Times Quick Cryptic 1966 by Teazel

Started fine in the NW then messed around in the bottom half before finishing (with LOI 9ac) in the NE. I came in a few seconds over 10 minutes. Lots of fun clues make this a very enjoyable QC.

I seem to remember something happening in 1966 but it’s a long time ago now. I looked for a theme but can only see a single Russian assistant referee (who happened to be called Tofiq Bahramov for the pub-quizzes amongst you) plus the number of goals England scored.

Definitions are underlined.

1 Beginning of play being performed: start filming! (6)
ACTION – beginning of play (ACT I), being performed (ON – what’s on at the theatre). I remember liking the ACT I device a lot the first time I saw it but I’ve seen it around a bit by now.
5 Not very clean food to hand (6)
GRUBBY – food (GRUB), to hand (BY). Keep something close by/close to hand.
8 Just a single ship? That’s a joke (3-5)
ONE-LINER – only one liner – it’s the way your tell ’em.
9 Beat the Spanish horse (4)
LASH – the Spanish (LAS), horse (H – as in heroin).
10 In favour of enclosing University Square (4)
FOUR – in favour of (FOR) enclosing University (U).
11 Tips for hot weather clothing cease to convince (4,4)
WEAR THIN – a tip for cold weather clothing would be to wear thick.
12 Composer’s name announced (6)
HANDEL – homophone (announced) of name=handle.
14 Beyond delta, soil shortage (6)
DEARTH – take delta (D), go past/beyond it and write in soil (EARTH).
16 Wild dancing in red fez (8)
FRENZIED – anagram (dancing) of IN RED FEZ. Sounds like a good party!
18 Cathedral on right bank (4)
RELY – cathedral (ELY) on right (R).
20 After dinner treat some munch occasionally (4)
CHOC – some of mum(CH OC)caisonally.
21 Breaking par, eight lead (8)
GRAPHITE – anagram (breaking) of PAR EIGHT. Graphite – innards of a pencil.
23 Knowing about shirt being really tough (6)
STEELY – knowing (SLY) about shirt (TEE).
24 Impede the movement of basket (6)
HAMPER – double definition.
2 Cheat doubly to get US apartment (5)
CONDO – cheat doubly (CON DO).
3 Uncouth bride collapses, having drunk two litres (3-4)
ILL-BRED – anagram (collapses) of BRIDE with two litres (L L).
4 Grandmother makes bread (3)
NAN – double definition.
5 Wreathed with flowers, a fish out of water? (9)
GARLANDED – a fish out of water (GAR LANDED). Easy biff but great cryptic.
6 Dark lake surrounded by military group (5)
UNLIT – lake (L) surrounded by military group (UNIT).
7 Bravo! Help for member of the band (7)
BASSIST – bravo (B), help (ASSIST).
11 From list of bequests, one at a time sons cut out by choice (9)
WILLINGLY – list of bequests (WILL), one at a time s(INGLY) with son (S) cut out.
13 Missed stroke, as atmosphere’s sweltering (3,4)
AIR SHOT – atmosphere’s sweltering (AIR’S HOT). Golf can be a very frustrating game. Hitting the ball too low, jarring your arms and sending the ball rolling only a few yards is bad enough, swinging for and missing the ball (air shot) is really embarrassing (I have plenty of practice of both).
15 Patriarch putting an undergarment over back of thigh (7)
ABRAHAM – An undergarment (A BRA) over (on top of in a down clue) back of thigh (HAM). The ‘over’ is great misdirection.
17 Hotel in French city is just the place for me (5)
NICHE – hotel (H) in French city (NICE).
19 What’s in large bottle? Some swill it: retsina! (5)
LITRE – the contents of a bottle can be a ltre for example – hence the ‘?’. Some of swil(L IT RE)tsina.
22 Remains sort of blonde (3)
ASH – double definition.

