Times Quick Cryptic 580 by Tracy

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
  This is Tracy’s 53rd puzzle and judging by my solving time of 6 minutes I’d say it’s at the easier end of the scale. There are a couple of answers, maybe 11ac and 4dn, that perhaps will not be familiar to all. The first is hidden which helps, but the second, a double definition, may cause a few problems as one requires familiarity with a slang expression and the other is a bit specialised – no pun intended! Here we go…

 As usual definitions are underlined in bold italics, {deletions are in curly brackets} and [indicators in square ones]


1 Shoot a persistently annoying person in capital (8)
BUDAPEST – BUD (shoot), A, PEST (persistently annoying person)
5 Notice / pimple (4)
SPOT – two definitions
8 Breakaway movement stopping ruler somehow (8,5)
10 Ordinary people from Italy, loosely (5)
LAITY – Anagram [loosely] of ITALY
11 Appropriate / bit (7)
SNAFFLE – two definitions, a slang word for “appropriate” – “steal” , and “bit” – a piece of horse tack
12 English girl after fine felt hat (6)
FEDORA – F (fine), E (English), DORA (girl)
13 Fuss about daughter, much loved (6)
ADORED – ADO (fuss), RE (about), D (daughter)
16 Disturb American soldier in a gallery (7)
AGITATE – A, GI (American soldier), TATE (gallery)
18 Some latticework in room (5)
ATTIC – Hidden [some] in {l}ATTIC{ework}
20 Overreactions bothered music school (13)
21 Parking skill displays character (4)
PART – P (parking), ART (skill)
22 Film celebrity was right inside (4,4)
STAR WARS – STAR (celebrity), R (right) inside WAS
1 Boy Lisa bowled over (5)
BASIL – LISA, B (bowled) reversed [over]
2 Had an amorous relationship with duke, married (7)
DALLIED – D (duke), ALLIED (married)
3 Girl with a new card, note — finding amusement here? (5,6)
PENNY ARCADE – PENNY (girl), A, anagram [new] of CARD, E (note)
4 Exclamation of surprise from banshee, shouting (6)
SHEESH – Hidden [from] in {ban}SHEE SH{outing}
6 Academic possessing old evidence (5)
PROOF – PROF (academic) containing [possessing] O (old)
7 Best player, spinner, to get Derbyshire’s opener? (3,4)
TOP SEED – TOP (spinner), SEE (get), D{erbyshire} [opener]
9 One well qualified to get a mate? (11)
GRANDMASTER – Cryptic clue which could have been cross-referenced to 19dn
12 Even better headgear (4,3)
FLAT CAP – FLAT (even) CAP (better)
14 Wine stored up in canisters (7)
RETSINA – Hidden [stored] and reversed [up] in {c}ANISTER{s}
15 Five to check about the Spanish material (6)
VELVET – V (five), EL (the, Spanish), VET (check)
17 Victor losing head in ring (5)
INNER – {w}INNER (victor) [losing head]. It’s the ring that’s the division of a target next to the bull’s eye, usually in darts and/or archery.
19 Game / show (5)
CHESS – Two definitions. The show is the musical written by two of the ABBA crew and Tim Rice

22 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 580 by Tracy”

