Times Quick Cryptic 310 by Flamande

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
I steamed through this one in 5 minutes which I think is my fastest ever solve, and with every clue understood as I went along apart from 23 where the answer was clear but the source of the anagram material (anagrist) was not immediately apparent so it required a return visit. I’d say there are two references that may be unfamilar to some, at 5ac and 18ac, but in both cases answers are gettable by other means.

If you need the link to the puzzle it’s here: http://feeds.thetimes.co.uk/timescrossword/20150518/4689/

Definitions {deletions} [indicators]


1 Captain who hops about? (7)
SKIPPER – A literal definition with a cryptic hint
5 Hit sailing boat (5)
SMACK – Two literal definitions. The boat maybe less known; it’s a sailing vessel often used for fishing.
8 Expert gardener is a card (3,2,6)
ACE OF SPADES – Two definitions, one cryptic, one literal
10 Fellow taking part in daring enterprise (4)
GENT – Hidden [taking part in] {darin}G ENT{erprise}
11 About start of morning, make a snack for the afternoon (5,3)
CREAM TEA – CREATE (make) encloses [about] M{orning}, A
12 One who prohibits flag (6)
BANNER – Two definitions
14 Motor part needing to be repaired, middle part having dropped out (6)
ENGINE – Anagram [repaired] of NEE{d}ING. ‘Middle part having dropped out’ indicates the D is to be removed.
16 Son takes a short time abroad for project (5,3)
STICK OUT – S (son), TICK (short time), OUT (abroad)
18 Sounds like Mr Bevan is near (4)
NIGH – Sounds like “Nye” (Mr Bevan). Solvers may need to be of a certain age to know that Aneurin Bevan, a Welsh Labour MP from 1929 to 1960 and particularly prominent during the post-war years, was commonly known as “Nye”.
20 Argue, getting stuck initially in puzzles like this one (5,6)
CROSS SWORDS – S{tuck} inside CROSSWORDS (puzzles like this one)
22 Social worker accompanies me as intended (5)
MEANT – ME, ANT (social worker)
23 On isle in a storm, there’s shelter for a beastly swimmer (3,4)
SEA LION – Anagram [in a storm] of ON ISLE encloses [there’s shelter for] A. Tricky to parse, this one, so I biffed the answer and sorted out the wordplay later.

2 Scoundrel in part of church, we hear (5)
KNAVE – Sounds like [we hear] “nave” (part of church)
3 Quickly getting to northern city (7)
PRESTON – PRESTO (quickly – music), N (northern). I didn’t know, or had forgotten, that this is now a city having been granted its status in 2002, the 50th year of HMQ’s reign.
4 Supernatural creature flew upwards, weightless (3)
ELF –  FLE{w} reversed [upwards]. ‘Weightless’ indicates the ‘W’ is to be removed.
6 Either way, she’s a lady (5)
MADAM – ‘Either way’ indicates we are looking for a palindrome to help us on our way to the answer.
7 Storage tank, cold one, near back of boat (7)
CISTERN – C (cold), I (one), STERN (back of boat)
9 Twisting serpent here (7)
PRESENT – Anagram [twisting] of SERPENT
11 Loads vehicle and departs (7)
CARGOES – CAR (vehicle), GOES (departs)
13 This could be a   newspaper extract (7)
ARTICLE – Two definitions. The cryptic one uses ‘A’ in the sense of ‘definite article’.
16 No particular    army commander (7)
GENERAL – Two definitions
17 Gloat noisily, getting new sporting award (5)
CROWN – CROW (gloat noisily), N (new)
19 Got excited, eating American relish (5)
GUSTO – Anagram [excited] of GOT encloses [eating] US (American)
21 Small unwanted garden plant daughter cut (3)
WEE – WEE{d} (unwanted garden plant). ‘Daughter cut’ indicates the D is to be removed

16 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 310 by Flamande”

  1. This was a pleasant way to return to the Quickies, which I couldn’t access for a week or so because the Times cancelled my sub (long story, in the forum if you’re interested–but you should all be aware of when your credit card expires). Had to wait for checkers to get SMACK–all I could think of was ‘whack’, which I was pretty sure was wrong. I’d forgotten about Bevan, and was confident that ‘Aneurin’ wouldn’t fit; Nye came back to me once I solved. 3:40, plus a half-minute or so post hoc to make sure of CREAM TEA and SEA LION, which both looked obvious but resisted quick parsing. I liked STICK OUT; lovely surface.
    1. Thanks, anon. For some reason this doesn’t appear as a “live” link so I’ve added it to the intro at the top of the blog.
  2. Like others I found this very very straightforward, broke the 10 minute barrier. I once went to Preston to watch my football team perform disappointingly in the league cup. Never again. (I mean, I will never go to Preston again. Sadly I think it more than likely that my team will play disappointingly in that and other competitions in the future).
  3. Apart from it being 3 minutes longer, I had the same experience as our esteemed blogger even down to biffing 23ac. I liked the nautical start in 1 and 5ac.
  4. Very quick solve for me, probably under 10 minutes. Only one I had to stop and think for a little while was LOI CARGOES. 13d, 14a and 23a went in unparsed but sorted out post solve and 13d then became my favourite.
  5. Easily my quickest ever with most of the across clues filled before starting down. Not a success though because I failed to parse ‘article’. Disappointing from a supposed linguist! Loved the sailing references and so frowned a bit to see ‘stern’ as ”near ” the back of a boat. Of course it is the back of the boat, not near it.

    Great to see Nye Bevan recalled. Sadly he is probably best remembered for his ‘Tories are lower than vermin’ speech but he was none the less a great orator who ushered in the brand new NHS.

    1. I think ‘near’ can be taken as an indication of where the C and I are placed rather than part of the clue to ‘stern’. The setter could have written ‘next to’ or ‘by’ for the same effect.

      Edited at 2015-05-18 09:43 am (UTC)

  6. Do you think Flamande is using ‘AM’ as start of morning to give the extra ‘a’ ? Invariant
    1. There’s no extra A. One is in CREATE, the other is clued by itself in {make} A {snack…}. Start of morning gives us the M.
  7. Like others, my fastest ever at 7:30 – and I’m not good at these! Enjoyed it – might be emboldened to tackle the main cryptic.
    1. Well done, gilesr! Today’s cryptic might be a good one to try. It’s clever but not overly difficult.
  8. I will join the chorus of easy, easy….you long for one you can do and then feel cheated when it’s too simple….nothing left to do over morning coffee today! Good fun while it lasted.
  9. As others have commented this was the easiest QC I can remember. The only problem I had was self-inflicted in that I put 2 ‘ds’ at the end of 20a which made 19d a little tricky until I spotted the error.
  10. My best ever too – 22 minutes! Shouldnt the rest of you be on the main cryptic?! LOI 11a – I marked it as 3,5. Doh.

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