65 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 1966 by Teazel”

  1. Started off strong but I was well and truly misled by WEAR THIN, which seemed obvious, but I couldn’t parse it. It took me five minutes to realize I wasn’t supposed to be doing anything with the letters.
  2. I suspect Verlaine was interrupted by a phone call or something. Still, it looks nice on the leaderboard. 4:27.
  3. Held up by STEELY and LASH at the end where I had all the checkers but failed to make the leap from T-shirt to Tee Shirt and by only knowing ‘el’ for ‘the’ in Spanish and by being let down by my clean living ways in not associating ‘horse’ with heroin. Six on the first pass of acrosses on the way to all green in 18. Enjoyed GRAPHITE where I spotted that ‘lead’ might have to be pronounced differently but it still took a mighty PDM for pencils to come to mind. Didn’t much like the first part of WEAR THIN — thanks Chris for explaining the (underwhelming) first part of the clue — but otherwise a really good puzzle I thought.
  4. As above (STEELY/LASH).
    Very satisfying over all. Good mix of write ins and scratchers. 30 Mins.
    COD ACTION. Thanks Chris and Teazel.
  5. 9 minutes. I think the clue at 11ac may be flawed as WEAR THIN is ‘a tip for cold weather’ not ‘tips’, but if the clue were to use the singular the second half would need to be ‘ceases to convince’ which would then be out of step with the answer, WEAR THIN. In my view it all needed a rethink.
    1. Agree – and I fell into the same ‘trap’ (?) with 11d (‘one at a time sonS cut out’) which led me to seek a word from which I could remove two or more Ss. I know a good ‘surface’ is nice, but to a relative newby it’s disconcerting not to be able trust the strict logic of the clue and build an answer accordingly. Otherwise enjoyed it though!

      Edited at 2021-09-21 07:46 am (UTC)

  6. “LASH – the Spanish (LAS), horse (H – as in heroin).”

    Heroin? Not sure why you are referencing the H as being heroin. I know H is a slang for heroin, but the clue quite clearly says “horse”, and, according to Chambers, H is an accepted abbreviation of horse. Therefore I think the H in the clue refers to Horse, not Heroin.

    Anyway, I found this QC quite tricky in places. 11d was utter gibberish to me until I had enough letters for the penny to drop.

    4d – NAN: I have seen this clue, or similar, before, and I have never understood it. It is NAAN bread, is it not? I see that NAN is in Chambers under bread, as is naan, but if I Google “Nan Bread” all I get is NAAN bread. The clue did not indicate a homophone, so I am a little puzzled as to what NAN bread actually is.

    46 minute solve with three trips to Chambers.

    1. In Crosswordland, Dictionary > Google

      So if it’s in the dictionary (which it is – nan (2), NOUN (also naan) (in Indian cooking) a type of leavened bread, typically of teardrop shape and traditionally cooked in a clay oven. As modifier ‘nan bread’) then it doesn’t matter what you find on Google.

      Edited at 2021-09-21 07:18 am (UTC)

      1. Indeed. I was just saying that I didn’t know what “NAN” bread was. Whether it was a type of naan, or totally different from nan. Hence why I Googled it to see if there were any images showing the two to be separate things or just a variation in the spelling.
        1. By coincidence, nan makes an appearance as part of the parsing for 12dn in today’s 15×15.
          As for h – there are many clues where ‘drug’ needs to be translated to e or h. I first came across this in cryptics (rather than real world experience) and have added it as another thing to try to remember.
            1. On a similar note, some entries on the front page of the blog only show an introduction and you have to click to see the answers. Other entries include all of the answers on the front page, making it very easy to inadvertently see answers to a crossword you haven’t completed yet.

              It would be great if all the blogs had the answers hidden behind a click.


            2. I apologise if I spoiled any enjoyment of the 15×15 but, as the word Nan is in the clue, I didn’t think I was giving anything anyway.
    2. Either way works.
      Heroin AKA Horse AKA H. Take your pick.
      Bigger stumbling block was futzing around trying to work in EL not thinking about Los or Las.
  7. Got very very stuck on ABRAHAM, which I eventually realised was because I had biffed “hinder” at 24 ac, thinking I’d come back to it … And even when I’d sorted that out, I carried on thinking for a while that “back of thigh” was indicating the H checker. Not my finest hour! Nine minutes for the rest.

