COMMON for a while but couldn’t justify it.
    In the end my last two were (COD) NORMAN WISDOM and ALLY.
    I nearly put AXLE in my rush to stop the clock and I’m glad I didn’t.
    I still finished in 08:27. Good puzzle.
  16. 16 minutes, which I’m reasonably happy with after my last attempt. I’m going to buck the trend and put in a word for NORMAN WISDOM, who, IMHO deserved the fame and success that he enjoyed. It was slapstick stuff, but cleverly done, although I admit, not to everyone’s taste. I liked FLAMBÉ which gets my COD. My LOI was EMMA for some reason. Thanks Breadman and Jackkt.
  17. Needed all the checkers for Norman, of whom I have only dimly heard (I’m 55). But I guess he was a national figure once, so fair enough.

    The one that really held me up was PUMPERNICKEL, which is a marvellous word but not something I’ve ever encountered outside Damon Runyon (Nicely-Nicely Johnson: “My fiancée, Miss Hilda Slocum, will never hear of me going off my diet even for a little while. Only yesterday I try to talk her into letting me have a little pumpernickel instead of toasted whole wheat bread, and she says if I even think of such a thing again, she will break our engagement.”)

    FOI ALMOND, LOI MOUNTAIN, COD FLAMBE, time 1.3K for a Good Enough Day.

    Many thanks Breadman (is PUMPERNICKEL a sign that he is going to start including breads in his puzzles a la Oink?) and Jack.


    1. Bread?
      Breadman gave us a very nice QC not long ago. It included 1ac COTTAGE. That’s a loaf, isn’t it? Maybe we can look forward to ham sandwiches
  18. Failed in the SW corner because I put MERINGUE in at 16A (“Sticky stuff”). Since this started with M, that let to Grand=M for 16D, and hence a dead end.

    Also was not comfortable with FLAMBE, as I had EN for “in France”.

    15A had revolutionary=CHE, then CHEF, which was close, but backtracked that one, at least.

    COD ONESIE, with well-clued surface “soon perspire”: surely must be the outcome on donning the garment, which seems to be on the way out. mercifully.

    Edited at 2021-01-04 11:10 am (UTC)

  19. But should not have hurriedly biffed Ransom. (Thought it was going to be a PB, though wasn’t actually timing) Also admit I looked up knowledge, ironically, which gave me WISDOM and the penny dropped.
    Otherwise everything went in quickly though struggled with FLAMBE (LOI) until I thought of Lamb.
    NORMAN WISDOM is an amusing clue but agree few young would remember him.
    Thanks , Jack, and everyone for the comments.
  20. A bit slow today – about 15 minutes – but I don’t know why on reflection. NORMAN WISDOM was one of my last ones in, although I have no idea why as I remember him well. I had never heard of SAND IRON but biffed it. I didn’t parse FLAMBE until I read the blog – thanks. Mountains are known as Fells in the Lake District, as any Wainwright reader or fellwalker will tell you, so that wasn’t a problem for me as I once was both!
  21. A very average solve today which started with EMPIRE and finished with ALMOND which I had overcomplicated on my first pass. I deliberated over C and H for HANNIBAL but not for long. My solve started to speed up when I put in PUMPERNICKEL and I did wonder how many solvers would know of/remember NORMAN WISDOM. COD to ONESIE for the accurate description and wordplay only revealing the answer once the final letter was in. 10 mins
  22. I found this tough and needed a couple of aids to provide a couple of letters that unlocked the rest. Phew.
  23. I didn’t find this as easy as others seem to have done. But then I rarely seem to get onto this setter’s wavelength. As for NORMAN WISDOM he was a great favourite of mine when I was a kid so don’t understand all the negative comments about him. He was very popular and made a lot of people laugh. Not a bad epithet.
  24. Started very slowly, and thought this was going to be one of those days, but then Hannibal and Geranium unlocked the grid and the answers suddenly began to flow. Slight hold ups near the end with Urdu and Recoil, and CoD Flambé wasn’t a write-in either. Crossed the line in 18mins, or two Jackkt’s (… well it is very cold). Invariant
  25. Well, for once I am not following the vein of the majority! I loved watching Norman Wisdom and his sorrowful demeanour where everything goes wrong before he turns his doleful expression and sheepish slinking, into one of joy. Charlie Chaplin he was not, predictable, unsophisticated but satisfied me in my childhood. And to add fuel to the fire, I still refer to my sand iron as such when misfortune demands, in contrast to a favoured pitching wedge.
    EMMA had me confused for ages until I disgruntledly filled it in, FLATMATE was obvious but could not equate ATE for worried, and as usual, I forgot to follow the indicator of vacation to remove the RANC which caused gnashing of teeth over flambé. My WOD is joint favourite, PUMPERNICKEL (happy to get a compound clue) and NORMAN WISDOM because it reminded me of carefree days gone by.
    Thanks Breadman and Jack. Happy New Year everyone.
    1. I tried not to be entirely negative in that I recognise he was very talented, starting his career as a bandboy in the army in the last days of the Raj. He could sing, he could dance and clown and play almost any musical instrument. I didn’t mind the slapstick to an extent but in his films he so often went for pathos and that was where we parted company. As did Chaplin, which is why I never cared for him either.
          1. Nope! Along with Aramis – male fragrances from the seventies as worn by ‘The Professionals’ et al.
  26. Frustrating, as I completed everything apart from 8dn in 20 mins, but no matter how long I stared at it (even with all the checkers) it just wouldn’t come. I have heard of Pumpernickel, but it’s not the first thing that springs to mind when thinking of bread.

