Times Quick Cryptic 320 by Teazel

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
This one took me about 30 seconds under my 10 minute target but there were quite a lot of answers that didn’t leap out at me so I kept skipping around the grid looking for ones that did. The SW corner was the area that gave most trouble where I took a little while to see 15dn, 20ac and 23ac. We have fourteen Across clues today, which is unusual and I think the maximum that can be fitted into a standard Quick Cryptic grid. As usual definitions are underlined, deletions are in {curly brackets} and indicators, where given, are in [square ones].


1 Reliable person beginning to bridle at critical remark (8)
BRICKBAT – BRICK (reliable person), B{ridle}, AT
5 Craze pursued with energy gets to lose vigour (4)
FADE – FAD (craze), E (energy)
7 Circular movement in swimming bath reversed (4)
LOOP – POOL (swimming bath – reversed)
8 Army section’s brief exam for NCO (8)
CORPORAL – CORP{s} (army section – brief), ORAL (exam)
9 Basic red wrongly assigned (8)
ASCRIBED – Anagram [wrongly] of BASIC RED
11 Is able to shorten stick (3)
CAN – CAN{e} (stick – shorten)
13 Dictator nearly jaded at home (6)
STALIN – STAL{e} (jaded – nearly), IN (at home)
16 Discussion programme? (6)
AGENDA – Cryptic definition
18 Regularly good English for poem (3)
ODE – Alternate letters [regularly] of {g}O{o}D, E (English)
19 Thin flap moving is small beer (4-4)
HALF-PINT – Anagram [moving] of THIN FLAP
20 Method that separates teams not straightforward (8)
SIDEWAYS – WAY (method) inside [separates] SIDES (teams)
22 Asian sounds secure (4)
THAI – Sounds like “tie” (secure)
23 Head, a monster here? (4)
NESS – Double definition, the second a cryptic reference to the legendary Scottish beast
24 Submitted by the Spanish guard (8)
SENTINEL – SENT IN (submitted), EL (‘the’ Spanish)


1 Somewhat tribal, Kansas is a volatile area (7)
BALKANS – Hidden [somewhat] inside {tri}BAL KANS{as}
2 Impregnable, but damaged in cold rain (8)
IRONCLAD – Anagram [damaged] of COLD RAIN. Literally this would merely mean protected by iron. To get to ‘impregnable’ one needs to think figuratively e.g. as in ‘an ironclad argument’.
3 To support judges is no place for minister (4,5)
BACK BENCH – BACK (support), BENCH (judges). Ministers in the House of Commons sit on the ‘Front Bench’
4 Went very fast, we hear, for peak (3)
TOR – Sounds like [we hear] “tore” (went very fast). This might have worked better as a deletion clue but I guess it’s been done as a homophone to add variety to the proceedings.
5 Petulant movement suggesting old imperial unit? (7)
FLOUNCE – Double definition, the second with reference to “fluid ounce” with its first word abbreviated
6 American playing area is a gem (7)
DIAMOND – Double definition, the first with reference to a baseball pitch
10 Sandy lied about fatal error? (6,3)
DEADLY SIN – Anagram [about] of SANDY LIED
12 Against mobile being cut off in part of sung service (8)
ANTIPHON – ANTI (against), PHON(e} (mobile – cut off). One of the more difficult answers today but the word will be familiar to many churchgoers and choral singers.
14 Beef is superior to fish (7)
TOPSIDE – TOPS (is superior to), IDE (fish – and one that I suspect most people only ever encounter in Crosswordland). This cut of meat came up in last Monday’s Quickie defined as ‘joint’.
15 Drunk like a fish? (7)
LEGLESS – A straight definition of a slang word plus a cryptic hint
17 Workers’ high-rise an exhilaration? Not right (7)
ANTHILL – AN, TH{r}ILL (exhilaration – not right). A misleading and amusing definition that gets my vote for Clue of the Day
21 So singular an animal (3)
ASS – AS (so), S (singular)

11 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 320 by Teazel”

  1. Looking back on this, I don’t now see why it felt as if I were slogging through the clues. I didn’t get many on the first pass, but nothing so far as I can recall presented any serious problem. I’d agree with Jack in awarding 17d the COD. 7:30.
  2. This was quite an unusual grid, giving a lot of checkers making it one of the easier ones.
    Sub-10 minute par for me, though I would have been a lot quicker if it hadn’t been for the pesky 16d & 23a which .
    The comment about the IDE fish is apt – it crops up in the 15×15 today as well!
  3. I thought this was quite tough, which for me is typical of Teazel’s puzzles. Without all the anagrams to give checkers I’m not sure I would have finished it. I’ve never heard of 12d before and 14 & 17d were unparsed.
    Some good clues though, I particularly enjoyed 5d and 20a.
  4. As an ex choral singer I knew 12d. Interesting to see IDE and two sorts of sporting quadrilateral in the two cryptics today. 1ac my LOI and I, too, liked 5d, 17d and 20a…. Oo look – another IDE. 5:54.
  5. Ironclads (2d) were also early examples of armoured wooden warships (eg HMS Warrior at Portsmouth), and were considered ‘impregnable’ when first introduced.
  6. I still don’t get 23 ac. Can someone explain please? What has Ness got to do with head? Sorry if I’m being stupid
    1. ‘Ness’ is geographical feature, also known as a headland or simply a head. You’ll come across it in many a coastal place name such as Dungeness.
  7. I’m a beginner at this and I find Teazel’s crosswords hard! I’ve never heard of Brickbat, Ness, an IDE — thank goodness I do lots of church singing or antiphon would also have defeated me. Even Sideways meaning Not straightforward is an odd squirm for me. I feel this is just a little too hard for the quick ones! I also just find the clues hard to parse. Some of the clues read differently in the published books from the newspaper editions reported here.

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