Times Quick Cryptic 790 by Mara

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
I finished this in 8 minutes. I think most of it is straightforward but we shall see if others agree.

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

1 Reportedly better kitchen implement (6)
GRATER – Sounds like [reportedly] “greater” (better)
4 Period of inactivity in rest, as I sit (6)
STASIS – Hidden in {re}ST AS I S{it}
8 Taste lead? Do it anyway! (4,3,6)
BITE THE BULLET – Two meanings, the first more or less a literal reading, the second figurative. The phrase means to face up to doing something difficult or unpleasant when one would really rather not. Injured soldiers were given a bullet to bite on if they required surgery in the days before anaesthesia.
10 Best possible agreement by leader in industry (5)
IDEAL – I{ndustry} [leader], DEAL (agreement)
11 Author beginning to regret being less mature (7)
GREENER – GREENE (author), R{egret} [beginning]
12 Nine battles played in sport (5,6)
TABLE TENNIS – Anagram [played] of NINE BATTLES
16 Duck and orange ordered for herb (7)
OREGANO – 0 (duck – cricket), anagram [ordered] of ORANGE
17 Belgian city good, then bad (5)
GHENT – G (good), anagram [bad] of THEN
18 Where we learn the state does not pay? (7,6)
PRIVATE SCHOOL – Cryptic definition. By a quirk of the UK education system a “private” school is very often a public school.
19 Something for a puffer / jacket (6)
REEFER – Two definitions, a marijuana cigarette and a smart double-breasted jacket. The puffer jacket mentioned in the surface reading is one that’s padded with layers of fibre for extra warmth.
20 Sovereign, say, entertaining American relative (6)
COUSIN – COIN (sovereign, say) containing [entertaining] US (American)
1 Troll trashed blog, popular (6)
GOBLIN – Anagram [trashed] of BLOG, IN (popular)
2 Simultaneously, however (2,3,4,4)
AT THE SAME TIME – Two meanings
3 Praise old charge, endlessly (5)
EXTOL – EX (old), TOL{l} (charge) [endlessly]
5 Evil nature encapsulating a Mayday baby, say? (7)
TAUREAN – Anagram [evil] of NATURE containing [encapsulating] A. The astrological sign Taurus covers 19 April to 20 May if anyone’s interested.
6 Wonderful idleness: up for exercising? (13)
SPLENDIFEROUS – Anagram [exercising] of IDLENESS UP FOR.
7 Welcoming a temp initially, father mocking work (6)
SATIRE – SIRE (father) containing [welcoming] A + T{emp} [initially]
9 Rowing crew perhaps gets home, I suspect (9)
EIGHTSOME – Anagram [suspect] of GETS HOME I
13 Water lost, lake restored over time (7)
LEAKAGE – Anagram [restored] of LAKE, AGE (time)
14 Penny, PC (6)
COPPER – Two meanings, the coin and slang for “policeman”, in this case Police Constable
15 Hot in Bristol, England (6)
STOLEN – Hidden in {Bri}STOL EN{gland}. Stolen goods are said to be “hot”.
17 Lizard tails in steaming casserole, eccentric cook blotto! (5)
GECKO – Last letters [tails] of {steamin}G, {casserol}E, {eccentr}C, {coo}K, {blott}O

21 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 790 by Mara”

  1. I was steaming through this one but then was slowed down by 9d 17d and 17a. I misread the last letters of 17 and put GECCO, biffed GWENT instead of GHENT and failed to see the anagram fodder quickly for EIGHTSOME. Eventually finished in 13:24. I agree with Jack that it’s mostly straight forward. I should’ve done it in the morning. Off to bed now. Thanks Mara and Jack.
  2. My story is much like John’s: speeding along nicely, stopped by 9d, where I didn’t notice the anagrist and was looking for IN (‘home’) instead. I also initially had ‘primary’ instead of PRIVATE, I don’t know why. Late to spot how GECKO worked, too. All in all I’d say 2-3 minutes wasted. 6:52.
  3. Ditto. I biffed PRIMARY and then couldn’t work out what EIGHT-O-Y could be, with the definition “I suspect.” A famous detective I’ve never heard of perhaps?
  4. 32 minutes.

    I had worked steadily until 11a, 19a, 7d, 9d, and 13d.

    dnk reefer = jacket, luckily knew the other definition.

    7d was quite tricky, sire for father and the definition satire for mocking work.

    COD 17d, not the most difficult but funny.

  5. It seems straight forward. But whilst doing it that was not the impression. And it took quite some time to sort out.

    Taurean… mmm good confusing clue with an unusual answer. LOI.

    I also liked Satire. And bite the bullet.

  6. I agree that this seemed straightforward and shared the time of 8 minutes. LOI in the long anagram at 6dn which needed all the checkers. What a splendiferous word it is to! I also liked 20ac – for sovereign being used as something other than king/queen.
  7. Yeah, very straightforward. However, 17ac held me up a bit as my Belgian football knowledge told me the team is known as Gent, so I was looking for a word for “bad” rather than an anagram of “then”. All in all, finished in 20. Gribb.
    1. Ghent and Gent are the Flemish and French spellings for the same place I think (based on the two spellings on the roadsigns – I used to drive past regularly when travelling between NL and U.K.)


      1. French spelling is Gand. Ghent is the traditional English spelling, although a lot of such spellings are now deprecated. (It’s inconsistent – football commentators say Sevilla but not Muenchen.)
  8. Agree, seemed easier than most at 15:23. LOI TAUREAN, very nice word. Thanks blogger for parsing GECKO, did not see those tails.

  9. Agree with the above comments that this was at the slightly easier end of the scale. My main hold ups were being slow to pick up the anagram indicators in 9d and LOI 5d. I was a bit dubious about the link between trolls and goblins but the answer couldn’t have been anything else. Completed in 15 minutes.
  10. A pleasant start to the week. Completed in sub 30mins although also held up by primary/private school.
    I couldn’t parse extol, so thanks for the blog.
  11. I was another with Primary School at first pass. It did not seem the perfect answer but…
    Otherwise I proceeded quickly for a Mara puzzle and ended up with 9d which I assumed started with EIGHT. However the Y at the end confused me- an Eightbody perhaps. So I started the clue again and saw the possible anagram and that was that. 17 minutes. Liked 17a. David
  12. and 5dn TAUREAN held me up for an age so crawled over the line in 11.20

    I had PRIMARY SCHOOL in at 18ac but went PRIVATE once 9dn EIGHTSOME arrived.


  13. I too biffed Primary School, not understanding how it really fitted, and that is after having worked for 30 years in schools where the state does not pay. Duh.
  14. A newbie at all this and the first time I’ve commented so bear with me.

    Proud to state that this is the first time I’ve completed this without help. Love to say it was within 15 mins – it wasn’t – but got there in the end.

    Whilst I figured 20a from the ‘relative’ description, totally got the wordplay wrong. I thought of ‘say, entertaining american’ as “cussin” as in the US slang for cursing. No idea why and now realise that sovereign had to be there for some reason!

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  15. A very slow 40 min solve, via all the mistakes already mentioned – primary school, younger, and good plus bad. Needed all the checkers for the anagram at 6d as well. Not exactly a good start to the week. Invariant

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