Times Quick Cryptic 870 by Teazel

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
I neeeded 11 minutes to complete the grid parsing as I went, so missed my target by 1 minute. There are a few words here that may only be easy if the solver has met them before, so I’ve no helpful view on the overall level of difficulty and we shall have to wait to find out what others made of it.

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

1 Sort of book has story about bachelor on drink (6,5)
COFFEE TABLE – COFFEE (drink),  TALE (story) containing [about] B (bachelor)
8 Red Cross is in the market (7)
MARXIST – X (cross) + IS contained by [is in] MART (market)
9 In north-east, for example, start of virtual desert (5)
NEGEV – EG (for example) contained by [in] NE (north-east), V{irtual} [start of]. This desert gave me problems when it came up a few weeks ago in the main puzzle but fortunately I rememberd it today when nudged in the right direction by wordplay.
10 Woman following area of interest in Northern city (9)
SHEFFIELD – SHE (woman), F (following), FIELD (area of interest)
12 It’s different. but equivalent (3)
TIS – Anagram [different] of IT’S – including the apostrophe – gives us ‘TIS  which means exactly the same (equivalent). I think this is semi&lit but no doubt I shall be corrected if I’m mistaken. I can’t see that the full-stop adds anything to the proceedings so I’m assuming it’s a misprint. I shall check the facsimile newspaper later to see if it’s the same there.
13 Almost cause sensation, performing as female warrior (6)
AMAZON – AMAZ{e} (cause sensation) [almost], ON (performing)
15 One making a joint with senior (6)
WELDER – W (with), ELDER (senior)
17 Setter perhaps is to make good (3)
DOG – DO (make), G (good). Dear, oh dear! Yet again I have a setter/dog clue on my blogging day. I’m starting to feel paranoid about it.
18 Fellows moving around in steamship? (9)
SHIPMATES – Anagram [moving around] of STEAMSHIP
20 Holy object oddly laid in playing field (5)
RELIC – L{a}I{d} [oddly] contained by [in] REC (playing field)
22 Ruler’s stately dance (7)
MEASURE – Two meanings, the second one archaic and somewhat obscure
23 French holiday area made quiet during recess (8,3)
BASTILLE DAY – A (area) + STILLED (made quiet) contained by [during] BAY (recess)
1 Evil spell needs smoke, with sulphur involved (5)
CURSE – CURE (smoke) with  S (sulphur) contained (involved)
2 Abruptly changes mind, producing footwear (4-5)
FLIP-FLOPS – Two meanings. I thought the first one meant continually changing one’s mind either on the same issue more than once or on a number of issues, but rather to my surprise I can’t find any support for that reading.
3 Freedom of access in centre expected (6)
ENTREE – Hidden in {c}ENTRE E{xpected}. I don’t recall seeing this meaning before in a crossword  although I was aware of it. More usually it’s  clued as a course or dish served as part of a meal.
4 Brown river coming out of mountain lake (3)
TAN – TA{r}N (mountain lake) [river coming out]. Remembered from geography lessons at school, but again this is possibly a word that’s not on the tip of most tongues.
5 Having closed mind, I got into bed (7)
BIGOTED – I GOT in BED. Back to the basics of how to construct a cryptic crossword clue!
6 The King verily sleeps awkwardly (5,7)
ELVIS PRESLEY – Anagram [awkwardly] of VERILY SLEEPS. I liked him singing ballads but not much else.
7 Bash grandmas with violence in this raid? (5-3-4)
SMASH-AND-GRAB -Anagram [with violence] of BASH GRANDMAS. Charming surface reading!
11 I must leave Milan in fear, a place of fond imaginings (9)
DREAMLAND – M{i}LAN [I must leave] conatined by [in] DREAD
14 Heavenly being is over us in prayer (7)
ANGELUS – ANGEL (heavenly being), US. The wordplay is helpful but those not of a certain religious persuasion may struggle with the word itself.
16 Miserable sergeant-major breaking clock face? (6)
DISMAL – SM (sergeant-major) contained by [breaking] DIAL (clock face)
19 Genuinely the end of a letter? (5)
TRULY – A straight defintion and a cryptic hint – as in ‘Yours truly’ to sign-off to a letter.
21 Greek character’s cold greeting (3)
CHI – C (cold), HI (greeting)

32 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 870 by Teazel”

  1. I was surprised to find ‘ship’ in both clue and solution, even in a Quickie. I’m with Jack on flip-flop; at least in US English. If I recall, the house of Usher was situated on a tarn; at least that’s where I learned the word ages ago. MARXIST was the one time I reached 2d place in the clue-setting contest (tying someone else who had the identical clue): Team’s in the market for a left-winger. 5:47, I believe.
  2. We call them thongs here, but FLIP-FLOPS wasn’t too hard with a few checkers in place.

    I had MARXIST as my COD, but Kevin’s version might be even better.

    Nice start to the week. Thanks Teazel and Jack.

    1. When I was in Australia for the first time last Christmas, and I saw on the door of a restaurant ‘no thongs’, my first thought was ‘How could they tell?’ JJ
  3. 29:14, slow but acceptable as on holiday (Estonia).

    Agree with blogger on the tiresome Setter=dog. Bastille Day topical for this week.

    I had RETIRED for 5 down for a bit, a plausible DD for ‘Having closed’ and ‘go to bed’

    2dn was COD, can’t see why I was so slow on it.

