Times Quick Cryptic 780 by Teazel

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
I struggled a little with this and required 15 minutes to complete it, so only just avoided going into extra time. There were a couple of words I didn’t quite know the meaning of, and one clue (8ac) where I delayed myself trying to explain the inclusion of an adjective instead of simply ploughing on. More on these later.

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

1 Guns poorly sited in channel (9)
ARTILLERY – ILL (poorly) contained by [sited in] ARTERY (channel)
6 Money taken from account: plot to return it (5)
DEBIT – BED (plot) reversed [to return] IT
8 Hurry off after leaving gratuity? A simple game (3-3-3)
TIP-AND-RUN – TIP (gratuity),  RUN (hurry off). Two meanings. Tip-and-run is a version of cricket in which the batsman is required to try to score a run on every occasion that his bat strikes a bowled ball. I suppose it might be said to be a “simple” game but none of the usual sources chooses to use that term, two of them preferring instead to describe it as “informal”.  I can’t help wondering if I am missing something here.
9 Heavenly food in fashion, we hear (5)
MANNA – Sounds like [we hear] “manner” (fashion). The food God provided for the Israelites during their travels in the desert, according to the Book of Exodus and Wikipedia.
10 Caution, about to handle inscribed tablet (9)
CARTOUCHE – CARE (caution) contains [about] TOUCH [handle]. COED has this as “A painting or drawing of a scroll with rolled-up ends, with or without a text”. I vaguely knew of the word but had no idea what it meant so I trusted to wordplay here.
12 Adder to proceed unsteadily (6)
TOTTER – Two definitions of sorts
13 Impassive girl many rejected (6)
STOLID – DI (girl) + LOTS (many) reversed [rejected]
16 Sparkle in rearranged court case (9)
CORUSCATE – Anagram [rearranged] of COURT CASE. I knew of the word as in “coruscating wit” and that it meant something complimentary but beyond that I was somewhat vague about it so again I trusted to wordplay.
18 Swift to criticise papers (5)
RAPID – RAP (criticise), ID (papers)
19 Shot traitor at restaurant (9)
TRATTORIA – Anagram [shot] of TRAITOR AT
21 Apparently good point by church in article (5)
PIECE – PI (apparently good), E (point – of compass), CE (church). Usually we have “pi” clued as “good” but “apparently good” is a much better definition as the term is supposed to suggest that things are not quite as pure and holy as others might wish them to appear.
22 Party absolutely a find (9)
DISCOVERY – DISCO (party), VERY (absolutely)
1 A pain keeping dry for diplomat (7)
ATTACHE – A + ACHE (pain) containing [keeping] TT (dry – teetotal)
2 Gradually reduces / feeble lights (6)
TAPERS – Two definitions. I was a bit doubtful about “feeble” in the second one but Collins has it exactly.
3 Slow and somewhat sullen, too (5)
LENTO – A musical term hidden [somewhat] in {sul}LEN TO{o}
4 Commonly catch sound, in this (3)
EAR – {h}EAR (catch sound) [commonly]. Semi &lit I think.
5 After bet, scribble patriotic song (6,6)
YANKEE DOODLE – YANKEE (bet), DOODLE (scribble).
Yankee Doodle went to town
A-riding on a pony,
Stuck a feather in his cap
And called it macaroni.
6 Dictated some moves, no longer wild (12)
7 Rail set in bar coming loose (8)
BANISTER –  Anagram [coming loose] of SET IN BAR
11 Everyone taking a turn through small wood in fall (8)
COLLAPSE – ALL (everyone) reversed [taking a turn] contained by  [through] COPSE (small wood)
14 Treatment of some music other people must accept (7)
THERAPY – THEY (other people) contains [must accept] RAP (some music)
15 Endless obstacle for playwright (6)
BARRIE – BARRIE{r} (obstacle) [endless]. The creator of Peter Pan.
17 Knuckle down and fight (3,2)
SET TO – Two definitions
20 So singular an animal (3)
ASS – AS (so), S (singular)

26 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 780 by Teazel”

  1. A slow start to the week. FOI DEBIT (biffed), LOI TAPERS, COD MANNA

    8ac: I think you might be reading too much into it, although the inclusion of “simple” did cause me to biff tic-tac-toe at first.

  2. Very sluggish today; I started off distracted, having made the mistake of looking at the Times headlines before I scrolled down to the puzzles. My first across was RAPID, having had a senior moment at 16, where the word just wouldn’t come. LOI DEBIT, which I biffed from checkers; but then I got the ‘Unlucky!’ sign, and wasted a minute to discover that DEBIT was right but that I’d typed a Y for the H in THERAPY. Feh. 9:38.
  3. Hard for a Monday quick cryptic.

    s = singular
    tip and run
    tapers = lights

    COD 19a trattoria.