    FOI & COD ACTION, LOI ABRAHAM, time 12:47 for 2.8K and a Bad Day.

    Many thanks Teazel and Chris.


    1. My post coincided with yours. We both made the same error biffing ‘hinder’ with the consequential problem with Abraham. I also had the ‘el’ and ‘las’ blind spot described by steakcity at the same time. Nice to know others make the same slips. John.
  8. Tougher than I thought it would be after the first few answers. Most went in OK but I hesitated over WEAR THIN. I must confess to ignoring my own professed ‘parsing- based’ approach by writing in HINDER for 24ac (no, I don’t know why either). It took too long to recognise my error and, only then, did my LOI ABRAHAM fall, taking me well over target. I should follow my own advice more carefully. Thanks to Teazel for some clever clues and to Chris for a good blog. John M.

    Edited at 2021-09-21 07:25 am (UTC)

  9. 12:25 Good pace today, FOI and COD ACTION. Act One, very nice.

    LOI STEELY, I had FEY=knowing which was a dead end.

    Great misdirection for GRAPHITE, and I also liked AIRSHOT, another of those “re-split” clues that we don’t have a good name for. Several good ones last week, coleslaw comes to mind.

    Edited at 2021-09-21 07:32 am (UTC)

  10. Around the 16 minute mark for me which is a good pace. My LOI was also Steely which I took some time to spot. I liked Wear Thin once I worked it out. I biffed lash as thought of the Spanish la but didn’t get how Sh= horse, which of course it doesn’t. Thanks for the blog to explain


    Temporarily biffed GARNISHED (simply because of GAR) but later remedied, after some delay. (Silly typo with ONE LINNR)

    Thank you, chrisw91 and Teazel.

  12. The usual entertaining fare from Teazel. I had a satisfying PDM for WEAR THIN and thought GARLANDED was very clever but my COD goes to the dreaded AIR SHOT, which usually happens when trying to hit the ball far too hard – you’d have thought that after almost 40 years of playing the game I’d have learnt!!
    WILLINGLY took some parsing and I needed all the checkers for ABRAHAM. Finished in 8.24 with STEELY, where I was assuming that T would be the abbreviation for T-Shirt.
    Thanks to Chris
  13. 13:47 which is fast for me so shocked to discover this was set byTeazel. I had a new experience of Buffing most of the clues and parsing as I tapped the answer in. Very satisfying and I am sure commonplace for the speed merchants. El/Las hold up got me too. Abraham and Steely went in without parsing and thanks Chris for the explanation and blog.
    Thanks Teazel for the funny plays on words
  14. FOI ACTION, LOI ABRAHAM. A toughie 15:40. Mind you I’m a bit below par as I type from my hospital bed attached to intravenous pain relief. Thanks Teazel and Chris.
  15. Except I had to look up Cathedral and saw Ely so had PDM with LOI RELY.
    HANDEL made me smile, as did WEAR THIN, ONE-LINER, HAMPER.
    Finished NW corner quickly then pottered around rest of grid.
    Thanks vm Chris.
    Agree that H is for the animal horse, as on race card. Heroin never entered my head!
  16. The early clues flowed well but I had similar delays to those already mentioned, WEAR THIN being the worst. 22 mins eventually. GARLANDED was easy but very neat, and as I hadn’t seen the Act 1 device before, or had forgotten if I had, I was pleased to get it quickly given the helpful definition. Need to brush up on my drugs vocabulary! Thanks for the blog to clarify a few parsings that eluded me today.
  17. Lots of chuckles as we completed this one — some of the ONE LINER(s) worthy of Tim Vine. Took us a while to work out ILL BRED and we were nearly, but not quite, misdirected by the clueing of 21A. Very enjoyable — took us 14 minutes to do.