    LOI 3D

  4. Found this one tough. 2d esp., until I remembered we’d had it recently otherwise I don’t think I’d have got it.

    Biffed 23a and 22a and still don’t quite get it. A stately dance, like gavot perhaps?

    thanks to Teazel and Jackt

    1. I couldn’t find anything more detailed than “stately dance” in the usual sources so I consulted my 10-volume Groves Dictionary of Music which has, by contrast, too much information. The key things appear to be that it was a term used for the opening dance in an Elizabethan or Jacobean masque and that it was similar to a pavan, sometimes taking the form of variations on a ground bass.

      Edited at 2017-07-10 09:03 am (UTC)

      1. Ah, pavane, that was the word I was thinking of – remember playing a rather lovely (stately) pavane on the piano.

        Thank you for going to so much trouble looking it up.

  5. Had to come on here to find the red under the bed. Grrr. Properly bamboozled me. I need espresso.

    Otherwise straightforward and enjoyable, thanks Teazel. As I wrote in DOG I thought “I do hope jackkt isn’t blogging this” … oh dear!

    COD for me was BIGOTED


  6. I didn’t think this was the easiest Monday offering, and buffed a few in without fully parsing. I didn’t help myself my spelling Elvis’ surname wrong, so that left me scratching my head over 22 across for a while. Finished in 30. Gribb.
  7. I found this tough going and eventually completed in 24 minutes. The last few clues felt like a real grind to solve (8a, 2d and 10a). Thought 18a was a bit weak having ship in both the clue and answer. Failed to parse 20a and had never heard of the second meaning of 22a, so thanks for clarifying. COD 15a for the doh moment when I stopped thinking about drugs.
  8. That “tarn” will be familiar to all readers if Swallows and Amazons, not least because of the enormous (2lb!) trout that Titty and Roger catch on a worm in Trout Tarn (I think in Swallowdale).


  9. I had to do this on my i-pad which did not enjoy! At the end the screen completely cleared and no time was given. I estimate I was at just over ten minutes so average difficulty.

    WOD 9ac NEGEV

    COD 2dn FLIP-FLOPS isn’ t Ronald MacDonald Trump the second time flip-flop President? Who was the first?

    Nice to see Elvis in town.

  10. I really enjoyed this. Had to guess at the desert; I will remember it now.
    COD to 6d, but other candidates such as 19d, 2d and 8a. TIS was very clever.
    Managed to finish in 15 minutes. Felt on good form after trying the weekend puzzles. David
  11. Slowed down at the end by Marxist and Measure, but I was generally quite slow as Teazel had done a number of very clever misdirections which I fell for on each occasion. 40mins +
  12. One of the tougher offerings of recent weeks. Inexplicably delayed by 2d and, albeit with better reason, by 18a. I got the S at front and back, thinking that this accounted for ‘steamship’ and was looking for a work meaning ‘moving around’ to go in the middle to give a word meaning ‘fellows’. Talk about barking up the wrong tree (Sorry, Jack. Didn’t mean to feed the phobia!). 7’30”
  13. This us the hardest puzzle in a few weeks. Got nowhere on it and even after seeing the answers in the blog found it difficult to follow. No complaints as we need a few harder ones to learn

    1. If it’s any comfort, I don’t think we would have been able to do this until recently and we’ve been doing it for nearly three years! Perhaps we’ve finally got over the hump.
        1. Dear Jackt,

          If I may interject! I always find your contributions re the
          Times Quick Cryptic to be amongst the most helpful, so many thanks. Most things are a matter of opinion but it is a fact that Teazel’s Quick Cryptic was absurdly the most difficult ever launched by the Times. I solved the same day’s 15×15 in shorter time.

          1. Thanks for your kind comments about my contributions, but I can’t agree that Teazel’s puzzle was ‘absurdly difficult’ by any standards, and it’s not a fact, only that that you found it so. If you solved #26773 (the equivalent 15×15 puzzle) in a shorter time you are obviously no slouch at cryptic crosswords as the general consensus of the group was that there were at least some very difficult clues and answers in it.

            Edited at 2017-07-13 06:51 am (UTC)

  14. A DNF for me. Couldn’t get started and after puzzling for ages had to look up 1a here. Then stuck with 13a and 23a. Oh dear! I think sometimes when you’re on the wrong track, it’s difficult to get to the answer since you are focusing on the wrong part of a clue, looking for a synonym for example, but it will just lead you astray. That’s what the setter (not a dog) wants of course! And today if there was a wrong bit of a clue to focus on I found it. Onwards! Pexiter.
  15. This is exactly what I need. I’m just embarking on my journey into the mysterious World of cryptic crosswords……Thank you indeed 👌
    1. Welcome, novicecryptic! Glad you find the site useful and hope you will become a regular contributor now that you’ve found us.

      Edited at 2017-07-11 08:58 am (UTC)

      1. Can you shed any light on The Times quick cryptic Number 869 in particular 21 across ?
        1. Magritte’s first name was RENE and reversed rules is WAL, assemble to get an act of modernism.
          1. Renewal ! Thank you…. My best effort was Renewed ! Close but not close enough. And from this I now make 18 down as Loyal….behold is to ‘look’, non- clergy is lay preacher. So Lo from look and turn lay to Yal combine to create another word for faithful….Loyal.
            Fantastic feeling when the penny drops! Thanks again.
  16. Catching up on a surfeit of puzzles after a long weekend away. This one took me 9:27, with FOI COFFEE TABLE and LOI FLIP FLOPS. Took me ages to see that. BASTILLE DAY is certainly occurring more than once a year in Crossword Land! Didn’t know the desert, but it was clearly clued. Surprisingly, Elvis sprang into view on sight! Nice puzzle. Thanks Teazel and Jack.

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