Times Quick Cryptic 1992 by Tracy

6:35 w/ 1 err.

6 B + AG
8 DEBACLE = L + CAB rev. in DEE
10 TIGHT{s}
16 S + TITCH
17 {f}RIGHT
19 AROMA = hid’n
22 FUN{d}
23 THREW + A + F + IT

2 N + A.B.
7 G + LEE
11 GHOST TOWN = HOST in G + (WON’T)*
17 RENE + W
18 CALF = hid’n
21 EL + F

70 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 1992 by Tracy”

  1. Nothing of particular interest that I can remember. An economical blog today, what, Jeremy? 4:43.
    1. Evidently going for the retro look! This was how some people blogged when TfTT first started.
  2. Tenses did for me today. Pink square for ‘threw’ not THROW A FIT having previously made life hard with ‘take’ rather than TOOK ONES LEAVE. That ‘take’ left me wondering if I needed a literary landlord to fit G_K_T / _O_N before I eventually unraveled GHOST TOWN (#1 for the Charles and Diana wedding). Thrown by the Ransome novel as we’ve been reading Swallows and Amazons lately and I can’t confidently recall the books after Peter Duck — good groan when I saw what really needed to be done. Not all green (and mildly aggrieved) in 12.

    Edited at 2021-10-27 07:39 am (UTC)

    1. Ditto with ghost took crossers. 17 with hold up. Thanks for blog J… 0.5K? Cheers Tracy

  3. This would have been my fastest solve (22 minutes), if it were not for the fact that I put “throw a fit” rather than “threw a fit”.

    However, I am happy with my result.

  4. I did the same as Mendesest and PW and stuck ‘THROW’ into 23a, which unfortunately was down to carelessness rather than a typo. Other than that a relatively straightforward solve ‘completed’ in 7.48
    Thanks to Jeremy
  5. Threw a fit when I saw that THREW A FIT was one letter wrong like many others. Already in the SCC at that point (21 mins)

    But wasted far too long with DUNCE for DRONE. This let to BOOMERANG starting B-N, and as the clue was “Embargo on …” seemed that starting was “BAN” felt just right.

    I always felt a drone was a boring person, not a lazy person. As in “droning on”.

    Is RENÉ the canonical Frenchman? I thought it was Pierre. We have Otto and Hans for German, Dai for a Welshman, Ian for a Scotsman. Any others that spring to mind?

    Thanks plusjeremy (testing out new @ capability in LJ)


    1. I guess that a drone being a lazy person might come from the fact that male bees are called drones and they don’t do any work, unless you count mating with the queen.
  6. I found this straightforward and it was all correct in a steady 14 mins (parsed with more care than usual). All the 3- and 4-letter answers seemed to drop out and I had no trouble with tenses (although 23ac needed care with parsing). I came back to 1ac when I had some crossers and my LOI was BEETROOT. My COD was GHOST TOWN.
    Some sneaky clues today but it was enjoyable. Thanks to Tracy. Jeremy’s blog was cergainly economical but I missed the usual comments and entertainment. John M.

    Edited at 2021-10-27 08:40 am (UTC)

  7. … with a fast solve (9 minutes) but one pink square for Throw not Threw.

    I thought there were some poor clues here. 9A Drone — a drone is not a lazy person. He or she (but in my experience usually a he) can be a boring person, and it can also be the monotonous noise such a person makes. In a beehive a drone has the important (and far from effort-free) task of fertilising the queen. But lazy? 17A Right — right and genuine are not synonyms in my book. And then 23A Threw (throw) a fit, the clue-of-the-day — in the sense that I suspect it will feature in more posts today than any other clue. I am torn between thinking this is very clever (cast as noun in surface, verb in wordplay), very but fairly misleading (cast being both present tense and past tense) and very underhand (two possible answers both work in the grid). Whatever it is — and on balance I think it is all three — it was enough to give me, and I predict many others, a DNF.

    Tx +J 4 blog. Are we allowed to know which your error was — was it by any chance the same as the rest of us?

    1. The lazy connotation for drone does come from bees. The drones do not contribute to the production of honey and used to be considered “lazy” or “free-loading.” Old-fashioned thinking. Like Dracula. Three hundred years old, or older.
      1. I admire your honesty, Jeremy … and I now don’t feel as bad about my own attempt at that clue.
  8. Not too easy, not too hard, a good crossword, a nice, satisfying solve. A few write-ins but the rest needing at least a modicum of rumination. FOI manifesto, LOI meditate. COD they were all good. Can’t give a time. Looked at the clock at the beginning and at the end I’d forgotten what it said. Thanks, Jeremy, and Tracy.
  9. Just slipped out of the SCC today at around 18 mins. It would have been far quicker but spent at least 5 minutes on my last two, ghost town – which I wanted to start with guest – and took ones leave, which I was convinced was over or open in the middle. Still I’m now humming The Specials so worth the effort!