    1. I’ve come across the noun “taper” in several contexts. For example, the piece of rope they used to put in a box of fireworks that you were supposed to light them with. Also the spills (sic) in the chemistry lab that we lit the bunsen burner with.
      1. and Adrian don’t forget the odd-toed ungulate with the flexible proboscis, that self-immolates by fire!
  4. Not going to lie, this was a slow start, my first run through yielding only one answer. All in all, completed withing half an hour, but some unknown words here that I had to check afterwards – cartouche, coruscate. Never heard of totter for adder. As in the snake? Gribb.
    1. Now I see it! Adder as in someone who adds. Nothing to do with reptiles at all. Gribb.
  5. Managed to keep up a steady pace until only 10ac, 8ac and 2dn were left in the NE. They fell in that order after seeing ‘touch’ in the wordplay of 10ac. Given the other times mentioned – a surprisingly quick 12 minutes.
  6. My 9.23 doesn’t seem so bad considering.

    8ac TIP AND RUN is a simplified form of cricket for kids – more akin to rounders. TIC-TAC-TOE is surely too American (Noughts and Crosses hereabouts) – Jack has TIC-TAC-TOE ever appeared in the QC or 15×15?


    1. Horryd, you have access to the same TftT search as I do (top RH corner). According to that, tic-tac-toe has been mentioned in dispatches a few times but never appeared as an answer.
      1. Sorry to report that this being China and being forced to use a VPN – the search facility (Top RH corner) of TftT is disabled – no Google Yahoo etc allowed herabouts and not all features are available for some reason. Many thanks for the answer I was looking for.
        1. I didn’t realise the search facility was restricted where you are. Sorry to report that according to an article in the latest Oldie (Digital Life p90) the Chinese authorities are cracking down on VPNs “with renewed vigour”. The companies are being required to seek approval and anyone who operates a VPN without a licence will be “severely punished”.
  7. A little on the slow side for me. Never come across PI as anything to do with good, and only come across CARTOUCHE as a musket cartridge. Can’t say I really knew what CORUSCATE meabs either. So all in all an interesting start to the week.
  8. Tricky for a Monday but a helpful grid. 1a and 6d immediately yielded eleven first letters and 2d & 14d both had six checkers out of seven letters. I knew cartouche from Egyptian hieroglyphics where it takes the form of an ovoid frame for proper names. 5’30”
  9. I find Teazel’s puzzles fall into either the easy or very difficult categories, with very little middle ground. Today’s was definitely in the latter for me. The NE was particularly obdurate – not helped by trying to solve 1a as an anagram of ‘sited’ in channel – and drawing a complete blank when trying to biff it. Eventually got it which allowed me to get my LOI 2d. Completed in around 35 minutes over two sittings. COD 16a
  10. Better than average at about 19 mins. Did not know Yankee for bet, and had forgotten that PI exists in crossword land.

    LOI was 1a as I had ‘poorly’ as an anagrind for the letters of ‘sited’. Also forgot LENTO as was worried that it should be LARGO, and 8a might be wrong.

  11. I fortunately knew all of the words in this puzzle, apart from the definition of CARTOUCHE, which I constructed from wordplay. My FOI was EAR and LOI DEBIT. I did quite a bit of biffing from checkers, while confirming the parsing before moving on. Enjoyable puzzle which took 8:35. Thanks Teazel and Jack.
  12. A pleasing 5.48 with no real hold ups. CARTOUCHE familiar both as the French for a shotgun cartridge and also in decorative arts as a framing device – especially in metal engraving – although I see from GeoffH’s comment above its origins go way back.
  13. Not easy today. I started this on the way home on a train from the South coast. Took most of the time from Basingstoke to Clapham. Other than 6d ( a welcome set of first letters) I found there were very few easy clues to allow you to get stuck in. LOI was 15d. I also thought of Tic tac toe but knew it could not be right. Very good test.
  14. Aren’t teazels those plants that leave bits sticking to your clothes? I struggled with this one, unsure of the meanings of coruscate and cartouche. Last to get was ‘piece’, but I agree that reducing ‘pi’ to ‘apparently good’ is nice.
  15. I’ve been steadily improving over the last couple years learning the ins and outs of the cryptic crossword, even finished them once or twice, but this one was way too hard for me, no pleasure at all.

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