Times Quick Cryptic 1976 by Oink

I didn’t find anything too hard in here and finished inside 9 minutes. A few got me looking the wrong way – especially LOI 23ac and, with a sprinkling of double definitions, this was a fun QC. Thanks to Oink who t(r)ottered into the puzzle personally at 4dn.

Definitions are underlined.

1 Doctor had scrap for emergency shelter (5,3)
CRASH PAD – anagram (doctor) of HAD SCRAP.
6 Every fruit quietly disappearing (4)
EACH – fruit p(EACH) with quietly – p – disappearing.
8 Man perhaps insulted from time to time (4)
ISLE – (I)n(S)u(L)t(E)d. The answer Isle of Man would, perhaps, have been challenged by John Donne. His work ‘Devotions Upon Emergent Occaisons, and several steps in my Sickness’ of 1624 made it clear that he was quite adamant that no Man is an island.
9 Become calm in court? (2,6)
GO STEADY – double definition.
10 Dislike Methodist as teacher to an extent (8)
DISTASTE – in Metho(DIST AS TE)acher.
12 Paradise for PM once (4)
EDEN – double definition.
13 Nothing much for pudding? (6)
TRIFLE – double definition.
15 Express disapproval of Egyptian king repeatedly (3-3)
TUT-TUT – Tutankhamun – or King Tut to his mates – repeated – TUT-TUT.
17 Victor is a little treacherous (4)
HERO – in treac(HERO)us.
19 Second person falling for cabaret performer (8)
STRIPPER – second (S), person falling (TRIPPER).
21 What you might need to go beyond Dover? (8)
PASSPORT – cryptic definition including the pun of go beyond – pass – a port such as Dover.
23 State of a reactionary priest (4)
AVER – a (A), priest – rev – backwards (reactionary) – REV. I mulled over many US states before the required meaning of ‘state’ came to mind.
24 Group of policemen surrounding area to the west (4)
TEAM – policemen (MET) surrrounding area (A) all to the west – backwards.
25 Jobs for the boys — as postmen, I suspect (8)
NEPOTISM – anagram (suspect) of POSTMEN I.
2 Runs one sportsman finds more dangerous (7)
RISKIER – runs (R), one (I), sportsman (SKIER).
3 Perfume despatched, did you say? (5)
SCENT – homophone (did you say?) of dispatched-sent.
4 Creature emerging occasionally in spring (3)
PIG – occaisionally in s(P)r(I)n(G). Hi Oink!
5 One protesting when residents moved (9)
DISSENTER – anagram (moved) of RESIDENTS.
6 Mountain sees First Lady taking breather (7)
EVEREST – first lady (EVE), breather (REST).
7 Worry about daughter in revolutionary group (5)
CADRE – worry (CARE) about daughter (D). Cadre can be any group of professionals or a group of revolutionaries.
11 Resigns in stages, unhappy (5,4)
STEPS DOWN – stages (STEPS), unhappy (DOWN).
14 Force almost destroyed? That’s rubbish (7)
FLOTSAM – force (F), anagram (destroyed) of ALMOST.
16 Futile advice for a drug addict? (7)
USELESS – the advice to a drug user would be to use less.
18 Get rid of king? No difficulty about that (5)
ERASE – king (R) with no difficulty (EASE) around.
20 Factory spy (5)
PLANT – double definition,
22 Finest cannabis from the south (3)
TOP – cannabis – pot – from the south – up/backwards.

57 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 1976 by Oink”

  1. Only four on the first pass and now at 15m gone I have gaps all over the place and a train to catch. I’ve not been so defeated by a QC in months and months. I’ve managed to avoid reading the blog — except for Chris saying it was only nine minutes’ work — so will come back to it later but it’s not looking good — especially in the SW!

    EDIT: Risked missing the train to persevere and finally all green in 33m (7.7Ks!). Some tricky stuff for me in here but perhaps it was just wavelength. Lots of hold ups today but especially trying to force in ‘dais’ where TEAM ended up.

    FURTHER EDIT: Did indeed miss the train but a big consolation was a rare finish of the 15×15 while waiting for the next one.

    Edited at 2021-10-05 06:54 am (UTC)

  2. SW detained me as couldn’t quite get to grips with FLOTSAM and wanted PASSPORT to end BOAT. LOI was GO STEADY which I scratched my head over for a bit before the light dawned. Nice clue.

    Always like Oink’s offerings and this was no exception

    Thanks to Chris as well

  3. 11 minutes, missing my target by 1. The SE corner was where I came unstuck taking a long time to see STRIPPPER, PLANT and AVER.

    I wasn’t delayed by it, but I didn’t know the literal at 1ac, only that it is a protective device inside vehicles.

