Times Quick Cryptic 660 by Flamande

After struggling to complete Pedro’s Friday QC in 18 minutes it came as something of a relief to dispose of this one in exactly half that time. For that reason I would rate it as moderately easy but I’ve often been proved wrong in my assessment in the past so I shall be interested to read what others thought. Here’s my blog…

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

1 League leaders maybe showing some beef (7)
TOPSIDE – A cryptic definition followed by a straight one meaning a cut of meat
5 Was hesitant, displaying this sports trophy (5)
ASHES – Hidden [displaying this] in {w}AS HES{itant}
8 Seller of car accessories is without hesitation a scheming sort (7-6)
WHEELER-DEALER – WHEEL-DEALER (seller of car accessories) containing [without] ER (hesitation). We’ve had “without” meaning “outside” (the opposite of “within”) several times recently so this crossword favourite should be familiar to most by now.
9 Nero mad, unrestrained? Highly unlikely (5,2)
DREAM ON – Anagram [unrestrained] of NERO MAD. This usage seems quite a new one to me, along with its companion “In your dreams”.
10 Like lamb I placed in oven, well-cooked (5)
OVINE – I placed within an anagram [well-cooked] of OVEN. “Bovine” relating to cattle may be more familiar, but “ovine” concerning sheep is worth remembering too.
11 Malicious bachelor causing irritation (6)
BITCHY – B (bachelor), ITCHY (causing irritation). I rather think that “itchy” is being affected by an irritation rather than causing it but perhaps that’s splitting hairs.
13 Scientist shows there’s little weight in gas (6)
NEWTON – WT (little weight) in NEON (gas)
15 More attractive version of film The Queen (5)
CUTER – CUT (version of film – as in director’s cut), ER (the Queen)
16 Just beginning northern mountain climb (7)
NASCENT – N (northern), ASCENT (mountain climb)
19 Guess what marksman’s victim was, at night? (4,2,3,4)
SHOT IN THE DARK – A straight definition followed by a cryptic one
20 One shows off / puzzle (5)
POSER – Two definitions
21 Think a lot about teacher keeping fit (5,2)
DWELL ON – DON (teacher) containing [keeping] WELL (fit)
1 Jumpy creature, we hear, pulled by a rope? (5)
TOWED – Sounds like [we hear] “toad” (jumpy creature)
2 Shows painter’s tones in a new light (13)
PRESENTATIONS – Anagram [in a new light] of PAINTERS TONES
3 Is Buddhist priest ignoring a major religion? (5)
ISLAM – IS, LAM{a} (Buddhist priest) [ignoring a]
4 Rambling Cockney girl’s tirade (6)
ERRANT – {h}ER (girl’s) [Cockney], RANT (tirade)
5 See woman endlessly dancing? Highly impressive (7)
AWESOME – Anagram [dancing] of SEE WOMA{n} [endlessly]
6 Source of money that once enabled East German to escape? (4,2,3,4)
HOLE IN THE WALL – A straight definition followed by a heavy cryptic hint
7 Medic definitely working about middle of night (7)
SURGEON – SURE (definitely] containing [about] {ni}G{ht} [middle of…],  ON (working)
11 Rallies, as dollar’s worth more (5,2)
BUCKS UP – BUCK’S (dollar’s),  UP (worth more)
12 Cross-country runner / who worries? (7)
HARRIER – A straight definition and a cryptic riddle
4 Playing in duet together (6)
UNITED – Anagram [playing] of IN DUET
17 Riddle is about the first lady (5)
SIEVE – IS reversed [about], EVE (first lady)
18 Some mistake no-one accepted (5)
TAKEN – Hidden [some] in {mis}TAKE N{o-one}

17 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 660 by Flamande”

  1. This went fairly smoothly, with the four long ones helping a lot. But 4d pulled me up short for some reason; I actually flung in ‘erring’ before remembering RANT. No problem with (B)ITCHY; an itchy sweater, for instance. 6:07.
  2. “Finished” in 42 minutes.
    Minor cheating:
    I had to look up synonyms for dollars !!

    LOI was 4d, and I couldn’t parse 5d or 13a so thanks for the blog.

  3. Nicely straightforward, but with 5d inexplicably holding me up at the end (actually it is explicable: stupidity).
    BTW I didn’t think toads jumped but crawled, being one of the distinctions from frogs. But maybe I’m wrong.
    Thanks Jack & our Flemish setter (I presume).
  4. I don’t think this is a double definition?
    “Topside” meaning “beef” is all one word.
    “League leaders” lends itself to the answer(top side ) but cannot be part of the definition.
    1. The ‘double definition’ is the two separate parts of the clue, ‘League leaders’ and ‘some beef’ – the first is a cryptic definition (CD) and the second a literal or straight one. I think you may be thinking of an ‘&lit’ where the whole clue can be a definition, but this isn’t one.
  5. As kevin notes, the long answers give a substantial way into the puzzle, truer on the smaller grid. Some knights were errant, maybe ‘wandering’ rather than ‘rambling’. 9 and 10 ac put me in mind of Philip K. Dick’s book which was the basis for Blade Runner. Sub 5 today, so a good start to the week. Thanks jack and Flamande.

    Edited at 2016-09-19 11:32 am (UTC)

  6. Fairly straightforward I thought, although oddly enough I too was held up by 4dn. Didn’t see it at all until I came back to it. I am quite happy with itchy. That which is itchy causes irritation. Agree with the blogger that topside is a cryptic definition leading to a straight one.
  7. I would agree on medium difficulty, based on subjective feel and on a 39 minute solve which is a medium time for me these days. I particularly enjoyed 8a.
    1. cf Chambers:

      A large coarse sieve

      transitive verb
      To pass through or sift with a riddle
      To make full of holes like a riddle, as with shot
      To fill, spread throughout

      intransitive verb
      To use a riddle
      To sift

  8. 23 minutes today of solid work. Nothing held me up for too long but I was a bit slow today. For example, my LOI was 5d and I’d already written out the letters for the anagram, just couldn’t see the answer. Same with 2d. I would class this as medium difficulty. Nothing obscure and some nice clues. David
  9. A SIEVE (n) is also known as a RIDDLE – as a kid we used a riddle to grade potato sizes.

    Exactly 10:00 so I would rate this as harder than usual.

    4dn ERRANT held me up too as did 5dn AWESOME I word that is used a bit to often over the pond.

    COD 13ac NEWTON

    horryd Shanghai

  10. I made harder work of this than I should have done. Got through most of it in 18 minutes then went completely blank on 4d and 13a. A couple of extra siitings and a long break saw me stagger across the finish line wondering what all the fuss was about. No idea of my final solving time.
    Thanks for the blog.
  11. made fairly good progress but took ages to get 12d as I was fixed on terrier but eventually, somehow, harrier came to mind. This released 11a to complete. Funny how the mind/memory works when left to rest for a while by doing something else!

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