Times Quick Cryptic 1961 by Mara

Very short on time today as travelling so my usually succinct blog may seem even thinner than usual.

Do chat amongst yourselves!

Definitions are underlined.

1 Card put back inside uppermost part of boot (6)
TOECAP – card (ACE) backwards inside uppermost (TOP).
5 Tell class about Spanish article (6)
RELATE – class (RATE – class as in classify) about Spanish article (EL).
8 Dairy product beating the very best (8,5)
WHIPPING CREAM – beating (WHIPPING), very best (CREAM).
9 Language in Jaipur, Dutch! (4)
URDU – inside Jaip(UR DU)tch.
10 Cricketer’s ability contagious (8)
CATCHING – double definition.
11 This crossword setter tore off — a streaker? (6)
METEOR – this crossword setter (ME), anagram (off) of TORE.
13 Every bit invested in liquid — there’s money in it (6)
WALLET – every bit (ALL) inside liquid (WET).
15 One playing with toys, liar (8)
SOLITARY – anagram (playing with) TOYS LIAR.
17 Charming French city (4)
NICE – double definition – something of a chestnut.
19 Critical moment taking in probe that’s malfunctioning (8,5)
BREAKING POINT – anagram (that’s malfunctioning) of TAKING IN PROBE.
21 Organ observed filled with pulp, oddly (6)
SPLEEN – observed (SEEN) filled with (P)u(L)p.
22 Note Pavarotti possibly heard? (6)
TENNER – the currency note – homophone of tenor.

2 Different order that has evidently reversed, first of all (5)
OTHER – (O)rder (T)hat (H)as(E)vidently (R)eversed.
3 Land: uphill track into promontory (7)
CAPTURE – land as in catch a fish – track – rut – upwards inside promontory (CAPE).
4 Greek character is beginning to perk up (3)
PSI – is (IS), (P)erk all upwards.
5 Correct a method immediately (5,4)
RIGHT AWAY – correct (RIGHT), a (A), method (WAY.
6 Shielded by poplar, chestnut tree (5)
LARCH – inside pop(LAR CH)estnut.
7 Aintree discombobulated colt (7)
TRAINEE – anagram (discombobulated – WOD + COD) of AINTREE.
10 Motor race, blooming thing (9)
CARNATION – motor (CAR), race (NATION).
12 Selfish activity got pier destroyed (3,4)
EGO TRIP – anagram (destroyed) of GOT PIER).
14 US president in English city (7)
LINCOLN – double definition.
16 Picture one before game, excited (5)
IMAGE – one (I) before an anagram (excited) of GAME.
18 Vessel, one empty — small boat (5)
CANOE – vessel (CAN), one empty (O)n(E).
20 Chewing the fat, all finally understand (3)
GET – chewin(G) th(E) fa(T).

43 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 1961 by Mara”

  1. 9 minutes with time lost over 2dn which is skilfully misleading with ‘different order’ immediately suggesting an anagram and ‘reversed’ suggesting, well, a reversal, neither of which turned out to be the case. I passed over it a couple of times hoping for easier pickings elsewhere and once I had a couple of checkers in place the answer became obvious, so I biffed it and returned later for the parsing.

    Chris, your ‘even thinner than usual’ blog has full flesh on its bones compared with the blogs around here when I started!

  2. I was pleased to see a 1a but that was short lived as the NW held out to the end — ending with a fingers crossed CAPTURE which I reckoned was more likely than ‘capsule’ on the basis that a ‘rut’ is a thing but I’ve never heard of a ‘lus’ — so easy when Chris shows how it works! Also held up by not being able to identify the anagrist for BREAKING POINT ‘in probe that’s’ is only 12 letters and I failed to pause at B on my alphabet trawl to solve _R_A_ING POINT.

    I was due for an early start this morning so I tried this (and the 15 x 15) before bedtime – and without a cup of tea – for a change.

    Thank you to chrisw91 and Mara

  4. ….I completed the puzzle without real difficulty on my second.

    TIME 4:33

  5. All green in 11 minutes …
    … but not without a few MERs on the way, where I thought the cluing was very slightly loose. For example Class for rate in 5A — as Chris comments, “class as in classify”, but the point is it doesn’t say classify in the clue and I for one don’t use class as a verb. Ditto Rut for track in 3D — again not really synonyms.

    Against that there were a few clues that were really clever in misleading me — separating “uppermost” and “part of boot” in 1A, and the whole of 2D is a masterpiece of deception, as Jack has observed.

    So overall a fun puzzle. Many thanks to Chris for the blog

    LOI: 1a. TOECAP.