  1. Very slow going on this one, the 4 long ones especially requiring lots of checkers before I could see the light. CHESS was my LOI, since I’d never heard of the show. For me SHEESH (which I don’t use) is an expression of exasperation rather than surprise, but for a change I spotted the hidden (finally). 9:19.
    1. The Oxfords have “disbelief or exasperation”, and Collins has “surprise or annoyance”. I think surprise or disbelief come into it because there’s been an unexpected set-back that’s led to the annoyance or exasperation. Didn’t Yogi Bear used to say it a lot?
      1. I can honestly (and proudly) say that I’ve never seen Yogi Bear; well, seen yes–he’s on God knows what products in supermarkets–but never heard.
  2. 31:42 which is average for me. Did not know SNAFFLE as part of a bridle, so thanks Jack for that. COD was VELVET, was not expecting two ‘V’s, but I now recognise clues such as ‘the Spanish’. No problems with CHESS, a good show in my opinion. Always good to see a 13 letter anagram at 20a.
  3. Very worthy of a Bank Holiday puzzle. GRANDMASTER/CHESS, as noted, is good. CHESS was my LOI, despite being a reasonable online player. Eventually remembered I’d seen the show, not one of my favourites. Then we have TOP SEED/FEDORA, definitely worth a cheer. Always thought SHEESH was to avoid swearing, like ‘fiddlesticks’ or ‘sugar’. 6’14”.
  4. Total mind blank on 1a and 3d, needed two bites of the cherry and was not helped by Mrs Tim telling me she had got them when I came back to it. In my defense a bud becomes a shoot, and Penny Arcades have long gone, but that’s just sour grapes isn’t it.
    Apart from those two this was on the easier side for me, but with some smooth clues, 14d and 8a for example. Thanks Tracy and blogger.
  5. I found this of average difficulty, completed in around 30 minutes. I needed a break and 2nd sitting to get my last 2 in – 11a (not really a horsey person) and 15d. I struggled with 20a as I thought the word ended ‘tory’ – I assume there’s some French connection to it. Certainly a more gentle start to this week than last.
  6. Got there in the end, but a real struggle with the NW corner. Had to guess at Dallied, and was looking at the wrong end of the clue in 1ac for ages. Grandmaster (CoD) helped confirm 11ac, though I had no idea about the bit. Tricky, as expected! Invariant
  7. I was very surprised, the other day, to read a comment saying that the writer took “n” minutes to do the crossword , but then came back to parse the answers!
    Am I in a minority then, when I include the parsing in my “answering time”????
    I don’t consider the crossword to be “completed” until I can account for full parsing.
    1. You make a valid point about parsing being included in solving times, L. I’ve been blogging Quick Cryptics since Day One and as a more experienced solver I think it’s only fair my solving times should include all the parsing, but for newbies it’s not necessary, only to solve correctly, and that’s the time that would be relevant in competitive solving. It’s up to individuals to make their own rules.

      Edited at 2016-05-30 01:11 pm (UTC)

      1. You are right of course, but for me the most/only satisfaction comes from a full house (answers + parsing). I always try and parse as I go along, so I am with L on this. Invariant
        1. Fair enough. I try to cover both bases as I have a foot in both camps, blogging and commenting on the QC and main cryptic which has a leader board on the Times site and some bloggers and contributors are fiercely competitive as far as timings are concerned. For QCs my timings always include parsing unless otherwise stated and it may have been one of those exceptions that L was referring to.
  8. Average for me. Fell into place fairly steadily. Not heard “snaffle” used as a term for steal for a long time. Often used as a cricket term “snaffle a chance”. An ‘inner” for me is a match-shooting term. Enjoyable thank you.
    1. I got snaffle immediately even though I did not know about the horsey connection. To snaffle when I was a schoolboy was to eat immediately spare biscuits, fruit, sweets etc. I guess that is where the cricket expression came from (or vice / versa)
  9. I started very quickly but then hit a series of brick walls. Meant that I finished in 88 mins! However, that included parsing time! I also did genuinely finish for a change with no aids at all. How did I manage to do a complete puzzle in 10 minutes a few weeks ago when I haven’t completed one in less than 40 minutes for three weeks?
  10. Overall an easy bank holiday puzzle. For some reason I toiled over PART as my LOI
  11. Found this a reasonable test with 4d a new word for me although not for madam!
    21a was last in as well for us.
  12. Ground to a halt a couple of times but got there in the end.COD 1a budapest, LOI 19d chess (forgot about the stage show) so was a guess!
  13. Started with 5a and kept going.
    10 minutes to complete it, which I think is a record for me. Some nice clues and nothing too obscure -but of course anything is obscure if you don’t know it. David

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