    1. Whereas I didn’t know the vehicular meaning, only the place to sleep for the night meaning.
  4. I thought this was quite straightforward and was close to breaking the 10 minute mark before running aground at the bottom with Stripper – I originally had dissented rather than dissenter – nepotism and team all slowing me down. Finished under 15 though which I’m very happy with. Liked passport and go steady.

  5. The blogger may not have found this difficult, but I certainly did. 53 minutes and only completed with the help of Chambers.

    Did not like 23a (my LOI)

    24a took me sometime before it clicked into place. Up until then I was trying to work around PCS (group of policemen).

    1. Just watched Verlaine’s solve of this QC. He did it in 2:42 and said “A bit slow”.

      A bit slow? I was blown away by how fast he solved the puzzle. He’d probably hang his head in shame and become a hermit if he got my timing of 53 minutes.

      1. I’ve occasionally wondered whether there is a case for someone like you or me showing how we solve – it would be more in line with most people’s experience 😂
      2. That’s 162seconds or around 7/8 seconds a clue !! Even if I had all the answers written out before me, I’m sure I couldn’t type them in that quickly !! Also,
        after a few days I would get very bored and just focus on the many more challenging puzzles around.

      3. Sorry – just catching up late in the day. Where and how do you see Verlaine solving this one? I think I could spare 3 minutes to see how it should be done! May give me some tips…
        Thanks, Bazdolly
  6. Got through most of this very quickly, and then couldn’t see the final clue, which was GO STEADY. The FLOTSAM anagram deceived me because of the smooth surface.
    Now on to the 15×15!
  7. Flew through most of this and came to a grinding halt in the SW. I spent some time trying to find a word for treacherous based on V_ _ O and wanted 21a to end in BOAT. The penny finally dropped for HERO, which gave me ERASE and TEAM and then a alphabet trawl for PASSPORT, at which point I had a very strong urge to slap my forehead!
    Lots to enjoy but my favourite was NEPOTISM. Finished in 8.27.
    Thanks to Chris and Oink
  8. Just scraped in under 20 min. It was a steady solve rather than being held up. Go steady last one in once I’d got Eden (instead of ‘evan which I’d toyed with before the PDM) then cadre. Clever puzzle thanks oink and Chris


    Took too long on LOI but otherwise straightforward.

    Thank you to chrisw91 and Oink

    Edited at 2021-10-05 07:30 am (UTC)

  10. Back to earth today with a real wrestle in the top half of the puzzle. After three goes at 1ac I moved on; when much later I finally realised that it was “doctor” for anagram, not DR or MO, I groaned. Sometimes you just don’t see it.

    FOI PIG, LOI GO STEADY, COD NEPOTISM (what a lovely surface), time 09:56 for 2.3K and an Undistinguished Day.

    Many thanks Oink and Chris.


  11. FOI, PIG. LOI, PASSPORT which I was slow to see, having been thinking along the lines of _A__BOAT. Took a while to see FLOTSAM too. 8:37. Thanks Oink and Chris.
  12. Just in SCC today and the SW was, as for others, the main holdup. Misled by most of the points already raised along the way although the Dover clue went in as soon as I had a couple of checkers. GO STEADY also held out for a while because I overlooked that meaning of court and was looking for a legal or tennis connection. Thanks for the blog, liked the Donne reference!
  13. I was convinced that today would be the first time out of the SCC.

    Everything in, other than a few clues in the SW corner in about 18 minutes. Which is by far the quickest I’ve ever come close to a finish. The feeling of writing in clues that quickly was pure joy.

    Unfortunately, I spent another 25 minutes trying to work out HERO and ERASE. Eventually, I gave up and came here. I couldn’t believe it really, I was defeated by a hidden word and very clear wordplay.

    I was convinced it would be V_ _O and spent ages trying to fit T into EASE, rather than R for king.

    Oh well, I still find myself getting better at these everyday, despite the aforementioned stupidity…

    Edited at 2021-10-05 08:34 am (UTC)

  14. I’m beginning to suspect that Oink has upped his game, or I’ve lost the plot. Either way, this was a sluggish 23min solve, with most of the difficulty in the SW corner (though Go Steady/Cadre played their part). Hero took ages to see, but CoD (by a mile) Passport was the real key, as until then I hadn’t got a clue what was going on with 18d, Erase, having failed to ‘lift and separate’. Invariant
  15. Like invariant, I was slow to finish (after a very speedy start). The SW caused a few problems but I won’t repeat the comments by others above. I spent a ridiculous amount if time on AVER — I tried Che (ACEH), Ned (Kelly) (ADEN) etc. until the penny finally dropped. Doh. So I managed to add 5 minutes to my (loose, these days) target. No matter; it was a good puzzle. I especially liked CADRE, USELESS, and NEPOTISM. Thanks to both. John M.