    I smiled when I saw Mara as the setter. Mara is, in my opinion, the most beginner-friendly setter I have seen so far in these QC puzzles. I felt positive that I would solve this one, and indeed I did. 35 minutes with aids being used just once: 3d Capture. I only managed to answer this one as it was the only word listed under Land in Chambers that fit. I had no idea how the clue worked until I came here.

    Thank you Mara

  7. Forgot that ‘this setter’ = ME so failed on METEOR. (Hangs head in shame)
    Liked the rest of the puzzle very much, eg TENNER, CARNATION.
    Thanks all, esp Chris.
  8. Due to 2 clues I just couldn’t see – I was held up mightily by SOLITARY – looking at the wrong end of the clue…, and then CAPTURE was gawping at CAP?U?E looking for possible letters that would fit, so excellent misdirection with “land” by the setter.

    Would have been on target but for those two I ended up with 8:28.

  9. I class (rate) this as a tricky puzzle and finished in 38 mins but brain definitely jaded.
    LOI CARNATION and spent 10 mins on CAPTURE as I was determined to get bluff in somehow.
    Last minute pandemonium trying to get new product ready for launch at exhibition today so all the team up all night. Not perfect but pretty amazing. Hats off to dedication and determination to deliver. Will definitely not be up at midnight tonight to do tomorrow’s QCC.
  10. 14:17, back on solid times again this week, plus another near solve of the 15×15.

    FOI URDU, LOI CAPTURE where I was also tempted by CAPSULE, and the less-travelled ‘Lus’. I was surprised another word fitted, sometimes the alphabet trawl nets the fish right at the end.

    Surprisingly slow on WHIPPING CREAM, which held up the top half. Also, with my poor botanical knowledge I was hunting for an anagram of ‘motor race’ for some flower.


  11. A mixed bag. The NW corner remained largely empty on first pass — CAPTURE, TOECAP and my LOI (why?) PSI only emerged much later. I did rather better working from the bottom. There were some nice anagrams, not least EGO TRIP, and CARNATION raised a smile. A minute over target but then I am more relaxed these days. Thanks to both.
    Chris, you have a typo in the explanation of 13ac (should be ALL, not AL). John M.

    Edited at 2021-09-14 09:07 am (UTC)

  12. My FOI was TOECAP, followed by PSI. Then I made steady progress, finishing with BREAKING POINT, SPLEEN and finally SOLITARY, for which I needed to write out the anagrist. 7:50. Thanks Mara and Chris.
  13. I had most of this done in 8 minutes after FOI RELATE and then solving clues at first glance.
    However I was held up in particular by TOECAP, CAPTURE and LOI PSI where careful parsing was needed.
    14:33 on the clock.
    A good puzzle which required careful thought. My favourite was IMAGE.
  14. I had a terrible struggle with the acrosses, with the first pass leaving more unsolved than solved! But then all the downs fell in order, except for my LOI; maybe I’d woken up by then. It felt tricksy, this one.

    FOI URDU; LOI CAPTURE; COD SOLITARY; time 11:17 for an estimated 1.9K and an OK Day.

    Many thanks Mara and Skeleton Chris.


  15. Mainly straightforward with a very tricky (for me) NW. I was very slow to remember that WHIPPING CREAM was a thing, figured that ACE backwards would be in 1a but looked at _OECA _ and didn’t like the look of it so dismissed it as a possibility before being forced to revisit it for lack of other options. Last 2 in were CAPTURE and PSI where I narrowly avoided biffing a careless PHI.
    Finished in 11.04 with COD to CARNATION
    Thanks to Chris
    1. I spent some time thinking that the “card” was going to be a “wit” or a “wag” and inventing words like TOGAWP.
  16. NW corner was tricky for us and it took an absolute age to get TOECAP. A nice mix of clues made it a pleasure to complete which we did in 16 minutes.

    COD: CAPTURE (we liked WALLET too)

    Thanks Mara and Chris

  17. A rare occasion when I (32 minutes) beat Mrs Random (34 minutes) to the finish line was ruined when I came here and saw that my PHI should have been PSI. I had wondered about the parsing at the time, but forgot to mark the clue for double-checking at the end. I was probably so relieved, after 12 minutes of trying, to crack my last two clues – BREAKING POINT (I never spotted it was an anagram) and CAPTURE – that I didn’t give PHI another thought. So, in the words of Dick Dastardly “Curses, foiled again!”.

    Many thanks to Mara and chrisw91.

