Times Quick Cryptic 856 by Mara

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
I’m standing in again for Chris who you will be relieved to know will be back from his hols to resume blogging next week.

I found this one straightforward and completed it in 8 minutes. Rather too many double definitions towards the end, I thought but otherwise an intersteing and amusing puzzle.

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

7 Little bird disturbed towel (5)
OWLET – Anagram [disturbed] of TOWEL
8 Last part: nurse about to suffer (4,3)
TAIL END – TEND (nurse) containing [about] AIL (suffer)
10 Domestic row? (7)
TERRACE – Cryptic definition. A row of adjoining houses is called a terrace.
11 Fertile spot in desert, nothing like island (5)
OASIS – O (nothing), AS (like), IS (island)
12 Grandiose dances arranged (9)
ORGANISED – Anagram [dances] of GRANDIOSE. A misdirection here as “arranged” and “dances” are both possible anagrinds.
14 Hearing part? (3)
EAR – Hidden [part] in {h}EAR{ing}?
15 Price cut for vermin (3)
RAT – RAT{e} (price) [cut]
16 First of birches in mature or developing tree garden (9)
ARBORETUM – B{irches} [first of…] contained by [in] anagram [developing] of IN MATURE
18 Bird taking lead from dog (5)
EAGLE – {b}EAGLE (dog) [taking lead from…]
20 Stop / lines repeated in song (7)
REFRAIN – Two definitions
22 Friday’s child? That’s a thrill! (7)
FRISSON – FRI’S (Friday’s), SON (child)
23 A northerner somewhere in Berkshire (5)
ASCOT – A, SCOT (northerner). Famous for its race course, and by accident or design this is very appropriate as Royal Ascot starts today!
1 Work on home? I’m not helping! (2-2-8)
DO-IT-YOURSELF – Two meanings, though for the second one to apply we need to lose the hyphens
2 Nothing left? That’s OK (3,5)
ALL RIGHT – Two meanings of sorts
3 Volcano located in Tibet, naturally (4)
ETNA – Hidden [located] in {Tib}ET NA{turally}
4 Emphasise small lock of hair (6)
STRESS – S (small), TRESS (lock of hair). Thanks to Flashman for correcting my slip.
5 Anarchy awfully sordid, sovereign beneath it (8)
DISORDER – Anagram [awfully] of SORDID, ER (sovereign – HMQ)
6 Setter on ship brings 5 down (4)
MESS – ME (setter), SS (ship)
9 Be prejudiced minister, cad I fancy (12)
13 Asia Minor etc, arena set to change (4,4)
NEAR EAST – Anagram [change] of ARENA SET
14 Opening / delight (8)
ENTRANCE – Two meanings
17 Use of a drill is / unexciting (6)
BORING – Two meanings of sorts
19 Terrible leader in government over the border (4)
GRIM – G{overnment} [leader], RIM (border)
21 Standard / paving slab (4)
FLAG – Two meanings

28 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 856 by Mara”

  1. Definitely an easy one, although I had to think for a moment at TAIL END, and–although it had to be RAT–about what was being cut where. 22ac had me worried at first, thinking it involved the nursery rhyme, which I don’t know. Maybe a PB at 3:18.

    Edited at 2017-06-20 03:12 am (UTC)

    1. The rhyme has Friday’s child as being “loving and giving” but, confusingly, I have on a tape somewhere an excellent Nancy Sinatra song called “Friday’s Child”, the lyrics of which would lead one to think that Friday’s child was something negative (e.g. “born a little ugly”, “she ain’t even gonna try”, “makes something look like nothing”, etc).
  2. Greeted by the “Unlucky” message on submission (it’s not really luck is it?), then went looking in all the wrong places for my error before remembering that I had entered THIN END thinking “that can’t be right, I’ll go back and fix that”.

    Not too many dramas otherwise. Nice time Kevin. Thanks Mara and Jack.

  3. My LOI was Tail end. For some reason “do it yourself” took a while to a while.

    And was unsure about near east. But I guess if there is a far east there has to be a near east.

    Thanks to one and all. That filled my lunch break very well.

  4. (10ac) was my LOI at 7.24 mins – but Galsprayed 8ac THIN END too!

    Didn’t parse 15ac RAT! Rats!

    WOD & COD 22ac FRISSON

    3.18 Kevin – most impressive!

    Edited at 2017-06-20 06:44 am (UTC)

  5. Not in the mood for crosswords today, I think its just too hot in the middle east and I’m ready to come back to the 30C cold of the UK on Friday!

    Dnf: enthusiasm swiftly left with 10a, 1d and 21d o/s.

    Another difficult word (ARBORETUM) clued by an anagram 😠

    In the blog, I think 4 down is S(small) tress (lock of hair).