    Thanks Teazel and Chris.

  18. I was quick apart from my last two: WILLINGLY just would not come and then I needed some time to get and parse WEAR THIN and kick out the many alternatives which didn’t quite parse- Wear This etc. Without the first W I would have been stuck.
    I thought this an excellent QC. Time 11:40.
    COD to WEAR THIN which seems to have challenged most of us.
  19. My LOI WEAR THIN took me into the SCC, but I just squeaked in under target at 24:38. I do aim for 20 really, so I guess that should be my target, but I only make it about 20% of the time, which seems a lot less than others hit their targets. It hardly matters I know, but how tough should a target be? Anyway, lots to enjoy, particularly GRAPHITE and STEELY. Thanks Teazel and Chris.
    1. My own experience with a target time is that I have adjusted it downwards when I no longer feel satisfied with achieving it.

      So when I started on the QC my target was to finish by the time my train arrived at Charing Cross (about 40 mins). Then I discovered this blog and was blown away by the speed which was possible — 40 mins no longer seemed satisfactory!

      I didn’t know what time to set and so in the end I decided to try to solve in less than 5 times Kevin’s time (his time was a natural benchmark because it was always fast and usually at the top of the blog entries because of his time zone, though for years I just thought he was an early riser!).

      Once I could do that I tried 4K, then 3K, then my first “raw” time, which was 15 mins. Now I try to get below 10 mins/2K and that’s been my target for quite a while. I’m not sure I’ll ever set a new one because I think I’ve found my level, but I live in hope!

      Edited at 2021-09-21 01:59 pm (UTC)

      1. I suppose my “target” is to be quicker than the quick solvers who post here, but the time taken for a puzzle of average difficulty seems to have settled in the 5’30 to 6’30 range. Last week i varied between a middle 4 and well over 13 mins….

        Now i just need to win the lottery/inherit from a previously unknown relative, so I concentrate on getting the 15×15 times into a narrower band.

  20. I thoroughly enjoyed this QC. There were so many good clues I can’t pick a COD. FOI was ACTION and my LOI was ABRAHAM (I’m another solver who biffed hinder). I had no problems with LASH as I get somewhat irked when the Spanish invariably = EL. I’m looking forward to seeing LOS and LA used more frequently. 7:52

    Edited at 2021-09-21 01:14 pm (UTC)

  21. Over target at 17 minutes after a quickest start in the north. HAMPER was LOI (I had thought of HINDER but wisely didn’t biff it) after ABRAHAM fell. The INGLY part of 11d came before the WILL, which then confirmed HANDEL for me. Good puzzle, good blog thanks.
  22. eighteen minutes, so getting back towards my usual twenty. FOI one liner, then choc, then no others till nan, garlanded and unlit. Failed to follow the method of reading on and went back to fill in where there were checkers. Back to old habits, they die hard. Enjoyed ruminating on this one. LOI rely, needing an alphabet trawl and a doh! COD dearth. Didn’t like “lead” for graphite, just being pedantic, it’s still called the lead, I know. Nice to hear from Cedric yesterday … I also enjoy wormholes. Thank you, Chris, and Teazel. GW.
  23. ….to parse WEAR THIN — it just seemed too tortuous.

    Quite a tricky offering which kept me on my toes.

    TIME 4:36

  24. … with all done in just under 10 minutes and the main hold-up being 11D Willingly, which took time to emerge (and like some others I was puzzled why the plural sons were missing). Also nice to ring the changes with the cluing of Bra as something other than “Supporter” and Las for the Spanish article — I did try to fit El into the clue somehow but it clearly wasn’t going to happen.

    11A Wear thin didn’t strike me as untoward as I was doing the puzzle but on reading comments above, I agree it’s another singular/plural conundrum. Presumably only the need to have the word wear as a plural verb forced the plural tips in the surface.

    Many thanks to Chris for the blog.