  10. 76 mins including buffet breakfast so maybe 13 mins?
    I can be a bit of an alkie but I don’t understand champagne at breakfast. In Moscow with pancakes at xmas maybe.

    Loi drone and mer.
    Cod boomerang or steeplechase.

  11. I started with NAB, FACET and MEDITATE, which gave me MANIFESTO, and just kept going in an anticlockwise manner. Last 2 in were BOOMERANG and Glee. 7:15. Thanks Tracy and Jeremy.
  12. Raised an eyebrow at the casual racial stereotyping of DREAD for 9a, before realising that DRONE also fits and was much more likely. Also had TAKE instead of TOOK at 14a for a while. Otherwise a nice steady solve. Thanks Tracy and Jeremy.
  13. No big problems today finishing in under 10 minutes on paper.
    LOI BOOMERANG which I had assumed would start BAR or BAN. I was surprised at the definition of DRONE; agree with Cedric. However I put it in and then was able to finish.
    I’m wondering which one Jeremy got wrong.
    COD to DEBACLE.- I’ve changed my mind-COD to BOOMERANG.

    Edited at 2021-10-27 09:20 am (UTC)

  14. 11 minutes and back to normality after nearly a week of over-target solves. I didn’t like the blog in this format, although Jeremy has always been one to experiment with it, which I generally applaud. On this occasion though, I can’t support it going forwards. It feels like someone has criticised Jeremy’s usual format for being too verbose and long, and this is his unhappy reaction. I hope that isn’t the case.
    1. Unfortunately Jeremy is prone to petulance and lacks a bit of that British ‘something’ – dare I say ‘je ne sais quois’ – in contrast to your good self.
    2. Ah Rotter, you really are misnamed – always so thoughtful and generous.
      I am certainly sorry if Jeremy is upset – I have long thought that part of the issue is cultural differences, perhaps a little less New York and a bit more Leicester? But like all bloggers, he should be appreciated and thanked.
  15. Beetroot (with cream cheese) was my COD and my Time:4.52 minutes – a Greyhound for a day! Steeplechaser was hardly the hardest of ‘anagramatica’.
  16. And enjoyed my trip. As an East Midlander 13dn Beetroot ever reminds me of young Mole’s culinary desires!

    FOI 6ac BAG




    Is it Thursday already!?

    Edited at 2021-10-27 11:16 am (UTC)

  17. A speedy solve starting with the 1s and ending with GHOST TOWN (my COD). I had one small hiccup at DRONE as I miscounted the centre of afternoon as an N. I also took my time and checked the tenses so I didn’t throw a fit. All green in 7:14. plusjeremy I’m wondering if your economical blog is a reflection of the difficulty of today’s QC or your reaction to 23a. As a solver of several years it is fine by me but perhaps not very useful for those starting out.

    Edited at 2021-10-27 10:38 am (UTC)

    1. Agreed — as a relative novice I found the blog 100% unhelpful, putting it as politely as one can
      1. There’s no disputing taste, but… really? 100% unhelpful? Literally zero of the parsings made any sense?

        I assume if this is the case, then you usually find my blogs to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 7% helpful?

        Anyway, I offer you, as I have offered anyone, free private coaching on solving cryptics. More that happy to be of service.