  18. Just short of 12mins, so my fastest solve for several months. No real hold ups to speak of (yes, I really do write that slow), which makes me think a sub-10 will always be just out of reach. Breaking Point was a quick rework of Tipping Point when I had a square left over. CoD to Tenner, not to be confused with Tanner! Invariant
  19. FOI Urdu, twelve on first pass, then solved at random according to prevalence of helping letters. Seemed quick, so when I looked at the clock and saw it had taken fifteen minutes I was a bit surprised. LO’sI psi and capture which I had qualms about but it seemed to fit. Didn’t see the rut, or the cape for that matter. Other nuances missed were in relate and spleen, and I must have biffed breaking point – the fact that there was an anagram there to solve completely passed me by. Thanks for the blog, Chris, and for the puzzle, Mara. GW.
  20. 16 minutes and one second pour moi, so no walk in the park. My LOI was GET where I failed to see the last letter device for too long. It was a slow start scanning the early across and down clues for a foothold, but when I looked at 8a, the answer just occurred to me and I was off and away. Thanks both.
  21. A super speedy solve with FOI RELATE, POI BREAKING POINT and LOI SOLITARY. 6:32 for an excellent day.
  22. Quite tricky as QCs go. Took a long time to see TENNER and SOLITARY. I liked CAPTURE
    Thanks for the blog, Chris. Succinct is absolutely fine by me.
    Thank you Mara
  23. 23 minutes and fully parsed – which is pretty good for me! No major problems but like others my LOI was 3d CAPTURE. FOI 1a TOECAP and COD to 22a TENNER. Thanks Chris and Mara!

  24. Quite a quick start and all done – bar my LOI – in 9 minutes. Then I took another THREE to get that one! I got stuck on ‘liquid’ as a noun, and as I had the W and the E, I was trying to shove a single letter into water, which of course didn’t work. I found the NW corner quite tricky too, and realised when I came here that I had just biffed CAPTURE. I liked SOLITARY, although I did think that it would be a great &lit if you could use a similar construction to make solitaire. You’d need a bit of patience to do that!
    It was fun though – I always enjoy Mara’s puzzles.
    FOI Whipping cream
    LOI Wallet
    COD Whipping cream
    Thanks Mara and Chris

    BTW I found today’s 15×15 quite straightforward – about 25 minutes with various interruptions. There was one particularly tricky one but I trusted the wordplay and it was all good! So if you’ve got some time to spare and you got on OK yesterday, give today’s a try too 😊

  25. Short on time today so had to give in and have a sneaky look at the blog to get CAPTURE (thanks Chris) — just didn’t think of cape for promontory, or rut for track, although obvious now 🙄 WALLET took a while as I wanted the liquid to be water rather than wet… Liked METEOR. Great QC thanks Mara.
  26. 18 mins, so back within my normal range after difficulties over the last two weeks. Quite tricky though – my solving was steady but rather slow. Never parsed 2dn but managed everything else. Thanks to Chris and Mara.

    FOI – 5ac RELATE
    LOI – 21ac SPLEEN
    COD – 10dn CARNATION

  27. 4:57 this afternoon. A fair QC from Mara with a mix of very easy clues and others that required some careful thought.
    LOI 3d “capture” where my initial MER at “rut” being synonymous for “track” wasn’t really justified. I’ve always thought of a rut as an indentation rather than a furrow but a post-submission check in Chambers showed me the error of my ways.
    COD 10 ac “catching”. Let’s hope the English slip cordon are receptive!
    Thanks to Chris for his blog (a model of brevity and clarity!) and Mara.
  28. At last, a normal 20 min solve!

    Main issue was the NW corner with 1ac “Toecap” and 3dn “Capture” taking the most time. For a while wanted to put “Chantilly Cream” for 8ac.

    FOI — 2dn “Other”
    LOI — 3dn “Capture”
    COD — 10dn “Carnation”

    Thanks as usual!

  29. Quite tricky as QCs go. Took a long time to see TENNER and SOLITARY. I liked CAPTURE
    Thanks for the blog, Chris. Succinct is absolutely fine by me.
    Thank you Mara
  30. I thought 19ac ‘Breaking Point’ one of Woodie Allen’s – but it was ‘Match Point’, a decent thriller, unlike his ‘Oxford Murders’! COD 3dn Capture. Time 6:04
  31. 18:56 for me, though I took nearly four minutes on my LOI BREAKING POINT. I had seen earlier that it was an anagram but was looking for a mix up of ‘probe that’s’ within a three letter word for moment. Plenty to enjoy anyway, with my COD to CARNATION. Thanks Mara and Chris.
      1. Well, there was one that I found particularly tricky 😅 I’m not good with science — or maths, or IT, or — well the list goes on!
  32. All too easy. So easy in fact that I biffed phi without parsing and ended up with a pink square. Very careless.

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