Times Quick Cryptic 2097 by Tracy

After a little difficulty breaking through to the bottom half (and particularly the SW), this was polished off in less than target time. I had to take a post-solve look at 7dn to parse it, and I think we may have the record longest definition for a QC in 11ac…

Definitions underlined.

1 Prediction in favour of English players (8)
FORECAST – FOR (in favour of), E (English), and CAST (players).
5 With last of deliveries, spinner’s close (4)
STOP – last letter of (last of) deliverieS, then TOP (spinner).
8 Scoundrel, for one, returned to scrounge (5)
CADGE – CAD (scoundrel), then E.G. (for one) reversed (returned).
9 Saw senior scout formerly in lead (7)
PROVERB – ROVER (senior scout formerly) contained by (in) PB (Pb, lead).
11 Bond character gets something in the post about a pyramid scheme? (5,6)
CHAIN LETTER – CHAIN (bond) and LETTER (character).
13 Except when included in gun lessons (6)
UNLESS – hidden in (included in) gUN LESSons.
14 Local controversy in Cumbrian town (6)
BARROW – BAR (local) and ROW (controversy).
17 Petty sergeant major everybody disliked (5-6)
SMALL-MINDED – SM (sergeant major), ALL (everybody), and MINDED (disliked).
20 A group working in desert (7)
ABANDON – A, BAND (group) and ON (working).
21 Difficult to carry round store (5)
HOARD – HARD (difficult) containing (to carry) O (round).
22 Dull and unexciting team thrashed (4)
TAME – anagram of (thrashed) TEAM.
23 Insincere praise given prison reformer drinking coffee (8)
FLATTERY – FRY (Elizabeth, prison reformer), containing (drinking) LATTE (coffee).

1 Female expert’s look (4)
FACE – F (female) and ACE (expert).
2 Extremist spoke about capitalism, primarily (7)
RADICAL – RADIAL (spoke) containing (about) the first letter of (primarily) Capitalism.
3 A scare as careless young man makes a dish (6,5)
CAESAR SALAD – anagram of (careless) A SCARE AS, then LAD (young man).
4 Lying down in suite, finally, after drink (6)
SUPINE – IN, and the last letter of (finally) suitE, all after SUP (drink).
6 Deal with, in theatre, a thespian (5)
TREAT – hidden in (in) theaTRE A Thespian.
7 Caught in rowdy punch-up after turning up for a tour of local hostelries (3-5)
PUB-CRAWL – C (caught) contained by (in) BRAWL (rowdy punch-up), all after a reversal of (turning) UP.
10 What most shops do most days is obvious (4-3-4)
OPEN-AND-SHUT – double definition.
12 Best in print, stylish (8)
OUTSMART – OUT (published, in print) and SMART (stylish).
15 Communist measure demonstrates excessive bureaucracy (3,4)
RED TAPE – RED (communist) and TAPE (measure).
16 Remarkable cue (6)
SIGNAL – double definition.
18 Warning of danger from a member holding line (5)
ALARM – A and ARM (member) containing (holding) L (line).
19 Nervous journalist, guy losing heart (4)
EDGY – ED (editor, journalist) and the outermost letters from (losing heart) GuY.

42 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2097 by Tracy”

  1. I didn’t know ROVER, but inferred that it meant ‘scout’. DNK FRY (I may have come across her once here), but again the inference was pretty safe. Biffed PUB-CRAWL, forgot to check it. 5:30.
    1. In the mid-1960s the Scouting Association ‘rebranded’ the older Senior Scouts and Rover Scouts as Venture Scouts. The uniform changed too with the adoption of long trousers…’Dib, dib!’
  2. 20 minutes.
    BIFD CHAIN LETTER without reading the clue fully. Also delayed by SIGNAL
    COD to both PROVERB and HOARD.
  3. NHO Rover Scouts but like in a few places the definition was clear enough to reduce the need for the cryptic. All green in just under 9 but with SIGNAL and OUTSMART adding an age at the end.
  4. PUB CRAWL has a v nice surface (but well biffable). Also liked CAESAR SALAD. Glad SIGNAL didn’t hold me up as like Vinyl those DDs usually cause me a problem.