    Edited at 2021-10-05 08:51 am (UTC)

    1. Aver is certainly not the first thing that comes to mind for ‘state’, but I think I’ve seen it clued similarly before and, for a change, it seems to have stuck.
  16. Top half very easy I thought but the SW and two in the SE brought me to a grinding halt.
    The whole SW was difficult for me. Spotting HERO and then FLOTSAM opened it up.
    My last two were USELESS (and I now recall seeing a similar clue recently) and AVER.
    I’ll make AVER COD as it sent me down so many wrong roads of possible priest names (I only know Eli) and American states.
    17:50 in the end. Pleased to get all correct.
    Very good puzzle.
  17. 18:06, and half of this spent in the troublesome SW corner. Eventually took a break, then FLOTSAM and TEAM popped into my head in the shower. I had been trying to fit CLAN(=group) in at 24A. With the Police much in the news, I thought NLC must be another Quango under scrutiny.

    NEPOTISM gets surface of the day, and GO STEADY COD for the clever use of “court”.

    15×15 completed in just under 100 minutes!

    Edited at 2021-10-05 10:20 am (UTC)

    1. I am in awe of someone with the perseverance to plug away at a crossword for over an hour and a half!
      1. It’s a balance: knowing when to fold ‘em. At least once a week I try and push on to the end.

      2. I keep a printed copy of 15×15’s with me to pass the time whilst waiting for something or other. I may only spend 5 or 10 minutes on them before carrying on – sometimes they last for weeks!
  18. Another with difficulty in the SW. FOI Tut-tut, LOI passport. I said to my husband what sort of boat is that, then the penny dropped. I had even thought of port for Dover before. Clunk. A pig in plain sight in this one from Oink. As has been mentioned above, I think the setters, not just Oink, have got together and upped their game. I solved all but five of these in double-quick time, then just had to leave it for a bit because those were intransigent at first. I thought I would not finish. Then after a break, they all came to me. Forty minutes altogether including break. Lots to enjoy, especially that tricky SW once its defences came down. Thanks, Chris, and Oink.
  19. Back to normal! I did indeed GO STEADYily with this one, finishing in 11 minutes. Not a PIG of a puzzle but not one to TRIFLE with either. I agree with Invariant – I think Oink’s puzzles have got harder recently, but they are still such a lot of fun. As usual, hiddens are the bane of my life – DISTASTE took a whie, and like others, I was trying to make 17a start with a V!
    FOI Each
    LOI Hero
    COD I’ll plump for RISKIER but there were a few to choose from
    Many thanks Oink and Chris

    Edited at 2021-10-05 09:28 am (UTC)

    1. Thank you, Pebee, for your comment yesterday. Seeing a saw pit and hearing about it was something I’ll never forget. It brings home how hard lives were in some of these places.

      Edited at 2021-10-05 09:33 am (UTC)

  20. Which is not as Donne intended. I was on Oink’s wavelength, and brought home the bacon with little difficulty.

    TIME 3:35

  21. Just missed the SCC, as 21 minutes is just allowed for ‘Coach’. I was all over the place, especially in the SE – around the Dover area. (Bloody Lorry drivers!) I got on the non-existent ‘boat’with John Dun; I’d forgotten my passport!

    FOI 4dn PIG Oink! Oink!

    LOI 23ac AVER which I thought was perhaps ADEN?

    COD 16dn USELESS absolutely!

    WOD 15ac TUT-TUT indeed!

    I don’t know how Time Lord Verlaine lives with himself: 2:42!! Shameless!
    Mood Meldrewvian – but a very decent puzzle.

    Edited at 2021-10-05 09:50 am (UTC)

  22. I found this very straight forward with the exception of my LOI. FOI was PIG (appropriately) quickly followed by CRASH PAD. I struggled with my LOI HERO as I couldn’t let the V for Victor go. 6:38 so no complaints. I’m off to try yesterday’s QC which I put off due to a much needed 3 hr hilly cycle up Ivinghoe Beacon (Andalusia cycle tour next week) and then a trip to see 007 (good fun if a little long).
  23. 13 minutes with at least the last 2 looking at A-E- without seeing AVER. Like others, I looked for revolutionaries, states and priests’ names before the penny finally dropped. Good puzzle with some interesting challenges. As someone above said, Oink is developing into a much appreciated setter! Thanks to him and to Chris.

    Edited at 2021-10-05 09:24 am (UTC)

  24. 3:55 this morning. No hold ups really after FOI, the appropriate 4 d “pig”.
    MER at 17 ac “hero”. I’m not convinced that victor and hero are synonymous. I can think of several victors recently who have been anything but heroes! However I saw the hidden element immediately and that was enough.
    COD 14 d “flotsam”.
    Thanks to Chris for the blog and to Oink for another entertaining puzzle.
  25. stormed through the north hemisphere in less than 5 mins and was confident of a rare (for me!) sub-10 solve, but was stymied by a number in the south to eventually come in for just over 15 mins.