  25. A Very Poor Day today 😕 Boo to 11a — not a great clue IMO, as others have said. I simply couldn’t get to the bottom of it so ceased to try and stopped the clock at 19 minutes. Having said that, I did mostly enjoy this so feel even more disappointed by that clue.
    FOI Action
    COD Action
    Thanks Teazel and Chris
  26. Nothing more frustrating than racing through the grid, thinking you could be on for a PB, just to get your legs taken out with two clues at the end. Overall, I finished in a disappointing 25 mins, with 15 mins of that staring blankly at 15dn “Abraham” and 24ac “Hamper” — both of which stubbornly refused to reveal themselves in a timely manner.

    Whilst I didn’t have any issue with 11ac I also normally associate it with the plural. Similarly, I think of Nan bread as Naan (unless it is a different type of bread mentioned above somewhere).

    But — a good puzzle on the whole with some clever clues.

    FOI — 1ac “Action”
    LOI — 15dn “Abraham”
    COD — 18ac “Rely”

    Thanks as usual!

  27. Raced through this in what for me is a fast time of 11 mins. Left one or two unparsed (thanks for the explanations Chris) but had no real hold-ups anywhere. Had no problem with 11ac once I had solved 11dn so I never paused to consider the singular/plural semantics.

    FOI – 8ac ONE LINER
    LOI – 23ac STEELY

    Thanks to Teazel for an enjoyable puzzle.

  28. 9:31 this morning, without doubt my worst time ever for a QC!
    Struggled after a good start and foundered on the 11 ac / 11 d intersection with the dreaded brain freeze. Could see that 11d ended in “ingly” but could I summon a word for list of bequests? When I finally did, 11 ac fell immediately, although like Jack and others, I had more than an MER for the use of “tips” in the plural.
    Overall I felt the puzzle was above average difficulty for a QC but it wasn’t that hard!
    Thanks to Chris for his blog and to Teazel
  29. Me too. 11d took me as long as the others combined. Setters are supposed to misdirect, but the surface would work just as well with one son cut out, and this sort of misdirection would be unfair in any context, let alone a quickie.
  30. As usual with Teazel i sped through most clues and then got stuck on a few at the end: willingly, wear thin and LOI abraham.

    Cod frenzied, nice surface.

  31. My FOI was RELY, but only after a full 5 minutes wondering whether I would get started at all. Strangely, this was Mrs Random’s LOI. Then, as yesterday, I had to build back up from the lower half of the grid.

    I liked ONE LINER, but got very stuck on ABRAHAM, ASH, WILLINGLY and WEAR THIN (my LOI). Like others above, I was bamboozled by the contradictory plural ‘Tips’ and singular ‘cease’ in 11a. I also had HANDLE for a long time, which made __E_INGLY impossible to solve.

    I don’t think Mrs R got stuck anywhere, today. She wasn’t under any particular time pressure, so she allowed herself to slip into the SCC. Our finishing times were 46 minutes for me and 23 minutes for Mrs R.

    Many thanks to Teazel and Chris.

  32. Rather a stop and start solve. Took an age to get steely, as above did not extend the t in teeshirt. Needed some help to finish.
  33. Middle 6’s. I don’t recall exactly.

    I liked GRUBBY, mainly because my kids are perpetually in such a state, despite being 16 and 11.

  34. Seemed pretty easy. And then I got stuck. Abraham simply took forever, not helped by having biffed hinder for impede. The final 2 took 10 minutes taking me well over target.
  35. I’ve scanned through the comments & I don’t think anyone’s suggested an alternative parsing for 11ac – WEAR IN (to weather) containing (clothing) TH (tips for hot ie end letters). It doesn’t properly account for the reversal of the letters HT IMO which I think is a flaw but I think it works better than a rather weak cryptic definition with the wrong form of tips.
    1. Interesting thoughts. I don’t think I can go along with you though. I think weather could be wear but wear in is slightly different as in shoes. Also, I agree with you that the TH reversal would have to be flagged.

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