Times Quick Cryptic 350 by Teazel

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
16 minutes. I’m not on best solving form at the moment and this one gave me some trouble not helped that it took me so long to solve 1ac where I was convinced the answer was going to end with -LESS. I don’t think there’s any difficult vocabulary today although a couple of things necessary for the full understanding of 3dn and 5dn may be a bit obscure. Possibly the Renaissance scholar too and two plurals ending -I where the singular -US is more generally known.

In case of access problems, here’s the link to the puzzle: http://feeds.thetimes.co.uk/timescrossword/20150713/7787/

Definitions {deletions} [indicators]


1 A snowman can be so   hateful? (10)
ABOMINABLE – Two definitions, one cryptic, one straight
8 Chests, and people with a cold in them, say? (7)
COFFERS – Sounds like “coughers”
9 Run in sort of black and pink (5)
CORAL – R (run) inside COAL (sort of black)
10 One athirst, somewhat, without water (4)
NEAT – Hidden [somewhat] inside {o}NE AT{hirst} As one might drink whisky or vodka, for example.
11 Impetus in a short time followed by hesitation (8)
MOMENTUM – MOMENT (short time), UM (hesitation)
13 Rob him criminally for diamonds {6)
RHOMBI – Anagram [criminally] of ROB HIM. I took ages to think of this but eventually dragged up a distant memory of the diamond-shaped rhombus last encountered at school.
14 Care about church ground (6)
MINCED – MIND (care) about CE (church)
17 Mammal groomed fur a bit with front of tongue (8)
FRUITBAT – Anagram [groomed] of FUR A BIT T{ongue}
19 So monster returns (4)
ERGO – OGRE (monster) reversed
21 Work period for Falstaff, for example (5)
OPERA – OP (work – opus), ERA (period). Verdi wrote the most famous opera of this name.
22 Problems are over for Renaissance scholar (7)
ERASMUS – SUMS (problems) + ARE all reversed
23 Where your eyes are   aggressive (2,4,4)
IN YOUR FACE – Two definitions, one cryptic, one straight. It’s very rare in crossword answers to have “your” in an expression where “one’s” is an alternative, but that’s what’s needed here. It’s a shame that “your” also appears in the clue.


2 Cattle expert takes a look (7)
BUFFALO – BUFF (expert), A, LO (look)
3 Appropriate to get together (4)
MEET – Double definition. The first may be unfamiliar to some but I learnt it in church-going days long ago from a line that appeared in one of the standard services in the Book of Common Prayer “It is meet and right so to do”.
4 Failure to appear in numbers; in what way? (2,4)
NO SHOW – NOS (numbers), HOW (in what way?)
5 Soviet police chief introduces law that could lay people low (8)
BACTERIA – BERIA (Soviet police chief) encloses [introduces] ACT (law)
6 Wading bird‘s sorrow when first river vanishes (5)
EGRET – {r}EGRET (sorrow). “First river” indicates the R to be removed.
7 Small condo organised with these desirable features? (3,3,4)
ALL MOD CONS – Anagram of SMALL CONDO. An expression invented for use in small ads.
8 Traffic management system continued with flyers close to ground {10)
CONTRAFLOW – CONT (continued), RAF (flyers), LOW (close to ground)
12 Passing mention (8)
OBITUARY – A rather good cryptic definition
15 Saucer: am I china? Partly made of clay {7)
CERAMIC – Hidden [partly] inside {sau}CER AM I C{hina}
16 Good university includes an afternoon meal, serving this? (6)
GATEAU – G (good), A TEA (an afternoon meal), U (university)
18 Starts to undertake the experiment, replacing internal organs (5)
UTERI – First letters [starts] of U{ndertake} T{he} E{xperiment} R{eplacing} I{nternal}
20 Child abandoned with frequency around main road (4)
WAIF – W (with), A1 (main road), F (following)

10 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 350 by Teazel”

  1. I didn’t get many in the first pass through the acrosses and downs, but with some checkers in, I didn’t get many in the second passes either. Then things picked up. 17ac took a while, simply because ‘mammal’ had me thinking of land animals. We’ve had a rhombus or two in the 15x15s, but I still tend to think of D and ‘ice’ when I see ‘diamonds’ in a clue. Similarly, at 14ac I could only think of ‘tend’ for ‘care’. I suspect that ALL MOD CONS is a UK-only locution, as is (I think) ‘sums’ for ‘problems’–and one should remember the latter when ‘problem(s)’ shows up in a clue.5:15.
  2. Another tough one from Teazel. Steady solve but with no grinding halts. Last 2 in were MINCED and BACTERIA. Had forgotten about Lavrentiy Beria but remembered when I looked him up post solve.

    Favourite COFFERS which took longer to see than it should.

  3. Found this tough going – right at my limit. I had to look up beria to check this was right. Was held up by your / ones in 23a given your was in the clue. Took me about 30 mins
  4. Just under my 10 minute target. Like Kevin I didn’t get many with first read through. 5d took longer than it should as I knew BERIA, thinking BACILLUS or BERIBERI to start. 15d nearly got me putting in RAMECHIN as a hypothesised alternative spelling of ramekin. No problem with 20d as I drove about 160 miles on the A1 yesterday…. delightfully traffic free on the way north between 6:15 and 7:30 am. 12d my favourite.
  5. Very challenging but enjoyable offering today. Fanciful punt of Butcher at 2D slowed me unnecessarily.

    COD must be the brilliantly economical “Passing mention”


  6. This one felt more like a grown up cryptic to me and it was my worst result for a long time. Did not get 8a, 21a, 2d, 12d and 18d. Is it just me or have these got more difficult recently?
    Particularly enjoyed 5d and 22a
  7. I found this a difficult and enjoyable puzzle.
    After the first sitting I had the bottom half; after the second sitting I had all but 5d and like others took a while to get 1a for example.
    I finally guessed that 5d had to be Bacteria and I am now going to look up the unknown Beria.How many Soviet police chiefs are we supposed to know?
  8. After reading about this one in the following day’s entry, I thought I’d give it a go. I reckon it was pretty tricky, with the two mammals particularly well clued; as Kevin points, a bat is not your prototypical mammal, and buffalo had me working round ‘ace’ and ‘pro’, while LO for ‘look’, borrowing two of the letters, as it were, was also cunning.

    Other excellent clues were the hidden (where I as looking for the definition to be ‘one athirst’) and ABOMINABLE. Last in CONTRAFLOW, where I suppose the relative paucity of the things in Hong Kong had softened me up! 14 mins.

    Edited at 2015-07-14 09:14 am (UTC)

  9. Not quite my best which was 43 seconds but I sneezed which took some time. Most of answers were filled in within a minute. Had to think about bacteria

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