    However, as always, lots to enjoy in the rest of the grid, including 2dn “Norman Wisdom” (not a fan), the battle of whether 3dn was “advert” or “adverb” (got there in the end), 13ac “Emma” and 21ac “Flambe”.

    Always think of Sand Wedge rather than Sand Iron which held up 18ac.

    FOI – 6ac “Almond”
    LOI – dnf
    COD – 14dn “Mountain” – great surface

    Thanks as usual.

  27. Which I actually found easier than the QC. Most was fine, but I got stuck for ages in the SW corner. Not being a golfer I also struggled with Sand Iron. Enjoyable nonetheless

    FOI Almond
    LOI Emma
    COD Flambé

    Thanks to Breadman and Jackkt

  28. Having fully solved fewer than half of Breadman’s offerings since I started the QCs last June, I was pleased to finish today in 40 minutes. It could have been under 30 minutes, but for an eight minute hiatus with five clues to go and four minutes of alphabet trawling to get my LOI (15a: DELI).

    Only 23 clues today – Breadman clearly left out the impossible clue which usually leads me to a DNF. My thanks to him and to jackkt for clarifying the full parsing of some of the clues.

  29. Didn’t find it overly difficult and managed to finish at one sitting. (Still much longer time than you pros!) however, often found I got the answer without knowing exactly why. Had to read the explanations at top to get those I hadn’t fully cracked. Useful to read the breakdown of clues. Thanks for those.
  30. Sand iron isn’t in my on-line dictionary so I put in grid iron which I’d never heard of as a golf club but could have been for all I knew. This meant I could not get Ally and so was a DNF.
    1. Check out Gene Sarazen who is generally credited with the invention of this instrument for escaping from bunkers, back in 1932. (Not 1945!)
      1. Actually it was invented and patented in 1928 by Edwin Kerr MacClain but only popularised by Gene Sarazen.
  31. ….a MOUNTAIN today, and this was pretty accessible.

    TIME 3:25

    1. Shocking time, Mr. Jordan! Now you’ve got your ONESIE on… I am unable to locate your new Weekend QC: where is it lurking?
      1. You’ll find the relevant links in Johninterred’s blog for QC 1779 (Izetti; 1 January).
    2. Phil, many apologies for not spotting your very clever Nina in the Saturday Special! As Fred Truman used to say to a lesser batsman he’d dismissed with a wonderful delivery, “That were wasted on thee, lad”.
  32. Worked steadily through this feeling rather proud of myself until I got totally stuck on RECOIL (forgot Rec for Park) and GARDEN (forgot ‘complex’ was anagram indicator.
    Too often I guess the answer then work backwards seeing how clues fit in. Still, helps me learn!
  33. Completely defeated by 2dn and the SW corner. DNK sand iron (not a golfer, although I do know of a sand wedge). Also failed to parse 11ac, 16dn or 1dn, although I found the right answers fairly quickly. Even allowing for me having what was clearly an off day I don’t think this can be classed as easy.

    FOI – 7ac EMPIRE
    LOI – DNF
    COD – 14dn MOUNTAIN

  34. We did not find this easy, vaguely knew the bread, but had to look it up. SE corner also held us up. Not a good day.
  35. Not my finest hour.

    Failed 11ac, 21ac, Norman (well known to me but could not bring to the surface), Bread and Speech. Slow going and even with a few checkers never really got out of 1st gear.

    Onwards and upwards

  36. …from the German apparently. And hence I am not too upset at NHO it. Sadly another DNF for me due to that one.

    Also not helped by never being able to remember that the abbreviation for ‘each’ is ‘ea’ (for 13a) having never in my life seen it used that way.

    At least I have heard of Norman Wisdom and could get to sand iron from the cluing despite nobody actually calling it anything other than a sand wedge since it was invented and patented in 1928 by Edwin MacClain.

    Enjoying the QC despite too many DNF lately. Thanks jackkt for the blog.

    1. Actually, the Spoon was a wood:
      The golf club called a “spoon” was the wooden-shafted club in (primarily) pre-20th Century golf history that was most equivalent to today’s fairway woods of various lofts — 3-woods, 5-woods, 7-woods. There were various types of spoons in addition to the standard or basic one.
  37. No time since two sittings and taking down the tree in between. Pleased to get Flambé and Onesie, took time over Geranium and LOI Pumpernickel.
    I quite liked Norman Wisdom films but they could grate if not in the mood. But he was talented.
    There is a lovely YouTube clip of him with Michael Parkinson when he was older….
    Thanks all
    John George
    Must try the 15×15
  38. Late post as usual but couldn’t pass up an opportunity to say how talented Norman Wisdom was. A poor start in life clearly had a long term impact on his character but he was versatile and entertaining on stage/film and off. RIP.
    FOI 6a Almond. LOI 18a Sand Iron (NHO). Several contenders for COD 2d. 10a. 21a. 8d.
  39. Late post as usual but couldn’t pass up an opportunity to say how talented Norman Wisdom was. A poor start in life clearly had a long term impact on his character but he was versatile and entertaining on stage/film and off. RIP.
    FOI 6a Almond. LOI 18a Sand Iron (NHO). Several contenders for COD 2d. 10a. 21a. 8d.

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