  18. Ha ha… I enjoyed the pointed brevity – hopefully a one-off. But what was your one error??
  19. A struggle and the odd aid needed, but finally successful. Found this puzzle a bit odd, really.
  20. Not on the wavelength at all today. It took a full 39:48 to untangle this, with DRONE, GHOST TOWN and TOOK OPEN LEAVE being particularly problematic. I then came on here and discovered I had DNFed because I’d put THROW instead of THREW. I could have overlooked that, but I can’t overlook (though with Jeremy’s concise blog I almost did – just short of time I suspect) putting OPEN instead of ONE’S. I had even listed all the possibilities I could think of for O_E_ and didn’t come up with ONES. OMEN and OVEN didn’t seem likely, and OVER didn’t work either, so I went with OPEN. The use of ONE’S in crosswordland often gives me pause for thought, although I usually do get it, because I’d usually say “Take your leave”. I know that’s probably not correct English. Anyway, Thanks Jeremy and Tracy.
  21. Thank you Jeremy. I enjoyed your succinct blog which was certainly to the point and met its objective. It will be interesting to see what approach you favour next!
    I fell into all the above referenced gotchas but crawled out safely in 1.9xSCC.
    COD BOOMERANG. Came back to me in an instant. Boom boom you could say.
    Thanks Tracy
  22. I thought this was a nice little tester to come back to after a few days away, only to find myself caught by the same threw/throw trap as others. 18mins up to that point, with the last couple on CoD Ghost Town, just ahead of Boomerang — possibly the one Charlie Drake was looking for? Invariant
  23. From one extreme to the other on alternate Wednesdays! Maybe time just to calm down a bit? Much as I need to, having made the same mistake as many others at 23a 😅 So frustrating, as the past tense of ‘lost it’ makes it perfectly clear what is required. Otherwise I was doing quite well and finished in 8 minutes, with quite a few smiles along the way.
    STITCH made me chuckle, as it pretty much sums up my response to exercise! I also liked SAN REMO a lot.
    FOI Bag
    LOI Boomerang
    COD Steeplechaser – maybe quite obvious but what a nice surface
    Thanks Tracy and cheer up Jeremy. We do appreciate all the work that you bloggers do
  24. All done and dusted in 29 minutes today (very fast for me), but as with several fellow solvers above, I fell into the THROW/THREW trap at 23a. Mrs Random was out walking with friends when I discovered my mistake a little earlier, so I decided not to self-administering another of her home-made peanut butter cookies at the time, but she has since returned and completed her attempt (all correct) in 18 minutes. Therefore, I am now enjoying another of the said cookies … but I would still rather have not made the mistake.

    That was Mrs Random’s 28th consecutive successful completion (her best ever run) and my 3rd successive DNF (my worst run since January). And I had dared to think that I was finally starting to catch her up.

    Many thanks to Tracy and plusjeremy

    P.S. I would like to thank plusjeremy and all of our solution bloggers for their sterling efforts in helping us understand how the clues work and how the solutions are derived. Without their help I would still be solving only one or two of these QCs per week.

    Edited at 2021-10-27 12:37 pm (UTC)

  25. TIGHTs are not the same as stockings – very minor ER. Lots to enjoy. BEETROOT made me smile when I saw the light. LOI MEDITATE, but no real hold-ups ( another kind of stocking).

    Was confused by blog at first. Glad your wife is OK, Jeremy.

  26. Thanks to those who were vaguely amused by this random experiment. I do scratch my head the idea suggested by pedwardine that I was doing it out of petulance — towards him, of course! I’m just a human being, not a DRONE, and sometimes I like to do things differently.

    Nevertheless, I am absolutely tickled at the emotional power I seem to yield over him and @horryd. (The latter of which added a “laughing” reaction to his own post — talk about having your head up your own ass!) I look forward to winding them up each day as I look forward to my morning cup of coffee.

    I only got to the puzzle after midnight. I had to take my wife to the ER because she had broken glass in her wrist. (She’s fine.) Perhaps these frightening and somewhat surreal circumstances led me to do something different this time. I suppose we can never know why we do what we do and why we are who we are. We can only watch ourselves, like raindrops on a windowpane, skittering this way and that like hungry ants.

    Edited at 2021-10-27 12:53 pm (UTC)

    1. Given the circumstances, you did well to produce the blog at all. As ever, I’m grateful for your efforts.
    2. Jeremy, could I ask you please to change the heading of the blog to something more conventional as TQC 1992 will not find the blog for those in the future searching the archive? Thanks. J
  27. 3:58 this morning, which currently would have been a top 20 finish but in my eagerness to post a quick time, I threw in a “throw” for 23 ac and the dreaded pink square appeared. When it’s unexpected, it really feels like a kick in the proverbials! One small consolation is that from some of the comments above, I realise several others suffered the same fate.
    Otherwise, happy with my solve of what I felt was the easiest QC this week so far.
    COD to 11 d “ghost town”.
    Thanks to Jeremy for the concisest blog ever, in what must have been rather trying circumstances, and to Tracy.
  28. I would encourage posters NOT to use the new facility referencing other commenters in their contributions. If anybody replies to a previous comment the person is notified by email. All this new thing does is duplicate the email notification. I have enough to delete already!
    1. What is the purpose of the new facility Jack? I don’t want to clutter commenters inboxes. I thought maybe this was an alternative to replying to a comment but embedded within one’s own contribution.
    2. It seems that you can’t even use a fellow commenter’s nom de blog without making a magnifying-glass icon appear above it that will obscure any text in the line above it.
      Anyway, I am going to experiment now and see if can get around it.
      Using your name, Jackkt, so excuse me please for the extra courriel.