    Edited at 2017-06-20 06:52 am (UTC)

    1. Thanks, flashman. I misread my notes. Amended now. And one less double defintion now!

      Edited at 2017-06-20 07:57 am (UTC)

  6. I found this quite straightforward but still managed to get a DNF. The one issue I had was parsing 16a as I missed the anagram and therefore spelt if arboritum. Better luck tomorrow hopefully
  7. Though some of them were very neat (I liked ENTRANCE and TERRACE).

    COD either ASCOT for topicality or ORGANISED for the joy of discovering that it is an anagram of grandiose!

    Like flashman, I had 4dn as S [small] + TRESS [lock of hair] = STRESS [emphasise].

    Done by Hither Green.

    Thanks to Mara and jackkt


    1. Also, according to the Chambers app, DRAGONISE, but the opportunities for using that in everyday conversation are few and far between.
  8. Struggled for a long time with my LOI, 1d – even though I had all the checkers AND DIY written above ‘work on home’. I’d like to blame it on a virtually sleepless night but really, that’s just being a dope.

    My COD is 14d as I’m trying to keep words that can be verbs as well as nouns somewhere accessible in my brain! I thought 10a was pretty cunning too.

    Thanks to Mara and Jackt.

  9. I didn’t know the flag = standard/paving slab definition, so this was a DNF for me. Instead, I put in FLAT for this. I’m surprised no one else struggled with this one. Maybe I was just being incredibly dumb. Other than that, fairly straightforward, but I didn’t find it as easy as some. 22ac, 20ac and 10ac took some thought. Gribb.
    1. Maybe you’ve heard of “flagstone” as an alternative to paving stone/slab?
  10. 17:09 today. I missed the clueing of Terrace completely, so thanks Jack for the explanation.
  11. No problems today and completed in 7:30. FOI OWLET and then last pair in, EAR and ENTRANCE. I got Unlucky at that point as I’d managed to put ENTRANCE in as EENTRANC. Liked 1d. Thanks Mara and Jack.
  12. For some reason (probably heat inspired sleep deprivation), I forgot to download the paper on my ipad over wifi before leaving home this morning, so had to do it on the rattler using my iphone. I haven’t done that before and it slowed me down a little, but still finished comfortably inside my target time, so I assume that this was easier than normal.

    Nice puzzle and blog – Jack, I don’t know how you manage to do the QC and 15 x 15 on the same day

  13. 22 minutes for me. I don’t think there were any stumbling blocks. LOI was TAILEND, as it took me a while to parse the clue.
  14. Stumped by a very ordinary 8a. Just couldn’t get my head round the entire clue… lots of nice clues today eg 10a FOI 7a COD 22a LOI has to be my dnf 8a. Otherwise about 45 minutes.
  15. Not too bad for me – I did struggle with 8ac, wanting it to be thin end but it clearly wasn’t. FOI 1ac. no problem with flag for paving stone, having been a civil engineer at one time.

    Took ages with the W & S, e.g. 1dn but that was obvious in hindsight. I could see 10ac was probably terrace but I didn’t realise we could just have a single definition. I was looking for something that meant domestic and row.
    18ac & 19dn were the last to go in.

    Thanks for the explanations….

    Edited at 2017-06-20 07:46 pm (UTC)

    1. Rather than being a double definition this is a cryptic defintion in which the words taken together lead to a single answer. The art in this sort of clue is misdirection. In this case “domestic row” at first glance might lead one to think of marital discord, for example, whereas to get to the actual answer one needs to come up with an alternative reading.

      Edited at 2017-06-20 08:26 pm (UTC)

  16. For me this was a low stress Mara puzzle- I normally struggle with his puzzles.
    All done bar three in 12 minutes. Slow to get 1d and 18a and LOI was Terrace -quite a tricky clue.
    Enjoyed this. Finished in 16 minutes. David
  17. Didn’t get anywhere near it 6 still outstanding after 15 mins – gave up at that point for more pressing issues.

    Another cross-referential clue (6d). After none for two years suddenly a rash, I thought they were “frowned upon”. I got both though so no problem.

    1. It’s true the Times doesn’t go in for littering whole grids with cross-references like the Guardian does on occasion, but I don’t know that such clues are officially frowned upon by the editors. The antipathy towards them may well be a lot stronger in this community however.
  18. That’s the quickest I’ve managed at 13 minutes. FOI was 1d (rather proud of that – now I see that some of you clever people took longer). Last was terrace. COD 22a.

    I realise this was an easier puzzle and I’ll no doubt be brought down to earth tomorrow but, for now, I am delighted.

    I know that I could never have done this without all the help I get from this blog. Thanks to all of you. MM

    1. Many congratulations, MM. Your confidence will build now, but don’t be put off by the odd setback. I still have disasters regularly after years of solving.
  19. Quite tame by Mara’s standard, though it still took me the best part of 30 late in the day minutes. Arboretum was a write in for anyone familiar with the Walsall version, and slab/flag is also a function of UK geography. Invariant

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