    Particularly enjoyed STRIPPER, PASSPORT, USELESS, and STEPS DOWN.

    Thanks Oink & Chris

  26. I’m with those who think Oink 🐷 has got harder, as I had everything done after 25 mins apart from 8ac which just wouldn’t come. Blasted Isle of Man did me again, just as I thought I’d conquered that particular clueing…

    Took a while for me to wonder whether 1ac “Crashpad” was really an emergency shelter (as I was thinking of the crash mat/gymnastic variety), but as a pad to crash in temporarily it does make sense. I also had a debate whether 23ac could be “Aden”, but the clueing wouldn’t work.

    FOI — 4dn “Pig”
    LOI — 8ac dnf
    COD — 9ac “Go Steady” — took me a while to see, but once I did it made me chuckle.

    Thanks as usual!

    Edited at 2021-10-05 11:02 am (UTC)

  27. Struggled all the way through this, eventually finishing in 25 mins with all parsed. I totally agree with those who say Oink has got harder recently. Mostly a fine and enjoyable puzzle but a MER at equating victor with hero (probably because I wanted it to start with v and spent far too long wondering why veto was the answer). Thanks Oink and thanks to Chris for the blog.

    FOI – 13ac TRIFLE
    LOI – 17ac HERO
    COD – 9ac GO STEADY

  28. A puzzle of two halves …
    … as the top half flew in and the bottom half … didn’t. Just over 10 minutes by the time my LOI 17A Hero went in, and I still think it is an uncharacteristically weak clue in an otherwise first class puzzle from Oink. With —O I was trying to get Hugo in there but the parsing refused to play ball and then 18D Erase confirmed it was wrong and the hidden emerged. But Victor = hero? Not Oink’s finest IMO.

    Otherwise much to enjoy, and one of the simplest ever Oink self-references at 4D Pig.

    Many thanks to Chris for the blog.

  29. Came to grief in SW. Answers seem obvious now I have seen the blog, oh dear!
    Thanks all, esp Chris. (involved in mankind)
  30. Very favourably clued IMHO. Doctor as anagram indicator has become ‘toute la rage’, so Crash Pad was my FOI. COD to 21ac Passport. Time 5:09
  31. From our porcine setter. Loads of good clues/smooth surfaces.

    STRIPPER, PASSPORT, NEPOTISM, CADRE, USELESS all stood out for me. LOI was AVER, which took longer than it should.


  32. Lots of interruptions today so we don’t have a specific time to share. I’d guess we finished in around 15 minutes as we took a while to solve the SE corner. Really great puzzle — very enjoyable.

    FOI: PIG

    Thanks Oink and Chris.

  33. … both yesterday’s (Orpheus) and today’s by Mrs Random, and just today’s by me. Par for the course, I suppose, here in the Random household.

    Pedwardine (above) says “This was no pig!”, but I disagree. I started quite slowly, slowed down a little during the mid-phase, and slowed to a crawl at the end. My last four in were PLANT/AVER and ERASE/HERO. As usual, pairs of intersecting clues caused me grief, but getting one often opens the door quickly to the other.

    Many people claim that a dip in cold water helps one “fire on all cylinders” for the rest of the day. However, my sea-swim (14.8°C) earlier today didn’t seem to speed up my brain. Perhaps I’m the exception that proves the rule.

    Many thanks to Oink and chrisw91.

  34. Defeated by sw corner and also had area for 23a, thinking it was a hidden. Not a good day!
  35. Well, wouldn’t you know it, a DNF on my birth year QC. Most of this went in without difficulty and after 14 minutes I had just a couple left to do. Once I’d seen the Doctor in 1a was an anagrind, CRASH PAD went in, though I can’t say I’ve heard the expression. That left the ‘reactionary priest’ at 23a. I wrote down a lot of possibilities for the first three letters and AVER did briefly flit through my mind, but I have only ever come across the word on here and only know it to mean ‘declare’. For some reason I didn’t link that with state and I couldn’t see where the priest would come in. I still don’t really understand why reactionary should mean backwards. Anyway I toyed with the priest reacting by saying AMEN, but that didn’t fit with the state part, and I also wondered if the state of a priest reacting to God might be AWED, but I finally figured that a reactionary priest would probably be either tired or overcome and so the state he’d most likely be in was ABED. I wasn’t entirely surprised to see it was wrong. Oh well. COD to NEPOTISM. Thanks Oink and Chris.

    Edited at 2021-10-05 05:19 pm (UTC)

    1. -it’s just another bit of crosswordese for ‘backwards’, possibly based on action/forwards hence reaction/backwards?
  36. All was going well until I hit the buffers in the SW corner ending nearly 3 mins over target. Hero, Erase and Team all took far longer than they should, even if I was none too keen in the clue for team.

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