      OK, so nothing happened there. I guess I don’t even know how to use the new “functionality.” And that is just as well.

      Edited at 2021-10-30 07:21 pm (UTC)

  29. Almost crept out of the scc finishing in 22m. Nice steady solve with no real hold ups and managing to avoid the wrong tense at 23a.
  30. As a relatively recent starter on the QC, I’m grateful for the work don’t by all the bloggers. Without you, I’d be lost!
  31. I joined the Crispb club but finished with Took Open Leave thinking it wrong — just never thought of Ones — also Throw…
    No time for this mess but considerable.
    There are definitely weird things about the brain.
    PW sets an effective PB and I took forever.
    Congratulations again to the steady eddies who blitz it day in day out!
    Not keen on Drone among others.
    A strange mix of simple write-ins and very tricky I thought.
    Thanks all
    John George

    Edited at 2021-10-27 03:56 pm (UTC)

  32. A bit late to this again after having a west coast train nightmare, but an enjoyable 16 mins at least and luckily I didn’t fall into the 23ac Throw/Threw trap. 11dn “Ghost Town” had me humming to the Specials for a while as well.

    Only query is that I didn’t think tights were stockings (not that I’m admitting to be a specialist on that subject or anything) — however I will defer to those in the know if I am grossly mistaken.

    FOI — 2dn “Nab”
    LOI — 13dn “Beetroot”
    COD — 23ac “Threw a fit”

    Thanks as usual!

  33. Hello. Since signing in here for the first time in 2016 as a near non-solver, and now reaching the giddy heights of being a QC finisher quite a lot of days [I pondered a bit but did answer THREW not THROW today!], I thought I would start again with a new name. My first comment is Applause and Thanks for all Setters, Moderators, Bloggers, and Commenters who do so much work for us as learners.

    I do have a comment about SCC which seems to have lost its place a bit, at least in QC world. I love the idea of quoting times as arithmetic multiples of 20min, to 2 decimal places! The 20min itself doesn’t really have a meaning, it is not quick for quick people and it can be very quick for not quick people. I have no idea what time I take, I just like to finish if I can. It would be nice to have a neat acronym for anyone who is pleased and happy with their result on the day. Even QCC for Quick Cryptic (finished) Club might work?

    Good wishes. Sorry to be so late and so long.

    1. A great comment — I completely agree with the sentiment regarding the SCC. I have never finished a QC faster than 40 minutes, and to be honest I still have less finishes than I do DNF’s.

      That all being said, I am now regularly very satisfied with my efforts even if they don’t result in every square being filled. The satisfaction arises from the fact I am answering clues that I would have stared blankly at in the not too distant past. Progress!

      SCC = Slow coach club
      SCS = Satisfied crossword solver?

      1. I like your SCS, as I don’t use the timer, which is why I rarely comment. For me it is about a satisfying completion.
        While I accept that competitive people, (whether with themselves, or other solvers) want to know and quote their finish times, your idea would give space for those of us, who don’t.
        1. Just one person’s perspective: Solving with a timer is how I finally started being able to solve puzzles! I used to finish only rarely, picking away at the puzzles all day. So for me, it’s not really about being competitive with others or with myself (not like I could really compete with anyone anyway). It was about quantifying how I was doing, making it a bit more concrete. That really helped me improve.
      2. I enjoy doing the QCC. Sometimes do a few clues late at night, to finish next morning, but generally in one or two goes in the morning. For me it is yoga without movement, perhaps Zen when completed.
        I relish the 20 minutes pursuit, recognise that x2SCC tends to frustration and is reaching an awareness that I have something else to do.
        On the rare occasion that I come in under 1xSCC I put it down to being easier, rather than my prowess, sure in the expectation that tomorrow will be back to >1xSCC. Although I am sure I have improved.
        I am content to jog rather than sprint, happy to complete but not sad when I don’t.
  34. That’s a very good question, and I’m as baffled as you are but experience has taught that IT people feel the need to keep changing things that have worked well for years and nobody has asked to be changed.
  35. Only got to this on Thursday but wanted to post for the sake of completeness. We found this pretty straightforward and finished in 10 minutes.

    FOI: NAB

    Thanks Jeremy and Tracy.

  36. Only got to this on Thursday but wanted to post for the sake of completeness. We found this pretty straightforward and finished in 10 minutes.

    FOI: NAB

    Thanks Jeremy and Tracy.

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