    Thanks William and Tracy

  5. 11 minutes. I was another delayed by SIGNAL as my LOI. But for that I would have hit my target 10 minutes.
  6. Off to a flying start with 1A and things moved along nicely until LOI OUTSMART which got the better of me until I went to make a coffee when the answer hit me like a ray of light. Popped it in only to find I had also left BARROW incomplete so that was my very LOI. 32 mins including time to make a coffee. Thanks Tracy & William
  7. Another held up by SIGNAL and OUTSMART, where I was looking at the wrong end of the clue for the definition.
    Other than that all fairly straightforward with RADICAL and PUB CRAWL being my favourites.
    Finished in 7.09.
    Thanks to William
  8. Thirteen minutes, knowing that some were unparsed. FOI unless and only seven on first pass, though that left some easy ones to slot in bringing me up to seventeen. NHO rover for scout. Did not parse radical or pub-crawl, both realised from other parts of the clues. Lots to like here. The picture of Elizabeth Fry above the crossword no doubt helped me with the clue about the prison reformer(!) Had a PDM for the Bond character. Was momentarily sidetracked trying to think of someone from a Bond film, but decided there were so many I needed to move on. The checkers gave it away, and the PDM occurred, so COD to that one. Thanks, William, and Tracy.
    1. Was it a coincidence that Fry (Elizabeth) featured in the QC and the DQ (Daily Quiz)? Or is someone in charge here?
  9. I found this one quite easy, though the last couple eluded me long enough to make this a half hour solve. I knew PROVERB as “saw” only because I have seen it pop up a few times in these cryptic crosswords.

    Well, time for a trip to the candy store.

    1. Is this the same person who used to take an hour and even then only after several trips to chambers? I’d say 30 mins is a vast improvement. Certainly quicker than me today. Well done.
      1. Wow. What a boost to my cryptic crosswords solving morale. Thank you dearhector for your extremely kind and encouraging comment.
  10. 16 minutes and over target again — I am beginning to fear that I may have to revise my target and aim for a sub-SCC completion in future. SIGNAL and OUTSMART were the culprits holding me up. I like (a) PUBCRAWL (who doesn’t?), so make that COD, FOI FORECAST, WOD SUPINE. Thanks William and Tracy.
    1. So far this week I’ve missed my target 10 minutes every day, and Tuesday was a DNF.
  11. I’m looking for the blog entry regarding “signing up” for the possible new blog/site. I cannot find it, and I wish to place my name on the list. Can somebody direct me to it please? Thank you.
  12. I was heading for a quick time with 6 minutes gone and 1 clue to do, but OUTSMART nearly OUTSMARTed me and I submitted at 9:10. FORECAST was FOI. Needed crossers for SIGNAL. Thanks Tracy and William.
  13. Those of us actually doing the Quick Cryptic in the paper itself had a very fortuitous extra clue today as there was a picture of Elizabeth Fry immediately above the crossword in the Daily Quiz with the question: “Which English prison reformer (1780-1845) is pictured?”. Now that’s just weird.
  14. ….oh we don’t want to go to BARROW (to the tune of “The Entertainer” by Scott Joplin) is a song we Altrincham supporters sing at times when our Cumbrian rivals are in the division either above or below us. Above but in danger of the drop at the moment, so it may be heard again soon. It’s not that we don’t like the club or its fans — it’s the journey once you get off the M6 and join the A590 (“the longest cul-de-sac in Britain”).

    A decent puzzle from Tracy, with some clever clueing

    TIME 4:06

    Edited at 2022-03-23 11:40 am (UTC)

      1. True — before the main bit from the M6 was dualled, just even getting to Kendal
        was an epic journey.

        However, God forbid everyone has to evacuate the area at once — something which people contemplated in the 80’s due to the Trident sub base and which has become suddenly pertinent again.

    1. Less than two months until the big Alty-Yeovil showdown. A place in the top half could depend on it!
      1. Indeed — great results from both teams against play-off candidates last night.
    2. You should be grateful Workington has fallen so far below you there is little fear of having to venture up there any time soon.
      1. I must admit that a wet Tuesday night fixture at Workington is one of my nightmares ! I saw them in the old Division 3 North at Stockport back in 1957.
        1. Wow, you saw Workington in the 1950’s. A decade second only to 1960’s as most glorious in club history. Brings tears to the eye!
    3. We now have Phil Brown as the new Barrow boss — can’t do any worse than Mark Cooper who was a miserable git.
  15. 19 minutes but with several unparsed and having to use aids to get SIGNAL. So quite tricky as far as I was concerned. Some good clues though and I enjoyed the tussle. Thanks Tracy and thanks also to William for enlightenment on my unparsed answers.

    FOI & COD – 14ac BARROW
    LOI – 16dn SIGNAL

  16. For those with the paper, question 15 of the Daily Quiz would have helped with 23a. I guessed it.
    I spent 10 minutes on all the clues bar LOI 16d.
    Eventually SIGNAL occurred to me and I was home in about 12 minutes. I think that word has caught me out before.
  17. … which led to a 1hr45 give up.

    Began quickly with FACE, FORECAST, TREAT, PUB-CRAWL, STOP, CHAIN-LETTER in a few mins. But only TAME down the bottom and frustratingly thought Elizabeth Fry was the prison reformer and then took it out.

    Eventually gave up with OUTSMART, ABANDON left. Turns out I also had BARROW (jarrow – anyone for a jar at the local?); EDGY (eddy) wrong.

    NHO PROVERB for see, SiGNAL for remarkable

    1. Not surprised you’re confused re proverb! It’s not see but Saw (if you see what I mean!) Saw is an old-fashioned word for a saying or an old wives’ tale 😊
  18. Another incredibly slow solve. Spent far too long in the James Bond character trap. Took forever to recall that SAW means PROVERB, was thinking of desert as a noun and eventually twigged that best was also a verb for LOI OUTSMART.
  19. A late one for me as I’ve been out cycling all day — this time it was a hell of a lot warmer than Sunday.

    What a nice surprise to see 14ac “Barrow” — especially as it’s only a few miles from where I live. Although some locals would still say it’s part of Lancashire.

    I tried to fit Blofeld or some other Bond character into 11ac, but it just wasn’t having it.

    FOI — 1ac “Forecast”
    LOI — 12dn “Outsmart”
    COD — 14ac “Barrow”

    Thanks as usual!

    1. One of my jobs as a computer engineer was looking after cash dispensers. We looked after the Furness Building Society’s dispenser network. They had two, both at the head office in Barrow, and only one of them worked as the other had been cannibalised for parts:-) It used to take me 3 hours to get there from Middlesbrough and 3 hours back before the road was improved a bit, so that was a day gone to do one job! Another not so rewarding job was to be sent to change a PSU in a Netapp storage unit at Sellafield. It took 3 weeks to get a permit to go on site, and when I got there, I found that the local IT staff had already replaced the PSU and decided the new one was faulty, so sent for us. I unpacked the new unit went into the data centre and looked at the system, then pressed the power switch on the previously fitted unit and went home.

      Edited at 2022-03-23 10:20 pm (UTC)

      1. The Furness Building Society is still there, although the head office relocated to a purpose built site near the station on the demolished Astra Cinema quite a few years back.

        No it sure how many cash machines they have now 😀

  20. One of those annoying ones where you get most of it easily, but then just can’t finish it off. It took only about 10 or 11 minutes to get down to my last three, but I just couldn’t see any of them and I gave up after 27. Having seen the answers, I should have got ABANDON, which may have allowed me to get OUTSMART, but I’m not sure I’d have got SIGNAL whatever I’d done. I know signal = remarkable (or something similar) has come up at least once before, but clearly it didn’t stay in. Thanks anyway Tracy and William.
  21. Just about managed to finish, with a bit of help and a couple of fairly lucky guesses. NHO ROVER as scout. SIGNAL LOI. A struggle.

Comments are closed.